03/11/2013 Sunday Politics West


Andrew Neil and David Garmston are joined by Unite leader Len McCluskey, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq Murad, and shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. It began as


Plebgate, now it is Plodgate. The evidence of three police officers to


MPs is branded a great work of fiction. They tried to intimidate


the Grangemouth bosses, but in the end it was the union that


capitulated. I will ask Len McCluskey about Unite union's strong


arm tactics at Grangemouth and Falkirk. They preach women should be


sidelined and confined to the private sphere. They argued they


should be covered up. In the West, boosting biddies


profits. You can spend up to ?1 0 every 20 seconds in these


authority is investigating -- investing thousands of pounds in a


GPS tracking system to keep tabs on its staff.


With me as always, the best and the brightest political panel, Helen


Lewis, Janan Ganesh and Nick Watt who will be tweeting their


humiliating climb-down is what they got wrong last week in the


programme. If this can happen it to a Cabinet minister, what hope is


there for anyone else? Thus the Home Affairs Select Committee concluded


what many already thought about the treatment of Andrew Mitchell by


three self-styled PC plebs. They met him to clear the air over what did


or did not happen when he was prevented from ramming his bike


through the Downing Street gates. But the officers gave the media and


inaccurate account of that meeting. Two of them are even accused of


misleading the Commons committee. The Independent Police Complaints


Commission will now reopen there enquiry. This is not a story about


Andrew Mitchell, it is about the police. Keith Vaz is often in high


dudgeon and this is the highest dad and I have seen him in for some


time. They could be held for contempt of Parliament and


technically they could be sent to prison. It has blown up into an


enormous story. I do not know what is worse, the police trying to


stitch up a Cabinet member and try to mislead the media or the


incompetence they have done it from day one. That is quite good. I would


sleep more soundly at night if I knew the pleas were good at this. It


is the incompetence that shocks me. And this is just a sideshow. We are


still waiting on the main report as to what exactly happened outside


Downing Street gates. But that not will be good for the police either.


The file has gone from the Metropolitan police to the CPS, so


we are limited about what we can say. This is about the police


Federation. They were set up under statute in 1990 as a deal in which a


police would not go on strike. This is a political campaign to get a


Cabinet minister out and the legacy of this is the police Federation


will have to be reformed. We will keep an eye on it. They were Ed


Miliband's union backers, they swung the Labour leadership for him in


2010. Now the Unite union looks like his biggest headache. The Sunday


Times has seen extracts of the report into the alleged vote rigging


to select a Labour candidate in Falkirk. There was evidence of


coercion and Gregory as well as deliberate attempt to frustrate the


enquiry. We will be speaking to Len McCluskey, the Unite union's General


Secretary, in a moment. First out the saga began an almost ended up


with the loss of 800 jobs at a petrochemical plant in Grangemouth.


Unite were key players in the Grangemouth dispute and the union


headed by Len McCluskey has come under fire for its intimidator Tariq


tactics. In one instance demonstrators complete with an


inflatable rat picketed the home of a INEOS director. The police were


called. It was part of a strategy the union called leverage. But


turning up at people's houses seems to represent an escalation. At the


centre of the rout was Steve in deals -- Stephen Denes. INEOS


launched an investigation into him as he was suspected of using company


time to engineer the selection of labour's candidate in Falkirk. That


candidate was Karie Murphy, a friend of Len McCluskey. Stevie Deans


resigned last week and denies any wrongdoing, but it capped a dramatic


climb-down by Unite union. Len McCluskey joins me now. Thanks to


the Sunday Times we now know what is in this labour report on the Falkirk


vote rigging. Forgery, coercion trickery, manipulation. You must be


ashamed of how Unite union behaved in Falkirk. The Sunday Times article


is lazy journalism. There is nothing new in the article. This was all


dealt with by the Labour Party in the summer. We rejected those


allegations then and we said we had done nothing wrong and both the


Labour Party and the police in Scotland indicated there had been no


wrongdoing. The report itself says you were trying to thwart the


investigation. First you tried to fix the selection of a candidate to


get your woman in and then you thwarted the investigation into the


dirty deeds. The reality is the Labour Party report was deeply


flawed. The Labour Party then instructed a solicitor, a lawyer, to


do an in-depth investigation and during that investigation they got


to the bottom of what had happened and they decided there was no


wrongdoing whatsoever. At the time I was so confident we had done


nothing, I called for an independent enquiry. They were forced to


conclude there was no wrongdoing because the people who originally


complained changed their evidence and we now know they did so because


Unite union officials helped them to rewrite their retraction and Stevie


Deans approved it. That is not true. We have had 1000 e-mails thrown into


the public arena and what is that all about? Who is leaking this? They


showed the Unite union was rewriting the retractions. This interview


would go a lot better if you are allowed me to finish the question


that you asked. These e-mails were put into the public arena by the PR


company from INEOS. Why are they doing this? The truth of the matter


is that all of the investigations that took place demonstrate there


was nothing to answer. This idea that the Unite union has rewritten


and the evidence from the families has been withdrawn, the families are


a part of Stevie deems' family. They clarified the position. Do you deny


that union officials were involved in the retractions? I deny it


completely. This is important. Independent solicitors to witness


statements from the family and they are the ones that were influencing


the Labour Party with the position is clarified and there is no case to


answer. Do you deny Stevie deems saw their retractions? It is his family.


So you do not deny it? It is his family. This is an ordinary, decent


family who were faced with the full weight of the pleas, a forensic


solicitor. Of course they spoke to Stevie Deans. This whole thing is a


cesspit. Does it not need an independent investigation? This is a


trap being laid by Tory Central office. They are making all the


demands. The media, the Daily Mail, the Sunday Times, the Conservative


mouthpiece, they are laying tracks for Ed Miliband and Ed Miliband


should not fall into them. Since when did it become part of an


industrial dispute to send mobs to the home of company families. This


is a legitimate form of protest and it is a silent protest. We believe


if faceless directors are making decisions that cripple communities,


they cannot expect to simply drift back to their own leafy suburbia and


not be countable. This is silent protest. It is lawful. It may be


silent in Grangemouth, but it was not silent elsewhere. You went with


a giant rat, loud-hailers telling everybody the neighbour was evil.


No, we did not. You had loud-hailers, you even encouraged


passing children in Grangemouth to join in. That is nonsense. Look at


the rat. The reality is the Grangemouth community was going to


be decimated, Grangemouth was going to become a ghost town. I reject


totally this idea there were loud-hailers and children involved.


That is a lie perpetrated by the Daily Mail. But you have used these


tactics in other disputes. We have used the tactics in other disputes,


but we have not used loud-hailers at people's homes. Because the labour


laws are so restrictive we have to look at every available means that


we can protest. It is an outrage, an absolute outrage, that this is


happening to British workers in the 21st-century. It could not happen


elsewhere. Is not intimidation the wider hallmark of your union? You


were quoted as saying to do whatever it takes during your attempts to


take over the Labour Falkirk constituency. You were instructing


to dig out the nasty stuff on your opponents. That is not true. Let's


see these e-mails? This is a con trick. Nobody is looking to dig


out... This is the words of your legal services advisor. Unite has


tried to instigate a revival of trade union values within the Labour


Party. That is what Ed Miliband wanted us to do. As soon as we


started to be in any way ineffective, there were screams and


howls of derision. When the company started to investigate Stevie Deans,


your friend, your campaign manager, that he was using company time to


moonlight on the job, you called INEOS and said unless you stop the


investigation we will bring Grangemouth to a standstill. I never


said that at all. You brought it to a standstill. We never brought it to


a standstill, the company did. Who says that I said that we would bring


it to a standstill? You have read it in the newspapers. You should not


believe everything. I did not make that threat to the management. You


carried the threat out. You instigated an overtime ban and a


work to rule. And that is what Grangemouth to a standstill because


the company decided to close the petrochemical site down. Because


Stevie Deans was suspended due introduced industrial action? Our


members in Grangemouth felt he was being unfairly treated. In the end


you're grandstanding almost cost Scotland is most important


industrial facility. The day was saved by your total capitulation.


Grandstanding, capitulation and humiliation are grand phrases. There


is nothing about capitulation. Len McCluskey did not wake up one day


and decide to have a dispute with INEOS. The workers in that factory


democratically elect their shop stewards to represent them and to


express to management their concerns and their views. That is what


happened with INEOS. Jack Straw has condemned your union's handling of


Grangemouth as a catastrophe. Have you considered your position? Jack


Straw and others in the Labour Party, you have to ask them what


their agenda is. I am not interested in what he says. The truth of the


matter is we responded to the requirements and needs of our


members. At a mass meeting last Monday 100% supported their shop


stewards and their union. We will continue to stand shoulder to


shoulder with our members when they are faced with difficult situations.


You have lost all the union rights. You have had to agree to a no strike


rule, you have lost pension rights. We have not lost rights at all, we


are still working with the company to implement its survival plan. The


Prime Minister is always attacking unions and just lately he has taken


to praising the automotive industry. Jaguar Land Rover,


Foxhall, BMW at Cowley, they are all Unite union members were the shop


stewards are engaged positively to implement survival plans and to make


a success for the company. That is what we do, but by the same token we


stand shoulder to shoulder with our members who are in struggle and we


will always do that and we will not be cowed by media attacks on us Is


your leadership not proving to be as disastrous for the members as Arthur


Scargill was for the NUM? My membership is growing. I am


accountable to my members, two are executive, and the one thing they


will know is that when they want me standing shoulder to shoulder with


them when they have a problem, I will be there, despite the


disgraceful attacks launched on us by the media.


"A country ready to welcome your investment which values your


friendship and will never exclude anyone because of their race,


religion, colour or creed." The words of the Prime minister at the


World Islamic Economic Forum which was hosted for the first time in


London this week. The PM's warm words are sure to be welcomed by


British Muslims who have endured a spate of negative headlines. There's


been the controversy over the wearing of the veil, attitudes to


women, and the radicalisation of some young British Muslims. In a


moment I'll be talking to the Secretary General of the Muslim


Council of Britain, Farooq Murad. First - here's Giles Dilnot. The


call to Friday prayers at the east London Mosque which has strong links


with the Muslim Council of Britain, one of the more vocal groups amongst


British Muslims. Despite the fact it frequently happens, it is neither


helpful nor accurate to describe the British Muslim community. There are


so many different sects, traditions, cultures and


nationalities, it is more accurate to describe the British Muslim


communities, but there is one question being put to them - are


they doing enough internally to address some challenging issues Are


they willing to confront radicalisation, attitudes to


non-muslins, two women, and cases of sexual exploitation in a meaningful


way? A number of them say no, not nearly enough. This former jihad de


has spent ten years telling young Muslim teenagers how they can reject


extremist radicalisation, using Outward Bound courses and community


work, but he and others doing this work thing -- think some elders are


failing the youngsters. This has been going on for decades, one


figures -- thing is said in public to please people but in private


something very different is being said and the messages are being


confused. Some of the young people, it pushes them further into a space


where they are vulnerable for radical recruiters. For many Muslim


youngsters, life is about living 1's faith within an increasingly secular


society, a struggle not helped if rigid interpretations of the Koran


are being preached, say some sectors. Some practices often don't


make sense in 21st-century Britain, and you are perhaps creating


obstacles if you stick to those and it is perhaps better to let go of


those cultural problems, especially when they need to clear injustices


like forced marriage, reticence to talk about grooming for example or


discrimination against women. There is a long list but I am very clear


that in fact the bad Muslim is the one who sticks to unflinching,


narrow dogmatic fundamentalist perception of religion. One issue


often focused on is the wearing of minicab. Polling suggests 80% of


Britons would favour a ban in public places. -- the niqab. Many people


don't seem to recognise the legacy of the niqab. Many people preach


that women should be sidelined and that they are sexual objects that


should be covered up and the preservation of morality falls on


their shoulders. The Muslim Council of Britain recently got praise for


holding a conference on combating sexual exploitation. In the wake of


abuse cases that had involved predominantly Pakistani men. For one


man who has followed the story for some years, the Muslim Council of


Britain needs to do much more. We need to get along together and if


things like attitudes towards the normal slim girl in stark contrast


to the expression of honour and chastity of the Muslim girl, your


sister or daughter, are such that actions that would be an fought off


with a slim girl becomes permissible with a white girl, then we are all


in trouble. To some, attitudes to women are not limited to sexual


interactions at the very structures of life in Muslim communities and


indeed the Muslim Council of Britain itself. I would like to ask the


Muslim Council of Britain what they are doing about the fact that very


few mosques give voices to are doing about the fact that very


the fact that someone women are experiencing female genital


mutilation and forced marriages what about the women who are getting


married and their marriages are not being registered and they are being


left homeless and denied maintenance rights, what about the fact there


are sharia rights that have been found to be discriminating against


women, and the fact there are men in this country who continue to hold


misogynistic views about women, what are you doing? The occasional press


release will not solve this problem of a deeply patriarchal community.


That all of these issues can be exploited to the point of Islam


phobia is not doubted, but many Muslims feel that unless the


communities do tackle this openly, a big cultural gap will exist between


the two. And the Secretary General of the


Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq Murad, joins me now. One visible


sign that sets muslins aside is the veils that cover women's faces. Do


you think it makes them impossible to be part of mainstream society?


The niqab is not an obligatory requirement. But do you accept that


those who wear it are cutting themselves off from mainstream


society? Some people do, and whilst wearing niqab, some of them are


working in various walks of life successfully and it is seen as a


faith requirement, but it is a red herring in the sense that it applies


to such a small number of Muslim girls. For many Muslim preachers,


isn't separation precisely the point of the niqab? Certainly not, if you


look at the Muslim women in the public sphere, we have many very


successful women. But not the ones who are veiled. Not in the public


arena as such, but the veil is a practice which is practised by a


very small number. Do you favour it? I personally think it is not a


requirement. But do you think women should wear the veil? I think it is


wrong to force women to wear the veil. I asked if in your opinion


women should wear the veil? It is important not to force women to wear


the veil. Should they of their free choice where the veil? A lot of


individuals do things out of their free choice which I do not approve


of, I don't think it is conducive it helps their cause, but I do not have


the right to take their choice away from them. I am still unsure if you


think it is a good thing or a bad thing. Are not many Muslim women in


this country being forced by Muslim preachers and often their male


relations who want to keep Muslim women their place? As I said, it is


wrong for anyone to force Muslim women. But how would we ever know in


a family if a woman was being forced? Exactly, we don't know what


is going on in people 's homes and what pressure is being applied. I


want you to look at this picture, very popular on Islamic websites,


and it shows the women who is wearing the niqab having a straight


route to heaven, and the other Muslim woman dressed in western gear


condemned to hell. Do you consider that a proper message for Muslim


women? Not at all, I don't. So any Islamic websites in Britain... The


Muslim Council of Britain is an organisation of five affiliates from


across the country and this is not coming from any of them. As I said,


those minority views propagated by individuals should not be used to


represent Muslim community. So that would not have the support of the


Muslim Council of Britain? It would not have the support. What about the


Muslim free school that requires children as young as 11 to wear a


black veil outside of school? Do you agree with that? I am not sure


exactly what the policy is... I have just told you, do you agree that


girls as young as 11 should wear a black burka outside of school? I


don't think it should be imposed on anybody. But this is the desired


dress School of the Muslim females. I am asking for your view. I said it


at the beginning that I do not think it should be imposed. Would you send


your daughter to a school that would wear a black burka at the age of 11?


Would you? No. It seems that some muslins are determined to segregate


young Muslim girls right from the start to very early from society. It


is not their segregation as such, I would say that there are faith


schools, if you look at an Islamic girls school in Blackburn in a


traditional setting, it has come the top of the league table this year in


the secondary school league tables. But it doesn't make 11-year-olds


wear black burkas. Many of those girls go on to have a successful


career. Not wearing black burkas. I am sure there are examples of women


who do have successful careers. There is a very conservative


movement from the continent on Islam, and the issue supposedly


based on Islamic law on their website. Here is one of their recent


judgements. The female is encouraged to remain within the confines of her


home as much as possible, she should not come out of the home without


need and necessity. What do you think of that? We need to say the


whole context of that quote. They are saying they should stay at home


as much as possible, do you agree with that? I see many Muslim women


who are walking about... But this is what the mosque is recommending


women should do. The practice is quite the contrary. Let me show you


another one. Another Fatwa. Do you agree with that? These have been


picked out from material dating back to different cultural settings and


in practice they are not applied. This is advice being given as we


speak. This is not being practised. Do you agree with it? No, not at


all. These are from the DL Monday mosques, how come 72 of these


mosques are affiliated to your counsel? There may be publications


from one of their scholars, but they have been written in countries


abroad and translated. This is advice being given to young women


now. They are affiliated to the Muslim Council of Britain. Do you


ever speak to them about that? The Muslim Council is a very broad


organisation. We are working on lots of common issues to create a


community which positively integrates. Did you ever speak to


them to say this is not appropriate for British Muslims? There may be


certain ad buys and publications available, but people make their


choices. So it is OK for your organisation to issue things like


that? Many of these things will fall under scrutiny and we need to create


that. Why do only 26% of British mosques have facilities for women?


If you go back to the requirement of prayer, it was not obligatory for


women to come to the masks to prayer. When a poorer community


began putting up mosques at the very beginning in terraced houses... Did


you have a policy to encourage them? Is it on your website? It is in our


practices that 20% of the council have to be female. Coming out of


this movement there is a conscious stream of superiority between


Muslims and non-Muslims. Look at this quote. He is a well-known


picture in this country. That is what he wants to stop. I


disagree with that. We believe we live in this society and Muslims in


any society of the world, and they have historically lived as


minorities in many countries... You would this associate yourself from


that? Why do you allow people like that to be affiliated to you? The


requirement is for any organisation to be affiliated is that they are


bound by the Charity commission s rules and regulations. We only


accept those who are under the law of this country. This is a matter of


taste. Let me move on to a bigger issue. In 2009 you signed the


Istanbul dash-mac the Istanbul declaration was signed. Do you still


support it? No, we never signed it or supported it. One of your leading


lights signed it. In the media mainstream he defended his position.


You have this associated yourself from it? What is wrong with that? I


am not sure about the declaration because we disassociated ourselves.


Before reading it? We did not sign it. You have not read it? I do not


know all the aspects of the declaration, but at the time in the


national newspapers and media there was a discussion and a debate and it


was highlighted that that was not what was meant by the declaration.


When did you decide so is the yourself from the declaration? From


day one. We never signed it. The East London Mosque which you are


personally closely associated with is the venue for a number of


extremist speakers, who espoused extremist positions. In 2009 the


mosque posted a video and presentation by somebody described


by the UN Security Council as an Al-Qaeda leader supporter. Another


speaker described Christians and Jews as Phil. You have had a jihad


is supporter of the Taliban there. Why do you do nothing to stop


extremists like that at this mask with which you are associated with?


We do not have anything to do with any rhetoric that condones or


supported violence. We issue guidelines and the mosque itself is


a registered charity which has its own rules and regulations, but it is


a very large mosques and lots of organisations book and come and told


their gatherings. We rent out the facilities. You were prepared to


speak alongside a man who saluted suicide bombers, and said 9/11 was a


Zionist conspiracy. Why would you share a platform like that? I did


not share a platform like that. Different organisations come and


have conferences here. Why did you agree? I did not agree with that. I


completely reject that. When you add all this up the attitude to women,


the alliance with the most fundamentalist Islamic mosques, the


toleration of intolerant views, a willingness for you to be counted


among them, why should anybody of goodwill, either a Muslim or a


non-Muslim, regard the MCB as a good force? It is an organisation which


embraces different organisations which are affiliated in the Muslim


community. You have taken snippets of certain individual views which


are not the views of our affiliates. It would be unfair to represent our


view based on those which you have highlighted in this programme. The


work that we do is quite clear and is on our website. They are all


associated with you, but we will have to leave it there. You are


watching the Sunday Politics. Coming up: I will be talking to joke


Thank you, Andrew, and welcome to the Sunday Politics in the West


Coming up this week: Forget fruit machines or placing a bet on the


horses. You can pump ?100 every 20 seconds


into one of these. So is it time for politicians to get tough with


bookies making a fast buck from gamblers?


We won't be taking bets on who will win the political debate here on the


programme today. Joining us is the Pensions Minister Steve Webb and a


Labour candidate in Northeast Somerset, Todd Foreman. Let's talk


about pensions. Say you have someone paying ?100 a month into their


pension, a modest amount. Over the lifetime of that policy, how much is


going on charges? If you are paying 1%, which sounds innocuous, although


your tire `` over your entire life, you could find ?100,000 in charges.


We said we cannot allow that to happen and we will look at how we


can cap charges so that even more of people's money is going into


pensions and not costs. You're capping it at 0.5%. A lot of charges


are below that, so pension companies will think, we can get away with it.


The big firms, supermarkets and banks have chosen pension schemes


for employees. They have buying power and can get a low costs. We're


going to go through every employer in the land to make sure that


everybody can have access to reasonable pension. Why should


anyone even bother with a pension when it is going to be frittered


away on charges? You might as well wait and let the state take care of


you. The big difference is the fun puts money in, the Government puts


money in and you put money in. In a sense, your ?1 becomes ?2 overnight.


If you want more than the basic state pension, which will be about


?7,000 a year, if you want more than that, to have to do something about


it. People are fed up with big companies creaming off profits from


people. Is there an opportunity from Labour here? I think there is a huge


opportunity here. As with energy companies, this is a market that


really isn't working. Part of that is because there isn't enough


transparency. I would applaud some steps that the Government have taken


in terms of transparency of pensions. That is what Labour and Ed


Miliband have been calling for for a long time. The first question you


had for Steve was, how much are people paying in terms of charges


for pensions? It is important people know that, because whilst these


regulations will bring in transparency on annual fees, Labour


puts down a `` puts down an amendment that will require


transparency for all fees. We would take it that stepfather to have even


more transparency about the fees people pay. `` we would stick it


that step further. Forget that machines are having a flutter on the


horses, today, except to the betting shop can have much higher stakes. A


new type of betting machine has proved a bonanza for bookies. It is


growing political pressure for change.


Every walk down the high street and the watch a town where he lives is


difficult for James Petherick. He has lost a fortune in his


bookmakers. He has been a problem gambler for 20 years. I have been


homeless, slept in my car, lost jobs through my gambling. I'm trying to


give up. But for some reason, the addiction takes hold and you're


straight back in the doing it again. With these terminals, I was doing it


twice as much, twice as fast. These are the machines he has comfortable.


The cold fixed odds betting terminals. They look like other slot


machines but the stakes can be huge. You can plan them ?100 every 20


seconds. `` you can put in. Because of the speed of play, you do not get


time to think. When you go to a casino, you have one minute and a


half. On these machines, it is so quick. It is almost as fast as


playing a fruit machine. It is 0p ago. These will machines are ?1 0 a


spin. Shop can have up to four machines. These betting terminals


have proved a big moneyspinner for bookmakers. New shops have opened


up, especially in less well`off areas. Here in South Bristol, there


are no less than 19 bookies. Customers using the machines last


year blew three and a half million pounds. The Bath MP Don Foster rated


at his party conference. If you look at the figures, the vast majority of


profits, something like 70%, are coming from these fixed odds betting


terminals. When you have clusters of these shops, you almost have a high


street casino with more high`powered machines than you actually find in a


properly regulated, better supervised casino. He would like the


stakes slashed. Others want to go further. Will the Prime Minister


consider banning these addictive machines, as has recently happened


in Ireland? He got a hint that there could be change. It is worth having


a proper look at this issue to see what we can do to make sure that,


yes, we want a bookmakers that are not overregulated, but any other


hand, a fair approach and a decent approach to prevent problem


gambling. This is the first of my video diaries regarding my gambling


addiction. James Petherick resorted to baring his soul online with the


diary of a compulsive gambler. There is no point to my life, no point to


anything. I gambled for most of my life, for 30 years. It is only now


that I have opened onto friends family. And the rest of the world as


well in my future blog. That is how I managed to give up. He's just


about coping. Thousands of others aren't.


Joining us is James Barrow from the Association of British Bookmakers.


Well, long. These machines are totally responsible, aren't they?


They are not. There is no evidence to suggest they are any different to


other gambling products. Research has shown problem gamblers


participate in a variety of different forms of gambling. We have


to put this in perspective. We have 10 million customers who enjoy the


entertainment we have in our shops, and the overwhelming majority gamble


responsibly. However, we ask responsible businesses to help with


those who have problems. You can put ?100 into one of these machines in


20 seconds. The average bet is about ?10. To try and do more recently, we


have launched a court to protect players. It is world`leading and


involves better training for shop staff, so they can identify problem


gamblers, better leaflets in the shops, and allows players on the


gaming machines to set limits on how much they spend and how much they


stay on the machine. How much profit do these machines make in a week?


The average would`be 600 or ?70 a week. Do they ever lose? In the long


run, the bookmakers will win. But the machines are always programmes


to make a profit? The reason it is high`stakes, is because of a high


return to players. I have done a bit of research before I came on here.


In this posh area where we're sitting now, I cannot find any


bookies. And on the working there are six. `` in and working`class


area. The number of bookmakers in any location correlates to the


population of that area. For example, in London, Westminster has


the greatest number of betting shops. You have to remember that the


number of betting shops is 8500 down from 16,000 in the 1960s. We


employ 3000 people in the South West, we pay taxes, and at a time


when it is needed, we generate footfall in the high street. So it


is a coincidence that in some of the poor areas, there is nothing but


bookies in the high street? That is not the case. We target commercial


centres. If you look at the graph, it correlates the number of people


in the area. It is well that is demand for our products. Let's bring


in the politicians. Congratulations, gambling is one industry which must


be booming under the Coalition. What we have just held as incredibly


complacent. Don Foster is absolutely right. Manage gambling and a number


of book will `` bookmakers. In the past, councils have not been able to


say we do not want too many bookies on the high street. These machines


must be controlled. James said in his film, I do not have time to


think. I just want to get on with it. People out of control and need


support and help, not just be told to read as leaflet. It is like


Vegas, isn't it? I agree this is an issue in terms of hearing about


these lower income areas having more of these shops. It seems they also


have this evil twin in the high street also coming in. I would like


to see more powerful local councils to stop these and for more local


people to shape the kind of high street they want. We have worked


very hard with our new codes to make sure people do not get into trouble.


As James said in his clip, we don't want problem gamblers at all. Val


d'Or is always open and B are willing to proactively engage with


local councils. `` our door is always open. If you're only taking


2% and taking hundreds of pounds, there must be a phenomenal amount of


money going through these machines. That is not the case at all. The


average stake is ?10. It is as a sports bets. You think people on


benefits should be allowed to gamble? I do not want to tell people


how to spend the money. People on benefits have to spend most of what


they have an essential. But you have to protect people against, as the


man said in the film, when you have lost control, a problem gamblers not


making a measure of choice. It is an addiction. You cannot expose people


to these things. Why is David Cameron reluctant to bring in


tougher rules? I'm not sure he is. In Government, we are wary of


overregulating in general. He said he would have a serious look at it.


You are planning more shops, is that right? No, it is not. Shop numbers


are down in the last ten years. We hope to protect people. Problem


gamblers in this country are less than 1% and they want to do just


that for the. `` ridges that father. Independent councillors in Froome in


Somerset tried to wrestle local services away from politicians in


the county and district councils. But will they be able to run things


better and more cheaply? Historic Frome. Famous for


clothmaking, its hoard of Roman coins, and a certain racing driver.


These streets haven't seen riots since the 1700s, but now some say a


political revolution's underway It started with this lot.


Independent candidates sang their way to success in the town council


election two years ago. Since then they've bumped up the precept, and


taken on services from the county and district councils. This is


Palmer Street ` Frome Town Council's planning to resurface it with


cobbles ` normally the domain of the County Council. They're also taking


on the showfield from the District Council, and want control of the


town's main car park too. This week, the town council rounded up the


three tiers of local Government for a meeting they called One Frome


Working together. It is not about sovereignty or will not ship, it is


about trying to deal with the people we serve. I find tonight has not let


me up in terms of where we're going. There is something we need to do.


The average person on the street will not understand why the councils


cannot work together in a way that is productive. It wasn't plain


sailing, but not much that's happened in Frome recently has been.


If you talk to the woman on the street and said to her, do you know


that we do not talk together? They would say, that is not the way I


want my democracy to work. We should be talking rationally about where


cuts might, and what the impact might be on the town. Mel Usher s no


stranger to politics ` he was chief executive of one of the biggest


district councils in the country ` but now says he sees the value of


smaller scale Government. Towns like this should begin to take the local


decision`making and perhaps decide their own destiny in the future If


we do not, I do not know who will do that. I would find it helpful if we


had a more clear direction. But not everyone's sure about the town


council's rise to power. If the town council takes on more services, the


council to will not go down because it is really cut. What you have then


is a situation of double taxation. What I am into is looking at who is


the best person to run the service, who can do it for real value for


money for the public, and who can do it best. The rise of the independent


politician has rattled traditional party members. The number of


initiatives and projects underway at a cost. That cost is significant


spending, bordering, borrowing and a pretty high precept. I think it is


important to the from precept feels that services are delivered in an


effective way and provide good value. Whether it's welcomed by all


parties, Frome certainly seems to be having a political renaissance. This


park will soon be in the hands of the town council, showing that in


this part of Somerset, localism rules the roost.


Joining us is Nick White who's the former Mayor of Frome and an


independent councillor. What is all this wanting more powers all the


time? You're not getting too big for you Brits, are you? `` for you


Brits, are you? I do not think we are. When we came to power, we felt


things could be run better in Froome than had been in the past. The town


council had got caught up in party politics and we didn't think that


was relevant in running a town council. Since we have gained


control of the council, we came up with a number of initiatives we


think will improve and enhance the town. The trouble is, we keep


running up against District Council and county councilss in being able


to take over some of those services and provisions. The item it might be


you are parochial and cannot see the larger picture. `` the adamant might


be. I think... It is a difficult question. We have to go back,


actually, you have flummoxed me Is it reasonable that you do not see


the problems and districts as a whole because you're so worried


about Frome? It is the biggest town within Mendip District Council.


There has always been a tendency in Frome that we do not get value for


money from Mendip. We are the largest contributor but possibly not


the biggest benefactor. Let's bring in the politicians once more. Where


your counsellor? I was not. Is there a reason why the big parties should


be involved in local politics? What is political about climbing the


drains and cobbling the street? Any level of Government has politics to


it. As a counsellor, I offer myself to the electorate as someone with a


programme and I George that is coherent with a manifesto we can


stand on. I think that is perfectly reasonable. `` with the programme


and manifesto. But there is no politics about putting cobbles on a


road, is there? It's a question of resource and how the taxpayer pays


for it. It is a public space and a question of resource and how you're


going to allocated. We have larger towns which have Lib Dem councils.


The smaller ones and independence. You're talking about spending


potentially millions of pounds. In Yate, that the Dems are keen on


youth services. They created a gift cafe. They delivered. `` a youth


cafe. There are differences at a very local level. Do you see


yourselves as pioneers in Frome I think we have broken a bit of old or


went back to a time when party politics wasn't as influential.


Maybe we have rode the boat back of it by getting more involved as


independents. People all over the country are watching you to see what


is being done. Thank you for coming in and talking about it today. It is


time now for a round`up of the week's political stories in 60


seconds. Ed Miliband was in town meeting


party activists. Many locally admit they have a mountain to climb if


they're to win back seats here. We have got a message about how we


can freeze energy prices, abolish bedroom tax, strengthen the minimum


wage, help with childcare, which is absolutely well the concerns of


people across the South West are. The parents of Catherine Wells`Burr,


from Somerset ` who was murdered last year ` are backing a new code


that will allow bereaved families to read out a personal statement in


court themselves. If you like a drop of jam or marmalade on your Sunday


morning toast, then listen up Tessa I am concerned this will be the end


of the British breakfast as we know it. Tessa Munt says plans to reduce


the minimum amount of sugar in jam from 60 to 50% will turn it into


brown gloop, whilst the Government claims it will boost exports.


I was putting jam on my toast this morning and I stopped when I


realised how much sugar was in it. Let's talk about Ed Miliband and his


visit to Bristol this week. Is he winning the adamant, do you think,


although the cost of living? Labour is winning the adamant. In the last


few months, we have seen that Labour is framing the debate. We started


talking about energy prices, for example, at conference. Labour said,


look, the markets are not working on energy when there are price rises.


When prices do not go back down energy companies are keeping the


difference for themselves. The market is broken here and people are


feeling the pinch. Labour has managed to change the subject and


the Coalition seems to be scrambling to catch up. Is he right? I shadowed


Ed Miliband when he was the Secretary of State in charge of


energy. Funnily enough, if the market is broken, why didn't he fix


it? What about these green taxes? They are a small part of the mix.


There is a lot we can do it is make sure people are not wasting energy.


We are doing a large amount of that but there is more to be done. The


idea that energy companies will freeze prices and will not jack them


up before and afterwards is not right. If energy companies want to


do that before the next election because they fear Labour will win,


that will raise questions of competition law. Increasing the


prices is a legal? If they do it as a cartel... They could legally do


it. But Labour said is they will bring in a freeze in places as a


pause. The market is not working here and we need to pause and see


how it will work. It could be you will be working with Ed Miliband.


You would be quite comfortable with that, wouldn't you? On the left of


the Lib Dems. Plan a is to work with Nick, I'm afraid. We worry about


that after the election. We shall see. That is we have got


time for this week thank you to our guests for joining us. We will be a


little later next Sunday because of the Remembrance Sunday service. For


now, back to Andrew for the rest of the day's programme. If


Thank you for coming, great to see you. Andrew, back to you. Labour 's


relationship with Unite and other issues all to be discussed in the


Week Ahead and we're joined now by the shadow business secretary Chuka


Umunna. First I would like to get your reaction to the interview I did


earlier with the General Secretary of the union Unite - Len McCluskey.


Let's look at what he said. This is a trap being laid by Tory Central


office. They are making all of the demands and the Daily Mail, the


Sunday Times, are you telling me they are not the conservative


mouthpiece in the media? They are laying traps for Ed Miliband and he


should not fall into them. Though it is all a Tory plot. Len McCluskey


denies a lot of the allegations put, but let me be clear in an industrial


dispute, the use of aggressive or intimidatory tactics by either side


is totally unacceptable. Do you think it is wrong for Unite to send


its members to the homes of managers? I don't know what happened


in that particular case, but I think you should keep people 's families


out of these things and if you are doing something that can upset


particularly children, that is a bad thing. I know he denied a number of


things you put to him. We now know some of the content of Labour 's own


report into what happened at Falkirk and they found all sorts of things -


forgery, coercion, trickery and even that their own investigation was


being thwarted by Unite. What should Labour do next? I have not read the


report. We are told that the latest allegations that have been made is


something that the police are looking into so that is not


something I think would be appropriate for me to comment on. We


learned Labour Party members in the Falkirk constituency have complained


to the leader of the Scottish party about a lack of action by the Labour


Party on what happened in Falkirk. I am not part of the Scottish party


and that is news to me. But the police have indicated they are


looking at the new information that has come to light. It is a bit like


the 1980s and there was an electrifying moment when Neil


Kinnock took on the militant tendency in Bournemouth in 1985 Ed


Miliband has sort of tried to take on the Unite union, but it has not


worked. Does then not need to be an electrifying moment for Ed Miliband?


Your own paper has praised him for seeking to address the issues we


have in politics and the disconnection from people. In many


respects the situation in Falkirk categorises the process of further


ongoing change where we are trying to establish a better relationship


with individual trade union members. In parts of my constituency, some of


the most deprived parts, we had people queueing round the block to


vote. I do not think the issue is that people are not political, but


they have never felt so far from party politics as they do now and


that is why Ed Miliband announced this big chains about how we do


things in the Labour Party, so we change structures in the Labour


Party that were set up in the 2 th century. The reform of the way in


which we connect and our relationship with the union puts us


in a good position because we have this relationship between the 3


million working people who ensure our public services function. At


Grangemouth INEOS stood up to unite. At Grangemouth and Falkirk


Labour rolled over to the Unite union. I do not agree with that I'd


just explained the reason. I do not think it is fair to ask people to


give evidence in an enquiry on the basis of the report will be


confidential and then to publish it after. But if somebody is trying to


take over a Labour constituency to send an MP of their choice to our


Parliament, that should not be secret, that should be public. Ed


Miliband acted very decisively. That constituency party is still in


special measures as I understand it. This idea that somehow the Unite


union runs the Labour Party, they do not. The special measures mean


according to Eric Joyce, that an ally of Stevie Deans is chairing the


meeting. I am interested in the Tory suggestion that they would offer


free Tory party membership to union members. I then moving onto your


turf? We do not know exactly all the facts and the truth of the


allegations that have been made On your point I think it is healthy the


Conservatives are looking to recruit trade union members. A lot of their


rhetoric is very negative in respect of trade unions. If you look at


Unison a third of the members vote Conservative. In Unite union some of


their members vote Tory. I think trade unions have a lot to bring to


our country. It is one of the things many up and down the country will


find very frustrating, a lot of the good work that unions do if it gets


tarnished with all the negative stuff you see... Unite are working


in partnership with GM and the senior management in Ellesmere Port


and the government ensured that we kept that plant open. That gets


overlooked by all of this. Do you not think the bolshie behaviour from


unions are motivated not by strength, but by weakness. Unite


know they cannot paralyse the country in the way their forebears


used to be able to do. Their penetration rates in the private


sector is 11%. The union movement is weaker than it was before I was


born. Some of that truck killers and bad behaviour either death spasms of


their movement rather than something that is motivated by the fact they


can't paralyse the country. You have two increase the membership. But


there is an issue about the public perception of trade unions. It is


right they should be a voice of protest and anger and stand up for


their members when it is necessary. But people join unions for their


aspiration. The unions do a lot so that people can move up in their


workplace. That profile needs to come across as strongly as the


protest part. I want to move on to business. The head of the CBI has


said that Labour's pro-enterprise credentials have suffered a setback.


He said that in relation to Ed Miliband's speech. I was on the


radio earlier. If you look at the things in the speech, some of that


was going to be uncomfortable for some of the countries and they tend


to be companies represented by the CBI, like energy companies, like


land developers, a lot of the big business lose out from is not doing


the corporate tax cut. The energy freeze is going to help over 2.


million businesses that have been hit by high energy bills. The


business community has said we had to bring the public sector finances


back into balance. That is why we decided to switch the money being


used to reduce corporation tax and use that to help a much greater


variety of businesses by doing a business rate cut. It is all pro


enterprise. They also seem to be critical of your new idea of a


living wage. They are not critical. It would not be compulsory, but


there would be a tax credit if they paid it. It is good for business


because if people are earning more than they are more productive. It is


good for the employee and good for us as well because it means we are


not having to subsidise people to be paid to the extent we have with tax


credits and benefits. Everybody benefits from this. We all know


after 2009 we need to have bold change. Does Labour paid a living


wage? We have got over 20 of our councils signed up to doing so and


we have made commitments in respect to Whitehall. Does the Labour Party


pay it? I believe so. Would it not be worth checking? Do you get a


living wage? Yes, of course I do. I understand we paid a living wage.


What does it feel like for Tristram Hunt who has taken over your mantle


as Labour's next leader? Is that a relieved or are you angry? He is one


of my best friends and at the end of the day if we got obsessed with this


soap opera stuff we would never get anything done and we are working


together to make sure we have got the right skills in our workforce.


That is all for today. The daily politics is on all week. I will be


here again next weekend at 12:2 pm after the Remembrance Day service at


the Cenotaph. Remember if it is Sunday, it is the Sunday Politics.


Planet Earth - it's unique. It has life.


To understand why, we're going to build a planet...up there.


There were the objects that were making the Earth.


We're now weightless. That's how our planet started.


Your arms are a little bit long Is that as small as they go?


This is like every shopping trip I've ever been on.


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