04/05/2014 Sunday Politics West


With David Garmston. Andrew Neil interviews the Conservative chairman Grant Shapps and Sir Malcolm Bruce, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, on the European elections.

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Walls are being


re-painted in Belfast as Gerry Adams begins his fourth day in police


custody in connection with one of the most brutal and shocking murders


of the Troubles. That's our top story.


He may have got egg on his face this week but Nigel Farage is a serious


electoral threat in this month's elections. I'll ask the Conservative


Party Chairman Grant Shapps how worried he is.


And we're on the trail of Nick Clegg. You were voted the best


How easy is it to change our likely to be a good


How easy is it to change our relationship with the continent?


questions of identity, immigration and independence. We have a table


full of Euro candidates here to debate what it means for London.


And with me, as always, the best and the brightest political panel in the


business - Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh. They'll be


throwing metaphorical rotten eggs into the twittersphere.


First this morning - Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein, has spent a


fourth night in police custody after he was arrested in connection with


the killing of Jean McConville more than 40 years ago. Sinn Fein has


claimed that the arrest is politically motivated coming, as it


does, during local and European election campaigns. Northern


Ireland's deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, has indicated he


might review the party's support for policing in the province if Gerry


Adams is charged. The Jean McConville murder was one of the


most notorious cases of the Troubles.


The widowed mother of ten was kidnapped from her home in December


1972, never to be seen alive again. The IRA denied involvement but in


1999 admitted it had murdered her and several others, known as the


Disappeared. Before his death, the former IRA commander Brendan Hughes


pointed the finger at Gerry Adams, claiming:


In April this year, either Bell was charged with aiding and abetting the


murder. -- Ivor Bell. Gerry Adams has always insisted he is innocent


of any part in the abduction and killing all burial of Mrs


McConville. We were hoping to speak to the


Northern Ireland Secretary, Theresa Villiers, but having agreed to do an


interview with us this morning, she pulled out. But we are joined from


Belfast by Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. And


the police just doing their job by questioning Gerry Adams? Gerry Adams


said publicly some time ago that he was available to speak to the


police, but that is not what this is about at the moment, because what we


have here is clearly evidence in our mind of political interference in


what should be due process. Gerry Adams made it clear some time ago he


wanted to speak to the police, it was available at any time, and yet


that request was not taken up until three weeks into an election and we


believe that was deliberately orchestrated by a small number of


people. What evidence can you present this morning that proves


that claim? The direct circumstances Gerry Adams finds himself in at the


moment, take that in stark contrast when they have dealt with members of


the British Army for instance... That is just circumstantial. The


PSNI know that the soldiers involved in that and a number of other


high-profile killings of citizens here, and not one of those people


has been arrested. In fact any of the people who were interviewed were


interviewed by request. There was a stark contrast, in terms of how they


have dealt with the British military involving state killings. We haven't


got too much time. Sinn Fein said it would review its support for the


PSNI if Gerry Adams is charged. That sounds like political interference


in the police process. It's not because we have a clear mandate from


the people who elect us. Policing has been an important part of the


peace process here for many years, Sinn Fein plays an important role in


local policing partnerships. We negotiate to make sure we have


powers transferred here to elected representatives in the north. It is


a long way to go before we have policing highly accountable, and


making sure they deliver a very impartial service. How will he react


if Gerry Adams is charged? I am still trying to get a clear answer.


If Gerry Adams is charged, will you withdraw support for the Northern


Ireland police service? We view this as a serious situation and a serious


ongoing situation and we will monitor how this pans out. We have a


very important role to play to support the police service here. We


have done consistently, worked with them on a daily basis, but we will


not accept political interference by a small number of people in the


police who are undermining the police. We will not accept political


policing. If there was evidence, and I emphasise the word if, because we


have seen none, but if there were evidence to justify Gerry Adams


being charged, why should he not be charged? It is my understanding from


the family of Gerry Adams that there has not been a single shred of


evidence put forward. I understand that, but if there was evidence, why


should he not be charged? You put that caveat yourself and then you


expect me to speculate, there is no way I will do that. The fact of the


matter is there hasn't been one single shred of evidence put to


Gerry Adams in the last few days, in fact what has been put to him is a


range of issues of newspaper cuttings, books, statements made


from people, including from people who didn't want their statements


released until they have died. who didn't want their statements


was charged, again I emphasise the word if, does the police process


fall apart? The police process is a fragile entity, it requires work and


we have been saying this publicly and privately with the Irish and


British and privately with the Irish and


process has to be nurtured and developed. We are not out of the


woods yet. From a Republican point of view we have been working flat


out. I just wanted a quick answer to my question, is a yes or no? What


question I asking me? Is the peace process in jeopardy? It is fragile


and I am not going to have words put into my mouth but I don't want to


use. It has to be worked out and nurtured. Thank you for joining us.


Nick Watt, you were a Northern Ireland correspondent like myself in


days gone by. Where is this going to go? It shows how challenging the


peace process is because on the one hand you have the unspeakable pain


of the McConville family, but you also have the danger of not having


mechanisms to deal with the past. South Africa is a good example, you


have to have some mechanism to deal with the past because if you don't,


you are going to have, as Sinn Fein have now, someone in a police cell


but you don't have the arrests of the Bloody Sunday soldiers.


Paramilitary prisoners were released after two years... We have seen no


action against somebody accused of the Hyde Park bombings, it is not a


one-way street. We have the decommissioning of IRA weapons by


the IRA, therefore destroying crucial evidence. You have these


inconsistencies because you don't have an mechanism for dealing with


the past, but doing that is really difficult because of the pain of


real people. Don't you get a feeling that here in London they are hoping


he will not be charged? Definitely because it would be nice if


everything went away, but the civil case of the family is taken out of


the hands of the police. You can see here a real failure in Westminster


to see this as anything other than settled. David Cameron we know sees


himself as a chairman. I was speaking to a friend in Northern


Ireland who said he has never met Gerry Adams and I think this is very


revealing. They consider this as a settled issue that will not trouble


Westminster again. It would be, but the relatives of the disappeared


don't want it to be settled. This points to the reality that the


Belfast agreement probably had to be done, but the moral price at which


it was purchased was far greater than we were willing to admit during


the euphoria. For a country that prides itself by the rule of law to


tolerate the early release of prisoners and former pal and


military -- paramilitaries, I think was a very serious matter. As for


the PSNI, it only exists because its predecessor failed to command the


confidence of the nationalist community. It is a very big deal if


even the PSNI ends up falling into the same trap. We have to is leave


it there I'm afraid. It was the Conservative's local election


campaign launch on Friday, and what did David Cameron focus on? Burning


local issues like the state of our roads, rubbish collection or care of


the elderly? No. It was Europe. The Prime Minister re-iterated again his


promise of an in-out referendum on our membership of the EU in 2017.


And it's being reported this morning that he will share a platform with


Nigel Farage in a pre-general election debate. Here's what the


UKIP leader had to say about the issue when he was on the Marr Show


this morning with Ed Miliband. David Cameron very often makes these vague


promises, then doesn't deliver afterwards. I don't think he has any


intention of allowing me into any of these debates. Perhaps Ed Miliband


wants to debate? We have got to have the TV debates as we did join the


last general election. I think David Cameron is doing everything he can


to wriggle out of them. It is up to the broadcasters but whether they


invite Nigel. My main desire is that the debates go ahead. We are joined


now by Grant Shapps. Will he be included? The debates were not


without problems, they took place during the campaign period and


disrupted the flow of the campaign, taking it out of the regions, people


getting to speak to the leaders so a longer period for that would be


helpful. I think they are good idea and they should go ahead, but all of


the negotiation about who is involved is yet to happen. So it is


not a done deal that Nigel Farage will be included? That needs to be


negotiated with the TV companies. The Conservatives believe we should


have debates, but exactly the format and the timing, all of the -- that


will be debated in the autumn, but first we have European elections,


the Queen 's speech and a Scottish referendum. The local election


campaign was launched on Friday. Why did you talk more about Europe than


local councils? Both are important. The local elections are critically


important for people, their local services. It is easy to forget, for


example, that the council tax has been largely frozen since this


Government came to power, a big contrast to Dublin under the


previous Labour government. So why did you go on and on about Europe?


Let me show you the poster used to launch your local election campaign.


There it is, and in-out referendum on Europe, the day of the local


elections, where is the word local? Is it in small print? I hear what


you're saying, I am happy to be here to talk about the local elections.


But you are right, they are on the same day, and not many people know


that only by voting conservative can you get an in-out referendum. --


Conservative. UKIP cannot deliver, we can, it is the same date, so


people... This was the launch of the local election campaign. Why does


the Prime Minister have to keep on promising something he has already


promised? The actual referendum would be in 2017. He promised it


before, he keeps repeating it because he knows people don't really


trust him. I think it is a question of the fact that, actually, unless


you remind people that the pledges there, that the only way to get an


in-out referendum is to vote for it, this is a critical moment at


which we need people to vote for that referendum if they want it. It


is not the case, as I saw this morning, being said by Nigel Farage,


that a referendum was promised before and not delivered. There was


no referendum in the last manifesto. There will be in the next one. There


was a cast-iron guarantee, in the Sun in 2006. Let's just clear that


up... Once the Lisbon Treaty... In the Sun article, he said, we will


have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Clearly, because that treaty


had been passed before the general election, it is difficult to have a


referendum on something in the past. We joined Europe in the 1970s,


having a referendum on that! Look, that is about the future. Our


relationship with Europe is absolutely critical. Most people in


this country feel, I was not old enough to vote in that referendum,


most of those who voted, they voted for a Common Market, that is not


what we have got. We want to continue the work we have been doing


in the EU Budget, what did UKIP do? They voted against it. We want more


of those powers brought home, and we will put it to a referendum, and


people will have to vote Conservative to get it. We have been


looking at new research, almost two thirds of Conservative members are


considering voting for UKIP, almost two thirds. I have a simple message


here, which is this. If you vote for UKIP... Can we have it up? 30% are


likely, 30% are possible. That is why it is important we are making


these arguments. If you vote for UKIP, you are voting to take us


further away from returning powers to this country, further from a


referendum. It is support for Ed Miliband becoming Prime Minister,


and he will do exactly what Labour have always done - hand away powers,


and away the rebate for nothing in return, giving Europe even more so


over the day-to-day affairs in Britain. Why are so many people


considering voting UKIP? It is to hold your feet to the fire, they do


not trust you on a referendum, so they will vote UKIP to force you to


tap in your line. We have a very tough line. If I had said four years


ago that this government would manage to cut the overall EU


budget, would take us out of the bailout fund that Labour got us


into, passing a law that no more powers can go to Europe without a


referendum, if I had said that, people would say, I do not believe


it will happen. Not only have we done these things, we are promising


and in-out referendum, and the only way to get it is to vote


Conservative. Nigel Farage has said, we can't change anything in


Europe, and it is no wonder that the president of the European Commission


has said, we love having these UKIP MEPs, because they don't turn up and


vote, apart from when they vote against the cut in the budget. It


goes beyond UKIP in your party, because this research also showed


that those Conservative members most likely to vote for UKIP, they said


they do not feel valued or respected by their own leadership, and they


regard David Cameron as ideological eat more remote from them than UKIP.


What I would say is look at that list... Let me take that step


further. What people need our series solutions to serious problems. When


people vote for a UKIP MEP, I will say, which one of the 40% of the


MEPs who got in for UKIP last time are you voting for, the ones above


left or defected, the ones have gone to jail? 40% have ended up not


delivering. People have a right to know what to expect when they vote


in these elections. They can look at our record at home, and this goes to


the point you have raised about what we have done in Britain to get this


economy back on track, recover from Labour's recession. We are prepared


to take those decisions in Europe as well. Presumably, active


Conservative members, they know that, so why do they not feel valued


by the leadership? I spend time going up and down the country


meeting Conservative members, and they are on the doorstep, last


weekend 150 out in Enfield campaigning for the European and


local elections... Why are they keen on UKIP? When I meet somebody who


says that, not necessarily a member... Have you met members of


say they will vote UKIP? No, but a vote for UKIP is... Do not do it,


you will end up with Labour having more control, handing away powers to


Europe. 51-year-old meeting members who say they will vote UKIP, you


must be out of touch. -- if you are not meeting members. Some of your


members are thinking of voting UKIP. I spend huge amount of time


travelling around, I just told you about this action day in Enfield,


where we had an enormous turnout. Those members were on the doorsteps


pointing out that you can only get reform in Europe by voting


Conservative. Labour and the Lib Dems will not deliver, UKIP can't,


Conservatives will. You have not got that message across, because a


YouGov poll shows, on Europe, who has the best policies? Tories 18%,


Labour 19%, UKIP 27%. On the economy, Tories 27%, Labour 23, UKIP


4. Why don't you shut up about Europe and talk about the economy?


Look, on the 27th of May, we have European elections, as well as local


elections. If I don't talk about the European elections, you would say


what you said at the beginning about not talking about the local


elections! These are serious elections, and the point I am tried


to make is that the issues at stake are not peripheral, they are not


unimportant. Our MEPs have been battling to cut red tape from a


European level on small businesses, the same thing this government has


been doing for small businesses domestic league, where for example


every small business owner watching this show knows they have got ?2000


back in employment announced on national insurance contributions. We


are doing it at home, we are doing it in Europe, and it is important to


tie that together. Ireland that Mr Cameron saying, you should stop


banging on about Europe... -- I remember. This is before the last


general election, as in days for the Lib Dems, 18%. Even then, you didn't


win the election, and now you are only three or four points ahead, it


doesn't look good for you, does it? Even then, the poll did not turn out


to be what it was on the day. No, that is what happens, that is the


voting intentions now! You are in a worse position than a year before


the last election, which you didn't win. We are almost proving the point


that you can take a clip at any moment in time, not sounding like a


politician, but the only poll that matters is on the day. In just over


a year's time, people will have a completely different picture to look


at than these opinion polls. We have an economy from being a basket


case, the great Labour recession knocking 7% of this economy, hurting


every family, to a point where we the fastest-growing economy in the


developed world. In a year's time, I hope people will see that we are the


people who've taken the difficult decisions, got the economy to the


right place, more security for you and your family. Do not give the car


keys back to the people who crashed it in the first place. If I had a


pound for every time I have heard that! It is clearly not getting


through. On the Pfizer attempted of AstraZeneca, Mr Miliband called this


morning for a tougher public interest test such big takeovers. Do


you agree with that or not? Let me be absolutely clear, if there is any


kind of joining, we are in favour of British jobs, British aren't deep,


expanding our pharmaceutical sector. -- R But what Mr Mallon and wants


to do with rent caps, he is anti-business. -- Mr Miliband. He


wants to take us back to the bad old those. -- bad old days. Should there


be a bigger public interest test? We have seen some takeovers that people


have criticised, but others, like Bentley, Land Rover, which have been


very successful. Should there be a tougher test?! We will have tests


that ensured this get-together becomes a great Anglo-American


project, or it doesn't happen, but the Miliband approach is simply to


be anti-business, anti-jobs and anti-job security. Grant Shapps,


thank you. A challenging week for the Liberal


Democrats with a local election campaign overshadowed by another row


with the Conservatives about knife crime. Adam has spent the day with


Nick Clegg on the campaign trail. How nice! Nick Clegg is taking me on


a political mini break to the Cotswolds. Yes, we are getting the


train. He wants to highlight what his party is doing in local


government, and a personal passion of his in Europe. Graham Watson, the


Lib Dem MEP for the south-west, has been running a campaign to have


prunes recognised as a laxative. Is that Lib Dems battling for Britain


in Europe? It is not our front page manifesto commitment! It is one of


many things that Graham does, he does many other things. In fact, he


is a good example of an MEP who took a pioneering role, for instance, in


making sure... There is the proven world, but also the crime-fighting


role. -- prune. He has done work to make sure that when British


criminals flee justice, we can bring them back. And he has promoted


prunes! First stop, a gorgeous country pub, but it turns out


everyone is a journalist or a very on message activist. Dark days,


being a Lib Dem in the last few years? Strangely not. If you find


you are a Lib Dem deep down, you do not get that disheartened, because


you know that, locally, you are doing so well for the people that


you live next door to that, actually, I find I am almost


impervious to what happens on a national level. I am mayor of


Cirencester. Have you taken any leadership lessons from Nick Clegg,


inspiring new in your leadership of Cirencester? I think what he has


demonstrated his patience. It has been a tough time, he has taken a


lot of flak, and as the mayor of a town, lots of people agree with you


and a fair few don't. You are a full on mayor, he is just a Deputy Prime


Minister, do you outrank him? I don't think so, he is in government,


I am not. So our there any normal people in here? We are from


Swindon, you cannot get more abnormal. Are you a big fan of his?


No! What has he done wrong? I don't believe in his views at all. Where


has he got to? Nigel Farage would have had a pint! At this time in the


morning a copy was more appropriate. I have no time for a drink of any


kind, because now we are off to look at a local traffic blackspot. This


is amazing, like a Lib Dem election leaflet brought to life, Lib Dems


pointing at a road. High-vis jackets! Next we had to giggle full


bath, but there will be no Regency sightseeing for us, oh no, Nick is


taking us to an abandoned wilderness. We have just had a


health and safety briefing, we have been told to look out for


dive-bombing seagulls and an angry fox. That is the sort of thing Nick


Clegg has to put up with. He wants to talk about the economy but he has


to dodge the day's beat new story, letters leaked by a Tory suggesting


that Lib Dems are soft on knife crime. Isn't that a new kind of


warfare? I just think it is silly. They may think they are clever by


catching some headlines but they are not helping people who worry about


knife crime, like I do. We work together... Just like the


Coalition! This is a co-working space where different businesses


share the same office. My time with the Deputy Prime Minister is drawing


to a close. We haven't talked about the most important story of the


week, that you were voted the best looking party leader and the most


likely to be a good cook. Right, this is news to me and I can


guarantee you that my scepticism of opinion polls has just been


confirmed. Just as well because the more serious polls don't look great


for him or his party. Goodbye, and thanks for the offer of a ride


home! He is still walking. Malcolm Bruce


joins us now. According to Lib Dem briefing documents, you are likely


to choose -- lose a big chunk of your MEPs. If you lose a lot, what


would that say about a party that boasts of its pro-Europe


credentials? It would be disappointing because we have the


most hard-working MEPs. The worry that we have is that people think


the European Parliament is not important but it takes decisions


that affect us. They would be disappointing for Britain as well as


the Liberal Democrats. Isn't the problem that the more you bang on


about your pro-European credentials, the more you slip in the polls? I do


think so, we have two weeks to go and we are campaigning extremely


hard. You are forced in the polls. I can tell you there are people out


there who do believe Britain should stay in the EU and they are worried


that other parties will take us out. The Liberal Democrats are clear, we


want to stay in, we will work for reform and do it effectively. If you


lose the Liberal Democrats, Britain's influence in Europe will


be weakened. Your track record in Europe shows you have been


spectacularly wrong again and again. In your 2009 manifesto you said the


European Central Bank and the euro have been tried and tested over ten


years providing a clear picture of the benefits of Eurozone membership


and that proved to be nonsense. It was nonsense everywhere. Every


developed bank in the world was tried and tested and failed. Europe


may not be perfect, but the question people have to decide is if we are


going to leave Europe and be isolated on RM, or use our influence


to reform it from inside. We have allies, you work with them, that is


something the Lib Dems do better than any other parties. Your 2004


manifesto, you claim that being outside the euro would lead to job


losses and reduced prosperity. You were just plain wrong, weren't you?


Yes, but the reason is that to some extent the euro did not observe any


rules and regulations when it was set up. That is why we never


recommended Britain should join at the outset because the criteria had


not been met. In 2001 Nick Clegg was writing to the Financial Times...


Your track record is important. He wrote that the Tisch monetary policy


is not all it is cracked up to be. Britain would gain greater control


over its affairs by joining the euro. How wrong can he be? We have


always argued that the currency had to abide by strict criteria. It


hasn't done so and that is one of the reasons it has failed. We


recognise there is no future for Britain joining the euro and we are


not advocating it. Lets put your 2010 manifesto on the screen. I


didn't say it was not our long-term interest. If Europe succeeds as an


entity, if the euro becomes one of the world leading currencies, there


will come a point when it may be justified. In the circumstances we


are in the moment, there is no recommended timescale. Let's get


this right. Despite the Eurozone crisis which has cost millions of


jobs, countries that were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, the


Eurozone now facing stagnation and some countries on the brink of


deflation, you still won't rule out Britain joining? We are ruling it


out in the foreseeable future. You can miss the point that we are


working as a coalition partner in government that has secured recovery


for the UK, and working as Liberal Democrats in the parliament that


have cut back the European budget in cooperation with others. What would


the world look like if it were right for Britain to join the euro? You


have 27 states at the moment, with too many countries still struggling


to meet the criteria so until you have a strong and cohesive enough


single Eurozone in which all the countries can meet that criteria,


Britain is better off out. So a more centralised Eurozone, that is what


you would like Britain to join? No, because it can only happen by


consent. Any circumstances in which any further powers would be


transferred from the UK to the EU, we would support a referendum. You


have just said that for the Eurozone to work, it has to be more


centralised and you said if that happens, that is what Britain would


join. I didn't say that, I said it would require the consent of all


member states to agree to the criteria. We certainly do not


envisage joining in the foreseeable future. Since you are the proud


party of in, why weren't you just give us a referendum on in or out?


Because it has to have a context. What David Cameron is doing is


dangerous because I think the major players like Britain and France are


not keen on the idea of being bullied into reforms on the


instigation of just one member state which is threatening possibility to


withdraw. They will have to agree to rules... Just have it now. Do you


want in or out? To have a referendum against no background is to put it


out of context. We are in the middle of a crisis, a year away from the


general election. We have made it clear... You said we are in the


middle of the Eurozone crisis? So we are not in the middle of it? What's


the middle? The reality is that the Western world has gone through a


deep crisis. The UK is coming out of it, the Eurozone is coming out of


it. Greece have been able to borrow on the markets in recent weeks which


is a sign of success. It is in our interest is the Eurozone succeeds


and recovers and we should be part of it but not necessarily on the


same conditions as everyone else. The Liberal Democrats work with


others to deliver Britain's interests and if they are not there,


their interests will be undermined. You are watching Sunday Politics. We


say goodbye to viewers in Scotland now.


Hello and welcome to the West Country part of the show on this


bank holiday weekend. Coming up, we'll be taking a health check of


the NHS, one year after the biggest changes in its history. And what do


you get when you ask half a dozen Conservative MPs to write down the


powers they'd like back from Brussels? We'll explore if David


Cameron has the "je ne sais quoi" needed to unite his troops.


First, let's meet our guests. They are the Conservative MP for North


Wiltshire, James Gray, and the Independent Mayor of Bristol, George


Ferguson. Let's start with that announcement from Labour over


capping rent rises for tenants. I have written a lot about housing. Is


a sense that there is more demand and supply, and therefore rent is


becoming unaffordable for some people. So I do think we need to


look at the way we can give access to people who are more vulnerable,


who are unable to afford rent, and an awful lot of people who are not


housed who we have to deal with people dealing with short tenancies.


And Bristol is packed with buy to let properties. Absolutely. The


devil will be in the detail. James, has Ed Miliband got the upper hand


again by talking about the cost`of`living crisis and appealing


to a lot of bubble in rented accommodation and want protection?


It is old`fashioned socialism, you cannot control rent any more than


you can control energy, which is the last attempt to curry favour with


voters. To say to a landlord, you cannot increase your rent by more


than a certain percent per year, why shouldn't you? It is their property


and they bought it. But you could have the tenant over the barrel. But


you do anyway. The Socialists used to protect people, they controlled


rent a lot of years ago, and in `` it never worked. If I charge too


much, my tenant leaves and I get someone else. At the central


government trying to control how much I charge is absurd.


It's been a year since GPs were put in charge of a large chunk of the


NHS budget and ` for some ` it has not been an easy start. As well as


having to make huge savings, the Clinical Commissioning Groups that


doctors run are facing legal challenges over how they spend their


money. Here's our Health Correspondent Matthew Hill.


Dr Matthew Dolman used to spend more time with patients in his local town


of Axbridge. Here he is back doing the rounds. But now it's more likely


he'll be found here. He chairs a group of fellow GPs who now have to


choose where to spend money on health services. It follows the


biggest overhaul of the NHS in its history. Up until a year ago,


managers working for the Primary Care Trust would commission services


like emergency care, hospital treatment and mental health


services. Now that work is done by GPs on Clinical Commissioning Groups


or CCGs. And the budgets are huge. In Somerset alone Dr Dolman's CCG


has ?650m to spend. The government says these groups are more in tune


with the needs of their area but critics say doctors don't have the


time or training to take on such an important role. It is an enormous


task in trying to support the health and social care services as we move


forward in an incredibly challenging financial environment.


The financial challenge that Dr Dolman faces is that the group has


to make savings of ?500 million over the next five years. That's ?40


million a year. And it seems likely that one of the avenues they are


going to have to explore is how they're going to use community


hospitals. With around a quarter of beds in the county's community


hospitals lying empty, the Somerset CCG has decided to mothball some `


like here in Shepton Mallett. The CCG argues patients like Mike Sale


are better off being treated at home. But fundraisers fear it's the


start of a slippery slope. Yes, they will probably get 40 minutes a day


from an occupational therapist or physiotherapist, but for the other


23 hours, they will be dependent on what? Social services? Another CCG


in the West faces more than just criticism. In Bristol these


campaigners are taking legal action to fighting plans to contract out


NHS services to private companies. It is time for the CCG to stop


defending the indefensible and put transparent arrangements in place


that explains to patients precisely how they will be involved in all the


decision`making by the CCG. Campaigners say this is the faceless


and unaccountable new NHS, which has no safety net in place to make sure


patients are consulted properly on any changes.


In a statement, the CCG say they take their commitment to the public


very seriously but they maintain flexibility over the extent of


consultation and exercise. GPs may not be used to patients questioning


their decisions. But as their budgets become tighter and tighter,


it seems they may have to get used to having their judgement


challenged. Well, we did ask to speak to a


Health Minister or indeed any chair of a local CCG but no`one was


available. We can, though, talk to Mike Campbell from the campaign


group Protect Our NHS which is taking its legal challenge against


the Bristol CCG to the High Court. Why shouldn't we trust our GPs to


make the right decisions? This is not about not trusting them to make


these decisions. We need to look at this in the context of the


reorganisation of the NHS. So what is the problem? Mr Cameron said


there would be no top`down reorganisation of the NHS, and at a


cost of ?3 billion we have massive reorganisation. We have a situation


where the Secretary of State was my duty to helping a National Health


Service has been abolished. We have increasing competition, health


services being privatised... People still go to the GPs and then get


referred to hospital, which is free, so what is the problem? The idea of


giving patients more choice has become more and more confusing. I


was speaking to a GP last night, and he says they often do not know where


they are faring a patient because there are so many options. Is this


mess? Many years ago, people complained and said they should


bring back the doctors running the NHS, and that is what this has done.


We got rid of lots and lots of pen pushers, the doctors and nurses


hacking charge. But what has happened as there has been an


increase in bureaucracy since the health and social care act. But do


you want to unpick it? I am seeing a massive organisation has put more


pressure on GPs, health care workers and patients. Waiting lists are


longer. And you are in charge of public health now in Bristol? Yes, I


have a great fan of the NHS. We had to move to a system that was much


more joined up. I am very keen on us looking after early intervention, so


that we reduce the problem early on. Does this allow you to do that? It


does. But by shifting... But by shifting this across... I think it


has improved the way we look after people. If you go to your doctor and


say you have a bad back, do you not want your GP to be concentrating on


your body rather than getting him out to do a deal with the hospital?


Now, the number of GPs in the NHS are relatively small. Most


consultants are still doing their proper daytime job. The National


Health Service should be free. That is the only important thing about


it. I think the National Health Service is the best we have got in


the world, and the way we run it is rather good. Thank you very much for


coming in. It was another good week for UKIP.


They came top in an opinion poll ahead of the European elections. But


while they want out of Europe, David Cameron is trying to strike a new


deal with the continent. Can negotiations on such a huge scale of


work? `` ever work? Four party leader swept through the West in as


many days. But as different as they may be politically, each were united


in condemning the Prime Minister was a European pledge, to try to take


back power from Brussels. Whether it was the pro`European Lib


Dems... David Cameron is trying to paper over the cracks. The


anti`European UKIP. Why would anyone believe anything they say? The


Conservatives offered a divided arty. If you think about what David


Cameron wants, we are 180 degrees in the other direction. After a brief


battle with the flip chart, we were ready to compile a list of what they


want back. They came and they wrote, and they wrote, and they wrote some


more. Some of it was easy to understand. Now, to the EU army. And


Napoleonic code system trying to work. We had five West Country MPs


contribute to this, but you can see the length of the list. There are


some themes here, benefits comes up time and time again, but there are


some specific details that Mr Cameron has to take on board,


Habitat directive, fisheries, insurance, law and order, the Prime


Minister will have his work cut out. First ahead to the road. The first


place, the European commission representation. Most of these things


can be achieved with our friends in Europe. These things are exactly


what the Germans, the Dutch, the Swedes, they have already signed up


to it. These are things that can be achieved but they do not have to be


achieved by separating, they can be achieved by reform with our friends.


But others don't trying to renegotiate with 27 other countries


would ever be that simple. This chairman beats the think tank


founded by Margaret Thatcher. Bashed the Eurosceptic think tank. The


French president said it cannot work. There has to be some changes


to some directives, but for significant changes, the West


Country MPs have talked about immigration, restricting courts


interfering in our affairs, it cannot happen. Reform may not be as


easy as some make out, and while the argument over what can and can't be


achieved goes on, one man is happy to debate it, Nigel Farage.


Renegotiation is a pipe dream, isn't it? It is not, it is extremely


important. In all my years in politics, everyone wanted a free


trade area. We need to bring back a lot of power to the European Union


and reorganise the architecture of the European Union. We have got to


battle for those things and at the end of this, if we do not get it,


people have the opportunity to say yes or no. So when can we say that


that we have got it and we need the public to make a decision? We will


either... We are the only party who will offer the referendum. No one


else can do it. We need to vote Conservative to get that referendum.


And you are man very keen on Europe? Bristol has done very well out of


Europe. Before I became the Mayor of Bristol,


it is ahead of office, very grandly titled. There is no deputy. If


Bristol is not well represented, we will miss out. There is a trillion


European funds available. How much are you paying for the desk and the


person? The desk is 4000, but I do not know how much the person will


be, it depends on the person. Let us bring back to broader issue. You can


be as Eurosceptic as you like, so why are you bothering to try to


defend this? Mr Farage cannot deliver the referendum. Only a


Conservative government can offer a referendum. Either we will be


negotiate the terms of trade or we will vote and campaign to leave. But


they could skewer you at the next elections? I do not think so.


There will only be eight choices on your ballot paper for the European


elections ` down from 17 last time around. And to help you make your


make your mind up, we've asked all eight parties to pitch for your


votes. Here are four, in no particular order.


The European elections are on the 22nd of May, not a referendum on the


membership of the union, they are about who will stand up for the


people of this region. If I elected, my priorities will be to


bring good quality jobs to this region. It will be to make sure that


we become world leaders on new green technologies that our region is rich


in opportunity for. And it is to have secure jobs for this region.


Good employment rights. What we stand for is an end to the burden of


EU regulation on the British economy. It is the laws that we here


in blood and others do not. When we leave the EU, we will be able to


make our own trade agreements with the outside world. For example, New


Zealand has a trade agreement with China. 75% of our laws are made in


Brussels. Artist to many. We want an end to open borders. The Green party


are positive about Europe. We value the way that Europe protect the


quality, water quality, conditions at work and animal welfare. However


we know that things need reform, particularly the power of


corporations, and we need to make Europe and politicians work better


the common good. We have had enough of interference in trade and


industry by the EU. Farming as a way of life no longer exists, and even


where farmers are successful, they have do operate in a way that often


involves too much red tape. We need to re`engaging the Commonwealth, the


Commonwealth that stretches across the world. 53 countries that are


willing to do trade with us and offered us much more opportunity


than the EU has ever done. And we'll feature the remaining four


parties in our programme next week. Now, let's take a look back at the


political week in our 60 Second round`up.


Politicians and union leaders and ordinary people gathered in Bristol


to remember the life of the city's former MP Tony Benn. His son Hilary


was among those at the service which opened with a union anthem.


It was a good week for motorists in Bath. Over a quarter of a million


pounds will be refunded to those who have fallen foul of the Dorchester


Street bus gate. The council admitted its own warning signs were


not clear enough. The Church of England showed that it


too can move in mysterious ways. It reversed a decision over the living


arrangements for the new Bishop of Bath and Wells. The Right Reverend


Peter Hancock will now live in the Bishop's Palace and not a rectory


nearby. And the Mayor of Bristol's drive to Make Sundays Special


returns today. Roads have been closed off to make way for street


performers. Around 100,000 people applied for tickets for the main


attraction ` a giant water`slide down Park Street.


By the time you watch this, you might be sliding down Park Street.


Will you have a goal? I gave the job to the youth candidates, because


that is more appropriate. I think my biggest fear is the size of the


cloud. Go to all these other things, there are food festivals, millennium


Square, folk Festival, Bristol is alive with activity today. Do you


get the feeling that Bristol is leading the region in terms of


leisure activities and cultural stuff? It has always been a great


city. My son was at university he. It is a very young and happening


place. I do not get to come here very often. I think North Wiltshire


lead the region, though! And that is all we have time for this week.


Thank you to our guests James Gray and George Ferguson for making our


Sunday special. We'll be back with more build`up to the European and


local elections next week. If you can't


got time for this week. Next week, London's local elections.


Welcome back. Now, the Government is not very good at predicting the


future. That's according to a report from a committee of MPs this morning


who say that its Horizon Scanning programme that's supposed to


identify potential threats, risks, emerging issues and opportunities


isn't much good at reading the tea leaves. But can it really be any


worse than our panel? Here they are predicting the future of then


culture secretary Maria Miller before Easter.


Can she survive? I'm getting out of the prediction game after I said


Nick Clegg would win the debates. But I almost think she might. If


there is a big event that moves this off the front pages. David Cameron


will want to keep Maria Miller until at least his summary shuffle. I


think they will get rid of her. I think they will do the decent thing


after exhausting all other options. Maria Miller resigned a few days


later of course! The best and the brightest, when did that slip in?


This week it will be exactly a year until the General Election, so what


better time to get our panel to gaze into their crystal balls again.


What's the outcome of the election in 2015? I'm going to go with the


polls and say Ed Miliband as the Prime Minister. But the polls are


only a snapshot of opinion now, you think they will be the same in a


year? No, I think they will narrow. I think UKIP's vote share will fall.


I think they are currently coasting on a high and that will tailor way


so they won't take as many votes off the Tories. Labour with a majority


or is the largest party. Another liberal Conservative coalition, and


I say that because he is already in touching distance of Labour. I don't


think UKIP will get 15, maybe half of that, and most of the votes they


lose will either not vote at all go to the Tories and that should be


enough to be the biggest party in a hung parliament I don't envisage a


Tory majority. I am also going to go with the polls. For Ed Miliband to


be hoping to win at this stage, he has got to be way ahead in the


polls. Labour needs to be much further ahead if he is going to win


so David Cameron, probably the leader of the largest party. Last


time after the election David Cameron went to the 1922 committee


and announced he was Prime Minister as head of the Coalition. He has


agreed this time he will consult them and it will be much more


difficult for him to get a coalition. People at home have now


concluded there will be a Liberal Democrat landslide! Are we going to


have debates? Yes, probably further away from polling day then last


time. That is the Liberal Democrat point, isn't it? Yes, it sucks all


the life out of the campaign, so the last six weeks will be left to


traditional campaigning. What did you make of this in the Sunday Times


this morning, this two, three, five formula. There should be a Cameron,


Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg debate, then there should be another one with


them and UKIP and the Greens. It might be testing the patience of the


nation to tune into all of those. If you're going to say Nigel Farage


should be there, the Green party should be too. They know that as


soon as you put them on a podium next to them, he looks like he has


equal stature and that is a problem. David Cameron does not want the


debates to happen on the way they happened last time. It is generally


regarded, Lynton Crosby believes they were a disaster for David


Cameron because they allowed Nick Clegg to be the fresh person. He


knows he cannot say no to them so the moment you see David Cameron


suggesting that Caroline Lucas should be in the debate, you know he


is not serious. What he will try to do is have more debates, have them


outside the main part of the general election so that it doesn't


dominate. The problem the David Cameron is that the campaign will be


much longer. It is a five-week campaign so it is quite difficult


for him to say we will only have one debate in that campaign. I think


smother it with love, hopefully it will go to the courts for him and


hopefully they will never happen and he will be delighted. The European


election and the local elections are coming up. The three mainstream


parties are saying it is a flash in the pan, they don't really matter


and so on, but if UKIP comes a strong first, if Labour comes a poor


second and the Tories come a poor third, it will have consequences for


all three, and the Lib Dems come forth or even fish. It will have


consequences and not just in the media but on the ground. One of the


big stories is what will happen to the Lib Dems, they face losing all


of their MEPs. A good result for them is lit -- in the local


elections is losing 250 councillors. These are the most interesting


elections we have had for some time. Are we heading for a Nick


Clegg summer leadership crisis? I think we are heading towards


reversing the clock back to where we were before the Eastleigh


by-election. That quiet and things down for Nick Clegg. If they lose


all their MEPs, and there is a real chance they will, Vince Cable will


be out on manoeuvres because age is not on his side. If he can say Nick


Clegg is a loser and a failure, he will be back. Will the Tories go


into headless chicken mode if they come third? Yes, if UKIP come first


there will not be as much panic as if Labour come first. Is Labour


comes a poor second, will there be some pressure on Ed Miliband to


reopen his attitude to the referendum? I don't think so and my


colleague was talking to Labour sources who said he is absolutely


not going to. That is something you can say definitely about him, he


decides on a course and he sticks to it. There is one potential upside


for David Cameron in a really bad Conservative results, it could


strengthen his hand in the renegotiations of Britain's EU


membership because he doesn't even need to say to Angela Merkel and


Francois Hollande it is there. David Cameron hasn't just been fighting


for his party into the local elections. He also got his knuckles


wrapped by the Speaker, John Bercow, at Prime Minister's Question Time,


for talking for too long. Take a look at this. There is a better


future ahead of us but we must not go backward to the policies that put


us in this mess in the first place. I don't know what they are paying


him, Mr Speaker. Order, order. I haven't finished! In response to


that question, the Prime Minister has finished and he can take it from


me that he has finished. I can't remember a speaker ever speaking to


a Prime Minister like that. Clearly in that case, John Bercow crossed a


line. It is Prime Minister 's questions, he is entitled to answer


the questions. There is really bad blood between those two, going back


a long way. They hate each other and the worrying thing about that was


the look of triumphalism on the speaker's face afterwards. He is a


remarkable, revolutionary speaker who has made the House of Commons


more relevant, he is holding the executive to account, but that look


on his face showed he had crossed the line. Does he survive after the


next election? He has improved the importance of the Commons, is that


enough to keep him in the Speaker 's chair? The most public bit of the


Commons is still the Prime Minister 's questions, and we can conclude


that John Bercow's interventions take more time than any delays he


complains about so I wouldn't be surprised if, in a few years' time,


someone else replaces him. He is quite popular with Labour, is he


not? Yes, he is married to a Labour activist and is notably sympathetic


to Labour but I think this is a difficult situation. David Cameron


also overstepped the line. As soon as the speaker says order, the idea


is that the House was to order and David Cameron pushed him. They are


both trying to score points off each other. We cover Prime Minister 's


questions every week on the daily politics, and there is a danger that


he sees it as an opportunity to do some grandstanding. You slightly


sends his vanity gets the better of him. It is supposed to be Prime


Minister 's questions. At the end of that session, the Speaker read out a


statement from the Chief clerk, and immensely respected figure, saying


he is taking early retirement. It is pretty clear that the reason he has


decided to go early is because he is finding it tricky to maintain a


cordial relationship with the speaker, and the speaker might want


to think about his man management skills. That's all for today. The


Daily Politics will be back on BBC Two at lunchtime from Tuesday


onwards. Remember, it is a bank holiday tomorrow. I'll be back here


at 11am next week. Remember - if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday




With David Garmston. Andrew Neil interviews the Conservative chairman Grant Shapps and Sir Malcolm Bruce, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, on the forthcoming European elections.

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