21/09/2014 Sunday Politics West


Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest news and debate live from the Labour Party conference in Manchester, with guests including Alex Salmond and Lord Prescott.

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Good morning from Manchester, where the Labour Party are gathering


for their annual conference as British politics adjusts to what


the rest of the UK. in Scotland might mean for


Scotland's decision to vote 'no means more powers heading north


But what about Home Rule for England?


Independence for Scotland has been his life's work. Alex Salmond tells


us why he is stepping down after losing Thursday's vote. And we've


In the West, is a din calling once people who want to


In the West, is a din calling once again? Is misleading say thd borders


should powers and more freedom to spend.


But what is the next devolution step for the capital? With me, the best


and brightest political panel in the business, at least that is what they


pay me to say every week. Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and, this week, we have


done some devolution ourselves to other areas, and we have Sam Coates


from the times. The union survived, but only at the cost of more powers


for the Scottish parliament and enshrining the formula that gives


Scotland a privileged position when it comes to public spending, which


has MPs on both sides of the Commons of in arms. The Scottish question


has been answered for now. Suddenly, the English question takes centre


stage, doesn't it? Absolutely. It has a grubby feel, when that vow was


put to the Scottish people, that they hoped would swing the vote


there was nothing about English only votes. It was unconditional? The


Tory proposal did talk very core justly about looking at the


proposals by a former clerk of the House of Commons that looked at this


issue. That was very cautious. - cautiously. These proposals will not


get through Westminster unless David Cameron addresses the English-only


issue. You look at people like Chris Grayling in the Sunday Telegraph.


Alistair Darling on the Andrew Marr Show said you could not have a link


between what you are giving Holyrood and English-only MPs. Back on says,


is welshing on the deal. -- comic he They were furious that he gave away


these tax powers and inscribed the Barnett formula. They said they


weren't going to vote for it. It is a shameless piece of opportunism.


Now they can say that Labour are the ones that don't trust you and don't


want to give you more powers. He knows it is going to be a tight


timetable. The idea of getting a draft of this out by Burns Night,


most people would say, given they had six years to set up Scottish


parliament, the idea we will solve these huge constitutional questions


in four months is absurd. But they don't care about the constitutional


questions, the one they care about is English votes? There is a simple


reason they won that. If you look at the MPs in England alone, the Tories


have a majority of 59, an overwhelming bias, and if you strip


out Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland, so this has become a


partisan issue. The question is whether David Cameron can follow


through on the promise. He said he would link the two Scottish powers,


but it's not clear you will get either before the general election.


It's not but the purpose is to cause Labour Party discomfort, and it is.


You can see with date -- Ed Miliband this morning, they find it very hard


to answer the question, why shouldn't there be English votes for


English laws? Ed Miliband this morning was saying how London MPs


get to vote on London transport and English MPs don't outside of London


and it is confusing, but Labour is in a difficult position. They were


before the Prime Minister made his announcement. The yes side triumphed


in Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, a Labour heartland, and


the Prime Minister is saying that if Labour don't agree to this by the


time of the general election, he is handing a gift to the SNP, that that


would be the party that the natural Labour voters would vote for to see


off the plan. It's not just Tory backbenchers. There are Labour


backbenchers saying there should be in which bodes for English laws


Even people in the Shadow Cabinet think it is right. The cases


unarguable. If you say her chewing a partisan way, you can't sell it to


the country. Ed Miliband is on course to have a majority of about


20, and you take the 40 English MPs, and he hasn't got it. This is a


coalition government where the Conservatives haven't got really to


be in charge, they have put in sweeping laws. Labour should


probably take the bullet on this one. Let's leave it for the moment.


But don't go away. As they struggle to keep the United Kingdom in one


piece, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg promised to keep


something called the Barnett Formula.


It wasn't invented in Barnet, but by man called Joel Barnett.


And it's how the UK government decides how much


public money to spend in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


It's controversial, because it's led to public spending


being typically 20% higher in Scotland than in England.


Well, some English MPs aren't happy about that.


I'm joined now by the Tory MP Dominic Raab.


Welcome to the Sunday Politics. How can the Prime Minister scrap the


Barnett Formula when he has just about to keep it on the front page


of a major Scottish newspaper? If we are going to see financial


devolution to Scotland, more powers of tax and spend, it's impossible


not to look at the impact on the wider union, and there have been


promises made to the Scottish and we should do our best to deliver them,


but there have been promises made to the English, Welsh and Northern


Irish. If you look at the Barnett Formula which allocates revenue


across the UK, it is massively prejudicial to those other parts. We


have double the number of ambulance staff and nurses compared to


England. The regional breakdown is more stark with double the amount


spent on social housing in Scotland than in Yorkshire and the North West


and the Midlands. The Welsh do very poorly on social services for the


elderly. What are we saying? That they need our children, patients and


the elderly are worth less than the Scots? That's not the way to have a


sustainable solution. I understand the distribution impact of the


Barnett Formula, but Westminster politicians are already held in


contempt by a lot of people and to rat on such a public pledge would


confirm their worst fears. Your leader would have secured the union


on a false prospectus. First of all, it's clear from the Ashcroft


poll that the offer made in the Scottish newspaper had zero effect


and if anything was counter-productive to the overall


result because two thirds of swing voters in the last few days voted


for independence. But we can't keep proceeding without looking at the


promises made to the English. We said in the referendum that we would


have English laws -- English votes on English issues. The Liberal


Democrats, in their manifesto, pledged to scrap the Barnett


Formula. We have to reconcile all of the promises to all parts of the UK,


and Alex Salmond talks about a Westminster stitch up, but what he's


trying to do is, with gross double standards, is in French stitch up in


rapid time, which would be grossly unfair to the rest of the rest of UK


-- is contrive stitch up. What is unfair about the current spending


formula? The extra money Scotland gets from Barnet, is covered by the


oil revenues it sends to London Scotland is only getting back on


spending what it pays in tax. There is no analysis out there that


suggests it is the same amount. Having voted to stay in the UK. Let


me give you the figures. Last year revenues were 4.5 billion, and the


Barnett Formula was worth 4.5 billion to Scotland. It is awash. A


huge amount of British taxpayer investment has gone into extracting


North Sea oil, and if we move to a more federal system, we would need


to look at things like the allocation of resources, but the


Barnett Formula has been lambasted as a national embarrassment and


grossly unfair by its Labour Party architect, Lord Barnett. So what we


need is to change this mechanism so it is based on need. The irony is,


when the Scots allocate Avenue to the -- revenue to their local


authorities, it's done on a needs basis, and what is good for Scotland


must be good for the rest of Britain. One final question. The


Prime Minister is now making his promise of more home rule for


Scotland conditional on English votes for English laws. Why didn't


he spell out the condition when he made his bow to the Scottish people?


Why has this condition been tacked on by the Prime Minister? In the


heat of the referendum debate lots of things were said, but the truth


is that Parliament must also look at this and make its views known, and


English MPs as well. You will find that conservative as well as a lot


of Labour MPs would say, we cannot just rush through a deal that is


unsustainable. It has to be good for all parts of Britain. Yes, we should


deliver on our promises for more devolution to Scotland, but let s


deliver on promises to be English, and Northern Irish. Why are they


locked out of the debate? Let's leave it there. Thank you for


joining us. The man responsible


for taking Scottish nationalism from the political fringes to within


touching distance of victory, Alex Salmond, has a flair for dramatic


announcements, and he gave us another on Friday


when he revealed he's to stand Friends and foes have paid tribute


to his extraordinary career. In a moment I'll be speaking to


Alex Salmond, but first here's Adam Fleming with


the story of the vote that broke The BBC's HQ on the Clyde, the whole


place converted into a studio for Scotland's big night. You know what


you need for big events, big screens, and there are loads of them


here. That one is three stories high, and this is the one Jeremy


Vine uses for his graphics. The other thing that is massive is the


turnout in the referendum, it is enormous. It was around 85% of the


electorate, that is 4 million ballot papers. First to declare


Clackmannanshire. No, 19,000. 1 ,000 and 36. The first Noel of the night,


and there were plenty more. -- the first no vote. The better together


campaigners were over the moon, like Jim Murphy, who had campaigned in


100 different towns. I don't want to sound schmaltzy, but it makes you


think more of Scotland. It makes you small tree. Yes, 194,779. Around


five a.m., the Yes campaign applauded as they won Scotland's


biggest city, Glasgow. Dundee went their way as well, but just for


areas out of 32 opted for independence. How many copies have


you had? This is my second cup of tea on the morning -- how many


copies. He was enjoying the refreshments on offer, but the yes


campaigners were not in a happy place. We are in the bowels of one


of the parts of the British establishment that, I've got to say,


has probably done its job in this referendum, because I think the BBC


has been critical in shoring up the establishment and have supported the


no campaign as best as they could. But there was no arguing with the


numbers, and by sunrise, the BBC called it. Scotland has voted no in


this referendum on independence The result, in Fife, has taken the no


campaign over the line and the official result of this referendum


is a no. There we go, on a screen three stories high, Scotland has


said no to independence. As soon as the newsprint was driving north of


the border, the focus shifted south as the Prime Minister pledged more


devolution for Scotland but only if it happened everywhere else as well.


Just as Scotland will vote separately in the Scottish


Parliament on their issues of tax, spending on welfare, so to England,


as well as Wales and Northern Ireland, should be able to vote on


these issues, and all this must take place in tandem with and at the same


pace as the settlement for Scotland. It began to dawn on us all that we


might end up doing this again. See you for an English referendum soon?


Northern Ireland. There could be another one in Scotland. But not


next weekend? Give me a break. There was no break for Nick, because Alex


Salmond came up with one last twist, his resignation was as leader, my


time is nearly over. But the Scotland, the campaign continues,


and the dream shall never die. So, the referendum settled, the


Constitution in flux, and a leader gone. All in a night work.


Alex Salmond is to stand down as First Minister of Scotland. He shows


no signs of going quietly. Last night, I spoke to the SNP leader in


Aberdeen and began by asking him if it was always his intention to


resign if he lost the referendum. I certainly have thought about it


Andrew. But for most of the referendum campaign I thought we


were going to win. So, I was... Yeah, maybe a few months back I


considered it. But I only finally made up my mind on Friday lunch


time. Did you agonise over the decision to stand down? I'm not


really an agonising person. When you get beaten in a referendum, you have


to consider standing down as a real possibility. Taking responsibility


and politics has gone out of fashion but there is an aspect, if you need


a campaign, and I was the leader of the Yes Campaign, and you don't win,


you have to contemplate if you are the best person to lead future


political campaigns. In my judgement, it was time for the SNP


and the broader yes movement, the National movement of Scotland, they


would benefit from new leadership. In your heart of hearts, through the


campaign, as referendum on day approached, you did think you were


going to win? Yes, I did. I thought for most of the last month of the


campaign, we were in with a real chance. In the last week I thought


we had pulled ahead. I thought the decisive aspect wasn't so much the


fear mongering, the scaremongering, the kitchen sink being thrown at


Scotland by orchestration from Downing Street, I thought the real


thing was the pledge, the vow, the offer of something else. A lot of


people that had been moving across to independence saw within that a


reason to say, well, we can get something anyway without the


perceived risks that were being festooned upon them. You were only


five points away from your dream. You won Scotland's largest city


There is now the prospect of more power. Why not stay and be an


enhanced First Minister? Well, it is a good phrase. I'm not going away,


though. I'm still going to be part of the political process. In


Scotland, if people in Aberdeenshire wish to keep electing me, that is


what I will do. But I don't have to be First Minister of Scotland,


leader of the Yes Campaign, to see that achieved. The SNP is a strong


and powerful leadership team. There are a number of people that would do


a fantastic job as leader of the party and First Minister. I've been


leader of the party for the last 24 years, I think it is time to give


somebody else a shot. There are many able-bodied people that will do that


well. -- many able people that will do that well. I'm still part of the


national movement, arguing to take this forward. I think you are right,


the question, one of the irony is developing so quickly after the


referendum, it might be those that lost on Thursday end up as the


political winners and those that won end up as the losers. When we met


just for the vote, a couple of days before the vote, you said to me that


there was very little you would change about the campaign strategy.


Is that still your view? Yes. There are one or two things, like any


campaign, there is no such thing as a pitcher campaign. I would refer


not to dwell on such things. I will leave of my book, which will be


called 100 Days, coming out before Christmas. Once you read that, I


will probably reveal the things I would have changed. Basically,


broadly, this was an extraordinary campaign. Not just a political


campaign, but a campaign involving the grassroots of Scotland in an


energising, empowering way, the like of which in on of us have witnessed.


It was an extraordinary phenomenon of grassroots campaigning, which


carried the Yes Campaign so far almost to victory. If Rupert Murdoch


put his Scottish Sun behind you would have that made the difference?


If ifs and ands were pots and pans... Why did he not? I would not


say that, you have form with him that I do not have. I'm not sure


about that. I was very encouraged. The coverage, not in the other


papers, The Times, which was extremely hostile to Scottish


independence, but the coverage in the Scottish Sun was fair, balanced


and we certainly got a very fair kick of the ball. In newspapers I


would settle for no editorial line and just balanced coverage. We


certainly got that from the Scottish Sun and that was an encouragement. I


think you saw from his tweets, certainly in his heart he would have


liked to have seen a move forward in Scotland and I like that. He said if


you lost, that was it, referendum wise, for a generation, which he


defined as about 20 years. Is that still your view? Yes, it is. It has


always been my view. It's a personal view. There are always things that


can change in politics. If the UK moved out of the European Union for


example, that would be the sort of circumstance. Some people would


argue with Westminster parties, and I'm actually not surprised that they


are reneging on commitments, I am just surprised by the speed they are


doing it. They seem to be totally shameless in these matters. You


don't think they will meet the vow? You don't think there will keep to


their vow? They are not, for that essential reason you saw developing


on Friday. The Prime Minister wants to link change in Scotland to change


in England. He wants to do that because he has difficulty in


carrying his backbenchers on this and they are under pressure from


UKIP. The Labour leadership are frightened of any changes in England


which leave them without a majority in the House of Commons on English


matters. I would not call it an irresistible force and immovable


object, one is resistible and one is movable. They are at loggerheads.


The vow, I think, was something cooked up in desperation for the


last few days of the campaign. I think everybody in Scotland now


engines that. -- recognises that. It was the people that were persuaded


to vote no that word tricked, effectively. They are the ones that


are really angry. Ed Miliband and David Cameron, if they are watching


this, I would be more worried about the anger of the no voters than the


opinion of the Yes Vote on that matter. If independence is on the


back burner for now, what would you advise your successor's strategy for


the SNP to be? I would advise him or her not to listen to advice from


their predecessor. A new leader brings forward a new strategy. I


think this is, for the SNP, a very favourable political time. There


have been 5000 new members joined since Thursday. That is about a 25%


increase in the party membership in the space of a few days. More than


that, I think this is an opportunity for the SNP. But my goal is the


opportunity for Scotland. I would repeat I am not retiring from


politics. I'm standing down as First Minister of Scotland. On Friday


coming back to the north-east of Scotland, I passed through Dundee,


which voted yes by a stud -- substantial margin. There was a line


of a song I couldn't get out of my head, and old Jacobite song,


rewritten by Robert Burns, the last line is, so, tremble falls wakes, in


the midst of your glee, you've not seen the last of my bonnets and me.


So you are staying a member of the Scottish Parliament, shall we see


you again in the House of Commons? What does the future hold for you?


Membership of Scottish Parliament is dependent on the good folk of


Aberdeenshire east. If they choose to elect me, I will be delighted to


serve. I've always loved being a constituency member of Parliament, I


have known some front line politicians that regarded that as a


chore. I'm not saying they didn t do it properly, I am sure they did But


I love it. You get distilled wisdom from being a constituency member of


Parliament that helps you keep your feet on the ground and have a good


observation as to what matters to people. I have no difficulty with


being a constituent member of Parliament. Can you promise me it


will never be Lord Salmond? Yes Thanks for joining us. Great


pleasure, thank you. Now, the independence referendum is over the


next big electoral test is a general election. It is just over seven


months away. In a moment I will be talking to Chuka Umunna, but what


are the political views of the men and women fighting to win seats for


the Labour Party? The Sunday Politics has commissioned an


exclusive survey of the Parliamentary candidates.


Six out of seven Labour candidates say that the level of public


spending during their last period of office was about right. 40% of them


want a Labour government to raise taxes to reduce the budget deficit.


18% favour cutting spending. On immigration, just 15% think that the


number coming to Britain is too high. Only 7% say we generous to


immigrants. Three in ten candidates believe the party relationship with


trade unions is not close enough. Not that we spoke to think it is too


close. Or than half of the candidates say want to scrap the


nuclear deterrent, Trident. Four in five want to nationalise the


railways. If they are after a change of leader, Yvette Cooper was their


preferred choice. Chuka Umunna came in fourth. And he joins me now for


the Sunday interview. Why is Labour choosing so many


left-wing candidates? I don't think I accept the characterisation of


candidates being left wing. I don't think your viewers see politics in


terms of what is left and right I think they see it in terms of what


is right and wrong. Obviously, many of the things we have been talking


about, how we ensure that the next generation can do better than the


last, how we raise the wages of your viewers, who are currently working


very hard but not making a wage they can live off, that is what they are


talking about and that is what the public will judge them on. But they


want to raise taxes, they don't want to cut public spending, they want to


re-nationalise the railways, they don't think there is too much


immigration, they want to scrap Trident. These are all positions


clearly to the left of current party policy. But that is your


characterisation. If you look at our policy to increase the top rate of


tax to 50% for people earning over ?150,000, that is a central


position. It is something that enjoys the support of the majority


of the public. Trident? If you talk to the British public about


immigration, yes, there are concerns about the numbers coming in and out,


yes people want to see integration, yes, people want to see people


putting a contribution before they take out, the people recognise, if


you look at our multicultural nation, we have derived a lot of


benefits from immigration. I don't think your characterisation of those


positions, that is your view... It's not, it is their view. They are


saying... You describe it... You described those positions as left


wing positions. I am saying to you that I actually think a lot of those


positions are centrist positions that would enjoy the support of the


majority of your viewers. I don t think your viewers think the idea of


the broadest shoulders bearing the heaviest burden in forms of tax are


going to see it as a way out, radical principle. They want to


scrap Trident, not party policy It isn't.


I think that 73... Well, we will have 400 Parliamentary candidates at


the time of the next general election, not including current MPs.


This is 73 out of over 400 of them. I think we also need to treat the


survey with a bit of caution. They are not representative? You are


basically quoting the results of a small percentage of our


Parliamentary candidates. It's pretty safe to say when you look at


their views, they might be right or wrong, that's not my point, it's


fairly safe to say that new Labour is dead? Again, I don't think people


see things in terms of gold -- old or new Labour. We are standing at a


Labour Party. We are a great country, but we have big challenges.


We want to make sure that people can achieve their dreams and aspirations


in this country. Too many people are not in that position. Too many


people worry about the prospects of their children. Too many people do


not earn a wage they can live off. Too many people are worried about


the change. We have to make sure we are giving people a stake in the


future. That is a Labour thing, you want to call it old or new come I


don't care. It's a choice between Labour and the Conservatives in


terms of who runs the next government. That one of your


candidate we spoke to things that the party's relationship with the


unions is to close. 30% of them think it should be closer. You have


spoken to 73 out of 400 candidates. Why should the others be any


different? It's a fairly representative Sample. Many people


working on this set are the member of the union, the National union of


journalists. People that came here to this Conference would have been


brought here by trade union members. Do you think the relationship should


be closer? I think it is where it should be. It should not be closer?


I think that trade unions help create wealth in our country. If you


look at some other success stories we are in the north-west, GM


Vauxhall is there because you have trade unions working in partnership


with government and local employees to make sure we kept producing cars.


I'm not asking if unions are good or bad, I'm asking if Labour should be


closer. You are presupposing, by the tone of your question, that our


relationship is a problem. Let's turn to the English question. Why do


you need a constitutional conversation where you have to


discuss whether English people voting on English matters is


unfair? We want to give the regions and cities in England more voice,


but let's get it into perspective, we have had a situation where the


Scottish people, as desired buying rich people, have to remain part of


the UK -- by English people. What is the answer to the question? I don't


want to get to a situation where people have voted for solidarity


where you have a prime ministers talking about dividing up the UK


Parliament. Let me put this point you. Most Scottish voters think it


is unfair that Scottish MPs get to vote on English matters. That comes


out in Scottish polls. Why don't you see it as unfair? If the Scots see


it as unfair, why don't you? This is an age-old conundrum that has been


around for 100 years and it's not so simple. You're talking about making


a fundamental change to the British constitution on a whim. It's not


just an issue, in respect of Scottish MPs. As a London MP, I can


vote on matters relating to the transport of England and transport


is a devolved matter in London. In Wales, there are a number of


competencies that Welsh MPs can vote on and they've been devolved to


them. So with all of these different votes, you will exclude different


MPs? I think the solution is not necessarily to obsess about what is


happening between MPs in Westminster. That turns people


politics. We need to devolve more. I think we should be giving the cities


and regions of England more autonomy in the way that we are doing in


Scotland, but I've got to say, Andrew, it's dishonourable and in


bad faith for the Prime Minister to now seek to link what he agreed


before the referendum to this issue of English votes for English MPs.


That is totally dishonourable and in bad faith. You have promised to


devolve more tax powers to Scotland. What would they be? This is being


decided at the moment. I cannot give you the exact detail of what the tax


powers would be. Could you give us a rough idea? There is a White Paper


being produced before November and there will be draft legislation put


forward in January. Your leader has vowed that this will happen. And you


haven't got a policy? You can't tell us what the tax powers will be? I


can't tell you on this programme right now. But we have accepted the


principle on further devolution on tax, spending on welfare and we will


have further details in due course. Your leader promised to maintain the


Barnett Formula for the foreseeable future. Why is that fair when it


enshrines more per capita spending for Scotland than it does for Wales,


which is poorer, and more than many of the poorer regions in England


get? Why is that fair? We have said that in terms of looking at go -


local government spending playing out in this Parliament, we have


looked at what the government has done which is having already


deprived communities having money taken away from them and wealthier


communities are getting more. We accept that the Barnett Formula has


worked well. How has it works well? There is a cross parliamentary


consensus as they don't know what to do about it. Why has it works well,


when Wales, clearly loses out? I'm not sure by I accept that when you


look at overall underspend -- government spending. It is per


capita spending in Scotland, which is way ahead of per capita spending


in Wales, but per capita incomes in Scotland are way ahead of Wales Why


is that fair Labour politician? We have said we want to have more


equitable distribution. You haven't, you have said you will keep the


Barnett Formula. I'm not sure necessarily punishing Scotland is


the way to go. The way that this debate is going, what message does


it send to the Scottish people? I want to be clear, I am delighted


with the result we have got. The unity and solidarity where


maintaining across the nations of the United Kingdom. All of this


separatist talk, setting up different nations of the UK against


each other goes completely against what we've all been campaigning for


over the last two years, and we shouldn't have any truck with it.


Coming onto the announcement on the minimum wage, you would increase it


by ?1 50 to take it to ?8, which would be over five years. That is


all you are going to do over five years. Have you worked out how much


of this increase will be clawed back in taxation and fewer benefits? Work


has been done on it. How much? I can't give you an exact figure. The


policy pays for itself. The way we have looked at this, we looked at


the government figures, and if people are earning more, they would


therefore be paying more in income tax and they will be receiving less


in benefit and will pay out less in tax credits, so we are confident


that this will pay for itself. I'm not asking about the pavement, I'm


asking what it means for low paid workers will stop they will get an


extra 30p per hour -- about the payment. How much of the 30p to they


get to keep? In terms of what they get in the first instance, somebody


on the minimum wage now, with our proposal, would get in the region of


?3000 a year more than they are at the moment. That is before tax and


benefits. How much do they keep I cannot give you an exact figure Why


don't you give me an exact figure if you've done the modelling? We are


talking about some of the lowest paid people in the country, and I


would suggest to you that going down this route, they would face a


marginal rate of tax of 50 or 6 % and they will not keep most of this


increase you are talking about. I don't accept your figures. But you


haven't got any of your own. I just don't have any in my head I can give


you right now. Don't you think out policies before you announce them?


Of course we think our policies before we announce them but we are


confident people have more in their pocket and will be better off with


the changes proposed, and we are also seeking to incentivise


employers to pay a living wage as well. At the end of the day, as I


said, the economy is recovering great, but we know, at the moment,


it's still not delivering for a huge number of your viewers and we're


determined to do something about it. The status quo is not an option And


even joining me. Twice in three days. You can't have too much of a


good thing. I am mad. He said that, not me.


It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics. We


say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now for


Coming up here in twenty minutes, we'll be joined by John Prescott to


talk about the challenge facing Labour as their conference starts


Good morning. The sun is shhning and the Sunday Politics where you are.


Good morning. The sun is shhning and we are live as we chew over enters


week in both Scottish and English politics. Coming up, remembdr this?


Mrs Bradley, will you sit down? Code the ghost of a Vim county c`n be


back? Business leaders call for the political map of the West to be


re`drawn as the government promises greater powers for Bristol. I'm


joined this morning by James Gray, a Scot who has come down south and is


a Conservative MP, and Don Foster, who we are told is related to the


Fraser clan. James, you werd made a shadow Scottish minister in the


Conservative government but you were fired after a week. Yes, I was a


very strong unionist and I welcomed the results. I also welcomed what


David Cameron said on the steps of Downing Street. If we are going to


increase Scottish devolution, we have to correct the problems in


England. You were fired bec`use you didn't want MFPs. I was firdd


because I was proposing exactly what I was proposing! Don Foster, are we


seeing the end of the union? Yes, it survived, but it will fragmdnt now.


I'm delighted, I'm pleased there was such a clear and decisive rdsult.


But it is vital we deliver on the promises that were made back in


2012, not in the last few wdeks to give further devolution to the


people of Scotland in the event of a no result. And secondly, to look at


further devolution of powers away from Westminster to the reghons and


of course further devolution to Wales, which we are doing. Lore on


Scotland later. First, the Labour Party is pinning its hopes of


winning back power by addressing concerns on the cost of livhng. Ed


Miliband has promised a hikd in the minimum wage to ?8. It follows


pledges to control increases in rent and cap energy bills. How wdll does


all this play with voters? In the autumn sunshine, acthvists


assembled to go leaflet distributing. In the forefront, they


are supporting their general election candidate. It is absolutely


crucial we win this seat, it will have an impact on whether wd have a


Labour government next time. With her is local activist Andy Davies


with first`hand experience of high housing costs. ?800 the quite a


small property. She is helphng to pay her daughter's rent. Thdre is a


shortfall of ?130 with the benefit so we are paying the differdnce it


enables her to have somewhere secure to live. Fewer than a fifth of


people live in private rentdd homes, said the policy may have little


impact for Labour and their leader. I'm a private tenant, so rent


control would be interesting. I probably would vote Labour `nyway. I


work for a Housing Associathon so I know quite a lot about local rent. I


think it's quite a good ide`. It won't get me to vote Labour. It is


one policy. It wouldn't bring me back to Labour. The responsd of


others is more difficult. L`bour proposes capping rent, but that our


ICS says arbitrate caps are not a solution. They are also campaigning


on specific issues. In the crowd is Conservative MP Chris Skidmore.


Joining us now is one of Labour s biggest champions, Bristol LP Dawn.


Thank you for coming on this morning. If you want to win, you


need to take places like Swhndon and Kingswood in the West Country. How


confident are you? I think with the right policies that are addressing


the real problems people face, whether it be not having a home


rent levels, having to do lots of part`time jobs, energy bills, these


are the things around the cost of living crisis that Labour is talking


about, that we here day in `nd day out from communities across the


South West, in places like Kingswood, Swindon and Bristol


South. This week, we need to set out how we're going to stop people


living in fear about how thdy are going to pay their energy, whether


they will have to move. How they make sure their children have access


to decent schools. So are you going to promise an end to austerhty? Is


that out of the window in a new Labour government? Well, people are


much more understanding in recognising the challenges that our


country faces. They know we have to live in a way that makes sure we are


supporting those that we nedd to, but also dealing with the problems


that we will inherit in unddrfunding the National Health Service. So what


we have to do is make sure we can address those big, economic


questions without punishing hard`working families. How would you


do it? Well, if we had a higher national minimum wage, people in


Kingswood and South Bristol would have more money to spend, they would


be spending it locally on goods and services that need other people to


be employed. If we make surd we build more houses rents will be


decent, we are employing people coming out of the South Bristol


College with the skills to work in that industry. That is the way


forward. People are not daft, they know that you have to invest in


order to grow. Thank you. J`mes Gray, Labour's plan is clear,


they're going to hammer you on the cost of living. It is not clear


Dawn made some very woolly points there. Minimum wage ` someone has to


pay those minimum wages. Fixing rents gash therefore landlords would


be accepting less than they currently do. Unemployment hs


falling at a record rate. Don Foster, you've been in coalhtion.


You guys are in it together The economy is recovering. Ordinary folk


aren't feeling it, and this has been the recession paid for by the poor.


That is what you both supervised. I don't think that is true. These


Labour proposals are wrong. Firstly, rent control. We had that until


1988, and up to their, the number of privately rented homes declhned


dramatically. Now it has increased. Of course, we must tackle rogue


landlords, but we've seen a doubling of the availability of priv`te


rented accommodation. Yes, we need to build more homes. But people


don't think of you as being on their side. One key thing we have done,


something Labour has refused to back, is actually raising the tax


threshold. That has taken 2 million of the lowest paid out of t`king ``


paying tax altogether. That has put real money into the pockets of the


less well off. That was a t`x cut for everybody, it was a tax cut the


US well. `` a tax cut for you as well. We have improved the dconomy


in a way that is fair. Now, back to the Scottish referendum. We could


only watch down here as the Scots held the fate of the countrx in our


hands. We were reminded Scots have their own parliament, free


prescriptions, three kept the elderly and pre`hired on. Should we


have that to? It has led to the calls for the creation of htge


region government. It is an Atlantic port, just like


Bristol. It fizzles with culture and music, just like Bristol. It is


roughly the same size, and has an elected mayor, like Bristol. But


there is one key difference between the way they do things in Lhverpool


and Bristol. Here, the City Council has combined forces with thd


surrounding local authoritids. They speak with one voice on matters like


regeneration and transport. They hope that with the spirit of


devolution very much in the air that will help them win mord money


and power from Westminster. I meet the man in charge of this ndw beast.


He says for Westminster, coling together is the only show in town.


Governments have said they want to see structures like combined


authorities in place, and they are essential requirements if any area


is going to be able to get ` reasonable portion of national


funding around growth devolved to them. If we don't go for th`t model,


then you stand to lose out to other city regions who have gone down that


road. It's not just the six Liverpool councils that havd


combined. Regions around Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Chatfidld have


done the same. So, would Brhstol follow suit? 1 million people are


served by the four councils. The current setup has been labelled


slow, inefficient and bureatcratic by the man who used to head up the


lake or's local enterprise partnership. Running anything with


four politicians at a meeting who are primarily therefore thehr own


interests, to guard their own interests, is a slow way to progress


anything. Rather than having for representatives always carefully


navigating each other, it would be more sensible for us to agrde who we


are and what we want to do `ny more joined up way. Any talk of joining


up councils in the West brings back finger pointing of what went on at a


vent can dig out. You are a very silly woman indeed! It was `bolished


in 1996. Memories of a bin still haunt the North Somerset le`der who


sees no reason to redraw thd political map. For a lot of the


communities outside a vent, whether that be North East Somerset North


Somerset, a lot of the monex here was spent on services in thd centre


of Bristol. So the services that people got in North Somerset were


very poor and spas. That's the point. You can't tax people and


spend it somewhere else and call it community involvement in local


government. Council leaders say the status quo is working well, but


government may be about to dmbark on a mystery tour of its own. Ht is


important we have wider civhc engagement about how to improve


governance throughout the UK, including how to empower our great


cities. We will say more about this in the coming days. So, with the


Scottish question finally sdttled and the mood music for more


devolution in the regions, some are questioning whether it is thme for


the Fab four councils of thd old a bin area to do what John Lennon once


described. Come together! The leader of Bath and North East


Somerset Council joins us, thank you for coming in. Is it a good idea for


the councils of a vent to come back together? It is an absolutely


disastrous idea. A Vernon `` Avon was one of the worst things to


happen to the area. We have gone through three electoral cycles and


that is delivering a lot now. You want the benefits that your area and


South glass dish `` South Gloucestershire once it all for


them. There may be debates because you are having important discussions


about warehousing goes, where transport goes. We lost out on a


Metro system because South Gloucestershire and Bristol could


not agree the route. That would never have happened with ond


authority. I don't see how xou can say that. There is an econolic boom


going on in South Gloucestershire, there is development in Somdrset,


North Somerset, Bristol. Yot can't have a lot of power... What you are


talking about the forward dhfferent areas with different structtres


This structure works very wdll for Bath and North East Somerset. If you


are talking about bringing powers down to the regions, cannot work if


you've got these little loc`l authorities? It is simple. Liverpool


a group of local authorities decided it was in their interest to come


together and work together hn that particular way. Here, we've got four


local authorities who don't want to do it that way. It is perfectly


possible for them to work together, which they do. A lot of dechsions


are being made through the western England partnership on transport,


economics and so on. They should be allowed to do it their way. It is


possible to devolve powers down to different structures in different


parts of the country. I'm a great believer in localism and I think the


local people should decide. It seems to me that we have good, normal


units of government here. If you put them all together, you might end up


with a mass. I was a special adviser when we demolished Avon, so I


wouldn't want to see it comd back. Well, you need mass to make things


work. I don't think you do. We want the Fire Service to be Wiltshire


`based. Big is not necessarhly beautiful. The problem with that is


we have not got an Alex Sallond down there. Thank goodness! We don't have


someone speaking powerfully for the region. At the height of her powers,


only 80% of people knew that Margaret Thatcher was the ldader of


the country. That was just `fter the Falklands War. So you can come up


with how many people know their politicians. What people want is


good delivery of services, good value for money. That is


overwhelmingly the key issud. If you look around, we have good


governance, the delivery of services. We have some of the best


schools and health care. Do you want more power? I think devoluthon of


more powers is a really good idea. It has to be a bottom`up process.


Communities have to define what powers they want and the government


has to listen. Devolution is clearly coming. Wales are going to get more


power. They have a strong political voice. They will be heard in London


in a way that we won't be. Look planning has to be done loc`lly


That is an entirely different question to the 1 we're dealing with


with the English question. We need to balance the English


representation in Westminstdr to correct that. That is nothing to do


with localism. We must move on. Thank you for coming in. Now,


Scotland may have dominated the political news this week, btt that


wasn't all that happened. Hdre is our rundown in 60 seconds. @


shortage of staff may have put psychiatric patients in the West at


risk. The a Vernon Wiltshird mental health partnership says it has taken


action to address the concerns raised by the Care Quality


Commission. Councillors in Swindon voted to hold a public enquhry into


a fire at business cycling plant. Large piles of waste burned the two


months before they were fin`lly put out on Monday. The role of the


Council, Environment Agency and waste firm will all be examhned


Welcher's Chief Constable is the latest to be investigated bx the


police watchdog following complaints at the way his force handled


allegations of sexual abuse. The Chief Constable welcomed thd


enquiry. And for the sixth month in ` row,


unemployment fell across thd West. Just under 27,000 people cl`imed


job`seeker's allowance, but wages are struggling to keep up whth


inflation. I think we've all learnt a lot about


Scotland this week. Let's jtst come to you first, James. I you going to


make it clear to the Prime Linister you will not accept further


devolution, more powers for Scotland, unless England get their


share to? That is correct. We cannot go ahead with the promise wd made to


Scotland until English problems have been sorted out. It was not a


promise, it was about, it c`nnot be ignored. The bow was made bx Gordon


Brown. The parliament was not consulted, I will not vote for


devolution to Scotland until such time as the English question is and


said at the same time. At the time of the Edinburgh settlement in 012,


all three UK party said there would be more devolution to Scotl`nd. In


March of this year, all thrde parties repeated that pledgd. It was


then repeated yet again with Gordon Brown and others just beford the


referendum. We have got to deliver that pledge. There are issuds to do


with devolution within Engl`nd, Wales and Northern Ireland which


need addressing. Huge issues. Yes, I don't deny that, but you cannot


allow that to derail the cldar commitment we made. How could you


ever show your face in Scotland again if you go back on what the


Prime Minister said would h`ppen? This is the difference betwden a


government minister and a backbencher. All matters to me is


the people of North Wiltshire. Well, on that note, we must leave you


that is all we have time for. Thank you to my guests, Don Foster and


James Gray. We'll be back ndxt week. the Conservative mayor's policy No


more time I'm afraid. Andrew, back to you.


Welcome back the to Labour conference, where we're joined


by the latest hot new stand-up comedian on the Manchester circuit.


I speak of course of former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.


In between giving tub-thumping speeches to rally


the party faithful this week, he's appearing at the Comedy Store.


He was also of course the man behind the last attempt to solve


Our political panel is with me as well. John, we have got Scottish


votes for Scottish laws, and more Scottish votes for Scottish laws,


why not English votes for English laws? That's an English parliament


in a major constitutional change and that is what has started. I


certainly don't agree with that I campaign for powers to be given to


the regions. When I first tested it in the Northeast, I lost. Why?


Because they said they were not the same powers you are giving to


Scotland. So, basically, we must do that, decentralised, not just with a


Westminster Parliament. As you know, in 32 years I produce the


alternative. You've kept that for 32 years? I took it off my shelf and


everybody was talking about it now, but they weren't in 1982. This was


my five plan. 200 meetings all around the country -- five-year


plan. You wrote this morning, not 35 years ago, that this was a plot to


turn Westminster into a Tory dominated English parliament. But if


that is how England had voted, it's not a plot, it's democracy. You can


get reform in a more federal structure, and even English


parliament does fit into the federal structure and that is what the


Liberals say, but you need a fairer representation. It might be quite


radical, and we could get rid of the Lord's, and have representation in


the region there. It can't be done in two weeks. Alex Salmond, he's


assuming he has been sold out, and it was less than a week ago they


remain the announcement. We have to get it carried out will stop but


don't connect it to the English parliament that fixes it in their


favour. It may be pretty low politics from David Cameron to come


up with something that was not in the vowel -- a bow on the front page


of the daily record, but if they do not agree with what he said at the


time of the general election, he will say two in which voters, if you


want real protection in England vote Conservative, and if you want


Scottish MPs deciding on your level of taxation, vote Labour. He is


scared to death of UKIP may have been saying it for a while. In the


constitutional changes have to see what is fair and equitable, the same


with the Barnett fallen -- formula. But what you have to do is get a


fair system. It takes time to discuss it. I was doing a 32 years


ago and nobody wanted to know. We had better start a debate, and don't


mixed up the constitutional type of English parliament with what we are


promising in Scotland. It is about trust and politics. So the turnout


of the north-east regional assembly and they voted against it. The


turnout that the police and crime commissioners was low. How'd you get


people interested in the process and it doesn't feel like a conversation


in smoky rooms and you go back to British people and tell them what


you decided? If you look at the turnout in Scotland whether they


were interested in, now it is phenomenally interesting. It is


about real power, having real influence. What they said to me in


the north-east, they said we know you have an idea for devolution and


you will give us assemblies but it doesn't have the power of Scotland,


but now we are talking about equity, similar distribution of


power and similar resources. The English people are entitled to that.


They have been robbed of it for too long. Labour has long struggled with


what it should do over devolving power to the regions and you came up


with regional assemblies. Ed Miliband has a different idea of


city regions. Aren't they the same idea of yours but without a


democratic accountability? Can we really trust the greater region of


Manchester or Birmingham to deliver if there is not the same kind of


democratic link with the people I live in whole, and it stops on the


boundary of the Pennines -- the city of Hull. We have city regions from


Labour because I failed in the north-east to get the assemblies in,


and now we have to look at those options. Do you work through city


regions? Mainly in the north, I might say. Even the federal


structure they talk about my be in the North or Midlands with


Birmingham, but there are a number of options and that is where I


believe that what the White Paper should do is to put those options


in. Instead of having to put them together, state what you want to do


in the English regions. Leave it to the legislation, which is what will


happen with the Scottish, and once you've agreed it, you do it after.


You have to start the radical debate about giving the English regions,


not centralised in London, but decentralised. Do you need to have a


separate English parliament? Wouldn't it just satisfy the English


if you simply said to MPs, when it's in English matter in the House of


Commons, stop interfering? I would disagree with that. I would say put


the option in the White Paper. The White Paper seems to be talking


about Scotland. If you don't put the commitments to what you want to do


with the English regions, people might say I'm not supporting that.


Put the framework in the White Paper, but a different timetable.


Devolution in this country has been to a different timetable, whether


it's Wales, Northern Ireland. Start looking fundamentally at it and the


Labour Party should be leading the debate. Let's come the no campaign


lost Glasgow. The cradle of British socialism. -- let's come to


something that happened with the referendum as the no campaign lost


Glasgow. Is it a sign that the Labour Party are finding it hard to


what -- hold on to their traditional working class vote question mark its


different in Manchester. They would say it is a message about


decentralisation. If we change the message a bit maybe. We have been


thinking that now it is that either the Labour Party to recognise it is


not the old message and old areas that will win it. I remember


covering the 1997 referendum in Scotland and you gave a tub thumping


speech in a big hall in Hamilton and you really connected. Obviously it


was a different referendum because that was about a parliament, not


independence and Alex Salmond was on your side, but you, and Ingush MP,


an English minister, connected to the core Labour voters in a way that


Ed Miliband is failing to do -- an English MP. You make a fair point.


In the big rally, I had to point out I was Welsh. Enough of this. Get on


with it. What I was saying there was that I supported you, as I did for


30 odd years when Labour MPs were against any thinker Scotland. I


support you, but I expect you to come in with your Scottish MPs and


make sure the English get their share of the powers and resources


and that is what that speech was about, and by God, it's as relevant


today as it was then. I haven't got any Scottish MPs, I live in


Knightsbridge. Did you get the vote? No. What would you have done? I


can't tell you. You would have voted yes, come on. I'm interested. What


do you want to hear from the speech by Ed Miliband? People are wondering


about where Labour stands. There are many issues we have flown around,


and we've done the discussion just now. What he has got to do where he


started off on the minimum wage You are trying to deal with those left


behind. Those are the bottom. That is the Labour message. The National


Health Service is our creation and we have to say it will be saved If


you can save all of these bankers with all the money and say you


haven't got the money for the NHS, say where we stand. That will be the


priority. The third one, housing. I have had a revolutionary idea that


you can buy a house without a deposit and without the interest or


paying the stamp duty, and you buy it by rent. The government gives


?150 billion guaranteed housing for up to 600,000. Get down to ordinary


people who can use their rent to buy the house. It's happening in the


north-east. Why are they not listening to you? You have said more


to connect with ordinary people in three minutes than we will probably


hear in an hour. I've been telling them, made, and we have a commission


coming out. People don't want commissions, they want action. I


say, I know what we do, housing health, the people. That is our


language. That is why we are Labour. That a lot of people run away. I


think in Glasgow, they wondered about that. If you turn up on the


same three platforms, and I know it's a critical thing to say, they


think in Scotland it is a coalition. I don't like coalitions. It looks


like a coalition, didn't it? Maybe it was saved because Rupert Murdoch


started the The Times about the polls and he couldn't even get the


sun to say that they wanted. We haven't got time. I wondered how


long it would take is to get to repot Murdoch. You beat the record.


-- to Rupert Murdoch. Labour is quite behind on the economy, and


people are looking at Labour, trying to work out if they can trust you to


the stewards of the economy given 2010. Under Labour 's plans there is


20 billion of cuts to make in the next Parliament. Will we hear


anything about that? It is about the proportion of debt to GDP. I know it


sounds historic, but our debt when we came in in 1997 was a proportion


of GDP, and you must know this, and that was less than Thatcher's. Why


did we get done on debt? You guys run around saying a lot about it,


but the fact is it was worse under Thatcher. Thatcher is now seen as a


hero. If you look at the debt, it is still a problem. Gordon Brown did an


awful lot to solve those problems, but they were still left with us.


What we have to have is a sensible discussion like we had on devolution


and now we are talking about finances. Let's look at the public


sector debt and the price we pay. We need to be putting the record


straight. The problem is they tell me, John, we have to look to the


future not the past. We are getting screwed on the past and we have to


change it and perhaps Gordon Brown coming in could do something.


Finishing on the future, when we did a poll of the Labour candidates you


were watching on the big screen when it came up that their favourite


to succeed Ed Miliband was Yvette Cooper, why did you shout no! That


is alive. -- alive. -- that is not true. I know resistance is not


strong. What did that mean? You can't get away with anything at


a Conference, John. I was dropping comments them to pick up everywhere,


I do not wear -- nowhere they got that one from. Good to have you


back. Round of applause for former Deputy Prime Minister. That's it for


today. Don't applaud them, they are useless.


my guests. I'll be back here at Labour conference for the Daily


11:30am tomorrow when we'll bring you live coverage of the speech by


We're here all week, and next Sunday you can find us in Birmingham for


Remember if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.


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