11/12/2011 The Politics Show North East and Cumbria


11/12/2011

Jon Sopel and Richard Moss are here with the top political stories of the week.


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Transcript


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Here... As fares increase for passengers,

:00:57.:01:01.

what will the future shape of our railways be in the region?

:01:01.:01:04.

And Newcastle is getting more powers and the chance to vote on an

:01:04.:01:08.

elected mayor. But will he, or she, have the clout enjoyed by Boris

:01:08.:01:18.
:01:18.:01:18.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1810 seconds

:01:18.:31:28.

Hello and a very warm welcome to this special "collector's edition"

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of the programme. Coming up... The future of our railways in the

:31:33.:31:37.

North. As fares go up, will passengers lose out?

:31:37.:31:39.

First, Newcastle is being offered new powers and the Government

:31:40.:31:44.

believes they can make it an engine for economic growth. Deputy Prime

:31:44.:31:47.

Minister Nick Clegg announced the plans this week. He says they'll

:31:47.:31:50.

give Newcastle greater control over its local transport, business rates

:31:50.:31:53.

and planning - powers which won't be available to other cities like

:31:53.:31:58.

Sunderland or Carlisle. The government also wants to see an

:31:58.:32:01.

elected mayor take charge, with a referendum on the issue due next

:32:01.:32:05.

Spring. So with the promise of more power, can we expect a Geordie

:32:05.:32:08.

version of London mayor Boris Johnson? Mark Denten has been

:32:08.:32:18.
:32:18.:32:22.

finding out. Christmas shopping in Newcastle.

:32:22.:32:25.

This week, the Government has confirmed it is giving voters here

:32:26.:32:29.

a little present - the chance to decide whether they want an elected

:32:29.:32:37.

mare. Who should be? Alan Shearer. He is strong-minded. He will not

:32:37.:32:47.
:32:47.:32:48.

give too much away! Sir John Hall. Why would that be? He has done all

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right for the area. Peter Andre! He is kind and I think he would be

:32:53.:32:58.

nice. But even if Peter Andre is preparing for his leadership bid

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right now, it is not so much about who would get the job or how much

:33:02.:33:07.

power they will have. Up till now, the signs have not been good,

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because not all elected mares are equal. This is Stephen Lawrence,

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mare of London. He already has a raft of powers -- Boris Johnson. He

:33:22.:33:28.

can he has power see -- other mares can only dream of. He can do that

:33:28.:33:33.

over an area covering 32 different London councils, rather than one

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council. Unlike other elected mares, the police are accountable to him.

:33:39.:33:43.

Crime is the key issue here. Even if voters elected Newcastle Meyer,

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the winner would not have those powers to tackle crime. Wendy once

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a mare with more clout. He should be able to help the police try and

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cut the crime. But he has not got any authority to do that, what is

:34:00.:34:07.

the point of having an? I will vote, but it will be a know. There is

:34:07.:34:10.

small support here. This restaurant has suffered from the economic

:34:10.:34:15.

squeeze but with the right parts, an elected official could help.

:34:15.:34:20.

They need someone to come in and make this region less stagnant. The

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elected mare should have control over strategic planning of the city

:34:24.:34:28.

and control of the housing and economic policies. If it is a

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coherent policy for Newcastle and the surrounding areas, it will lead

:34:32.:34:38.

to huge economic development. Ministers say local people should

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decide on the powers. Supporters of the idea already know what they

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want. We are demanding and Papas equal to Boris Johnson. We're also

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looking at some of the parts that may be available to the first

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Minister in Scotland that are available to Boris Johnson. If we

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do not get that, we are going to continue to see economic decline.

:35:00.:35:04.

While a new round of elected mares may be Coalition policy, the

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Liberal Democrat leader here is against the idea. There is a

:35:09.:35:14.

fixation with personality politics. Personality over content. It would

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cost more and it seems like a distraction at this time when we

:35:17.:35:20.

all really have to concentrate on doing her best to provide good

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public services are in a time of dwindling resources. This week, the

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Deputy Prime Minister announced extra powers for Newcastle,

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including more control over business rates. To be have to vote

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Yes for a male first? There is no link for our offerer of new powers

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to the cities and a vote for Aurora a mare or not. Where the have these

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new paths are not, you can vote for him there. There's plenty of time

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to digest the idea until May. Well with me now is the Labour MP

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for Tynemouth, Alan Campbell and in our Leeds studio, the Conservative

:35:59.:36:07.

MP for Outer York, Julian Sturdy. Julian, if Nick Clegg says

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Newcastle was going to get these powers even if it doesn't vote for

:36:10.:36:17.

a mare, why bother with the mare? support this policy. It is very

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important and it is part of an agenda be want to see rolled out

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across the country. All similarly, it will be down to the people of

:36:23.:36:28.

Newcastle to decide. That is very important. There is no evidence for

:36:28.:36:32.

a public clamour for a mare in Newcastle or any of the cities.

:36:32.:36:36.

People could have conditions -- petitioned for years but they did

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not. If that is the case, there will be a negative vote. Elected

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mares have worked well across the region already. It is important

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that the mandate is there. The idea supported and it is part of the

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localism agenda, but it is down to the local people to decide. That is

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fair enough, isn't it? It was a labourer idea and it could benefit

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to Newcastle. I am a fan of the May oral system but not always a fan of

:37:05.:37:12.

the people who win the mayoral elections. It does give visibility

:37:12.:37:17.

to a high-profile politician. It is up to the people of Newcastle or

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any other area or whether or not they want to go down that route.

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Isn't it more about the poll worse than the individual? The debate

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thankfully now it is about the parlous and the powers Boris

:37:32.:37:35.

Johnson has in London and the powers the mare of North Tyneside

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has. There is a considerable difference. You can't seriously

:37:39.:37:43.

think you could give the mare of North Tyneside Para for the police

:37:43.:37:49.

- but would work. Even parts of the transporter are her problematic

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when it is a small council area in a big transport terrier. A city

:37:53.:37:59.

like Newcastle and, we were saying very similar things about the kind

:37:59.:38:04.

of powers that we wanted to see divorce two cities. You have hit on

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a real bone of contention, which is the fact that Boris Johnson is the

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chair of the Met Police Authority. He is also in charge of the

:38:13.:38:16.

Transport for London. He can do something about anti-social

:38:16.:38:20.

behaviour on buses or the underground. Whereas on the very

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same day as Newcastle might be getting an elected mare next

:38:24.:38:28.

November, we will be electing police commissioners if they choose

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to do that. There is a confusion at the heart of Government policy.

:38:33.:38:38.

Some of the par so very unclear. That is a difficult sell to people.

:38:38.:38:43.

I think Nick Clegg's a month and yesterday was very good for us. We

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have to make sure we bridge this really important divides -- divide.

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We have to do all we can as a Government under Coalition

:38:55.:38:59.

Government to do that. By giving these new powers to eight new

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cities, it has to be a good thing. We will see how it rolls out and

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whether more powers will follow him more cities. My city of York is not

:39:09.:39:16.

one of those eight, but it could be. Isn't that the question? Isn't this

:39:16.:39:19.

-- of this it is good idea, why not a liar all councils to have these

:39:19.:39:29.
:39:29.:39:31.

kind of powers? That might well,. Why not now? We have to look at

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this as positive. If these are the first 2008-2009 and 2009-2010

:39:34.:39:39.

cities, it might be rolled out further. Let's see how it pans out

:39:39.:39:49.
:39:49.:39:49.

for the first eight cities. This is about local people taking control

:39:49.:39:54.

of their areas. There are limited powers, though. They will not have

:39:54.:39:58.

powers over policing. As you rightly say, we're not talking

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about the same parts that have been rolled out in London. This is a

:40:04.:40:07.

slightly watered-down version of what is happening in London. But

:40:07.:40:14.

this has got to be seen as a good measure for our cities. We're going

:40:14.:40:18.

to have more devolved power, which I support. That is part of the

:40:18.:40:24.

local has an agenda. But ultimately, it is up to the people in Newcastle

:40:24.:40:30.

and the local people and each individual area to decide. We do

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except that this is the first the tenth for decades to really hand

:40:34.:40:40.

serious power back to councils? it is not. We introduced mares, for

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example. We also introduced single pot fondling and total place

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funding. There is a continuing that is taking place here. But let's not

:40:51.:40:58.

be under any illusions. Bears are still facing enormous difficulties.

:40:58.:41:01.

You can devolve the power of the localisation of is the straight,

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but you cannot hide from the fact that North Tyneside will lose �90

:41:05.:41:09.

million by that going ahead. Only if they don't correct the system.

:41:09.:41:13.

They will only corrected for the first 12 months. What is happening

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here is not just the devolution of power, but the devolution of who

:41:17.:41:22.

makes the bad news. Thank you. Now, travelling by train is going

:41:22.:41:25.

to be more expensive in the new year. Despite some extra cash

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offered up by the Chancellor, the planned rise in fares will still be

:41:28.:41:31.

around six per cent on many tickets. And there could be even bigger and

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more controversial changes to come. Ministers plan to set out the

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direction of travel for our railways in the new year. Unions

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fear it will amount to cuts to services and staff. But others hope

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communities will get a greater say over their local rail services.

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:41:53.:42:02.

Fergus Hewison reports. Relics from the region's pride past

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as a pioneer of rail travel. But if the future of the railway is

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worrying some people. Who should fund them and to should ensure that

:42:11.:42:15.

they run with the best interests of the travelling public in mind?

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Central Station, Newcastle. What is on the West list for passengers

:42:19.:42:26.

here? It should be cheaper. Better quality. Better food. And a better

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ride. I have been to Glasgow quite recently and everything was

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excellent. It was more or less on time. There is an issue about

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pricing. It is very expensive. I think privatisation of rail travel

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has been a general disaster. changes could be on the cards for

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railways, including use for fares. There are due to increase by 6% for

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regulated fares in January next year. They were due to go up by 8%

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until George Osborne capped this Fry's aim his autumn statement last

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month. Government proposals are also due out in the early part of

:43:07.:43:10.

next year. There are likely to incorporate recommendations made in

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the review of the rail system earlier this year. These included

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giving local transport bodies and councils more power over rely

:43:23.:43:26.

funding and high fares are set. Controversially, the review also

:43:26.:43:30.

said that the running cost of our railways could be 30% less than

:43:30.:43:33.

they are now, partly by closing ticket offices and reducing the

:43:34.:43:38.

number of staff on trains. Mike Parker used to run the Tyne and

:43:38.:43:42.

Wear Metro system. He thinks handing some powers to local bodies

:43:42.:43:46.

would work if money channelled to rail firms through them. It is who

:43:47.:43:49.

determines what the services are going to be and who will monitor

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the performance. Passenger transport executives are no very

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good position to monitor bus services, local railway services

:43:58.:44:02.

that they procurer. But to much of the entire northern franchise,

:44:02.:44:09.

there are no very good position to do that. But proposals like this

:44:09.:44:13.

alarm railway unions. The McInulty report identified key problems

:44:13.:44:17.

about the lack of integration and the transport network SVRs. But it

:44:17.:44:21.

then comes up with the wrong prescription to resolve that. It

:44:21.:44:24.

says we should have more fragmentation, more splits and more

:44:25.:44:29.

fragmentation of the industry. That is nonsense. You cannot actually

:44:29.:44:31.

come up with the right diagnosis and then give the wrong

:44:31.:44:36.

prescription. Railway operators say they have no plans to close to good

:44:36.:44:40.

offices and are waiting to see what the Government will save.

:44:40.:44:43.

Supporters of greater local control think that this could mean we get a

:44:43.:44:46.

greater slice of the nation's transport budget. We have always

:44:46.:44:54.

been aware that we do not get quite a fair a cut of that national

:44:54.:45:04.

investment package as we should do. For example, London gets more than

:45:04.:45:09.

double what we get. That is something that could be addressed

:45:09.:45:16.

in any localisation of decision- making on transport. It is expected

:45:16.:45:19.

the Government's proposals will appear in the New Year and everyone

:45:19.:45:22.

seems to have something on the wish-list already.

:45:22.:45:30.

Well, let's talk about the future of the railways now with me guests.

:45:30.:45:34.

They spotted a problem with that and they have put money into it.

:45:34.:45:39.

is a very small limitation. 6% is an enormous amount of money in the

:45:39.:45:47.

year and it is going to rise. This was a system that we inherited in

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the botched privatisation, in which private companies ran section of

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the railway are without any way of making sure that they provided

:45:55.:45:58.

value for money. And the two things that happened there was that the

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taxpayer be done money through subsidy, which is unsustainable. Or

:46:02.:46:07.

secondly, that fares went up. That is unsustainable. The Government

:46:07.:46:12.

has to come forward with the right paper in referring to what McNulty

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has said and tell us what it is going to do about it. What you

:46:15.:46:19.

think the Government should be doing about this? I can't imagine

:46:20.:46:25.

their pay rises will fill people with festive cheer? I agree about

:46:25.:46:32.

the right paper. As a member of the Transport Select Committee, and all

:46:32.:46:36.

parties will welcome that when it comes forward. Obviously, no one

:46:36.:46:40.

wants to see fares go up. It is difficult. But it was going to go

:46:40.:46:46.

up by 3% plus inflation. Now it is going up by 1% plus inflation. All

:46:46.:46:51.

the indicators are that inflation will fall over the next year.

:46:51.:46:57.

will not help passengers in January when they face 6% rises. I agree.

:46:57.:47:05.

Nobody likes to see fares go up. I think our rail services are in

:47:05.:47:10.

really good heart. They have been prioritised by the Government and

:47:10.:47:13.

sue the Department of Transport. They're getting investment in

:47:13.:47:18.

infrastructure within the transport. There has been a number of

:47:18.:47:20.

announcements within the Chancellor's Budget statement. That

:47:20.:47:25.

is good news. On a number of announcements for the North. We

:47:25.:47:29.

have not had a fair deal and transport in the North.

:47:29.:47:33.

Government is doing all these things. He had 13 years the sort

:47:33.:47:37.

this out? In the autumn Statement, they announced money for the metro

:47:37.:47:41.

system which we had put him and they had already taken out once. I

:47:41.:47:46.

wouldn't think the Government is doing very much for the North. High

:47:46.:47:51.

speed to is not coming to Newcastle. We are going to be left high and

:47:51.:47:55.

dry by that of we're not careful. I think the Government has a

:47:55.:47:59.

difficult task here, but it should not go down the route of thinking

:47:59.:48:04.

that fare rises other way forward, nor would passengers want to see a

:48:04.:48:08.

cut in frontline staff under do not want there to get Thomases close.

:48:08.:48:12.

600 taken of the closing is unacceptable. What you're saying

:48:12.:48:18.

cost a lot of money. Because of the mess you Government left, there is

:48:18.:48:23.

not a much money. The Government is right to look at how to save money.

:48:23.:48:26.

McNulty said there are savings to be made of the industry works

:48:26.:48:29.

better and there are better incentives the number system that

:48:29.:48:34.

existed as a result of privatisation. McNulty also said

:48:34.:48:39.

abandon the inflation cap on fares. That is unacceptable, as is pouring

:48:39.:48:44.

in taxpayer's money year after year. The problem is that private

:48:44.:48:47.

companies have not had to look for value for money. They're going to

:48:47.:48:51.

have to find that and that should not mean higher fares. It should

:48:51.:48:57.

not mean cutting ticket offices. That is the concern here, that the

:48:57.:49:01.

Government is about cost cutting. That this is going to be taking

:49:01.:49:04.

staff of trains, cutting ticket offices and making a poorer service

:49:04.:49:11.

for people. That is not what the paper should deliver. It is going

:49:11.:49:15.

to deliver a more efficient service. That has to happen. We have to

:49:15.:49:19.

deliver that in a way that is fair to passengers, delivers the right

:49:19.:49:24.

kind of system but we need and we have to have a better connected

:49:24.:49:28.

systems. The connectivity within our transport is an issue. We have

:49:28.:49:32.

to make sure that is delivered and that the North plays a key role

:49:32.:49:37.

than that. But there is real good news for the North. We're getting

:49:37.:49:43.

improvements and the Trans Pennine Express. It will be a great boost

:49:43.:49:47.

to the northern region. I am pushing for it to go from Leeds to

:49:47.:49:53.

York. It is great news. We have improvements on the East coast main

:49:53.:49:57.

line, and Ford. There is real good news. Ultimately, which will have

:49:57.:50:03.

to look at this paper closely. Should renationalise? I think it

:50:03.:50:06.

might be popular but where would you get the money from?

:50:07.:50:10.

Now, hankies at the ready, but today is the very last Politics

:50:10.:50:13.

Show ever. It was eight years ago in this very studio that my

:50:13.:50:21.

colleague Mary Askew launched the show in suitably dramatic fashion.

:50:22.:50:26.

Stay with us to find out if this should be banned. It is just a toy,

:50:26.:50:29.

but our police officers are definitely not amused.

:50:29.:50:33.

Well, with Mary safely locked away on firearms offences, it was up to

:50:33.:50:36.

yours truly to take on the job. The producer couldn't afford to buy me

:50:36.:50:40.

a tie, but at least we spared no expense - and I mean no expense -

:50:40.:50:44.

on the set. I wonder happened to those trendy TVs? Or my good looks

:50:44.:50:46.

for that matter? Well, all good things come to an

:50:46.:50:50.

end. But don't despair. We'll all be back in the new year with a

:50:50.:50:52.

brand new show called Sunday Politics. I'll still be asking

:50:52.:50:55.

politicians the difficult questions - I might even get the odd answer -

:50:55.:50:59.

but there'll be a new look and more stories from across the region.

:50:59.:51:02.

And you know what? I might even wear a tie! Worth watching just for

:51:02.:51:04.

that. For now though, we're off on our

:51:04.:51:07.

seasonal break. But if you're into seasonal break. But if you're into

:51:07.:51:07.

seasonal break. But if you're into Twitter, I'll be tweeting like a

:51:07.:51:10.

robin throughout the festive period. And there's always my blog at

:51:10.:51:15.

bbc.co.uk/richardmoss - what better gift for your loved one?

:51:15.:51:18.

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