27/11/2011 The Politics Show Scotland


Political magazine presented by Jon Sopel and Isabel Fraser.

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This week on the Politics Show. It promises to be one of the biggest


strikes in British history but have both sides made avoidable


disruption inevitable? We'll ask the TUC General Secretary why he's


determined to press ahead with Wednesday's walkout over public


sector pensions when talks seemed to be making progress. And Francis


Maude, one of the ministers leading the negotiations, joins us to


answer charges that his rhetoric has inflamed, rather than calmed,


the dispute. And what about Labour? We'll ask Shadow Chief Secretary


Rachel Reeves if her party will support the day of action. A yes or


no answer will do. On the Politics Show Scotland, the impact of the


public sector strikes here and what can realistically be achieved.


Empty run down houses are in the government's sights.


We are with the Hudson Bay boys who carved out new lives in the


Canadian Arctic. And some Hollywood glamour as the


superstar Alan Cumming talks about the relationship between Scottish


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1713 seconds


Our bigger supporters are members who pay through subscriptions and


donations to Labour Party. The trade unions give us that money.


That is the lead a that the members of trade unions pay. It is not


quite an answer to that question. That is the decision, at to pay it


in the political levy from the trade unions. I am proud of that


relationship and the Labour Party was formed by the trade unions


movement. That is part of our tradition. On the economy, at the


wider UK economy, yd think it is that if the Government is making


such a mess of this, that the public do not trust Labour on a


tiger. Under hour watch, there was a recession and we have already


said we should have done more in terms of banking regulation. 18


months into this government, we're seeing the effects of their


policies. They have cut public spending at such a rate and it is


risking a double-dip recession here in the UK. You talk about the


failure of banking regulations. Do you not also need to say, we spent


too much? Up until 2008, the Conservatives were backing us.


not asking about them, I am asking if you thought Labour spent too


much? We reduced debt enough time in office up from 42-36%. During


the financial crisis, we made the decision to bring forward spending,


to cut taxes, and to try to a void at a global recession becoming a


global depression. It stop unemployment going up to 2.5 per


cent. They were the right decisions. You alternative plan, the five-


point plan for jobs, involves more borrowing. You have not said the


cost of it? Over all, my question is, what makes you think the


markets will except more borrowing when they have not done so in Spain


or Greece? That is a massive gamble. The reality is that the Government


or borrowing at more than planned because of the cost of the failure


of their economic policies. There are more people out of work so we


are paying more on benefits and getting less in taxes. We are


saying that with these targeted measures to get growth back on


track, the economy will get moving and helpers reduce debt in a


sustainable way. At the moment, we are borrowing more because the


economic failures. Going back to the States, we were looking at the


eccentricity of the straight vote which involves the strike having to


take place within 20 days of the vote. Do you agree with that?


Francis Maude said, the UN could do something definitely to keep that


mandate available, but they have decided to take strike action on


Wednesday because of the strength of feeling about this issue.


think that the 15 minute idea with a constructive proposal? I don't,


what I am saying it is that if he can keep the mandate by just taking


small action, on this occasion, the unions feel so strongly that that


is not on the table. Surely it may be a good idea because if the


negotiations are close to agreement, they could do something like that?


It does not sound like they are. The fact that they have not spoken


since the beginning of the months suggests they are a long way off


the deal. That is unfortunate because people who rely on public


services will see huge disruptions that could be avoided if the


Government was sitting down with people and the public sector. They


could do that this week rather than going on the television and saying


they might withdraw. You do seem to suggest in your answer, and I am


interested in this, that some sort of minimum talking strike action,


whether in the middle of the night with rail workers or whatever,


would have been a way forward that would have allowed talks to


continue? What Jacqui is saying it is is the 20 delimit appropriate?


There are ways to keep that mandate going which fall short of post-


fight actions but the unions have balloted on strike action and then


going ahead because they feel they have not been listened to. Thank


you very much. Good afternoon and welcome to the


Politics Show Scotland. Coming up on today's programme. We'll have


more on those strikes on Wednesday. We'll be asking the unions what


they'll achieve, and asking businesses how damaging they'll be.


Can run-down, empty homes like this help solve Scotland's housing


shortage? The Housing Minister is here. In the 1960s and '70s, with


few job opportunities in Scotland, a generation of young men left home


to find work abroad. We'll meet the Hudson's Bay Boys,


who built new lives in the Canadian Arctic. I don't care how desperate


the times are. If you really want to work hard at something and have


something in your mind, you can achieve that goal.


Also we'll get details of new proposals for a law to give


terminally ill people the right to chose when to die.


And the international mega-star, Alan Cumming, gives us his take on


Scottish culture. In America, politics is almost a hobby. It is


once a very four years, everyone goes nuts for it. Here, it is part


of our parlance. Part of how it we engage with each other. But first


here's the lunchtime news with Andrew Kerr.


Good afternoon. New legislation, which will allow a person to be


tried twice for the same crime, will come into force from tomorrow.


For centuries, suspects have been protected by the ancient principle


of double jeopardy, but the law has been modernised to permit


exceptions. The Justice Secretary Kenny Macaskill says the reforms


bring the system into the 21st century. We preserve double


jeopardy. It for not be routine and it will very much be the exception,


but if new evidence comes to light that could not have been discovered


before, because of new technology, I think it is important that


justice is done. The company behind a fireworks


display in Oban which lasted just 50 seconds is putting on another


show tonight, free of charge. Edinburgh-based Pyro 1


inadvertently created a spectacular internet sensation when its


November display came to a swift end thanks to a technical glitch.


Called Obang, this evening's homage After a stormy conditions last


night, the wind will ease down today. Some of the showers will be


heavy with one of two getting into Dumfries and Galloway, but much of


southern and eastern Scotland will be dry. A cold or fail to today -


eight or nine Celsius at best. That's the forecast. That's all for


now, I'm back with our next update at 6:20 here on BBC One Scotland.


Now I'll hand you back to Isabel Now I'll hand you back to Isabel


As we've been hearing, Wednesday looks set to be the biggest day of


industrial action since the 1970s. 30 unions across the UK are taking


part in the action and the likely extent of the disruption is


starting to become clear. Our Local Government Correspondent Jamie


McIvor has the latest on how it will affect Scotland. This


situation is still developing a but listening this strike is not called


off, we already know what most schools will be closed and a lot of


local services like libraries and sports centres could be hit.


Councils say they will try to make sure the most vulnerable will not


suffer. Hospitals will be open the door some appointments have been


postponed. There will be some impact on transport. Airports will


be open but action by passport staff could lead to big delays and


disruption. In Glasgow, local transport will be badly hit as the


Underground is shut. Some claim mistake could cost the UK economy


�500 million. Others are rubbish this, saying loss will be quickly


made up. The equivalent of an extra Bank Holiday already of Severe


weather. What is the day of action about? Specifically, pensions. It


is not about the wider concern of is not about the wider concern of


unions or some walkers over cutbacks, salary freezes and job


losses. It is hard to divorce the issues completely however. The


Government wants to make changes to public sector pension schemes which


mean people pay more towards their pensions and in some cases work


longer. It says anyone due to retire within the next 10 years


will still receive the same pension they would have got before. Here,


some part of the public sector under the control of Holyrood. The


Scottish government say they do not agree with the idea of replacing --


increasing employee contributions but they do not have any choice at


the moment. Wednesday will see the sort of co-ordinated industrial


action not witnessed for a long time. The UK Government is adamant


pensions need to be reformed. People are living for a long after


they retire and Westminster insists money is tight with the need to cut


money is tight with the need to cut Joining me now in the studio is


General Secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, Grahame


Smith, and from Dundee, David Watt, Chief Executive of the Institute of


Directors. Thank you for coming in. Given that negotiations are ongoing


and senior union officials have insisted the Government has moved


do that, as this irresponsible? Negotiations are not ongoing. The


last time the Government spoke was all in its 2nd November. They have


been carrying out a propaganda programme since. No talks at all?


No talks between the government and trades unions directly. Talks with


each individual scheme have happened but that goes on all the


time. These negotiations have been frustrating -- been frustrated by


it the fact the Government have not been clear on what its proposals


are. That makes it difficult to reach agreement. Talks are not


ongoing. Given the confusion, have the unions taking on the enormity


of what they're doing and the way the general public are reacting?


Let's be clear on that. You speak about the unions but it is a


millions a public sector workers who have voted in ballots to take


industrial action because they feel very strongly. They see a gross


injustice in not only being asked to work longer and being told that


the benefits when they retire or less, but having imposed on them


attacks on the epee of 3.2 per cent which has been dressed up as a


pensions contribution the but is not a pensions increase. It is a


tax on their pay. What do you think will be the general reaction to


this and the impact on business? They will not be a great deal of


public support. Many are already in a situation that Graeme has


outlined, we all understand the pension situation as it is


understood -- happening to everybody. They forecast the laser


12 hours for people coming into Heathrow, which is terrifying.


Schools being closed causes all businesses significant problem so


there is a real concern and a genuine cost to it. Whether this is


�500 million I am not sure, but there will be disruption from


travel, public holidays, and so obviously a significant cost to


business. What do you think of the political tone and a lot this? Some


commentators have said the unions have rushed into this too quickly.


Others, Ed Miliband for example, says that Westminster seems to


relish this confrontation. The Scottish government say they are


not willing to implement the increasing contributions but were


immediately told that money would come out of the block grant. What


do you think of the tone of negotiations? Politicians all have


to realise there is an inevitability about cutting public


sector contributions -- pensions and increasing contributions. There


are still none contributed fixed benefit pensions in existence. That


is not sustainable and needs to be sorted out. The basic premise, of


not enough money in the pension pot, is being increasingly challenged.


You do not accept that? I know there are some pension pots in


individual parts of the public sector which are self-funding, but


that is not guaranteed. The bottom line is the tax payers take up that


shortfall. I think there should have been longer negotiation.


he is saying is not the case. There are no reasons this has to take


place. Local-government schemes in Scotland are very successful and


takes in �300 million more a year than it pays out. The NHS has a


surplus, the teachers' scheme has taken in more since it started and


it has paid out. Negotiations took place under the last game for


government to deal with contribution increases. -- Labour


government. But there are ceilings placed on what the taxpayer will


contribute to public sector pensions so these issues have been


dealt with. The real issue here is that the UK Government is imposing


a tax on the pay of public sector workers of 3.2 per cent, not


imposed on anyone else but the rest up as a pension increase. That is


to tackle the deficit. Nothing There are 156,000 households on


household waiting lists in Scotland. Meanwhile, 25,000 homes are lying


empty. Could these properties be brought back into use to help solve


the housing shortage? That is at the idea behind the Empty Homes


Partnership led by Shelter Scotland, set up last year to help local


authorities trace the owners of empty properties and turn them into


affordable housing. In a few days' time, Scotland will hold its first


Empty Homes Conference. But finding the owners of the homes is no easy


task. 21-year-old Stacey is the only


resident in this block of flats. She says it is dangerous and the


conditions are making her ill. door and upstairs have all been


broken into. It is a living nightmare. I have got asthma and


hypertension. I'm constantly down at the hospital with it. It is


causing my blood pressure to go higher. She rents privately and is


desperate to move into better accommodation but is one of 500


people on that the waiting list at her local housing association. Its


director says that it is frustrating to have empty housing


on the estate when people need homes. There are about 40


properties lying empty, that is 40 families that could be rehomed. In


terms of the wider picture, there is not a lot of house building


going on because of the financial crisis. It makes more sense to find


two properties lying vacant, renovate them and bring them back


and give them to other people to give them houses. Kenny is working


with Shelter Scotland's partnership. She is working with 22 of the 33


local authorities in Scotland. work with local authorities and


housing associations to give them good practice from elsewhere in the


United Kingdom where they do good used bringing empty homes back into


use. We have had less of this in Scotland in the past 10 years or so.


It is about contacting the owners, and negotiating. It is estimated it


costs between 6025 �1,000 to refurbish an empty home. The


average cost of building is around �100,000. It is an attractive


choice of four councils looking to provide affordable housing. But are


they the homes people want? What it will do is provide a wider stock of


housing available for letting and now that councils are obliged to


sell off properties to occupiers, it will provide a more stable


measure to the national housing stock, that houses are -- that


housing associations and other landlords will have available.


Developers cannot sell them and cannot get rid of them for a number


of years, these houses tend not to be suited to bigger households, and


they do not work well with a family of seven children. The progress is


not always straightforward. years we have been trying on and


off to find out who the owners are and to do something about this


situation. The garden is open to the environment, it can be used for


fly-tipping. I believe it has been set fire to at least once. Clearly,


would you like to live next door to that? I do not blame anyone that is


not happy with this situation. As I say, the time to get half it is now.


But just how tough can councils in Scotland be? They do not have the


same power as councils in England which can seize empty properties


after six months. The Scottish government is consulting on whether


to give new powers to raise council tax on empty properties. But will


this be enough to persuade landlords to turn derelict


properties into homes people want to live in?


We have the housing minister Keith Brown. Good afternoon. You have


looked at a number of ways of tackling this. The first one is to


allow councils to charge an additional levy and reduce


discounts on empty properties, that provides a real incentive to bring


them back into in -- productive use. They can be unsightly and are not


being used by families who could use them. So there is a 90%


discount at the moment is there? could be 50%. There would be a levy


which would double the council tax rate on those properties. It would


not be in any body's interest to leave houses lying empty for a long


period of time. We have an initiative in South Esher, trailing


this out to see whether allowing people to take on the interest free


loans to improve properties that require that, we would like to see


that rolled out. That is almost like rewarding negligent property


developers and property owners because they get money to do up


their property and then there is no guarantee that they will sustain


the quality of that building. idea is not to play to the self-


interest of particular landlords but to say that some properties are


in a very poor condition and that they are really struggling to get


grants to upgrade the property. We want to help in that situation. The


benefits of that other two were starting to get council tax back,


you may get a sale on that, that could be used on the improvements


for other properties. The end result will be instead of having


empty properties you will have those available to rent or buy.


Councils do have the ability and have a greater ability to borrow


than the Scottish government does. Borrowing to produce economic


assets, we think is right and proper. Borrowing to produce more


jobs because you can get more repair and maintenance work through


this, is again a proper to do in terms of economic uncertainty. If


you create an economic asset, that is one legitimate use of borrowing.


One way we can start to turn this around and improve growth is if for


example the UK Government were to announce on Tuesday that they would


reduce VAT on home improvement to 5%, as we have been calling on them


to do. Empty housing has been targeted for about a year, nobody


is clear on how many have been brought back into use. Would it not


be a good idea to have a legal compulsion on this? We are


consulting on some of these issues and getting an update by the


conference you mentioned on Tuesday, we will get feedback from the


different partners. Our feeling is that that would not work. We want


to work with house-owners and local authorities. But you will consider


the compulsory element? The UK Government very often copy what we


have done in terms of housing, we keep an open mind but currently the


one to work towards more collaboration.


In the 1960s and 70s with fewer job opportunities in Scotland, a


generation of young men left turn to find work abroad. Many of these


men joined the Hudson's Bay Company. The stories of a group of Scotsmen


who formed a new life in the Arctic is the subject of a new documentary,


the Hudson's Bay Boys boys. They have been talking to Gilly


Mathieson. These men are Hudson's Bay Boys,


who as teenagers had few opportunities and gave up


everything to make a new life in the Canadian Arctic. They were


among thousands of Scots who for 300 years went to work for the


Hudson space company. In 1976 there was no job for John Graham on the


family farm and so he answered the call of the wild. I responded to an


advertisement in the newspaper. It was 11am on September 17th and the


temperature was minus two Celsius. The weather was a lot nicer than


the win that I had left in Scotland a couple of days beforehand. There


really was, at the age of 19, nothing really was a shock, you


went there with eyes wide open. Really prepared for anything.


Todd did not see a future for himself in Scotland, at the age of


17, he also joined the Hudson's Bay Company, are waving in the western


Arctic in the middle of winter. arrive here and it was very


desolate. So it was a real shock, it takes your breath away. It's the


Hudson's Bay Company was started in 1670 and began trading with the


native people of the Canadian Arctic. They exchanged supplies for


furs. But to the Inuit communities, as they were often much more. Jim


Dayell became a Bay Boy, but was also part doctor, dentist and fed.


We found clothing, food, or the needs of the community for a year.


The medical work, the dental work, the midwifery, looking after dogs,


giving them rabies shots, all the extra curricula. There was a vast


amount really. By the end of the 20th century, Scots made up half of


their workforce. But the seal trade crashed and the impact was


catastrophic. Suicide rates have rocketed. It was the beginning of


the end for the Bay Boy way of life. The hunters did not know what was


going on with the anti-fur market here in Europe. The bottom line is


that from being a thriving industry, it put those same folks on welfare


overnight. It was so dramatic, it went from people living are


reasonably well, it was a tough life, going trapping, that is a


tough life, but it was a life they had lived all their lives, all of a


sudden it collapsed. Separated by thousands of miles, many of the


Scots has left the company but stayed in the Arctic to forge new


careers, working alongside a the in the Ritz, it to build new


communities. This morning has been really exciting. It feels good.


back in Scotland ahead of the screening of a new documentary,


what can the new generation of school leavers learn from the Bay


Boys' experience? There was an inherent understanding that she


cannot live off mum and dad. But if you smoke cigarettes, pay for them


yourself. Get up and do it. I just thought it was part of life, then.


You did not hang on, you step out. I do not care how desperate the


Times are, if you want to work hard at something, you have got


something in your mind, you are going to achieve that goal. I was


estimated to work in aviation but I paid my dues, I paid my five years


service to the Hudson's Bay Company, learnt good work habits, getting up


early in the morning, being at work on time, putting in an honest day's


work. If you work hard, opportunity will present itself to you as it


did with me. The Scots have now stopped coming to the Arctic to


work with the Hudson's Bay Company, but this generation show that with


positive attitude and determination to succeed in tough economic times,


opportunity can be created even in the most harsh conditions.


You can see more on that story, the Hudson's Bay Boys in a documentary


on Wednesday night at 9:00pm on BBC The independent MSP Margo MacDonald


was re-elected to parliament on a commitment to have the right to


choose when to die set up in law. Her End of Life Assistance bill was


heavily defeated on a free vote. Ms Macdonald is now in a new


consultation process arguing the key element, of giving legal


protection to people who assist in suicides, has widespread public


support. She joins us from Edinburgh and here with me in


Glasgow is the medical ethics professor Sheila Maclean. Thank you


both for coming in. Margo MacDonald, how will what you're bringing


forward now differ from what was defeated before? I think we learned


a great deal from the first time round the course. One of the things


I am absolutely adamant about is that this is a rights issue. It is


the writer of the individual to have determination over the last


act of that person's life. They are as responsible for it as for all


the other actions of their life. How would it work in practice?


difference this time is that last time we thought it was best, for


reasons I will explain if you wish, for it to be medical professionals


who were asked for assistance by the small group of people who may


well choose to end their life before nature does. This time, we


have gone out to consultation and we have asked, should it not simply


be medical professionals? Is it possible you could have a friend at


the end of somebody who is trained or registered or licensed to help


you. There would be no dubiety about it. It would be illegal for


anyone to ask for help. Those are the big differences from last time.


We are also playing with the idea - considering Seriously - of going to


your doctor and thinking ahead. Thinking that I may reach the stage


where life becomes intolerable, because I know I have a


degenerative process of conditions. -- progressive. I may think I am


lucky and see this out without dignity, and that is what people


feel more than pain. The reason I thought about this and is because


they will be a small number of people who wish to take advantage


of this law. There will be perhaps a this sort of percentage of people


willing to help them as we find another communities. Because we are


a country with an uneven spread of population, it may be a better


management tool if you had the same idea ahead of time so that if


somebody does go to the doctor and say it is now intolerable. They


have advanced directives and living wills. How far do the goal and


could use structure safeguards along those lines? The interesting


thing about advanced directives in Scotland is there not legislated


for. Although the presumption is the ban statement would be followed


that is not necessarily true. Encapsulating something similar in


Scotland seems to be a step forward and has already been done in


England and Wales. The difference with the advanced directive is that


what you're suggesting is that once you become ill and are no longer


competent to make that decision, they do not then it's not teach you


for pneumonia or something. What Margo MacDonald is looking for is


something more proactive, which would allow a positive decision in


advance that you would at a certain point want to die. That would take


the current notion of advanced directives a further set for words.


Is that you impression that there is greater support from the public


and we see in the political process? That evidence is probably


anecdotal full stop of 1000 people that were interviewed in Scotland


by a surveyor I carried out, they carried -- supported it two to one.


This is not hard evidence but is as hard as you're likely to get. It is


health professionals and politicians who appear to be


reluctant along with they based organisations. We are running out


of time but would you write in to any proposal the right for people


to change their minds? Of course. It is the person who decides and


only the person and we can all change our minds as often as we


like. If that is respected it shows the law was walking. Up thank-you


indeed. -- is working. The multi-award-winning


international star of movies and theatre, Alan Cumming, has been in


Glasgow this weekend discussing his distinctively Scottish performance


style and theatre's particular role here. He's not used to bad reviews


but he took a bit of a pasting from opposition parties for an election


video supporting the SNP, although he isn't resident here and can't


vote. The actor's response is that he is entitled to his opinion. He's


a big supporter of the National Theatre of Scotland, and in


yesterday's event he was examining the impact of our culture being


seeped in variety, music hall and panto. In the Kings, with National


Theatre director Vicky Featherstone, he said he was delighted to be


involved. I want to be here. Nobody forced me


and they have come because I feel that as an actor and a person I am


very informed by my Scottishness and the tradition of performance in


Scotland, which is very much open and connecting to the audience and


has its roots in variety and pantomime. What is the difference?


What are the elements of this its particular Scottish? A few things.


There is an openness and an engagement with the audience, a


lack of a fourth wall. You are letting the audience understand


that you know they can see you and there is an archness to that


because you're looking at performance and a different way.


There is a thing about spectacle. We used songs and jokes are as a


way of telling the story. The other thing that really fascinates me is


that politics is not removed. It is all part of the same pot. We can


engage in a political way through humour and songs and through a


variety of means like that. Political theatre has grown out of


that. Do you think there is something specific about the


dynamic between politics and public life and theatre in Scotland that


is specific to Scotland? I do. We talk about politics much more than


the people in other countries do. In America, politics is almost a


hobby. It is something that once every four villas and everybody


goes nuts for it. Here, it is part of our parlance. -- four ears.


is the role of the theatre in that engagement? What is interesting


about that is that I feel that Scotland is a demotic country.


There is no real sense of elitism here, so the theatre has to be


relevant to the people of Scotland. Theatre here is not putting posh


plays on posh stages that make people feel stupid. It is about


ownership of the work. The theatre tradition in Scotland is a


relatively young compared to other countries. What is exciting about


that is that has come from a variety and stories that need to be


told and communicated. Leading on from that, you don't Black Watch


recently and did some work with veterans. You think theatre could


have a practical role? We are a publicly-funded organisations and


even if we wear it, people we work with believe Scott -- theatre


should be relevant in contemporary life. If we're putting on classics,


we still feel it is important to be told now, not as a museum piece.


The only theatre in our lives and terms of understanding stories and


oppositions in the world and asking big questions is a relevant, but it


has to be entertaining. Political theatre can become a problem...


a are you looking at me when you say problems? When I said


entertaining! Banned political theatre became agitation for its


own sake and it went into a slight slump because of that. With we're


getting to now it is a really good new place. Do you think the


cultural scene in Scotland is more vibrant than it has been?


Absolutely. When I came back to do a play in 2007, I had not worked in


Scotland for a long time. Since devolution, there has been a huge


change in the way that not only Scotland is perceived, but how it


project itself onto the world stage. There is a confidence and almost a


thing that we cannot only blame everything on England any more.


Coming back to work that time, it was palpable. It was very exciting.


With this last election, I felt it was about re-engaging that kind of


confidence and spirit. Can I add to that, but if you look at this


situation in Scotland over the last year compared to the situation in


England, there is no question that in Scotland the importance of


culture and the confidence of culture is absolutely part of this


nation being forward thinking. In England, the support for the arts


and philosophically at financially has been decimated by the Tory


government. Our colleagues in England look jealously at us now.


Not only in England but other countries. Scotland has the grim


reality of the financial situation but the support is extraordinary.


The arts is prioritised in a really good way. Being here, it is


sometimes hard to stand outside of it and see what the great thing is


happening because it is happening and is normal. With the benefit of


not living here, I have been able to do that and that is truly


amazing. And so for some analysis on this week's stories and a look


ahead to next, we have the Columnist and Theatre Critic, Joyce


McMillan and from the Times, the journalist Lorraine Davidson. In


terms of what is happening with the stakes, even if you support the


objectives, is the strategy right? I do not think so but I am 100% in


support. I despise the argument that because people on the private


sector do not have good pensions, the public sector should be just as


bad. In that sense, there are striking for all of us. They do not


want to live up in the sort of place where sex are banned. --


Stakes. Having said that, I would rather that instead of Stakes on


Wednesday we were looking at a festival of public service where


more imaginative things were been done. -- strikes. If the public is


not 100% behind this, does it not been much traction? Are not of the


public understand that there was a banking crisis caused by excess and


the banking industry. People being made to pay the price are the


people at the bottom end of the scale often with modest public


sector pensions. The coalition government has been tried to speak


in a very 1970s way about unions and the rights they have and gold-


plated public sector pensions. Most in Scotland and we have more -- a


much higher lead on a public sector work in Scotland, do not recognise


this. Most do not recognise that kind of debate that is taking place.


I think it is very foolish to use the word is responsible at all in


relation to this. -- are responsible. We have seen more


egregious examples of this. Most public sector workers are showing a


high level of responsibility of the day in their life and a one-day


strike! In using the word are responsible, Ed Miliband is playing


the Tory tune and it is very foolish. He has not worked out what


side he is on in this and his putting. The unions are trying to


betray him as at the Winter of discontent and so Ed Miliband has


stuck. Labour in Scotland have been more sensible and had decided what


say they are on and are sticking with it. Ed Miliband is not going


to take the credit for being tough. David Cameron is going to do that.


Ed Miliband is left in the middle floundering about. Looking at the


assisted suicide pill, would you have reservations? I do. I have


immense sympathy and respect for Margo MacDonald. Everyone can


understand her position. She has got a good political battle on Miss,


but I do not think we live in a society which has the kind of


respect for elderly people that you could be confident you were making


those decisions to end their lives on a good basis. So many have made


to feel a burden and badly cared for at home. We have seen horrific


reports in England but also in Scotland about the way people are


cared for. There are made to feel a burden and if you introduced a


legal option, people would be volunteering in very large numbers.


I do not think we should be going down that route. We should not give


Political magazine presented by Jon Sopel and Isabel Fraser.

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