23/10/2011 The Politics Show Wales


23/10/2011

Jon Sopel and Aled ap Dafydd with analysis of the political scene shaping Wales.


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Later in the programme: It was meant to be a retail park,

:00:47.:00:50.

but millions of pounds of taxpayers' money was spent on what

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has turned into a lorry park on Anglesey - we have the details.

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And harsh words from a Labour peer on the priorities of the Welsh

:00:56.:01:06.
:01:06.:01:06.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1791 seconds

:01:06.:30:58.

First, a flagship development on the outskirts of Holyhead has cost

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the taxpayer millions of pounds more than originally planned. The

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Parc Cybi site on Anglesey was supposed to be a business and

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retail park but is now a lorry park. Part of the project included an

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archaeological dig costing several million pounds. The business

:31:15.:31:18.

minister Edwina Hart has announced the site will now be sold. John

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Stephenson has the story. You can almost feel the hand of

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history reaching out. It is now known as Parc Cybi on the outskirts

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of Holyhead. Before the Roman work began, dozens of archaeologists

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work here. -- development work. As is normal, the site has now been

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covered up. But what they found here at Parc Cybi was an

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international -- of international significance. You have so much

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going on in this one site. It is not an individual site. In the past

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archaeologists focused on one monument but he'll have an entire

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landscape stretching thousands of years so it is significant -- here

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you have a landscape. It is not an everyday occurrence to find this

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kind of archaeology condensed in one reasonably small area and the

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information it gives you about the continuity of people, one community

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living in a site for several 1000 years is significant discovery.

:32:13.:32:18.

Parc Cybi was intended to be a major mixed-use site for north-west

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Wales, creating up to 1300 jobs. Well, the idea was to create

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businesses to help regenerate Holyhead and the Isle of Anglesey.

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The purpose hasn't changed and that but there will be interest being

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shown, but like everything else it is about the economic climate so it

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is taking time to get off the ground. All sorts of schemes were

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aired and there was even talk of trying to persuade the Home Office

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to site a new prison, but like the archaeology they have discovered,

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all that is now history. By spending millions to develop the

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site the Welsh Government had hoped to create jobs. This -- the final

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scheme, though, is nothing like that originally planned. One bone

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of contention is the millions spent on the archaeology. What have they

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been doing? I know it is a slow process and they have to move stone

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by stone, step-by-step, but �4 million? I am sorry, I cannot get

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my head around that or justify that to people and I will not try. It is

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a no-brainer for me. That argument, say the critics, is totally

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disingenuous. I think what has happened in Parc Cybi, it is

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devious in a way, the archaeology has almost been made a scapegoat

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for the fact that the park has not developed the way they intended.

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You find a lot of these developments parks, they have ideas

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which are not necessarily fulfilled afterwards. So I think, the

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question is, the overall budget of that Park, it is nothing to do with

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the archaeology, the reason it subsequently has not been used.

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total cost for developing Parc Cybi was going to be in the region of

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�11 million, but the Welsh Government have now revealed to the

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politics show that work on the Parc Cybi site would have cost the

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taxpayer �21 million. Last week, at the Business Mr Edwina Hart finally

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gave the green light to the sale of Parc Cybi to an investment company.

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-- Business Minister. They plan to develop a transport hub and lorry

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park which, they say, could create 70 jobs and boost the Ireland's

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economy -- the island's economy. Earlier this month the Supreme

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Court was said that laws passed by the Assembly Government have the

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same legal weight as laws passed by the UK Parliament. We discuss the

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issue with the Consul General Theodore Huckle.

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I met the consul-general at his office at the Wales HQ at Cathays

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Park. The Supreme Court judgment followed a challenge by insurance

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companies against a law passed by the Scottish parliament. The First

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Minister Carwyn Jones intervened to support the Scottish position

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because he believed the constitutional principle applies

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here as much as it does in Scotland. This is a very detailed judgment,

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but essentially, as I understand it, it is about companies not being

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able to get around decisions made by democratically elected

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politicians, whether they be in Edinburgh or in Cardiff, using the

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judicial system. Absolutely. And it is a result which, on behalf of the

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Welsh Government and I hope the people of Wales, we are absolutely

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delighted. It is that line, isn't it, between the judiciary and

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democratic processes that we are dealing with here. Absolutely.

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is putting the Assembly in Wales and the parliament in Scotland at

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the same level as the parliament, the UK Parliament. Yes. We have to

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remember that just as with the Scottish parliament, the National

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Assembly for Wales axe under the powers given to it by the

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government of Wales Act. -- acts. Within that acts there are certain

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procedures for reviewing what Wales does by way of legislation and

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ensuring that that is within what we lawyer's core competence. For

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example, if provisions were to breach the convention of human

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rights or European law, they would automatically be outside the

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competence, the legislative competence of the National Assembly

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for Wales in this case and the same applies for the Scottish parliament.

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On that basis, the legislation would be capable of being referred

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to the Supreme Court and struck down. That is all taking place

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within the structure of the Act, and everybody understands that and

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we are quite happy with that ability of the Supreme Court to

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review what the Assembly's legislative assemblies do. It is a

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different matter when we consider judicial review, a common law

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remedy which everyone can bring if they have appropriate standing on

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an issue, to challenge an action taken by a minister, say, or an act

:37:04.:37:07.

of secondary legislation, to say that it is, in this case,

:37:07.:37:12.

irrational, for example. We were very strongly of the view that that

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remedy, that challenge, should not be available in relation to primary

:37:18.:37:23.

legislation or legislation of a primary nature passed by, in this

:37:23.:37:27.

case, people elected by the people of Wales. As was said in a legal

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judgment, you cannot have organisations, rather than working

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through the democratic process, using the law to subvert

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democratically taken decisions on legislation. Absolutely. The

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doctrine of separation pub -- doctrine of separation of powers

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provides that there are three elements of government, the rule of

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law, if you like, that is, the legislature, the executive and

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judiciary. The judiciary, the courts, will refer to the power of

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the legislature, if you like, the primary law-making body, which is

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directly elected by the electorate, and will only interfere when it has

:38:06.:38:13.

the power to do so, and it is always accepted that it does not

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ordinarily have the power to intervene. So it does not second-

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guess what the people's representatives have provided

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should be the law. Do you foresee any interesting battles ahead that

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are likely to be battles... Are you expecting fun and games over that?

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A I look forward to issues of that type which will arise, because it

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is a very exciting time to be in Wales generally and a lawyer in

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Wales in particular. It is a very exciting time to be in this post in

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Wales, for all the aforesaid reasons. I cannot predict when the

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issues will arise, really, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are

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quite a lot of issues which arise over the coming years, because if

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the First Minister... The First Minister is on record as saying

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that this legal jurisdiction of England and Wales is the only one

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in the world where there are two legislative bodies which can pass

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measures, acts of equal status to affect the lives of the people of

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Wales. Part of that overall jurisdiction. Therefore it seems to

:39:23.:39:26.

be inevitable that there will be situations where if not a clash,

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there will certainly be rubbing up against each other of those two

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spheres of operation, so when that happens, it has to be worked out in

:39:34.:39:41.

some way, and there may be challenges to be considered. There

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maybe advice to be given, but it is not for me to predict when and

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where. Is there a possibility or even a likelihood of a separate

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legal system for Wales in the not- too-distant future? People use that

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expression to mean a very different things. It means different things

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to have raised using it. You will know that the First Minister

:40:03.:40:10.

announced a week or so ago that there will be a debate about that

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issue, because people are talking about it, and there will be a Green

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Paper, probably the first one to be issued by the government in Wales

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since the election and since the referendum, and I look forward to

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that debate as well. It is obviously one eye as a lawyer and

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interested in generally, but specifically because I am in this

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role now. That was the Consul General

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Theodore Huckle. On Radio Wales at 1pm you can hear

:40:41.:40:45.

the annual Patrick Hannan Lecture. The first lecture in memory of the

:40:45.:40:49.

distinguished broadcaster is being given by former Labour MP Baroness

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Eluned Morgan. The topic is Labour and devolution. She pulls no

:40:54.:40:59.

punches as she revealed to our political Editor Betsan Powys.

:40:59.:41:03.

Let's start with redefining the relationship with the private

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sector. I think there has been suspicion in the past from many

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members of the Labour Party in terms of how we relate to business,

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because our traditional relationship, you must remember,

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the history is one of bosses against the workers, and that has

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been the historic background to this. We do need to move on, and I

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think what happened was that that was understood when Tony Blair came

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into power in the UK. Labour in Wales however, didn't quite move in

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the same direction. They went too far, further than the rest of the

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UK with the prawn cocktail offensive, but in Wales we have to

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redefine our relationship particularly at this time, because

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they is no other choice if we want to create jobs in Wales. Do you

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think that suspicion is still tangible, can you still potter --

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spotted in the Welsh Labour movement and in government? It is

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definitely still there and we need to be careful in terms of what kind

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of industries we deal with, what kind of businesses, but the danger

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is that we have had suspicion against all of them because we have

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not known how to distinguish. I think we should be using the trade

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unions to help us identify who the good businesses are and to help to

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nurture and develop those industries, because that is how you

:42:24.:42:28.

get job creation in Wales, and job creation is absolutely crucial at

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this point in time. You made the point that you thought there ought

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to be greater care in not asking for too much devolution if that

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would harm prospects of job creation. Where is that barb aimed,

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at civil servants, politicians all wear? It is about resources,

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expertise and really focusing on what will improve the material

:42:50.:42:56.

well-being of the people of Wales. If it is simply about ideology,

:42:56.:43:00.

about, let's have more power for the sake of it, I think it is the

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wrong way to go. If it will help job creation, then of course do it,

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but here is a real question over whether there is a capacity, and

:43:09.:43:13.

the expertise in particular, at this time, when there is a real

:43:13.:43:17.

contraction in the Civil Service, to be able to deliver that.

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talk also about the need to make Wales an attractive place for

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business. That must be key. Labour has had a long time to do that. Are

:43:25.:43:31.

you just saying it hasn't got there yet? It has failed so far? When you

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look at the evidence, the investment from people outside

:43:36.:43:39.

Wales coming in to Wales has dropped, so there is obviously a

:43:39.:43:45.

problem that we have to address. The question is, how do we

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prioritise? Labour is doing great stuff, I think, but the question

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now I think is about prioritising, making sure the jobs agenda is

:43:55.:43:59.

absolutely the top the agenda. that not what it has been doing? It

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says it has been doing that for many years. Well, I think if we

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look at what has been discussed and what is discussed in the Assembly,

:44:09.:44:13.

you can see that it is not a Labour problem. I think all the other

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parties are equally guilty. We have been distracted by things we

:44:18.:44:23.

shouldn't be having. Like what? think there are issues we should be

:44:23.:44:28.

looking at. We spent a lot of time this week discussing smacking

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children. Of course it is an important issue, but at a time of

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crisis, when actually there is a question about whether that will

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follow through, I think it is about really spending time at making

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relationships, and really caught in the private sector at to make the

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investments in Wales. That is not being done to the extent it should

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be done. I think all the Assembly members, not just Labour members

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and ministers, could get involved in this. Every single Assembly

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member could be developing relationships with businesses in

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their communities. And to those who might say after this, Eluned Morgan

:45:08.:45:10.

spent a couple of years in the private sector, look what has

:45:10.:45:15.

happened to her, what would you say? I went to the private sector

:45:15.:45:18.

deliberately because I realised there weren't enough people within

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the Labour movement who had an understanding. I think there is a

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real suspicion by many people in the party, and because of that,

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there has been a fear of engagement, because we don't understand the

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language business speaks. Having seen it, listen, it is not all

:45:35.:45:38.

fantastic in the private sector, let me tell you, but what is

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interesting is that it is not that intimidating either. I don't think

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this is rocket science. I think it is simply about gaining the

:45:46.:45:48.

confidence within the administration to say, we are up

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for this and we will engage. It is comforting message was some of the

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movement, isn't it? -- for some of the movement. I don't think it is

:45:59.:46:04.

difficult. I think at this time of crisis, people need to understand

:46:04.:46:07.

that if they are serious about job creation, job creation will not

:46:07.:46:11.

come from the public sector, so there is only briefly a couple of

:46:11.:46:14.

other choices, and the private sector is central to that. Eluned

:46:14.:46:18.

Morgan, thank you. As we heard earlier on the politics

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show, the Commons will vote tomorrow on whether to have a

:46:22.:46:26.

referendum on EU membership. The coalition government and the Labour

:46:26.:46:31.

leadership are urging their MPs to oppose such a move. We have the

:46:31.:46:34.

Conservative MP for Abba Conwy who backs the referendum joining us

:46:34.:46:40.

from Bangor. Good afternoon. Why us a referendum such an important

:46:40.:46:43.

issue? Can I clarify the position first of

:46:43.:46:48.

all, I am backing an amendment which has signed up to which asks

:46:48.:46:52.

the government to produce a White Paper and on the basis of the White

:46:52.:46:55.

Paper explain what the negotiation position the government will take

:46:55.:46:59.

would be, then we would put that issue to a referendum. I do think

:46:59.:47:02.

the motion put forward in front of the House on Monday is

:47:02.:47:07.

fundamentally flawed in two ways, firstly it is a three option

:47:07.:47:10.

referendum which I think is dangerous, and secondly, one of the

:47:10.:47:14.

options is renegotiation but it does not explain what type of

:47:14.:47:17.

renegotiation. I think it would be wrong to was the people of this

:47:17.:47:21.

country to vote on a referendum were renegotiation is an option but

:47:21.:47:26.

there is no explanation whatsoever about what renegotiation would mean.

:47:26.:47:30.

One of your party's most prominent Euro-sceptics, William Hague, says

:47:30.:47:34.

this is not a time for a referendum because of the economic crisis. The

:47:34.:47:39.

Labour leader Ed Miliband says that people who were asking the UK to

:47:39.:47:44.

leave the EU are barking mad. Are you barking mad? I have never asked

:47:44.:47:49.

to leave the EU. I have always said it strongly we should renegotiate a

:47:49.:47:52.

position with the EU and that is the amendment we have put forward,

:47:52.:47:56.

that is what it aims to do. I understand what -- white William

:47:56.:47:59.

Hague is saying what he is saying because the euro zone crisis is

:47:59.:48:02.

significant and there is a real need to do with it if economic

:48:02.:48:07.

growth is to be delivered in the UK context. I do think the motion is

:48:07.:48:10.

probably wrongly timed and certainly very badly drafted, but

:48:10.:48:14.

ultimately, I have been asked to vote on an alternative vote

:48:14.:48:19.

referendum which I supported and a referendum on the powers of the

:48:19.:48:27.

Welsh Assembly. I want to stay with the EU and renegotiate with the EU,

:48:27.:48:31.

but it is no bad thing that issues which are important to the general

:48:31.:48:34.

public are debated in Parliament. What would you say to those

:48:34.:48:37.

claiming that this once again shows that the Conservative Party is

:48:37.:48:43.

divided on Europe? -- to those same this once again shows. This is a

:48:43.:48:46.

division between the pragmatic Euro-sceptic parliamentary party

:48:46.:48:51.

and those who are desperate to get the issue resolved immediately. The

:48:52.:48:54.

Conservative parliamentary party is fundamentally a Euro-sceptic but

:48:54.:48:57.

there is undoubtedly a division between the pragmatists, who feel

:48:57.:49:01.

we need to discuss what areas we want to renegotiate upon, and those

:49:01.:49:05.

who feel we should move immediately to a referendum. Unfortunately,

:49:05.:49:09.

even though I can see that, I cannot see any merit in a

:49:09.:49:13.

referendum proposal with three options. That is why a I hope our

:49:13.:49:18.

amendment, the George used as a moment, will be selected. George

:49:18.:49:20.

Eustace has also said that this has been badly handled by the

:49:20.:49:25.

government. Would you can care with that? I think that is a difficult

:49:25.:49:28.

question, because ultimately they are two ways we could deal with

:49:28.:49:31.

this as government. The government could have said this was a

:49:31.:49:35.

backbones is as much an and the government will not be bound --

:49:35.:49:39.

back bench business motion. Or they could have ignored it. I am proud

:49:39.:49:43.

that his coalition government has decided that this issue is

:49:43.:49:46.

fundamentally important and that they use the abuse of -- the views

:49:46.:49:49.

of Parliament have to be respected. The government has taken it

:49:49.:49:52.

seriously. Does that mean we have created contention within the

:49:52.:49:57.

party? Undoubtedly. You have touched on this already, as a final

:49:57.:50:01.

question, the government is not bound by the result of the moped --

:50:01.:50:04.

vote tomorrow, but what is the point? I disagree. You are

:50:04.:50:07.

technically correct that the government is not bound by the vote

:50:07.:50:10.

but it would be very difficult to explain to the British people that

:50:11.:50:14.

if the House of Commons voted in favour of this motion, the

:50:14.:50:18.

government ignored it -- that would be difficult to explain. We need a

:50:18.:50:22.

robust argument, but my own view is that the George used this amendment

:50:22.:50:27.

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