18/09/2011 The Politics Show West Midlands


18/09/2011

Jo Coburn, Andrew Neil and Patrick Burns are here with the top political stories of the week.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 18/09/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

In the Midlands, after the riots, the conference season. We're also

:00:12.:00:15.

live in Birmingham watching the impact of the summer riots on

:00:15.:00:17.

autumn's politics. And the politician welcoming his

:00:17.:00:27.
:00:27.:00:28.

party to his city. What's Paul In the Midlands, after the riots,

:00:28.:00:31.

the conference season. We're also live in Birmingham watching the

:00:31.:00:36.

impact of the summer riots on autumn's politics.

:00:36.:00:39.

And the politician welcoming his party to his city. What's Paul

:00:39.:00:49.
:00:49.:00:49.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2137 seconds

:00:49.:36:26.

Hello again from the Midlands. Of course we are here at the Liberal

:36:26.:36:28.

Democrats annual conference at the International Convention Centre in

:36:28.:36:33.

Birmingham. We are joined by one of our region's three Lib Dem MPs,

:36:33.:36:38.

Martin Horwood from Cheltenham. And by a no doubt very proud Councillor

:36:38.:36:41.

Paul Tilsley, welcoming his party's conference here for the first time,

:36:41.:36:50.

as Deputy Leader of this host city. But I have been hearing scathing

:36:50.:36:53.

criticisms of the political leaders here, who are accused of a

:36:53.:36:55.

monumental failure during last month's riots, which scarred us

:36:55.:37:05.
:37:05.:37:07.

here in the Midlands and beyond. A month and Morar has passed since

:37:07.:37:17.
:37:17.:37:18.

the deaths of three young men in Birmingham. It was Laura -- a more

:37:18.:37:26.

dangerous... We saw a lot of rumours going around that could

:37:26.:37:31.

have triggered a race riot. He what is your view of the quality of

:37:31.:37:37.

political leadership in Birmingham? There has been a distinct lack of

:37:37.:37:42.

leadership when it comes to taking control and taking charge of a

:37:42.:37:46.

major disturbances. There is a great level of disappointment at

:37:46.:37:52.

the lack of leadership that was shown. Moving into deep party

:37:52.:37:57.

conferences, you obviously think that political leaders are must

:37:57.:38:06.

rise to a challenge. When they go into their little huddles, baby

:38:06.:38:12.

need to -- they need to recognise who has collected them and why. We

:38:12.:38:19.

have elected our politicians to make the right decisions in a time

:38:19.:38:27.

of need. Unfortunately there has been a monumental failure to ensure

:38:27.:38:31.

the community works in a harmonious way.

:38:31.:38:34.

And though much of the damage has been repaired, the political

:38:34.:38:36.

arguments are reverberating still. Not least the Government's plans

:38:36.:38:45.

for elected police commissioners. The Home Secretary said our low

:38:45.:38:48.

profile police authority chairmen compared most unfavourably with the

:38:48.:38:56.

leadership given to Londoners by their elected mayor. And the former

:38:56.:38:58.

Conservative Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine levelled similar

:38:58.:39:01.

complaints about what he said was the absence of decent political

:39:01.:39:04.

leadership in all the major cities except London during those critical

:39:04.:39:06.

days and nights. In the event Birmingham's Liberal Democrat

:39:06.:39:09.

Deputy Council Leader did as much as any local politician to get his

:39:09.:39:19.
:39:19.:39:23.

message across. There has been mindless violence against property.

:39:23.:39:27.

Parents have got to take some responsibility for the actions of

:39:27.:39:37.
:39:37.:39:38.

their children. We have always come together as a community and moved

:39:38.:39:41.

forward. And council leaders across

:39:41.:39:49.

Birmingham and the Black Country all did their best to restore order.

:39:49.:39:52.

But for sheer political clout, and yes, showmanship, they are no match

:39:52.:39:55.

for Boris Johnson in the eyes of ministers who are more determined

:39:55.:39:59.

than ever to press ahead with plans for some new brooms of our own,

:39:59.:40:02.

directly-elected city bosses in Birmingham and in Coventry. For

:40:02.:40:12.
:40:12.:40:12.

four more on the riots, you cannot go to my blogging. -- UK and go to

:40:12.:40:22.
:40:22.:40:29.

The we can speak to Martin Horwood and Paul Tilsley. This is the I'll

:40:29.:40:39.
:40:39.:40:52.

We were dealing with the media on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

:40:52.:40:58.

I also had the benefit of the deputy prime minister coming up on

:40:58.:41:01.

Tuesday afternoon and taking a personal interest in what was

:41:01.:41:07.

taking place and being able to brief him. The following morning,

:41:07.:41:13.

after it had become known about the tragedies, the Deputy Prime

:41:13.:41:17.

Minister was on the telephone at 10 o'clock to get a briefing from me.

:41:17.:41:23.

I would refute the lack of political leadership. We showed it

:41:23.:41:30.

locally and nationally. Very troubling times. Gloucester, not

:41:30.:41:35.

very far away, did have significant looting and other problems during

:41:35.:41:42.

the difficult days. Cheltenham itself had problems during those

:41:42.:41:47.

days. There were tense moments in Cheltenham as well. Politicians

:41:48.:41:52.

have to provide leadership and a positive response to the rioting

:41:52.:41:57.

which damaged so many communities. You were talking about a lot of the

:41:58.:42:03.

trouble being with children. It was not just children. There were some

:42:03.:42:07.

senior responsible jobs said got involved. How do you reflect on

:42:07.:42:16.

this now? I think it was, in part, an opportunist crime for many

:42:16.:42:21.

people. The oldest individual was 65 years old and the youngest was

:42:21.:42:28.

10. The average age was 17 to 24. We have got to create a linkage so

:42:28.:42:35.

that people feel they have got a real investment in society and that

:42:35.:42:40.

they belong to society. That is not just a challenge and Birmingham, it

:42:40.:42:46.

is a national challenge. Do you worry... We have heard different

:42:46.:42:50.

parties talking about the full force of the law getting involved

:42:50.:42:59.

in the aftermath of these terrible disturbances. Do you worried about

:42:59.:43:05.

some of the exemplary sentences we have seen headed down? I think

:43:05.:43:09.

there is concern among the delegates about the custodial

:43:09.:43:15.

services aren't things like restricting social media --, things

:43:15.:43:25.
:43:25.:43:26.

But when you talk about political leadership, I do not think running

:43:26.:43:31.

around with a broom is political leadership. Sunday bore have said

:43:31.:43:39.

this is high profile -- some people have said this is high profile so

:43:39.:43:47.

it -- showmanship. I was very much involved. I was showing leadership.

:43:47.:43:51.

I was making sure that Birmingham City Council were involved with our

:43:51.:43:55.

partners in dealing with the issues that were coming out of the looting

:43:55.:44:00.

and rioting that was taking place. I was showing leadership when it

:44:00.:44:10.

mattered. A final plot before we move our am. -- thought before we

:44:10.:44:16.

move on. There has been the opinion that there was nothing that could

:44:16.:44:20.

have been done to save the lives of the three men who died. It is a

:44:20.:44:25.

very easy to look for a knee-jerk reaction. There are important

:44:25.:44:35.
:44:35.:44:35.

things we need to look at. We will The Liberal Democrats are here in

:44:35.:44:38.

Birmingham this week. Their progressive partnership with the

:44:38.:44:40.

Conservatives, ones heralded as a forerunner of the coalition

:44:40.:44:43.

Government at Westminster, is still in charge of Europe's largest

:44:43.:44:48.

council. Mature and sophisticated is how the city's Conservative

:44:48.:44:55.

leader describes his partners. But for how much longer? The city's

:44:55.:44:58.

voters seem to be experiencing their own version of the seven year

:44:58.:45:00.

itch, with the Labour opposition increasingly confident of regaining

:45:00.:45:10.
:45:10.:45:22.

power next May for the first time Party time again in Birmingham.

:45:22.:45:29.

Last year the Tory Blues came back for a second helping and now the

:45:29.:45:38.

Conservative leader is even happy about it. The Lib Dems coming here

:45:38.:45:42.

is a coup for the city Birmingham. Odd to hear a Tory say that, you

:45:42.:45:45.

might think? Not in Birmingham, because this city has been seen as

:45:45.:45:48.

a role model for how the national Coalition could work, with some

:45:48.:45:50.

parallel fortunes as well. The city council is headed up by

:45:50.:45:53.

Conservative Mike Whitby in the middle and his junior Lib Dem

:45:53.:45:55.

partners, otherwise known as Birmingham's progressive

:45:55.:45:58.

partnership. After winning seven elections

:45:58.:46:02.

together they make Nick Clegg and David Cameron look like newlyweds.

:46:02.:46:05.

But it has been a thorny year since the Westminster knot was tied in

:46:05.:46:09.

the Downing Street rose garden. And much like the Deputy Prime Minister,

:46:09.:46:11.

Paul Tilsley enters his party's first autumn conference in the city

:46:11.:46:16.

with some battle scars. A poor set of local election results has put

:46:16.:46:18.

Birmingham's progressive partnership on the rocks according

:46:18.:46:28.

to some. Given the pattern of seats that are

:46:28.:46:31.

going to go out in 2012 the it seems that the coalition is in

:46:31.:46:34.

serious danger, given that very slim majority they have at the

:46:34.:46:43.

Do the electorates see the Lib Dems as somebody who is on one side of

:46:43.:46:46.

the dividing line in terms of supporting the Conservatives or do

:46:46.:46:50.

they have a set of policies which are actually going to be able to

:46:50.:46:52.

differentiate themselves in the city council at the moment?

:46:52.:46:55.

The Lib Dems lost seven seats in May leaving them with 24. Their

:46:55.:46:58.

Tory partners saw their seats fall by six, to 39

:46:58.:47:00.

This gives the progressive partnership a total of 63 seats but

:47:00.:47:05.

Labour became the largest single party with 55 seats. Another six

:47:05.:47:14.

would win them back overall control next year. But will they?

:47:14.:47:17.

Most of the Jeremiah's had us lasting eight months let alone

:47:17.:47:25.

eight years and part of that has to be Paul Tilsley's leadership. His

:47:25.:47:28.

ability to carry a Lib Dem party and partner with a Conservative

:47:28.:47:31.

Party led by myself so that together we put the interests of

:47:31.:47:40.

Birmingham cities over and above our various party philosophy.

:47:40.:47:43.

They may not make it to eight if the pitfalls of coalition catch up

:47:43.:47:47.

with them. All food for thought as the Lib Dem party guests gather to

:47:47.:47:57.
:47:57.:48:03.

There has got to be something bittersweet in this in view, the

:48:03.:48:08.

idea of hosting a party conference just as your party is about to be

:48:08.:48:17.

ejected. I distinctly remember 1992 when Neil Kinnock was sailing to a

:48:17.:48:27.
:48:27.:48:28.

victory and play it. Again we should have the election first.

:48:28.:48:35.

is an almost mathematical certainty that 12 months on Labour would be

:48:35.:48:44.

back in. We are seeing a resurgence. We won three seats last week. Let's

:48:44.:48:51.

wait and see. The fat lady is yet to sing. People will start to

:48:51.:48:55.

realise that taking one million people out of tax will have an

:48:55.:49:03.

effect. The fat lady is limbering up in Cheltenham. You did not have

:49:03.:49:07.

an election last spring. You had half the council and then the other

:49:07.:49:15.

half. You will be out in one great collapse. That was predicted for

:49:15.:49:22.

years ago as the Conservatives were about to sweep the board. -- four

:49:22.:49:29.

years ago. I think the Liberal Democrat council in Cheltenham has

:49:29.:49:39.
:49:39.:49:41.

a great track record. It contrasts very well with the other councils.

:49:41.:49:45.

It is a difficult record to defend. You did not come into public life

:49:45.:49:55.
:49:55.:49:57.

two / budgets by millions and put... I was still -- elected in 1968 and

:49:57.:50:06.

I have been written off many times. Let's wait and see. There is still

:50:06.:50:14.

a lot of water that has to go under the bridge. You are saying there is

:50:14.:50:24.
:50:24.:50:24.

a lot to play for. The latest opinion poll but I saw -- that I

:50:24.:50:32.

saw that you 6% below. The issue is not whether cuts have to happen.

:50:32.:50:37.

They would have happened even if Labour had not been in power.

:50:37.:50:40.

will be back with you later. Earlier this week, trades unions

:50:40.:50:43.

called for a day of action in November in protest at government

:50:43.:50:48.

spending plans and pension reforms. Let us hear again from Susana. She

:50:48.:50:51.

is live in Birmingham City Centre, at a march and rally organised by

:50:51.:50:55.

the TUC. We had something similar here last year during the

:50:55.:51:05.

Conservatives conference in Birmingham. How does this compare?

:51:05.:51:10.

When the Conservatives came to Birmingham thousands of people

:51:10.:51:14.

marched through the city. Today there are far fewer but the

:51:14.:51:24.
:51:24.:51:25.

sentiment is still the same. The numbers are far fewer than we were

:51:25.:51:30.

expecting. Doesn't that say that not as many people support the

:51:30.:51:37.

cuts? I think these figures were an underestimate. We had less than

:51:37.:51:41.

last year but that was the first Tory conference after the election.

:51:41.:51:46.

Since then we have had three- quarters of a million people and we

:51:46.:51:50.

are moving to co-ordinating industrial action. People do not

:51:50.:51:54.

support the cuts but many of them understand that the Tories are the

:51:54.:52:04.
:52:04.:52:06.

main people we should be lobbying. The Liberal Democrats have -- what

:52:06.:52:16.
:52:16.:52:18.

more can the Liberal Democrats do? Poor people an ordinary working

:52:18.:52:21.

people in the Midlands are suffering as a result of the

:52:21.:52:27.

liberal policies. We need to get our economy going and protect our

:52:27.:52:33.

services. The Liberals are at fault. We need an alternative. We know

:52:33.:52:40.

there will be strikes. When Nick Clegg describes the Tories as

:52:40.:52:44.

ruthless you know there are issues going on. We will be supporting

:52:44.:52:49.

people and defending their pensions. There is an alternative to all of

:52:49.:52:56.

this. There will be another protest like this in Manchester in a couple

:52:56.:53:06.
:53:06.:53:09.

of weeks. Patrick, back to you. Martin, what would you say too many

:53:09.:53:13.

decent hard-working people in public services who are being

:53:13.:53:19.

invited to pay anything up to 30 % more or for their pensions? These

:53:20.:53:24.

are hard times. We have to make sure of the pension schemes are

:53:24.:53:29.

affordable in the future. Both of my parents were public sector

:53:29.:53:33.

workers and there are many public- sector workers in my constituency.

:53:33.:53:39.

We need to look at these Games on a case-by-case basis. -- these

:53:39.:53:45.

schemes. Your party seems to be bearing the brunt of the

:53:45.:53:55.
:53:55.:53:56.

unpopularity that is going on. I understand from the police that

:53:56.:54:01.

there will be around 700 people marching, not the thousands that

:54:01.:54:05.

were rejected by the TUC. The feeling cannot be that high in

:54:05.:54:11.

Birmingham. What would you say to council workers in your area who

:54:11.:54:18.

want to strike? We are having to change some of the terms and

:54:18.:54:22.

conditions of employers. We are having to do it because of the cost

:54:22.:54:27.

savings we have to make but we still want to ensure that we are

:54:27.:54:36.

the employer of choice for people who live in Birmingham. These

:54:36.:54:39.

negotiations continue against the background of the decision by the

:54:39.:54:46.

trade unions last week to call for a day of action. What would be your

:54:46.:54:55.

message to them? I think there is a lot of sympathy for public-sector

:54:55.:55:01.

workers amongst the Liberal Democrats. There is a daughter to

:55:01.:55:06.

push at and it should be remained open. -- there is a board to push

:55:06.:55:14.

Act and it should remain open. Adding it is worth looking at each

:55:14.:55:18.

pension scheme -- I think it is worth looking at each pension

:55:18.:55:23.

scheme on a case by case basis. Some of them have high

:55:23.:55:32.

contributions already. Have you got contingency plans in place for mass

:55:32.:55:42.

stoppages in place going through the fall? Yes. Do you feel there is

:55:42.:55:48.

still a negotiation process going on and that this can be avoided?

:55:48.:55:58.
:55:58.:55:58.

There have been negotiations. It is well be on my pale green. -- pay

:55:58.:56:04.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS