18/09/2011 The Politics Show West Midlands


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!



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


live in Birmingham watching the impact of the summer riots on


autumn's politics. And the politician welcoming his


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


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


impact of the summer riots on autumn's politics.


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


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2137 seconds


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


Democrats annual conference at the International Convention Centre in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


major disturbances. There is a great level of disappointment at


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


conferences, you obviously think that political leaders are must


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


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


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


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


the community works in a harmonious way.


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


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


for elected police commissioners. The Home Secretary said our low


profile police authority chairmen compared most unfavourably with the


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


Conservative Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine levelled similar


complaints about what he said was the absence of decent political


leadership in all the major cities except London during those critical


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


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


message across. There has been mindless violence against property.


Parents have got to take some responsibility for the actions of


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


forward. And council leaders across


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Tuesday afternoon and taking a personal interest in what was


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


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


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


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


locally and nationally. Very troubling times. Gloucester, not


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


the difficult days. Cheltenham itself had problems during those


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


have to provide leadership and a positive response to the rioting


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


parties talking about the full force of the law getting involved


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


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


there is concern among the delegates about the custodial


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Birmingham this week. Their progressive partnership with the


Conservatives, ones heralded as a forerunner of the coalition


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


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


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


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


itch, with the Labour opposition increasingly confident of regaining


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Conservative Mike Whitby in the middle and his junior Lib Dem


partners, otherwise known as Birmingham's progressive


partnership. After winning seven elections


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


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


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


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


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


Birmingham's progressive partnership on the rocks according


to some. Given the pattern of seats that are


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


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


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


the dividing line in terms of supporting the Conservatives or do


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


differentiate themselves in the city council at the moment?


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


Tory partners saw their seats fall by six, to 39


This gives the progressive partnership a total of 63 seats but


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


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


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


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


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


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


Birmingham cities over and above our various party philosophy.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Conservatives conference in Birmingham. How does this compare?


When the Conservatives came to Birmingham thousands of people


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


people in the Midlands are suffering as a result of the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


decent hard-working people in public services who are being


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


negotiations continue against the background of the decision by the


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


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


workers amongst the Liberal Democrats. There is a daughter to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Download Subtitles