19/04/2017 Politics Scotland


19/04/2017

Coverage of some of the day's debates in the Scottish Parliament.


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Hello and welcome to Politics Scotland. We are expecting a vote in

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the House of Commons shortly, where MPs are expected to back a snap

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election on June the 8th after a lively debate. She is painting

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herself as the prisoner of the Lib Dems, who apparently have threatened

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to grind government to a standstill. Mr Speaker, there are nine of them

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and they managed to vote three different ways an Article 50. Good

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afternoon. Yesterday, Theresa May surprised the country in announcing

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a snap general election for June the 8th. Today, MPs have been debating a

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motion calling for the election and they are due to vote shortly. In a

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moment, we will speak to Brian Taylor at Holyrood, but first, we go

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to Westminster and David Porter. There is no question that this will

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pass, is there? None whatsoever, but over the last couple of years I have

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made predictions to do with politics which have been proved inaccurate,

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but I'm pretty confident that, in a few minutes, we will find out that

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MPs have backed Theresa May in her bid for aid in early election. She

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needs two thirds of the House of Commons, 430 MPs. If it comes to a

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vote, they have to back her on that. She has the support of the

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Conservatives, as you'd expect, the support of Labour and the Lib Dems.

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The SNP have said they will abstain. They say they will do nothing to

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forestall an early general election but they are not going to help

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Theresa May on it. The way the maths is working out, there is very little

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doubt that she will get the backing of MPs. It may, and I stress may,

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not even go to a vote if nobody objects when the debate concludes.

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David, don't go away. Apparently they are voting now but we will be

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back in a moment Brian Taylor is at Holyrood. Brian, the First Minister

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has been in London today with a message for Theresa May, hasn't she?

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Yes, and it was a fairly extensive message. She was meeting with the

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MPs, preparing for that election to come on the understanding, as David

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says, that it is all but done and dusted, although the result is yet

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to be announced. They focus on Nicola Sturgeon's comment to the

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effect that opposition to the Conservatives would crumble to dust.

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That is pretty much the same argument Nicola Sturgeon has been

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producing for several weeks, saying that the opposition of the

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Conservatives to holding a referendum now or in the near future

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was unsustainable. It is basically just heightened language with regard

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to that. Prior to that comment about the independence referendum,

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opposition crumble into dust, there is a long preamble in which Nicola

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Sturgeon isn't talking about independence at all, but the primary

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function of the SNP at this election being, as she sees it, to counter

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Tory austerity and what she sees as a Conservative heart Brexit. Why?

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Because the primary purpose of an election is to be a constituency MP,

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and Nicola Sturgeon is countering the offer of the UK Government.

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Second point, she doesn't want to make this a wraparound up on a

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wraparound. Why? The SNP currently hold 56 out of 59 Scottish seats. --

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she doesn't want to make this a referendum on a referendum. They

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have to do even better than that to force a referendum, to match that to

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insure a referendum is still on the table, and that is a very high bar

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and she will not want to do that. She will say that a big vote for the

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SNP makes it more challenging for the Conservatives but, you know

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what, note that point, that she is focusing first up on the economy and

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an Brexit. Because of what you have said, apart from possibly the

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Conservatives, maybe the Liberal Democrats? Is there anything really

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in this for any of the parties in Scotland? Because, as you've said,

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the SNP think, even if they use a few seats, the Unionist parties will

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presumably say, more than 50% of people voted against another

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referendum. Labour, well, we all know their problems Ukip, pretty

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marginal here. Lib Dems, will they be hoping to do something? The

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Tories? The Lib Dems will be hoping to do rather a lot, both in Scotland

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and across the UK. A sort of mirrored version of what the

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Conservatives did at the last Holyrood election. Ruth Davidson

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managed to allocate to herself a large, substantial section of the

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prounion vote. She said, we are Tory, but we are a union party but

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we don't have to look over our shoulders and concern ourselves with

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questions and doubt. We are the Unionist party but she managed to

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get a fair chunk of the vote as a. What the Lib Dems will do in this

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election, particularly in England but also in Scotland, will say, we

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are the pro-EU party, we want Scotland to be in the UK and we want

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the UK to be in the EU. Nearly 50% of the electorate voted for Britain

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to be in the EU. The Liberal Democrats hope they can persuade

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people to come into a common position of pro-EU support. They

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hope to do that more generally. In Scotland, the Tories' position is to

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say, if the SNP fallback, if the Tory vote rises substantially, that

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perhaps eases the pressure for an independence referendum, and their

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view would be that it strengthens the union. I think Nicola Sturgeon

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is careful not to go into a head-to-head battle on those

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grounds, simply because the bar is so high, because they hold 56 out of

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59 seats. B put the same point you, David, on a UK level. -- let me put

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the same point but you can see what is in it for the Conservatives, they

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think they can win, you can see what it is in it for Tim Farron, because

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he thinks that the Lib Dems could revive by coming the pro-remain

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party, but for Ukip and Labour, is there really anything for them to

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look forward to? Is a rather elegant way of saying, and turkeys vote for

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Christmas? No, normally they don't. For the Labour Party, there is a

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problem. Although they are in dire straits, they are still the

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principal opposition at Westminster, and it would, I think, have been

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extraordinary if the principal opposition party had an opportunity

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to call for a general election and said, actually, we don't fancy one,

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go on doing what you are going to do. To that extent, Theresa May at

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Jeremy Corbyn -- Jeremy Corbyn into a bit of a corner. I think Ukip have

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a very real problems. They had a very charismatic leader who is now

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no longer the leader in recent by-elections, they haven't got the

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traction they would have wanted. They had great hopes for the north

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of England and the Midlands. It now appears, with Brexit, that the

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Conservatives feel that they can win some of those seats over from Labour

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and, perhaps, people who were Eurosceptic but would not normally

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have voted for the Conservatives in the past may now feel they have more

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in common with the Conservative Party than they do with Labour, and

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that is actually quite a big statement to make. The way the

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opinion polls look at the moment, I think Theresa May would have

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thought, I would be daft not to go for this at this time. A number of

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people have been saying to her for a number of months, look, it will

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never be this good again. Brexit could get very sticky but frankly,

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you will need all the and support at Westminster that you can get,

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therefore, go for an election. -- all the friends and support. The

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opinion pollsters be wildly wrong. The Conservatives could lose support

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during this election campaign. At the moment, the lead they have is so

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great that I think Theresa May, when she looked at it, and she took the

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counsel of senior colleagues, she felt this was an opportunity she

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couldn't actually pass up, even though she will be accused of doing

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a U-turn. Brian and David, thank you both very much. I have to say, the

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level of sunshine behind you, David, looks positively dangerous! With me

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in the studio is the political editor of the Daily Record, David

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Clegg, and political commentator Lesley Riddoch. Let's start, shall

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we, to be boring, on Parliamentary process. As David says, turkeys

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voting for Christmas, arguably, with Labour, they did, but you couldn't

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not vote for it. What is the point of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act?

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Not much. It was obviously put together in a different political

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climate with a coalition government, trying to create stability but to

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get rid of it now feels right, because there isn't much point if it

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is just going to take a two thirds majority anyway and, if the

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government of the day once to dissolve Parliament, the opposition

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is never going to say, we think you should remain the government. In

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that respect, I think the Labour Party is being forced into voting

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for an election that all the indications are they are going to do

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particularly badly in the MPs who are today going to vote, many of

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them will lose their seats. We have seen some moderate Labour

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politicians say they are not going to stand again. Including Alan

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Johnson. Yes. I think the Labour Party is in a great deal of

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difficulty and will be voting this afternoon what was a great deal of

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enthusiasm. What is your sense that the mood amongst those of us who

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will be voting? Do you think it is, fantastic, another opportunity for

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an election! Or, for heaven 's sake, can't they get on with it?! The

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latter, especially in Scotland, where we have had even more

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elections and referendums then we have in the south. This will be the

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seventh election I have covered in the last few years, and I think the

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voters feel tired as well. What is your sense, Lesley? Much the same,

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but I don't think it is just people being fed up with choreographed --

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with politics, it is being backed up with choreographed empty dances, and

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that is what it is, because there is no outcome that will make a

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particular difference to Scotland. The SNP have been such high tide

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mark that, almost in every different legislature they are part of, they

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have broken the arithmetic. It has made no difference whatsoever to UK

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politics. We have a situation where 62% of Scots voted to stay in the

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EU, no difference whatsoever. There was a vote in the Scottish

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Parliament, and no difference. If they broke the bank and got 59 seats

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this time, would it make the blindest bit of difference? No, it

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wouldn't. Probably what Nicola Sturgeon is doing, in addition to

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the economics and everything else, is to try and showcase that complete

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deadlock that Scotland finds itself in. Should they get 59 MPs... That

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really would be more power to their elbow, in terms of getting a

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referendum. It would, but it is strange for me to say this to you,

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but what would actually take to force the hand, to change the

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dynamics of the argument? It is the same dynamics, just with three extra

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MPs stuck on top, actually, five, because there two no longer under

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the party whip. We are sitting with an unresolved constitutional

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situation in Scotland hovering over every election, including the local

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elections that Theresa May is just swept completely off beam by this

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announcement and, when it comes to it, Northern Ireland is sitting

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unbuttoned at the moment. All of this sits underneath the

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constitutional argument, which will not be very well advanced by any

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outcome from Scotland, unless the SNP and the Greens, in my opinion,

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do something quite daring, which is to come to some sort of agreement

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today, Maggie Chapman for the Greens is already suggesting they would not

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stand in seats where they have lost their deposit against the SNP. These

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could be pivotal seats, the few that could change hands. By your

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argument, it wouldn't make any difference anyway. It wouldn't, but

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it would demonstrate the capacity for the pro-independence parties to,

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to an extent, get over themselves and work together to bring about a

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new dynamics of politics in Scotland that people talk about but which we

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need to see more of. I would like to see them do something crazy in our

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situation and think of something like a joint manifesto. If you

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really mean it, why not go for it? A joint manifesto is fine under the

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Constitution because they agree on it, but they don't agree on many

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other things. I appreciate that. The Greens have got zero MPs and the SNP

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have 54, so why should they do a joint manifesto? That's quite true,

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if you look at it that way, in terms of the seats you get back. What you

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get from that is a recognition that there is a different way to run

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politics, which is consensual and recognises there is mutual benefit

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trying to create a different way to run the country. It is a thought. I

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doubt it'll happen, but we need something new of this election.

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Currently, it could be a stalemate. Is there and argued that the kind of

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ID you are thinking for would be more beneficial for the Unionist

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parties? -- is there an argument that the kind of idea. Not a joint

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Labour- Conservative manifesto, but Labour not standing in Perthshire,

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where the Conservatives are likely to run the SNP pretty close. If

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Labour won not to stand a candidate in that seat, which they have no

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choice of winning, and they are serious about a pro-referendum,

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prounion message... The independent sides can easily stand backwards or

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forwards, it doesn't do much damage to them. Come on! I don't know who

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is left supporting Labour, but the idea that you stand back to let the

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Conservatives in after the rape close, sanctions, attacks on

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disability benefits... Who would buy that? I'm not suggesting that if the

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tactic. Is Lesley says, Labour were perceived, rightly or wrongly, to

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have suffered during the independence campaign by being seen

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to be part of a campaign led by the Conservatives. That is what has

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caused all of their problems. What if they did what you are floating,

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that would be seen in the same way about -- in the same way, whereas,

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if the SNP were seen to be supporting the Greens, that wouldn't

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necessarily do them any harm. Green voters don't penalised their party

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for backing a party that wants to scrap air passenger duty. If you

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work Green, the idea that you would support that... But they would say

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in the Scottish Parliament that Patrick Harvie will support the SNP

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on the idea of independence but has never pretended to support them on

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anything else. Air passenger duty is in Holyrood.

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WWE universe to the left, 13. -- the noes to the left, 13. The ayes to

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the right 522, the noes developed, 13, so the ayes habit, the ayes have

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it. Unlock. That was the speaker, announcing the result of the vote.

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Hardly close the SNP decided they would abstain. David Porter joins us

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now. Whopping majority for another election. Understatement of the day,

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an emphatic majority, 522 in favour of an early general election, only

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13 against. The SNP decided to abstain on that one. No surprise.

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The surprise is that so many MPs decided they would be part of this

:16:45.:16:50.

debate and would record their votes. It now means that in effect the

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fixed term parliament act from this election can be end, let's say,

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Theresa May can now go ahead and call that general election which

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will take place on June eight. It was never really in doubt that it

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would happen but a huge majority. Basically the election campaign is

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well and truly under we! I just wondered if it surprises you, David,

:17:16.:17:19.

there was talk from Labour MPs who are opposed to Jeremy Corbyn, saying

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that he should not be supporting having another election and that it

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was as you put it earlier in the programme, like turkeys voting for

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Christmas. But if there are only 13 MPs voting against this it looks

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like most of those Labour MPs, even if they were opposed to Mr Corbyn 's

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position have gone along with it. It does appear that they have decided

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to back this. I suppose some will think yeah, if the Prime Minister

:17:50.:17:52.

gives us an opportunity to hold a general election we should take up

:17:53.:17:56.

on that. Others, I think, will thinking, this has been pretty

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dreadful for us Labour MPs in the last 18 months. We have a Labour

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that the majority of us don't want to support. Perhaps it is a case

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that the turkeys have thought, it may be better to get this over and

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done with and face whatever consequences we face. It will be a

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very interesting seven weeks. As far as Labour is concerned, it's going

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to be very interesting to see how many of those Labour MPs campaign

:18:25.:18:30.

positively with Jeremy Corbyn as their leader or campaign on local

:18:31.:18:38.

issues. Thank you for that. Let's go back to David Clegg and Lesley

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Riddoch. Is Labour and issue, David? What do you do if you are one of the

:18:44.:18:49.

majority of Labour MPs who will apparently be automatically selected

:18:50.:18:52.

to stand in this election and you don't agree with a word, although

:18:53.:18:56.

not so much that you don't agree with the word he says, just that...

:18:57.:19:01.

You think you can't win with him as leader. Do you stand back and do

:19:02.:19:07.

nothing or campaigned vigorously in the hope that something will change?

:19:08.:19:11.

I think you must campaign vigorously come if you stand for election you

:19:12.:19:14.

must believe in your own platform. And from a wider strategic point,

:19:15.:19:19.

surely some of the moderate Labour people, their primary ambition in

:19:20.:19:23.

that regard is to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn. Taking a hammering in this

:19:24.:19:26.

election will presumably get rid of him and give them the chance to

:19:27.:19:30.

rebuild, having effectively been proved right by the electorate in

:19:31.:19:34.

what they were saying. So in that kind of long-term goal, there is an

:19:35.:19:41.

argument that having the election now is actually good. There's also

:19:42.:19:44.

an argument for sitting back and doing nothing. If you believe as a

:19:45.:19:50.

Labour MP for as long as you can keep your seat that hammering for

:19:51.:19:53.

Labour might lead to the rebirth of the Labour Party, do nothing? It's

:19:54.:20:01.

quite tactic, that. It's kind of the name of the game! Are we served by

:20:02.:20:09.

this kind of setup in Britain? This is such an extraordinary situation

:20:10.:20:15.

where, as you say, the Labour, the opposition party, had to meet the

:20:16.:20:19.

gauntlet, thrown at their feet, does the country need an election now?

:20:20.:20:23.

Really debatable. As one single thing changed in the last six weeks

:20:24.:20:29.

that the Disney means that Theresa May needs some kind of mandate? Has

:20:30.:20:35.

not. And the SNP have a mandate to do what they are doing... That was a

:20:36.:20:43.

headline in the Daily Mail. An extraordinary headline which Mrs May

:20:44.:20:48.

did not rebut today, so it remains, if you tackle this part of the

:20:49.:20:53.

Democratic process and tackle Mr May from now and you are some sort of

:20:54.:20:57.

saboteur of democracy, that is where it's got to. The Sun had a similar

:20:58.:21:03.

headline and they are big papers, I understand, I don't reach them! We

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will be back with you shortly. Let's cross again to College Green, I

:21:08.:21:09.

think David is with the pollster. Yes, from YouGov. Joe, your

:21:10.:21:23.

organisation is actually conducting research to find out what the UK

:21:24.:21:28.

public thinks of us. Yes, we have the latest figures, we are

:21:29.:21:32.

conducting a special poll, we want to ask if anything has changed in

:21:33.:21:36.

Scotland. My sense from the data we have already is that it hasn't. The

:21:37.:21:41.

SNP is an extremely strong position with so many seats. The best that

:21:42.:21:46.

they could hope for is a few games but they can't go any further. An

:21:47.:21:55.

incredibly high bar for the SNP. If you are a member of the Labour Party

:21:56.:22:01.

and the Conservatives and the Lib Dems, does that mean that in this

:22:02.:22:04.

campaign in Scotland you have to be ruthless and go for what you see as

:22:05.:22:12.

marginal SNP seats? I would say so. The idea of bringing back the kind

:22:13.:22:16.

of change going back to the Labour domination we saw decades ago is not

:22:17.:22:19.

realistic at the moment and won't be for some years to come. Instead you

:22:20.:22:23.

must adopt an alternative strategy, concentrate on those specific seats

:22:24.:22:31.

you can win and concentrate on those conservatives who are hoping to

:22:32.:22:35.

bring over The supporters and perhaps picking up some seats.

:22:36.:22:39.

Unlikely, but possible, and the others will attempt similar things,

:22:40.:22:44.

although it only means a handful of seats, not wholesale change. So most

:22:45.:22:50.

of the voters in Scotland will see a contest in which the parties are

:22:51.:22:53.

going through the motions, they would really fight or 59 seats

:22:54.:22:59.

hammer and tongs. Will have to see exactly what they said that the

:23:00.:23:02.

polling does suggest that. What we may seek is a realignment along the

:23:03.:23:06.

lines of Brexit, along the lines of what we saw with the Scottish

:23:07.:23:13.

independence referendum, this time everything might be about Brexit.

:23:14.:23:16.

That's more likely in England and Scotland but in both cases we have

:23:17.:23:19.

seven weeks to go and a lot can change in that time. As far as

:23:20.:23:28.

Scotland is concerned, is the voter fatigue, oh, no, not another

:23:29.:23:32.

election? It's not just in Scotland that we are picking that up, not

:23:33.:23:37.

another election, following the election and the general election

:23:38.:23:40.

and for the Scots following from the referendum. I think people would

:23:41.:23:45.

have preferred a spring off but we don't all worlds get what we want.

:23:46.:23:51.

-- not always. What are the strengths of the various parties? In

:23:52.:24:00.

Scotland the SNP have a very strong position and can play very much on

:24:01.:24:06.

this idea of independence but wanting to fight against Brexit.

:24:07.:24:09.

That will certainly formed the bedrock of their campaign. The

:24:10.:24:16.

Conservatives of Scotland will want to present themselves as the

:24:17.:24:20.

alternative for Leave voters, and the Lib Dems will hope to position

:24:21.:24:27.

themselves as a national remain option but it is difficult for all

:24:28.:24:32.

of them, given the domination of... We've seen in recent elections that

:24:33.:24:36.

the pollsters haven't always got it right. Are you confident that you

:24:37.:24:41.

have tweaked things, that you will be reflecting the view of the

:24:42.:24:45.

general public in the UK and Scotland? It is fair to say that we

:24:46.:24:48.

don't always get it right, it is also fair that we often do. We'll be

:24:49.:24:52.

hoping to get back to the good old days for the last 16 years where we

:24:53.:24:57.

have been largely accurate although all polls have a margin of error,

:24:58.:25:00.

they are only ever a snapshot of public opinion at the time. We'll

:25:01.:25:05.

have to watch what could be a close contest. Thank you very much. You

:25:06.:25:09.

will be a very busy man in the next seven weeks. Thank you for joining

:25:10.:25:14.

us. Back to you, Gordon. Thank you, David.

:25:15.:25:18.

EU officials appear to have welcomed this snap election. The chief

:25:19.:25:25.

correspondent for a political websites joins me now. David, is

:25:26.:25:30.

there a general welcome in the European Commission for this? Among

:25:31.:25:36.

the CNET EU leaders I think that is true. It may be optimistic, overly

:25:37.:25:42.

hopeful thinking but that thinking goes something like this. If Theresa

:25:43.:25:47.

May has a stronger mandate that may silence some of the ladder

:25:48.:25:51.

Brexiteers. Some of the folks who are much more anti-EU then she

:25:52.:25:56.

personally has been. This might give further leveraged understanding

:25:57.:26:02.

mandate needed to negotiate an orderly withdrawal -- this might

:26:03.:26:08.

give her the leveraged. The kind of exit that leaves everyone in a

:26:09.:26:14.

stronger position. I am interested to hear that because there has been

:26:15.:26:18.

some talk in the EU about not wanting to give Britain to good a

:26:19.:26:24.

deal in case it encourages others to leave. So if you are right and they

:26:25.:26:30.

don't want to see our hard Brexit and they would like a stronger

:26:31.:26:34.

Theresa May does that imply that the European side is quite keen to get

:26:35.:26:44.

quite some of what you want in terms of access to the single market? As I

:26:45.:26:49.

said this may be overly helpful and this won't be too pleasant or two

:26:50.:26:54.

friendly and negotiation, even today, as the commission was

:26:55.:26:58.

responding more fully to news of snap elections in Britain some of

:26:59.:27:06.

these European medicines agency 's in the UK was, they will not be

:27:07.:27:10.

there after Brexit despite some comments from David Davis and

:27:11.:27:13.

others, saying no way, these agencies will be on the territory of

:27:14.:27:17.

the EU and the UK will not be in the EU. So I think there no soft and ink

:27:18.:27:25.

of positions although there is a sign that she might be and it could

:27:26.:27:28.

be that she will be more reasonable than some of the loudest voices we

:27:29.:27:32.

have heard in the Leave camp in the last few months. The other reason

:27:33.:27:37.

what is it surprised me a little of that one thing that has been talked

:27:38.:27:40.

about is, if there is a general election in Britain and there is no

:27:41.:27:44.

prospect of a general election in 2020, the argument was that that

:27:45.:27:49.

might strengthen the EU hand in negotiations, if there was going to

:27:50.:27:54.

be an election recently afterwards they would have leveraged other

:27:55.:27:57.

Theresa May that they will not have now because there won't be an

:27:58.:28:01.

election. It's part of an analysis that I wrote for Politico yesterday.

:28:02.:28:11.

Since the Brexit vote time has been on the side of the EU. There was

:28:12.:28:16.

pressure on Mrs May two trigger Article 50 and pressure on Britain

:28:17.:28:20.

to get a deal done in the two-year deadline, and that election was

:28:21.:28:24.

looming right afterwards, when in that first year, we would not expect

:28:25.:28:32.

some of the gains to be filed from Brexit although some of the pain

:28:33.:28:36.

might be filed, so in terms of changing that election day, the

:28:37.:28:40.

point at which Theresa May and her government would face a test at the

:28:41.:28:43.

ballot box gives her a bit of a cushion, but on the other hand that

:28:44.:28:47.

is not inconsistent with some of the goals in Brussels. She's talking

:28:48.:28:52.

about possibly the need for a transitional period, that may be

:28:53.:28:55.

difficult or may have been more difficult to negotiate with an

:28:56.:28:59.

election looming, if she has an extra two your cushion that may

:29:00.:29:02.

allow you to get a transition in place, keeps the UK paying into the

:29:03.:29:07.

EU budget which Brussels would not oppose by any means, and also gives

:29:08.:29:11.

a window to negotiate a trade stew which both sides have said they

:29:12.:29:16.

would like. David, thank you very much. Let's get some political

:29:17.:29:17.

reaction. Joining me from Minister is the

:29:18.:29:24.

SNP's Jeopardy Westminster leader, Stuart Ramsey. Brian Taylor said

:29:25.:29:30.

earlier that Nicola Sturgeon does not want this general election to be

:29:31.:29:35.

a referendum on whether there should be another independence referendum,

:29:36.:29:40.

is that your view? What she said was the Scottish Government already has

:29:41.:29:45.

a mandate to hold a Scottish independence referendum. This

:29:46.:29:46.

general election is about other things as well. It is about the type

:29:47.:29:50.

of Brexit we will have. It is about whether we will continue with

:29:51.:29:54.

austerity. It is about whether we will have a right wing government

:29:55.:29:59.

unfettered by substantial opposition, cutting even more deeply

:30:00.:30:12.

than in the past few years. It is about a lot of things, not simply

:30:13.:30:14.

about Scotland's constitutional future. What would you count as

:30:15.:30:16.

success that the SNP in this election? I remember going through

:30:17.:30:18.

the entire election contest in 2015 saying that our intention was to win

:30:19.:30:22.

the UK election in Scotland. This is our intention on June eight. Given

:30:23.:30:27.

that we have been sitting on 47% in the polls for the last seven months

:30:28.:30:30.

we've got to be pretty confident that we will do very well indeed.

:30:31.:30:36.

Would you accept there is a chance that, given you did so well in 2015,

:30:37.:30:45.

that you might lose a few seats? You never take the electorate for

:30:46.:30:48.

granted and, speaking to my colleagues, I think they are going

:30:49.:30:51.

to contest their seats as if they were trying to win them for the

:30:52.:30:55.

first time. The mood of the party on the ground in Scotland is absolutely

:30:56.:31:01.

buoyant. We are confident we've got a really positive message, not this

:31:02.:31:06.

Brexit, not the hard Tory, cliff edge Brexit, not the austerity. We

:31:07.:31:11.

have a picture to make which is far, far more progressive, far better not

:31:12.:31:14.

just for the people of Scotland but also, in Scotland in particular, the

:31:15.:31:19.

ball walk between the Scottish people and a hard right Tory

:31:20.:31:23.

government, I think that is an incredibly attractive proposition to

:31:24.:31:27.

make. Is it? Let's say you are right, the polls are correct and you

:31:28.:31:32.

get 46, 40 7% of the vote, you keep most of your MPs at Westminster, why

:31:33.:31:37.

does anything changed? Theresa May still says, I'm not ruling out a

:31:38.:31:43.

referendum, but you're not having one while the Brexit negotiations

:31:44.:31:49.

are going on. You say, that's terrible, we want another

:31:50.:31:52.

independence referendum. We are exactly back where we are right now,

:31:53.:31:57.

aren't we? Is the First Minister made clear this morning, the measure

:31:58.:32:00.

of success in an election is winning the most votes in the most seats. If

:32:01.:32:05.

our pitch is to move Scotland forward, and the Tory pitch, and

:32:06.:32:09.

remember this is a straight SNP- Tory fight in Scotland now, the Tory

:32:10.:32:13.

pitch is to keep Scotland stuck in this hard Brexit union, if we win, I

:32:14.:32:18.

think Theresa May doesn't have a democratic leg to stand on if she

:32:19.:32:23.

thought she could pose another independence referendum. But you

:32:24.:32:26.

don't think she has a leg to stand on right now, so I don't see what

:32:27.:32:31.

has changed. She set the parameters, not us. I started by saying that the

:32:32.:32:37.

Scottish Government currently has a mandate to hold the referendum, and

:32:38.:32:41.

we intend to do that, but our argument is that it is not a proxy

:32:42.:32:47.

on the referendum. If it is an SNP - Tory fight and we win, I think the

:32:48.:32:52.

last vestiges of democratic credibility footy remake -- for

:32:53.:32:54.

Theresa May go completely. The scenario both you and I are

:32:55.:33:00.

accepting, that you still do very well, you keep most of your seats,

:33:01.:33:04.

you still don't get your referendum on independence, so what do you do

:33:05.:33:10.

next? I don't accept that. If Theresa May is even remotely a

:33:11.:33:13.

democrat, there is not just the mandate from the 2016 election, the

:33:14.:33:19.

mandate from the Scottish Parliamentary vote, but the mandate

:33:20.:33:24.

from a UK election. It puts her in a very weak position. Lesley Riddoch,

:33:25.:33:29.

it's an odd one for the SNP, because what does change, even if, as

:33:30.:33:34.

Stewart Hosie outlined, they do all that? As you said earlier, they are

:33:35.:33:38.

back where they are at the moment. Sort of, and it is a bit difficult,

:33:39.:33:43.

because there are plenty of people out there who want to campaign on

:33:44.:33:46.

independence now, but the SNP will feel that there is not the right

:33:47.:33:50.

time to do that. A seven-week campaign in which, if you put detail

:33:51.:33:54.

out, it will be picked over on questions of currency... Would your

:33:55.:34:01.

advice be, look, don't go into details about what an independent

:34:02.:34:05.

Scotland would look like? Just say you are in favour of it. They are

:34:06.:34:10.

saved from that in extent by the timing. Since it is not of their

:34:11.:34:14.

choice, they can put up their and say, we are doing this seriously, we

:34:15.:34:21.

had a process, so we can't come out with answers to staff within seven

:34:22.:34:24.

weeks. It's far too short ace timescale. -- answers to this. There

:34:25.:34:32.

is still going to be a lot of disgruntled people out there who

:34:33.:34:36.

want, at long last, just to campaign for the vision of an independent

:34:37.:34:40.

Scotland in Europe, the frustrating thing to me slightly, as somebody

:34:41.:34:44.

who isn't a member of the SNP, is that lots of people want to discuss

:34:45.:34:48.

that and get into the bones of what it would mean to be in Europe or the

:34:49.:34:53.

EEA, all the halfway house options, but you can't do that as long as the

:34:54.:35:00.

SNP are coy about this becoming a vote on independence, because they

:35:01.:35:03.

are not geared up for that. What is your take? An odd one for the SNP.

:35:04.:35:09.

They could be victims of their own past success in this election. I

:35:10.:35:14.

don't see a massive downside for them, to be honest. I think it is

:35:15.:35:18.

quite possible for them to lose a couple seats. An extra result in

:35:19.:35:24.

2015, winning 56 seat out of 59, and the law of gravity suggests they may

:35:25.:35:30.

well fall back a little. They will still overwhelmingly win in Scotland

:35:31.:35:33.

for the scenario, they win 50 or something, so they are thrilled --

:35:34.:35:39.

they are still in a strong position. In a general UK context, their

:35:40.:35:43.

ultimate goal could be strengthened, because it looks like we will see

:35:44.:35:46.

the Labour Party wiped out by the Tories at a UK level. So that the

:35:47.:35:52.

SNP can say it is a fight between independence against the hated

:35:53.:35:55.

Tories, as they would put it. You saw Stewart Hosie saying, this is a

:35:56.:36:02.

hard Brexit, and that is a compelling argument to be made for

:36:03.:36:06.

independence if a referendum comes along, and a general election result

:36:07.:36:09.

in a few weeks which has a massive Tory majority make it stronger. But

:36:10.:36:15.

you didn't hear him talk about independence. I don't think the SNP

:36:16.:36:20.

are wanting to style this is independence against the Tories. It

:36:21.:36:22.

is basically the SNP against the Tories. It's a political party

:36:23.:36:29.

thing. Lets get some reaction from the Conservatives. The MP John

:36:30.:36:32.

Stephenson joins us from Westminster. What ambitions do you

:36:33.:36:37.

have up here for the Conservatives in this election? What I am

:36:38.:36:41.

campaigning for is a Conservative majority government in the UK. I

:36:42.:36:46.

want to make sure we are well above 325 seats and I'd like to see as

:36:47.:36:51.

many seats as we can win in Scotland to enhance that. That you any notion

:36:52.:36:56.

of realistically what a number of seats in Scotland would be? -- have

:36:57.:37:00.

you any notion. We campaign everywhere and we would hope to

:37:01.:37:02.

games in Scotland. We will be campaigning vigorously. We have a

:37:03.:37:08.

very good leader in Scotland, a very good Prime Minister, and it's about

:37:09.:37:11.

a UK Government, it is about who is leading the UK into negotiations

:37:12.:37:17.

with the EU, that is what this election is about. What is your

:37:18.:37:22.

rationale for why Theresa May has done this? I think it is entirely

:37:23.:37:27.

logical. Last year, we had a UK wide referendum and voted to come out of

:37:28.:37:31.

the EU. Article 50 has been triggered. It is now about getting a

:37:32.:37:35.

mandate for the negotiation with our European partners. Who does this

:37:36.:37:39.

country want to be Prime Minister leading these negotiations? Is it

:37:40.:37:42.

Prime Minister May with a Conservative majority or is it

:37:43.:37:51.

Jeremy Corbyn and? When you say a mandate, that would be more

:37:52.:37:56.

convincing word Theresa May to lay out a prospectus before the British

:37:57.:38:00.

people during the selection of what exactly it is she wants to

:38:01.:38:05.

negotiate. We will have to wait and see what the Prime Minister does lay

:38:06.:38:10.

out during the campaign, but the important is, does this country have

:38:11.:38:15.

confidence in? That doesn't give any logic at all. You talked about the

:38:16.:38:21.

logic of an election. It's not as if she was about to be overwhelmed by

:38:22.:38:24.

strident opposition from the Labour Party. She really needs to hold an

:38:25.:38:29.

election to marginalise it hard Brexit is in your own party, who

:38:30.:38:37.

will presumably cry traitor every attempt to deal with the EU. -- to

:38:38.:38:43.

marginalise the hard Brexiteers. I was a remainder but I support

:38:44.:38:51.

reminisced in her objective now. She wants to make sure she has a stable

:38:52.:38:57.

majority in parliament, that she can negotiate from a position of

:38:58.:39:00.

strength. Unfortunately, many of the opposition parties want to frustrate

:39:01.:39:03.

the process. They don't want the best deal for the UK, they want to

:39:04.:39:08.

upset the negotiations and continuously talk about is second

:39:09.:39:11.

referendum. I think the focus of the Prime Minister is right. Can you

:39:12.:39:16.

give any examples of the sort of thing you would want to see from

:39:17.:39:19.

Brexit that is different from hard Brexit? You say you were a

:39:20.:39:23.

remainder. What is the difference between what you want and what some

:39:24.:39:29.

of the hard Brexiteers want? Whenever people talk about this, I

:39:30.:39:34.

think we are going to end up with a bespoke UK- EU trade deal, and that

:39:35.:39:38.

is what I would want to see. That gets the best for all parties. A

:39:39.:39:42.

specific deal done for the benefit of the UK and our European parties.

:39:43.:39:50.

That is the right approach. Would you be prepared to seek concessions

:39:51.:39:56.

on immigration to get such a deal, Britain being part of a customs

:39:57.:40:01.

union? What would it look like? I don't want to pre-empt any

:40:02.:40:05.

negotiations... ... You are just telling us your opinion. You can see

:40:06.:40:12.

a deal sector by sector, a broadbrush trade deal. That would be

:40:13.:40:18.

down to the negotiations. I think we will end up with a bespoke deal

:40:19.:40:21.

between the UK and the EU and we will look to see if we can get

:40:22.:40:24.

similar deals with other countries and the rest of the world. Thank

:40:25.:40:30.

you. We haven't talked about why you two think that Theresa is doing

:40:31.:40:33.

this. There is an obvious thing about wanting their own and eight.

:40:34.:40:41.

What do you think it is to try and head off the hardline Brexiteers in

:40:42.:40:46.

her own party? If so, I am not sure it's going to work, because they

:40:47.:40:49.

will probably still be there after the election as much as now. That's

:40:50.:40:54.

true, and I don't think anybody is going to get by this line -- is

:40:55.:40:58.

going to buy this line that opponents of the route should

:40:59.:41:04.

actually sit up -- shut up, sit down and let her have an unchallenged

:41:05.:41:07.

course through the whole thing. I am conscious, listening to the MP, of

:41:08.:41:11.

this notion that there could be a hope for a trade deal negotiated

:41:12.:41:16.

between Britain and the EU. If this was such a kind of go, why is it

:41:17.:41:23.

that banks are relocating right now out of London into Frankfurt, Berlin

:41:24.:41:30.

and Dublin? Passport in, which was so important... If I was a bank

:41:31.:41:36.

executive, I would say it is prudent behaviour. Before cost of that

:41:37.:41:42.

prudent behaviour, cast in the context of the Scottish referendum,

:41:43.:41:46.

was a huge problem for that referendum -- proposition, but it is

:41:47.:41:50.

happening quietly now and we don't connect it with the discussions

:41:51.:41:54.

about the future. The guys with the money are already shipping out. Why

:41:55.:41:58.

do you think Theresa May is doing it? Apart from the personal mandate,

:41:59.:42:03.

like John Major. I don't think it is as much Brexit as pure party

:42:04.:42:10.

political advantage. Two polls said that Labour were 20 points behind

:42:11.:42:13.

and, lo and behold, there is a snap election. I think she thinks that

:42:14.:42:18.

Jeremy Corbyn will be a disaster and it won't necessarily be, it won't

:42:19.:42:25.

necessarily be this bad for ever, so she should strike now. So you think

:42:26.:42:29.

all this talk we heard from John Stevenson about giving her a mandate

:42:30.:42:33.

or her particular form of Brexit is all just Guha. There two separate

:42:34.:42:40.

ideas. One is that she is trying to protect herself from the hard

:42:41.:42:45.

Brexiteers. Why has she filled her cabinet with them then? Some others

:42:46.:42:49.

are suggesting it is going to lead, the EU thinks it's going to lead to

:42:50.:42:54.

a softer Brexit. I don't see much evidence she is pushing for that. We

:42:55.:42:59.

will be back with you later. Ian Murray, Scotland's only Labour MP,

:43:00.:43:03.

joins us now. It was only recently that you were tweeting that your

:43:04.:43:08.

leader was a disaster. Can he win a general election? It's hardly

:43:09.:43:13.

surprising that you are reading those back to me. It's not also a

:43:14.:43:17.

surprise that I didn't support Jeremy Corbyn's leadership when he

:43:18.:43:23.

was re-elected, but he is the leader of the Labour Party, we are going

:43:24.:43:26.

into election, he is our candidate for Prime Minister and we will

:43:27.:43:32.

support him on that. Can you win? Of course. We are looking to try and

:43:33.:43:35.

gain seats back in Scotland and we are looking to fight for every

:43:36.:43:39.

single seat across the country. This election is being framed as a Brexit

:43:40.:43:44.

election. It's an unnecessary general election, the promised has

:43:45.:43:47.

gone back on a promise not to have one, so we go to the country, we

:43:48.:43:52.

bring down this Conservative government and we go back and say

:43:53.:43:55.

there is a choice to be made, and the choice is to stop this hard

:43:56.:43:59.

Brexit you have been talking about and to send a message to Nicola

:44:00.:44:01.

Sturgeon that we don't want another independence referendum. That is the

:44:02.:44:09.

framing of this election. What is the choice? Labour doesn't appear to

:44:10.:44:14.

have a position on Brexit, which is particularly clear. Is there some

:44:15.:44:19.

proposition about Brexit you will be putting to the people of the country

:44:20.:44:26.

and, if so, what is it? Keir Starmer in his Mansion house speech a few

:44:27.:44:29.

weeks ago set at six key tests, one of which was to maintain access or

:44:30.:44:34.

membership of the single market, that was one, and everything else is

:44:35.:44:39.

framed around it. They are around making sure we can protect workers'

:44:40.:44:42.

rights, making sure we can protect the social chapter we have enjoyed,

:44:43.:44:45.

in terms of the rights we have in this country. There are six tests,

:44:46.:44:50.

the clear position of the Labour Party to hold to account. If we win

:44:51.:44:56.

the election on June the 8th, we will be going back to make sure we

:44:57.:45:01.

can get the softest of soft Brexits and we will see where that leads us.

:45:02.:45:05.

The manifesto will be out soon and that will detail clearly what the

:45:06.:45:06.

Labour Party position is. You said one minute ago you would

:45:07.:45:16.

like to keep your own seed. Do you have any notion of how many seats

:45:17.:45:21.

realistically Labour could claw back in Scotland? Any ambitions in that

:45:22.:45:27.

front? We will be looking to win as many seats as we can. The election

:45:28.:45:32.

was only called at 1115 yesterday morning and took us all by surprise

:45:33.:45:38.

including no doubt yourself on the BBC because everybody was

:45:39.:45:42.

speculating it might be some other announcements we are putting

:45:43.:45:46.

resources into seats we think we can win, pushing candidates in every

:45:47.:45:50.

seat in Scotland and fighting on the dishes on their doorsteps. We said

:45:51.:45:55.

in 2015 that any other vote than Labour in delivering a Tory

:45:56.:45:57.

government would be bad the country and I am sorry to say we have been

:45:58.:46:01.

proved right, we have disastrous Brexit coming up and we back on this

:46:02.:46:07.

merry-go-round of independence. That's the result of not electing

:46:08.:46:12.

Labour. So now we say, let's elect a Labour government, get rid of this

:46:13.:46:16.

dreadful Conservative government, get the country back on track and

:46:17.:46:20.

Goldberg services important to your viewers which the economy,

:46:21.:46:25.

education, and the future. You have made no secret of your opinion about

:46:26.:46:31.

Jeremy Corbyn. The worst Labour do, the more likely it is you can get

:46:32.:46:36.

rid of him and the better you do, the less likely it is you can get

:46:37.:46:41.

rid of him. We want to win this election because one good day of

:46:42.:46:45.

Labour government is better than a thousand days of bad Tory government

:46:46.:46:49.

so we will do all we can to get Theresa May out of Downing Street.

:46:50.:46:53.

We all share the same values in the Labour movement, that comes out time

:46:54.:46:58.

after time, whether it is myself, Kezia Dugdale Jeremy Corbyn and

:46:59.:47:03.

we'll be taking those values to the doorstep and telling people what it

:47:04.:47:06.

is so important to get rid of this Tory government, the country is

:47:07.:47:08.

staring down the barrel of a gun in terms of a hard Brexit. We

:47:09.:47:24.

have to say to the Prime Minister it's not acceptable, no one voted

:47:25.:47:27.

for this, it is bad for the country and bad for the future and they will

:47:28.:47:30.

turn to us and vote Labour. Thank you very much. David, as ringing

:47:31.:47:33.

endorsements of a leader go, I have heard ringinger! It's clear that

:47:34.:47:38.

he's not comfortable with Jeremy Corbyn but he's got a fight on his

:47:39.:47:42.

hands. You must be nervous. I was doing a piece of the paper today

:47:43.:47:45.

about what the key contest in Scotland could be and it's almost

:47:46.:47:49.

impossible to find a seat where Labour could pick up a seat. The

:47:50.:47:54.

only thing they could do is pour all their resources to try to hold on

:47:55.:47:58.

with Ian Murray because we've heard speculation in the last 24 hours

:47:59.:48:02.

that Scotland could become a Tory free zone as far as MPs are

:48:03.:48:06.

concerned. It's not inconceivable that it could be a Labour MP free

:48:07.:48:12.

zone as well. His majority isn't that great. Not the worst but not

:48:13.:48:18.

strong enough that he would be particularly confident enough

:48:19.:48:21.

especially with the Corbyn drug effect. Any other seats Labour might

:48:22.:48:30.

win? All the strongholds in Glasgow were former strongholds, I had

:48:31.:48:36.

forgotten just how large the SNP majority is. Could not go back just

:48:37.:48:43.

as quickly? Certainly not in this election. What is your take on

:48:44.:48:48.

Labour? Mum another thing that could happen chronologically is the

:48:49.:48:52.

council elections. I appreciate that they are pretty small beer, the way

:48:53.:48:56.

that they are played, some areas that no one identifies with, however

:48:57.:49:00.

there is already organisation on the ground and the SNP are infinitely

:49:01.:49:05.

more organised than Labour for that. They've got activists down on that

:49:06.:49:09.

level canvassing relentlessly so these guys just need to keep going

:49:10.:49:14.

and that will make it even more difficult because there are reports

:49:15.:49:18.

of Labour not fielding full slate of candidates because they can't summon

:49:19.:49:23.

the numbers. A puzzle here. Labour claims to be the biggest mass

:49:24.:49:27.

membership party in Western Europe and although perhaps the numbers

:49:28.:49:32.

joining in Scotland are less than in England still a lot of people have

:49:33.:49:37.

been joining, haven't they managed to turn that new membership into a

:49:38.:49:43.

campaigning organisation? I don't know if it's a case in England, but

:49:44.:49:46.

in Scotland they haven't had the numbers to do that much. Lesley

:49:47.:49:52.

mentions an important point, the candidates. One great advantage to

:49:53.:49:57.

the SNP will have is that their candidates will be there already

:49:58.:50:01.

because they have practically all the seats. Except Mhairi Black. She

:50:02.:50:09.

says she will stay on. The Conservatives have been talking this

:50:10.:50:12.

morning, she thinks they could target five or six seats and they've

:50:13.:50:15.

been having a bit of bother with some of their candidates saying

:50:16.:50:20.

silly things on social media. They will be having to get candidates in

:50:21.:50:23.

place and let them and they don't have much time to do that. Vows of

:50:24.:50:33.

silence perhaps! Scrubbing their Twitter feed before they go forward!

:50:34.:50:38.

About Labour, because will talk about the Lib Dems later, anything

:50:39.:50:43.

at all to gain full Labour nationally? UK wide? If Jeremy

:50:44.:50:47.

Corbyn surprised everyone, there could be that. The polls have been

:50:48.:50:53.

shown to be wrong before and they are a mass membership. I personally

:50:54.:50:59.

think the polls are about right. The Corbyn Labour Party is just the kind

:51:00.:51:03.

of organisation you like, isn't it? A ground upwards let's get down to

:51:04.:51:13.

the grassroots peoples party? That is the way the Corbyn supporters and

:51:14.:51:17.

Momentum people would see themselves. There is an irony that

:51:18.:51:22.

the kind of person Labour has lost in Scotland to the SNP would

:51:23.:51:26.

probably not be unhappy voting for Corbyn 's Labour Party in some

:51:27.:51:30.

respects but that's not the deal on offer. It's kind of academic. As far

:51:31.:51:36.

as what Labour could look for in the UK, all they can look for is first

:51:37.:51:41.

past the post, one of the least fair systems on the planet and if they

:51:42.:51:45.

could figure any kind of tactical voting there might be some

:51:46.:51:48.

possibilities, the Scots have proved very adept, and figuring out how to

:51:49.:51:56.

remove a Tory. It's possible that Southern voters could catch on and

:51:57.:52:03.

might vote Lib Dem. Paul Mason, now a Labour Party member, advocated on

:52:04.:52:07.

Newsnight last night tactical voting if you were a Corbyn supporter. That

:52:08.:52:13.

might catch on. The problem with that is that the position on Brexit

:52:14.:52:19.

is so muddied. That could benefit the Lib Dems rather than Labour. If

:52:20.:52:27.

you are in favour of Remain and have a strong Lib Dem premise they have a

:52:28.:52:30.

clearer pro-remain aligned than Labour so why would you not vote Lib

:52:31.:52:35.

Dem? Lacey if Labour could change the agenda down south from being

:52:36.:52:39.

about Brexit to do you want this Tory government that doesn't want

:52:40.:52:44.

any opposition, if they could get that dynamic going then possibly

:52:45.:52:48.

people would think, how do I get a Tory out in this seat in much the

:52:49.:52:52.

same way the Scots did without a script? The two elections running?

:52:53.:52:58.

David is down on College Green again. Let's get a final thought. It

:52:59.:53:03.

is all done and dusted, what's the reaction been? I think it is, thank

:53:04.:53:08.

goodness it is going to happen, we knew it would happen from yesterday,

:53:09.:53:12.

let's get on with it. There's a bit of business to be done in

:53:13.:53:14.

Westminster this week and next week, we think Parliament will be revoked

:53:15.:53:20.

toward the end of next week, so they've got a few days to do what

:53:21.:53:26.

they call washing-up business, that is important pieces of legislation

:53:27.:53:30.

like the Finance Bill and stuff like that which is important to the

:53:31.:53:35.

finances of the country and there will be other bills that will fall,

:53:36.:53:41.

and we will know that the new government will want to take those

:53:42.:53:47.

bills Ford or not. I think the feeling is, speaking to MPs, they

:53:48.:53:51.

know there will be an election on June eight, now they just want to

:53:52.:53:57.

get on with it. They just wonder, whether they wanted an election or

:53:58.:54:03.

not, it is what they are in politics to do, to represent their

:54:04.:54:08.

constituencies and from time to time put themselves up for election. We

:54:09.:54:15.

have seen the SNP, the Conservatives, and the Labour

:54:16.:54:19.

speaking as if this was their big chance, the one thing that they

:54:20.:54:22.

could not wait for! Obviously they are all going to win! Which of them

:54:23.:54:28.

meant it? Of course they say will all win and they are all confident.

:54:29.:54:33.

I think in Scotland it's going to be incredibly difficult to see things

:54:34.:54:37.

changing very much to tell the truth. The SNP are in a very strong

:54:38.:54:43.

position and in many of the seats they have, even if they did see

:54:44.:54:51.

their support, they have a quite big majority, perhaps they will be a few

:54:52.:54:58.

changes, the SNP could see a couple of seats but I don't think it will

:54:59.:55:03.

change dramatically. The UK as a whole, the Conservatives seem to

:55:04.:55:07.

have a huge lead, that could be some false opinion polls, but it could

:55:08.:55:13.

mean as well that as far as Labour MPs are concerned, and you talk to

:55:14.:55:18.

Labour MPs privately, they are not confident. They are going through

:55:19.:55:23.

this because they have to. We could have a situation where, as far as

:55:24.:55:27.

England is concerned, we are in effect have a realignment of

:55:28.:55:31.

politics if Labour take a big hit. I am catching it, it is if, it is

:55:32.:55:37.

maybe, it is good, it is not necessarily going to happen. The

:55:38.:55:41.

next few weeks will be important. Paradoxically local elections could

:55:42.:55:44.

be important because they will give an indication of the way people are

:55:45.:55:50.

thinking. Now we've got a general election grafted on top of the local

:55:51.:55:55.

elections, many people in local elections will vote as the do in a

:55:56.:55:59.

general election, they will just be doing it more than a month before

:56:00.:56:02.

the real general election. It will be fascinating as far as political

:56:03.:56:09.

journalists are concerned, and good for trade, people may say that

:56:10.:56:15.

campaigns are boring, don't believe them. Plenty of unexpected stories

:56:16.:56:20.

will come along. It will be fun. David, thank you. We hoped to speak

:56:21.:56:24.

to Alistair Carmichael, he didn't turn up today. Before we go back,

:56:25.:56:30.

look at this. Winning 56 seats will be a huge challenge for Nicola

:56:31.:56:34.

Sturgeon 's party, Ruth Davidson has predicted that we have hit peak and

:56:35.:56:40.

the only way is down. This party... How!

:56:41.:56:47.

LAUGHTER Don't do pieces to Camara! Have a

:56:48.:56:56.

quick look around first. Do a piece to the Camara is as close to the

:56:57.:57:03.

scene of the action. You could always cover all the bases. And

:57:04.:57:08.

Nicola Sturgeon does seem to be popping up all over the place, she

:57:09.:57:12.

did have a pre-existing arrangement that took her to London today that

:57:13.:57:16.

they she is a game. We're going to have seven weeks of this, any

:57:17.:57:22.

surprises as David with his usual amazing optimism forecast! What

:57:23.:57:30.

could come along? The only surprise in Scotland would be if the SNP

:57:31.:57:35.

don't do well. It doesn't seem very likely. This Tory revival taking

:57:36.:57:41.

lots of SNP seats would be a big story but it doesn't seem likely. UK

:57:42.:57:45.

wide the question is what does the public make of Jeremy Corbyn. Or

:57:46.:57:51.

could this machine, allegedly behind him, suddenly spring into action? Is

:57:52.:58:01.

interesting because people will be sizing him up as a potential Prime

:58:02.:58:05.

Minister negotiating Brexit. Let's see what they think about that

:58:06.:58:11.

prospect. Potential surprises? The local elections. Will the NSP take

:58:12.:58:16.

Glasgow? Will they hold steady? If they do then the alignment of

:58:17.:58:20.

practically all the representation of the SNP within these big cities

:58:21.:58:24.

is complete and that's a big spur to them and what they go on to do and

:58:25.:58:31.

the foot shoulders upon whom much is dependent. People should not dismiss

:58:32.:58:34.

the local elections out of hand because that will be huge. And the

:58:35.:58:41.

general election, any surprises? Can Corbyn muster the troops and

:58:42.:58:45.

actually show some leadership. Will have to leave it there. Thank you

:58:46.:58:49.

both very much indeed. That's all we've got time for now, First

:58:50.:58:53.

Minister's Questions is tomorrow at midday, until then, from us all,

:58:54.:58:55.

goodbye. this super-sized hospital has been

:58:56.:59:02.

transforming lives in Scotland. He said it had been

:59:03.:59:08.

grown in America. There's nowhere else in Scotland

:59:09.:59:13.

that could have done everything that we've done.

:59:14.:59:16.

Yes, there's the sad times, but we get to see people

:59:17.:59:19.

with happy endings.

:59:20.:59:23.