26/10/2011 Politics Scotland


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 26/10/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Welcome to the programme. Coming up to date, a committee in crisis, and


SNP MP withdraws after saying she was threatened by a Labour minister.


And keeping the country running during the wintry weather. And EU


leaders will meet later as doubts grow about a credible solution to


the euro-zone crisis. We're expecting a statement this


afternoon from the Labour Party after alleged comments made by Ian


Davidson, the chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee. It has emerged


last night that Dr A E Y to complain to the Speaker about his


conduct. Let's go and get the latest on the story, first, can you


update us with what has happened? These allegations were put to the


Speaker last night. Today, Labour whips in the Commons started an


investigation and we are told that they were treating this issue


seriously. We understand at least some of the member is, by Labour


members of the Scottish Affairs Committee, recalled to a meeting to


give their version of events last week to see if they could back up


the claims made by Dr White, the SNP member on the committee. She


has alleged that Mr Davidson last week during a private meeting of


the Scottish Affairs Committee said that she would get a doing if


deliberations will lead to the media. Nothing has been said


publicly so far by Mr Davidson, he is due to chair the latest


committee later today, had we have been told a short time ago by


Labour sources that we should anticipate an apology from Mr David


Santh, an apology for any offence caused to Dr White, but we are told


that he denies having made any threat. We hope to bring you some


of those pictures shortly. In the last 24 hours, we try to speak to


all of the committee members, we have spoken to half a dozen or so,


and most of them do not remember that phrase being used. What has


confirmed that they do remember the phrase being used. -- 1 has


confirmed. Today, the First Minister wades into the row. This


is 2011, men cannot make threatening remarks towards women.


Ordinary people know that, and if it applies to normal people, it


must apply to the chair of the select committee in the House of


Commons, and he should apologise and resign. I suppose supporters of


Mr Davidson had been trying to support them. The yes, Labour


supporters said that they believe that there is a smear campaign


going on against Ian Davidson. One member of the committee has said


that this has been our role orchestrated by the SNP, because


they dislike the idea of the Scottish affairs committee looking


at the independent referendum. Jim McGovern had this to say. I was


here at this committee, and the first session was in private, so I


cannot say what was said, but nothing intimidating, nothing


hostile was said by any member to any other member. So, not long


until we find out what will happen. We have been told to expect some


kind of apology from Ian Davidson. That has not come so far. We were


also told to expect a statement from Rosie Winterton, the Labour


chief whip, but we do not know if that will happen or if it would be


superseded by a statement from Mr Davidson. Whether he does or does


not apologise, whether he does or does not admit that that anything


was done wrong, Dr White has withdrawn for that committee and


last night, she said that she would not go back on to that committee


while Mr Davidson held that post. Thank you.


Enjoyed in the studio by a political commentator this


afternoon, thank you for joining us, an interesting story developing at


Westminster, if these comments are true, pretty ill judged. I think if


it is true, and I wasn't there, you were not there, it was a private


meeting, so we do not know, and clearly there are different


opinions from people that were at the committee, ever not judge if it


is true or not, but if that kind of language was used, politics has a


tendency to get into pretty chorus use of language sometimes against


political divides. If it is true, then there is a problem, because


politicians have had problems all over other areas of activities,


particularly Westminster with expenses and everything else, and


the public's tolerance for this kind of language and that kind of


treatment, again, if it is true, is very short now. Thank you.


More details on that story later in the programme. Now, it is bright


and sunny year, at least, and I do not want to depress you, but we


bassoon dip into those dreary, wintry times. Last year we saw


major transport chaos following the biggest snow falls in many years,


and the Transport Minister lost his job because of this. This year,


preparation is the key according to the Government, and the successor


of the Transport Secretary outlining his winter resilience


measures. We can cross now to our commentator in the chamber.


Thank you. Mr Brown is just about to speak Getty said that the winter


of last year was the coldest of many years, and he will update with


the latest measures on dealing with a new winter, hopefully not as bad


as before. We have the highest a matter preparation across the


public sector than ever before. Last year, everyone mucked in and


helped out, and that would be there if needed, but we need to be


prepared for more than just that. We need to be prepared as a


government and across all public sector agencies. On Monday, we


began our public information campaign for getting ready for


winter. Individuals and communities are stronger when they have


themselves and each other, and this year, we want to make it easier for


people to take their own action to prepare. Our first national


resilience campaign has been created in partnership with the Red


Cross and other organisations, but while there is a duty on statutory


organisations to respond, they cannot to everything. No matter how


prolong or severe the winter, there should be no surprise to us in


Scotland. We need everyone to be more resilient at places of work,


at home, in their car, and wherever they find themselves during the


winter. The range of activities and resources that make up this ready


for winter campaign coupled with the relaunch of our website this


week will have to raise awareness of the steps people can take and


the support available to people taking them. The Government has


significant measures to help people to heat their homes this winter


including �12.5 million announced recently to find insulation schemes


across Scotland. There is also an investment in the energy assistance


package and �2.5 million to help replace inefficient boilers and a


commitment to help the fuel poverty programme and carers. We also want


to deliver support for hard pressed homes that may face a difficult


winter. Over all, the energy assistance package has over 200,000


houses getting help. We have delivered using measures to well


over 21,000 homes. Since last winter, the Government has been


preparing, planning and working to ensure we are as ready as we can be


to minimise the impact of severe weather. The winter weather review


group convened by the Scottish Government in the summer published


this report on Monday listing a series of actions taken across the


voluntary sectors and a range of services to improve resilience and


the critical national infrastructure. Just to give some


examples, the Met Office has, for example, improved the weather


Warning Service. We have invested �500,000 to launch online warnings,


a direct service, to improve services to the public with Updates


on various platforms. They have improved the operation of the


emergency arrangements by reviewing the experience of last winter and


that includes revising the staffing and training arrangements and for


developing sharing information between strategic quarter meeting


groups and the resilience room. Some disruption may still be


unavoidable, as severe weather hits. This can happen at any time and you


only need look at the M25 today to see evidence of that. How we


respond to those incidents and how quickly we can recover to them is


the issue, so we would like to highlight the key steps we have


taken in that regard. Transport Scotland has prepared for the


winter with additional equipment and improved information for people


on the move. From first November, 23 additional gritting machines


will patrol the major routes ahead of him during the peak hours and


when there was a risk of snow and I see conditions and in snowstorms.


Specialist equipment, an ice- breaker, footways snow blowers and


ploughs are been given increased capability. As of a first November,


there would be more salt Stockton Scotland than was used during all


of last winter. -- stocked in Scotland. We also have 70,000


litres of the answers that would work in the serious conditions of


below 70 degrees are freezing. -- de-icers. There will be more


traffic and travel bulletins which will increase in frequency during


extreme weather and will be available on computers and


automated devices and any customer care helpline. We have also set up


the voluntary institutional alliance where there will be an


increase in supplies of winter tyres. We have worked very hard


with the police and frayed partners to develop procedures for the


proactive management of Hege GPs and other vehicles in severe


weather conditions. -- HGVs. There will be also a service where lorry


drivers can inform of issues on the motorway networks. A similar


service will also be developed and other operators. We have secured


�2.2 million of a package of investment by its first Scotland


rail for winter improvements and this includes modification to


trains and beating the more alive full -- and making them more


reliable. There will be more gritting four platforms and car


parks and we will be taking the eyes of carriages and tunnels and


high-pressure hot water equipment to remove ice from the Eagles.


Network Rail has enhanced their structures by using remote


monitoring of point teachers and providing protective blankets on


rural lines. -- point heaters. There will be more 4X4 vehicles for


maintenance staff which will help people in getting to work during


times of severe weather. Network Rail has taken action to Richard


Bacon do this. For clarity, will he clarified the measures taken by


Scotland rail and Network Rail are measures being taken at their hand


and does not involve change to the franchise conditions for a formal


legal associations between Scottish Government and those conditions?


There has been a strong collaboration between all agencies,


but these 2.2 million pound investments are investments made by


a Network Rail, Scottish rail, and there is other developments going


on that will help would resilience. It is all done at Network Rail's


own hand. The rail industry recognises the importance of


accurate and timely information and we're working with the rail


regulator to raise the bar on the quality of passenger information


which was an issue last year. Network Rail and in conjunction


with rail freight hauliers well maintained year Ruth for critical


movements insuring critical supplier of food and fuel by rail.


-- will maintain transport routes for critical movement. They are


investing in new equipment which we hope to see in the airports also


shortly. I met with the previous managing director of Edinburgh


Airport and they have the same issue that the Scottish Government


and others had, would be to invest in new capital equipment which may


not be used, and can attract criticism for that, or to make sure


that they have enough resilience, and they have taken the latter


course, had a right to do that. We have been speaking with the ports


across Scotland to make sure they can play a key role. Which they did


last winter. They have invested in any maintenance and purchased


equipment to make sure that they can complete those roles, such as


shipping strategic sought supplies and a ferry links to communities


that may have as much sought stock as was needed last year. I have a


role in relation to transport, but winter resilience does not respect


portfolio boundaries, so we will continue services to those that


need them most and this needs to be the top priority, and this year,


we're working with care providers to make sure that those that are in


need are brought quickly to the attention of those that require


assistance, so we are developing in consultation with resilience


Partners, a protocol to our climb steps that service providers should


follow when considering people at risk. Especially those at risk of


being cut off from electricity or gas for of running out of heating


oil. This will direct activity primarily at a local level but will


also inform or wider Scottish Many sectors played a vital role in


keeping community is running last year, for example mountain rescue


teams and the Army helping to reach people cut off by snow. Land-Rover


also or allowed the Red Cross to borrow some vehicles. We need


neighbours to check up on the vulnerable as well. We will


continue to support those partnerships where possible. We


have developed a national directory of third sector organisations


capable of us -- capable of providing help and support in these


conditions. In relation to making sure that MSPs are kept up to date,


Transport Scotland are writing out today to invite all MSPs to a


presentation to be given by representatives of the trunk road


operating companies on Wednesday. Transport Scotland has worked


closely with operating companies to make sure they are prepared. It is


impressive the amount of work that has been done on the lessons that


have been learned since last year in relation to -- in relation to


the trunk road operating companies in particular. At the time of


severe economic challenges, we have to demonstrate that the


infrastructure and services of Scotland are ready to withstand


severe winter weather. Whether can affect people's personal plans, but


it can also have a major impact on the economy. We believe in the


preparations that we have made. We believe the people of Scotland are


ready for this winter and they have taken heed of the idea that we


should call for the best but plan for the worst in terms of severe


weather. Are ready and capable Scotland is the kind of Scotland


that we'll want to see. In that regard, I am happy to move the


notion in my name. Now some breaking news. The chairman of the


Scottish Affairs Committee, Ian Davidson, who is at the centre of


allegations of bullying, has issued an apology but has denied bullying.


You are watching Politics Scotland from the BBC. Still to come on the


programme: We will reach out with in our communities, door by door,


street by street, in the most unprecedented campaign of


mobilisation and communication by the SNP and in the history of


Scottish politics. The SNP referendum campaign is on a


roll, but when is it actually taking place and what will the


questions be? But first, Holyrood's Finance


Committee has been hearing calls for a review into universal


benefits, such as the council tax freeze and prescription charges.


One witness said no policy should be protected until all the costs


and benefits had been fully analysed. Our Political Reporter


Sarah Paterson sat through a rather bleak financial morning.


Particularly for Professor Armstrong, you have spoken about


the risks associated with and non- domestic rates in particular for


local government, that they would be more dependent on that. You have


said that it will be quite risky because the grant would be


determined on that. But that is not true. The Scottish Government


guarantee the figures outlined in the settlement to local government


and have always traditionally met the short fall in non-domestic


rates. Yes, there is an element of the budget that is not clear as to


whether or not the local government settlements that are run the budget


lines in the departmental budget lines are covered under the same


arrangement. But the budget itself is at risk. If non-domestic rates


income does not come in at the levels forecast. That is what we


are flagging up. That level of increase well above the rate of


inflation, if it does not happen, the overall budget is at risk.


would be the same for the Chancellor in England as well?


Absolutely. We know that the expectation for economic growth at


UK level is significantly lower than was forecast in the Budget in


March. We're awaiting the pre- Budget statement in November, which


is to say whether or not as a consequence of additional payments


to benefits means that we would be facing addition will cuts. And then


the issue of free benefits, like the council tax freeze and free


prescriptions. Do you think Government will be forced to


address these issues through financial restrain its? When one


looks that universal benefits, there was some excellent work done


on universality verses selectivity. A number of the universal benefits


are regressive and those on a higher income tend to benefit


disproportionately. I would suggest again that these issues should be


visited again, as to whether they stand up to scrutiny. I don't want


people to wait until there for us because the budget is 10% less than


we think, I won that to be done openly over the coming months so


they can be an informed debate -- I want. And whether funds can been


released to other essential activities which are high priority


in terms of the impact on the Scottish economy and Scottish


society in these difficult times. am joined by Alf Young. Is it time


to have a look at these so-called free benefits? Who did come with a


big cost for their down the line? think the problem with some of them


is that they are not prescribed in the sense that, if I use a free bus


pass too often, the cost should go up. There has been an escalation in


costs in some of these benefits. For some of these benefits like the


prescription charges and bus travel, it is not just that they're helping


needy people, they are also taking those who are better off out of


having to pay. As the budget going forward get squeeze and is subject


to all sorts of other pressures because of the kind of economic


times we live them, I think there is a case certainly for looking at


what looked like good ideas in the time of plenty, but they may be


look like less good ideas during difficult time is. The Independent


budget review was warning the Finance Secretary about the cost of


these policies. Has John Swinney taken this on board? I am not sure


they have yet. I think the feel quite proud in terms of what they


did with bridge tolls and the free travels -- the free travel scheme


and free prescriptions. Two start unravelling that as quickly as this,


particularly in a time when they're trying to win a vote on


independence, I think it would be difficult for them to go back on it


now. I think they will try to stick with it, if they can. A lot of


people in England complain about -- complain about these so-called free


benefits, but it is up to the Government as to where the allocate


their funding. Other things get less of the pot as an inevitable


consequence, but the Government made these choices. I think they


will find it difficult to move away from these policies so quickly,


especially as they're trying to persuade Scottish be able to vote


for independence. Where do Scott not receive funding where we are


receiving in free buses and free prescriptions? Where are the hidden


costs, perhaps? One as the things that was coming up in the


conversation with the witnesses during the committee is in this


whole area of local government funding. In terms of their


settlement, there is a squeeze there and there are some elements


of their funding, like the revenues from domestic rates and how the us


are allocated. But if the numbers go wrong this way are that and


people are not paying their rates, if the inflation projections on


rates proved to be wrong, then there is a further short fall in


the budget. There will be some shrinkage there. Some of the


services that people expect to have from their local authorities might


be trained in ways that people don't really like. Public toilets


are shouting, for example. If it went further, people might find it


to be something which is unacceptable. Thank you.


The past weekend's SNP conference was hailed as the most successful


yet by supporters. Delegates congratulated each other on their


historic win and wasted no time in getting on board the campaign for


the independence referendum. But what form will the referendum take


and could the SNP be on a risky path with a second question? Our


Political Correspondent Raymond Buchanan took a walk around the


conference centre in Inverness. Even Court Theatre is some place.


This is the main auditorium where the conference is taking place. The


pantomime is coming up soon. There is also a cinema where so many


different stories are told. When parties are in government, normally


the use the conference to make policy announcement, but this party


was celebrating their election when and looking forward to the


independence referendum. By the time we get to the next Scottish


Parliament elections in 2016, we will have had the chance to realise


the dream of generations of nationalists throughout their


history of Scotland. Delegate, I believe that we will win the


independence referendum. APPLAUSE And we shall prevail,


because we share a vision. A vision of a land without boundaries and


where people are unlimited to be free. No limits for Scotland.


APPLAUSE It should be no surprise that the party of independence


favours independence. But what kind of independence?


United Kingdom will be a country bridge has the same head of state,


her Majesty the Queen, and Scotland will be an independent country.


Even if we keep the Queen, the SNP favour the Euro, don't they?


would not see that as an early priority. It would be dependent on


economic circumstances. Want all this talk up Britishness damage


Scottishness? Apparently we are over the hang-ups of the past.


continuing British a -- British identity poses no threat to


people's sense of Scottishness. The complexities of past and present


experience that continue to add to Scottish identity and to its


richness and diversity. It looks like the time is right for the SNP


to embrace a new kind of Unionism, just without the politics. It may


be that there are a whole series of areas where we continue to pull our


interests both with our neighbours and friends in the silence, but


elsewhere in Europe and the world. The key thing is that a Parliament


can make whatever decisions it likes. But the party have an


insurance option. It is a second referendum question advocating more


powers for Holyrood. But some are worried that that risks what was


once as simple independence message for. The primary message should be


to take people by the hand and sure that independence is unambiguous.


The Independent's campaign has started, but the final act will be


some time away. Sit back and prepare for a long wait before


Scotland's constitutional future is finally decided.


I am now joined by the SNP's Derek MacKay from the Garden Lobby at


Holyrood. Moving Scotland forward was the main theme of the


conference there. We are no further forward in knowing anything about


the referendum, apart from Alex Salmond perhaps indicating that a


We are further forward, our vision for independence is outlined. We


have showcased what independence can do for this country, making us


healthier, the stronger, and a more compassionate country, so the


debate is very positive and constructive and Scotland. We have


the vision, but how do we get there? We have already circulated


of White Paper on independence and the process involved. The option of


a multi-option referendum has been discussed in the last number of


years. There is nothing new in that. People can present a solution. We


will campaign for independence and a yes, no questions are the people


of Scotland can assert their view. I do not think that you're


campaigning nicely, according to what was said in that package, the


aim should be to campaign unambiguously, are you not muddying


the Walter Smith a multi-option referendum question? No, we are


campaigning full square for independence, that is our objective,


to make this country better. That is what the SNP will campaign for.


We are also a Democratic Party, we are putting the choice to the


people of Scotland. It is the Westminster parties that are


running scared from the possibility of presenting Scotland's


constitutional future to the people. It sounds like you were forcing the


other parties into presenting a second question, and a Newsnight


yesterday, it was clear they did not want to present the second


option, it was the SNP wanted it as an insurance policy. Some parties


are already moving on from the Calman Commission, the Lib Dems say


they want more to be established. And that was said last night that


they do not want the second question. I am at a loss as to why


they do not want to ask the people of Scotland why and what they want?


They will have the choice of further Paris been transferred to


Scotland, that is positive and constructed -- constructive. In


relation to the Labour Party, some serious figures in the Labour Party


supporting a multi-option referendum, Gordon ground antenna


McLeish to name two. -- Gordon Brown and Henry McLeish. The have


no idea what the new Labour leader would say? I have no idea what they


want to say, but they are at odds and want to walk all over the


Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people. The SNP will


campaign for independence but we are not afraid to put the question


to the people of Scotland if other parties want to bring forward their


proposals for devolution and further devolution. That is an


incredibly democratic and positive position for the party of Scotland,


the SNP, too alkaline. One thing other parties are very clear on is


the ambiguous resolved, what if you get 51 % voting yes to voting Yes


and many people are voting for something else, what happens and


the SNP view on that? A primary- school child understands if there


is a straight yes majority then... What if there is a straight


majority for a Dieselmax? They are saying if he would like a parrot


that Parliament to extended, and now they are asking if you would


like independence, and if not, would you like something else, but


if they vote for independence in the majority, that is what they


would get. These two referendums are totally different, the last


referendum was one question with something else on top, there are


two totally different alternatives. The London party is saying to not


transfer other parties to Scotland and Paris to Scotland and do not


answer the question. It would be a tragedy for democracy if they did


not get the independence of their nation. The debate is about if


people want it, yes or no? I believe with independent support


growing by the day, the people of Scotland will vote yes and we will


have a more prosperous, fair, and just nation. Thank you.


Let's look at some of the issues raised with our political


correspondent, is this an issue with the SNP, this 51 % voting yes


in a referendum on independence, but a higher proportion voting yes


on the other option? This is a huge problem. They are not properly


addressing the problem may be as as their teasing out the option of


independence, there is this other option where there separately


tested against the status quo. Even if the second option is more


popular than the independence option, if they both managed a


majority and the independence majority is a small one, it appears


from read a stand at the moment, that it would still go ahead


because it is a majority. There is another way of doing it. They could


test all three against each other on a single transfer, one-vote


basis, so we have a choice of each of the three options, and the


bottom one drops out and the other two face-off against each other in


the final calculation. They could do that way were we test


independence against what they are having as the other option. The


idea that the second question is like the question refaced in 1997


is nonsense, because the second question in 1997 was a question on


the Paris of this devolved Parliament. If the first question


had not been accepted, if the Scottish people had said we do not


want devolution, the second question would not have happened


because there was no vehicle for it to happen. The issue now is that


they are trying to put both options up saying that they want the other


parties, the Unionist parties to come up with what that the other


option would look like. If the deal is that they come up with the idea,


but even if it gets a bigger vote, he does not happen because


independence is won by a narrower margin. Who in the Unionist parties


will come along and say be well do that? That is a great idea, we will


go along with that. That will not happen. But the SNP want to


continue with the other option as an insurance policy or for whatever


reason and have the two questions? I am not clear. I do not think


anyone is clear what they will do in these circumstances, but the


idea that you have these two votes and that the one with the smaller


majority would still prevail seems to be a perversion of democracy.


Before that stage, do you think the union has party Sarat catch 22 if


they take on the second option or not? -- are at catch 22. Ends of


the Unionist parties are in such a mess over the consequences of the


SNP becoming a majority government at Holyrood. One is in the midst of


an election campaign, I do not think their heads or straight, any


of them, to come up with the answers. -- are straight. For


people looking on, ad that are not committed politicians, members of


political parties, that is most of us, the vast majority of Scotland


are not members of political parties, for most of us, we can't


think that the choice that most people wanted in any situation was


the choice that prevailed. Here we seem to have a proposition that


says no, you can have the votes, but you might find at the end of


the day that the choice that most of the wanted will not prevail


because you say at the other one got over the 50 % mark, it will


prevail. Thank you. Coalition divisions over Europe have


prevented David Cameron from playing a leading role in tackling


the euro-zone crisis. That is the claim of David Miliband in a clash


at Prime Minister's Questions today. He was also asked about the murder


of Stuart Walker in Scotland this weekend. Does the Prime Minister


agree with me that we need not just for Greece and Italy to sort out


there problems and the proper recapitalisation of the European


banks, but also an agenda to help Europe and Britain to grow? What is


necessary this evening is to deal with the key elements of the euro-


zone crisis which is acting as a drag anchor on recoveries in many


other countries including our own. The main elements and decisive


action to deal with the Greek situation and a proper


recapitalisation of the banks which has not happened across Europe up


until now, and the stress tests carried out have not had


credibility. The most important thing is the construction of this


fire wall of this European funds to stop contagion elsewhere. There are


wider growth strategies across Europe which is required, but that


is what was debated on Sunday and that is where the Commission


proposals on the single market, liberalising energy quality, all of


those proposals, they could have been written here in London.


would emphasise that those are long-term measures, but we also


need immediate action for growth and that needs to happen not just


dead European meetings but at the G20 next week. -- at European. We


know that his focus was not sorting out the European crisis, it has


been sorting out the problems on his own side. He said his priority


was to repatriate powers from Europe, which Paris and when? --


powers. Boy one serious question and straight on to the politics,


how typical! Let me be clear, the idea you could go into this meeting


of arguing that Britain should add an extra �100 million to its


deficit is a total joke. In terms of the relationship with Europe,


let me say, the coalition agreement does so dark to talk about


rebalancing power between Britain and Europe. -- does talk about. We


have got this bail-out power back, the bail-out power Betty get away.


My constituency is in a state of shock following the murder last


weekend of the local man, Stuart Walker, a very popular local man.


Will the Prime Minister join me in sending condolences to his family


and admits the much unhelpful speculation about the motivation


for this murder, when he called on local people with any information


to go to the police to help with inquiries? I certainly join her in


sending condolences to her constituents family and what she


said is absolutely right. The police at the public and the public


how the police, the police cannot solve crimes without the help of


the public and I hope everyone will have as much as they can. It was


reported a week ago that the Bank of England had reprimanded one


commercial bank and there may be others that tried to manipulate the


gilts market to exploit but do these things. Could he ask for a


report on this matter and if it is true and we will use the full force


against them if they tried to rip off the tax payer. It is important


to show that there is not something called white collar crime that is


less serious than other crimes. Crime is crime and should be


investigated and prosecuted with the full force of the raw. It felt


like the days of John Major's government as we waited for revolt


on Europe on Monday night. Concerns for aid and -- concerns over any


referendum on that night, and now let's go back to the Scottish


Affairs Committee story and Ian Davidson issue that apology a short


time ago. Yes, that apology came in the last 45 minutes. At the


beginning of the public session this afternoon, Ian Davidson made a


statement saying that he apologised if any offence had been caused by


remarks he made in a private session of the committee last week.


He remained resolute that he did not issue any threats and was


apologising for any offence that might have been caused. It is an


issue that has caused great interest among MPs from all


political parties today, as indeed that issue of Europe. We would do


with Europe in a moment, but I am joined by three Scottish MPs, two


that the present Scottish MPs and one that is Scottish that


represents a sudden Committee. Firstly, Stewart, from what Ian


Davidson has said this afternoon, has he gone far enough for your


party now to return to the Scottish Affairs Committee no, the


allegation was that he threatened to give Dr Eilidh Whiteford a doing.


He was suggesting this was sent SNP is me around he was forced to


apologise. -- this was an s n p sneer and he was forced to


apologise. People are appalled at what has gone on and further action


needs to be taken and he must still resign the chairmanship of that


committee. Alan our, this does not involve your party, but what you


There should never be any circumstances where one member of


parliament should be anything other than courteous and polite to other


members of Parliament. If he has caused offence, he should apologise.


Were hearing that Ian Davidson should fully apologise. Iain has


apologised for any offence that was caused. Colleagues across the House


have to treat each other with courtesy. I hope we can conduct


this dialogue about the referendum that looks like it will come on


separation with respect. But it must also mean that the First


Minister should treat the Scottish people with respect and answer


questions about monetary and fiscal policy and currency. The people of


Scotland deserve answers to this question. The Scottish Affairs


Committee is quite right to begin a dialogue about what separation


would mean. In Brussels today, there is an important meeting where


the European Union is basically trying to stitch a deal together to


get countries like Greece out of a financial hole. How important is it


that this afternoon or this evening they get that deal? We need a final


deal. The future of Europe is that state. One in five young people are


out of work in Britain. 80,000 and stop them. Nearly half the


population of Spain. We need the recapitalisation of the banks. We


need a proper fund that is there to stand behind this debt and make


sure the markets have confidence. We need growth and the need


European nations to recognise that the programme of austerity cuts is


not fully working. Where there is no growth, countries after have


another look at the fiscal consolidation plans. You Prime


Minister is saying to the Euro countries that they have to


consolidate themselves more and have more convergence. How worried


are you that if the deal was not put together that things will get a


issued a man worse? Very worried. The Foreign Secretary and the Prime


Minister are doing all they can to help Europe. We are all in this


together right across the whole of Europe. They do have to be


austerity cuts because part of this crisis has come about because many


countries have been spending money that we don't have. We have got to


see the realism of the economic situation across Europe. David


Cameron is playing that role very well. Posterity or spend our way


out of this? It is about growth. All package that needs to be agreed


is the European Financial Strategy Fund has to be beefed up to give


confidence, the ECB has to provide liquidity into sovereign markets so


that Spain and Greece cannot fall away, Italy has to be resolved,


debt has to be resolved. We have to look across Europe and in the UK


where we are cutting and how we're cutting. If it is as deep as it is


here, it is weakening the potential for growth, which means that even


the target of the Tories cannot be met. I agree with some of that.


We'll see what the problem has, but that has to be some responsibility


taken for how the route -- how the problem are rows and the first


place and that is because public spending across Europe was too high


by countries that didn't have the money to spend, and that was also


done in Britain. Fortunately we're not in the Euro because many of us


fought to keep Britain out of the Euro, but it does not mean that we


are not affected by what is going on. We need to help other European


countries in order to save the economy of Europe as a whole.


partly you're party's fault for spending too much? I don't accept


that. Denmark has put together at �10 billion strategy but its


borrowing powers are less than the UK. We're talking about cutting VAT


and National Insurance to get young people back into work. That should


be the Prime policy for Britain and Europe. How important you think the


debate on Europe this week was in terms of changing the view of


Europe from Westminster? I think is extraordinary damaging for the


Prime Minister that just under half his backbench MPs did not support


him. Instead of negotiating with his backbenchers, he should be


leading for Britain in Europe to make sure we get these changes that


will be in our interest. It is not in our interest to see the eurozone


so unstable with little growth. We need growth for Britain to prosper


as well. More than half of our trade in goods and services is with


Europe. To have a referendum at this point to pull ourselves out of


Europe would have been entirely the wrong course for Britain. You voted


with the Government this week. How difficult was it for you not to


support other Euro-sceptics? would not support that motion. It


was another referendum with three questions, just like you're one. It


is not the right way to proceed in Government. I don't have any


difficulty not voting for that. All will Labour have to say that this


puts David Cameron in a weak position, it doesn't. What it does


is let David Cameron and the Government's see the strength of


feeling out there in the country about wanting to keep Britain


rather separate from the debacle that is going on in Europe. About


renegotiating our future terms on which we are involved in the


European Union. David Cameron is in a very strong position on that. It


was difficult for some backbenchers in the Conservative Party on Monday


night. Some of them did want to dig their heels and and make their


voices heard. But that doesn't mean it is week for the Prime Minister.


The SNP abstain done has fought, why? It was not in our manifesto


either. -- abstained in this vote. The real danger here is that


Scotland and the UK need a successful Europe to export to, to


get growth and recovery. Although the debate here had no particular


bearing, the constant sniping and attacking of her friends and


partners in Europe is profoundly damaging. We should be working


together to get a recovery across the entire Continent which benefits


Europe and benefits us. It looks as though it is about to start raining,


so I will let you go. Europe is one of those issues that is very much


coming back to the fore here at Westminster.


Let's get some final thoughts from our political commentator, Alf


Young. How important is that deadline for getting that bail out


package together as these European leaders meet in Brussels today?


Critical. This is entirely about confidence. If the leaders of the


eurozone and the leaders of the wider European Community cannot


come to an agreement, and it still doesn't look as if the well, then


the consequences could be very damaging indeed. There are


fundamental differences about the extent to which Germany would be


prepared effectively to under right the entire problem across the 17


members of the eurozone. There is clearly no appetite within the


European Central Bank to do what the Bank of England has been doing


and printing money to try to stimulate demand. So, if they don't


get that kind of agreement, what you then begin to have to look at


is the prospect of bits of the eurozone falling apart. You


actually look at default of sovereign nations like Greece,


problems in Italy with political instability because the Government


has called an election early and there is talk of Silvio Berlusconi


moving out of politics altogether, although I will believe that when I


see yet! But there is huge political and economic instability


built in there. As Stewart Hosie and others were saying, the


eurozone is 40% of our export trade. Europe as a whole is nearly 50%.


All forecasting is looking at this quarter that we are currently M


which runs until December and saying there will not be much crawl


for round at all in this quarter. This is three years on from Lehman


Brothers, four years on from Northern Rock. We are beginning to


look at a period of years running into you is beyond years were there


is no real recovery our growth, rising inflation. We heard about a


long period of stagflation, which nobody wants. That is an issue of


whether we are in the eurozone, whether we are in the wider circles


outside the eurozone, and it is a big issue here in Scotland because


with the referendum coming up, the whole picture on that is about


remaining part of a monetary union that is the United Kingdom, so the


Bank of England will set our interest rates. But the ambition in


the longer term is to join the eurozone. It part of the remedy in


the eurozone is a fiscal tightening, I Union that is not just a monetary


union with a single currency, but a fiscal Union where there are some


political entity at the centre that is dictating levels of taxation, is


that really the prospect of an independent Scotland signing up, if


it could get into that? What does that do about the capacity of that


independence Scotland Today its own decisions in the interests of these


people. He's a huge stakes we're playing with. Difficulties at the


end of the day will be felt in people's living standards. David


Cameron is flying out to Brussels today. Ed Miliband said that he was


pleading, not leading. How is he performing in all of this Kerr ayes


will, he has found himself where John Major and Margaret thought --


where. Europe -- how is he performing in all of this? He has


found himself would John Major and Margaret Thatcher where regarding


Europe. He wants to trade with Europe, but that is about it. He


does not want to be part of their political integration. He has a


battle in his hands because MPs are preparing to vote against them --


prepared to vote against him. There is a real difference there and


Europe is very much back on the agenda at the very time that it is


following a par. Thank you for that and for your company this afternoon.


That is all from us just now. We are back at the same time next week.


2:30pm here on BBC Two. Gordon Brewer will be here with Newsnight


Download Subtitles