BBC On The Record - Broadcast: 22.09.02

==================================================================================== NB. THIS TRANSCRIPT WAS TYPED FROM A TRANSCRIPTION UNIT RECORDING AND NOT COPIED FROM AN ORIGINAL SCRIPT; BECAUSE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF MIS-HEARING AND THE DIFFICULTY, IN SOME CASES, OF IDENTIFYING INDIVIDUAL SPEAKERS, THE BBC CANNOT VOUCH FOR ITS ACCURACY ==================================================================================== ON THE RECORD RECORDED FROM TRANSMISSION: BBC ONE DATE: 22.09.02 ==================================================================================== JOHN HUMPRHYS: Good afternoon. They're on the march in London... but are they wasting their time? MPs will be back in London on Tuesday to debate Iraq... but are those opposed to a war wasting THEIR time? We'll be looking at all that and talking to the leader of the Conservative Party Iain Duncan Smith. I'll be asking the leader of the Scottish Nationalists, John Swinney, why they're making so little headway. And I'll be talking to the Northern Ireland First Minister, David Trimble, about the latest crisis facing the peace process. That's after the news read by Darren Jordon. NEWS HUMPHRYS: They're marching to save the foxhounds - and the countryside - but Labour MPs want to ban their sport and they won't let the government off the hook. GRAHAM ALLEN: "There should be an outright ban on hunting with hounds and anything less than that will be a misreading of the House of Commons." HUMPHRYS: With his party in the doldrums, does the Scottish Nationalist leader have any reason to celebrate? . And David Trimble has survived another threat to his leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party. But at what price to the Northern Ireland peace process. And I'll also be talking to the Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith. But first, are we going to war? On Tuesday MPs return to Westminster to debate Iraq. Many of them will do their damnedest to stop Britain joining in a war. The Cabinet meets tomorrow and some of THEM also have serious misgivings about Tony Blair's support for America. But will their voices be heard? Well, that depends perhaps on how many speak out. If a British prime minister decides to go to war there is nothing to stop him - unless, of course, he fails to carry his party with him. Then it becomes difficult. Terry Dignan reports. TERRY DIGNAN: The spectre of war looms again over the Middle East. The armed forces of the United States are on the move. Eleven years ago America and her allies called a halt once the Iraqis had been ejected from Kuwait. This time they may go all the way - to Baghdad - with British troops risking their lives alongside them. Over Kosovo and Afghanistan Tony Blair didn't flinch from deploying our troops in support of what he regarded as just causes. But Iraq is a bigger test. Many Labour members and voters along with much of the European Union and Arab and Muslim worlds, oppose United States' plans to go to war with Saddam Hussain. Mr Blair, though, remains determined to stand alongside President George Bush even at the risk of splitting his party and isolating Britain internationally. MALCOLM SAVIDGE MP: There's a danger that Britain could be colluding in policies that I think the vast majority of people in Britain would feel very worried - might be dangerous and even evil policies. And I'm thinking of policies like pre-emptive, pre-emptive wars against countries who have not attacked us. ERIC JOYCE MP; I think we have to have resolve and if military action's what's required or at least a threat at this stage of military action, and I think it is required - that threat - then I think we should follow through with the threat. DIGNAN; Ministers and civil servants within Whitehall have been co-ordinating Britain's response to the Iraq crisis. They have been compiling evidence for a dossier which is meant to support American claims that Saddam has the potential to use weapons of mass destruction. Tony Blair will present it to cabinet tomorrow and MPs on Tuesday. It's aimed at those who believe the Iraqi leader is no more of a threat today than he has been at any time in recent years. DOUG HENDERSON: I don't think there's any greater threat from Saddam Hussein today than there was four years ago - it's just that the international political situation's changed in the aftermath of September last year and that the Americans are much more gung-ho. DIGNAN: Hostility to military action stretches beyond those who routinely criticise Tony Blair. More than a hundred and thirty Labour MPs have signed a motion expressing deep unease at possible British government support for war against Iraq. They want the UN to find a solution. Even two cabinet members, Claire Short and Robin Cook, are said to share these sentiments. SAVIDGE: I think it's very important to recognise that concern in Parliament spreads right across the Parliamentary Labour Party - it's not just the usual suspects or the people who in the past opposed military action, it's people like myself who have supported previous military action. PRESIDENT BUSH: I welcome the prime minister back to Camp David ........ DIGNAN: At meetings with Bush, Blair has argued for UN support for military action. Iraq has reacted by allowing back UN weapons inspectors - an offer scorned by Blair and Bush, understandably say some former inspectors. TIM TREVAN: Generally speaking, Iraq was happy to make inspectors look foolish. So if they knew that a site had nothing then they would happily allow the inspectors to enter. If they knew the site was something which would embarrass the inspectors, they were even more happy to let them go in. For example, if the inspectors turned up at a place which turned out to be a chicken farm because of some error of map reading or a nursery school or something like that, but on the other hand, if the inspectors got close to a site which actually contains something they were trying to hide, then they would block physically the inspectors from entering. DIGNAN; So, the Americans fear that UN inspectors would again be obstructed. Plans for a war against Saddam would have to be put on hold. And that worries Washington because if there is to be an attack on Iraq, the Administration may want it launched before the summer heat returns to the Middle East. DR ROSEMARY HOLLIS: Time is the problem, the American timetable requires that if they are going to war they have to do it before the weather changes and that means doing it in the early New Year. They anticipate that the armed forces are going to have to equip for the potential use of biological and chemical weaponry. That is not a possibility in the middle of summer, and as soon as you get off the timetable, the political timetable of this year, you get into the run-up to the next presidential elections. So I believe that the hawks in Washington see this year as the optimum year to press home their quest for regime change in Baghdad. DIGNAN: Bush, backed by Blair, has responded to Saddam's offer by calling on the UN Security Council to set tough new conditions for the return of weapons inspectors. They should go anywhere they want including Saddam's presidential palaces and there'd be no room for negotiation. The Iraqis would face an ultimatum - co-operate or the countdown to war commences. But this weekend Saddam has vowed to defy any new UN resolution whose terms he says have been dictated by the Americans. HOLLIS: The Iraqi government would have to be feeling very desperate and frightened indeed to change its habitual attitude on this issue of weapons inspectors so completely that they could go anywhere in the country that they wanted, they could investigate any site that they wanted, with or without notice and so on. JOYCE; Saddam Hussein has ignored all the resolutions passed up till now; he is a well known liar and murderer and there's no reason we should accept his word at this stage, in fact there's every reason we should not and back it up with a clear, concrete statement of the resolve of the international community so I think it has to be toughly worded and we have to be prepared to back it up swiftly with action. DIGNAN: So far only two of the five permanent members of the UN security council - the US and UK - want to threaten Saddam with dire consequences if he doesn't co-operate. France, Russia and China have yet to be won over. But the Americans warn they'll block the return of the inspectors unless the threat of force is held in reserve. TREVAN: The inspections don't have much hope of success unless Iraq believes there are serious consequences of not complying with the inspections. Clearly Russia, China and France are very reluctant to mention the military threat so you're sending in inspectors without the military threat behind them, which means that Iraq is very unlikely to do anything beyond the minimal to allow them to come into the country and wander around and make fools of themselves. DIGNAN: In 1991 George Bush senior had United Nations' backing for a war against Iraq. His son is warning that he may take on Saddam regardless of the UN. That's what many Labour MPs fear. Even worse from their point of view is their worry that Tony Blair will ignore international opinion, commit Britain's armed forces to the conflict and cause a split in his party. HENDERSON: I think if Britain gives unconditional backing to the US it weakens our position as a broker between for instance European Union countries and the United States. It puts our own Prime Minister on the spot if on the one hand he's saying to the UN you must try and build a coalition, you must look at the question of inspections and at the same time he's saying well if you don't, we're going to go ahead anyway. JOYCE; When I look back and I think about Kosovo, I don't accept that it is absolutely essential that the UN give its full OK, I think at the end of the day what we need to do is to remove this threat and if it has to be done without the UN, the full UN backing, then so be it. DIGNAN: The prospect of the US deciding unilaterally to go to war may leave the UN looking weak, marginalised and humiliated. It's argued that many member-states are so appalled at the thought that they may decide to give America their backing. In theory this should make it easier for Tony Blair to win round those Labour MPs who say that without UN approval, war against Iraq is unacceptable. HOLLIS: They've been playing a game of bluff by threatening to go it alone if they don't get the necessary co-operation, that does corner the UN, they need to legitimise whatever the Americans do, otherwise it vindicates the idea that power might is right. SAVIDGE: I think it is very worrying to me that there are clearly a number of members of the Bush Administration who want war almost whatever happens, irrespective of inspections, irrespective of disarmament, they wish just to go for a regime change, and I don't want to see the United Nations simply used as a cover for pursuing a belligerent militaristic objective which is driven by the ideology of the US hard right. DIGNAN: But in Whitehall the plan appears to be to support Bush's strategy. That's what many Labour MPs believe. Which means Britain may be heading for war - with or without UN approval. It's a gamble - perhaps the severest test yet of the prime minister's leadership qualities. SAVIDGE: Before we start talking about the possible sacrifice of civilian lives or the lives of our armed forces, we should be very careful about saying that we're prepared to pay a blood price for the special relationship between our Prime Minister and this particular President. JOYCE: It does cause unease amongst some people within the Labour Party and elsewhere, but we have to be careful we don't define our response simply because the Americans are involved. Some people seem not to like our response to the Iraq problem simply because we're on the same side as the Americans. DIGNAN: Not so long from now our screens may again be filled with images of war. Tony Blair believes the use of force may ultimately be the only way of ensuring that Saddam Hussain is prevented from developing and unleashing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Proving this to his Cabinet and to his MPs this week will be a daunting challenge. HUMPHRYS: Terry Dignan reporting there. Well I'll be talking about Iraq to Iain Duncan Smith in a few minutes. As we speak he is marching through London with all the others. Our own reporter David Grossman is with them. David.... DAVID GROSSMAN: As you can see there are many thousands of people streaming down Whitehall and we're told there are many more thousands waiting to start the procession. What's brought them here is a range of issues, around the central theme that Government is just ignoring the needs of rural people. But there is also a core grievance and that's to do with hunting with hounds. Indeed, the organisers were very specific about that point, they said that if you don't oppose a ban on hunting with hounds, please just don't bother turning up today. They wanted all these people to speak with one voice to Government, with one message about hunting and the Government is at the the process of drawing up its hunting legislation. So, how can the Government possibly hope to keep all these people happy and the large number of MPs who are equally passionate, but passionate that hunting should be banned. I've been to Oxfordshire to try to find out if there is a way for the Government to square that very awkward looking circle. DAVID GROSSMAN: A change could be coming to the Bicester hunt - whilst the hounds can only smell breakfast on the morning breeze their huntsman Patrick Martin is a worried man. A ban on hunting would he says needlessly devastate his livelihood and the life of this part of Oxfordshire. He's told the government's inquiry that the case against hunting is a mess of unsubstantiated prejudice, in short a dog's breakfast. PATRICK MARTIN: I think it will completely destroy the countryside. I think people will feel they had been picked on and I think anybody can understand a reason for something being stopped if there is justification and good evidence for it being stopped. It is not animal welfare, it is personal prejudice. GROSSMAN: The Labour party though has long cherished the idea of banning hunting with hounds - it was one of the few old Labour ideas that survived into the new era. ACTUALITY TONY BLAIR: "It will be banned, I mean we'll get the vote to ban it as soon as we possibly can and we are looking now at ways of bringing it forward in a future session and allow people to have a vote and actually carry it through." GROSSMAN: Tradition is a big part of the appeal of hunting. Nineteenth century clothes long since abandoned in urban Britain are cherished here. But five years into the Labour government, Patrick Martin is still able to put on his stock and boots and go hunting is resented by many Labour MPs. Instead of going for an outright ban straight away the government spent time canvassing the views of MPs who overwhelmingly supported an outright ban. The government is, say its critics, guilty of weakness and dither. GRAHAM ALLEN MP: I think many people in the country and in parliament are absolutely baffled as to why Number Ten have played this issue in the way that they have, this issue, issue was around some four years ago with decisive leadership it could have been dealt with at that point and it would now be history, but by dragging this along in the way that the leadership have, what has happened is that it has become a far bigger issue than it deserved to be and of course many people are weary of it in all parts of the House. Many people would like to see the back of it. GROSSMAN: No hunting for the hounds today, instead a trip to the county show. You don't need an acute nose to detect that the government's still looking for a compromise on this issue, something short of an outright ban. The formula they are thinking about for their hunting bill expected this autumn , measures utility against cruelty, so hunting would be allowed perhaps under licence where it was the most effective and least cruel form of pest control. Ministers are extremely aware of the problems an outright ban could cause in the countryside, where there are dire threats of widespread civil disobedience. MARTIN: Fury is a good word, people will erupt, we have been fair, we have been peaceful we have done everything that is asked of us and at the end of the day if they turn round and say sorry we are going to ban you anyway that will not wash and they can face the consequences. GROSSMAN: And the consequences could be what? MARTIN: The consequences could be outright civil war, people in this countryside will not take this lying down. GROSSMAN: The Thame and Oxfordshire county show looks peaceful enough but below the surface is a mood of angry defiance at the threat of a hunting ban. The home secretary David Blunkett is personally opposed to an outright ban - he's said to fear it would needlessly jeopardise his fight against crime. KATE HOEY MP: People living in areas where there is huge amounts of crime do not want to see police resources wasted, it would be absolutely ludicrous when we are so short of police and when crime is on the increase that we want to make criminals out of decent law abiding citizens and that we want to use police resources to go off and try and catch those kinds of people. It is farcical and I think the Prime Minister must know that. GROSSMAN: In hunting as in politics the whips are there to encourage the awkward and the reluctant to think of the team. But when the government does publish its hunting bill it's made it clear it'll be a free vote, there won't be any whipping. MPs will be free to follow their conscience. And that means that even if the bill does start life as a compromise that allows hunting to continue in some form - when the large number of anti-hunting MPs get their teeth in it, it could easily be amended into an outright ban. ALLEN: I think putting some form of botched compromise together in front of the House of Commons would be a severe and profound misreading of the House of Commons at this point and would result in more distress. Frankly the House of Commons has made its position clear on numerous occasions, there should be an outright ban on hunting with hounds and anything less than that will be a misreading of the House of Commons and if the leadership feel that they can get away with something like that I think they will be making a very severe mistake and I think if someone puts forward a compromise it will be smashed aside by the massive majority in the House of Commons GROSSMAN: At the countryside alliance stall they're concentrating on spreading the word about today's march. If MPs do vote for a ban it will put them in conflict with The Lords where the last time a ban was suggested it was massively defeated. The only way out of this stalemate is for the government to invoke the parliament act - a piece of legislation that in effect allows the Commons to ignore the upper house - and the government has made it clear they are prepared to use it. ALUN MICHAEL MP: I am absolutely clear that if the Government introduces a Bill which is amended in the House of Commons, our promise in relation to allowing the Parliament Act to obtain would apply. It would be a matter for the Commons and I think I can't underline enough the important words "This would be a matter for the House of Commons." GROSSMAN: Baroness Mallalieu is a Labour Peer and president of the countryside alliance - she promises that if the government uses the parliament act would trigger legislative chaos. BARONESS MALLALIEU: If the government were to use the parliament act on an issue such as this then the opposition in the Lords, not just to the legislation itself but to the governments tactics would be widespread and throughout all parties and I have very little doubt that it would mean because in the Lords it is possible to delay legislation with very few people, no guillotines, no timetabling, if that were to happen the government would almost inevitably lose major pieces of legislation and be unable to fulfil the promises it made at the last election. HOEY: I'd have thought the last thing that the Prime Minister needs at the moment is full scale anger in the countryside, a row in parliament, time being spent on, on this when he is very, very busy at the moment with dealing with problems in the Middle East and the question of Iraq and also of course the pending referendum on our, on whether we would go into the European, join into the European Single Currency. GROSSMAN: The horn competition isn't perhaps everyone's idea of a pleasing sound - it is after all designed to excite hounds not delight music lovers. What most Labour MP's now seem to agree on is that for a way to be found out of the stalemate - the government needs to shrug off it's neutrality and show leadership. ALLEN: I think there are two ways forward, one is that this is allowed to run on and that a compromise is put to the House of Commons, is massively defeated, a ban is massively supported and then we invoke the parliament acts to ensure that we push this through over many years and making a big issue out of it. The other way to do it is for the Prime Minister to get off the fence and be very clear indeed that this is going to happen, he will help with the government majority to push this through quickly and by showing leadership in this situation I think that would kill off a lot of the opposition. The reason this has become a big issue is because there is perceived weakness. GROSSMAN: After all the preparation, Patrick Martin and the Bicester hunt take to the show ring. For how many more years is up to parliament. The issue of hunting promises to tie up both houses for years threatening the government's legislative programme. Then there would be the inevitable legal challenges that would follow any ban. In Scotland where a new law came in in August that process has already started. The government's in a very difficult position, for an administration that likes to build consensus, on hunting at least they know they can't please everyone. JOHN HUMPHRYS: David Grossman reporting on an issue that's causing big problems for the government. As for the Tories... well, they will also obviously have a free vote when fox hunting comes back to the Commons. But their leader has made his position perfectly clear. Otherwise he'd hardly be out there today on the march. Is that wise... identifying himself with a cause that has only minority support in the nation as a whole and most of THOSE are natural Tory supporters anyway. It's NEW supporters he needs if he's going to drag the party out of its torpor. It's still languishing in the polls and shows no sign of recovery. Well, Mr Duncan Smith has left the march in Parliament Square and he is in our Westminster studio now. Good Afternoon Mr Duncan Smith. IAIN DUNCAN SMITH; Good Afternoon John. HUMPHRYS: Lovely day for a march, but... DUNCAN SMITH: It is a nice day. I thought I'd expect to see you out there...small farmer yourself. HUMPHRYS: Ah well, I'm busy in here as you know. The problem for you though is that even people in your own party think it is a mistake, some of them, think it is a mistake to identify so publicly, to identify yourself and the party so publicly with a cause that's inherently unpopular in the country as a whole. DUNCAN SMITH: Look, I'm an urban MP. I don't have a rural constituency, and I've always made my position clear on this. This is a free vote issue. I'm not going to dragoon anybody into the lobbies on my side. I say I take this view personally. What I've simply said is I think it's wrong with all the problems that exist in the countryside at the moment, and you know them as much as anybody else, you know the rural shops are closing, the schools are in difficulty, we've got problems with rising crime, and the farm incomes are falling. I think it was something like fifty thousand farmers last year were actually on incomes below what the government has set as the national minimum wage. So these are huge crises and problems following foot and mouth, and what I say is wrong is that the government should give government time, that's the key, to a Bill which will ultimately make criminals out of a large section of the British public and I don't think that's right. So I'm doing it because, or marching today because I feel to do the right thing is important, not to make gestures, not to pretend as though I could hide my opinions behind somebody. As far as I'm concerned I've always said to everybody I will do the right thing, and I will lead rather than follow. HUMPHRYS: But when that Bill comes to Parliament, as come it will, for months on end perhaps, Tories, Tory peers perhaps, will be fighting a battle that is going to be unpopular with a great deal of people. And also, just let me make this point if I may, you will be therefore, not just identified with a cause that is unpopular with a lot of people, but you will be reinforcing an image that is out of date in the eyes of many people. DUNCAN SMITH: Well John, I think there are two important points to make on that. The first is, this is not just a Conservative issue. I met Kate Hoey out there on the march. You've just had pictures of Ann Mallalieu. There are others too, there are some Liberal Democrats on there, although Charles Kennedy is opposed, although he says at the same time he supports the issues on the march but is opposed to the march. It's rather bizarre that, but nonetheless, you have a number of others in the parties in both Houses that do actually believe that to ban hunting, to make criminals of them is wrong. So it's not just a Conservative issue. The second point to make about this is, of course public opinion as you see it says in the last polls that I saw were marginally in favour of something being done about hunting, but the truth when you ask them, do you want to make criminals of people that hunt, you see the polls change quite dramatically because I don't think the majority of the public actually thinks this is an item that is really, really important. The items for them that are important. The things I talked about, you know, the Toynbee Hall speech about the real five giants of child poverty, the problems in old age, poor health care, poor education and rising crime, those are the real issues that the public both in urban constituencies and in rural constituencies they all know that those are important, not this. And I'm saying by all means leave it as a Private Member's Bill, but not do giver government time, because you complain at the same time you haven't got time to do stuff on education and hospitals, that's the key. HUMPHRYS: And yet if you were to form a future government you would give time to repealing and ban on hunting wouldn't you, so where is your sense of priorities. DUNCAN SMITH: Well, my priorities are set here by this government What I'm saying is, if you don't give them government time, if you leave the Private Member's Bill to see if it can make progress itself, as has always been the case, because there are people on all sides of the House that share views and differ with people, then my answer is, then we will leave it like that. But if you go ahead and do something which has not been done before, which to make government time, in other words take time away from education, health, from law and order, take that away and give it to a ban to make criminals of people who hunt, then the only thing you can say in balance and fairness is that when we return to government we will simply say we will give the same time to those if it is the case, who wish to repeal it, that's all. HUMPHRYS: But according to an internal Conservative Party document that would be and I quote 'a lunatic sense of priorities on your part'. DUNCAN SMITH: Well, listen, there are going to be people who are in favour of hunting and people that are opposed to it. I'm simply saying that if the government proceeds down this road, it is this government that is about to break the practice of all of the past years, that you don't give government time to a ban on hunting, in other words making criminals of people. I simply say it's unfair so you need to balance that on the other side to give those an opportunity if they want to, to repeal the legislation. It won't be a whipped vote, it is a free vote, it will always in my book remain a free vote. I'm simply saying do the right thing, be fair. I don't hunt, I just simply believe this is not right, and I don't think my constituents at the end of the day really think this is a number one ranking issue. The issues that bother them are the ones I spoke about before, those issues of health, education, crime and drugs. Those are the key issues and the government seems to think this is a higher priority. HUMPHRYS: Alright, well, let's turn to another number one ranking issue that absolutely clearly is that and that is Iraq, parliament going to be recalled on Tuesday, you'll be debating it then and you will have the dossier that the government is going to produce, but you won't have that until shortly before that session of parliament begins. What do you make of that? DUNCAN SMITH: Well I, you know, on your programme, I said that the government, they should bring this dossier forward well over a week ago and get it in the public domain. Now clearly the government has some difficulties in doing that, I don't know what those are, they're probably a lot to do with intelligence gathering and trying to figure out what they can present, I recognise that, but as long as it's in everyone's hands so that at least they've got something to debate during the debate, it's not the only information, let's be honest about this, I don't think there's going to be a sort of 'golden bullet' sitting in this, this dossier, that says 'look, this is the final bit that says absolutely bang to rights these are the amount of weapons he's got.' I don't think that's the case. The ISS, The Institute of Strategic Studies, produced a very comprehensive document based on what had been said by the arms inspectors three or four years ago as well as up until about a year ago, and that shows comprehensively that he has been developing biological, chemical and even nuclear... HUMPHRYS:, no, not, not the latter, they said they'd done nothing more in that than... DUNCAN SMITH: HUMPHRYS: ...they have done for the last ten years. DUNCAN SMITH: No, no, if you look at it, what they're saying is, the procedures, the scientists and everything else are there and established, what they lack is the fissile material, and with that they could take anything from a couple of months to a year to make a warhead for one of their missiles, that's what they're saying. HUMPHRYS: Well, they, they made the point very clearly, they were no further advanced with that now than they were ten years ago... DUNCAN SMITH: ...because they haven't got the fissile material John, that's all I'm saying... HUMPHRYS: ...precisely... BOTH SPEAKING TOGETHER HUMPHRYS: ...there's no reason why they should get the fissile material is the point that they're making. DUNCAN SMITH: ...but that's what their belief is, but we don't know for certain, that's all I'm saying, but they do have, clearly do have biological weapons, they have improved missiles with improved range, it'll cover most of the targets in the Middle East even if not stretching as far as some parts of south-west Europe, so all the evidence is there - those who don't want to accept to any of it, well it doesn't matter how much more is produced. HUMPHRYS: So, so it doesn't matter what's in the dossier then, you're... DUNCAN SMITH: does... HUMPHRYS: ...well, from the point of view of your mind being made up, it really doesn't make any difference does it? You're determined that it should go ahead, an attack should go ahead. DUNCAN SMITH: I believe that we face a serious and growing danger from Iraq, and the whole of the Middle East does, if we don't now deal with Saddam Hussein. In two to three years time, if he gets the fissile material for a nuclear weapon, then that could change everything, and it will be too late then to say, oh well, I wish we did something about him. So what is happening is right at the moment, is that United Nations is now under pressure quite rightly to pass a resolution that says to Saddam Hussein once and for all, you must now comply with all those resolutions that say you get rid of your weapons, you obviously allow the inspectors in, you put a time scale to get rid of those weapons and you then show that those weapons and the programmes and the scientists involved are no longer working on them and that's the key bit. HUMPHRYS: But in the same way that you would countenance, you would support an attack without any new evidence in that dossier, you would also, as I understand it, support an attack without a specific United Nations resolution. DUNCAN SMITH: No, we've said all along that we want that resolution, but the only way you'll have it... HUMPHRYS: ...yes, you'd like it... DUNCAN SMITH: ...yes, well I believe that the only way... HUMPHRYS:'s not essential? DUNCAN SMITH: Well it's not essential strictly speaking in legal terms. I mean David Hannay on your Today programme, the other programme you do, made it clear a couple of weeks ago that strictly speaking, and he was the ex-ambassador to the UN, he said strictly speaking, legally those resolutions themselves, are enforceable. But what clearly the President of the United States, and I hope the Prime Minister and believe the Prime Minister as well, and others are trying to do, is to strive to get the United Nations now to give an overall mandate to say 'look, if you don't comply with any of those, then military action will take place.' And you know, Saddam Hussein, what - four days ago, suddenly seemed to me to be panicked, he then suddenly said, 'I'll let the inspectors back in.' Now do we honestly think that he'd have allowed to talk, or would have started talking about that, if he hadn't begun to realise that they were serious about military action. It's the threat of military action that is forcing him to comply with those resolutions. HUMPHRYS: Yes, but the interesting thing about that was even though he said it, the response from Washington was to say, it doesn't matter, we're going to attack anyway, we want regime change. That was the effect of it. And you, this morning, seem to be saying very much the same thing, doesn't matter about the dossier, that's to say whether there's new evidence, doesn't matter whether there is a specific United Nations resolution... DUNCAN SMITH:, I didn't say it didn't matter about the dossier, I said... HUMPHRYS: said it would make no difference to your basic decision as to whether there was new information. DUNCAN SMITH:, I said, I said those who expect there to be some final absolute proof would build it up to be more than it is. My belief in discussions with government is that the dossier will add to the sum total of knowledge out there... HUMPHRYS: ...but if it doesn't? DUNCAN SMITH: ...there isn't one single bit that actually... HUMPHRYS: ...precisely... DUNCAN SMITH: ...that actually changes, suddenly, you know, a revelation to somebody. HUMPHRYS: Alright. Well let's be quite clear about this then, even if there is no specific new evidence in addition to that which we already know, the stuff that came out of the ISS, and all the rest of it, even without that, your position is quite clear, we should attack Saddam Hussein? DUNCAN SMITH: I believe, quite rightly, that the threat of military action from the allies is the only way to deal with Saddam Husseim... HUMPHRYS: ...right... DUNCAN SMITH: ...either, and I believe this is a very strong chance that he finally is forced to comply completely with those resolutions and get rid of those weapons, which is after all what we want, and that's what he was told to do ten years ago, and he hasn't done it, and I thought very importantly David Hannay, again, on your programme, the other programme, said that you know, when South Africa said they would end their nuclear and biological programmes, it took one year, because they actually agreed and worked with the inspectorate. They don't have them any more. In Iraq's case, they stopped, blocked the inspectorate at all places, and they were not able to get rid of those weapons, so we need them to be got rid of, and it's interesting John, it's very important because the public I think do need to know this, all the inspectors have said that those weapons were being developed and he continued to make stockpiles of them whilst they were there, every one of them has said that, from the head of UNSCOM Richard Butler, right the way through to all the inspectors. HUMPHRYS: Well, let's look to the future and not for the moment to the past, though obviously the past has to inform the future quite clearly, but nonetheless, your position is, that whatever Saddam Hussein now says, you believe there should be, to use the American expression, regime change in Iraq? That is your position? DUNCAN SMITH: My position has been quite clear, I have said, if that is what is necessary, and if it the only thing we can do, then regime change would have to take place, but if however Saddam Hussein, as I am absolutely clear about this, if Saddam Hussein agrees to comply with the total resolutions within a time scale under a new resolution from the United Nations, then that is clearly preferable, but my point is, he'll only do that if he recognises that there is a threat if he doesn't comply. That's where the pressure comes, that's where the compression comes, so what we want is the end of those weapons, the eradication of the programmes, the dispersal of the scientists, at that point, Saddam Hussein, or whoever ends up being in charge of that country, is more than likely to be a peaceful neighbour and not threaten all the other countries around it. HUMPHRYS: One of your predecessors, John Major, has said, there would be a great price to be paid in terms of the war on terrorism, in terms of the International World Order, if there were to be an attack on Iraq without a specific United Nations resolution. DUNCAN SMITH: Well that's we're asking for, that's what I have worked for, that's what I have been saying, that there must be now a clear United Nations line on this, and the reason why John, you know I've been on this thing since 1995, I've tried to warn endlessly, year in, year out, that he is going on producing these weapons and the west is hiding its head, pretending that he's not. At last we are facing up to it, and it is important this, I think this is a test for the United Nations, they have an opportunity now to send a very strong signal to all those other countries and would-be dictators around the world, that they're not prepared to put up with this sort of action. HUMPHRYS: Right. But, if there is not a United Nations resolution, you would not support an attack on Iraq? I'm slightly puzzled you see, as to your position here. Are you saying, that in the absence of a United Nations resolution, there should be no attack on Iraq? Is that what you're saying? DUNCAN SMITH: No, I haven't said that. I have said that I want the United Nations to complete this mandate, and give the mandate to the allies, that if he doesn't comply with those resolutions which are already legally binding on him, and to which action is available, I mean to the sense that after his failure... HUMPHRYS: ...but, but without that there should be an attack anyway? DUNCAN SMITH: I'm saying that military action is the only way to do it if the United Nations now however steps up to the mark, which I believe they will do, I don't believe they are going to shirk this, look Saddam Hussein is somebody who is a threat to all those people - in the dossier by the way John, something you ought to know, there will be published some of the most graphic pictures I believe, of what he has done to his own people using chemical and biological weapons, civilians he has attacked, and the Iranians, and also the Saudis, the point is... HUMPHRYS: We've seen those pictures. DUNCAN SMITH: ...well you might have seen them John... HUMPHRYS: the world has seen them, there are pictures in the newspapers this morning showing that... DUNCAN SMITH: ...but many in the public are not aware, honestly, you know, I think it is the role as well of the media to say who this man really is... HUMPHRYS: ...well, alright, I... DUNCAN SMITH: ...he is a serious threat John. HUMPHRYS: ...I believe we've saying that for a very, very long time. But let me, let me turn to some, a couple of quick questions about your own party. We saw the resignation of Dominic Cummings this past week, you've now lost, I'm doing a quick count, you've now lost your Chairman, you've lost your Chief of Staff and you've last your Director of Staff... DUNCAN SMITH: ...I haven't lost them at all John. HUMPHRYS: ...well they've, they have, they are no longer in their positions, they... DUNCAN SMITH: ...well that's because I took decisions about them. HUMPHRYS: ...ah, well alright then, you've sacked them, you've got rid of them, they've gone, whatever, they are no longer there. It rather suggests a leadership in some disarray? DUNCAN SMITH: Not at all. You are looking, do I look like I'm in disarray? I can tell you now, I know exactly where we are going, and our programme John has not changed. I mean you yourself know, because we talked about my Toynbee Hall speech, identified the five giants, that followed from the Hackney speech I made, and the Harrogate speech I made back in the Spring, what I am saying, that the party, and anybody who disagrees with this will just have to follow, because what we are about to do is to explain to the British people that the Conservative Party believes that they key objectives, the priorities for us as a returning government are solving the crisis in the Health Service, improving the quality of our schools, getting more policemen onto the streets, and improving the quality of the policing so that we have less crime, less violent crime. These are the key three priorities which will help with the other two, which is to improve the lot of children who are in poverty, and the elderly now who I think are, many are in crisis, facing serious problems across the board from the lack of care homes to their poor pensions. Now, those are our priorities, those are not going to change, and you'll see that again at the conference John and I promise you, at conference you will see us begin to flesh out policy initiatives, that will show the direction of how we will deal with these and why the government... HUMPHRYS: And what you will have to persuade the conference of, at least many people at that conference is that you truly are modernising the party, you're not the old Conservative Party, and we've talked about this before as well, but Michael Portillo got into this subject himself yesterday and that is this touchstone issue of Section Twenty-eight, and he said, 'it's time to get rid of it, it has completely served its day' and again, the problem is you don't seem to be giving clear leadership on this, it isn't absolutely clear quite whether you go along with the Portillo line who is a moderniser or you go along with a traditionalist line. DUNCAN SMITH: Well with respect John, I don't think I should be defined by another person. I was... HUMPHRYS:, an issue...... DUNCAN SMITH: No I was elected John on the programme that I put forward at the time of the leadership election and I made it clear then that all of our policies that we had must be under review so that we can decide whether they're right for where we want Britain to go. Section Twenty-eight is part of that, what I said to you on your programme as you recall was that I believe the principle behind Section Twenty-eight, which should run right the way through the education system, is that children who are under the authority of adults who are not clearly their parents, they must be protected in case adults beyond those teachers have particular desires or views and... HUMPHRYS: ...right, and it needs Section Twenty-eight to do that? DUNCAN SMITH: ...well it may or may not. HUMPHRYS: ...ok... DUNCAN SMITH: My point has been that we will look at this and decide how best to do that so that it covers a whole range of activities rather than just perhaps necessarily a narrow one. HUMPHRYS: Right. Iain Duncan Smith, thanks very much indeed, you can go back to the march now. DUNCAN SMITH: Pleasure. HUMPHRYS: The Conference season, we talked about the Conservative Conference there, the conference season is well under way. The Liberal Democrats' start today and the Scottish National Party a couple of days later. Not a very happy time for them, given that the elections for the Scottish Parliament are less than a year away and, like the Tories here, they're struggling in the polls. I'll be talking to their leader John Swinney after this report from Gloria De Piero. GLORIA DE PIERO: This is the future home of the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Nationalists had hoped that devolution could become the foundation stone of an independent nation. But all the indications are that when members take their seats here some time after next year's Scottish elections, the SNP will remain in Opposition. The Party is losing the battle with Labour. PETER JONES: The SNP went into the last elections in 1999 at the same sort of period before the elections as we are now - about ten points ahead of the Labour Party. But now since the election the Lab.., the SNP have essentially stuck around about you know between five and ten points behind the Labour Party. DE PIERO: And they only have eight months to go till the Scottish elections to improve their position. John Swinney was elected as leader of the SNP to reach beyond the minority of Scottish voters who regard independence as a priority. Two years into his leadership and the Party has failed to make the expected breakthrough in the polls. Instead of being a Braveheart, has he turned into a faint heart when it comes to standing up to the die-hard supporters of independence within his own ranks? John Swinney's election victory was supposed to herald a new era of Party modernisation, but critics now claim he hasn't delivered. They say his failure to talk more about public services and less about independence has cost him dearly. JONES: Independence is at most supported by about a third of the population and that's a big problem because you know if the SNP go into the next election talking about domestic agendas - you know, poverty and the health service and the opposition parties will drag it back to the question of independence, they'll talk about splits, divorces, the expense etc. DE PIERO: Photo opportunities in a hospital may not be enough to convince the Scottish people that the SNP will put public services first, particularly when limited resources would be stretched by the process of moving to independence. JONES: There are a lot of costs associated with independence. Some of them are, can be dealt with, others are more difficult, such as the uncertainty costs that would be created by the process of moving to independence. So the SNP is always vulnerable to the charge that just the single act of moving towards independence will cause such disruption that people will think it not worthwhile. DE PIERO: If the SNP is ever to have any hope of building an independent Scotland they need to get control of this place first. But by giving independence such a high priority, the Scottish Nationalists may never be able to get the votes they need to close the gap with Labour. HUMPHRYS: Gloria De Piero reporting there. JOHN HUMPHRYS: Well the leader John Swinney is our Dundee studio. Mr Swinney your problem is that you are putting too much emphasis on independence, and most people in Scotland don't want independence. JOHN SWINNEY: Well, sometimes I get criticised for not putting enough emphasis on independence. I'm glad that we've registered that independence remains the central purpose of the Scottish National Party. What our election strategy is about is saying to people in Scotland an SNP administration in the Scottish parliament will use the powers of the Scottish parliament effectively to create a better Scotland. But if we want to create Scotland as the best country that can be we must have the normal powers of independence, because what we're finding just now, is there are many limitations of the powers of the Scottish parliament and what we're about is completing those powers and making sure we can tackle many of the social and economic problems that still exist within Scotland. HUMPHRYS: Well, but the real reason you're doing it is it not, that your party is on your back. You can't do anything else. Given a choice you wouldn't choose to put this degree of emphasis on an unpopular issue. SWINNEY: Well, I came into politics to win Scottish independence and my leadership, when I became leader of the SNP I made it quite clear I was determined to win Scottish independence so the fact that I'm fighting, and going to fight at the elections in May of next year a campaign that will set out to people exactly why independence is relevant to their lives should be no surprise to anybody at all. Now what I'll do in that process is illustrate why there are some things we can do within devolution, but in tackling many of the major problems in Scotland such as the fact that our economic growth trails the rest of the United Kingdom, or the fact that one in three children are still living in poverty within Scotland, the fact that we can only tackle these issues if we have the normal powers of independence, so it's about giving people a meaningful solution to the problems that exist in their daily lives, and in my view, having the full powers of a normal independent parliament is the route to do that. HUMPHRYS: A vote for the SNP then is a vote for Scottish independence. It's as simple as that is it? SWINNEY: To go back to what I said to you in my first answer what I will do at the elections next year, is set out to people what the SNP will do within the existing powers of the Scottish parliament but I'll... HUMPHRYS: You are not answering my question are you? SWINNEY: I'll come to that in a second. HUMPHRYS: Alright. SWINNEY: But there are limitations to what the parliament can do, and I believe the solution to many of the problems in Scotland can only come from the normality of independence, so that's the message I'll give to people in the election. And as part of that independence message I will say to them that once the SNP leads Scotland, we will give the people in a referendum the simple choice of deciding if our country should become an independent country, so the issue, the hard issue of whether Scotland becomes an independent country comes from the referendum that we put forward to the public once we're running Scotland. HUMPHRYS: Indeed, but if people do not want independence or indeed they don't want to vote on it, which amounts to the same thing of course because otherwise we have the status quo, we don't have to have a referendum to keep the status quo do we. If they do not want independence they should not vote for the SNP. SWINNEY: Well, I want people to vote for the Scottish National Party for whatever motivation they happen to have. I've set out exactly why we'll put the independence message centre stage in our election campaign next year because it gives us the chance to address the real problems that exist in people's lives and to set out a vision of how we can make Scotland a prosperous, a socially just and a sustainable country. And that's what our election message will be all about, and it will be set out to people in a persuasive way and a way that excites them about the ambitions that we have for Scotland and the ambitions that they should have for their country as well. HUMPHRYS: Well I don't know whether it will excite them or not, to know as we've been told quite clearly today and on many many other occasions that if you have independence you have less money to spend. The Scottish parliament in an independent Scotland, a Scottish government would have less money to spend so therefore this makes nonsense of your other basic claim doesn't it, the big claim which is - vote for us and you have better public services, vote for you, get independence one way or the other and there would be less money to spend on the public services. SWINNEY: Well you see, if you look back at the facts about this John, you'll find that over the last twenty-five years Scotland has contributed more to the United Kingdom than we have had back in return, and you don't need to take my view for that, that's the official conclusion of Her Majesty's Treasury in parliamentary answers that Scotland's actually subsidised the rest of the United Kingdom over the last twenty-five years. HUMPHRYS: What about the Constitution Unit and what it says? SWINNEY: Well, the Constitution Unit confirms that point that I've just made. HUMPHRYS: It says that you'd have between five hundred million and one-point-five billion less to spend. That's what it says. SWINNEY: Well, the Constitution Unit says that. It also confirms what I've just said to you that Scotland has paid more to the UK than we've had back, and also the Constitution Unit says that Scotland would be entitled to what they characterised as an independence dividend of over eight billion pounds in resources. Now what that tells me is that Scotland is getting short-changed within the United Kingdom because there's a concentration of government activity and government headquarters and government spending in and around London and the South-east of England, a well proven fact, and once Scotland becomes an independent country, we'll have access to that independence dividend that we don't currently have so when you look at the accounting systems of all of that, it shows definitely that Scotland has prosperity at its fingertips with independence and the challenge for us is to persuade enough people to support that, and then to create a dynamic economy as a result of it. HUMPHRYS: Well you've been trying to persuade people to support that notion for a very, very long time, and the fact is you have been less rather than more successful. Only thirty per cent want independence if we are to believe the polls of course, and they've been pretty accurate on this issue over the years. You're not getting anywhere, you're going in the wrong direction. SWINNEY: Well, not at all. People in Scotland are canny. They wanted to see what a bit of government would be like and they've now got that through devolution. And the challenge for the SNP now is to complete that argument, to set out a positive and a powerful case as to why we should have the normal powers of independence at our disposal. That's exactly what we'll do in the elections next May and I'm very buoyant about our prospects as we go into those elections, and our position just now is we are higher in the opinion polls than we achieved in the 1999 elections and I'm determined to make sure over the next seven to eight months that we close the gap in the Labour Party and win political leadership in Scotland and that is what we're focussed on. HUMPHRYS: But let's be realistic, you're obviously because of the PR system in part, you're obviously not going to get a majority in the next parliament. You therefore would need a coalition. You cannot form a coalition with anybody because nobody else supports your independence. SWINNEY: Well let's just see what the electoral arithmetic shows up after the elections next year. I'm very optimistic about the SNP's prospects, I'm going to lead the SNP into a campaign that's going to be concentrated on presenting the relevance of independence to people in their daily lives and demonstrating how on health, on education, on crime, on issues of jobs, the SNP has the right answers and why taking responsibility for these issues within Scotland will deliver the type of quality public services and prosperity that we are entitled to. That's the beast of the election and that's why I think we'll win it. HUMPHRYS: John Swinney, many thanks. SWINNEY: Thank you. JOHN HUMPHRYS: Another beleaguered party leader is David Trimble, the Ulster Unionist leader and Northern Ireland First Minister. He survived yet another threat to his leadership yesterday but only by reaching a compromise with those in his party who are opposed to the peace process. The opposition is led by Geoffrey Donaldson whom many would prefer to see as leader. Mr Trimble has now set a deadline of January the eighteenth for the IRA to show that they are ending all terrorist activity. But that could put the whole peace process in jeopardy. Mr Trimble is in our Belfast studio. Good afternoon Mr Trimble. DAVID TRIMBLE: Good day. HUMPHRYS: You've actually given in haven't you, given in to those in your party who never supported the Good Friday Agreement, and in effect, Geoffrey Donaldson is now in control of the party, isn't he? TRIMBLE: No that's not the case at all. In fact the proposal to engage in talks over the next three months and if they are not successful, then to resign was my own proposal and Mr. Donaldson's proposal was quite different, that was my proposal, and the reason why I put it forward was exactly for the same reason that throughout June and July I repeatedly told the Prime Minister that we simply couldn't go on the way we are at the moment, where the transition, and bear in mind, we only went into administration with Sinn Fein, the representatives of the Republican Movement, on the basis that the Republican Movement was going to abandon violence and commit itself to exclusively peaceful means, and we did it to facilitate a transition. Now quite clearly, this year, the transition has stopped and judging by the violence of the summer was regressing. Now we couldn't, we could not sustain that position. In June and July I was urging the Prime Minister to get matters sorted out, unfortunately, come September, the position is no better and with no prospect of it getting better and we just simply couldn't go on like that, that is why we felt it was necessary to set, as it were, this very clear position forward, it may very well cause a crisis, but then it will be a crisis similar to that caused when I resigned last year, again because of the failure of the Republican Movement to fulfil its obligations. So in effect, we're stuck with the same position as we were last year. It's a pity, but it's a consequence of the failure of Republicans to make progress. HUMPHRYS: So what has to happen then to stop you resigning again? When you talk about the transition being completed this time, what are you talking about? Are you talking in effect about the disbandment of the IRA. TRIMBLE: Well that should be the outcome. I mean if you commit yourself to exclusively peaceful and democratic means then that necessarily means an absence of paramilitaries. You can't say that you're committed to exclusively peaceful and democratic means if you're maintaining a private army and the private army is there, active operating and maintaining its capability, so it necessarily involves the agreement, and this is not me talking, this is the Belfast Agreement, which we entered into four years ago, it necessarily involves an end to paramilitarism in all its forms. Now we've had four years for this to happen, it's, insofar as it's happening, it's happening very slowly indeed and we're saying we've got to be in a position where it's demonstrably clear that we're approaching the end of the transition. Now, there may be a little bit of flexibility there, but let's be under no misunderstanding whatsoever, this isn't going to be sorted by a fudge. This can only be sorted by there being very clear unambiguous evidence of that transition approaching its end. HUMPHRYS: And when you say a little bit of flexibility, again to be absolutely clear about this, should the IRA, the paramilitaries, be disbanded by January the eighteenth? Is that what you're saying? If they're not disbanded by January the eighteenth, you walk out? TRIMBLE: If there is not a clear end to paramilitarism. Now, you can have that disbandment in a number of forms, in the nineteen-twenties, in the republic of what is now the Republic of Ireland, the old IRA turned itself into a comrades association, it could be that the people in the IRA move unequivocally into Sinn Fein and you know, devote themselves to purely democratic activities, and there may be other ways in which this can be done. I mean, that's what I mean about a certain amount of flexibility on this, but it's got to be clear, the agreement promised us a future that would operate by purely peaceful and democratic means, that's what I want to see, so I want to see the agreement fully implemented, the problem arises simply because Republicans weren't implementing the agreement. HUMPHRYS: So no IRA, therefore it follows, no weapons in any bunkers, they'd all have to be cleared away and there would have to be demonstrable evidence of that. TRIMBLE: That's right, and that's why we have a decommissioning process, and that decommissioning process as you know has so far produced very little, because the paramilitaries, and it's not just the IRA, the other paramilitaries are at fault in this too, they have only co-operated with the decommissioning process to a very limited extent. Clearly we want to see that speeded up. HUMPHRYS: Well you say you want to see it speeded up? I thought you were telling me a moment ago, correct me if I'm wrong, that you want to see it completed by January the eighteenth, completed by January the eighteenth, otherwise you walk out? TRIMBLE: There's no reason why that can't be done. There's absolutely no reason why... HUMPHRYS: ...really? TRIMBLE: ...there's no technical problem with this. The only problem... HUMPHRYS: ...political problems... TRIMBLE: ...the only problem has been a lack of will. The only problem has been that the paramilitaries haven't been prepared to do it, and if they're prepared to do it, there isn't a problem, and you can speak to John de Chastelain the Head of the Decommissioning Commission, and he'll confirm to you that from a point of view of actually doing it, it only takes, it'll only take a few weeks. HUMPHRYS: But you're a practical politician, if above all else, can you seriously see Gerry Adams sitting down with the man who happens to be running the IRA at the moment and saying, look old boy, that's it, it's all up now, by January the eighth, we close it all down, we clear out all the bunkers, we get rid of it, I mean it's not going to happen is it? TRIMBLE: Well over the last four years Mr Adams should have been telling the Republican Movement what they'd signed up to. Over the last four years Mr Adams should have been preparing them for the inevitable. And if has, then there isn't a problem, and if he hasn't, then obviously there's a problem. What is clear, what is absolutely clear, is that after the violence and the disturbances of the last summer, this process cannot be sustained as things stand at the moment... HUMPHRYS: ...beyond January the eighteenth, so that if there is not complete decommissioning by January the eighteenth, you walk out of the government, that is your position? TRIMBLE: John it took quite a bit of persuasion, to persuade people to give the process this further opportunity to succeed. The reality is because of the violence, because of the failure of Republicans, there has been a very serious leaching away of confidence in the process. People believe they've been fooled. People believe that there's never going to be change for the better. Now it's up to those who have been dragging their feet to remedy that and to show that it's going to succeed. HUMPHRYS: Right so the answer to my question is yes, and, and Gerry Adams, when he says this is a wreckers charter, what he means of course is it wrecks the Good Friday Agreement in his terms and it's all over. The peace process is effectively then, this phase, this, this peace process the only one that we have, is at an end, isn't it? TRIMBLE: Well Mr Adams and his friends said that last year before my resignation last year, so let's see what happens this time. HUMPHRYS: Yes but you gave in last time. I mean, when I say, you gave in, there were concessions made last time, what you're saying this time, is no concessions, either they clear out all of those weapons or... TRIMBLE: ...I didn't give in last time, sorry John, I didn't give in last time, I only went back into Office after decommissioning began. HUMPHRYS: Quite. But this time... TRIMBLE: what has happened, that, that was a year, nearly a year ago, in the interval between, when we, we obtained after the first act of decommissioning on the basis that a decommissioning process had begun, and since then, in the eleven months since then, what, one further act? And then nothing? Now Mr Adams can't have that. He knows quite clearly that I resigned last year because of the failure of paramilitaries to decommission so they start decommissioning and then when I go back into Office they stop. Well there's only one consequence to that. I mean, if we're going to have this in/out, in/out process sobeit, but I would much prefer to see things being properly fixed and that is the objective we've set. HUMPHRYS: David Trimble, thank you very much indeed. HUMPHRYS: And that's it for this week. See you at the same time next week. Don't forget about our web-site. Until then, good afternoon. 27 FoLdEd
NB. This transcript was typed from a transcription unit recording and not copied from an original script. Because of the possibility of mis-hearing and the difficulty, in some cases, of identifying individual speakers, the BBC cannot vouch for its accuracy.