BCfm’s weekly politics show presented by Tony Gosling
First Hour: Review of the weeks news with Tim Kent, leader of the Lib Dems and councillor for WhitchurchPark. LibDem peer Lord Rennard touching up various women – have the Lib Dems dealt with this properly? Has French president Hollande’s socialist experiment failed? – no quantitative easing in France, the Euro, and a right-wing German government; a Sheffield study says real unemployment may be 3.5m, a million more people than official figures due to so many not being on benefits; PMQs Ed Miliband – 13 million in poverty in Britain today – even though Britain 7th richest country in the world Speenhamland system for supplementing incomes of the poor to help them buy bread – now its Housing benefit they need; Funding plan for Bristol’s £91 million arena agreed – can Bristol afford it? Will local people be able to afford to use it? Building and operating jobs for local people? KPMG being investigated for auditing Co-op Bank fraudulently; Gordon Anglesey, former Chief Police of North Wales, arrested and interviewed about child sexual abuse at state care homes in the 1970s and 80s; PMQs The Trussell Trust food banks – rents too high; bedroom tax and a loophole in the law; PMQs utility bills and direct debit costing poorer people £150 or so more every year; why should the poor pay more? Private and personal NHS medical records and other data being put onto a central database for sale to drug and insurance firms by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Link to opt out here
Second Hour: Daphne Havercroft from South West Whistleblowers Health Action Group (SWHAG). Sean Turner inquest: parents call for independent inquiry into hospital – Coroner concludes there were ‘lost opportunities’ in four-year-old’s care at Bristol Royal children’s hospital – Results of inquest into suspicious deaths on Ward 32. Liam Nevin, Bristol City Council’s legal chief, formerly worked for North Bristol NHS Trust and saw them through the Southmead Hospital Private Finance Initiative (PFI) which is costing the taxpayer millions of pounds. Dr Perter Harrowing is Asst Deputy Coroner was formerly head of legal services at UHB NHS Trust, lots of connections between ‘independent’ coroners service and the NHS. Charlie Cooper’s article in the Independent saying billions of pounds of cuts to NHS are the main problem. Kevin Phillips, Chairman of Avon and Somerset Police Federation, discusses the recent story of how the federation needs to change. How the federation is funded, it’s structure, and an attack by this right wing government, seem to be problems. Plebgate, privatising and the potential merging of police authorities also covered. Mike Birkin, from South West Friends of the Earth (FoE), discusses the flooding of the Somerset levels whether this is due to climate change or sabotage by the Environment Agency. Ancient ‘Lake Villages’ near Westhay on the levels and Glastonbury. Fracking in the Mendips covered – government gives out new round of exploration licences. Martin Summers round up of hot spots round the world: World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos – will they tackle rising inequality or just discuss it? Syria peace talks – Sarin chemical weapons attack came from rebel controlled area and accusations of 11,000 rebels tortured by the Syrian government. China works with mercenary firm, Blackwater XE founder Eric Prince; Mexican drug cartels and US DEA agents having scores of secret meetings, far too close, even working together; riots on the streets of Kiev in Ukraine as the older Ukrainians and Eastern Ukrainians lean toward Moscow and Younger Western Ukrainians prefer Brussels.