BCfm’s weekly politics show presented by Tony Gosling
First hour: News review with John McInally, National Vice President of Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union with 250,000 members. 15 times more people are members of unions than political parties and unions are more democratic – how big and how democratic is PCS? Universal Credit fiasco with millions of pounds being spent on IT systems that will never work; Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cutting back jobs of those that collect the taxes of the rich; George Osborne’s 2014 budget this week – PCS respond with ‘Britain Needs a Pay Rise’. Privatisation, quantitative easing, potential crash; Ed Miliband’s response to the budget – Tories out of touch with housing and energy bills, cost of living crisis – Labour just ‘austerity light’; BBC Question Time this budget week arguably had THREE Tories on the panel and one in the chair! Danny Alexander, a LibDem said to be out-Torying the Tories, China and Russia holding a lot of West’s debt; LEAP 20/20 who say US have orchestrated Russia/Ukraine crisis which is aimed at bouncing the EU into trade deal Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US which means when the dollar crashes so it will bring the EU down with it; BBC Question time panel bias on budget week with THREE Tories: former director of Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) Think Tank Jill Kirby, Stockholm Syndrome LibDem Danny Alexander MP who’s said to have ‘out Toried the Tories’ & Tory MP Dominic Raab, then there is BBC Question Time presenter David Dimbleby who, as Boris Johnson pointed out, is a member of the Oxford Bullingdon Club to which he, George Osborne and David Cameron also belonged. Paul Davies –BCfm’s Sport Editor – on approval granted to sell Bristol Rover’s Memorial Stadium, at top of Gloucester Rd, to Sainsbury’s, appeal pending; HS2 high speed railway plan – The Independent’s Mark Leftly explains that many millions have been spent before it’s even approved – nationalisation of railway; Bill Gates says jobs will be replaced by software bots in the future so why can’t we all benefit from time saving technology? PMQs Kerry McCarthy on the cost of living crisis and Tony Benn.
Second hour: Crimea votes to be part of Russia in a referendum. Putin’s speech – far right elements in new Ukrainian government. Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs (unelected), on the recent Crimea referendum. Marina Morris, who is Ukrainian, gives her opinion on recent events in Ukraine and Crimea. PMQs Ed Miliband and David Cameron vilifying recent Crimean referendum. Housing interview with @policytessa Tessa Coombes, former Bristol City councillor, blogger and writer for Bristol 24/7. She discusses why there is such a shortage of affordable housing in Bristol and why Osborne won’t do anything about it. Should be his top priority but Osborne’s budget this week does nothing to ease unaffordable rents & shortage of good value housing: Solving Bristol’s Housing disaster with former City Councillor & Bristol 24/7 columnist Tessa Coombes. Interview with Clive Menzies, from ‘Occupy London’ Economics Working Group, by our London correspondent Fran Scott. He explains their thinking on the power of the City of London and the influence of the EU and big corporations ‘hollowing out’ our democracy mentioning two films in particular Secret City and The Brussels Business. Italian ancient city state of Venice votes this week on whether Venetians want to secede from Rome. Credible sightings of missing MH370 Malaysian Airways 777 plane flying very low over the Eastern Maldives and heading South towards top secret US base at Diego Garcia.