19/04/2012 Question Time


19/04/2012

David Dimbleby chairs a debate from Leeds, with Yvette Cooper MP, Baroness Warsi, Tim Farron, George Galloway MP and David Aaronovitch.


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Transcript


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Tonight we are in Leeds, and welcome to Question Time.

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With me here on our panel the newly elected Respect MP George Galloway,

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victor of the Bradford west by- election. The Shadow Home Secretary,

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Yvette Cooper. Co-chairman of the Conservative Party, Sayeeda Warsi,

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President of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, and the Times columnist,

:00:39.:00:49.
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David Aaronovitch. APPLAUSE

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Thank you vex. Our first question tonight from Peter Stevens please.

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Should we now take control of our justice system in the light of the

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farcical deportation of Abu Qatada. I think this has been farcical this

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week. It's been completely chaotic. I think, look, we all want to see

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Abu Qatada deported to Jordan as soon as possible, within the rule

:01:20.:01:23.

of law but as soon as possible. I think he should be kept in custody

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in the meantime. I think that's what everybody wants to see.

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There've been too many delays. Delays in the British courts and in

:01:30.:01:34.

the European courts. They should be reformed in order to speed up the

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process. But I think the problems we've seen this week was seems to

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have been a complete shambles of the Home Secretary's making. They

:01:44.:01:47.

seem to have got a basic deadline wrong about the timing of appeals

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to the European Court. The Home Secretary said it was Monday. The

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European Court said it was Tuesday. Why did nobody ring up to just get

:01:55.:02:00.

the basic facts right? I simply don't understand it. As a result of

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that we could now have Abu Qatada able to delay the deportation even

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further. We could have him more likely to be released back on to

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our streets, and even having the chance to sue the British

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Government as a result. I think that's chaotic, utterly

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irresponsible. I think the Home Secretary needs to provide answers

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pretty urgently and needs to get a grip of this shambles and sort it

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all out. APPLAUSE Sayeeda Warsi. Yes Peter,

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we do need reform, because we've been trying to deport this man

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since 2001. For nine years Yvette's Government tried and for two years

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we've been trying. So to try to make party politics out of this is

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slightly disen Jennous. The delay has been because the European Court

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of Human Rights has a backlog of about 150 ,000 cases. The purpose

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for which that court was set up is not the purpose in which it has

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been operating. Interestingly today there's been a conference taking

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place in Brighton in which we have used our chairmanship of the

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Council of Europe to get the other member states of the Council of

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Europe to agree some changes. One, for them to accept that the

:03:20.:03:27.

European Court of Human Rights has a subsidiary element. So there is

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the element of subsidiarity. What that means our courts will have the

:03:31.:03:36.

final say on how we protect the human rights of our population.

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coming to the point, has it been a shambles over this deadline, as

:03:41.:03:45.

Yvette Cooper says? The thing we won't agree on probably on this

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panel is whether the Home Office lawyers are right or whether Abu

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Qatada's lawyers are right. didn't she wait a day, as many

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people have said, if it is just a matter of a day? On Monday Yvette

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:04:11.:04:12.

was saying you are taking too long. But if she had waited a day would

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she have been able to deport him think what would please people in

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this country is if we were to remove him. It took the previous

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Government nine years and they didn't achieve it. I'm confident

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we'll remove him fairly soon. Aaronovitch. There's a wonderfully

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comic aspect is to this. It goes two ways. Had we been two years ago

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we could imagine Yvette Cooper as the Home Secretary having exactly

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the same problem and Sayeeda Warsi saying about her what Yvette Cooper

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has just said about trim. It would've been completely... In

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other words, forget about the shambles, all this kind of stuff is

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always a shambles. Let's look at the issue itself. We do have,

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mostly, control over our own justice system, but the European

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Court of Human Rights was set up for a very good reason. It is a

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classic idea, a really good idea that everybody thought was a good

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idea at the time but has problems surrounding it now. This is part of

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the problem, it is an absurdity that somebody like Abu Qatada, who

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is under no threat if he goes back to Jordan, we've already got the

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assurances from the Jordanian Government that he isn't, cannot be

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deported from this country, given his record and what we know about

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him and given what successive Governments have been able to show

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the courts. So Sayeeda Warsi is right in this instance it shows a

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need for a reform to the ECHR so she's changes can be made more

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easily. But don't think it is going to be simple. If we find it easy to

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go against what the European Court of Human Rights says, there are

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people with much worse human rights records around Europe who would

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like to be able to do the same thing. These things are complicated,

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not simple. APPLAUSE $$TRANSMIT. Surely this is

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a problem for liberalism how long we'll continue to tolerate the

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intolerant in this country. OK. And the man in the fifth row. Italy

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deported a man back to Algeria I believe it was, despite an ECHR

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ruling, and all that happened to the Italian Government was a 2,5 00

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euros fine. Why didn't the Government just do that? George

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Galloway. The British Government has has in the past been ready to

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assist the United States in rendering people, one of whom is

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now suing the former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, because the

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British Government returned him to the torturer tables of Colonel

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Gaddafi. This was at the time of the kiss-in between Mr Blair and

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the Colonel. I'm sure that Colonel Gaddafi gave the kind of assurances

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that David Aaronovitch rather touchingly is ready to accept from

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the Jordanians. In fact, every Arab Government engages in torture. And

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every trial in an Arab court in any country is contaminated by this

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looming spectre of torture. That's why the European Court wants to be

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very clear that the assurances that David is ready to accept are worth

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the paper that they are written on. I ran into in a motorway service

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station just the other night some of the acolytes of this Abu Qatada.

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An Jim Chaudhry and his crowd. And their low malevolence is indeed a

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shadow over the country. But the presence of these people here is

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not a reason for us to act like a rogue state. Because if we act like

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a rogue state, for a start we'll have to stop lecturing other people

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as rogue states. We have to follow the rule of law. It is clear from

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Yvette Cooper's Stirling performance in the House of Commons

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today that not only is the Home Office not fit for purpose, but

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Theresa May is not fit for the job of Home Secretary, and she should

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be sacked or resign. APPLAUSE Tim Farron, I saw Theresa

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May say she takes responsibility for the decision that has been

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taken. Does that mean she would resign if it turns out to have been

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the wrong decision? I have no idea. Do you think she should? I take the

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view that there is an Olympic-Stade screw-up here. What I am certain of,

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Abu Qatada should be deported. He should be on a plane as quickly as

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possible, but that the rule of law should be applied. If Governments

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can't abide by the rule of law why should anybody else? I was really

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impressed by Prime Minister stolen burg of Norway's recently. He said

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you deal with terrorism, you deal with threats of your freedom and

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democracy by having more democracy, more freedom and more openness. You

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deal with people like Abu Qatada, who are a threat to our country,

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who do want to undermine our democracy, not by closing up and

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behaving like he would, but by being more democratic and abiding

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by the rule of law. APPLAUSE We must not be a rogue

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state and we must have more democracy, but when virtually every

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elected person we have wants to get rid of this man and we are

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prevented by unelected people in Strasbourg, it does call into

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question things about our sovereignty. That's a different

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issue thrown into the midst of this issue thrown into the midst of this

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which must be addressed. discussions are about that, that

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ultimately it should be our courts to decide on the human rights of

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our citizens, and the only time the European Court of Human Rights

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should get involved is when there's a substantial issue of

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interpretation. It will happen. There has been agreement between 47

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member states today and we think the implementation will take place

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by 2013. This has been a huge step forward. This has been leadership

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by the Prime Minister and this Government saying we have

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chairmanship of the European Council, let's use it and do

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something good for our nation. talk about sovereignty. It's a fair

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point, but why is it this Government or those of any colour

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are so quick to bow to our relationship to the United States,

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as a young lad in Yorkshire has been extradited without question

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for effectively file sharing while Abu Qatada gets this treatment?

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APPLAUSE Do you want to... You served with Jack Straw, do you want

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to reply to the point Jack Straw made about Jack Straw? I don't know

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the details. Neither does he. He's forgotten. Tony Blair has forgotten

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too. I do and you are wrong. There was no question of him being put on

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a plane, as you were suggesting. The security services told the CIA

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where he was. They collaborated in the rendition of someone to

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Gaddafi's torture table. I know you like to defend Tony Blair but

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surely this is indefensible even by you They collaborated with the

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rendition of somebody who was an Al-Qaeda supporter. And he was, in

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2005. And we rendered him to Gaddafi. It is interesting that you

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never understand the problems the Government faced at that time. I

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thought you were a journalist. Are awe journalist of a servant of the

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Blairs? I am a critic of everybody who deserves to be criticised. One

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of the things that was interesting about you earlier is you talked

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about the Jordan Government when you have got down to the business

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of licking the backside of Bashar al-Assad...

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APPLAUSE Listen. Listen. George, hold on. Let him finish the point.

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It was quite a long point. You said Syria had Bashar al-Assad as the

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President. When I first met David Aaronovitch he was a Marxist

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Leninist, licking the backside of Lenin and Stalin. He worked for

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Tony Blair and now for Rupert Murdoch, so I'm not sure the

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company people keep is your strong suit. Have I ever gone up to a

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dictator and said, "You are a wonderful man?" Yes. Have I ever

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spoken about the indefatigability of the Soviet union? Are awe

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Communist? I was Communist but you are still to the left of me, George.

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APPLAUSE I was in the Labour Party. He was in the Communist Party.

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We'll go on to another question. If you want to join the debate or

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:13:35.:13:41.

Was the "Bradford Spring" just a spot of unseasonable political

:13:41.:13:51.
:13:51.:13:51.

weather or climate change? Sayeeda Warsi. Well, I think first

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of all we have to accept that over 18,000 people Jack came out and

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voted for George Galloway and none of the political parties should

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begrudge him that, so congratulations on winning Bradford

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west. It is right that when the electorate come out and vote for

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somebody in such numbers, that in a way is democracy at work.

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We would have loved to have won that seat rather than you, but what

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I think was happening in Bradford West was the people of Bradford

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saying that for decades we have had Labour as our Member of Parliament.

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We have been ruled predominantly by a Labour council. And really

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nothing's got better. It was a lashout at the Labour

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Party to say, you can't take us for granted any more.

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:14:51.:14:52.

Yvette Cooper. On the last point, it has not been a predominantly

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Labour council in the last few years. It has in the last couple of

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years, but before that there have been Conservatives. How long have

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you held the seat for? Let's go back to the question, because this

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was a bad result for us, of course. It was obviously deeply

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disappointing for Labour as well. We have a lot of what -- a lot of

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work to do in Bradford and we will do that. We lost the seat to

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Respect in Tower Hamlets in 2005. We did a lot of work there to win

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back votes and trust and that was successful. I think Labour has won

:15:32.:15:36.

the votes back in Tower Hamlets. We have to do that again in Bradford.

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We have to recognise that we did not do enough to engage with young

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voters in the Asian community in Bradford, but also Muslim women as

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well. We have to do a lot more than that. I think we also have to

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recognise that only four out of 10 voters voted for any of the major

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parties. So for Sayeeda Warsi to make this a party political thing

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for the Labour Party, it is true it was disappointing for us because we

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wanted to win Bradford West and we want to do so again, but for the

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Conservatives this was a target seat at the last election and their

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vote was just completely decimated. So it is a challenge to wall of the

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parties. The parties in Government saw their votes collapse. Those

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votes did not come to Labour. We know that the first step is to show

:16:21.:16:25.

what a nightmare this Government is for Bradford, for the whole of

:16:25.:16:30.

Yorkshire and the damage that it is doing. That is not enough to win

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back votes for Labour. What does it say about Labour that it loses its

:16:35.:16:38.

majority to George Galloway and he gets the majority of 10,000 votes

:16:38.:16:43.

and your vote goes down by nearly a quarter, 20%? What does it say

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about Labour? We talk about it as a tactician, but is there something

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more fundamental? Ed Miliband has already been back to Bradford to

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talk to people, to listen to people... That will have helped!

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have been through this before in Tower Hamlets and we were

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challenged their, and we had to work, again, as we will have to do

:17:05.:17:10.

in Bradford. There are local factors and also some wider factors

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about politics generally and about people's frustration about politics,

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people wanting to see change, about people seeing terrible things

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happening as a result of the economic problems and so on. They

:17:22.:17:26.

want to see something different. We have to show people that politics

:17:26.:17:29.

can make a difference, the Labour Party can make a difference, and

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that means setting out alternatives as well. David Aaronovitch. George

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Galloway essentially did at Bradford what the Liberal Democrats

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have been doing for years but now they are in Government, so they

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cannot. He is a modern Liberal Democrat, I suppose. What is that?

:17:49.:17:52.

Testing the support for the major parties at a by-election and

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discovering that a lot of parties do not like them at the time of the

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by-election. Actually, voter support for the two main parties

:17:59.:18:06.

has been falling since the 1950s. I was at the wire Forest in 2001 when

:18:06.:18:10.

Dr Taylor won the Independent support. I felt at that election

:18:10.:18:13.

that quite often is a halfway credible candidate could come along

:18:13.:18:17.

in one of these seats, often they would pick up the votes. And then

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there are there particular ways in which George Galloway appealed to

:18:20.:18:24.

the voters of Bradford, which was an additional element in that by-

:18:24.:18:30.

election. Which were what? George knows. When you have a campaign

:18:30.:18:34.

leaflet saying, God knows who is a Muslim and he knows who is not,

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instinctively, so do you, signed George Galloway, you think, how

:18:38.:18:44.

does he know that God knows who is a Muslim? Did God appear to you in

:18:44.:18:48.

tablets of stone? Was it written in fiery words on a stone wall, or was

:18:48.:18:58.
:18:58.:19:00.

Stalin was your God, God is my God. There is only one god, I believe.

:19:00.:19:08.

You do not. We will both soon find out. The Bradford Bulls have won

:19:08.:19:11.

four games in a row since I was elected. They even be the Leeds

:19:11.:19:16.

Rhinos, and I was there. Bradford City football club even one last

:19:16.:19:20.

Saturday, and that is a very rare event. So we have changed, to pick

:19:20.:19:28.

up the point of the questioner, the political weather in Bradford.

:19:28.:19:35.

did Blackburn do? We are coming to Blackburn next, don't worry. Yvette

:19:35.:19:39.

Cooper talked for quite a long time about what the lessons for Labour

:19:39.:19:44.

were, but she did not actually say anything. Let me short cut this for

:19:44.:19:52.

her. The reasons that Labour voters do not find a new Labour credible

:19:52.:19:54.

is because they caused a succession of wars in which more than 1

:19:54.:20:00.

million people died, supported by David Aaronovitch, by Yvette Cooper

:20:00.:20:06.

and by the leadership of New Labour, because all three of the major

:20:06.:20:11.

parties support the war in Afghanistan, all three of the major

:20:11.:20:14.

parties support austerity, as they describe it, which means poor

:20:14.:20:19.

people paying the price for the crimes and mistakes of rich people

:20:19.:20:24.

and powerful people in running the economy and the Government. Most

:20:24.:20:28.

Labour voters say no to all those propositions. And until Labour

:20:28.:20:34.

becomes Labour again, until they can find the vocabulary and express

:20:34.:20:37.

the values that made Labour great, which changed this country, that is

:20:37.:20:42.

why I was in it for 30 years -- 36 years, when Abramovich was a

:20:42.:20:48.

communist, I was in it for 36 years, because I believed in labour. --

:20:48.:20:52.

David Aaronovitch. And I want to persuade people to be able to

:20:52.:20:55.

believe in Labour again. They will have to be Labour for that to

:20:55.:21:04.

happen. Do you want briefly to answer that point. Simply to say

:21:04.:21:08.

that Respect prosecuted as arguments in Tower Hamlets in 2010

:21:08.:21:13.

and they lost. Labour won those constituencies by talking about

:21:13.:21:17.

actually do things, I think, that matter to people, which is the fact

:21:17.:21:20.

that people are losing their jobs, the fact that we should not have a

:21:20.:21:26.

plan which involves taking more from children than it does from the

:21:26.:21:30.

bank's... Was it Afghanistan that turned the corner for him,

:21:30.:21:35.

Afghanistan, Iraq and the decision on war? People have strong views

:21:35.:21:43.

about this. Is that why he won, as he claims? Respect have spent a lot

:21:43.:21:47.

of time campaigning on those issues. We know that, but was it the

:21:47.:21:53.

turning point, the decisive issue? Why don't you condemn the war? You

:21:53.:21:57.

will do yourself a lot of good. Look into the camera and say, I

:21:57.:22:02.

condemn the invasion of Iraq, and I condemn the invasion of Afghanistan.

:22:02.:22:06.

You can do the predictable rhetoric about the wars doors to I could do

:22:06.:22:11.

predictable rhetoric back again and talk about dictators and so on. A

:22:11.:22:18.

good thing that gets us anywhere. Why not just Iraq, condemn it.

:22:18.:22:23.

view is that we were wrong about Iraq. That is not the same thing,

:22:23.:22:27.

we were wrong. Like you were wrong about how you park your car. 1

:22:27.:22:33.

million people died. I listened to you. I think in Afghanistan it is

:22:33.:22:37.

right that we are part of the mission of 40 countries preventing

:22:37.:22:43.

Afghanistan from being a terror haven. But I think people across

:22:43.:22:46.

the country want to know what Respect, what Labour and the

:22:46.:22:49.

Conservatives will do about their jobs, living standards and the fact

:22:49.:22:53.

that they feel squeezed at the moment. They want people to stand

:22:53.:22:58.

up for them. We need to stand up for them. We did not do enough in

:22:58.:23:03.

Bradford, but we will do so and we are doing so across the country.

:23:03.:23:07.

want one or two members of the audience. You are not doing enough

:23:07.:23:11.

to stand up for people every day, Yvette Cooper, and that is the

:23:11.:23:17.

problem. This was not a protest vote. What this was about, as a

:23:17.:23:20.

public sector workers and trade unionist, was people rejecting the

:23:20.:23:24.

austerity and the cuts agenda, fast cuts, slow cuts, we do not want

:23:24.:23:29.

them. We want no cuts. That is why people voted for George Galloway. I

:23:29.:23:33.

would like to say one more thing - I hope when it comes to May 3rd and

:23:33.:23:36.

people get the chance to vote, we will not be talking about making

:23:36.:23:39.

Bradford British, we will be talking about making Britain like

:23:39.:23:47.

Bradford. Back to the original question, it was a staggering

:23:47.:23:51.

result. I spend an evening there on the Tuesday before hand. Should you

:23:51.:23:56.

not have gone a bit more, because you lost your deposit? If I had

:23:56.:24:01.

gone even more, we would have done even worse. You went for one

:24:01.:24:07.

evening as president of the party? Is that all? It was a long evening.

:24:07.:24:17.
:24:17.:24:17.

I think I met all of our voters! Hats off to George and his team. I

:24:17.:24:21.

do not buy a lot of the explanations as to why he won. I

:24:21.:24:25.

did not see much comment on austerity on any of the leaflets.

:24:25.:24:28.

It was a foreign affairs election by and large, but it was a

:24:28.:24:31.

brilliant campaign and it was something he deserves credit for.

:24:31.:24:35.

It was exciting in British politics to see a different campaign that

:24:35.:24:39.

motivated people. Why did it happen? For the last 50 years

:24:39.:24:42.

people have been losing their allegiance to the main political

:24:42.:24:46.

parties, and that is good. It means politicians have to work harder for

:24:46.:24:50.

your vote. It is not comfortable for politicians but it is good for

:24:50.:24:56.

you. It is bad news for the three main parties. What it shows us,

:24:56.:24:59.

what George shows us and what Alex Salmond shows north of the border,

:24:59.:25:03.

there are times when people want to vote against the Government parties

:25:03.:25:06.

will stop if you give them the chance to vote against Labour, too,

:25:06.:25:14.

they will bite your hand off. Directed at George, is it true that

:25:14.:25:19.

in the press there was 100-1 against you becoming, winning that

:25:19.:25:27.

seat? 200-1. And some people but �1,000 on it. People put money on

:25:27.:25:31.

that debt, so you were obviously going to get all of the people who

:25:31.:25:39.

had backed at the bookies. And the other thing was, is it true that

:25:39.:25:44.

you canvassed within the mosques in Bradford? Absolutely. In the

:25:45.:25:48.

mosques, churches, among white people, black people, I canvassed

:25:48.:25:54.

for every vote. And you one. We heard that. Pre-by-elections are

:25:54.:25:58.

different to the general election and I don't think George will be

:25:58.:26:01.

grinning like the cat that got the cream by the time the general

:26:01.:26:09.

election comes. The only invasion I am decrying is the invasion of

:26:09.:26:12.

George Galloway into a city he knows nothing about that has enough

:26:12.:26:21.

problems without him in it. Do you want to enlarge on that? I feel

:26:21.:26:25.

like he is a Yes, yes, yes politician who will not keep his

:26:25.:26:28.

promises and it will not be hard for Labour to win the seat again,

:26:28.:26:37.

because he will let everybody down. The man on the gangway. I can see

:26:37.:26:41.

that getting into Bradford, George, has got you back into government,

:26:41.:26:44.

but what are you going to do for Bradford? There is a hole in the

:26:44.:26:48.

ground which used to be a plan shopping centre. There is a big

:26:48.:26:51.

pond, and one of the major buildings is crumbling. What are

:26:51.:26:57.

you going to do to Bradford to make yourself stay there? If you look at

:26:57.:27:00.

the local papers since I was elected, you will see page after

:27:00.:27:06.

page of local issues. The one. I agreed with that Yvette Cooper made

:27:06.:27:09.

was that actually the Tories are responsible for the hole in the

:27:09.:27:14.

grounds. It was them that target. The Tories were in power in

:27:14.:27:18.

Bradford City Council until the last couple of years. But two

:27:18.:27:22.

cheeks of the same backside - nothing has changed in Bradford.

:27:22.:27:26.

There is mass unemployment, youth unemployment has tripled in a year

:27:27.:27:33.

and risen by 40% in 12 weeks. The poverty that stalks Bradford West

:27:33.:27:38.

is a disgrace to both of these major parties. And that is why we

:27:38.:27:42.

were elected. I think we can leave Bradford because we have

:27:42.:27:46.

established that you won and we do not want to run the campaign all

:27:46.:27:51.

over again. Another question from Ryan McDonagh. Is it fair that

:27:51.:27:57.

parents of truants children should have fines directly taken from

:27:57.:28:02.

their child benefit? This is the proposal from the Government's

:28:02.:28:06.

adviser that this is how fines should be recovered, straight from

:28:07.:28:11.

child benefit. Tim Farron, is this a coalition policy that you approve

:28:11.:28:16.

of? Definitely not. The Government have turned down that aspect of

:28:16.:28:20.

Charlie Taylor's report. It is right that Government should accept

:28:20.:28:23.

those parts of the report that make a difference, but when all is said

:28:23.:28:28.

and done there is a huge coincidence between poverty, high

:28:28.:28:32.

levels of poverty and high levels of truancy in this country. If you

:28:32.:28:35.

deal with it by taking benefit money from the parents of children

:28:35.:28:40.

who play truant, you will just make the situation absolutely worse. The

:28:40.:28:43.

Government is doing one thing which is already helping to tackle

:28:43.:28:48.

truancy, and that is the crippled - - pupil premium, making sure kids

:28:48.:28:51.

from the poorest backgrounds, those schools get the most money. That

:28:51.:28:54.

helps with attainment and attendance, but the notion that you

:28:54.:28:57.

should punish by taking money of the poorest parents in the country

:28:57.:29:07.
:29:07.:29:08.

to deal with truancy is counter- Is it consultation or has it been

:29:08.:29:11.

turned down? I understand that at this stage it is something that's

:29:11.:29:15.

been put forward. As far as I'm aware it is up for consultation.

:29:15.:29:21.

But I will stand corrected. Tim may know something that I don't know.

:29:21.:29:25.

It hasn't been fully accepted. on a second. It's been put forward

:29:25.:29:33.

as a proposal. You said it's been turned down. It's been turned down

:29:33.:29:40.

expressly those aspects of fining parents of truanting chairman.

:29:40.:29:46.

that right? I'm not sure about that. But you are the co-Chairman of the

:29:46.:29:52.

party. They are doing the sums! Every child that doesn't go to

:29:52.:29:56.

school and spends days or hours out of school is destroying their

:29:56.:30:01.

future. Therefore we have to do two things. First of all we have to

:30:01.:30:05.

inspire kids. We have to have the kind of schools that kids want to

:30:05.:30:09.

go to. If you look at the academy programme, which has been extended

:30:10.:30:14.

by hundreds of schools, which are school where is the head teacher

:30:14.:30:18.

has the freedom to be able to set the uniform, set the parameters of

:30:18.:30:23.

the kind of school and the feel that that school has, attendances

:30:23.:30:29.

in academies is a lot higher than in schools that don't become

:30:29.:30:33.

academies. We've seen an emergence of free schools, and you have one

:30:33.:30:37.

in Bradford West, where in one of the most deprived communities a

:30:37.:30:41.

free school has been set up paid for by the state. The kind of

:30:41.:30:45.

education that those kids are getting is the type that most

:30:45.:30:50.

people... We get the point. Are you in favour of the parents of

:30:50.:30:55.

truanting children being fined, and if they are not paying the fines,

:30:55.:30:59.

having it deducted from child benefit? No, but what I am in

:30:59.:31:07.

favour of is relinking the concept of responsibility between child and

:31:07.:31:11.

parent. It is not right that parents can say, it is not anything

:31:11.:31:15.

to do with me. You can answer the question, are you in favour of

:31:15.:31:22.

fines for parents of truanting children? I am in favour of parents

:31:22.:31:23.

taking responsibility, whether it is financial responsibility or

:31:23.:31:28.

responsibility to say they need to get their kids to school. Look, we

:31:28.:31:33.

cannot... Hold on, I think we've got the answer from. I come to you,

:31:34.:31:39.

Yvette Cooper. I think if parents want to avoid fines they should

:31:39.:31:44.

raise their children properly and send them to school. Yvette Cooper,

:31:44.:31:49.

do you approve of fines on parents of children who truant? It is one

:31:49.:31:53.

option in certain circumstances but there have to be safeguards in

:31:53.:31:57.

place. You've got to get children into school. The they play truancy

:31:57.:32:01.

or if they are not in school, that will harm them for the rest of

:32:01.:32:04.

their lives. The disadvantages they will face will follow them decade

:32:04.:32:09.

after decade, so I do think we should take every action we can to

:32:09.:32:13.

get children back into school that. May involve support, it may involve

:32:13.:32:17.

support for the family as well as the child. It may in certain

:32:17.:32:19.

circumstances where parents are refusing to take any responsibility

:32:19.:32:23.

for their children or refusing to do the things that you need parents

:32:23.:32:28.

to do as well also involve having court systems and having fines. The

:32:28.:32:31.

problem with the issue of focusing on child benefit, I think that is

:32:31.:32:36.

in danger of being a very difficult and unworkable and there are no

:32:36.:32:41.

safeguards in place, in the way it was proposed, if the parent was

:32:41.:32:45.

doing everything they possibly could and was already suffering and

:32:45.:32:49.

living in poverty and struggling. What the Government is doing is

:32:49.:32:52.

they are hitting child benefit for everyone. They are hitting the

:32:52.:32:57.

value of child benefit, cutting the tax credit. Whether they are doing

:32:57.:33:02.

the right thing as a parent, all families are losing out. I think

:33:03.:33:07.

the policy of taking money from parents of truanting children is

:33:07.:33:11.

just a lazy policy. It is simplistic and populist. There are

:33:11.:33:17.

many reasons why children might truant. Including bullying and many

:33:17.:33:20.

other reasons. I think it is much more complex the problem than is

:33:20.:33:24.

appreciated. It can't be involved by this measure. You have to look

:33:24.:33:27.

at what kind of education is provided. In current trend is to

:33:27.:33:31.

narrow that to a more academic education. More and more young

:33:31.:33:34.

people are going to find that that sort of schooling does not suit

:33:34.:33:42.

them and they are not going to turn APPLAUSE I find it really

:33:42.:33:48.

disappointing that people from let's say disadvantaged backgrounds

:33:48.:33:52.

having experienced the lack of education themselves don't

:33:52.:33:56.

encourage their own children to get that education, which is the next

:33:56.:34:00.

step up to a better career. Do you think the fines that were

:34:00.:34:04.

introduced eight years ago by a Labour Government are the right

:34:04.:34:08.

approach? I think they are an approach. I don't think there is

:34:08.:34:14.

one particular policy that is going to solve everything. OK. But as I'm

:34:14.:34:18.

sure Yvette Cooper knows from the last years of Labour, they must

:34:18.:34:24.

have tried this in their own Ed cation secretaries and failed

:34:24.:34:27.

hisably. I'm sure under the last Conservative Governments, they

:34:27.:34:34.

failed miserably as well. I'm told that absent teism isn't as bad as

:34:34.:34:41.

it used to be. That's always a good thing. But I think you need a

:34:41.:34:45.

comprehensive array of policies rather than focusing on one thing.

:34:45.:34:48.

George Galloway. The Tories are so strongly in favour of children

:34:48.:34:52.

going to school that they've cut the EMA, the education maintenance

:34:52.:34:55.

allowance, that would have allowed working class children and poor

:34:55.:35:00.

children to stay on at school and have some small amount of income to

:35:00.:35:04.

help them. They are so? Favour of school that they asked the House of

:35:04.:35:09.

Commons this week to celebrate the latest unemployment figures. Even

:35:09.:35:14.

though... Truancy is the question, George. It showed 1 million young

:35:14.:35:18.

people. That's one of the reasons why the schools and truancy is as

:35:18.:35:22.

they are. Because children cannot see the benefit of sticking in at

:35:22.:35:27.

school, because unemployment for more than 1 million of them is what

:35:27.:35:32.

comes after school. But the idea that a family so dysfunctional that

:35:32.:35:38.

the parent can no longer control their child will be helped by

:35:38.:35:42.

taking their ever-shrinking child benefit away is something that only

:35:42.:35:47.

Mr Blair or Mr Cameron could have come up with and both of them did.

:35:47.:35:55.

APPLAUSE When I was at school about 100 years ago there was a bald man,

:35:55.:35:59.

if you didn't go to school, the man was knocking on your door and would

:35:59.:36:03.

take you there. That might be an alternative to reinstate that

:36:03.:36:10.

profession. Did that happen to you? No! David Aaronovitch. I disagree

:36:10.:36:14.

with Tim about this in a major way. This is not a moral issue at all.

:36:14.:36:19.

This is an issue about what works. The gentleman was right, truancy

:36:19.:36:23.

has not increased. It has stabilised and has been at a stable

:36:23.:36:27.

level. The problem that's identified here is there is a core

:36:27.:36:30.

truancy which is incredibly difficult to get at. It is very,

:36:30.:36:33.

very hard to reach. It is very difficult to persuade people. The

:36:34.:36:37.

question we have to ask ourselves is this: do we think by society

:36:38.:36:41.

effectively saying we think so lowly of the behaviour of not

:36:41.:36:45.

getting your children to school that we are prepared in a sense to

:36:45.:36:50.

stick ma ties it and make you suffer financial hardship because

:36:50.:36:56.

of it? Now, it has to be said that during the '60s and '70s crime

:36:56.:37:00.

rates went up in Britain and America partially because we had

:37:00.:37:04.

given the message out that we must be much more understanding, that it

:37:04.:37:09.

is alright to rebel and to be criminal. We spent a lot of time

:37:09.:37:12.

trying after that to get the message over that actually crime

:37:12.:37:17.

wasn't OK. We went in for "zero tolerance" policies and said we

:37:17.:37:21.

wouldn't tolerate crime at low levels. We started talking about

:37:21.:37:25.

antisocial behaviour. Gradually crime came down. More serious crime

:37:25.:37:29.

has come down. Do we think this is likely to work? That's the only

:37:29.:37:33.

question that really matters. It is not a moral question but whether or

:37:33.:37:37.

not you will end up helping or harming those children by ago that

:37:37.:37:40.

that action? Frankly I would like to see the evidence on it, because

:37:40.:37:45.

I don't know. APPLAUSE Let's go on. Let's return

:37:45.:37:50.

to the big event of the last month. Wendy Fletcher, your question,

:37:50.:37:55.

please. Is the Budget proving to be omnishambolic? Omnishambolic - the

:37:55.:38:03.

quote from The Thick Of It. Pasties, caravans, churches and charity and

:38:03.:38:09.

the rest of it. Tim, do you think it is omnishambolic, this Budget?

:38:09.:38:13.

Or do you think George Osborne, your Chancellor, brilliantly

:38:13.:38:17.

conducted and thought through every measure that was put to the House

:38:17.:38:21.

of Commons? Well put. The Government is so committed to

:38:21.:38:25.

fairness that they are method Ilkley and systematically making

:38:25.:38:30.

sure that we offend absolutely everybody. But we've run out of

:38:30.:38:34.

easy options, let's be honest. The big ticket item in the Budget was

:38:34.:38:41.

the lifting of 23 million people's income tax, removing the income tax

:38:41.:38:46.

for the 2 million lowest paid people and cutting the income tax

:38:46.:38:50.

of 23 million next lowest paid. It was well trailed in advance. Lost

:38:50.:38:54.

during and now we are talking about smaller things. The reality is

:38:54.:38:59.

these are all difficult things. We did the easy things early on. This

:38:59.:39:04.

Government inherited a Bassett case and had to take tough decisions. We

:39:04.:39:10.

did the easy stuff earlier on. �15 billion Labour was going to waste

:39:10.:39:17.

on ID cards, we scrapped that. Now there is no easy stuff left. The

:39:17.:39:19.

Budget was redistributed from the rich to the poor. That's the big

:39:20.:39:27.

news as far as I'm concerned. Yvette Cooper. This is just rubbish.

:39:27.:39:31.

You've got a Budget in which pensioners are being asked to pay

:39:31.:39:37.

hundreds of pounds more whilst millionaires are being able to pay

:39:37.:39:42.

�40,000 a year less. How can that be redistributive from rich to

:39:42.:39:45.

proper? It is going to other way around. It is taking money from the

:39:45.:39:51.

poor and giving it back to the rich. APPLAUSE

:39:51.:39:56.

If that was true I would be with you on that. Tim is trying to claim

:39:56.:40:00.

credit for a pension rise, buts because pensions are going up in

:40:00.:40:04.

line with inflation and inflation is high. 75P rise? Pensions would

:40:05.:40:09.

have gone up like this regardless. The Government has done nothing to

:40:09.:40:13.

push up pensions. What they have done is taken money away. The so-

:40:13.:40:17.

called granny tax is taking money from pensioners in order to give it

:40:17.:40:22.

to the richest people in the country. Clearly the donors to the

:40:22.:40:25.

Conservative Party have been having the kitchen suppers with David

:40:25.:40:28.

Cameron and George Osborne. The shocking thing about what Tim is

:40:28.:40:32.

doing is the Liberal Democrats are signing up to every word of it.

:40:32.:40:37.

that was true I would be with you, but it is not true. The rich are

:40:37.:40:43.

going to be paying five times more than they would lose or gain from

:40:43.:40:48.

the 50 pence rate going, which I wasn't happy about anyway. That is

:40:48.:40:53.

a seriously redistributive Budget. This is the biggest increase in the

:40:53.:40:59.

rate of the pension... You are kidding yourself. What do you say

:40:59.:41:05.

to the point... Millionaires will not get �40,000 back as a result of

:41:05.:41:10.

this Budget? Do you think that's untrue? The 50p rate going down to

:41:10.:41:17.

45 is something I do not agree with. It it was price that George Osborne

:41:17.:41:22.

exacted for the Liberal Democrats getting 23 million poorer people

:41:22.:41:28.

out of paying income tax. Part-time workers on the minimum wage are

:41:28.:41:32.

having to pay thousands of pounds more because they are not on enough

:41:32.:41:37.

to pay tax, but you are taking their tax credits. It is shocking

:41:37.:41:41.

and disgraceful what the Liberal Democrats signed up to. I have

:41:41.:41:45.

enough form on this, shall we say, when it comes to sometimes not

:41:45.:41:50.

following the Government line. If that was true I would not... I

:41:50.:41:56.

would agree with you. Was it a shambles, yes? The Budget was a

:41:56.:42:01.

shambles. Tim has said it was a shambles. He said there was stock

:42:01.:42:05.

market really good stuff there but nobody noticed it because of all

:42:05.:42:08.

the other stuff George Osborne stuck in there. Thatna was always

:42:08.:42:16.

the definition of In The Thick Of It of a shambles. And Tim had to

:42:16.:42:23.

say all the good bits were Liberal Democrat bits and the bad bits were

:42:23.:42:28.

the Tories. Yvette says the million airs benefited when at the moment

:42:28.:42:32.

Labour is incredibly worried. The self-same millionaires having to

:42:32.:42:39.

pay tax on their charitable donations. It is a toss-up as to

:42:39.:42:44.

which of you, Baroness Warsi or you, Yvette, is toughest on the

:42:44.:42:47.

millionaires. At the same time the granny tax was probably the one

:42:47.:42:50.

measure in the Budget which had to be taken, because the big problem

:42:50.:42:54.

we don't have in this country is richer pensioners. Our problem long

:42:54.:42:58.

term is poorer teenagers and poorer young people. That's the problem

:42:58.:43:03.

that's coming up at us. That's the problem the Budget has to deal with.

:43:03.:43:07.

In that sense the Government was right to. Get a whole lot of things

:43:07.:43:13.

right and then to throw it away in the 50 pence tax increase and you

:43:13.:43:19.

look like the rich person's party and you by association the rich

:43:19.:43:24.

person's party adjunct, that is my definition of a shambles. Sayeeda

:43:24.:43:32.

Warsi. On that point. The cut from 50 to 45 %. Well this, isn't a

:43:32.:43:38.

decision that was taken in terms of how we had to give money to the

:43:38.:43:43.

rich or the poor. What I want to see is to take more money from

:43:43.:43:49.

people who earn more money. The way you do it... So you cut from 50...

:43:49.:43:53.

The way did you that is by making sure that you set your tax at a

:43:53.:43:56.

level which actually attracts people to come into this country,

:43:56.:44:01.

set up their businesses here, create jobs here and pay their

:44:01.:44:05.

taxes here. Right now the 50p tax makes us the highest higher-rate

:44:05.:44:09.

tax understand the G20. We live in a global world. We can't expect

:44:09.:44:14.

London or the UK to live separate from the rest of the world. When

:44:14.:44:15.

people look at business opportunities they look at the

:44:16.:44:19.

United States, France, Germany. They look at the UK. And businesses

:44:19.:44:25.

will not come to those places where they feel that we run a high-tax

:44:25.:44:29.

economy. I'm confident that by reducing the right to 45 we'll gain

:44:29.:44:32.

more investment, more jobs, more opportunities for the future and

:44:32.:44:41.

therefore more tax for our coffers. Why are you against it, very

:44:41.:44:51.
:44:51.:44:52.

To be honest, I think she is wrong on this point. In the end, it was a

:44:52.:44:57.

coalition budget. I took the view that 50p did not raise a vast

:44:57.:45:02.

amount of money, but what it did do was to send a signal that the

:45:02.:45:06.

wealthiest must pay their fair share. Whilst the Liberal Democrats

:45:06.:45:09.

may have quintupled the amount of money we get from other sources,

:45:09.:45:19.
:45:19.:45:19.

nobody knows. There seems to be coalition on that side of the table

:45:19.:45:23.

between the various people who say that the default setting is that

:45:23.:45:30.

the rich must be Robert to support the poor. Hear me out. -- the rich

:45:30.:45:35.

must be robbed. The point is, how long comeback go on before you have

:45:35.:45:38.

the situation that Baroness Warsi is talking about where the rich say,

:45:38.:45:42.

have had enough of this, you cannot have a default setting that

:45:42.:45:48.

whenever we need more money we dip into the pockets of the rich.

:45:48.:45:52.

George Galloway. You do not have to be a pasty eating granny with a

:45:52.:46:00.

caravan to conclude that this has been a disastrous Budget. Few

:46:00.:46:04.

budgets survive the publicity of the day after, but this has been

:46:04.:46:09.

cataclysmic and shambolic. And we have seen it here. These two people,

:46:09.:46:13.

in case you did not know, are in the same Government together. In

:46:13.:46:20.

fact, they do not agree, apparently, on very much. But Tim, you are very

:46:20.:46:24.

impressive, much more impressive than Nick Clegg. I don't know why

:46:24.:46:27.

they don't replace him with you. But you are committing electoral

:46:27.:46:31.

suicide keeping this lot in power with a Budget like that, because

:46:31.:46:37.

the whole country can see that this is a big dog of 23 millionaires out

:46:37.:46:43.

of 29 in the Cabinet. -- a Government frock. People are so

:46:43.:46:47.

filthy rich that they do not even know their wealth. George Osborne

:46:47.:46:51.

thought he was not paying the higher rate of tax. If he is not,

:46:51.:46:54.

he should be behind bars, because his income, as can be easily

:46:54.:47:00.

discern, is in the upper tax bracket. This rich man's Government

:47:00.:47:05.

is being kept in power by you. If not for you, they would be out

:47:05.:47:10.

there. That is not true. You lost your deposit in Bradford, you are

:47:10.:47:13.

losing your deposit all over the country, you are going to be

:47:13.:47:17.

annihilated at the next general election. Get out of bed,

:47:17.:47:23.

metaphorically speaking, with these people. Do yourself a favour.

:47:23.:47:27.

you lost the last election in 2010, there was an election result and

:47:27.:47:32.

the arithmetic left us with two options. 1, sit on our hands and

:47:32.:47:36.

let David Cameron go to the country with a massive Tory majority, or

:47:36.:47:40.

else do a politically difficult thing, which is hard for us but

:47:40.:47:43.

better for the country. This Government is surely Moorgreen,

:47:43.:47:47.

more fair, more liberal for as being in it. Do I expect to get any

:47:47.:47:57.
:47:57.:47:57.

credit for it, we will wait and see. And even the things the Budget was

:47:57.:48:00.

supposed to do, the things George Osborne and Nick Clegg promise to

:48:01.:48:04.

do, support jobs, growth, get the economy rolling, none of that has

:48:04.:48:09.

happened either. The grand promises they made when the coalition came

:48:09.:48:13.

together, when Tim Farron and Sayeeda Warsi, Proms as they were

:48:13.:48:17.

making, they are not being delivered. Instead we have over 1

:48:17.:48:20.

million unemployed and the economy stalled when the US economy is

:48:20.:48:26.

growing twice as fast as the British economy. There is so much

:48:26.:48:31.

hypocrisy in your position. Let me give two examples. Before the

:48:31.:48:34.

general election you wanted to put up national insurance, you are now

:48:34.:48:38.

asking for a freeze on it. Before the general election, you had a

:48:38.:48:42.

fuel escalator tax in place which you were going to put in year one

:48:42.:48:46.

year. Now you want to cut it. You are completely hypocritical in the

:48:46.:48:48.

position you took before the general election and the position

:48:48.:48:53.

you are taking now. He made a mess of the country and you are now

:48:53.:49:00.

being opportunist in opposition. -- you made a mess of the country.

:49:00.:49:03.

would like to say that the last election, which produced the

:49:03.:49:10.

coalition, was not in fact not a strong vote for the Conservatives,

:49:10.:49:15.

it was a damning vote for Labour. I think if you talk about the Liberal

:49:15.:49:25.
:49:25.:49:25.

Democrats going into oblivion, so does Labour. OK. And the man behind

:49:25.:49:35.

you. I was thinking about Baroness Warsi. I think Investment is not

:49:35.:49:38.

coming into the country because there is no growth in this country.

:49:39.:49:43.

We still have 0.5% income tax with the Bank of England, and inflation

:49:43.:49:50.

is growing, not coming down. What did you think of the Budget?

:49:50.:49:54.

thought it was a shambles. They have not got their ideas straight.

:49:54.:49:58.

The economics of austerity is not going to work. We need to generate

:49:58.:50:02.

growth, increased the interest rate and get some money into the economy

:50:02.:50:07.

and get growth going. De Labour Party proposed a tax on

:50:07.:50:13.

bankers' bonuses which would have created �2 billion towards getting

:50:13.:50:17.

some of the 1 million young people back into work. Why have the

:50:17.:50:20.

Government not introduced this? Is it more important to please a few

:50:20.:50:25.

rich bankers, or to enable this generation not to be the next lost

:50:25.:50:30.

generation? Do we not think the reason growth

:50:30.:50:39.

has not occurred in this country is because of the fear that the crisis

:50:39.:50:42.

in the European Union is going to affect the British economy in the

:50:42.:50:46.

long run anyway? That is the priority, you think. We have five

:50:46.:50:56.
:50:56.:50:58.

minutes left. Another question. it right for British drivers to

:50:58.:51:01.

participate in the Bahrain Grand Prix won a pro-democracy movement

:51:01.:51:05.

is raging? This is the row over whether the Grand Prix on Sunday

:51:05.:51:11.

should take place with the pro- democracy demonstrations going on.

:51:11.:51:14.

And the Indian team apparently today had to take refuge because

:51:14.:51:19.

their car was firebombed on the way back from practice. George Galloway.

:51:19.:51:23.

There is blood on the tracks and anyone who drives over them, anyone

:51:23.:51:30.

who sponsors the team striving over them will never be forgiven. -- the

:51:30.:51:33.

team's driving over them. And the massacre in Bahrain, because it is

:51:33.:51:39.

a massacre, in proportion to the population, which is very small, is

:51:39.:51:43.

bigger than the death-rate in any of the Arab revolutions. If it were

:51:43.:51:49.

in Egypt, it would be the equivalent of 12,000 dead people.

:51:49.:51:53.

And yet the king of Bahrain is coming to Windsor Castle at our

:51:53.:51:57.

expense to take luncheon with the Queen to celebrate her Diamond

:51:57.:52:03.

Jubilee. David Cameron entertained that King in 10 Downing Street and

:52:03.:52:07.

now Formula One, in the peculiar form of Bernie Eccleston, the

:52:07.:52:14.

former funder of Mr Blair and New Labour, thinks it is fitting to run

:52:14.:52:19.

a sporting event through the flames that nearly engulfed the Indian

:52:19.:52:22.

team today, and across tracks stained with the blood of people

:52:22.:52:28.

that asking for a vote, asking to be able to elect their government.

:52:28.:52:34.

The Prime Minister of Bahrain has been the Prime Minister since 1960,

:52:34.:52:40.

before the Beatles. And the Beatles are 40 years gone. He has been the

:52:40.:52:46.

Prime Minister for 52 years, and nobody elected him. OK, so you want

:52:46.:52:52.

it cancelled. The FIA takes the decision about where it should take

:52:52.:52:57.

the Grand Prix, not the Government. We can give advice in relation to

:52:57.:53:00.

the political situation and in relation to the security situation

:53:00.:53:05.

and we have seen challenges around the security situation. But the

:53:05.:53:08.

Government cannot stop British drivers taking part in a Grand Prix.

:53:08.:53:12.

That has to be their decision. Just like we cannot stop businesses from

:53:12.:53:16.

operating there and travellers from going. What about the visit to

:53:16.:53:23.

Windsor Castle and the relationship with David Cameron? The decision

:53:23.:53:28.

will be keen to attend the Queen's Diamond Jubilee is a decision taken

:53:28.:53:34.

by the Royal Family. -- for the King to attend. That is not true,

:53:34.:53:38.

the Prime Minister advisers on these matters. I accept that, but

:53:38.:53:42.

it is a decision that ultimately has to be taken by the Royal Family.

:53:42.:53:46.

And if it is a decision, if the Queen has decided that on her

:53:46.:53:48.

Diamond Jubilee she would like certain people present at a

:53:48.:53:54.

celebration, then I really think we can stop being mean about it and

:53:54.:54:01.

allow the Queen to have her Diamond Jubilee. If it was not for the

:54:01.:54:06.

Formula One, would we be even discussing this? Also, with the

:54:06.:54:10.

race going ahead, it will probably get more publicity than it would

:54:10.:54:16.

without it. This is a hideous moment for me because I agree with

:54:16.:54:23.

every word George Galloway said. Every single word. The Formula One

:54:23.:54:26.

Grand Prix is being used by the Bahrain government as a major

:54:26.:54:29.

signal to the international community and its own people that

:54:29.:54:33.

everything is all right in Bahrain, when everything is not all right in

:54:33.:54:38.

Bahrain. There are basic denials of democratic rights, the imprisonment

:54:38.:54:43.

of human rights campaigners and so on. There are Artillery at the

:54:43.:54:46.

moment parked on the roundabout where the demonstrations used to

:54:46.:54:50.

take place. The Bahrain government is stopping journalists getting in,

:54:50.:54:55.

by using all kinds of strange bureaucratic means to cover this.

:54:55.:54:59.

At the same time, a former head of the Metropolitan Police, John Yates,

:54:59.:55:02.

is acting as a shield for the government by saying everything is

:55:02.:55:07.

lovely, the water's lovely, everybody should come on. Police

:55:07.:55:11.

that we could do, politicians could say to Formula One, look, this

:55:11.:55:15.

would be better not happening. And not only that, but with regard to

:55:15.:55:20.

the gentleman's point, say publicly why you are not going. Say that

:55:20.:55:30.
:55:30.:55:30.

this is not a place where we want to raise at the moment, OK. Yvette

:55:30.:55:36.

Cooper, what would your advice be? I think it should not go ahead, I

:55:36.:55:39.

do not think British drivers should go. I think the Formula One should

:55:39.:55:43.

not go ahead in Bahrain for exactly the reasons that David and George

:55:43.:55:50.

have talked about, and the fact that you have violent

:55:50.:55:54.

demonstrations -- demonstrations by democratic protesters who have been

:55:54.:55:59.

violently suppressed. Although it should be a matter for the sport to

:55:59.:56:04.

decide rather than the Government, I do think Government ministers can

:56:04.:56:07.

express an opinion. I think all of us on the panel can express an

:56:07.:56:11.

opinion and it should be very clear - this should not go ahead. It

:56:11.:56:18.

would send the wrong signal. Windsor Castle and the Jubilee?

:56:18.:56:23.

Government has diplomatic relations that it has to use, to set out

:56:23.:56:27.

policies in order to put pressure on governments. I think they have

:56:27.:56:30.

to be very careful how they handle this. I think they need to maintain

:56:30.:56:34.

the pressure on the Bahrain regime. I think they need to consider very

:56:34.:56:40.

carefully how they handle that and the way in which they do so.

:56:40.:56:43.

answer the question, the race should be cancelled because the

:56:43.:56:48.

very fact that the FIA are taking the formula One race there endorses

:56:48.:56:52.

and legitimises the regime. Many of us were involved in the movement in

:56:52.:56:56.

the 1970s and 1980s to help to end apartheid, which was about

:56:56.:57:00.

boycotting the regime, through cultural and sporting boycotts. It

:57:00.:57:04.

was hugely powerful in making sure we brought down, collectively,

:57:04.:57:09.

internationally, that appalling regime. You do not give succour to

:57:09.:57:12.

tyrants by taking a wealthy roadshow there to make it look as

:57:12.:57:22.
:57:22.:57:23.

if we endorse them. We must stop. Next week, we moved to Romford, a

:57:23.:57:27.

week away from the local elections across the UK and the big battle

:57:27.:57:32.

between Boris and 10 in London. And the week after that we will be in

:57:32.:57:35.

Stratford in east London. If you want to romp -- come to Romford or

:57:35.:57:45.
:57:45.:57:46.

David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Leeds. On the panel: the shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, the Conservative party co-chairman Sayeeda Warsi, Respect MP George Galloway, president of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron, and the Times columnist David Aaronovitch.


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