05/07/2012 Question Time


David Dimbleby chairs from Derby. Panellists include Ed Davey MP, Alan Johnson MP, Louise Mensch MP, columnist Dominic Lawson and former lead singer of the Sex Pistols, John Lydon.

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Tonight's programme includes some strong language.


Tonight we are in the old railway steam engine repair shed, the


Roundhouse, in Derby. Welcome to Question Time.


And on our panel here, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed


Davey, the former Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, novelist turned


Conservative MP, Louise Mensch, Sunday Times columnist Dominic


Lawson, and musician and founder of the band Public Image Limited, John




Thank you very much. Our first question, from Marlon Hepburn


tonight please. Given that George Osborne is already blaming Ed Balls


for the LIBOR scandal, what's to stop the Parliament-led inquiry


turning into a political squabble? Louise Mensch, were you in the


House of Commons today, but see it going on? Saw it going on, but I


was coming up to Derby, so I didn't get to vote in the debate. I think


what will stop it is Andrew Tyrie, who is chairing the parliamentary


inquiry. He is incredibly respected on all sides of the House. After


the vote was taken, when Ed Balls got up, he said how respected was


Andrew Tyrie in the House. didn't get much out of Bob Diamond


in the committee? The best questions came from my colleague


Andrea, who worked in a bank as a compliance officer, who knew what


she was talking about and pinned him down on the crimes. Do you


think he was right to blame Ed Balls on? I'm afraid they were as


useless as a chocolate teapot. I don't think the public is too


concerned with the form the inquiry takes. They want to see arrests,


prosecutions, people to brought to justice. While they are interested


in the inquiry, what they are most interested this is the serious


Fraud Squad going in there and bringing some bankers to justice.


Do you think that Ed Balls is to blame for this and has questions to


answer? He has questions to ask on the regulatory issue. Come clean,


Ed. Are you saying he it was one who tipped off Barclays that they


were doing the wrong thing? What George Osborne said was people


around Gordon Brown influenced it. There were questions about Shriti


Vadera, Mr Brown's adviser at the time, and Ed Balls himself said


publicly there may have been calls between the Treasury and the Bank


of England about this. Well, may have isn't good enough. Labour


needs to say what happened, now. Alan Johnson. Is this a smear


against Labour and against Ed Balls that we are seeing, and you do


trust the two sides to get to the truth? I think there's a lot of


people on Louise's side of the House who are concerned about the


way George Osborne has played this. We have to make sure this doesn't


degenerate into a political squabble. This is so important. If


you look at what's happened here, the report from the FSA and the


CFTF from America, the two regulators, said that, on numerous


occasions there, has been serious unlawful conduct. There's a real


wider issue about banking that we, duty bound, the three of us as


members of Parliament have to try to get to the bottom of. George


Osborne told Spectator, Louise, that Ed Balls was involved, and the


people around Gordon Brown and Ed Balls he named specifically in


fixing those LIBOR rates. No, he didn't. That was in Spectator this


week. It is important you don't misquote what George said. He said


people around Gordon Brown had been involved in making these calls. He


said Ed Balls had questions to answer over collating the system.


He said Shriti Vadera on regulation. I understand if the cap fits wear


it, but I think Lady Vadera has questions to answer. This is why a


parliamentary committee cannot be trusted. And that is absolutely


true. APPLAUSE John Lydon? There's a real deeper problems going on in


this. I'm just a bystander. I don't know anything at all except I have


a Barclays account, right? And that becomes a problem to me. I know


City banks are related to this. I live in America and I have a


Citibank account. It worries me that this kind of shenanigans,


right? Everybody seems to know there is crime here. How on earth


is Parliament going to discuss this really when both sides, left and


right, are connected to this? It doesn't... APPLAUSE This doesn't


just go back to Brown, right? This is part of the ongoing problem. Mr


Diamond comes from Wall Street right? Hello! Both parties love


this idea. They are fiddling with rates, right? They are affecting


the world and everything we used to count on has been dependable and


accurate is now going to be discussed by these argumentative


chaps? There is never going to be a conclusion in that. Who do you want


to see do it? Listen, if I nick a motor, right, I'm going to be up


before the judge, the rozzer, right? Hello, same thing. APPLAUSE


A judge. Independent. The man over there on the left. If you are going


to go proportionate about it, if you want to do something about it,


I read recently that somebody last year got jailed for six months for


stealing in the riots. �3.50 worth of water. If you are going to apply


the same proportion to the bankers, I don't think they are going to see


the light of day are they? APPLAUSE The woman up there in red. That


thief didn't get �120 million for being sacked right.


I frankly think it is a shame that we've got to have this debate. But


that said, it doesn't surprise me. We look at what the bankers have


done in terms of getting us in this financial crisis in the first place.


Their greed, their immoral decisions have put the working


people of this country into dire straits. And it is a false class


structure now isn't it, bankers and investors. They are the ones, the


most vulnerable people in society... And none of us count any more.


What's the point in us voting if this lot are going to have a nice


quiet debate. John, I love you, but let me er... You love him but want


to be able to get a word in! most vulnerable in society are


paying their these mistakes. When David Cameron took control of the


Conservative Party, �17 million he's had in terms from the City, in


backing his campaigns and the Bollinger. He doesn't want the


judges to find out the real truth of what they've been doing in


London. He wants to keep it inhouse and that's what he will continue to


try to do. APPLAUSE Dominic Lawson, do you agree with that? Going back


to the original question, the full judicial inquiry is certainly a


good idea in one respect, that if George Osborne... A judge sitting


there and people under oath? Yes. If George Osborne is right, that Ed


Balls maybe and Shriti Vadera certainly were engaged in


shenanigans. Sorry, Shriti Vadera engaged in shin an begans? Well,


she was allegedly trying to get... Careful where you go here.


allegation is she was trying to influence Barclays in pushing the


LIBOR rate down so that it appeared more solvent than it was. If that's


the allegation, a full judicial inquiry would be the better way to


do it. But as Dominic Grieve pointed out... I think both of us


know that there's a lot of heads that could roll in this. What do


you say to that woman's point that everybody is engaged in a cover-up,


the Tory leader had money from the City, people don't want to get,


that the politicians don't want the truth to come out, they have the


arrangey bargey about who was responsible. Banks employ 1 million


people in this country. 1 million people. You will know people who


work for banks. You have to get it into your head, you have two


different things here - the clearing banks, the high street


banks, which are traditional banks as you would understand it. And you


have the trading operations, which Bob Diamond was a master of, which


he came from. What they have done is used the depositors' money as a


kind of free cash. You don't get interest, to spend in the markets.


What I've been arguing about for four years is they have to be


separated. At the moment, the taxpayer stands behind them. I


don't mind taxpayers standing behind clearing banks. I do mind


them standing behind these traders. I mind it very much. OK. You need


to make that distinction. When you talk about the banks, they are two


different cultures. The problem is someone likes Bob Diamond talks


about the culture of Barclays. You cannot have a single culture with


two such disparate arms. They have to be separated. The Vickers


commission on banking says it happen until 2018. That's far too


slov. Ed Davey, the question was what's to turn this inquiry turning


into a political squabble. What will will it do? I think Select


Committees can do a fantastic function, can bring parties


together. We've got three things to fix in this banking crisis and we


need to fix the banking industry, because it is critical for our


economy. First, we've got to hold bankers who've done wrong things,


as the FSA and the UK Department of Justice showed, hold them to


account. I think it is right that the Serious Fraud Office is


considering whether there've been criminal acts taking player,


breachs of the Fraud Act, false accounting. If that is proven,


those people should go to jail. me as a regular citizen, please


explain, you do agree that a crime has been committed, right? I'm a


regular human. You've talked about crime here. I think it is really


important don't you that we understand. If it is generally


accepted that a crime has been committed... You have to allege a


crime and then go before a judge and jury. You can't say a crime has


been committed but allegedly. Forgive me, I know nothing.


need to have the Serious Fraud Office investigate. That's the


legal and proper way. Then bankest who've committed crimes can face


the punishment. The second thing we need to do, we need to sort out the


banking system, is make sure the regulation is right. Whether it is


in the LIBOR system or whether banks generally, because we need to


put the banking system right in this country. We have a banking


reform Bill in January. That could go a long way following the Vickers


commission, a massive inquiry. Let's get to that. It is important


that people see, changing the banking has been three ways.


Holding the people to account, changing the regulation and then


changing the culture. The question, is what's best way to do an inquiry


into changing the culture? I think a Select Committee process is a


better way than a judge-led inquiry. Alan Johnson. Bob Diamond explained


on Wednesday there are Minister Miss Whitehall, he said, who is


hearing Barclays is always high, Ministers in Whitehall, Dominic on


your left said Shriti Vadera is the Minister involved in this. Do you


think this is going to be brought up by a committee or shouldn't she


be Scotland swear an oath before a That's the poifpblt sorry we failed


in making this become a political dog fight. John's right. Eventually,


there will be a judge-led forensic inquiry questioning led by a QC, Ed


Balls to be there, Shriti Vadera to be there, anyone you want to be


there, because Dominic's right, it's a completely different


environment for the public to see that you have got to the bottom of


this. You got voted down on this in the House of Commons? Yes and so we


have got to get on with what we've got at the moment. That's why we've


got to get over this political squabbling for the work that will


be done by Andrew Turry. But you... Listen, you interrupted me once,


try not to do it again. I respect and rye Tyrrie. There will be a


judge-led inquiry. This is the tip of the iceberg. There are another


20 banks being investigated by people who called this serious,


unlawful conduct. That's the words of the two regulators whose report


was published this week. Eventually, the Prime Minister's going to be


dragged kicking and screaming to a full public inquiry judge-led. It's


a shame he didn't do it now. OK. You, Sir, in the front?


APPLAUSE It baffles me because we were here


four years ago when the banks collapsed and we heard exactly the


same thing, this is what we are going to do, this is how it will be


sorted out. This is nearly five years on and now we are being told


to trust everybody again, but the bankers are just going to do it


again. When will we realise that we can't do anything about it, we


can't do anything about it, unless we all take our money out of the


banks now and they don't have any control over us whatsoever, there's


nothing we can do. The man in spectacles there? It's not often I


would say I agree with a Liberal Democrat, but I agree with Dave


dauf Dave that select commits can be great but yesterday they weren't.


They grilled Bob Diamond yesterday and they didn't get any answers out


of him because they were too busy Tweeting. One was even advertising


to News Channels when he could do interviews and that's why I have no


faith in a public inquiry. How do you know that they were doing that?


It was in the news this morning. Being Tweeted by people, as far as


I know, suggesting better questions than the one they were asking. I


won't say who it was but somebody was sending them messages.


what's not coming out in the debate is the action the Government is


taking. We have a financial services Bill... You have had a


debate today all about it and you are going to have a public inquiry.


You are making the same mistake. We are setting up a financial conduct


authority, much tougher one than before. We have a banking reform


Bill coming before the House in January which will implement some


radical reforms. Proposed by the Vickers commission. The woman in


the spectacles on the left? wants to use a Select Committee but


the problem is, that will be chosen by Government and that's where half


the problem lies in the first place so I don't see... It will be cross


party actually won't it? The man in the back with the white shirt?


very good reason why the politicians should not be allowed


to conduct this inquiry. Because the terrible mess we're in, with


banking, deregulated markets where anything goes, tax evasion and


offshore accounts all this sort of thing is a haudge political failure


because it's the politicians who allowed this to happen, not just in


this country. Look at America and Europe. Look at the euro. That's


another classic political failure. You know. Who would you like to


have inquire into this? It needs to be an independent inquiry. Having


looked at Leveson, at least people have to swear under oath there. Bob


Diamond's performance yesterday, a man earning �23 million a year who


says, just like the Murdochs say, I don't know anything about all of


this, you know, and you are not going to get it by good people on


the trez shi Select Committee because they are not all exprts on


the minutiae of banking. We need a complete new appraisal of the whole


system, not just banking. This won't be sorted out by just


imposing a few more regular laces on the banks. We need to look at


offshore financial centres where there's tax evasion, money


laundering, fraud and all sorts of illegal money passing through there.


Corporations are dodging tax by setting up in the Cayman Islands.


Did anybody notice that Manchester United ice just set up a company in


the Cayman Islands when it floats on the stock market apparently.


Why? Because those sorts of places are secret. It's a black hole into


which people can take their money and then it comes out a totally


different form and the authorities know nothing about it. Thank you


very much. Two brief points from the panel?


Louise Mensch? I did sit on the committee which opposed the


Murdochs. One thing that took a long time as we looked into the


culture of News Corporation International was that we didn't


have QCs advising us and my understanding is with this inquiry,


the witnesses will be put on oath and there will be QCs advising. If


Select Committees and Joint Committees have the been fit of


somebody like Mr Jay helping them out with forensic questioning


before, they would have been a lot more effective so it will be good


to have people on oath and use QCs. We have got to legislate. We have


got a Bill in Jan, people want an inquiry but also action -- January.


There's no way the House of Commons can put people on oath is there?


Yes, there is, absolutely. We have the choice. Are you saying this


committee should do that? Yes, we have the option to put people on


oath or not. All penalties of purgery. Also, we didn't have QCs,


we were under-resourced, this inquiry will have QCs and we'll put


people under oath which is a key step. That for me I think you are


talking nonsense again because I mine Murdoch got away with murder


didn't he? Remember the questions he was asked and he just humiliated


the stupid panel because he's a smart fella. I don't think that's


fair on my colleague Tom Watson, to be honest. He's representing


himself, throwing out red herings left, right and centre to take the


blame away from himself. But the point is that bankers live in a


culture above and beyond all of us. Well, they do. And Governments...


APPLAUSE Successive Governments have allowed that to happen. I need


to live in a world of trust. How's about you? If I can't trust that


and how on earth are you going to question youfrs? That's the point


because trust is a moral judgment that one person makes. No, it's a


value. Moral's a religion, please. No, come plaitly separate. It's a


moral question. You see, everyone's thought that the issue is one of


regulation. It actually isn't. I mean, HSBC has 3,000 compliance


officers, Barclays has over 1,000. You have had the FSA, an absolutely


useless organisation. They didn't see the 2008 crash coming, they all


paid themselves bonuses. The regulators, the FSA paid themselves


bonuses after missing the credit crunch and people are going up a


complete blind alley if they think it can be done by regulation. It's


a question of character, you are right, it's a question of trust.


It's a question of my word is my bond, and you cannot deal with it


in a legalistic fashion. How do you get back to that? Because of what I


said earlier. You have to get rid of the so-called casino element and


completely split them out. You have two different cultures and, by the


way, I think... I would politely call it the... If the traders don't


have access to the vast pal of free money Of our money? Well, of our


money, they'll find it very difficult to have a business at all.


A brief comment madam, you have been waving your hand at me for the


last five minutes, then we'll move on? It's great to haar and


interesting to haar the process that we'll be going through, but


please spare a thought for those people because of fixed rates that


have lost their homes, that have lost their businesses because the


rates have been fixed. I mean it's fantastic to hear what you are


going to do. There are probably more 20 -- 20 more banks that will


be investigated, Mr Johnson, but please remember the people that


have lost out and how will you compensate all those people who've


had their homes are possess and have lost their businesses?


APPLAUSE Thank you.


We must go on. If you want to join the debate, if you are Tweeting


tonight, you can Tweet us, text us. Last week I said texting was under


threat and the result was we got twice as many texts as wetially get


and texts are catching up on the Tweets so watch out -- as we


usually get and texts are catching up on the Tweets so watch out.


Tweeting, you still have to find that for yourself. A question from


Daniel Clarke, please? Will cutting the British Army from


102,000 to 82,000 make a threat for the UK? The cuts announced today


from 102,000 to 82,000 putting the UK at risk? Alan Johnson? I think


it's a dangerous world out there. There's nothing to suggest it's


getting less dangerous. I think it's hardly the time to reduce the


British Army to the level it was during the war. Government does


have an issue here. There have to be savings made. What they did with


the defence spending review which was right at the time of their time


in office in 2010 was a quick-and- dirty exercise -- quick-and-dirty


exercise. As a result, we are seeing all kinds of mistakes. There


was a problem with the jets they were using, they had to do a U-turn


on that. The other thing I find really difficult is the regular


Army's coming down to 82,000 and the reserves is due to go up from


15,000 to 30,000. Why do you find that difficult to understand?


Because of this. If you are going to get reservists, they need to


take something like a year off every five years to go and train


and do a tour of duty. You have got to find employers who'll let them


go. There's not even been the beginning of that exercise yet so.


The regular Army's going to be reduced before we even know whether


we can get the reservists we need because that's the theory behind


this. So I sadly think - for regiments - I'm a Yorkshire MP and


the third Yorkshire regiment that used to be the Yorkshire green


jackets, there's a lot of emotion attached to this but it's not been


well thought out. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a further U-


turn that comes down the road on this part. Oh, really? I think the


financial necessity is not the justification? Well, because I


think in terms of the expertise in the Armed Forces and in terms of


that very volatile situation out there, the haven'ts that Harold


Macmillan said may mean that slowing down, it might mean that


eventually it's a cut but not a cut of that kind of proportion, I'm not


sure. Ed Davey, is that analysis right, that you are flying a kite,


it's not going to happen by 2020? Not at all. It's a well planned set


of proposals because the troops who'll be leaving the Army will


leave over a period of years and we are building up the reserve Army


after a very detailed report done by General Sir nick Houghton into


how you can do that so you can enSuhr that the Territorial Army is


much more integrated than it was in the past. If you can remember, even


after the cuts have been made, Britain will still have the fourth


largest defence budget in the world. We'll still be able to take the


same sorts of actions - I hope we won't have to - but I hope we'll be


automobile to undertake them. The defence budget was massively


overspent. �38 billion overspent. We had to take action. It's a


difficult decision because some of the soldiers who'll be leaving the


Army have served with great distinction and bravery and it's


always sad to see such saufs go. That's why I'm really keen to make


sure the resettlement programme that we'll offer the troops is of


the highst quality to make sure that when these people leave the


Army they get the help, the housing and employment. That's critical.


That's fine, but you don't believe it's putting the public at risk.


The man with the grey shirt? It's all right having the budget but


it's the way it's used. I read recently where there are millions


of pounds worth of worthless supplies in the MoD supply depots


which are all out, a lot of them are outdated or surplus to


requirements. I think basically, the problem is down to the people


in Whitehall who again award themselves bonuses and the people


who're having to take the main cuts are the par people on the ground,


the soldiers who devote a lot of time and effort and bravery to make


sure that our country's safe. Dominic Lawson? Can I just say...


England, love the paratroopers, right. John... I've told fell lass,


they laugh at this, cutting the budget, they're called crap hats


really. But the thing is, hello, how many wars are we going to get


involved with accidentally? Please, don't be doing this without a


proper military? One of the most beautiful things about Britain,


apart from the NHS and the free education, is the British Army!


Hear, hear... APPLAUSE


I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be rude but I needed to express that point.


I'll bring you in on each question. You won't always get the first


shout. Dominic, why do we have to have the fourth largest budget


after America, Russia and China in the world? I don't think we do.


First of all, the point from the gentleman there is a very good one.


If we look at Israel, it's roughly the same procurement budget as we


do. You would say in very trying circumstances. We have a defence


procurement staff, men behind desks of 23,500. Theirs is 430. OK. It


puts in perspective the way we run our Army and Armed Forces and the


way that country... The man there is right, that the money is going


down the drain? And it's that old thing of lions led by donkeys and


the MoD and the procurement business has been an absolute


scandal which has probably cost this condition trias much as the


banks. Isn't bureaucracy one of the great problems that we face in this


country in the NHS? Dare I say, in the BBC? In the Army, and


everywhere you look now, there are masses of bureaucrat who is appear


to look after each other? Who is it who decides where the cuts should


come - the bureaucrats. They don't cut themselves. It's fairly obvious.


But going back to the point, I would question Alan who says we


shouldn't have an Army that's as small as it was at the time of the


war, we had an empire covering a third of the globe there. It's not


surprising if our Army is smaller than it was then and it should be.


When I heard the former Head of The Armed Forces, Richard Dannatt on


the Today programme saying after this we will not be able to fight


two wars simultaneously, all I felt Given the context of the argument


so far, it is clinical in terms of talking about finances, absolute


numbers, I don't think we should forget that we've still got


soldiers dying in Afghanistan, and for the families back here to feel


that perhaps the reason why their loved ones fighting for us is


suddenly being undervalued by saying we can afford to lose 20,000


of them, that they are too expensive. It is quite difficult to


make that clinical argument about the finances without remembering


the emotional side, the loss that people have felt. APPLAUSE Thank


you. Do we have any soldiers here, or


people in the armed forces? I was in the Army for six years. I left a


couple of years ago. It is appalling for each lad that's got


to leave. They are going to have unknown futures by 2020. Even worse


indictment on this country that we can't maintain an Army of at least


100,000. We can't afford to kit them. We can't afford to maintain


them. I think that's worse than what's been planned. Louise Mensch?


I do think we have to put the Army on a sustainable footing. This is


what the commanders said is needed for a modern, more flexible force.


I agree with Dominic. We are no longary colonial power. There was a


lot of anger over the Iraq war and the reasons that led to the Iraq


war. I think people are broadly accepting that we want a flexible


Army that. Said, I do hope, speaking as a backbencher, that if


we are going to plough more money and effort into the reserves and


bring them into the regular Army that we back them up. The


territorial base in Corby is dreadful, so if you are listening,


Philip Hammond... It is a crying shame, and I said this many my


maiden speech, we are the only country in the English-speaking


world not to have a dedicated veteran's administration. Although


we have a veteran's Minister with some responsibilities, we don't


have a dedicated office. In terms of the Army, a modern and flexible


one is a good one. A new question, from Matthew Allen. The Home


Secretary is planning changes to the citizenship test. What question


would you like to see included? This is the test you have to take


the get British citizenship. The Home Secretary is going to focus on


more mortgage and history of British achievements, to describe


Britain as a fantastic place to live. The Beatles and Byron will be


there. Florence Nightingale... There's a lot of changes to be made.


I tried to present test today and I failed. Come do Britain and meet


Johnny Rotten. How you doing! Lydon, what do you think is the


test of British citizenship? Diversity. A complete understanding


of and love of your neighbour, your culture, your country, and the


inclusion of all religious race, creeds and colours and philosophys.


We are an island culture. APPLAUSE We all -- we always have been. We


must keep our shores open. This is what improves us. Hello. I'm a


classic example of mix and match. Hello England. APPLAUSE Hello


Britain. What question... I don't know. Shall we include the Scots.


They want to be independent from us. LAUGHTER Maybe special questions


for the Scots. You do remember when Brown was Prime Minister. He was a


Scottish fellowo, Prime Minister of Britain. You try getting an


Englishman as Prime Minister of Scotland. It may happen. Huzlement


Britain. Alan Johnson, what questions, you were Secretary of


State for Education once weren't you? I was once, for most things.


Don't ask me a question. How are you going to spell potato?


Schools must be open 150 days a year, 170 days a year, 190 days a


year or 200 days a year. I haven't got a clue. 190. Well done!


APPLAUSE Here is your passport. What do you think? What's the point


of these test and what's the essence of them. David Blunkett


introduced this citizenship ceremony. You can go to your local


Town Hall and it is incredibly moving. These are people that have


passed whatever test. They want to be British citizens. They bring


their families along. It is a crucial moment for them. They sing


the national anthem. They receive this certificate of citizenship,


which never happened before. It is actually very moving, what it means


to them to be a British citizen. So for as I'm concerned, if those


people, they need to learn to speak the language, they need to know


something of our history, know our values and abide by our values of


free speech and democracy. If they can do that, the questions that are


asked are a secondary issue. I think that we should continue this


route to citizenship. If those have the kind of questions they are


asking, I don't know about new questions, I would like too look at


the existing ones and change a few. To be a citizen of this country you


don't necessarily need to know how many days a school is open each


year. How many people in the UK up to 19 are there, 13 million, 14


million or 16 million. Hm... 13 million? Wrong. OK. What do you


think? How should this be tested. The Home Secretary is seriously


suctsing a new range of tests. agree with -- suggesting a new


range of tests. I sat the life in the UK test a few times, as my ex-


husband is American. We wanted him to be able to get his visa and we


had to practise the test. You have to get a high mark, something like


75%. If you get even a couple of questions wrong, you are out. They


ask random questions like how many people there are in the UK. You


have to be a statistics decision. What that has to do with the shared


culture and heritage that people coming to our country need, I don't


know. We value and celebrate our imgrants. We were lucky enough to


be born in this country. These people are making the choice to


come to this country, who wants to embrace our culture and traditions.


So let's ask him a bit about our culture and traditions and history


and less about how many 19-year- olds there are in the UK and how


many school days there are a year, baize bet half the audience


wouldn't know either. APPLAUSE By the way, it's 15 million. I don't


know how they can justify by doing a questionnaire, a quiz, whatever


you want to call it. If they get them wrong or right, we are talking


about people's lives living in England, Britain, Scotland, Wales,


whatever. I'm trying to think in my head, what happens if they don't


get it right do, they go? They have another go I think. These are


people's lives and their families and it all depends on this one test.


I do not agree with it. You do agree with any kind of conditions,


like speaking English or not? and no. My family have come from


Cyprus. They've lived in England for 30 years. They didn't speak a


word of English. They came to this country, worked hard, did


everything, brought us up here. We've all been Edcate. They didn't


do a test. They've been send. I don't know why all of a sudden we


have to do a test like this. That's just my opinion. Dominic Lawson, do


you agree? I do think an English test is a good thing, because it is


very important for people to integrate. It is very hard to


integrate if you cannot understand what people are saying. It cuts you


off, isolates you. It can create ghettos. I agree with a point Alan


made. My grandfather was the first in my family to be born in this


country. His father was born in Russia. They were more English than


the English, it meant so much. I think that's true of a lot of


immigrant families. They feel passionately because they may be


getting away from something which is not so pleasant as this country.


Ed Davey, what do you make of the proposals? I think we can really


improve on the questions. You've proved that tonight. When I took


the test, trying to help someone, I had problems with the questions too.


We need questions to help the person taking the test. Help them


live in the UK, so the questions are about how they can access the


NHS, how they can help their kids go to school, sort out maybe their


banking and how they can get jobs. Those are the things to help people.


How many pages would you have on people sorting out their bank?


would need quite a few! People who've taken the test, they do then


feel a real connection to this country. If the questions can help


emphasise the values that John was talking about, the values of


tolerance, which I think this country has built this country, the


value of openness. Then I think it can make a real difference. The key


English value in my opinion and John is a brilliant example of it


is ech sense trisity. That is where... - Ech sense tris ti.


fact that you don't realise it. you are suggesting manuals for


immigrants to understand how the NHS works and the deft systems,


please can you give one to the people already here. The man in the


striped shirt. Maybe we should turn the question around to the border


control and have a question to them to ask how many people do they


think asylum seekers are on the run at the moment. They wouldn't get it


right would they? And you mad dam. When you come in power stop blaming


the previous party for all the mess that we are in. APPLAUSE OK. That


will be the day. Another question, from Sarena Kay,


please. Is it time to stop fighting the war


on drugs and, instead, control, regulate and tax it?


S in in the context of the Justice Secretary saying this week we were


losing the war on drugs. We've been engaged in a war on drugs for 30


years and are plainly losing it, so should we control, regulate and tax


drugs? Ed Davey? Kenneth Clarke has opened a debate, and that is brave


of him to do that. It is important that we do have the debate. I've


never been convinced by some of the arguments that say we could


completely free up drugs, because I think there are real medical


problems that result for people. People can be really vulnerable and


can be abused by the people who are in drug communities. I personally


think the real emphasis in drugs smools be on rehabilitation.


Helping people and their families when they suffer from a drug


addiction. The Government has begun to do more on that but we should


continue that work. It is a lack of education again isn't it? People


make bad mistakes, because they don't have the information. But for


me personally, I don't want my drugs taxed. LAUGHTER


APPLAUSE Follow that! They already are,


because you are a smoker aren't you? You know nothing, Sir. But I


happen to know from observation you smoke cigarettes. Dominic Lawson?


Well, if I was trying to say how would I win the war on drugs, one


thing would be to show people who take Class A drugs here what they


are doing in parts of the world, in South America, the lawyer, is


mayhem, the mass mutilation of people. It is really disgusting.


And it can only be stopped by people here stopping. They need to


realise the consequences of what they do, which are foul beyond


anything we can possibly imagine. But as a practical thing, it is not


something this country can do unilateral. There are treaties on


narcotics. If we were unilateral to say, I'm not sure if we could.


have the Dutch done? If you work to legalise it you would find all the


public parks here and in London full. People would come here


because it would be legal. You would not want your children to


walk in those parks. It would be terrible. That's absolutely true.


I've seen this in Europe. Trafalgar It's highly unlikely that the


Americans would agree to a decriminalisation. It seems to be


ironic that reducing our Armed Forces at this time, we are going


to actually impact on or ability to stop production of drugs in


countries like Afghanistan because something's got to give, by


reducing police forces in the current climate, we'll stop the


detection of drugs which is crucial and by reducing our frontline


rehabilitation services, we'll stop the retabltaition of drug users, so


can someone take a bigger look at the picture because it doesn't make


sense. That's politics for you. think that's a very important point.


APPLAUSE. You were Home Secretary, you


famously sacked Professor Nutt for saying some drugs weren't as


dangerous and should be decriminalised. But I wanted to ask


you - that's an older story - but do you agree with Ken Clarke that


we are plainly losing the war on drugs? No, I don't. But the point


is, he was the Lord Chancellor, a member of the Cabinet, saying we've


lost the war on drugs. Generally you would move on to the second


part of the question. Normally when people say you have lost the war on


drugs they then say they should be legalised and regulated. Ken Clarke


said he was against that. Ken Clarke didn't say and here is Iraq,


we are losing the war on drugs and here is a raft of proposals to win


the war on drugs, he said nothing, big question mark. So I'm confused.


The point that the man in the blue shirt made was really important.


The last time I checked in 2010, we weren't losing the war on drugs, it


was kind of a 1-1 draw if you like, but the number of adult users was


at its lowest level since records began, young people down 5%. That's


not the work of politicians. It's the work of loads of people out


there working with young people in particular and teachers in schools


and giving a very clear message. I'm afraid Ken Clarke gave a very


confused message and maybe Ed can tell us whether it's Cabinet policy


or whether it's just Ken kind of going off on one which I suspect.


Well he did say, we keep trying every method we can to get on top


of one of the worst social problems for the country. He didn't say


nothing. Unemployment is the worst social problem. The Chancellor


isn't responsible for drug policy, it's the Home Secretary. I would


like to hear what the Home Secretary's got to say about this,


does she think we are losing the war on drugs. Ken Clarke is a


straight-talking politician, he's been around a long time, he doesn't


like to posture. He was probably just telling the truth, talking


about the failure of successive Governments or indeed any


Government to be able to block drug use. We can all be politicians and


say X is down 25% or whatever, it doesn't matter. The fact is that


drugs are addictive, they destroy lives. We'll never actually totally


win a war on drugs where we elimb nailt them from our streets and Ken


Clarke was being honest when he recognised when he did in the


speech he was giving the successive failures. We have to be honest


about that -- eliminate them from our streets ches. The question is,


what do we do about rehabilitation. I am someone that has used Class A


drugs in the past. I said this when the Murdoch inquiry was going on.


It's something that I regret incredibly in my youth that I


messed with my brain. I said we all do stupid things that we do when we


are young, it's had long-term mental effects on me, it's caused


me to be more anxious than I need to be. It's not something that I


glorify, I'm speaking from somebody with experience of it. Making it


more easily available to people is exactly the wrong way to go.


Just to clarify, what Class A drugs? I've never said. I've said


they were Class A, I've never said what Class A drugs I did and I


don't want to say so because I don't want to glorify the drugs and


give them a great name. I did serious drugs and it messed with my


head and it's a terrible thing and I don't want to see other young


people exposed to that by legalisation. That'ss the wrong


route. The woman there?


Does the inclusion of athletes who have been convicted of drug abuse


for the pursuit of an extra Olympic medal or the possibility of an


extra medal send out the wrong messages to young people who might


be wanting to dabble in drugs? Louise? I think that's one for the


Olympic sporting authorities. I don't like the idea that people


who've used performance enhancing drugs seems to be cheating. On the


cheating grounds there should.medals for them frankly.


John, you said you didn't want your drugs taxed. I was obviously being


cynical and witty and ironic at the same time. What is your serious


view? My point is always that I want everything in life to be


transparent and that includes all information. Young people are


denied information. In any way to fully understand what it's that's


being offered to them. This is why you get unwanted pregnancies and


stupid drug casualties. The things are out there. Why can't the


correct information be easily accessed. What do you mean by the


correct information? The effects of every single narcotic. Most are


manufacturered by chemical companies anyway so you can begin


right there. America is really quite frankly the biggest drug


creator there is. Like taex si and things like this. -- ecstasy.


Ecstasy is a drug America created to deal with psychotic patients -


isn't that lovely. Legalisation of drugs? I don't see why these things


should be illegal if the correct information is out there. Here's


the problem. You can kill yourself with two table spoons of table salt.


Are you now going to ban table salt? Come on. Come on nothing.


Just because you've had a bad time of it which I don't pwheef, you are


here, you are very coherent Class A! -- I don't pwheef. I'm not the


only one. -- believe. I'm saying, let us as Haw man beings


determine our own journey in life. No institution or Government. I


have friends, family, culture to help. You've spoken before. Yes,


you, mam? Sorry. You are shouting "you're wrong". I hear what you are


saying, Louise. I don't know what the experiences of the people


who're in this audience today, OK, but I've worked with young people


OK who have... Well... Can I finish please. I've worked with young


people who've abused not just A class drugs, we know what can


happen there, but drugs that are classed as B and C class drugs.


I've been in hospitals and Steen long-term effects it's had on young


people and how their lives have changed. There is no way that nub


this her with really sit here and say to me right now that those


drugs should be legalised, OK, it's wrong and daipbgsrous.


-- dangerous. I want you to understand, I'm not talking as a


middle class t person from Tring here. We stop situations like this.


There's bad parenting there and many, many things that aren't


helping and it's always down to disinformation and it creates this


sub culture that drugs are somehow cool and trendy. Eliminate that


from the agenda. All right? The man in the chequed shirt in the middle


-- checked shirt in the middle? we not listen to the scientists


instead of firing them for voicing them what they found. Alan Johnson


fired a scientist? Yes, Professor Nutt about the marijuana case when


nobody's tied of marijuana use and more people die of peanut use.


Let's not rake over old coals will you He wants to The advisory of


council on drugs consist of more than just Professor Nutt and they


were adamant of that. He was a Government spokesman. He's entitled


to put his views forward as a member of the public but when you


are the chair of that board and you are responsible to Government, then


you don't go off making statements like "horse riding is more dawning


rous than ecstasy". I mean there are lots of kid that I know in my


constituency that are having terrible problems with ecstasy.


There are not many who horse ride on the estate in Hull incidentally.


Saying those things he's entitled to do, saying it as a government


spokesman was not, he had to be sacked, he was. We talk about


strictly legalising and drugs being illegal and not illegal. Drugs were


decorrallised so they were ill Lyle but outside the criminal law, so


instead of people being punished and arrest ford taking drugs, they


were Jon winly receiving the help, that happened in Portugal? It's the


NHS and the taxpayer that has to pick up the pieces. A last question.


We haven't got very much time. It's a serious question, but I'll ask


you to answer it briefly, from John Green, please?


Does the panel think that Ian Brady should be allowed to die as he


wishes or should he be kept alive at great public expense? The moors


murderer who's been held under the Mental Health Act and is force fed


even though he's been under that legislation for 12 years. Do you


believe he should be allowed to die? I don't believe in voluntary


euthanasia. I've always voted against legalising it and I went


make an exception here. Louise Mensch? Mr Brady didn't give him


the victims the choice of how they lived or died. So I'm afraid I have


extraordinarily little sympathy in this case so let the tribunal do


its job. Alan Johnson? I don't agree. That's


playing to the gallery. You have euthanasia law or you don't. You


don't pick and choose. I've seen things change. I'm with Ed, always


voted against it. I think there's a mood out there that will change


things, perhaps in the next ten years, and maybe the law will


change. While the law is the law, it applies to everyone. Hang on,


this is not euthanasia. He wishes to commit suicide by starving


himself to death and he's not allowed to because of the mental


health Act? It's a complete red herring. Host a paranoid


schizophrenic, he's in a secure mental hospital. Originally he was


not incarcerated. Originally he was thought to be sane. Then he could


starve himself to death, nobody could stop him. That's not


euthanasia, that's suicide. That's fine. But he is a paranoid


schizophrenic and therefore the same thing applies. Obviously you


have Jehova's witnesses who don't take blood transfusion, they are


deemed to be sane and the law in effect allows them to kill


themselves, so this is the law in effect allowing them to kill


themselves. This goes to the heart of the criminal justice system. If


he is allowed to die, it's people using their own opinions of him


that he gets a death sentence. I think he should be kept alive but


if he chooses to be kept alive, that's his choice. But he can't be


allowed to do that, that's the point. Ultimately, you have to


allow people to determine their own existence or lack of. Really.


Seriously. Quite frankly, it's a burden also on the taxpayer.


didn't allow people to determine their existence, so why should we


allow him the same right? Now you are talking cruelty and no sane


society would follow that kind of philosophy. We don't do things to


be wicked, none of us. Our time's up, I'm afraid. This is our last


Question Time until September because Parliament goes into recess


for the summer. We'll be back in for the summer. We'll be back in


September for the party conferences at Brighton and then in Manchester.


The dates are on the screen. If you want to come to either programme to


put questions to the panel, it's not too early to apply. You can


apply to the website or call us. In the hope that all our many, many


viewers Tweet us and text us, have a happy summer, I would like to


David Dimbleby chairs Question Time from Derby. Panellists include energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey MP, former home secretary Alan Johnson MP, Conservative MP Louise Mensch, Sunday Times and Independent columnist Dominic Lawson, and John Lydon, former lead singer of the Sex Pistols and founder of the band Public Image Ltd.

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