04/10/2012 Question Time


David Dimbleby chairs Question Time from Manchester. Panellists include Kenneth Clarke, Douglas Alexander, Liberal Democrat Baroness Kramer, Janet Street-Porter and Willie Walsh.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 04/10/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Tonight, we are in Sale in Greater Manchester and welcome to Question


And here with me on our panel, the Cabinet Minister, Kenneth Clarke,


the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, the Liberal


Democrat peer, Baroness Kramer, the broadcaster and columnist, Janet


Street-Porter and the Chief Executive of the parent company


British Airways and Iberia, Willie Walsh.


Thank you very much, and our first question tonight from Jacqueline


Hill, please? Is the Government right to


scapegoat civil servants for the West Coast rail fiasco? Is the


Government right to scapegoat the civil ser vans for the fiasco of


the West Coast rail. Willie Walsh, you must have had dealings with


civil servants over things like this. Do you think they are right,


the Government? No, I think it's the responsibility of the ministers


the civil servants, I don't think you can say it's one or the other,


I think it's both. It's fortunate for the Conservative Party that the


Prime Minister has moved both the Transport Ministers, Justine


Greening and Theresa Villiers out o transport because I don't think


their positions would be tenable if they were still in transport today.


I think this is a mess of monumental scales and people have


got to be held to account. I think that's both the politicians who're


involved and the civil servants. Given the process was complex, how


do you blame the ministers? wasn't that complex. The ministers


take responsibility. The ministers will go on and take the praise when


something good happens and will try and shift the blame to somebody


else when something bad happens so I don't think they can say they


weren't involved. They were the people who went on TV to announce


it. Theresa Villiers was on TV making a big deal out of it saying


how confident she was that it was done properly. I think Justine


Greening did the same thing. I didn't see any civil servants on TV


making the announcement. I think in a case like that, the questions


should have been asked properly, the answers should have been


challenged and we should not have found ourselfs in the mess that we


find ourselves today. APPLAUSE


Kenneth Clarke? We need to know a lot more about it. There will be an


inquiry before we can say what went wrong. The explanations about the


errors being made in the math, if anybody understands them b will --


them, will they speak to me afterwards. Why have three civil


servants been suspended? We don't know what's gone wrong? Whoever's


suspended them thinks there's something about what they've done


wrong. We'll see whether they were scapegoated. The person who


suspended them, obviously thinks they should be suspended whilst the


investigated. Just one caution on Willie's idea that in a tendering


possess the whole thing should go to the minister. I've done


tendering processes and have had procurement people in the


Department of Justice, I did a tendering process for prison


management, a very good process, you get prisons that cost less and


get better regimes by having better competition. I didn't start taking


over personally the decision over who won the tender, I think my


lawyers would have told me to be very, very careful if these


Transport Ministers would have said, in choosing who's won, we are not


going to leave to it the officials or the procurement experts, I'm


going to sit down and go through the figures and work out who's won,


I would have cautioned either of the good laydis very strongly


against doing that. Now, of course, you have to be vigilant to make


sure the process is what you want it to be. Quiz them when they come


in with the result. I have never gone in to the background judgments


of who's delivered the best value for money. What's the point of the


minister then? APPLAUSE


The point of the minister... The point of the minister is to decide


on the very controversial policy of going out to tender and inviting


private sector competitors in to compete with the public sector and


explaining why you do it. Political interference... That's not the


political interference. It wouldn't necessarily be, but it would be


easily interpreted and I think the legal advice would be, for heavens'


sakes, the minister should not personally start saying, has this


been won by the Prison Service or by Circo or G4S or whoever, you


rely on and make sure you've got good professional procurement


officials and you actually get them to do it. You haven't been a


Transport Minister. I have. A long time ago. When it was nationalised,


it was totally incompetent and we had a fiasco every week. The


opening up to transport, the privatising of transport to a


competitive situation led to sub Stan rblg improvement.


substantial improvement. Douglas Alexander, you were at transport


for a year, and you had the process going on while you were there.


What's your take on it? My take is first of all that... Was the


process good or right? Firstly, this is a frustrating fiasco for


the whole of the public. In tefrpls of is it the same process, no, the


Conservatives came to power promising to fundamentally redesign


the Fran hiez system for the railways and that's what they've


done. -- franchise. The fact is, this is what Theresa Villiers the


signed in opposition, Philip Hammond, now implemented in


Government, and then Justine Greening decided in Government. So


it's not just wrong for the public that �40 million has been wasted,


it will be a lot more than that. What I think is implausible and


morally repugnant is the idea that you set up an inquiry that's


chaired by a member of the board of the Department for Transport and


then you start with the assumption that it's therefore not going to


look at the leadership of the department and principally the


ministers. The only rule in this Government seems to be A, B, C,


anyone but Cameron, it's just not good enough.


APPLAUSE These errors that were referred to


in which inflation and passenger numbers were not taken into account


properly, are you saying that was as a result of Government ministers


framing a policy that didn't take account of inflation? Or a


technical error that's been portrayed during the process?


need to find out what officials were doing and ministers. Ken says


it's very complex. The reason it's complex is that the Conservatives


redesigned a franchise system which had a very long contract in terms


of upwards of more than a decade, almost 0 years. Were you happy with


it when you were there? No, the average was around seven years.


Were you happy with it? You said it was good for people to go bust


occasionally because it proved the process was working? Did you say


that? The parent company Dreadful contract for the East Coast Main


Line... It got into financial difficulties. That's difpt to a


situation where a minister doesn't meet their obligation. -- that's


different. You said the system of Fran cheese shows a system is


working? The keys were handed back, compensation was paid and the


railway kept running. So capital direct would have gone bust. You,


Sir? There's been a lot of talk of brain drain in the Civil Service


today, saying they messed it up. If it was clear that they didn't have


the skills to be able to run the process, why was thant outsourced


to someone more appropriate, then we would have saved a lot more


money than the �40 million now having to be spent? Why did they


get rid of the Director General in Rio for transport when they knew


they were coming up to 20 franchises in the coming year.


woman there? This is the latest attempt for the Government to blame


the servants. Exactly. I also think it's astonishing because both


Justine Greening and trez za Villiers have been promoted the


spite the fact that they are woman -- Theresaville euros. They've been


promoted despite the fact that they are women? Yes. Baroness Kramer?


The whole thing was a balls up and shambles and we have to say that


about it. But let me tell you, it's not the first one. I remember the


public private partnership for the Tube under Labour, a complete and


utter shambles. It's fallen apart now. That's lost billions to the


taxpayer and caused Londoners to suffer a Tube system that could


have been improved far faster. As far as I know, the civil servants


and adviser involved with that all either got promotions or gongs. And


we have to actually tackle incompetence. Now, how you can go


and do an investigation if you don't suspend the people you think


that have been mismanaging the numbers, I don't know. If ministers


have been involved and are at fault, then they have to pay the price,


but I also think the notion that we totally protect the Civil Service


can't be one that continues. I don't mean to scapegoat people, but


you can't have people doing jobs they are not competent to do.


why suspend the civil servants and not the ministers, why do the


ministers get promotes? This is a nonsense, Douglas. Do you agree?


The ministers decided they would go for longer franchises so you get


people who're successful to commit more investment. That's the


ministerial decision. You go out to the competition. If the minister


had gained advice from the civil servants that first whatever they


are called had beat Virgin and the minister said no, I've checked the


figures and I think Virgin... What's what you said to Parliament,


why did they two to the Select Committee on transport and say it


was a robust and competent process? They were confident in the process.


All this argue about process of procedures shows you what's wrong


with politics. The bottom line is that transport, like the National


Health Service, is one of those things in this country that


everybody uses. It should be a consensus issue. How the railways


are run shouldn't be down which party is in power, it should be


beyond that. I think it's wrong to scapegoat the civil servants, but I


also think it's wrong that ministers, Transport Ministers are


amateurs, they are not experts. It's an important part of


everybody's life and this debacle is going to cost I think everybody


who uses the rail a minimum of a �10 per year per passenger and �40


million is the least and �100 million has been quoted in a lot of


the papers today. Would you prefer a nationalised railway? I use them


a lot and I know a lot about the East Coast line and about what


happened with GNER and the awarding of that franchise and when it had


to be handed back. After GNER, another company came in and they


too the - they too stopped. I've been using the railway for years


and by different companies and the fares have escalated because your


Government and Ken's Government have just demanded more and more


money from the franchise holders and the people who pay are the


people in this room, the customers. APPLAUSE There was a time not so


very long ago when ministerial responsibility was a matter of


honour almost and it seems over the recent deck aitdz even that's been


pushed to one side -- decades. In business and in Government,


ministers literally will not leave, they will not fall on their sword,


it's always the responsibility of their deputies when the G4S thing


was another incidence where deputies got the push and the guy


at the top stayed. That sense of honour that really I was the guy at


the top, it was my responsibility and really I should go on this, we


should see more of it because increasingly we see less and less.


Do you agree with that? I think it's important that... I don't


think Justine Greening is an amateur. What I remember her


background is that it's economics. If somebody with that background


can't understand inflation, you think we are in big trouble. Hang


on, you know the point. It points to a problem in that in eight years


we have had eight different Transport Ministers. That's what


I'm arguing, transport's too important to have all this rapid


turnover and people running it. man in the pink shirt We have heard


some very strong language here tonight from one of the


Conservative Party's flagship privatisation. We have heard from


Mr Walsh who's Head of The BAE privatisation, he called it a


fiasco, we've heard it's in a mess, we have heard it's balls or


something from Miss Kramer. I don't think she said that! She did.


said it was a balls up. Now, for this time of the night, that's very


strong language, so obviously it's in a mess and I believe this is a


golden opportunity now to take it back and I agree, prices are going


up, they are going up again, let's get it back in the public sector.


Let's be nationalised. The man up there? The idea of the golden age,


the idea is absurd and nobody was held accountable for the shambolic


way in which we ran an old- fashioned company. Willie, you are


in a big company, you are the holding company of huge companies,


vast amounts of procurement, you are always going out to tender, you


have procurement experts. If you are telling me that every time a


major contract is placed by BA, you personally take it over, you check


all the arithmetic of all the people who work in the company and


you personally decide who's won the court for widgets, I'm absolutely


amazed and I would say that's not... Major contracts, yes, I do. Major


I do not remember you resigning. think we must move on. I wonder


whether this is symptomatic of a deeper malaise within government.


I'm thinking of trying to get decisions out of government after


government. I'm thinking of H S 2. If we cannot make a decision, what


logo to put on a train, how will we make more important decisions?


think we had better move on. Thank you for that. If you want to join


this debate tonight or any other points raised guide to press the


red button. You can text bass. You can follow BBC Question Time. A


question now from Cecelia Walker. In the light of the recent death of


two Greater Manchester Police officers, should British police be


armed like their American counterparts? The funeral of Nicola


Hughes and Fiona Bone yesterday in Manchester. I lived in the States


for nearly 20 years. One of the things I just remember it so


utterly clearly, I was in a car with my daughter. She was learning


to drive. We were approaching some traffic lights that were read. I


sought out of my right hand window that's there was a police officer


with his gun drawn. -- that there was. I have lived in a society


where there were armed police. The notion that makes people safe is


just disproved by the realities and violence that people lived with. I


far prefer, and feel far safer, in a community where the police have


the confidence and strategies to police without arming themselves.


Can I pay tribute to those incredibly brave members of the


police and the families of those who died? They do put themselves on


the line. The police themselves say the answer is not to arm themselves.


I believe in this, the police are absolutely right.


I have been a police officer for over a quarter of a century. I do


not believe that British police should be armed. I want the public


to respect the fact they are turning in day-in and day-out,


totally unsure of what they will face. When things go wrong, tried


to give us more support. As soon as something goes a tiny bit wrong,


the whole nation turns on police officers. I am in charge of a team


of police officers. A bit more support way you can, please.


Do you think death like this are the price you paid for not having


an armed police - for having a different relationship between the


police and public? I do not think whether or not they were armed


would have made any difference because of the nature of the attack.


I am a serving police officer as well. I agree with that gentleman.


If we were walking around with guns, it would take away the element of


policing by consent for a lot of people. Do you agree with that?


Completely. In any confrontation, dialogue must be the starting point


and not force. If you can store up to - as a bid talk to people and


start from -- if you can talk to people and start with negotiation,


that is the best idea. Look what has happened in America! Arming


police has not stopped serial killers. It has not stopped the


dread for mass murders. They are to do with the gun laws. -- the


dreadful mass murders. The same thing would happen here. What


happened in Manchester two weeks ago was tragic. Putting firearms in


the pockets of police officers will not change that. It is not a one-


way street. Ian Tomlinson have the right to walk the streets in London.


He should never have been a police officer. It is not a one-way street.


We have to support the police absolutely but sometimes they get


it wrong. You, in the blue shirt. The police are here to serve our


communities. We have so many deprived inner-city areas where it


is a status symbol to have weapons, including guns. Why should we


expect police officers to going to win Bradman's side that cannot


protect themselves? Deep in the penalty for murdering a police


officer would be different? Not a death penalty but I think police


should have the option of being able to protect themselves. I agree


with the majority view. We have community policing in this country.


We keep reinventing it. It goes back to Robert Peel. The approach


we have of policing by consent as to the sense of respect of


gratitude we have for the police. It does introduce a slight casual


nature. We do try to exercise care and control, very rigorously


actually. Mistakes are sometimes made by the police. It is a danger


situation when you do not know how dangerous someone is that you are


approaching. Our approach avoids the casualness about carrying guns


that you see in some parts of the States. These two women could not


have saved themselves by firing first and beating them to the draw.


It was not like that. The sense of tragedy is redoubled by the fact


our policemen and women police in the way they do. I would just like


to associate myself with this general disagreement about arming


the police. That is the right thing to do. Arming them would be a


disaster. It would change whole public attitudes towards the police.


We would see a huge exodus of police officers from the force.


Just replied that to the gentleman over there, yes, there are inner-


city areas with lots of problems. There are specialist firearms units


and specialist police officers to deal with those particular problems.


I do not think arming the whole police force is the right thing to


do battle. Lord Tebbit said, I think it is time we thought again


about the deterrent effect of the shadow of the gallows. Does anyone


here believe that? They should bring back hanging for killing a


police officer. Does anyone else agree with that? Anyone else want


to agree with that? Not at all. want to see how much support there


is for the idea. I think that hanging should come back. It is


more of a deterrent. They go to prison, serve half a sentence and


then come out. I do not agree with hanging. I do not agree with arming


police. If they were armed, the first people who should be asked


are the police themselves. We should not determine whether they


are armed. I do not agree with hanging. What happens when you make


a mistake? You cannot argue that mistakes have never been made. If


you look at the case of the Birmingham Six, they were tried and


found guilty. Lord Denning said, we should not have all of this


campaigning about the Birmingham Six. If they had been hanged, bid


would have been forgotten about and the community would have been


satisfied. How can you correct a wrong like that? The risks of


getting things wrong are far too great. I would not agree with


reintroducing hanging. I am in agreement with that. I do not


support the reintroduction of hanging. There has been the second


funeral today of the officers who were slain. Our hearts go out to


them. I cannot agree that the argument that says we should arm


the police. The circumstances of a tragedy are bad circumstances in


which to make immediate policy changes. Many of us feel a genuine


pride we have a police force that overwhelmingly is not armed. It is


sensible to have armed response units if they are required. I have


seen no evidence from the United States or elsewhere that having


armed officers actually makes the population safer. If there are


issues in terms of gun crime and gang culture, the way to tackle


that is not by arming the police but making sure there is effective


enforcement of laws against criminals and making sure that


young people define themselves by what they can contribute to society


rather than seeking status through carrying a gun. Spencer Akio Dom


has Ed Miliband ever found his boys -- found his voice? I have been


described as a one-nation Conservative for 40 years. Of


course it is jargon. It is a phrase we have used for a long time. Most


of the time that time commit you knew what kind of conservative that


was. The Labour Party keeps pinching slogans. We have had New


Labour and now it is one nation Labour. I thought the content was a


brilliant speech. To do that without notes and the rest of it,


it was very good. I thought the content was vacuous. 46 repetitions


of One nation does not make a new political philosophy. That is


really a rather shameless attempt to steal what is becoming a


slightly old-fashioned slogan. The equivalent in modern Conservatism,


call themselves modernisers. Disraeli invented One nation


Conservatism. Ed Miliband, you are not a One nation politician. They


are people like Macmillan and Butler. We actually did introduce


free-market economics into this country. We did. We tried to


modernise the welfare state and reform public services. A concern


for opportunity and aspiration. Those things held us together. I'm


trying to give the general philosophy that has grilled the


Conservative Party from most of the time I have been inept. He gave no


Margaret Thatcher had a One nation government. She had a one-woman


government. By the time she lost office, the Cabinet had the same


number of wets outnumbering tries and One nation Conservatives in it


as it had when she started. Until he has a policy, particularly on


the economy, he is not going to I think his point about the NHS was


a good point. The only thing that surprises me


and I've no political afilliation and I've been critical of


politicians left, right and centre. He's take an long time to do it but


it was a good performance. His standing has to improve as a result


of that. I hope he follows it up because we need some strong


politicians today to hold the Government to account.


Douglas Alexander, he said an interesting thing in this speech


which is he said, I want to talk to those who voted for David Cameron


directly. Do you understand why? have been in power for 13 years,


there was a growing appetite in the country for change after the worst


economic crisis in 60 years. We didn't regulate the banking system


strongly enough. The main criticism at the time of the Conservative


opposition is that we were regulating the banks too much


incidentally. On the other hand, we are not denying the fact that the


British people made their choice and denieded to throw us out in


2010, but to answer the audience's question, yes, he did find his


voice this week. I think it was both a very personal speech, he


wanted to offer what's quite an unfashionable view that actually he


thinks politics does matter and can make a difference and he chose


politics as his life's work. He talked about the country he wants


to live in. Ken comes from a tradition of One nation


conservatism, but the problem is, Ken is pretty much the lone


survivor of that tradition in the Conservative Party. I think the


authentic face of the Conservative Party today is Andrew Mitchell,


it's not Ken Clarke incidentally. If he talks about Butler and


Macmillan, they didn't say that competition was at tt heart of the


National Health Service, even they accepted it was cooperation that


was the basis of the National Health Service. I can understand


the sound and fury and the worry that Ed Miliband has very clearly


said he wants to speak for the whole country, he wants to see a


National Health Service base on the cooperation, rather than


competition. He wants to make sure we have a genuine future for the


more than one million young people out of work and he wants banks that


don't just work for themselves but banks that work for the whole to


have economy. There was real substance in this speech. My sense


is it was a speech not only that he wanted to make but that the country


wanted to hear. APPLAUSE


You, Sir, second row from the back? Ken, when you say, you know, Ed's


speech was vacuous, that's laughable, when you hear David


Cameron talk about we are all in it together, the bankers are not in it


with working there has people -- working class people. What I would


say to Danny... Douglas. Sorry, Douglas. Danny was here last week.


The working class people are really suffering under this coalition, he


did appeal to some of them and what he said was, if the banks don't


sort themselves out, we'll sort them out. I want the Labour


Government to do that. If it said it's going to sort the banks out,


it needs to sort them out. Did you feel he found his voice? I thought


he was beginning to sound and beginning to appeal too the


millions of working class people who didn't vote last time which


allowed this coalition to get in. If he speaks increasingly like that


and says what we need in the public sector and hospitals is to bring


things back from like FPI companies under the public umbrella, that's


when people will vote for him. That's what will get a Labour


Government in. The man with the purple T-shirt?


Miliband may have found his voice, but with the next election probably


going to be over the economy, how can Labour be credible when we have


Ed Balls who's going to be Chancellor?


APPLAUSE Ed Miliband might have found his voice but who is he


talking to?! Because that speech took place in a conference to the


faithful, to the adoring. OK, it was transmitted on television, but


most of the people in this country don't connect with the Labour Party


or any of the main political parties because the standing of


politicians, how the politic regard them, is at the lowest point ever.


APPLAUSE So who is he talking to? When he says he wants cooperation


rather than competition, I just laugh because the whole point of a


political party is that you don't agree with the other two, but what


the public seem to want is more consensus politics. Yes, the public


have the appetite for cooperation because we've realised competition


costs us a packet and it doesn't necessarily get results. I find Ed


Miliband a curious character because he talks about One nation


but he's never done anything except politics, so what's he done? Has he


worked in a factory or shop? I've probably done more manual labour


myself than Ed Miliband. I probably travel on more public transport, do


more normal things and I'm a journalist and television presenter.


I just don't think he connects with ordinary people. I'm sorry, I just


don't think he does. The other thing I would say about all the


party political conferences, they are still going through the motions


getting the wives up to kiss them at the end of it.


APPLAUSE Baroness Kramer? You have to give


him credit for a really good speech and it's put a string in his step.


I'll tell you what I think was clever about that speech is that


people are writing on to it what they want to hear because I've


heard people in this audience sort of say, and he said this about the


banks, so he's going to fix the banks. Even he knows that the


legislation to change the structure of the banks is due to come to


Parliament in the next three weeks. Now, that's what he talked about.


He talked about the NHS, I remember competition many the NHS under


Labour. My God, that was price competition and it was fierce. Now


he's facing a situation - and Labour didn't achieve this within


the Bill. The Liberal Democrats did. Competition is on the basis of


quality and I'll bet you there's nobody in this room who, if they


were ill, would like to be in a situation where they were told, you


can't go to that guy who's going to do the treatment better because


he's a private or he's a charity. You have to go to the NHS entity


which we have, you know, looked at and does this worse. People deserve


and need to get the best treatment and getting competition on the


basis of quality, no price competition at all, just on quality


changes the lives of those of us when we get ill. So there is a lot


he didn't say and people are now writing tonnes of stuff on to it.


That is a very clever speech. briefly; would you answer the man's


point, what about Ed Balls, all very well having Ed Miliband?


Balls made a speech also in the week which actually was quite


interesting. It actually was Janet talked about consent sis, he came


up with a banking policy that basically is the Vickers report


that is in the middle of being implementing, he talked about


apprenticeships never being worked towards, but now a huge programme


like that being trifen forward by Vince Cable, 450,000 apprentices


last year, more this year -- being driven. So he's adopted your


policy? Ed Balls is starting to follow it on, we might have


consensus politics, it would be rather good. The man on the gangway.


I want to know what voice he's found. Is it his Adrian Mole


comprehensive voice, Oxbridge voice, American Harvard voice or his


millionaire voice?! Because he is a millionaire. What did you detect?


could hear him because he just spouted rubbish for an hour. Who


stands up there for an hour and ten minutes and says nothing?! Hear,


hear... Listen, people will make their own


judgment on the speech. Let me answer Susan and then the je map.


You say that you are introducing the Vickers recommendations, -- and


then the gentleman. Look at what Vickers himself is saying in terms


of this report. You talk about apprentices but the majority of


them being offered by this Government are not available or are


taken up by those less than the age of 25. Why does your own department


offer one apprenticeship? How can we say to business, we want you to


offer apprenticeships when the business department itself is


offering but one apprenticeship? The truth is, we do need a new


approach to vocational training, that's what Ed talked about, how do


we make sure not just those kids who go to university but those who


aren't academic want to learn a skill and get an apprenticeship


have a reasonable chance, not just of a job but in a career in a


changing economy. So you are going to cancel the apprenticeships.


have massive numbers of real apprenticeships actually. How many


in the business department? One. odd... I want to leave the stats


and come back to Ed Miliband. The man in the yellow jacket, then you?


Is he not just keeping the seat warm for the return of his brother


David. That's a real conspiracy? Ed is keeping the seat warm? The one


party with any certainty who can say who will lead us into the next


election, it might be vins, it might be Boris -- be Vince, it


might be Ed. The Conservative Party are really worried about having


Boris Johnson as the next leader. Do you think Boris would do better?


Yes. Not you! If Boris Johnson come as a Conservative Party leader, I


think Labour has a letter chance of winning. Another quick question,


you talk about apprenticeships and how many apprenticeships that are


available. That's a fantastic news story, but if you are doing so well,


why are so many young people unemployed? I've worked with young


people as a personal adviser and the policy that you have in place,


it's not working. Please, after that, someone talk to people on the


ground and see how we can have a policy in place so we can help and


support our young people to get into education, employment and


training and those are the people who'll help and support us to get


out of this recession. Thank you very much.


We go on because we have more questions to get through. Thank you


very much for that. Sheldon Cassidy, please?


Is it rights to investigate Jimmy Savile's past now he's dead? Is it


right to investigate Jimmy Savile's past now he's dead? Janet Street-


Porter? Well, I started in television in 1975 and I worked


first of all in commercial television as a presenter. There


was definitely a culture where there was inappropriate sexual


behaviour, not necessarily with under age boys and girls but there


was a culture that made me feel uncomfortable. I was in my late 20s


and there was nothing I could say or do about it but I was aware of


things going on in dressing rooms. It's not just a BBC thing. I think


you will find it's across commercial television as well.


under age girls? No, I'm not saying with under age girls, but I'm


saying inappropriate sexual behaviour with quite young people.


They might not have been under age. When I went to the BBC as an


executive in the late '80s, 1987, I was aware of the rumours about


Jimmy Savile and rumours about other people too. There was a


culture and it was a generational thing, in areas of luegt


entertainment, behaviour was tolerated -- light entertainment,


behaviour was tolerated. I feel the women never came forward before


because nobody would have believed them because Jimmy Savile raised so


much money for charity and he used the money that he raised for


charity as a bargaining power to buy silence from national


newspapers and if ever there was a time when someone might have blown


the whistle on him, he would threaten those newspapers and those


reporters that that charity money would not go to those hospitals. I


know a female journalist that went to interview him that said


straightaway, "I was really uncomfortable, his behaviour was


totally inappropriate", but we are going back, you know, to the late


'80s, even then, entertainment on television is a very male-dominated


area. You just wouldn't have had a voice. I feel the women have come


forward now because he's dead, and it's just shocking, but there's no


doubt in my mind that it happened, no doubt at all. Is it right that


it should be investigated now? Absolutely. The question is because


he's dead, now that he's dead? don't want to talk about people


who're around now, but we want to send out a really clear message


that if you're under age and if someone's in a position of power


because they're a well-known TV presenter or producer or director


who can hand out fame to a young person, you must not abuse your


position. Man up there on the right, you,


Sir? We have to have an investigation so that if that


happens in the future, more momentum will be gained by those


who find themselvess in difficulty and in trouble, needing to come


forward to explain to people and be taken seriously. Sexual crimes in


this country, as is true across the whole world, are very rarely taken


seriously by authorities. We have seen this in the Rochdale incidents


where the authorities didn't take the girls seriously. The culture


needs to come in where we have people given an opportunity to come


forward secretly, quietly, gently at first so that the evidence can


be amassed on a gentle basis, treated with respect, dignity and


trust so that if there is something there to investigate further, it


can then be brought out. This must be investigated thoroughly and if


there are any other people who've been complicit in this, as is


seeming more and more to be the case, then they need to be brought


to account as well. Rest assured, a lot of people knew about it at


Television Centre, a lot of people at the BBC knew what was going on.?


When you say knew, because a lot of people talk about I'd heard rumours


that, and this and that... It was certainly more than rumours because


it was something that went on on a regular basis. But, you know, women,


the women involved were just girls and some of these girls were in


very vulnerable situations, coming from special schools and the places


that Jimmy was supposed to be helping. Who would have believed


them? Some of the women have said that when they did say something,


I think people have a problem with those who knew something about it


and did nothing about it. It is very sad. Everyone feels a sense of


sadness and disillusion. It needs to be investigated so we can firmly


get rid of the culture which Janet has very graphically described,


which has got to be got rid of. I think Rochdale is even more serious.


What is going wrong with the culture? These things need to be


investigated. I hope it will not be looking for scapegoats and people


to blame, trying to identify people unless they have seriously behaved


wrongly. I think investigation about this will help to ensure that


no one will tolerate this kind of behaviour again. Janet has very


pointedly reinforce the fact we need to insure the sort of thing


does not come back. The man in the pink jacket. My wife was abused


when she was a young girl. I'm now -- I know how appalling and


difficult it is for these women to talk about it. First of all, I


would like to pay tribute to those women for having the bravery to


come forward now and save it -- say it. What we must do is listen to


the children. Also, what has clearly gone on here is, loads of


people have had suspicions and they have said nothing. Something should


have been done and this man should have been stopped. I do not care


how much he made for charities. The papers were wrong. If someone is


abusing a child... One child, that man should be stopped and put away.


We have had a discussion about accountability. I think it is quite


interesting as a powerful female figure in the media, if you were


aware of those rumours, what prevented you from blowing the


whistle? I heard the rumours. I was working in an environment that was


totally male. When I was 10 years old, a mother took me to a


hairdresser, she left me there, he molested me, I went home and told


my mother and she hit me. You're talking about how women react in


situations like that. To really think if I had said something to


someone in the BBC higher up, at no one would have taken any notice -


none whatsoever. Do you know what at the dismays me? I am more


horrified that Janice has added to the picture. As an establishment,


we say to people, when there has been a terrible crime, please, it


is your duty to come forward. When the establishment has something


happening within the Establishment, people lack the courage they spend


all this time calling on other people to have. It really disturbs


me. I do think, within every institution, the BBC must go back


and work out what its child- protection policies were. The media


frequently run these stories, criticising the CBR checks and what


is this modern mollycoddling? We have this lovely author who goes


into a school. Why should they have to be CBR checked? Why should and


your neighbour be able to pick up a child from school? Why do they need


to be verified? This really underscores the fact we cannot make


our children 100% safe but we owe it to them to do virtually


everything we can to make them safe. Douglas Alexander... These issues


do need to be investigated. All of us should resist the argument that


somehow there was a different culture, it was a long time ago.


Therefore it does not matter. Jimmy Saville is now dead. There were not


be a criminal trial. These women have had the courage to come


forward. It is not just about the suffering they have endured. They


deserve some kind of closure, if it can be achieved. There are people


watching this programme who have suffered abuse who have not come


forward. What message would it say to those people of these


allegations were swept under the carpet? We have to create a culture


in this country where, pull girls, boys, women and men, it is


appropriate and safe to accept the fact and for everyone to understand


that it is your body and nobody has a right to abuse it. That relies on,


when someone has the courage to come forward, we need to listen and


takes seriously the allegations. We need to make sure the person making


the allegation is not judged. That is one thing we have got wrong as a


society before. When someone has come forward, all too often the


victim has been blamed. The BBC must accept its responsibility. A


welcome the fact the Metropolitan Police will look at these matters.


Look at Rochdale. Look at the experience of the Catholic Church


in terms of child abuse. We need to make sure that everyone suffering


this kind of abuse is confident they will be taken seriously,


listened to it and helped. I think it is absolutely right this is


investigated. It would be a scandal if it was not investigated. As we


have heard from the gentleman at the back, the recent events in much


doubt tell us it is not something that went down years and years ago.


-- in Rochdale. The fact that women have come forward gives us an


opportunity to address this. The BBC clearly, based on the


allegations that have been made, have serious questions to answer.


If those questions are not asked and answered, the credibility of


the BBC will be seriously undermined as a result. This has to


be investigated. It goes way beyond the actions of one individual man.


It has to be looked at. Thank you very much. We have five minutes


left. I must take this question. Of Army risking economic catastrophe


by delaying airport expansion in the east of England? -- are we


risking? Douglas Alexander Dom I will come to you in a while. We


only have five minutes. On this issue, there has been a great deal


of dithering. The Labour Party called for an independent


commission to look at this issue more than a year ago. That has been


established. One other point made by Boris Johnson today was the


timetable. It will take up to three years - after the next general


election. I do not understand why, given the issues are well


understood, we should have this inquiry - and this Commission - but


it should bring forward its recommendations before the election


so everyone knows where the party stands. I suspect he will be able


to confirm that at Heathrow we have the capacity for an extra 20


million passengers a year. It is designed for 90 million. It Tony


has 70 million. -- it only has. Many of the flights are competing


with Manchester Airport. That could have real flight across the globe


to build up economy in the area. At Heathrow, I am happy there is a


group to look at the capacity issues but we need to look at the


whole thing. The airline industry has told us that Terminal Four was


going to be the last. We never need a third runway. Are you in favour


of Boris Johnson's proposal for a third runway and an estuary


airport? I cannot see where you would put an estuary airport


without disaster. Also that bird's flight into engines. I have a post


the third runway. It is the noise and the environment. -- I have a


post. We need to look at the whole motion that virtually every flight


needs to run through Heathrow. Other parts of the country need the


opportunity to have a good airport. There are 150 million passengers


that to not go through Heathrow in this country for some it is not all


about Heathrow. I do not think we are risking economic catastrophe.


The future of the economy of the UK is being damaged as a result of the


lack of hub capacity at Heathrow. It is not a capacity -- a


catastrophe. In 20 years' time, we will suffer as a result of it.


want the third runway? I do not. I argued for a third runway and it


was approved by the Labour government in 2009. The opportunity


to build it existed at that stage. We were never see a third runway at


Heathrow. We will not see Boris Ireland. In 30 years' time, people


will talk about Commission that took three years. That is similar


to commission that took place between 1968 and 1971 which said we


should do something about it. Nothing will happen because there


is no cross-party consensus to do with the issue and no political


will to tackle difficult issues. I run my business out of Heathrow. I


run it as best I can. I will be very happy. We were tried to do


what we can to maximise the benefits that they exist at


Heathrow. Janet Street-Porter can you do 30 seconds? I do not want a


third runway. I do not want an estuary airport. In 50 years' time,


we are not all be travelling around by plane. The idea of jet travel


was seem arcane and redundant. Were we have something like video


conferencing and whatever. We will not go through the horror of


getting on a plane. The joy of getting on a plane! We need more


capacity in the south-east. We needed to be a modern economy. We


have to avoid fears this will go on for ever. Every way you propose is


ferociously opposed by the locals are less to put it in the middle of


the North Sea, where it is useless. The idea of having a commission


that reports, if only they would agree to sign up to the conclusions


of the Commission and said it would accept the outcome if it properly


examined the evidence. Before the election, the coalition should


declare where wants to put airport capacity. The Labour Party will go


to the locality and fight it and oppose it and when will a seats in


the area. We have to get around that problem. We have to respect


the commission which needs to study it objectively and come up with a


commanding conclusion. We should all signed up in advance to take it.


That will be in your new job in Cabinet. That can be a special


project. I am not responsible directly for either Airways - as a


Airlines or railways. -- Airlines or railways. We will be in Glasgow


and Birmingham for the next two weeks. If you want to come to those


programmes to engage with the panel, coat the website to apply.


David Dimbleby chairs Question Time from Manchester. On the panel - cabinet minister Kenneth Clarke MP, shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander MP, Liberal Democrat Baroness Kramer, the broadcaster and columnist Janet Street-Porter and Willie Walsh, chief executive of the parent company of British Airways and Iberia.

Download Subtitles