22/11/2012 Question Time


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22/11/2012

David Dimbleby presents Question Time from the Houses of Parliament. The panel includes Iain Duncan Smith MP, Yvette Cooper MP, Charles Kennedy, Deborah Meaden and Owen Jones.


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Good evening. Tonight we are inside the Palace of Westminster where

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Parliament sits. We are here in Westminster Hall where over 350

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years ago, Charles I was try and for 900 years this place has been

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at the very heart of British history and tonight, of Question

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Welcome to our audience here who're shivering rather. There's no

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central heating in this place and 90 years ago there would have been

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braziers all around. Tonight it's cold. Welcome to the panel. Our

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panel, the Work and Pensions Secretary, Yate, the Shadow Home

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Secretary, Yvette Cooper, the former leader of the Liberal

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Democrats, Charles Kennedy, columnist on the Independent, Owen

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Jones and the businesswoman and star of Dragons' Den, Deborah

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OK, we'll warm up with a question from Roberto Campana, please?

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Should Parliament now consider amending sex discrimination

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legislation to cover the hutch of England? After the refusal to allow

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women to become bishop, should sex discrimination legislation which

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didn't cover the Church of England be amended? Deborah Meaden?

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staggered by what happened this week. I see both sides of most

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arguments and this argument I just absolutely do not get that at such

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a tiny portion of the church could say they don't want women to be

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bishops and for that to mean that the stay kus quo remains. I

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absolutely do not get it -- day kus quo. However, I'm also not sure

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that it's Parliament's place to intervene -- status quo. This is

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about a faith. This goes to the heart of many people, obviously,

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and I feel like it should be left with those people to sort it out.

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Actually, for me, the most important thing is, I think they

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know they made a mistake. How they deal with it is either going to

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mean that the faith has a church has a viable future or it's going

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to actually eat itself alive. And that would be an awful thing to

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happen. But I still don't believe it's Parliament's place to sort it.

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Charles Kennedy? Well, I think that first of all I don't agree with the

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decision that they arrived at and it's a rather curious electoral

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college that they have got that they'll have to look at. After

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years in this place as a Scottish Roman Catholic, I've always felt

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that I should not have too much to say and not cast votes on how the

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Church of England goes about... don't exactly have women priests do

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you? No, and I'm not in agreement about that in my own church as a

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matter-of-fact. There was a sensible set of exchanges in the

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Commons chamber a few yards from here this morning on this issue and

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I think what we'll see, I mean the new Archbishop coming in has

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probably got as rough an entry in front of them as the new Director-

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General of the BBC actually, you could vie for which is the worst

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stat scenario to a new big position in society. But he clearly wants to

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tackle it. It can't corrode his forthcoming period as Archbishop,

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the way it's dogged Dr Rowan Williams' period and the figures

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speak for themselves. One third of those administering the Anglican

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ministry within England are female. To say that there's, as it was

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rather well put by an MP this morning, there's a stained glass

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ceiling on the legitimate ambitions and progress of those women is

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ludicrous. But the point is that the church specifically got

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exemption from the sex discrimination act didn't it?

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not sure but I think... Frank Field wants that withdrawn but I think

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they did. Probably. By Parliament, they are given exemption. By

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constitutional right, they sit in the House of Lords and Leggett.

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So they are different from just any old church aren't they, they are an

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established church? If you look at it historically and there was

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discussions about this today, there isn't a great deal to be gained

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from Parliament, particularly the House of Commons and the decision-

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making processes of the Church of England getting into some big head-

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to-head and a stand-off. I mean do remember, the bishops, with very

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few exceptions, were arguing strongly in favour of this change,

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it was just an aspect of the layty that were opposed and were able to

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block it by a tiny majority. person second row from the back?

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Irbgs I agree with Deborah, I don't think it's Parliament's place to

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intervene, I think it's a decision for the church. I think Parliament

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should consider whether the bishops should remain in the House of Lords

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given this kind of opinion of the church. Owen Jones? I think the

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problem when we are saying it's none of our business is this - we

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have an established church. In terms of the problems we've got at

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the moment is, the church is unwilling to enter the 20th century,

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let alone the 21st. That doesn't mean as a society we can't enter

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the 21st century and follow the lead of many other advanced Western

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countries and disestablish the church. That would mean

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independence for the state and the church where neither can stick

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their noses in each other's business. Now, the church at the

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moment could argue legitimately, you know what right do I have to

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get into their affairs like 88% of the population, I don't regularly

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attend a church. So I think for me, the point to make is, actually if

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we disestablish the church, we protect the rights of people's

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private religious beliefs which is very important, with take religion

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out of the public life in that sense and defend it as a private

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matter then I don't think we'll have these sorts of problems. But

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as long as they remain established and the bishop's bench in the House

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of Lords remains preserved for men, it's all of our business.

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APPLAUSE You, Sir? The basis of Parliament is that the people who

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make the laws have to live under the laws. Therefore I think we

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should amend the legislation so that it covers the Church of

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England and they have to live under the law, like the rest of us.

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Duncan Smith, do you agree with that? One thing I would say is in

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line with my predecessor Norman Tebbit who also argued for

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disestablishment of the church. It's a rare agreement. I'm a

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Catholic like Charles. The Church of England is an established church

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and I accept that therefore that brings greater responsibility in a

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sense with regards to what it does inside Parliament but I'm rather

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with Debra on this point. I don't want Parliament to have to go and

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lay it heavy hand achos the -- across the church and dictate to

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the church what it should do. I think the reality for us is that

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the Church of England is going to get women bishops. The we is, how

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do they get there in the short- term? The vote by the way...

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many years has it been going on? The vote was complex. What

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fascinated me was that it broke. Some women bishops ended up voting

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against the motion alongside those who didn't want women bishops

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because they said those who didn't want women bishops had been granted

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too much licence so they didn't like it and so in other words,

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these things are never quite as simple as you think. I'm lost.

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we walked in as Parliament and hammered and Leggetted, we could do

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more damage. What about that man's point, you can't have bishops

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Leggetting in the House of Lords when the church has this kind of

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discrimination going on and they are there by right, but you say you

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don't want to disestablish the church? Put pressure on them to

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change their position. In the House of Lords, they need to have that

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greater equality. The Prime Minister said... What is the sharp

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prod? You need to get this done or it may be that we'd enter into your

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realm and start dog something, but we don't want to do it. They need

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to get their act together. It was such a small degree that would have

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been changed they would have got it through so there is a level of

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competence. One vote is enough as you know. Yes. Yvette Cooper?

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position would be more credible and the Prime Minister's position would

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be more credible if there were more women in the Cabinet, we have seen

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the number of women fall over the last three years.

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APPLAUSE I also think this was a dreadful decision by the Church of

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England. The vast majority of, not just the bishops, the clergy, but

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also members of the Church of England across the country, the

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diocese, supported women bishops, I think they were outmanoeuvred by a

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vocal minority. Yet we have the Queen as the Head of The church, we

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have some fantastic women priests, including the woman chaplain in the

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House of Commons who is excellent and I think it's just shocking that

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the church is effectively saying to those women it's OK to do the

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flowers, to sit on the pews, to do sermons occasionally, but you can't

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be a bishop, shocking, we have to have this changed within the next

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five years and not let it lie. APPLAUSE

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You, Sir, then you, then we'll move on? Well, doesn't this show that we

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shouldn't listen to the Church of England on anything. It's a

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flagrant kind of arm of the state, it's an all pervasive arm of the

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state and shouldn't be an arm of the state any more if it acts in

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this way. The point there is that most don't attend religious

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services, we are a diverse nation, services, we are a diverse nation,

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we have Muslims, Muslims, Buddhists, it's act Ronistic when other

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countries have separated church and state. Get on with each other's

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business without intervening in each other's affairs. The decision

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seems strange. All religions are full of anomalies and if we start

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Leggetting about this specific act, are we also going to Leggett that

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the Roman Catholic Church should have female priests or even go the

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length of Germany and start questioning whether Jewish parents

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are allowed to give their infant children unnecessary surgical

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operations at birth. In other words once you start do you have to

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examine... This is my point about the heavy hand of Parliament.

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Aagree for those who say there should be women bishops, but when

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Parliament moves into this arena, we are more likely to do more

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damage than good that,'s my concern, stamping on everybody's pwheefs

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when we are not the ones to lecture anybody about what to do, frankly -

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- beliefs. The woman there? I can't help but

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feel that the church is losing credibility when it claims it hand

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for quality but doesn't provietd equality opportunities for men and

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women who twoish follow a career in the church -- provide equality

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opportunities for men and women who wish to follow a career in the

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church. I believe in freedom of religion and we shouldn't tell

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people how to worship. The problem for the Church of England is it's

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our national church, it does the Coronations, state funerals, and

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it's part of our national life because we have 26 bishops sitting

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in the House of Lords. Parliament will be expected to pass any change

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to the rules of this Church of England. I don't think you can

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expect Parliament to pass unfair rules, discriminatory rules, that's

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why I hope the church will sort this out. If it doesn't, Parliament

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will have to work with the church in order to make sure that the

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national church can be fair to all. You can join this debate on Twitter.

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We have an anonymous blogger alled -- called bishop. A question from

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Paul Haydon, please? Should Britain forge a new looser relationship

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with Brussels? Should Britain forge a new looser relationship with

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Brussels? I ask you to speak with brevity because a lot of people

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have things to say. Iain Duncan Smith? What's happening in Europe

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at the moment is set for change. The Prime Minister spoke about this

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not so long ago. The reality is that the problems in the euro area

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is forcing those members of the euro area to decide to go deeper in

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in terms of fiscal union. They are now laying plans so that the

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taxation et cetera can be run and overseen centrally. They are

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talking about a banking union, all the banks and the various member

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states are part of the euro and they'll get closer tied together.

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It's a reality for those who're outside the euro, like Britain, and

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by the way, I thank God that we are outside the euro, the disaster for

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us had we been inside the euro, it's a marvel that we are not in

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the euro, thank God... APPLAUSE

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So we are seeing, I think, and William Hague's said this, a kind

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of re-alignment within Europe. The question isn't should Britain have

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a looser arrangement, it's that Britain outside by its very nature

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over the next few years will find that relationship will change and

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we need to negotiate, as the Prime Minister said, to make sure that we

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gain the advantages out of being in part of a trading bloc and

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cooperating where we need to, but not being sucked into deeper union

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where we don't want to be governed by Brussels or by anybody else.

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Where do you stand on the key issue of a referendum, when would you

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want that to be held? My view about that is that the Prime Minister

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said the other day legitimately, it will be a referendum. The question

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is, what will you be asking about and that's the point. No good

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saying we want a referendum, the point is, it should be about what

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that relationship is about, in other words when we are clear about

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where this is going to end, we need to ask the public, is that what you

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want, that relationship, the looser relationship, is that where we

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should be or would you like to have something different. Before the

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next election? I think timing is not the issue. It's a germane

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issue? It's secondary. The key thing is what is the question.

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Everyone wants a referendum and I say what over, it's not being in or

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out, it's about the relationship. We'll have a relationship with

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Europe regardless because we trade and cooperate with them. The ideas

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in a blissful place that's About a referendum about Europe we

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need a debate not just about the disadvantages and problems but the

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advantages of being part of the enormous market that is Europe.

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APPLAUSE Charles Kennedy? Well, obviously define a looser

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relationship. Those that say a looser relationship is lets leave

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the formal structures of the European Union. To a certain extent

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I would subscribe to this word. A looser relationship means you have

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more democracy in Europe, more transparency, more decentralisation

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away from Brussels across the nation's and indeed the regions of

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Europe. So we can all pay lip service to looser. But Ian and

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myself are of a vintage in this place. We go all the way back to

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the battles of Maastricht 20 years ago. As he will recall, I was the

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Lib Dem European spokesman at the time. I voted in favour of a

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referendum then on the Maastricht Treaty. We need to lance the boil,

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and so did Ian. And you want a referendum now? Why not now before

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the election? Because there isn't a practical proposition. If there was

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a new treaty for example, that represents a proposition. That

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doesn't appear to be. What about the question, would you like to be

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in or out? Whether it was on Maastricht or the single currency,

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which Tony Blair baulked at, or as yet some unforeseen further

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development, which will take place. We all know in our hearts the

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argument will come down to do you want us in or out? That's a good,

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honest argument we need to have. This issue, and I'm strongly in

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favour of Britain taking a leading role at the top table in Europe,

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this issue has bedevilled successive Prime Ministers and

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Governments and it has just got be resolved. It seem as very short-

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term point of view to say we need a looser relationship with Europe.

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Over the next 20 or so years Britain is going to struggle to

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find itself in an internationally more competitive economy, so we

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need to forge stronger relationships with Europe so we can

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remain a significant nation. And you Sir? I do not understand

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why politicians constantly pussyfoot about this. The nation

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wants a referendum. This is critical, it is costing us a lot of

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money. We want somebody to lead us and for the issues to be properly

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debated. It makes me that I politicians in Britain are the same

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as politicians in Europe. It's a these cosy club and everybody can

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get a nice bit of expense and salary. Listen to the people and do

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something about it. It's not good enough. APPLAUSE Deborah Meaden, do

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you, is that a picture you recognise of political life? Well,

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I have to say that in terms of referendum, if we are going to ask

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the question, there needs to be a lot more debate. When go about

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everyday life, most people don't like Europe, because of the things

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that they encounter. Quite small issues they encounter every day -

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health and safety this, we've got to do this and that, and that's

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crazy. And actually the bigger picture, which is that over 50% of

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our exports go within the EU, that they create hundreds of thousands

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of jobs for us. And when we say it's expensive, that the cost of

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running the EU, the people in Brussels is about 6%. That is not

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crazy. 6% of their budget, it is not crazy. If we are going to have

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it, I think we are going to have a debate, but if we are going to have

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a referendum there needs to be a lot more debate and information so

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that people are making their decisions on the actual facts and

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what's right and best for this country, and not the frustrations

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that I feel, and everybody feels on a day-to-day basis, oh silly health

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and safety rules, that is not the basis on which to make this

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decision. APPLAUSE Did you vote for this proposal for a cut in the

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budget this time, real cut? Would you like to see a referendum? You

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are obviously quite anti-European if you want that. I think it is

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pro-European to argue for reforms on things like the European budget,

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because at a time of austerity for a lot of people right across Europe,

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and certainly in Britain as well, if other budgets are being cut I

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think that Europe should take its fair share of the cuts, in

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materials of the European budget. Otherwise you allow Europe to

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become discredited and to become pointless and out of touch with the

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countries that contribute to it. just saw a flock of European pigs

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fly past the window. APPLAUSE The fact of the matter is, Labour have

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done this consistently, I remember John Smith held the Labour Party

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together over Maastricht because of the Social Chapter not because of

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the pro-Europeanism. He had more splits in the Labour Party on

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Europe than were evident. The Labour Party walked through

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division lobbys with the right-wing of the Conservative Party...

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Charles, you walked through with the right wick of of the

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Conservative Party every single week. To increase tuition fees and

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VAT hike. You do it every time. cannot accuse me on tuition fees. I

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was a party leader. I was against them. I spoke against them under

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the coalition and I voted against them, so get your facts right.

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coalition Government is deeply damaging. It is opportunism on

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Europe .. Which will come back to bite them and I make that

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prediction. Isn't the reality that Labour in Government saw budget

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rises of over 50%? �2 billion cut off our own rebate and gave it away

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for nothing, and yet suddenly in opposition you seem incredibly keen

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on cutting the budget. I don't see where this came from. You promised

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a referendum, you didn't give the public a referendum. All of sudden

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you want a referendum, you want to cut the budget, you are jolly Euro-

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sceptic pool.. I don't think the public believe a word of it. Aren't

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those three things you rather like in your opposition heart? The Prime

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Minister is out trying to get that deal. It's the Conservatives that

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wanted a referendum. Why didn't you vote for it? If the Government

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supports a reduction in the EU budget y did they not support

:22:02.:22:05.

something the Labour Party put forward not just recently but in

:22:05.:22:09.

July. We've argued for it consistently. I think it's the

:22:09.:22:13.

right thing to do. Where I disagree with Ian and he is undermining the

:22:13.:22:18.

things we need from Europe, is the fight against crime. He wants us to

:22:18.:22:21.

pull out of the European arrest warrant, which is what helped us to

:22:21.:22:23.

bring terroristings back to this country to stand trial in Britain.

:22:23.:22:28.

I think a looser relationship which makes it harder to fight crime is

:22:28.:22:33.

deeply damaging for Britain. You have to argue for the right, the

:22:33.:22:37.

sensible reforms, but stay in Europe rather than walk away.

:22:37.:22:40.

think the problem is as a country we've been denied a proper debate

:22:40.:22:44.

about this. The reason is this. Any criticism of the EI is seen to

:22:44.:22:50.

automatically place you on the frothing at the mouth, swivel-eyed

:22:51.:22:54.

xenophobic right, and that is wrong. I think arguments about democracy

:22:54.:22:59.

have been surrounded to the right. For example the Council of

:22:59.:23:04.

Ministers which wields huge power, only directly accountable to each

:23:04.:23:08.

nation who sends Ministers to the Council of Ministers. Even when you

:23:08.:23:13.

get to the treaties themselves, often they've enshrined free market

:23:13.:23:17.

dog match. It may well be the British people embrace that - I

:23:17.:23:20.

don't think they do. But it should be up to the British people. One

:23:20.:23:24.

example. The majority of the British public want to

:23:24.:23:28.

renationalise the railways. In fact even most Conservative voters want

:23:28.:23:34.

the railways brought back into public ownership. The EU directive

:23:34.:23:38.

91-440 which enforces competition on the railways, could prevent that

:23:38.:23:43.

from it's place. So let's have a proper debate about. It is not

:23:43.:23:50.

about if you criticise it you want to make it democratic, you don't

:23:50.:23:53.

want to enshrine liberal economics, especially in the eurozone, where

:23:53.:23:58.

you are seeing the catastrophe of austerity. A modern European nation

:23:58.:24:02.

like Greece being dismantled with the support of the people in the EU.

:24:02.:24:05.

The European Central Bank enforcing those policies. It is not

:24:05.:24:09.

accountable. It doesn't even publish its minutes. So let's have

:24:09.:24:13.

an argument about making it democratic and having a Europe that

:24:13.:24:18.

runs in the interest of working people, not the people at the top.

:24:18.:24:23.

Deborah Meaden? Very quickly let's make sure that debate is about

:24:23.:24:28.

what's right for this country in the EU and not who did what, in

:24:28.:24:32.

terms of if political parties. don't trust the political partys?

:24:32.:24:36.

To be honest, listening to a debate about you said this, you said that,

:24:36.:24:40.

many years ago. I see heads nodding and I'm not surprise. That's the

:24:40.:24:44.

kind of thing that sends glazed looks on to the voters. This is not

:24:44.:24:49.

the point. Plaus plau If I ran my business -- APPLAUSE $$TRANSMIT. If

:24:49.:24:54.

I ran my business, constantly trying to find out who did what in

:24:54.:24:58.

the first place, instead of saying, it doesn't matter. What matters now

:24:58.:25:01.

is what's the right decision for this country, whether or not we go

:25:01.:25:07.

into the EU. APPLAUSE OK. Sorry, we are in the EU. You know what I

:25:07.:25:17.
:25:17.:25:19.

meant. A slight correction there. Alex Klinger please.

:25:19.:25:22.

Do you think Israel was justified combing Gaza after months of rocket

:25:22.:25:29.

attacks on Israeli civilians? College? Well, tinge line the

:25:29.:25:34.

British Government have taken -- Charles Kennedy? Well, I think the

:25:34.:25:38.

line the British Government has taken is that they have a right to

:25:38.:25:44.

defend themselves. Pointing out that if our society, our country,

:25:44.:25:48.

was suffering an external threat of this type, well, you can imagine

:25:48.:25:53.

the discussion on a programme like this. There would be an

:25:53.:25:56.

overwhelming public clamour to know why the Government of the day

:25:56.:25:59.

wasn't doing something about that. Having said, that it is quite clear

:25:59.:26:06.

that this is no means to a solution at all. And that the two sides

:26:06.:26:11.

therefore have got to under some kind of international auspices sit

:26:11.:26:14.

down and now move beyond the ceasefire, thank goodness that

:26:14.:26:19.

appears to be in position, appears to be holding, and try and make

:26:19.:26:24.

progress. The Palestinians are not justified in doing what they've

:26:24.:26:31.

been doing, but equally Israel's response is a council of despair.

:26:31.:26:35.

It won't resolve Israel's legitimate security programmes, but

:26:35.:26:39.

what the Palestinians and the extremists Hamas have been doing

:26:39.:26:42.

won't meet the legitimate demands of the Palestinians either. We have

:26:43.:26:48.

to get back to sane, rational talks based on 1967 boundaries and a two-

:26:48.:26:51.

state solution. That is going to be a very difficult thing to make

:26:51.:26:57.

progress on given what's happened, and nearly 150 mainly innocent

:26:57.:27:03.

civilians dead as a result of this dreadful episode that we all

:27:03.:27:07.

deplore. Owen Jones. I am disappointed by that response,

:27:07.:27:13.

Charles, in all honesty. APPLAUSE Let's be clear what happened.

:27:13.:27:19.

Firstly the whole idea that Gaza, that Hamas broke the ceasefire, is

:27:19.:27:23.

not true. In fact it was broken after in October Israel killed 15

:27:23.:27:27.

Palestinian fighters, they shot dead a mentally disabled

:27:27.:27:30.

Palestinian, killed a 13-year-old in an intrusion. When there was an

:27:30.:27:35.

attempt to get a ceasefire, negotiations were ongoing, that is

:27:35.:27:39.

when they assassinated Ahmed Jabari, ending the ceasefire talks. It is

:27:39.:27:42.

often said, and Barack Obama made this point, what country on earth

:27:42.:27:47.

would tolerate rockets being fired at them? I ask you this. What

:27:47.:27:53.

people on earth would tolerate a siege which stops basic supplies

:27:53.:28:00.

getting in... APPLAUSE An occupation. A 45--year-old brutal

:28:00.:28:04.

occupation, illegal settlements all over the West Bank, which are in

:28:04.:28:08.

total violation of international law, and what we've seen in the

:28:08.:28:14.

course of this onslaught are the deaths of 158 Palestinians. At

:28:14.:28:19.

least 30 children. I don't want to just throw statistics around, but

:28:19.:28:23.

one example of one of those children. Omar, 11 months old, a

:28:23.:28:28.

little boy, the son of a BBC journalist. He was killed in a so-

:28:28.:28:33.

called targeted strike. We all want a secure and lasting peace. When we

:28:33.:28:38.

have Israeli Ministers like the interior Minister calling for Gaza

:28:38.:28:42.

to be sent back to the Middle Ages. Another Minister calling for a

:28:42.:28:48.

Holocaust to be inflicted on Gaza. When we have the son of Ariel

:28:48.:28:53.

Sharon who wrote in the Jerusalem Post talking about how Nagasaki and

:28:53.:28:58.

hor or ma were possible solutions to be inflicted. When we have those

:28:58.:29:03.

people we went get a secure peace. But for Arabs and Jews alike to end

:29:03.:29:09.

the occupation, the siege of Gaza, dismantle the settlements and have

:29:09.:29:14.

a just settlement for the people and have a region for Arabs and

:29:14.:29:24.
:29:24.:29:25.

Jews as a whole. You, Sir? I think part of the

:29:25.:29:29.

problem is that people like Owen should actually keep their noses

:29:29.:29:33.

out of something that they have no intimate knowledge of and that they

:29:33.:29:39.

jump on the bandwagon of this anti- American, ultra--left Israel

:29:39.:29:44.

bashing that is fashionable at the moment. You know, it's all very

:29:44.:29:48.

well for people on the panel and at home to sit in their suburban arm

:29:48.:29:52.

chairs with no actual knowledge, intimate knowledge of the conflict.

:29:52.:29:56.

Sorry, can I just come back to that. I'm disappointed you didn't

:29:56.:30:01.

engaidge with a single argument I put across -- engage. Let him

:30:01.:30:07.

finish his point. Terms are banded around as if they are factually

:30:07.:30:13.

correct. What did I get wrong? word pre-1967 territory is banded

:30:13.:30:19.

around as a given fact whereas pre- 1967, Jordan controlled the West

:30:19.:30:24.

Bank and Gaza, not the Palestinians. What is your view on the question

:30:24.:30:32.

of whether Israel yuz justified? was justified. I'm not a person who

:30:32.:30:35.

whole heartedly agreed with the policies of every Israeli

:30:35.:30:38.

Government but I think there is a lack of understanding by a lot of

:30:38.:30:43.

people in Britain and in the West generally when people have no

:30:43.:30:47.

knowledge of the history and the complexity of the conflict. You,

:30:47.:30:51.

Sir, up there? I think that gentleman is completely ignorant.

:30:51.:30:57.

He hasn't asked a single question Owen put to him.

:30:57.:31:00.

APPLAUSE Why is it that President

:31:00.:31:05.

Ahmadinejad of Iran, when he said something about blowing Israel into

:31:05.:31:10.

the Middle Ages that it received such wide scrutiny and America are

:31:10.:31:14.

threatening to possibly even go into Iran in the future, but when

:31:14.:31:19.

the Israeli minister seds it, it falls on deaf ears -- says it.

:31:19.:31:23.

Duncan Smith? Let's take a pace back for a second. This is a

:31:23.:31:27.

tragedy whichever way you cut it on other side. People killing each

:31:27.:31:31.

other, seeing civilians and children being killed. That's a

:31:31.:31:34.

complete and utter tragedy and there's never any excuse for that.

:31:34.:31:40.

The reality is, how to get out of it. When you say no excuse, do you

:31:40.:31:46.

mean the bombing was unjustified? The question is, did Israel get

:31:46.:31:52.

rocketed first, and in which case did they retailiate? My thought is

:31:52.:31:57.

that the West, America, us, Europe, we took a pace back. For the last

:31:57.:32:01.

couple of years, we've done nothing about the Middle East, let's be

:32:02.:32:05.

honest. We got fixateed on the Arab Spring and we completely forgot

:32:06.:32:10.

that at the heart of this still lies a very deep problem between

:32:10.:32:14.

Palestine and Israel. Hamas in the Gaza Strip refused to acknowledge

:32:14.:32:19.

Israel's right to exist. Israel refused to deal with them in Gaza

:32:19.:32:24.

until they do that and also until they take responsibility for the

:32:24.:32:29.

rockets et cetera. So each is taken deeper in entrenched positions. My

:32:29.:32:34.

point here is one thing that may well come out of this which is

:32:34.:32:37.

really important. Egypt we worried about has taken a front and centre

:32:37.:32:40.

place which is a very, very good thing. Leadership from the

:32:40.:32:46.

President of Egypt, he's got this thing rolling again, we've got

:32:46.:32:49.

actually intriguingly Israel and Hamas having to recognise each

:32:49.:32:52.

other by both on the one hand agreeing to take responsibility for

:32:52.:32:55.

the rocket attacks and on the other side agreing to open the borders.

:32:55.:33:00.

That may be the beginning of a start of a change and we should

:33:00.:33:03.

actually pledge ourselves in the West with America and the American

:33:03.:33:07.

President to get behind this and now real ie find a solution to the

:33:07.:33:12.

two state problem and get both sides talking to each other,

:33:12.:33:17.

agreeing to acknowledge that each has the right to exist and saying,

:33:17.:33:22.

now is the time to settle this, otherwise there could end up being

:33:22.:33:29.

further bloodshed. You, Sir? Is it up to Israel and

:33:29.:33:38.

Palestine to determine whether Palestine has statehood? In what

:33:38.:33:43.

sense? Doesn't it go through the UN? Yvette Cooper? I think this is

:33:43.:33:46.

a very important point because I agree with a lot of the points that

:33:46.:33:49.

Iain's made about the tragedy that has been unfolding and the

:33:49.:33:52.

importance now of having a ceasefire, but a ceasefire is not a

:33:52.:33:56.

peace process and we've got to have a peace process. There is no

:33:56.:33:59.

military solution that is going to work here, given the history of

:33:59.:34:03.

what has happened in Israel and Palestine, but also the importance

:34:03.:34:07.

of us getting towards the two-state solution and having a meaningful

:34:07.:34:11.

set of negotiations to do that. I think that the debates that have

:34:11.:34:15.

been put forward for the UN are really important. This is an

:34:15.:34:19.

opportunity for the UN to give greater recognition to the

:34:19.:34:22.

Palestinian Authority. I hope the UN will do that and the British

:34:22.:34:25.

Government will change its position and support the recognition of the

:34:25.:34:29.

Palestinian Authority because I think that is an opportunity to

:34:29.:34:35.

support a political and diplomatic process to reach peace, rather than

:34:35.:34:39.

the violence, the rocket ataxes and bombing that we have seen. Do you

:34:39.:34:43.

think the Foreign Secretary was wrong to lay the blame on Hamas for

:34:43.:34:47.

this? I think the danger - look, the immediate trigger of what

:34:47.:34:51.

happened obviously was about the rocket attacks on Israel and of

:34:51.:34:55.

course Israelis should be able to live in security and not have to

:34:55.:34:59.

endure the fear from rocket attacks. Than, I think the wider cause, we

:34:59.:35:02.

have to accept the wider cause of what's been happening in the last

:35:02.:35:05.

few weeks which has been the failure to have a proper peace

:35:05.:35:09.

process, the failure to have a long-term sustained negotiation

:35:09.:35:14.

towards a two-state solution, the failure to see progress for the

:35:14.:35:18.

inaction against the illegal setmentments that have been taking

:35:18.:35:24.

place, as well as the wider issues and long-term commitment --

:35:24.:35:26.

settlements. We haven't taken that seriously enough, it's our

:35:26.:35:30.

opportunity to do this now. The woman in the fourth row? Give

:35:30.:35:35.

than there are now over half a million Israelis living within the

:35:35.:35:38.

West Bank, I wonder whether anybody feels the two-state solution is

:35:38.:35:42.

viable? Is it time to have a te bait about a different type of

:35:42.:35:48.

solution? -- debate. Deborah Meaden? I want to go back to

:35:48.:35:52.

something the gentleman said over there. The truth of the matter is,

:35:52.:35:55.

I don't live there and I don't know. I can form opinions, reading

:35:55.:35:59.

through the news who started this, who caused all that, whose fault it

:35:59.:36:04.

was, you know, trust me, we'll never understand that, we are in a

:36:04.:36:09.

cycle that has to be broken and it's not going to be a military

:36:09.:36:14.

answer to this. But I think what the ceasefire's done is, it's

:36:14.:36:21.

hopefully created space so that you don't have to have these debates in

:36:21.:36:27.

this state of high tension, so that it says everybody stop for a minute.

:36:27.:36:30.

Actually, I suspect we were pretty guilty of causing all of this at

:36:30.:36:34.

some point, you know, so it's not about who caused all of this. Now,

:36:34.:36:40.

if people can get their mind wrapped around that, because I can

:36:40.:36:43.

promise you, that for every reason, that's why we bombed yeah but we

:36:43.:36:48.

did that because you did it, this can go on for the last 100 years

:36:48.:36:52.

and until we get our mind wrapped around the fact that it cannot be a

:36:52.:36:56.

military solution, there has to be an tend to the block aids, the

:36:56.:36:59.

whole rhetoric. People need to be able to pass in and out of the

:36:59.:37:03.

country, they need to be able to trade and until we get our minds

:37:03.:37:06.

round that, there will be no solution. I have to say, what other

:37:06.:37:10.

country on earth would be allowed to flout international law in the

:37:10.:37:15.

way Israel's done for decades... Answer her question? Well, the key

:37:15.:37:19.

point there... You heard what she said which was the number of people

:37:19.:37:26.

who've now settled in the West Bank make the two-state solution

:37:26.:37:29.

practically impossible? You could have a federal solution. That seems

:37:29.:37:32.

far fetched but they said that about South Africa back in the day.

:37:32.:37:35.

Otherwise you have to dismantle the settlements, enforce international

:37:35.:37:39.

law, but what has to happen, because the point is Britain

:37:39.:37:43.

supports, as other Western countries do, they've supported an

:37:43.:37:47.

armed Israel to the teeth, they're not acting as honest brokers, they

:37:47.:37:51.

have to use the pressure to force Israel to give in and give justice

:37:51.:37:54.

to the Palestinian people. A couple more points to the

:37:54.:37:58.

audience then we'll move on. The person in the back row? The only

:37:58.:38:01.

reason we are having this conversation is because rockets

:38:01.:38:05.

were fired. I mean I'm not saying I'm an expert but I've spent time

:38:06.:38:09.

volunteering in UN schools in the West Bank and what I've seen there

:38:09.:38:12.

is children growing up in environments where they don't get

:38:12.:38:16.

taught politics. They draw pictures of soldiers when they draw their

:38:16.:38:23.

homes and they see their brothers at night getting imprisoned. What

:38:23.:38:26.

are these children growing up understanding? What do we have for

:38:26.:38:32.

the future? Thank you. On that point, the clock's against us so

:38:32.:38:36.

I'll move on to a question from Chloe Heaver, please? Why should

:38:36.:38:40.

prisoners who've shown they cannot abide by the laws be given a say

:38:40.:38:44.

into how society is run. In other words, should prisoners be given

:38:44.:38:52.

the vote as is being proposed. Yvette Cooper are you favour in --

:38:52.:38:56.

in favour? I thought it was reasonable for prisoners to forego

:38:56.:39:00.

their vote because if you have committed a serious crime, you lose

:39:00.:39:03.

your liberty, have restrictions on your right to a family life and

:39:03.:39:06.

during that period, I think you should also forego your right to

:39:06.:39:10.

have a say in who the law-makers of the land are because you have

:39:10.:39:15.

broken the law in such a significant way. So I think it's

:39:15.:39:18.

proportionate, I think it's the European court who said that they

:39:19.:39:24.

think the ban on prisoner voting is indiscriminate, it's a blanket ban.

:39:24.:39:27.

I don't think it's indiscriminate, it's discriminating because you

:39:27.:39:30.

lose your right to vote in proportion to your sentence which

:39:30.:39:34.

is decided in the courts and which is in proportion to your crime.

:39:34.:39:38.

That's why I've always supported it. You've lost me there. You say that

:39:38.:39:43.

you lose your right to vote in proportion to the length of the

:39:43.:39:47.

sentence? -- sentence? Yes, in other words while you are in prison.

:39:47.:39:51.

It's not proportionate to the length of sentence. Yes, it's not

:39:51.:39:54.

indefinite, but when you are released, you get your right to

:39:54.:39:59.

vote back because you've served your time. So the European Court of

:39:59.:40:06.

Human Rights saying it's illegal for us to do this, you would flout

:40:06.:40:10.

their injunction? I think that the - I mean I disagree with the

:40:10.:40:13.

court's judgment. I think in fact by making this a decision, it's in

:40:13.:40:18.

the spirit of the convention, the European convention which I think

:40:18.:40:22.

is important. We did sign up to it and we have international

:40:22.:40:25.

obligations. Having a proportionate ban is in compliance with the

:40:25.:40:27.

European convention. I think what the Government is trying to do here

:40:27.:40:31.

is to find a way through where we now have a debate in Parliament, we

:40:31.:40:36.

try and set out detailed legislation because the court's

:40:36.:40:40.

rightly criticised us for not having had detailed legislation

:40:40.:40:42.

before the Parliament and discussed that in some detail. I hope we'll

:40:43.:40:46.

be able to do that and take that back to the court and convince the

:40:46.:40:50.

court that that is in compliance with the convention and in the

:40:50.:40:55.

spirit of... Just to collar fierbgs you are Shadow Home Secretary for

:40:55.:40:57.

Labour -- clarify, you are Shadow Home Secretary for Labour, are you

:40:57.:41:01.

saying no vote for anyone while in prison, is that Labour's position?

:41:02.:41:07.

The legislation sets out a series of options. I'm asking what your

:41:07.:41:09.

view is? Our long-standing view has always been that prisoners

:41:09.:41:12.

shouldn't have the right to vote whilst in prison and that continues

:41:12.:41:16.

to be our view. We'll have to look at what the Government recommends,

:41:16.:41:20.

what its legal advise is, we have asked the Government to show us

:41:20.:41:23.

what its legal advice is, but that's our position and we'll work

:41:23.:41:25.

with the Government on the Parliamentary process to try and

:41:25.:41:32.

get this legislation right. woman with the red pullover on?

:41:32.:41:42.

by the MPs in the British Parliament defying the rule set by

:41:42.:41:50.

the European court to... The court saying they must give prison terse

:41:50.:41:55.

vote? Are they not setting a bad example to society like about

:41:55.:41:59.

breaking the rule of law, especially because of the

:41:59.:42:05.

considering it's to do with prisoners? Setting a bad example by

:42:05.:42:13.

not doing what the European court wants? Dominic Grieve and Chris

:42:13.:42:19.

Grayling today talked about this. In reality we've always been a law-

:42:19.:42:29.
:42:29.:42:29.

awiding nation and stand by our law-abiding -- law abiding nation

:42:29.:42:37.

and stand by the law-abiding things. What was announced out today is

:42:37.:42:40.

that what they've asked us to do is, we should have placed legislation,

:42:40.:42:45.

they say, in front of the House to decide what we will do about their

:42:45.:42:50.

judgment. So today, he said that we will essential Le place legislation

:42:50.:42:55.

in front of the -- essentially place legislation in front of the

:42:55.:43:01.

House, no votes for prisoners under six months intered and prisoners

:43:01.:43:05.

between six and four years. So we are saying to Parliament,

:43:05.:43:08.

Parliament is sovereign and it will decide. The British people elected

:43:08.:43:12.

Parliament to make decisions about their laws, not the Convention on

:43:12.:43:15.

Human Rights, that is where it should stand. At some point,

:43:15.:43:19.

Parliament will get that option, when they vote on it, that position,

:43:19.:43:22.

the Government's position will be that Parliament's sovereign

:43:22.:43:25.

decision stands and my personal view has been that I've never been

:43:25.:43:29.

in favour of seeing prisoners goat the vote. I think if you commit

:43:29.:43:39.
:43:39.:43:42.

crimes you lose the right to decide If Parliament votes for the option

:43:42.:43:48.

to say no-one in prison should have the vote you would stick with that?

:43:48.:43:52.

It is not defying. What they want you to do is legislate on the basis

:43:52.:43:56.

of what their decision was. Parliament however is sovereign and

:43:56.:43:58.

Parliament at the end of the day makes final decisions about the law

:43:58.:44:03.

of this land. That is the reality, so we will make a decision about

:44:03.:44:08.

that. I also believe Parliament, a point we forget about, Parliament

:44:08.:44:11.

is sovereign. Everybody out here elected us to make the decisions.

:44:11.:44:15.

We should make the decision in Parliament and that decision should

:44:15.:44:19.

stand. OK. Do you not think maybe there is an argument that if you

:44:19.:44:24.

have been in prison, particularly for a longer time, that as part of

:44:24.:44:29.

your rehabilitation shoe be encouraged to be involved in

:44:29.:44:36.

society? APPLAUSE And if you are released within six months if

:44:36.:44:39.

there's a general election or something like that, that you are

:44:39.:44:43.

allowed to partake in the election. What do you think? I think a

:44:43.:44:48.

proportion of people who end up in prison end up in prison or commit a

:44:48.:44:53.

crime because society isn't working for them. If you take away their

:44:53.:45:00.

right to vote, in terms of people on remand or there for less than

:45:00.:45:04.

six months, they have no impact on society in the future. Charles

:45:04.:45:10.

Kennedy, if it comes to the vote, people with six months only, people

:45:10.:45:16.

four years, or absolutely no anyone in prison can't have a vote. How

:45:16.:45:20.

would you vote? I will make my mind up finally when the committee

:45:20.:45:26.

that's now going to look at this, it is a terrible mouthful, but it's

:45:26.:45:30.

a prelegislative committee, in other words they have hearings,

:45:30.:45:34.

everybody under the sun with contribute their thoughts, from

:45:34.:45:39.

absolutely no votes for anybody to some partial exemptions from such a

:45:39.:45:43.

ban et cetera. It makes sense, and we've just agreed to do that today

:45:43.:45:47.

in the House of Commons. Let's see what comes back. I think myself...

:45:47.:45:52.

You mean you are just going to listen to what people say? What a

:45:52.:45:58.

terrible thing for an imagine to do, to listen to collective wisdom and

:45:58.:46:03.

come to a decision. Herely make myself unpopular in front of

:46:03.:46:07.

millions of people. I do not support a blanket ban on people in

:46:07.:46:11.

prison not being allowed to vote, which is the basis of this European

:46:11.:46:17.

ruling. I think that there can be a degree of sensible divergence from

:46:17.:46:23.

that, which I think at the end of the day in years to come will

:46:23.:46:27.

square this circle between the House of Commons and Strasbourg.

:46:27.:46:31.

There's positive reasons are y those on shorter sentences

:46:31.:46:36.

shouldn't be denied the right to vote as part of their

:46:36.:46:39.

rehabilitation process. Deborah Meaden? I am clear on this, I do

:46:39.:46:44.

think they should lose the right to vote. I don't think it stops them

:46:44.:46:47.

from engaging in the political process. You can discuss it in

:46:47.:46:51.

prison and hope that when you enter society again you can take part

:46:51.:46:55.

that. There is a but the. That is half of the argument. The other

:46:55.:46:58.

half says I think it is a very dangerous route to pick and choose

:46:58.:47:04.

what we do and don't agree with under the Human Rights Convention.

:47:04.:47:11.

Not only, we actually, whether we feel it or not, live in a pretty

:47:11.:47:14.

protected environment, but what signal does that send out to some

:47:14.:47:22.

of those countries out there who really need protection under that,

:47:22.:47:26.

under human rights protection? We consider ourselves, we think the

:47:26.:47:31.

world looks to us, not completely but we do consider o'er influential

:47:31.:47:35.

in the world and I think we are. I think picking and choosing in terms

:47:35.:47:39.

of human rights is wrong. That worries me. In those two arguments,

:47:40.:47:44.

when I weigh those up, I think we should stick to it. I know you're

:47:44.:47:54.
:47:54.:47:56.

going to talk about the legality of it. He's not. The man there.

:47:56.:48:02.

prisons are going to be given a vote, isn't there a danger that

:48:02.:48:07.

politicians should start appealing this demographic. Is there not a

:48:07.:48:13.

chance that policys could be catered towards some sort of vote?

:48:13.:48:20.

Would you get the prisoners' vote? Owen Jones. I would be surprised if

:48:20.:48:24.

MPs start rocking up to Pentonville and asking people how they are

:48:24.:48:29.

going to vote. A really important point about the European Court of

:48:29.:48:33.

Human Rights. It is separate from the EU. Lots of countries signed up

:48:33.:48:37.

to it with pretty poor human rights records, such as Russia for example.

:48:37.:48:41.

How can we put pressure on those countries to abide by the European

:48:41.:48:47.

Court and improve their human rights record if we start picking

:48:47.:48:50.

and choosing? It is not a blanket ban. People are worried about

:48:50.:48:54.

murderers and rapists getting the right to vote. I'm not somebody who

:48:54.:48:59.

lives in some sort of out of touch ivory tower. I've been a victim of

:48:59.:49:03.

crime many times. I've been violently mugged and Burrelled.

:49:03.:49:08.

to the point. The really important point is people on short-term

:49:08.:49:11.

sentences. We are trying to rehabilitate them, integrate them

:49:11.:49:15.

back into society, what better way of doing that than giving them the

:49:15.:49:19.

right to vote and making them citizens again connected with

:49:19.:49:24.

society. APPLAUSE I'm sorry to hurry you all along, but we've got

:49:24.:49:32.

time for one more question. Debbie Wild. Under the benefit cap,

:49:32.:49:35.

should large unemployed families priced out of London move to

:49:35.:49:45.
:49:45.:49:47.

cheaper areas, or should councils subsidise them? Deborah Meaden.

:49:47.:49:52.

my goodness. I was hoping... can pass and let Iain Duncan Smith

:49:52.:49:56.

answer it if you like and come back. Shall I do that and then I will

:49:57.:50:05.

respond to it. Iain Duncan Smith? The cap is about putting the

:50:05.:50:09.

benefit cap rather than the housing cap, a limit to the amount of money

:50:09.:50:12.

that somebody on benefits can receive. The limit is �35,000 a

:50:12.:50:17.

year gross, �26,000 net, which is essentially average earnings. That

:50:17.:50:22.

is a cap that says they can't earn more than that. There are some

:50:22.:50:25.

exemptions, people on Disability Living Allowance, war widows,

:50:25.:50:32.

people on working tax credits. Those who are not work and not in

:50:32.:50:38.

those compaempingss. There's already -- exemptions. I don't

:50:38.:50:43.

think there is any need for people to be transferred outside. There is

:50:43.:50:46.

housing inside London and the South East that Acomb dates them. The

:50:46.:50:51.

reality is we are in touch -- Acomb dates them. The reality is that we

:50:51.:50:56.

are in touch with the councils, and have money to make sure they are

:50:56.:51:01.

tidied over if they have kids in school. This cap is about saying

:51:01.:51:05.

look, when people work out and they get to average earnings, it is

:51:05.:51:08.

Haditha we end up paying benefits to people at way higher because

:51:09.:51:11.

they live in very expensive accommodation in difficulty parts

:51:11.:51:16.

of London and the South East. So the cap is fairness to taxpayers as

:51:16.:51:21.

well as being fairness to benefit payers. APPLAUSE Yvette Cooper, do

:51:21.:51:25.

you agree with that? I think that there is an issue about making sure

:51:25.:51:30.

you are not spending a huge amount of money on the large houses in the

:51:30.:51:34.

highest-cost areas, where large families do need larger housing. I

:51:34.:51:38.

think that it is right to have restrictions on the level of

:51:38.:51:43.

benefits that are paid out and on the pay. Made by the. The but I

:51:43.:51:48.

think the problem with the way the is doing this is that the full

:51:48.:51:51.

consequence, not just of the measures that Ian is talking about,

:51:51.:51:55.

but a series of other changes they are making, are pushing up

:51:55.:52:00.

homelessness. We've seen a 50% increase in the number of families

:52:00.:52:05.

with children, living in bed and breakfast accommodation. They can't

:52:05.:52:09.

and sit and have a meal at a table. They are eating food on their laps,

:52:09.:52:15.

with no privacy. It is really bad for the kids growing up. Completely

:52:15.:52:18.

Government policy is it that Iain Duncan Smith has introduced that is

:52:18.:52:23.

causing that? I think a mix of them. Housing benefit changes but also

:52:23.:52:27.

the benefit cap. The combination of the way it is introduced.

:52:27.:52:31.

doesn't start until April. combination of the mix of changes

:52:31.:52:36.

the Government is introducing, it is crazy if we end one welfare

:52:36.:52:39.

reforms that end up costing the taxpayer more. That's what shoe

:52:39.:52:43.

change. We must keep moving here. This is a good debate. I think the

:52:43.:52:47.

introduction of the benefits was a good thing in the first place, but

:52:47.:52:51.

hate become absurd to think that someone who is not working and

:52:51.:52:54.

getting benefits should earn more than someone who is. I think the

:52:54.:52:59.

cap is reasonable, it is appropriate. APPLAUSE Owen Jones?

:52:59.:53:04.

Firstly, the reason that this whole debate has become so toxic is a

:53:04.:53:09.

cynical deem onisation of campaign of people on benefits by this

:53:09.:53:16.

Government. APPLAUSE What they are do, and you can nod your head as

:53:16.:53:25.

much as you want. I was shaking my head. People have just final anger.

:53:25.:53:29.

The working poor, the working poor against the unemployed over

:53:29.:53:34.

benefits. Not-disabled people against disabled people. �26,000 a

:53:35.:53:42.

year is hardly impoverishing somebody. Average earnings Owen...

:53:42.:53:49.

Housing benefit is not going into their pockets. Answer Iain Duncan

:53:49.:53:53.

Smith's point. �6,000 a year. Housing benefit is not going into

:53:53.:53:58.

the pockets of tenants. It is lining the pockets of wealthy

:53:58.:54:01.

landlords charging extortionate rents because successive

:54:01.:54:07.

Governments, new Labour included, got rid of council housing. It is

:54:07.:54:10.

not just about disabled people and the cap. If there is anything I

:54:11.:54:20.

want tow remember. Disabled people are compefrpted from the cap.

:54:20.:54:26.

exempted from the cap. Don't go off on to some other agenda. Tenancy

:54:26.:54:32.

question about unemployed families. -- Answer the question about

:54:32.:54:38.

unemployed families. The housing benefit is lining the pockets of

:54:38.:54:43.

landlords. Charles Kennedy? Well, I don't doubt Owen's sincerity on

:54:43.:54:49.

this matter, but I hope he would accept I'm not somebody who can

:54:49.:54:54.

readily be labelled as part of a terrible conspiracy to single owl

:54:54.:54:59.

groups of society and blame them for all their ills. I think Yvette

:54:59.:55:03.

has eLeeds United to this, the housing benefit system has

:55:03.:55:13.

burgeoned to such an extent that even without the need for an

:55:13.:55:16.

austerity package any Government here today of what of political

:55:16.:55:23.

persuasion would have to address it. Indeed Labour were doing so.

:55:23.:55:27.

don't agree with Sarah Teather, your former Minister, who said the

:55:27.:55:33.

welfare cap was immoral? I think when politicians start using words

:55:33.:55:37.

like immoral, I would probably leave that for Anglican Bishops.

:55:37.:55:42.

What surprises me about her comments, I don't know if she's

:55:42.:55:46.

clarified this. She is entitled to her view. I don't think what Iain

:55:46.:55:53.

Duncan Smith is doing is immoral. I don't think what he did in terms of

:55:53.:55:58.

his Centre for Social Justice was immoral... Don't shout out. Madam,

:55:58.:56:04.

please don't shout out from the back. Please don't shout out. Let

:56:04.:56:08.

him speak. I'm not complaining at all, madam. This is the home of

:56:08.:56:15.

free speech. Can I hardly disagree with that can I? APPLAUSE We can't

:56:15.:56:21.

hear what she was saying anyway. Deborah Meaden? I want to pick up

:56:21.:56:29.

about a point, you talked about the deem onisation of people on benefit

:56:29.:56:35.

-- demonisation. We are, welfare benefit happen to be a very sad,

:56:35.:56:40.

awful truth of the moment. Truth is that this country, the same as any

:56:40.:56:47.

company with any budget, has got so much money to spend. I think it is

:56:47.:56:53.

very wise to make sure that we allocate, sorry, I think it is very

:56:53.:56:57.

wise to make sure that we have a cap on benefits, but I also think

:56:57.:57:03.

it is very wise to make sure that those people who are at the very

:57:03.:57:07.

neediest get that money, the right people get that money. And that's

:57:07.:57:11.

what we need. APPLAUSE But at the moment what you're getting is

:57:11.:57:15.

you've got working families who are losing thousands of pounds in their

:57:15.:57:19.

tax credits. That's working families, at the same time as

:57:19.:57:25.

millionaires are getting a �40,000 tax cut. That is what's unfair.

:57:25.:57:29.

Most new claimants of housing benefit are in work. They don't

:57:29.:57:33.

have the money to pay extortionate rents. If we stimulate the economy

:57:33.:57:37.

and create jobs, but it's a point that has to be made about the

:57:37.:57:41.

treatment of disabled people in this country. There are two names I

:57:42.:57:46.

want to give Iain Duncan Smith. Brian McCard dhal, paralysed down

:57:46.:57:52.

one side, blind in one eye and couldn't speak. He died one day

:57:52.:57:58.

after being fit for work by Atos. Let me tell you something. I didn't

:57:58.:58:02.

hear you screaming about 2.5 million people, nobody saw them for

:58:02.:58:07.

over ten years, not working, with no hope and no aspiration. We are

:58:07.:58:11.

changing their lives. I'm proud of that. Getting them off benefit is

:58:11.:58:16.

what we have done. I'm afraid our time is up. I know, can I see you

:58:16.:58:21.

want to speak, but we've got to speak. Our hour is up. That is the

:58:21.:58:25.

story of Question Time. We always have to stop just when things are

:58:25.:58:30.

getting going. Thank you to Parliament for being our host, this

:58:30.:58:37.

is part of Parliament Week that we are here in Westminster Hall. Next

:58:37.:58:43.

week Swansea. Our panel is going to include the singer Charlotte Church

:58:43.:58:49.

and the former executive editor of the News of the World, Neil Wallace.

:58:49.:58:54.

The following week we are be in Liverpool. Put questions to the

:58:54.:59:02.

David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament. On the panel: Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith MP, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP, former leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy MP, businesswoman and star of Dragons' Den Deborah Meaden and the Independent columnist Owen Jones.