13/12/2012 Question Time


13/12/2012

David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Bristol. The panel includes Justine Greening MP, Stella Creasy MP, Lord Bilimoria, Will Self and Peter Hitchens.


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Transcript


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We are coming to the end of 2012, and sadly this is the last edition

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of a very eventful year. Welcome to Question Time.

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Good evening and a particularly big welcome to our audience in Bristol,

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and to our panel, the Secretary of State for International Development,

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Justine Greening, the shadow Home Office Minister for Labour, Stella

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Creasy, the founder of Cobra beer and a cross-bencher in the House of

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Lords, Lord Bilimoria, the author and professor of contemporary

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thought at Brunel University, Will Self, and the columnist for the

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Mail on Sunday, Peter Hitchens. APPLAUSE

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Your morning paper may have said, and if you read the Times, it would

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indeed have said, that James Harding, the editor would have been

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on the panel tonight, but sadly tonight he announced he was

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resigning from the editorship and therefore he couldn't come on the

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panel. We hope to have him back in some other equally distinguished

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guise one day. I do have to remind viewers that our panel do not know

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the questions that are going to be put to them, do you? No. Thank you.

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The first question is from Warren Birch please. Is the large number

:01:38.:01:41.

of Tory MPs opposing gay marriage symptomatic of a party out of touch

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with modern society? The large number of Tory MPs

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opposing gay marriage, proposed and of course endorsed by the Prime

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Minister. Will Self? particularly out of touch, the

:01:57.:02:03.

figures are 55-45 on the marriage issue, 55 in favour. By and large

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people are in favour of civil partnerships but there seems to be

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this view abroad that marriage is only made of a man and a woman,

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whatever they may be, and thaw can't get married if you are of the

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same sex. A lot of people seem to go back to, particularly I think

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the gospel according to Mark and one of the other gospels in order

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to establish this fact that it has to be a man and a woman. Some of

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these people are Tory MPs, they seem to want to literally interpret

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this particular bit of scripture, but there are other bits that they

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are quite happy to disregard, like the creation of the Earth in seven

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days. And resting on the seventh day. That would be good. They are

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per petly working, so I rather mistrust this surge in biblical

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literalism which seems to grip the anti-gay marriage lobby. If you are

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asking my personal opinion, I think just about anybody should be

:03:03.:03:13.
:03:13.:03:15.

allowed to get married to anybody else, but there you go. APPLAUSE

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Justine Greening? I very much agree with Will. It is something that I

:03:21.:03:27.

have certainly thought about. the questioner or with Will? With

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Will's answer. There's a breadth of opinion in the Conservative and in

:03:31.:03:35.

Parliament, there'll be a free vote on it. Something that I have had to

:03:35.:03:38.

consider. From my perspective, I think as Will does, if people want

:03:39.:03:42.

to get married they should be allowed to get on and do that. As

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long as we've got the right protections in place for churchs

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that don't want to allow gay marriage, that's fine. That then

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respects every's right to get on with their life the way that they

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want to. Why should gay couples will entitled to either a civil

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partnership or marriage, whereas heterosexual couples are only

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entitled to get married, not to have a civil partnership? I don't

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think there's a lot of demand. I have never had a constituent who is

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heterosexual ask me why they can't have a civil partnership with their

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partner. I don't think there is a lot of demand for civil

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partnerships for heterosexual couples. I think the question is

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whether we are willing to give gay people equal rights in terms of

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being able to get married. Having spent a lot of time thinking about

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it, I think it's the right thing to do. I don't think we should stand

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in the way of two people who want to make a lifetime commitment to

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one another. As long as we are clear that we don't force churches

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and people of faith who don't feel comfortable with that to have their

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own churches having to do marriages, I think you get everybody able to

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have their own rights to live their life how they want. The question

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was about the 100 or so Tory MPs who oppose it and whether this is

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symptomatic of a party out of touch. The Prime Minister is going for it

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but a large number of his backbenchers are against. I very

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much respect their opinion but I disagree with it. Aren't they just

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homophobic these MPs? That's what it looks like to me, they don't

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like day people. The simplestics plannation is they don't like gay

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people. Get over it, as Matt Lucas might say. The woman up there on

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the back. I think it is a travesty that they've tried to enact this

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liberalising, accepting policy on the surface but then announced that

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within the Church of England and the Church of Wales it is illegal

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to enforce these churchs to enact a ceremony. Yes, that's just them

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creating a loophole to continue pandering to the homophobic

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prejudiced sections of people that are within that party, and that

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support that party. That's a traevesty in our day and age, in a

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liberal, progressive society. going to be illegal for the Church

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of England to perform one. Peter Hitchens? If you want to know where

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the Conservative Party is out of touch with the people who once were

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Conservatives and would like to vote for it, and the reason the

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Conservative Party is dying on its feet and has no members, it is not

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to do with this. It is because the Conservative Party is in favour of

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the European Union. It is against punishing criminals. Notice favour

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of the failed comprehensive experiment in education. The

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Conservative Party is in favour of mass immigration. That's why the

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Conservative Party is out of touch. The issue of same sex marriage is

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so immensely trivial and unimportant, it is only raised as a

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wind-up to draw poor silly old Conservatives out of their caves so

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that they can be made to look like bigots and fools and howled at and

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jeered at as homophobes. Why would the Prime Minister want to do that?

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Because he hates his party. He hates most of the members of it.

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And he wants to drag them down to defeat, is that what you are

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saying? He lovers to appeal to the Guardian newspaper and the BBC by

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bark his own party and having rows with this. I don't imagine he cares

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in the slightest about the issue. Maybe he does, but he doesn't care

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or believe in anything else, so it would be a change if he did. Mr

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Slippery behaves like this. He just tries to wind up what's left of his

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own party, because he thinks that's his only future, to make the

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liberal bigots, who genuinely hate and loathe people with Conservative

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moral opinions and have no time of them and misrepresent them and lie

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about them, to make them think he is a good thing. Justine Greening

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is seething with rage and wants to come to the defence of her leader.

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I think what David Cameron is trying to do represent a broad

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strand of what the Conservative Party is about today, and just to

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come back to your point about the Church of England and Wales, the

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reason that there's got to be a law in place is because at the moment

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the Church of England and Wales doesn't want to allow same sex

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marriages. Because of the way in which they are set up within our

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country, we therefore have to put that into law. But if they did want

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to allow it, we would of course be quite happy to change the law for

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them to do that. What we are trying to do is make sure that every

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religious organisation has the ability to make its own choice

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about whether it wants to allow same sex marriages or not. They are

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the established Church. Their Bishops sit in Parliament. And they

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should have the choice as well. Stella Creasy? It is incredibly

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ironic that all these people who claim that they are Liberals, that

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they care about conservatism, when it comes to something like this,

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one of the most traditional conservative things in our society,

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to make a commitment to somebody for life, they don't want it. It

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seems like they want to be a small state liberal in the Treasury but a

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big state liberal in the bedroom, telling people what kind of

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relationship they want to have. I think that everyone in my community

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who wants to make a commitment to each other, a really serious,

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loving commitment, should be able to do so. I don't think it should

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be up to the state to decide how they do that. I think we should let

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religious organisations do it. It is disappointing, and I speak as a

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member of the Church of England, to see the legislation cast in this

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way. There is a precedent about how the Church dealt with priests who

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did not want to remarry people who were divorced, making sure they

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were not required to do so rather than explicitly banning it. I

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respect the Church of England is in this place at the moment but I hope

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that at some point we come to a different place. I think it what be

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sad if we had to wait for legislation to make that happen. I

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think the state should back out of this and let people who want to get

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married get married and show their love for each other equally.

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Without it being about gender, but making it about love and commitment.

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APPLAUSE I was going to say, isn't the issue

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less about 100 or so Tory MPs and more about a Church that won't let

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gay people get married and won't let women be Bishops? APPLAUSE

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TALK AT ONCE Hang on, Peter. hanging on. Hang on for a bit

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longer. Lord Bilimoria. We've had civil partnerships for some time

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and that's been working well. They haven't been allowed to call it

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married. But to me that is semantics. They are married. If we

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want same sex marriages in rimmous establishments, if religious

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institutions and establishments want to do, that we should allow

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them to do that. What we should never do is force anyone to do that

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if they don't want to. The people objecting to this, not because they

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are homophobic. Quite often it is because of their own religious

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beliefs. What I love about this country is we are an open country.

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We celebrate the multicultural society. Is your church, the Zorro

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ast reen church in favour? religion doesn't want to allow it,

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we should not force it. That's is sort of open country that we are.

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APPLAUSE And what's the position of the Zorro Astrian church? On the

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whole it's a liberal church. I don't know where they would stand

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on this, but I would never force them to do anything like this.

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don't trust Ms Greening or Mr Cameron when they give assurances

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that those churches that don't wish to be involved in this won't have

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to be. That's either naive at best or disingenuous at worst. In what

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way? I suspect there is no way that the European Court of Human Rights

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will stand for a situation if marriage is redefined whereby a

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religious institution is prepared to offer marriage to one eligible

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section of society - straight couples - but not another. I think

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that the European Court of Human Rights will have absolutely no

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truck with that. And your view on the issue of gay marriage? In

:12:46.:12:52.

favour or against? I believe with the greatest of respect to

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homosexual couples that same sex marriage is not possible. You mean

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you don't think it's real? I don't think it can exist by its very

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nature. For example, I don't believe that... It was interesting

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what you said, Will, in the start of your answer, that you would be

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happy for virtually anyone to marry virtually anyone else. Just in the

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same way - the natural extrapolation of that is we could

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arrive at the situation where very close relatives could marry each

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other No, it is not. It is a misnomer to suggest there is an

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equivalence. We are talking about two people making a loving

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commitment to each other. In that is what marriage should be about.

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It is that love and commitment, not about the gender of the person

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involved. Who is the head of the Church - God or the Government? On

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the one hand you are saying... Government. There you go. The

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Church I go to... It is an established church. In the biblical

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church is God is the head, not the Government. It stops following its

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constitution, which is the word of God, which is the Bible, and starts

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following the Government. No. gentlemen is correct. In a decade

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or so from now, when the touches of changed and it stops being about

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same sex couples and maybe close relative, we'll be having the same

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debate. You cannot stretch the word of God to accommodate your own

:14:31.:14:34.

ideas. You either are for or against. You've said love and

:14:34.:14:38.

commitment towards the couple. What about love and commitment towards

:14:38.:14:43.

your God? If I say I love God and I do not believe that marriage

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between a same sex couple is correct, I'm called homophobic. You

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don't tell me that I don't love or committed to God. You call me a

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homophobic. What does that make you? You celebrate your beliefs but

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I think the response and the questions we have had back from the

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audience shows why it's so important to make sure you have got

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all the right protection in place to make sure that churches that

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don't want to do some sex marriage don't have to. I completely respect

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your views and the views of the gentleman behind as well. It's one

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of the reasons why making sure we have got the safeguards in the Bill

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in Parliament is so important so your church is never in the

:15:28.:15:31.

position where you're being forced position where you're being forced

:15:31.:15:37.

into doing same-sex marriage in a way you don't want to. It's illegal

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isn't it for a priest to marry one, what if he wants to marry them?

:15:43.:15:49.

That's a debate for the Church of England to have. We could make it

:15:49.:15:52.

permissive, rather than exclusive legislation, allow to church to

:15:52.:15:56.

decide itself. We could get the state out of these decisions,

:15:56.:16:01.

rather than exclude it. Then why do we have a state church? You are an

:16:01.:16:07.

Anglican, it's an established church. Let me see if I can answer

:16:07.:16:10.

Stella's point. The reason we need to structure the law the way that

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we have is in response to making sure the Church of England and

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vicars and priests are protected from having legal cases brought

:16:18.:16:22.

against them. It's a debate for the Church of England to have. If they

:16:22.:16:27.

want to allow same-sex marriages, that's a debate for them to have.

:16:27.:16:31.

This is a different way in which you could do this which would mean

:16:31.:16:37.

you wouldn't exclude it but you wouldn't require it. You could give

:16:37.:16:42.

them the protection where people see this debate as excluding them.

:16:42.:16:48.

You could give the church the decision to do this. We've looked

:16:48.:16:51.

at that and that didn't provide good enough safeguards for some of

:16:51.:16:55.

the concerns. So to protect people in the Church of England who don't

:16:55.:16:59.

want to do gay marriages, you have to make it illegal for the Church

:16:59.:17:02.

of England to have gay marriages, thus preventing people in the

:17:02.:17:06.

Church of England who do want to celebrate gay marriages from

:17:06.:17:11.

celebrating? Essentially, it's making sure that the decision

:17:11.:17:14.

around whether we have same-sex marriages in the Church of England

:17:14.:17:20.

and Wales is a matter for that church. We have to come back to

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Parliament. Do you know how many people in this country as a

:17:26.:17:31.

proportion to the population is in same sex marriages, one fifth of

:17:31.:17:35.

one%. It affects a small number of people. We have just learned from

:17:35.:17:39.

the census that a marriage as an institution in general in this

:17:39.:17:42.

country is rapidly diminishing and more and more people are not

:17:42.:17:47.

married for many, many reasons, mainly the result of Government

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actions which have weakened it. What is going on here is not a

:17:52.:17:56.

liberation of homosexuals but an attempt to impose on the whole

:17:56.:18:00.

society a new bigotry under which those who happen to hold the

:18:00.:18:04.

opinion that homosexual marriage should not take place will not just

:18:04.:18:08.

be excluded from the centre of things, they will increasingly be

:18:08.:18:14.

handed and treated as pa hiyas just in fact as homosexuals were treated

:18:14.:18:23.

before the 1967 law was rightly repealed -- pariahs. There is an

:18:23.:18:33.
:18:33.:18:33.

immense, furious liberal bigotry said by Will Self. This extremely

:18:33.:18:38.

unpleasant lie is repeatedly told by those who do not wish to debate

:18:38.:18:41.

the subject and who'd hound anybody who stood in their way out of it

:18:41.:18:46.

with abecause and lies. This is the problem which this country faces.

:18:46.:18:53.

If you have a problem with this, don't propose to a gay man. We will

:18:53.:19:02.

not tolerate and increasingly wishes to... Do you think we are

:19:02.:19:07.

going to be arresting you in toilets and subjecting you to

:19:07.:19:13.

aversion electric shock aversion. Do you know what, Will, I think the

:19:13.:19:17.

time is coming when people who have Conservative Christian opinions

:19:17.:19:21.

will actually face persecution of one kind or another. It hasn't come

:19:21.:19:26.

yet, but the problem is that we have become some willing and

:19:26.:19:30.

conventional wisdom's so willing to accept the liberal majority and the

:19:30.:19:32.

equality and diversity which is now compulsory in all public services

:19:32.:19:36.

in this country which you have to abide by to work in the Public

:19:36.:19:39.

Services. The freedom of speak and think otherwise is increasing.

:19:39.:19:49.
:19:49.:19:52.

Let's move on. Thank you, Pete esh. You can join in the debate through

:19:52.:19:59.

Twitter: We have a Twitterist tonight called full fact, an

:19:59.:20:04.

organisation which fact checks claims made by politicians and

:20:04.:20:11.

media, so the panel should watch out. We should always have one. You

:20:11.:20:16.

can also find them on the extra guest account or you can text

:20:16.:20:22.

comments to us. A question from Andrew Jardine,

:20:22.:20:26.

please. With almost three million more foreign residents since 2001,

:20:26.:20:34.

is Britain no longer British? Three million more residents and

:20:34.:20:41.

13% of people in Britain now born outside the UK. Is Britain no

:20:41.:20:51.
:20:51.:20:52.

longer British? Lord Bilimoria? came to this country as a 19-year-

:20:52.:20:55.

old to study. This is a most amazing country which has given me

:20:55.:21:00.

the opportunity to build a life over here, to study. I've seen a

:21:00.:21:04.

transformation of this country over the last three decades, it's a

:21:04.:21:07.

country with a glass ceiling where if you were a foreigner you were

:21:07.:21:13.

told you would not be able to get to the top to a country now where I

:21:13.:21:16.

believe there is meritocracy and opportunity regardless of race or

:21:16.:21:21.

background. I've seen it unfold and it's the most amazing country. Good

:21:21.:21:25.

immigration has been fantastic for this country and a lot of the

:21:25.:21:29.

immigrants have come here and done it with nothing. We are celebrating

:21:30.:21:36.

the 40th anniversary of the Ugandan nations, we were thrown out by I

:21:36.:21:42.

diAmin. The question is, is Britain no longer British, how would you

:21:42.:21:49.

answer that? You You talk about the fact that less than 50% of

:21:49.:21:56.

Londoners are of ethnic origin and not from here. It's the most

:21:56.:22:03.

cosmopolitan city in the world. I'm really proud to be Indian, Asian

:22:03.:22:07.

and most of all, British and what this country stands for.

:22:07.:22:14.

APPLAUSE Hitchens, you were touching on this

:22:14.:22:19.

before, but what is your view? immigration on this scale is

:22:19.:22:22.

unprecedented in the history of this country. There has been

:22:22.:22:26.

nothing like it. The problem with immigration on this scale is that,

:22:26.:22:30.

of course, immigrants can come here and become British if they are

:22:30.:22:36.

given the chance to do so, if the society which welcomes them says,

:22:36.:22:40.

you're very welcome here but we want you to integrate and become

:22:40.:22:48.

part of our country. Far from doing that, our country's encouraged

:22:48.:22:51.

multiculturalism to Sol tueds which have nothing to do with each other

:22:51.:22:54.

and live apart. There's been that and also the fact that the sheer

:22:54.:23:03.

scale of this means there are now I think millions of homes, I'm sure,

:23:03.:23:06.

fat check.com or whoever they are I'm sure will tell us, where there

:23:06.:23:11.

are adult who is don't speak English. You can't be a society

:23:11.:23:15.

unless most of those share things in common, one is language, one is

:23:15.:23:22.

law, one is you might say a sense of humour. We are less British and

:23:22.:23:26.

that's the idea because when New Labour launched the mass

:23:26.:23:30.

immigration policy, as a deliberate act of policy, this is the account

:23:30.:23:37.

of a New Labour AndrewNeter who said that the policy included a

:23:37.:23:40.

driving political purpose that mass immigration was the way the

:23:40.:23:45.

Government would make the UK truly multicultural and that the main

:23:45.:23:50.

purpose was to rub the right's nose in diversity and render their

:23:50.:23:54.

arguments out-of-date. That's been achieved. That was a driving

:23:54.:23:59.

political purpose to change this country irversibly. It's been

:23:59.:24:09.

achieved. That lot did it and they are going for the next election.

:24:09.:24:13.

They are Bohemians who enjoy all parts of mass immigration, the

:24:13.:24:17.

cheap restaurants that they so dearly love, they don't care what

:24:17.:24:22.

else happens to the rest of the country. The reason I might be fat

:24:22.:24:28.

is because I went to 80 street parties during the Jubilee in my

:24:28.:24:33.

community, I ate hundreds of pieces of cake. My community is exactly

:24:33.:24:38.

the sort of place that peet Peter is talking about. I would love you

:24:38.:24:45.

to come down and meet people from Walthamstow. It's what community

:24:45.:24:52.

meant in... I can travel round my own country freely thanks.

:24:52.:24:55.

offering to let you come and see the kinds of things we are talking

:24:55.:24:59.

about this evening because we have a very diverse community in

:24:59.:25:02.

Walthamstow. We have challenges that we have to face, but we also

:25:02.:25:06.

have a strength that comes from that diversity. The same people are

:25:06.:25:09.

organising all the fantastic street parties, they were cheering on

:25:09.:25:14.

people like Mo Farah who they saw as a classic example of what

:25:14.:25:18.

Britishness stands for. What does it stand for for you because that's

:25:18.:25:24.

the question, is Britain no lorpbg British? I look at Mo Farah and he

:25:24.:25:31.

makes me proud because he's... does British mean? He embodies

:25:31.:25:35.

tolerance and commitment and that's what we saw in the Olympics. We

:25:35.:25:41.

deal with that in Walthamstow every day. Peter, you all get angry as

:25:41.:25:46.

soon as you talk about having a parking zone wherever they come

:25:46.:25:49.

from. Answer the question at the back

:25:49.:25:51.

there? I don't think you can define Britishness because it means

:25:51.:25:56.

different things to different people. Immigration is fantastic,

:25:56.:26:05.

enriching the fabric of the society. APPLAUSE

:26:05.:26:08.

Justine Greening? I think we have had huge uncontrolled mass

:26:08.:26:13.

immigration over the last decade and I think the census really

:26:13.:26:17.

showed just how big it's been, pretty much a city the size of

:26:17.:26:22.

Birmingham in terms of the extra population that came in.

:26:22.:26:26.

Nevertheless, I think you look at the Olympics, I'm a London MP, the

:26:26.:26:30.

volunteers were from the whole of London, they were fantastic, that

:26:30.:26:34.

is London today and actually, this is Britain today and the key to

:26:34.:26:38.

success is making the best of the people that we've got and making

:26:38.:26:44.

the most of the fact that yes, we are a diverse nation, we are

:26:44.:26:47.

diverse communities, mine certainly is and we have to make that ours a

:26:47.:26:51.

sets in the future. I think we can have a big debate about whether

:26:51.:26:54.

Labour's policy on immigration was good or bad. I happen to think it

:26:54.:26:58.

was bad to just allow uncontrolled numbers of people to come into the

:26:58.:27:01.

country without having a strategy for how Public Services would cope

:27:01.:27:05.

and how housing would cope with them. But the bottom line is, we

:27:05.:27:08.

are Britain today and we have to make the best of that. I think, as

:27:08.:27:11.

the gentleman said, it means different things to different

:27:11.:27:15.

people, but there are some core values there, of fair play,

:27:15.:27:20.

creativity, of a fantastic sense of humour, of competitiveness, of

:27:20.:27:23.

being entrepreneurs and we've been at our best when we have been, not

:27:23.:27:27.

just strong at home, but when we have been out there helping shape

:27:28.:27:32.

the world around us too and we need to continue that. Why does your

:27:32.:27:35.

Government have this immigration cap then, to have a crude

:27:35.:27:38.

instrument like a cap when you just implement that, you are deterring

:27:38.:27:42.

the good immigration, the people who're coming in that have enriched

:27:42.:27:46.

this country like the gentleman there said, with an immigration cap,

:27:46.:27:50.

you are turning people away. With the UK Border Agency, if I

:27:50.:27:55.

challenge them, they wouldn't be able to tell you how many illegal

:27:55.:27:58.

immigrants in this country, round it up 2010 0,000. London

:27:58.:28:06.

Metropolitan University in one swoop they told the 2,5050 students

:28:06.:28:12.

there -- 2,500 go... The message that sends out to the rest of the

:28:12.:28:15.

world is, Britain doesn't want foreign students and if you come

:28:15.:28:19.

here, you don't know if you are going to finish your studies or not.

:28:19.:28:23.

That's absolutely not the case. There is no limit on the numbers of

:28:23.:28:27.

students that can come to the UK to have English if they've got the

:28:27.:28:30.

funds for their course and if they're signed up to a proper

:28:30.:28:36.

degree. So really, that is simply not the case. Why do you include

:28:36.:28:40.

student numbers in immigration numbers? Let's leave that argument

:28:40.:28:45.

for another time. There needs a cap on migration most

:28:45.:28:48.

people would recognise. The man sitting patiently with his hand in

:28:48.:28:53.

the air there. Thank you ever so much. Isn't the problem necessarily

:28:53.:28:56.

not the people we have coming into this country who want to be British,

:28:56.:29:00.

but more so the people who're already born in this country who

:29:00.:29:03.

decide that actually they are not British but they are just English.

:29:03.:29:06.

I'm very fortunate because I have a grandmother who's Scottish and a

:29:06.:29:10.

great grand port who is Welsh and I was born here in Bristol so I

:29:10.:29:14.

consider myself to be fundamentally British except for the Irish, but

:29:14.:29:21.

we are working on that -- grandmother. The problem is we have

:29:21.:29:24.

people now who fundamentally say they are English. Who are these

:29:24.:29:32.

people? I have many friends who say, "I'm English" and "In Scotland you

:29:32.:29:35.

have Alex Salmond having an independent Scotland". You would

:29:36.:29:40.

like people to feel British? Britishness is an important thing.

:29:40.:29:50.

People in Britain is what makes Britain, Britain. You've got all

:29:50.:29:53.

these diverse communities. There's loads of them around Britain, all

:29:53.:29:59.

coming together to be British is what makes Britain. If you think

:29:59.:30:06.

about it, for example, my granddad, he's Hungarian. Back in the day -

:30:06.:30:11.

I'm not sure how many years ago - he ran his own hot dog stand in

:30:11.:30:21.
:30:21.:30:25.

Bristol. He's part British. He is putting British history in a view...

:30:25.:30:30.

I can't make out where you are coming from. That's a point well

:30:30.:30:35.

made. Will Self, 4 million foreign residents since 2001. People have

:30:36.:30:40.

said Britain has many different meanings to many different people.

:30:40.:30:50.
:30:50.:30:50.

I think up to the Suez crisis in 1952, sorry, '56? '56. I remember

:30:50.:30:55.

it. Of course you do. You were probably in the front line!

:30:55.:31:00.

LAUGHTER APPLAUSE Thank you for the on the

:31:00.:31:05.

spot fact checking, Peter. Most people's conception of what being

:31:05.:31:09.

British involved was basically going overseas and subjugating

:31:09.:31:13.

black and brown people and taking their stuff and the fruits of their

:31:13.:31:17.

labours. That was a core part of British identity, the British

:31:17.:31:21.

emfire. Now, various members of the political class have try to revive

:31:22.:31:26.

that idea recently without much success. So if we are talking about

:31:26.:31:30.

what an integral conception of Britishness is, it is quite anti-

:31:30.:31:34.

thetical to the idea of a multicultural nation. It is in

:31:34.:31:37.

favour of a multicultural empire, which is quite a different thing.

:31:37.:31:41.

Addressing the young man who there is concerned about our relationship

:31:41.:31:47.

with Scotland and Wales and Ireland, who were often employed as the

:31:47.:31:50.

shock troop of the British empire to go in and appropriate this stuff.

:31:50.:31:55.

So if your idea of Britain is the British empire, this is no longer

:31:55.:31:59.

that, quite clearly. That's my answer. And the scale of

:31:59.:32:02.

immigration revealed by the sense news the last ten years, are you

:32:02.:32:07.

happy about that? Weirdly enough it is a bit like the issue of gay

:32:07.:32:12.

marriage, in that people who line up on the opposition to immigration

:32:12.:32:21.

are usually racists. No, they are. They have an antipathy to people,

:32:21.:32:26.

particularly with black and brown skins. The bigoted... You've had

:32:26.:32:36.
:32:36.:32:37.

your crack, Peter. unwillingness to listen to an

:32:37.:32:40.

opposition opinion. Liberal bigotry is the worst of all, because it

:32:40.:32:47.

thinks it is so unen lightened. was just making a point. It could

:32:47.:32:51.

probably be fact checked. It is easy to complain about the level of

:32:51.:32:56.

immigration, but I agree with the gentleman who said it is part of

:32:56.:33:01.

our island culture. I wonder if we would have ever built the motorway

:33:01.:33:05.

network without the help of the Irish or won the Battle of Britain

:33:05.:33:13.

without the help of the Polish airmen. Next question please.

:33:13.:33:15.

fair to vilify the two Australian DJs for the unintended tragic

:33:15.:33:23.

consequences of their hoax phone call? Justine Greening? I think

:33:23.:33:27.

what they did was hugely irresponsible. I think having said

:33:27.:33:33.

that, nobody really could have predicted what tragic outcome would

:33:33.:33:39.

have resulted from their prank. I think the reality is that it was an

:33:39.:33:42.

Australian talk show and radio show. If it hadn't been reported so

:33:42.:33:46.

widely in the UK, I don't know whether the nurse would have been

:33:46.:33:52.

quite so aware of the story itself. It is incredibly tragic. I think

:33:52.:33:55.

everybody involved is obviously gutted. I think really the most

:33:55.:34:00.

important thing right now is that her family is allowed some privacy

:34:00.:34:05.

to get on with what has been a huge personal tragedy for them. I think

:34:05.:34:09.

the media circus around it really needs to stop now. We need to allow

:34:09.:34:14.

them to come to terms with what's happened, which has been absolutely

:34:14.:34:18.

horrible. Stella Creasy? I'm really sorry, but I feel so uncomfortable

:34:18.:34:23.

about us having this as a conversation. All I think of is

:34:23.:34:27.

there's a family who has lost their mum ten days before Christmas. The

:34:27.:34:30.

last thing they need is us speculating about what happened and

:34:30.:34:35.

talking about it on TV. I'm sorry, David. If we really believe they

:34:35.:34:39.

need privacy, they need people not the be speculating about this stuff

:34:39.:34:44.

in public. I don't want to talk about it. I'm sorry. APPLAUSE

:34:44.:34:48.

man in blue. I believe there's probably more than one cause of

:34:48.:34:54.

this suicide. This will come out eventually. I think the part that

:34:54.:35:00.

the Samaritans have to play in preventing suicides needs greater

:35:00.:35:05.

publicity. Just to clar nigh, the question was not about Jacintha

:35:05.:35:10.

Saldanha but about the attack on the two DJs for what's began as a

:35:10.:35:17.

prank. That's the point. Where it went wrong was not in making the

:35:17.:35:22.

phone call, but subsequently the DJs said they handed the tapes on

:35:22.:35:30.

and they were checked. I think that, at that point it shouldn't have

:35:30.:35:33.

gone any further. They said lawyers had been involved. However, the

:35:33.:35:37.

station continued to put the tapes out and replay the conversation

:35:38.:35:43.

over and over again. That must have been just blatant commercialism,

:35:43.:35:49.

bringing from the Australian pounds. Will Self? Yes, I was walking down

:35:49.:35:54.

Horseferry Road this morning past the Coroner's Court. There were

:35:54.:35:59.

about maybe as many as 100 members of the media outside the Coroner's

:36:00.:36:03.

Court waiting for what everybody knew would not be substantive

:36:03.:36:09.

information. This is just part of a kind of wider media feeding frenzy

:36:09.:36:17.

that exists. What's the centre of this media feeding frenzy? A young

:36:17.:36:24.

woman's pregnancy actually. And why is this young woman's pregnancy of

:36:24.:36:28.

such vital and all-consuming interest that these media

:36:28.:36:33.

organisations are hungry for it? Because it's all about the

:36:33.:36:36.

succession of the British monarchy. That's the really important thing

:36:36.:36:40.

about this young woman's pregnancy. If you take the royal element out

:36:40.:36:46.

of this, there is no story there whatsoever. So just another good

:36:46.:36:56.
:36:56.:36:57.

reason for a republic I think. APPLAUSE You Sir. I think this is

:36:57.:37:00.

symptomatic of ow ridiculing television has become. The hoax

:37:01.:37:05.

phone call is surely symptomatic of that. Lord Bilimoria? What really

:37:05.:37:10.

gets me about this is that this prank, and pranks have always taken

:37:10.:37:14.

place and will always take place. If there are no pranks, it is a

:37:14.:37:20.

very boring world. But I don't play a prank on a hospital. You don't

:37:20.:37:26.

call a hospital... APPLAUSE Where you are dealing with people's lives,

:37:26.:37:29.

and then you try and get information about people in a

:37:29.:37:33.

hospital, which is really private information. It doesn't matter that

:37:33.:37:36.

it may be the future Queen of England. Anyone's information they

:37:36.:37:40.

are trying to get from a hospital through a prank is not on. I don't

:37:40.:37:44.

think they should have done it. The station has a lot to blame for

:37:44.:37:50.

condoning it and allowing it to happen. Real lessons need to be

:37:50.:37:56.

learned from this. APPLAUSE Look, it is easy to say that it is the

:37:56.:38:00.

media's fault but there is a lot of hypocrisy around. Particularly when

:38:00.:38:04.

we first heard that the call had been made, people thought it was

:38:04.:38:10.

quite funny. It wasn't until it had its tragic ending that we all

:38:10.:38:15.

realised that it quite so amusing after all. We all have to look at

:38:15.:38:20.

ourselves. You Sir? Being Australian, I feel quite

:38:20.:38:24.

responsible, even though it wasn't me. I think if it could get back to

:38:24.:38:28.

them I would like to apologise on behalf of Australia that that has

:38:28.:38:32.

happened. You don't have to do that. It is sad and devastating.

:38:32.:38:35.

Australians are always looking for a bit of fun, always looking for a

:38:35.:38:41.

joke. That might be good, that might be bad, but it is very sad

:38:41.:38:44.

that this has blown out of all proportion. Australians will always

:38:44.:38:48.

try to make light of situations, have fun. Maybe we made a mistake

:38:48.:38:52.

on it, and the people on the station made a mistake, but I don't

:38:52.:38:57.

think you can put sole blame on them for this. It is important

:38:57.:39:00.

being Australian that that would be very, very gutted and disappointed

:39:00.:39:06.

that this came across like this. Peter Hitchens? If I may answer the

:39:06.:39:10.

original question - no. OK. Thank you very much.

:39:10.:39:14.

Let's go to another question. Dennis Detheridge, please.

:39:14.:39:24.

Should the use of illegal drugs be decriminalised? This is in the late

:39:24.:39:27.

of Keith Vaz, who runs the Home Affairs Select Committee,

:39:27.:39:30.

suggesting that the Government sets up a Royal Commission now to look

:39:30.:39:36.

at drugs. We've been through this endlessly about drugs, be but he

:39:36.:39:41.

now wants a full Royal Commission in the light of various arguments

:39:41.:39:47.

that have been put. So should the use of illegal drugs be

:39:47.:39:52.

decriminalised? Justine Greening. No, in a nutshell. The level of

:39:52.:39:58.

drug usage is at an all-time low. We are starting to see many of the

:39:58.:40:04.

programmes and treatment... It is actually. Compared to what, 1630?

:40:04.:40:07.

It is moving in the right direction is the point I'm maifplgt we are

:40:07.:40:10.

starting to see a lot of the treatment programmes getting much

:40:11.:40:15.

better rates of getting people off drugs. Personally I think it would

:40:15.:40:20.

send out a really bad signal to start legalising drugs which I

:40:20.:40:25.

believe often see people end up on a rocky road to a situation where

:40:25.:40:35.

they want the harder stuff. We've looked at this endlessly. The idea

:40:35.:40:37.

that we should then kick off another commission to look at this.

:40:37.:40:41.

We know what the issues are. I think it is a question of politics

:40:41.:40:44.

really. What people think is the right approach to them. My personal

:40:44.:40:48.

view is I don't think we should decriminalise drufplgtz I think it

:40:48.:40:55.

sends out the wrong message. who are these MPs? It is across

:40:55.:40:58.

party isn't? All the Select Committee. Don't think you know

:40:58.:41:02.

anything about it much Justine, I get that strong feeling - that you

:41:02.:41:08.

know nothing at all about it. alternatively may just have a

:41:08.:41:12.

different view to me. How many registered addicts do you think

:41:12.:41:19.

there were in Britain in 1965? wasn't alive in 1965. I rest my

:41:19.:41:23.

case. You know all about this, so you had answer the question. And

:41:23.:41:29.

remember that Fact Check are watching you. There are many tens

:41:29.:41:34.

of hundreds of thousands of people many in receipt of the heroin

:41:34.:41:37.

substitute methadone. My own drug history, which includes a long

:41:37.:41:42.

period of addiction, is well known publicly. I don't really want to

:41:42.:41:47.

speak from that position. What I do know about the situation with drugs

:41:47.:41:51.

in this country is that quite clearly the system of prohibition,

:41:51.:41:58.

if that's what it is, it doesn't work. It's a law that's widely

:41:58.:42:02.

flouted. Statistically there'll be people in this audience who are

:42:02.:42:06.

users of illegal drugs and most of them will be non-problematic. The

:42:06.:42:12.

number of people who who are addicts as against social users is

:42:12.:42:16.

a significant proportion but by no means the majority. Far from what

:42:16.:42:21.

Justine is saying, the systems in place for people who do have

:42:21.:42:24.

problematic if not a pathological problem with drugs are incredibly

:42:24.:42:30.

poor in this country, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps as many as 0%

:42:30.:42:36.

of people in our prisons -- 70% of people in our prisons have a drink

:42:36.:42:39.

or drug problem. Really the Government should be doing much

:42:39.:42:42.

more about it there. Is some willingness, interestingly...

:42:42.:42:46.

That's not an argument for legalising it. You can make the

:42:46.:42:50.

argument that treatment should get better, and you are right, but

:42:50.:42:56.

that's not an argument for legalising it. ALL TALK AT ONCE

:42:56.:43:03.

Hold on, Peter. No, it is time somebody said something intefplgt

:43:03.:43:08.

fact Check can work on these. We have decriminalised drugs in this

:43:08.:43:12.

country. If you are caught in possession, if the police can even

:43:12.:43:15.

be bothered with somebody caught in possession of somebody with

:43:15.:43:19.

cannabis, the most likely treatment is the cannabis warning, which was

:43:19.:43:25.

invented by the police, not even asked for, which means you are let

:43:25.:43:34.

off. In 1973, the well known Trotskyist Lord Hailsham instructed

:43:34.:43:39.

magistrates to stop sending people to prison if they were in receipt

:43:39.:43:44.

of cannabis. Why do they want a Royal Commission? Because there is

:43:44.:43:49.

a well financed international campaign to legalise drugs so that

:43:49.:43:54.

various wicked people can make large sums of money out of selling

:43:54.:44:04.

them. Peter, there is no... There is no such thing thing as ho

:44:04.:44:10.

Hillsboroughis. That is the most abject lie told by the people.

:44:10.:44:14.

many people in this country do you think at this moment is in

:44:14.:44:19.

possession of illegal drugs? I have no idea. How would I know? There

:44:19.:44:26.

are statistics for it. You tell us. If you no, you say. I would say in

:44:26.:44:30.

excess of 1 million people. You are going to have to build a lot of

:44:30.:44:35.

prisons. Who said anything which enablinged you to say that? The

:44:35.:44:41.

point of having a proper criminal law which is prosecuted and used is

:44:41.:44:46.

not to put people in prison but to deter people committing stupid

:44:46.:44:52.

crimes. That's why we have laws about drink-driving.

:44:52.:45:02.

It is so simple. Anyone can answer Isn't it time we had a real

:45:02.:45:05.

conversation about alternatives to criminalising drug users and

:45:05.:45:10.

perhaps looking more at perhaps the Portuguese method where users are

:45:10.:45:14.

offered rehabilitation access to medical advice and treatment, as

:45:14.:45:18.

opposed to sending them down the criminal justice route, putting

:45:18.:45:22.

more burden on the criminal justice system and essentially, as some

:45:22.:45:26.

panellists said, creating a perpetual problem, as it were?

:45:26.:45:31.

do that already, that's what we have been doing for 40 years.

:45:31.:45:41.
:45:41.:45:47.

you, Hitchens. People need to deal with some facts on this, instead of

:45:47.:45:52.

propaganda. Stella? Actually, the experience in Portugal's been

:45:52.:45:55.

pretty mixed but that's why this was an important report. This

:45:55.:45:59.

report didn't call for legalisation or decriminalisation. It called for

:45:59.:46:04.

the kind of debate. Justine, we may know some of the issues and answers

:46:04.:46:07.

about what treatment does or doesn't work but what the report

:46:07.:46:11.

highlighted was that the two aren't going together. That's why they

:46:11.:46:15.

talked about having a Royal Commission. We spend �15 billion

:46:15.:46:17.

trying to deal with the consequences of substance abuse

:46:17.:46:20.

within our health care and criminal justice testimony so I think

:46:20.:46:27.

there's room to look at what else might make a difference -- justice

:46:27.:46:29.

system. It's about how you treat people and deal with addiction

:46:29.:46:34.

because the consequences of not doing something about it are very

:46:34.:46:37.

great for our society. I think it's a shame the Government dismissed

:46:37.:46:42.

out of hand what was a reasoned piece of research and argument

:46:42.:46:45.

about this being a decision that needs to happen, not just by 650

:46:45.:46:49.

people in Parliament but needs a broader debate with perhaps even Mr

:46:49.:46:54.

Self and Mr Hitchens taking part in that debate at the same time if

:46:54.:47:00.

they'd let each other. The man there? It's a good idea to look at

:47:00.:47:05.

this. We have had 40 or 50 years of this so-called war on drugs and all

:47:05.:47:09.

it's done has make the people who grow and smuggle and sell drugs

:47:09.:47:14.

rich and it's caused huge amounts of harm to society, people whose

:47:14.:47:20.

homes are broken into and robbed, it's achieved nothing. We need to

:47:20.:47:27.

step away from this, not look at it and making all drugs legal and as a

:47:27.:47:30.

free-for-all, but a sensible policy which says if you are addicted to

:47:30.:47:34.

heroin or crack or something, let's try doing a deal with you, if you

:47:34.:47:37.

behave yourself, we'll gef you your happy powder and stop the drug

:47:37.:47:43.

dealers making a fortune out of it -- give you your happy powder.

:47:43.:47:53.
:47:53.:48:02.

Lord Bilimoria? In countries like Holland, in certain states in the

:48:02.:48:06.

United States, where they've tried to liberalise the usage of drugs,

:48:06.:48:10.

it hasn't necessarily worked that well and I think the real problem

:48:10.:48:15.

for me, my biggest fear is my children getting into drugs and

:48:15.:48:25.

getting addicted to drugs, and what I try to do is educate them and say

:48:25.:48:32.

don't do it. Not everyone gets addicted, you are absolutely right.

:48:32.:48:42.
:48:42.:48:49.

You got a peerage for flogging beer! Lord bail Bilimoria?

:48:49.:48:52.

selling fantastic beer and we always encourage responsible

:48:52.:48:57.

drinking! Back to the point, I think it's not about, we talk about

:48:57.:49:01.

the treatment, it's about prevention, how can we educate

:49:01.:49:05.

youngsters to stay away from drugs? Decriminalising them is not the

:49:05.:49:11.

answer, it's not as simple as that. Another question from Lizzie

:49:11.:49:15.

Morrell, please? Do you believe that the Housing

:49:15.:49:19.

Minister was right to advise against giving food or money to

:49:19.:49:23.

homeless people? This was Mark Prisk on Tuesday saying, donts give

:49:24.:49:29.

money to the homeless, Christmas coming up, give them a telephone

:49:29.:49:34.

number for a new charity and other people will look after them. Stella

:49:34.:49:41.

Creasy? When we are seeing the levels of debt, the levels of

:49:41.:49:44.

personal deprivation that's happening in our communities, it's

:49:44.:49:47.

not surprising to me that we are seeing more people sleeping rough.

:49:47.:49:52.

It's a fear for me. I spent two- and-a-half years campaigning about

:49:52.:49:57.

legal loan sharking, trying to get the Government to do something

:49:57.:50:01.

about those people charging huge amounts for loans because I could

:50:01.:50:04.

see people in my community living with that cost. It's no surprise

:50:04.:50:08.

that people have ended up on the streets and, as a basic point for

:50:08.:50:18.

us, in society, as we deal with it. I work at my local night shelter.

:50:18.:50:22.

I'm so worried this Government doesn't take the cost-of-living

:50:22.:50:25.

serious because of the consequences we are seeing as a result. When you

:50:25.:50:29.

think your housing costs go up. My part of London, it's predicted

:50:29.:50:33.

rents will rise 25% over the next couple of years. You are veering

:50:33.:50:39.

off the subject here. It's about how we deal with homelessness. It's

:50:39.:50:43.

a function of society. The Housing Minister said "Most people know

:50:43.:50:47.

that giving money or food won't help a rough sleeper find a home,

:50:47.:50:51.

get the health care they need or simply put them in touch with

:50:51.:50:54.

support available. Do you think that giving money or food doesn't

:50:54.:51:00.

help? I don't think it's an either or. I work with the night shelter,

:51:00.:51:04.

I give them food and fund-raise for them because we need them. I was it

:51:04.:51:07.

wasn't the case and I'll fight for policies that mean we don't end up

:51:07.:51:10.

with people living on the streets and end up with the level of debt

:51:10.:51:17.

they have now which means they have to make those kind of choices.

:51:17.:51:20.

Justine Greening? I don't think anybody wants to see homelessness

:51:20.:51:24.

and what Mark was saying was what we need to do when we see people is

:51:25.:51:28.

make sure they get help. I think perpetuating their circumstances

:51:29.:51:33.

doesn't do them any good at all and I think what he was trying to do,

:51:33.:51:36.

which I think he did very well because we are talking about it now,

:51:36.:51:39.

is highlight that there is far more support there for homeless people

:51:39.:51:43.

and that actually, what we all should be doing is trying to make

:51:43.:51:47.

sure that when we see people like that, that we help them get that

:51:47.:51:53.

support that's there. You, Sir, on the front row. You two, you on the

:51:53.:51:57.

left first, then you? My view is, obviously, since I've been here in

:51:57.:52:02.

Bristol, as a student, I've been out in the town sometimes quite

:52:02.:52:09.

late and I've seen people that need or asked for money or food.

:52:09.:52:15.

Personally, I believe that to not do much for them but it shows

:52:16.:52:19.

there's a level of compassion that, there are people who walk past them

:52:19.:52:25.

in the street and actually do care. But in terms of a long-term effect,

:52:25.:52:28.

it doesn't do much so maybe something could be put in place to

:52:28.:52:31.

support them or give them a number or just something to show that that

:52:31.:52:36.

will have a longer lasting effect, rather than just feeding their

:52:36.:52:41.

bellies. The man next to you? doesn't the Housing Minister

:52:41.:52:47.

arrange for more houses to be built for homeless people? That's exactly

:52:47.:52:51.

what we are doing. Local authorities are releasing public

:52:51.:52:55.

land so we can get houses built, the Mayor in London is getting more

:52:55.:52:59.

houses built. We are starting from a position of record low housing

:52:59.:53:03.

stock since the 20s, but we are trying to improve that and we've

:53:03.:53:06.

got a mole range of policies, not just to get houses built but to

:53:06.:53:15.

help young people in particular be able to afford to buy them.

:53:15.:53:19.

But Housing Benefit is already showing signs of people being

:53:19.:53:24.

thrown out by landlords? recognise the welfare system got

:53:24.:53:30.

out of whack. That's not what I asked you. A thousand families in

:53:30.:53:33.

Walthamstow will have their Housing Benefit capped next year. There is

:53:33.:53:36.

no spare housing. They are going to be homeless or end up with the

:53:36.:53:41.

legal loan sharks, neither of which is a good outcome. We'll all end up

:53:41.:53:46.

paying the costs of these families. APPLAUSE First of all, we are

:53:46.:53:50.

saying that the sorts of Housing Benefit that we were seeing in some

:53:50.:53:54.

parts of particularly London... I've not answered the question that

:53:54.:53:59.

was put, you don't know what I was about to say. You talk about levels

:53:59.:54:03.

of Housing Benefit people were claiming in London. There were a

:54:03.:54:09.

handful of families that were getting more than �50,000 a year

:54:09.:54:14.

Housing Benefit. You have just concentrated... In the UK, it's

:54:14.:54:21.

about �24,000. What we are saying is that people in the public sector

:54:21.:54:24.

needing supported housing should face the same choices as people

:54:24.:54:31.

who're in the privats sector. don't want to go into that --

:54:31.:54:34.

private sector. We were talking about the spillage from this, the

:54:34.:54:38.

immediate spillage which has been reported. Hitchens, what is your

:54:38.:54:43.

view about what the Housing Minister said? Give what you can to

:54:44.:54:47.

a good, effective charity that will help these people out of the

:54:47.:54:51.

problems into which they've fallen. Each time you may out of the

:54:51.:54:55.

softness of your heart want to give people money because people do,

:54:55.:54:58.

they see someone sitting in the street and think, that person, I

:54:58.:55:02.

ought to give them something so they will, it may not do any good,

:55:02.:55:07.

I don't necessarily think it will do any harm but it does much more

:55:07.:55:12.

good if you put aside the money for a charity, there are plenty of them,

:55:12.:55:16.

easy to find, at this time of year especially, put money into them and

:55:16.:55:21.

it will do more good than politician will ever do you, that's

:55:21.:55:24.

for certain. I run a food bank and there are 100,000 of those in

:55:24.:55:27.

Britain. I'm ashamed to be living in a country where food banks have

:55:27.:55:32.

had to come back because people are so worried.

:55:32.:55:36.

APPLAUSE Surely homelessness is a complex

:55:36.:55:39.

problem and just simply giving someone food and drink is not

:55:39.:55:45.

actually going to really deal with the problem. It requires agencies

:55:45.:55:50.

to work together and it requires a joined up thinking and I'm

:55:50.:55:54.

convinced that's probably not the case at the moment. It requires the

:55:54.:55:59.

Government not to put them into destitution. Will Self? Charity is

:55:59.:56:04.

a sop that floats into societies as thaiz become more gather tearian.

:56:04.:56:09.

You look at our society over the past 30, 40 years, the Gulf between

:56:09.:56:15.

the richest and poorest has increased and we have more Red Nose

:56:15.:56:18.

Days and telethons in order to help us feel better act the fact that

:56:18.:56:24.

people are living in poverty, so what Peter suggests is just another

:56:25.:56:31.

sticking plaster. We require a society where there isn't this with

:56:31.:56:38.

people on the street. The woman in white there? Why do we have to rely

:56:38.:56:44.

on charitys to help the homeless? Why at Christmas does an individual

:56:44.:56:48.

who wants a hot meal and shelter have to go to a Crisis shelter? Why

:56:48.:56:56.

is it all charitable giving and not actually from central Government?

:56:56.:57:01.

Charities are better at it. point that you have just made, this

:57:01.:57:04.

country, less than 1% of the population of the world here, and

:57:04.:57:07.

we are still, without the empire, one of the ten wealthiest countries

:57:07.:57:14.

in the world in absolute terms. It's phenomenal. Our welfare state,

:57:14.:57:18.

�200 billion into welfare and pensions and still you have

:57:19.:57:22.

homeless people and still you have poverty and child poverty in this

:57:22.:57:25.

country. What I think is amazing, nothing is perfect, Government

:57:25.:57:29.

tries its best, it's not always perfect. What I love about this

:57:29.:57:32.

country is the charitable spirit, the number of charities they are

:57:32.:57:35.

that will fill that gap with the Armed Forces charitys that I've

:57:35.:57:40.

worked with, there are so many of the homeless who're former

:57:40.:57:44.

sholdiers and there's no reason for them to be there but there there

:57:44.:57:51.

because it's a complex situation. We are lucky to have an amazing

:57:51.:57:55.

country that fill the gap of the charities. That's all we have got

:57:56.:58:00.

time for. Time's up. This is last programme of the year. We come back

:58:00.:58:04.

on the 10th January. We are going to be in Lewisham in South London.

:58:04.:58:08.

We are going to be in Lincoln on 17th January, so if you would like

:58:09.:58:11.

17th January, so if you would like to come on the 10th to Lewisham or

:58:11.:58:14.

17th to Lincoln, apply on the website. The address is on the

:58:14.:58:23.

screen, or call that number: It would be very good to see you.

:58:23.:58:27.

Thank you to the panel and all of you who came to the City academy

:58:27.:58:31.

here in Bristol, the first set up in Britain under the Labour

:58:31.:58:34.

Government. From all of us on Question Time, everybody who works

:58:34.:58:37.

David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Bristol. On the panel: Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for International Development; Stella Creasy MP, Shadow Home Office Minister; Cross-bench peer Lord Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer; author Will Self, and Peter Hitchens, Columnist for the Mail on Sunday.


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