13/06/2013 Question Time


David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Edinburgh, with an audience of 16 and 17-year-olds ahead of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

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the youngest audience we have ever had on Question Time, 16 and


17-year-olds, the first week of this age to have the vote in the UK.


Welcome to Question Time. On the panel tonight, the leader of


the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson. Labour's deputy leader in


Scotland, Anas Sarwar. Respect MP George Galloway. The SNP leader at


Westminster, Angus Robertson. The broadcaster and columnist, Lesley


Riddoch. And the leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, back in Edinburgh for


the first time since he was chased The reason we have this young


audience is that a Scottish parliament voted to allow 16 and


17-year-olds to vote in next year's referendum on Scottish independence.


But the debate is not about Scottish independence. We just want to know


what this section of society think about some of the issues we face, as


always, Question Time. The first question from Kieran Fitzgerald.


surveillance of internet activity and acceptable price for national


security? This is in light of revelations from the United States


this week. George Galloway. Benjamin Franklin said those who will


sacrifice liberty for security will, in the end, enjoy neither. The


sacrificing of our liberties can only lead to a victory for those who


wish to destroy liberty. And I think that the revelation, the


whistleblower, instead of being extradited and sent to prison for


the rest of his life, should be given a medal, should be given a


Nobel Prize, because he has revealed illegal state surveillance on a


truly gargantuan scale. The United States NSA, National Security


Agency, has bugged three trillion telephone calls each year. Trillion


telephone calls each year. There is mass surveillance of people in the


United States, and that is bad enough. What is worse is that the


British security services have been making use of the intelligence of us


garnered in breach, actually, of British law. William Hague tried to


play it down this week by saying he had authorised it. Frankly, I would


not trust William Hague to guard our liberties in any respect. The best


way to deal with the threat of terror in the world is to address


the causes of terror in the world. And that will not be done by the


state becoming ever more terrorist itself. I think the first thing we


should do is recognise the important role that public servants in-house


surveillance and security industry make to all of us to keep us safe


every day. I think all of us should show appreciation to them. It is


right that we have a system in place with democratic accountability and a


tight legal framework and important the public has confidence in the


work intelligence agency does. One, so they can have the support of the


public, but secondly to make sure they are working within a legal


framework. George Galloway says they are breaking it. It is right that


citizens know the security agencies are law-abiding. That is why William


Hague has serious questions to answer. Did he sign off on the


surveillance agencies from the US to tap into British people's phones and


e-mails? And if he did not, it is very clear that there has -- that if


there has been any breach of UK law, those people and agencies should


feel the full force of UK justice. But you actually want more


surveillance. You are with the Home Secretary in wanting more


surveillance. You have to get the balance right. You have to get the


balance right in terms of keeping ourselves secure but protecting the


rights to privacy. That is where you have to have a democratically


accountable process but a tight legal framework. It is not


acceptable to say to people, we expect you to be law-abiding


citizens, and government ministers and agents themselves are not


law-abiding. That is not accept the ball and it undermines public trust


in what we are trying to do, keep us safe and stop terrorist attacks on


the streets of the UK. As George Galloway said, the whistleblower is


getting punished for breaching privacy laws, but the government


does not get punished for breaching our privacy. What is the fairness in


that? George Galloway was trying to trade off liberty against security.


A responsible government has to balance one with the other. It is


not picking one or the other, but finding the right balance. GCHQ, the


agency in charge of this kind of monitoring in the UK, works within


an incredibly tight legal framework. When it does surveillance


operations, these have to be signed off by the Secretary of State. It is


not 6000 desk jockey James Bonds looking through your e-mail account


to see who you fancy. They are called the intelligence agency


because they work on intelligence. If they were looking at everybody's


date, they would not find anything because they would be snowed under.


We have an incredibly important link with the United States. We have


worked with the US to foil terror plots before and we will do again to


keep people safe, but the framework that else's data sharing. But is it


arriving from GCHQ, this information from the States? You say you would


be snowed under, but as George Galloway said, trillions of calls


have been checked. We have a guarantee that any data obtained in


the UK from the US involving UK nationals is subject to the same UK


statutory controls. What is the guarantee? William Hague's word for


it? William Hague would have no time to do anything else if he was


signing warrants every day for the British share of 3 trillion


telephone calls each year. It stands to reason that the James Bonds that


you talk about - although to me they look more like Austin Powers - at


GCHQ, they must be freelancing on this. Otherwise we would never see


William Hague's face because he would be in his office signing


warrants all day. APPLAUSE


To get specific to what I understand Edward Snowden to have done, he was


not actually whistleblowing on the scale of phone call tapping, which


we knew about. He was actually looking at Google


and Facebook handing over details that you and your generation had


thought you gave in trust to someone who was not a government, who was,


in effect, your friend, who was perhaps an intermediary that let you


connect with other friends. And it is that that is the most significant


aspect of this. It is also significant that we cannot we sure


now that the rules, the outlook that we have in Britain, is something


that is at the heart of the way Google and Facebook are working.


Because they are in an American jurisdiction. Just before we came on


air, the US Supreme Court found against two companies that were


trying to patented part of the DNA we are built from. That is the


degree to which American companies very often want to get in and


patents and control what actually belongs to all of us. Do you accept


what Mark Zuckerberg said, which is that Facebook is not and never has


been part of any programme to give the US or any government direct


access to their servers? Or do you think he is deceiving us? As I


understand it, Twitter were the only company that could save eight did


not cooperate with PRISM. -- that could say they did not cooperate.


Europe has a whistleblower charter in effect since 1998 that would not


prosecute Edward Snowden. We need to stand up for different values. Let's


set up our own Google and Facebook. Let's think of an opportunity out of


this. We need to pull back our values from where they are at the


moment because they are not safe in those hands. I agree we need to find


a balance between surveillance and actually giving everyone privacy.


But how do we find that balance and not crossover into being like big


brother? Where would you come from that? Are you on Facebook? And are


you unnerved about the access security people have too it? Yes. I


feel I have made my account private and I should be allowed to keep that


information private. And do you agree? Yes. I believe the national


security is important but in this case it has been a case of behind


our back is. Little Brother, Great Britain, bowing down to big mother,


United States. It is time we stand up and put our foot down and say,


these are our laws and what our democracy has decided and we should


not bow down to the United States being more powerful. Do you agree?


What worries me is that it is not just about surveillance but about


storage. So it is what you are chatting about with other people on


Twitter, on Facebook, on Skype, on e-mail traffic. It is much more than


phonecalls, or thinking somebody is suspicious so let's start recording.


It is recording billions of your conversations. I feel very uneasy.


It is not just about GCHQ and the NSA in the United States of America.


There are other places that what you are conversing with other people is


being stored as well. An issue for me is about the storage of your


information. I agree with George on this point. The idea that we should


just trust in William Hague because he has said something in the House


of Commons. Everything is all right now! I am sorry but I do not think


everything is all right and I think this will be one of the big debates


of years ahead. Your generation, more than any so far, has grown up


using IT in a way that us on the panel never have. It is going to be


even more important to you than it is to us, and we need to get it


right. How would you change the framework? You are saying the


protections in place, the idea that it has to be signed off by the


Secretary of State, is not enough. What do you suggest? As soon as you


tell people there as a whole area online which we will never look at


and security services will not access, that is where people who


want to do harm will move their activity. That is not my point.


Everybody agrees that when there is a risk to society from extremists


who are prepared to use violence, there should be appropriate measures


in place to make sure that one can intercept telephones or other


traffic. Nobody disagrees with that and those safeguards are in place.


But we are dealing with an entirely new threat on the one hand, and on


the other hand a whole big issue about how can one intercept but also


store this information? Do you really think this is going to be


destroyed? It is going to be kept for ever and ever. I think we need


to start addressing issues as to why we are under threat in the first


lace. It goes back to issues like the war on terror, where we are


sending working-class people to fight illegal wars overseas for


America's economic interest. It is time we stopped sending


working-class people to fight for America's economic interest and


started to bring people like Tony Blair and others up to The Hague to


face the warcrimes tribunal that they deserve to face. I think we


have a schizophrenic debate on this. We are horrified with what we have


heard but three weeks ago in the wake of the Woolwich murders people


were screaming and shouting and saying, the security services knew


who these men were, so why was more not done? It is about balance.


However, is what is potentially happening here and accept double


price, was the question. I think when the Americans launched the war


on terror under George Bush, they have gone so far down a road where,


frankly, in America they have now launched a war on liberty and


freedom. It applies not just to surveillance, but to a plea


bargaining system, where if the state says you are guilty you have


almost no choice but to plea-bargain, guilty. I would say


Leslie is right, these are big American companies. And users have


to be aware that if they are going through American internet service


providers, their stuff is not safe. I hope we get some alternatives out


of it and I do not want us to go down the route where we allow the


liberty of millions of people in this country to be destroyed because


we are following the Americans, who have frankly gone completely over


the top. How you prevent it if you have got Facebook, if that's where


you are working? How do you prevent it? People have to be cautious when


using all forms of social media, about what they say and do. Do not


think the that whatever you say on Facebook is private. It isn't.


make the point of Internet companies such as Google and Facebook have


come out and said, we have never been approached by national security


agencies, so this is rubbish, but in fact, if the NSA did approach


Facebook and Mark zukerburg said I've never heard of it, if they


asked for information, under US law, Facebook would be obliged to deny


any involvement from the NASA at all. That shows that if Governments


are found to be showing information that they shouldn't be or requesting


information they have no access to, they'll find a way to cover it up


and do everything in their power to gag it. I actually agree with George


Galloway when he says that people like Edward snowdon who it was


revealed in the Guardian last week showed how easy it was for him to


access information, we should be giving people like him a medal


instead of prosecuting hum. One more point then we'll move on. You in the


checked shirt there on the gangway? Yes, we have talked about justice


and what should be allowed. I think we can all agree that Internet


surveillance can be used for good and a way forward for this to


improve the situation is for there to be an international law to mean


that whenever Internet surveillance is used, it's completely transparent


with the co-op Russian of both Governments and both intelligence


agencies so that we don't have this American citizen stying on British


citizens which is unjust -- cooperation. Before we leave this,


put your hands up if you are on social media, Facebook or otherwise?


Everybody. Put your hands up if you are worried about what you have


heard this week? About half of you. OK. We'll go on to another question.


Just to say before we do, you can join in tonight's debate from home,


text or Twitter - watch out, you are Fiona Murray's question, please?


What benefits would independence bring for young people in Scotland?


Very straightforward question. What benefits would independence bring?


Who'd like to start on this? Maybe you should, Angus? The advantages...


Not at too great a length. There are six of us a here. Haver good.


Although I notice on the panel we have four politicians from other


political parties who're of posed and only one who's in favour -- of


pose and one o only one in favour. APPLAUSE


Parity would be good. It's worth observing we have a really important


election in Scotland taking place next week in Aberdeen and we have


two representatives who have much to say on the panel tonight from


parties who don't have any representation. Pf


There are two political parties representing the Scottish Parliament


who're part of the election next week. Sorry, Question Time does not


follow by-elections, never has, national elections yes. Sorry, we


never do. By-elections. On the independence issue, this audience is


divided 50/50 on that issue. Now make your point? I will. One of the


big differences with independence is that we wouldn't be mucked around in


the way that we have in the relation to this programme tonight. We'd


always have the Parliament that we elect, we'd always have the


Government that we wish and the decisions that would be made in the


Scottish Parliament, not just about things limited at the present time


with devolution, education, health and so on, working much better


eunder devolution would happen with the other powers over the economy,


over Foreign Affairs and over defence, things that really matter.


It's about how do we create jobs and make our economy grow quicker? How


do we play a role in the world and get nuclear weapons out of our


country? We never wanted them here in the first place.


APPLAUSE So the difference is there for


everybody, especially for the young. That's why I'm so proud that it's


the SNP who propose that 16 and 17-year-olds should have a vote in


this very important referendum. My first speech was about lowering the


vote to 16 and 17-year-olds, it's important for democracy to get the


young and next generation to be part of the democratic process. I'm proud


the SNPs delivered it and weapon the arguments have been had, you are


going to be an important part of that yes vote that will make


Scotland an independent, successful country. - woman on the right?


You say that we are getting mucked about right now, but do you not


think the SNP are mucking us about because we are not getting answers


on free tuition, how are you going to subsidise education and how do we


know it will be as good as it is right now? Because the NSP in -- SNP


is in Government right now. I The remarkable thing about the


intervention there is that he's so worked up about representation on


the panel today. You have the SNP saying we want to keep the pound but


lose our influence over it, the Bank of England set our mortgage and


interest rates. We want the UK sharing of the welfare state. He


wants political representation but less representation for Scots and


important UK institutions have a say on every day life in Scotland. Young


people need not politics of grudge and grievance, they need gin win


offers of how to get not just constitutional change which talks


about which politicians and what building, about how to get genuine


social and economic change so every young person has the ability, no


matter where they live, whether London, Edinburgh, Manchester, has


the opportunity to get a quality education. You don't think that will


be delivered? By independent? the wrong solution for the wrong


problem. How do we make sure everyone can maximise their full


potential and have a country based on social justice and fairness, not


division. That's not just a priority for people in my constituency, that


ends with the line in England and Scotland. Let's stop obsessing about


the issues of politics and talk about the real issues about how to


get genuine change in communities so every young person can be an asset


to this country and get jobs. APPLAUSE


You, there? George said it was his idea to introduce the 16 and


17-year-olds get. Ing the right to vote. When I voted 17, I wouldn't


have knew what to vote for, I don't think particularly giving it to


young people is the right option. Angus said that, yes. The person


over there in suspecticals on the left? Yes. -- stect Kells. An dues


-- spectacles. Angus mentioned jobs. Thousands of jobs are going to be


lost from companies moving down to England and moving down to the


defence contracts in this country. How on earth can you justify those


unemployed people? APPLAUSE


I've got a very clear idea of the kind of country I want to live in


and it's a country that doesn't use Trident or nuclear weapons for its


defence... APPLAUSE


It's a country that puts equality as THE most important social goal on


all policies which understands that inequality basically erodes trust


between us, between Government and citizens. It's a country that puts


education top and recognises early years education would transform life


and it's a country that embraces renewables, particularly Scotland,


because we are the Saudi Arabia of renewables and starts our engineer


engineering prospects back again by basing it on that. I have to ask


myself, how is that going to happen in my lifetime? Mine will be shorter


than yours. I would like to see change in my lifetime and I've


actually voted every party, I have to say except sorry Ruth, the


Tories... Still time.No, there's not.


APPLAUSE We have to make a judgment and next


year, as things stand, I will vote yes. Now, the reason I will vote yes


is not the great big yes that Angus has to do as a member of the


Scottish National Party and I just want to say this, I'm a journalist


and I want to be automobile to keep question policies that don't sound


quite right. All the sorts of aspects of the debate that make it a


hard one to be in and there's an important point in this. I come from


Northern Ireland originally and there are camps there, there's yes


and no, people who don't talk to each other now after 50 years of


trouble. We don't want to get to a stage where we can't talk to each


other easily about our future together. That's a consideration.


Having said all these qualifications, on balance I'll vote




The man at the very back by the camera with the spectacles on, yes?


I would just like to say that I know that some of you say that if we


become independent we lose our influence in the Bank of England,


but the Bank of The UK is needed. Scotland has a 10% influence in the


Bank of England which we would maintain after independence if we


kept the pound. So there is no guarantee we'd lose it whatsoever.


Angus is churl churlish in his introductory remarks on the SNP.


They are a pointer, illuminating as to the kind of Scotland you as 16


and 17-year-olds would inherit. His belief that someone like me has to


right to be on a BBC Question Time programme because I don't currently


have an address in Scotland is rather typical of the narrow minded


and narrow outlook that informs his kind of politics, similarly when


Nigel Farage was run out of Edinburgh as David put it...


APPLAUSE Not sure whether you are applauding


because you believe that. I wasn't run out, I was locked in a pub, all


right. That's what happened! George Galloway? Must have been


hell, Nigel, must have been hell. This is the point. When he was


treated in the way he was when he was in Edinburgh, Alex Salmond had


the opportunity to be statesmanlike, to deplore what had happened, to say


that everyone was welcome in Scotland, everyone with an elected


position, everyone with a following in the country had a right to speak


and be heard. But he didn't. He backed the people that saw the lead


of the UKIP which I deplore as a party, as it happens. But he is an


elected leader of a party with substantial support in these


islands. Not in Scotland. That's not the point. It is the point.


APPLAUSE Can I... There you go. Lesley is...


I'm not going to shout louder than you. Do you know the percentage vote


they got at the last election here? That's not the point. It's never the


point. It was 0. 2... All of us have got the right to speak. Unless the


kind of Scotland you have in mind. Angus Robertson will decide who


appears on the BBC Question Time, rather than David Dimbleby. I don't


want to be in that kind of Scotland. I don't want to be in the kind of


country where politicians sit with a slide roll and say, you can be on,


but you can't because you no longer live here, you can't because you


have only got X number of votes. What I'm saying to you is, what


happened to Farage looked ugly in the rest of the country and the rest


of the world. And the SNP I fear will take you down a road where


grudge is everything. All right. Where grudge and


churlishness is everything. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE


Angus, can you just reply on the narrow point of what George was


saying and the quote from Alex Salmond was "we can frankly do


without UKIP who dislike everybody and know absolutely nothing about


Scotland? " Do you concur with all that? I concur with it absolutely.


I'm proud that Scotland is a country that welcomes people from other


countries. It wasn't like that the other week, was it?


APPLAUSE It's hatred. Hatred. It's a country


built on immigration and welcoming people from other places. That's a


world of difference to disagreeing with the politics that you


represent, Nigel. It's a politics I deplore and I'm pleased you do not


have a single elected MP, MSP, or councillor in Scotland. You


represent next to nobody in Scotland. I'll defend your right to


speak but I would also like the right of people... I will reflect


and respect the right of people to protest and say, we do not like your


to have a debate about what independents really means because I


think you have been sold a false debate. UKIP does exist in Scotland


and we are growing in the polls. are not. You seem to be of the same


school of thought, and it is astonishing that the UKIP -- the


Scottish media seem to think UKIP should not be allowed to express


their opinion in Scotland. What happened was an attempt to close


down my press conference when I was trying to have a debate. Any proper


democratic party will say whether we agree or disagree, you can put your


arguments. Your leader, Alex Salmond, made clear he was quite


happy for the nationalist movement to have within it very extreme


anti-democratic people that behaves like yobs. And that does not


represent the vast majority of decent Scottish people and I thought


Alex Salmond showed there is a very ugly side to this independence


debate. You were saying you did not agree. Coming back to what the UKIP


leader said, Scottish people receive the same treatment heading down


south. Not politically, but within the streets themselves. I am sorry.


I am sorry. Enlarge on that point. What are you saying? Think about it.


You were seen out why these yobs, yet England is seen as a country


that defends itself, correct? England, glorious England. But when


we come down south, we are treated with the same disrespect that you


were. Ruth Davidson. We have got away from what the question was


supposed to be about. What elephants would independents bring to young


people? All that we have had is three alpha males on the panel


shouting about petty niggles. Everyone should have a voice, but


people who ask legitimate questions should have them answered and should


not be told, when they are asking questions like this, that just


because you are asking a question you are doing Scotland down. People


deserve answers in the debate on independence. They deserve an


informed choice. I believe young people growing up in Scotland have a


gradient of opportunity because we are part of the United Kingdom.


Because we are part of the biggest trading block we have. We trade more


in Scotland with the rest of the UK than with the rest of the world


combined. One in five jobs in private-sector employment in


Scotland is in a company that is headquartered in England, or


Northern Ireland. We all benefit from the kind of research network


the question asked about among universities. We benefit from being


part of the United Kingdom that sits at the top table, whether at the


UN, the IMF, in the EU, the G8 group of developed nations. I think we


gain an awful lot. Whether it is even something as small to some


people... If you want to throw war into the mix, let's talk about


Kosovo. As a junior reporter, I saw what our forces did over there. We


helped to stop ethnic cleansing and genocide. We did that. Scottish


soldiers did that. I was watching the Black Watch do that. What has


that got to do with independence? Angus was saying we are not a force


for good in the world. I believe the UK is a force for good and we have


demonstrated that with the work our Armed Forces do overseas. I said at


the beginning of this question that you are divided fifth a 50, those


who are inclined to vote yes and no. I do not want to pick haphazardly.


-- 50 to 50. I would like to ask who is going to vote yes. The person


right at the back. We are talking about the benefits of independence


to young people. I do not feel young people within the UK are seeing many


benefits as being a member of the UK, because currently the child


poverty rate is so high. I do not believe it is helping us at all.


You, over there. Something came out that this is the first generation of


young people in the UK that are going to grow up poorer than their


parents since the early 1950s. Also, since the early 1950s, if you take


back the result of every general election in the UK and take


statistics out of it, you will see that the Scottish vote made


absolutely no difference. So representation does not come into it


and values do not come into it because it would not have made a


difference in the first place. I believe if we become independent


we will be one step closer to finding aliens. What? In the front.


Did he say what I think he said? the list of the most peaceful


countries in the world, Ireland scored in the top ten and the UK did


not score anywhere near the top ten. In an independent Scotland without


Trident and things like that, we would be able to become one of the


more peaceful countries in the world. That might be true, but


remember, this independence debate is being had. The SNP are saying


vote for legal separation from the United Kingdom, and then let's join


the European Union, which, of course, is developing its own


foreign policy, its own military. And the most remarkable thing,


getting back to the original question, is that actually there


will be no benefits for young people, middle aged people or old


people, because you are not being asked to vote on independence. You


are swapping your masters from Westminster to Brussels. That is the


debate that needs to be had in Scotland. The SNP are not offering


independence. There are a couple of things that are important to


understand in the context of the independence debate, especially for


people who are not in Scotland. It is not just the SNP in favour of


independence. There are people in other parties in favour of


independence. There are people who are left of centre, right of centre,


young and old. This is not just a proposal from one political party.


Point two, this is about changing Scotland and Scottish democracy. At


the present time, we are governed by the leading party, the Conservative


party, that has one MP. Can you imagine a normal democracy where you


have governments elected with so little present nation? That is not


democracy. To go back to Nigel's point, if Scotland is sovereign, our


Parliament can make all the decisions. It can make the decision


to share sovereignty. I am in favour of sharing sovereignty and working


with other countries. It is about the ability to make law. The reality


is that we need to work with other countries, but what is critical is


that once Parliament is able to make all the decisions. The decisions


that will make the economy grow, make society more just and allow us


to play a direct role in the world. That is why I am sure that people


will vote for it. Why? Because 100 years ago there really were not that


many independent states in the world and members of the United Nations.


Now, there are over 200 and there is nobody going back and saying, I want


to be run from the masters, or the form of governance from the past.


Independence is the normal state for nations and gives the best


opportunity to everybody, young and old, and that is why I think we will


vote for it. I have to get in here because there are a lot of


pejorative words. Can you pick up the point that Angus made that there


is only one Tory MP in Scotland and yet a Tory government in Westminster


decides and that is not right and fair. There are SNP MPs in


Westminster. The point I wanted to pick up on was the pejorative terms


Angus is using about slaves and masters. I do not feel that the UK


is a master and I am a slave. We are part of a shared endeavour we have


built over 300 years. All of the things we have built and created


together, the work we have done together. When Angus Robertson talks


about polls and some people from some parties believing in


independence, not just the SNP, let's look at that. The last poll of


SNP voters, only 61% said they would vote yes. That was fewer than the


number of SNP voters that wanted an in-out referendum, which was 63%.


But they will not offer that. He is twisting the facts to fit his


agenda. We have to remember we are an integral part of the UK and


because Scotland is part of the UK, the UK is better for it. Recent


surveys show that the UK is the most regionally balanced country in


Europe. We have an overheated south that is causing problems for every


other part of the UK, probably more for northern parts of England than


for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Is anybody else willing to


tackle that? Can we have a conversation in the UK about a


system here in which, unbelievably, according to analysts, one in 29


Londoners are dollar millionaires. I checked that about three times. It


is almost impossible to believe. We have massive disparities of wealth


in this country. They are not just unequal. We are the fourth most


unequal state in the world, the UK. Now, is that the best we can do? And


is that really the future the UK offers? Is the mother of Parliament


is proud of having turnouts of 30%. We are the laughing stock of Europe


with these low turnouts, upon which massive decisions are made by a


centralised state in London, which is passing laws and policies that


suit that particular corner of the UK at the expense of everyone else.


If the rest of the UK was up for it, and in 2004 the north-east of


England, the Geordies, had the chance to vote, and 77% of them said


no. I started life, good grief, as a liberal. I believed in a federal


Britain. Is it ever going to happen? Evidently not. You have to get to a


stage when you think, what is likely to happen in my lifetime? Having a


proper, reasoned conversation about changing the whole lot written is


not possible when we are the Scots, we are the tail wagging the dog. The


dog is not interested in the vision we have for the future. And I think


that is why many people will finally come to a decision that they have to


do something a bit more radical to get that. We do not want to stay on


this for the rest of the programme but we will now switch and I would


like comments on what Leslie and Angus have said from those who say


they will vote no when the time comes next year. You, with the pink


shirt. I do not think that is what Scotland needs. It needs stability


and construction. This will lead us down a path where we have nothing to


go. And you in the front.I would say I would vote to know at the


moment but I am on the fence. At the moment, the independence debate has


ended up being quite ugly, in that we have people very much for it and


spouting the good things, and people very much against it. I do not think


we are hearing much balance in terms of, this is what would happen to the


economy, these are the benefits for young people and these are the


drawbacks. I think there needs to be more clarity. I absolutely agree


with that. We need politics and debate based on fact and not on myth


and assertion, which is what we have had from the SNP so far. It is a


case of saying, what you like will stay the same and the things you do


not like will not happen any more. People in big business will cut


corporation tax, and at the same time it is saying to trade unions


and the third sector we will have record levels of public services.


That is not being straight. You cannot have Scandinavian levels of


public services and the tax system of Monaco. It is not credible, not


good arithmetic. But the wider point about the politics you have seen on


the panel today, you have one political party that wants to divide


by people's origin within communities, another that wants to


divide our country by those who are in work and those who are out of


work, those who are skiving and those who are striving, and one


political party that wants to divide based upon where you live in the UK.


We need a politics and government in this country that does not run by


the politics of division in principle -- and grievance, but by


the principle of equality for everyone, no matter where they live


in the UK. This is to the SNP and it's in terms of education and an


independent Scotland. Showerly the SNP can be accused of using the sort


of tactics that now 16 and 17-year-olds are allowed to vote,


it's the exact point the SNP have decided to introduce the new higher


literature and English. Surely this is tactical by the SNP and therefore


just like providing nationalism to 16 and 17-year-olds to hope to trick


us into voting, rather than presenting a case as to why


independence is actually good? It would be tremendously patronising


for any politician or political party to suggest that because you


learn the literature or the history or your own country, you are going


to vote in your own way and make up your own mind.


APPLAUSE One in 29 members of the Groucho


club in London might be dollar millionaires, but I can assure you,


there are millions of people in London that are very far from being


millionaires. This kind of false dichotomy that Lesley drew is the


same as the one Angus drew, that there are masters and servants. I'll


tell you where that leads - to the misguided young man in the front row


who thinks that English people set about Scottish people in England. If


you turned on the television, if you read the major newspapers, if you


listened to Parliament, if you look at the captains of business and


industry and Trade Unions in England, it's full of Scottish


people. Scottish people are never set upon in England. But the fact


that that young man, fine young man, thought that, thinks that, is a


direct result of this kind of talk that in London they are all dollar


millionaires. In London they are all dollar millionaires, masters and we


are servants. There are no English tanks in Scotland. Scottish people


could have voted to be a separate country at any time in the last 90


years of universal sufferage. They decided not to on every occasion. I


pray they'll do so again when the reference referendum comes. What we


end up doing here, and I also didn't say everyone in London is a dollar


millionaire, can we just stop this, some things are like this in life,


some things are others. We can get to a stage where we can surely


accept there is no guarantees for anything in the future. Could you


guarantee what, for example, the UK Government will give us by way of


benefits for Bradford, even? I'm astonished, George, because, can I


ask you a question, I know you are used to holding fort, but I would


like to ask you something. There is mass unemployment throughout this


country, mass poverty throughout this country, stop making false


divisions, false dichotomies. ask you a question? David, can I ask


him a question. It's simply not true and giving this emthe wrong


impression, they are not dollar million theirs. Can I ask you a


question? Ask a question, by all means. Keep it brief. George, answer


briefly. I want to keep moving because we have only got ten minutes


left in this programme and we are not sticking with independence.


the bedroom tax help people in Bradford? No.Then why... You have


had one question. Fine. It could have been turned into David


Cameron's poll tax and could have brought him down. That's a bigger


betrayal of working class people throughout these islands.


All right. Just as a coder, a tail point to


this, Scott Mann has a question and I want the panel to say what they


think of it having heard what you have all said. Scott Mann? It's been


referred to briefly but I would like to point out that 16 and


17-year-olds aren't experienced enough to vote in the referendum. Do


the panel agree? Do you agree? He thinks 16 and 17s don't have enough


experience to vote? Do you agree? think they should vote. They can get


married, join the Army, smoke. APPLAUSE


You are against this? It's not about age, it's about a cut-off. You don't


change the vote for just one poll, which is what is happening at the


referendum. We have taken advice, we looked at the majority, they said 18


was about right, it's where a lot of countries have it around the world,


we are happy with that and don't see an overwhelming need for change.


vast number of 18-year-olds is not voting in any form. Should 16 or


17-year-olds vote on this? For a one-off basis, doing this once, is


silly and cheap. Lesley? 16-year-olds can vote because you


can be taxed. If you leave school, you can have a job and you can be


taxed. If the old taxation without representation. You should be able


to vote when you are going to be paying tax in a world that expects


you to be acting as an adult. APPLAUSE


Behind the question, would you like a gruen versal franchise for 16 and


17-year-olds? Not just the referendum but in every election


campaign. I'm delighted that 60% of the people in the poll last week


said they would vote. But the important point is not enough just


to give young people the vote. We need to make sure politics talks


about issues that young people talk about so they come out and use the


vote when they have the right to do it. We don't need to ask you, we


know the answer. I'm Scottish, why don't I have a vote on the future of


the country. You don't live here. It's a big decision.


Self-determination is for people who live somewhere to make a decision


that. 's why those registered o vote in Scotland will be making that


decision. Should 16, 17-year-olds be able to vote? Yes, we proposed it.


It shouldn't just be for the referendum but for all elections, we


need o to reconnect the young with the democratic process. This is a


good way of doing it. The last question, it's not about


independence for Scotland. It's from Cameron Gilchrist? I would like to


ask, should the UK intervene in Syria?


Should the UK intervene in Syria? Do you have a view on this? Yes, fire


away and we'll come to the panel next? I think yes, obviously


definitely, it should be allowed to intervene in Syria. All the


ridiculous things that are happening there, but, you know, the current


issue is actually the UN. The UN has this thing called the UN Security


Council where there are five permanent seats and they are allowed


to veto which means that you can stop, it's China, Russia, France,


USA and Britain, and then you have like other countries, so that's like


say, and if you can veto, that means no matter what, if nine out of ten


voted yes, it just doesn't happen. But go to the point, you would like


to see the UK intervening now? Almost 100,000 people killed since


the uprising began. You have got 1. 6 million refugees, half of whom are


children and 4. 6 million people in need of urgent humanitarian


assistance. This is time for urgent national response, not to get


weapons to people to they can kill each other, but to get a peaceful


resolution and get people round the table and have a diplomatic


solution. Let's be clear and learn the lessons from history. The rebels


may have the negative effect of escalating the violence, prolonging


Civil War and having a Cold War biproxy between the UK and others


and Russia. That's not a good thing. Let's learn lessons from Iraq and


Afghanistan and let's have a solution that brings a meaningful


dialogue and supports peace, not violence. Violence solves nothing.


APPLAUSE Nigel Farage? Go into war and


intervening in war is the biggest decision a Government can make. Yet


from the time of Blair onwards, we seem to, with glee, go to war or


intervene in wars, without ever thinking through who is it we are


actually supporting, what is the long-term consequence of our action


going to be? It's perfectly clear that within the rebel groups in


Syria, there is some very strong linkage with Al-Qaeda. We could load


these guys up with guns and rockets that one day might actually be used


against British soldiers. We don't know what we are doing, our history


of intervening in wars in the Middle East over the course of the last


decade shows we have not made anything better without a clear


objective, without understanding who the rebels are. We shouldn't even


consider getting involved in my opinion.


APPLAUSE Ruth? There are two priorities, to


deal with the people being affected by this, the families of the 93,000


dead, the 1. 5 million refugees, that will rise to 3. 5 million


people, that's more than the entire population of Wales and the


Government's put aid in to help those directly affected. The second


priority is to find some way of a negotiated settlement, a peace


transition Government. What does that mean to you, to intervene?


have to get Assad around the table at the conference being planned.


He's waiting for the opposition to arrive. He's already at the table.


George, far be it for me to see you stand up and defend another dictator


in that part of the world, but... APPLAUSE


The idea that Assad is coming to that table, He's already there.To


form a transition Government and to take himself out of the government


is an absolute nonsense. This brief that you have been given from


William Hague's Foreign Office just won't do. The Syrian regime has been


at the negotiating table from the beginning, following the Kofi Annan


plan. The UN Special Envoy had exactly the democratic transition


that you are talking about. It's the fact that you are already


intervening, giving guns and money to Al-Qaeda who cut people's chests


open and eat their hearts on video and post it on YouTube. If that


murderer in Woolwich had gone to Damascus instead, William Hague


would have given him money because we are backing these kind of


extremist Al-Qaeda maniacs in Syria. You are already intervening. The


intervention we need is to force the Syrian opposition to go under US and


Russian chairmanship to Geneva and make them sit around the table until


they've got an agreement that will be a political transition to


democracy. How's that for you? ! We are being exhorted quite rightly


to learn the lessons from history and it's not that long ago that we


armed the Taliban because we thought it was a tremendously good thing


that they should fight the Soviet Union.


APPLAUSE Them a number of decades later,


those very same people are killing service people from the UK and


elsewhere. We haven't learned the lesson of history in Afghanistan and


I fear we are not going to learn the lesson of history in relation to


Syria. Should we intervene? We should not do that by arming one


side. Do we actual actually thawns Russia is arming the Assad regime to


the teeth? Do we think that selling arms to one side of the conflict


which will then be answered by the Russians providing more weapons opt


other side will bring peace? That is the road to disaster. The young man


brought up the United Nations but it's hardly even been reported so


far, the United Nations is finding it unable to provide peacekeepers to


the border between Israel and Syria. Danger is not just the nearly


100,000 people who've died in Syria, it's the potential for a confluct


across that region you and we should not be helping a disaster like that


-- conflict. I think there is a lot of agreement


here. If you remember the pictures that have been coming in, it's the


sense of impotence you have when you watch children and they've been the


biggest casualties, the report out today saying 93,000 people have been


killed disproportionately children have died in Syria. Now, watching


that, as we have done, without feeling any way that we can manage


to effect some fairness and relief for those people or encourage any


kind of hope that there would be a resolution there, has been a


horrible thing to sit through to not be able to effect this. But now we


are at a stage where some of the rebel groups are a dangerous group,


set of groups, to arm. So I think we have to get to a stage, and I sigh


there's been a bit of backtracking now from the Conservatives, we have


to get to a stage with we get some peace talks on the go. That might


sound like Pius hopes, but despite what we have seen, it's the best


hope and we have to go for it. people with hair hands up and I


can't call on any of you. Very sorry. Thank you for the part you


have played so far, time's up. I can't do anything about that. I


would like to go on longer but I can't. Next week, when Question Time


is going to be in London, and we have the Mayor of London, Boris


Johnson, on the panel, the comedian Russell Brand, you are welcome to


come! The Daily Mail columnist Melanie


Phillips, Tessa Jowell for Labour and Ed Davey for the Liberal


Democrats. After that we'll be in Newcastle and if you want to come to


London or Newcastle, the rules are the same as they always are, the


address is on the screen or you can call us. If you are listening on


Five Live, you can call in and continue the debate now on Question


Time Extra Time. I hope you can do that. Meantime from here, just to


David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Edinburgh, with an audience of 16 and 17-year-olds. The 2014 referendum on Scottish independence will be the first time anyone under 18 has had a vote in the UK.

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