12/06/2014 Question Time


12/06/2014

David Dimbleby presents topical debate from King's Lynn. Panellists include Iain Duncan Smith MP, Chris Bryant MP, Tessa Munt MP, Ian Hislop and Salma Yaqoob.


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welcome to Question Time. Good evening to you at home, to our

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audience who will be putting the which the panel do not know until

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they hear them. Conservative Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan

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Smith, Labour boss Mac Shadow Welfare Reform Minister, Chris

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Bryant, Liberal Democrat MP for Wells in Somerset, Tessa Munt, Salma

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Yaqoob, who heads the stop the War campaign in Birmingham and Leeds

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Hands Off Birmingham Schools, and the editor of Private Eye, Ian

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Hislop. Alistair Webster is the first

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question. Should Britain follow Barack Obama's lead and keep all

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options open on Iraq? Iain Duncan Smith. This is a very dangerous and

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difficult situation, with ISIS having moved across from Syria into

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northern Iraq, into most soul, and further south, even taking the oil

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refinery. I understand they have been held in check by the Iraqi

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Armed Forces for the moment. I do not know quite what other

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developments. This is a hugely difficult problem that has come out

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of the back of the fighting in Syria, which has conditioned and

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trained these soldiers to such an extent that they feel they can take

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these bits of territory with impunity. It is a problem not just

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for Iraq but for all of us, because I worry about the others that live

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in Iraq, in the Borders, and also some of those in the autonomous

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regions. For us, it is a problem of what we should and can do. I think

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the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has made pretty clear that we

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do not intend to take any physical activity, to go in with boots on the

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ground. That is essentially not going to happen. But I think where

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Barack Obama is right, I think it is a fact that we need to give whatever

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support we possibly can to this democratic and elected government in

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Iraq. And if we don't show that in some form or another, and I don't

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know quite what assistance they need, as they do have a large armed

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force, and it is question of getting it doubly organised and led, but the

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key thing is that we need to assure them and others in the region that

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we will support this government in trying to re-stabilise this and

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drive out that terrorist group. It is dangerous not just for Iraq, but

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has the potential to destabilise the whole region, if a group of, as it

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were, insurgent terrorists is able to take over a section of land and

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hold it, it will encourage others to do much the same and we may see a

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complete change in many of the Borders. When the Foreign Secretary

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says we will support the United States in anything they decide to

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do, does he mean that literally? If they decide on drones to attack, the

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government would support it? Support does not mean you will do exactly

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what they do. It means that if they want to make some effort to try to

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help and support the Iraqi government. But you would agree with

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anything that Obama decided to do? He is saying that we support their

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endeavours to ensure they support the democratically elected

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government in Iraq. If we do not now show and demonstrate that they have

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support, whatever support is necessary within limitations, and

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neither of them have said they will put soldiers on the ground, but it

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is vitally important that this group does not succeed in so destabilising

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Iraq now that you end up with terrorist activities, people being

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harassed, beheaded, dealt with in some of these cities in some of the

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brutal ways they have been doing in Syria, this cannot be allowed to

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happen in Iraq. We have a reason and right to try to support this

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democratically elected government and to get it stable. I know it does

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not sound easy and the country here in Britain and others do not want to

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get involved in further wars, and neither do we. But in this case, we

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need to give them whatever assurance and support they need because what

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is at stake here is an attempt by people to take over the country

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against a democratically elected will of the public. We must stand

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with the democratically elected government of Iraq. Salma Yaqoob. If

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proof were needed about how disastrous the intervention in Iraq

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was, today's news is proof of that. This is not just about Syria. The

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roots of this takeover and the only point I would agree with Ian to Mike

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probably is that this is a very, very dangerous group. -- I would

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agree with Ian tonight. They now have their eyes set on Baghdad.

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Let's not forget how this has come about. It is because the

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democratically elected government is actually led by deeply sectarian

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people, like Malachy, -- Nouri al-Maliki. The poor people are stuck

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between two things. One, an Iraqi army who they do not trust, who

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should be defending them against these jihadists. At the same time,

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fearing the jihadists, who do have a very extreme and violent approach.

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That is a description. The question is whether Britain should support

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the American president and keep options open. I don't think

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President Obama knows what he's going to do. It is so confusing. In

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Syria, they are backing the very people they are fighting in Iraq. So

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for them to expect hacking when they do not know what they are doing

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themselves, and they have two -- they have to take full

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responsibility. They should accept that the intervention in Iraq, not

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only was it $1 trillion being wasted, thousands of American lives

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and hundreds of British lives lost, and 100,000 Iraqis, the fires that

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you started then, there is no Al-Qaeda in Iraq. There is Al-Qaeda

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in Iraq now. APPLAUSE

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. You voted for the war in Iraq. Both

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Iain Duncan Smith and I did. That is why they are desperate to say that

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Iraq has nothing to do with it. At least own up to that. I have not

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said anything yet. One of the disastrous mistakes made, whatever

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you think about going in in the first place, one of the big mistakes

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made by American and British forces in Iraq was that we decided to

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dismantle the security forces, the police and the army, because we said

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it was run by Saddam Hussein's allies, and what that created was a

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terrible power vacuum. Actually, you saw the collapse of law and order in

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the country. Of course, it has been very difficult to bring back police

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and security services that can ensure security in the country at

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the moment. Yes, you are right in one sense, that we do bear a degree

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of responsibility. I think in this country, of course it is in our

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interests that there should be a secure country there, and that ISIS

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should not prevail. But I think, when you bear in mind the 179

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British servicemen and women who died in Iraq, that the threshold for

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our possible intervention is very, very high in the public mind. That

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is to say, I think most people in this country would say, just as

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Robert Gates, incidentally, has already said to Clinton, as I

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understand it, the former Defence Secretary in the United States of

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America, that we would need our heads examining if we were to be

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thinking about putting Western troops in the field at the moment in

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Iraq. The White House apparently tonight said that Obama is not

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considering boots on the ground, that is not what he is talking

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about. What did British servicemen and women die for? This is not the

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democratic Iraq which we were told was worth the sacrifice. Let's stick

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to the point. That is the point. You are all describing the situation

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since we invaded Iraq. The question is what should happen now, in the

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crisis tonight, whether Britain should support Obama in anything he

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chooses to do. I don't think Britain should support America in anything

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she chooses to do. We have a foreign policy of our own. We have to act

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with our allies and to try and make sure, primarily through diplomatic

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means and so on, that there is a secure Middle East. This is not just

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an issue, Ian is right, not just an issue about Iraq, but about Syria

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and the whole area. But I think that nonetheless the line that Robert

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Gates is said to have said to Obama, namely that you would have to have

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your heads examining if you were really thinking about putting troops

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on the ground in Iraq at the moment, is right. The man on the right. I

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think Chris is absolutely right. We really are at a very high level of

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need to get troops on the ground. I don't think, frankly, after 2003 and

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everything that happened, I don't think the people in this room all

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the country will stand for it for a very long time. You asked this

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question. You don't think anything should be done. I would not say that

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nothing should be done, but I think it has to get far beyond where we

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are tonight for the British public to accept our Armed Forces going in

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on the ground again. Ian Hislop. The problem is we had a vote over Syria

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in the House of Commons, and I think problem is we had a vote over Syria

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with the support of the British people we said, we are not going in

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again. We do not know who we are supporting, it is too confused and

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we have no idea what we are doing. This has spilt over. Our record in

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Iraq is not glorious and people laughing king, why on earth would we

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do this again? You talk about destabilising the region. It is

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pretty unstable. What we are witnessing is something horrific.

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You say what should we do. The answer is that we are not going to

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do anything. We laid off 1000 troops this morning.

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APPLAUSE .

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The British Army is not going to be going in. The only power that can do

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anything in this place is America. It is entirely up to them whether

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they do anything or not, but given what happened last time, most people

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will think we are not going to help by going in. Would we help by

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providing armaments, as the Americans have been doing? What

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happened with the Iraqi army is that we gave them the armaments and they

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ran away and left them behind, so they are now in the hands of the

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jihadists. There is this huge stretch of land which a small army

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of jihadists talk. Everyone said the Iraqi army was trained and we could

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leave now. We said that because we wanted to get out. They are

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obviously incapable of defending the country. It is a mess, and I despair

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at the idea that we will do something, because we want. -- we

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will not. Firstly, I would say it does not seem we have been asked if

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we would like to intervene. I do not think there is any stomach for any

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intervention of that sort. If we go back to the Syrian vote last

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September, the whole point was that we were not going to make the

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situation any better by bombing people, or supplying arms. I think

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it is absolutely mad to think we might escalate. The other thing that

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happened as a result of the Syrian vote was that actually, for once, we

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led America. It was at that point that Obama started considering

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talking to Congress about whether Congress was going to go ahead with

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this. And I think France as well. The National Assembly started to

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consider whether they ought to be consulted. Actually, Putin seized

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the opportunity because in the end we ended up voting for nothing. We

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decided not to decide anything. I was opposed to military action in

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Syria. I would not have voted for military action in Syria, mainly.

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Tessa has made an important point that, for once, the democratic will

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of the people of this country was represented in Parliament. That

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showed the influence of the anti-war movement who were sidelined at the

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time, that all those people who came out and marched and felt the moral

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is, the impact was made now, because people know the appetite is not

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there, for the right reasons. If ordinary people got it right, we

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have to ask why did the political elite get it so wrong?

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APPLAUSE And this would apply even if there

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was the possibility or the threat of Baghdad falling equally to ISIS?

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If it was the case that military intervention was something that was

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going to help, of course, if it was about saving lives, genuinely, there

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may be an argument. But what we have seen in reality, not an academic

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argument, we have seen we had an intervention and it did not result

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in a democratic, plural estate, great equal society. Sectarian

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tensions have been unleashed, the genie is out of the box. It is not

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as unpleasant as... You should redirect your energies somewhere

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else. The jihadists are a threat to everybody, right. This is not going

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to be solved by America or Britain, but in the region. It has to be in

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Iran, Saudi Arabia. Ironically, I predict now that people will say, we

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might need Assad to control those extremists. This is how messy the

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situation is, and we cannot pretend we do not have a direct

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responsibility. I would not leave the future to Assad, which is where

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your argument leads. I am talking about real politic, the fact that he

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was going to control these people, you able to fight back. I am not any

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support of Assad, but I am talking about the fact that the rebel forces

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were at one time being armed by our government. And now it is coming

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back. At a really high level. It has to be

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done at a reasonable level. Now the sectarian violence has been

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unleashed we have to bring the region together. The man in yellow

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up there. Then I will come to you. Why does the panel believe the

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troops that we trained have dropped their weapons and run off? Iain

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Duncan Smith. There was quite a good piece on the BBC today about what

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was going on around Mosul. And, a lot of the problem is not just that

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they turned and ran, because the the confusion was that a lot of them

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simply did not want to engage in firing and shelling their own

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people. There was a real problem about their morale at that stage.

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Since then, they have been able to be stabilised and

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Since then, they have been able to be stabilised now they know what

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they are fighting. The problem was, they were simply, for some reason

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or, I do not know, completely unprepared for what crossed the

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border and came at them. I want to second this. The talk about whether

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the British will put boots on the ground. That I do not believe will

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happen. There is enough boots on the ground. The Iraqi army numbers a

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million people. How do you help them to restabilise their position? What

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help do they need to get so they can start to drive the people back. They

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don't need us as soldiers to enter the ground. What they do need is, if

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necessary, financial support. They will need support in munitions, I

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don't know. The point is, this, whatever else you say, by the way,

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whatever else its failings, as Churchill said, this is at least an

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elected government. If we do not support somehow, I do not mean - one

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second, you had a long say. Ian is right, no way we will put boots on

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the ground. For all their failings this was an elected government. We

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need to stand by them in some way or another, otherwise what comes after

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that. We are being given here is some terrible imposition of people

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who do not allow women to go to school. Who do not want them to have

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the vote. Who make them sit-in places they don't want to be,

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prepared to torture and brutalise people. If that is what we would

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rather see in Iraq, you can count me out. For all it is failings I think

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we to support this democratically-elected government.

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APPLAUSE You had your hand up. Do you want to

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speak? It's important when you consider intervention to see what

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the vested interests would be. The last time we intervened we thought

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there were vested interests with intervention in Iraq. This time we

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see it as a right of care. We see concerned refugees I think we should

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intervene with the support of America, not militarily. The back at

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the back. There is no appetite for war, surely there is no appetite to

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stand back and watch these things happen. Maybe support

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avoid troops on the ground later. Nobody wants to go to troops on the

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ground. What support Nobody wants to go to troops on the

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to see? Financial Nobody wants to go to troops on the

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for - For the government? Is I agree. We bomb them from the air,

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don't go in from the ground, afterwards it falls apart and the

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sectarian groups attack each other and we just watch.

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APPLAUSE You, sir. The problem is the borders are

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all in the sir. The problem is the borders are

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put there by the league of nations, Iraq shouldn't be a country as it

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is. So many, as we have heard, different groups there. Kurdistan is

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another one, I hear people who work with me who say, "I'm a Kurd from

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Kurdistan" that is not there at all. These borders were put up years ago

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they shouldn't be where they are. You will not accept their redrawing

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by ISIS? I would totally agree with you on that. Look at what happened

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historically, we should learn from history, should we not? This

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country, when it was running its Empire drew lines on the map of all

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sorts of parts of the world and took no account of people and the way in

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which people moved or grazed their animals or faith. What happened with

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the war in Iraq, there was a civil war. We intervened. And, we did our

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bit and pieces. We did not plan, at all, really, for adequate - We

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intervened first then there was a civil war. Sorry. Yes. It has never

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been a happy situation, has, it between Sunnis and Shias. We are

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back to the situation where we have civil war, the

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back to the situation where we have adequate. You sir on the right

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there. I can recall the advice to the President before the invasion he

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said, "if you go into Iraq again it will be like a mammoth going into a

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tar pit." Politicians waited for a second time. They didn't give a damn

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about the foot soldiers and my comrades who had to go there. Now

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the mess that is created by our comrades who had to go there. Now

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have taken place. You sir, three along. As

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have taken place. You sir, three borders have been moved so many

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times within the region, there are so many tribes, ethnic groups that

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are completely alien to each other. We have the modern time of

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are completely alien to each other. modern weapons, there is one thing

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that you haven't discussed at all, it's crude oil. We have not

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discussed oil. You, sir, it's crude oil. We have not

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discussed oil. in the yellow shirt. Two of you. I will go to you. I

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served in Basra with the RAF. Politicians start wars, not

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soldiers. The politicians need to read the history books and learn

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from history and their mistakes. You served in Basra? I did. What do you

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make of what is happening now? Like history repeating itself. It really

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is. Does it make you despair of what happened before? Is I'm proud of my

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country. I'm proud of my service to my country. You know but the Iraqis

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have to help themselves. You canle only help them so far. OK.

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APPLAUSE -- can only help them so far. We

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have a number of other questions to get through. You can join in the

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debate, text Twitter: A question from Avril Wright,

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please. Will Michael Gove's spot checks in schools eliminate

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extremism? Will Michael Gove's spot checks eliminate extremism, Ian

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Hislop? Well, I hope so. It was an unedifying spectacle, two members of

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the Cabinet blaming each other for a problem that is fairly serious.

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Luckily, Ofsted have gone in. They have put in their reports, 21

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schools, five of them are in special measures, 11 need improving. There

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is evidence there they found extremely worrying. Yes, something

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needed to be done. It is being done. The evidence there is worrying of

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that sort of fundamental attempt to take over schools. What was the

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evidence? Lots of words were used, what was the evidence? The evidence

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was a culture of fear, intimidation, segregation going on, curriculum

:22:52.:22:55.

which was not allowing for biology, girls doing music, drama. There is a

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huge amount of it - Teachers were being - 20-odd whistleblowers who

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got gagging clauses who complained. The idea it is a political puttup

:23:09.:23:13.

job. The council received 200 complaints about these schools from

:23:14.:23:16.

parents and teachers. No-one did anything at all until it blew up we

:23:17.:23:21.

watched the Cabinet throwing chunks of blame at each other. It's not - I

:23:22.:23:26.

don't think we should be distracted by that story. Something was going

:23:27.:23:32.

badly wrong. Your movement is called Hands Off the Schools. Let's have

:23:33.:23:37.

local accountability to have these schools take the same line as

:23:38.:23:39.

schools in all the rest of the country. That's the sort of

:23:40.:23:44.

schooling that I think works and stops extremism coming in.

:23:45.:23:54.

APPLAUSE I said at the beginning you headed a

:23:55.:24:01.

new movement called Hands Off Birmingham Schools, what is your

:24:02.:24:06.

reply S-I agree schools should reflect the local accountability.

:24:07.:24:11.

The one that is have been put into special measures were academies.

:24:12.:24:14.

They were actually governed from Whitehall. All this blame gamesome

:24:15.:24:19.

very unedifying. The most important point - I'm from Birmingham. I have

:24:20.:24:25.

gone into Park View School, met with the teachers and the staff and the

:24:26.:24:29.

parents. One thing that has not been really banged on about, which is

:24:30.:24:34.

really important, the whole thing was this Trojan Horse letter, which

:24:35.:24:38.

was found to be faked. The whole thing was about an extremist plot -

:24:39.:24:45.

It's not fake. Of course they were looking for it. There was ant plot.

:24:46.:24:50.

There was a badly organised attempt by lots of individuals. So what!

:24:51.:24:56.

There was no extremism found. That is not true. That is not what they

:24:57.:25:00.

said. Simply not what they said. They are two separate reports. They

:25:01.:25:07.

did not find What do extremism. You call extremism? People worried there

:25:08.:25:12.

was security issues a threat to this country. People are having -

:25:13.:25:18.

Extremism is different to terrorism. There was clearly instances of

:25:19.:25:23.

extremism. Nobody found any plots to mount some kind of terrorist attack,

:25:24.:25:28.

definitely. Indeed. I think the very fact, for instance, that girls and

:25:29.:25:31.

boys were treated differently in some of these schools is a sign of

:25:32.:25:36.

extremism. We shouldn't put up with that in British schools.

:25:37.:25:41.

APPLAUSE I think that there is - Hold on a

:25:42.:25:47.

second. Can you answer exactly what Chris Bryant said. Do you think

:25:48.:25:50.

there was a problem in any of these schools that needed any attention?

:25:51.:25:54.

I'm sure there were governance issues, as there are with any large

:25:55.:25:58.

organisations. I had people come to me to talk about the fact they had

:25:59.:26:04.

felt intimidated. Yes, these issues need to be addressed. Let us not

:26:05.:26:08.

talk it through the lens of extremism - Sorry. Please, the

:26:09.:26:13.

schools have been smeared here. They have actually challenging through a

:26:14.:26:20.

judicial review. The segregation question was in PCE not in lessons.

:26:21.:26:25.

There were a group of pupils with special needs - I'm sorry. I will

:26:26.:26:31.

bring you in. What is it you - you said there was a problem. What is

:26:32.:26:35.

the problem before Ian replies? Governance issues What do you mean

:26:36.:26:42.

by "governance issues" If there was a white middle-class area they would

:26:43.:26:47.

have been called "pushy parents" the impression across the country in

:26:48.:26:50.

Birmingham there were Muslim parents trying to get faith through the back

:26:51.:26:57.

door. The reality is this - I want to hear the answer to that. What is

:26:58.:27:00.

the objection that you have on the way things were being done? They

:27:01.:27:06.

don't want a faith school. They are happy - Sorry. You must come to the

:27:07.:27:11.

point. It's not fair. What is it - It's not fair on the schools that

:27:12.:27:15.

have been - You have said there was a problem. All I'm asking you...

:27:16.:27:19.

What was the problem? What do you think the problem was? I'm telling

:27:20.:27:29.

you, Park View, Sikh gentleman is the principal. Assistant principal

:27:30.:27:35.

is an abg Nossic. How can accuse this school - There is no problem?

:27:36.:27:40.

In terms of the cultural isolation - What is the problem? The schools

:27:41.:27:43.

were outis standing, not just because of the high academic

:27:44.:27:47.

results, they are socially inclusive. Christmas was never

:27:48.:27:55.

banned. No, no, sorry. You had a chance. Have you been to the schools

:27:56.:28:01.

or talked to the teachers? No Ofsted inspectors went in. Did

:28:02.:28:05.

APPLAUSE Iain Duncan Smith. You said there

:28:06.:28:10.

was something wrong. I gave you a chance to answer. You now say there

:28:11.:28:15.

is nothing wrong. Iain Duncan Smith. The issues were not about extremism.

:28:16.:28:19.

Governance issues. Ian, when he started, was absolutely right. The

:28:20.:28:22.

purpose of having an organisation like Ofsted is that they are

:28:23.:28:26.

independent of politicalcle intervention - They are not

:28:27.:28:30.

independent now? I'm sorry. They are independent they do not take their

:28:31.:28:36.

direction. They were asked to take - Why did they do - Do me a favour.

:28:37.:28:44.

They went and looked at these schools they did not find they were

:28:45.:28:49.

all wrong. That is the point. There were six schools, four that were

:28:50.:28:54.

academies and two under local authority educational control. In

:28:55.:28:57.

those six schools they have felt there was enough intimidation of

:28:58.:29:00.

governors, of the head teachers, and of things happening and practice

:29:01.:29:04.

happening in those schools that led them to believe there was a danger

:29:05.:29:09.

of those children in those schools being conditioned in a way that was

:29:10.:29:13.

not in line with how schools should operate. They are not faith schools.

:29:14.:29:18.

If they wanted to be faith schools they should have applied for faith

:29:19.:29:21.

schools. There are special checks over faith schools. They did not

:29:22.:29:25.

have this. This is organising it through the back door. It was right

:29:26.:29:30.

to send Ofsted in. It's right Ofsted made their decision. There was a

:29:31.:29:33.

problem, extremism. There was a problem in these schools am we have

:29:34.:29:37.

have to stand by it. No matter what you say about those schools those

:29:38.:29:40.

letters from 200 parents show many, many people out there were very

:29:41.:29:42.

worried. We were right to act. good argument to just get rid of

:29:43.:30:03.

faith schools altogether? I have a problem with the fact that

:30:04.:30:09.

Ofsted went into Park View School two years ago and found it to be

:30:10.:30:14.

outstanding and inclusive, and now they are finding it inadequate for

:30:15.:30:16.

reasons of inclusion and the potential extremism. You don't think

:30:17.:30:24.

things can change in two years. I think Ofsted is being used as a

:30:25.:30:27.

political football by Michael Gove. They go in and do what they are told

:30:28.:30:30.

by Michael Gove. I would also like to observe that the whole system has

:30:31.:30:35.

been set up such that unelected, unaccountable trusts now run these

:30:36.:30:40.

schools, if they are academies. It is a recipe for corruption, cronyism

:30:41.:30:48.

and Watt two of them are local authority schools, but Park View

:30:49.:30:51.

Educational Trust now runs three schools. It is basically controlled

:30:52.:30:55.

by four people who, when one of them will leave, they will appoint their

:30:56.:31:00.

own replacement. It is a corrupt system, it is corruptible. We need

:31:01.:31:04.

to change it and bring local authorities back into the move and

:31:05.:31:08.

make schools accountable once more. APPLAUSE

:31:09.:31:14.

. I am not sure local authorities are

:31:15.:31:20.

necessarily the answer. I am open to that suggestion. The local

:31:21.:31:23.

authorities failed in this particular case to pick up and deal

:31:24.:31:26.

with the problems identified. But they have no power any more, having

:31:27.:31:31.

been taken out of the loop by Michael Gove and your government. I

:31:32.:31:35.

think there should be some sort of local accountability. The situation

:31:36.:31:42.

here is that the children in this area have been failed, abysmally.

:31:43.:31:45.

They have been failed by the governors, by the school, the local

:31:46.:31:50.

authority, and actually the system, to a degree. I think one of the

:31:51.:31:56.

problems is that Michael Gove's plan was that any school that had an

:31:57.:31:59.

outstanding report would automatically not be inspected for

:32:00.:32:03.

five years, and a good report would mean no inspection for three years.

:32:04.:32:08.

That is Paton three rubbish. What needs to happen is clearly these

:32:09.:32:12.

children, all children in this country, if the tax involved in

:32:13.:32:18.

funding their education, they are entitled to a full curriculum and

:32:19.:32:22.

they should not be excluded. There should be no segregation. There are

:32:23.:32:26.

so many problems that have come out of this. I have the Ofsted letter

:32:27.:32:31.

here and it is packed with problems. It showed that staff were

:32:32.:32:36.

marginalised and forced out. So many different things happened. But the

:32:37.:32:39.

safeguarding issue that you were not happy to identify, it seems to me

:32:40.:32:45.

that what it said in this letter is that pupils, nobody felt pupils were

:32:46.:32:49.

safe from the risk of radicalisation. What schools are

:32:50.:32:56.

for, surely, is for children to be prepared for the reality of life and

:32:57.:33:01.

work in our society. And it seems highly likely that the children in

:33:02.:33:06.

Birmingham, and this very small area, the five schools that have

:33:07.:33:11.

been identified, four of which might have their funding taken away, if

:33:12.:33:16.

that was to happen, we would have 3000 pupils in an area that is in a

:33:17.:33:24.

two mile corridor of one mile whip. Where would those children go to

:33:25.:33:31.

school? This is not actually a new problem. The idea of schools

:33:32.:33:35.

teaching dangerous ideas was brought up when we first introduced

:33:36.:33:39.

education for everyone, and we had a debate about whether they should

:33:40.:33:42.

learn the state religion of Anglicanism, or the basics of each

:33:43.:33:45.

faith and freedom to choose. Since then, we have had a system to check

:33:46.:33:49.

and make sure they are not being indoctrinated. And the system will

:33:50.:33:54.

work if it is allowed to work. If we have people getting hysterical and

:33:55.:33:57.

worried, it will not be allowed to work and to do the job it was made

:33:58.:34:00.

to do, which is to prevent our schools being destroyed by

:34:01.:34:06.

extremists. I have an ancillary question. Michael Gove has spoken

:34:07.:34:15.

about teaching British values in schools. Do these really exist? This

:34:16.:34:20.

goes to the heart of what extremism may be and what Tisch values may be.

:34:21.:34:30.

-- British values. I would like to answer the first question of whether

:34:31.:34:33.

Michael Gove's spot checks will do the job. I completely agree that we

:34:34.:34:37.

have had over 100 years of being able to run schools in a way where

:34:38.:34:41.

faith may be taught but nobody is indoctrinated. Of course, that

:34:42.:34:45.

should be a fundamental principle and the British value of the way we

:34:46.:34:49.

run education. We all want to know not only that our own children but

:34:50.:34:53.

our nephews and nieces and the children of everybody in the street

:34:54.:34:56.

and town where we live are getting the best possible education that we

:34:57.:35:01.

are all paying for. My anxiety is that Michael Gove's policy has

:35:02.:35:06.

basically meant, by creating these free schools and encouraging so many

:35:07.:35:10.

to become academies, you now have a large number of schools in the

:35:11.:35:14.

country for whom there is nobody to go to if you are complaining about

:35:15.:35:17.

the headteacher and the governors. The only person you can go to his

:35:18.:35:23.

Michael Gove. And I don't think you can run 4000 schools from a desk in

:35:24.:35:24.

Whitehall. APPLAUSE

:35:25.:35:32.

. And Ian just says, and you all

:35:33.:35:40.

applauded, but Ian said that we were right to act. Yes, it was good that

:35:41.:35:45.

some action was eventually taken but the Department for Education,

:35:46.:35:47.

Michael Gove and his team were informed of this in 2010 and did

:35:48.:35:52.

nothing for years. The reason we have ended up having this are

:35:53.:35:55.

unhelpful row about whether extremism is involved is because

:35:56.:36:00.

Michael Gove and Theresa May had a battle between each other which went

:36:01.:36:04.

on in an unseemly way for weeks and weeks, and neither of them took

:36:05.:36:07.

action when it should probably have been done. Of course there should be

:36:08.:36:15.

a system of local accountability, because local people, on the whole,

:36:16.:36:19.

will have a better idea. That is why I believe you should have in every

:36:20.:36:24.

area a director of school standards, who makes sure, as that gentleman

:36:25.:36:28.

says over there, that the fundamental British value, that it

:36:29.:36:32.

is not wrong to be devout, Conservative, to have Conservative

:36:33.:36:36.

views, but it is wrong to separate girls and boys in class, to put

:36:37.:36:40.

girls at the back of the class, or to treat girls -- to treat girls

:36:41.:36:46.

differently in school. Why'd you call it an unhealthy row? It is

:36:47.:36:50.

unhealthy to have one member of Cabinet briefing against another.

:36:51.:36:57.

You wanted Salma Yaqoob to be quiet while you were speaking. You should

:36:58.:37:08.

offer the same courtesy to others. In the 1980s, my sister was a

:37:09.:37:11.

teacher at a comp and seven Birmingham and one of the main

:37:12.:37:14.

problems was that Muslim boys did not want to be taught by females.

:37:15.:37:20.

The girls were removed from class, not allowed to do dancing, swimming

:37:21.:37:24.

or any of those things. This has been going on for a long time. We

:37:25.:37:29.

have not acted much over it. It is perfectly reasonable to try to take

:37:30.:37:37.

some action now. I am actually against any faith school being

:37:38.:37:41.

funded by taxpayers money. I am not here to advocate for more faith in

:37:42.:37:46.

schools. For example, there is a Jewish orthodox school in Stamford

:37:47.:37:50.

Hill. What would you say to the fact that Ofsted inspectors, female

:37:51.:37:54.

inspectors, are told they have to cover themselves, not allowed to

:37:55.:37:57.

wear colours, especially red, and yet they are funded by the state? A

:37:58.:38:02.

Catholic school had a successful applicant to take over as head

:38:03.:38:05.

teacher and was told, because you are not married and are in a

:38:06.:38:09.

relationship, you cannot be the headteacher. If they are privately

:38:10.:38:12.

funded, fine, have your religious views, but do not impose them. All

:38:13.:38:18.

schools in this country, whether privately or publicly funded, need

:38:19.:38:21.

to operate at the same set of standards because that is about one

:38:22.:38:27.

of the British values we have. But that is not happening. We should be

:38:28.:38:32.

treated equally under the law. Our education system, privately or

:38:33.:38:35.

publicly funded, should enhance people's ability to prosper. These

:38:36.:38:40.

things were not happening in Birmingham, but they are happening

:38:41.:38:46.

in other faith schools. The man in the third row from the back. On the

:38:47.:38:51.

point about how effective Ofsted can be, I think in general it does work,

:38:52.:38:58.

but when there is this culture of fear, it is an extreme case. A story

:38:59.:39:02.

has come out about someone wanting to approach Ofsted but being so

:39:03.:39:06.

scared they had to do it in a supermarket car park. Something is

:39:07.:39:10.

clearly wrong with that system of governance. Chris, while it is fun

:39:11.:39:14.

to lash out at the coalition, surely it is the Labour run City Council

:39:15.:39:16.

who should have it is the Labour run City Council

:39:17.:39:22.

long time ago. Let's come to it is the Labour run City Council

:39:23.:39:32.

illuminated by the voters of Newark. Is the result of the Newark

:39:33.:39:39.

by-election the end of the Lib Dems? Who

:39:40.:39:47.

by-election the end of the Lib Dems? Chris Bryant. Look, they did very

:39:48.:39:52.

poorly. They didn't even come fourth or fifth, but six, behind the

:39:53.:39:58.

candidate standing about the closure of the Newark hospital. It was

:39:59.:40:02.

interesting that although David Cameron visited the constituency

:40:03.:40:05.

four times in the by-election, he did not visit the hospital where he

:40:06.:40:09.

closed the Accident Emergency in 2011, and we know why. It was

:40:10.:40:16.

interesting in Newark because historically a lot of people have

:40:17.:40:20.

voted Liberal, rather than Liberal Democrat, in Newark. I met a lot of

:40:21.:40:25.

them who were now going to vote Labour. I met some who were going to

:40:26.:40:29.

vote UKIP, actually. I think many of them felt let town because they felt

:40:30.:40:32.

vote UKIP, actually. I think many of Democrat all those years, they were

:40:33.:40:38.

voting for a fundamentally different style of doing politics. And in the

:40:39.:40:43.

end, the classic instance that was brought up time and again was

:40:44.:40:47.

tuition fees. The party went into the last general election

:40:48.:40:53.

tuition fees. The party went into troubled them. We now know

:40:54.:40:56.

tuition fees. The party went into senior figures in Nick Clegg's team

:40:57.:40:57.

knew senior figures in Nick Clegg's team

:40:58.:40:59.

scrapping Jewish and fees. senior figures in Nick Clegg's team

:41:00.:41:00.

when people start to go, frankly, so you would not be able to go into

:41:01.:41:20.

coalition with them at the next election because he would not be

:41:21.:41:26.

able to trust them? I love you, David. In my mind, the real

:41:27.:41:30.

opponents are not the Liberal Democrats. The real opponent is over

:41:31.:41:34.

there, the Conservatives, the people who have made this country a place

:41:35.:41:38.

where 2 million people need food bank hand-outs. It is not fast as

:41:39.:41:47.

other parties to talk about the Liberals. I will leave Tessa to talk

:41:48.:41:52.

about her own party. If you don't want to talk about it, don't. But

:41:53.:41:56.

you have to answer the question. You can't just talk about Tory party

:41:57.:42:04.

policy. You could defend them! I am going to defend them now. But let me

:42:05.:42:11.

get to that at the end, if you don't mind. I will not go on as long as

:42:12.:42:19.

Chris. I want to say very simply that we won the by-election, and I

:42:20.:42:24.

have to say we were told by lots of people that UKIP would sweep us away

:42:25.:42:27.

and this would be a major success for UKIP. We won by a larger amount.

:42:28.:42:33.

I am enormously pleased because a huge amount of effort went into it.

:42:34.:42:40.

You ran the Labour campaign and it is one of the worst results of any

:42:41.:42:43.

by-election Labour has fought. You went Aqua 's. You don't half talk

:42:44.:42:47.

rubbish sometimes. I delivered leaflets in the

:42:48.:43:01.

constituency because I wanted my candidate to win. You are both

:43:02.:43:07.

creating space for the Liberal Democrats. Stop it! You for they

:43:08.:43:14.

campaign and Labour went Aqua 's. -- they went backwards. You are a

:43:15.:43:24.

walking advert for UKIP. One thing is for sure, there will not be a

:43:25.:43:29.

coalition after the election between us! A tough decision was taken by

:43:30.:43:32.

the Liberals to join the coalition at the beginning. They did it, as my

:43:33.:43:37.

party did, for the sake of the country, to try to make sure we got

:43:38.:43:40.

the deficit down and the economy going. All that I can say is that,

:43:41.:43:46.

yes, the Liberals have taken a pretty heavy hit for some of that.

:43:47.:43:50.

But I think and hope, I don't know and I still want to win in the seats

:43:51.:43:55.

in which they oppose us, but I will say this for our coalition

:43:56.:44:00.

colleagues. I think people will look back and say, we took a disastrous

:44:01.:44:04.

economy that had crashed and got it moving again, got people going back

:44:05.:44:08.

to work. Things are not perfect but they are much better than they

:44:09.:44:11.

were. Tough decisions were taken and they played their part in that. I

:44:12.:44:16.

want a Conservative government elected, but I think they should

:44:17.:44:28.

take some credit. Douglas Alex -- Danny Alexander. There was an away

:44:29.:44:35.

day he didn't invite you to. I don't remember him saying this. What? I

:44:36.:44:39.

saw something on a website earlier - You could become the largest party

:44:40.:44:44.

in British politics by 2025? You never know. That is very optimistic

:44:45.:44:50.

view, I suspect. Over optimistic, do you think? Possibly, yes. Is it the

:44:51.:44:55.

end of you I don't think so at all, actually. I think, very gallant of

:44:56.:45:03.

you to say we have taken a hit. No question of that, for going into

:45:04.:45:08.

coalition with the party who I have spent most of my political life

:45:09.:45:13.

opposing, I'm afraid much we did that for the good of the country.

:45:14.:45:16.

Had to do that. I would just remind you that Liberals all over the place

:45:17.:45:20.

have said we will work with people. We do. We worked across councils we

:45:21.:45:25.

have worked with both parties. If we got to the point, after the election

:45:26.:45:30.

where we said, no, sorry, which don't want to have power. Who are

:45:31.:45:34.

the Liberals that are abandoning you in places like Newark? Well, Newark

:45:35.:45:41.

was not one of our top hotspots, I have to say. European elections? If

:45:42.:45:46.

you look at what happened in the council elections... Yes, where we

:45:47.:45:52.

have MPs, actually we did rather well. If you take Nick Clegg's

:45:53.:46:01.

constituency, he got 38%, everybody else got lower. We bring our own

:46:02.:46:06.

particular brand of, I think, care to the coalition. That... We have

:46:07.:46:09.

made absolutely certain there are things we have stopped and things we

:46:10.:46:14.

have done. I put into the frame the stuff about tax thresh holds. That -

:46:15.:46:20.

that was something that Mr Cameron said, right up prior to the

:46:21.:46:23.

election, it was absolutely mad - Can I ask you a question. No. Ask

:46:24.:46:29.

you a little question. No, you can't. I want to bring that man in

:46:30.:46:34.

there. He has had his hand up for so long it will fall I think off. , in

:46:35.:46:41.

answer to the person's question, I don't care if it is the end to the

:46:42.:46:45.

Liberal Democrats, good riddance to you for going into coalition with

:46:46.:46:50.

people like Iain Duncan Smith who is systemically taking down public

:46:51.:46:52.

services in this country and destroying people's lives. I would

:46:53.:46:56.

say this. Just as a last point. One more point. That if people really

:46:57.:47:01.

care about politics in this country, really care, then they should turn

:47:02.:47:06.

up in London, on Saturday 21st June with the People's Assembly against

:47:07.:47:10.

Austerity and show the political elite and the political class, that

:47:11.:47:14.

are sat around that table, there is more to life than your grubby

:47:15.:47:18.

politics and and your austerity. All right. Ian Hislop. I have to say, I

:47:19.:47:24.

mean the fate of the Liberals will be up to the electorate. The reason

:47:25.:47:28.

there was a coalition was because nobody won. Not the people you

:47:29.:47:33.

support, not him. There was an undecided vote. There had to be a

:47:34.:47:38.

coalition. The Liberals have been. They have been unpopular because

:47:39.:47:42.

they were largely a protest vote. The protest vote was, up until the

:47:43.:47:46.

Newark by-election taken over by UKIP. I think, in the words of the

:47:47.:47:51.

Guardian we have seen "peak UKIP" it may be be that protest vote people

:47:52.:47:56.

have thought, we have done that vote. They have two policies. We

:47:57.:48:02.

know what they are. They keep telling us - drink more, smoke. Not

:48:03.:48:06.

true! Immigration and leave Europe. You can't really have them in as a

:48:07.:48:12.

government. You need people with other policies. I have a feeling

:48:13.:48:16.

UKIP's protest vote will decline. Come the next election, whatever

:48:17.:48:19.

happens, the Liberals will recover somewhat. The one slight worry is

:48:20.:48:25.

that they will try one of those other botched coups we will end up

:48:26.:48:30.

with someone you have have never heard of by mistake as leader when

:48:31.:48:37.

Nick Clegg leaves. Just a warning! Do you feel part of the Lib Dems

:48:38.:48:44.

decline is their stance on Europe claiming to be the party of "in"

:48:45.:48:51.

maybe people don't want that? People in this country, 13 million people,

:48:52.:48:55.

who are now below the poverty line. One million people in one of the

:48:56.:49:00.

richest countries in the world face the indignity of relying on food

:49:01.:49:05.

banks. My full-time job is mental health. I have seen how people have

:49:06.:49:11.

become suicidal. I have had to counsel people who lost their loved

:49:12.:49:14.

ones who said they didn't want to be a burden on their own families

:49:15.:49:18.

because the support has been taken away. These are real issues. It has

:49:19.:49:22.

been done in the name of austerity. We had this drive of people being

:49:23.:49:31.

called "scroungers" half the people on benefits are pensioners - You

:49:32.:49:36.

answer your own questions. Yes. The wages are not paying enough. Did you

:49:37.:49:45.

say 30 million - 13 million. I'm sitting next to Iain Duncan Smith

:49:46.:49:49.

who quite happily labels the poor people as "scroungers." I have never

:49:50.:49:56.

labelled them as scroungers. When you claim ?39 for a breakfast -

:49:57.:50:03.

Honestly - You have taken taxpayers' money that is what I call

:50:04.:50:10.

scroungers. What a load of nonsense. OK. You had a chance to answer the

:50:11.:50:16.

question in point. You have supported Iain Duncan Smith's

:50:17.:50:19.

bedroom tax. Your party has in parliament. You voted for it every

:50:20.:50:23.

single time. Now you have said you in the general election you will

:50:24.:50:31.

have a manifesto pledge to get rid of the bedroom tax. Can you help us

:50:32.:50:35.

get rid of it now? Absolutely. You will. I vote with the Government

:50:36.:50:39.

because I'm a loyal member of the Government. If it comes to

:50:40.:50:42.

something... Forgive me, there are a number of changes that we need to

:50:43.:50:45.

make. There are certain things - take, for example, in my area -

:50:46.:50:49.

Bedroom tax. Will you vote against it? You introduced the same thing

:50:50.:50:56.

when you were in power - That is a lie. You introduced the fact that

:50:57.:51:00.

people could not have spare room for private-sector - We did not do it

:51:01.:51:04.

respect row spectively, which is what you did. That is the cruelty.

:51:05.:51:11.

It was first introduced in 1989 by a Conservative Government. You

:51:12.:51:16.

introduced. People are paying ?14 a week. Rewriting of history.

:51:17.:51:18.

introduced. People are paying ?14 a entitled to our manifesto as we

:51:19.:51:22.

approach the next general election. What we have

:51:23.:51:25.

approach the next general election. problem somebody, I can't remember

:51:26.:51:26.

which one of you, sorry, problem somebody, I can't remember

:51:27.:51:30.

the fact about tuition problem somebody, I can't remember

:51:31.:51:33.

reality is, if we had lot are in favour of tuition fees,

:51:34.:51:37.

you lot are in favour of tuition lot are in favour of tuition fees,

:51:38.:51:41.

fees, we weren't going to form the whole Government

:51:42.:51:48.

fees, we weren't going to form the that. We have

:51:49.:51:51.

fees, we weren't going to form the realistic. Want rid of the bedroom

:51:52.:51:58.

tax next year, you could vote to get rid of it. Let's take another

:51:59.:52:02.

question. I hope it's not on the bedroom tax. It's from Robert Loads.

:52:03.:52:09.

It's Jermaine to this community. A fascinating Should parents point. Be

:52:10.:52:13.

arrested because their children are overweight? The story behind this.

:52:14.:52:18.

We can't name, and musn't name the parents or the child. This is an

:52:19.:52:22.

arrest that was made here in King's Lynn a couple of months back of two

:52:23.:52:30.

parents on the grounds that their child, five foot high, 11 years old,

:52:31.:52:37.

weighed 15 stone. The parents were arrested for child

:52:38.:52:38.

weighed 15 stone. The parents were cruelty. Ian Hislop is it right to

:52:39.:52:42.

arrest parents because their child is overweight? The police said it

:52:43.:52:46.

was a joint examiner countries with social services and it was

:52:47.:52:50.

absolutely last resort. I don't know the circumstances of the case. It's

:52:51.:52:55.

horrific. The I thought the situation was summed up by one

:52:56.:53:00.

detail they said - to encourage him to do examiner countries he should

:53:01.:53:06.

play more games on his Wii machine. More games on a screen. The there

:53:07.:53:16.

was a piece of fear of machines and more of the screen. It will hit the

:53:17.:53:21.

health service and mental health. Other problem, last time I was on

:53:22.:53:25.

this show, there was an argument about attempting to regulate the

:53:26.:53:29.

manufacturer's of the fizzy drinks, as we are meant to call them, and

:53:30.:53:34.

those things with a far too much sugar. They have fantastic lobbying

:53:35.:53:39.

access to this government. They had fantastic lobbying access to the

:53:40.:53:42.

last Government. The Government never doing anything. This morning

:53:43.:53:47.

they said, we have to stop this and reduce the sugar levels in these

:53:48.:53:51.

things. That is the action the Government should take. The police

:53:52.:53:54.

ariesing two parents because their child is deemed to be overweight? I

:53:55.:53:57.

don't know the exact circumstances. They said they did it as a measure

:53:58.:54:02.

of absolute last resort. Maybe that was justified. They have been

:54:03.:54:05.

released on bail, haven't been charged. Iain Duncan Smith, what do

:54:06.:54:08.

you think of that. We haven't got much time? As I understand it, again

:54:09.:54:12.

it was a matter of last resort. It was in conjunction with social

:54:13.:54:15.

services that - clearly what was happening, the parents were simply

:54:16.:54:20.

not doing what they (inaudible) I don't know what their problem was. I

:54:21.:54:24.

don't know if there was difficulties at home. The health of the child was

:54:25.:54:28.

obviously clearly deteriorating. I guess, as a last resort, you have to

:54:29.:54:32.

have that process that says you need to step in at some foint protect the

:54:33.:54:36.

child. You would step in to protect the child if you thought it was

:54:37.:54:40.

being abused in foreway. You could argue at this point, it was so so

:54:41.:54:47.

excessive, social services allowed the police to step in to stop the

:54:48.:54:53.

police. The truth is, I think there was probably reason for this. I

:54:54.:54:56.

would support it in that case. We have an. Epidemic of obesity. I

:54:57.:55:04.

accept in this Government we have to do something, like Ian said, doing

:55:05.:55:09.

something about fizzy drinks and getting people to do more examiner

:55:10.:55:13.

countries and facing up to the fact we are overweight Assad nation. One

:55:14.:55:18.

or two of our kids is now obese. Arresting parents I don't think

:55:19.:55:21.

necessarily is the answer. It sounds in this particular case, I don't

:55:22.:55:25.

know the full details of, it seems to my mind you want to make sure the

:55:26.:55:29.

child is protected and well taken care of and educate the parents.

:55:30.:55:33.

There is a first responsibility is on on us and our families. I look at

:55:34.:55:38.

the example of smoking. We know that smoking is bad. The Government has

:55:39.:55:41.

taken steps, for example, not allowing it in public spaces, that

:55:42.:55:46.

has reduced the illnesses which are linked to smoking. You don't arrest

:55:47.:55:51.

parents whose children smoke? Exactly. This Government - we want

:55:52.:55:56.

to do something about it, it is so in awe of the lobbyists when, for

:55:57.:56:03.

example, our children have breakfasts with 10 spoons of sugar

:56:04.:56:08.

it's hard for parents to take full responsibility when Government

:56:09.:56:15.

doesn't do its bit because of the - No. There is plenty of information

:56:16.:56:22.

about nutrition these days. I do believe that the parents should be

:56:23.:56:27.

held It can responsible. Become a police matter? Is Absolutely. All

:56:28.:56:35.

right. You have 30 seconds each. As a last resort the police have to

:56:36.:56:42.

become involved. At one point he was a 12 stone, and an 8 stone child.

:56:43.:56:47.

Something could perhaps have been done earlier. The other thing I

:56:48.:56:50.

would say, free school meals for young children and generally, where

:56:51.:56:55.

we put kitchens into schools they should be double use and go back to

:56:56.:56:58.

teaching young people properly how to prepare a good wholesome

:56:59.:57:03.

nutritions meal. I agree the other thing is food labelling. There is no

:57:04.:57:07.

shortage of information. I will have to stop you. The single most

:57:08.:57:11.

important thing is the protection of the child. That should be paramount

:57:12.:57:14.

over any other consideration. I hope that is what happened in this

:57:15.:57:23.

situation am we do have an epidemic of obesity and die beet -- diabetes.

:57:24.:57:35.

So many local authorities are closing swimming pools, sport

:57:36.:57:38.

centres and youth centres all the places where people might engage in

:57:39.:57:41.

sport. That will be counter productive. The police knocking on

:57:42.:57:45.

your door and arresting mother and father, that is all right? You know,

:57:46.:57:49.

none of us knows the details of what happened - You know that happened?

:57:50.:57:52.

We know that happened. We don't know what led to that moment. I'm very

:57:53.:57:58.

reluctant to criticise the police in that We have situation. To stop. Our

:57:59.:58:02.

time is up. Next week there isn't a Question Time because of the World

:58:03.:58:03.

Cup. It's Japan against Greece. Really? You laughed, I didn't. I

:58:04.:58:15.

didn't laugh. It's a week off! After that we are back in Wolverhampton

:58:16.:58:21.

the following week and Croydon. If you would like to come to

:58:22.:58:28.

Wolverhampton or Croydon the address is on the screen.

:58:29.:58:29.

Wolverhampton or Croydon the address is on the screen. And the telephone

:58:30.:58:33.

number, I always forget unless I read it out: I'm being attacked by a

:58:34.:58:38.

fly. So are you now. My thanks to the panel here and all of you who

:58:39.:58:42.

came here to King's Lynn to take part. From the Corn Exchange, until

:58:43.:58:44.

Thursday week, good night. There is Question Time Extra Time on

:58:45.:59:05.

BBC Radio 5 Live now. Next on BBC One, This Week.

:59:06.:59:11.

David Dimbleby presents topical debate from King's Lynn. Panellists include Conservative work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith MP, Labour's shadow welfare reform minister Chris Bryant MP, Liberal Democrat Tessa Munt MP, editor of Private Eye Ian Hislop and former leader of the Respect Party Salma Yaqoob, who leads the Hands Off Birmingham Schools campaign group.


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