10/12/2015 Question Time


10/12/2015

David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Bath. On the panel are Greg Clark, Caroline Flint, Vince Cable, Mary Beard and Quentin Letts.


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Transcript


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Welcome, whether you're watching or listening,

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to our audience here, and to our panel.

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Conservative Communities Secretary, promoted to the Cabinet

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Labour's Caroline Flint, who chose to return to the backbenches

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when Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership.

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The Liberal Democrat former Business Secretary Vince Cable,

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Parliamentary sketch writer and theatre critic

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And Britain's best known classicist, Professor Mary Beard.

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If you want to text or tweet our hashtag is BBCQT,

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Text comments to 83981, and press the Red Button to see

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Our first question from Polly Cassidy, please. Should Donald Trump

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be banned from the UK? It is on everybody's lips, this question.

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Quentin Letts. Certainly not. I want him here because I want to look at

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that haircut. If I liked a flame near it, will it melts, or is it

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alive underneath there? But there is as serious issue here, which is one

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of inciting violence, perhaps. So you have to take this question

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seriously. There has been a big petition that a lot of people have

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signed saying we should never let him into this country on account of

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what he said about not allowing Muslims into the United States. I

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think we are overreacting, dignifying him too much. In some

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ways what he said is not controversial because everybody in

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Britain disagrees with it. But should one ban people on account of

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not liking what they say? I have a suspicion that is not a particularly

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British reaction. You say everybody but according to YouGov, a court of

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the country agrees with him. Well, I don't know, but I am wary in this

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country at least that there seems to be a competition... A quarter of

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this country. I am not sure I believe that. It is not practical to

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ban people on account of their religion. There is a competition

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going on to say, I hate Donald Trump more than anybody else. There is a

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strange competition going on to say, we are the most vehement about this.

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Let's give it a break and not get so het up about what is plainly

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unreasonable. Let's hear from the audience. I do find it quite strange

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that we ban certain people from coming into the country. We banned

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Mike Tyson at one point but then we let in the Chinese premier, the

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premiere of a country with numerous human rights abuses, coming to the

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country with no issues at all. What about Donald Trump? I think he is as

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bad as anyone else, but he should be allowed in. On the gangway. I don't

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think this should be taken lightly. This man could potentially become

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the leader of one of the biggest countries in the world. So what he

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says yields a lot of power. He said Muslims should have ID cards. What

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is he going to say next? Should we wear armbands to be identified? This

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is ridiculous. Mary Beard. I would quite like to get him here so we

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could explain to him why he is wrong. Leaving him in America to say

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all of this stuff is fine, but actually, he would be much better

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off on a panel of Question Time actually being challenged about his

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views. And in the end, rather than banning him, I was really more

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worried by the idea that he was, until yesterday, still in his role

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as business ambassador for Scotland. Happily, Nicola Sturgeon has got rid

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of him. She said something like, he is no longer fit for the job. I

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thought, when was he fit for the job? This isn't his first offence.

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APPLAUSE Who was the person up there? I just

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want to say that I agree with Quentin Letts. I think it is

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contradictory, their reaction to the Donald Trump petition. During the

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Charlie Hebdo attacks, we were all backing freedom of speech, and we

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were supporting the magazine that was openly insulting Muslims. And

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now we are having this big battle against the fact that he should not

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have freedom of speech for insulting Muslims. It is quite a contrary

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position. Social media always have battles of who looks best, but as

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you can see, in these situations they have disagreed on freedom of

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speech. Social media are not to be relied on for consistency? Yes,

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consistency, they disagree. You can say that again! No one has an

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automatic right to come to this country, it is for the Home

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Secretary to decide. The question is, is he mostly an offensive idiot,

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or is he an insight of hatred? Looking at some of the other things

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he has had to say, about women, per example, he qualifies as the former.

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But like Mary, I would like him to come here. If I had him with me, I

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would take him around to meet some of my Muslim constituents and

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friends, and introduce him to some of the pillars of our community. I

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would like to introduce him to our police officers have them tell him

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that they do not walk around with guns very often because they do not

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need to. I would like to introduce him to some British people who could

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perhaps teach him a bit of manners and politeness, and I think it would

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do him a power of good to spend a bit of time in England. If we can do

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that, we should let him in. And I would make him read a great deal of

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Katie Hopkins, who he thinks is a respected British columnist. If he

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wins the Republican nomination and the presidency, as a Cabinet

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minister you will call him an offensive idiot? I think he is. If

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you look at what he has said about Muslims and about women,

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fortunately, I expect the good sense of the American electorate will give

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him the result he deserves. You, in the front. I don't agree that he

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should be banned. The petition was started before he made these recent

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allegations, these recent comments, and I do feel that he has upset

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everyone from Mexicans to women to disabled people. And it has only

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gained momentum since he made the remarks about Muslims. I heard this

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morning on Radio 5, the radio -- the lady from Aberdeen who initiated the

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petition. It was going on before that. Obviously, the way things are

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going within the world at the moment, it is a big talking point.

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There are a couple of petitions. One is to try and get a debate in the

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House of Commons. This is the one I am talking about. Theresa May has

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banned hundreds of people for concerns about how they might

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inflame violence in our streets and under hate speech laws that we have

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in this country. To be honest, I would not mind if she added another

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one to her list, and that would be Donald Trump. I think he is an

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odious man who cannot open his mouth without offending someone. You made

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the point about women, disabled people, people from Mexico. I do

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think this is more than him being unreasonable. He has condemned an

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entire religion by saying nobody who is Muslim should be allowed into the

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United States of America. I think that is racist, and I would like to

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say we don't want him within 1000 miles of the UK, we don't support

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him and we will not allow someone who has such power to voice those

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views come here and spread that here, too.

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APPLAUSE Polly Cassidy, who asked the

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question, what is your view? I don't think he should be banned, but I

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just wish he would go away as well. I just find it really depressing

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that he is being treated as entertainment when it is actually

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quite a serious matter, and the media seems to be feeding into that

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by treating him as a laughing stock. George W Bush was a laughing stock

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and he got in several times, so... APPLAUSE

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Does anyone agree with Donald Trump in what he said about banning

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Muslims? I think we should be more concerned about Muslim extremists

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being allowed to preach their terrorist views on the streets of

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London and whatnot, you know. But that's not what he was saying, he

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was saying we should ban all Muslims from the United States. But we have

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allowed clerics like Abu Hamza to preach on the streets of London. We

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allowed it to carry on. So you think he is wrong in how he has put it but

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what he is getting at is right? I would not agree with him but I do

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not think we should be banning him from the UK. Vince Cable. I would

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not ban him, but for different reasons. He is appalling, ignorant,

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ugly prejudice and all those things. But you have to confront these

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arguments. When this programme at its finest hour was when Nick

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Griffin of the BNP was in his finery. He was rising up the public

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opinion polls. Many people said keep him off Question Time, but he was

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allowed on and shown to be shallow, ignorant and prejudiced, and it

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helped turn the people against him. One has to deal with these people

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head-on. In terms of the comment that the gentleman the back maid,

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who was moderately sympathetic to Donald Trump, in a way, the

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Government has created its own problem. Theresa May and the Prime

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Minister have brought in this concept of the nonviolent extremist.

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One of the battles I fought at the end of the government, and I think

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Greg was on my side on this, was that they were trying to stop

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universities and other institutions having these people speak. I took a

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very strong view, which Quentin Letts echoed a few minutes ago, that

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we may detest people in their views but in this country you give people

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the right to say them and you answer them back. So the whole idea of

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banning people who are not violent but are extreme in their views is a

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very dangerous thing to do. Do you agree? Is he right when he thinks

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you were with him? What you need to recognise is that there are people

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who may not commit violence themselves, but they do in sight it,

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and they lead people to, especially in positions of influence, and we

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have brought in laws to address that. One of the things that you can

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do with that is to insist that if you have, for example, a speaker

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with extreme views, to make sure they are challenged, so that you can

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have the other side of the argument put. But if people have a record of

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inciting violence and encouraging people to commit violence, then I

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think they should be excluded from our country. Steve Horler. My farm

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in Bath floods every year and it is getting more extreme. What actions

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should the Government be taking to protect ourselves and the

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environment? Have you been flooded recently? Not like the north-west,

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but we flood every year. Caroline Flint. I must make a note to ask

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Donald Trump on the programme. Perhaps he will come, if you will

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let him in! There is a lot of discussion at the moment about

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whether or not the storms we have seen, again, in our country are

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linked to climate change. It is hard to pinpoint one weather events to

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climate change, but the fact that we are having more frequent storms and

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extreme weather, I think we can very much say that that is part of what

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is happening, in terms of climate change around the world. Part of

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what we have in this country is a recognition, and I am proud of the

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fact that when we passed the climate change in 2008, there was cause

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party support for that, with only five MPs voting against it. That was

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as recognising as a country that we need to try and reduce the emissions

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that contribute to climate change, and also to be a leader, like we

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hopefully are in the negotiations in Paris. But the truth is, the problem

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with these weather conditions is here now. And for your farm, and

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others around the country, who keep being told the risk is based on one

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in 100 years, when people have experienced two flood situations in

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six years, is not good enough. We did see in the last government, in

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the early part of the last government, money on flood defences

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being cut. Last year, ?115 million was cut from it. We need to better

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recognise this as a national-security issue because it

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puts businesses out of work, families out of their homes, and it

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does cause, in some cases, not just destruction to property but the loss

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of lives. APPLAUSE

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The man at the back? Would you agree it is time to redirect the foreign

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aid budget towards the flood victims? Away from flood victims in

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other parts of the world, to this country? Away from foreign aid and

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redirect it, Charity starts at home. I think you need to do both. You

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can't do both, you redirect it or you don't. We should be consistent

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with our commitments to help people who are victims of flooding in other

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countries, and we certainly should do that here as well. I was in

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Cumbria yesterday, and can I just take this opportunity, David, to

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express my admiration for the work that is being done there. When you

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go and see it for yourself and see people who have been working flat

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out, emergency services, the councils, the volunteers, it is an

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inspiring site to see. One of the things you do notice when you go

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round there, I went to Appleby, one of the towns that has been

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particularly badly affected. The vicar took me into her church. She

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pointed at the level that the water had reached in the last weekend, and

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the previous level, and there was a huge difference. It was a record

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rainfall. Four or five feet? It was waist height in the church and

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clearly completely ruined. Taking his point, the government spends

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half in this country what it spends on the international climate fund.

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Why is that? That is what he was saying. We need to put the flood

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defences that are needed. I will come to that. The defences that were

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put in place had been put in place over recent years. They were what

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was calculated would defend these towns and villages across the

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country but the water flooded and beyond it, so Steve's question is

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whether we should review the modelling and to see whether that is

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adequate, and I think that we should do that. The Environment Secretary

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as the Prime Minister has said we need to look at why these more

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frequent occurrences of these catastrophic floods should be

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happening. What about diverging money from the international climate

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fund? To the UK? I think we need to do both. In the past I visited

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angler desk, and -- Bangladesh, and if you look at the vulnerability of

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a place like Bangladesh, the same kind of climatic events that affect

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the rest of the world, in terms of saving people from destitution, that

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is an appropriate use of our foreign aid, not least because, and we see

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what happens when you have turbulence in places such as Syria,

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you have populations displaced, and this affects the whole of the world,

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so I think that for our own stability and security you need to

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protect people from these catastrophic keep events. It's what

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we should do to our fellow human beings anyway, but actually there is

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a case for our own stability. Quentin Letts? The question from

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Steve is what can be done to protect the population, I think, and there

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are various things. We can stop building new houses on flood plains,

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that would be a good thing. And sometimes these flood defences,

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although they sound like great ideas, sometimes they can have the

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effect of forcing the water down the other areas which in the past would

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not have been flooded. So well-meaning schemes can sometimes

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cause problems further downstream. But as far as protecting, we can

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make sure that our emergency services have everything they need,

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but you can't expect politicians to solve everything, or to stop the

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flood waters. I am wary on the BBC of talking about climate change,

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because I get into trouble about this recently and people seem to

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think... Because you gave one side of the argument. I am regarded as

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some sort of denial. I'm not, I don't quite believe everything I am

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told by Kaymer change, I believe boffins, I don't believe lobbyists

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I'm wary of blaming one particular flood on climate change. I don't

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know the answer on that. But I would be wary of expecting the politicians

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in Paris to be able to solve these problems. Sometimes these are

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natural events, acts of God, if you like. But the enormous universe may

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not be affected necessarily by man-made emissions, I don't know.

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You, sir? Extreme flooding with climate change increase of about one

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Celsius, predictions of two three Celsius, why is the government

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cutting the support for renewables and the likelihood...

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APPLAUSE In the likelihood that these extreme

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weather events won't be every four or five years, they will be every

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year? Why is it cutting the means to prevent it getting worse in the

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future? Is that a strong argument for you, Vince Cable? Non-others are

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climate change scientists. We can't attribute particular events to

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climate change. Nonetheless the chief scientist of the Met Office

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established a very clear link between what is happening on a

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global level, you know, we have the 15 hottest years we've ever recorded

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out of the last 16, the link between the warming of the world increasing

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turbulence and extreme events. I think that is now reasonably well

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established scientifically. I think your follow-up comments, why aren't

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we moving more towards renewables, there has been over the last few

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years a move in that direction, but the government over the last few

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months has done some very retrograde things. It is unjust is cutting the

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subsidies to solar power, for example, they now charged

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value-added tax. It's actually penalising one of the emerging new

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technologies. Why do you think they are doing that? I think the

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Chancellor of the Exchequer is not terribly committed to this agenda.

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To take another example, I helped set up the green investment bank,

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which has now mobilised about ?10 billion of investment in new

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renewable technologies, invoice disposable energy efficiency and

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it's being shoved wholly into the private sector so it can no longer

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perform a proper environmental function. This government is backing

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away from an environmental agenda and all commitments to global

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warming at a time we need it more than ever before. Vince, that is not

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the case. APPLAUSE

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If you look at the climate conference that is taking place in

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Paris as we speak, there was a report to the conference that rated

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and ranked all of the countries and their contribution. The UK was

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second only to Denmark in the progress that we are making. We are

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on track to meet our emissions reductions targets. Most of the

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people aren't. We are on track to have 30% of our electricity coming

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from renewables when I looked this morning it was 21% already, we will

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get to 30% by 2020. We have got the green investment bank. Its very

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successful. It's something we introduced and we will continue. I'm

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proud we are going into the talks in Paris as leaders, not as followers.

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Last time at Copenhagen, and I was at Copenhagen as the opposition

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spokesman, in 2009, we were on the back foot because we didn't have,

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and Vince will know this, an energy policy that could stand up to

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scrutiny. We have turned that around in the last five years and we are

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being recognised for that internationally. Briefly. The 2008

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climate change act set out our targets for emissions and that was

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the Labour government. A huge amount of the renewable energy that has

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been developed, the business plans and investment came in at the tail

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end of the Labour government and they have been built and yours. We

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are going backwards, not forwards. Businesses on solar and wind are

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going out of business because you are moving the goalposts. You were

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always good at targets, but the last Labour government while passing a

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law to set the targets tried to get through... I want to hear from...

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It's a partisan squabble. Its party politics, ludicrous. You have heard

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what has been said. We need to stop building on the flood plain. My

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local MP wants to build a car park on my land under to increase the

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amount of cards on the roads, CO2 emissions. They will float away.

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There will be nowhere for the water to go. How can Greg Clark as

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planning Minister give planning permission to something like that?

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We can't go into planning. Mary Beard. You have been a fantastic

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example of how the political debate always goes into these really big

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edgy things about climate change and renewables and emissions, and

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clearly that's important. But what tends to get overlooked is some

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other things you have just mentioned, that Quentin mentioned,

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it's about basic issues about building on flood plains, but also

:23:34.:23:37.

about how you manage watercourses, how you planned, how you see how the

:23:38.:23:43.

water comes off the high ground into the low ground, and that is joined

:23:44.:23:51.

up practical local thinking, and it's not very sexy but it is

:23:52.:23:55.

actually one of the best first-line defences against what we are seeing

:23:56.:23:58.

happening and what happened here. OK.

:23:59.:24:02.

APPLAUSE We will move on, because I want to

:24:03.:24:06.

get through a number of questions. I will take the woman at the top

:24:07.:24:09.

right-hand side, and then the next question. Quickly, if you would. Mr

:24:10.:24:15.

Clark, you said we are on target, we will meet our targets, but

:24:16.:24:18.

regardless of whether we are or not, surely we should be pushing further.

:24:19.:24:23.

You said Denmark are ahead of us, we should be trying to beat them, we

:24:24.:24:27.

should always be pushing forward. APPLAUSE

:24:28.:24:27.

Thank you for that. Next week we're in Slough,

:24:28.:24:31.

then we're off over Christmas, Details on the screen

:24:32.:24:33.

now for how to apply. A question from Justin Roberts. Is

:24:34.:24:50.

David Cameron's negotiation with the European Council for real, or will

:24:51.:24:54.

the British public ultimately be sold a pup? Is it for real, the

:24:55.:25:00.

negotiation, or will we be sold a pup? The Prime Minister was quoted

:25:01.:25:03.

as saying voters will think push Europe away, it's bringing me

:25:04.:25:06.

problems and all the rest of it. It seems to come to not to a halt, but

:25:07.:25:12.

the slowdown. Vince Cable, what's your view of what is going on at the

:25:13.:25:16.

moment and how successful is David Cameron being with his

:25:17.:25:20.

renegotiation? We don't know whether he is successful with the

:25:21.:25:22.

renegotiation until they have happened. This is a problem of his

:25:23.:25:26.

own creation. He didn't need to have the referendum, but wanted to have

:25:27.:25:31.

it because of internal Conservative Party tensions. He dreamt of these

:25:32.:25:35.

four conditions, three of which are very difficult to evaluate whether

:25:36.:25:38.

you have succeeded or not, motherhood and apple pie, we are all

:25:39.:25:43.

in favour of it. The one that the public are concerned about has to be

:25:44.:25:49.

dealt with, is our public fears about immigration, and the test he

:25:50.:25:56.

set, which is the limit migrants' access from Europe to in work

:25:57.:26:01.

benefits, that is the bit that is now running into trouble, because in

:26:02.:26:05.

order to operate it you need to discriminate between different

:26:06.:26:10.

people within Europe. That goes totally contrary to the basic

:26:11.:26:14.

principles of the single market, and remember, that was Mrs Thatcher who

:26:15.:26:18.

negotiated that for us. He is now falling back on another mechanism,

:26:19.:26:24.

that if we had serious problems with migration the government could

:26:25.:26:27.

introduce an emergency stop, but that would have to happen with the

:26:28.:26:31.

permission of the European Commission, which means that we

:26:32.:26:34.

wouldn't have it under control. So he's created a problem which he

:26:35.:26:39.

cannot now solve, and I suspect what will happen is the people in the

:26:40.:26:42.

Conservative Party, who have set in these hurdles to jump, will say

:26:43.:26:48.

sorry, Guy, you have disappointed us, and they will not have achieved

:26:49.:26:51.

the objective. What he should be doing is what I think he believes

:26:52.:26:54.

deep down and certainly George Osborne as well and making the case

:26:55.:26:58.

for as being in the European Union. It's a difficult case to make at the

:26:59.:27:02.

moment because of the problems the Union are having but the livelihood

:27:03.:27:06.

of millions of people is now tied up with our trade and connections with

:27:07.:27:11.

Europe. We have to fight the nationalism which is becoming

:27:12.:27:14.

increasingly common and which the European Union has protected us

:27:15.:27:18.

from. There is very basic arguments which he should now be making, not

:27:19.:27:22.

engaging in this rather futile and I think ultimately pointless

:27:23.:27:27.

diversionary exercise. Justin Roberts, who asked the question, do

:27:28.:27:30.

you agree with what Vince Cable has said? Do you think there should be

:27:31.:27:35.

or would be... We will trade with Europe even if we are not part of

:27:36.:27:40.

Europe. We trade with the United States and we're not a state of the

:27:41.:27:43.

union. All those millions of people employed in trade with Europe will

:27:44.:27:49.

still probably employed. What's your view? I think we should pull the

:27:50.:27:54.

ejector seat lever and get out as soon as possible. OK.

:27:55.:27:58.

APPLAUSE The woman there. I want to say on

:27:59.:28:02.

the subject of what Vince said about leaving the European Union, I think

:28:03.:28:07.

the government needs to do something quickly about the monopoly of

:28:08.:28:11.

Euroscepticism in the tabloid press, because it's completely ridiculous.

:28:12.:28:13.

The entire tabloid press is against Europe. The UK is the most

:28:14.:28:20.

uneducated country about the EU and its incredibly dangerous, the only

:28:21.:28:23.

information we get about the EU with false and from newspapers that have

:28:24.:28:28.

an agenda to make sales and not keep us in the best position in this

:28:29.:28:29.

country. APPLAUSE

:28:30.:28:34.

OK, who was shouting out and complaining here? Who said no,

:28:35.:28:37.

rubbish? None of you will confess to it now! You weren't? Not me. What's

:28:38.:28:46.

your view? I would like to know if David Cameron fails with these

:28:47.:28:49.

negotiations, which is looking quite possible in terms of getting the

:28:50.:28:54.

migrant benefits. Macro the four-year thing, yes. Whether he

:28:55.:28:59.

will campaign to leave the EU? I want to know if that's possible.

:29:00.:29:04.

Quentin Letts, what is the Daily Mail's view? It's

:29:05.:29:07.

uncharacteristically inaccurate comment because I think the Daily

:29:08.:29:14.

Mail is quite pro-Europe. You links EU to migration. Will you stop that

:29:15.:29:19.

arsed tabloid newspapers running what they want to run. Six of the

:29:20.:29:24.

main newspapers in this country were owned by News of the World guy, I

:29:25.:29:27.

can't remember his name, it's undemocratic. The BBC is quite...

:29:28.:29:35.

The BBC has broadcasting laws and manages to be a democratic entity

:29:36.:29:38.

and its incredibly ridiculous the printing press in this country has

:29:39.:29:42.

the ability to manipulate a country. I think the Son has predicted the

:29:43.:29:48.

election victory of the last six governments, that's coincidence, we

:29:49.:29:49.

need to do something about this. I'd like to pick up that point. I

:29:50.:30:01.

don't know about Cameron, when he says anything I don't know who he's

:30:02.:30:06.

talking to. Is he trying to satisfy his backbenchers, or is he trying to

:30:07.:30:11.

worry me, I don't know. But what I do know, and we have seen it already

:30:12.:30:16.

tonight, is that the pro-Europe lobby tends, sadly, I think, always

:30:17.:30:21.

to say, just how damn awful it is going to be if we come out of Europe

:30:22.:30:24.

because we will lose all these jobs, etc. What I want to be hearing is

:30:25.:30:31.

somebody speaking a positive message about how damn good it is going to

:30:32.:30:36.

be in Europe. We have things to change but there is a pan-European

:30:37.:30:39.

project out there that we can actually be part of. And we can make

:30:40.:30:44.

a difference in the world that we can't on our own. I want to hear it

:30:45.:30:51.

for that. Not just a gloomy, terribly sad state of affairs that

:30:52.:30:56.

will happen if we leave. Turn to the Cabinet minister on your right. Can

:30:57.:31:03.

you satisfy Mary Beard? The key thing is that David Cameron is not

:31:04.:31:07.

appealing to me or anyone else on this panel. He is not appealing to

:31:08.:31:14.

you! The choice in the referendum will be for the British people to

:31:15.:31:20.

decide. That will be the choice the British people have. Occasionally,

:31:21.:31:23.

when I have been to Europe and have been talking to... You are in

:31:24.:31:28.

Europe, I have to tell you. You are in Europe.

:31:29.:31:28.

APPLAUSE Talking to ministers from other

:31:29.:31:36.

countries, they have sometimes expressed concerns as to should we

:31:37.:31:41.

be having this to go Sheshan. What I have said is this. In all of our

:31:42.:31:45.

democracies across Europe, every four or five years you ask the

:31:46.:31:48.

question, could things be better than they are now? That seems a

:31:49.:31:55.

reasonable question. If it is a reasonable question for every

:31:56.:31:58.

democracy, why not ask that of the European Union? That is what David

:31:59.:32:02.

Cameron is doing with his the go Sheshan and that is a reasonable

:32:03.:32:09.

approach to take. That is dreadfully naive. The whole question has huge

:32:10.:32:17.

indications for the UK. There are in mind we have seen the SNP in

:32:18.:32:22.

Scotland threatening a second referendum. I am not against

:32:23.:32:33.

reforming the European Union. Most institutions are worth looking at to

:32:34.:32:37.

be reformed from time to time. Like the Labour Party? I have been part

:32:38.:32:43.

of many reforms in the Labour Party and I'm glad we did reform. On the

:32:44.:32:47.

European Union, I am not against reform but this whole thing with

:32:48.:32:50.

David Cameron is about trying to find a way to come up with something

:32:51.:32:54.

so he can go to the Tory Eurosceptics and say, we have got

:32:55.:32:58.

this, let's back being in the European Union. Let me finish. I

:32:59.:33:04.

agree with Mary. Whatever the outcome of what David Cameron

:33:05.:33:07.

achieves or does not achieve, I will be voting to stay in the European

:33:08.:33:11.

Union because I think it is good for our country, good for jobs and

:33:12.:33:15.

investment, good for our security, the fact that we can work with

:33:16.:33:19.

police forces across the European Union to secure getting criminals

:33:20.:33:24.

back here to face charges and send criminals to their countries as

:33:25.:33:28.

well, it is good for the environment, because the European

:33:29.:33:31.

Union, at the talks in Paris, as a bloc, can demonstrate what they can

:33:32.:33:36.

achieve as the European Union but also influencing the rest of the

:33:37.:33:40.

world. I think that is good. To say to Justin, about coming out, there

:33:41.:33:45.

are consequences. Norway is not a member of the European Union but it

:33:46.:33:49.

wants to trade, but it has to pay in order to do that, and it has to

:33:50.:33:53.

abide by every single rule and regulation, but it doesn't have a

:33:54.:33:58.

say. That would be the issue that would face asked if we weren't in

:33:59.:34:00.

the European Union. APPLAUSE

:34:01.:34:05.

As a politician, are you sympathetic, you just said David

:34:06.:34:15.

Cameron was doing it to satisfy the sceptical backbenchers. Are you

:34:16.:34:18.

sympathetic to him having to do that to keep his party together, or do

:34:19.:34:22.

you think he should ignore them? I don't know how the Labour Party goes

:34:23.:34:28.

about it. Isn't it reasonable? Ever since he has been leading the

:34:29.:34:31.

Conservative Party he had a problem with Eurosceptics. He can't kick

:34:32.:34:37.

them out. He has set up a false premise that somehow he can go

:34:38.:34:40.

around and have all these meetings and sit with other EU Heads of State

:34:41.:34:44.

meeting come up with something. It has taken five years at least for

:34:45.:34:47.

him to come up with a list of demands. My view is that it is a

:34:48.:34:51.

false premise, and we should celebrate what an advantage we have

:34:52.:34:57.

being part of the European Union. David Cameron has this knee jerk

:34:58.:35:00.

optimism, bouncing off to Europe like Tigger. And then he bounces

:35:01.:35:08.

into some peevish Polish person or a ruminating Romanian, and they seek

:35:09.:35:12.

-- say the opposite of what he once and then there is a schizophrenic

:35:13.:35:15.

press conference where they will say, we will not give you anything

:35:16.:35:19.

you want and David Cameron says, that is marvellous and he will give

:35:20.:35:23.

me everything I want. There is a strange disconnect there. My feeling

:35:24.:35:29.

about this, and I have not always been a steaming euro-sceptic, but I

:35:30.:35:35.

think I am starting to simmer. I get the impression that the British

:35:36.:35:39.

people are, as David Cameron said today, they are slightly getting fed

:35:40.:35:44.

up with Europe. That is because the optimism, as Mary was saying, has

:35:45.:35:48.

gone out of the European Union and people are now thinking, and I think

:35:49.:35:53.

they may be right, that the sunny uplands may be on the leaves side.

:35:54.:35:58.

My feeling is, let's cut the Gordian knot and get out. Up at the back.

:35:59.:36:06.

Perhaps the woman in White. I am not a woman. Don't worry, I am not

:36:07.:36:14.

offended. I can see you in close-up now. Given the crisis that has

:36:15.:36:21.

broken out in Europe, why is David Cameron is so keen to try to shove

:36:22.:36:26.

these negotiations through? Surely, given what is happening in France...

:36:27.:36:32.

What would you have him do? He has to have the referendum. But we don't

:36:33.:36:37.

even know when yet, do we? Why does it need to happen now? What would

:36:38.:36:44.

you like him to do? Not have a referendum? He can have a

:36:45.:36:47.

referendum, but if he wants to have this renegotiation, it does not seem

:36:48.:36:55.

genuine at this point. And the woman there, if you are a woman. I am a

:36:56.:37:01.

woman. One of the main reasons for creating the European Union in the

:37:02.:37:04.

first place was to prevent a world war happening again. We have got

:37:05.:37:11.

horrendous atrocities from Isil, the potential of nuclear warfare on the

:37:12.:37:15.

horizon. Surely it is better to renegotiate as part of a bigger

:37:16.:37:19.

body, to renegotiate these things and use the technology to pass

:37:20.:37:22.

between the countries to solve potential problems for our futures.

:37:23.:37:24.

APPLAUSE Let's move on to a question from

:37:25.:37:34.

Phillip Cameron, please. Do the panel think Jeremy Corbyn has been

:37:35.:37:42.

fairly treated by the media? We were talking about the media over the

:37:43.:37:46.

European issue a moment ago. Do you think Corbyn gets fair treatment in

:37:47.:37:52.

the press? I think the media have shown him in action. I was in the

:37:53.:37:58.

House of Commons for the vote on Syria. And he made a speech at the

:37:59.:38:02.

beginning of it, which was quoted extensively on the news. And it was,

:38:03.:38:08.

I thought, a poor argument for the case. I think when people have

:38:09.:38:13.

looked at the policy positions that he has taken, very extreme, a real

:38:14.:38:19.

danger, it seems to me, to the country, that has been reported on.

:38:20.:38:25.

When he has said, for example, when asked after the Paris attacks, he

:38:26.:38:31.

was asked whether it would be appropriate for an officer to shoot

:38:32.:38:36.

to kill a terrorist in those circumstances, he had to hesitate

:38:37.:38:39.

before being able to answer in the affirmative. These things have come

:38:40.:38:43.

across, and they need to come across because this man is the leader of

:38:44.:38:46.

Her Majesty 's opposition, who wants to be our Prime Minister. I think

:38:47.:38:50.

this is being communicated to people.

:38:51.:38:53.

APPLAUSE What is your view? The fact that he

:38:54.:39:00.

hesitates before he answers shows he is considering all options first.

:39:01.:39:01.

APPLAUSE Mary Beard. I think he is having a

:39:02.:39:15.

pretty rough time and I think he is behaving with a considerable degree

:39:16.:39:25.

of dignity, given that. You look through the papers and you think,

:39:26.:39:29.

just for example on the problem about whether he will go to the stop

:39:30.:39:33.

the War Coalition party, the poor man is going to be hung if he does

:39:34.:39:39.

and hung if he doesn't. Who is going to hang him if he doesn't? Is he

:39:40.:39:45.

going to sing national anthem? If the poor guy sings it, he gets, look

:39:46.:39:51.

at this, he's a Republican, what a hypocrite. If he doesn't sing it

:39:52.:39:56.

they say, look, and he hasn't even got the decency to respect our boys

:39:57.:39:59.

and sing the national anthem like he should. I think that quite a lot,

:40:00.:40:05.

not everything, quite a lot of what Corbyn says I find I more or less

:40:06.:40:10.

agree with, and I rather like his different style of leadership. I

:40:11.:40:13.

like hearing arguments, not sound bites. And if the Labour Party is

:40:14.:40:19.

going through at the moment a rough time, and I'm sure it is rough to be

:40:20.:40:23.

in their, I think it might actually all be to the good. And he might be

:40:24.:40:28.

changing the party in a way that would make it easier for people like

:40:29.:40:31.

me to vote for them. APPLAUSE

:40:32.:40:37.

I said at the beginning, Caroline, that you left the front bench for

:40:38.:40:43.

the backbenchers when he was elected. What is your view about the

:40:44.:40:46.

way he is defected, and your view about the stop the war dinner

:40:47.:40:52.

tomorrow? Let me start with the question about the media first. I

:40:53.:40:56.

think some of the stuff has been pretty trivialised. Some of the

:40:57.:41:03.

early stuff about watching him at the commemorative service and the

:41:04.:41:06.

national anthem and what have you, even at the Cenotaph, comments made

:41:07.:41:10.

as well which I think were pretty unfair. That sort of coverage is not

:41:11.:41:18.

exclusive to Jeremy. Lots of politicians and Labour leaders have

:41:19.:41:22.

had to deal with that. I have been in the party 36 years so I have seen

:41:23.:41:28.

a lot of that over the years. I do think it is a big step up of a job

:41:29.:41:33.

from being a backbencher, where you can do your own thing, to being the

:41:34.:41:37.

leader of the Labour Party. One of the things that Jeremy has,

:41:38.:41:43.

undoubtedly, he won an election with a huge mandate. But also part of the

:41:44.:41:46.

reason why he won that election was that he had a certain authenticity

:41:47.:41:51.

that came across during the process, that people liked over and above the

:41:52.:41:56.

other leadership candidates. I don't think he should be packaged or

:41:57.:41:59.

modelled to get rid of that, but what he does need is to make sure

:42:00.:42:03.

the team around him recognise that he needs support to be able to do

:42:04.:42:08.

his job. In some cases when it has come to the media, they haven't

:42:09.:42:13.

helped him. But it is a big job and he has four years to grow into that

:42:14.:42:17.

job, just like when David Cameron started as leader of the Tories. Why

:42:18.:42:21.

did you leave the front bench then and make clear you did not approve

:42:22.:42:26.

or agree with him? I left the front bench because I spent five years in

:42:27.:42:31.

the Shadow Cabinet, before that I was a minister and I have the right

:42:32.:42:36.

to say I want to take some time out. It was not they comment on his

:42:37.:42:42.

policies? It is about me having some freedom to... So you support

:42:43.:42:47.

everything he goes for? No, I don't. But as an MP of 18 years I wanted

:42:48.:42:52.

time to talk about some of the issues, unfettered by being in the

:42:53.:42:54.

Shadow Cabinet, and I have the right to choose to do that.

:42:55.:42:55.

APPLAUSE I would like to come back to what

:42:56.:43:04.

Greg Clarke said about the vote for bombing Syria. The Labour Party had

:43:05.:43:12.

a free vote. It was in the press for days, will he or will he not allow

:43:13.:43:15.

them to vote with their hearts on such an important issue. Did your

:43:16.:43:23.

leader of that? No. Listen, I think there is, on matters of war and

:43:24.:43:27.

peace like that, I think you should look to a party to have a view.

:43:28.:43:32.

Hilary Benn gave a brilliant speech, but to have the leader of the party

:43:33.:43:36.

saying one thing, the Shadow Foreign Secretary saying something else,

:43:37.:43:41.

that may be consistent with having a free vote, but this is the

:43:42.:43:44.

alternative government. What would they do if they were in government?

:43:45.:43:49.

We need to know that. What you are supposed to represent the people.

:43:50.:43:50.

APPLAUSE By having a free vote, you could

:43:51.:43:59.

speak with your heart, speak for the poor souls who are going to die as a

:44:00.:44:02.

result of it. Your party did not offer a free vote and that is so, so

:44:03.:44:08.

wrong. Vincent cable, do you think a free vote was the right way to go? I

:44:09.:44:15.

am sure it was. You don't think an opposition should have a consistent

:44:16.:44:22.

view bastion Mark there are issues of constancy. Ireland when my party

:44:23.:44:25.

came out against the Iraq war we discussed it at great length. -- I

:44:26.:44:32.

remember. There is no obvious party ideology behind a choice of that

:44:33.:44:36.

kind. If I had still been there, I would have voted for air strikes,

:44:37.:44:40.

but to have had an open debate is commendable. If I could just go to

:44:41.:44:43.

the issue of Jeremy Corbyn, the brutal politics is that he is rather

:44:44.:44:50.

disastrous for the Labour Party's prospects. The fact that we don't

:44:51.:44:55.

now have an effective opposition. My parties in the wilderness and the

:44:56.:44:58.

Labour Party is talking to itself, and that is bad. The one good thing

:44:59.:45:03.

about Jeremy Corbyn, and I think it is a positive thing that he or

:45:04.:45:07.

someone else has to build, he is making an effort to engage with

:45:08.:45:12.

millions of young people who have poor job prospects. We are producing

:45:13.:45:16.

a generation of people who are highly educated but with little

:45:17.:45:19.

prospect of good employment and secure employment, and who cannot

:45:20.:45:23.

get into the housing market. The chances of buying a house until your

:45:24.:45:28.

late 30s are very remote, or having rented accommodation that is the

:45:29.:45:34.

affordable. We are producing, potentially, a highly alienated

:45:35.:45:38.

younger generation. And he is making an attempt to engage them in

:45:39.:45:42.

Democratic politics. That is commendable, and I think whoever

:45:43.:45:47.

else is leading the opposition, from whatever party or combination of

:45:48.:45:49.

parties, as to tap into that agenda. Who hasn't spoken yet? You there.

:45:50.:46:01.

Caroline, you and the Labour Party need to get behind Jeremy Corbyn. He

:46:02.:46:06.

is a genuine human being. You said that it was terrible that he

:46:07.:46:10.

thought, he paused for a moment before thinking about killing

:46:11.:46:13.

someone, that is a genuine human being. He cares about people, he

:46:14.:46:18.

represents the people and has always works for us. We need to get behind

:46:19.:46:23.

him and Caroline, you do too. You, in the road below. I think that he

:46:24.:46:31.

is wonderful insomuch as he's generating so much political

:46:32.:46:34.

discussion that wasn't happening before amongst so many people.

:46:35.:46:40.

Quentin Letts? It's all very well saying Jeremy Corbyn is a genuine

:46:41.:46:43.

human being, of course he is, but he's also a genuine human being who

:46:44.:46:50.

during the 1980s was pretty probe the IRA, and I think that's a

:46:51.:46:55.

problem. That's unfair. I don't think that is wrong, with respect.

:46:56.:47:03.

APPLAUSE I personally am worried that he is

:47:04.:47:10.

not more critical of people who seem to be our enemies, and I think

:47:11.:47:13.

that's a problem for the Labour Party in a general election. It is

:47:14.:47:18.

Bill Artur Pikk -- it is bizarre to be a journalist at Westminster at

:47:19.:47:22.

the moment and Labour MPs almost run up to you to off Jeremy Corbyn. For

:47:23.:47:27.

once, we are not making things up when we report that is division in

:47:28.:47:32.

the Labour Parliamentary party and when Hilary Benn gave that striking

:47:33.:47:37.

speech in the House of Commons, he turned to his own party, he was

:47:38.:47:41.

addressing it to his own party and at the end of it there was

:47:42.:47:44.

tremendous applause, I may have seen you clapping him vehemently, and

:47:45.:47:49.

that applause, I think I'm right in interpreting, was anti-Corbyn. This

:47:50.:47:52.

is a Parliamentary party at least, I think very much it was, actually, it

:47:53.:48:00.

was pro-Hilary 's speech, which was anti-corporate. There seems to be a

:48:01.:48:06.

lot of. Macro is this audience entirely supporting Jeremy Corbyn as

:48:07.:48:10.

leader of the Labour Party? APPLAUSE

:48:11.:48:16.

The Conservatives up my new may be as applauding just as loudly as

:48:17.:48:23.

Labour members. You hear? The server you heard from the young lady at the

:48:24.:48:30.

back needs to be taken notice of, -- the enthusiasm. What Labour

:48:31.:48:32.

Parliamentary party seems to have forgotten is they have lost the last

:48:33.:48:36.

election and if we are ever going to win another one we need a lot of

:48:37.:48:39.

younger people voting Labour and that's what Jeremy Corbyn is

:48:40.:48:44.

bringing to the table. Very briefly, Caroline. I'm all in favour of

:48:45.:48:47.

having more young people joined the Labour Party, I joined at 17, but I

:48:48.:48:53.

have to say to you as well in the last election we lost massively

:48:54.:48:56.

amongst older voters and that the next election majority of voters are

:48:57.:49:00.

going to be over the age of 55. So we do need young people, but we have

:49:01.:49:06.

to recognise that in in 2020 we have to stop just talking to ourselves

:49:07.:49:09.

which is what we have been doing for the last six months, and start

:49:10.:49:13.

talking to the public about why they didn't support us and how we can

:49:14.:49:18.

bring their support back. Jeremy has a responsibility to make sure as our

:49:19.:49:21.

leader he reaches out beyond the Labour Party members to that group

:49:22.:49:25.

of people as well. Before we close, can I hear from any Conservative

:49:26.:49:29.

supporters in the audience who have a view? The question was if the

:49:30.:49:34.

media had treated Jeremy Corbyn unfairly, or fairly. I think the

:49:35.:49:41.

media has. I think when Jeremy Corbyn has done foolish things, the

:49:42.:49:44.

press has reported his foolish things. And really, the only people

:49:45.:49:51.

who think that Jeremy Corbyn has been treated unfairly, in an unfair

:49:52.:49:57.

way by the media, are what I call the closet communists. SCATTERED

:49:58.:50:06.

APPLAUSE . I want to take another question.

:50:07.:50:11.

This is something we have had, a question that has underlain a lot of

:50:12.:50:15.

our discussions over the last few months about the national Health

:50:16.:50:18.

Service, from Leigh-Ann Clarke blaze, Leigh-Ann Clarke. Wires and

:50:19.:50:22.

more being done by the government to support people suffering with mental

:50:23.:50:26.

health conditions in the UK -- why isn't more being done. Everyone

:50:27.:50:34.

knows the NHS is stretched financially, so the question is

:50:35.:50:37.

whether they should take money from other parts of the NHS to spend on

:50:38.:50:41.

mental health issues. Caroline Flint. We had a debate on mental

:50:42.:50:48.

health issues this week, it's a massively important area for us to

:50:49.:50:52.

understand, that if we don't spend more in this area then there will be

:50:53.:50:55.

other costs that we will have to face as well, and for too long, I

:50:56.:50:59.

was a public health minister in the last Labour government, and for a

:51:00.:51:04.

long time we have had a treatment service in hospitals, but we haven't

:51:05.:51:07.

had the sort of services in the community to prevent people becoming

:51:08.:51:09.

ill and that includes resources for mental health as well. I have three

:51:10.:51:15.

prisons in my constituency and I know that for a lot of offenders

:51:16.:51:20.

they are suffering from mental health problems, addiction problems,

:51:21.:51:23.

and problems in terms of literacy. So we really have to look, if we are

:51:24.:51:27.

going to say there needs to be parity between mental health and

:51:28.:51:31.

physical health, we have to find a way to make sure that is a reality

:51:32.:51:34.

because at the moment services are being cut back, people who need

:51:35.:51:38.

hands-on support are isolated on their own, and they cannot only be a

:51:39.:51:44.

danger to themselves but such a good -- sadly, tragically, they can be a

:51:45.:51:48.

danger to other people as well and that's not acceptable. The budget

:51:49.:51:52.

put back money that had been taken out in real terms, Vince Cable, the

:51:53.:51:57.

last budget? The problem is the lack of joined up government. We take one

:51:58.:52:03.

example, the ASA, the modern word for the dole, a very high percentage

:52:04.:52:07.

of people on the FA have mental health conditions. -- ESA. Although

:52:08.:52:16.

their conditions are treatable, particularly with talking therapies,

:52:17.:52:19.

they are not being directed into any treatment so they are out of work

:52:20.:52:23.

and their mental health conditions are getting worse. Towards the end

:52:24.:52:28.

of the Coalition Government, my boss was a kid -- key influence on this,

:52:29.:52:32.

mental health was being elevated from its traditional status as the

:52:33.:52:35.

Cinderella of the health service, and I was given a small pot of money

:52:36.:52:43.

to bring adult education for helping people with mental health, this is

:52:44.:52:48.

not just an NHS issue, it is as Caroline says about prisons, it's

:52:49.:52:51.

about unemployment benefit, it's about schools, and thinking about

:52:52.:52:55.

this problem in a joined up way, which is completely absent now. Mary

:52:56.:53:00.

Beard. The simple answer about why it's neglected is that it's much

:53:01.:53:04.

less visible to most people most of the time. There's no blood, or there

:53:05.:53:12.

is not often blood involved. I think that makes it easy to shut your eyes

:53:13.:53:18.

too. I think it is changing. I think it's changing in a way that I hope

:53:19.:53:24.

will actually require a need and demand extra investment, because as

:53:25.:53:29.

Caroline says, that investment will be repaid over and over again

:53:30.:53:36.

economic Lee, even if you just do a brutal economic calculation, never

:53:37.:53:40.

mind the cruelty and the unfairness to the individuals concerned, you

:53:41.:53:46.

come out ahead if you look after mental health. Quentin Letts.

:53:47.:53:49.

Regarding mental health, it is difficult not to feel humbled and

:53:50.:53:55.

inadequate talking about it, especially if mercifully I have no

:53:56.:54:00.

personal family experience of that. I do, however, have recent family

:54:01.:54:05.

experience of the NHS on cancer care and that has been magnificent, and

:54:06.:54:09.

the NHS, which is getting good amounts of money, long way that

:54:10.:54:13.

last, is one of the things that gives is tremendous, as the country,

:54:14.:54:17.

tremendous social peace and all I can say is I'm proud that is the

:54:18.:54:24.

case. Greg Clark. Some of the most heart-rending constituency cases

:54:25.:54:28.

that I have been working for have been when parents, often of young

:54:29.:54:34.

people, have come to my surgery at their wits' end because they can't

:54:35.:54:39.

get an appointment to have an assessment for a child or an

:54:40.:54:42.

adolescent that has got mental health difficulties, and this goes

:54:43.:54:46.

back all the time that I have been an MP. If they have broken a leg on

:54:47.:54:50.

the rugby field or something, then they would go to a Andy and they

:54:51.:54:53.

would be treated instantly, but I had cases of people where young

:54:54.:55:00.

people were being kept waiting for six months for assessment, and

:55:01.:55:04.

that's an eternity in the life of a young person. I think that is now

:55:05.:55:08.

changing. There is a much greater recognition that we must be

:55:09.:55:13.

absolutely as committed to help people promptly and effectively, if

:55:14.:55:16.

they have a mental health condition, as they've gotten physical health

:55:17.:55:19.

condition, but we still got further to go. It's a direction we must

:55:20.:55:25.

continue to go down and to have this complete parity, so there isn't the

:55:26.:55:31.

best digital stigma -- there is the stigma that has stopped people

:55:32.:55:35.

talking about it and that is changing and I'm glad it is. To talk

:55:36.:55:39.

about young people, whilst we need more money for mental health

:55:40.:55:42.

services in general, we desperately need more money for young people

:55:43.:55:47.

with mental health problems, because the damage it can cause is life

:55:48.:55:52.

changing and some people, when they don't receive the care they need, it

:55:53.:55:56.

will never be the same. Thank you very much.

:55:57.:56:02.

APPLAUSE We are going to have a guess and no

:56:03.:56:06.

on this one, the last question from Elaine Pippard, please. Should Tyson

:56:07.:56:12.

Fury competing Sports Personality of the Year? Should Tyson Fury, the

:56:13.:56:16.

boxer, be allowed to be one of the nominees for Sports Personality of

:56:17.:56:19.

the Year, or should the BBC kick him off the list? I will go round the

:56:20.:56:25.

table, you know what he said, a woman's best places in the kitchen

:56:26.:56:29.

and on her back, and talking about, sexuality and paedophilia and

:56:30.:56:31.

abortion being the work of the devil. Mary Beard, should he be

:56:32.:56:38.

there or kicked off? He's not in my dream team for a dinner party but

:56:39.:56:43.

yes, have him there vote for somebody else.

:56:44.:56:44.

APPLAUSE Greg Clark. Yes or no? You can vote

:56:45.:56:53.

for Andy Murray in what he did in winning the Davis Cup for us. Byrom

:56:54.:56:58.

Caroline Flint? Kick him off, it's about his personality and we need

:56:59.:57:03.

better ambassadors in British sport. Quentin Letts, sportsmen

:57:04.:57:09.

ambassadors? I'd definitely have him in because I want to see the

:57:10.:57:11.

punch-up between him and Clare Balding at the end. My money is on

:57:12.:57:17.

Claire, I think she would take him, in a sense. Vince Cable? I wouldn't

:57:18.:57:23.

have him on, it's called Sports Personality of the Year, not

:57:24.:57:26.

sportsperson of the year, it's about personality as well as sport and he

:57:27.:57:30.

has failed that test. OK. APPLAUSE

:57:31.:57:34.

Thank you all very much and thank you for your swift answers on that

:57:35.:57:36.

issue, but our hour is up now. We're in Slough next

:57:37.:57:39.

week with Piers Morgan With four other people, alongside

:57:40.:57:47.

politicians. Then after Christmas we're

:57:48.:57:52.

back on 14th January To join the audience

:57:53.:57:54.

for either programme - Slough or Limehouse -

:57:55.:57:58.

go to our website, or call: If you are listening on Radio 5Live,

:57:59.:58:11.

you can continue the debate I hope that's a lively programme, it

:58:12.:58:25.

usually is. My thanks to this panel and this audience, who can't take

:58:26.:58:29.

part in that discussion. From all of us here in Bath, until next

:58:30.:58:30.

Thursday, good night. What do we do with

:58:31.:58:56.

something like this? that you might have heard

:58:57.:59:00.

about me that could be true. We've got a nutjob

:59:01.:59:13.

running around London.

:59:14.:59:16.

David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Bath. On the panel are Conservative communities secretary Greg Clark MP, Labour's Caroline Flint MP, Liberal Democrat Vince Cable, classicist and broadcaster Mary Beard and the Daily Mail's parliamentary sketch writer Quentin Letts.


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