21/04/2016 Question Time


David Dimbleby presents debate from Exeter. On the panel: Liam Fox, Kate Hoey, Lord Ashdown, Leanne Wood and Tim Martin.

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Tonight, we are in Exeter and this is Question Time.


Good evening and welcome to you, whether you are watching, listening


on the radio, and to our panel. The Conservative former Defence


Secretary, Liam Fox. Former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Paddy


Ashdown. The Labour MP campaigning to leave the European Union, Kate


Hoey. The leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood. And the founder and


chairman of the Wetherspoon chain of pubs, Tim Martin.


As we go into this hour of debate, remember Facebook, Twitter, all at


your disposal. Or you can text if you want to take issue with what the


panel and audience are saying. Our first question from Louise


Haines. Is it OK for Barack Obama to come to the UK and tell us how to


vote in the EU referendum? Barack Obama, who arrives today. Liam Fox.


Well, the president is entitled to be heard. He is our closest ally in


the world. My problem with this is that what he is talking about for


Britain is something that America would never except for itself. You


would never have would never except for itself. You


accepting a court telling the Supreme Court what to do. They would


never except an open border with Mexico. You would never expect


Congress to allow someone else to tell them how to spend money.


Congress to allow someone else to when you get involved in any one


else's domestic politics. If there is


else's domestic politics. If there your national-security, you probably


need to speak out. But I don't like being told we should accept one


thing that the Americans wouldn't. My message to President Obama would


be, can we cope with making My message to President Obama would


laws? Can we cope with controlling our borders? Can we cope with


In the past, you have lectured America on what you think they


should do, haven't you? It is not a question of... You have. And I am


not head of state. We know that. So it is all right for you? We all have


opinions but he is dead of state. To come and say to us, you should


accept something for come and say to us, you should


Kingdom that we would never except for the United States, I think he


should pause and think of for the United States, I think he


message that gives. -- he is the head of state. That is not what he


is saying. He is saying you should make up your own mind about this.


Look, 19 and years ago this month, the American president, in 1917,


Look, 19 and years ago this month, took the decision that American


troops would be sent to Europe. They were, by the thousand. We would


probably have lost the First World War had it not been for the


intervention of America to save our freedom. And they did it again in


the Second World War. And they did it again in the Cold War. And in


those three wars, 1.5 million Young American soldiers were killed or


wounded. What reason is he here? There are 1.5 million reasons.


America has in the past protected us, defended us at every one of the


dangerous moments we have faced. If it is the President's view, and it


is mine too, that the step we are about to take will introduce


instability into Europe at a time which is exceedingly dangerous, he


has a right to say that, and he has a right to tell us that this step


will endanger the safety of both his country and Europe and ourselves.


Hang on a second, Tim, let me finish. Now, he does come here as a


head of state of the greatest nation on earth. And our constant friend in


times of the most difficulty over the last 100 years. We should give


him a hearing and we should listen. And we should treat him with


respect. And the one thing we should not do is to do what Kate Hoey did


the other day, call him a patronising hypocrite. That is bad


manners and it shames all of us. APPLAUSE


Kate Hoey ought to be able to answer that. Well, I did not actually call


him a patronising hypocrite. I said he was hypocritical and he was being


patronising. LAUGHTER


You should read it more carefully. I don't think President Obama woke up


one morning and said with Michelle, we have got to go to London and tell


the people that they need to stay and vote to stay in the European


Union. We know why he has come, and it is a very useful time to come and


have lunch with Her Majesty and that is great and I have no objection to


him coming to say goodbye. But of course we know he was asked by the


Prime Minister. David Cameron literally, I believe, not


necessarily got down on his knees, but pleaded with him to come because


he needs him, because he knows the campaign has not been going well. Do


you have a tiny bit of evidence to support that? I know David Cameron


is spending a lot of time instead of looking after the steel industry and


other issues that we might come onto in going round the country and going


round getting every single international figure he can get to


come along and tell the British people. But the reality in terms of


the security issue is ridiculous. The Americans have their own


interest. I know they are our greatest neighbour and friend we


want to be working with, but they have their own interest. They tried


to stop us defending the Falklands. They tried to stop us when they


invaded Grenada, and part of the Commonwealth, they did not come us.


It is in their interests because they see us in the European Union as


their spokesperson. If we leave, why would we not still be part of being


friendly with the United States to with them? Let's hear from you in


the front row. I wonder whether he is saying what is in America's


interest, or in our interest. Leanne Wood. Well, I don't remember there


being a big outcry when President Obama intervened in the Scottish


referendum debate. I think many Tories welcomed his intervention


then, telling Scots that Scotland would be better off as part of the


United Kingdom. So either it is OK for the president of the United


States to intervene on matters in the UK, or it is not. You cannot


pick and choose depending on the referendum. But I would say, from a


Welsh perspective, we have elections to the National Assembly in two


weeks, and this debate has completely dominated politics for a


number of weeks now. And the danger for us is that the very important


issues, the fact that we have had 17 years of age they buy led


government, they are the establishment in Wales. -- of a


labour- led government. We are not doing a party political broadcast.


Well, if it was OK for him to intervene in the Scottish referendum


campaign, it has to be OK for him to intervene in this one. The man in


the gallery. To link this back, as Paddy did, to a security issue, the


reason the Americans can have an opinion on things, surely security


in Europe has been a Nato programme, and we joined the single market, the


political project that is Europe in the 1970s. So it is nothing to do


with the war is and what has happened since the war is. Tim


Martin. I agree with what you said about Nato. If Barack Obama wants to


speak out, or Prince Charles wants to speak out, you can't stop them. I


think it's slightly repugnant the way it does seem to be the great and


the good. Even the New Zealand Prime Minister has been asked to comment


on the European Union. So there is quite a lot of interference. I


utterly disagree with Paddy's analysis of the situation. What has


made America great, the top military power, fantastically powerful


economy, perhaps the greatest country in the world, is the fact


that it is a democracy. And that democracy is enshrined in their


constitution. And if you look around the world now, it is democratic


countries which are the most prosperous, and democratic countries


which have the most freedom. And America is a shining example of


that. The problem with Europe is that it is removing democracy...


APPLAUSE And that is the issue. We were


dealing with Barack Obama's visit. We have a question on Europe coming


up, so let's go to that and we will just move on. Robin Horne, please.


Are the Treasury right to use scare tactics in the forthcoming


referendum? This was the latest announcement by the Treasury saying


that on average, by 2030, households would have to pay, would lose ?4300


a year. Paddy, I will come to you but first I want to ask a question


which has been niggling at me. When we saw you and Neil Kinnock and


David Cameron on those telephones this week, who were you actually


talking to? We were talking to help others on the Remain campaign. You


were not calling people? No, we were bringing them to say thank you. --


we were ringing them. I had just discovered three Lib Dems in a row.


The third one said, can I speak to the Prime Minister to persuade him


to vote Lib Dem, so I handed it to the Prime Minister. The question


was, look, I think the Treasury was right. This is well founded, and the


Financial Times said so, too. I will concede that both sides will no


doubt massaging arguments in favour and the figure is a bit. They always


do it and they are probably doing it now. So I invite you not to listen


to the Treasury. Really? David, you must let me finish. I want you to


listen instead to the Independent, accepted, respected international


bodies, who have warned us of the dangers and costs to ourselves and


the global economy and the European economy of doing a step that would


take us out of Europe. And the Out campaign say, no, they are wrong.


They don't explain why they are wrong, they just say they are wrong,


as if saying it makes it so. So the IMF was wrong, the OECD was wrong,


the World Trade Organisation was wrong. The G-7 Finance


the World Trade Organisation was said that were wrong.


the World Trade Organisation was England governor was wrong. Everyone


is wrong, except for them. Rubbish. England governor was wrong. Everyone


Wait. I can't keep waiting, Paddy. I am going to set a challenge


Wait. I can't keep waiting, Paddy. I will be interesting. Can they offer


the name of a will be interesting. Can they offer


world economy, just as we are coming out of recession and about to be


plunged back into it? That is what they are saying. Are they wrong? On


the question, on the Treasury, they are saying. Are they wrong? On


be frank and honest, all politicians will use negative campaigning at


some point if it suits them. But if you are going to do it, at least you


have to be decent about doing it. The thing about the Treasury report


was that it was cringingly inept. I was embarrassed that it came out of


the Treasury which I helped get elected, and I think Gordon Brown


would have blushed at the elected, and I think Gordon Brown


particular report. Since Paddy wants an explanation, they invented this


particular report. Since Paddy wants statistic, GDP per household, never


used anywhere else in government, never used in the Budget, never used


anywhere else. According have GDP per household of ?68,000.


2030, they are talking about. What they said was that although the


economy would continue to grow, whether inside or outside the


European Union, they believed it would grow slightly more slowly


outside the European Union. they said, if you make the


assumption they said, if you make the


migrants coming in, you end up with this number of 4300. Hang on a


second. In order for George Osborne to be right, we have to have no


trade deals outside the European Union, have 3 million migrants,


which blows apart the Conservative election pledges. And they have to


be right in their predictions for 60 consecutive quarters. Remember,


today we got the number that we did not get the number correct from our


prediction in October last year. So this seems to be a lot for us to


swallow. Frankly, it was an incredible assessment.


APPLAUSE Can you, or maybe Kate, can pick up


on the point Paddy made, which is there are a whole host of these


reports and the Institute for Fiscal Studies says they are mostly in the


same direction. Kate was asked if she could name a reputable


institution. I've got one. The CBI actually commissioned the PWC, Price


Waterhouse Cooper. They did a report which said yes, of course, when we


leave immediately, there'll be some uncertainty, but, as the months go


on, growth will grow, and it is very, very clear that there are


other independent reports, Capital Economics, the Tosca fund, I don't


know the details because fundamentally to me, yes, the


economics is very important and we are going to get all the different


views and there'll be scare stories. For me, the most important thing


about why I want people to leave is because I genuinely believe that


we've lost control of our borders and immigration system but, more


importantly, we are not an independent country any more. We are


not. And that is to me the most important thing.


APPLAUSE Members of audience. The man in the


checked shirt? I did some maths on the back of an envelope as well. I'm


an economist and financial adviser and I took the ?10 billion of net


savings that we'd make if we left Europe and I multiplied those by 14


which is the number of years up to 2030. I then used the economic


credit multiplier because you have the benefit of spending that ?10


billion, the taxes raised on it and the growth and so on. The figure I


came out with was ?1.5 trillion which means if we leave the European


Union we'll be able to fund and repay the national debt.




You should be in the Treasury. Kate Hoey thinks you should be in the


Treasury. You were asked to name one of the international accredited


institutions. I wasn't tonight. You have named none of them so far, so


it would be interesting to see... They all got it wrong on the euro


panel, you know that. Hang on a second. OK, fine, I accept, they


could all be wrong. These guys could be right. Are you going to bet the


whole country on that possibility? If you are, that is fine. If you are


going to get the whole country on a pious hope, rather than serious


studies from the international institutions that are respected


around the world, then you are right to vote Brexit. Now, can I answer


the question? No, the man over there first, you can come back. Does Liam


Fox not feel embarrassed at working for a Government that he can't


support? I mean, they are so inept, he's just said so. The Government is


so inept? Yes. I said the report was inept, not the Government. I think


that... The Chancellor... We have different views. We are not going to


be identical politicians, the public don't want that. What I would say to


Paddy... No, no, no, you said the Chancellor was inept. I didn't say


the Government was inept. You said the Chancellor was. I said the


report was. You didn't say the Chancellor was? No, I said it was


cringing. Does it embarrass you? To Paddy's point on the IMF... Never


mind Paddy. Every single one, not just the IMF, the OECD, the Governor


More of the economics, all of themment. They all said you should


join the euro, the Bank of England said it would be good for the


European Union for us to join. Thank goodness we didn't. I'll go around


the table. The woman up there first in the second row from the back?


How do you think the Government will be able to guarantee income for


farmers if we left the European Union? They get so much of their


income, 55% of their income in 2015 came from being linked with the


European Union direct payments. How would the Government be able to


guarantee that? Leanne Wood, you have farmers in Wales that benefit


from that? I'm really glad use raised that question. We have


farmers scratching a living on hillsides trying very hard to make


those businesses a success and I'm very concerned about what will


happen to those because I have no faith in Westminster whoever is in


Government to redistribute that wealth in a fair way. They don't


have a good record on that. So you trust the Europeans better than


Westminster on this? They are doing that now, there is an element of


redistribution. But you think a Westminster Government would pull


back on that if Brexit came about? My party has been campaigning for


years with parity. We have had no success in terms of sorting out our


financial situation. Can I just respond to this point about


information and figures and the way in which this information is put


out. People are desperate for accurate information, for facts.


This is a difficult decision and people want to make an informed


decision based on the correct information. The way that figures


are being banded about, economic forecasts, way into the future, are


impossible to predict. Today, it's not just the one side, it's the


Brexit supporters as well. We had the head of the Office for National


Statistics who's questioned the figure of ?350 million that's been


used saying that that's how much it costs us to remain a member of the


EU. There are questions on both sides and what people want now, in


order to make that informed choice on this very important question, is


to have facts. The problem with facts, Leanne, they can be interpred


differently. If I hold up this glass of water in my right hand it's half


full, if I move it to my left hand, it's half empty. You know, just on


the farming aspect though, 40% of the money we give into the EU goes


to subsidising farmers all over the EU. We are subsidising French


farmers, far, far more than our farmers are getting. Before we


joined the Common Market, farmers got subsidies.


Tim Martin? The farming and agricultural minister, George


Eustace, has said that the farming community will continue to be


supported to the same level it is within the EU. There is no real EU


money. We send money out to the EU and it then comes back to support


farmers with strings attached. It's not a very efficient way of running.


Why did the NFU vote to remain then? They represent them? Maybe they


don't believe George Eustace, I but I do. Liam Fox? Paddy Ashdown? In


terms of facts, Leanne is right, ?350 million they have been talking


about, actually that was checked and on the report announced today by Sir


Andrew Dilnot in the UK statisticical agency whose job it is


to provide statistics are accurate, says that ?350 million is totally


inaccurate. He says it's misleading. The actual figure we give to Europe


after taking account of the rebates that come back is about ?7.


after taking account of the rebates billion, 30p per person per day in


Britain. I would like to address our economist friend over


Britain. I would like to address our take that as ?7 billion or ?8


billion that we pay into the European Union. If we leave, the


likelihood, you can already see the pound dropping, you are already


beginning to see Britain's credit rating being held in question by


Standard Poor. If I think it's the case, which is likely, that an exit


leads to one quarter of one percent on increase in interest rates on


mountain of debt, that ?7 billion is swallowed up the day after many,


many times over, leaving aside text true cost of ?23 billion. -- the


extra cost of ?23 billion in tariffs that is going to be loaded on the


cost of British goods and that is going to be loaded on the


which shall be paid for, not by your money, but in lost jobs and


which shall be paid for, not by your businesses. This doesn't sound to me


like a good deal. We did say we shouldn't take too


much account of the figures being banded


much account of the figures being it's the national statisticical


agency designed to be able to ensure that figures are correct who


criticise the ?350 million, the audience should know that. In


terms of farming, to go the audience should know that. In


will determine whether we get a the audience should know that. In


deal or not, is what is in our mutual interest. We actually import


the figure that year was ?19.4 billion worth of agricultural goods


from Europe more than we sell to them. It's actually in their


interests, even more than ours, to get a Free Trade Agreement,


including on agricultural goods. The MFU report actually said, if we


assume we have a free trade deal and continue subsidies at the level we


do now and I don't know any party proposing anything else, all


agricultural sectors proposing anything else, all


It doesn't do any good to scare people into thinking the benefits


will be less. You, Sir, in the blue suit?


will be less. one of the things you asked Kate


about earlier was evidence and you are banding around figures that


didn't protect the recession and how good or bad the recovery would be.


It's not good enough. You with the spectacles in front of him? In the


short-term, we see that maybe there'll be a struggle before we can


actually negotiate all of these free trade deals. Maybe in the long run


you can make the case that it's better to exit but in the short-term


there'll be significant pain. More members of audience. You, Sir? Yes.


I wonder if at the end of the day, the figures are going to be what


people make their decision around. It's very difficult to feel that you


can believe any particular set of figures so much that you can rely on


them. I believe people will vote on how they feel about the EU and


nothing else. APPLAUSE


You, Sir? The point I would like to make is, it's all a mess. I have


more confidence that we can sort out our own mess and that mess can be


sorted out in Brussels. This whole debate is really, and I know Paddy


doesn't like me using this word, but it's the establishment who're lining


up and uniting against ordinary people who want to have a say for


the first time in 40 years. Why does that... Sorry, if it is the


establishment... Why is Boris in it? I how come you are one of only seven


Labour MPs? No, 12. Going for Brexit. Is the Labour Party the


establishment? Is Jeremy Corbyn the establishment? Well, of course,


Jeremy's position on the EU is very interesting because, of course,


Jeremy was in every single lobby with myself and others right through


the last 20 years. But Jeremy is now leader of the party, he wants to


keep the party together, he doesn't want to be seeing the divisions that


perhaps there are in the Conservatives. And he doesn't want


to come on the same side as you, Kate, does he? He actually has a


very different view which I support, of what should happen in the EU. I


don't believe it will ever reform and therefore I think there's no


point in staying in. We are half way through the


programme now. More questions. You, madam? Why does everything have to


be about the bottom line? Why? Do we not have some vision here? Some


leadership? Why are we retreating into petty nationalism? Why do we


not want to work with our European friends and neighbour to reform a


deeply flawed institution, but to make it better?


APPLAUSE I think it's very important to understand that the Europeans are


our friends and what's important for them, as important for us, and it's


been shown to be the greatest protection against autocrats and


war, is that they regain control of their own democracy. And that's what


will protect us in the future, so it isn't being a Little Britain to want


to have democracy, it's slowly being eroded and that's very dangerous. Is


it really a friendly gesture? Let her come back and then Paddy you can


reply? Is it really a friendly gesture to throw your toys out of


the pram and say you are not going to play any more because it doesn't


suit you? We are not doing that. She is right, the great British


tradition is to getting gauged. But you are also entirely right in


saying this is not just about economics. -- to get engaged. Liam


said it was due to Nato that we are at peace. Well, every single one of


our Nato allies, and there is no exception, is saying, please do not


leave Europe, Nato will be weaker in consequence. Every one of our


European allies is saying the same thing. Every one of our Commonwealth


allies is saying the same thing. Only one man in our neighbourhood


wants us to leave and begin to break up the European Union and you know


his name. It is Vladimir Putin. His strategy for the last 30 years has


been to divide Europe, to use energy, to use tanks to capture


European territory. If you move now to break up the European Union, then


I can tell you the one person who will cheer is not a single one of


our allies or our friends, but the Russian leader. Vote Brexit, it is


what Putin wants you to do. Liam Fox is a former Defence Secretary. What


do you make of that? I think it is nonsensical. Paddy, allow him to


answer, please. We were in the EU when he annexed Crimea. We were in


the EU when he invaded Georgia. It did not seem to dissuade him from


those actions. I think that is a ridiculous argument. I want to take


up the point the gentleman right at the back made, with the grey hair,


if you don't mind me saying that. I do agree. I think this is much more


than just about money. And for me and for many people this is about


being a self-governing democracy, able to make our own laws, control


our borders and control our own money, and to escape from the


financial quicksand of the euro. Because the more that the euro drags


down the European economy, and I'm not sure people understand this, and


the more our economy is successful, the bigger our contribution to the


European Union gets. We end up funding a project we stayed out of


because we correctly predicted it would fail. Can I ask a very simple


question to which there is isn't what answer? Name me one Nato leader


of one of our partners in Nato who agrees that Brexit is a good idea


for our common security? Just one. Many of them are in the European


Union because we give them free British money. Of course they will


want us to stay. So you can't name one of our friends who agrees with


you. That is the answer. We have to move on. Do you want a last word,


Madam? I don't remember a time when we were not part of the common


market. I want more information. Facts and figures can be interpreted


in different ways but I want to know what is going to happen. I don't


know what will happen if we come out. I am on the fence. I know which


side I prefer but I am torn and I get bombarded with information.


Facts and figures are bombarded. What is going to happen to us? Does


this kind of discussion help you? This is a dangerous question to ask.


Or does it make it worse? Oui unfortunately, it doesn't. Getting


facts and figures, the gentleman in front of me is probably very clever


at economics and his maths is probably very good, but he said he


wrote it on the back of envelope. We know what is going to happen. How


will you make up your mind if you have this and you are bombarded with


all this? I'm concerned about immigration, but I also want this


country to grow. I want money, investment and jobs for people in


this area but I live in an area where farmers need support. We do


get money from the EU. It is our money. I know it is our money. I am


very torn. The first thing to do is to look at Australia, New Zealand,


Canada, the United States, Singapore, countries which are


independent democracies. But they are very different to us. When you


going to make up your mind? I am about 60-40. My husband is very


opposite and we do debate things. Is that your husband next to you? No.


He is at home. OK, thank you very much. All I can say is keep


watching. We will be in Hull next week if you want to come and


Manchester the week after that. I say that because if you want to make


a note, there is the website address and our telephone number. Let's move


on, because we will discuss the EU week after week. Let's take this


question from Lisa Kelman, please, a medical student. What should Jeremy


Hunt do to avoid an all-out strike by junior doctors? Resign.


Shall we go on to the next question? Kate Hoey. Well, I think Jeremy Hunt


is not facing Kate Hoey. Well, I think Jeremy Hunt


next week situation going to be happening with


the all out strike that is going to take place. I believe the time is


for the Prime Minister, as I said earlier, who is spending an awful


lot of time on the EU business, but actually this is an immediate


crisis. I believe the Prime Minister should be taking control of this, he


should be insisting that Jeremy Hunt, and personally I would move


him and get a new Secretary of State. I think that would be a great


addition to making things work, because there is no doubt, and I


know from doctors in my constituency how little respect now they have for


the Secretary of State for Health. If you have that lack of respect,


how can you even start to begin to negotiate? I would say to the Prime


Minister, your responsibility, get everybody round the table in Downing


Street even if we have to have tea and biscuits or whatever they used


to do, and realise this will not be solved by Jeremy Hunt.


APPLAUSE One thing that makes no sense to me


is how the BMA can say that the new junior doctors' contracts are safe


and will put patients at risk and possibly increased death rates or


whatever, but then the BMA can organise a strike next week or the


week after, where emergency cover isn't going to be covered, if that


makes sense. Surely that is going to be just as dangerous as, if the new


contract is dangerous, I can't think of the words... Equal danger. Yes.


Liam Fox, you were a doctor, what do you make of it? As someone who as a


junior doctor in the NHS worked many more hours than junior doctors


today, I am glad we got away from where we were then. I can remember


doing in obstetrics what is called A1 in two. We had to work the day,


the next day and the next night, and the next day and the next night.


That was dangerous, and one of the good things about the contract is


the reduction in total hours doctors are allowed to work from 91 hours


each week, which is still a great number, down to 72. Is that the EU


working time directive? No, this is the government's new contract, and I


think that is positive. I have a problem with doctors going on strike


and the General Medical Council have said it may lead to doctors being


potentially struck off if patients were to die as a result of their


actions. My personal view is that if we don't allow the police to strike


and do not allow the Armed Forces to strike, there is quite a strong


argument to say we should not allow doctors to strike and in return we


cut them a special deal. What should the Secretary of State do? I think


he needs to keep talking. 90% of the contract is already agreed. I think


it is wrong for the doctors to go on strike. There is a question here


about the seven days. What are we trying to achieve? Is it better


seven days emergency cover, or a full seven-day service with elective


surgery and all those services running? If that is what we want, it


is more than just doctors. If you want a full service you have to have


haematologists, radiographers, dieticians all in the time. Someone


shouted, you tell us, because you support the government on this. I


would like to get to that full seven-day service, because patients


do not get ill according to what day of the week it is. That means more


money. I think that is right in the long term it requires more money. It


requires a change in how we organise our health care. Everyone should


take a deep breath, get back into the talks and recognise the one


thing that seems to be left out of this, that the most important people


in the health service are not the doctors or anyone else but the


patients, and the quality of health care patients are getting when they


want it and at a level of quality they deserve. You, sir, with the


moustache. Easily identifiable. I would like to make an observation.


David Cameron used as one of his sound bites to get elected that


there will be no top-down restructure of the NHS. And I will


cut the deficit, not the NHS. They have totally gone against that, and


in terms of doctors going on strike, I served in the Fire Service. I have


been on strike. We didn't want to do it, it was a horrible place to be. I


think they are being forced into this situation. There is a seven-day


NHS at the moment and we have had it for many years. And it was setup in


the time of greatest posterity and has served this country well.


Nothing is more valuable than health. Hold on, let's come to the


point. What do you think Jeremy Hunt should do? Resign. Resign now. Tim


Martin. I think the issue of the health service in Britain suffers


mostly because it is a sacred cow and we don't, unlike car


manufacturing and many other types of things, we don't much ever


compared how it works in France, how it works in New Zealand, in


Australia, where I think in many ways they have superior systems.


It's very difficult working in the NHS, from people I speak to. It is a


top-down runs and I think it needs fundamental reform, and the debate


which Liam Fox has said. If you want a health service, and there is


really nowhere else to go, I don't think you can go on strike. So what


should Jeremy Hunt do? Running my business, I would never impose a new


contract on our managers without their agreement first, because it is


too confrontational. If you can't get them to agree it, you can't do




Leanne Wood. In answer to the question, he should talk to them and


he should show them some respect. We have a big problem in the NHS in


terms of recruiting doctors. In Wales, we have fewer doctors per


head of population than any country in the EU. In fact, there are only


three other countries, sorry, in the UK, and only three other countries


in the EU with fewer doctors per head of population than we do. We


are not having a strike in Wales or Scotland. We take a different


approach in Wales and Scotland. I would say to any doctors who are


feeling disrespected and unloved by your government, come to Wales. A


recruiting Sergeant! Lisa Kelman, who asked the question, what do you


think of what you have heard so far? I think Jeremy Hunt should apologise


and say, sorry I missed lead the public and caused the hunt effect. I


am sorry I have conflated and uncosted mannequin toe with punching


junior doctors. I am sorry that I lied this week, saying 500 people


have ready sign this contract. No, they haven't. That is what he needs


to do. Paddy Ashdown. Tim, I agree with what you said at the end, that


if you are going to be a leader, a manager, you really have to bring


people with you. I did not agree with you earlier. No need to raise


our differences, Paddy! I think we have the best health service in the


world and one of the cheapest. I don't Australia is better and I have


spent a lot of time there, my family is there. So what should happen now?


I think this has become a sort of match over conflict. You can't back


down, on both sides. Sensible solutions are being avoided,


invaded. So I think it is time, the gentleman at the back said resign,


and I think that has most of our support. But I think it is time for


the Prime Minister to say it is clear that Jeremy Hunt Keller was


all this problem sensibly. Therefore, it probably is time for


him to stand aside. -- Jeremy Hunt cannot resolve this sensibly. I


don't say that you should not be taking industrial action. You have


the public on your side. You are winning this. Be careful about


raising the stakes. I see no reason to do that whatsoever. Maintain the


pressure as it is, keep the public on your side. If you move up a notch


on this and there are some devastating consequences, a tragedy,


you will find that that crucial public support, which you need to


win this, is going to be lost. My advice is that Jeremy Hunt goes, and


if I was a junior doctor I would not ratchet up the pressure.


You've just stated that the NHS was brilliant, which it is, and it's the


cheapest, and that's nothing to be proud of. Britain is the fifth


wealthiest country on the planet. Fair enough. It does not get the


funding it deserves. France, Germany and Holland have more funding, more


doctors per head per Capita. We are in crisis and the doctors are saying


this as well, and we don't work seven days a week full throttle, and


that's what we've got to do to accommodate the number of people in


this country. Now, I'm a Governor, I kind of know what I'm talking about


a bit. Very fair admonishment, best value for money I should have said


as well, not the cheapest. What do you think Jeremy Hunt should do? I


don't think doctors are creatures that are political, except for you


Mr Fox probably. I think if they are saying something we have got to


listen. They are intelligent and dedicated to their jobs, we should


be listening. A last point from the woman up there? Liam Fox asked us to


put patients first and asked what they would want. I'm a junior doctor


and have been for five years and I know from picketing and opinion


polls show that Paddy is rite, the public are on our side, they


understand. If we had a referendum on this tomorrow, England would vote


no to imposition of this contract. Consultants would vote no, the Royal


Colleges would vote no, patients would vote no. The NHS belongs to


all of us, not Jeremy Hunt. Sorry, let me get a microphone to you? I'm


sorry, it's absolute rubbish. I used to work in A and before you do


extra hours, you opt in right. With any job now you opt in, there's a


scheme, you either opt in or out. They do lots of hours because they


push to get more money at weekends. Nobody can force anybody to do over


the 50 hours a week. They choose to physically do it. They put the


patients at risk themselves, I'm sorry, it's all about money and it's


wrong. Anybody who goes AWOL and doesn't turn up for a shift while


they are on strike should doesn't turn up for a shift while


If you were in the military, you would get arrested for going AWOL.


They know the NHS... HECKLING. No, the NHS don't want


them going off work. They are technically going AWOL not turning


up for their shifts, making people anxious by cancelling appointments,


it's their choice. I'm sorry, anybody else in any other job would


be sacked for doing that. Shame on them. What do you make of her point?


My mother 21 years ago, worked for 21 years in the NHS, she had cancer,


she was saved in this very town. People like you, you're a traitor to


your profession, you stand behind, you are an affront to medicine, you


stand there thinking Jeremy Hunt's got it Allwright here, the guy was a


bloody editor on a book got it Allwright here, the guy was a


a private NHS, you know, we need to move the funding he said. It's


bloody suicide, it's the best thing about this country. You said it's a


bit sacred cow. Do you know about this country. You said it's a


is, whatever happens to me, any part of this country, I can go to a


hospital and you can say what you want it's a Sunday so you are


definitely going to want it's a Sunday so you are


to be ashamed want it's a Sunday so you are


Liam Fox? You have been attacked there and


Liam Fox? You have been attacked from the centre saying doctors are


the hours anyway? I don't think the doctors are


the hours anyway? I don't think the think there is a real problem moving


from the system we had to a new one and the fact that we are going from


what was a Saturday working was regarded as totally different in


terms of structural pay now between seven and five on a Saturday is


regarded as part of the working week, there are bonuses if you work


more than one in four. Leanne, a point on what she said - you don't


just put it in the mixer and there are doctors - you have to attract


people into medicine and if we want to attract young people into


medicine, we have got to give them very clear rewards and to us why


they do it. It's not a job, it's a vocation and sometimes we forget


that and we've got a system that, in our view, is too target orientated,


bureaucratic and, the only basis on which it's ethical to treat patients


is the clinical need of the patients. We've got to get back to a


medical system that's much patients. We've got to get back to a


responsive to that ethos of medicine and stop worrying about waiting


times and worry about the quality of the output for the patient because


it's the quality of the care for the patient that brings people into


medicine in the first place. If all these other targets for waiting


times and so on are put ahead of those things, that is a diminished


vocational reward for doctors. Unless people feel like they are


being valued for those reasons, Unless people feel like they are


people will not be there. If the hours are too long, they are not


going to do it. They were long hours when I came in and I was still


attracted to the NHS. It's not attractive at the moment, people are


off too long sick with stress. These are the kind of issues that have to


be addressed if we want to attract good quality doctors into the Health


Service and we can do it. New Zealand have done it by


incentivising doctors to say in the country after they've qualified by


having their tuition fees paid off, so there are ways you can make being


a doctor here much more attractive than it is at present. We have under


ten minutes and I want to take one more question from Lesley Gillard?


Happens to be a student nurse. I don't know if it's an NHS question


but let's have your question? As we have a minimum wage, should we


introduce a maximum wage? This week, the...


LAUGHTER. The minimum wage went up to ?7. 20


an hour this week and what perhaps on your mind is Bob Dudley from BP


getting a ?14 million pay package. Tim Martin, you are not short of a


bob or two? ! Thank you for pointing that out, David! It's a tricky one.


I think that people are very fed up with the enormous amounts being


earned by Plc companies, that goes without saying. You are grappling


with the great difficulty of wanting to attract the best businesses and


the biggest businesses to Britain at the same time as finding it


repugnant that the very biggest business just about is paying ?14


million quid a year so I don't actually know the answer to that.


They have remuneration committees and so on, the boards of directors


are overseen by non-executive directors who're supposed to control


this, but the problem is, the non-executive directors themselves


are answering to people paid even more than the guys on board in many


respects so it's a tricky one. I think you are going to have to put


up with some pretty high pay to attract the biggest companies and if


they come here, we get a lot of tax from them so you have to hold your


nose and put up with it. What about the role of the shareholders, nearly


60% voted against this and the chairman of the company said yes, we


hear what you say but we'll in effect make our own decision? There


are these votes going around, but they haven't really been effective.


Shareholders own the company though, it's capitalism? Listen, I don't


know whether you are against the living wage, you don't want to see


the living wage? It was introduced by Wetherspoon in effect a year


before anyone else, we pay 40% of our profits to people who work in


our pubs, which is more than anyone else. I'll answer your question


because you have said it three times. I would like an answer. Don't


interrupt me so much and I'll give you one. What we've done, it's OK


for Wetherspoon to pay a certain amount, I don't think it's going to


work in Ashington or Carmarthen or a lot of places where the income


levels are very low. If you pitch a very high living wage in order to


get elected, this wasn't thought out by the pay commission, the previous


coalition had which I thought was very good, this came from George and


David after a couple of pints at Chequers saying, how can we get


George elected the next time. He doesn't believe in living wages.


Leanne Wood? You can't have a minimum wage in Carmarthen because


it's too high? I remember the arguments being put when the minimum


wage was debated in the 90s. Don't want it to be too high? The argument


was businesses would close and people would be laid off and it just


didn't happen. Because it was done scientifically Leanne by the Low Pay


Commission, not by George and someone else having a couple of


pints? The question was about the maximum wage and I think the idea of


a maximum wage is a really good one because then you could avoid the


situation that we've seen arising in recent years where the top


executives of organisations are paying themselves big pay rises


where those at the lowest paid end of the organisation have had to have


either pay freezes or pay cuts. So if you had a maximum wage and pinned


your lowest paid workers to your highest paid workers, then the


highest paid workers would think very carefully about how much they


give themselves a pay rise because they would have to bring everybody


else up at the bottom as well. So yes, from me, yes to the maximum


wage. You, Sir? I think instead of a


maximum wage, I think it would be bet federal we made the people


earning the maximum wages pay their proper taxes which, as you can see,




You, Sir? I'm a business bank manager for small local businesses


in Exeter and it's not the companies the size of Tim's that have got a


problem, it's the small owner managed businesses having to put up


their wages week in week out under pressure from their staff. That's


who I'm worried about, not the big businesses. Because of the minimum


wage? Because of the minimum wage and the staff expect step-ups as


well and it's the business owners taking less money home and earning


less profit because it's all going in wages now. Liam Fox? Well, to


answer the previous point before that, the chap raised the point


about the taxes. The richest 1% now in the UK pay 28% of all income tax


which is the highest it's been. Can you answer him because we only have


a moment left? I don't agree with a maximum wage. I'm sympathetic to the


small businesses because they are the ones who provide more employment


in the country tan anything else. I'm all for people making a profit


and making a lot of money if that's what they work hard for, people who


set up a small business, who grow it, sacrifice, don't have holidays,


so that they can get their business going. His point is the minimum wage


means other wages are going up? That is the point that's already been


made, it's where you set that minimum wage. I'm all for the fact


of having a system that there's a floor that no-one would fall below


but I have a problem with setting a maximum because those who work hard


ought to benefit from it. A big problem is the croney capitalism


where bankers get paid huge bonuses when the banks are losing money.


It's all very well get ago bonus and getting profit and income when you


are generating wealth but you should not be getting the same rewards when


you are consuming wealth. So in power shareholding. 60-seconds left.


That's what you have to do. Their money is being robbed by those


taking excessively high wages and if you give the shareholders the power,


then I think you will find this is naturally correct in the interest of


the shareholder. Presumably in BP the shareholders don't have the


power in the articles? They can set the reel Rail Maritime and Transport


Unionration every other year but this was the year in-between -- set


the remuneration every other year. I agree with you on that. The public


sector has a role to play too because I'm fed up with local


authorities paying their Chief Executives and hospitals paying


their Chief Executives huge amounts of money. They make the very same


argument that you did, Tim, that you don't attract the best person. I


remember public service when it was public service and the idea that


we'd have to pay more and more to get people to run our local


authorities and hospitals I think is wrong. OK. Time's up, I'm sorry.


So, join us next week, we are going to be in Hull, Andy Burnham for


Labour, Alex Salmond for the SNP among the panelists, it seems.


after that, we are in Manchester. There are the addresses on the


If you are listening on the website or call the number there:


If you are listening on the this glory continues with Question


Time extra time. It this glory continues with Question


telly, my thanks to our panel, and to all of you who came to take part


in this programme in Exeter. Until next Thursday from Question Time,


good night.


David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Exeter.

On the panel: Conservative former defence secretary Liam Fox MP, Labour's Kate Hoey MP, former leader of the Liberal Democrats Lord Ashdown, leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood AM and founder and chairman of Wetherspoon Tim Martin.

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