02/11/2017 Question Time


02/11/2017

David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Kilmarnock. On the panel are Daniel Hannan MEP, Kezia Dugdale MSP, Jeane Freeman MSP, Owen Jones and Anne McElvoy.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Tonight, we are in Kilmarnock,

and welcome to Question Time.

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Here on our panel,

the Conservative MEP

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and committed Brexiteer,

Daniel Hannan.

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Jeane Freeman, formerly

a communist activist,

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then Labour Party adviser,

now the SNP's minister

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for social security.

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The former leader of the Scottish

Labour Party, Kezia Dugdale.

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Senior editor of the Economist

and veteran Westminster

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watcher, Anne McElvoy.

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And flying the flag for a socialist

Britain, the Guardian

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columnist Owen Jones.

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Thank you very much.

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Remember, if you are a regular

watcher, you can, of course,

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take issue with the panel

and with the audience

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using #BBCQT, either

Twitter or Facebook.

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Or you can text us on 83981.

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And if you push the red button,

you may discover what other

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people are texting.

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Our first question from

a Ailis Miller, please.

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Can we ever change the behaviour

and culture of predatory men who use

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sexual abuse to exert their power?

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Right, can we ever change

the behaviour of predatory men?

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We know what you're talking about.

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Jeane Freeman.

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I think the main people who need

to take responsibility

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for changing that

behaviour are the men.

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APPLAUSE

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I am increasingly depressed

by the notion that sexual abuse,

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sexual harassment, sexism,

which happens across our country,

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in not just the media or newsrooms,

or in corridors of power,

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but in shops and offices

right across the land,

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I am increasingly depressed

at the notion that this is somehow

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women's problem and we need to do

something to fix it.

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I think it is crystal clear now,

this is about the attitudes

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and behaviour of men who think

they have an entitlement to take

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what they want, when they want.

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And the people who need

to change that are men.

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And that is why I was really pleased

that in our Scottish Parliament

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it was a senior male politician

in government who stood up

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and made that point.

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That men need to

challenge each other.

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They need to be much less tolerant

of the locker room chat,

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the casual jokes, the casual

comments, and the belittling

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of women in every single respect.

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You know, if we simply look at how

we deal with female politicians,

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why are we so obsessed

with what a woman is wearing

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when she is a politician?

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Maybe it is because,

frankly, what men wear

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when they are politicians is pretty

boring, I will give you that.

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But that is not the kind

of behaviours that really says

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to young women and girls in

particular, "You be what you can be.

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"The opportunities are there

for you and we will open

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"the doors for you".

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We are not saying that with honesty

if we are also saying to them that

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as soon as you stick your head up

we are going to try and undermine

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you and belittle you.

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That won't do.

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APPLAUSE

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Anne McElvoy.

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Well, yes, I think it is changing

and I think it's changing very fast.

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And we are seeing it

change this very week.

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We've got the proof before us.

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The House of Commons that

I started writing about -

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thank you very much, David,

for the word "veteran".

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Yes!

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It's a different place.

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I think what has happened is that

now, and we take the fact

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that we have had the most senior

resignation really we could imagine,

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the Secretary of State

for Defence, Michael Fallon.

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Even ten years ago that

would have been one of those,

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"he says, she says".

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It would have hung around for a bit,

he would have tried to hang on,

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he would probably have had

the Prime Minister's

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support for longer.

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And it's just a sign that the mores,

the way that we think about how men

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should behave to women as a norm

in politics is changing, and I have

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to say not just in politics.

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Carry on Westminster needs to end.

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All these excuses about,

its flirtation, it's banter,

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there are lines and we need

to police those lines much more.

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And I think that has certainly

come across this week

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to the political class.

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I was just about to say,

I am a bit wary about saying this

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is only about sleazy politicians.

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The media world that I joined,

apparently back in the Punic Wars,

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according to David...

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Veteran just means you've

been doing it for a bit.

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It doesn't mean you're aged.

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Thank you.

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I'm better already.

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It really has changed.

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But it needs to change more.

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I am absolutely taking this point.

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It is also the job of men to change

that just as much as women.

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We've got to get out of the way

of thinking about it as just

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the feminist cause that

the blokes put up with.

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What do you make of what Sir

Michael Fallon said,

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"What might have been acceptable 15

or ten years ago is clearly

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"not acceptable now"?

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Do you think that's a legitimate

justification for his behaviour

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ten or 15 years ago?

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No, I don't.

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I think he was trying,

to some extent, to be frank.

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I'm going to give him a little bit

of the benefit of the doubt.

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I think he was trying to explain how

he got himself into this mess.

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He's an intelligent man,

a very experienced politician.

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He was supposed to be

the safe pair of hands.

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That may be an unfortunate phrase

in the circumstances.

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I think what is wrong with it is it

wasn't acceptable then,

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it's just he didn't know it.

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And that is what annoys people.

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I think if you say to people

who have that view,

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"Would you have liked

to your daughter to go

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"into politics, or go into any

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"profession and necessarily feel

that they sometimes had to sort

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"of fend off lusty men around

the office, when they were not

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"really putting themselves

in the way of trying to go out

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"on a date with you"?

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I think that is a line

that we have just changed our

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understanding of that.

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Sometimes people make excuses

but when you ask them if they'd

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like their own children to come up

against it when they go

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into the workplace or start to turn

to adult life, they're

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much more stringent.

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I think that's good.

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Let's hear from one or two members

of the audience before we go on.

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What's your view yourself?

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I think it will take a long time.

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I think it will take

generations to actually change.

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And you, sir.

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It's not just entirely men

that cause this problem.

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When I was at sea, I sailed

with a stewardess who had

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retired out of the RAF,

who had been based at Chequers.

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And she used to tell us

that she used to lick her lips

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when the new recruits came

into the building.

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All right.

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I don't know if we want

to go into that one!

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You, sir, there.

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What I cannot understand is a lot

of the recent furore over what has

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been happening is historical.

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And you would ask yourself why

the people concerned haven't

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come forward before now.

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Some of that is because they've been

in fear of their livelihoods,

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or their jobs, or whatever

it might be.

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But I thought that we have

a charter, a whistle-blower's

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charter, that never seems

to have been upheld.

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And therefore, the people

concerned have never felt

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that they got any support.

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Owen Jones.

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Well, look, we live in a society

which is still riddled

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and is defined in lots of ways

by sexism and misogyny.

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And the point you just made there,

it is so hard for survivors

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of sexual violence to come forward.

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There's a sense of,

"It's my word against theirs".

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It's the abuse of male power,

this belief that, the sense

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of entitlement that people have,

a sense that their career could be

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jeopardised as a consequence,

that their sexual history will be

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trawled over, that they will be

demonised and attacked

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in court and all the rest.

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The truth is, in Britain,

men who assault, harass and rape

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women get away with it.

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1.4 million women every single year

suffer from domestic violence.

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400,000 are sexually assaulted

and 90,000 are raped and the vast

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majority of those cases

there is absolutely no

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justice whatsoever.

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But the answer to the first

question has to be this.

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The only way we ever got change

was courageous women,

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the women's movement,

struggling for the rights

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of women against entrenched

misogyny and sexism.

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And that's how all the rights

we have in law, when it comes

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to protecting women,

have been achieved,

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that the transformation of male

attitudes, which still has a long

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way to go, was because of

the struggle of women.

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But my fear in Parliament,

we'll talk about, I'm sure,

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Labour's own particular independent

enquiry into the horrendous rape

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of Bex Bailey, an incredibly

courageous young woman.

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My worry with the Conservative Party

at the moment was a briefing

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in the Sunday Times this week

which suggested the new Defence

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Secretary, Kevin Williamson,

had given regular briefings

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to Theresa May about sexual

harrassment by her Cabinet

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ministers and MPs.

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And the question has to be there,

why wasn't it acted on?

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Was it used to try and keep

their loyalty, to scare them

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into believing that it would be

exposed, rather than acting on it?

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Did the whips fail to act?

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Because if the government of this

country takes a blind eye

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to sexual harrassment,

what message does that send

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to the rest of the country,

when male violence against girls

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and women is so rampant?

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They have to set an example,

and that means cleaning up politics

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in this country to show that sexism

and misogyny has been consigned

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to the scrapheap of history forever.

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APPLAUSE

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First of all, I think

what has happened to

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Bex Bailey was abhorrent.

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I think the violence and harassment

against women is abhorrent.

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But I think we have to be very,

very careful to create a society

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where all men are viewed by women

as a potential predator,

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and that all women could therefore

just be seen as a victim.

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Particularly in the case

of Michael Fallon.

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The journalist herself said

that she did not feel

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that she was a victim.

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She felt that she dealt

with it at the time.

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She spoke to him, he didn't do it

again, and that was the end of it.

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And I think we have to make a clear

distinction about the cases

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of Bex Bailey and women

who are threatened,

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who are harassed, who are made

to feel inferior and scared,

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and men who I would just

say chance their arm

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and get a hand away.

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I think there has to be

a clear distinction.

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I don't think you can legislate

for what I would call,

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perhaps, lechy, or not

particularly pleasant behaviour.

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Because I think if you equate

violence, rape, harassment

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with somebody potentially

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touching a knee, if you say

they are the same thing,

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then I think it

belittles the argument.

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APPLAUSE

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Kezia Dugdale, do

you agree with her?

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I do, yes.

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Let me say something

about Bex Bailey in a second,

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but that was the point

about Michael Fallon first.

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Seriously, if Michael Fallon has

resigned, and we are told

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we are to believe he has resigned

because he touched a woman's knee

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ten years ago, there won't be

a single Tory minister left

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come Sunday.

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APPLAUSE

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This is about a culture

that permeates politics,

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and we are all looking

at our Parliaments now

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but we are kidding ourselves if this

isn't happening in every single

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workplace across the country today.

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I know of constituents,

young mums working part-time,

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who are scared to speak up

when their boss slaps them

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on the bum because they know

they will lose their job.

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This is the type of thing happening

in women's everyday lives

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which is being exposed

in our politics just now.

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I know Bex Bailey quite well

and I spoke to somebody

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who is looking after her just now

because right enough she has

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turned her phone off,

does not want to speak

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to journalists, feels

she has done her bit.

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If Bex was here tonight

she would say,

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"Listen to what she actually said

in the interview on the radio".

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She doesn't want this to be

about her or individual women

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like her, but to be about how

we change the culture now.

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And she is begging politicians

and people in power to learn

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the lessons of what happened to her.

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And the one thing she's asking

for is independent reporting

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of sexual harrassment.

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You should not have to phone your

boss or somebody in a more powerful

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position than you to report this

kind of behaviour.

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We have to trust the system,

because what's happening just now

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is that women feel three things.

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One, that they won't be believed.

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Two, that no action will be taken.

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And perhaps the worst of all,

that they will be marked as trouble.

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This isn't about women,

it's about our culture,

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and it's high time we changed it.

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APPLAUSE

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The focus just now is on Westminster

and there obviously is a problem

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there, but given that there

is a correlation between alcohol

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consumption and sexual misconduct,

shouldn't a step be taken

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in Westminster and in Holyrood

to ban the sale or supply of alcohol

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within those premises,

like every other

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workplace in the country?

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APPLAUSE

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And someone just behind you, yes.

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I think it is very important

that we remember it isn't just

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women that are affected

by sexual harrassment.

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Men are as well, every day

in the workplace, anywhere.

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Women can be as sleazy,

inappropriate and violent

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as some men can.

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But it's even harder for men,

a lot of men, to come forward

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and state that they have been

harassed, or they have been

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assaulted, because there's an even

bigger stigma attached to it.

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So many people see it as,

a woman can't attack a man.

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A man can attack a woman,

that's accepted.

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But a man cannot be

attacked by a woman,

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because clearly he's a man.

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Are you saying men are attacked,

not by other men, but are

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sexually harassed by women?

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Yes, it does happen,

and it is overlooked.

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A man's sexually

harassed by a woman.

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No matter how he feels,

if he likes it or if he dislikes it,

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other guys are like,

oh, on you go, get in, good on you!

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But really, that man

could be sitting...

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I've actually met somebody

who was really, really traumatised

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by a woman that had been constantly

having a go.

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She was like, oh, we're

just having a laugh.

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And he said to her, please stop,

I'm not enjoying it.

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He ended up leaving.

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OK.

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Daniel Hannan.

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APPLAUSE.

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Well, the question was,

are attitudes improving?

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Can they be improved?

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And I think the answer

has to be yes.

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I mean, my daughters,

when they enter the workplace,

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will not be entering the workplace

with the same sort of attitudes

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that my mother faced when she did,

let alone going back further

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to before when women had

equal rights in law,

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and when even violence against women

could be sanctioned legally.

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So plainly there is an arc bending

in the right direction.

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But there is obviously something

unpleasant about having

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a workplace atmosphere,

and I agree with what everyone has

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said that this isn't

just about politics -

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we've seen it in the Church

and the media and in

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the private sector...

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There is something unpleasant

about a workplace where women feel

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on edge, either because of banter

or because of behaviour

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that they think...

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Exactly what Kezia just said,

that they don't want to look

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like troublemakers.

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And that's a nasty

atmosphere for everyone.

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Obviously, most directly,

for the women concerned,

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but it makes for a bad

atmosphere for everyone.

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We have...

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We all have a reason for wanting

to get on top of it.

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I think the PM was right

to recognise that this

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is a cross-party issue.

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I think she was right to take,

to grip it by the throat and say,

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we need to do something quickly

about this, and credit

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to the other party leaders also

for treating it that way.

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I'd add one important thing though.

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We need to distinguish between,

as the lady over here said,

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between the levels of severity,

and also between the

0:16:340:16:37

levels of accuracy.

0:16:370:16:38

I say this as someone who has

written over the years

0:16:380:16:41

for the Daily Telegraph,

which did, I think, a great

0:16:410:16:44

service when it exposed

the Westminster expenses scandal,

0:16:440:16:47

but there was a real

flaw in how it did that,

0:16:470:16:49

in that it tended to jumble

everything together,

0:16:490:16:52

from the criminal behaviour

to the extravagant behaviour

0:16:520:16:54

to the just slightly

eccentric behaviour,

0:16:540:16:56

as though it was all the same.

0:16:560:16:58

There was no hierarchy

of wrongdoing.

0:16:580:17:00

And I think we need to be very

careful not to do the same here.

0:17:000:17:04

I think we recognise

that there is a difference

0:17:040:17:06

between abusing a position

of authority, in extreme cases,

0:17:060:17:10

actual sexual assault,

and making a louche pass at somebody

0:17:100:17:13

or being discourteous

or being clumsy.

0:17:130:17:17

And it's also important to remember

that the severity of an accusation

0:17:170:17:21

doesn't reverse the burden of proof.

0:17:210:17:25

There is sometimes a temptation

with particular allegations,

0:17:250:17:27

because of their nature,

that everyone kind of draws

0:17:270:17:30

back and the presumption

of innocence is reversed.

0:17:300:17:35

In this dossier that was circulating

among the staff, there seem to be

0:17:350:17:39

some cases that are just

straightforwardly false,

0:17:390:17:42

and I think it is worth remembering

that the presumption of innocence

0:17:420:17:44

is not just some piety,

it has to mean something.

0:17:440:17:47

APPLAUSE.

0:17:470:17:50

Just before we leave this,

a hierarchy of wrongdoing.

0:17:540:17:56

Do you agree there is

I hierarchy of wrongdoing?

0:17:560:18:00

Well, I agree with what Kezia said,

in that there is clearly

0:18:000:18:04

a difference between sexually

motivated talk and harassment

0:18:040:18:12

and sexual violence and rape.

0:18:120:18:15

There is clearly a difference.

0:18:150:18:17

But I'm not sure I do

agree with Daniel,

0:18:170:18:20

because what you described to me,

in terms of the expenses scandal,

0:18:200:18:24

was actually at its core an abuse

of power, and I think whether or not

0:18:240:18:31

it is sexual harassment in the terms

of language and intimidating

0:18:310:18:36

behaviour or it is sexual violence,

it is an abuse of power.

0:18:360:18:41

Therefore, whilst you might take

different solutions to that,

0:18:410:18:47

with criminal behaviour at one end

and other behaviour at the other

0:18:470:18:53

end, nonetheless, the core

of it is a belief that a group

0:18:530:18:58

of people are less than you and that

you have an entitlement to exercise

0:18:580:19:01

power over that group of people.

0:19:010:19:05

I think, in response

to what the young lady

0:19:050:19:08

in the audience said about when men

are harassed, my attitude is simple.

0:19:080:19:13

Harassing and intimidating

and abusing anyone is unacceptable.

0:19:130:19:18

But we are clear that the vast

majority of people who have to deal

0:19:180:19:22

with that day in and day

out are women.

0:19:220:19:25

And that is what all

of this is exposing.

0:19:250:19:29

It's not just about one individual

or another individual.

0:19:290:19:32

It's about attitudinal

and behavioural change.

0:19:320:19:36

And it has to absolutely

be led by those of us

0:19:360:19:39

who are elected to make laws.

0:19:390:19:42

We need to have a particularly high

standard of our own behaviour.

0:19:420:19:46

But it needs to permeate all the way

through our society so that,

0:19:460:19:50

in those factories and shops

and the rest of it,

0:19:500:19:53

there is change there, too,

and the leaders of that,

0:19:530:19:56

in all honesty, need to be men,

supporting the women who speak out.

0:19:560:20:01

APPLAUSE.

0:20:010:20:06

I'll take one last point,

then we must go on.

0:20:060:20:09

I suspect that Michael Fallon

knows that his behaviour

0:20:090:20:12

was unacceptable ten,

15 years ago, but that

0:20:120:20:15

it wasn't perhaps...

0:20:150:20:17

The issue wasn't out

there in the media spotlight

0:20:170:20:20

and under scrutiny, and others

are obviously involved as well.

0:20:200:20:25

So I think that's why

he has chosen to resign.

0:20:250:20:27

OK.

0:20:270:20:30

Let's go on to another question.

0:20:300:20:31

Before we do, we are going to be

in Croydon next, and the week

0:20:310:20:35

after that we are in Newcastle,

and on the screen now,

0:20:350:20:38

if you want to make a note

of our e-mail address and phone

0:20:380:20:42

number, I'll give it

all again at the end,

0:20:420:20:44

but it's Croydon next week

and Newcastle the week after.

0:20:440:20:48

If you want to come,

you will be extremely welcome.

0:20:480:20:50

Alistair Bell, let's

have your question, please.

0:20:500:20:54

Eight Catalan ministers

have been jailed.

0:20:540:20:55

Does the panel agree that Spain

is behaving like a fascist state?

0:20:550:20:59

Wow, Catalonia.

0:20:590:21:01

Eight of the Catalan devolution

ministers were jailed today.

0:21:010:21:09

Is Spain behaving

like a fascist state?

0:21:090:21:13

Owen Jones?

0:21:130:21:14

Certainly, as a very

authoritarian, anti-democratic

0:21:140:21:16

state, to say the least.

0:21:160:21:17

Look, it doesn't matter

whether you support

0:21:170:21:19

Catalan independence.

0:21:190:21:20

It's quite irrelevant.

0:21:200:21:22

The issue is, do you support

the right of the Catalan people

0:21:220:21:26

to freely determine their own future

without being dragged from polling

0:21:260:21:30

stations and thrown down stairs?

0:21:300:21:32

And in modern Europe,

to see an elected Catalan,

0:21:320:21:35

an elected political leadership

leaving a country to claim political

0:21:350:21:40

asylum and being locked up

in prisons, that should chill every

0:21:400:21:44

single European and encourage us

to stand in solidarity

0:21:440:21:48

with the Catalan people.

0:21:480:21:49

I think this is a bit

like the right to divorce.

0:21:490:21:52

Just because you support the right

to divorce doesn't mean you think

0:21:520:21:55

everybody should get divorced.

0:21:550:21:57

Imagine you've got a married couple

and one of them said,

0:21:570:22:00

I'm having second thoughts

about this, I'm not sure

0:22:000:22:02

it's working out, I'm

thinking about a divorce.

0:22:020:22:04

And the response of

the partner is, how dare you!

0:22:040:22:07

Screaming in their face, vetoing any

talk of a divorce and making

0:22:070:22:10

their life increasingly hellish.

0:22:100:22:13

In a sense, the right to national

self-determination is similar.

0:22:130:22:17

I don't support Catalan

independence myself,

0:22:170:22:20

but I think they have a basic

democratic right to

0:22:200:22:23

determine, whether in

an independent state or not.

0:22:230:22:27

If Scotland had been denied

the right to determine its own

0:22:270:22:29

future, that would have been

a democratic outrage and,

0:22:290:22:32

in modern Europe, the least

that the other European governments

0:22:320:22:36

can do is tell the Spanish

government, stop assaulting voters,

0:22:360:22:40

stop locking up elected politicians,

stop denying the right of your

0:22:400:22:44

people to determine their

own future, and stop

0:22:440:22:47

attacking civil liberties.

0:22:470:22:49

Whatever you think about

independence, that should be

0:22:490:22:52

something that unites all of us.

0:22:520:22:54

APPLAUSE.

0:22:540:22:56

Daniel Hannan.

0:23:020:23:03

I feel so lucky that I live

in a country where this kind

0:23:030:23:07

of thing is unthinkable.

0:23:070:23:09

Just imagine if something similar

had been the response when the issue

0:23:090:23:13

of Scottish independence was put.

0:23:130:23:15

Just imagine if David Cameron had

responded to Alex Salmond not

0:23:150:23:18

by sitting down and discussing

the terms of the question

0:23:180:23:21

and the franchise,

but by having him arrested.

0:23:210:23:26

Imagine that police had been sent

in to break up the poll, or even,

0:23:260:23:29

before you get there,

imagine London politicians

0:23:290:23:33

saying, we need to anglicise

Scotland, in the way that

0:23:330:23:37

a PP former minister

in Madrid was saying...

0:23:370:23:39

HE SPEAKS SPANISH.

0:23:390:23:42

It's an almost

unthinkable situation.

0:23:420:23:46

I'm very pleased that we live

in a country where we are bound

0:23:460:23:49

together by shared values

but where it's clearly understood

0:23:490:23:51

that it's a democracy

and you are free to leave.

0:23:510:23:53

And when you are free to leave,

you are in no hurry

0:23:530:23:56

to exercise that right.

0:23:560:23:57

If we saw people coming

in and locking the doors

0:23:570:24:00

around us in this studio,

our first instinct would be to try

0:24:000:24:02

and get out, wouldn't it?

0:24:020:24:04

In a sense, that's the position.

0:24:040:24:05

You are locked in, actually.

0:24:050:24:06

You can't get out

until the hour is up.

0:24:060:24:09

And I say this as someone

who is deeply Hispanophile,

0:24:090:24:12

and most of my Spanish friends

and colleagues are conservatives

0:24:120:24:17

and unionists, but for the last

three years I have watched

0:24:170:24:22

with increasing bewilderment

as they've created a problem that

0:24:220:24:26

previously wasn't there.

0:24:260:24:28

If there had been a referendum

three or four years ago,

0:24:280:24:31

all the indications are that it

would have gone in favour

0:24:310:24:34

of the status quo.

0:24:340:24:36

Isn't there a reality that it's

against the Spanish constitution

0:24:360:24:40

to have a referendum?

0:24:400:24:43

So change the constitution,

or at least provide a mechanism

0:24:430:24:46

whereby constitutional

change is possible.

0:24:460:24:49

The compromise here is so obvious,

and it's supported in all the polls.

0:24:490:24:53

You can give Catalonia more autonomy

within a continuing union.

0:24:530:24:57

The vast majority of Catalans say

that is their preferred option.

0:24:570:25:01

Most Spanish, most Castilian Spanish

people say that that would be

0:25:010:25:04

the acceptable way out

of the crisis.

0:25:040:25:05

It's just extraordinary

that this pig-headedness,

0:25:050:25:07

this stubbornness, on both sides,

I have to say, has made that kind

0:25:070:25:10

of outcome so difficult.

0:25:100:25:13

You, sir, in the white shirt.

0:25:130:25:15

You say all this, but you support

a government that still

0:25:150:25:18

backs Spain's position.

0:25:180:25:22

So are you going to lobby

the Government to change

0:25:220:25:24

their position on the Spanish stance

at the moment?

0:25:240:25:30

Well, one thing is, what should be

the position of recognising

0:25:300:25:32

an independent Catalonia?

0:25:320:25:35

I think it would be wrong for other

governments to start interfering

0:25:350:25:38

in the internal affairs

of a friendly country.

0:25:380:25:41

Daniel, just quickly,

it's a lot worse than that.

0:25:410:25:44

We had scenes of voters dragged

from polling stations

0:25:440:25:47

and thrown down stairs,

firefighters being attacked

0:25:470:25:50

by the Spanish police.

0:25:500:25:52

We're not saying they should

recognise Catalan independence.

0:25:520:25:55

We are saying, or I think some

people in the audience

0:25:550:25:58

probably think this,

that they should condemn attacks

0:25:580:26:01

on human rights and the democratic

rights of the Catalan people.

0:26:010:26:04

I'm very happy to do that.

0:26:040:26:05

APPLAUSE.

0:26:050:26:07

The Tory government

is complicit in this.

0:26:070:26:13

TALKING OVER EACH OTHER.

0:26:130:26:15

He's saying the Tory

government is complicit.

0:26:150:26:16

I've said privately what I'll

happily say now publicly

0:26:160:26:19

to my Spanish conservative friends.

0:26:190:26:20

I think this is not only

a morally wrong behaviour,

0:26:200:26:22

it is also intellectually wrong,

it's foolish, because they are

0:26:220:26:25

making much more likely the outcome

that they supposedly...

0:26:250:26:29

I think the point is

whether you make the point

0:26:290:26:32

to your British Conservatives,

not the Spanish conservatives.

0:26:320:26:35

The only thing practically

the Government could do would be

0:26:350:26:38

to take a different position

on whether Catalonia

0:26:380:26:40

should become independent.

0:26:400:26:41

No, I don't think it should do that.

0:26:410:26:43

I think it should be neutral.

0:26:430:26:45

It should condemn the

attacks on democracy.

0:26:450:26:46

It's very straightforward.

0:26:460:26:47

Well, I think, no, they have said

there was excessive force.

0:26:470:26:50

They haven't condemned the Spanish

government for a thing they've done.

0:26:500:26:55

Owen is absolutely right,

and I appreciate what you say

0:26:550:26:59

about the country that we live

in and the way in which

0:26:590:27:03

the proposition for a referendum

in Scotland was negotiated,

0:27:030:27:08

and I give credit to both the UK

and the Scottish Government

0:27:080:27:11

for doing that, but we cannot

appreciate that and yet

0:27:110:27:15

turn our faces away from a situation

in Spain where that is not the case,

0:27:150:27:21

and our government does

have an obligation as a friend

0:27:210:27:25

of Spain to say, you really do need

to uphold democratic rights

0:27:250:27:31

and allow people to determine

the road that they want to go down.

0:27:310:27:36

To make it worse, day by day,

I am almost speechless when I see

0:27:360:27:42

the next step that the Spanish

government takes, and now to jail

0:27:420:27:48

elected politicians,

not sacked politicians,

0:27:480:27:53

elected politicians,

to put them in jail and to believe

0:27:530:27:58

that that is a way to resolve

a difference seems

0:27:580:28:02

to me utter madness.

0:28:020:28:04

That, frankly, is a way in which

those differences will increase.

0:28:040:28:10

You've got members of your party

who signed a motion saying that

0:28:100:28:14

Scotland should recognise Catalonia

and its independence.

0:28:140:28:19

SNP want independence from the UK.

0:28:190:28:22

Do you support them?

0:28:220:28:24

Do you think the SNP should take up

a position of saying,

0:28:240:28:27

we are in favour of an independent

Catalonia?

0:28:270:28:29

I understand why members of my own

party have signed that motion,

0:28:290:28:32

but perhaps they don't know that,

as a Scottish Government, we don't

0:28:320:28:35

have the powers to recognise

anything internationally.

0:28:350:28:40

What we can do and are doing

is urging the Spanish government

0:28:400:28:45

to uphold human rights

and democracy, and hoping

0:28:450:28:48

that the UK Government and the union

that we are still part of will do

0:28:480:28:54

exactly the same, because that is

the right thing to do, regardless

0:28:540:28:57

of your view on independence.

0:28:570:28:59

Human rights and democracy.

0:28:590:29:01

APPLAUSE.

0:29:010:29:03

The woman on the left, yes.

0:29:030:29:06

Every country in Europe should

be condemning Spain.

0:29:060:29:10

The way the Guardia went in,

it was an absolute disgrace.

0:29:100:29:14

We've had a house there for 26

years, and people that we know

0:29:140:29:19

were pulled out of the polling

station and not allowed to vote.

0:29:190:29:23

It's a disgrace.

0:29:230:29:26

And you, sir, at the very

back, on the left.

0:29:260:29:29

While I agree with Owen,

the scenes that we've seen

0:29:290:29:32

are totally unacceptable,

and while probably at some

0:29:320:29:39

point Catalonia will get

the opportunity to vote for that,

0:29:390:29:42

it was an illegal vote.

0:29:420:29:46

When that vote does come along,

which it probably will,

0:29:460:29:50

and if it is a no, as in where

the polls are suggesting

0:29:500:29:55

at the moment, will

the Catalans accept that no,

0:29:550:30:00

unlike the Scottish Nationalists,

who don't accept

0:30:000:30:04

the no at the moment?

0:30:040:30:09

OK, and you, sir, there.

0:30:090:30:13

The man behind you,

in the pink shirt.

0:30:130:30:17

As you and the other gentleman said

that the Catalonian independence

0:30:170:30:21

referendum was unconstitutional

and illegal, the actions taken

0:30:210:30:23

by the Spanish government

were completely reprehensible.

0:30:230:30:30

All they needed to do was say that

since this wasn't part

0:30:300:30:33

of the Constitution,

the vote was void, and there

0:30:330:30:35

would have been far less trauma

and lash back from this

0:30:350:30:37

than from the actions they did take.

0:30:370:30:42

Anne McElvoy.

0:30:420:30:44

I think it's right but also

a bit too easy to go down

0:30:440:30:47

the line of condemnation.

0:30:470:30:48

We can all condemn what we saw

happen because we wouldn't

0:30:480:30:51

want to see it in our own countries.

0:30:510:30:53

And having cut my teeth

in the old East Germany,

0:30:530:30:56

covering authoritarian regimes

in Eastern Europe and the former

0:30:560:30:58

Soviet Union, it has resonances

which are deeply unpleasant.

0:30:580:31:00

But the facts are that there

is not an overall appetite

0:31:000:31:04

in Catalonia for independence,

and sometimes the debate

0:31:040:31:07

is conducted as if there were.

0:31:070:31:09

And sometimes some of the framing

of news reporting seems

0:31:090:31:12

to suggest that there is.

0:31:120:31:14

And there is not.

0:31:140:31:17

This referendum was not held

in a way that was appropriate.

0:31:170:31:20

The road to it was not the one that

would have been taken in the sense

0:31:200:31:23

of we talked earlier,

referred to the Scottish referendum.

0:31:230:31:26

It is a sign of what happens

if you go down roads

0:31:260:31:32

which are secessionary

rather than pro-independence.

0:31:320:31:35

If you want a legitimate

independence movement,

0:31:350:31:39

then go out there, campaign for it,

get people on your side.

0:31:390:31:43

That, I think, would have shown up

Madrid and the unbending stance,

0:31:430:31:46

overly so, of Mr Rajoy,

the Prime Minister, so much

0:31:460:31:50

more than this slightly

fly-by-night movement,

0:31:500:31:54

which I don't think has

covered itself in glory.

0:31:540:31:56

Now is the time for both

sides to step back.

0:31:560:31:59

The push for independence is,

I think, over for the moment.

0:31:590:32:01

There will be a chance

in elections in December I think

0:32:010:32:04

to redraw the relationship.

0:32:040:32:07

Personally, I'm for greater autonomy

along the Basque model.

0:32:070:32:10

But I think the way

to do it is not this.

0:32:100:32:13

We've seen a hot-headed conflict

and it's had very bad results.

0:32:130:32:18

To be fair, I think they did try.

0:32:180:32:20

I happened to be in Barcelona,

talking to what they call

0:32:200:32:22

their Foreign Minister,

the day before they

0:32:220:32:24

announced the referendum.

0:32:240:32:25

And he talked me through the ways

in which he tried to negotiate

0:32:250:32:30

with Madrid to get something that

may have been a vote on something

0:32:300:32:33

short of full independence.

0:32:330:32:35

And there was a kind of aggressive

authoritarian legalism from Madrid,

0:32:350:32:37

an absolute refusal to discuss it,

which I think is

0:32:370:32:40

hugely unproductive.

0:32:400:32:42

Kezia Dugdale hasn't had a chance.

0:32:420:32:44

Kezia.

0:32:440:32:46

Well, I think that Prime Minister

Rajoy has done more to build support

0:32:460:32:50

for independence than any Catalonian

nationalist has done

0:32:500:32:52

for quite some time,

by the way that they have behaved.

0:32:520:32:54

I think we've got two fundamental

principles crashing,

0:32:540:32:56

the rule of law and democracy.

0:32:560:32:58

You've got the government

in Madrid saying, "This

0:32:580:33:00

"referendum's unconstitutional,

we've got to abide

0:33:000:33:03

"by the Constitution".

0:33:030:33:04

And you've got people

in Catalonia saying,

0:33:040:33:06

"We just had this referendum,

people have spoken and that

0:33:060:33:09

"must be respected".

0:33:090:33:11

This disaster, this complete mess,

has all come around

0:33:110:33:14

because that referendum did not

have the legitimacy it should have

0:33:140:33:16

had when the government in Catalonia

had a majority to conduct

0:33:160:33:19

that referendum.

0:33:190:33:23

The only way we can get over this

impasse, in my view,

0:33:230:33:26

is to have a legitimate

referendum in Catalonia.

0:33:260:33:28

There has to be a political,

democratic solution to this,

0:33:280:33:31

and it has to be that referendum

that everyone will take part in,

0:33:310:33:34

everyone will vote in,

and everybody should ultimately

0:33:340:33:37

respect the result

of that referendum.

0:33:370:33:40

APPLAUSE

0:33:400:33:45

We are over halfway through.

0:33:450:33:46

We must move on.

0:33:460:33:47

Matt McQuaid, your question, please.

0:33:470:33:49

Should smacking a child

be a criminal offence?

0:33:490:33:55

The background to this

is that it is going to become

0:33:550:33:59

a criminal offence here

in Scotland, correct?

0:33:590:34:01

I don't know quite when but it's

on the order book and the SNP

0:34:010:34:04

are supporting it.

0:34:040:34:06

So in Scotland, smacking

a child is going to become

0:34:060:34:08

a criminal offence.

0:34:080:34:10

Anne McElvoy, do you think

that is the right way to go?

0:34:100:34:15

No, I don't.

0:34:150:34:17

For two reasons.

0:34:170:34:18

APPLAUSE

0:34:180:34:21

I'll take that, thank you.

0:34:210:34:22

I got there easy on that one.

0:34:220:34:24

For two reasons.

0:34:240:34:26

I remember Tony Blair

saying when he was asked

0:34:260:34:29

if he smacked his children

that he had done it and he didn't

0:34:290:34:32

feel great afterwards.

0:34:320:34:33

It's usually a sign that you've lost

control of the situation.

0:34:330:34:36

It's usually really not your best

moment as a parent.

0:34:360:34:38

But it's something that some

parents want to keep

0:34:380:34:41

as a sanction and others don't,

and I think that should be a choice.

0:34:410:34:44

I'm taking as an obvious point

that there is a line,

0:34:440:34:47

and I think it's a common-sense line

between that reasonable

0:34:470:34:50

punishment and abuse.

0:34:500:34:55

The other thing that worries me

is the passing of laws

0:34:550:34:57

which are sort of meaningless

because they're incredibly

0:34:570:34:59

hard to enforce.

0:34:590:35:01

So either the state would have

to really be intervening

0:35:010:35:03

in the lives of every family

in Scotland, which is unlikely

0:35:030:35:06

and would be very unwelcome,

or you will have an endless argument

0:35:060:35:09

about what was really happening.

0:35:090:35:12

And I think when you know

that there is a real mistreatment,

0:35:120:36:22

you should be absolutely

Draconian about it.

0:36:220:36:23

But parents on the whole

are good judges of the way

0:36:230:36:26

they bring up their children.

0:36:260:36:27

Politicians are not such

good judges of the way

0:36:270:36:29

that we bring up our children.

0:36:290:36:32

There is a defence of justifiable

assault if a child is hit.

0:36:320:36:35

I don't think that's right.

0:36:350:36:36

And what this bill is seeking

to do is remove that,

0:36:360:36:39

so that children have equity

in terms of protection

0:36:390:36:41

against assault, the same as adults.

0:36:410:36:43

I think that is entirely

the right thing to do.

0:36:430:36:45

I think it entirely chimes

with our approach on protecting

0:36:450:36:47

and nurturing and supporting

children, which is what

0:36:470:36:49

we are trying to do,

and I am sure is the country

0:36:490:36:52

that we want to live

in and bring our children up in.

0:36:520:36:55

It's not the only thing

you're trying to do,

0:36:550:36:57

because you are also,

it seems suspended for the moment,

0:36:570:37:00

you have this person scheme,

which there was a lot of criticism

0:37:000:37:02

of, where an adult from outside

the family is given responsibility

0:37:020:37:05

for a child in the family.

0:37:050:37:07

Let's just recall where the named

person scheme idea came from.

0:37:070:37:09

And that came from catalogues

of abuse and indeed deaths

0:37:090:37:12

of children, small children,

babies and others, where at the end

0:37:120:37:14

of yet another enquiry

about how could that happen,

0:37:140:37:18

one of the core things

that was always concluded was that

0:37:180:37:21

one agency didn't tell another

agency about what they saw going on.

0:37:210:37:26

And the idea of the named person

is to offer that opportunity both

0:37:260:37:30

for the family to have support,

but for the agencies to work

0:37:300:37:34

properly together in order

to protect children.

0:37:340:37:38

Now, what we have done,

the courts made a decision

0:37:380:37:41

which said that our intention

as a government was fine,

0:37:410:37:45

was correct, but that there

were difficulties around how

0:37:450:37:47

we were going to implement that,

that we had to resolve.

0:37:470:37:51

And that is what we have gone

away and done and are

0:37:510:37:54

coming back on that.

0:37:540:37:57

So I don't think that you can dredge

up those issues around named person

0:37:570:38:02

when the core of it is absolutely

the correct thing to do,

0:38:020:38:07

and say that that is the same,

and that is a wrong headed

0:38:070:38:11

move to go.

0:38:110:38:12

I agree that parents

are the right people,

0:38:120:38:18

they know their children

and they should be able

0:38:180:38:20

to bring their children up.

0:38:200:38:23

But I don't think it is right,

in this day and age,

0:38:230:38:26

for us to have a situation where,

as an adult I am protected,

0:38:260:38:29

but as a child I would not be.

0:38:290:38:34

I think that is wrong.

0:38:340:38:35

The woman on the gangway.

0:38:350:38:37

I am a qualified social worker,

qualified for over 20 years.

0:38:370:38:39

Every social worker would support

the principles about getting it

0:38:390:38:43

right for every child,

but how do you expect social

0:38:430:38:45

workers to support this?

0:38:450:38:49

I am an advanced child

protection professional.

0:38:490:38:51

I work in conjunction

with police a lot.

0:38:510:38:54

There are laws in place at present

to protect children.

0:38:540:38:58

But in terms of supporting that,

when families don't have allocated

0:38:580:39:00

social workers at present,

when vulnerable people are at risk,

0:39:000:39:05

it's just unsustainable to have

these types of laws and expect

0:39:050:39:08

professionals to be able

to make them meaningful.

0:39:080:39:13

You think you would have to make

the not smacking law work?

0:39:130:39:19

It would be down to

people like yourself?

0:39:190:39:21

It would have to be effective,

it would have to mean something.

0:39:210:39:24

It's like the law around smoking

in cars with children.

0:39:240:39:27

How is that policed?

0:39:270:39:29

Whether it's emotional

harm, physical harm.

0:39:290:39:31

I support the principle

and I absolutely advocate

0:39:310:39:34

as a professional that no child

should ever be smacked.

0:39:340:39:37

But policing that and equipping

social workers, you need

0:39:370:39:40

to have a million more of us

to support families

0:39:400:39:42

to make it meaningful.

0:39:420:39:46

APPLAUSE

0:39:460:39:48

The man at the very back.

0:39:480:39:50

When me and my wife were talking

about having kids, I said, "Right,

0:39:500:39:54

"I'll be the authoritarian and I'll

be doing all the smacking".

0:39:540:39:57

Luckily my wife talked me

round and I've enjoyed every year

0:39:570:40:00

since my children have showed up.

0:40:000:40:03

I totally disagree with smacking

children, but I think the SNP have

0:40:030:40:07

totally got this wrong and that this

is unnecessary and we should be

0:40:070:40:11

thinking about more serious things

and getting on with the job

0:40:110:40:14

of running a government.

0:40:140:40:18

APPLAUSE

0:40:180:40:22

I actually think that assaulting

children is a pretty serious thing,

0:40:220:40:25

and what we're trying to do

here is to equalise the law.

0:40:250:40:30

Adults have protection from assault,

children currently don't.

0:40:300:40:33

I think we have to be very careful

about the language that we use here.

0:40:330:40:36

We are not banning smacking.

0:40:360:40:40

Your kitchen is not going to be

raided by police officers

0:40:400:40:43

because you have pulled your kid

away from a hot pan

0:40:430:40:46

and tapped them on the bum.

0:40:460:40:47

That's not what this is about.

0:40:470:40:48

It's the reality of saying...

0:40:480:40:50

That is what it's about.

0:40:500:40:51

I'm afraid it's not.

0:40:510:40:52

You seem to have lost the support

of a lot of people here.

0:40:520:40:55

Look, in the last parliament

I was the education spokesperson

0:40:550:40:58

for the Labour Party,

and all the children's

0:40:580:40:59

charities in Scotland

came to me and said,

0:40:590:41:01

"We must do this, there are a number

of children at risk,

0:41:010:41:04

"it is the right thing to do".

0:41:040:41:06

I bottled it because I was so aware

of how it would be perceived

0:41:060:41:09

as people interfering in family

life, much as the debate around

0:41:090:41:12

the named person thing has become.

0:41:120:41:13

What the government is trying

to do is the right thing

0:41:130:41:16

by vulnerable children.

0:41:160:41:17

This is the argument

that we are faced with again,

0:41:170:41:19

and I think it's a very important

move.

0:41:190:41:21

This is a bill coming

forward from a Green MSP.

0:41:210:41:24

The SNP aren't going to oppose it.

0:41:240:41:25

The Labour Party are supporting it.

0:41:250:41:27

I have personally signed

John Finney's bill, the guy that

0:41:270:41:29

brought this forward.

0:41:290:41:30

I think he's very brave to.

0:41:300:41:32

If just bringing forward that

bill forces some people

0:41:320:41:34

to rethink their behaviour

and rethink how they approach

0:41:340:41:36

their children in a physical way,

I think that's a good thing.

0:41:360:41:39

And I'm sorry if that's

not a popular view.

0:41:390:41:42

It's my job to stand up

and represent and look

0:41:420:41:45

after vulnerable children

in Scotland, and I believe that's

0:41:450:41:47

what we're doing with the ban.

0:41:470:41:49

You, sir.

0:41:490:41:50

APPLAUSE

0:41:500:41:55

You're saying it's perceived kind

of influence in family life,

0:41:550:41:58

and I don't think it is perceived.

0:41:580:42:00

I'm not a parent, I just

got married in July,

0:42:000:42:03

but I feel like parents

are concerned about it.

0:42:030:42:05

Much like the named person's policy.

0:42:050:42:09

Parents are concerned.

0:42:090:42:10

Why should the parents trust

the Scottish Government that

0:42:100:42:13

doesn't seem to trust them

to raise their children?

0:42:130:42:15

I think they are very

valid concerns.

0:42:150:42:16

APPLAUSE

0:42:160:42:17

Daniel Hannan.

0:42:170:42:19

I think there is an immense

difference between disapproving

0:42:190:42:22

of something and wanting to ban it.

0:42:220:42:26

And in that difference lies

the entirety of a free society.

0:42:260:42:30

For what it's worth,

physical correction of children

0:42:300:42:33

is in decline in almost every

Western country, in Scotland

0:42:330:42:35

and in the rest of the UK.

0:42:350:42:39

It's in decline, as mores change,

values change, the same way

0:42:390:42:42

that the earlier question referred

to attitudes towards

0:42:420:42:44

women in the workplace.

0:42:440:42:45

But what we are talking

about here is bringing

0:42:450:42:47

the full force of law in,

as we heard from the social worker

0:42:470:42:54

lady there, an unarguable objection.

0:42:540:42:55

This is an unenforceable

piece of legislation,

0:42:550:42:57

so why is it being passed?

0:42:570:42:58

It's being passed because lawmakers

reach for legislation,

0:42:580:43:01

almost always as their first

recourse, to show what nice people

0:43:010:43:04

they are, to show how concerned

they are,

0:43:040:43:06

to show they are on the side

of the kids and so on, without any

0:43:060:43:09

thought for the practical

unenforceability of it.

0:43:090:43:12

And the worst possible reason

to pass a law is as a kind of state

0:43:120:43:15

amplified virtue signalling.

0:43:150:43:17

We should be proportionate

in what we do and we should

0:43:170:43:21

recognise that the best unit,

not just of conveying

0:43:210:43:23

values, but of health

care, social security

0:43:230:43:25

and education, is the family.

0:43:250:43:27

APPLAUSE

0:43:270:43:32

Virtue signalling, Owen Jones.

0:43:320:43:36

I'm worried I'm going to be a victim

of a parents' uprising here,

0:43:360:43:39

so I'm going to be careful.

0:43:390:43:40

I do tend to side, I have

to say, with the Scottish

0:43:400:43:43

Government on this.

0:43:430:43:44

Britain is actually an outlier

overall, one of only four countries

0:43:440:43:47

where it's legal to do this.

0:43:470:43:49

In terms of virtue signalling,

I don't like that phrase.

0:43:490:43:52

Virtue signalling is a term

which is used against anyone

0:43:520:43:55

who cares about anything other

than just themselves in society,

0:43:550:43:58

so I don't like that term.

0:43:580:44:00

I think the idea that parents

are all going to be locked up

0:44:000:44:03

and incarcerated under this law

is for the birds.

0:44:030:44:05

I do think it will send a signal

that this isn't the right or correct

0:44:050:44:09

way to discipline children.

0:44:090:44:10

I think most parents when they slap

a child would accept

0:44:100:44:13

it is a failure, actually.

0:44:130:44:15

Also, I worry that slapping children

passes on a message that

0:44:150:44:18

that is the way you resolve problems

and difficulties and

0:44:180:44:22

challenges as adults.

0:44:220:44:25

So on that basis, I think it works

in other European countries.

0:44:250:44:28

You don't see the mass incarceration

of parents over there.

0:44:280:44:31

I think we should just get

into line, if you like, with where

0:44:310:44:34

they are in the 21st-century.

0:44:340:44:35

But I realise I'm in

a minority in this audience.

0:44:350:44:37

OK.

0:44:370:44:39

Now, I'm in a difficulty

here because we haven't got that

0:44:390:44:42

much time left and I wanted to get

in two more questions.

0:44:420:44:45

Let me take this one first

of all from Catherine Bryce, please.

0:44:450:44:49

Why, as a Scot, should I be

in the position of possibly having

0:44:490:44:52

to pay more income tax

than the rest of the UK?

0:44:520:44:56

APPLAUSE

0:44:560:45:02

I should explain that the First

Minister of Scotland today outlined

0:45:020:45:06

proposals for tax rises

which the government

0:45:060:45:08

here intends to put across,

ranging from 1% to something like 5p

0:45:080:45:13

in the pound if you are

earning over £150,000.

0:45:130:45:16

But your question is,

why should you pay more

0:45:160:45:18

than the rest of the UK,

is that right?

0:45:180:45:21

Why do you think you shouldn't?

0:45:210:45:23

Well, I think there's other

things that could be...

0:45:230:45:26

Am I being asked to pay more tax

because of the amount of free

0:45:260:45:29

universal services that we have

in Scotland that don't exist

0:45:290:45:32

in the rest of the UK?

0:45:320:45:35

Are all of these of an appropriate

value to justify that?

0:45:350:45:39

I would suggest some of them aren't.

0:45:390:45:42

I think some hard decisions need

to be made around that.

0:45:420:45:45

Some hard decisions about public

spending against taxation.

0:45:450:45:48

Public spending against taxation,

but in particular all these free

0:45:480:45:51

universal services that we have

in Scotland that don't exist

0:45:510:45:54

in the rest of the UK,

like free prescriptions etc.

0:45:540:45:58

And you'd rather not have them

or not pay for them?

0:45:580:46:02

I don't think I should be paying

more tax to get these.

0:46:020:46:06

Kezia Dugdale, what do

you think of it?

0:46:060:46:07

As a proposal?

0:46:070:46:09

I'm a bit cynical about this

at the moment, because I fought four

0:46:090:46:12

elections against Nicola Sturgeon's

SNP, where she has opposed raising

0:46:120:46:17

taxes to protect public services,

and the Labour Party has advocated

0:46:170:46:20

having progressive taxes to invest

more in public services,

0:46:200:46:24

so Nicola Sturgeon stands up today

and suddenly says she's

0:46:240:46:27

all for progressive taxes.

0:46:270:46:29

I find it a bit rich, to be honest.

0:46:290:46:31

The reality is it's

because she's lost her majority

0:46:310:46:34

in the Scottish Government and she's

having to cook up some sort of plan,

0:46:340:46:37

probably with the Greens,

to stop us having to vote

0:46:370:46:40

again next year.

0:46:400:46:41

Let's talk about what this is really

about and why it matters.

0:46:410:46:44

We have a decision to make.

0:46:440:46:46

We are faced with austerity coming

from Westminster, yes,

0:46:460:46:49

but we now have an immensely

powerful Scottish Parliament

0:46:490:46:51

where we can choose, if we want,

to do things differently.

0:46:510:46:56

That allowed us to have tuition

fees, free personal care,

0:46:560:46:58

free prescription charges,

a massive expansion of childcare,

0:46:580:47:02

free bus passes, but it's

not really free, is it?

0:47:020:47:05

We are all paying for it.

0:47:050:47:08

And the price of that has seen

a reduction in college places,

0:47:080:47:10

cancer waiting times running amock,

well over what you are entitled to,

0:47:100:47:15

and these are the choices that

governments are faced with.

0:47:150:47:17

If we want to keep all these three

things, if we believe

0:47:170:47:20

in high-quality universal public

services, we have to talk

0:47:200:47:23

about who pays for them.

0:47:230:47:25

I pay less tax down than I did five

years ago because the Tories gave

0:47:250:47:29

people who are on my wage a tax cut.

0:47:290:47:31

That's not fair, when libraries

are being closed and children's

0:47:310:47:34

centres are getting closed down.

0:47:340:47:35

Let's choose to do

things differently.

0:47:350:47:38

APPLAUSE.

0:47:380:47:40

Daniel.

0:47:400:47:41

I'm delighted that Kezia got a tax

cut, but so did everybody else.

0:47:410:47:45

She phrased that as though it was...

0:47:450:47:46

Doesn't make it any

better though, does it?

0:47:460:47:48

But you were implying

that it was only a tax cut...

0:47:480:47:51

People can't feed themselves

and I got a tax cut.

0:47:510:47:53

You think that's right?!

0:47:530:47:54

Come back to the main

point, as a Scot...

0:47:540:47:56

Hang on, as a Scot, Kezia Dugdale

has made the point why

0:47:560:47:59

she thinks it's right.

0:47:590:48:01

Catherine Brice has said, as a Scot,

why should I pay more tax

0:48:010:48:04

than the rest of the UK?

0:48:040:48:06

Daniel.

0:48:060:48:07

Well, it's good to have a strong

relationship between taxation,

0:48:070:48:09

representation and expenditure.

0:48:090:48:10

And, under the old system

in Scotland, there was a limited

0:48:100:48:13

linkage between those things,

because the taxation

0:48:130:48:18

was largely done at a UK level

and there was an imperfect link

0:48:180:48:21

between what the devolved

administration was spending

0:48:210:48:22

and what it was raising.

0:48:220:48:25

Now, I look at the referendum result

from 2014 and it seems to be

0:48:250:48:29

the only fair way of interpreting

a 55-45 vote is to say, if we're

0:48:290:48:32

going to build a new consensus,

it has to be on the basis

0:48:320:48:36

of something in between,

so more devolution within the UK.

0:48:360:48:40

It will go too far for some people,

it won't go far enough for others,

0:48:400:48:43

but part of that must be a measure,

a greater measure of fiscal

0:48:430:48:46

autonomy in Scotland,

and I think that would be a good

0:48:460:48:49

thing for Scotland, it

would be a good thing

0:48:490:48:52

for the whole of the UK,

actually, because the closer

0:48:520:48:54

the politicians are who are spending

money on our behalf,

0:48:540:48:57

the more careful we tend

to be about it, the more

0:48:570:48:59

we hold them to account.

0:48:590:49:01

If Catherine doesn't like being

taxed more for living here,

0:49:010:49:04

the solution is in her hands.

0:49:040:49:06

She can vote for Ruth Davidson

and have a lower tax Scotland

0:49:060:49:09

and we can actually have tax

competition within the UK

0:49:090:49:11

and downward pressure on rates.

0:49:110:49:13

Wouldn't that be wonderful?

0:49:130:49:14

Or you could move south,

I think you said.

0:49:140:49:16

Owen Jones.

0:49:160:49:18

My dad's a very ill cancer patient

in Edinburgh at the moment,

0:49:180:49:21

and the Scottish NHS doesn't

have the resources that it needs,

0:49:210:49:24

partly because of a lack of money.

0:49:240:49:28

If those at the top of Scottish

society end up paying a bit more

0:49:280:49:31

tax, then that's a good thing,

because you can invest

0:49:310:49:34

in services like the NHS

for the good of my dad and,

0:49:340:49:37

no doubt, many of

your own relatives.

0:49:370:49:39

The reality is this,

and this is about Scotland

0:49:390:49:41

and the rest of the country.

0:49:410:49:42

A few years ago, the financial elite

plunged us into a very,

0:49:420:49:45

very bad disaster,

and they got away with it.

0:49:450:49:48

They carried on paying more

bonuses than every European

0:49:480:49:51

country put together,

whilst working people

0:49:510:49:53

suffered the longest squeeze

in wages for generations.

0:49:530:49:56

We've had the worst fall

in wages now of any EU

0:49:560:49:59

country other than Greece.

0:49:590:50:01

We don't have the housing,

the affordable, decent,

0:50:010:50:04

comfortable housing that millions

of people are denied.

0:50:040:50:06

The NHS in England was plunged

into a humanitarian crisis,

0:50:060:50:08

according to the British Red Cross.

0:50:080:50:10

Most people in poverty

are in work, earning

0:50:100:50:13

their poverty every single day.

0:50:130:50:15

Can you come to the point

that's being made?

0:50:150:50:17

This is a social order

which is bankrupt,

0:50:170:50:20

because the richest people

in society are not paying their fair

0:50:200:50:23

share, whilst millions

of people are paying...

0:50:230:50:29

APPLAUSE DROWNS SPEECH.

0:50:290:50:30

OK.

0:50:300:50:31

But the question, I'll

come to you on this,

0:50:310:50:34

and could you stick to the point

about Scotland as against the rest

0:50:340:50:38

of the UK, which was the question.

0:50:380:50:39

If you can precis it a bit, I'd be

grateful because I want to get

0:50:390:50:43

one more question in.

0:50:430:50:44

There's a number of reasons,

I think, and one of them is

0:50:440:50:47

the quality of our public services.

0:50:470:50:51

Please let me finish,

and the points that Kezia made,

0:50:510:50:54

in terms of what we receive

in return for the taxes that we pay,

0:50:540:50:57

and those are significant

expansion in childcare,

0:50:570:50:59

free prescriptions, free bus travel,

free personal and nursing care,

0:50:590:51:07

which we will extend to those

who are under 65 in

0:51:070:51:10

certain conditions.

0:51:100:51:13

Now, what we have produced

today is a set of options

0:51:130:51:16

of what we could do with the limited

income tax powers that we have.

0:51:160:51:23

Yes, you could vote

for Ruth Davidson but,

0:51:230:51:25

if you voted for her tax options,

what you would see is a tax cut

0:51:250:51:29

for the top 10% of earners

and £140 million taken out

0:51:290:51:31

of the Scottish budget

for public services or for any

0:51:310:51:34

level of expenditure.

0:51:340:51:41

That is what the Conservatives

are offering.

0:51:410:51:46

And Kezia Dugdale's point, yes,

she has argued for this,

0:51:460:51:50

but what we have said before

is that the option that Labour

0:51:500:51:54

was producing was an option that

affected those who were poorly off

0:51:540:51:57

as well as everyone else, and it was

a pretty blunt instrument.

0:51:570:52:03

What about the 50p top rate?

0:52:030:52:05

You opposed that.

0:52:050:52:06

We've brought forward

a series of options.

0:52:060:52:07

We've costed what the other

parties want to propose.

0:52:070:52:10

And the idea of this is that we try

and reach a shared view in

0:52:100:52:16

that parliament about the best

way to use those tax

0:52:160:52:21

powers, meeting four

important tests, and clearly,

0:52:210:52:26

if you read the paper,

50% of income tax payers under any

0:52:260:52:28

of those options that we've put

forward would not pay more tax.

0:52:280:52:31

But the point is, and this power

to increase taxation has

0:52:310:52:34

been for a long time,

you are not averse to using it

0:52:340:52:38

and making Scotland a more heavily

taxed place than the rest of the UK?

0:52:380:52:41

That's the nub of the question.

0:52:410:52:43

You're not against that.

0:52:430:52:46

No, the point of having powers

is to use them when you can

0:52:460:52:49

use them effectively,

and we've put forward a series

0:52:490:52:51

of options where we believe that

people should be able to choose

0:52:510:52:55

between those in order

to have the investment in public

0:52:550:53:00

services and infrastructure

and economic growth that Scotland

0:53:000:53:07

needs, all the more

so because, if I may, David,

0:53:070:53:09

because of the impact of Brexit,

which was not there over a year ago.

0:53:090:53:13

That is the case.

0:53:130:53:18

All right.

0:53:180:53:19

APPLAUSE

0:53:190:53:20

The man there,

on the gangway.

0:53:200:53:22

Quickly, if you would.

0:53:220:53:26

How can we create investment

in Scotland if we are

0:53:260:53:28

the highest taxed in the UK?

0:53:280:53:30

It seems like the wrong message.

0:53:300:53:31

Anne McElvoy.

0:53:310:53:33

The short answer to the lady's

question really is that the deficit

0:53:330:53:36

in Scotland is three times,

over three times what it is in

0:53:360:53:39

the UK as a whole, and this has been

a high spending country.

0:53:390:53:43

Yes, it is true.

0:53:430:53:47

The UK deficit.

0:53:470:53:48

The UK's deficit,

that's what I've said.

0:53:480:53:51

But the point that you've

tried to bring out,

0:53:510:53:53

that the lady was asking,

was, why should she be

0:53:530:53:55

more highly taxed.

0:53:550:53:56

I'm pleased you are beginning

to use tax-raising powers.

0:53:560:54:02

I think, if you've got them,

you might as well use them.

0:54:020:54:05

I wondered how long

it was going to take,

0:54:050:54:07

because Nicola Sturgeon wasn't

looking that keen to do so.

0:54:070:54:10

We have already used them.

0:54:100:54:11

I know that you've used

them in a limited way,

0:54:110:54:13

but this is now getting rather more

serious and it is coming

0:54:130:54:16

through to people that some people

are going to pay more tax.

0:54:160:54:19

You can either continue

to spend at these levels,

0:54:190:54:21

but what is really missing for me

is any talk...

0:54:210:54:23

You are talking about

superior public services.

0:54:230:54:25

To be honest, as a former policy

editor, I don't really see them

0:54:250:54:28

in lots of places in Scotland.

0:54:280:54:30

I think, in health and education,

there are big structural challenges.

0:54:300:54:35

Outperforms the UK in health.

0:54:350:54:38

Certainly, there is not

in education, as you well know.

0:54:380:54:40

A lot of the results

are going backwards.

0:54:400:54:42

What is your point?

0:54:420:54:43

More taxation is needed?

0:54:430:54:44

Either spend more money and raise

more money and go honestly

0:54:440:54:47

to the people of Scotland and say

that's what you're going

0:54:470:54:50

to do and expand that.

0:54:500:54:51

I think that's a good thing,

it's a devolutionary principle.

0:54:510:54:53

But then you have to take it

on the chin that people will not

0:54:530:54:56

necessarily think they are getting

value for money, and you need

0:54:560:54:59

to address why not,

because there is a lack of reform

0:54:590:55:02

in the public services in Scotland.

0:55:020:55:03

I don't think it's a big secret.

0:55:030:55:05

Can we at least allow

the possibility that putting rates

0:55:050:55:07

up is going to diminish revenue?

0:55:070:55:09

When, for example, the corporation

tax rate was cut, the amount

0:55:090:55:11

of money that came into the Treasury

hugely went up as business

0:55:110:55:14

increased its activity.

0:55:140:55:17

The cut in the top rate of tax led

to the richest people paying more

0:55:170:55:21

in both absolute and relative terms.

0:55:210:55:23

There comes a point when you put tax

up to a level that your revenue

0:55:230:55:27

begins to fall, and I think that's

a lesson that the SNP

0:55:270:55:30

may be about to learn.

0:55:300:55:31

Yes, you, sir.

0:55:310:55:33

In 2005, the Kerr

report was published.

0:55:330:55:40

Jeane knows about it.

0:55:400:55:41

She was political adviser

at the Labour Party at the time.

0:55:410:55:44

The report said at that time

that the NHS was struggling

0:55:440:55:46

for money, long before anybody had

ever heard of Brexit,

0:55:460:55:49

so why have 12 years gone

by and all of a sudden it's time

0:55:490:55:52

to make tough decisions?

0:55:520:55:53

It's laughable.

0:55:530:55:54

And you, sir?

0:55:540:55:55

Very quick, if you would.

0:55:550:55:57

We can go around all the houses

with this but, once again,

0:55:570:55:59

Scotland has been used

as a guinea pig.

0:55:590:56:01

We had the dreaded poll

tax in the 70s and now

0:56:010:56:04

we are getting income tax.

0:56:040:56:05

We are being used again.

0:56:050:56:06

We've got a minute left

for this last question,

0:56:060:56:09

but I think we should have it.

0:56:090:56:10

Alex Young.

0:56:100:56:11

Where are you?

0:56:110:56:15

Should our present Prime Minister,

Theresa May, be replaced

0:56:150:56:17

by our ex-one, Ruth Davidson?

0:56:170:56:27

-- our excellent.

0:56:270:56:29

Just very briefly, Daniel Hannan.

0:56:290:56:30

He is the only

Conservative on the panel.

0:56:300:56:32

There are huge numbers

of talented Conservatives

0:56:320:56:34

inside and outside the Cabinet,

and Ruth is one of them.

0:56:340:56:37

OK.

0:56:370:56:38

I think she'd be a very welcome

Scottish export at Westminster.

0:56:380:56:40

I think there may be a vacancy.

0:56:400:56:42

The question is, does

she want to leave this

0:56:420:56:45

lovely land of yours?

0:56:450:56:47

I think she should

tell us, don't you?

0:56:470:56:49

Owen, briefly.

0:56:490:56:50

I'm sorry, but I don't think it

matters to the Tories

0:56:500:56:53

replace their leader

with at present.

0:56:530:56:55

APPLAUSE.

0:56:580:57:01

Ruth is a Tory, I don't think it

matters much either,

0:57:010:57:04

except that I wouldn't have

to listen to her

0:57:040:57:06

waffling every week.

0:57:060:57:08

APPLAUSE.

0:57:080:57:12

I think she is a marginally,

and I say marginally,

0:57:120:57:15

better choice than Boris Johnson.

0:57:150:57:18

LAUGHTER.

0:57:180:57:20

Thank you very much.

0:57:200:57:21

On which controversial

note, our time is up.

0:57:210:57:28

Next Thursday, Question Time

is going to be in Croydon.

0:57:280:57:30

On the panel, among others,

the Education Secretary,

0:57:300:57:34

Justine Greening, the television

presenter and property expert

0:57:340:57:38

expert Kirsty Allsopp,

and the spoken word artist George

0:57:380:57:40

the poet, known to you all.

0:57:400:57:42

Well, he will be by next Thursday.

0:57:420:57:44

Call this number if

you'd like to come.

0:57:440:57:46

Call this number if

you'd like to come.

0:57:460:57:46

On the screen is the

address you can go to.

0:57:460:57:49

Question Time Extra Time,

as you know, follows now

0:57:490:57:59

if you are listening on Radio 5

Live.

0:58:000:58:02

My thanks to this panel.

0:58:020:58:03

My great thanks to all

of you who came to Kilmarnock

0:58:030:58:06

tonight to take part.

0:58:060:58:08

Until next Thursday,

from Question Time, good night.

0:58:080:58:13

David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Kilmarnock. On the panel are Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, former leader of the Scottish Labour Party Kezia Dugdale MSP, SNP minister for social security Jeane Freeman MSP, writer and political commentator Owen Jones, and The Economist's senior editor Anne McElvoy.


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