Spotlight Special Spotlight

Spotlight Special

Noel Thompson presents debate with DUP MP Ian Paisley, Education Minister John O'Dowd, Justice Minister David Ford, rights campaigner Goretti Horgan and media lawyer Paul Tweed.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to Spotlight Special. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello and welcome to this Spotlight special when our studio audience


has a chance to put questions to our panel, some of whom take


decisions which affect our daily lives. We had Sinn Fein's education


minister. The rights campaigner Chris Morgan. Justice Minister and


Alliance leader David Ford. The national media lawyer Paul Tweed.


The DUP MLA for North Antrim, Ian Questions tonight come from members


of our studio audience that it is just as important that you contact


Calls cost up to five pence per minute from most landmines, calls


from mobiles may cost considerably more. Text messages will be charged


at your standard rate. Our first question is from a CAA her from


Belfast. Are we expected to believe that welfare reform is about


encouraging people back to work, then there are no jobs?


Assembly has been debating the Welfare Reform Bill, a Westminster


Bill which has the aim of making it easier for people to work than on


benefits. We have to start this one with you. The question is, can it


work? If the jobs were there it might work. The problem is the jobs


are not there and additionally, quite a lot of the reforms affect


people already working, so some of the benefits let disability living


allowance, these are benefits that people in work actually get. So the


idea that it is really just about encouraging people into work and


not about cutting costs... But they will continue to get those benefits.


It is not that simple at all. For example, in the case of Disability


living Allowance, which will be replaced by the universal credit,


we really do not know yet, from Britain and not just from here, how


that will work. We have been told that people with mental health


difficulties and perhaps even people with learning disabilities


will not be looked after in quite the same way, and this is from


Britain, by the personal independence payment. Campaigners


would hope that the Assembly would actually look clause by clause, not


just this all or nothing approach, to throw it out or go back to


Westminster, whatever, but actually do their jobs as elected


representatives and draws applause go through the bill and say, what


is there when -- go through it clause by clause and say, what do


we want for Northern Ireland? party wants to defer it. Why?


those exact reasons. It also needs a clause by clause informed


negotiation with the British Government and we have had several


discussions both at a party level, an Executive level, we have had


platitudes today. There has been no change in the fundamentals around


the bill. This is not about putting people back in employment. It is


about cutting money. It is about an attempt to bring us out in -- out


of recession. We are saying, send a clear message to the British


Government that the Assembly will not introduce a flawed bill that


will not meet the needs of the people here. All the Executive


parties showed a determined voice to the British Government that we


will influence policy. Your party has accused Sinn Fein of breast-


beating, but there are no jobs for people to be encouraged into, are


they? We have to separate these matters into their proper areas.


Yes, there is a recession. There is a complete lack of jobs and funding


opportunities. But we are dealing with welfare reforms. Let's deal


with that. The facts of the matter of this, I do not like the welfare


reforms being introduced by Westminster. That is why I voted


against it in wealth that -- in Westminster. That is why I did my


job there. It is unfortunate that other members and other parties


elected to Westminster did not do that as well. They could have


played, Sinn Fein in particular, a more active role in addressing this


issue where it ought to have been addressed. In terms of where we are


now in our Assembly, which was passed to implement Parity issues...


It does not matter whether... are a crown minister, you will be


implemented in these measures no matter how much you beat your chest


tonight. No, we don't have to... We can shape the legislation... John,


you will have your turn again. will be implementing these changes.


That is the bottom line. You should not treat your electorate and the


people at their like... Are there are three issues... Address the


jobs issue. We do not change the issues by killing the bill, even


though I do not like it. We change it by amending it, by negotiation


and by talking to the public. That is why our minister has been back


and forward on these issues and why, during the negotiations that the


Assembly will go through, we should try to get three changes. We should


try to make sure that direct payments are made not to the


individual who has to claim the benefits, but to the landlord Stott


-- but to the landlord... Let me stop you there. These are key


issues that affect the individuals. The other key issue is... You have


been talking for a long time. Let David Ford answer the question. You


have had a long answer. You may say they are tinkering. The reality is


we do not have the choice to set up our own welfare system. We will be


spending in excess of �2 million a week do not have. We would have to


set up our own computer system. We simply cannot do it. It is a


fiction to suggest that in any meaningful sense we could change


the welfare system. What we can do is what has been described as


tinkering around the edges, which is finding things like direct


payment to landlords, looking out weekly payments rather than monthly


payments. Buyers are areas where we do have some latitude. -- those are


some areas where we have some latitude. Blocking the bill will


result in all our constituents on the 1st April losing their benefits,


losing access to things like the Social Fund as they currently exist,


and we will all be the poorer for it. You do not get anywhere


negotiating with the current Government by saying, we will harm


our constituents. You are a chief Executive officer, you presumably


create jobs at some level. Do you think the politicians are talking


about the right issues? I work across west Belfast and Shankill on


employment policy, trying to get people into employment. The


underlying concern I have is that if we are to move people into the


employment, you have to have jobs there, but all the evidence shows


the jobs are coming at higher levels requiring higher skills


levels. The areas I work in, you are talking 70 to 80% of the


population have low or no qualifications. What am not seeing


are the back-up policies and the programmes that are going to help


those people get the appropriate levels of skills to get jobs in the


future. Given that this is the opportunity for us all to work


together rather than mud-slinging, could we not join in one common


cause to work for each one of the population in this country, and two


were positively and constructively, instead of this clause by clause


more time-wasting? Whip are not only at the 11th hour, but the 12th


hour. Can we just move on instead of being negative, and why can we


not see this as an opportunity? I have had mental health needs for


things myself, so if I had not had a hope all these years I would not


be able even to speak about it. What is your perspective, Paul


Tweed? I think this legislation will inevitably be passed in


Northern Ireland. We have to focus on two core issues, employment and


jobs, and secondly, on ensuring that the most needy get the benefit


of money that is going to be available after all this. In


relation to jobs, I am an employer and I am absolutely depressed with


the number of young students coming in looking for training contracts


with us and we are just having to say no, there is no prospect at all.


It has been a major challenge for my firm to keep people in work. We


have managed to do that during this very difficult recession and I


think it is lightly important that we do not waste time trying to


fight of legislation. -- righty important. It is important that we


try to look at how to get jobs. I spent two months in the United


States this summer trying to encourage people to come to Belfast,


open businesses in Belfast. We have a lot going for us at the moment,


particularly with the good feelings that the golfers have produced for


us and we have to concentrate our energy on getting jobs into the


What about this mud slinging? of the things we are united on is


that we want to see corporation tax, a reduction, brought to Northern


Ireland. The power to reduce that tax. That will give the ministers,


that will give the Executive, that will give the Assembly the ability


to woe and attract new potential employers to Northern Ireland on


the basis that there will be a lower tax take from them. They will


be able to put that money back into resource and development and create


more employment. We do need to generate more employment. Everyone


knows around here, the world is going through a recession. It's


hard on everyone. It's particularly hard on us because we are on the


edge, of the edge of the periphery. Sir. No-one has mentioned what a


lot of people feel this could be, an attack by a Tory government on


the working-class and the poor. If they are trying to save �10 billion


of the welfare reform, it's the most poor and most vulnerable


people in society who will suffer. That is the latest round the �10


billion? The banks caused the recession, we should be taxing the


banks and tack taxing the rich and having a fair distribution of


wealth within the society. You, sir. I find it interesting listening to


politicians in the Assembly wringing their hands about job


creation when they wasted an amazing opportunity with the green


new deal to create 2,000 real jobs that would have made warmer homes


for some of our poorest people and saved us money in the winter


payment, �12 million was spent on boilers. That is major job creation


wasted by your party. You did nothing to stop it. Neither did you.


Failure by the Executive to stand up to a shocking decision by the


DUP. Absolutely shocking. Lots going on here. Address this


question. These welfare reforms are coming in very soon. The jobs will


be a long time in the pipeline? Paisley Jr told this audience and


the listeners beyond this studio that he does not agree with the


Welfare Reform Bill. I voted against it. Shefrpblgts prepared to


introduce the same Bill even though he opposed it. So will you? We will


not support the bill as currently framed. We have brought forward


reasonable amendments and we are involved in negotiations with the


British government. The DUP are saying, we are negotiating with it


and accused us of a sham fight. With serious consequences. They are


involved in a sham negotiation. They are sitting here saying, we


don't like it... If it costs us �200 million... You are shaking


your head. That is pulled out of the air. If the Welfare Reform Bill


is introduced it will remove �500 million of spending power from the


economy here over two-and-a-half years. �500 million will be


withdrawn. You have the facts and figures. DUP says it will cost us


�200 million if we don't go-ahead and retain parity, the same


benefits all over the United Kingdom. It is possible for us to


maintain parity and yet have some differences. There is no way, for


example, we can stop universial credit coming. In I would like to,


we would not be able to. Thank you. You will support. It I was going to


give some examples where we could make difference s. We could decide,


for example, to exclude the most vulnerable, the people who are


severely disabled from the assessment procedure for the


personal independence paymept. We would not bring in the bedroom tax,


the under occupancy until we have a housing stock that is suitable for


our families. If we did those things and costed them I believe


the politicians that they are looking to see what changes we can


make and how... Some of those changes... We have to go to the


audience. Ian Paisley Jr cut about cutting corporation tax. Many


companies show that handouts to big business don't provide jobs. We


should be using the money wasted by Invest NI to create decent jobs and


stimulate the local economy. lady in front. I think this lady


has made great sense because, yes, welfare reform is necessary and I


think we would all agree with that. The timing is probable wrong. I


think, I suppose, there is no such thing as a good time. We don't have


the houses. We don't the facilities. We don't have the jobs. People are


dealing with huge levels of anxiety. I work in the voluntary sector.


They are distraught at the minute as to what their future will look


like with the potential of losing work and not knowing what way their


benefits will pan out. They can't budget. The whole thing is


catastrophic at the moment. The idea that something else is coming


in is detrimental to everybody. need to move on. Thank you for that


question. Second question is from Mr Bell a student from Bangor.


Doesn't the defeat of equal marriage at the Assembly last week


send out the wrong message to young people suffering from homophobic


bullying? The Assembly or the motion did not pass the Assembly


because the DUP made it a petition of concern. It meant it needed


cross community support. You said in the past you are repulsed by it


you voted against it? I am not a member of the Assembly. Your party


didn't support it. You would have supported that position. I believe


that marriage is, as the law defined since 1866, between one man


and one woman. I think that people should respect that. That is the


law. I think, more importantingly, that to change that so fund


mentally and to turn around and say, we will change it to a man and a


man and a woman and a woman, that attacks my rights and the rights of


hundreds of thousands of people in society who believe that marriage


is between a man and a woman. are entitled to retain that belief?


I think you undermine something which is for a whole host of


reasons has deep seated respect and honour across this society. If we


do that, I think that we will undermine the rights and liberties


of a host of people. I think that if people want, for example, and


they are entitled in law to get into civil... Giving people more


rights would undermine rights, I don't understand that? They are


entitled to get into civil partnerships. Why has the notion of


marriage have to be taken away and polluted in that way? I think that


is wrong. I think we should stand up for marriage, Champion marriage


and protect marriage. Goretti Horgan? I'm not into marriage all


that much myself. As a socialist I support the right of anybody who is


in a loving relationship to get married if that that is what they


want. I think a bigger issue for Northern Ireland is the issue of


gay adoption. I have friends who are bringing up children together...


We must try and stick to the question, if we can. It is only


fair. As we speak, our Attorney- General, I don't know on whose


behalf he is doing, is intervening in a case on the... We are going


down a road we are not ready to go down. I support the right for


equality for everybody. I don't believe that Ian is right in saying


that giving rights to one group of people undermines everybody else's


rights. Why should it? As far as I'm aware we live in a democracy.


Everyone should have the right to choose how they live their life. My


concern on this is that Northern Ireland does not want to give the


impression to the outside world we are some form of backward or


intolerant society. We are doing a good job of doing that. This would


be another scenario where we have to move with the times. People


should have the right to choose. The man in the front row there.


pointed out there that you said "your rights and hundreds of


thousands of people's rights would be affected" a person's right to


freedom ends when you encroach on the civil liberties of other person.


What makes you different from me? Your civil liberties aren't


affected by choosing the term marriage. Can you have a civil


partnership? That's not marriage. Why have a two-tier system? The law


is 1860 is a man to a woman. Change it? There is a definition of


marriage. Change the definition. And say you are a woman. You are


clearly not, you are a man. The definition of marriage is a man to


a woman. That is what the law says. We are saying relationships can


change. Let him speak. My point is you are saying, you are basing it


on the biblical sense of one man and one women. If you believe in


the biblical sense of slavery. You cherry pick what is right to


your own argument and use them to your own ends.


APPLAUSE I will let you answer. There is a


lot of people to get involved. didn't introduce the issue of the


Bible into the conversation. Ian. Will you have plenty of an


opportunity to talk. No, I won't. This man. My question is Ian


Paisley Jr is speaking about our society and what our society is


built upon and undermining our society... Ian. This is not the Ian


Paisley Show. There are a lot of people who want to say something


here. Would you allow me to conduct the debate. My question is, Mr Ian


Paisley Jr is speaking about our society and what our society is


built upon. We have a situation where in the Scottish Parliament is


looking like it will pass this motion, David Cameron today in fact


said that he is still dedicated to making sure equal marriage goes


through in England and Wales am we are looking at a situation in


Scotland, England and Wales there will be full equal marriage quality


and in Northern Ireland there won't be. Once again, we will be behind


the times on that. It will be a ridiculous situation. Whereas the


member and citizen of Northern Ireland I could go to England,


Scotland and Wales and get married and come home here and find the


unionist government has ensured my marriage is not recognised what so


ever. David Ford your party said same-sex marriage was a policy.


Half your party didn't turn up on the vote and one allegedly voted


against it. What message is Alliance sending out? It is an


issue that is very difficult. We had a good question about jobs that


got hijacked. We had a serious question about homophobic bullying


we are having a spat about the marriage issue. I have to deal with


it in the context of hate crime. There is also issue about


homophobic hate crime which gets swept under the carpet because


people don't want to talk about. It it's an issue for John in terms of


schools and in terms of further and higher education. We need to


address the issue of how all our citizens are treated in that


respect. Not happened with your party having a split personality on


it? Those who took the same line as Ian has just put forward, because


they have a particular issue about marriage, are not necessarily


supporting homophobia. questioner has linked the two?


not sure the link entirely works. I will give you an xarm example, one


of my MLAs who abstained because of his religious beliefs about the


word "ministerage "wtion who made an issue on the ban on gay blood


donation. There are issues about how we provide equality across


society. There are particular difficulties with some people that


need to be recognised in the term "marriage." We have a society that


is changing to recognise the rights of all. Why is it a party policy if


the party is not going to follow it? The majority of our represent


ifs will. In the motion that came forward in the Assembly we did not


have more than half of us. You have been waiting. It's interesting that


Ian used the legislative definition. He didn't use the Bible in that


debate. That call noose question, legislators are elected to make


laws and change laws. If he is relying on the legislative


definition of marriage that can be changed. In my opinion, it should


be changed. It won't be. Well, we have been told that around these


islands it's changing all the time. I have sat in numerous studios with


unionist politicians who told me something won't happen and it does


happen. Like welfare reform? believe that given the debate in


the Assembly, given there was a narrow vote on it and changing


public opinions in regard this matter, a more openness in our


society to think differently to we once dead that marriage equality


for homosexual relationships will come into play. The gentleman here.


Because we can't examine the relationship because we don't have


transparency to financial donations it means we can't see who are


pulling the strings. We don't know if it is something they believe in


or something their supporters Surely you have a right to protect


your home without repercussions. Tony Martin was jailed for shooting


someone who intruded into his home. The question is, is your home


Newcastle and what should you or should you not be allowed to do?


am not sure exactly what the Justice Secretary his planning for


England and Wales but it seems to me what is going through is a


process in which having an established common-law definition


which applies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you are entitled


to use reasonable force to defend your property and to defend


yourself and other people. This has been put into law or ready for


England and Wales which simply codified what has been common law


for centuries, and now it seems they are going a bit further. It


has been done in the speech at the Tory conference. A different


question is what appears in legislation at Westminster. I am


not convinced it is anything more than a speech for the party


faithful. What we already have in Northern Ireland is about defence


and we do not need to codify it because the common law is clear.


The Tory party conference has been interesting. They have created


headlines around every think other than the rail issue, which we need


to be discussing. I think this has been on purpose. The law says you


can use reasonable force to defend yourself and your family home. I do


not see any need for anything more. Took -- two men went to jail for


defending their homes. One was jailed because he took unlawful


action. Do find that. The court decided whether he was in the law


or not. I am not in a position to qualify that but if a law is set it


is up to a gentle and jury whether the law has been breached or not.


But what should you be allowed to do to defend your home, Paul Tweed?


If you are in your bedroom and you find somebody there with a baseball


bat, you know it is not Santa clause. So you are going to react


whatever way were instincts tell you. That would be to defend


yourself, think of your family and at the end of the day, it is very


difficult for any clarification of the law to help you in that


situation because you are not going to start thinking, am are going to


go after this guy it with a baseball bat myself? And you do not


have time to think of that. People are struggling about whether we are


going towards the American way aware not only can you defend


yourself if you find somebody in your bedroom, but if you manage to


produce a shotgun while he is running out, is that right? That


cannot be right. There is a difference between defending


yourself and your property and seeking retribution. We mentioned


Mr Hussein who chased after people who had held him captive and beat


one of them with a cricket bat, leaving him with brain damage. He


was sentenced to jail but the sentence was reduced and suspended


because the judge said the call of Mercy had to be answered and this


seemed exceptional circumstances. am not to gone on vigilante law.


That is not vigilante law. He did run after them. To be perfectly


honest, I think what David has said is absolutely right. The judge and


jury can decide these things, but I thought that question was being


asked about people who were likely to be evicted because of a result


of the welfare reforms. I genuinely thought that! It is not just a one-


track mind. There are going to be many people facing this. A very


different issue. Ian Paisley. What do you think about it? What do you


think you should be allowed to do? I think you should be allowed to


protect yourself, your family and your property and you should be at


all to do that in a way that is acceptable and is proportionate to


the threat that his post. So for example, where does that threat


end? Does it end when they have let your house, been chased from your


house and gone to your yard and have stolen your property and could


come back, or of fleeing...? There are all the things that would have


to be balanced in the circumstances. You are entitled to protect


yourself, your family and property and you can use reasonable. The --


you can use reasonable force. The burglar has more rights than the


victim. There is clearly that feeling. Whether that is right or


not, that feeling is there. We have to racial society feels protected


enough and feels they have the right to protect themselves if they


are faced with that terrible intrusion of someone in their


property. It is only when you have been burgled that you have that


feeling that lasts forever. Gentleman in the second back growth.


I think it is a wider thing we think the law that people who come


into Croke seem to get more rights than the person who has been


affected by the crime. I do not think it is just to do with


burglary but other laws, too. law graduate who has been burgled,


I think that reasonable force, if you take it one step too far and


you make that extra punch, you can end up in court whereas, I do not


think of what is reasonable force gives you any comfort living in


your own home. There is already a law in regards this matter. It is


difficult to deal with these situations. When you buy it from


your sleep and there was a burglar in your hand, when do you stop


defending yourself? That is the difficulty in the law. But I would


favour changes in the law if it was to improve the law but this notion


from the Tory conference that we go towards the American way of


shooting them when they come in or go out of the door, it is not right.


If someone is going to cause serious harm to you, if they have a


baseball bat or a knife, you know they are going to cause serious


harm. It is whether they are stopped from being able to cause


serious harm and I think the law is on your side when you do that.


People who are potential victims have to know that they can stop


that person from doing them harm. We need to move on. Question four.


From a trade union official from Tyrone. With 24 % of Arjun people


unemployed, is it time to start the wreath hiring of ex-police officers.


-- with 24 % of our young people employed, is it time to start


employing a gain ex-police officers. Some people said contracts being


handed out at a tender was out of control. I do not think it is out


of control than that evolution has happened. There is youth


unemployment and the issue of hiring a game. I do not think you


can equate the two things. Policemen were hired again because


they had a particular task. That was not necessarily something that


could be done by unemployed 21- year-old. One was employed as a


transport assistant. Those issues are clearly now being addressed by


the Policing Board which has a responsibility with the chief


constable for dealing with these matters. It is not something which


comes directly to the department but in terms of the political area,


it seems to be clear across all parties what is expected. We need


to make clear what happened. We also need to recognise that ten


years on, the message the chief constable is giving his... And we


have to look at the issue of what we are going to do with unemployed


young be well. Do you want heads to roll? Whose head? Those who were


their ten years ago who have promptly retired? Even when you get


to the point of a Public Accounts Committee you ring which is due to


happen in the Assembly, those facing it will be the current


permanent secretary of the Department of Justice, not the


Northern Ireland Office, the current chief constable, not the


previous chief constable, the current chief exec did you got the


Policing Board, not the previous one. So when you talk about heads


rolling, most of them rolled out of the door a long time ago.


Paisley, Edge Hill party has a split on this. Jonathan crake was


critical of the lack of transparency, -- your party has a


split on this. So which stands do you take? I think that is the BBC


trying to find a street where there is not a sprint. They are two valid


but separate arguments and they are part of a series of arguments. --


trying to find a split when there is not a split. Ex-police officers


are entitled to be in a job. A lot of these officers for historic


reasons got those jobs back in the process. Where there have been


procedures that are wrong and abuse to the system, that should be


identified, as has been done by the Audit Office. That should be


rectified but a lot of this is now historic and I am fat the current


chief constable and senior team have put considerable amounts of


this right and are doing very well. Do you think it is entirely


justifiable that one in five of them should be employed again, two


of them before they had even left the RUC, hundred within a couple of


months and that the average length of these temporary contracts was


something like 233 days? There was a significant skill gap in the


police service whenever they opened the doors and said, pay off and


that is the end of Protestants in the policing service. That was the


church -- short-term language for it. Then they realise, we have to


get some of these people back in, and that is exactly what happened.


We said at the end of 2001 this is too much, too fast, too far, but we


knew the ambition was to get the change and the weak balance in the


police service, which I am pleased with. I am delighted remain


Katherine's want to be in the police. It is important we welcome


that support but the change was too sudden and this is one of the


consequences and we pay the price. It was not just jobs for the boys,


as a party has claimed. Each post that was retired with a very


generous retirement package had to be on the basis that it was surplus


to requirement. Those posts were judged a substantial package was


given to them and within a matter of days, weeks, months and years,


those officers were brought back into the service. That is wrong and


his is not that historical. The police board were giving the wrong


information with regards to this matter right up until recently. It


was a matter of months ago that the orders of this was called in. The


Policing Board, a democratic body, gave wrong information. That has to


be further investigated by the Policing Board. But the overriding


issue in this, it is not this -- just the actual damage, it is also


the potential damage to the policing process. The reader


creation of a policing service serving all sections of the


community was crucial and there were individuals, or a collective


decision, to undo it. You were saying about young people who could


be taking these jobs, but they might not be employed enough. Why


don't we not cut EMA and provide more training for the sent people


to go into the jobs? I guess the policing jobs are very specific


jobs. Quite a lot of them, if you read the public accounts committee


report, and you can Google it, you see a lot of the jobs they were


doing when not particularly police jobs but at win jobs, drivers. That


point about young people needing the jobs is what struck me


immediately when I saw that over half the agency workers provided by


the PSN eye over the last ten years work formally retired police


officers. -- PSNI. I agree with John on this that there is a really


big issue that we thought there was going to be a discontinuity between


the old policing and the new policing. That has been completely


undermined by the discovery that so many retired police officers,


including special branch officers, are back in there. A colleague of


mine from the University, when she was doing her research into the


historical team, she found that large numbers of special branch


officers actually involved in the intelligence unit. That is


something that we all... If I took the same attitude as you, then Sinn


Fein should not be entitled to jobs because of their baggage. Former


police officers are entitled to jobs because of -- despite their


baggage. But there is a continuity issue. The criteria for any job


should be merit and suitability and it would be nice to think that that


is being applied across the board in Northern Ireland. I may be being


somewhat naive but that should be the only criteria. For example, the


award of a contract worth �44 billion to a company with no


tendering process would be anti- The youth unemployment and the


retiring and rehiring are both connected to austerity because it's


privatisation and out sourcing which is happening to cuts to


government budgets which facilitated this. The Audit Office


said it was out of control. They are not giving to extravagant


comment. They said it was out of control wesm need to ensure that


public servants in the police are accountable and are directed by the


Chief Constable and accountable to the Policing Board. In terms of


youth unemployment, in Greece it's 55%. Here it's 24%. We are half way


there. We have half way to misery that people in Greece are saying


wesm need to do something about austerity before we get a visit


from Angela Merkel. On 20th October there will be thousands of people


in London, Glasgow and Belfast standing up against austerity.


can move on to our next question. Do you not think that clerical


sexual abuse would stop if priests were allowed to marry? This


question is based on a statement from father don began. He has gone


to California for a few months. He was saying that celibacy, the end


of celibacy was inevitable. There simply weren't enough priests


coming through and it would have to happen. We should say that there is


no reason to say there is a direct link between celibacy and sexual


abuse of children. Having said that, it is a big issue for the church.


Where do you stand on that one? It's clearly about more than just


celibacy. There is also sexual abuse in other churches where there


are married priests or married elders, or whatever. I suspect it's


go the more to do with attitudes to sexuality generally. A lot of the


churches, Christian, other churches as well, do actually see sex as


being something that is quite dirty or something that they are not


wholesome. If you that all sex is somehow not wholesome that abusive


sex is, you know, just... Is just on that same continuum of nastiness.


That I think is the problem. All of the churches, all of the main


churches that don't have an open view towards sexuality, churches


that would see homosexuality as Knott being natural or any loving


sex at nos natural that those by definition are leaving themselves


open to people abusing sex in all kinds of ways, including abusing


children. I don't think it's just the marriage issue. I think priests


should be allowed to marry. This stipulation was introduced in the


11th century by the church to it related to the Inamoto her itance


of land issues. It's not appropriate for the individual


priest concerned. I don't think it's achieving any purpose. I'm not


a particularly religious person. It's an unfair comment for me to


make. If you ask my personal view, I would back the freedom of choice.


Having a situation where, you know,... I mean, people do have


been casting observation that is the child abuse problem that


appears tor to be rampant is, in some way, related to the fact that


priests have not been allowed to marry. I don't know if that is


correct or not. I would not be in a position to make that assessment. I


think the church, it is for the church to decide and analyse, I


think they should review the situation as to whether priests


should be allowed to marry. Thank you. I think it would be a gd thing


to look into allowing priests to marry. I think anything that could


lessen the chance of child abuse or sexual abuse within the Catholic


church would be a good thing and all right thinking beam think that.


We are talking about marriage between a man and a woman in this


case. Where would you stand on this. I hardly dare ask you? I'm glad


that you were prepared at the beginning of your question to


define the circumstances of this particular discussion. That because


it's to do with a priest and because it's to do with celibacy


there is no specific link to child abuse. I agree with you on that.


Just as I agree with the point because I have a particular view on


marriage doesn't make me homophobic. I think that it's important to that


if what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. I actually


believe that the damage that is done to the Roman Catholic Church


by not allowing their priests to marry, man to woman, I think that


that damage speaks volumes. I think that it is unnatural to hold back


that passion within a person to find that loving relationship and


bond and it should be allowed and permitted. I think that the sooner


the church address that is the much better for the society. By any


definition, to say, as you did, some time ago you were repelled by


homosexuality would be - I can be repulsed by someone but not hate


someone. OK. We will leave it there. David Ford. Sorry. Married clergy,


Catholic Church. I'm not sure I'm qualified to advise the Catholic


Church on whether it should allow Catholic priests. I'm not qualified.


You have raised an issue about child abuse which has occurred in a


number of institutions, not merely the Catholic Church. I think the


fact that we have seen revelations or at least allegations about the


behaviour of a prominent television personality in the last week or so


shows how embedded this culture that we don't respect children and


that can lead to the point of serious abuse of them has to be


addressed as a matter of grave concern. I used to do child


protection work as a social worker. It is complex issue. One of the key


issues is ensuring we don't have institutions that feel their duty


is to defend the institution rather than deal with the perpetrator of


these crimes. The gentleman here. think the Catholic Church, I think


it's a mute point at the moment about them being allowed to marry


because aI believe an abuser will always be an abuser and a


paedophile will always be a paedophile no matter whether they


are mafr married or not. Thing are clutching at straws. Thank you.


has become relvapbts because of the reduction in the number of


vocations in the chath Catholic Church. The status of a Catholic


priest has changed massively. In years gone by it was to the


advantage for the family to have a priest in the family. That has been


reduced because of the scandal. Whether celibacy or married or


women priest also change that, we don't know. There are jobs out


there for young men in the priesthood if they want to get them.


I don't think it's between marital status an abuse as one of the


previous person said. They should allow their priests and nuns to


marry. They should open their church. They should allow the


greater involvement of the layette. They should demock ra ties the


church to bring it back to the grassroots. The fact there was


consistent abusers within their ranks has hurt many, many people.


It has distanced Catholics from the church itself. They have to examine


it is own purpose but certainly allow its membership and clergy to


reflect. Is Belfast on the move or is it a closed shop for drivers?


The Belfast public and wider public has been exercised by the


introduction of these bus lanes which believe have brought chaos.


Others aren't too sure. What do our panel think? I only experienced


them for the first time today. visitor what is your first


impression? It was OK actually because there wasn't much traffic


when I went through. It I think our public transport system in Northern


Ireland is absolutely dreadful. We know it's the worst in the UK. We


spend less on public transport than any other region of the UK. We know


that, for example, our subsidy for public transport is about... I mean,


it's a fraction of what it is in other regions of the UK. It really


is time, if we had better public transport maybe we wouldn't have so


many cars on the roond and we wouldn't need have all -- road and


we wouldn't need to have all these traffic jams. Maybe they are doing


the right thing? It has been the experience of many motorists. I


haven't been in the thick of it. We have to examine our relationship


with the car. There is no doubt about. That we have to look the at


how we use and fulfill public transport. I welcome the fact that


the DRD is involved with discussions with the Belfast City


Council with representatives and they are monitoring the situation.


I hope the difficulties faced by motorists are smoothed out. In a


year's time or less, when we reflect on the Belfast bus lanes we


say it was a good idea. I don't know whether it's psychological on


my part. Since they introduced the lanes there seems to be fewer buses.


It increases the temptation to do a quick right and zoom along. I


haven't done it yet. Maybe you should. I'm for more buses driving


on the streets in Northern Ireland or London or anywhere else.


won't be able to buy the buses. use a bus and train three days


every week. If we can get out of our cars and use bus and public


transport it's better. We do not have sufficient infrastructure in


Northern Ireland to make it work for thousands of people because we


have a largely rural community. Whenever we think of everything in


Belfast terms we get the clut they're we have under this current


decision. There is no strategy. There is no buses, as you say, I


think it's screwed up thinking not joined up thinking. You don't think,


making it more unpleasant for motorists is not a bad policy to


get people on the buses. That is not the answer. Not the answer.


more. The lady here. Is there an opportunity for jobs then if we


need to change our infrastructure to improve on the public transport,


could we look at something for that for public spending? Just an idea?


OK. David. We had a fundamental problem for a couple of generations


planners have assumed that people in Belfast would travel in a


private car. There is no wonder that the general public assumes


they will travel in a private car if they can. If we hadn't had a


sufficient lobby in the first Assembly when we developed the


strategy we wouldn't have a train between Belfast and Derry or


Belfast and Larne. They are not running from Coleraine at the


moment anyway much we got some effort. We still have a transport


policy which is grossly imbalanced away from public transport. A lack


of subsidy. The only way you move people around cities is by public


transport. That is the case in every other city in these islands.


Frankly in every other city in Europe, Belfast is left in a time


warp, spwr whack -- somewhere back in the 19 '50s that people will


drive their cars and get places. That simply doesn't work. OK.


regular bus... Two microphones. As a regular bus user I have to be


honest they take so long and so irregular out where I am, it's


nought near Ballyclare, they are once every hour, later on, I have


to be honest I don't think that actions such as this should be


taken in my name. We are only saving maybe 30 seconds or a minute


going past St George's on the way to the Europa. It's adding minutes,


10 to 15 minutes car driver user per person. A bus may have 20 to 30


people on it because it's awful and it takes ages. I do not like the


fact saying - it makes it better for the buses. Improving the buses


would make it bet r for us. This has exercised the travelling public


terribly over the last few weeks. There is a long way to go before we


sort it out. Our final question from a managening Dr From Holywood.


Which James Bond do the panel most I dent with and why? -- identify


with and why? The 50th anniversary of Dr No. John O'Dowd probably Jaws,


am I wrong? I was thinking of MiniMe. I'm a great fan of James


Bond films, I have to say. When a question is thrown at you my mind


goes blank. Go with Jaws. I'm not sure if I have seen an entire Bond


film. Which actor? I couldn't identify with one of these actors.


Daniel Craig in that little swimsuit. Steady on. This is a


family show. David Ford. I would like to be Q I would like to have


the ability to invent wonderful gadgets. It ties in with being


Minister of Justice and fixing a system that doesn't work very well.


And being a control freak? I leave it other people to do things like


the Community Safety Strategy. James Bond makes me aware of my own


mortality. You see the bonds through the years, as they were


then and as they are now. You feel really old. I will go for Pierce


Brosnan he is near my age. Just because of his age? I don't know.


Roger Moore he was on TV recently, he is looking very old. I can


remember as a young boy where he looked quite young. You become


conscious of the ageing process yourself. I have to dye the hair


here a wee bit. With your background your family would you


have to be MiniMe, wouldn't you? Ha-ha. I'm sorry he is not a bond


character. I'm delighted... Yes. I'm delighted. Never let the facts


get in the way? You certainly wouldn't. You work for the BBC. I'm


derighted -- delighted that John is supportive of a British secret


agent. That is progress in my terms. Jaws. He wants to kill him. There


has been some wonderful bond characters.


APPLAUSE My faiv raid Bond was George


Lasenbury. It was the Best Film, best script and story. I think the


best Bond. I agree with you, I think Daniel Craig is making a good


bash. I'm sorry to say that is where we must leave it. Thank you


to my guests and to our studio audience. Thank you to you at home


for watching. If you would like to talk about any of the subjects we


DUP MP Ian Paisley, Education Minister John O'Dowd, Justice Minister David Ford, rights campaigner Goretti Horgan and media lawyer Paul Tweed take questions from a studio audience. Noel Thompson presents.

Download Subtitles