Are We Getting More Racist? Free Speech

Are We Getting More Racist?

Live from Sunderland, a panel of politicians and local activists discuss racism and Islamophobia in Britain in the light of events in Woolwich, where Lee Rigby was murdered.

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we want to hear your views on the issues that you care about. Right


is so patronising. There is a lot going on.


Edwards, and we are live in Rainton Meadows Arena in Sunderland tonight.


They are here to tell us what they think, and we want to hear what you


think at home. Tell Tina Daheley. Good evening. Get your laptops,


tablets and phones ready now and get online with Facebook, Twitter and


the BBC. I will be launching each of our


questions on social media at the same time they are live on location,


and I will bring your answers and comments straight to the heart of


the debate. One easy way to get your voice heard is via the Power Bar,


which responds in real-time to what you think of the panel's point of


view. Use hashtag yes or hashtag no followed by the first name of the


panellist every time you or disagree. Our panel's first job is


to tell us why they are here. Akala, I am a hip-hop artist and


educator. I am here to show you that UKIP has a dynamic group of people


from all sorts of backgrounds. name is Grainne McGuire, I am a


stand-up comedian and I am in -- interested in people 's opinions.


am Sarah Khan, I am a television presenter who also runs their own


business, and I am here to share your opinions.


Let's get going. As we went to act on our last show, the shocking news


of the death of Drummer Lee Rigby was just breaking. There has been a


huge nationwide response to the killing since then, including a


fivefold rise in alleged anti-Muslim hate crimes. The English Defence


League, the EDL, held its first and biggest protest march just down the


road from here. What has the response been like on social media?


Debate sparked by the EDL marchers was the biggest ever on our Facebook


and Twitter pages, and the room or -- memorial page RIP Woolwich


Soldier has attracted more than 1.5 million hits. I went to Woolwich to


There are hundreds of bouquets of flowers, messages, flags. RIP Lee,


such a waste of a life. Our thoughts are with your son and family. There


are football shirts as well. With love from Charlton. Just the sheer


volume of tributes show how much this has affected people in the


local community. How did you feel? Shocked. I would have thought any


place but Woolwich. I couldn't believe it actually happened, to see


it in front of your eyes. I have showed my respect is on Facebook.


you think that people 's views have been affected because of Facebook


and Twitter? I think that people 's comments can influence others.


is the atmosphere like? If you walked down here, it was completely


empty. It is like tumbleweed. Different races used to come


together, now it seems like everybody is minding their own


business. We are not going to talk about the


actual killing of Lee Rigby or those arrested because of legal


proceedings, we will focus on the wider issues of racism and Islam


phobia in this country. Nicola has a question. Is Britain becoming more


racist? Is Britain becoming more racist? This debate will be quick,


we want to keep this moving, we will put 30 seconds on the clock, give us


a taste of what you think. I think the question is an


oversimplification of a problem. We have to deal with the reasons why


racism exist, there are political and economic religious derived from


being the correct race. We have to put things in that correct history


and, to this very day, if you are nonwhite in this country you are


more likely to be arrested, to die suspiciously in police custody, for


your children to be expelled from school, even allowing for


socio-economic factors. When we deal with racism we do not focus on it


being part of the political culture. I don't think it is actually rising


as fast as people think. My grandmother was Irish, my


grandfather was black. They came to be mated kingdom and we had signs


that said, no Blacks, no Irish, no dogs. That circumstance does not


occur today in the United Kingdom. When I was a young boy, I suffered a


form of racism. I joke that I am more like Michael Jackson and I am


fading, but when I look at my wonderful seven-week-old daughter, I


can see her lovely colour. But we are accepted, we are accepting


people of different races, colours and creeds in this country. But what


we are seeing over the past few weeks is a division which is caused


by many of the reasons you have identified, the socio-economic Rob


is that many groups in society, be they white or Asian, black or


otherwise. Unless we address those, we will not be able to deal with the


underlying reason that people are drawn to parties and groups that


think racism is the answer. A couple of quick responses from the


audience? My name is Daniel Johnson, I am from a diversity centre in


Newcastle. I am a Muslim and I am horrified to see a Islamophobia, as


well as other forms of racism, rising in recent years. One reason


is foolish people like Anjem Choudary and his cronies, and


another is people like Tommy Robinson and his cronies. Do the


panel think it would be a good idea to take Tommy Robinson and Anjem


Choudary and put them on an island and bonnet with anthrax? That is


quite strongly put, but I get the idea. Do we need to clamp down on


people believe to be extremists? This lady in the front row.


opinion is that we are not getting more racist, after studying Of Mice


And Men, in the 1930s, black people were put separately, but that would


not be acceptable now. But we are not honest about the reasons of


changing. In the United States of America,


black people had to shed their blood in the streets to be recognised


legally as humans. People did not have a grand awakening, it was real


political campaigning. We have to deal with the fact that the


mythology of innate white superiority -- superiority is a key


part of Britain, America and other countries' political culture. I am


not saying about to be horrible, it is a fact. Tina, what are people


saying? Lots of messages coming in about Woolwich, lots of people


talked about how social media in the hands of the social media


exist, it only takes certain instances to bring them out.


At the moment, because of the current economic climate, lots of


people are suffering and really hurting from the cuts. Lots of


people are looking for somebody to blame. Big things like capitalism or


the banks, very vague things. It is much easier to blame the person down


the road who wears different clothes than you or eats different food. I


think lots of parties at the moment are exploiting the anger and


frustration that lots of working-class people have, and I


think they are exacerbating the problem. Working-class, vulnerable


people are being pitted against each other and looking for somebody even


lower down and more vulnerable than men to blame for things happening in


our life. APPLAUSE


Whatever your experiences told you, Saira? My parents came to this


country in 1965, I was brought up in the 70s, they were the first mass


immigration to this country. I grew up with people taking the mickey out


of black people, Irish people, people like myself on television


programmes broadcast on the BBC, Mind Your Language, Love Your


Neighbour. We are 30 years in advance of Europe in terms of race


relations in this country. I think the obvious racist things that we


saw in the 70s are gone, but what is more dangerous is we are now looking


at subtle racism. We are looking at institutionalise racism, in this


country some people are scared to put down, my name is Muhammad


Khan-macro, in case they are discriminated against. We have seen


racist economic policies like housing and education. It is not so


obvious but it is very subtle. I will say one thing, it is very


obvious. Racism is spread because of ignorance. I believe, in this


country, multiculturalism was great for the 60s, 70s and 80s, but we


have to move away from cultures in this country being allowed to just


get on with it and say we do our own thing. We need to talk about


integration. I was brought up on a completely white council estate. I


am the person I am because of my upbringing on that estate. We did


not suffer a lot of abuse and racism because we invited people to our


house. They used to say, why does your mum pray five times a day? I


told them. I went to their house and said, your mate is pregnant at 16,


what do you think? You need these discussions. It works on both sides.


It is not white against black, black against white or whatever, but there


is a lot of ignorance. One example, I have got mates who go to the same


curry house for the last ten years, a Bangladeshi curry house in London.


I said to my mate, do you know how to say hello in Bengali? You have


been enjoying the food, we live in multicultural Britain and you don't


know how to say hello? Once he knew how to say hello, he was getting


free pop the food, we live in multicultural Britain and you don't


know how to say hello? Once he knew how to say hello, he was getting


free popper dons every week. It just shows, it just takes that one little


bit of showing that you care and have researched or done homework.


And free food is a great incentive! We have heard from the panel, so


Tina, you know what to do? Instant judgment, this is what


people at home think of what you organising protests around the


country. The first was here in the north-east, and police estimated


that around 1500 took part. Protest will -- protesters were heard


shouting, who has streets, our streets? Tommy Robinson, the leader


of the EDL, your supporters were heard shouting racist abuse, how do


you explain that? What racist abuse? I can't say it at this time on


television. There is no racial tension in the town that I come


from. When David Cameron says that multiculturalism has failed,


seekers, Hinduism, they have not failed, is lamb has failed. If I am


against Scientology, will you call me a racist? I oppose the Islamic


ideology, that does not make me racist. We have read the quotes in


the press. You just said 1500 people, there were 7000. More people


chanting? More people in the demonstration. When you talk about


Islamophobia, of course there is Islamophobia, because our police


force were too scared to tackle grooming and rape in our youth


because of fear of being called racist. That is Islamophobia. A


phobia is an irrational fear. It is natural to fear female genital new


to Laois and of 2000 Muslim British girls every year, terrorism, those


six Muslims sentenced to 20 years each because of plans to blow up the


English Defence League league due to the blasphemy law within the Koran.


There is a link to these things, the same with the Muslim grooming. You


have to look for the issue, they are all Muslim. I get confused when you


say is lamb, Islamist and Muslim, they are different things. I am from


Luton town, I know so many Muslims. If you take these people 's careers


away, they would not be there. I am a volunteer. What has happened, from


speaking up the way I have done, it has destroyed my life, my wife's


life, I have contents A* constant death threats, I have to where a


bullet-proof vest. Well, stop being a racist and a bigot! Please explain


one thing I have ever said... born in your country, I don't spout


rubbish like you do. Please explain, if you talk against Islam, please


explain what I said that was racist? Please explain. I'll tell you what


is racist... Please explain. have taken a community with hundreds


of thousands of members, you have made a tiny minority, you have said


they are all like that. That's the slightly racist party. You are


against all Muslims. Yes, you are. to call us racists or extremist...


What have I said that was racist? heard you on Radio 4 saying that you


are a peaceful movement and not violent. Have you looked at your


own... You still haven't explained what I said that was racist.


have been convicted of thuggery and you are a football hooligan. Please


explain what you have said that is racist. You have just cited loads of


things relating to Islam and talking about Islamist 's, but what about


all of the Muslim people killed by white people? There is not a problem


in this country against Islam. are you focusing on certain


incidents? EU rather than listening to the point, you just want to shout


racist. Because you are. Let her speak. What have I said that is


racist? You are a racist bigot. You do not represent the views of other


people in this country at all. Nothing. You have got no substance


to your argument. You are not even backing it up. What happened to Lee


Rigby? What happened with the Muslim grooming gangs? Let some body else


speak for a moment. Of course, there are no paedophiles that are white.


You spoke, let me speak. This is the issue. As much as I agree with what


is being said about this man and his organisation, we focus on the fringe


gets, rather than dealing with the central issue in the political


system. I can't count how many times I have read the Daily Mail and other


papers, Pakistani man does... When Jimmy Savile is convicted, is his


religious beliefs or ethnicity put forward as the reason for him


committing these offences? They fan the flames of bigotry and they act


shocked. I want you to express what I have said that is racist. Baghdad


was the intellectual centre of science. Nobody blames Islam for


that. Negative people that happen to be Muslim, it is your religion. If


you pioneer mathematics, if you introduce copies, lemons, algebra,


if that is not because you are Muslim. You organised the


counterprotest? We I have heard of double vision, I've never heard of


triple vision. There were not 7000 EDL folks in Newcastle. You have had


your say. You had 1500. You have had your say. We had a peaceful


protest, unlike you EDL drunks. You have said your bit. You don't like


it when people do it to you. You had to have people shipped in from other


places in the country, to Newcastle, to have a party. We had


local people, celebrating diversity. That is what we thrive on.


celebrate diversity. You are the biggest fascist. You are. You are


Islamophobic. You hate Muslims. don't come at all. Your EDL


organisation is just a platform for your ego. Do you think I enjoy being


the leader of the English Defence League? You wrote a letter to the


City Council against me saying I have extremist links. You said that.


I didn't. I have got the letter.I didn't write a letter. Tommy, calm.


On top of that, your EDL folks have threatened me, my life and my


family. On Twitter, Facebook, have you condemned them? This gentleman.


Regardless of Mr Robinson's views, we are delighted he took the


opportunity to come here and show how unrepresentative and out of


for the audience here, but working class people back home... We are


working class! When you set their... Then why don't you stand


and become a little party? People that oppose Islamist agenda, they


vote for Labour, Conservatives, a variety of people. Islam is not


integrating, sects of Islam are spreading like wildfire. What are


you doing to combat them? condemned... Condemned is not good


enough for me. We have condemned and we have been actively working in


Newcastle and the north-east. We are actively working with different


communities. What have you done to work with different communities?


work with the seat community, the Jewish community. If it is the


fascist, the right-wing, muscle groups, we condemn them all. This


lady, here. If you look at the country as a whole, we talk about


whether the country is getting more racist, I don't think it is. But if


you cut the cases where people are playing a role in the community,


getting involved in society, the vast majority of people do not care


what race people are. If people are integrating, working together, then


they cooperate. It is having protests, in either direction, is


that helping anyone to reach that the broader issue. Where is


Isabella? I think people are becoming racist because of their own


social and economic problems. They are just pointing the finger, as you


were saying earlier, choosing something to blame. I am half


Polish, and... Sorry? I think it's offensive when people go on about


Eastern Europe in is taking jobs. You might not think that is racism,


because you might not be able to tell I am Polish, but immigration


has had a major impact. I think that we need to look at the broader


issues as to why people are becoming racist. How do we tackle those


issues? Personally, I think that racism is becoming more of a matter


of upbringing. Just like the gentleman over there, if everybody


was going to have the same frame of mind as you, the whole country was


going to be racist, people bring up their children, saying that when


people move into this country from different countries, they steal our


jobs, they steal our money, they don't because they are trying to


make the country more diverse. Can I speak? I'm not against


immigration... Everybody, nobody has told me why I am extremist and


racist. Anyone with a different opinion... It is a matter of


upbringing. I had a perfect upbringing, I had to businesses,


prior to Danish defence league. It's not to do with poverty lines, it is


serious issues. As soon as you talk about it, everybody says you are


racist. Your agenda today, my question is, can we say what the


problem is, about when people see a woman in a scarf, it is about an


economic issue? You had your agenda, I don't know if you have finished it


yet, I have been here for two years, nobly sits near me because I'm


wearing a scarf. You explain to me, what you can answer for them?


can't just keep calling you racist. You can't keep saying racist without


giving me an explanation. At your rally in Newcastle, you stood next


to the organiser while he was chanting, send those... I can't say


it, home. Complete lie, again. It's an edited version. Who said it?


Every time somebody has their arm in the air, you say it is a Nazi


salute. You're generalising a whole race of people. Only certain sects.


When we deal with racism, rather than dealing with the structural


reality, talking about people being racist because they are not happy


with their life, like only working class people are racist. Racism was


not started by the working class, it was from the top down, it was


lamented as part of policy. When there were slave catchers in the


streets, people had more allies in working-class areas of London, than


they did from the upper-class people trying to send them back to the


Caribbean. The bigger problems are structural racism. It is all of the


frustrations, breeding this kind of nonsense, that will not be excavated


so much. We focus on problems like this. A gentleman called Christopher


Alder, a white British soldier, he died in police custody. You can see


him on the floor, with police officers around him, making monkey


noises over his dead body, you have the issue? We have to tackle the


issue with education in school and university to encourage people to


amalgamate. We have to deal with some of the issues that Mr Robinson


raised. It is clear that The Met police, they have apologised, they


have not dealt with issues of grooming and things like that


because there was a fear. Thankfully that is now being dealt with.


Organisations such as your own half to continue the work that you are


doing to tackle those that are also racist within the Islamic community


against others. You are tackling that, extremism, and thankfully we


are doing that. Altogether, we have to look at the extremism on both


sides and bring us together. We are all people. We are not mixed race,


we are not a white race, we are part of the human race. That is the most


important thing we should be concerned about. Are people getting


het up online? A huge reaction online. Jamie says that Britain is


not becoming more racist. The problem is increased airtime given


to this view. That is picking up on your point, Akala. More racists are


feeling justified because of recent events. What people think is racist


and what it is is wide apart. Islam is not a religion, it's a race, I


don't know if I got that the wrong way round. The main problem is that


if the economy is worse it causes scrutiny. Cigarette manufacturers


have been fighting against the threat of plain packaging, and the


ideas recently drawn up by the government. UKIP has announced plans


to allow smoking in if it was elected. And at lunchtime today it


was announced that electronic cigarettes will be classed as


medicine, so people will need a prescription to get them. We have a


question from Sarah. Is the freedom of people to smoke more important


than the health of those who choose not to? Steven?


I think there is an important question about liberty and the


freedom of ourselves to be able to do for our own body and our own


being and make those choices ourselves. There are very clear


questions in UKIP's policies on health at pub landlords should be


able to choose themselves if they allow smoking. You could have a Pope


that is totally smoking, you could have one that would like a mixture


or you could have one which would not want it whatsoever. It will be


driven by the economics of those pubs and the decisions of those


people. It is a liberty issue. I think the government has a very


important role to play here. If it wasn't for public announcements and


information about the dangers of smoking, the dangers of smoking if


you are pregnant, the diseases relating to smoking, we would not


know about it. Because, I can tell you, the cigarette companies would


hide that information from us. I think this whole thing about so many


pubs have closed because of the smoking ban, it is nonsense. They


closed because they weren't commercially viable, that is pretty


obvious. I actually believe that the government has got a real reason to


inform people about smoking. I personally have no members of my


family who smoke and who have had a reason diseases as a result of


smoking, like heart bypasses and cancer. For me, I think the


government has a very important role to play in educating about the


dangers of smoking, and I believe paid -- plain packaging, which is


something the government has talked about, should be lamented. Are their


differing views on social media? Free Speech and BBC are you one, we


have been debating e-cigarettes. Regulating the sale of e-cigarettes


and turning them into a medicinal product is ridiculous, it is proper


Job health and common-sense. Simon says, the government needs to


tax these, because of all the money they are losing from all of the


people who have stopped smoking. A vicious circle. Grainne, is the


freedom of people to smoke, to make the choice to smoke, more important


than the health of those who choose not to?


I feel like it is a spurious argument. What do you define as


freedom? The cigarette industry is a �1 billion industry. It really


targets young people. Two thirds of people started smoking before they


are 18. 50% of people who start smoking will die as a result of


smoking. I think there should be something to defend people. It costs


the NHS millions every year. I think whatever we can to protect people


from a very nasty destructive habit is good. Akala, would you agree?


am a non-smoker, I am completely biased and over the moon that people


do not smoke in public spaces any more, I was sick of breathing in


tar, especially when I was with young children. I don't have any


desire to see the smoking ban lifted in any way whatsoever.


There is a gentleman here who has smoked more since the smoking ban.


Why? I think the ban made it more of the social activity outside of bars.


I think it is questionable the impact that it has had on smoking


rates, for me, as they say, I didn't smoke at all before the ban. The


impact on me was that I subsequently started smoking quite frequently,


not just socially, but in my day to day life. That is my choice, but the


impact of the ban in bars is questionable. It is all very well to


protect non-smokers by making it illegal in public places, but I


think we have to look at the impact it has on the way that people smoke.


It is also protecting children. If you are a parent and you are smoking


in the house and public places, you are causing home -- harm to children


and that has to be taken seriously. But we're not suggesting that the


government should start in loading itself and putting itself in people


's homes? It is important for the government to advise people on the


dangers. I don't disagree with the education, the fact that we have to


educate people on the harm from smoking. I have never smoked, I do


not personally like it. I worked in jobs where I had to go home and wash


because of smokers. But I do not want to stop people from having the


opportunity for smoking, albeit that I might think it is a bad choice.


The government should keep its hands out of our pockets. Who smokes?


Former smokers? A few ex-smokers. Smokers, how have you felt?


Marginalised? Personally, I'm fed up of these new advert somethings that


are giving smokers a bad name, for example the one when the guy is


smoking in the car. Smoking is legal, we have a right to be able to


smoke. Are the government going to do the same in terms of alcohol?


Alcohol costs the NHS billions every year, fast-food, obesity, will the


government imposed sanctions on those as they currently do with


smoking? That people generally don't spit alcohol in other people 's


faces. Wii but if I smoke in my own home or car... That is reasonable. I


am not disputing that there is an issue with alcoholism. When I smoke


a cigarette, I see diseased lungs on the back of the packet. I don't go


to the supermarket, pick up a can of lager and see a diseased liver.


is a valid point. Anyone else? What you have to remember is the


advert showing the guy smoking in the car as well, there is a child in


the car. My dad smokes, my mum has quit but she still smokes


occasionally. There is nothing I hate more than being in a car and


not being able to escape the cigarette smoke. It is fine if you


are by yourself, but should you be inflicting about another people? I


think that is the issue. Wipe the children in danger? If


children are run smoking, they will turn to smoking. I wouldn't, I don't


think any sensible parent would. you are having smoking in pubs,


there will be children in there. Parents do not have to take them in


there. Bee people take them for pub lunches, it is not to watch them


drink. If you are eating your dinner and the person next to you is


smoking... Would you introduce smoking on aeroplanes? Absolutely


not. There are different circumstances, on an aeroplane you


have no choice. What about the person working in the bar, what


choice do they have? If the landlords have made it explicitly


clear that this is a smoking pub, completely, or on this site, then I


would make a clear, rational choice not to go in there with my


children. What if you work in the bar? What is your choice? You could


choose not to work. So you are discriminating against people?


can work in a different pub which does not have smoking. You are


complaining about an employment, people will lose their jobs because


he wants to smoke? Reign there are great advantages, it simply wants to


work in a smoking pub than they might get paid higher for doing so.


Reign people do so for going into oil rigs. It is about allowing


people to make choices. These cigarette companies around the world


take advantage of people. They take advantage through packaging,


colours, adverts, marketing. People are seduced by it. The government


need to take a stance. The money the government gets in this country goes


against fighting diseases related to smoking. This is a serious problem.


It is about rights and stuff, but most sensible people will say, yes,


what the government is doing is correct and we need to censor and


control it and protect people, in form and about the dangers of


smoking. Let's get a...There is a big thing about banning it in pubs,


but everybody in this country has accepted it. Comments from the


audience. It is UKIP policy now, is it, to say


that people who do not smoke are banned from pubs by putting signs up


saying it is a smoking pub and you could die by going in there?


simply said that the Pope could put up a sign saying that there is


smoking in there, then we have a choice of whether we want to go in.


I still might into it, because my friends are in there. It is about


personal freedom and choice. There is no way that we will force you to


go into a smoking pub if you do not want to, or vice versa. The current


system is working. I don't think you can talk about


personal freedom if you are segregating into non-smoking and


smoking, all of my friends smoke, so if they want to go to a smoking pub


I would have to sit outside because I can't hack smoking, I preferred to


breathe oxygen, as opposed to cigarette smoke. I would have to


stand outside while they went in and had a good time and, to be quite


honest, I'd like to look like I had friends, for starters! Why choosing


smoking pubs and the non-smoking pubs, if that was my local pub, I


would have nowhere to go because I local pub would decide to be a


smoking pub. I don't feel that I should have to be limited because of


somebody else pulls-macro life choice which is damaging to


everybody else around them. What are people saying online?


Surely smoking is a choice and you should be free to choose where you


smoke, but you should be educated on Ellen says continuing to regulate


the smoking industry is creating a black market like we have seen with


drugs. Plain packaging won't make a


difference to people wanting to the debate on racism, Akala is still


followed by the panellist's first Speech, tweet the Power Bar.


Next up, work experience time again, students across the entry looking


for internships. What is the best way to get a job Dutch work


experience, and as -- apprenticeship, set up your own


business, or work for your dad, and James Caan's daughter. Lots of


employers will not comply people without work experience. These


people have taken different routes. I believe work experience and


volunteering give you the advantage that someone else might not have. I


am currently volunteering at the Stadium of Light. I have been for


about ten to 12 months. I help people similar to my age find


qualifications which they did not pick up on in school.


When I graduated, I applied for PR jobs. The main problem was that most


of them want a minimum of one or two years experience. If people have


paid more than �9,000 for a degree, then they are told they need work


experience, I don't think those stupid people could work for free


for a year. I am on jobseeker's allowance, it is


manageable and I have no doubt. I am putting the effort in while am


young. I thought there was more of a future


in my own business, so I launched a streetwear brand. We started off


with caps, we now have T-shirts, jumpers, best, we are going into


foodies and jackets. It has given me the opportunity to work for myself


and I think it stands me in a better position than if I had done work


experience. I don't think voluntary work


exploits young people, it is your own choice. In the future, I would


even like to be a teaching assistant or in the sports industry. I would


rather be gaining skills and in the job centre.


Do you think it is right for young people to get work experience when


they might not get a job at the end of it? What do you reckon? I believe


work experience is crucial in getting your first job. I graduated


in a recession, I moved away from home to go where the jobs were, I


worked in a planning department for three months and then I got a job. I


fundamentally believe that work experience is a good way to get your


first job. You had ten seconds left, the first answer that has gone


underestimation mark I think it is brilliant as long as it is open to


everybody that is interested in the field and that people are paid


properly, so that people can afford in a project, I thought, this is


great. I went with them and they said, yes, you will get extra


qualifications, right into the field. But I was just stuck in the


office doing paperwork, I wasn't given much opportunity and it was a


summer wasted. Another experience, they gave me a lot of experience,


they put me in the field and gave me qualifications and I really enjoyed


it. Sometimes, two sided. You need that respect, and the company need


to know how to deal with the students. And you have to put the


effort in to get that experience. If those two are not in balance, it is


not going to be good. Who else has had a positive experience? Quite a


few of us run a radio station in Sunderland, and we would consider it


to be a full-time job, even though we don't get paid. We would never be


able to do it our own back. We get the opportunity to talk to Mo


Farah, for example. In the media, which is hard to get into, we can go


and say, look, we are on the Northeast's best radio station. But


we've got those awards and we can prove that we have got those skills.


And you have done that of your own back, which is impressive. I think


that the pressure is on young people, I have done work experience


for three and a half years that I have lived here. I'm slowly starting


to get things, but the pressure is still huge, especially in the media.


But across all platforms, I think that young people find it so hard to


find themselves while doing what they love to do. There are an


average of 45 applications per graduate vacancy. It is tough out


there. Where is Adam? I haven't really got a bad word to say about


work experience. I have had two spells myself. One was with the


company I work with at the moment, a housing organisation based in the


north-east. I'm currently an electrical apprentice. I work on


site every day. I find, in work experience, you are treated with


respect, like an employee. Really, I think it is about the company having


a structure to the work experience programme. It's how you can develop


as an employee after that. Who had a more negative experience? Anybody


here? Yes? I went to a law firm and I was made to sit in an office and


put folders in alphabetical order, from A two Z. I asked if I could be


put into a more useful place. It's fair saying that you need work


experience, but if you can't get it, what are you supposed to do there?


It's about the quality of the work experience, isn't it? People are


crying for work experience, not work experience where you are being


treated like a so-called apprentice, putting the kettle on and making


cups of tea, getting skills that are transferable. I think a big


responsibility lies with employers. Employers can come forwards, provide


work experience that helps people gain deployment in future. If you


agree or disagree with anything being said, let us know through the


social media channels. I am currently doing a work placement. I


have gained so much out of the experience, it's an unbelievably


positive experience. I've met fantastic people. I also know people


that are in other roles, other positions, doing placements and


stuff. They have had terrible experience. Their highlight of the


day was putting the kettle on, and suing a couple of phone calls or


bringing people through from the entrance hall into a meeting. I


think it goes back to educating employers, and there are many


benefits to the employers in involving young people in work


experience. It is all about creating opportunities, but raising awareness


of the benefits these can bring. you are in work experience, it is


also about your own confidence. If you feel you are not gaining what


you want from it, you have to have the confidence to go to your boss


and say, look, I feel like I could do a little bit more. Young people,


because you don't have that experience, you probably lacks


confidence. Do be brave and confident and try to get the most


that you can. To get work experience in today's climate is actually


really difficult. It is not as easy as it seems. If you get it, make the


most of it. I think confidence is a really big key in getting the most


from what you want. Stephen? I think what we are seeing is that the


experience of work experience is something that is very positive.


When I started as a lawyer, that is what I was doing. The gentleman at


the back, I want one of your caps, if you get an opportunity to give me


one, I would like that. You are finding people are getting barred


from getting work experience in two ways. Employers are saying that you


need a degree just get work experience. Secondly, we are finding


a closed shop. It's a dangerous thing to say on the BBC, but within


the media, you'd have to be an Oxbridge candidate, it seems, in


terms of senior things in the theatre, they tend to know each


other. The same applies in law and banking. This is something that we


must challenge. Open up the market by giving people to get to work


experience. The opportunities, in Moss side, to be a barrister, that


becomes less available. Dragons' Den's James Caan is the social mode


validity back two. On his first day, he said parents shouldn't help their


children find work. On the second day, it was revealed his daughters


work for him. What do we think about that? Sometimes it appears that


people get a job because of who they know. It's all very well talking


about the benefits of work experience, but there are people


that are barred from that if it is not paid. I think a system where


people who can afford to borrow money from their parents or live at


home, they are able to do with experience, whereas people that have


had to move out or do not have the support of their parents, they have


to work a full-time job, they are not able to do that. Especially when


the Government is cutting down benefits. It's difficult to do work


experience on benefits, especially with cuts to housing benefits for


people under 25. It will make it difficult for people to seek that.


Waypoint online, Nicole says that work experience is crucial in


fostering elitism. Those with contacts or money to take unpaid


placements get them and the jobs. So, what do we do about that?


don't know if we have the intention to do anything about it, that is the


problem. We have a society in which the senior positions in banking,


Government, finance, they are preserved for a particular class. It


has been that way for a long time. Attending that has ever been an


intention in the history of people in power to give up their power is a


bit historically naive. I think we can force change as much as


possible, grab as many opportunities as possible. But it is an uphill


struggle. I disagree with your point saying it is all the latest. What


percentage of senior Government is Oxbridge, which percentage of the


BBC is Oxbridge? 83%, thank you. Don't interrupt me, I haven't


finished my point. Don't you think it is ironic to be in a monarchy and


be surprised by it being passed down from father to son, mother to son?


Whilst that goes on, we have to be positive about what this country


offers. In many industries, we are a meritocracy. You will get a job if


you can do the job. Reams and reams of scholarship to disagree. If you


can do the job really well... have to ask you to discuss this


later. We shouldn't be negative about getting a job. I am an


immigrant and I managed to get a job. The audience at home and most


people do think that work experience is a negative thing. Internships


only seem to benefit employers. Scott says, work experience never


truly represents the work environment unless you are planning


to make posters and serve cups of tea. I wonder where he has worked.


Why should graduates work for free? Short and sweet. Let's look at the


Power Bar to see who has won the work experience debate. Overall


tonight, the winner is, no surprise, Akala. We are counting down. Say


whatever you like, when you are ready? One thing I would like to see


students do is campaign for a world studies curriculum that gives us


accurate information. The many cultures we have, the different


classes, races and ages. I think accurate education about these


groups of people, where they come from, what their traditions are,


what they have contributed to culture, I think that would do more


than any politicians can do. Thanks to the audience, the panel and you


at home for sending in your comments. The debate continues


online. Join us in Magaluf. Finally, Free Speech on the Beach! We will


leave you with Akala and Find No black Caribbean


# And half white Scottish whatever that means


# See lately I feel confused with the boxes


# Cause to me all they do is breed conflict


# It's not that I've lost touch with the reality


# Racism, sexism and nationality # Just to me it all seems like


insanity # Why must I rob you of your


humanity # To feel good about mine?


# It's all about crime # Dehumanizing is how I justify it


# So I must keep on lying about the history of Africa


# So I can live with the massacres # And repeat my mantra of Muslim and


terrorist # So I can sleep at night as bombs


take flight # Eyes wide but I'm blind to the


sight # Too busy chasing the perfect life


# And the working class keep them uneducated


# Truly educated men could never be racist


# To educate is to draw out what is within


# Are we not all not the same under the skin?


# I got a heart like yours that pumps blood and oxygen


# And insecurities are a whole lot of them I'm scared like you deep


down # I really do care that world is not


fair like you # But I don't even believe my own


prayers like you # Chasing career going nowhere like


# Lost in a fog of my own insecurities


# I hold myself up as a image of purity


# And I judge everybody else # By the color of their skin or the


size of their wealth # But it's not good for my health


# As the only one I ever really judge is myself


# The oppressor must suffer like the oppressed


# Though I pretend I'm in control of this mess


# By inflating my ego, puffing my chest


# I see my weakness, and need to show strength


# Or what we think strong is because if we're honest?


# True strength is the strength to be honest


# And if I'm honest I am just tired # If I'm honest I am just tired


# Tired of everyday filling up my car and knowing that


With Free Speech's social media audience generating the show's biggest-ever online debates on race issues arising from the murder of Lee Rigby, Rick Edwards presents a special live edition of the debate show in front of an audience of 120 people aged 18-25.

Rick hears the opinions of the studio audience, with Tina Daheley (Radio 1 Newsbeat) relaying Twitter, Facebook and website messages from viewers at home.

Live from Sunderland, close to the scene of the English Defence League's first march since the death of Lee Rigby, a panel of politicians and local activists discuss racism and Islamophobia in Britain in the light of events in Woolwich.

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