Episode 1 Free Speech

Episode 1

With BBC Three facing the axe from the airwaves, the live debate show discusses what its future should be and the other big topics of the day.

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Hello, we are back for a new series of Free Speech. The show which makes


your voice heard in the national conversation. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE.


Welcome to Free Speech. Tonight we are live from outside Birmingham


central mosque. They are all here to tell us what they think and we want


to hear what you think. We want to hear your voice at home in this


show. Here are the addresses you need. Your answers and your comments


will come straight to me. I will make sure they're heard. And we are


running the power bar. This time we will focus on the question at the


heart of each debate. Use the hashtag Free Speech yes or Free


Speech no to let us know what you think. Here is your panel. Heydon


Prowse, Shazia Awan, Mehdi Hasan, Baroness Susan Kramer. That is your


panel. Right, our first debate is about an issue that is very close to


home. What is occurring. BBC Three is going off air. Today, BBC has got


whiter, older and more middle class, because it is the BBC Three audience


that is the most diverse of all their channels. It is a mass yir


shame for the BBC. -- massive shame for the BBC. BBC Three plays a vital


role. It does risky and different things and there is nowhere else on


the BBC that we can do that. If you're to choose between BBC Three


and BBC Four, that is where the audience is going. It is moving


online on to iPlayer. It is the beginning of a challenge to BBC


Three to say now move what you do so well into the environment which


younger audiences are living in. An environment where things are on


demand and people are wanting things when they want it. Wherever they


happen to be. That is the challenge. The BBC Three petition has 200,000


signatures. All week you have been clicking like on the questions you


want to see on the show. Here is our leader board with the top questions.


We have the BBC's director of television Danny Cohen joining us


live. First Heydon. Is it right to move BBC three off television


screens. No. Why not? I would say that when this was first pitched us


to it was pitched as a cost cutting exercise, but that hasn't been the


case. It is only ?15 million that is being saved, which is a drop in the


ocean when it comes to the BBC. The red button costs ?15 million.


Executive pay is ?20 million. We are spending 30 million on Formula One.


So there are plenty of things we could be saving. Cutting the one


youth channel isn't the answer. You're nodding Paris. Do you agree.


I do and I don't. Make your mind up! It is a valid point. We should put


the fat cats' pay at the top. The suits and the rich older white guys


are shafting young people again. But another part of me thinks television


is becoming irrelevant to young people and this is a PR disaster,


because everyone is watching net flicks and YouTube, if they had spun


it differently and said it is online, people would be responding


differently to this debate. What do you think about that Heydon? It is


only 4% of the entire BBC Three audience watching op iPlayer. It is


a fraction. It is important to have a youth channel. You look at the


level of British talent at the Oscars, who is the next generation


to be creating the new Mighty Boosh or the new Gavin and Staceys? It is


sidelined back online. When we first started, it was such an effort to


get the thing on TV. Everyone turned us away, including Channel 4, which


is considered the alternative Channel. Getting it on devolution


where people do consume their content was a major achievement.


Side lining it again it saying to young people, we won't believe in


you, you won't train you to be the best and encouraging people to be


the best they can and going into industries like Hollywood and


representing Britain. But if they won't be watching television, we


know in London the biggest group of people that the BBC is not meeting


is young urban professionals. It all has to change. I would rather see...


Radio for the older people go. But some thing has to give. The older


people are very well served with BBC1 and two and BBC Four and it


wouldn't be a massive sacrifice to subsume BBC Four into BBC Two. It


could be part of BBC Two and everyone would be catered for. What


do you want to say? I think that the, although the BBC Three do show


youth programmes, the videos we watch, they're saying that the youth


have moved to online. But that defeats the point of youth having a


very powerful message and if we are saying, yeah it will be online, what


about everyone else that the youth can influence? They're watching TV.


If we have taken from it TV, it is automatically taking it from


everyone else. We want a show that youth do have valid points and we


are the next generation. So... It needs to be on TV. So the point is


the youth voice will get marginalised by this moving? I think


it will be. I wish I was a youth voice still. I'm not an exact target


figure. But I don't buy the money idea. You're about to talk to Danny


Cohen. It will save ?15 million. The BBC has to save ?700 million.


Compared to ?200 million they spent on moving to Salford and 150 million


wasted on a digital media initiative that was scrapped. They spend


millions on payouts for executives who are leaving and the Government


that Susan is part of froze the licence fee, saying we have to make


savings. The same Government that cut the top rate of tax on


millionaires, scrapped the banker's tax and gave subsidies to energy and


rail companies. Susan? You pointed out that the BBC has an enormous


amount of waste. You gave some huge examples of wasted money. So me the


question is should we be campaigning to get BBC Three on television? I'm


worried about it coming off. But I am an old person and I watch


typically old television. I have got two questions - that is if it goes


on online would you still watch it? And the second question is, should


it be on the other channels so that old people like me have to see the


programmes that you want to see made, so that we are not in a sense


cut off from what is happening? That is the problem. I'm not saying


you're ignorant. Just because it is directed at youth doesn't mean you


cannot learn from it. But should it be on BBC1 so I can see it? Of


course, but are we getting that? I want to bring in Danny Cohen. You're


listening to this and heard Mehdi say the argument Ake saving --


saving money is ludicrous. Is it? Danny? I would like to correct. Can


you hear me? Yes. Just on the finances, we are not saving ?15


million by doing this. We are saving 50 million a year. So there is a big


saving. In terms of where we put our programmes, we are going to repeat


all the BBC Three online content on BBC one and two and so it will get a


showing and reach more people. We have to save money. We don't have a


choice but to do that. This is, we think the most effective way to do


it. You say you're saying 50 million, but 30 million has been put


into BBC drama hasn't it? Your right to say we want to reinvest in


different places. We want to make sure that shows like Sherlock and


Doctor Who and the musketeers have the budgets they need. Those


programmes are very popular with young people. Along with The


Apprentice and The Voice. We have to protect those budgets and maintain


those budgets and we can't do everything. We are at a point in the


BBC's history, where we can't stretch the elastic further and we


have got to make some big choices. OK. Would you agree with this?


Shazia? I think cost savings have to be made. But that is because the BBC


has been run badly. If we look back over the years, the BBC tried to


close 6 Music and people campaigned and the BBC tried to close the Asian


network and 180,000 Facebook signatures. So I feel the BBC, the


chaps at the top, the Director General and Danny, they're not


really thinking these things through. It just seems they


backtrack on decisions and what might have been a better idea would


have been to say, look, we are thinking about closing BBC Three and


put to it the young people that watch it. Young people struggle to


have a voice in this democratic process. Why weren't they asked,


rather than being dictated to, we are closing it, that is it? We have


had cuts to careers advice. Everything seems to be, oh, young


people don't matter. Why should we be cut, shouldn't it be out of


something else, we should have the voice? Without BBC Three and Free


Speech we wouldn't have a voice. APPLAUSE What is your come back to


that? So, the first thing to say is, BBC Three is not closing, we are


moving it online. It's not the same thing. We are going to show all


these programmes online where more and more young people are watching


them. We will repeat them on BBC One and BBC Two. I think the other thing


worth saying is, in the 90s the BBC had a lot of criticism for investing


in news online and online generally. Money was taken out of content to


start these new services. Thank God that was done at the time.


Similarly, 10 or 15 years ago we put money into the i player to get the


iPlayer going. People were critical of the BBC for taking money out of


existing things and investing in the future. That is what we are trying


to do again, it's difficult and painful. I used to run BBC Three, I


launch shows from Being Human, Blood Sweat and T-shirts, many others. I


have to make decisions in the end that benefit the whole of the BBC. I


believe we can still keep delivering for young people and keep BBC One


and BBC Two strong. Do you think this has come early though? You were


quoted as saying, if you were given an entirely free hand you would have


done it in four or five years time, this is much riskier? Yes, I do. If


I had a free hand we would have made this decision in three or four


years' time. We haven't got enough money to do everything. We haven't


got enough money to keep those big shows going and keep BBC Three going


in its current form. We had to be realistic about that. We know this


is a gamble. We know this is tricky. I continue to be very committed to


these audiences in the way I was when I ran BBC Three. I used to run


E4 and commissioned The Betweeners and Skins there, I'm committed to


these audiences. I had to make changes. The BBC had to make


changes. We haven't got enough money to do everything. We want to protect


the budget and not make budget cuts across the board at the BBC. Does


that seem fair to you? No. No. Currently there is 300,000 children


in the UK that have access to online facilities in their home. How are


these people going to get a voice when they don't actually have access


to actually the channel where they can actually enable them to have a


voice? Good point. Gentleman at the back, here in the glasses. I agree


that people don't have the internet to get online. If young people think


BBC Three is the only way they can have a voice the Government need to


do more to empower young people to get up and make their voice heard.


MAybe. Danny and the other BBC bosses are doing something that is


self defeating. If young people here think, the one channel we have got


is being cut away to save money, they will be less interested in


supporting the BBC and less interested in supporting the license


fee. They are losing a BBC audience here by getting rid of this channel.


It's self-defeating in the long run. Danny said that all the original


programmes would go on BBC One and BBC Two. Lots of tweets about Family


Guy. The BBC confirmed it's unable to put Family Guy on iPlayer. When


BBC goes they won't be showing it. They have not thought it through,


have they? The TV Licence, isn't it about time BBC scrapped the TV


Licence, opt-in, not forced in. What is your response to that, Susan? I


value the BBC. I don't think you would have it, or anything close to


it, if we didn't have the licence fee. I would be happy to pay more on


the licence fee, I can afford it. The question is, can a lot of other


people, the answer is, at the moment it's difficult to pay more. We have


to recognise that. I recognise choices. I say to people, if you


want to keep BBC Three, campaign for it. Be really honest. If you


actually look at it and think - I would really use it online, then be


honest about that. If you think it would be really important to get it


on BBC One and BBC Two, then pressure them to make sure it goes


on BBC One and BBC Two. But let's not just protect it for the sake of


it. But if it is crucial, to keep the talent coming. To keep young


people engaged, it has an extraordinary value and that is


worth fighting for. Yes. I think, at the end of the day, if you are going


to have BBC Three it's the only channel that we have that Family Guy


and all of that. If it is put on BBC One and BBC Two, we won't have all


the channels as the older generation will want to watch it. That is the


only channel we want to watch. If we are the future generation we have to


have a say on what is going on on the television. You said it's your


choice to watch it online. A lot of students don't have that choice. A


lot of children within schools don't have that choice. For them to go


home, watch programmes that allows them to engage in debate and issue


means they are not excluded from the classroom than they already are. BBC


Three needs to stay for those children alone. This gentleman here.


Hi. Don't say hello to the microphone, it's embarrassing! Why


aren't we axing BBC Four. I've never watched BBC Four in my life! Danny


still there, can we ask him that question? Yeah, hi, Rick. On that


point about online. What we are saying is, because we are repeating


the shows on BBC One and BBC Two, if you can't get online you will see


these shows anyway. There is no reason why people won't be able to


see the content they are seeing now. What about the subsequent question,


why not axe BBC Four? Was that ever on the table? Well, we looked at all


of the options and we think that BBC Three is the right thing to do


because young people are more comfortable online, more online than


older people. We think it's the right thing to start with. If the


BBC does suffer further cuts we will have to look at BBC Four in the same


way. Can I pick up on that. Even as a middle age white male I can't see


the distinction between BBC Two and BBC Four, why axe BBC Three? The


question we ran for the powerbar, at the bottom of the screen, people


have been tweeting in. We asked, is it right to move BBC Three off


television screens? 9% of you say yes, 91% of you say no. There you


go. Fairly conclusive. Going back to the license fee. You look at all the


best show that are made, not just in my opinion what is best, what people


generally love, shows like Doctor Who, Sherlock, the best programmes


are generally BBC made. It makes sense to pay the licence veto get


better content out of it. The lady here. I think it should go off air.


If it is to be moved to BBC One and Two why keep the channel anyway. The


point about the TV Licence, I pay the Licence I don't want the BBC


shows - You are getting mugged off! It should be an option to pay it not


to be forced to pay it. That is what I think anyway. How would you


counter that? If the biggest shows on BBC Three will be put on BBC One


and BBC Two, what is the problem? Full disclose sure in terms of cost


savings, BBC bought me a first-class ticket down here. That should be the


first to go! I didn't get one! Did you not? No! I had to put it on the


table I was feeling guilty. You will walk home, it's OK. I don't think


that's being totally honest with the people here. I think in reality what


is going to happen is there will be less programming on BBC Three. A lot


like Danny is saying, that money won't really be a cost-saving that


go into drama on BBC One which is well served. We are kind of being a


bit, sort of, you know, poetic with the truth here if we say that all


the content that BBC Three is giving us will remain on BBC One and Two,


it's not. There a slight element, I'm worried about this - Can I


answer on that People like you and me trying to preserve their own


jobs? It isn't about my job. I have a third series of my show


commissioned, which will go into next year. I will be all right,


frankly. It's about the new generation and people out there a


that I know who I'm working with right now. It's that generation that


will get done over. OK. Danny, do you want to have one final word. We


saw from our powerbar that 91% think BBC Three should not go off air. I


know it's a difficult decision, I understand that. I found it quite


painful in many ways. Being online will help with our invasion. We are


committed to showing the content on BBC One and BBC Two. We will do with


that with great passion as we have done with BBC Three on years. We


will do it online digitally and continue to make great shows like


Sherlock, Doctor Who and The Voice. Thank you very much. We will move on


to our next question. It will come from Stephen Williams. Where is


Stephen? What do you want to ask? Our Government policies to tackle


youth unemployment working? Are they? No. Youth unemployment is


falling, which is a good thing. It's back to where it was in 2011. We


still have nearly a million young people out of work. The number of


young people who are long-term unemployed, who who have been on job


ker's allowance for more than a year has doubled under this government.


We are creating a lost generation in front of our eyes. It's a scandal.


Young people are more likely to be unemployed for longer in their life.


It costs the exchequer, it costs the country ?300 million to ?400


million, long-term unemployment. No, I think it's a scanned Town Hall


that one in five young people are out of work and it hasn't shifted at


all in the last four years of this government. Paris, is it a question


of throwing money at the problem? Yeah, I graduated four years ago and


I still don't have a full-time job. My mum has been looking for work.


She has years in the work industry. And, it's all right these Tories and


Lib Dems taking everyone off benefits and making people move into


smaller houses and taking everything away from everyone. You can't tell


people to get a job if there aren't jobs to go to. Even people with


educations and experience can't find work. This is why I like what Labour


will do now, or they say they will do, if you have been out of work for


more than a year, you are aged between 16-24 they will put you in


work for a year and something to do for six months. They are the only


party that are saying, we will give you some jobs. They have my vote for


the next election. Labour don't have a clue about how to run their own


party let alone run a business. How will Labour give jobs, this is the


thing? When Ed Miliband announced these plans for the Labour, you know


- exactly. Basically, he couldn't name one company, one private


company that would actually subscribe to that scheme. This is


it. Labour are saying the scheme would be people 16-24. You have to,


you know, absolutely mandatory for young if you have been unemployed


for a year. If you don't take any old job, effectively you are are


benefits will be cut there will be other penalties. How is that fair on


the 16-24 age group who you are forcing young people into grobs jobs


they may not want or the talent for, it's not fair on employers either.


The answer is to encourage more entrepreneurship. That is the


answer. The way Labour are looking to fund their scheme as well is by


of course we will give a big cheer to cutting bankers' bonuses and


taking it from that, they are being looking then to, you know, cut tax


relief on pensions as well. So effectively - On people who earn


more than ?150,000 a year! 1% of the population. It's about we are all in


this together, remember, wasn't that your party's slogan! 1%. We have


people - We have people sitting here watching this programme that are


hungry they haven't enough money to feed themselves and their families.


The people who have the power who run this country don't want to pay


people a living wage they send things to factories abroad where


they pay people 50p a day. Encouraging entrepreneurs will have


a trickle down effect, I just don't buy it. We have a problem with your


microphone. I will get you to pipe down. Sorry. (inaudible) I'm sorry,


we have a lot of microphone problems this evening. I would get rid of


this show! Say that again, just from the start. One of them is education


system in the country. That starts from teaching more life skills


within our education system. That starts with teacher communication


skills, developing young people skills that need to maintain a job.


Again, I agree with you, pushing employment entrepreneurship. The


trouble is the reason we have such like strong support for pensioners


is because old people vote, young people are not voting. So there is


no pressure. Young people need to take responsibility and start voting


and make their voice heard. I will do this whole row. We have got this


government, they're pushing young people from pillar to post.


Specially if they're unemployed, trying to sanction them for not


going to the job centre, because you have an interview for a job. There


is two and a half million people unemploye But there is only half a


million vacancies. What I say to Shazia, I am not an expert but there


are ?750 billion in the reserves of British companies and money


uncollected in tax. Why don't we use some of that wealth of the 1%?


Susan? I was going to say if you're out of work, no one is not doing


enough from the perspective you have got. We are trying to turn around a


deep problem. We had a recession. Companies don't invest when there


has been a recession and we have been trying to get the recovery


going. That is starting to build. If you're a young person, there has


been a problem over youth unemployment that goes back a long


timement a lot of it is people having the wrong skills, somebody


used the word education, that is right. Under the last government,


apprentices were a rude word. Now we have more. Work experience didn't


have a programme. There are 100,000 in work experience. I say about


Labour's programme. It is identical to one they had and it didn't work.


It ended up putting youngsters into the public sector. No better than


work experience and put them into the public sector and for lasting


jobs you need to be in the private sector. So you have got a genuine


future. So those changes will get us there. But it is a serious problem


and I don't agree it is one people are not taking notice of. It worries


people and we have to do more, but it must be effective. This one,


there are millions out of work because of zero hour contracts. That


is what most companies offer. And this one saying, from Tony, youth


unemployment due to uncontrolled EU immigration. Mehdi? A couple of


points. In 2010 your Government got rid of the future jobs fund. Which


was not a successful programme. You say it wasn't successful. The


department of work and pensions own research said it was. You talk about


education... Tell the economists in your government department and


listen on the issue of education, I am with you on education. Your


government scrapped the Education Maintenance Allowance and tripled


tuition tuition fees. EU migration is to blame? No in areas with high


migration, it has gone up more where there is no migration. Can I say we


need to shoulder some responsibility ourselves. Because it was 16 to


30-year-olds as many people didn't vote as voted Tory in the last


election. You need to go out and vote and then people will listen to


you. They are scared about people not voting. If they think you're


going to vote, they will listen to you. You have a power and we are not


using it. Yes the lady in the yellow. How can you say that youth


unemployment is because it is being helped by the Tory and Liberal


Democrat government when it is not. You're cutting education and things


that will help people grow and Labour are making empty promises by


forcing them into things that won't work. You have more people at


university, more... They can't find jobs though. But you're saying


you're cutting education. I say we are not. We have the pupil premium


to help kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. What good is it if


there is no jobs. You have to grow the economy and you had a Government


undermining the economy and so it crashed, you have to willed it --


build it back up. That is tough. We are talking about the economy. How


do we build the economy? You build the economy... One thing. It is not


real. OK, everyone settle down. Heydon. The housing bubble isn't an


economic recovery and creating another huge housing bubble which


will probably burst after the next election isn't a recovery and maybe


the Tories don't care about that. The people who are in work and


seeing improvements in their wages, this is a genuine recovery. Why are


so many young people out of work? There is a real issue and I face up


to that. It is one we have to crack. Because older people have been


hanging on to their jobs. It is a question of why aren't people hiring


younger people. A big part is skills-based. But you know it is


maths, I mean every firm I talk to is dying for engineers and people


who have done a bit of science. You could go out and go to small


businesses all over the country and find those jobs empty today. You can


go to people who design video games, all the way down, they have got


empty jobs. We do have to make sure that people have a chance to get


those jobs. You go outside of London and people don't feel there is any


economic recovery. I can find those people in Birmingham. It benefits


wealthy middle aged white people, just like the cuts to BBC Three.


You're in Birmingham. It is a chance, go out and meet some of the


businesses and they will tell you what they are look for. Which are


those skills. We have got to make sure that young people have the


skills to get the jobs. Are you saying the jobs are there but people


are not educated enough? The key problem is. I'm the only one who


does haven't a political drum to bash. I'm an ex-Tory candidate. So


you do have a drum. The problem is there are people in government,


Liberal Democrats, Tories, you know Labour, that have no idea about how


to run a business. If they have no idea how to run a business and make


cost savings, how are they in government? We need more people that


understand business, more people that understand entrepreneurship and


in government and the reason why people like me are taking a back


seat with politics, Mehdi asked me, will you stand in the election. I


said no, I'm not, because I can do more in business. This is the


problem. You have people in politics that really don't understand about


job creation, because all they have ever been is career politicians. We


need much less of that. We are going to move on. This is one that has


caused the most comments on the audience questions pain. -- page. It


comes from Britain's first gay Muslim drag queen. I talk about


issues of being Muslim gay and British in today's society. These


labels you know, they shouldn't fit well together. But here I am and I


refuse to give one up over the other. I kept it to myself for


years, because I was afraid of what the community would say and what my


parents would say. I came out to my parents in my 20s. My mum came into


my room and questioned me about my sexuality. I said this in Urdu,


which is my mother tongue, I'm gay. There was an occasion where my mum


asked whether I needed to see a doctor. I said it isn't something I


can take a medicine for. I introduced my partner adds this is


the person I want to marry. Although I entered into a civil partnership,


they saw it equal as a marriage and my mum ended up attending the


ceremony and giving me away and giving us... Her blessing. It sounds


a cliche, but it was the best moment of my life. The character has


allowed me to reach out to many people that I wouldn't be able to.


My mum and my aunties and my sisters came to see one of my shows. The gay


community were just inspired and in awe that a Muslim woman, dressed had


come into a gay space and was watching cabaret drag. One question


I would like the ask the Muslim community, when will bit right to be


Muslim and gay? We were going to debate that question but after


speaking to the mosque they have exprenssed concerns with having this


discussion here. The mosque were happy for us to play the video and


we will talk about it on our next programme. Now our next question. I


wanted to say do you think today's youth are too disengaged within


society. I wanted to mention what Paris mentioned, there is a onus on


young people to do something, but it is scary that we are in a generation


where someone can recite every lyric to a Drake song, but can't tell you


who their local councillor is. The question is why are the youth of


today disaffected. Paris? You mentioned it before, why is it? Come


on, we all know. We know who is running the show. It is not poor


black women. It is rich, white men from middle class back grounds and


it is every where and it is a cliche, but it is the media, the


newspapers, it is the business owners. You get women business


owners and people from other backgrounds. But the people with the


power come from a very certain background. And actually look at


this room. Look how diverse it is and all these different people. That


is not represented in the people that make the decisions. I feel a


lot of people feel increasingly put off and it concerned me when


everyone was talking about BBC Three, people are so passionate


about it not going. Because they say nothing else caters for us. But


young people are the future and lot of the big issues, lack of


affordable housing, lack of jobs, you know tuition fees and things


like that, it affects middle aged white men, but it affects young


people. People feel disengaged and we need to do something about it.


Susan? What will you do about getting more young people to vote? I


tell you I scratch my head on this for ages. Trying to talk to schools


and go to colleges understanding coming on here -- coming on here.


Please this is your country, these are your lives, it is not that you


have to get in there and vote for one of the political parties, but if


you think they share your views, participate. But engage, because I


think it is absolutely vital for our society. I don't know how somebody


like me persuades people like you to actually do it. Because everything


that I do is looked at as somebody who is in a position of power. Doing


something to people. I don't know how to get you to engage. I don't


have the answers. Is that what we want to hear somebody from the


Government saying, you don't know? You said there is jobs out there,


but people don't have qualifications, I have got a degree


and there are no jobs. Listen to people. They know what the issues


are. You need to listen to them. That is your job. Susan, one thing,


in 2010 young people did get engaged by your party leader and many voted


for him and he let them down. I agree with that. Just on a broader


point, young people have always been the most idealistic and ambitious,


and I think to be honest I don't blame then when they goat bored by


-- get bored by our bland politicians. Young people go and


campaign. But they are disengaged from the Parliamentary political


process, they feel it is not working. You can't just look at


government as something that picks up, it is not app idea from down at


the pub, you have to be able to implement it. And look at the


consequences. We talked about BBC Three earlier, if the answer is you


have to increase the licence fee you have to talk to the people that pay


it and tell them they're going to pay more. You have got a lot, you


have got to rebuild the economy and get businesses to grow. You can't


say, walk down and just create some jobs. You have got to get the


businesses to have confidence in the economy and to invest and get the


match of skills and work through an education system that takes years.


It is not instant magic. But young people can get engaged if that. We


asked everybody at home what they think and if they think young people


are disengaged. The results: Susan says: I wasn't blaming old people, I


say what is actually rather interesting is that older people


kept their jobs during the recession, which is a good thing.


You don't want even more people out of work, is all I can say. One of


the things that means there is a difference in the skill base of


older people and the skill base of young people. We have to find a way


to close some of that for the future. We can't have that huge gap.


Experience counts, but the skills that young people can bring are


absolutely vital. It's easy to see, this question, Susan went round in


circles, you have talked about all kind of things. Why aren't young


people voting? Look at how diverse this audience is. The problem is,


parliament isn't like that. Young people don't see anyone that they


recognise like themselves. APPLAUSE That is the problem. You can skirt


around the issue as much as you like. That is the core problem.


Until that changes young people won't have a voice and not vote.


Look how engaged people are in politics? How much youth, I hope I'm


still youth, look how many turned out for the tuition fees protest.


Young people care. More people voted in X Factor than in the last


election. That is a depressing fact. It's easy to say - young people are


let down by the Liberal Democrats, which they were. You have another


option, if no-one represents you in parliament, scratch your ballot that


is a protest. Why aren't people doing that? What do you do when they


shaft you? It's a wasted vote. Gentleman who asked the question


earlier. When you talk about engaging young people, you talked


about the 2012 elections people were queueing up outside polling


stations. What work has been done to reform our voting system and


structure so that BBC Three is moving online. We can debate around


that, essentially they are I thissing, young people are using


online more than they are going out to - watching television. So, with


that in mind, to what extent is the voting system thinking - right,


let's allow people to vote online? Be more forward thinking. Let's have


modern techniques rather than scratching on a piece of paper. Why


aren't we pressing buttons in supermarkets when we bought milk, to


make it easier and simpler. That is how you engage people. Are those


polling stations thinking about young people are. Where are young


people and what do they do. We get your point go, go online. The big


fear, fraud is easier. There is a real fear of somebody faking it and


making sure they can take an election etc, etc. I think you are


right. We have to change the way we vote. We have to get more


intelligent. Why isn't it on weekends? Why shouldn't it be


different hours? There are mechanical things we do. Would


people get engaged themselves. You have be to registered to vote. 95%


of pensioners are registered compared to 50%. Your Government is


changing the rules to make it harder and less likely for people to vote


bringing in individual registration rather than household registration.


It cuts fraud. The reason they know the lyrics to Drake is they can


relate. Who in charge can we re to regarding views? The young feel


disengaged because they feel more at home online than using the social


media Boot. This education, education, it should be compulsory,


a full curriculum not just a basic information. The lady here, please.


I run an organisation called Aspire for your social enterprise, I was a


beneficiary of the social jobs fund. Six young people we had working with


us. All of them are in full-time education or employment. I don't


know where you got your facts from, they are incorrect. You are enable


to engage with young people. Engage with the organisations that are


already working on the ground such as Aspire for You. It's a cop out to


say you don't know how to engage when you haven't worked or spoken to


the people who are already doing that. There is a lot of engagement,


as you know. There is a lot of engagement, as you know, with the


charities, with social enterprises with others that work with young


people. I'm sure if you want to engage with your local community if


it has overlooked you it's incredibly sad. It's not true. I


engage with the local community on a day-to-day basis. In the past week I


heard two politicians say, we have never heard of social enterprise.


You want to engage with young people - That's not true. I know many who


have. Such as young people - Can you two swap numbers. They don't


understand. You say, go out and vote, young people need to vote.


They don't understand how politics work. Go in, get involved, to make


policy to stand, to get their platforms out there. It's teaching


them how to vote. Who is telling them the difference between Labour


and the difference between Conservative? APPLAUSE OK, you two


will talk later. We move on to our next and final question from Oliver.


Where is Oliver. What do you want to ask? Should the electorate be given


the right to decide whether we are in the EU and not be dictated to by


the party leaders? So should there be a referendum on the EU? You came


to me first. Yeah. No. No I don't think there should be a referendum


on the EU. I will tell you why what we have been discussing. We have a


youth unemployment crisis, half a million people using food banks in


this country. Recovering from the worst financial crash in 100 years


in country. The idea that the next Government should be debating


whether we should be members of EU and having a referendum, devoting


time on that would be a disgrace when people are suffering problems.


The British public agree with me. Do you know how many people say it's


important the European Union 2%. No, I don't think there is a need for a


referendum on the EU just Nigel Farage and the Daily Mail. You say


only 2% of the people say it's the most important issue. Tax everything


else is far more important. Behind you those words say free speech.


Let's have a referendum. No, we live in a representative democracy. You


vote for MPs. You vote for your elected representatives to make


lawings, debate and discuss. If you don't like them you vote them out.


You don't have a referendum on every issue going. Europe is a pretty big


issue we should have a referendum. Is it going to end the debate? Is it


going to end the debate. People who are anti-Europe are going to be


anti-Europe after the referendum, those who are pro-Europe will be


pro-Europe after the referendum. A lot of people feel we need we need a


referendum. Foo people think they need a referendum vote UKIP see how


many votes they get from the British public. That viewpoint is ignorant


it doesn't respect the fact in making a decision like that you are


setting a precedent for the next sort of interpretation of British


politics like the way that democracy is handled now doesn't reflect the


way I feel or the way people around me feel. In moving forward we should


definitely start by taking the first action, even if it's something we


don't feel it is that important, it shows that at least we care. It


represents something larger. The most important thing we have to do


is build the economy. The conversation has been about jobs,


about people, financial pressure, about opportunity. That is the


absolute. The overhanging threat that we are going to end up with a


referendum that could lead to out. If it's one thing that will dampen


the economic recovery, that is it. I talk to businesses over and over


again. They have got their business here because it's part of the EU.


That is where they are selling to. That is where they are building


their business. If we will not be part of it they put Nair new


investment plans abroad they will move substantial parts of what they


already have overseas. We have to get the recovery established. I'm


happy to live with the idea that when there is a treaty change, that


referendum that should come, there should be a referendum, when you


transfer serious you new powers over from Westminster to Brussels. When


you do, I'm happy for that to be in an in-out referendum. I think we


have to stick to our priority which is getting this recovery in place,


getting everybody back to work. That's getting our education system


in shape, making sure we don't have disadvantaged children. This is low


on the agenda. Let's deal with it when he are forced to by the events


of the treaty change -- events of the treaty change. You are trying to


dampen the EU issue by linking it to UKIP. Because someone wants out of


the EU doesn't mean they will vote UKIP. Politicians are elected to


represent us you need to start allowing us to show our views. At


the end of the day, you guys are representing your own views in


parliament. You are debating because you guys disagree with each other,


you need to give us our right to vote and say we want out. You have


European elections coming up. We are the party of in. If you want in,


vote Liberal Democrat. If you don't want in, vote UKIP. There really is


- You have a chance to express what you really want. The gentleman


behind. Can you tell me how you will grow the economy when the living


wage is a lot more than the minimum wage? Also 1.6 million apresent


countrieses have developed within a year, how do you run a household on


a an apprentice wage, it's not possible. They can't afford to live.


How do you do that? Slightly off topic. A good point. I want to hear


something from you. On the EU? Yes. It's the shame to turn down an


opportunity to engage in direct democracy and vote on something. I


don't think EU is the issuel we should be -- issue we should be


doing that on. . UKIP are doing the best they can do to show how much


waste there is in the EU by spending ?35,000 on average a year in


expenses more than the national average living wage. But maybe that


says something about that party. Paris? What the guys said earlier,


why don't we change it up a little bit. Why aren't we voting for our


televisions or why aren't you buying a pint of milling. -- milk. What


gets lost in this debate is why Europe was formed. Europe has always


been there. Because of the Second World War we decided that we wanted


to come together politically. I would hate for us to leave Europe.


We have been talking tonight about should - how do we get people


involved with politics and tell people they can't have a referendum.


So I don't think it's the most important issue, obviously some


people feel strongly about it. Why don't we have a referendum every


month on a different issue. You would get no governing done. All


right saying we can't do it. How will you get people engaged with


politics? Not through an EU referendum when only 2% of the


public think it's an important issue. We are discussing it now some


people think it's important - We are discussing it now People are engaged


who have views talking about it. They are not people sitting at home


who won't vote. If you ask the public if they want a referendum on


X, Y and Z they will always say yes. That is all we have time for. We are


off air until Tuesday 25th March, two weeks from now, when we will


come from the Broadwater Farm housing estate in Tottenham. The


action doesn't stop stop for Free Speech online. It has been reset and


is waiting for your questions. This is your programme. We follow your


agenda, good night. --


With BBC Three facing the axe from the airwaves, the live debate show discusses what its future should be and the other big topics of the day. Viewers at home use Facebook and social media to interact with the show to make sure the panel and audience discuss the issues young people really care about.

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