The live current affairs debate show comes from Winchester in front of an audience of young people divided between those educated in the state system and those educated privately.
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Hi Here's what's come up in Fetch for Free Speech - it looks as though
the very last few moments are missing at the moment. Tonight we're
trying something a bit different this evening. We have divided our
audience into people who were privately educated and people who
went to state school. We'll be hearing what they make of the issues
of the week in a moment but we want to hear what you at home think too.
Just tell Tina Daheley. Thanks Rick and a very good evening
to all of you. Here are the hashtags, addresses, Twitter handles
and so on that you'll need to join in tonight's debate online. Using
the latest in Free Speech technology we will be making your Tweets appear
here on this screen. I know we're blown away too. And
here is our panel. Ruth Porter, from the right of centre think tank,
Policy Exchange. Comedian and writer, Russell Kane. Member of pop
super group fifth Story and potential Conservative Party
candidate, Adam Rickitt. And leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett.
And that's our panel. The first question comes from our Leaderboard.
Tina? Yes, all week Free Speech viewers have been going to Free
Speech on Facebook, clicking through to the Audience Questions page and
looking through the many questions which have all been submitted by you
at home. This is how it works: people click "like" on the questions
they want to see on the show and we count up those likes to make this,
the Leaderboard. Here it is published at 2pm this afternoon with
the questions and the number of likes they received. The top
question is from Chris Reacord who asked: "Why are working individuals
worse off than people on benefits?" OK so that is the question. Let's
start with you Adam. Well first it shouldn't be that way.
The system should never mean that somebody who is a hard working
family should be worse off than somebody sat on the dole out of
choice. We have got to make a difference between if you're
uncapable or unable to work, society should look after you. We are here
to look after people. But if you can and it is your choice to play the
system, that should be removed. The Government put a benefits cap on,
which means for a family they only get ?500 a week. But if you're a
family on dole, you're still earning ?26,000 thousand a year. If you're a
working family you have to earn 30,000 to do the same. We need to
say it is a benefits trap. If you're a mother with young children, how
can you go out and work? Most of your money will go to child care. We
should support individuals who are trying to work and bring it all
together as a whole. This is good mood lighting. That is
what you asked for? We have to be careful about
generalising about people on welfare. People get payments for all
kind of reasons. A lot of people who are getting benefits are also in
work. There is a group of people working really hard, but they're
struggling to make ends meet. A large part of it is because we are
coming out of a difficult time for the country. What we saw during the
recession was that people largely kept their jobs and we have seen
employment go up, which is great. But it has been difficult, because
the flip side is has meant as economic output went down, we saw
wages go down and people were struggling and so we have ended up
with a situation where people on low pay are getting benefits. The
important question is what can we do to drive up wages, so we see people
who are working hard not having to also be claiming benefits. I think
what the encouraging thing is as we get economic growth, that is the
best way of pushing up wages and that is what we need to focus on,
the policies to push up economic growth.
You disagree with cutting benefits? I think you have to look at the
different types of benefits. About half of the benefit bill goes to
older people. So some of that is things like the state pension. Some
of it is on things like people who are of working age and are working,
topping up their incomes. There is a group trying to find work and people
who are on benefits because they're maybe physically or because of
mental illness unable to work. The questions are different for all
those four different groups. I think the group which perhaps where I do
agree with Adam is the reforms which have been made have focussed rightly
on that group who are currently looking for work. I think it is
right that we say that we need a system which incentivises people
getting into work, so you shouldn't be better off on benefits than in
work. And through doing things like capping benefits at the average
wage, we have made progress. Doing things like simplifying the benefits
system and rolling out universal credit will help. There has been
tremendous progress made. But I think also we need to be focussing
on that group who are in work and saying how can we get more economic
growth to push up wages. The gentleman here. Who I have come
dressed as! I don't understand the obsession
that people have with the small group and I mean really small
percentage of people who are claiming benefits and they have big
screen TVs. We should be looking at the massive companies who cheat out
the taxpayer each year, taking millions of pounds. They still
haven't paid back the money they owe the taxpayer, it is ridiculous we
are victimising a small group of people and victimising a group of
people on the tiny group of people... I don't think you should
say let's just target star bucks. We have to be in it together. I
don't buy the premise of the question.
I am not sure you can sit around on benefits a week and do four weeks
work and be worse off. It is part of the myth that there is this
underclass. It is this monster that has been created so we have
something to hate on and don't focus on the guys you're talking about.
The real problem is you can't earn enough to meet the minimum bills and
you have to have your wages topped up with benefits, because the
minimum wage is too low. That what is they should fix.
We have a minimum wage that is less than the living wage. And simply if
you work full-time, you should earn enough to live on. We need to lift
the minimum wage to make it a living wage. And also in terms of benefits,
I disagree with the benefits cap. We are the six South richest economy in
the world and we have vast numbers of wealthy people and benefits
should be paid to people on the basis of need, not some artificial
cap. The gentleman in the green shirt?
I'm someone that has been unfortunate to be on state benefits
and I can tell you it is ?72 a week. Unless your over 35 to receive
housing benefit you can't get over ?68. We have an ever increasing
homelessness problem. I have worked in a homeless hostel and they are
not pleasant. We have people that are doctors, solicitors, highly
qualified people claiming ESA and JSA. It is so and black and white to
suggest people on benefits earn more than people working. I have lived
it. And it is not true. There is a case that there are multiple
benefits and you can have other benefits.
Where does that benefit go, it goes to the landlord. It is some middle
class person that owns the property. It is those private landlords that
manipulate the situation because you're vulnerable and desperate and
you take the first option. There are landlords out there that don't use
the legal rent deposit scheme and people are losing their deposits
while on benefits. While your on benefits to save for a deposit on a
property is near on impossible. This lady here?
What we need to remember is every story about somebody earning a lot
on benefits there will be somebody who needs benefits to survive. We
need to sort out those who are doing it to get Monday you and those who
need it. The issue is the fact there is a
growing issue of hunger in our country and food kind of places are
having to grow to accommodate families who can't afford food, it
shows the benefit cap is harming people who need it the most and we
are neglecting the lower classes. There are half a million people
dependent on food benefits. The Red Cross is supplying the UK and that
is a disgrace. The gentleman here?
It is, we have seen programmes such as Benefits Street and it is a
disgrace that we are subjected to this sort of, we take a minority and
an issue and the media uses this policy of scaremongering to make us
well, in the case of newspapers or Channel 4 or five, whoever did it,
to make us watch their adverts. We see it on benefits, immigration and
Europe and what needs to happen is the media need to get back in line
and be told you can't do this and create this bubble of fear.
Does anyone favour here of the benefits cap? Yes?
Well... I'm in favour of the cap as a principle. The principle that
nobody should be earning more on benefits than they do on work. But
we need to be looking at tax rates as well. Because the second you earn
over ?10,000 in cash, you're paying 20% tax and national insurance and
VAT and everything else. Tax rates are too high. Now, I agree with the
gentleman down here that big companies are avoiding tax. They're
doing it legally, because the tax system is too complicated. It need
to be ironed out, loopholes removed and with the additional revenue that
generates you can bring tax down for everyone. Especially at the lower
end. Would you agree?
Yes the emphasis should be put on creating a situation in which
benefits are not needed and wages don't need to be topped up. So
everyone is earning what they should be earning to live.
The gentleman here. We live in a world where the rich
get richer and the poor get poorer. We see that happening each day. In
my opinion, we need to fix that problem of you know some rich
person, rich fat person, not offending fat people, but rich
person earning millions and somebody just you know living on the street
and not being able to actually buy a bread roll for themselves. I think
the main problem is that we need to sort these rich people out and make
them pay. Not all rich people are fat and
vice-versa. I am not saying big fat cats is
right. But it is the trickle down effect. But there is becoming, there
has always been a level of higher class, middle class lower class and
now there is this under class where people are not even seeing the
poverty. That is where we need to direct the support and get people
out of this trap. We need to get companies to be
paying their taxes. George Osborne boasts he has brought the rate down
to 20%. But that is the same as small business and these companies
are paying minimum wage, zero hours contracts and collecting enormous
profits and deposits them in tax havens.
Interesting messages. From Billy, people on benefits are too lazy to
find work annoy me so much. They're just too high and too easy
to access. What would your response be Russell?
I grew up in a council street so I think I'm qualified to comment.
Typical council street, there are were a few people who were, ponces
was the word we used. But most are doing the best they can to survive
and when that best isn't good enough because the system is skewed in
people higher in the income chain, these people don't exist there is
not this army of spraying out children, there is a few cases that
turned into poverty porn and lead to hateful comments like you read out.
Greenberg when I think both this audience should be angry at both
Adam and the tweeter. You are claiming there is a class of people
sponging on benefits. I said a lot of people have slipped
below the radar. There are nearly one million young
people unemployed. I used to be editor of the Guardian weekly. I met
those people. They usually had a degree, a Masters, a couple of
languages, they had been an intern and there were desperate to work for
me for nothing. There are huge numbers of people who are doing
everything right and can't get paid jobs.
Exactly, I agree. There are people who cannot get jobs which is why we
have jobseeker's allowance. The question about this was not about
whites are we not supporting people, it was supporting people when they
are sponging the system. It is a tiny minority.
Compared to the tax evaders. That is not the question we were
asked. Corporate tax evasion should be put right. But they also employ
and put money into the system. You are saying the big corporate bosses
only pay minimum wage. They are employing thousands of people as
well. They should be paying the higher rate of tax, 45% rate of tax,
but you can't knock these people because they are paying their fair
dues. We are talking about people's
ability to earn a decent living and we're talking about the tax and
benefits system but there is another important side to this debate, which
is the cost of living. It is not just about the amount of money that
you have got, it is about what that amount of money that will buy for
you. Feeding and housing benefits come up quite a few times. If we
look at child care, food costs, particularly housing, the difficulty
is that at this time during the recession when we saw wages go down,
although they are coming back up again, we have seen the cost of
living go up for people and if we take housing.
It is a toxic combination. Real wages falling, the cost of living
rising. We need to be more imaginative about
this whole discussion and say, how do we reduce the cost of housing?
We haven't got time to be imaginative now. The next question,
being asked from the studio audience.
Shouldn't the best education be available to everybody in the
country, however rich or poor they are?
Shouldn't everybody be entitled to the best education, no matter how
rich or poor they are? Russell. This is a question about is it moral
to have private schools, I suppose, beneath the lines. We have a private
school system, it is called Comprehensive Schools. If you want
to go near a decent Comprehensive Schools you have to buy the mansion
near the Comprehensive School. It is de facto private anyway because you
are paying to be near a school that is good. The thing that was the
generation before mine that was around, you were tested on your
ability and scooped into grammar schools, which a lot of people are
against but the reality is now that if you want a decent education you
have to pay for it, whether at a private school, or a nice area in
Surrey and be nearer comprehensive that get good results. If you are in
a comprehensive near a council estate,
a comprehensive near a council system. It has a shortage of places.
In Surrey, it is nearly a quarter of people who go to private school. The
solution, you have grammar schools but you have to reform the system
more widely so we don't have this ridiculous notion that if you're not
getting A levels you are a failure, that if you want to learn a trade or
skill, in Sweden or Germany it is lauded and praised and just as
worthy. We have in a trade or skill, in Sweden or Germany it is lauded
and praised and just as worthy. We have an aberrant system where you
are told if you cannot write an essay you are not worth anything.
Everyone should have the best education. The way to do that is not
abolish private schools but to make the state system works so fewer
people want to go to private schools.
People don't remember what it is like to be aged between 11-16. When
you are that age, I don't know about anyone else, I just wanted to be
popular and fit in. Most of us want to fit in. If you are dumped in a
bin, where the people who are popular are the hardest, who has
taken drugs, your results and everything else goes like that. I
know the grammars system is immoral and people have been told they have
failed, but if I was around the chance to be around as a bright,
poor kids, I might have done better at school. That is why social
mobility has gone down since the 60s. If you are born in a council
estate now, at the top of a tower block, you have less chance of
getting to Oxford than 30 years ago and that cannot be right.
This question of who gets into Oxford is an important one because
it illustrates something. What we know at the moment is quite commonly
talked about, at the moment there is the same number, there is more
children getting into Oxford or Cambridge who went to one school,
Westminster College, than children across the entire school system, who
are on free school meals. I think that just shows the scale of the
problem that we have got. The reality is for most families they
are never going to be able to afford private schools, so the question is
how we make state schools as good as they possibly can be and it is
partly a question of expectation. Actually expecting people and
encouraging them that they can do well.
The fact is this government, each year cutting funding to state
education in real terms by 3.5%. We have to invest in quality schools.
What we need is everyone to be able to go to a good school near them. We
don't want a situation where you have to cherry picked, parents
travel and children create enormous traffic jams, where people who know
how to play the system get a good school. We need a good local school
for everybody. If you take a contrast with private schools, nine
pupils per teacher, government schools, 22 pupils per teacher. It
is no wonder the results are different.
What we are seeing is academies and free school academies and free
school (APPLAUSE) Academies and free schools are washing up the quality
of teaching. Know they are not. They are
disasters. What we need is local, democratic control of schools.
It is exactly, free schools and academies are devolving more power.
Which is what you are saying we need.
One at a time! Tina, what have you got?
This has come in, Comprehensive Schools do care about their students
as people. The best education should be given
to everybody, it is a case of giving it to people who want to achieve so
maybe we should be selective. Finland has proven that children do
better when not subject to standardised tests. Why don't we
follow their example? Exactly, it is a sausage machine,
trying to shove people through. Ruth!
What we have seen in terms of standardised tests is it is a way of
making sure that our schools are delivering a high quality of
education and what we know is it is things like improving the quality of
teachers aren't getting the best and brightest into schools teaching that
actually makes the real difference for children. We need to be finding
of making sure particularly in the most deprived areas, that is where
the best teachers are going, into those schools.
Adam. I was lucky in that my dad worked
really hard and sent me to boarding school when I was seven. I can say
one thing, there is this myth that the best teachers are going to
private schools. They are not. The teachers that tend to go to private
schools tend to be the ones who go there because they want an easy
life. The state schools are the ones who want to inspire and they are
inspired themselves. Flatulence was the most interesting thing my
teachers taught me at school. We go to boarding school, you are inspired
themselves. We go to boarding school, you towards results. We need
to bring in that same thing to the state school system. The education
is there, the teachers are there, but we need the support helping
children to reach their full capability.
Muscle. Until you skew the balance of
background versus education, we have this thing called the PISA tests,
which shows how much the background and the education influences you,
your mum and dad are half the influence, the school is the other
half. If you have not got a mum and dad who take you to the opera,
between June and September, your brain goes... While the middle-class
kids are still related. If you put those people together, it doesn't
matter how good the teachers are, how good the school is, there is a
limit to how much you can do. Everyone has the same messed up
attitude towards education. There is a muddling up of concepts, equality
and fairness. Sometimes it is not the right thing to make everyone the
same and equal. Why don't we look at what people can do and all the
people who love maths and English, they go to a maths and English
school, the arty people go to an arty school. Instead of, everyone
has to have the same. Free schools then. You are in favour
of free schools. It is social, being at school. You
have lots of people, lots of types, it does not matter if you are
streaming, the law of the jungle goes on. I could not wait to restart
my education at 16 and do it on my own, where I could be proud to get
high grades instead of being bullied.
If children go through state school and go to university, they tend to
outperform those who have been to a private school.
How can Michael Gove expect state schools to be the same as private,
when there is one teacher to ten children, and in a state school, one
adult to 30 children or more and nowadays they don't even have T8s.
That argument is specious, you can have a large class and do
wonderfully. If you want to get a bunch of boys who learn about maths,
they learn about maths, as simple as that.
The lady at the back. I think there is a problem with
society and the structure of it as a whole, that it is a meritocracy I
understand, I understand that conditionis good and it drives
change and passion, but if you focus on grades alone than we are not
going to get the best out of everybody. People are so much more
complicated and complex than just achieving the best results. I agree
with Russell, send people to different schools that build on
their strengths and change society. It is run by the cream skimmed top
in drive at schools. Interesting word order, I get the
idea. I personally believe that I
completely agree with you, schools and colleges are so focused on
achieving academic excellence that students' well-being does not come
into play. I go to a really good sixth form and I am not an A*
student, I am not even talk properly because I am not going to achieve
that academic excellence. There is a huge flaw in the education system,
especially under Michael Gove. I really think it has become so
experimental and we need more investment in our education.
Education is the key to empowerment. APPLAUSE Go on.
Me? Why not?
We are talking negatively about state schools and my state school
was brilliant. We should not forget about that. You have to go to
private school to do well. It is not about that. You can go to a state
school and do really well. But if you are in a challenging
area, some state schools do fantastic but the rule of thumb is,
come on, guys, if you are in a challenged area and everyone is from
a challenged family, it is a de facto private system where I am
spending ?1 million to live in Woodford Green because I know the
competence of school is going to be good, I might as well go to private
school and save money on the house. I agree with what you say about
splitting people up to do what they enjoy, up to 14, I like maths, let's
do maths, I like sport, let's do sport.
You would not say to Usain Bolt, have the same PE.
If someone is into maths, initial history, celebrate it. Let's give
help rather than shame them the way secondary moderns do.
The gentleman with the white T-shirt on the private side?
I want to point out the original question, should everyone have a
fair and equal education? It would be a great idea and make sure we get
the best people rest jobs but would it be possible and as Charles Murray
says, no matter how we dress it up, 15% of the population will be below
to intelligence so they can't get high-ranking jobs and a lot of
money. Someone has to be a cleaner and someone has to work in the lower
classes. We can't have everyone achieving highly.
I don't think private schools are all may make out to be. There is too
much focus on academics and when it comes to mental health there is too
much strength, because you don't get the grades you're out.
Yes? I have been fortunate enough to go
to public school and some very good and very not so good state schools.
I think the divide, as soon as you come in as a child, you have that
class divide. You say these fat cats and people on the bottom line. If
you put them all in the same schools with the over attentive mums and
with kids who are not as well off, the quality would rise.
Education isn't just about, the school isn't completely in control
of your children's education. It is parents.
We were talking about international... International
comparisons and we have far unequal outcomes than most of the rest of
the world. People who are rich get better outcops. That is because we
have an unequal society. Think of the dreadful bedroom tax and we're
asking children of the same gender to share bedrooms. They share until
they're 16. How does the 12-year-old do their homework when the
six-year-old is rung around and playing. So we have inequality of
outcomes. That is what parents need to give
support on. At private school the school fill that role of giving you
support and push you. The parents need to do that as well. You can't
drop your kids off and say that is it, I wash my hands.
And the parents working on minimum...
I'm talking when they're at home at the weekend.
Now lots of people are talking about politics being dominated by people
who are privatery educated and this viewer says it is a problem.
Now to our next debate. And just to alert you our next debate is on
pornography so if that's something you find offensive you might want to
switch over. But if you like it hit record. The question comes from
journalist and former dominatrix Nichi Hodgson who Free Speech spoke
to this week. The first time I spanked somebody I
was about 24. I had a very conventional childhood and I went to
a good girls' school. Got A grades. Went to university to study
literature. When I came to London to work in the media, I was an unpaid
intern and had to general mate some money and became assistant to a
domicatrix. It was through this work that I was
absorbed into the BBSM world. Some say watching porn can be a
feminist act. But it has been a myth. For so many years that women
are not visually turned on by pornography.
The more we can do to counter that by viewing porn and buying it and
encourage people to make the porn we want to watch.
Lads' magazines don't cause rape and neither does porn.
The mass market stuff that most of us consume is of a poor quality.
So that there are some problems with the industry, but we didn't stop
wearing trainers because we found they were made in sweat shops.
The reason we are frightened of it is because we think desire is
immoral. Porn throws back at us our darkest sexual fantasies.
It is a way of exploring things that society doesn't allow you to do with
a regular partner. I don't understand why the age of
pornography is 18, it should be 16 like the age of sexual consent.
The question I want asked is porn really bad for us?
It is just eight. 30 so there are certain words we can't use during
this debate. But I can't tell you what they are. Natalie?
I would say with one in six people in Britain using porn it is not
innately bad. Why is that?
There is no evidence that it is bad. But it is bad for people who haven't
had good sexual education in school and don't realise it is fantasy. One
things we saw the Daily Telegraph having a campaign to improve sex and
relationship education in schools. It is a fact that the guidelines
were written in 2000 and the world has changed a lot, particularly
online since then. We need to look at the fact too many people with
things like lads' Mags are subjected to pornography when they don't want
to see them and page three and the green MP got told to cover up her
chest, because she was wearing a no more page three T-shirt.
But it is five to have page three in Parliament.
It is down to education. People are not taught about sexual education in
school. I can remember my sexual education cast and somebody came in
and gave me a plastic blue penis and said stuck a condom on it and said
well done, now do that when you have sex, or don't have sex. If somebody
tells you not to do something, you immediately think I might do that.
So instead teach about the proper which to protect yourselves and get
sex taught properly. And discuss relationships.
The fact that people have no knowledge that when you get pregnant
you have got to look after the kid. This is a bit off topic. We are
talking about whether porn is bad for us?
The reason people start, I'm a comedian so I have to be careful. I
don't think porn has affected me. But it is the main place I learned
about sex, but it is linked, because teaching sex education at 14 it is a
cringing and embarrassing. It needs to be taught in primary schools like
in other countries. All I got was a drop and run from my mum, a leaflet
and her running out. If an eight-year-old girl says at primary
school where do babies come from and we are in a bizarre situation where
the teacher says you will have to come back at 14 with the baby.
It is Norway or Sweden their rate of teenage pregnancy is one 20th of the
UK and they teach sex education in year one or two. But it is what type
of porn children are given access to. It is oo easy. When I was 14 I
found a job application to be a porn star.
How did it go? I'm wait gt for the reply. I feel
the schools and the parents, if they can address their children and let
them know before they're exposed to pornography they can realise it is
not what it is like. Nichi, you posed the question.
Is porn bad for us. Something that keeps coming up is the difference
between porn sex and real sex. And one person's real sex is somebody
else's porn sex. We have to really...
Stop looking at her! We have to turn on its head all
these ideas that we think we know are true about pornography and sex.
So many of us have imbiemed ridgeous -- imbibed religious teaching and
porn becomes a place where we pour our fears and desires into it and
then we want to torn it off and -- turn it off and society is telling
us it is wrong. So our relationship with pornography is complicated,
because our relationship with sex is and that comes back to education.
Until we are educated to accept your desire. Just because you have a
feeling doesn't mean you have to do it. The same with porn. If we
understand the difference, we are going to have a massive problem with
the way we consume porn and the we we frame it is always negative.
We did a poll of the audience. You have the results.
Yes we asked people about porn. 80% of people have seen porn. 39% in
the past week. And in gender, 59% of men and 20% of women watched porn in
the last week. The gentleman here?
What worries me is whether porn is good for us, but what the Government
will do. It becomes an issue of sensor ship and then where are the
powers going to lead you and will you live in a society where we can't
do what we want and we are going to be sopped by doing -- stopped by
doing things like porn and what else. Censor ship is the crux of the
problem. That has already happened with the
filtering that came in in January. It is not just adult content it is a
category that is undefined. Access to any sex education information and
information about war. It may turn you into a terrorist. I hope you
create a bomb. Once you have the broad categories and the Government
has a register of how we are accessing the internet, that is not
democracy. That is the thin end of the wedge and not the end we want to
be at. This lady here.
It is a fine line between looking at the news on some like, say you're
looking at the news on something that isn't the BBC porn flashes up.
It is a fine line between children encountering that and internet
providers helping parents to stop that and removing porn from the
internet. We have got to find a way too control it.
If you give parent sense of security a and you don't have to worry about
what your children are doing online. Porn is not the only danger and a
lot of 12-year-olds are more clever at the internet than their parents.
People need the education, the help and the parental oversight. Any
filter will give people a false sense of security.
It is true even's better than their parents at the internet. But maybe
we have to educate the parents on how to look after their children.
Mo parents don't want to talk about porn, because they don't know what
they think about it. Ofcom, which regulates contents did a study in
2005 and decided that the best way to protect children from adult
content was to give them sex education and get their parents to
talk to them. Those are the key areas.
I work for a charity and run a sex and relationship education
programme. We go into schools and talk to young people about sex and
relationships and pornography and what we hear a lot is young people
saying they use pornography as a form of sex education and what is
worrying, you talked about the difference between real sex and porn
sex, but there are myths perpetuated by porn. I asked them what they
learned from porn and some of it I can't repeat, but the root of it is
education and talking to parents and they feel a able to talk to their
children to work their internet filters so they feel they're
confident and to be giving young people a form to discuss these
things. It is the secrecy that can lead to some of the problems, as
well as addiction and things like that. I was in Parliament on Monday
speaking about this and had a letter in The Times. We need to think about
it as a public health inquiry, because of the issues of addiction.
Porn addiction is highly contested. The American manual has removed it
from its definitions. We have this debate about porn addiction like an
addiction to cocaine. There is a real difference between a physical
depend si and the chemicals firing you up and porn doesn't work like
that. We can't use the younger generation
as a guinea pig. Do you want there is an age where it
can mess you up for life? There is no evidence. I think the
main issue is if you watch porn as your form of sex education and Dons
understand about consent, the key word, then you practise what you see
in porn on women, you're not going to have healthy relationships. But
this doesn't mean that porn can't be used to educate, because it can.
Some porn is educational. And you can create a new kind of porn.
Who does think that porn is bad for us?
Yes, the gentleman in the white shirt.
I don't want to be smacked in the face! Yes, I do think Paul is bad
because it can totally give you a misconception of what a relationship
is about -- porn. If you watch it from a young age, I do worry about
kids and they are eight years old and can stumble across it and think
what they are doing to each other is a good thing and they are getting a
relationship and doing it and, oh, wait, that is not how it works.
Everybody can agree, it is monitoring it. It is how we can stop
younger children from seeing it. Back in my day before the Internet
started you had movies, they had 18 or 15 ratings and it was hard to get
to a cinema to see an 18 moving. Because the web has moved on much
faster than those bodies trying to police it, we need to bring in
better policing and it should not be done by one company because that is
too much power. It needs to be the parents who do it but it needs to be
more readily available. When the government tried to bring it in
recently you have the NSPCC being blocked, child lying being blocked
the course of the word abuse. We need to make sure it is much more
dependent on families. Parents need to be what -- more aware and alert
about what kids are doing. The largest study of children in
Europe done by a body called EU kids online, more than 22,000 young
people between 9-16, 57% of them said that porn had positively
impacted their lives and 1% reported it negatively impacted. We need to
be careful about talking about children's problems with porn. We
are too quick to say isn't it terrible, but we need to ask them
themselves what their problems. Or what problems might be expressed
later in life. Porn poisons your brain. It is like us women have to
be like that but most of their women -- most of those women are
practically getting raped. Absolutely not, they are consensual
and there and getting paid. The idea that all women have to look like
that, porn has a huge amount of body diversity. Any body part you don't
like about yourself, type it into Google with the word porn and it
will come up. Somebody out there thinks it is wonderful and wants to
see more of it. There is nothing more positive than that. We have to
get past the idea that women are objects to be used in pornography.
Plenty of women like to experience certain sex acts that other people
might find some educated. Porn infiltrates a lot of areas of
our lives that we are not aware of and it is not true that it is just
about the individual. 57% might has positively impacted their lives but
that does not survey the other people. I think it is iffy.
Women's magazines has more to say than porn does. There are so many
different shapes and sizes and ethnicities in porn.
I don't think you can categorise porn into black and white scenario.
Instead of trying to eradicate it, it should be more integrated into
our society and work on how to make it more ethical.
Still bobbing porn has become integrated into our society. We
can't define or draw boundaries around what it is. We have seen this
incredible sexualisation of our society and on the one hand that
openness and ability to talk about sex is a great thing, but it has
thrown up all kinds of different cultural challenges and yes, we can
police and try and protect children to an extent from that, but if you
look at the row over things like the lyrics around songs like blurred
lines just before Christmas, there are so many examples we can think
of, things like not just music videos, just the sexualisation in
general of things in our society, has led to this kind of
commodification of sex. It has led to a kind of misunderstanding of
relationships. It has led to us being talked about
issues around body image for people, unrealistic expectations of each
other. There is all kinds of broader, cultural issues which we
can't, there is nothing the government can do about them, there
are things we need to grapple with and work out what that looks like
for us. Quite a few people fake porn is bad
for you. To become EU here horrid and file
words about porn, women are just objects.
We should celebrate an industry where members are exploited.
We cannot differentiate between fantasy and real relationships.
Most of us, by the time the hormones hit between 12-14, we have not got
the information in their ready to deal with those urges and wanting to
look, the information needs to be put in when you are less of a sexual
being. The information about drugs, family, sex, needs to go in at
primary school. When you say, I have got those feelings, I have been
armed with information and when you go to the pornography you understand
what it is, what fantasy is, because you have been properly educated
prior to the torrent of hormones ripping through your body and
turning your life upside down. We will end that debate because we
are running out of time and move on. If you found that interesting, BBC
Three is showing a documentary after this programme with Jameela Jamil
looking at these issues. Our final question is from the studio
audience. It is Jamie. Where is Jamie? What do
you want to ask? Are arbitrary quota system is the
best way of ensuring that e-mails have access and opportunity in
public life? . We definitely need those. If you take the example of
Green Party policy, we have a policy of 40% of women on FTSE boards and
in Norway was introduced by a right-wing male, who wanted to
improve the quality of the boards in Norway. They put those women in and
the women on those boards were actually better qualified than the
men who remained. We were talking about a meritocracy. We don't have a
meritocracy. We have selection on the basis of if you belong to the
right golf club and went to the right school. The only way we can
deal with the lack of women, 22% of women in Parliament, we need more
women in public life and that requires quotas.
Rhoose? There is a group -- woeful
representation of women in lots of areas. We talked about boards,
Parliament, we can think of so many examples as well. The problem with
quotas is what it does culturally is it sends out further the message
that women should not be respected, women can't get there on their own
and it undermines their credulity. And actually, oddly, it makes the
problem worse. Russell? Agreed, but it is worth
paying that cultural tax for a few years while the system sorts itself
out. Going back to the first question about benefits, we are in a
country where it is much harder if you are woman to carry on working
and get childcare straightaway because there is not proper
childcare when kids are born. It is years before you can get back up and
that holds women in -- that holds back women in the workplace.
I agree with what you are saying, women aren't quite as good so they
need a leg up but the system is broken so it needs a bit of
lubrication, a bit of Greece, just for three or four years and then we
can drop back into a normal system and the system is broken and it is
the price we have to pay. This is part of the issue here, the
obsession with pulling women out as some kind of group.
Women can pull themselves out, they are strong. You talk about women and
childcare. One thing that is interesting is the
way we tend to assume that issues like childcare as if they are
women's issues. Single parents where I grew up, men
were not there. The way the media looks at this, the
way that if you look at when the government announces that they are
changing things which are going to affect the finance that a family
gets around a child or childcare provision, anything like that, the
next day I go through the papers and look at how different journalists
have reported it. What bothers me is the number of people who talk about
those changes and the impact on women. No, they will have impact on
families. You need to get the figures. The
Fawcett Society figures, one fifth of an average woman's average income
from benefits. For men, one tenth. The more in terms of our language
that we keep buying into and suggesting that these things like
childcare should be women's issues, not family issues, the worse we make
the problem. There are a lot of families without
dads around where the kids are left with the month.
They are still families, we can call them families.
Adam? We are off-track. My thing is, the
best person gets the job. The bottom line, if...
What if you can't get to the interview?
The best person should get the job and it empowers everybody, whatever
their colour, their sexuality, their race. If we are not at that level
than that is up to those companies to look at the internal.
Exams for GPs, there is a discrimination against people from
ethnic minorities. They fail the exam or other court has told them to
sort that out. There is discrimination and you have to sort
out discrimination and quotas is one way.
Quotas breed more distrust, more disgruntlement between every body
else. Look at it from a different angle.
When you put quotas some of the reaction of people who are not in
the quota is to get frustrated and angry and it builds resentment
between parties. It is the worst way of doing it.
It is successful, it has worked in Norway and other countries.
You will have to agree to differ because our time is up. We are back
in two weeks' time, on Thursday, in Nottingham, as part of the crime and
punishment system we will come from the old courthouse. There will be
Anna Soubry and one-time prison warden and comedian Ava Vidal.
You don't have to wait until then to get free speech. The questions page
is -- page on Facebook has been reset and is waiting for your
questions. Click like on the ones you most want to see in the
programme and we will count them up and see which comes top.
From us in Winchester, for now, good night. Subtitles by Red Bee Media
Ltd. E-mail: [email protected]
The live current affairs debate show comes from Winchester in front of an audience of young people divided between those educated in the state system and those educated privately. In the run-up to the show viewers help set the agenda by voting for the questions they want to see debated on the show's Facebook page, which are then discussed by the panel.