Episode 6 Free Speech

Episode 6

Live current affairs debate from Cardiff. On the panel are Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood, writer Laura Bates, journalist Angela Epstein and comedian Omar Hamdi.

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Hello and welcome to Free Speech. The show which makes your voice


heard in the national conversation. APPLAUSE.


Hello, I'm Rick Edwards. I'm Tina Daheley. And this is an audience of


Welsh people. We are in Cardiff. We have had months of Scotland and then


a lot about England. So we thought we'd head to Wales because we


believe in equality. And equally important as the audience here are


you guys at home. Send me your comments. If you disagree with any


of the points, let disagree with any of the points, let me know. So


please tweet as at BBCFreeSpeech or Facebook your comments. Here are the


addresses you need. Even if


addresses you need. out, other people will be watching


and tweeting and you can have a mini-debate online. Lots coming up.


Not least a film and the question - do we live in a sexist country?


Which we released a week ago on social media. That is coming up.


Before we do anything, I want to introduce our wonderful panel. They


are the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, Laura Bates.


Compassionate conservative and comedian Omar Hamdi. Freelance


journalist Angela Epstein. And leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood.


That is The first question comes from the


leaderboard. All week viewers have been going to our choose your


question page on Facebook. If you go to Free Speech questions you will


see. People can click a like on the questions they want to see on the


show. This week, the question at the top of the leader-board. The


question is should the minimum wage have age bands.


In principle, there should be a going rate for the job. There should


not be a differentiation on the grounds of age. I think an important


principle should be if you work full time, a 40 hour week, your income


should be enough to live on. A living wage. At present we have too


many people living below the living wage, which means they work


full-time and struggle to make ends meet and often are reliant upon


additional state benefits to up their wages. My party, Plaid Cymru,


believes in a living wage, we believe 260,000 people in Wales


could get a pay rise if the living wage was introduced tomorrow. If


that were to happen it would save on the benefits bill and ensure people


who went to work full-time brought home enough money to live on.


APPLAUSE. Is that realistic? It is a fair


point. We have to make it profitable for young people to go to work. Give


them an incentive. People want to work, there is dignity in going to


work. The other problem about inequality in pay is that it sets a


dangerous precedent. How can you say, actually, young people should


be paid less for the same job? It stops the arguments about men and


women, able and disabled people. If you do the job, the job was done,


you should be paid for the job of work. If somebody is less


experienced and does not do the same amount of hours, OK. But we cannot


have an argument about inequality if we start with this because the


precedent will be set and we could use it the case law for anything


else. The panel talked about bringing down the benefits bill,


which concerns me. People are genuinely dependent on benefits.


There are people who do abuse the system, but I know people who have


left university who cannot find jobs. It concerns me it is not just


an issue in terms of page, but benefits also. If you are 18, it is


not a lot you get. I know people who are struggling financially. If they


were over 23, they would be entitled to ?70 per week. Can I make this


point about the benefits bill? It is easy for politicians to attack


people who claim benefits and I am not one of those politicians, I can


assure you. Does it make sense to pay people benefits because they are


not earning nothing works? That money should be paid as a wage and


people working full-time should not need additional top but benefits,


but people who rely state benefits should not be bashed in the way


politicians are happy to do that. What are our politicians trying to


do to solve this problem? So far I have seen nothing and I have been in


many minimum wage jobs. We are voting for people. Plaid Cymru is


not in coalition, we were up to 2011, but it is a Labour government


in Wales and the National Assembly for Wales does not have the power to


set the rate for the minimum wage. My party wants to see the assembly


having powers over that and other workers' rights issues. At the


moment, we do not have that. The majority of people claiming benefits


are people of pension age and they have paid into the system and


drawing out. Why do we have politicians still drawing state


pension when they have had good salaries throughout their lives? Why


do they not give it up and sacrifice that? It would be fair to say they


are not the highest earning people in the country so you could apply


that to other high earners. If I can go back to the original question


about young people being paid less, it is age discrimination. It is


amazing. The debate has lasted... We have had the few minutes people have


not said how can young people be paid less? How would we feel if it


were people between 60 and 63, 40 and 43, or something. We would think


that is mental. I do not think young people are particularly of low


value. They are not worth 20% less than older people, so it is


insulting. If we have the minimum wage, we know people do a lot, if we


have it, it has to be one size fits all and it has to be fair.


Going back to the question of politicians giving up state


pensions, why should they cover politicians who work as hard as any


other person, have to give up the pension they earned through the work


of their lives? They get a huge expense allowances


and other allowances that normal people do not have. Why are they not


worthy of their state pension? Why are others more worthy? We pay


politicians and our taxes pay politicians, so why should we pay


them a state benefit as well? It is nice to think that Tony Blair is go


into a bank and getting a pension! -- going into. I want to talk about


the cost to small businesses and businesses in general if you got rid


of age bands. We are talking about young people so we should not


discuss politicians. People looking for younger workers because they


have to to pay them less, which keeps their profits higher, and I


think the politicians are missing a trick. If they took that away and


young people and the same, they have less responsibility in general and


can spend more, they have more free money that would come back into the


tax bracket and into the government to use. -- earned the same. To use


it for the NHS or to do other things. Young people should not be


treated any different. If they are doing the job they should be paid


the same as an adult. The lady here. You said it could be damaging to


some businesses. You could give incentives to businesses to take on


young people in other ways such as paid apprenticeships, which needs to


be improved in Wales. At the moment apprentices are paid next to nothing


to do a lot of work and do not get the support students do at college.


There is an issue with businesses and young people and how they are


employed. The suggestion that they could suffer, that needs to be


addressed by government and politicians. The lady in the green.


The under 18s, it is to encourage them to not to go to work and stay


in education, but over 18, it is your decision to do full-time work.


You might want to get your 40 hour job and earn a living wage. What is


the difference between an 18-year-old and 21-year-old? Once


you are 18 you are an adult and you should be able to earn your wage.


Laura, youth unemployment is almost three times higher than overall


unemployment. Is it not reasonable to have an incentive for employers


to take on young people by having them paid less? It is right we


should have incentives to take on young people but I do not see why it


should be at the cost of young people themselves. There should be


other ways to give them incentives. The gap between 18-year-olds and


21-year-olds, it seems to be in a nice young people who do not go to


university. -- penalising young people. It is important not to


generalise. We said young people have a greater disposable income,


but we have to think about young parents. This could be penalising


young parents, young single mothers young parents, young single mothers


children. To be penalised for their age seems unfair to me.


How would you give an incentive to businesses to take on young people?


The young lady was right about apprenticeships. You have to look at


your professional life, it is like a trajectory. You do not want to look


back in three years and still be there, you want to go that


everybody wants to go to university. Not everybody is capable. They need


a trade, they need to find a purpose in life and be rewarded. The issue


with age discrimination, we have not used the word exploit. There is the


risk we exploit young people because by definition if they are paid less,


somehow they are worth less. If they are doing technically the same job,


they might get the grubby end of the job stop we need people on a career


path, so that they might be at the rubbish end of their CV, but they


will move on will stop that is why any work structure, that says, do


the rubbish now, we probably started doing the office dogsbody stuff, but


it is a means to getting onto the next stage. Structured progression?


What is happening online? We have been running this question. We have


had some answers already and I will get to those. Is it right to have a


lower minimum wage? Only 17% of the online audience think yes. Comments


coming in already, Sean said most of the population at that age still


coming in already, Sean said most of live with parents and do not have to


bring in as much money because they do not have to pay the bills. There


is a forest of hands. She said when she was 17 she worked


for ?3.40 and hour and she survived. -- an hour. Another from Ross, he


says we need a lower minimum wage of ?6 an hour. How would you respond to


says we need a lower minimum wage of that? The point about exploitation


is good. One of the that? The point about exploitation


having different pay rates is if you are an exploitative


having different pay rates is if you easiest thing to do is take on a


young easiest thing to do is take on a


and when they easiest thing to do is take on a


the rate would go up you sack them and take on another young person who


is cheap. That is something we should be opposed to. What about


businesses who say they cannot create jobs if the wage goes up? I


remember this debate in the 1990s when the minimum wage was


introduced. Many businesses, including the CBI, said businesses


would be put out of business and would not be able to afford to do


this. As far as I am aware, that did not happen. I can understand their


concerns but I think previous experience would tell us that did


not materialise. A couple of comments. The person on Twitter was


saying, I lived at home and reside on ?3 20 or whatever it was. ?3.40.


I am 19 and living at home. I have a job that does not pay much. If... I


am supposed to be saving up for university. And various other things


I would like to be able to pay for. Especially university because I do


not want to take out ?9,000 a year in student loans. If I am earning


less than somebody who is 21, somebody on the minimum wage, it


makes me more dependent on the student loans at a later date and at


the mercy of my family and my parents I am living with. Looking


for the generosity of your family? Yes. If we are talking about the


minimum wage, say we were to raise this, would that affect the tax


boundary? People in and under ?8,000 per year get the personal allowance,


so should we lower the personal allowance as well? You wouldn't be


better off then, would you? You want to be better off from a measure that


would equalise. You can do different things with tax allowances but I


don't think it should be related to the rate of the minimum wage.


I think we are going to move on now. Before our next question, a reminder


that our next show in two weeks will be in Dover, when we will be talking


about immigration. Two weeks after that, we are in London and inviting


anyone with a mental health issue to join us in the audience. Alistair


Campbell will be here. The address should be at the bottom of the


screen. Our next question starts with this film.


Shouldn't you be in the kitchen? Don't get your knickers in a twist.


What do you say to a woman with two black eyes? Should have listened the


first time. Smile, love, it might never happen. How can you trust


something that bleeds once a month and doesn't die? It is just banter!


Why are you always angry? You wouldn't dress like that if you


didn't want people to look. She won't shut up. Get your tits out,


you look like a total freak, I bet you would do anything. Let a man do


it, love. Why don't you just sit there and look pretty. I would


absolutely ruin her. You would look really pretty a few lost a bit of


weight. She was asking for it. That has really resonated with our


audience, we had 200,000 views this week just for that. Do we live in a


sexist country? Laura. Yes. OK, that's enough! Elaborate. Obviously


I am being flippant but the evidence is overwhelming. It doesn't matter


whether you look at anecdotal evidence, if you look at the number


of people who came forward in just a few days, the anecdotal evidence


floods into my website. We have over 80,000 people' experience. Or


whether you look at figures like the fact that 30,000 women per year lose


their job because of maternity discrimination, that a poll this


week just show that 47% of university students experiences


groping, two women per week in the UK are killed by a current partner,


I could go on and on. I don't see how you could argue otherwise.


You said a moment ago about two women per week being killed by a


partner or a former partner, that has been found false according to


government statistics. Mike Buchanan of the political party Justice For


Men And Boys has asked you to rescind that statement. I would


advise anyone to Google Mike Buchanan and loko at the rebuttals


made of his work. He makes fun of people who talk about feminism but


doesn't make any logical points against. I think it is really


damaging on a national platform like this to try to suggest that a


national figure, widely respected and accepted, like this one is


incorrect. It is dangerous to go around suggesting figures like that


are not true. That is the official figure. What confuses me about this


question is that we have taken the term sexism and we are lumping a lot


of things together into one big steaming pot. Any conscientious


civil minded member of society should absolutely balk at domestic


violence, insulting, vile behaviour. It doesn't matter if the man says


it, if a woman says it, collectively we should object to that. The


question you asked was if this is a sexist society. We are not talking


about if it is a society that propagates domestic violence. To


suggest we are sexist society suggests there is no scope for women


to make inroads into all areas of professional life. To throw a few


statistics back, and bear in mind you can make statistics work any


which way you want, politicians will tell you that better than me...


Sorry! Cheap gag. But the point is that women regularly... Sorry, girls


regularly outperform boys at school. There are more women going to


university now than men. My own son has just started a course at


university. 70% of the course is women, it is a medical course. They


all needed really high grades to get on that course. Why are we not


running of the company 's then? -- all of the companies. Let me tell


you why, there are two good answers. Either because they don't want to or


because they cannot. That is condescending. The problem with the


sexist debates is that it degenerates


personal. It is not helpful. Like it or not, biology makes us different.


It doesn't make us better or worse, it makes us different. I'm sorry,


but when you have children... You may not want to... I didn't mean you


personally. Once a woman has children, she may find that all the


greatest plans she had for pursuing her career, she will be challenged


biologically by the way she feels. We live in a meritocracy, but I


don't know about you and the women in the audience, I don't want to get


the job because I am fulfilling someone's female quota. I want to be


the best person for the job. That is Angela's experience. The lady here.


I completely agree with you. I am 16 at the moment, I have noticed that I


am witnessing more and more sexism. There is an area in my street which


I avoid because I get wolf whistled. I am an aspiring film-maker and


earlier this year I attended a class aimed at 16-18 -year-olds. In that


class there were two male directors who are very successful and I asked


them both what I can do to achieve the best I can in this industry and


they both said to me you have got to make relationships with other


people, and by that I don't mean sleeping around. I was with two boys


of my own age, neither of them received that advice. He was


basically assuming that because I was a female, my first thing I would


do in a professional situation would be to sleep with someone to promote


myself. I haven't even entered the world of work yet. That has given me


an insight into thinking that what is between my legs will determine


how well I do in the industry and that is ridiculous. What is your


experience as a that is ridiculous. What is your


How have you found it? that is ridiculous. What is your


politics as there should be. It is a man's world, no doubt about that.


Even in our National Assembly in Wales there are


Even in our National Assembly in many more women in the cabinet. We


were at one many more women in the cabinet. We


institution which is something I am very proud of, but nonetheless there


is definite sexism within the world of politics. If you look at the


House of Commons, of politics. If you look at the


look at the benches to see the gender imbalance. I just wanted to


come back on one of the points that was


come back on one of the points that outperforming boys in school, girls


outperforming boys in university, but then what we don't see is women


heading organisations, becoming the chief executive. Whichever sector


you look at, it is men that dominate at the top on the boards and the


rest of it. I'm afraid, until that situation is reversed, we have to


conclude, situation is reversed, we have to


Laura said, we have to conclude situation is reversed, we have to


we live in not only a sexist society but


we live in not only a sexist society homophobic society, a just society.


There is a lot of discrimination out there that we should not be prepared


There is a lot of discrimination out that, how do we go about reversing


it? Angela just said she doesn't want to


get a job because of a quota. I think Angela said there are two


reasons why women don't get to the top, one is that they don't want to


and another is that they cannot, and I would say there are lots of


institutional barriers stopping women from reaching the top. You


don't think it is a meritocracy? I definitely don't think it is.


Having children does have something to do with it. Who provides the


majority of the childcare in society? I don't, in my own family,


my partner provides the childcare, otherwise I wouldn't be able to do


the job that I do, but in the average family in the average


community it is women who take that job. Not just looking after the


children but looking after elderly relatives as well. One idea that


seems to be purported a lot is that yes, we live in a sexist society,


but it showed in the video that people tend to believe sexism only


works one way, so the video only featured women. Nobody talks about


male genital mutilation, if you get circumcised, man up... Men are


expected to do heavy lifting. It works both ways. This isn't about a


gender war. Look at this panel, we have an antifeminist woman and a


feminist man, how mental is that! Only on BBC Three would you have


such a random panel as this. Non- feminist. Sorry. Men are the victims


of patriarchy and sexism, even though, let's not be silly, the


majority of the time it is women on the receiving end. Let's hear from


some men who are getting in touch from home. You are talking about the


film we showed before when people are giving examples of everyday


sexism, this proves people are always moaning. A lot of this is


banter being misunderstood, I guess women have no sense of humour. And


another one, Eddie, who says, one I get all the time - what do you


expect, he is only a man. It is crazy. Within seconds of introducing


the debate, and well done to doing the show, I would not have done this


when I was 18, but the debate descended to if you look at the


statistics... I wouldn't have done this when I was 18, I was in my


bedroom. We were talking about different types of discrimination.


If we said, is their racism in the UK? He would not have people saying,


actually, I think those black people just like to moan. We would never do


that. There is something about our culture that has made sexism just a


bit of banter. If somebody had said black people like to moan, somebody


would have said that is a criminal offence. With women, it is, it is


just the lads. I like your enthusiasm, but try not to wallop


me. If we look at the view in terms of the way it is a one-way journey.


There are advertising campaign is built on a culture of women looking


at men. A certain fizzy drink, women stop... They stop at their lunch


break because the window cleaner will take his shirt off and open


this drink. Women on hen nights queue up to see the Chippendales.


They are allowed to cat call, throw things at them. Can you imagine if


it happened the other way around? Yes! I am talking about an


advertising campaign where a woman stopped to have her fizzy drink and


revealed herself in a wet T-shirt. The Flake advert was supposed to be


beautiful and romantic. Nobody from Cadbury series here to defend


themselves! -- Cadbury's is here. Laura. I would try to give you back


a list of examples when women are objectified, but we would be here


all night. Those comments online, it is about attitude. It is about the


way society treats women and we have these discussions. It is about the


tendency to dismiss these ideas. We are talking about issues as diverse


as sexual harassment, domestic violence, rape. People are saying,


don't you have a sense of humour? It is ridiculous to say only a few


women are top directors of the top companies in the UK because they do


not want to. I object to this stoking up, we are all militant


women together, I think you strike an own goal. It is


counter-productive to put it to some kind of militant response. I never


suggested that sexual objectification, domestic violence


were not issues. Modern day feminism seems to edit as it listens and that


way it becomes counter-productive. There are genuine sexist things in


society that we have to fight against, but you cannot put issues


of domestic violence alongside whether a woman should feel


objectified if somebody calls her "love" or wolf whistles at her. It


depends whether she feels threatened. We have to define very


carefully the difference between not having a sense of humour and feeling


threatened when there are issues of personal safety at risk. That is


what feminism does not do. Feminism tackles these as a spectrum. If we


see women as second-class citizens and teach young girls to think it is


OK for men to shout about their breasts. A naked woman on page three


of the biggest selling national newspaper... Of cours... -- course.


Please let me finish. I am suggesting there are connections. I


am not saying that someone looks at page three and commits assaults, it


is not so simple. But we have to look at the context in which we see


an epidemic of domestic violence against women. We have to look at


attitudes and the fact that we live in a society that sends messages


about women and their role in society from a younger age. Those


ideas are also at the root of some of the bigger problems. We can check


online. We were talking about banter. This person says her


16-year-old is the word rape regularly at school and it is


dismissed as banter. -- hears the word rape. We have to be clear about


what is used as banter. There is a difference from somebody calling me


petal... And a 16-year-old using rape like a dismissive term. What if


it was the racist equivalent of petal? That is different. Why is it


different? It is 50% of the country waging war on the other 50%. Even if


you want to separate the things from things you do not see as serious,


why should we not be able to fight things at every level? Why should we


not tackle sexism and sexual harassment in the street? There is a


difference between that and looking at things that are almost trivial.


And trivialising the big things we need to fight for to ensure


equality. The campaign, for example, last year, about having more within


on banknotes, which was a spectacular waste of time and


energy. Make sure women have the same number of banknotes in their


pockets as men, yes, but sometimes modern day feminism spoils for an


argument to look for. I want to come to the audience. Banter I have with


colleagues and friends. I do not get banter from strangers on the street.


I hate walking down the street and being told to smile, it might not


happen. You do not know what my life is like. This is symptomatic of the


bigger picture. If we do not stop street harassment we will not stop


anything else. The gentleman here. Look at the suffragette movement


when people lost their lives all women to vote. -- for the right


when people lost their lives all women to vote. I think it is wrong


when people lost their lives all that calling someone babe on the


street is trivialised. You need to look at the bigger picture. People


died for equality. The question about living in a sexist country, we


have identified in many ways in which women suffer from sexism but


there is nothing talking about the way men, for example, there is like


the homeless people, there is a way men, for example, there is like


saying in some cases people who have children, for example, they need


support. Your gender should not make you vulnerable. It is your


circumstance that makes you vulnerable.


The lady here. With the militant side of feminism, if that does not


work, when we look at feminism people seem to be


work, when we look at feminism both sides of the same coin.


work, when we look at feminism sexism because of sexism towards


women. Men get told to man up. Because feminism is shown as


something bad. Women do well in school because school has become


feminised and girls are expected to do well and as a result


feminised and girls are expected to boys do not put as much effort into


it, because they see it as something they should not be doing. It is the


same coin, it is just the flip side of it. Is that something you think


about as well, Laura? That is a good point. Sexism has a negative impact


on everybody. We have stories that come into the project, we had one


from a man who asked for paternity leave and was ridiculed and was


denied it. In the same week a woman was denied promotion because she was


considered a maternity risk. Those are people suffering to size up the


same coin. -- two sides. An outdated gender stereotype making things bad


for men and women. This is not against men, it is people against


prejudice. Tina. Let us have a look what is happening at home. If it


works, if it doesn't. The question is, do we live in a sexist country?


81% of people watching say yes. Some of the comments, men getting in


touch. A positive message from Alex. This country has evolved fast and a


lot of women dominate and is buyer. -- and inspire. More can be done but


let's appreciate the progress. Another one, more girls are


university than boys because if girls do not get a degree they are


more likely to be in low-paid work. And a question for Angela. How would


you feel if somebody did your job and was paid more? I would be


outraged. It comes back to what I was saying at the beginning of this


discussion. What has happened is that originally the sexism and


feminism seem to be bywords for each other. But this is a collective


responsibility for society. If there is genuine injustice, men and women,


we have two address them. -- to address them. We cannot look at


sexism as some kind of brand of feminism, something tailored towards


women. Just as I said I do not want female short lists, which is why I


would be appalled if somebody was paid more than me. But if we look at


the debate and look at unfairness against women, it irritates because


some people think it is women not understanding that men have issues.


We have to work collectively. Only by working in tandem can we address


inequality. Do you feel alienated by feminism as a movement? It doesn't


speak to me at all. The young man mentioned the suffragettes. My old


school, I went to a girls' school. I was taught, I came from a modest


background, aim high and work hard and if you do you can get what you


want. That is the message I give my daughter. It is not about thinking a


man can do what you cannot do. You are a person, prove you can do the


job and go ahead and do it. The lady here. I think what you're


missing is the reason why you have a part of this sexism on both sides. I


thought a word that would be used was lad culture. It is in Eton


college where they have their little groups and they are told they have


to do that. The reason why there are more politicians in the top area is


not because the women are not getting the education, it is because


people at that level have the mindset that you cannot let somebody


else do that because it has always been a man's position. That is an


interesting point. The main problem I have with what you said, Angela,


was to do with women's biology. Somehow women are programmed a


different way. I said we are different. It doesn't make us


unequal. I would like to say that is not found by academic research, with


academic research... -- founded. I am not saying nature does not have


an impact on how we are, but I am a primary school teacher. Yesterday, I


had a conversation with a six-year-old girl. I said to her,


what did you do at the weekend? She said she went to a football party


but the girls did not play. That is not a natural thing to happen.


Society has made people think that is a natural thing to happen, but


research shows it is not a natural process we have come to.


I know a lot of women, professional women, highly educated, been


successful, who have thought differently when they have had their


families. I have met women in all spheres of professional life. Kids


do what they want to do. I have a daughter who has three older


brothers. There are footballs, the paraphernalia of boys around the


house, and she is empowered by her choice to play with her dolls or


play football with her brothers. Kids today are so sophisticated,


they do what they want to do. If girls do not want to play football,


it is probably because they do not want to play football. We will leave


it there. Good debate. Simon Thomas. What you want to ask? Do you think


Wales should have the same powers as Scotland? Topical. Omar. Of course


Wales should have the same powers as Scotland. It has been long overdue


that Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland, it has been long overdue


for Wales and Scotland to forge their own identity. I do not know


why we have been holding back. I think Wales is Scotland with an


inferiority complex! We should get rid of it. Look at this amazing


building, the music and culture and history and poetry and comedy.


Everything. It is about time we went for it. Are you in favour of


independence? Yes. I think Plaid Cymru has the approach to this. It


works for England, as well. Just like Wales and Scotland have to stop


viewing themselves as the junior partner of England, it is about time


England realised they are not a colonial power. They should discover


themselves. If there was English identity you would not have vacuums


for people like the English Defence League. We are not a country that is


ready to be independent. I am proud of being Welsh. We know that we


still rely on England full lawmaking powers and we rely on England to


provide some sustenance of money to us and the Welsh would not be daft


enough to break the union as it currently stands until we have more


devolution of powers to look after ourselves. Would you agree that


Wales is not ready for independence? I don't think it is. If you go back


to the 1997 devolution referendum, the turnout was about 50.4%.


I am a politics student, the figures are ingrained! As leader of Plaid


Cymru, do you think there has been a lot of change since then? More


people are interested in further devolution and independence? I do


think people are interested, and I accept the point you make - more


people in Wales would be nervous about us moving to independence more


quickly and that is because our economic position is not the same as


Scotland's. That doesn't mean we cannot get to that point and I think


we should have the ambition and the plan to have a successful economy,


and when we have that then our people can take the choice that


people in Scotland took last week. The principle that the people


closest to a decision are the best people to make that decision is one


I I think we can probably all agree with. -- one I think. The same goes


for Scotland too. They are presided over by a government in Westminster


that neither country have voted for. The cuts that have been meted out by


the Coalition in London are not good for our people, particularly in our


poorest communities in Wales or Scotland, so that is the debate they


had in Scotland last week. I was there, it was a fantastic debate,


85% of the people turned out and nobody was engaged in the process.


If we could have a debate like that in Wales, the apathy we have seen I


think we would be able to stem, and we would be able to generate an


interest in politics, the like of which I have never seen before in


this country. I am a very proud Welshman. As a global community we


are supposed to be coming together, why would you want to be coming


together, why would you want a breakaway? Last week the debate in


Scotland was being framed around Scotland given the opportunity to


join the world community. It is not a case of breaking up or separating,


it is voting yes to become a member of the world community as a nation


state in its own right. I work in America sometimes and I'm sick of


people asking me where America sometimes and I'm sick of


and I say Wales, next to England. You would still


and I say Wales, next to England. will help. It won't


and I say Wales, next to England. America's geography, trust me! I


think in this disturbing America's geography, trust me! I


at large, we are union... Do you feel like that about the European


Union? That is feel like that about the European


conversation. It is typical politicking to kick in Europe every


so often when it suits the range of the debate. I'm talking about the


UK. We have men who fought together in the second and First World War in


this country. We have to look at what our communities need. I don't


understand the need for borders and separation. I am from Manchester and


they are talking about devolving powers to Manchester. I think we


have to have a fair, and equal society. We are united kingdom, we


are country. There are borders in Europe. If you want to simplify it,


that is up to you because you started off talking about the needs


of the Welsh people. I think we are much stronger as a


union and Westminster house to understand that there may be needs


in the broader communities of Wales that need addressing but I don't


think we should be breaking up the union. I completely disagree about


the independence. I don't think we should go independent. Scotland is a


country that has natural resources like oil and therefore that would


make them rich if they were to go independent, whereas Wales doesn't


have natural resources. We have coal. We used to! We never kept the


money from it. I don't think we should go independent because it


would send us into debt. I am English and personally I love Wales


and I would be gutted if they left the union but I can completely


understand where it is coming from because I think a lot of us don't


feel represented by the Westminster government and it is just not


working. We are being led by Westminster instead of being led by


the entire union. What are people saying online? Should Wales have the


same powers as Scotland, 73% say yes.


This is a question for you, Leanne. Is it really representative of the


people in Wales, independence, when 70% of people didn't want to go for


it in a recent poll? No, and I think those polls ask people if they want


to become independent now and I understand the reticence of that


because of our economic situation but that doesn't mean we shouldn't


aspire to have a more successful economy. Independence is normal, it


is the state that most countries in the world are in, and we are the


anomaly. I would like to say I am English and I am studying in Wales


and I love Wales. What does the panel think of having a federalised


United Kingdom? Rather than is being independent. -- it being. That would


work if the constituent parts were equal, but given that one part is so


huge, then there would be a big power imbalance so that could be


difficult. Do you think that if you want to have an independent Wales


that it would be fair for people if England took part in some kind of


referendum to find out if you should stay or not. No, I think they should


have a debate about what they want for their political arrangements and


if that results in an English parliament or regional bodies within


England, then that is a matter for people in England, but I think Wales


should decide what happens in Wales, just as Scotland decided about the


future of Scotland. I lean as well towards this idea that togetherness


is something beneficial, especially on a world stage, but it is easy to


say that when you are English. If that is something we want, if that


is something we feel is beneficial for all of us, then I think we have


to make sure countries like Wales and Scotland have the devolution and


powers they need to do what is right for them. I was shocked to discover


earlier on that Wales has less devolution of those powers. If we


want the benefits that come from standing alongside Scotland and


Wales, we need to give them the powers they need for it to


beneficial for them. I want to go back to what you said


about World War II, when you were talking about men fighting together.


I just want to use it as an example of everyday sexism because you


completely ignored the contribution that the women of this country but


also the other countries who had to take over men's jobs and had to come


out of the house and childcare and all the things they had done until


that point. That is a spectacular example of what my problem is with


feminism. I need a very generalised point about them going out to battle


together. -- I made. I didn't in any way suggest women had not made an


important contribution to the war effort. That is very unhelpful. Back


to the point about Wales and devolution. Scotland and England has


a youth Parliament, why can't Wales have one? They have recently got rid


of the national voice for young people. Children and young people


should have an Assembly, why can't we be exactly like England and


Scotland? I agree, there needs to be a forum for young people. It is


unacceptable that a system like that exists in England and Scotland and


it doesn't exist in Wales. Unfortunately that is all we have


time for. We will be back in a fortnight on the 7th of October in


Dover. Please don't forget our choose our audience questions. We


know the acronym is unfortunate! For now, goodbye. We will see you in




Live current affairs debate from Cardiff, presented by Rick Edwards and Tina Daheley. Along with the other issues of the week, the question 'Do we live in a sexist country?' is debated.

On the panel are Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru, Laura Bates, writer and founder of the website Everyday Sexism, journalist and critic of feminism Angela Epstein, and 'compassionate conservative' Welsh-Egyptian comedian Omar Hamdi.

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