Episode 17 Sunday Morning Live

Episode 17

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Gaddafi, the king of kings who died like a rat. After the horror


inflicted on the people of Lockerbie and the people of Libya,


This programme contains language which some people may find


Good morning and welcome to Sunday Morning Live. Libya starts a new


life after the death of Gaddafi. He terrorised his own people and


exported terror against ours. But was killing him the right thing to


The Government wants to blitz problem families. It will help them


get out of bed and get their kids to school. Is this the kind of


nanny state we should applaud? Ricky Gervais put himself in hot


water with jokes he denies were aimed at disabled people. But isn't


it a comedian's job to offend? My guests this week all have a very


personal stake in our debates. Sir Ian Blair was Britain's top cop and


sent officers to Libya to investigate PC Yvonne Fletcher's


murder. And Jean Charles de Menezes was killed while he was in command.


In a strange case of art imitating life, shock jock Nick Ferrari did a


turn in Ricky Gervais' comedy Extras'.


Claire Fox is director of the Institute of Ideas, but as a former


mental health social worker, she knows about the problems of problem


families. And we want to hear what you think.


Call in now to challenge our guests on Skype. Or give your views on


Gaddafi is dead and justice has been done. That's the verdict from


some families of the Lockerbie bombing victims. One said, "I hope


he's in hell with Hitler". Was Gaddafi's death a fitting payback


for his crimes? Or itself a crime? This video contains graphic images


Many felt uncomfortable watching the last moments of the bleeding,


beaten, dying dictators surrounded by an angry mob. The United Nations


may launch an inquiry into whether he was executed in cold blood. Many


felt we would not allow an animal to die in such a fashion. But


others felt Gaddafi had behaved worse than an animal and that he


deserved his end. To some it seems fitting that someone who lived by


the sword died by it, it seemed like justice. But was it just


revenge? His regime at tortured and murdered thousands of its people


and he is seen as responsible for the death of PC Yvonne Fletcher and


the Lockerbie bombing. Not all relatives of Gaddafi's victims


wanted his immediate death, some wanted him to stand trial so they


could find more answers. Though many were left disappointed with


the trial of Saddam Hussein. Some felt it was just a show trial and


his judicial hanging in cold blood little better than a lynch-mob.


Even some Americans felt uneasy when Osama Bin Laden, the architect


of 9/11, was, without trial, of 9/11, was, without trial,


of 9/11, was, without trial, effectively executed. But if


Gaddafi had been put on trial, he would have remained a rallying call


in a country trying to rebuild itself. Many remain opposed to the


death penalty whatever the crime. Others argue that when leaders like


Gaddafi spent 40 years committing appalling crimes against humanity,


they deserve only a bloody and violent end.


Nick Ferrari, did he deserve to die? The self-imposed lion of the


desert died like a rat in a cellar. Libya and the world will be a


better place. That is our text vote For full terms and conditions,


please visit the website. We will show you how you voted at the end


of the programme. Do you agree? There is no doubt there will have


been a huge amount of satisfaction from people in Libya that he has


gone. It is interesting watching the way everybody panicked at the


way it happened. The whole focus of this war was get Gaddafi. I think


what will happen now is we will not be sure what this war was about. It


might reveal far more now that he has gone. In some ways you can see


the Western allies have would have liked to have carried this on for a


long time. The Libyan people themselves got Gaddafi, as you say.


Sir Ian Blair, Lord Ian Blair, you send officers to Libya to


investigate the death of Yvonne Fletcher. Did you feel this is


justice? This shooting is I think almost inevitable. This is a war,


people died in circumstances like that. In an ideal world, he would


have been arrested and put on trial. This is not an ideal world. And I


think we now move to a new stage in Libya. I think the most difficult


thing about this... Arrested and put on trial with what penalty?


have to say, I do not think it would have been appropriate to put


him on trial in the international criminal court in The Hague. I


think it would have been Libyan justice because this is a matter


for the Libyan people. It is genocide against the Libyan people.


I am quite certain they would have executed him at the end of it.


Would that have been justified? That is a matter of personal


opinion. I personally do not like the death penalty, I never have,


but there is an issue here of Western imposed values on what is


an emerging free country. The real difficulty is that this represents


the weakness of the National Transitional Council, unable to


stop this happening. We are now seeing Libya moving to what it --


might be hopeful phase, but also might not be a hopeful face. In


terms of his death, it was absolutely inevitable. Let's speak


to somebody from Libya. An activist joins us this morning. I understand


your background isn't Libyan, but you have been an activist there in


Tripoli. What was the response of people there when Gaddafi was


killed? It was a response of pure and utter joy and relief. I have


never ever seen joy like this. In my entire life. Every single person,


I felt like, was in the street. People were jumping with joy.


People relieved, women, men, children, just wanting to cheer,


wanting to hold each other, wanting to laugh out loud, wanting to find


each other. It was a scene I will never forget. There are concerns in


the West about the manner of his death. That this was not due


process. Of those concerns in any way shared by those people over


there, celebrating? Yes, of course. In the end, we share the same


concerns as everyone else. We want a true justice system in Libya,


which we haven't had for the last 42 years. Was his death justified?


That is not for me to decide, I don't know the circumstances. I


don't know what was happening exactly. We may never find out. But


what I do know is that people are relieved. A lot of people were


worried that if he would go to trial, he would turn himself into a


martyr, 10 himself... Become like another propaganda, another show in


the Gaddafi saga. We didn't want that, we didn't want him to become


glorified again in front of international media. Was his death


justified to the people who have died and suffered? I don't think


anything would be enough for the families who have suffered, for the


children who have become disabled and for the 2000 women that are


still missing in Tripoli. No justice will be enough for them.


His death is only a sigh of relief that the head of this nation has


been chopped off, the poison will not stream into our lives again and


now we can put that behind us and start rebuilding our nation.


can hear the relief, the celebration, but also the concern.


It is quite an interesting question, is this an assault on due process?


I absolutely get nervous about the law... To me this was a bloody


civil war the West should never have been involved in. I have had


enough of this. You would have just watched Gaddafi kill tens of


thousands of his own? I am absolutely of the opinion that the


West going into Libya... We would have just stood and watched him


murder. Yes. However... Now, Mr Ferrari,... Call me Nick. We have a


situation where everybody is situation -- where everybody is


squeamish. The Western elite is squeamish after they have


intervened in a bloody civil war. Thousands of people have been


killed in this process. Thousands and thousands throughout the whole


thing. Why did we do it? Some kind of PR exercise? OK, very briefly, I


am delighted he's dead. I am concerned about the manner of his


death, but I'm delighted he's dead. He has probably killed 30,000 of


his own people, he has also been responsible for PC Yvonne Fletcher,


Lockerbie and funding the IRA. What is the point of putting this man on


trial? People are now bleating about some kind of UN lead inquiry.


They couldn't find weapons of mass destruction. If you think they can


find the man who fired the bullet in Libya I would be amazed. Putting


him in a glass box in The Hague would just be farcical. He would


make out they wanted him back like Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. It is


good he is gone. Let's speak to somebody who has a personal stake,


Brian Flynn. Your brother was on board Pan Am flight one 03, which


was blown up over Lockerbie. That's 103. Did you share that sense of


justice when you find out Gaddafi had been killed? I am upset you


didn't let Nick keep going. I agreed with everything he said. It


is very easy, and Americans have been accused by many in Britain of


fostering some kind of culture of vengeance and I think it is


something personally I have dealt with through the years. When


Gaddafi first died, my reaction was a little bit of excitement and I


don't think that is appropriate. Not in a normal situation. But the


reason I was excited, and other families, was because it was tied


to the liberation of the Libyan people. It would have been the easy


for us to say, oh well, this is just classic American phi for an I


A, death penalty, we believe that the freeing of the Libyan people


was a key part of what made this such a significant event. It is


interesting that you see it from that perspective. When your brother


died in the Lockerbie bomber him, what did you want to happen to


Colonel Gaddafi immediately afterwards? -- Lockerbie bombing.


have been focused on and believe that I have been true to this idea


that I remember my mother saying, and screaming, my son will not die


in vain. My reaction was that I would do everything I could to


bring justice to this. Not revenge. As a Christian, you could go Old


Testament and say I for an eye, tooth for a tooth. You could also


say something about Luke's Gospel, which is that if a man since and


then asks for forgiveness, you forgive him. If a man's sins and


asks for no forgiveness and is unrepentant, you have to rebuke him.


That is the case for both Gaddafi and al-Megrahi. We are talking


about notions of justice here and whether you think... If Gaddafi had


been put on trial and cross- examined about what happened at


Lockerbie and answered some of the questions that perhaps you still


have about what happened, do you think there is a sense you might


have got more justice out of that or do you feel satisfied now that


We would have got more out of it, in the sense of, who was behind it?


This was not then working alone. There were many other people


involved, who are still at large. That process may have revealed that.


This is the story of the Libyan people, it is for them to write it.


I think vengeance is appropriate for the Libyan people. If they want


to meet out justice. I agree with this part of what Nick said, to go


through the United Nations court would have driven us all mad, but


the West want that. What gives a more or justification is the idea


that Colonel Gaddafi was the evil guy. He was. It is refreshing to


hear somebody say, met the Libyan people deal with it. I would have


wanted them to deal with it rather than it being a grandstanding thing


for the West, to say, we are a bit -- liberating the people.


Practically, I do not think that the death of Gaddafi changes


anything. I do not think that Gaddafi would have testified in


court about what happened. The answers to what happened will peak


in files -- will be in files. The trial would have given him the


opportunity to become Father Christmas. All of this stuff about


how Saddam Hussein was put on trial did not help the Iraqi people. I am


with Nick, he is dead, now it is time for the Libyans to move on,


and to uncover the truth about Yvonne Fletcher. One person who


wants to know the truth is John Merry, he was with Yvonne Fletcher


when she was killed outside the Libyan embassy. Do you hold Colonel


Gaddafi responsible for his -- for her death? Yes, there is no doubt


about it. The order came from Gaddafi himself, he was the head of


state. His agents were at the embassy. He gave the order, no


doubt about it. When you found out he had been killed, is that an eye


for an eye? He did not deserve to die in that way. He should have


been placed in front of a court. He has taken a lot of the answers I


have been seeking with him. If he had stood trial, we could have


asked him questions. He may not have answered them, but we would


have had the opportunity to ask him. I was in Libya not so very long ago.


I returned with a lot of information. I sped to the NTC, --


I spoke to the NTC, and the information I received was very


good. Better than the Met Police. I want a lot of answers. I will keep


fighting until somebody is in court to answer for Yvonne Fletcher's


death. People might be surprised to hear you say that he did not


deserve to die. Considering what you have been through and what you


know the family of Yvonne Fletcher have been through. Why do you feel


that? It is part of the due process of law. If he stood trial in Libya,


he probably would have been given the death penalty. I have no or


gimmick with that. -- no argument. The NTC, will pay deal with people


-- will they deal with people in the same way? That is an


interesting question. If this is how they deliver justice... It was


not as if they had some kind of tribunal or hearing. It would


appear that, in a mode of extreme ecstasy and panic, he was executed,


and the manner of his execution, yes, we can see that. You mean that


you agree that you do not think he deserved to die in the way that he


did? He deserved to die, but as a human being, you have to say, that


is quite concerning. But he killed 30,000 of his own people, he was


getting ready to kill many more. It might have been better to take into


a court house. It would have been slightly better. But if we were


here in 1945, would we say, is it right that Hitler is gone? We would


be celebrating. It is the same with Osama Bin Laden, I was delighted.


There is a danger of turning Gaddafi into a lot more than he was.


To compare him to Hitler, it will it advises people. These were a


nasty little tinpot dictators. that to the brother of the


Lockerbie victim, to the policeman standing next to Yvonne Fletcher...


Let me make the point. I am not saying he was a good guy, but to


compare him to Hitler, that flatters him. We have tinpot


dictators, and you can turn them into icons of the full -- evil.


There is more to the rebuilding of Libya than this. One person says, I


shed no tears, but I feel this is not how democracy should begin.


Another person says, we needed the truth on Lockerbie, and we have


been robbed of this. Another person says, wide to the bleeding hearts


need their investigation? Did he deal in due process? He needed to


be terminated so Libya could move on. If you think Gaddafi deserved


it, or not, text in. You have 20 minutes before the poll closes.


The government says problem families are costing taxpayers a


small fortune, so it wants to give them their own government helper to


stop them causing havoc in society. A good idea? Rewarding the


feckless? This week, committee secretary Eric


Pickles revealed that problem families who make-up less than 1%


of the population cost the taxpayer a whopping �8 billion. These


families cost so much because they take up so many different resources,


from Social Services to the police. The government wants to


deliberately target them. Each family could get a dedicated helper.


They could help them get out of bed, send their children to school and


make sure they attend alcohol and drug rehabilitation. Is that


sensible? Is that the nanny state gone too far? If families cost the


state so much, do they deserve to get personalised help? The scheme


targets families who are not employed, live in poor housing, RL,


or simply pull. The government hopes this will prevent the


families going off the rails and cost less in the long run. Is it


patronising to force held on families simply because they are


poor and often on benefits? Harboured any of us like it if a


government official came into the privacy of our homes to tell us how


we should be living? With spending billions on giving problem families


their own dedicated helper be the final push they need to get out of


poverty, or will a helping hand discourage people from helping


themselves? If you have got a webcam, you can


make your point on Skype. Is this a good idea? It is a bit strange. The


previous government had a thing called Total place, which was


putting exactly this piece of work into action. Not a single dedicated


person, but putting the police, the health service, the social services,


wrapping them round the most difficult families. Exactly the


same is being proposed about gangs. Getting in their early and sorting


out the children who are at risk of becoming a gang members. The idea


of a single dedicated person coming into the house is a very strange


idea. I am all for concentrating on the most difficult people... If one


person goes in and it saves all of those other agencies... Did you


think somebody will go into those houses and Tom Mapp? I do not


believe it is possible. I believe we need to concentrate on those


families. It is sometimes called the Boston method, somebody


involved in a gang is confronted by the police and the prosecutors and


people from housing and education and given a straight forward choice.


In other state in a life of crime - - you are either state in a life of


crime or you go straight. That works. But going in by yourself


seems to be a gimmick. I think Eric Pickles has gone nuts to keep the


food theme going! Way of going to reward the reckless and feckless,


whose life is in crime and crime, by giving them a servant, who will


not on their door? It will save us billions of pounds? I do not


normally use this analysis, but if we are so worried, we should think


about the money we are spending in Afghanistan, which is double this


ludicrous experiment. Think about the money that bailed out the


bankers. Put them in jail. You are a former social worker dealing with


people with mental health issues. Mental health is one of the


identifiers for these families in crisis. There is a number of things.


This has been brought on on a delusion that the government can


sort everything out by interfering, which is ludicrous. I also think it


is promised on the now orthodoxy of early intervention, everybody will


now say, what happens before the age of three will determine


everything what happens afterwards. It is based on poor science. It is


nonsense. It is over deterministic. Then, this gives a green light to


the government, because if you say, what happens before the age of


three means that you have to intervene, they can then say, every


parent needs to be undermined. Parents' authority is being


undermined by this idea that the Government tells you what to do. It


is true that if you say that depict the state was that all parents are


responsible, but I do not trust how they have identified these families.


We will talk to somebody who has identified them. Is it true, few of


the man that came up with the figure of 120,000 problem families?


Yes, from the research we did for the government. We were focusing on


poverty. We were focusing on families that had five or more they


have his problems, being poor, ill health, living in poor quality


housing. It is focused on the problems they have, rather than the


problems they are causing. The media have twisted things slightly.


That is a common accusation! It is a tiny proportion of families, but


you say they are not causing problems. Presumably you mean


criminally. Financially, some people might think it is causing a


problem. Yes, in terms of anti- social behaviour, the families that


we identified, and the 10% of them had children that have been in


trouble with police. The focus is not on anti-social behaviour. But


yes, if they have got five or more problems, we are talking about


disadvantaged families. Can I just ask, you have done the research on


the existence of these malted problem families, I take it you


have not come up with the idea of sending a person in to get them up


in the morning? No, we just do the research. I am not quite sure what


getting them up in the morning has to do with it. Nor are my! That is


what Eric Pickles wants to do! We have got a fine piece of academic


research that somebody is taking a simple solution on to, and that is


not part of your job a tour? That is right. The research revealed


there are significant families that have lots of issues going on, which


makes it hard for them to live their lives and raise their


children. They need somebody to help them negotiate with a


There are very specific problems here. If somebody has a mental


health problem, you needed -- decent mental health services. If


you have a poor person, you could say the problem is just money.


There's a danger that you are designating them as problem


families. They have multiple problems so sending in a person who


deals with one problem, you are not dealing with the more trouble


problem issue. This multiple problem, they are poor. What are we


meant to do about it? In terms of poor, there is a lot of poverty


around. Give them more money? SEN somebody around with yet more money


for these people? A means of getting more money. Those who are


unemployed, give them more money? No, get them work. What does that


practically mean? A means to get into work? Education, training,


work programmes. If you have health problems that will stop you...


is different. I want to introduce somebody else who has direct


experience of this and that is David Derbyshire. We have sound


issues in the studio! He is from Action for children. Presumably you


are listening to this debate as well and I presume the digger to


come in and explain exactly how help is given to these families.


You run projects where you do intervene. Good morning. Yes,


indeed we do, up and down the country. I suppose the thing is


about the key worker, what Eric Pickles was talking about, they are


not there to wake up the family, for a link-up with other


professionals and enable families tax as if facilities they need. --


families to access facilities. It needs a lot of persistence. It will


involved contact four or five times a week with a family by that key


worker and that key worker is laying out for the family what the


choices are. By the time they are in contact with one of the services,


the choice is often the children entering care or young people being


criminalised all the parents being criminalised. Or they can take


steps which in almost all the cases the families want to take in order


to make things better for themselves. At the beginning of the


debate, Nick Ferrari characterised the key worker as a personal Jeeves


who gets you ready to go out. Everyone would like somebody to


motivate them and help them out. But why do these families


particularly need somebody like that? They need someone... Workers


will not normally go and get them out of bed, what they may do is not


on the door to make sure the parents themselves are able to take


the child to school. School attendance is often an issue. They


will do that for a limited period so that parents build up confidence


about doing that. The reason families are in that position is


often because parents have had difficult backgrounds and histories.


There is often some form of mental illness. David, I can hear


exasperation in the studio. With the exception of people with mental


or physical problems, we have all had challenges his life -- in life.


There is something called individual responsibility where


unless you have mental health issues, you have to tough it out.


Get up in the morning and say I am going to get the kids to school.


What about all of these families who do it every single morning?


While we rewarding the ones who are not doing that and ignoring the


ones who do do it? I Want To ask you, you are saying this is an


antidote to criminalising family's? Are you not in danger of utterly


patronising them and in tantalising them. I can't imagine anything more


demoralising than having... Saying to families you are not up to it


unless you have a professional to help you. I don't think that is the


experience of people. You know it is. They feel as though they are


constantly being told they can't cope unless an expert, someone


like? E B mack, comes around and helps them. Do we make them


dependent on new? No, families will say they have benefited from the


relationship with a professional who was able to build on their


strengths as a poster telling them what they couldn't do. What they


would generally say was that before the interventions, they had


experience of being told off by authorities and had negative


experiences. These interventions gave them something in which they


can engage properly. You are talking about a system that clearly


exists and has existed for some time, is that right?


intervention programme have existed for a little time. Not for that


long. Are we talking a year, two years? More than that. What I don't


understand is what is Eric Pickles announcing? What you are describing


is what he is announcing. I don't understand why we are doing


something different. It sounds like we are doing the same thing that


you're doing. It may well be effective in some way, but there is


nothing new here. No. The announcement was an indication that


authorities should take up... want to put the question to the


TaxPayers' Alliance. The Robert Oxley joins us. Is this a good use


of money? Good morning. What we have to look at is can we afford to


continue to allow these 120,000 problem families to continue


costing the economy �8 billion a year. We saw from the riots the


damage and destruction a small number it can cause. Clare mack his


anger on the panel about the fact we already spend a lot of money if


on these families. They are already making certain other people's lives


a misery, while we spending more money on them? But we can't leave


certain families who are causing disruption... This measure is not


about spending more money, it is about saving money. First of all,


in terms of evidence, the guy who came up with 120,000 families has


already told us only 10% have problems with crime and anti-social


behaviour. Suddenly they all have. I understand what Eric Pickles has


done is if -- say it if you look at these families, there are agencies


all over them. Social services, health services, local government.


You can't move but for a professional expert advising them


for up Eric Pickles has said, let's leave it to one person so it will


save money. That appeals to you because you are mean-spirited. But


in the end, would it not be better to query the whole premise of the


120,000 families in the first place? Robert? It is not about


being mean-spirited, it is about getting value for money. Yes,


experts have identified Ferag these families causing trouble. One


suggestion is these problem families are spending between


�250,000 and �330,000. We can't pretend people... OK. Children who


are not going to school and who are not growing up in a household...


Thank you. A couple of text messages.


This is disgusting, so many underprivileged families are trying


to move up in society, why did we help them improve? Instead we are


helping people who don't want help. Yet again, reward for not working.


Becky says, poorer families need support and guidance to stop the


cycle that children inherit and don't know how to escape from.


But Coming up on Sunday Morning Live:


Fuming at offensive comedians is nothing new. Monty Python's Life of


Brian caused apoplexy more than 30 years ago. From Frankie Boyle to


Sacha Baron Cohen and even Russell Brand, funny-men have had us


falling about and feeling uncomfortable in roughly equal


measure. Python Terry Jones said "There should be no taboos in


comedy". As long as it's funny, is he right? What do you think? You


can join in by webcam or you can make your views known by phone,


email or online. Remember, keep voting, too, in our


text poll. The question did Gaddafi Time to show you some of the key


moral moment of the week. Claire Fox, it is claimed an undercover


police officer gave evidence in court while still under cover.


Should he have broken his cover to see justice done? This is not --


this has not excited my moral juices as much as everybody else.


Probably he shouldn't have stayed under cover when he gave evidence


and I worry about the law being undermined. But although I am very


much of the left the act of this type, in case anyone had noticed,


what amuses me -- amuses me is people moaning about the cuts? If


you are seriously taking on the state, you can't expect them to pat


you on the back. I have no problem with the police going undercover, I


always assumed that was what they did. Did you assume you might be


working alongside some of them? course. If you are seriously


involved in politics, challenging the orthodoxies of the day, unless


the state are hopeless wimps, you will assume they are keeping their


eye on you. Whether it is morally a good thing or not... Then there is


a point about entrapment. One does get nervous about that. You don't


want to be in a situation whereby the police make things happen


because they are under cover, that is the big moral dilemma. I don't


want the rule of law to be undermined and I don't want the


state complete East buying one of the thing everyone does. Let's ask


an audience where? Presumably under your watch their were undercover


police officers. -- let's ask Lord Ian Blair. How widespread was the


infiltration into activist groups? I don't think I will announce how


widespread it is. Always worth asking! Were they spying on me!


Don't forget Jack Straw becoming Home Secretary and asking for his


MI5 file, which she got. It is a legitimate police tactic to go


undercover and some of the people I have met who have been undercover


officers involved in terrorism and organised crime are immensely brave


men and women. When we have had some of the riots recently, the


police were criticised for not having enough intelligence about


what the students were going to do, or the rioters. There are only two


ways of getting that intelligence, open source intelligence on the


internet and undercover activity. The issue that is worrying people


is not the existence of undercover officers, but the claims that an


officer would then remain undercover while in a court of law.


This is a very delicate one. As far as I remember, the rules are that


it depends on what level of penetration the officer is in.


Let's say it is a very long running undercover operation. What is the


criminal act involved? If there is some serious criminal act, that


officer would immediately have been withdrawn and his identity would


have been revealed. But if you were talking about something that will


end with a fine or conditional discharge, it is conceivable that


it is worth remaining under cover to continue the penetration. These


are very, very expensive and delicate operations. I think the


key issue, as in the shooting of suicide bombers, these things have


no place in public debate. We need a place like the King's Fund, where


policing tactics of this nature are made open to the public. This is


the methodology we use. Is this acceptable in a democratic society?


When you were in charge, were undercover officers convicted of


crimes? I have not come across one serving a sentence. People might


have agreed that someone should stay and a cover when it is


something as serious as infiltrating the terrorist cell,


but wonder why someone would stay under cover when it was


investigating an environmental activist group, for instance.


is what I'm saying. We need a place where that is debated. At the


moment it is decided work -- with the police and the Crown


Prosecution Service and the Home Office. I think it should be a more


public debate. One thing I would say is that I think there is a


danger... We can't debate publicly on all of this, but one of the


things that amuses me is it seems to me that the police might be


wasting their time in four trading a lot of rather hopeless activist


groups. -- infiltrating. They don't know how many vicars are police


officers. To be serious... You are not making that allegation.


terms of the priorities, that is what I'm trying to say. It is quite


feasible that the state of over exaggerating... I think it was on


your watch, Lord Blair, the brilliance of the anti-terrorism


officers when they got into a plot. They substitute explosives for


kitty litter. I think it was on your watch. That is the amazing job


they do. Policing is not a perfect science. Last week a bloke went


down in Lithuania for 12 years, he possibly would have blown up London


You have been voting this morning. Did -- did Gaddafi deserve it? The


poll is now closed. We will bring to the resort at the end of the


programme. -- result.


Ricky Gervais got into trouble this week and apologised for what many


took to be the mocking of people with Down's syndrome. Should


comedians be smarter about where to draw the line? Satire and religion


can cause and or violence. Is it a comedian's job to break taboos?


Half-a-million people tuned in this week to laugh at the dramatisation


of this debate between Monty Python and religious leaders over whether


their Life Of Brian was blasphemous. 400 years ago, we would have been


burned for this. I am suggesting we have made an advance. The debate


still rages today. Nearly half the country say they are Christians.


More than 50,000 were outraged when did musical Jerez spring or the


opera felt free to ridicule Christ. Many Muslims were upset by cartoons


which mocked the Prophet Muhammad. Of the some topics which should be


taboo? This week, a heated public debate about Ricky Gervais,


tweeting the word mong. Many believed he was being offensive to


those with Down's syndrome. One mother was particularly hurt.


is absolutely endemic in our society, it is everywhere. We do


not need another comedian with a large fan-base suddenly deciding


that this is OK, that you can target disabled people, because


they cannot fight back. Ricky Gervais yesterday apologised. The


accepted that whatever he meant by the word, and many had taken


offence. Others, including some disabled people, say any special


treatment is patronising. Is it an essential part of comedy to say the


unsayable and to come from taboos? Of the sum things which are simply


never for me? -- never funny?


You can join in. You have secured a four by by the principle of free


speech, even when the mother of disabled children is in tears,


saying that this is not acceptable? We live in and society which says,


you cannot say that all the time. I would argue for the right to be


offensive. You could say that is me encouraging everybody to be nasty,


but the right to be offensive is essential. In comedy more than ever,


that has to be a taboo busting place. You can decide that you


think that the likes of Frankie Boyle or Ricky Gervais are not to


your taste, but the whole point of comedy is to shake-up manners and


challenge orthodoxies. What makes it funny is that you are being


derisory about somebody. If we say that we are to be quiet in case we


have then somebody, we will all be quite a lot of the time. We live in


a society where people pussyfoot around, it is like walking on


eggshells. You have worked with Ricky Gervais, and you also know


how powerful speeches. Ricky Gervais said, we are all terrified


of saying that the wrong thing. Part of his comedy is to confirm


that. In that interview, he also says that many people are offended


by things that... Some people are offended by mixed-race marriages.


The fact that it causes offence is ridiculous. Humour always has a


victim. The episode I was in with Ricky Gervais, he plays a character,


he is just becoming famous come at a child is misbehaving, he has


Down's syndrome, Ricky Gervais kicks off, he does not realise, he


gets in trouble. The laugh is on the Ricky Gervais character. The


Down's syndrome boy is ennobled. He has tried to make it off at the


victim of the Down's syndrome people. His argument is that the


word does not refer to disability any more. I could take you off-air


by saying other words. I would not dream of saying them. Responsible


people... He is a very bright fellow, but you have a


responsibility, and he lost it. started off with religion. God has


got his sense of humour. There is a lot of cheerfulness in the Bible.


Life Of Brian was on television last again. I find it difficult for


people to find the Life Of Brian offensive. It is an affectionate


take. But there are some words that should not be said. There are some


communities, their identity is so bound up in their particular


religious belief, this is not an attack on their religion, it is an


attack on their life. It produces the most difficult issues in terms


of free speech. Is it right to say something in speech which leads to


a riot on the streets? The speech does not lead to the riot, it is


the response to it. What we have done, we have given the green light


to a hecklers veto. Because we have given that such precedents, people


are frightened. The alternative is that we laugh at the weakest


members of society. They then become... You cannot want that.


What we are now doing, we are saying that words can damage people


more than anything else. I do not think they do. Words are not action.


Sticks and stones and all the rest of it. We have got confused. More


sinisterly, -- more seriously, if we say this, maybe this will offend


a whole community, we might be seen to be insensitive, and something


might happen. And intimidation goes on. That is a serious assault on a


society. We have guests ready to talk to us. Tell us about your


experience. You have a Down's syndrome child. Yes, my daughter.


We were at the Frankie Boyle kick some time ago, we did not take him


on in any way, we were just upset. Without going into great detail,


what was the nature of the joke? had quite a long piece on taking


the mickey out of people with Down's syndrome. Very different


from the Ricky Gervais piece this week. What was your response?


were disappointed that he was not funny. That is such a grown-up


response. The problem with him, he is not funny. Frankie Boyle has


said in the past he would like to be able to challenge society and


introduce progressive ideas through comedy. This is what he was failing


to do. He was reinforcing stereotypes. I would defend his


right to say whatever he wants, but I would also defend our right to


challenge some of those stereotypes. Have you got somebody on the webcam


with learning difficulties? No, we have contacted a comedian with a


disability, though, and we are hoping to speak to them later.


Should comedians make jokes about conditions like Down's syndrome,


about people with learning this of it -- learning difficulties?


Comedians should be able to make jokes about anything. Comedians are


not the people that make and the society, they are a result of the


society. As long as people with learning difficulties are excluded,


they will be the butt of jokes. Look back at Bernard Manning, it


was then acceptable to make jokes about race, and they have become


ostracised and irrelevant. That is a fair point, but when you come to


working out what is funny, Dietrich -- Dietrich is that you make people


laugh without causing offence. One of the poorest decisions the BBC


made was transmitting that opera. You did not play a single clip from


it, rightly. I do not see what is funny about putting Jesus Christ


anyone -- in a nappy, but I do not want to see anybody being killed


for putting the Prophet Mohammed in a cartoon. I thought the opera was


brilliant. What was funny about it? You can now have an argument about


what makes you laugh. I thought it was lampooning daytime television.


Once you get to a point where you allow the subjective decisions of


what people find taste for orphanage to dictate what we say in


public, what I find is interesting, I get nervous sometimes about the


fashion for Schalke jokes -- for shocking jokes. I think it is


infantile, and Frankie Boyle, he has gone out of his way to draw


attention to himself in a way that is not amusing. I want to talk to


Geoff. Somebody has raised the issue of whether you can be as


funny about Islam as you can about Christianity. Off course. The main


criteria is the intention. The Danish cartoon is a good example of


the intention being to cause offence, gratuitously, and not very


funny. Muslims were right to protest. Comedian should be able to


say whatever they want to say, as long as the intention is right. The


other day, I was heckled by a blind man. I said, has he gone yet?


have to be careful about intention. Unless you are going to start


reading minds, how well you know? The Cottee might have been in bad


taste, -- Cottee might have been in bad taste, but you do not know.


have to bring you the result of the text poll. We asked, did Gaddafi


deserve to die? 84% said yes. 16% said no. There is a majority


opinion who belief that it was justice. The one thing it was not


was justice. He died at the end of a brutal civil war, and for the


Libyan people, this is the right ending. It is like saying Osama Bin


Laden got justice. They get justice in the world that they inhabit.


got his just deserts. Yes, absolutely right. He chose to


murder in that way, so that is what comes. There is a small minority


who do not think that he deserved it, despite his crimes. We can all


have qualms about the way he died. I would want us to broaden it out


to have qualms about what is going on in Libya. What I am worried


about now is what happens in Libya. That is a big question to leave and


a debate on. I would like to thank all our guests. Lord Ian Blair,


Nick Ferrari and Claire Fox. Do not text or call again, because the


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