Is there a 'witch hunt' over harassment? Sean Fletcher and Emma Barnett discuss. Plus Naomie Harris talks about a new scheme for the homeless and Benjamin Zephaniah on Tai Chi.
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Welcome to Sunday Morning Live.
I'm Sean Fletcher.
On today's programme, a senior
cabinet minister resigns and other
MPs are under investigation.
But are we taking sexual
harassment seriously enough?
Celebrities gather to launch
a new scheme to provide
meals for the homeless -
James Bond movie star Naomie Harris
tells us why it's needed.
The idea of not having a roof over
your head, not having a warm meal in
your stomach, I just think in a
country as advanced as Britain
nobody should have two suffer that.
And poet Benjamin Zephaniah
reveals why he's been
studying Tai Chi in China.
You are not a body that has a spirit
or a soul. You are a soul that has a
All that coming up.
And Emma Barnett is here ready
to sample your views.
We want you to be
part of our debates.
You can contact us by
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don't forget to use
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please don't forget
to include your name so I can get
hear your views on the items
in the programme.
Martin Luther rocked the church
establishment 500 years ago -
and we'll be discussing
whether there needs
to be a new Reformation.
And we meet a young painter,
paralysed from the neck
down after an accident,
who has become an
inspiration to others.
Now any opportunity that comes to
me, I just say yes.
At least I can say I tried it.
First, it started in Hollywood,
but now the sexual harassment focus
has shifted to the House of Commons.
Defence Secretary Sir
Michael Fallon, one
of the most senor members
of the Government, has resigned.
And MPs from both Labour
and the Conservative parties
are under investigation over alleged
which they deny.
Tomorrow, the Prime Minister meets
opposition leaders to discuss
the introduction of a new grievance
procedure for Parliamentary
staff and MPs.
One backbencher said the scandal
was turning into a witch hunt.
But Labour MP Harriet Harman
responded that "it
isn't a witch hunt,
it's long overdue".
A short time ago on the Andrew Marr
show, Home Secretary Amber Rudd was
adamant they needed to be radical
changes in the way harassment is
What we have seen is the
abuse of power, in particular, and
the widespread cultural change that
needs to take place as we recognise
that. We will be recognising that.
We are going to be making changes
and it has to be -- it has to stop.
Joining us now to
give their views are
Sophie Walker, the leader
of the Women's Equality Party.
India Willoughby is a TV presenter.
Naomi Firsht is a journalist.
And Musa Okwonga
is a poet and writer.
Sophie, are you surprised by the
amount of revelations we have had?
No, not at all. This country voted
last year to take back control.
Women are taking back control now of
their bodies. They are refusing the
idea that this was ever acceptable.
It wasn't acceptable 15 years ago,
it is not acceptable now. And this
classic diversion into a discussion
about witch witch-hunt and hysteria
is just that. It is a diversion from
the fact that men know where to draw
the line. And they are not harassing
anybody who can fire them. They are
not harassing anybody in positions
of authority. That also reveals that
what this is about is a major
imbalance of power between men and
People say it is a witchhunt
because it is trial by Twitter,
trial by the Internet, before people
can give their side of the story?
No, what is happening is we are
using words we have had for
centuries whenever women challenge
the idea that popular powerful or
even ordinary men could also be
harassers and sexual abusers. They
say they are mad, they are liars,
this Be happening. When you look at
the specifics of these cases, these
are people who have reported, and in
most cases been told it is dealt
with, it has been dismissed, be
careful about your careers or be
careful what will happen to you
next... We have seen these women
being taken apart in the media. The
idea that these are women who are
looking for attention or somehow
victimising themselves given the way
that they are greeted is folly.
Naomi, Harriet Harman says it is
long overdue. Men will clean up
their act, they will sort themselves
out and this sort of behaviour won't
There is a bit of a trial by
Twitter going on. That is quite apt.
This is becoming a bit hysterical.
We are seeing more panic. What
worries me is that we are seeing
this conflation of very serious
allegations. These need to be dealt
with very seriously. We are also
seeing allegations of someone
touching someone's knee. Somebody
sending a text message that is at
worst sexually flirtatious. That is
not sexual harassment. We should not
be lumping these things together.
That denigrate serious crime like
rate. -- rape. It criminalises
innocent behaviour. Like flirty text
messages, which is not sexual
harassment. We need to draw the
This isn't so much as a
witchhunt than the tip of an
iceberg. It is a great opportunity
to have this conversation not just
in Hollywood in Westminster but in
relation to our own industry, spoken
As a man do you fear you are
being lumped in with this?
don't feel that. Unsolicited
advances, sexual harassment are all
branches of the century. They exist
on a continuum. Word-macro happens
when power is wielded a woman to the
nth degree. -- rape.
I don't think
you can say a 30 text messages on
the same level as a rape allegation.
You might get a flirty text message,
somebody groping you on the tube,
summary asking you out to dinner to
discuss a promotion. More than
likely you will get all of those,
this is about the two minute of the
fact. When we say that this is OK,
we also say that the stuff at the
other end is OK. And frankly, we are
living in a country where 11 rapes
are reported an hour, one in four
women have experience of domestic
abuse. 50% or more of women have
experienced sexual harassment at
work. We have to call this what it
is. Violence against women and girls
and it happens every layer of our
India, Ruth Davidson said
it is time to clear out the stables
with some pretty big shovels.
the same problem. If you get men and
women in close proximity, there will
always be flirting, affairs and
confusion over what signals are
given. Who would be a man at the
moment? Certainly not me. There is
an arrogance of biology at play
here. At the end of the day men are,
or male species throughout biology,
are the predators, women are seen
often as the more submissive side.
That is putting people in a box,
I think it is true.
not a predator.
Maybe not a predator
but the dominant species. I think it
is blown out of context. Nobody in
this panel will approve the likes of
Harvey Weinstein what he has been up
two. But when we are talking about
somebody touching somebody's need
ten years ago and they lose their
job, what are we going to do? Are we
going to prosecute people for
He was forcing himself
on people. He wasn't touching
people's needs. -- knees. It was a
deeply cynical move.
We're not going
I'm joined now by the former
Tory MP Edwina Currie.
been a picture painted throughout
the week of Westminster, people in
late-night bar is hanging out, far
from home. Why does there seem to be
so much six and flirting in the
Palace of Westminster?
probably a more accurate picture 40
years ago, or 30 years ago when I
first went in there as a young
member of Parliament. Not least
because in those days there were
only 23 women members of Parliament.
I don't recognise that picture now.
I have to say there is a script
flying around, and we have heard a
bit of it already, but says there
are two species of humanity. One is
men, one is women, and the men are
automatically predators and the
women are automatically victims. I
don't buy into that. It is not a
version of the House of Commons I
recognise and it is not a
description of the House of Commons
to date. Most of the people in there
are young. Most of the people in
there, most of the MPs, have come in
since 2010. There are very few older
and experienced MPs. And I really
felt for the Cabinet Minister,
Michael Fallon, who resigned this
week on the basis of a complete
scrap of rumour. It was absolute
nonsense. It was supposed to have
taken place in 2002. There was
another bid in the paper today, took
place in 2003. The journalist
concerned said he attempted to kiss
her at the end of a lunch. Was this
in public? The moment you start to
examine some of the allegations that
have resulted in good men resigning,
being put under pressure to resign,
they vanish into the air. It is not
all sunshine. There isn't an
Not all of them do. You are
not a current MP. It has been said
by political correspondents that
there is a generational divide,
actually, with some of the older
members of parliament being the ones
coming on this sort of scrutiny. You
cannot sit there and deny that all
of the allegations coming from
researchers who have at the moment
no system in place, the Prime
Minister has said this, to report
their MPs, you cannot deny all of
With due respect,
I can give -- do also to things if
you give me a moment. The list that
came out this week, more than 40
members of Parliament, many of those
allegations are ancient, going back
not ten years but 15 years or more.
Some of those are consensual.
Consent comes into a lot of this.
Some of these are not MPs at all.
The rape allegation, which is
serious, was about somebody who is
not an MP but is a party activist in
the Labour Party. You have to treat
the serious allegations seriously.
As the Prime Minister has set
herself, go to the police. You don't
go to the press. If it is serious,
go to the police. Journalists can
publish any rumour about anybody as
long as they don't name them. That
is what has been going on.
your take on it.
Thank you. Edwina says there is no
iceberg. Good men shouldn't be
losing their jobs based on rumours?
The word good is a dangerous word.
I work in the
spoken word community. My friends
have been overwhelmed with stories
of rape, in some cases of child
grooming by people are -- active in
the artistic community. Really this
to me is a grave problem. And I
reject the idea...
You are talking
about as if that is a major issue in
your demographic. Are you telling me
that among artistic people there is
a massive problem?
My point being
that this issue exists across
industries. It exists in the legal
world. I was a corporate lawyer by
training. I have a good friend who
lost her job through six
discrimination. It is a broad issue.
It is a structural problem.
really worried about the rhetoric I
am hearing about women, the
suggestion that all women are
victims or going to be victims. I
have been working in various
industries a decade now. This is not
my experience of work. This is not
my experience of the women I know.
Why would you call them hysterical?
I'm calling what is happening now
hysteria. I don't buy this idea that
all women are potential victims of
Who said that?
have to understand the context. I
think it is really important to note
that a parliament were sexual
harassment claims this big, is the
same Parliament that has been
cutting funding to domestic violence
refuges, pushing through austerity
policies that are making women
disproportionately poorer and
hurting them disproportionately,
that has not been dealing with the
on affordability of childcare and a
total lack of social care. And all
of these things are part of the same
continuum, which is failing to
understand the huge power imbalance
between men and women that we have
to tackle if we are to end this.
Let's see what men and women are
saying at home.
Yes, Natalie says it is all about
people learning to behave properly
with respect. All of my female
friends have been grabbed and groped
at work. We are finally seeing it as
a part of society we don't have to
put up with. Becky says men are
starting to see what women ever to
live with for years. But now
hopefully men see what we deal with
and can help to stop it. But Paula
says there needs to be a sense of
balance. I worry that some good men,
and they do exist, would be caught
up in this when they have done
nothing wrong. Debbie says it is an
absolute witchhunt. My son is
worried if these tortures somebody's
arm he will be labelled a crazed six
pest. Some men should be called out
but not -- but most don't.
Interesting, looking to the future,
in ten years' time when we have this
conversation, Sophie, will this be
seen as a watershed moment question
for me, certainly, I hope this
is the point where people realise
the UK feminist political not a
niche issue but fundamental to way
we do politics.
I'm worried about
the effect this is going to have on
men and women's relationships in the
workplace. I mean, let's not forget
that people date their colleagues
and marry their colleagues, people
flirt at work and they enjoy banter.
This kind of topic always lends
itself to ending up with more
regulation and I feel like we will
end up in a place where any
interaction between men and women in
the workplace is going to be
regarded as suspicious and that's
not a workplace I want to work in.
In ten years' time, I'm going to get
you together and see who is right!
Poet and performer Benjamin
Zephaniah once described himself
as an angry young man.
Now he says he's an angry old man,
riled about the injustices
in society that he still sees.
There is an epic in my ear, though
the novel in my navel, there is a
classic here somewhere.
You knew at
quite an early age that he wanted to
be a poet, about eight, is that
Yes, I always knew I wanted
to be a poet, even before I knew
what that was.
Where did it come
from? Orange maggot it was about the
love of words. I did not even know
the word poem or poet, I just knew I
loved the way that words rhymed,
love the way word could have a
different rhythm or meaning
depending on how you said it. Be
nice to your turkey this Christmas.
Don't eat it, keep it alive, it
could be your mate and not on your
plate, said, yellow, Turkey, man,
I'm on your side. There was a period
when I was... I got in trouble with
the law and all that kind of thing
so poetry really did save me. I've
got lots of friends who are turkeys
and all of them fear Christmas day
and they said, Ben, man, I want to
enjoy it. It is a Jamaican turkey!
When you were growing up, your mum
was a Christian, was it an important
part of your life? Width very
important, we were in church all the
time. They were churches with very
I think they
You grew up with your
Christian background and then you
move to raster Ferrari. What
prompted that? -- you moved to Dan
You can be political and
spiritual at the same time, Christie
de started me on the path and
Rastafari continued that and I've
got to a place now where I believe
in God without religion, God before
religion, if you like. I just
believe that God manifests her
through nature and through
meditation, we can get close to God.
Actually, we don't get close to God,
we become one with God.
Talk to me a
bit about meditation because I know
that is important to you, tai chi,
you spend a lot of time in China.
Tell me about where the interest has
It slows you down. It
calms you down. When you are so
relaxed because you have to be
really relaxed when you are doing
tai chi, there is something about
the consciousness that you have that
makes you realise that you are not a
body that has a spirit or soul, you
are a soul that has a body.
you started writing poetry because
you did not like poetry.
did you mean by that?
What I meant
was, there was a lot of poetry I was
getting at school that I just did
not identify with, you know. Some of
it was great poetry but it was the
way it was presented to me, and it
was, you know, there's no other way
of putting this, it was dead white
men. I wanted to create poetry that
was different from that. Here, the
past and future meet. This is no
ordinary street. Goodness gracious,
lo and behold, the greatness of the
You said you were an
angry young man. Are you still
Yes, I suppose I'm an angry
old man, now, still angry. I'm
surprised I'm still so angry. I
thought... There are so many issues
I thought would have been dealt with
by now. If you look at what people
are talking about right now as we
speak, the kind of abuse against
women in the workplace, wherever it
is, in politics, in the arts or
whatever, if you'd had asked me like
20 years ago, would we be here now,
I would say absolutely not, there
was a big feminist movement in the
70s, we were going to deal with
this. I just can't believe we are
back here. I cannot believe we are
talking about race almost every day
in the media and we talk about
dividing into religious groups and
nationalistic groups and all this
kind of thing. I thought the world
was coming together. I really
thought we were just going to have a
lovefest now. Black is not the
problem. Mother country, get it
right, and just for the record, some
of my best friends are white.
in 2003, you rejected an OBE. Can
you tell me about that?
really like talking about it because
I always say it is something I
didn't do, I didn't take it, order
of the British Empire, as soon as
you stop reading my poetry, you will
see that I'm against empire. How can
I say that I'm against slavery and
the link to Empire and then attach
it to my name? The day I should have
got my OBE, I was in a book shop in
east London talking to children.
That is where my heart is. Oh, no,
bless myself, clever Trevor's scored
a goal, so he runs up the pitch and
wriggles his botty...
searching for stroke charity or is
that something you have achieved?
have -- searching for spirituality.
I'm not searching any more. In the
80s I used to go to Jerusalem and
Jordan, all these places of
pilgrimage, to try to find myself
and all that kind of stuff. Now I
can find myself wherever I am. I'm
not on a spiritual quest any more.
What I really want now is... I look
at the world and I just want to make
the world a better place.
sounds good to me.
we could end with a line of your
poetry that you think reflects where
you are at right now. Your attitude.
A line of poetry? Thunder makes me
wonder, lightning makes me like, the
world's a mess but there is hope,
that is why I write.
Still to come on Sunday
the Muslim community action
group and how you can
qualify to join them.
You don't need to have a beard to be
part of Bearded Broz or be a Muslim,
we are just a scheme for people who
thought we wanted to do something
for our community.
Have you walked past a homeless
person on the street recently
and wondered whether you should
give them money?
That's a dilemma we'll
be discussing shortly.
First, let's hear about a scheme
launched this week in London
to direct people sleeping rough
to a place where they
can get a hot meal.
Comedians Lee Mack and Sean Lock
were at the launch event
to offer their backing,
along with actress Naomie Harris,
star of the James Bond films
and Pirates of the Caribbean.
I went along too,
in a supporting role.
Earlier this week, a group of
well-known celebrities gathered in
central London to help launch a new
website called NextMeal with the aim
of helping the capital's homeless
find the nearest place to get some
Normally, I get applause
when I walk out.
Movie star Naomie Harris, best known
for playing Miss Moneypenny in the
latest James Bond films, was at the
For me, the idea of not
having a roof over your head, not
having a warm meal in your stomach,
you know, I just think they're
rather think that in a country as
advanced as Britain, nobody should
have to suffer that.
The website is
the brainchild of Martin Stone, who
runs a soup kitchen at his church in
Muswell Hill. What exactly does the
It holds data on all the
provision for, you know, soup
kitchens, advice and support, in
London, so it tells you what
provision is there, what is open now
and it will help you at the instant
of your need.
Comedian Sean Lock is
one of Martin's neighbours and got
involved after he was approached to
help in Martin's soup kitchen.
obviously said, I will come up and
help out at some point. I didn't
mean it, obviously. I want to say at
this point, I'm not a good person, I
don't do lots of good charity work.
People knock on my door for
charities and I always have the same
excuse, I'm putting my kids to bed,
I does go, sorry, I'm putting my
kids to bed, even if it's 10:30am on
Saturday. I'm not one of the world's
roll your sleeves up, go out and do
good in the world. I mean to but I
never quite get round to it. I
always find a reason not to do it
but I went up there and did it.
Yes, washing up,
serving, collecting plate, chatting
to some of the homeless people who
go to the soup kitchen. My approach
was, "I've done that", like a
parachute jump. But I thought I
could not do this anyway but Martin
said there was another way to help,
he'd created this website, NextMeal,
based in London at the moment and a
lot of people said, what? Homeless
people have phones? Yes, they do. I
got involved with being to help out
in that way rather than the standard
of my washing-up.
And I'd see the
standard of his washing-up.
Fellow comedian Lee
Mack is on board.
I come here as
pretty much the Newby amongst
everyone because we first met when I
was on a James Bond film with you.
The scheme is also aimed at the
wider public and could offer an
alternative way they can help when
encountering someone who is sleeping
I am the person, really, that
the campaign is aimed at. I have
done the three things you could do,
give money, don't give money, or you
give money and then wonder if you've
done the right thing. When Sean
mentioned it, I wondered what the
correct thing was, what you are
supposed to do and coming here
today, I realised it is not that
black and white. It is not yes you
should or shouldn't give. It is the
third option if you choose to take
it, which is to say, "This will get
you a hot meal".
I think it's very
hard to walk past someone who is
asking if the money and seems to be
in need but the wonderful thing
about helping in the soup kitchen
that I learned was in fact, there
are many places like that in London.
There's no need for anyone in London
to ever go without a meal. Breakfast
is being served all the time, lunch
and dinner. You can have three
meals, hot meals in a day in London
at any time.
To publicise the
website, Londoners are encouraged to
hand out special information cards
to the homeless.
Even if you just
tell people there is a place called
NextMeal, a website, it is fairly
civil to remember.
And the other way
to do it is produced them by magic
and that is why I'm a light
You can actually do it!
You make these judgments, you start
making these judgments and you look
at the person, maybe not as a
person, you look at somebody and
think, is it a scam or is it
genuine? If it is genuine, do they
need the money for drugs or alcohol?
You went to this sort of labyrinth
of moral choices. What it does is...
I don't know the right word to use,
people who are not homeless, walking
past, it lets them know about this
huge network of volunteers, of
charities, not just charities, just
people providing free food to
homeless people in London.
The launch of the new
Let's discuss the broader
problems presented by people
sleeping rough now.
How should we help the homeless?
Joining me now are Matt Broomfield,
a writer and activist.
Jon Kuhrt, Chief Executive
of the West London Mission charity.
And Poppy Noor, a journalist
who used to be homeless.
Matt, starting with you. We have
heard about the dilemma in the film
that people face when I pass
somebody who is homeless. Do you
give or not? What do you say?
Mack said, it is not a black and
white issue but the message we are
handed from the government and media
is often that we must not give, we
must create a hostile environment
for homeless people on the street,
such that they feel the only option
they can follow is to go elsewhere
for help but in fact, I think, the
reasons people on the streets are
much more complicated and structural
than simply the fact somebody might
give them 50p as they sit outside
Tesco. You could as easily kill
someone by walking past and not
giving them money as you could by
giving them money, in that sense,
and it is important to tackle these
issues on a wider scale and at the
same time, to take people seriously,
when they say they need money, to
believe them and give them the kind
of dignity and respect they deserve
of handing them what they ask for.
So you say give money?
Yet, I think
so. Have a conversation.
people, it is estimated in London,
who are on the streets, have an
addiction of some sort. People will
think you are just giving money to
feed the addiction.
I think it is
facile and almost quite cruel to say
that the way an addiction is fed is
by either somebody handing that
money or someone asking for it and
taking it. As we know, the causes
and drivers of addiction are much
more structural and long-term and at
that point when someone is on the
street and asking for money, you
know they are going to get it
somehow, whether they are begging
for hours into the night or whether
they are committing crime, doing
dangerous sex work. They will get
People think the money is
leading the addiction in helping to
keep them in that state.
think that is true. The way to help
someone with an addiction is not,
you know, if someone in your family
had an addiction, you wouldn't just
cut them off. You would offer them
Would you give them money
to feed the addiction?
I don't like
the language of feeding the
addiction, the addiction is fed by
the poverty and their surroundings.
The thing is, social injustice is a
huge problem and that is what is
driving the rising numbers of
homeless people. But I just think
that the actual addiction is that
people face are fed by mindless, or
people seeking to be compassionate
but it's not being effective and we
should be kind and seeking to come
alongside people. That is what the
mission is all about, trying to help
people come off the streets but the
people who work on the front line,
I've been working with homeless
people for over 20 years, and Matt
is just wrong, that actually, the
addictions are fed by people handing
over cash and it gets in the way of
helping those people come off the
streets. Being on the street is so
Once you give the money, it is their
Is all about understanding
the terribly warping effects
addiction has. It has affected my
family as well. Matt said if a
member of your family was affected.
My cousin was struggling with heroin
addiction for 20 years. It did him
no good to have money, the money
that he scrounged off people, did
him no good. That caused damage. He
died this Christmas. It was the
terrible reality that so many people
face. The tragic reality is that
people are struggling through a
whole range of issues and we have to
focus on how we help them to come
off the streets.
It is a very
complex picture, isn't it? Not all
people who beg are homeless and vice
versa. It is more complicated.
first of all I would ask how you
find out that 80% of people begging
on the street are addicted to drugs.
There are a lot of different forms
of homelessness. People don't
necessarily sit in one place and
beg. They may travel back and forth
on bass -- on buses. It is not all
about people asking for money for
the next hit. You might be as in my
situation young and vulnerable and
you can't live at home any more.
There is a broader question. In
between somebody being homeless and
has not been given money, if there
aren't enough services, if the right
places for people to go, and
homelessness is rising massively and
there aren't enough places for
everybody, if we stopped giving to
everybody, not everybody will find a
bed that night. There is a question
about how we decide how people
should deal with their misery,
they're cold and discomfort, and how
they should live their lives in that
I'm joined now by someone
who once was homeless,
and is now a member of the House
of Lords - John Bird, founder
of The Big Issue magazine.
written previously that people
should not give cash to those on the
street. Do you still have that view?
I have had all sorts of views. I
started by believing it was better
to give the people on the streets
because there wasn't enough revision
from all the organisations. I moved
on to changing my mind and saying
that actually it's not a good idea
to keep people on the streets. What
I think the real problem is the fact
that if you don't give the people on
the street, is the provision there
for them to get off the streets? My
argument, the reason I went into the
House of Lords, is to dismantle
poverty, to stop poverty from
happening, preventing property. --
poverty. All of the debates are
always around accepting the fact
that people should street -- Street
on the streets. And should be added
begging. I would go back to removing
people from the street and putting
them in a place of safety. As far as
my experience is concerned, most of
the people I know on the streets are
either having mental health problems
or will for as long as they are on
the streets. This is a national
health issue. This is not just
about, can we do this, can we do
that? It is a real big issue. The
big issue, what are we going to do
about those poor people who are
dying before us? What I want is the
government to put money into places
of safety. Not the old mental
institutions. When they close down
in 1985, the streets filled up
almost immediately. I want to extend
this argument. The A&E department
has moved to our streets. And I
really regret that.
In the meantime,
when people are walking past those
who are homeless, perhaps today,
what should they do? They are at
with your power.
I'm sorry, it is up
to you. I agree with the chap who
says it is not black and white. I
agree with him. This is not black
and white. You have to try to engage
with that person. I always talk to
homeless people. I give money to
homeless people when I can help
them. But the problem is, the reason
I started the big issue was because
I wanted to lift people out of
begging, because begging screws your
Thank you. You have been
getting in touch. Erin says if she
see someone on the street when she
is grabbing lunch, she doesn't
hesitate to pick some lunch up for
them. Human interaction, that goes a
long way. Stewart says there are
loads of empty buildings all over
the country, give the property
owners in a 100% business rape
relief that if they allow empty
buildings to be used as shelters.
Another one from Sara Ogilvie says
the problem is some of the homeless
are Thomas. They are beggars looking
for money to get going. Yes, the
genuine ones do need help, but who
is genuine and it was not? And other
wants to help people wants to help
themselves. You can get off the
streets with hard work and
determination. I know, I did it. Now
I want to help those who wanted.
Nathan says scrap foreign aid until
there is no more homelessness. We
seem to care about others than
helping are wrong. Why do we vote?
For our own downfall. Thank you.
One of the things John Bird
mentioned was that if we are told
not to directly give to someone who
is homeless, we should not give that
as an excuse not to give at all.
That is the problem, people say, it
is not my problem.
should be giving and we should be
involved in this issue. And we
should be angry about how rough
sleeping has increased in the last
five years. It is a scandal. And
giving time and thoughtfully
encouraging people to make use of
the services that are available.
There is a shortage of hostel beds,
there is a shortage of affordable
housing. There isn't a shortage of
food. As Naomie Harris said, there
are places where people can go. I
would urge people when engaging with
someone who is sleeping rough, there
is a phone number people can form
where the outreach services can be
connected, but also to go to the
churches, the Centre is available
locally, where they can start making
the steps to come off the streets.
Poppy, you were nodding during John
Bird's interview. You spend time on
the street yourself.
I haven't. I
lived in hostels. There are lots of
different types of homelessness.
That is why you have to judge had on
a case to case basis. -- judge it.
Not everybody will want the money
for drugs. There could be loads of
reasons why they are asking.
either be the kind of person who
gets to the end of the week and
thinks, no -- good, nobody fooled me
today by being a fake homeless
person. Or maybe you say, maybe
somebody did trick me but I know
that I helped.
I am afraid we are out of time.
Thank you all very much.
Now to a group of unique
The Bearded Broz began as a group
of friends clearing up
rubbish in Birmingham.
Since then, with their hi-vis
waistcoats and high energy approach,
they've become a familiar
and welcome sight around
the West Midlands.
Despite the name, having a beard
isn't a criteria for entry -
so Mehreen Baig was able to spend
a day as an honorary Bro.
Meet The Bearded Broz. They began as
Muslim volunteers who got together
in the summer to clear rubbish left
on the streets during the Birmingham
Ideally what you should
be doing is going to the tip.
then, they have swelled in numbers
and taken on other projects like
tidying up city parks. And everyone
is welcome to join.
You don't need
to have a beard. You don't have to
be Muslim. We were just a scheme of
people who thought, let's do
something for our community. It is
not going to stop here.
One of the
schemes are helped to run is a food
bank for needy families. Imran, one
of the founders, is manning the
Thanks, brother. God
bless. Bye-bye. What we have is a
refugee family, two children, a
three-year-old and 11-year-olds.
They haven't got any food. They have
been without money since September.
Social services have recommended we
help these people.
This must be
difficult because you are faced with
the stories on a regular basis?
Absolutely. It is heartbreaking. A
lot of our volunteers, a lot of
people are left in tears.
where the food is kept? Sugar,
biscuits, pasta or writes.
family is mum and dad and two
children. They will get four these.
That would be sufficient for seven
to eight days. Rice pudding is
extremely good for kids.
good. It is winter. It is cold. That
will warn them up.
Yeah. What you
see here now you will not see
Some people so close to
home are having this for breakfast,
lunch and dinner every day. It
really highlights how grateful we
can be and it is quite unsettling.
It makes you think about all the
food you have wasted. All of the
food you have moaned about. I'm
sorry, I'm going to cry. Imran works
hard but feels it is a duty.
Muslim is not a Muslim if he goes to
bed satisfied while his neighbour
emergency passes around the city day
and night. -- The Bearded Broz. Have
you ever had people, where you have
turned up on the doorstep, and they
have seen that you are a Muslim and
they are quite nasty?
No. We have
gone to the door and their like, my
God, I didn't know Muslims like you
existed. I think people have a very
narrow minded tunnel vision of
Muslims. And I think this sort of
thing really brings it home to say,
hold on, not everybody is the same.
Inbee Park the team is going strong.
No time for a chat.
thought I was running the show.
volunteers joined The Bearded Broz.
Contacted him. I came out the next
Imran has done a lot for us. We
are trying to give back and see what
-- what we can do to help.
great to be here to help Imran. At
the end of the day he helped me, so
off I can help him, all the better,
I am trying really hard to
turn my life around. This gives me
out of trouble.
When I have been in
this situation people and help me.
It is nice to stop other people from
getting themselves in big trouble
and ending up on drugs.
Now read is
one of the founders of the group.
Within nine to five job, fitting in
volunteer work is a challenge.
say, I'm just popping out for a few
minutes. Then a clearer view
streets. It is like being Superman.
You put your high visibility jacket
on, you run round the corner, and
you do your work. It is not easy.
You guys have done really well.
Nature is natural and having rubbish
about is making it look untidy and
it is not very nice. People like us
need to clean it up.
We are the
decent people. Let's carry on
cleaning. There is plenty of litter
but it can hold hidden dangers.
have to be careful where you step on
what you pick up. You pick up a
crisp packet then there could be a
couple of needles in there.
Name-macro may be relatively small
but they are doing a big job by
pulling the community closer
-- The Bearded Broz. I'm
really happy that other people are
coming to this and they are saying,
this is our community and we are
going to do something about it. As
you can see, it's across the board.
The community cohesion is there.
This is what I almost -- always
dreamt of and we have got it.
This week marked 500 years
since the German scholar and monk,
Martin Luther, started
the Reformation by hammering
95 theses to the door
of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.
Luther felt the Catholic Church had
moved away from the teaching of God
and was corrupt.
His actions set in motion the
formation of the Protestant Church.
On Tuesday, a group called the
Protestant Truth Society took out
a full page advert in
the Daily Telegraph saying that
Britain needs reformation today.
It suggested that, just
as in Luther's time,
today's society has turned away
from the teachings of the Bible.
So are they right -
do we need a new Reformation?
Here to discuss that
are Duncan Boyd, the Director
of the Protestant Truth Society,
who placed the advert
in the Telegraph.
Ariane Sherine, a comedian
and writer who was part
of the UK's first ever atheist
And Rabbi Jonathan Romain from
Maidenhead Synagogue is a writer
and interfaith campaigner.
Duncan, you are part of the society
that called for the new Reformation
this week. What is so wrong with
modern society that we need a
Well, we can see that
there are a lot of problems in
Britain today. We don't live in a
society which is without ethical
questions, without ethical problems.
People have many questions about
these things and the two other
debates that you've had on the
programme before on homelessness and
sexual harassment, raised ethical
questions so people have a question
about what is right and wrong. The
Protestant Reformation was important
because it said that the answer to
those questions are found in what
God says to us. There is an
objective standard of right and
wrong. That objective standard is
not set by us. It is set by God. If
you want to know what God says, what
the standard is, you need to read
Ariane, if we were more
religious, we would be a better,
more moral society?
absolutely not, religious people
don't have a monopoly on morality.
We live in a beautiful country and
it is so ethnically diverse and
socially progressive. We are more
liberal than ever. We have equal
rights for gay people to marry and I
believe this is something that
Duncan wanted to put in his advert,
that gay people shouldn't be allowed
to get married and I think that is
wrong. He says there are ethical
debate and he's coming down on the
wrong side of all of the debates,
for gay rights, abortion and
euthanasia, to name but three.
Jonathan, is an established church a
good or bad thing?
Actually, I think
it does quite well in two centres.
Firstly, it is a source for ethics,
not the only one by any means but it
is able to hold up truth to power
and able to hold an ethical
scorecard, even to government and
secondly, it's a very good at every
now and then expressing a national
will. It may not capture everybody's
mood on a Sunday morning but for
those big occasions, it has got the
right tools, Thanksgiving, a
coronation aura when it -- or a
wedding, expressing morning at a
funeral. We are at age 's pointed
today where frankly, in some ways,
the church has failed because
churches are emptying and it has
lost the country due to have 100
years ago but on the other hand,
people still have religious
inclinations and asked the big
questions. Who am I? Where am I
going? What is it for? Perhaps
Duncan is right, we need a
Reformation but the church needs to
look in the mirror and say, "What
are the good things and where have
we gone wrong?" Maybe the problem
is, people believe in the ethics and
morality but not necessarily the
We were let Duncan picked
up on that. But first, let's see
what people are saying ten. Jed
says, Brittany direct mission but
not in terms of our superstitious
past, we need to develop the new
enlightenment that is happening
naturally". Karen says, "Anything
that cap present the teachings of
the Bible in a modern, non-fusty way
can only be a good thing. If we can
no learn and live good lives from
the Bible 's word, surely we will
Duncan, what are you worried about
if we don't have a Reformation now?
Wright I think British society would
cover much more ugly place. People
will become more selfish.
agreeing with Jonathan that the
heart of the Christian faith is the
Christian gospel, so the heart of it
is a theological truth, Jesus Christ
was God incarnate. If you wish to
come to know the God who made you,
you need to repent of your sins and
put your faith in Jesus Christ, it
is called theological truth but I
think also the Ten Commandments, I
think are of abiding, universal
authority. The Ten Commandments are
regression of two other
commandments, when Christ was asked
by a Pharisee, what are the most
important commandments, he quoted
from Leviticus and Deuteronomy and
from Deuteronomy is, "You shall love
the Lord your God with all your
heart, all your mind, all your soul
and all your strength", and the
quote from Leviticus 19 is commie
"You shall love your neighbour as
yourself". If we all adhere to those
standards, we will have a better
Ariane, you are shaking
head and if you had a Reformation, I
suppose you would get rid of
I think everyone has the
right to believe what they want but
these are problematic ideas, the
idea of sin, you believe in original
I have a six-year-old
daughter, she's wonderful, she's
never seen me on TV before so hello,
Lily, she's the most innocent,
funny, sweet girl and of course she
is naughty but this idea that
children are born evil and people
are born evil, I mean, I spent my
childhood being told by my dad that
I was bad and wrong and disgusting
and revolting and eventually I ended
in a -- in an abusive religion
should because that is what happens
when you tell people they are
worthless, when people grow up
believing they are inherently bad
and I think that is morally
reprehensible and the idea that
Christians have amorality --
monopoly on morality, look at Donald
Trump and the majority of the Tory
party are Christian and they are not
improving people's lives.
created in the image of God and so
is your daughter. That means she is
of infinite value. You're quite
right, I believe in the doctrine of
original sin but it teaches two
things, one is that we are created
beings, God made us, we did not make
God made us and that
means your daughter is of infinite
value in the eyes of God. That it is
also true that the Bible teaches
that we have a corrupt nature. We
have a balance towards sin. It is
not saying your daughter is
worthless, original sin does not
Let's talk about
Ariane's daughter or theology too
much. Jonathan, are you optimistic
religion can thrive in the future,
when we have this conversation,
looking back, will it be very
I think religion has a
curious opportunity at the moment,
precisely because local pubs,
village halls and community centres
are growing but churches and other
religious institutions are
wonderfully placed to offer a place
of community and I think that is
what people want, community and
camaraderie and fellowship with an
ethical base. They are not really
into doctrine which is why churches
are emptying. It is almost as if
people want to believe but find they
can't believe what is on offer so
maybe the church, if you don't mind
me saying so, as do sort of change
horses a bit and concentrate on the
community and play to its strengths,
not some of its weaknesses.
you for joining us.
In 2009, 17-year-old
Henry Fraser was enjoying life.
He loved sport and was
a promising rugby player.
But an accident in Portugal
while on holiday with friends
changed everything, leaving him
paralysed from the neck down
and facing challenges
he could never have imagined.
Wendy Robbins went to meet Henry
to find out how he rebuilt his life
Eight years ago, everything in Henry
Fraser's life changed. An accident
left him paralysed from the neck
down. But that hasn't stopped him
from pursuing new goals and dreams.
Hi, Henry. How are you? VERY good,
thank you, how are you? Very well,
lovely colours. The injury that left
Henry paralysed was caused by a
split-second of bad luck while on
holiday with friends in Portugal.
woke up late, down to the beach,
very hot day, me and two other guys
went to run to the water to cool
down. I ran to what I thought was a
good depth and I dived forward but
where I dived, the sea bed was very
undulating and I dived in and banged
my head straight into the sea bed. I
opened my eyes to be looking down
and my arms were just dangling in
front of me, not able to move at
all. After that point, I thought
that was it for me. Two of my mates
dragged me onto the beach and from
then on, kind of, everything
His mum Francesco remembers
vividly the day she found out about
the severity of her son's injury.
remember the time, I got a call at
5:30am from one of the parents and
as soon as you hear it is one of the
parents of the boys your son is away
with, immediately just get that
feeling much your whole body just...
Is aware that something is not
right. He told us Henry had had an
accident. We just booked the next
You must have been
It's really weird. You
just go into motion, you just go
into the process. Once we got to
hospital and then found the
intensive care unit, we were waiting
and waiting and then the surgeon
comes in and he immediately told us
our son was quadriplegic and would
be for the rest of his life. So my
instant reaction was to scream and
he basically said, "Mrs Fraser, your
son needs you now more than ever, so
have control", and I did. OK.
months after the accident, Henry
caught sight of his own reflection
for the first time.
I looked at it
and said, "That's not me". I had
lost four stone. I just lost it. I
was just crying, staring at the
ceiling, then kind of just thought,
"Well, there's no point in being
sad, it has happened, I may as well
just get on with it". From that day,
my mindset completely changed, from
that day, I could focus on what I
needed to focus on and avoid
anything negative or pointless or
anything that would not help me
Henry is determined to
make the most of the very few
movements he is capable of, using
the only working muscles he has at
the back of his neck and it is those
same neck muscles which now allow
him to express himself so
creatively. How did it start? What
made you think, "I'm going to put a
paintbrush in my mouth and paint
It all started because I
had a sore on my back so I was stuck
in bed for a few weeks and was
getting really bored, and thought I
would find something to draw with,
something different to do. It
started that way, kind of, very
basic drawings, and then when I was
well enough to get out of bed, I
came downstairs and was using
pencils, and a few months after
that, I was given this easel so I
could use paint and paint brushes.
What do you get out of painting in
It kind of gives me a
freedom and an independence, I can
sit here without needing anyone to
come in and check on me and if I
need help -- I don't need help with
paint or changing brushes, sometimes
I can sit for hours in my own world,
doing what I want, what I love. That
is really why I love it and enjoy
Life today couldn't be
more different from Henry's teenage
years in so many ways.
accident, I was very physically
strong but mentally weak, I used to
say. I turned down so many
opportunities I was given. I was too
scared to do them and I was too
scared of failing. Now any
opportunity that comes to me, I will
say yes, and if I fail, it doesn't
matter, at least I can say I tried.
Now he has a full life, juggling his
two passions, motivational speaking
and his art. You are an inspiration
now to so many other people but what
inspires you? What makes your life
I get to wake up and do
a job, and jobs that I really love
and really enjoyed and when I look
at my life in that way, I consider
myself very lucky. Honestly, I'm
never down about my situation. I
like trying to push myself now,
whether it be during physio or with
art. It has given me that joy, that
love for creating a painting and
drawing. If I hadn't had the
accident when I was going through
school, I would have given up art.
It has given me a gift because I
have been given some incredible
opportunity through my art. I had my
first ever public exhibition last
summer. The Times commissioned me to
do a piece for their front cover for
the Rugby World Cup two years ago.
I've met some incredible people
through it as well. It has kind of
taken over and given me so much.
Henry Fraser, an inspiration.
That's all from us for this week.
And for this series
of Sunday Morning Live.
We hope you've enjoyed
it as much as we have.
Many thanks to all our guests
today and throughout
the series, and you at home
for all of your contributions.
For the last time this year,
it's goodbye from everyone
here in the studio, and the whole
Sunday Morning Live team.
Is there a 'witch hunt' over harassment? Sean Fletcher and Emma Barnett lead debate. Plus James Bond actress Naomie Harris on why she is helping to launch a new scheme for the homeless, and poet Benjamin Zephaniah on why Tai Chi has given him inner peace.