Episode 7 Sunday Morning Live

Episode 7

Similar Content

Browse content similar to Episode 7. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



On today's programme: High street chemist Boots is under


pressure to cut the price of morning after pills.


But should we make them easier to buy?


The UK spends more than ?12 billion on foreign aid.


In tough times here, is it time to slash that bill?


And we talk to Stephen McGann, Dr Turner from Call The Midwife.


This place has been at the forefront of so many developments in


artificial limbs. It has been the best in its field since the First


World War. This has been a very different job to any other job I


have done. I love it. And Emma Barnett is here,


ready to let you have your say. The story about the morning


after pill has certainly got people going this week, so do send


us your thoughts on that. Should it be easier to buy? That is


the question. You can contact us by


Facebook and Twitter. Don't forget to use


the hashtag #bbcsml. Or text SML followed


by your message to 60011. Texts are charged at your


standard message rate. Or email us at


[email protected] However you choose to get in touch,


please don't forget to include your name so I can get


you involved in our discussions. And you may want to comment on the


story of the Muslim man abused and threatened after announcing his


same-sex wedding. I don't regret going public at all. Since our story


came out, we have had plenty of people contacting me and Sean,


people who are hidden, people who are scared and alone. They've said,


we have seen your story, we have read your story, it is


heart-warming. First, Boots the chemist has found


itself in the middle Morning after pills, used to prevent


unwanted pregnancies, are sold at the high street giant


for around twice what some rival When challenged about the pricing


policy by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service,


Boots originally said it was avoiding incentivising


inappropriate use. The company has since apologised


for its "poor choice of words" and says it is looking


for cheaper options. The pills are free from the NHS


but the Pregnancy Advisory Service says some women need emergency


contraception and cost is an issue. Joining us now to discuss this


are Clare Murphy from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service,


Ruth Rawlins from the Centre For Bioethical Reform


UK, Anthony McCarthy from the Society For The Protection


Of Unborn Children, and Afua Hirsch, As a result of this row, some High


Street stores are selling cheaper versions of the pill. Surely that is


available, women should have it for a cheaper price? We know that


widespread use of the morning after pill does not reduce abortions and


people are interested in reducing abortions. People don't know that


the morning after pill may cause an early abortion. Women are not told


about this and they were not really told about the increased risks of


ectopic pregnancy until the Chief Medical Officer intervened. I think


this is a very worrying development. I think women are not being cared


for and they are being kept in the dark. I would really like to respond


to that. Clinically that is nonsense. It is fine for you to have


a moral objection to women accessing the morning after pill, although I


think you are absolutely wrong, but it is really problematic when you


start mixing up clinical facts with moral misinformation. What do you


mean? The morning after pill is not an early abortion. That is nonsense.


It works by delaying ovulation so that women don't get pregnant. In


the first place. And on the ectopic pregnancy, the morning after pill


reduces the risk of ectopic pregnancy by reducing the risk of


pregnancy altogether. I think this is a moral issue insofar as we


actually have a moral obligation to ensure that women have a second


chance of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy. Let's talk about the


broader point. Is it for the retailer to decide what the price


should be? I think the retailer can absolutely decide what the price can


be but I think people also have the right to understand the reasons for


that retailer keeping the price high. Boots is obviously a company


which has put women at the forefront of its marketing exercises. It very


much seems to stand for female empowerment. People really responded


quite furiously when they saw... Women don't need to go there. They


don't. And I think women will be voting with their feet until this


issue is resolved. So why not just let the women vote with their feet?


We want women to be able to access an affordable product and Boots is a


key player in this market. Most people live near one of their stores


and it is important that they do the right thing on this. They initially


said they didn't want to incentivise inappropriate use by reducing the


price and they have since said sorry for their poor choice of words.


Should a retailer be making moral judgments? In a letter it is also


interesting to note that they also talked about the fact that some of


their customers do not support this service of the morning after pill.


It is not true to say that all women are wanting it on demand. Some of


their customers are clearly not supporting the use of the morning


after pill. They have got to balance the different opinions of their


customers. I think it is important to point out, as Anthony said, it is


not just the contraception side of it. It can also end the life of an


already formed human being. The science of embryology tells us that


life begins at conception. When that egg is fertilised, you have got a


new human being and that is one of the secondary ways that this bill


can also work. So if it can end the life of an already formed human


being, at this early stage, I think this is very important information


that women need to know. I don't know why some of the abortion lobby


and Claire and BPAS want to hide this information. This is not a


debate about abortion. The way the morning after pill usually works is


by delaying ovulation. But it can work in other ways. The hormone it


affects plays a role in ovulation and apparently it was for accepting


a fertilised egg. What do you make of this? I am like to think that I


am coming from this as the perspective of a normal woman. I


considered whether I would say that I have taken the morning after pill


and then I wondered why I was questioning it. At some point in


their lives, many women need to take emergency contraception and there is


no need to be ashamed about that. As women we want to have control over


our lives and reproductive health. It is interesting that the debate


has been so much about information. Women want information. The idea


that retailers should restrict access to this is muddled thinking.


Women are already worried about taking the morning after pill. They


don't take it necessarily and they take it very seriously, and it would


be as widely available as possible so women can make up their own


minds. You are in good company because 300,000 people are provided


with emergency contraception every year. Many people are doing it. Did


the price put you off and did you regret it? If you need emergency


contraception you will probably go to whatever lengths. I remember


paying ?25 some years ago. It made it more difficult to take it and my


worry is that the price at the moment in retailers like Boots, up


who are charging more than they need to, is disproportionately affecting


low income women. This is muddled thinking. If something is available


and it is safe to be available on the shelf, then it should be as


affordable and accessible as possible. If there is a need to


restrict it for medical reasons and we should hear that and it should be


the same across the board. This is a confusing situation that alienates


women from having choice over their bodies. We have a medical expert


with us. Benedict Lam is a pharmacist trained


to prescribe emergency hormonal contraception to adult women


and teenagers below the age of 16. Let me ask you this first, which has


come up in the debate in the studio. Morning after pill, it may cause an


abortion, as claimed by one of our panellists. What is the clinical


view of that? In our view, the emergency hormonal contraception


pill is not equivalent to an abortion pill. It does not actually


cause an abortion. The main way that it works is by delaying ovulation


and preventing fertilisation. That is the clinical view. It is around


?6 to buy this pill in France and British women are paying up to ?28


in this country. Do you think it is unethical that pharmacists have


charged more for it as a deterrent? I think it is unfortunate that this


has erupted in the public arena and Boots has got involved in a


difficult conversation. I think that initially back in the 2000s when the


tablet was first reclassified to be made available in pharmacies, there


was a statement from the original manufacturer of the morning after


pill, which did indicate the high price that was set was to ensure...


To try to discourage women from using it regularly. So the high


price was used originally as a deterrent. Have you seen it as a


deterrent? Is there any evidence at a price point. The woman coming


forward to get the morning after pill in your many consultations with


women? -- is there any evidence that the price point stops women coming


forward? I have worked with women for many years. Sometimes when I


tell people the price they ask if there is a cheaper version. More


vulnerable people ask me if we provided for free. In England, some


community pharmacies provide this tablet for free under what we call a


local patient group directions scheme. That is usually funded by


local boroughs and councils. Thank you for that insight and the


clinical definition of what this bill does. Anthony was shaking his


head through that. You might not agree morally, but surely unwanted


pregnancies, it is a good way of avoiding them? In fact what we find


is that the morning after pill, which can have the abortion effect


according to the manufacturers, that is a clinical opinion, the morning


after pill does nothing to reduce abortion. Where they have been


freely available, in a number of studies we have seen rises of


sexually transmitted diseases, and no good effect on teen pregnancy.


Even if you are focusing particularly on the pill, it is not


doing what one would hope it would do, even if you thought it was an OK


thing to do. It is giving women choice. You are talking about giving


it to underage girls, for goodness' sake. That helps abusive


environments and it encourages risk-taking. And there is a great


lack of information. It prevents a 13-year-old from having a baby when


she is effectively a baby herself. If you look at the Bristol case


review in 2016... It doesn't encourage abuse. As a matter of fact


there is evidence of people using morning after pills to cover up


abuse. I think we should look for 13-year-olds not to be having sex,


we should look for something much more positive, rather than shoving


dangerous hormonal contraceptives like that at them, and putting them


on the abortion track. All of this blights people's lives. I am not


connected to the lobby on either side of this but it strikes me,


listening to Anthony, that his group is against more sex and education


for children in schools to teach them about healthy relationships so


that they don't need to take emergency contraception. For me, you


inform people but then if they need the medication, it should be


available. Then we should inform them of the risks. It has got the


panel going! And everybody at home as well. Barbara on Facebook says


the pill should be more readily available. Accidents happen and it


is not the role of the chemist to act as a guardian to people's


morals. David on Facebook saying that rich women can


be trusted to act responsibly but not the poor. Women don't take


morning after pills for the fun of it. And a nice incentive to have


unprotected sex? It should be ?10,000 per pill rising by ?10,000


every time you need one. Helen saying that women need to take


responsibility and not concede any babies they don't want to look


after. The morning after pill is a chemical abortion. Stephanie on


Twitter says when she was a student she was caught in this position. It


is mortifying and expensive and we should not be hit with a double


whammy for a minor indiscretion. The final word goes to Sarah. If men had


to take emergency contraception, the price would plummet. I know you all


want to say something but we are out of time. Thank you.


The McGann brothers from Liverpool have become an acting


The youngest of the fab four is Stephen McGann.


He plays the over-worked and over-stressed Dr Turner in the BBC's


But he found himself in a real-life medical drama


when his wife Heidi nearly died after a serious infection.


He's just written a book about his life and career and


# Just how wonderful you are # And I am so in love with you.


I would like him in now. We always talk about what an actor brings to


roll. We really talk about what the role leaves in terms of traces in


the actor. In Doctor Turner in Call The Midwife, what do you come away


with playing him? Does it change in anyway? It does. This has been a


very different job to any I have done. I love it. This place has been


at the forefront of so many developments in artificial limbs. It


has been the best in its field since the First World War. The passions


that fired the early years of the NHS service and here we are in the


NHS in crisis, thinking, what should we do? It is all about bean


counting. I sure like Call The Midwife, with characters like his,


it is very important. It is not so long ago and it takes you back into


the not so distant past. We will not tell you what to do, but here are


some of the psychological ideas that informed while we made this large


form of cradle to grave social care. That stays with me and that has been


a great gift. She wanted to make sure you were all


right. All right? How could anyone not be all right after seeing that?


It is quite hard to look at, I give you that. They say that the changes


the people around you but not you as an individual. When it is four


Brothers experiencing fame at different levels at different times,


how did that affect the dynamic in the family? Initially it was very


difficult. It is like the $64,000 question. Was there a rivalry? Had


to do not be? What is the experience like, being with all your brothers,


working together? It was brilliant, we were also co-producers. God


forgive us. He is coming. But it was a really interesting watershed


moment. At that point, the penny dropped for all of us. Although we


would work together and do lots of other things at various times over


the years, we were not really a family business. Our destiny was not


together. We did not feel it. By the end of that programme, we had


scratched that itch, we felt we had finished a certain thing. We were


different people who wanted to do different things. Some people would


look at you and your brothers and see the success you have made of


your lives and not know of the anxiety that you went through, just


to step onto a stage. When I began acting at 19, I had a dark secret


inside. I was suffering inside from an anxiety problem. I had a mental


problem. I had agoraphobia, feed of public praises. Then I get a break


in acting, they give me a chance to be in a musical, and it looked


fantastic, but I had this inner problem. Described to me what the


first few minutes felt like when you walked on stage for the first time?


I was still trying to recover from agoraphobia. This was the opening


night of this musical. It was at the Astoria theatre in London's West


End. I knew I could peep through the stage and see the critic from the


Guardian, members of Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran. I could see people who


had come to be entertained and I was the entertainment. When I stepped


out, everything in my mind was seeing, run home, go away. The idea


of going onto a West End stage with that condition, it horrible. It is a


feed of public places. The idea of walking in front of strange eyes, it


gives you nightmares. I walked out and I can see my foot steps on the


wood, as I put one foot after another. There is this other thing


behind the screaming, the real me, I gentler voice going, you will be all


right. If I did not open my mouth then and start, all of this would


not be here. It was that moment and the minute I could open my mouth, I


knew I would be OK. Did that give you better coping mechanisms when


you were faced with the greatest trial of your life, facing the fact


that you may lose your wife? Heidi was very ill. I was going to be a


widower with a one-year-old child. I cried like a baby. Did I face it


strongly, did I face it with a stiff upper lip? No, I cried and sobbed


until I stopped. I stopped and she recovered. After that, things have


never been quite the same for either of us. To confront that together, I


find a privilege to have survived that. We make a lot more of our life


now. We really do. It is not just sentiment. Being raised a Catholic


but describing yourself as an agnostic, in those moments with


Heidi, did your Catholicism, slamming -- come flooding back?


Flooding back. In the darkness, the whole shebang. If you do this for


me, Lord, I promise you, I will do this. It was me talking to fate and


the divine and everything. All the other things were stripped away.


Whatever that is, does it mean I am deeply... ? I do not know. I am


still agnostic. When we are stripped away, life becomes really


metaphysical. The really important things are left on the table and


everything else is thrown away. I am grateful to have experienced that.


Thank you so much. My pleasure. Still to come on Sunday Morning


Live: Is singing good for the soul? I think that moving and singing at


the same time fires all these brilliant brain neurons.


The UK spends more than ?12 billion on foreign aid,


which goes towards tackling extreme poverty, and other areas.


But the National Audit Office has expressed concerns about the system


for monitoring aid spending and says there is a danger some


So are we spending too much on foreign aid


and could the money be used better here?


Joining us now are Nick Ferrari, a journalist, Amy Dodd from UK Aid,


a journalist and researcher, and Katherine Dixon, a former


Britain is committed to spending over ?12 million from its national


income on foreign aid. It puts us in the top five. We should be proud of


that, chewed and we? No, it is nonsense. There are many reasons why


this should not be done, not least the people who are recipients of the


cash. There is no audit trail. David Cameron once said that Afghanistan


was famously corrupt and we happily give them millions of pounds. NHS


demand is going up. Some of the viewers will not be able to get


drugs that could prolong the life or is the suffering because we have not


got enough cash. This winter, 30,000 elderly people died because they


cannot turn up the gas and we are sending


billions of pounds. Would you honestly look after next's children


if you could not look after your own? That is what we stupidly do.


Some of what you're saying is not true. We have a good sense of where


the aid budget goes. We could make it more effective and we should be


focused on that. The British people care about people overseas and we


should contribute to others. We work in some of the most challenging


environments. Some of these countries are really corrupt. That


is true of some but not others. THEY ALL SPEAK AT ONCE


Let her speak. We do not just hand over money to governments and let's


see what happens. We have lots of procedures in place. In places where


there are concerns about corruption, or the regime, we work in different


ways, generally not directly with the government. Still no answers. We


will come back to that debate in a moment. You grow up in Nepal and you


have seen the needs of developing countries, Abishek Parajuli. What is


your view? When I grew up, I see a need for the aid. The current system


is not working. My take on it is it actually short-circuits a critical


accountability mechanism. Humans are designed to care more about things


we pay for than things we get for free. When the UK Government is the


one spending on essential services in these countries, the citizens do


not demand as much from it. The politicians care more about what the


British politicians are telling them, rather than their own


citizens. The accountability mechanism has been short-circuited.


The answer is not to cut all aid. You need to better design the system


so it works with human incentives. Rather than against it. Are you


saying that per people need to pay for themselves? No. There is a


startling statistic in India. Only about 2% of Indians paying them tax.


That is staggering. If the British government wants a sustainable aid


project, it needs to expand the tax net. More people in these countries


need to pay taxes. The poorest people cannot pay. Direct trashed --


direct cash transfers will help. Instead of giving the money to the


politicians who will take it elsewhere, you want to give it to


the people, who will pay taxes. Is it about us feeling better for --


about ourselves because we are giving money or is it about helping


real people? It is a bit of both. Aid and defence are two sides of the


same coin. Lots of countries in the world suffer from violent conflict,


poverty, corruption and inequality. Corruption is important, it is the


driver of public frustration that results in violent extremism. When


we look at the budget for aid, we need to look at the defence budget.


Prevention and cure. We spend lots of time debating the 0.7%, but what


about the 2% that goes on the consequences of instability? You cut


the aid budget, you make people per year, they are ripe for the taking


by terrorist groups, increased migration, more pressure on the NHS?


It has been such a stunning success. The argument is it would be worse.


Hundreds of thousands of people are on the move. If there is an


Ethiopian crisis, if we can save the lives of children by buying malaria


nets, I am for that. It is about other projects, frivolous projects.


When you're dealing with humanitarian situations, you cannot


deal with them unless the infrastructure is already in the


country. If the health service does not work because you have not


invested in making sure it is not corrupt and can function, how do you


deal with the Ebola crisis? Tell that to viewers who have put in


taxes and they cannot pay for the elderly care. It is simply wrong.


Jamil Danish is a journalist from Afghanistan who worked


as an advisor to the government until 2015, when he was forced


You grew up in Afghanistan. What difference did you see aid making on


the ground? Thank you for having me. To start, I am a recipient of the


aid money myself. A result of what has changed my life from the very


beginning. When I was seven years old, my mother would send me to


stand at the Q of the bakeries at three o'clock in the morning to get


bread. I was able to get that at nine o'clock. Five or six hours, I


had to wait. I was seven years old. That continued for ten years. In


2001, Afghanistan is a good example of how the foreign aid is spent.


Although it was mentioned that it was fantastically corrupt, we should


expect that. Afghanistan has been in continuous conflict for 40 years.


After 2001, prior to 2001, you could imagine that Afghanistan was a


failed state ruled by terrorists and insurgents. We had no economic


infrastructure, no female participation, no schools for women.


90% of the population were living below the poverty line. In 2001,


when the new period started, the aid money brought changes to the


country. Those were some of the changes that aid made. You're


talking from a personal perspective. Part of your job involved looking


after the contracts that awarded aid money. I know it was challenging to


stop it getting into the wrong hands. People would be competing for


that money. What needs to be improved to stop war lords or people


who should not be getting those contracts getting them? As I


mentioned in the discussion earlier, there are alternative mechanisms to


avoid that and reduce the corruption. Obviously you have got


three or four macro political generations coming together. You


have people from the Communist regime working for the government,


from the Mujahideen time, the Taliban, and now the new political


generation. You would have challenges in all affairs of how the


money is spent. The ministry where I live, we had a very good programme.


It is still running. It is a UK charity -- it is a UK aid programme.


It is a cultural rural development facility. You can go online and you


can see that it changes. The main purpose of the programme is how to


reduce and eliminate the division around the country.


It started in three provinces in 2015 and now it is in 30 provinces.


An example of something that has worked and eight has been deployed


properly? It is so successful. Thank you. An example of receiving aid and


also the challenges. And you were shaking your head throughout that.


When Britain is involved in a military conflict, a country like


Afghanistan, don't we have a moral duty to help them until they are


back on their feet? Unfortunately we would still be paying for the


Germans and Japanese and goodness knows what else. There comes a point


when of course you have got to provide for those people. But


programmes like that are not what I am getting at. It is cattle with


flatulence in Colombia, anti-corruption programmes in Kenya,


contraception in Malawi. Why? When our own citizens need the cash?


Providing young girls with access to information and contraception and


smart family planning. It makes a difference. You are saying that we


should not be trying to address gender inequalities in countries


where women are... Shall we get it right here first? It is a valid


point. You are happy to spend on starving children in Ethiopia in the


80s? I have always said that. The problem with corruption is actually


a little more complicated. Some people argue that even if there are


leaks in the pipeline of aid, at least the people in the bottom are


getting something. But that is not actually the model that is


operating. What happens is when you put to much money in the leaking


pipeline, the league gets bigger. This is not me speaking. The


committee puts forward to look at the Afghanistan programme, the


corruption is an existential threat and it has got worse since 2001.


Unless we have the correct incentives in place, if you just


funnel more money into the pipeline, the leaking gets worse. The point


here is that corruption is not a reason not to give aid. But we


shouldn't ignore it either. The poorest countries in the world


suffer the most from corruption. The point is that the poorest people in


corrupt countries are really poor because the wealthy elite have all


the money. The task of delivering aid is much more complex, as we have


alluded to, but it doesn't mean we should stop it. We need to be much


smarter about the way we do it. And the viewers? Lots of you getting in


touch. Jennifer says very surprised you need to ask considering there


are nurses in this country using food banks. Alan says we should


double the eight we give. We are stinking rich country that does


little to help others. Doreen says I am not sure that foreign aid goes to


those that the most. The whole thing is badly managed. Mavis adds that


any country who can afford to spend money on armaments and nuclear


warheads and space rocket should not be getting aid from the UK. John


says stop all foreign aid now. We come first, not corrupt overseas


governments. And Joe says keep the budget but spend it more wisely.


Transparent expenditure, playing stipulations and conditions that the


money can only be spent on certain things. But that work if we spent it


more rise late? Mavis has got it right! We are spending money to


countries with their own space programmes. It is insane. India will


have a better economy than ours in half an hour. We're not spending it


on the space programmes but the problem is that countries that put


so much money into defence are starving their health sector and


these are the poorest people in the world. I am not in charge of it.


Nobody is saying it is your fault and I get that we are struggling in


the UK. People are difficult situation. At that does not preclude


us from helping other people. The aid budget is a small proportion of


what we do. But growing up in a country like the UK I got free


health care and education and I have much more opportunity than I would


have as a young girl in other countries. We need to remember that.


We are not handing money over to corrupt politicians. We are doing


what Catherine is talking about, helping people. That is all we have


got time for. Thank you. Jahed Choudhury was


delighted to tell his local paper about his marriage


to his partner Sean. But Jahed is a Muslim


and his announcement led Despite that Jahed and Sean are both


determined to share their story, When Jahed married his partner


Shaun, it really was a day to remember. It is a bit of a cliche


but it was the best day of my life and I would not change it for the


world. But among the joy there was sadness as well. I was sad that some


of my family didn't come. For them, what we were doing was shameful.


From an early age, Jahed has always struggled to reconcile his sexuality


with his religious identity as a Muslim. What kind of upbringing did


you have at home? It was really strict. We kept every Ramadan. My


mother pray five times a day. We went to the mask. What was expected


of you growing up? To marry a nice Muslim women. But that was never to


be. Even when he started school, Jahed was singled out as different.


Some people suspected I was gay because of the way I walked and


dressed. That was when I first got bullied. I was called fag and


somebody spat on my face. Have you resulted in your head, being Muslim


and gay? Having that battle in my head, it seriously ruined my


childhood. How did the community around here deal with you being gay?


The mosque, the general community? I still get bullied. Even being right


here, right now, I am anxious and wary because I know at any time


someone could attack me. So tortured was Jahed that he ended up in


hospital after trying to take his own life. This is the very park I


came to when I took an overdose. I discharged myself at five o'clock. I


came here and cried on this very bench. What state of mind were you


in? I just felt so alone in the world and I didn't want to be here


any more. It was the lowest point in my life. I wanted the fear, the


loneliness, the battle to end. I just wanted it to end really. Is it


too much for you? Sorry. But then came an unexpected turning point. I


was screaming for someone to come and help me and I looked up and I


started praying to my God. I said, please, just show me a sign, and


that was the moment when Sean came. He was crossing the bridge and he


came and sat down next to me, where you are sitting. He held my hand and


he said it is OK. You can talk to me. I am not here to judge. That


chance encounter on a park bench eventually led to Jahed and Sean


making the ultimate commitment to one another. It is my privilege and


my pleasure to be able to declare you husband and husband.


Congratulations. One month later, the couple still treasure the


memories of that day. Beautiful! Was it important for you to have Islamic


clothing? It was really important. You know how girls dream of their


wedding dress? I always dreamt of wearing something like this since I


was little. I just love the colour, the red and gold. What are your main


memories of the day? The registry office. Don't get me started! I


mixed my words up. You are meant to say lawful wedded husband but he


said awful! I am not that awful! Everybody started laughing. I was


just so nervous. It came out the wrong way. As well as keeping up


cultural traditions, Jahed still practices his faith. I still pray. I


still keep Ramadan. I still read the Koran, to this day. I will never


change my religion. It will come first. Jahed and Sean decided to


tell their story to a local newspaper to encourage others who


might be struggling with their faith and sexuality. But they were not


prepared for some of the shopping online reactions. We have had loads


of things. Death threats, people threatening us. It is shocking. Do


you regret growing public? No, I don't regret going public at all.


Since our story came out, we have had plenty of people contacting me


and Sean. Gay Muslims, maybe other religious people out there, people


who are hidden. People who are scared, alone. Going through the


same experience. They have said, we have seen your story, we read the


story, it was heart-warming and heartfelt and what you guys have


done is very brave and I want to be brave like you guys. I was really


lucky that my mum and my sister came to our wedding but it was a shame


that the Muslim community were not supportive of some of my family


members didn't show up. I just hope for the future that people like us,


gay people, especially if they are religious, get more support from the


Muslim community and more support from their family, and encourage


weddings like this to happen. Jahed and Sean, happy together.


For details of organisations that can provide help and support


if you've faced similar problems, visit bbc.co.uk/actionline.


Now onto our final discussion this week.


Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector, has expressed concern


about potential plans to allow new faith schools to base 100%


She believes it could lead to segregation and has called


The government says that it's consulting on the issue.


So should faith schools be more open to people


Or is the very point of a faith school to be able to teach as many


children of their religion as possible?


Joining me now are Dan Hitchens, a Catholic journalist,


Chris Sloggett, a former teacher from the National Secular Society,


Imam Asad Zaman, a private tutor, and rejoining us is Afua Hirsch.


Dan, at a time when bringing communities together appears to be a


really important thing, surely encouraging schools to be more


diverse is the thing that we should be doing. If we want to support


integration, the big thing we have got to do is look at which


institutions are doing it well. Catholic schools, to take the


example I know best, do a lot for integration. If you look at the


number of ethnic minority pupils, it is well above the national average.


19% are from the poorest areas of the country, where is the national


average is something like 14%. These are already schools that are making


diversity and integration work. There is a bigger point here, which


is that we can assume that religious communities in themselves are


divisive. But it is often faith communities who do most to build


bonds between people. After the Grenfell Tower fire, it was the


local churches and mosques who provided material help for people,


who host meetings between people involved, provide counselling. If we


want this great question, how can we live together harmoniously and in a


great society, the first place we should be looking is religious


institutions like faith schools and think they are doing it well, so


let's encourage them and not put up more barriers. Are they doing it


well? I would like to contradict that with others. I don't want to


throw in loads of statistics that there is evidence that Catholic


schools and other faith schools are more segregated by class and race as


well as faith than other schools in the same areas. They take a lower


proportion of children on free school meals than comparable schools


in the area. On the one hand, if we want to promote integration as a


society, and our politicians frequently tell us we do, you can't


logically have that and segregate children by faith. More worrying for


me, there is a lot of evidence that schools which are saying they


segregate children by faith actually segregate children by social


background and by race. Some parents are using faith schools as a


proximity pulls aggregating children by ethnicity as well. -- a proximity


for segregating children by ethnicity. That is not what we want


to have. If children at the school are of one faith doesn't that make


it difficult for them to integrate and learn about other faiths? Unless


you're talking about boarding school, which is very rare, children


are just in school for six hours but after that they are mixing with


wider communities. Really? You go to clubs with your school colleagues.


You don't mix, that is natural. Outside of school they will have


neighbours, they will go to certain clubs where they will be taking part


in football or table tennis, whatever. What if you are in a


segregated area anyway and to go to a segregated school? Within the


ethos of the school they need to make sure that there is a lot of


integrate action -- interaction with other schools and clubs. They need


to make sure that all children of all faiths are interacting with each


other and develop intolerance for each other where they accept those


beliefs. Did you go to a Church of England school? Wasn't it a good


education, diverse, meeting lots of people? I did but personally I would


have preferred to go to a faith school because I wanted to know more


about my faith. Within our society, parents. It is their responsibility


to impart faith to children. It is the state's responsibility to


facilitate parents to provide that kind of environment. This is


parental choice and if we are for parental choice, then we have got to


be for diversity within education. Younus clock I will contradict that.


If you're talking about parental choice, you should see some of the


casework we have at the secular society. We have plenty of parents


who would like to send their children to non-faith schools and


they cannot because they would have to send them on an unrealistic


commute to do so. It is not the state's responsibility to provide


the education that the parents want. Bringing up children is a


partnership between parents and schools. If you send your children


to a state school, you are trusting your -- the state to bring up your


child during school hours. The state has a certain expectation. A secular


education, where all ideas are up for grabs and on the table and we


can debate religion in a fair and open way, that is the right way to


go. Emma has a very interesting guests.


Arshat Ali is a mother of five and a Muslim.


She chose to send her children to a Catholic faith


Why did you decide to go to a catholic school and not a Muslim


one? Hello. I think it is why not, rather than why. When you make a


choice for your children as a parent, you want the best for your


children. Every parent does. I grew up in a diverse community. I grew up


with lots of different cultures and religions around me. When making the


decision for my child, I looked at the ethos of the Catholic school,


and the fact that my child would be learning something other than his


own religion, and that is why I sent him there. Are your children a


minority as Muslims in a Catholic school? No. The children are 98%


Muslim. Lots of the children are from Muslim backgrounds and


families. I do not know the reasoning why parents send their


children there. I wanted my children to mix and not be segregated, and to


integrate and learn about other religions. Hang on, if they are 98%


Muslim, they are not really mixing with other religions or backgrounds?


There are Catholic teachers and children there. They would get more


diversity in that school than in the local school. If you're concerned


about diversity and you did not want to send them to a Muslim school,


where there were only Muslim people, can you understand why other parents


do not like faith schools? I do not understand the question. If you want


your children to mix with people who are different, can you understand


why other teachers, parents and inspectors are uncomfortable with


faith schools? I can understand, but as a parent, it is your choice. --


comfortable sending my children to a Catholic school. They learn religion


at home. When they go to school, they learn about Catholicism. It


brought it home for me when my son went to secondary school and he was


doing religious studies and he was asked, what did Jesus say on the


cross, and the knew and he came home and they were so proud of himself.


That was because of the education he had. We did he have known that if he


had gone to another school? I do not know. My four macro children went to


a catholic school and did really well. I have another child starting


in September and I have made the decision to send her to the same


school. A very unique experience.


Fascinating, the complete opposite to your approach and your view. It


needs to be said that within Islamic schools and catholic jihadists --


catholic schools as well, all children have to follow the national


curriculum. They are being prepared for wider society. They are being


taught about the different faiths around them. Would they know what


Jesus said on the cross? Why not? I can tell you the actual words that


Jesus said on the cross, my lord, my lord, why has now forsaken me? I


know the words he spoke as a Muslim because I am interested in that. You


went to a Church of England school. Remember. In this discussion, we are


defending to faith, as if it is a good idea. It is a valid position to


say that faith is not a good thing. There are some very segregated areas


in this country. If you are a state school or a faith school in that


area, it will be one faith. The government policy is lifting the cap


and becoming faith schools to become even more segregated. It is


worsening the problem. The point on lifting the cap, the whole point of


Muslim parents sending their children to an Islamic school is


that they are immersed within that Islamic culture and ethos. If you


reduce that, you will dilate and undermined that ethos.


Emma. I was brought up in a Catholic and secondary -- catholic primary


school, but there were lots of other races and religions. I wish I had


learned more about the religion than my own. One viewer says, there is no


place for the schools in the education system. Religious teaching


should be done at home. And Barbara on Facebook, as a nonreligious


taxpayers who respects all faiths, I would not wish to find organisations


that help increase the divisions within society.


Thank you for your comments. There are two macro issues. There are some


faith schools which it is claimed an encouraging segregation. On the


other side, there are faith schools that are high performing and do very


well. In an area where there are not good state schools, they are


excluding secular kids. You alluded to the second point earlier? The


second point is interesting. If you look across the whole of western


Europe, religious attendance has been decreasing but they'd school


attendance has been increasing or staying the same. It suggests that


more parents are sending their children to faith schools and are


practising a faith. That is because faith schools outperform in terms of


academic achievement. Why are faith schools outperforming? They select


children from less underprivileged backgrounds and other schools. It is


a complicated picture. The studies do not bear that out. The free


school meals study, the Department for Education themselves do not use


it because there are so many other factors. Catholic schools accept


more from the poorest areas of the country. As for the thing about


practising, you do not have to be catholic to appreciate the Catholic


education, forgiveness, kindness, being a good citizen. Those values


do not just come from religion. I agree. Non-believers have that as


well. Yes, but people find it easier to find those values in that whole


imaginative picture. There is a massive role for faith in society,


but we would never accept hospitals or trains that were segregated by


faith. In now or other public servers would we accept segregation.


Schools are so important in raising our future citizens. It is a good


question and you have had the final word. Thank you.


They say that singing is good for the soul,


so we've sent Mehreen Baig on a mission to find


She's been at the Voices Now festival in London.


She's not just there to watch, though.


choirs at the festival for the show's grand finale.


I am in Camden for a music festival that considers singing good for your


physical, mental and spiritual well-being. The Voices Now festival


began eight years ago, through workshops and performances it


encourages and celebrate squires, of which there are over 40,000 in the


UK. -- choirs. Claire Edwards is one of the organisers. The Rock and pop


groups, classical groups, gospel groups. There are so many things


that make them similar, coming together and singing is an amazingly


powerful and spiritual experience for many people. To test out the


benefits of singing, I go in search of my first workshop. This woman


runs our workshop that combines singing and movement. I think that


moving and singing at the same time just fires all these brilliant brain


neurons. You relax, you breeze and when we come closer together it is


not the competitive experience. It is about supporting each other. We


generally feel love. We feel love through music. That was so good, so


enjoyable, so uplifting. No one really cared what everyone else was


doing. It was so free. I loved it. The physical and mental well-being


of singing is all too clear. What about the spiritual dimension? I am


joining Genevieve for her gospel workshop. My gospel workshop is


about the love of God, and gospel means good news, so it is about how


we express that through singing and through living.


# I can dance. You would say that gospel music is good for the sole?


It gives you hope, joy and peace. Singing allows you to smile. I


really believe that everyone can sing and has a voice. At 5:30pm, we


are performing life. Would you be willing to join in? I would love to.


I will give it my best shot. Before my singing debut, then it's time to


explore what else the festival has to offer. There are so many


different workshops. I literally do not know where to go next. There is


even our workshop for beatbox. This MC teaches how to use the voice to


reproduce the sounds and rhythms of percussion.


Keep the tempo. Yes, nice. I have been really inspired. It is great to


connect with other people. I have lovely jams where we have created


amazing sounds together. I love singing and it is a great way to


connect to that other side of yourself. For me, a view have been


through things and have no way to express it, like, I used to do art,


and music is one of the things I enjoy. Does it make you feel good?


It is like a relief. You have all that pain inside of you, and you


just let it out. It is time for me to join Genevieve and the workshop


gospel group, performing a song we learned from scratch in just two


hours. The first time I decided to sing was on the BBC. Enjoy.


# I can dance... # I am going to praise him.


That was absolutely brilliant. The audience loved it, the group loved


it. I am sweating a bit, but so uplifting, so much fun. Beyonce,


watch out. Mehreen Baig in fine voice. Lots of comments coming in


about earlier items in the programme. We were talking about the


morning after pill. Ben has said, I went with an ex-girlfriend to get


the morning after pill. I was a maids -- I was amazed by the judging


looks and comments for -- from the pharmacist. My girlfriend said it


was much worse for a woman on her own. Great to see the young gay


Muslim man be open about his relationship. It will help others.


One viewer says, my heart goes out to sweep Muslim Jahed.


Amazing that he found Sean. That is all from us. Thanks to our guests


and you at home for your contributions. Emma will be carrying


on the conversation online. Yes, I'll be continuing


the discussion with Afua Hirsch and talking to her about her


upcoming book, called Brit ISH, Log on to


facebook.com/bbcsundaymorninglive In the meantime, from everyone


here in the studio and the whole


Download Subtitles