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Today on The Big Questions,
anti-Semitism and the left,
the true cost of porn,
and safe spaces to take drugs.
Good morning, I'm Nicky Campbell.
Welcome to The Big Questions.
Today we're live from the Students'
Union at Northumbria University
in Newcastle upon Tyne.
to The Big Questions.
Yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day
with this year's theme
being the power of words.
And words like anti-Semitic
and anti-Zionist have been
to the Labour Party over
the past couple of years.
Now, since the recent elections
to Labour's National
there have been words
bandied about the new head
of the Disputes Committee,
She's been criticised after she only
gave two cases involving
anti-Semitism a warning last week.
Does the left have a problem
You left the Labour Party.
Why? Because I am half Jewish,
married to a Jewish woman and we
have a Jewish son and we felt the
Labour Party was no longer the place
that we thought it had been. We have
been Labour voters our entire lives,
trade union members...
Where is your
It is a good question. A
lot of the debate about
anti-Semitism is complex and I do
not expect everyone in the audience
or at home to understand what can be
a really complex debate but it is
not that complex if you boil it
down. I have brought along evidence.
Always good to have evidence rather
than just opinions. Evidence put on
social media by either Labour Party
members or Labour Party offices or
even Labour Party elected
representatives. A Labour Party
member, also, by the way, a member
of one of the groups that Naomi
represents, Free Speech On Israel,
the Holocaust and the phoney 6
million, I know the official version
not... That does not represent the
That is evidence. A
post from a Labour member.
Back to 2015, David Cameron is part
of the Zionist elite group of morons
obliged to feet the Zionist Jew
Come back on that. Whenever
we do any debate like this, it is so
divisive, it sometimes turns into a
shout fest. I will try to be done in
the middle. I want to give everyone
a fair shot. Accusations there, we
have seen the social media stuff, it
is horrible, take it back to the
central question, does the left have
a problem with anti-Semitism?
is a problem with anti-Semitism in
our society, as there was a problem
with rising racism of many different
kinds. The evidence shows Muslims
are a much more vulnerable target
Alan Jews and the Roma gypsies are
even more vulnerable -- more
vulnerable target than the dues.
vulnerable target than the dues. 7%
of Brits have negative opinions
about Jews, 40% have negative
opinions about Roma, 30% about
Muslims. It is horrendous, rising
and terrifying, the right is on the
What about the left?
get into that. The problem we have
on the left is that we are being
asked to redefine anti-Semitism. I
am sure everyone knows what
anti-Semitism is, hostility,
prejudice against Jewish people.
Allow me, if I may, focus on this as
a question, if you say that I am not
in any way racist about someone's
ethnicity or about Jewish people,
but I do not think the state of
Israel should exist as it currently
exists, is that anti-Semitic?
not because Israel is not a person.
You can only be racist against an
individual. I do not deny, however,
that much of the language some
people ignorantly use...
self determination... On this
particular point, denying self
No, why would it
be? If I were to say about any other
group in the world, I am not sure,
are they really are a nation? The
case of Jews, my four grandparents
came from eastern Europe, Russia,
Poland, Germany, Ukraine, no
connection with the Middle East,
many Jews lived in Middle Eastern
countries, Arabic speaking Jews,
they share an Arabic culture, people
in New York love bagels, are we a
That is debatable. It is not
the Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi show.
will come back in a moment. And
Sheila and Chris too. The notion
about saying the state of Israel
does not have a right to exist...
did not say that. I said the right
to self-determination is something
one can debate.
On the left... If you
want to wear a badge that says, I am
not anti-Semitic, but, of all the
people in the world, I refuse to
grant the rights and respect the
right of self-determination to the
Jews alone, then wear the badge with
pride if that is where you are. That
is what it is. It is no less than
That is a mischaracterisation.
It is really important. For people
watching at home, decent, British
people who have not spent their
lives in the wars on the extreme
left, this is confusing and it is
really confusing if you get someone
who is Jewish to say, it is not
anti-Semitic to do X, Y, Z. It is
important everyone watching
understands the voices of people
like Naomi with her tiny group, they
represent an extremely...
I am the
wrong kind of Jew, Saul.
carry on. I respect your right to
have your view. Jews are clueless
We are not all Zionists --
Jews are a large group.
leadership council, the Chief Rabbi,
liberal synagogues, reformed...
us take it to the Labour Party. Is
there not a parallel here, Anna
Turley? If you criticise Israel...
None of this is criticising Israel.
This is where the line is, the
criticism of Israel itself, where it
seeps into anti-Zionism,
anti-Semitism. If I may, thank you.
I understand the emotive
nature of all of this, of course. Is
it not the same, if you criticise
Israel, it is not anti-Semitism? It
is perfectly legitimate to criticise
Islam as a religion but it is not
Islamophobia. There is an absolute
I am heartbroken to hear
Saul and other members of the Jewish
community who have lost faith in the
Labour Party. Over 100 years history
of standing up to prejudice.
they right to lose faith?
have always been about tackling
prejudice, racism, making sure
everyone has freedom of speech and
tolerance. I believe in those values
and that is the kind of society I
want to build. I am heartbroken to
see the rise of anti-Semitism. But I
do believe there is an issue on the
left. There is no problem with
criticising Israel's domestic
policy, foreign policy, settlements,
human rights. We are free and at
liberty to criticise any government
around the world but we have to
think carefully about the language
we use and that is what Holocaust
Memorial Day is about because as
soon as you lift it out of criticism
of government policy into
anti-Semitic tropes we have seen
around wealthy Jew...
the media. The banking dynasty. They
are creeping back into social media.
What is anti-Zionism?
It is a
difficult definition. If you are
believing the state of Israel, you
are Zionist. Emily Thornberry said
Jeremy Corbyn believes in the right
of Israel to exist. It is party
policy to believe in the two-state
Do you believe in Israel's
right to exist?
But it can be used
as a term of abuse.
If you believe
in Israel's right to exist and
self-determination, are you a
I believe in its
right to exist, you could have an
idea about whether the declaration
was a good idea, but Israel is a
fact of life and we have to
accept... I do think we have got to
the nub of the problem. Two issues
become conflated, the abuse you find
trawling through the internet...
does not take long to find.
discussion about... It is now one of
the most right wing regimes that
Israel has ever had. In the process
of setting up an apartheid state and
I think we ought to be allowed to
talk about that.
They have colonised the West Bank
illegally. They are beginning to
ethnically cleanse east Jerusalem
and they have herded many of the
Palestinians into Gaza. I have heard
plenty of Jewish people use the word
apartheid state. Plenty of people in
Israel oppose what is going on.
Those of us is not in Israel should
be a -- should be allowed to use the
same terms without being accused of
anti-Semitism. The two most critical
people in the House of Commons, most
critical about this, Harry Cohen,
and another, also Jewish.
them self hating Jews. The audience,
right back with you, Sheila, in a
second, I will go round a few
people. Good morning. Something
Chris Mullin said.
that Israel is an apartheid state,
minorities in Israel constitute
nearly 20% of the population and
have exactly the same rights as
Sadly not true. I cannot live
in certain towns. They cannot drive
on certain roads.
This is exactly
the kind of thing... The
interruptions, they confirm the
truth and the questions that we are
debating here today.
Why does it
confirm the truth?
people like Chris Mullin and Naomi
disagree with, they interrupt
straightaway. My son has lived in
Israel for over a year, he has lived
effectively in an Arab section,
generally Arab because it is an
older section, mixture of Christian
Arabs, Muslims, Jews...
back. Does the left have a problem
like to say the Labour Party in its
current form can be the most
critical government of Israel's
apartheid policies against the
Palestinians and this clearly scares
the pro-Israeli advocates who do not
believe there is an issue. From my
time in Palestine, I was appalled at
the way Palestinians were treated at
the hands of the Israeli government
and the soldiers. I witnessed and I
spoke to mothers forced to give
birth at Israeli checkpoints, 350
Palestinian children currently
illegally incarcerated in Israeli
prisons against the UN Charter. I am
a lawyer, I have read the Geneva
convection, it forbids Israel from
using collective punishment -- the
Geneva Convention. How uncomfortable
does it make you feel? They made me
feel uncomfortable. I'm not denying
there was a problem with
anti-Semitism. However, the Home
Affairs Committee report released
recently stated that the majority of
anti-Semitism is coming from far
right wing groups and behaviour
associated with that. On one hand,
anti-Zionism, people say it comes
from the left, anti-Semitism from
the right, you want to come in,
Sheila? Getting away from the state
of Israel, anti-Semitism has been on
the left for a long time, in all
political parties in this country
and generally amongst the populace.
1905, that aliens act was introduced
because the social Democratic
Federation in the east and rising up
against what they saw as people
coming into the country, some people
say Karl Marx showed anti-Semitism.
I do not want to concentrate on the
left because it is everywhere but we
need to understand the language and
the stereotypes are absolutely in
Jewish history. In the 80s, I was in
a group against anti-Semitism
because of anti-Semitism in the
women's liberation movement, there
was a representation of Israeli
soldiers as blond haired and
jackbooted, I do not want to talk
about the exact accusations of now,
but it makes no sense to try to not
look at Andy -- at anti-Semitism in
the Labour Party. We do not expect
it on the left.
I would not in any
way describe myself as a friend of
Israel, I am a supporter of the
Palestinian cause. As an antifascist
campaigner over the decades, I would
say back in the 80s, anti-Semitism
was very clearly a far right
phenomenon and it was in the Tory
party and in sections of the left as
well and communist and so on. In the
last few years, and you can monitor
it on social media, that
anti-Semitism has shifted left and
that... I do not know what is
happening in the Labour Party, but
last year, people were identifying
themselves as supporters of Jeremy
Corbyn before the election, there
were a lot of anti-Semitic tweeting
from people identifying themselves
as voters of Jeremy Corbyn. They may
be confused. Not everyone backing
him is a socialist and so on.
Absolutely, there has been a shift
from the far right to the left of
In terms of issues on anti-Zionism
and Zionism and the right of states
to exist n international law there's
no such right. The state of Israel
Have the right to exist,
France, there's no such right
enshrined in international law. It
is a problem on the left. I've been
campaigning on this issue for a
number of years.
number of years. I believe whilst
the institute for Jewish policy
research says the issue on the left
there is broadly a denial
anti-Semitism is an issue. There's a
dismissive attitude towards people
who raise this. Not treating it with
the sensitivity it needs. The left
really need to educate themselves on
how to recognise and tackle this
issue as best as possible and be
proper allies to our Jewish
Can we talk about the
profession of racism. Anti-Semitism
is a form of racism. What frightens
me as a form of due.
It is not about
being a due. Not a matter of birth,
not a political view. You
interrupted me so I'll interrupt
Do not deny her ethnicity.
has nothing to do with it.
people need to be very wary of
rising racism. It affects them
alongside all other victims of
vulnerable minorities. I want to
look at the way historically dues
have approached this terrifying
racism and this is over centuries,
dating back to medieval
Christianity, a lot of it. We had a
choice at the end of the 19th
Century. Were dues going to adopt a
new model, political Zionism, which
was very much a minority ideology at
the end of the 19th Century. Or were
we going to decide we would fight
alongside others who fight injustice
in society. There was a split. The
Zionist movement decided to look for
an imperial patron to find a state
where dues could go...
time for the whole narrative.
need to under ginned there is an
extensive movement, a socialist Bunt
movement, a mass party in Poland.
People died fighting the Nazis as
anti-Zionists. When people use the
fact dues suffered in the past to
justify what Israel does to the
Palestinians. They have a right
toself determination. Israeli racism
needs to be challenged.
While we haven't the time in this
debate, we hear this phrase, the
word Holocaust applied to what
happened to the Palestinian people.
I didn't say that.
You see it all
the time. Does anyone say that's an
appropriate word? Does anyone here
say that's appropriate?
deliberately insulting and demeaning
to Jewish people?
to Jewish people?
This is against
Naomi. Whatever you
think about the plight of
Palestinian people by any
international definition it is
nowhere near being a Holocaust but
people use the word all the time.
is really depressing in any debate
around Israel and Palestine, the
language is inappropriate. Used to
historical victim status is used to
justify against the Israeli state to
say they are just doing this,
they're justified because of this,
they use it as an excuse to carry
out what they are doing. This is
anti-Semiticic language. We are
discussing a really sensitive issue.
We have to be very thoughtful, take
the situation as it is and apply the
highest rigorous standards of
looking at the Israeli state as we
do around the world.
Do we do that?
Some people do, no doubt. There is a
small problem on the left. I think
it is rather less than the problem
on the ride and perhaps society as a
whole. There are two new dimensions
in the last few years or in the case
of digital media. The rise of
digital media make it easy to
express prejudice, including
anti-Semitism. The second factor, it
has only arisen in the last three or
four years, there are some on the
right of the political spectrum who
see this as yet another stick with
which to bash Jeremy Corbyn. You saw
Chris, let me come in there.
It is a really key point. We have an
ethnic minority, dues represent 0.7%
of the population in this country.
199.7% of people in the population
are not dues. Most people have never
met one. That tiny ethnic minority
puts up its hand and the process a
profoundly disturbing and
uncomfortable. The people I thought
were on my side, I'm hearing some of
those voices, not all, but some of
those voices that are saying and
doing things which are expressly
anti-Semetic. What you would expect
there, how you would expect the left
to respond with any other ethnicity
is go back to anti-racist first
principles. Listen, think about the
language and make sure you use the
MacPherson principles about treating
something as if it is a racist
That's not being applied?
No, what's happened there, Chris is
a great example of it there, saying
when dues like me stand up and say
there is anti-Semitism coming from
the left, you don't stop, listen,
think about the language and take it
as face value, you say we're lying
because we want to do down and bring
down Jeremy Corbyn and the left.
Would you do that about any other
ethnic group? I think not.
If it was
happening with any other, we would.
We have to leave it there. I've been
doing debates like this, on this
topic for 30 years. There will be
another chance. Thank you all very
If you have something
to say about that debate,
log on to bbc.co.uk/thebigquestions,
and follow the link to where you can
join in the discussion online.
Or contribute on Twitter.
We're also debating live this
morning at Northumbria
University's Students' Union,
is porn damaging to society?
And should there be licensed safe
places to take drugs?
So, get tweeting or emailing
on those topics now,
or send us any other ideas
or thoughts you may
have about the show.
You might suppose the use of online
pornography is largely confined
to the privacy of people's homes,
but more than 40% of businesses have
to regularly reprimand a high
percentage of their employees
for watching porn at work.
So, it's not just in the Houses of
Parliament that these things go on.
Britain ranks second
in the world for traffic to one
of the world's leading porn sites,
only beaten by the USA.
I'll spare you the details
of the precise types of porn
Brits like to watch,
but the words lesbian, mothers,
step sister and mature
feature heavily in the most
searched for sites.
Is porn damaging to society?
Sheila Jeffreys from Object scop
women are not Sex Objects. Damaging
to society. Adults watching,
partaking in porn, it is a free
society. It is part of the whole
march of sexual emancipation and
Pornography is not a
private pursued people get up to in
their bedrooms. It as huge and
massive industry. Back in the 1970s
I was in the first anti-pornography
group in this country. It's changed
hugely since then. Got more and more
violent. Pornography is men's free
speech. They speak with each other
through the harm they do to women's
body. Women in pornography have to
take painkillers, mussel relaxants.
It affects the women in it. I see it
as a form of violence against those
women. It has huge effects on
society in general. In primary
school we've a massive amount of
sexual assault from boys on girls.
That wasn't happening before. In
Parliament, it is affecting
democracy. Women MPs are having a
huge amount of sexual abuse against
them. Diane ablot got one letter in
green pen a week. She now has
thousands and thousands of racists
but also I'vically viciously sexist,
including rape and death threats
towards herself. The state of women
is enormously harmful.
It would be
discourteous of me not to take your
point at this particular as a porn
porn actress. Kelly. When Sheila
started your hand went up.
Sheila was saying about the abuse of
the girls in the industry. Can I ask
have you been in the industry
No I haven't. I do
know women who have, quite a few.
They've talked to me about it.
in the industry, if you haven't been
in it yourself you don't know what
goes on in there. There's no need to
Is the it
Only if it was you
wouldn't be in the industry, would
Are people treated respectfully
They are, yes. You've
got your boundaries, safe words.
it any damaging effect on people who
No. Back in the eighties
and nineties, it wasn't free. So it
wasn't that damaging to society, or
not at all. Now it is readily
available on the free porn porn
sites. Porn porn in itself isn't
damaging, it is the free porn porn
sites which means it gets into the
wrong hands that is making it
damaging because it is getting into
the wrong hands.
Do you think people
are too young watching it? Rosy, you
have astudied this. Is it degrading,
damaging bad for society?
believe it is. It has driven a huge
technological advancement. It has
helped drive internet, Wye if I,
DVD, importantographers are often
the first people to take advantage
of these new technologies, making
sure they can be rolled out into
wider society use. That's one major
advantage of it.
It is a secondary
effect, isn't it?
The way producers
Let's talk about people.
Porn and people.
Degradation is a
hugely subjective term. It is not up
to anybody else to tell people what
they should and shouldn't find
degrading. It is up to the
individual to decide what their
reaction is to what they are
viewing. They can then choose to
accept it, reject it, not view it if
they don't want to and take personal
responsibility for that are
There's not a lot of
choice. Women do not chose to be
affected by pornography. The
children in school. Young girls who
have to do anal sex. One fifth of
young people under 25 do that. The
women find it very, very painful.
They do not wish to do it. It is
constructing sexual practice, the
status of women, the abuse women
get. It is not just about private
choice. We have to look at how this
extraordinary industry, a propaganda
of woman hatred, is what I call it.
Carry on Jerry.
I often here this
from anti-porn advocates. People try
If people are offended by
some of the terms we are using.
We'll try to proceed with a Mody
comof BBC censorship. In what way is
it good for society, pornography?
Before I jump on that, can I say,
I've, my book, I've dealt with
object. They present themselves as a
women's human rights organisation.
Actually, Object were brought to my
attention by a friend who was is a
stripper. These women have turned up
to our workplace and started
screaming abuse at us as we go to
work. Now they are lobbying Hackney
and Tower Hamlets council to close
down our workplace. They stay they
are stopping us being abused. They
refuse to speak to us.
do not engage with women in the
industry has they claim to.
believe they are bogus in that
respect? What are the positives of
In terms of the evidence, then
absolutely, the evidence
overwhelmingly suggests porn has
overall been beneficial to society
rather than harmful. So,
notwithstanding Sheila's anecdotal
comments on children abusing each
other in playgrounds and that kind
of thing... ...
5,500 sexual assault
over three years.
with a steep decline in the West and
Britain and in America of violent
crime and sex Sewell violence. In
America, sexual violence has
declined according to FBI stats.
The House of Commons committee
looked at sexual assault in schools
and did make the connection with
pornography in terms of the sexual
practice with an organ we will not
speak of, the research on that does
say the boys themselves say it was
pornography that made them do it and
it is enormously harmful to the
There is quite a bit of
evidence. These studies are very
I don't think so.
This is not a problem with
pornography, this is a problem with
the failings of our sexual education
People are not given...
the current sexual landscape.
it give young men, for example, a
certain view of women?
audience, good morning.
damaging to society. Sex is a form
of human expression. What is more
damaging is not the fact... Since
man could scrawl on cave walls,
there has been pornography. Look at
the Elgin marbles...
What is more damaging as
people telling people what their
morality should be.
I think we are
discussing the personal side of
pornography and what you want to
choose as an adult. A bit at the
moment on Facebook of a two-year-old
who approaches Alexa, the machine
that tells you what is happening in
your house, he says to the machine,
where is my game? He names a game,
Alexa assumes he has asked Phil
We are talking about adults.
That is how pervasive it has become,
people who are not expecting it, not
looking for it, they can be affected
by it. We need to look at how we can
control it as a society.
One of the problems is, I am not
against pornography per se, but one
of the things I would like to say
and maybe ask you because you are in
the porn industry, do you think it
gives young women in particular an
absolutely impossible ideal to look
up to because most women do not look
like porn stars and are they
aspiring to do so and is it
No. Each to their own. I
didn't come into this industry
because I wanted to be like anybody
else. I am me, I work as me, I'll
come out and I am back to me. I'm
not aspiring to have people looking
You do not need to answer,
has it affected your relationships,
personal relationships? Your
emotional life? And your sex life?
It has made everything better.
would say accusations are thrown at
porn, but the rest of the media is
worse. In porn, you will see lots of
What is porn?
The gentleman behind me pointed out
porn has been around the tens of
thousands of years. There is an old
saying, what I like is erotica, what
you like is porn. It is a pejorative
term for erotica.
You work porn
addict until you had the dialogue
with God -- you were. Jesus helped
It was in my early teens when I
experienced addiction to porn. My
first exposure was at that age of
eight. We are talking about adults,
you say, but that average age of
first exposure to adult material is
11. I think... That is probably an
Tell us about your
It started with a Page 3
in a newspaper, we had an art
project in school, doing
Is that porn?
pornographic. It was a great way for
me, it awakened a curiosity in me, I
had never seen images like that
before. I was 13 years old when I
had that first experience and I
began to explore online and very
quickly the things I was looking at
became more extreme. I realised that
what started as curiosity began to
have a hold on my life, I reached a
point where I was no longer
something that I might do if I had a
bit of spare time.
spare moment I had. When I did not
have a spare moment, more often than
not, I was thinking about, when can
I grab a moment? Back in the days
when you had one computer in the
There was a moment when you
felt like you were having a dialogue
I was 17, at a large youth
camp, 10,000 young people, there was
a speaker, I cannot remember much of
what he said, but the one thing that
stuck in my mind is he looked out
into the crowd, I felt like he was
looking at me, he probably wasn't,
as a 17-year-old lad, very insecure,
I had been feeling like this thing
that was going on in my life was not
good for me.
Made a connection?
shouted out, God can see it, I can
see it, and I was terrified because
he scared the life out of me and I
thought he could see this thing I
had been feeling ashamed of. He
called for people to stand and to
receive prayer. The various things,
Did you look at any
porn after that?
You said you were a
virgin until you got married and you
felt guilty about the prospect of
premarital sex so your addiction to
porn is steeped in religious guilt.
That was cognitive dissonance in
your life, do you think that is the
I have the utmost sympathy
for your story and I completely
understand that for some
individuals, pornography can disrupt
their lives and I definitely
Definitely. What I think is
the wider problem here is the fact
that parents do not take
responsibility. In their children
from viewing this material. It is so
easy to install an online computer
filter system. It is easy to put an
app on a child's mobile phone to
stop them accessing this material.
It was curiosity for you.
to adults again, because that is a
whole other massive issue, hugely
important and worrying, but does
this change their expectations of
what young men expect from young
I do not
believe it does. There are studies
coming out increasingly suggesting
that pornography viewership in men
can lead to more gender equality and
attitudes, better openness and
communication with their partners.
The positives of pornography?
I went to a boys only
boarding school. The way the guys...
My mum told me to respect women. I
remember 70% of the boys, we had
cleaners who were women, the way
they treated them was appalling. If
you look at the background, the way
they talk about them, it was based
on the pornography they watched at
home. We had no access at school.
They will go home, fantasise, come
back to school and tell everyone. As
you grow up, in our 20s, they would
go into relationships, oh, my God,
this girl, she does not do this, she
does not have, for example, multiple
orgasms, like what they had grown up
to expect by watching pornography.
They ended up with numerous
relationships not because... When
you watch pornography, they do not
see the emotional side that happens
when you are having sex, it was all
about the act.
Another point, but
gentleman has raised in my mind, it
gives unrealistic expectations, but
in certain societies where sex is
taboo in female sexual expression
and sexuality is barely
acknowledged, this might be
something that allows someone in to
see that, yes, we have a sexuality
and we have a right...
That would be
marvellous if porn was anything like
that. Even today, we cannot talk
what is in the pornography, we
cannot talk about the body parts...
Sunday morning. We can talk about
The problem is huge
numbers of people, mainly women,
have no idea what is in it.
the people who watch porn are women.
I suggest people look at the
descriptions of pornography online
for pornography you will do
streaming with, for instance, and it
is violent language against women,
the research shows more than half of
pornography has violence in it, like
slapping, that is quite interesting.
We will not find the lovely
pornography that will teach women
and men how to behave. There is some
research showing that even in
Southeast Asia now, there are young
boys watching pornography in special
cafes where they have pornography on
screens, creating very harmful
I would like to bring it
back, we touched on the issue of
simple porn addiction and sex
addiction, in psychological terms,
they do not exist, they are
diagnoses pushed by therapists who
seek to queue at them and they make
money. I liken porn addiction...
I likened the porn
addiction due to the gay...
believe it is nonsense?
Psychologists seem clear porn
addiction does not exist. There are
problematic behaviours around porn,
but no such thing as porn addiction.
There is research suggesting
religious people are much more
likely to be distressed by porn
usage. Jack described seeing Page 3
at age 13, this is that happens to
every boy, 12, 13, 11 hit puberty,
the arrival of your sexual awareness
that overtakes you, hormonal change
could you have no control over it.
If you are religious, brought up in
a religious society, go to an all
boys school, you are much more
likely to find this distressing and
worrying and not know how to deal
with it. As Rosie said, it comes
back to six education. In Jack's
case, it seems you come from a
religious background, it may have
shocked you a lot more -- sex
We have not had a chance
to talk to Kelly. She is right
Nice to meet you, Kelly.
That is a very interesting question.
I think one of the things that has
not been brought into this...
she is doing, is it morally wrong?
very good question. I think there
are effects of it which are wrong.
Yeah. I am not going to sit here and
condemn Kelly for doing the work you
do, Kelly, that is a choice you have
made. One of the things we need to
introduce into this debate that has
not been talked about...
and you have to move on.
of trafficking. There are people
like Kelly who have chosen to become
part of the porn industry, but 22%,
21-30,000,000 people who are
trafficked, it is for sexual
A big debate. Very, very important
debate to have.
You can join in all this
morning's debates by logging
on to bbc.co.uk/thebigquestions,
and following the link
to the online discussion.
Or you can tweet using
the hashtag #bbctbq.
Tell us what you think
about our last Big Question too.
Should there be licensed safe
places to take drugs?
And if you'd like to apply
to be in the audience
at a future show, you can email
We're in Southampton next Sunday,
Oxford on February 11th,
and Leicester the week after that.
Last week, Parliament debated
whether Britain should do more
to treat drug addiction as a health
issue, rather than
seeing it as a crime.
Ronnie Cowan, an SNP
Member of Parliament,
suggested drug consumption rooms
were part of the answer - supervised
places where illicit drugs could be
used under the supervision
of trained staff, as they are in
many other European countries.
There was a lot of support from MPs
across all parties, even though
the Government's Home Office
spokesperson was not
There's already a club on Teesside
where members can use
cannabis on the premises.
The local police are
apparently aware, but not,
Should there be licensed safe
places to take drugs?
Where are you, Kirsten?
are! How would it work? Supervised
drug consumption rooms are around
the whole world, about 100 of them,
they have existed for over 30 years.
Evidence for them is overwhelming.
What would happen is someone would
attend the service, like a health
service, with their own drugs, the
service does not provide them, and
inject the drug is under supervision
of trained staff and have access to
lots of other services and treatment
and goal setting meeting the
save lives. They do save lives?
times when we have the highest rates
of drug-related deaths at the
moment, we should be looking at all
the evidence -based opportunities to
reduce deaths. They reduce the
incidence of blood-borne viruses
like hepatitis C and HIV and in
Glasgow where I am working at the
moment, there is a proposal for this
type of facility, particularly on
the back of an HIV outbreak at the
Do they legitimise the
taking of hard drugs? Is there a
sense of... This is one of the
criticisms, a kind of validation?
They do enable drug use. They enable
safe drug taking under the
supervision of staff so if someone
were to overdose on the premises
there's staff available to help that
Rather than in a derelict
Exactly. It is
often seen as a controversial
service. In actual fact we already
provide sterile injektable equipment
to people knowing they'll perhaps
inject in an unsafe unhygienic
environment. Providing a sterile,
safe viern it is huge step.
it all sound really nice. I used her
win for -- her herion for 17 years.
I was shocked at the topic, a safe
place to use doctoring. I thought,
if that was me back in the day, I
would probably be dead. Now the
Government ace saying, it is OK to
do what you do.
They are not.
what it represents. If you think of
the mind of addict, that is what it
is saying. It is OK now to do what
you're doing, carry on and not only
that, we'll make it comfortable for
you. It's very dangerous.
talking about people using in their
own home environments, we're talking
about some of the most vulnerable
and marginalised people in our
communities. They've no self-esteem.
What supervised injecting facilities
do is encourage people to come in in
a non-judgmental environment. To
connect with people in a unique way
that cannot be achieved by any other
What you mean is anyone
addicted to drugs, it is back to our
definition of what is pornography.
What are drugs. Alcohol, the biggest
scourge of our society.
Health Organisation found out, 90%
of people who use drugs do not use
drugs problematic. It is the 10% of
problematic drug users. Within that,
the most vulnerable, as you say. You
were really lucky to have a home to
use drugs in.
No, that was cut off.
There were years of homelessness
innocence after. That it was hard
enough waiting to see if you're
going to score. This place you'll go
to with drugs, other addicts waiting
to go to go in so they can pounce on
you. You call this safe.
I hear you.
It is anecdotal. Not evidence-based.
I'm former drug substance abuser.
People go in here, they are treated
as human beings. Their problems are
looked at. All the other issues that
are dealt with. It is a first line
for treatment. A first line for
There is a support
service. The needles are clean?
The drugs aren't cut with
Nobody's ever died
in a drug consumption room. Nobody's
ever become infected with HIV. When
you used drugs, we were using really
dangerously. At that point in my
life, when I was 19, there was
nothing that would stop me doing
what I was doing. But what happened
is when I got into recovery, which
is what I needed, not everybody
needs that, it only works for 7% of
the people. The rest of my friends
went to prison. My partner died of
HIV. He would never have died of HIV
if he'd had the service that's
offered here. We've had 150 cases in
Glasgow, the most vulnerable people,
people without homes, are being
diagnosed with HIV. This is just,
it's unbelievable that this can
still be happening. And there is
such a simple solution to...
would have happened with our without
Nobody's ever been diagnosed
or caught a blood born virus.
would get the minority. There's
still a majority out. There my
concern is this is money we're
talking about. You're talking about
prevention. I want to talk about
cure. Put money into, I work in a
This is not,
Karen, is this money well spent?
think what we would be saying, I'm
from Addaction, a drug and alcohol
charity, we deliver front line
services every day, drug consumption
rooms in an ideal world should be
part of a treatment system. It is a
method, it is really strong
evidence-based, about 30% of people
coming through drug consumption
rooms move into treatment which is
what we want. However, there are two
big problems in society. Money is
one. Drug and alcohol treatments
have had significant cuts, about
25-40%. And two, the political will
to do it. Actually, it's been shut
I'm going to ask Chris about
the political will in just a second
being a distinguished former
Parliamentarian. Rather than being a
Parliamentarian. Quick points from
the audience. In front with the
beard. You've got a beard.
I'm a big
fan of the consumption room prop
posals. Drug addiction's been around
since the beginning of time. It
won't go away. The only way to
address is it common-sense
Do you run the cannabis
You have a lot of your
clients here today! LAUGHTER
you for the support. We've been open
14 months over that time we've found
out we have a lot of people from all
walks of life from 18-72.
Is it a
cannabis I might have smoked at
university or I might not have? Or
is it... Is it the stronger strains
now that we're hearing about?
stronger strains, the weaker
strains. Everything is available to
be consumed within the club. We
don't supply it. The members bring
their own. They are happy to pay for
This is crazy. Isn't it?
take it across here to the lady
there with the blue shawl. Good
morning. What I wanted to say was
We know as a medical
person, I know as well, addiction,
some people are prone to addiction.
Whether its alcohol, drugs or
whatever. It is a medical problem.
We need to have these places more of
these places so that they can be
counselled. Get the support they
need if they do want to get rid of
it. Exactly the right thing, right
attitude to take.
Thank you. In the
white shirt. Hello. The lady in the
white shirt. Too many white shirts
going on here.
I want to come back
to the financial argument. Drug
consumption rooms can reduce the
pressures on emergency services and
add anythings to hospitals. They
will increase demand on the services
treatment services so people can
access support. One of the
difficulties we have is these are
funded through two different
budgets. You might be saving in one
element but that money won't are
realised to put in extra support
services. We need to look at the way
we commission our services and the
way budgets are held.
were a former chair had a select
committee? You looked at drugs
We've been talking
about this for decades. People say
we need an entirely new approach.
Some people wand decriminalisation.
Some people are arguing for places
like this. What stops us from moving
in a more liberal direction? Is it
The report published in
2001 or 2002, we recommended safe
injecting places. We took evidence
and witnesses from Switzerland where
it has worked very well. In my view,
that's a no-brainer. You're talking
about chaotic drug users. Heroin
mainly. You can only establish a
point of contact. If they have the
will, offer them another option.
Once you've got them in a controlled
space, the point you made earlier
about making sure they don't consume
con Tam Nated drugs and that
happened a lot around here
incidentally, been quite a lot of
deaths from it. It is a strong one.
The other thing is that the don't
throw their needles all over the
park or down various streets for
children to pick up. Of course,
there's a point about Aids as well.
We recommended at the time it was a
no-brainer. Why isn't there the
political will because mass
hysteria's organised by certain
sections of media, led by the Daly
mail usually, whenever the subject
is broached. And politicians are
afraid of that. Since politicians
depend on votes for a living, they
are particularly vulnerable to that.
One of the things we recommended and
it was a very minor recommendation,
was downgrading cannabis from a
class A to a Class B drug. That was
based on the science. Nothing to do
with... When we did, the Home
Secretary accepted that. And did it.
And extraordinary hysteria broke out
on that one issue.
It is strange,
there was a whole generation of MPs
who kind of should have known what
they were talking about because they
were all people who had done it as
Not me, Governor! I have never
even smoked a cigarette.
I think it
was on LBC they interviewed all the
Labour Party candidates. This he'd
all done it except for Jeremy
The question about
this is the failure of the state.
Political parties come into power.
As soon as any political party
controls the state, they have an
inability to be able to deal with
this issue effectively. The good
judgment is overborn by the fact
they feel as running the stale they
can't allow this. This should have
been done years ago. It is a state
I live in Durham where the
Chief Inspector of Durham
constabulary Mike Barton set up a
checkpoint scheme to reduce
low-level crime in relation to
drugs. I've nothing to do with class
A or the police. I have me own
demons which I play the 5th
amendment on. He, and his staff,
want to reduce low-level crime with
drug abuse and drug addiction. I
don't wish to misquote him. He wants
to attack, get at the highly
organised criminal gangs, take the
money way from drug supply, which is
the life blood. Which is why they do
Fiona, we're coming to the end
here. Obviously we're talking about
chaotic and problem users. But there
are chaotic user of alcohol and
problem users of alcohol. People
debate this, shoot all these
opinions. Some of the people refuse
to acknowledge the most dangerous
drug in society.
Which is alcohol.
Yeah. Just to get back to your point
They're called public houses, the
Drug consumption rooms.
They're called my front room on a
Friday night as well!
also wants, the Chief Constable, I'm
his community adviser, he wants
heroin assisted treatment. He wants
safe consumption rooms.
word. 30 seconds.
I was saying, my
concern is there's a lot of money
going into this, enabling, I'm
sorry, that's what I call it,
enabling someone to carry on in
they're diction. Put the money into
residential rehabilitation centres.
We have to leave it there. Thank you
all very much. Thank you. See you
Next week, we're in Southampton,
so do join us then.
But for now, it's goodbye
and have a great Sunday.