Nicky Campbell presents topical debate from Lliswerry High School, Newport. Should Britain be proud of its arms trade? Plus is obesity a matter of personal responsibility?
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Today on The Big Questions...
The arms industry - a matter
of pride or a matter
of shame for Britain?
And obesity - whose fault
is it if you're too fat?
Good morning, I'm Nicky Campbell.
Welcome to The Big Questions.
Today we're live from
Lliswerry High School
in Newport, South Wales.
to The Big Questions.
Britain is very good
at making weapons, armoured
vehicles, fighter planes,
bombs and ammunition.
So good that we're the second
biggest arms dealer in the world,
outgunned only by the USA.
This week, there's been a very
important customer in town -
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
of Saudi Arabia.
Lunch with the Queen,
dinner with the Prince
of Wales and Prince William,
and a meeting with the Prime
Minister at Chequers have all been
aimed at getting him to sign a deal
to buy 48 Typhoon jet fighters,
amongst other things.
The deal is good news for the 5,000
BAE Systems employees
in Lancashire that assemble them.
But protesters against
the Saudi Prince were more concerned
at the Saudi-led bombardment
and blockade of Yemen and its
ensuing humanitarian disaster.
Should Britain be proud
of its arms trade?
Brad, is the arms trade immoral?
think arms in themselves are immoral
and the question we talk about,
pride in what? One of the things the
arms trade will always do this if
you start to critique it, they will
immediately say you are bringing
into question the pride of the
worker, nobody I know who critiques
the arms trade wants to bring into
question the integrity of the
workers. They can only produce arms,
I do not think that. What we have to
bring into question is that arms and
the consequences. Whenever we think
about guns in America, start with
the shootings at schools, the same
with the arms trade. These weapons
are designed to kill.
We need an
army and the Army needs to be
Do we need an army? We start
this understanding of politics which
big guns -- which begins with the
fact that humans are naturally
violent, we know in the
20th-century, we know that... Can we
not think of a different type of
politics? I think human beings...
Philip Dunne, lots to get our teeth
into, let me ask you about Saudi
Arabia, why are we sucking up to a
regime which has caused thousands of
deaths in the Yemen, it flogs
atheist bloggers, stages public
beheadings, kills homosexuals,
spreads extremism across the
I will answer that in the
second. I must pick up Brad's
Do the Saudi Arabia
Should we haven't
military? -- should we have a
Saudi Arabia first.
the crown princes at it, to
encourage him in the work he is
doing in modernising his nation, the
first leader of that most important
country in the Gulf, a key UK ally
in trying to get to grips with
decades of internal repression and
corruption and trying to introduce
moderate Islam, rather than the
extreme version they have been
having, trying to modernise the
economy, he has tried to do a lot of
good stuff very quickly. It is
absolutely right we should welcome
him to this country, to try to
encourage him in what he is doing,
and the package you referred to
about the defence potential, it was
a small element of a much bigger
programme of economic cooperation.
It is not a small element of the
people in Yemen suffering, being
killed by the Saudi bombing. It is
really about whitewashing the Saudi
war crimes and unfortunately that is
what we see in the UK's relationship
with Saudi Arabia, it is based
largely around the arms trade and we
know what the arms are being used
for, for war crimes, for attacks on
civilians, attacks on
infrastructure. As long as the UK is
selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, we
are complicit in the violence and we
have to put an end to it.
point. We need to have an army.
not think that is the question at
We have plenty of
time, I would like to address that,
Brad said we do not necessarily need
In an ideal world, no one wants
to see a world with the conflict we
have right now and we should keep
our eye on that aim. In the
meantime, there are specific things
we can do to reduce and to stop some
of the worst humanitarian crises,
some of the worst crimes happening
in this world, and that arms trade
is fuelling war and conflict around
the world and the UK is playing a
central role in that so the first
thing we should be doing is ending
the arms trade to countries like
Saudi Arabia, many other countries,
committing war crimes, we know what
the arms are being used for, we
cannot let them go in that way.
sure we will come onto this, but the
court threw out the allegation that
there was clear evidence of
It is clear.
thrown out by the court. The
question web Brad started us off,
why do we have an army? We have an
army to defend the country from
threat and the threats are multiple
and growing, staked on state
threats, we thought following the
cold war much of that was behind us,
it is evident we cannot, and we are
seeing now threats coming daily,
every minute, threats coming across
the internet affecting all of our
lives potentially, and much of those
threats are dealt with with military
Attacks on civilians in
Yemen and other places, for our
security, that is preposterous.
attack in Salisbury last weekend,
British military scientists who
developed the diagnostic tests which
helped stamp out the Ebola virus...
And also in the 50s, developed nerve
agents as well.
Getting back to the
topic of defence exports and
capability, defence industry
supports the military in this
country and the innovation and are
indeed that comes with that, from
space, which helped to generate our
GPS, huge civilian crossover which
would not exist -- R&D.
that an army existed defend a nation
is an art model. It is international
peacekeeping, so called humanitarian
and peacekeeping, in terms of the
They cannot do it with
chocolate is. There is a fundamental
On the one hand
saying we need to go to Iraq and
liberate them, and then they will
sell arms to regime is going
precisely against the democratic
movement of the Arab Spring.
up with Isis.
There is a fundamental
conflict. The fundamental question,
you are right, the question about
the Army is an existential question,
it is a fundamental aim which we
should all try to achieve because
rather than saying, let us
monopolise violence, let us put
violence itself constantly on trial,
but the arms trade is the starting
point, what does it mean to
demilitarise the world?
It is to establish the
aspect of the world order to
establish and maintain armies and
Armed Forces, it will happen, and
while you have that, you will have
an arms trade.
The challenge is to
make sure it is properly regulated,
controlled unchallenged. Is it,
If you're going to ask about
this country, my view is, yes,
but... The reason I say that, in
2002, the then Labour government
introduced the export controls that,
the first time legislation around
arms sales had been reintroduced
since 1931, a stepping stone. Since
then, we have got much better in
this country with a cross
participation of government
departments to make sure our exports
are undertaken legitimately and
Still arming Saudi
licences go unchallenged every year.
No one is challenging us about
selling operational patrol boats.
The. We will come back to what is
admittedly a very debatable area of
arms exports, to Saudi Arabia, but
at the strategic level, arms sales
will take place.
It about the
Andrew Smith. UK
fighter jets are right now dropping
bombs over Yemen. If the UK
Government, it has been totally
complicit in it. This week we have
seen how low the Government is
prepared to sink to sell weapons to
If you did not have
those bombs, you would have Russian
analogue unguided cluster munitions
doing it. You would not have
oversight in the Saudi chain of
command of what actually is going
This is where there is a rank
hypocrisy at the heart of the
foreign policy based on talking
about imports of human rights and
democracy while also arming and
supporting brutal regime is. Even
mentioning Russia, for example, the
UK was exporting weapons to Russia
until 2014, and we are exporting to
China as we speak, all around the
world, to regime is we would all
agree have inflicted terrible brutal
assaults on human rights...
represent a lot of people working in
the arms industry as well, are they
conflicted when they realise where
the end product, the end
destination, if you like, of their
labours are going?
They care about
the end destination, but the choices
in terms of the use of the arms for
politicians the regime 's that
actually have them. We as a union
take the view that military
deployment is the responsibility of
politicians and the government, but
once the Armed Forces are deployed
on civilians and support, they are
entitled to the best resources to
support them. There has been an
interesting iteration of the debate
already, the arms trade, but we are
rapidly talking about manufacture of
arms in any form, at all. I think
whilst people can have deep concerns
about the use of arms
internationally exported, the idea
that people do not want us to
manufacture arms to at least defend
national interests, but as a whole
other debate. Critically, we are
talking about hundreds of thousands
of jobs here and I have no qualms
about pointing that out. These are
jobs that are vital to
the things that I think Brad touches
on, not a single product for defence
workers, it needs to be calm and
evidence -based, the debate, because
history tells us defence
diversification is not particularly
successful. We talk about it but the
case studies do not show much in the
way of success. Defence
diversification would be happening
at a time when more than one part of
our economy is looking at the
question of transition, a lot of
members in energy, often an adjacent
sector to defence, changes from
large power stations to renewable...
A whole chain of industry is
involved and there is a simple limit
to the extent to which we can
What would these
people do, Ryvka Barnard?
It is a
really important question and what
we need is decision-makers to be
putting attention to that question
What is the
Everyone should have access
to good jobs providing good
livelihoods and it is a question of
political will, we need to be
forward-looking and visionary.
would you put that expertise?
need to look at what is the
investment in industry that could
create and sustain thousands and
thousands of jobs?
What might it be?
Not leading to the destruction and
death that the arms trade is.
Renewable energy is one. It is a
question of political will, not
necessarily a question of
feasibility and we need more studies
and careful attention to this.
Renewables is the source of jobs
which is quoted by every group
interested in diversification. We
will have to create a lot of
renewables jobs to soak up the
It is a very urgent
issue in our world.
We hear about
the industrial military complex,
real relationships between
politicians and arms manufacturers,
when you were ministers for defence
procurement, I'm sure you had a lot
of meetings with arms manufacturers?
We have a very significant industry
in this country, as Mike says,
employing many people.
worried about those relationships.
Many are providing and doing
multiple things. They did at the
moment for GKN, a major motor
component manufacturer, and also in
aerospace and defence. Much of the
key issue is innovation that comes
out of investing primarily initially
for military purposes and carrying
over which would not happen if we
did not have a defence purpose.
Hands up, a word on the
relationships and what people worry
about, a symbiotic relationship
between the politicians and the arms
industry, is that a genuine concern?
The arms industry is a very small
part of the economy, export jobs
account for 0.2% of jobs in the
country, a very loud voice and
power. It does employ extremely
skilled people and we want the
skills put into more positive areas
of engineering to have a more
positive impact, not an industry
which leads to war and conflict.
Such us, renewables?
would be one area, we need to look
at other areas, what can the
Government do to grow the areas? The
arms trade as a huge amount of
political support and logistical
support from Whitehall and the
emphasis needs to be put elsewhere.
Is there a genuine concern between
the relationship between politicians
and the arms industry or is Philip
Dunne right, are they necessary?
There has to be a real concern. The
Royal family has been seeing to be
involved in arms promotion.
become embedded and people listen to
With the war in Yemen, where is
the diplomatic way to start that?
can talk about the war in Yemen if
Let's talk about the
influence we can wield in those
situations, bringing Saudi Arabia on
that progressive past. Some people
argue that... I will come to you in
a minute. Who is proud of our arms
industry in the audience? That's
come to you if you are. He was
ashamed of our arms industry?
are proud of it. At the end of the
day, it is fair. 142,000 people are
employed in it. It is beneficial to
the country in general.
A lot of
jobs. Anyone else want to say
Morning. Nobody here would
want, given the choice, nobody here
would want to arm any nation. It
would be fantastic if we didn't have
a need for arms. As we do, like the
gentleman in front of me mentioned,
we have to live in the world as it
is and be pragmatic about things.
There are certain areas that take us
to Amman where they are repressing
freedom of association and that is
not a good idea.
scrutinise what we sell. To buy the
argument that if we were not selling
arms to these people than the would?
We have to live in the real world
and look after our own interests.
Our own strategic interests. It is
kind of a soft power, isn't it?
term, security, and the phrase
strategic interests get used to
cover up what really is politicians
and arms dealers getting together
and making a profit actually. Where
is the strategic interest for war
crimes in Yemen for the killing of
civilians, thousands of civilians,
many of whom are children? How does
that meet any strategic interest of
One of the operational tasks
of the British navy which has been
in place for the last 15 years or
so, has been to keep through our
minesweeping vessels the channels
between the Gulf and outside the
golf open from harassment from
Iranians attempts to block those
channels. That provides the vast
majority of our gas resource, which
comes out of the Gulf and oil into
this country and other countries
around the world. That activity is
being provided by the British
military in conjunction with our
allies and in particular your
countrymen in the US. If we weren't
doing that, there would be a serious
risk of disruption of supplies to
the energy of this country. How many
lives? No lives have been lost
What do you mean, what
is the cost?
There is a cost of war
and a cost of conflict.
It is not
conflict, it is preventing conflict.
People are being killed in Yemen or
We are missing how the
real world works. That is how the
real world works. The war in Yemen
is a legitimate war. It is not being
prosecuted as it should be but you
are not helping the people of Yemen
who are suffering so much if you
remove what are highly capable
munitions with people who are able
to use them and advise on them with
the unguided, horrible weapons we
are seeing used in Syria if you want
to replace British munitions with
Russian barrel bombs or Syrian
barrel bombs that will not help the
There is something the
arms trade does in terms of the
Logic applied to this industry and
nothing else. Our refill of Columbia
started to say, we are proud of our
cocaine industry? We know it kills
people. We can regulate it better
but another nation will produce
cocaine so we might as well produce
it. If we apply the logic that, why
do we apply this logic. In that
kills people? This is the logic we
need to be happening.
What about the
The Constitution of
Armed Forces bears no relationship
whatsoever to the cocaine industry.
That is another rabbit hole
People in Yemen are
injuring one of the worst
humanitarian crises in the world. In
2017 50,000 children died of
preventable causes. We have seen 1
million people being affected with
cholera in Yemen following a
breakdown of health infrastructure
up and down the country. This does
not suggest the Saudi intervention
is doing any that things were ever
told it would. It suggests Saudi
forces are not being moderated by UK
influence. What about Iran? They are
playing a negative role in the
region full is we do not support
selling weapons to Iran. We do not
support selling arms to Iran, nor
selling more arms into a region
which Reddy has quite enough arms
and quite enough conflict.
international response to Yemen
good? No, it is not. Would the
removal of UK armaments to that
debate make any difference? No, it
It would make it worse.
It would make a difference?
Absolutely it would. The arms are
fuelling the conflict and causing
civilian deaths. It would absolutely
interrupted the conflict. Instead of
focusing energy on arming the
aggressor in that situation, we
would be able to redirect resources
into looking at the humanitarian
What about getting on the
phone to Putin?
It is as those they
are the only two possibilities. It
is an over syndication of how
international politics works. It is
not as simple as one or the other,
as though that is the end of the
conversation. We need to be
accountable in this country for what
our government does, and the
decisions that the Government is
making here. The arms trade with
Saudi Arabia and other repressive
regimes around the world has two
Yes. Hello. Good morning.
We should be accountable. Why can't
we make a stand and say we care more
about human rights than making
What about jobs?
all the jobs? I know the jobs White
human are sacrificed.
If it is about
jobs versus human rights committee
is not a true choice.
It is being
presented in that way in the context
of a debate. The UK at his two
international treaties and has a
strong record on transparency. The
current events in the Middle East
and Saudi Arabia require the most
careful investigation and suspension
in relation to that particular
aspect of the arms trade. We get
very close when we moved from the
arms trade to manufacture of weapons
more generally. People in this
country don't expect national
security be expected. To give is the
rule of law and the space to have
debates like this. Arms provide the
rule of law ultimately. They provide
circumstances in which we can have
If you don't mind...
I will come to you to come to that.
Let me just go to the audience.
not sure it should be a clear-cut
thing as to whether we should be
proud of our arms industry in
general. We can give our military
defence without having to sell 48
Typhoon jets to Saudi Arabia. We are
still saving some jobs and we don't
need to fuel the anti-human rights
countries but we can still provide
our country defence.
We have to be
realistic. Coming back to what this
gentleman said, about keeping the
avenues to bring things back into
the Suez Canal. I have been on two
cruises in Dubai, Muscat, by
Somalia, by Saudi Arabia, through
the Suez Canal. When you see on the
map, Saudi Arabia is a very big part
and to be able to protect us, we
have had frigates there. They have
to protect against Somalia. There is
a Japanese frigate there to keep the
Suez Canal open.
You need arms to do
We have to trust the
politicians who know the full
details to be there.
rights abuses of people in Yemen is
not contingent on us having a safe
holiday in the Suez Canal. We have
to relate these questions much more
broadly and reducing it to economic
official way of justifying violence.
You remove the ethical question. I
am not saying that overnight all of
these populations would become
unemployed but I do think the
research in investment, millions
goes into research and development
in the military. Why is it we have
this model where all the money for
research and developers goes into
the military diagram for power? That
is a political choice.
that has to be counted. The conflict
in Yemen was not started by us
supplying arms to Saudi Arabia. It
was a civil war that had been going
on for four years. It was a request
to the Saudis by the legitimate
government of the yen -- the Yemen
for an intervention to try to bring
it to an end. The rebels were
starting to use Iranians missiles to
fire into Saudi Arabia. It was a
legitimate intervention. The
allegation it has led to war crimes
are serious allegations which were
put by people on your side of the
argument. Took the British
government to court and
Parliamentary committees agreed it
was appropriate for the courts to
make a decision as to whether or not
international he managed Terry and
laws have been broken. The courts
decided quite clearly that was not
the case. -- humanitarian laws.
regime in Yemen has a right to be
able to defend itself.
Do they not?
None of that has anything to do with
the UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia or
other places. There is a political
map we must pay attention to and
look at. Absolutely. That is the
argument we are making. When the
arms trade is at the centre of that
analysis, or at the centre of the
conversation, at the centre of
investment, we cannot have an open
and transparent conversation about
it because it is being dominated by
the sort of need for more arms
constantly. Our politicians are not
going to be making honest decisions
about this if they are being wined
and dined by the arms industry
constantly which is unfortunately
the case with many of the
To go to court is the
highest level of scrutiny you can
have. The court agreed it had
happened but also what has happened
is the Saudis definitely have an
operational problem in the use of
some of the munitions they have. No
doubt about that. The UK Government
has offered more training and advice
on it and it is giving that to them.
There was a point made earlier about
why research and develop and is so
important. The reason is that is how
we have been able to generate the
next level of weapons technology
which we are able to discriminate.
In writing capable hands there is
not collateral damage you would have
had in previous conflicts we're not
bearing that in mind.
by having trade contacts with these
countries and seeing it and framing
it in the way of self power, this is
a big part of this and you will have
a say on this, can we exert an
influence and bring countries,
because the Prince is a progressive
prince, a reforming prince, can we
encourage that by having dialogues
that go in tandem with these sales?
Absolutely not. It is a myth
actually. You cannot have influence
and to stop violence for example
while giving alms to the perpetrator
Theresa May is raising
issues with him.
Not while providing
him with weapons. Not just him, it
is actually a long problem with
Saudi Arabia and many other
repressive regimes around the world.
You don't stop violence by giving
weapons to the perpetrator of
violence. It has never happened and
it is not how it works.
We have to
leave it there. I'm so sorry. If you
have any views on obesity, please be
free to come in on the next debate.
Thank you very much indeed.
You can join in all this
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I always look at that after the
Tell us what you think
about our next Big Question too.
Is obesity a matter
of personal responsibility?
And if you'd like to apply
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at a future show, you can email
We're in Brighton next week,
then Glasgow on March 25th.
After the Easter break,
we'll be in York on April 8th
to make two editions -
the usual live programme
in the morning, then we're recording
a one-hour special on the future
of the National Health
Service in the afternoon.
Britain needs to go on a diet,
according to the head
of Public Health England,
"Children and adults routinely
eat too many calories,
and it's why so many are overweight
or obese," he said this week.
He wants a 20% reduction
in the calories contained
in foods like pizzas,
ready meals, processed
meats, and takeaways
over the next six years.
If food manufacturers
don't heed his advice,
he'll ask the Government
to legislate, just as they have
done with the sugar tax
on sweetened soft drinks,
which comes into force next month.
No one is forced to consume sugary
drinks or eat fatty foods.
It's a matter of personal
taste and choice.
Is obesity a matter
of personal responsibility?
Ashley, good morning. We need to do
something, we need to ban junk food
advertising, this sugar tax, a fact
tax, teach people to limit calories
-- fat tax. Something must be done.
I would disagree with that. A lot of
what is propose would make things
worse. There is a need to temper
some of the hyperbole with which the
issue is being communicated. It will
only make sense of speaking of it as
an academic if it is a
life-threatening disease, it is not.
Very very thin people and very, very
fat people. There is a slightly
decreased risk of mortality in the
so-called overweight category. There
is a lot of moralism and I think
this issue is a way of communicating
aesthetic and moral and behavioural
judgments, how people should think,
act and behave through a medicalised
vocabulary because policymakers have
lost the vocabulary to communicate
with the public in any other way.
Kathleen, you do not think there is
any need for sugary drinks?
would ban them? I think they should
be banned. I do not think there is
any feasible reason to have a two
litre drink that can pack 1000
calories in a 500 millilitres
serving, it is ridiculous.
not have to drink it all at once.
No, but why would you choose to have
14 sugars in your cup of coffee? It
is the same thing. Why put it in a
drink when there is no need.
would you stop people drinking it?
This is where we get to the morally
We are there!
have the choice of what they are
going to put in the body,
absolutely. However, we have to
admit and understands that we do
live in what is... It is a state run
education system, everything is led
by the Government and the way we
live our lives and that access to
education we receive and everything
else is given to us by our
government. When it comes to sugary
drinks especially, should parents
have the right to serve their
children that much sugar when we
Should they? When we know
the health ramifications of that...
Should they have that right?
Personally, I don't think so. I do
not think any parent in their right
mind should be feeding an infant
What about an ice
Come on! Ice cream is a
A drink is a treat.
not have a drink as a treat, you
have them daily. When we are talking
about the consumption of sugary
drinks, you generally find those
people who have the sugary drinks,
it builds an almost addiction so
they drink more and children, we are
seeing dental problems.
This is what
I am talking about, how it has
become a way of talking about a lot
of preoccupations, a lot of
ambivalence about parenting in
society right now, there is a
distrust of pounds has been able to
exercise has an ability -- there is
a distrust of parents being able to
exercise responsibility for the next
generation, this idea of a hapless
parent pumping sugar into their
I absolutely agree with
We enlist children into this as
a way of saying, people can make the
choice to live their lives as they
choose, but think of the children.
If we remove the children from the
equation, we know cigarettes are
very harmful and alcohol, cigarettes
and alcohol are taxed extremely
They are not banned.
are put out of the financial reach
of a lot of people. You bring in
this question, is it only the poor
people who will suffer from the
sugar tax? Is it only the property
stricken -- poverty stricken
The taxes will not do
anything, it is symbolic politics,
the sense we know the causes of the
obesity problem, we know what to
Why not just get rid of the
sugary drink substance that we know
Getting a very hard
time, the food industry, in all
this, get rid of half of their
products, they are seen as some
people... Cocaine mentioned in the
last debate, some people look on
them as drug dealers.
I think this
is because the Government does not
feel it can do much about physical
activity, it is a rise of sedentary
lifestyles and jobs in particular
that has gone along with the rise of
obesity but it can do something
about the food industry. We see
tobacco style regulations being put
forward, junk food brand on
television, health warnings...
they a good thing?
Very damaging to those...
is no such thing as junk food.
legal definition. We have food high
in fat, sugar and salt and it is a
huge range of products. We would not
see Nigella Lawson's Christmas
adverts until after the watershed if
this ban came in, sugary drinks,
chocolate bars, bacon, cheese,
orange juice... That would be bad
for business and consumers and the
media, not the BBC, but the
commercial stations, the so-called
junk food brand...
It is a tale of
two industries, the arms industry
and the food industry, tremendously
important this country.
similar in the sense because people
One comes quickly,
the other comes slowly.
going on currently and what will
happen over the next three, four
years, with this crazy policy of
reducing calories in food by 20%, we
will see products getting much less
tasty, and we will see them get
smaller because a lot of them, you
cannot reformulate them to make them
healthier, you have to make them
smaller. People are blaming it on
Brexit, smaller chocolate bars, it
is Public Health England's targets,
it is a rip-off, very bad for
consumers, not doing anything for
Professor Nadim Haboubi, a
consultant, chairman of the Welsh
obesity society, a matter of choice?
It is not. Absolutely not. Obesity
the disease,, A complex disease. I
see thousands of patients over the
last many years, so many reasons why
they are wood-macro, genetics,
environmental, social, they are
desperate to lose weight, so many
factors that have made them obese --
they are obese. It is about
activity, not just food, it is about
sedentary lives, these people need
help. Help from wire? Health
professionals, the media. -- help
from where? The Government. Who had
the power to coordinate all of this
in order to combat the silent
killer, the disease, obesity? Only
the government. I think the
government should... I am one of
those who advocate there should be
tax on junk food because junk food
now is very affordable, that is why
I practice in the hottest obesity
spot in the UK.
What is junk food?
Anything high in calories, fat,
sugar and salt.
A little does you
good, now and again, once a week?
Wait a minute.
They can is one of
the great joys of life.
It is a
killer. -- acre Babb is one of the
great joys of life. You have to run
three miles to burn it off.
is the deal, that is the deal!
want to translate food into this
biochemical thing, but only so much
good in your mouth as the powers
deem acceptable, but that is not
what food is about, it is a social
thing, a cultural thing, continuity
between generations, enjoyment, all
of this hectoring people, it turns
off a huge portion of the population
from the political class because it
offers nothing to people accept...
The future will be terrible, we will
take away your small pleasures, that
sort of thing, people are, like, no,
The people having take away
several times a day, is that a
choice? Why are they doing that?
They need help.
I would like to add
in the, Professor Haboubi, I think
Can I introduce you? Holly
MacGillivray, plus size model,
positive body campaigner.
It is one
of the only accepted prejudices
still out there. I do not have a
moral obligation to be smaller, to
go on a diet, to fit into your idea
of what I should look like and
And once again, we are making
Do you think I eat a
takeaway every day, Professor
Did I say that?
these people, I am wood-macro, I am
not eating a takeaway every night --
I am obese.
I said it is complicated
by many factors, not caused only by
eating junk food, so many things.
Emotional things, psychological
things. I deal with the subject in
an individualised manner.
you think of the body positive idea?
The bigger you are, the more
unhealthy you are, whether you like
it or not. If you are well and
healthy at the age of 20, if you are
not diabetic now, you are
I agree, of
course, the bigger you are, the more
and healthy you are, I am not
ignorant of science, I totally
understand, if you eat too many
calories, your waistband will
expand. However, it is not that
Cancer is more common in
those who are obese.
of we are eating too many calories,
it makes a nice, simple public
health message, but the science is
not that straightforward, it is
extraordinarily complicated. Say we
will reduce the calories in the
food, a huge amount of the science
is going the other direction, that
means we will probably put more
carbohydrate in the food and people
will get more hungry or reduce
portion sizes, Hector even more, bad
morality, making it difficult to
have good policy advice.
How do you
manage the problem of obesity?
Ashley, answer his question.
not think there is a problem of
obesity. The number has not
increased since 2002.
of diabetes has doubled over the
last 20 years.
There are children
under the age of ten...
under the age of ten, you walk along
the streets, any high street, you
can see three, four-year-olds who
are clinically obese, what would you
do about it?
We are trying to say
there is a certain look which is fit
and healthy and actually other
people, would put them on trial for
the way they look, and that to me is
ethically compromised. Most of... A
lot of the most physically looking
healthy specimens which I know has
friends have had serious mental
health issues, the correlation
between health and the way your body
looks... It connects even to the
question, I do not want to defend
Donald Trump, but some of the body
shaping associated with Donald Trump
has been abhorrent -- body shaming.
People who look a certain weight,
calling them somehow disease. We
need to get out of the medicalise
Sarah? I completely
agree that it is not supposed to be
about how people look.
problematic to say we need to move
away from medicalise language
because the issue is not about how
people look, it is about health. We
know that being overweight or obese,
the longer it goes on, the more it
is associated with disease outcomes
like cancer, heart disease,
diabetes. While it is true to say
that in the recent past we have not
seen rates of overweight and obesity
going up, they do not seem to be
going down either, more than six in
ten UK adults are overweight or
obese, three in ten children are, we
do need to do something.
What do we
need to do?
Some people say it is about eating
takeaways and about banning junk
food. Somewhat boring Lake Manyara
is in the middle for the people have
responsibility for what at the end
of the day they put on their trays.
You would banning advertising on
What Cancer Research UK
would like to see is an extension to
the current laws we have. This
marketing is bad for children and we
have banned it during kids TV. Kids
don't just watch that, they spend
times their family. It would make
sense to extend regulations that we
have put into place to do.
sponsor some of the great sporting
events. There are huge problems.
Let's go through. Would you like to
Going on from the human level,
when you look at it on the ground,
people are not that motivated today.
I was thinking of a solution to it.
If people could all come together
and encourage one another to lose
weight and so on, you don't know
what goes on in their day-to-day
lives. You might -- they might have
something happen to them which makes
them depressed. Once they lose well
and gain weight and so on, only
together with everyone involved that
we can in Courage one another and to
lift ourselves back up again.
encourage. It starts with education.
There is not just one solution.
Education from children, up through
to adult food. Obesity is on the
rise and it is preventable, I think.
It does not matter what you look
like, it is about health and fitness
and we are living more extension we
lifestyles. There is a lot of fat
shaming out there but we are not
talking about that. You do see
people on the high street with
children and their parents and they
do follow the example of parents. I
am a parent now and I am a good
example, hopefully, to my child not
to be fatty food. It is not about
having takeaways seven days a week.
It is about moderation. If you
wanted about by the weekend then
have it as long as there is a
calorie deficit. On the flip side
have be careful of being too
educational to the fact they possess
over calories and numbers you have
to enjoy food for food because it is
about enjoyment as well.
question is, is obesity a matter of
personal responsibility question in
its most basic form, it is. We live
in an obesogenic environment.
does that mean?
choice? When you look at takeaways
and chicken shops, how often does a
supermarket have a buy one get one
free offer on apples, compared with
ready meals which are high in salts
and facts and that kind of thing? On
a personal level we do all have a
responsibility. I am an example of
that. I had gym membership I was
using. I went to the gym one day
nearly two years ago and stood on
the scales and saw that my weight in
stones and lbs, rather than in
kilograms which meant nothing to me
at the time, and I saw I was 17
stone. I said to myself that is
going to stop.
Never the other would
have voted because they have their
I saw a programme
advertised on my local newspaper
website for the two days later I
joined that. A programme called fact
that book, I now coach in Somerset.
We promote an all-round approach.
football. What was the Association
of willpower like?
You're lucky if
you can afford to join a gym.
many people cannot do that. Exactly.
Now I do not have gym membership
because I go out running and that is
free. From the willpower point of
view, it was, to me, it was taking
that responsibility. It was looking
at... I don't promote any particular
kind of diet or anything like that.
What I say to the guys in my league
and we have leaks all around the
country, they need to make
sustainable life changes.
that to somebody who's pleasure in
life is a cigarette. You need to
make a sustainable life change that
is the difficult thing, isn't it?
One problem that play, it is like, I
went online the other day just
before I wrote a piece for the
Guardian and I do it a theoretical
shop for a family of four and I did
it over a period of 14 evenings. My
mission was to feed his family of
four for 14 evenings for the
cheapest I possibly could. After
going through all of the major
supermarkets, including a rather
well-known frozen food retailer, 75
chicken nuggets in batter £3. One
chicken breast to pounds 25p. A
cabbage 60p. Eight kilo of frying
chips, 79p. When parents can all
went anyone, especially when you
take single middle-aged men are a
perfect demographic because you find
many of them are living in one room
in shared houses with no cooking
facilities. How can it be a personal
What to do about the
79p bag of chips?
I would make the
bad stuff more expensive and the
good stuff cheaper.
How much would
it be in your world?
because that is all I can afford.
I can come back, and I will come
back to you in a minute because you
are Health Minister for a while. We
mentioned kebabs, on a Friday night,
after you have seen Scotland losing
the rugby and you're on your way
home, at the back. The nice thing
occasionally. Would you let yourself
have occasional treats like fish and
Definitely. I was out for a
curry last night. What I have done
through sustainable life changes I
have made is I have been able to
reduce my calorie intake throughout
the week to earn the curry, as such.
Exactly. I am one of those who
advocates activity. If you
advocates activity. If you want
this, the activity symbol would say
you would need to burn off this
amount. You would be surprised. 350
calories in a sandwich or whatever.
If you put next to it you need to
run a mile to burn it off, they
would probably go for something
without mayonnaise, for example.
a doctor, what do you think would
happen people burnt off 2000
calories a day? You would burn off
hundreds of calories in your sleep.
Nobody burns 3000 calories in a day.
-- 2000. A normal sedentary
lifestyle you would burn 2000
The most important single
need now is actually sedentary life.
You don't have to go for a run. If
you tell people they need to burn up
every calorie they consumed by
running they would die of starvation
in a week. Also with the world of
work and time, there is a huge issue
about lifestyle and demands of work
in terms of ability to focus on
If we don't address
that we will continue to have this
That is what people should
care about. It is an aesthetic
thing. We not shaming people, it is
about your health and medical eyes
wave making those judgments. I don't
like the you look for your fact
body. I am concerned about your
health. You do not care about that.
You have no idea what is going in
that person's body. You do not like
it because they are fat.
that shaming badly, I fully agree
with you. At that particular time I
was on water retention tablets are
my heart was really bad. I got out
of hospital for pneumonia is getting
infection after infection after
infection and I ballooned. When I
tried to speak, sensibly, about that
this is food poverty can this is
what is happening this is the
situation people are living in,
there are people living in single
rooms with one microwave, how are
they going to have billions of
vegetables? What I got was, you are
fat, you obviously don't go without
food. And this is the narrative that
people are throwing back.
Dunne, does the Government need to
This is what I was going
to touch on. There is a lot of talk
today in this very interesting
debate about education and
responsibility. I think education,
the Government does have a role
buying Courage in, as Duncan Selbie
in your introduction has done last
week, publication of calorific
content in stuff that people buy. --
encouraging. It might not answer
everything but I think the activity
register is quite good idea to give
that information to people as well.
There is an educational aspect the
Government has a role to play in and
the other is in responsibility. We
have introduced corporate
responsibility to the food chain
through requesting reduction in salt
on a voluntary basis which has been
very successful in bringing down
salt content by 20%. We are doing
the same with sugar content by
requesting reduction was sugar
content and with introducing a levy
on soft drinks. Maybe more can be
done in that area. The point that
was made by the Lady of their about
the wedding advertising jarring
children's slots, some of these
price promotions encouraging people
to meet more than a treat and
routinely, there is potentially a
role for trying to do what we have
done with tobacco for you mentioned
the advertising contribution made by
food manufacturers. Formula 1 is to
be almost entirely financed by
tobacco advertisers. We banned it
and make no difference. Television
companies pay for most of Formula 1
Chris... The question
is, is obesity personal
responsibility? If it is, there is
no need for government action. We
have not got into that question. I
think it is of the US that obesity
is not a personal thing. -- it is
obvious that obesity is not a
personal thing goes that we have
someone who has lost weight and
someone who is overweight and happy
being so. There is no need for
government action. People are obese
for an obvious reason, they are not
doing enough exercise, and they are
eating too much food. It is
perfectly feasible to make a trade
off. I don't want to go to the gym
and I want to eat tasty food and I
don't appreciate the Government
taxing and reformulating soft
drinks. It will not be possible to
buy proper Ribena shortly. There are
already diet drinks for those who
We have got to leave it
there but I think Ribena is a very
good idea for another debate on The
Big Questions. As always with those
debates will continue online and on
Next week, we're in Brighton,
so do join us then.
Enjoy your little pleasure
throughout the day. Goodbye from
Newport and have a really wonderful
Nicky Campbell presents topical debate from Lliswerry High School, Newport. Should Britain be proud of its arms trade? Plus is obesity a matter of personal responsibility?