Episode 1 The Big Questions

Episode 1

Moral and ethical debate with Nicky Campbell. Questions include does love thy neighbour mean welcoming immigrants, is becoming a mum in midlife selfish and does society need sin?

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Today, immigration, midlife motherhood and sin.


Good morning, I'm Nicky Campbell, welcome to a new series of The Big


Questions. Today we're live from Queen Mary University of London.


Welcome, everyone, to The Big Questions.


On Wednesday, the press staked out the airports, and the MPs Keith Vaz


and Mark Reckless, who's with us today, were on hand too, all because


Britain had been told to expect a deluge of immigrants from Romania


and Bulgaria on New Year's Day. So far it's been more of a trickle. But


immigration has been on the rise and it's now being presented as a major


threat by many politicians and newspapers, from left to right. But


Jesus commanded his followers to, "Love thy Neighbour as thyself".


Does love thy neighbour mean welcoming immigrants?


Peter Hitchens, you are a practising Christian. You should abide by


that, love thy neighbour, including those from Romania and Bulgaria? Of


course it does. Nobody should treat a fellow creature badly. That is


basic to everything we think or do or say. But the people coping with


immigration do not tend to be the ones taking decisions to allow


migrants to come here. The people who are saying, come, you are


welcome, as those who live far away from the areas which will be


overcrowded, from GP surgeries to schools where there will be no


places. And so for them to say, you must love your neighbour while we


sit in our safe jobs and our council housing areas not being affected, is


quite different from saying, I must love my neighbour. What does it mean


in the context of immigration? It means welcome. It means looking


after. Peter has made the case about the long queues at the doctors, at


the school gates etc. They are down to politicians mismanaging the


investment. Migrants make a net contribution. Down my road,


Streatham high road, a couple of delicatessens have opened up. They


will pay taxes. Their children go to the local schools because they are


paying the taxes. There are other issues apart from economics, unless


you are a Thatcherite who believes that money is the only thing that


matters. One of the problems about loving your neighbours is it is


harder to love your neighbour if you don't share a language or a culture,


if you don't share a sense of humour. If you don't share any legal


system. It is difficult. How do you know you don't share a sense of


humour with the Romanian and Bulgarian 's? I am a widely


travelled person, so I know the difference between this country and


other countries. There are great differences between their country


and I was partly because they lived for years under commenters. Of


course there are challenges. There are challenges from an ageing


population. It does not mean that you bump your old people off. You


engage with those challenges. Be smug people who say there are no


problem about this... Nobody is saying there are not challenges. The


smoke people who are complacent about this are not those who live


with it. -- the smug people. Nor are they those whose jobs are affected.


You will not find many Polish MPs, Polish media figures, Polish civil


servants, actors, you will not find that the jobs being done by the


elite are the ones I affected by the influx of people from outside who


are prepared to work for less. Who are prepared to live in overcrowded


conditions. Owen Jones, has mass immigration being good for the UK?


In lots of ways, of course it has. The NHS is propped up by


immigrants. 30% of doctors are foreign-born. 40% of our nurses.


Many of us may have been brought into the world by Pakistani nurses.


You may have been tended by Indian doctors. What infuriates me about


this debate is the way that, since the bankers plunged this country and


the rest of the world into the economic disaster it has suffered


since, there has been a cynical and concerted attempt to pass the blame


for all the social ills of this country away from those responsible


at the top to people's neighbours down the street. Immigrants. You say


we should be welcoming. I have no idea if you are a practising


Christian or not. I am not a believer. Tony Benn once said that


he listened closely to the message of Jesus, love thy neighbour. But if


it does mean welcoming thy neighbour under all circumstances, who would


you not letting? This is the problem with this debate. It is a specific


question. Do you draw the line anywhere? Where would I draw the


line? The point we have to discuss as a country is why we have the


social problems we have. Is it to do with immigrants? There are


challenges. This is so crucial. There are massive problems in this


country. Take the housing crisis. I bet there are people in this


audience, people watching, who are stuck on a council housing waiting


list. 5 million people are stuck on council housing waiting lists. That


is not the fault of the immigrants. It is the fold of politicians who


refused to let councils have the power. This is such a strawman


argument. Nobody is saying it is the fault of the individual immigrants.


Nobody blames people coming here seeking to improve their lives. It


would be what many of us would do in the same circumstances. It is not a


question of blaming the immigrants. It is a question of blaming the


politicians who, particularly under Labour, opened the gates in this


country in a way which is unprecedented. Peter, I want to


bring Mark reckless. They have changed the labour market and the


housing market. Nor is it saying, and I have two say this, because it


is probably the last time I will get to say this, of course you can blame


the problems of this country on many different things. We are discussing


immigration. If you want to discuss bankers, I agree with you on a lot


of what you say. But this particular issue is about immigration. You


cannot say the problems caused by immigration at the same as those


caused by bankers. Mark reckless, you were at Luton airport. Love thy


neighbour, would Jesus have been with you at Luton airport? Would he


have stopped people coming in at Dover? Mass immigration is something


he would have encouraged. I'm not sure he would. I hope we can draw


the distinction between welcoming individuals and policy is a country.


Has mass immigration mingled for this country? I'm not sure it


happens, at least not in the mass numbers you are talking about. 4


million people came into this country under Labour government. My


government promised, and I stood for election on the promise to cut the


number of immigrants coming in... I want to keep that promise to the


electorate. If we just let in large numbers of people from Bulgaria and


Romania, who can very quickly become eligible for social housing, get tax


benefits and can send child benefit from this country back to children


at school in Rumania... I have been campaigning on that for two years.


If at last we're going to see action, I am delighted. You came in


a promise -- on a promise of having a go at the migrants. You are


already laying the blame at the door of the migrants. Instead of dealing


with the underlying problems. It is absurd to suggest you can have


controlled system of immigration without being decent and nice and


all the things you should be to those who are coming in. I lived in


Rumania for three years in the days of Ceausescu. A lot of the


conditions that pertain then, still apply now. Of course people will


come here. What we are talking about is the scale. It is silly to suggest


that when you have something like one third of the families in this


country, that is foolish. Of course, immigration is good and we should


have controlled immigration. Are you worried about the cultural


challenges, which I think has been hinted at by Peter? Something like


700,000 children in this country speak 300 languages between them. We


were talking earlier that the tribalism that we should be getting


away from. Unfortunately, when you get migration taking place at this


sort of rate, that is inevitably what it is going to lead to, little


groups of people living within our society. That is the last thing we


want. Culture is learning. We keep going on about how they don't speak


our language. We go to Spain. We don't speak the language there. We


gather in our own little group and eat fish and chips etc. We speak


English. The reality is, of course we need to have some level of


control. At the debate we are seeing, not necessarily this debate


but the debate we are seeing generally in society, is a debate


that actually blames the migrant. People have always moved. We have


always moved for economic reasons. Governments around the world,


whether they be in Europe or on a much wider scale, they do need is to


create the types of economy around the world so that people will want


to stay where they are and enjoy their lives. If you are going to


repeat his accusation that those of us worried about large-scale mass


immigration blaming the migrants, come up with one instance of anybody


ever having done so? I haven't done so, he hasn't done so. It is a


simple false accusation repeatedly made that this is something to do


with a loathing or hatred of migrants. It has nothing to do with


that at all. I am going to come to the audience.


We will get own's response. Nobody has accused you of loathing hating


immigrants. Who is responsible what is responsible for the real social


problems this country has? For example, low wages. People's pay


packet in this country have been shrinking for ten years. The reason


we have fallen wages in this country is because we have weak trade unions


which cannot stand the ground and get a good slice of pie. It is a


minimum wage. It is the form of globalisation we have got. And it is


to do with austerity. I am actually coming up with proposals here. Let's


have a living wage, let's stop employers, sorry, force employers,


to hire people on the same terms and conditions. Stronger trade unions


which camera present workers. Rather than an agenda of despair and


blaming people. People, please! -- Peter. He says quite clearly nobody


is blaming the migrants. He has said it quite clearly from the beginning


of the programme. The benefits of immigration are there to see in


terms of the National Health Service and London transport, and


organisations like that. A number of speakers are overlooking the fact


that Britain is a signatory to the European Union. We have got the


wrist -- facility of reciprocating moving around Europe. It is legal


immigration. We are not talking about illegal immigration. Many


people have used that facility. Instead of scaremongering and


prodding forward bogus arguments. Youth unemployment is right at the


moment, so why do we welcome people to a country that still has


problems? With the issues in our country today, like the amount of


benefits culture and the skills that people bring with them, that is far


more beneficial than the negative harm that is brought in the short


term. Mark Reckless? A fair couple of points for you. George Osborne is


for ever emphasising the fact that there are hard-working families, but


perhaps next all the blinds drawn and those people, he said, are


feckless and lazy and unwilling to work. The point is, people who come


here are desperate to work. They want to work. Do you not acknowledge


that? Yes, I do, and I think it's difficult for young people in my


constituency who are struggling to get a job or move up the career


ladder if employers are able to import workers. So they are not


feckless? The people coming from Bulgaria and Romania are desperate


to work, and will work for lower wages, and will work long and hard


because of the comparison to the home country. The point George


Osborne makes, there is a comparison with immigration. In order to


sustain the welfare state, where people paying, what they want to


feel is that they can also benefit from that, and those who receive


from it are those who deserve to, and they can see themselves doing


that if they have to fall on hard times. But if money is going to


people who won't work, and people who are coming from overseas who do


work hard but are still eligible for top ups and tax credits, people will


question the whole basis of the welfare state. Do you say that the


EU migrants are making more for the country than they are taking out.


That is one argument, and it is one survey. It is often commuter


migration, people who take large amounts of money out of the country


and send it back to their family at home, and they don't come here to


stay for the long term, but think about how they can make the most


money, quickly and take it back home. These people have paid into a


pension they will never claim. Jonathan Bartley, is this right


about people taking the money and going home? It is not the reality.


These arguments I have heard for three or four decades. When the


Asian community came to the UK, they set up an entrepreneurial culture


and we were faced with a lot of racism and hostility, the thought we


were taking jobs away. We were economic migrants and we came here


to have a better future. And within that hardship a lot of people coming


with ?3 in their pocket became global entrepreneurs. A lot of the


entrepreneurs in this country are my grits and have contributed to the


plc of the UK -- are migrants. There is an awful lot we have contributed.


50s? Who is to say where you draw the line, but if you get into your


50s and you are having children, you will be in your 70s when they are in


their early 20s. This is not ideal. My fundamental point is, for


goodness sake, can't we babies for women who are biologically ready for


them. I am an older mother, and I recently had a baby. I am 42, but I


think the main issue for me and women of my generation has been


finding a partner at the age which is biologically ideal to have a


baby, perhaps your late or mid-20s. It takes a long time to meet Mr


Right? It did for me. Did you kiss a lot of frogs? Not a lot, honey. One


thing I thought was shocking was a recent study said 70% of women over


50 disapprove of women of 40 having a baby. These are the same women who


raised a generation of young men who are unwilling, unable and


uninterested in commitment until they get to around 40 or 42, and


then they want a 26. The women of my generation in their late 30s or


early 40s are pummelled by the media for leaving it too late, being


selfish, and these women have genuinely been seeking an


appropriate partner for a decade or longer and would like nothing more


than to have a baby when it is biologically ideal but have been


unable to find a partner who was willing and able, and by the time


those guys get round to it, they no longer want women of their age. They


want to be rich, established. Tyler wants to come in. I understand what


you are saying, but what we are missing out from the discussion is


the foundation of love and peace. I don't think age is necessarily a big


factor. There are many children in the care system, the foster care


system and I'm sure they are not looking back saying, when was I


born? We need to take the tradition of the Jewish culture perhaps which


has a fantastic tradition on Friday, when they lay their hands on their


child and speak blessing on to the child. So if it is a male child they


will say something like, may the blessing of Africa and beyond you,


and if it is the daughter, made the blessing of Rachel beyond you. --


Ephraim. -- be on you. It is important we focus on the love and


the blessing. That is the important thing. I see Mark Reckless wants to


coming, as do many people. We noticed you asked the first question


to a man, which is obviously significant. What does it signify?


Is being an older parents selfish. Statistically men die for years


before women, so the idea women are being selfish is neither here nor


there. My experience of running a club is that as a woman you try to


do anything else, go to work, go out for the evening, have some time with


your friends, and somebody is queueing up to make you feel guilty.


The second thing you should have mentioned is that is that -- is that


the statistics are conceding. The overall number is still small, 1% up


to 4%. A 400% rise. But there has been a steady rise. One thing we can


do about this is make adoption easier, which is what I said to my


GP. She said older mothers are great, incredibly motivated,


committed because they want the baby so much. That is a very good point.


Is there a sense, because of medical advances and the nature of society,


women are being sold a vision? I am the daughter of journalists. My


generation have done something a little disingenuous. We write


articles saying that if you are in your 30s and having a great time,


and the women in their 30s say they don't need to do it now, I spoke to


a male friend and his girlfriend moved in, and he said don't hang


around because life is so nice. There is never a good time. The


mistake we made was because you might be able to get pregnant, and


the fertility is against you, but we can't help that. Biology is not


sexist, that is the way it is. Because we can it doesn't mean we


should or it is easy. The best favour you can do any woman in this


room who is in their 30s in a relationship is to say, get on with


it. How relationship is to say, get on with


and 33,000 of them were over 40. Can you put them in a room and tell them


they are selfish? It's completely unnecessary and judgemental. It is


not just about choosing, some women do not have a choice to choose to


give birth over 40, it actually just happens to them. They may have had


an illness, breast cancer, frozen eggs, and you may not have the


choice. Also there is the fertility issue as well is not meeting the


right man. You may not have chosen. I was an older mother, but I think


I'd turned out to be as good as others, and even though there are


risks. There are risks but if you put in the correct maternity pathway


with moral midwives, and give one to one care in Labour, we will have


lots of better outcomes. It is important we get the maternity pads


geared up for the women who are older because they deserve it. Mark,


I have not forgotten you. Let me ask you a question. I think it was


Stephanie who hinted at it. There are challenges if you are a mother


at 45 and you have a 15-year-old. If you have a 15-year-old when you are


60, perhaps no grandparents. They may be feeling at the school gates


that you are too old. You don't buy that? I don't buy that. I'm


encouraged by the thought that women are now thinking about when they


have their children and actually planning. We need to be encouraging


more women, more parents, to think about, can I afford a child? When


should we have a child? Instead of having children willy-nilly. I am


very encouraged that women in particular are taking control and


saying they are going to wait. Please, do not rush out and have sex


and have babies! Are you referring to Stephanie here? ! The point is


what we have done slightly, and I think the media is very responsible,


is to promote this idea that we can have it all, the beast with the


CEO's head on and exhausted body. You can have it all if you get up


that bit earlier and be magical and marvellous. Those celebrity mothers


who say they are so fulfilled, have personal assistants, nannies,


housekeepers... I am not thinking about celebrities. I'm talking about


ordinary women. The thought about, you are going to die, you are going


to be old and wrinkly at the school gates, it takes a village to grow a


child. There will be no grandparents in the village. People in their 30s


are writing articles! I agree with you completely about the sense that


we put out this image that you can have it all. At the same time I


would argue that there is just as strong message condemning and


judging women who are not having their babies earlier, and calling


them selfish career obsessed. These poor women are out there trying to


meet the right guy, trying to get this organised, seeing fertility


experts and all we do is bash them over the head. Audience? Lady at the


back. Good morning. With regard to the


earlier comment, I absolutely agree. Women having babies over 40, I think


it is selfish of us to actually George whether women have babies. I


have just had my baby. She is two years old today. I was 47 and three


quarters when she was born. I think having a baby is a joyful decision.


It was not something when I was very young that I planned to have a baby


when I was 47. I hoped I would have a baby when I was 29. Life


circumstance did not work out that way. I embarked on IVF, I knew it


was great to be a mass of thing for me. I did a lot to prepare myself.


What Jackie said about the support and the midwifery is vital. People


who do embark on pregnancy when they are older need to take it seriously


and that they need to make sure that they are as healthy as they can be,


make sure they are eating correctly, not chain-smoking. It is very much


like people who adopt. They are extra motivated to have children and


make wonderful parents. Absolutely. As an older mother, you have got a


lot of life skills. Positive parenting is really important. Older


mothers do statistically become good mothers. Mark reckless, you have


been trying to get in for ages. An elected member of the mother of


Parliament? My wife has just had our second baby. Her age is a state


secret. When was she born? ! What worries me about this debate is that


the number of people are saying that women have a choice to have babies


late into their 40s, and some do. Most do not. I would say to women


watching this programme in their mid-30s, if they want to have a


baby, they need to get on with it. Because if people leave it, most of


them will not be able to have a baby when they're older. It has a great


deal to do with me if this programme gives women the impression that they


will be able to choose to have women -- babies in their 40s. Most will


not. Some can. That is how fertility works. It is really important that


women understand that and do not assume they can have babies in their


40s because, for most people, IVF does not work. Most women in their


40s will not be able to have a baby when they wanted because that is how


it works. We need to understand that. Oliver James? Most of the


problem is we have men in skirts, sex and the city form of feminism.


The feminism I knew at University involved main changing. The feminism


we have in America and England is a feminism which is all about women


becoming more and more like men. It is competitive and aggressive.


During their 20s they behave like men and drink and smoke and have sex


as much as men. They go through their 20s and they get to their 30s


and biology is completely ignored. The tragedy is that in the 1950s,


many aspirations were much lower. That was actually a good thing in


terms of what you expected. We now plays such a heavy load on what we


get from the relationship with our partner. The proportion of women in


the 1950s who said they were paid to marry someone was much higher.


Tragically, in the period of history when divorce went up, when


relationships or more likely to collapse, women started to place a


higher and higher premium on loving their man. What about men? What


about older fathers? How old were you when you had your youngest? I


was 47. My dad had me at 51 and it was fantastic. When I was a


teenager, he was around. We had quality time together. He lived


until he was 91. Died the year before last. I really treasure that


time we have together. There comes a point when you want to be away from


your parents. Fortunately, we crossed over. I really value that


time. It was fantastic. I would just take issue with the point made at


the beginning about birth defects and about genetics. I also have a


disabled child. If anybody in any way devalue my son because he has


aided -- disability, I think that is incredibly offensive to him, it is


incredibly offensive to other people. It should never be in


arguing against having babies late that there may be birth defects. On


which point we will end. It deserves another round of applause.


You can join this morning's debate by logging onto the website and


following the link to the online discussion. You can tweet. Tell us


what you think of our last programme as well, does society need send? --


last issue. We are recruiting audiences for Salford on January the


19th, Bishop Stortford on February the 2nd and Leicester on the ninth.


Well, did you make any New Year resolutions? The turn of the years


when many of us try to turn over a new leaf, to reform, to stop being


sinners. Lost, sloths and Raff are hard enough. What would happen to


the economy if we gave up greed, gluttony, envy and pride? Does


society need send? Where is Stewart? Hello, Stuart. Yes, greed is


essential and sin, they are just essential to how society works. I


can see Alan gearing up to Temme to ten metre threads. I have a real


issue with socialism all over the world. Greed is what drives society


forward. It links with immigration. I get up at six every morning not


because I want to but because I have a desire to better myself and the


children that I may one day have, if I can find a victim to have them for


me! You have a successful business that turned over 3 million last


year. ?3 million is nothing. Why is that sin? I don't equate that with


greed at all. You do have to be quite ruthless. Oh and's trade


unionist debate... Stop picking on Owen! Are you proud of what you have


achieved? I am very proud. You have got a lot of sports cars and so


forth? Absolutely. Three. Why? Unfortunately, women are not


attracted to cars and it has taken me 25 years to realise that! Peter


Hitchens, what do you think about this? Greed is part of capitalism


and is an impetus for success. Does not have to be -- greed. The desire


to be the best at what you can be, if that brings you riches... Exactly


what we do not need is more greed and more dishonesty and more sin.


That is what has got us into the mess that we are in. What is the


banking collapse except the absolute failure on the part of many people


to behave in honest, wise, thrifty, provident ways in which they ought


to have done? It is a straightforward episode of large


scale sin and the consequences of it. As some any of the other things


wrong with our society. There is no reason to have evil motives or to


which to do wicked things if you want to achieve much in our


society. On the contrary, you will achieve more if you don't. You have


only got to look at those who achieved. If I parked my car in


certain parts of London, it would be spat in. That is because people look


down on achievers. It is ruthless capitalism which enables me to


hire... We are told not to covet our neighbour's goods. Honestly, if we


cannot trust our neighbours to be honest with us and to be straight


with us, and if we can't trust our neighbours to be virtuous, our whole


society would break down. Everything we have around us, this building we


stand in, it all depends upon trust and honesty. If you covered your


neighbour's ass or their BMW, should you say, I'm going to work hard to


get one? It is a motivation but is one of the wrong ones. If you have


nothing but material goods to hope for. There are many more important


things. Owen Jones, you have had two honourable mentions from Stuart so


far. I'm not going to spit on his car and I would not encourage


others. It is a false argument this. I am not a believer myself. But in


terms of wanting people to do the best possible for themselves and


their kids, I want people, best possible for themselves and


for the first time since the Second World War, the next generation will


be poorer than the last. Society is geared for the personal enrichment


of a very small number of people at the top while many are struggling.


We have a banking collapse were those responsible end up getting off


scot-free, while half a million people in the seventh richest


country on earth are driven into food banks because we can no longer


afford to feed our poorest people. That is the problem. I just heard


agreement between Alan Jones and Peter Hitchens. Mark that moment!


Bankers is one aspect that, yes, they screwed it up, to be blunt. But


without the capitalist system you would not be sat here now. That is


the point. Trade unionists are just as responsible for the decline of


society. Look at the 1970s. People like you destroyed the British car


industry. Well, I destroyed the British car industry! Within the


Bible there are no distinctions about sin. Sin is sin and greed is


included in that. I am astonished that we have something in common at


last. I must dash I am glad to hear it. I hear the young man speaking at


the end about how successful he is, and I'm delighted for everyone who


does well. I want everybody to be ambitious and do well but if that


doing well means you have accumulated so much, and from that


you pay your staff a minimal amount, and the waste of money on


cars and material things, then that, I'm afraid, is sin. It's good


news for the car dealership. Great news for them, but how many cars can


we drive at one time? I'm not just picking on your cars. But you could


say that is creating jobs. I hope he is creating jobs and sharing his


cars. It is whether or not in the creation of jobs we are paying


people are living wage. I will edge it towards theology again, you


believe all children are born with sin. Yes, you see it in a young


child, you can see the selfish nature. Of course you can. When you


tell a child, don't do that, they do it. Sometimes they go the opposite


way. You can see the disobedience in a child. I am interested in this


children thing. I am not condemning children. I'm not saying children


will go to hell, but I am saying that sin is something we inherited


at the fall, since Adam and Eve ate the apple in the Garden of England


-- Eden. With regard to sin as an issue in society, with regards to


alcohol-related issues, 33,000 deaths as a result of alcohol. If


the Bible says it is a sin, is it a sin? Of course. Do not have a tad


too? That is a sin. Do not plant with two types of seed? I'm quoting


from the Bible. Do not wear clothes made of two types of material? But


what you are trying to do is take it out of context, because the truth


is, with regards to the old Testament, which is basically the


law of Moses, the law of grace is what Jesus died on the cross for,


and we are under the covenant of grace. It is up to you whether you


decide to choose and accept the grace, the fact that Jesus had his


hands penis and died on the cross. -- had his hands pierced.


The point is, where will you go when you die is the question. Where will


you go when you die? I will die in a box and become nutrients for


caterpillars. When you have society divided amongst religious lines, you


are motivated by what you perceive to be a fact in the Bible. That is


not my choice of fiction to read, but I don't take anything from the


Ten Commandments. I treat others how I wish to be treated, and as for


paying your staff, it's a free market. If you don't pay your staff


enough they are sufficiently skilled, will go elsewhere. What


about the original sin? This thing with children? Sin is what stops is


flourishing -- us flourishing. We are being defined in economic and


materialistic terms, and I think the Bible offers a more wide view of


what is human flourishing. If you look in places like Norway and New


Zealand, people are happier and have a greater sense of well-being


because they are not pursuing a materialistic, capitalist outlook.


They want good health care and education and a good standard of


living, good air quality. They want something much richer. They want fun


with sport and recreation. Those countries also have less theology.


Rosie runs a website that facilitates people who are married


to meet other people so they can explore a relationship with another


person. While they are still married. I think that would go down


as a sin. That is definitely on all of your checklists. It's interesting


hearing this debate. So many people have so many different versions and


have a vague doctrine with words like lust. It seems this is an


outdated set of rules. You don't mind breaking up marriages? There


are 2 million lone parents in this country. I was raised by a lone


parent, so I have no problem. I am a spokesperson and relationship


expert. I guess my vision of the world is one where we have more open


polyamory rather than monogamy. Does monogamy not work? We know between


40% and 60% of people who are married will eventually cheat on


their partner in some way, including kisses at office parties and things


like that. We know that monogamy is not really work for everyone and


it's important to start asking questions about whether this is the


right social framework for relationships. My question to you is


do you think it is a good thing or a bad thing? This is the real question


here, particularly for the children of the marriages which you so


blithely set out to break up. Is this a good thing for the children?


As someone who was raised by a single mother, I do, but I'm


speaking to lots of people. I asked you if you thought it was good for


the children of the marriage that you break up? It's a simple


question. Do you think it's good for the children if the marriage breaks


up? Do you think that? You are absolutely encouraging it. We are on


adultery and monogamy. Does it work, monogamy, Oliver? Yes, it certainly


can do, but it depends on the system you are in. The fundamental point I


would make about original sin and childhood, childhood is critical but


children are not born evil or not evil. Children are very much blank


slates. The human genomics project shows that it explains little in how


children are different from one another. We think of sin as being


bad, but 40% of the prison population were at some point in


local authority care. In other words their parenting was not very good


and had to be taken over by the state, and 40% of the prison


population in local authority care, those key causes of destructive


behaviour, whether to others or oneself of the quality of the care


you had in your early years combined with living in a shop till you


drop, it could be you, credit fuelled consumer junkie society. The


combination of society and the affluence of society that we live


in, combined with early years is what creates bad behaviour. Stuart


confused agreed with aspiration in his original state. You are greedy.


You don't seem to understand the difference between greed and


aspiration. It is one thing to aspire, it's another thing to be


greedy. You wanted an explanation as to why you believe children are


selfish. My point is that our human nature is corrupted when we are


born. Is it? Yes, we are born with original sin. Humans are very


malleable and it depends on the environment in which we brought up,


and the reasons we different so much -- differ so much, if you brought up


in a loving household, you're likely to do better in later life. Let he


who is without sin cast the first stone, and relationships don't need


a website to break up, and the reasons some break-up is for good


reason. 1 million people in this country suffer from domestic


violence. Do I want to keep those relationships together, I don't. I


think they should -- break-up in many cases, but what's important for


the child is to have a loving household. It doesn't matter if they


are lone parents, gave parents, if there are three of them bringing up


the child, as long as they are in a loving household, none of us should


have a problem with that. I'd like to stress the fact that a lot of


people on the website are not having affairs. They want to look at their


options and they want to explore the idea of flirting with somebody who


is not their partner. I think the problem here is that we are going


deeply against human nature, and we know this. We are not naturally


monogamous. Basically you are adhering to a little of what you


fancy does you good. It's almost a sort of base, animalistic thing you


are aiming at. Some animals are monogamous. We need to rise above


it. Pray silence for Reverend Rose. We need commitment in


relationships, whatever relationships we form, we need


commitment. Running around saying I fancy a bit of this or that can only


ring disaster. -- bring disaster. Regarding your point about this


whole adulterous website which I think is absolutely destructive, and


I'm not being personal, by the way. A little bit personal. 152,000 cases


of chlamydia in 2010. Peter Hitchens, that is a strong point.


What we seem to forget is civilisation is not natural. If we


were in a state of nature, unrestrained by any moral code, we


would be savage. Things such as peas, Law, education, we take those


are granted, but they rose because people observed and accepted moral


codes which are sometimes difficult to observe, and based on the actions


that are considered wrong and are called sin. That is very interesting


because children do have base instincts as defined by Sigmund


Freud, and we are repressing it all the time, and I think a lot of


people don't necessarily choose to be savages, lots of us do not


necessarily want to have an affair. I flirt, I go out, but I don't


necessarily always want to do it. What is stopping me is not some


rule. I still fancy my husband after 25 years. I am happier now than when


I had a lot of men in my life. The big challenge to monogamy is


longevity. 100 years ago, half the people in this room would not be


here. I would have died in childbirth because the baby's head


was too big. What can we do to support people to help them stay


married if that is the state they wish to be in? We need something,


and I'm not a Christian, but I got married with advice from a vicar who


I met and liked about the long path and staying together and


friendship. If we all have that support. Relate sake come to us


sooner, don't wait till it goes bad. We need more support to stay in the


relationships. I am a child of divorced parents, and it is not fun.


That has to be the last word. We task -- started talking about sin


and we got on to sex. Thank you very much for participating. As always,


the debates will continue online and on Twitter. Next week we're back


here in East London to debate human rights versus religious rights, so


join us then. But for now, it's goodbye and have a great Sunday.


Thank you very much for watching.


Nicky Campbell asks:

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Is becoming a mum in midlife selfish?

Does society need sin?

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