Episode 19 The Big Questions


Episode 19

Nicky Campbell presents religious, ethical and moral debates. Topics include should you be able to delete your past on the internet and should assisted dying be legal?


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Transcript


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Today on The Big Questions, wiping the slate clean - Christianity

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versus UKIP. And, getting help to die.

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We are live from Shelfield Community Academy in Walsall. Welcome

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everybody to The Big Questions! Last week, the European Court of Justice

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ruled that Google must remove search links to an old local newspaper

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story about the bankruptcy of a certain Spanish gentleman. It is a

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judgment with far-reaching implications for all internet search

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engines, and for all of us. Everybody now has the right to apply

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to a search engine requesting that should anybody search for your name,

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no links will appear relating to anything which you have asked not to

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be made public. It is all about the right to be forgotten. Lembit Opik,

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nobody is ever going to forget you! What are you worried about, there is

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a lot of stuff there were about you that the you would like to have

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deleted, isn't there? Reality is that we do not really control our

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identity in the public eye any more. If you Google something, you get not

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what you want people to see about you, but what has been reported

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about you, rightly or wrongly. For me, personally, there is tonnes of

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libellous stuff which, if I had the money or time, I would have taken to

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court to get rid of, but I have not been able to do that, because it

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takes two or three years. So, most people form a judgment based on what

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they read about me, and I do not think that is fair. People in here

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are all subject to the same problem. I think this is a very good

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judgment, not easy to enforce, but a very good judgment, because

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ultimately, our identity is our property, and we must be able to

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define who we are. The problem is that it is pretty nebulous stuff,

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isn't it? Is their stuff about you which is true but which you would

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like to have deleted? Varies. There is the libellous stuff which

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obviously I would like not to be there. Then there is other stuff

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which I am not comfortable about but which may be true. The problem is,

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are we going to censor stuff according to what we judge about

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it? This is probably going to have to be decided in court. But the

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principle for me is simple, we have all got the right to privacy, and

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the rights to be free from libellous stuff, and some sensitive

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information which is not in the public interest. At the moment, it

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is carte blanche, anything can be on the internet, however embarrassing,

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however personal, and it is extremely hard to get rid of it.

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That is why I believe this is a really good piece of legislation.

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That is fair enough, isn't it, Mark Stephens? It is down to accuracy as

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well, and stuff which was unfairly reported? I see a politician who

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wants an image which is his own self-image, the way he would like to

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project it to the public, not the way in which the public is entitled

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to know about the politician, warts and all. I think that is part of the

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problem. It is not that the information is going to disappear,

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so, if you Google Lembit Opik on the BBC website, then, in those

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circumstances... It is the conduit of Google in these search engines

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this is a major problem, for example, it means that contemporary

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social historians, students, academics, will not be able to find

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out about the truthful information about individuals, if they are

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perhaps writing a biography about somebody, those sort of pieces of

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information will not be out there. It is not intended that it should be

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there to try to redress libel. We have got libel laws. If you have

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been libelled, go and sue somebody. This is about something completely

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different. This is about allowing people to rewrite their own personal

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history, and that is just an except double. That is completely a

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misinterpretation of what is going on here. No it is not. Do you have

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any much idea how much it costs to run a libel case in this country, it

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can bankrupt someone! I know precisely how much, and it will cost

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you nothing come Lembit Opik because lawyers will do it on a no-win, no

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fee basis, if you have got a half decent case. I am not talking about

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this as a politician, I am not an MP any more. The time and money and

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paying it takes is enormous. This is not a debate about libel, this is a

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debate about your right to be preened by yourself. That is not

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acceptable. This is a continental law, the right to be forgotten. We

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are not allowed to know about President Mitterrand's mistresses,

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we are not allowed to know about all of those things... Some examples,

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Max Mosley is very supportive of this judgment, and of course, he was

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involved, it is Sunday morning, but he was involved in aid two do, a few

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years back. But aspects of that were misreported, and inaccurately

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reported, and he was not apparently talking German when that party took

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place. And that was reported, and that is there for ever. Why

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shouldn't he have the right to expunge that from the records? He

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was vindicated, the public judgment of the court indicated Max Mosley,

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both in privacy, and he was given the largest award of damages that

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this country has ever given in a Prevacid case, and the German courts

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have similarly given him an award in libel. -- in a river see case. -- in

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a privacy case. This is something different. 50% of people, as of last

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Friday, who worked asking for this to be taken down, where paedophiles,

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politicians and people who did not like the information about them.

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People like tax scammers, people who have been scamming the British

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public. Those sorts of individuals have been abusing this new law.

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Richard Beaumont, you are on the edge of your seat! What would you

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like to say to the points that you have heard from Mark Stephens? I

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would like to say that there is a fundamental right here to privacy,

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and it has to be protected. The World Economic Forum published a

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survey recently... Sorry, but if something is a matter of public

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record, and also is a fact, do you want to erase that? I think it is

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right that it should become obscure. It is not getting erased from the

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record. Yes, it is. The signposts to enable us to obtain it are not

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there. Mark, let him talk. The newspaper was told they did not have

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to take the contents down. This is about the role of the search engine.

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The search engine is not an index which is without value. It is an

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economic reason, there are economic reasons why they promote certain

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links and so forth. Therefore they have a slightly different interest.

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This is a really important point - there is a technological solution

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here, which will be fermented by all major search engines, Google, Bing,

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Yahoo!, all of them, which is that, if you look up Nick Clegg, arson

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conviction, on your computer dialled up from within the EU, you will not

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find that search returned to you. If, however, that truthful

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information... The follies of youth. Sure, but if you turn up that

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information from South Africa, India, any of those countries,

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Switzerland even, you will find that information. We are going for a

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two-tier internet. The great thing about this is, at last we are

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beginning to respect privacy. There is a Big Question which you have not

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mentioned, public interest. Where is the public interest in knowing

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everything about everybody? Answer that question, Padraig Reidy. We

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have this focus on the details of a specific case, which is about a

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bankruptcy which is a matter of public record. It is this banished

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gentleman, who was bankrupt. I want to know, if I am going to go into

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business with this person, if there is something dodgy in his financial

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past. You might say it is not censorship, but essentially, you are

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making this information impossible to find. There is a public interest

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caveat, though. I would have thought bankruptcy was a pretty strong

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public interest. It is 16 years ago! The other issue we have is that

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there will be a flood of these request is coming in now. There has

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already been a flood. These companies are very, very big, but to

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cope with these impossible requests, and it will be impossible,

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to comply with this. It will be really problematic. They have got a

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few bob, Google. They have got a few bob. But Facebook, for example,

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people complain people do not take things down fast enough. They get

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about 100,000 complaints a month, at least. People are slightly scared of

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how big search engines are, but eagerly Google. Somebody in the

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Guardian newspaper wrote a piece saying this was great because it was

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taking on the power of Google, but it has nothing to do with taking on

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the power of Google. The fact is, people are scared of Google, but

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this is not how you cope with the power of a very large company, by

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essentially censoring the Web. It will affect anybody who tries to set

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up a new search engine... Is this an infringement on free speech?

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Essentially, I think it is an infringement on the right to

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information. So, it is censorship? The access to information is being

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severely damaged. Personally, I kind of agree with the right to have

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privacy, but at the same time, it is a redundant argument, because there

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is no way to completely get rid of any type of history about yourself.

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You said, a certain Spanish gentleman, I could name another

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story from a couple of years ago about a Welsh football, I will not

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say his name... But at the same time, it has come out. Was there a

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public interest? Because he is a public figure, it had to be out

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there, but even if it has been blocked, people still know who it

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is. Also there is the freedom of expression of the people who wanted

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to talk about it. Anyone else? In a sense, is it not the same as a

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criminal record? If somebody has done something incorrect and they

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have that history about them, a criminal record does the same thing.

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You cannot get rid of a criminal record. So why think of getting rid

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of your internet history if you have done something wrong? Let's bring in

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Milo Yiannopoulos, technology journalist. Now, here is a potential

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problem - in the last couple of weeks, you did and effect give and

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very, we hence if Expose of a self-styled so-called community

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spokesman, who had spent a lot of time deleting, or attempting to

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delete, his own internet history, covering his tracks. Will it not be

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a charter for people like that? Yes. Mentioning no names a lot of the

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objections boiled down to press reports from journalists. As one of

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those journalists, you might expect me to say, I want my stuff online

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for ever. But I also believe in redemption and compassion. I think

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if this individual were to turn his life around, in ten years' time,

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there is no reason why he should be prevented from getting jobs just

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because he made a few mistakes. But I think it is different when you are

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talking about politicians and properly public figures. To hear

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Lembit Opik, I am sorry to say, sketch out this Orwellian vision of

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an internet which is entirely created by politicians, to hear of a

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by politicians to protect politicians, I am sorry, but it

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makes my flesh crawl. Respond to that. I'm not a Member of Parliament

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but I am a citizen. As David Trimble once said, just because you've got a

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past doesn't mean you shouldn't able be to have a future. And what this

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does is you can find everything out about everybody, you are bit smudged

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for ever. That's not the world I want to live in. What is interesting

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about the internet is it has introduced permanence into

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reporting. Previously you would have the newspaper on your breakfast

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table, stuff would be on the telly. Three weeks later there wouldn't

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really be any way to get that back. Don't worry about what is in the

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news, it will be tomorrow's chip wrapping paper. The internet has

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changed that. I'm sorry, when you look up some of the absurd behaviour

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and the way some public figures make themselves into spectacles and joke

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figures... You just think... The idea that this person... You believe

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your own profession. I stand accused! I see people dismantle...

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Nigel Evans, very good friend of mine, spent a year defending himself

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in court against sex charges and he was found innocent. When you look at

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the reporting now, a massive amount about the accusations. He's got the

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right to not expect all of that... I'm putting this to the audience and

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the viewers as well. Does Nigel Evans have to spend the rest of his

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life knowing all that stuff comes up... He doesn't deserve that. I

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think it's a very specific case. In rape allegations there is a good

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case for keeping the identity of the accused secret. Rape and sexual

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charges, there are other problems in the mix there. But I've got to tell

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you, when Ikea politicians and former politicians... The reason you

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are here and that you have a career is you are using the prominence that

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you gained as being an MP, using the name recognition that you had then

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to do whatever you are doing now. When I hear people like that saying,

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as you did, I want to be able to craft my Google results, it

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terrifies me. It's exactly what you said. Winston is a former boxer. He

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is terrifyingly right now! I believe 100% what this guy has to say.

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Listen, you are just natural media creating the hype. People like you

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are the reason why I can't find a girlfriend, man! That's a stretch!

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I'm on Google... Listen, you've got to listen to me. I'm on Google as

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being 61 years old. Look good looking I am! People read that...

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Come on, now! The reader thinks this guy is 61 years old. How old are

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you? I'm going to keep that secret. You've got the right. My political

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career has been a terribly damaged. They said I joined every political

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party on the sketch -- in the spectrum. I never joined Labour. I

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have the greatest of sympathy for you, I'd want to sue, too. That this

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inaccuracy. Everybody is entitled to privacy. Wikipedia, everybody

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believes it. It's all on there. There was a very clear distinction

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made in the ruling by the court that says if you are a public figure and

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are in the public interest, then that can override the individual

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privacy right. What is much more concerning is for people who are not

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in the public realm and have damaging information for their

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reputations. For example, should kids be allowed to make mistakes and

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have those mistakes forgotten when they go to get a job? It's the same

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fundamental rule. Let's go back over here. Mark Stevens. It's quite clear

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that children are a different case. The UN covenant on the rights of the

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child makes it clear that the indiscretions of childhood, use, if

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you will, are the sorts of things that will be forgotten. That is Nick

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Clegg with his arson offence. He was a student, he was over age, he was

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living in Germany at the time. Everybody in this room has done

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something they are ashamed of or would prefer things to be forgotten.

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But we have to live with it, it's part of who we are. It's part of how

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we grow up. It's part of what matures us. Everybody recognises

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that and everybody we interact with recognises that. What about forgive

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and forget? We forgive and we understand, but we embrace the

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challenges we have of youth. That is not about rewriting and airbrushing

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history. I promised I would come back to Lembit Opik. I see an

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element of agreement developing here, in the sense that both of you

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have said there are certain circumstances where this property

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situation should be enforced. So we are not really arguing about the

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principle now because we are all agreeing that in some circumstances

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it is relevant, like innocent Nigel Evans... What we've also all agreed

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as you are not eligible. In your rise. There was an element of

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agreement on how far we go. There's a simple point. Every person in this

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room and in this country, everyone watching this, has the right to the

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public interest protection. Most of what is reported about public

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figures is spurious and does -- has no relevance whatsoever to the

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public... We are, I'm afraid, but you are welcome to contribute to any

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of the other debates, we're out of time. Thank for that. -- thank you

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for that. Now, if you have something to say about that debate, log onto

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bbc.co.uk/thebigquestions. Follow the links to where you can join in

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the discussion online. Or join in on Twitter as well. We are also

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debating, can you be a Christian and vote for UKIP?

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We won't know how UKIP has fared in the European elections until the

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polls close in Italy tonight. But they gained over 160 seats in the

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local elections in England's towns and boroughs, at the expense of all

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three major parliamentary parties. The success was despite a lot of

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slip-ups, mis-speaks, whatever you want to call them, which suggested

:21:38.:21:40.

that some UKIP candidates don't appear to abide by Christ's

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commandment to love thy neighbour as thyself, or seek to follow the

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example of the Good Samaritan by helping foreigners down on their

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luck. Flat rate taxes, for example, might be hard to combine with

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blessing the poor. Can you be a Christian and vote for UKIP? Rev

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Arlington Trotman. You wanted to come on the last one, but you can

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now. What aspects of UKIP do you believe and Christian? Let me start

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by a comment my son made to this question. He said, if Christians

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find themselves voting for UKIP, they are on very seriously shaky

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ground. What he meant was that the perception on the one hand of UKIP

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as a racist party has absolutely no place within Christians as it is

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expressed. But my point is this. Whose perception is that? The

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general public's perception. Lots of members of the public believe that

:22:47.:22:51.

UKIP is racist. There are reports that suggest that UKIP, 40% of its

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membership are people with racist abuse. Those who support UKIP

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financially are people who are on the far right. So there is a

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perception there but there is also the reality. Where did you get your

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40% figure from? This is a report which has recently been written that

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suggests there are at least 40% of its members. What is racist about

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wanting to have, whether you agree with it or not, but what is racist

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about wanting to have a points -based system for immigration so

:23:28.:23:30.

that this island doesn't become too crowded? For skilled workers from

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all corners of the world rather than just concentrating on Eastern

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Europe. In certain areas public services are under strain, so surely

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to lift the pressure on those public services is truly to love thy

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neighbour. But that started from the other end of the question. Migration

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is as old as the hills. People have moved and immigrated in order to

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make personal progress and progress generally as a society. The

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contribution of migrants to Britain, Britain has been built on migrant

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labour. Britain has continued to exploit and explore the realities of

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migration in very positive way. So the question about numbers is a

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non-question. Is there a Gospel imperative for mass immigration?

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No, not necessarily but the reality is whether the Gospel expresses it,

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it is a reality for us today. What UKIP is saying on the one hand, most

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people can agree with it. That if a country is open, if there is an open

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immigration policy, for example, and everybody and anybody comes, those

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who will no good to people within the country, there is a question

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there. But the reality is this. If you take UKIP's stands on this, and

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anti-immigrant stance, several things have fuelled that. One is the

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current Immigration Bill 2014. We need to get a response to some of

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the stuff you've said. Sure, but the final point on this is the

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anti-immigrant stance in our country doesn't stop with UKIP. It starts

:25:17.:25:19.

with the fact that the two main political parties have not addressed

:25:20.:25:25.

this question seriously enough, with sufficient commitment in allaying

:25:26.:25:29.

the fears that permeate the country. So groups alike UKIP and

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other far right groups can actually have their say on a question that we

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all should be working on. As a UKIP candidate... Commonwealth

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spokesman. Is UKIP founded an un-Christian principles? Nigel

:25:52.:25:56.

Farage, our leader, is a Christian. This man believes in the Church of

:25:57.:26:01.

England. At this present moment I am absolutely furious, we have this

:26:02.:26:07.

massive situation whereby the carnival went on and the whole thing

:26:08.:26:12.

was deemed as some sort of carnival procession to prove that UKIP isn't

:26:13.:26:15.

racist. This word racist, which has been dreamt up by the so called

:26:16.:26:21.

three political parties and pushed by the media, has been put out there

:26:22.:26:26.

and been used to freely. It has been used to separate and divide people

:26:27.:26:32.

in society. The pastor, he has his opinions. In my group we run 18

:26:33.:26:36.

candidates for this last election. Nine black, nine white, all

:26:37.:26:45.

different types of people. I have my two pastors here today to have it

:26:46.:26:51.

out with you. You have got your opinions and you think what you

:26:52.:26:56.

think, but most people are going on this media agenda. Many men, some

:26:57.:27:02.

big men tonight, let me finish, please, you had your time and I was

:27:03.:27:06.

polite and didn't jump in. Many men in top jobs tonight will lose their

:27:07.:27:11.

position in life, so the agenda is to bring UKIP down and bring it to

:27:12.:27:18.

the floor. When I look at the policies that have been created by

:27:19.:27:21.

some of these political parties, looked deeply into them and realise

:27:22.:27:26.

that it wasn't UKIP who pulled out the advent, it wasn't UKIP who took

:27:27.:27:32.

us to war, it wasn't UKIP who created Air Passenger Duty will stop

:27:33.:27:38.

looking to these political parties to see how demonic some of them are.

:27:39.:27:44.

Demonic? There are aspects of their parties that are demonic. One

:27:45.:27:51.

second. Nigel Farage has said some pretty controversial things. He said

:27:52.:27:56.

he was on a train and no one was speaking English. Could you imagine

:27:57.:28:00.

Jesus going to a marketplace and saying, there is no one speaking

:28:01.:28:07.

Aramaic here? Loads of people say that. The comments that Nigel Farage

:28:08.:28:14.

passes comments that... I have been campaigning in this last election

:28:15.:28:20.

for some six months now. I knocked on doors and some of the

:28:21.:28:27.

expressions, verbal, not abuse, but verbal taunts I got from some people

:28:28.:28:32.

was amazing. English people coming to the door and saying, you are

:28:33.:28:39.

UKIP? Black people, my people coming to the door. I want to vote for

:28:40.:28:43.

you, Winston. I want to vote for you for the simple fact that we, as

:28:44.:28:48.

black people, have come to this country and have been

:28:49.:28:52.

disenfranchised. You speak on behalf of of communities. Who have you been

:28:53.:28:56.

disenfranchised by? Successive governments. UKIP is the answer? We

:28:57.:29:05.

consider ourselves to be a predominantly Christian country.

:29:06.:29:08.

Lembit Opik is dying to come in here. -year-old I've got quite a

:29:09.:29:12.

strong faith, and however well or badly I live my life I can't deny

:29:13.:29:16.

that faith. -year-old Wace 's Church has a presence in the Midlands here

:29:17.:29:24.

too. I'm not a UKIP member. It is disingenuous to say a political

:29:25.:29:27.

party is not Christian. Nick Clegg claims to be an atheist, that

:29:28.:29:31.

doesn't make the Liberal Democrats and unchristian or demonic party.

:29:32.:29:41.

I'm a Christian. UKIP has been demonised to an extent. These sorts

:29:42.:29:44.

of things don't do credit to policies, because we should be

:29:45.:29:49.

arguing about the policies... Is it about the individuals or the

:29:50.:29:53.

policies? It should be about the policies. You can have different

:29:54.:29:56.

views about immigration but still have faith. Let me make my position

:29:57.:30:06.

clear with respect to Winston. I congratulate you for standing up for

:30:07.:30:10.

what you believe, and all the other black guys in UKIP. What I am saying

:30:11.:30:15.

is, there is a perception of racism. And if there is a perception,

:30:16.:30:18.

Christianity is based on the principles of justice, truth,

:30:19.:30:24.

looking after your neighbour, etc. It is therefore crucial that not

:30:25.:30:28.

only the perception but the reality of what UKIP stands for... Let me

:30:29.:30:37.

put something to you, hang on. Please. Racism in this country has

:30:38.:30:45.

killed people. Wait a minute. Let me steer it this way. This has been

:30:46.:30:50.

much in the press as well, the whole debate about equal marriage, he said

:30:51.:30:55.

he would not expel anyone from the party who had, as he put it,

:30:56.:30:58.

old-fashioned views on homosexuality. Then we have the

:30:59.:31:03.

councillor saying the floods were punishment for gay marriage. You

:31:04.:31:06.

have got leading evangelical Christians in America who have said

:31:07.:31:11.

9/11 was punishment for homosexuality, New Orleans was

:31:12.:31:16.

punishment for homosexuality and so forth. Are they not Christian? As

:31:17.:31:24.

Lembit Opik has said, Christianity is lived according to people's

:31:25.:31:28.

perception of it, according to how people understand who Jesus was for

:31:29.:31:31.

them, whether that is accepted or not. In this country, there are

:31:32.:31:42.

nominal Christians, people who are regarded as Christians simply by

:31:43.:31:46.

birth, or by marriage. There are others who live their lives every

:31:47.:31:49.

day according to very strong core principles of justice, truth, peace

:31:50.:31:55.

macro and so on. Therefore it becomes important to understand in

:31:56.:31:58.

this debate that when I speak about racism, I speak about the fact that

:31:59.:32:02.

people like Stephen Lawrence have been killed, and several others have

:32:03.:32:12.

been demolished... There are some who say to oppose gay marriage is

:32:13.:32:16.

unchristian, there are others who say that to support it is

:32:17.:32:22.

unchristian. So, perception is the keyword. If you look at parties

:32:23.:32:27.

which to identify as overtly Christian, they are overwhelmingly

:32:28.:32:30.

awful, from the Democratic unionist party in Northern Ireland - last

:32:31.:32:35.

week you had people they're trying to band plays, you had another

:32:36.:32:44.

candidate, not a DUP candidate, but saying she would outlaw

:32:45.:32:48.

homosexuality. You go across to the Tea Party in the United States, who

:32:49.:32:54.

identify very much as Christian, all the way to the Lord's Resistance

:32:55.:32:58.

Party, who murder thousands of people in the name of God. So I am

:32:59.:33:09.

wearing of -- I am wary of identifying Christian as meaning

:33:10.:33:29.

good. Did you vote UKIP? I did. The churches are groaning under the

:33:30.:33:34.

weight of catholic Polish people, use said be celebrating that. All of

:33:35.:33:43.

the institutions in this country are essentially very left wing, they are

:33:44.:33:47.

horrified by UKIP. There is this assumption that right-wing opinions

:33:48.:33:53.

and moral failing are linked, and people have normal, everyday

:33:54.:33:55.

concerns, shared by millions of people, and it is this attitude of

:33:56.:33:59.

saying, there is something wrong with that. I got called all sorts of

:34:00.:34:06.

things. But I thought about it for a long time, and eventually, I came

:34:07.:34:13.

round to giving you my vote. To say that UKIP is racist is absurd. The

:34:14.:34:22.

BNP WAS racist. I do not think you could be a Christian and vote for

:34:23.:34:29.

the BNP. But it is plainly obvious that Nigel Farage is not racist, the

:34:30.:34:32.

party is not racist and it is ridiculous. I am glad we can agree

:34:33.:34:38.

on something in the media as well, as the media has got this totally

:34:39.:34:42.

wrong. If they wanted to cause UKIP damage, the last thing they should

:34:43.:34:47.

have done is identifying normal, everyday worries and anxieties,

:34:48.:34:51.

shared by millions of people in this country, as racist. The media has

:34:52.:34:56.

got this wrong. It is the Christian principle about helping your fellow

:34:57.:35:03.

human beings? What I am saying is, to say that love thy neighbour means

:35:04.:35:06.

we should have an open-door immigration policy is incredibly

:35:07.:35:11.

naive. Gentleman over there. Good morning. Good morning. I believe

:35:12.:35:20.

that the message from UKIP is about people enjoying their rights

:35:21.:35:24.

responsibly. You do not walk into a country believing you can get so

:35:25.:35:27.

much from a country and putting less in. That is not fair and it is not

:35:28.:35:32.

right. Here is a party who is making this very clear to everybody. So,

:35:33.:35:38.

you applaud that message? I do, even though I did not vote UKIP. I

:35:39.:35:47.

believe that! I want to hear this gentleman out, and then I want more

:35:48.:35:54.

audience members, please. I believe that people coming to this country

:35:55.:35:57.

should come with the aim of putting something into the country, and then

:35:58.:36:02.

expect to take something out of the country. That is fair. And down

:36:03.:36:05.

there, the gentleman with the glasses? It is all about people

:36:06.:36:11.

contributing to the country, if that is the case, does that mean we can

:36:12.:36:16.

look at people who were born here and are not contributing to the

:36:17.:36:21.

country? It is not about that. Let's get this right... Wait, I want to

:36:22.:36:28.

get to the audience. You come back to me, we can do some sparring. If I

:36:29.:36:36.

have got time! On the basis of some of the arguments, would it not be

:36:37.:36:39.

different for a Christian to vote for some of the other parties as

:36:40.:36:45.

well, though? The fact is, at the end of the day, voting for any

:36:46.:36:50.

political party, as a Christian, is a major issue. If we look at what

:36:51.:36:54.

Nick Clegg has done, at what the Tories are doing, about putting

:36:55.:36:59.

people into deeper poverty, if we look at UKIP, they are exploiting

:37:00.:37:03.

quite cleverly in my view the things which divide society, which some

:37:04.:37:08.

people think but do not want to say. But there is one massive thing which

:37:09.:37:12.

UKIP has got. Over the past three months, when did you not see Nigel

:37:13.:37:17.

Farage in the newspapers and now their media machine must be

:37:18.:37:20.

revelling in this. They are being contribution, they are saying things

:37:21.:37:24.

which people are saying in their living rooms. At the end of the day,

:37:25.:37:28.

the danger is, by exploiting the divisions in society, are we going

:37:29.:37:33.

back, Winston, to the days, and you know this, no blacks, no Irish, no

:37:34.:37:42.

darks? That is the danger. I saw Kevin agreeing to that... I am

:37:43.:37:52.

Irish. The Reverend said earlier on that this country was built on

:37:53.:37:54.

immigration. So, the question now is, if you take a view on

:37:55.:38:03.

immigration, and what we do not want to do is to take a naive view of the

:38:04.:38:07.

immigration problem in the 21st century, or take a very simplistic,

:38:08.:38:16.

easy hit. I agree with Lembit that just demonising a party, calling it

:38:17.:38:23.

racist, is an helpful to the debate. -- an helpful. I take the point that

:38:24.:38:28.

the way the debate has gone this morning is that it makes it seem as

:38:29.:38:32.

though no Christian should ever vote for any party in this country. But

:38:33.:38:36.

the problem then is that what you might say is that if you are a

:38:37.:38:41.

Christian, you have to take seriously the possibility to use

:38:42.:38:44.

your franchise for a good end. What that then means is that it is

:38:45.:38:48.

actually using your vote in order to make sure the politicians who do get

:38:49.:38:51.

in are the ones who actually hold those values. Whether you are a

:38:52.:38:57.

Christian or not, I think those values are still important for a

:38:58.:39:00.

society. So the question then becomes, what kind of society do you

:39:01.:39:08.

want to be? Those of us who have faith, we all fall short... RU

:39:09.:39:18.

pro-equal marriage? I am. These are difficult issues to wrestle with. I

:39:19.:39:25.

have two very short and simple thoughts. One is that to prick food

:39:26.:39:29.

anyone from a particular faith from a party is offensive. -- to

:39:30.:39:36.

preclude. Secondly, if Jesus was here, and we said, who should we

:39:37.:39:41.

vote for? He would say, vote for love. But which political party

:39:42.:39:49.

right now is representing love in this country? None of them! One

:39:50.:39:55.

thing with UKIP, and I am not a UKIP supporter, Winston, but one thing

:39:56.:39:58.

with them, what you see is what you get, you know what they stand for.

:39:59.:40:03.

People say they wish more politicians were like that, so thank

:40:04.:40:08.

you all very much indeed for that. APPLAUSE

:40:09.:40:15.

You can join in all the debates this morning online.

:40:16.:40:24.

And you can tweet using the hashtag #bbctbq. Tell us what you think

:40:25.:40:27.

about our last Big Question - should assisted dying be legal? We are

:40:28.:40:35.

looking for audiences for the last show in this series, from Brighton,

:40:36.:40:41.

on 15th June. Next week we are back here at Shelfield Community Academy,

:40:42.:40:44.

with a special edition, asking one very Big Question - is there life

:40:45.:40:51.

after death? Join us then. Last week, Lord Falconer's bill to

:40:52.:40:59.

legalise assisted dying went through its first stage in the House of

:41:00.:41:05.

Lords. Its aim is to make it legal for doctors to give certain drugs to

:41:06.:41:15.

people who want to die. Should assisted dying be legal? Well, Peter

:41:16.:41:25.

Squires, good morning. You accompanied your mother to Dignitas.

:41:26.:41:28.

Tell us about that, it must have been so difficult? It was very

:41:29.:41:32.

difficult. Mum was suffering from Huntington's disease, which is an

:41:33.:41:37.

hereditary condition. She had seen her father and her elder sister die

:41:38.:41:41.

of it so she knew exactly what it was like in the end stages. Man was

:41:42.:41:47.

six to seven years of age, she was in the advanced stages of the

:41:48.:41:51.

disease. She was suffering things like loss of movement, stumbling,

:41:52.:41:57.

falling, difficult to speak, express herself. She regularly struggled to

:41:58.:42:01.

swallow and choked on food, for example. So, very advanced symptoms

:42:02.:42:06.

but not the end stage of the disease. She determined, based on

:42:07.:42:10.

her understanding of what the disease looked like in the end

:42:11.:42:13.

stages, that she did not want to go through that. Cuff had at least two

:42:14.:42:20.

to our knowledge failed suicide attempts, the most recent of which

:42:21.:42:25.

ended up in her being hospitalised for six months. And when she came

:42:26.:42:29.

out of hospital she was absolutely determined that she wanted to go to

:42:30.:42:34.

Dignitas. She discussed this with her close family, especially myself

:42:35.:42:39.

and my brother Andrew. Of course we offered alternatives to her. But

:42:40.:42:46.

over a period of months, it became clear that this was her rightful

:42:47.:42:50.

choice, in our mind. Her personal autonomy? Indeed. So, we came round

:42:51.:42:58.

to support her in her objective to go to Dignitas. Do you feel it was

:42:59.:43:05.

released when she did go? I strongly believe that a change in the law in

:43:06.:43:08.

this country would have a lot of benefits, including giving people

:43:09.:43:12.

the mental and emotional safety net that there was something there for

:43:13.:43:15.

them, that they would have control over their own death. She would have

:43:16.:43:24.

been able to do it at home but she felt forced to make the arduous

:43:25.:43:30.

journey to Switzerland whilst she was still fit to do so. She did not

:43:31.:43:36.

want so in my mother's specific case, she ended up travelling to

:43:37.:43:42.

Switzerland by our estimation several years before she would have

:43:43.:43:47.

needed to die. But when you start the application process, which takes

:43:48.:43:53.

several months, to go to Dignitas, mum did not know whether or not she

:43:54.:43:57.

would be accepted right Dignitas. I remember very clearly when she got

:43:58.:44:00.

the acceptance letter, the relief that came over her, that she knew

:44:01.:44:04.

that she had a way out and she was not going to have to go through the

:44:05.:44:09.

end stages of this disease, which is progressive, there was no way of

:44:10.:44:13.

getting out of the fact that she was going to have to suffer. We felt

:44:14.:44:23.

that sense of release with her, after we'd spent the last five days

:44:24.:44:28.

with her. It was a very surreal experience, to spend the last five

:44:29.:44:33.

days of her life, all three of us being strong for each other, trying

:44:34.:44:37.

to enjoy our last five days together, at the same time knowing

:44:38.:44:42.

that she was going to die on Friday. Hey, you had locked-in syndrome.

:44:43.:44:49.

Yours is an amazing story. You are writing a book about it. I've

:44:50.:44:54.

written a book. It's worth reading, it's amazing. You think this is

:44:55.:45:00.

about personal autonomy, it's nobody else's business. Absolutely. I have

:45:01.:45:05.

locked-in syndrome. That's where you literally can feel everything, think

:45:06.:45:13.

normally, like I think now, but move absolutely nothing. For a short

:45:14.:45:17.

period of time, and mine was in the acute phase in hospital, not in the

:45:18.:45:22.

community for years on end, but in the period of time I was locked in

:45:23.:45:28.

it was hell on earth. It was painful beyond belief. I had leg cramps that

:45:29.:45:34.

I had no way of communicating. I had no way of relieving them because I

:45:35.:45:38.

couldn't move a muscle. Did you think about taking this option? In

:45:39.:45:45.

hospital, I wanted my life to end for the first few weeks. I don't

:45:46.:45:49.

think that should be offered to anybody in hospital, so I'm not in

:45:50.:45:53.

favour of that. But ultimately you are in favour of people having that

:45:54.:45:58.

choice? Absolutely. We should have autonomy. It should be freedom of

:45:59.:46:04.

choice. Specifically for people who are fully cognitive and are able to

:46:05.:46:08.

communicate, one way or another, whether it is with a digit or an

:46:09.:46:13.

eyelid, but to show their cognition. And have had some sort of

:46:14.:46:18.

psychiatric evaluation, so that it's not just the patient and the doctor

:46:19.:46:23.

or the patient and beloved one. There is a witness. I think

:46:24.:46:28.

absolutely. You make it as safe as possible. Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick,

:46:29.:46:33.

director of the euthanasia prevention coalition, why is it any

:46:34.:46:38.

business of anyone else's? Isn't that exactly the point? Let's be

:46:39.:46:42.

clear, I want to be absolutely open about this. I am not making any

:46:43.:46:47.

judgment about these individual situations. My concern is what

:46:48.:46:53.

happens when you legalise what is called assisted dying. Let's be

:46:54.:46:56.

clear about our terms here. Assisted dying is described by the

:46:57.:47:04.

full-colour Commission report as a compendium word which includes

:47:05.:47:08.

assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia in. Lord Falconer himself

:47:09.:47:13.

has been quoted as saying that this country is not ready for euthanasia.

:47:14.:47:17.

And that's quite right because when people actually understand that

:47:18.:47:23.

euthanasia is involved here, they do look at places like where I've just

:47:24.:47:27.

been, Belgium. What's happening there? The law has just been passed

:47:28.:47:32.

to allow children of any age, as though a child of seven who is just

:47:33.:47:36.

beginning to have a concept of death, could actually understand

:47:37.:47:41.

what it means to choose euthanasia. It's nine in Belgium? No, it's any

:47:42.:47:46.

age at all. The legal age in Holland is 12, but in Holland they also...

:47:47.:47:53.

What the circumstances that that might be enforced? For example, a

:47:54.:48:00.

child... Part of the difficulty in Belgium is that people don't have to

:48:01.:48:05.

be terminally ill, people are being used delays to a depressed.

:48:06.:48:12.

Euthanasia is an emotive term. -year-old I'm talking about Belgium

:48:13.:48:18.

now, it is a law. One of their proponents was for disabled people.

:48:19.:48:23.

People who are depressed, people who have had failed sex change

:48:24.:48:27.

operations, and anorexic woman who was being abused by the psychiatrist

:48:28.:48:31.

who was treating them. These people have no hope. There is the illusion

:48:32.:48:35.

of choice. When you have nowhere else to go. But they felt that they

:48:36.:48:41.

didn't want to go on, so isn't... The children point I will put to

:48:42.:48:45.

Stephen in a second, but isn't it, ultimately, as adults, their choice

:48:46.:48:51.

and none of your business? That's exactly the point. What is happening

:48:52.:48:56.

in individual situations... I agree, no one should have to pay Dignitas

:48:57.:49:01.

or go through the horror of travelling out of their home and out

:49:02.:49:06.

of the country to fulfil whatever decision. But the problem is that

:49:07.:49:12.

when you legalise, what you get behind the law is a society that I

:49:13.:49:18.

don't want to be part of. If Peter and his brother had helped their

:49:19.:49:21.

mother in this country, should they have been faced with a criminal

:49:22.:49:28.

prosecution? No. The issue is should they face an investigation. In order

:49:29.:49:31.

to make sure that people who are vulnerable, people who are co-wurst

:49:32.:49:36.

into killing themselves people can be, it's very subtle coercion,

:49:37.:49:43.

should actually have protection from that coercion. In that context, when

:49:44.:49:50.

the law is passed, that coercion... That protection order is therefore

:49:51.:49:54.

vulnerable people. I get so frustrated when I hear people like

:49:55.:50:00.

Kevin, who are trying to confuse the issue and compared this to the law

:50:01.:50:05.

in Belgium. The proposed law from Lord Falconer does not bear any

:50:06.:50:08.

similarity to the law in Belgium, it's based on a law in Oregon. It's

:50:09.:50:13.

not about euthanasia, it's about assisted dying. It's for people who

:50:14.:50:16.

are in the last six months of their life, suffering from a terminal

:50:17.:50:26.

illness. How does this proposed law change make you feel? It makes me

:50:27.:50:33.

feel cold inside and afraid. It makes me feel afraid for all of you

:50:34.:50:39.

because we've talked about perceptions today, the things we

:50:40.:50:45.

think, the things we do affect our perception of society. There is a

:50:46.:50:48.

perception in society that being disabled is bad and being

:50:49.:50:54.

perfect... We are all surrounded by these programmes about Botox. For

:50:55.:51:00.

me, it's almost like we can say we can Botox death out of life. I would

:51:01.:51:08.

like people to consider, if it becomes legal, and I'm sorry to tell

:51:09.:51:11.

you, Kevin, I think it will because people don't see the big picture.

:51:12.:51:17.

Just think, we won't be saying, when did he die, about somebody. When --

:51:18.:51:25.

will be saying, when will he die? We are a country that like to make

:51:26.:51:28.

formulas out of things. So what will happen, you have from care ward to

:51:29.:51:36.

crematorium? Will a doctor come round the village, will you trust

:51:37.:51:40.

your doctor? In Oregon there are people known as death doctors.

:51:41.:51:48.

your doctor? In Oregon there are doctor said to my son when he was

:51:49.:51:49.

very little, he was nervous about having injections, he said, you've

:51:50.:51:52.

got to have them or you will end up like her. I've heard Kate talk about

:51:53.:52:00.

the indignity you felt. I was locked in for many, many months and I know

:52:01.:52:03.

exactly where you are at to an in for many, many months and I know

:52:04.:52:13.

say. I'm interested as to why, from what I can gather of your

:52:14.:52:14.

interviews, that you didn't want to live? A sort of message to your

:52:15.:52:23.

children... I can only take from that there was a sort of message

:52:24.:52:24.

from your children that there was a sort of message

:52:25.:52:30.

doesn't want to come home and live. That is absolutely rubbish! It was

:52:31.:52:36.

Peter as well. My youngest was six and my eldest was ten at the time. I

:52:37.:52:43.

can't tell you the separation anxiety that I had. You don't need

:52:44.:52:51.

to because I had it. I can bend, it was absolutely intense. Plus the

:52:52.:52:55.

fact that where I was heading for was a care home, at the end of the

:52:56.:53:02.

day. Wide? Because I was making no progress. My progress turned around

:53:03.:53:07.

in May 2010 beyond all the expectations of the doctors. You are

:53:08.:53:12.

confusing lots of issues here. I work in the charity I founded that

:53:13.:53:15.

is about inspiring people to motivate them to develop, whether it

:53:16.:53:19.

is emotionally, physically or otherwise. However... If the law had

:53:20.:53:26.

existed and you had taken benefit from that law, you wouldn't be here.

:53:27.:53:32.

Did you not hear what I said at the top of the programme? It should

:53:33.:53:35.

never be offered to anybody in the acute phase in hospital. The minute

:53:36.:53:42.

it is open... One at a time. The minute it is on the table, then the

:53:43.:53:45.

problem is it is not just offered to you, it's offered to everyone in the

:53:46.:53:56.

situation. Oregon, there is no regulation once the person has

:53:57.:53:59.

passed the test. The death might happen two years later, they doesn't

:54:00.:54:05.

even haven't -- to be anyone in the rule. The doctor who knows his

:54:06.:54:10.

patient for ten years... Different legislation could be drafted here.

:54:11.:54:17.

That's a false food. No, Winston, we've got people we must come to. I

:54:18.:54:22.

want to listen to Dr Stephen Smith from Birmingham Law School, an

:54:23.:54:26.

expert in bioethics. What do you say about Kevin Vase and Nicky's

:54:27.:54:31.

objectives and what is happening in Belgium, how can that be right? I'm

:54:32.:54:40.

with Peter on this. Belgium's law, it is different from what the

:54:41.:54:48.

Faulkner bill is. People worry it will be the direction of travel.

:54:49.:54:52.

Greene I understand that will stop I think what we need to pay attention

:54:53.:54:57.

to is what the law is set up to do. If we are talking about what the

:54:58.:55:02.

procedural safeguards are and those kinds of things, we need to focus on

:55:03.:55:06.

what this law says as opposed to what other one say. The issue in

:55:07.:55:13.

Belgium, particularly the issue involving children, is not one we

:55:14.:55:17.

ought to pay attention to, it's not one that ought to control the

:55:18.:55:22.

discussion. Quite simply, Lord Falconer's law doesn't envisage

:55:23.:55:24.

anything close to what Belgium is doing with children. What about the

:55:25.:55:30.

pressure that Kevin referred to above people feeling a burden? It's

:55:31.:55:34.

interesting to look at the data on this. There is a reasonable amount

:55:35.:55:39.

of data from the Netherlands, Oregon, every year in Oregon they

:55:40.:55:44.

publish an annual report. It isn't, in fact, vulnerable groups which are

:55:45.:55:49.

being pushed into this. The average person who undertakes assisted

:55:50.:55:51.

being pushed into this. The average suicide in Oregon... It is... The

:55:52.:55:56.

average person who takes assisted suicide in Oregon is white,

:55:57.:56:00.

middle-class, college educated and younger than they otherwise, so they

:56:01.:56:08.

tend to go younger. It doesn't pay for their treatment but it says you

:56:09.:56:12.

can have euthanasia instead, it is much cheaper. You wanted to say

:56:13.:56:19.

something. I'm vehicle water mater of disabled activists for dignity in

:56:20.:56:29.

dying. -- in water mater. In terms of disabled people that have been

:56:30.:56:34.

surveyed, recently 79% have said they support assisted dying for

:56:35.:56:40.

terminally ill people only. In terms of people's value in society, you

:56:41.:56:48.

support the bill with the strict... Which disabled Persons organisation

:56:49.:56:52.

has come out in favour of this bill? You are paid by the lobby group.

:56:53.:56:59.

There is no disabled lobby behind you. This is a nonsense. What is

:57:00.:57:10.

your name? Greg. You believe you should have the right. You, me,

:57:11.:57:15.

anyone, one should have the right? In terms of the bill, it is

:57:16.:57:21.

terminally ill and dying people. And disabled people. Disabled people are

:57:22.:57:26.

always mentioned. You pick any paper up. They are not in the bill. Lord

:57:27.:57:33.

Falconer wants them to be in the bill. They are not in the bill. You

:57:34.:57:39.

pick any paper up that is a pro-assisted suicide argument and

:57:40.:57:45.

you will see, and disabled people. Every day in this country you can

:57:46.:57:51.

hear a negative attitude. Is this not scaremongering? Will it happen?

:57:52.:57:56.

As the doctor said from Birmingham, the bill you start with is the bill

:57:57.:57:59.

you get. You have to look at the detail. That's what happened in

:58:00.:58:04.

Holland, they started out with a bill for terminally ill people and

:58:05.:58:10.

they ended up killing... Sorry, we haven't got time. They started out

:58:11.:58:14.

with a bill for terminally ill people with cancer with less than

:58:15.:58:16.

six months to live. They've ended up where they are. As always, the

:58:17.:58:21.

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

:58:22.:58:25.

in Walsall for that special - is there life after death? But for now

:58:26.:58:28.

it's goodbye and have a great Sunday.

:58:29.:59:10.

When the first travellers crossed America, they were faced with this -

:59:11.:59:14.

Nicky Campbell presents religious, ethical and moral debates live from Shelfield Community Academy in Walsall, asking should you be able to delete your past on the internet, can you be a Christian and vote for UKIP, and should assisted dying be legal?


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