Episode 3 The Big Questions


Episode 3

Nicky Campbell presents live debates, including the demonisation of the poor, if it should it be illegal to reveal the sex of an unborn child and is there any evidence for Satan?


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Transcript


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Today an The Big Questions, Benefits Street, sex selection and Satan.

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Good morning, I am Nicky Campbell, welcome to The Big Questions. We are

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live from the Oasis Academy at MediaCityUK in Salford, welcome to

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The Big Questions! Since Channel 4 launched the series Benefits Street

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two weeks ago, the unemployed residents of James Turner Street in

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Birmingham have been abused online, in the papers and outside their

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front doors. Iain Duncan Smith said the show had shocked people and was

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helping to make his case for further benefit cuts. So are the poor being

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demonised in this show and elsewhere? Steve Chalke, you are

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here in behalf of the residence of Benefits Street. Has this show,

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James Turner Street, I do beg your pardon! Has this showed demonised

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those people all humanised them? A couple of things, the very fact that

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you got it muddled up, when you said Benefits Street, that says it all.

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Your introduction says it all, because you say these people have

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been abused on their front doorsteps. I am actually here, in a

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sense on their behalf, but they must be allowed to speak for themselves

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without being put in some kind of circus where they are then belittled

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by kind of phoney intellectuals on one side or the other. I am here not

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to... I know there is a huge debate around benefits and dependency, and

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we must have it. And we will. I am not here for that reason. I spoke to

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some of the leaders yesterday, and there are many residents I do not

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know, but I do know them, and as we run this school, so it happens, a

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few days after Christmas into the New Year, we took responsibility for

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the small primary school on James Turner Street, and it happens to be

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the school with the street name outside it. There are children who

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have not come to school because you have got tourists up and down the

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streets chanting and calling abuse, children we are having to collect,

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children who are worried about going out into the playground at lunch or

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at break time. And from the senior school, we run the junior school,

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kids are getting bullied on the buses et cetera. I am just... It is

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true, after this programme, I am going to send this letter to Eddie

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Richards, a copy yet, it is going to be delivered this morning. Who is

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he? He is the chief executive of Ofcom, they police television, and I

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have copied it to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for education,

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and also Maria Miller, Secretary of State responsible for media. The

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point is, we can have a debate about benefits, but I am saying that the

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price of one child being scared to go to school is too high a price to

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pay for any nation. I need to say one more thing. This is a formal

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complaint from me as the founder of Oasis Community Learning, and the

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last thing I want to say is that the community leaders there believe that

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tomorrow night's episode contains a safeguarding issue about one of the

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pupils from our school, and I am saying to the Secretary of State and

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do the boss of Ofcom this morning, unless they have watched that

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programme, Ofcom have watched it and know that there and no legal issues,

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I do not think it should go ahead. I will hold them to account. You are

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taking away from the fact that 5% of them people go to work, the fact

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what is being shown on the telly, and if it is a deterrent to stop

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claiming benefits, the programme should be highlighted. But the

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people... Let me say, the people who wrote this with me and wrote to the

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Times on Friday, these are not illiterate people, they are very

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smart. They are good, clear thinking. Most of the street are in

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work, lots of people... Excuse me, 5%! I know the people! OK, Steve,

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let's hear them out. What point are you making? It's like saying we

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don't show drinking and driving ads. If it highlights the problem we have

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out there... Wait! You should not be rude. 200 billion we are spending on

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welfare and benefits, and we continue like that, the country will

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continue to go bust. We have to debate that. We need to use that

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money in the workplace to generate more work and to help youngsters. We

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need to debate that! But not at the expense of one street. I know you

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want to come in as well, Angela, you say 200 million... 200 billion! But

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only 3% of that goes to people who are unemployed. It is 200 billion

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into the welfare system. Including pensioners. The country generate 600

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billion, a third of it is going to benefits and welfare. If we continue

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to carry on like that, our children will go bust. It ain't right, Steve,

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it don't matter what you say. I want to bring in Angela. Before it moves

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on, I am happy for it to move on, you have to know that this programme

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has not represented the working people of that community. It is not

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representative, and they need a right of reply. Steve Chalke, I will

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come back to you later! OK... Angela Epstein, you were saying earlier, as

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we were having a copy, you think there is a whisper of truth in this

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programme. We have to have a clear line of demarcation between what

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they call observational reality television, poverty porn is the new

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buzzword for this kind of freak show, that it has been labelled as.

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It is a bit like Charles Dickens, he tried to put a microscope on the

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poor, and in the process did that by creating these huge stereotypical,

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larger than life characters in order to raise social issues. If we sweep

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to one side there is nothing there that connotes with reality, fine,

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most of it is there for the benefit of great television, and Channel 4

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have managed to clock up fabulous ratings as a consequence, and people

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seem to be happy to watch that. But the issue is we have to break the

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cycle of welfare dependency. There are lots of people there who want to

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go to work, what self-respecting self-esteem, they want to be able to

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get out of bed and say, I am this person, I can beat this person who

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owns an honest living. At the moment, the benefits system is what

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has betrayed the people who live in places like so-called Benefits

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Street. If the system didn't exist whereby it was more profitable, if

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you like, to stay in bed or stay at home and go to work because he was

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so demoralised by what you earn, then the system is betraying a whole

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generation of people. We have people who leave school at 16, go on the

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dole, get a flat, whatever, no apprenticeships or possibility of

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work placement. This is where the system needs to look, and Channel 4

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is just... Did you feel uncomfortable watching the

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programme? Kate Green MP, did you feel uncomfortable? I feel angry on

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behalf of those people. We do not know more than a little slice of

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their lives we were shown, we do not know the back story, all the

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circumstances. We don't know what it might be that is preventing them

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from being in work and having to claim benefits. Just a minute...

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Just a minute, Charlie! Let's hear from an elected representative. I

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don't think it attractive to live on benefits and be demonised and

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humiliated in front of millions of viewers. Nobody would be choosing

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that experience, people may be on benefits because of health problems,

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it may be that they have issues about literacy, qualifications. It

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could be that they are unwell, but it is a hidden illness that we

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cannot see. It could be there are no jobs in that community. Some people

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are saying there is a great issue of community and humanity coming

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through that programme. One of the things that concerns me about

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Channel 4's intentions on this programme, other than good ratings,

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if it was to divide communities and society, I find that very offensive.

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Any of us could need to claim benefits, any of us could have a

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disaster, become sick or lose a job. I would want that system to be

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there for me, and we should all want it to be there for all of us.

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Charlie, make a response. 95% of them people are not going to work.

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Obviously, there are genuine cases that cannot go to work and we should

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help them, but a lot of people... The problem you have got is... That

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is what the figures say... It is wrong, I know this people. Let me

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just tell you something. Why are we making benefits so attractive, more

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attractive than going to work? What do you mean? It is not attractive!

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Rachel. I looked like the very acme of middle-class respectability, but

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for over two years of my life, as a result of ill-health, I was unable

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to work, and I know from the inside... Let me ask you a question,

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do you think that stigma was informed by what people were reading

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in the newspapers and what people saw on television? Was that skewing

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their attitudes towards you? I want to clarify, I think we were living

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in a slightly more compassionate society at the time, there was less

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of this click based television going on, but it was the case that I

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recognised I was living on a very challenging the state, an amazing

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estate in Salford, and that many of us felt very much pushed to the

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outside, and you know what happens, Nicky, with stigma? It becomes

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internalised, and it can be very, very hard to step outside of that.

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And the kind of people, like this gentleman here, who clearly over

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prioritised and individualistic conception of society, you do, you

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simply do not... Let me finish, please... Lady... You do not have an

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understanding of a community of character, the kind of community I

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suspect we all want to be in. Charlie, before we go any further, I

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will come to you, put your hands up, because we will have a galop around

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the audience in a second. An interesting statistic which you may

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or may not be aware of, people's perceptions, according to a fairly

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recent poll, 20% of social security payments are lost to fraud, 27%. The

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actual figure is... What do you think? Beutel me. No, you tell us,

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Charlie! Have a guess. I don't know. 0.7%. 40,000 children we pay for

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live abroad and claim on benefits, is that right? It is a small slice

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of the benefits payments, a very small size. Right, I will tell you

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what, wait, wait, wait! We are going to go over Sheila, who has been

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waiting to come in, Northwest region co-ordinated of Unite,

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interestingly, you did a protest outside the production company

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officers, didn't you? Yes, that is right, and my colleague in the South

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was involved in that, and the people who are protesting there are people

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at the cutting edge, and it makes me so angry listening to you, because

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you buy into the myth, you know, I wouldn't be surprised if you read

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the Sun, to be honest with you! Are people demonised through this

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programme? Yes, not only demonised but people are increasingly

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criminalised through the cuts. Through the bedroom tax cuts,

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through a variety of sanctions. The bailiffs, evictions. Working class

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people who want to work, those who are able, are increasingly demonised

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and criminalised. Programmes like this served to mobilise communities,

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because I will not be negative about it. What I will say, in line with

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what other people are saying, what I see are people on the cutting edge,

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people who cannot work because of illness. I see the cuts impacting on

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their physical and mental health, the deterioration in those people, I

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have seen it over the past year, but what I see is a great generosity of

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spirit and humanity, where people are coming together, and it is that

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people with the least, who have the least, they are coming together to

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organise resources for their own communities. A lot of people are

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saying this, that is a consequence, perhaps an unintended consequence,

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who knows, but a consequence of this programme. One person comes across

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as a most extraordinary, warm and wonderful person, I watched two

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episodes... People should not have to. The idea of food banks in the

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21st century, to lay the ills of these country on the most

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vulnerable, not... I am not talking about the vulnerable! You are! You

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are buying into the lies and the myth... If it sends out a message to

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youngsters... Wait! Shh! That is nice, isn't it?! Charlie, what kind

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of message do you want this to send? If the programme sends out a

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message, a deterrent to youngsters to going onto benefits, then it is

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doing the right job. Where the jobs for the young people? Use the

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benefit money. What benefits manager Mike last year we scrutinised MPs

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and public officials for their expenses, and people were arguing

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that because money was being spent, we had a right to know what it is

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being spent on. I feel that the vulnerable in society should

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definitely get the money they need, and they should be respected for

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that, because if you are unable to work, there is no reason why you

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should not be paid from the public offers and respected for that. But

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those who are able to work, there is no reason we should not be able to

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scrutinise their lives, we are paying for their lifestyle, and just

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like we can scrutinise MPs... What lifestyle is that to me if they have

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got a big fat TV, there is no reason we should not be able to scrutinise

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that. There are two things I want to say. Benefits go back into the

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economy when you get them. The second thing is, I have forgotten.

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It happens to me all the time. Thank you. I would like to say as a member

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of the Muslim community and GP, the welfare rights system is an act of

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piety by the nation. Every single member of this audience, we are

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actually helping the needy. We are getting distracted by this

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television show and the principle behind it which is helping the

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needy. There is an issue behind the equitable redistribution of wealth

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in their society. There is a small proportion of very wealthy people

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who called the wealth and we are not distributing it equally. The

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benefits cuts will lead to social disharmony eventually. This is an

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Islamic principle which is obligatory almsgiving. If we start

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to be tough on the poor, we will see problems in the future. We need to

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think about our vision for the future here. I do not think it is

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about being tough on the poor, it is about doing the right thing. If

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people are sponging off the system, they need to be addressed. How many

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do that? It does not matter how many are doing it, all people are saying

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is those are the people that need to be addressed. We are not saying do

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bad things to the poor in general. If people are sponging off the

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system, that needs to be sorted out. Steve Davis, where is Capital Gains

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Street? What about people at the other end of society who are

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sponging? The London standard had a headline saying that the rise in

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house prices for many people in London was more than they actually

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happened. That shows one of the big problems behind all of this. One of

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the difficulties that people on that street face is the cripplingly high

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cost of housing. That is why housing benefit is the biggest single part

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for pensioners. We have a situation where we are not supplying enough

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houses. That is one of the biggest things we can do to make the lives

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of people on low incomes and benefit a lot easier. You believe there is a

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certain sense of entitlement and hopelessness. I think that programme

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was exploitative and intended to push peoples buttons to get them

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agitated and angry. On the one hand, there was an angry sense of

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entitlement on the part of the people who are living on benefits

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but, also, a sense of hopelessness and despair. They were trapped. We

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are spending an enormous amount of money and not getting the results.

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Some people want to better themselves but because of the

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incentives the system set up, they are facing a marginal tax rate of

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80% -- effectively. It is not illegal to be unemployed. There are

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thousands of very successful people in our society who are where they

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are because when things get tough, they do not fall through the cracks.

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There are two issues which need to be addressed. If benefit fraud what

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is driving the financial crisis in this country? The size of benefit

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fraud is completely dwarfed by the size of tax fraud and tax evasion.

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Secondly, the issue we need to address, are we making work

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unattractive? There are a small slice of people for whom work can be

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less attractive than benefits. The reason for that what we need to do

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to solve it is to raise the minimum wage so that work actually pays. The

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Chancellor has suggested that everything will happen. We are

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raising the minimum wage to make it more of a living wage. We need to

:20:27.:20:30.

take the money from the cuts in the benefit and get it into the

:20:31.:20:36.

workplace. What about tax fraud and tax evasion and putting that money

:20:37.:20:43.

in? You would invest that into youngsters and apprenticeships. That

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will put something back into the pot. You will have to make sure... I

:20:47.:20:54.

agree that we should be trying to get the benefits bill down and

:20:55.:20:58.

supporting people in good jobs or you cannot do is take the rug away

:20:59.:21:05.

beforehand. Why not take it away from the tax evaders? Go to the

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other end of the spectrum. Evaders and avoiders - both. This is about

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what kind of community do we want. Do we want a community that

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prioritises the weakest and the most honourable or are we a society that

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seeks to stigmatise and stereotype the most vulnerable? I am going to

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give the last word on this debate, I said I would come back to you.

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Channel 4 plans a debate on this, which will be lively and interesting

:21:46.:21:51.

and no doubt get a big rating. Are the residents going to turn up, do

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you believe? I asked for a right to reply for the residents. The bosses

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of Channel 4 said they set up this debate like this. I have talked to

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some of the residents. I do not represent all the residents. It is a

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diverse community and I am working with some of the leaders. They feel

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what will happen is they will step into a goldfish bowl and tried to

:22:17.:22:20.

put their point of view and endless people will put them down again. My

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advice to them, and I agree with them, what they are asking for is

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just the opportunity to tell a truer and bigger and there are story about

:22:31.:22:35.

who they are. The last word from me is simply this. We talked about

:22:36.:22:39.

stigmatisation. The problem is that unless this is true story is told

:22:40.:22:43.

about this street, is one that has got out there, this. Which demonises

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so many people and has made us believe they are all not working for

:22:50.:22:55.

some reason, this will not exist and that will be a shadow over the lives

:22:56.:23:00.

of these young people as they grow. It will become a self-fulfilling

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prophecy. Let the people on the street speak for themselves in a

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different context to this Channel 4 piece of entertainment. If you have

:23:09.:23:15.

something to say about that debate, please log on to

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bbc.co.uk/thebigquestions, and follow the link to where you can

:23:22.:23:25.

join in the discussion online. Or contribute on Twitter. We're also

:23:26.:23:34.

debating live this morning from Salford, should it be illegal to

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reveal the sex of an unborn child? And, is there any evidence for

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Satan? So, get tweeting or e-mailing on those topics now or send us any

:23:42.:23:45.

other ideas or thoughts you may have about the show. This week, The

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Independent newspaper exposed a shocking set of statistics. In some

:23:49.:23:50.

British South Asian communities, women carrying girl babies are more

:23:51.:23:53.

likely to terminate their pregnancies if they already have a

:23:54.:23:56.

daughter. In England and Wales, up to 4,700 females were lost in this

:23:57.:24:00.

way. Such is the pressure to deliver sons that these women preferred to

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have an abortion than face the consequence of disappointing their

:24:04.:24:05.

husband and his family. Of course, no woman deserves this

:24:06.:24:14.

blame because it is the man's sperm that actually determines the gender

:24:15.:24:19.

of a child. Should it be illegal to reveal the sex of an unborn child?

:24:20.:24:28.

Shocking statistics, Rahila Gupta. It is interesting, the Nobel

:24:29.:24:38.

laureate was speaking 25 years ago. His quote is, he was talking about

:24:39.:24:42.

the tens of millions of missing women because of the selective

:24:43.:24:47.

abortion of female foetuses. Now of course this problem it would seem

:24:48.:24:51.

has reached our shores. What should be done? I should say that if the

:24:52.:24:58.

independent figures are correct, because they are extremely shocking

:24:59.:25:02.

figures, anecdotally we were aware of the fact, through my own personal

:25:03.:25:10.

experience. Asian women are under incredible pressure to give birth to

:25:11.:25:16.

a baby boy. By the way, I must say it actually extends to other

:25:17.:25:20.

communities as well. It is not just India and China but also European

:25:21.:25:24.

countries, most Soviet countries like Georgia, Azerbaijan, they have

:25:25.:25:33.

worse ratios than India itself. To come back to the question of the

:25:34.:25:36.

Asian community in Britain, anecdotally, we were aware of the

:25:37.:25:40.

fact there were women who are flying off to India, those who could afford

:25:41.:25:46.

it, to carry out the scans and the abortions. This figure is actually

:25:47.:25:52.

very shocking. What I would say is that regardless of the statistics we

:25:53.:25:57.

have, in any case, some hospitals are informally or formerly having a

:25:58.:26:04.

policy of not disclosing the sex of a child to all parents. To all

:26:05.:26:11.

parents? There is no profiling. There is no way of looking at the

:26:12.:26:14.

women and telling whether she would be in favour of having a girl or a

:26:15.:26:19.

boy child whether she is under pressure or not. No profiling

:26:20.:26:25.

whatsoever. Is that your experience? Profiling is happening.

:26:26.:26:29.

In 1985I gave birth to a little girl. Six months pregnant and I

:26:30.:26:34.

asked what the sex of the child was. The midwife said, we do not

:26:35.:26:44.

tell Asian women. Really? In places like Rotherham, they will not tell

:26:45.:26:47.

Asian women the sex of a child. They have said this to me on a daily

:26:48.:26:53.

basis. The midwives, the people who do the scans, they know this is a

:26:54.:26:58.

significant problem within South Asian communities. They are tackling

:26:59.:27:03.

it within their way. -- in their own way. There is no guidance saying we

:27:04.:27:11.

need to be putting this in place. These women are being forced to

:27:12.:27:16.

abort or kill unborn children if it is a girl. Is it not better to

:27:17.:27:23.

educate and inform, and to make sure that new attitudes devolve, rather

:27:24.:27:29.

than withhold information? Absolutely. That is what activists,

:27:30.:27:36.

all sorts of Muslim people have been doing all this time. These are

:27:37.:27:41.

deep, structural inequalities. It is about the value attached to a woman

:27:42.:27:48.

's life. Also deep-seated cultural reasons. The issue about it our way

:27:49.:27:56.

is a cultural one. If all of these things are done side by side, that

:27:57.:28:00.

is the most important thing to do. Meanwhile, we are losing girls. We

:28:01.:28:07.

have lost 60 million. Also figures are being bandied about because we

:28:08.:28:11.

do not know the true figure. Across the world, 100 million women have

:28:12.:28:16.

not been born as a result of this. It is a terrible situation for us to

:28:17.:28:20.

be in and we need to take some action. I would say we should

:28:21.:28:24.

certainly ban disclosure and criminalise it across the board in

:28:25.:28:30.

Britain so no hospitals, private clinics, would be able to tell the

:28:31.:28:38.

sex of a child. What about after the legal term of abortion? After 24

:28:39.:28:45.

weeks, exactly. I have come to this conclusion because I feel I was

:28:46.:28:49.

trying to find a way of saying, how do we balance? As a feminist, I

:28:50.:28:56.

believe in a woman's right to choose to have an abortion. How do we

:28:57.:29:00.

balance this against the issue of so many women and girls disappearing? I

:29:01.:29:05.

wanted to restrict. I felt the only way to do that would be to restrict

:29:06.:29:09.

the information you give to a person. You can still exercise your

:29:10.:29:19.

right to choose. Kate, does the right to choose extend to this? Let

:29:20.:29:27.

me say one thing. The statistics published in the Independent do not

:29:28.:29:32.

show this is going on in the UK. I am speaking not as the women's

:29:33.:29:36.

rights activist but as someone with a maths degree. The study was done

:29:37.:29:42.

by in period College London. Let me explain what exactly it shows. They

:29:43.:29:47.

say there is an alternative explanation. They have looked at

:29:48.:29:50.

women with two children and the first one is a girl and with a

:29:51.:30:01.

second child more have boys. The other possibility is that people

:30:02.:30:04.

with two girls keep trying and have a third baby and then would be

:30:05.:30:08.

counted out of the statistics. We all know people who have had that

:30:09.:30:12.

policy. We have had one of age and we will stop all we have to the same

:30:13.:30:18.

and we will keep going. Statisticians say it is the only

:30:19.:30:24.

readily available data. There is another explanation for that. I

:30:25.:30:32.

know, as a forced marriage survivor, We have had examples of women who

:30:33.:31:18.

have had to abort their child because they know it is a girl. This

:31:19.:31:23.

particular girl was thrown down the stairs as a means to try to abort a

:31:24.:31:28.

child. We have examples of new wives being brought in because they have

:31:29.:31:32.

given birth to three daughters. So the point I am making is, what the

:31:33.:31:37.

Independent has done is start a devout about a real issue, and we

:31:38.:31:41.

need to follow it through. -- start a debate. And if she did not know

:31:42.:31:48.

the gender of the child, she could not do that? Yes. Let me jump in, we

:31:49.:31:58.

are saying... I must say, the pregnancy advisory service says this

:31:59.:32:02.

does not happen. Let's supposed there is a young woman and her

:32:03.:32:05.

family find out she is carrying a girl, and they will be violence to

:32:06.:32:09.

her and views, don't you think that woman, what she does deserve this to

:32:10.:32:16.

have more information to be held from her? What she needs is a safe

:32:17.:32:20.

place to get to and away from a family who might be violence to

:32:21.:32:25.

her? I absolutely agree with that, but something like this would

:32:26.:32:29.

empower the woman against her family, because if something is

:32:30.:32:34.

illegal, it is sort of outside... Sorry, if I can just give an example

:32:35.:32:40.

from the banning of the hijab in France. Not that I supported, but

:32:41.:32:45.

there are women who have said, who have reported, the fact that it was

:32:46.:32:50.

bound as given them a tool to argue against the family that you cannot

:32:51.:32:53.

insist on me wearing a hijab, because it is illegal, and in that

:32:54.:32:57.

way sometimes when the state intervenes, it is actually a form of

:32:58.:33:03.

protection. So it sends a powerful message. Let me bring Craig in, let

:33:04.:33:07.

me get the name of your... You are the editor of DNA Testing Choice,

:33:08.:33:15.

that says it all! Could a law like this work? Practically? I am here as

:33:16.:33:24.

an advocate of DNA testing, and recently you could not know the sex

:33:25.:33:28.

of a child until 13 weeks, determined by ultrasound. Now you

:33:29.:33:33.

can find out at seven weeks with a blood test or urine sample, which

:33:34.:33:36.

can be ordered on the internet and taken at home, which could really

:33:37.:33:40.

exacerbate this issue. Coming to the legality of it, there are certain

:33:41.:33:50.

genetic conditions called ex-linked recessive conditions, where if there

:33:51.:33:56.

is a boy baby, a male foetus... Could a doctor not reveal that? The

:33:57.:34:01.

parent would probably know that one of them was a carrier of the genetic

:34:02.:34:06.

disease, and the male baby has a 50% chance of having a condition like

:34:07.:34:10.

haemophilia. This is a different issue, really, because we are

:34:11.:34:14.

talking about gender selection. I will come back to Craig. We are

:34:15.:34:20.

talking about women being empowered, and I say this as a woman who has

:34:21.:34:24.

had three boys and a girl, that was the random lottery and how it played

:34:25.:34:28.

out for me, thank God they were all healthy as well. Scanning is

:34:29.:34:34.

essentially a diagnostic tool, there to offer clinical support for the

:34:35.:34:40.

health of the baby and the unborn child. It was not developed for us

:34:41.:34:45.

to know what the sex of the unborn child would be. However, as a

:34:46.:34:49.

by-product of that, if you happen to be able to see clearly and a

:34:50.:34:53.

sonographer cannot always tell, they told my husband that it was a boy

:34:54.:34:57.

because I did not want to know, and she's very much a girl, so they

:34:58.:35:02.

don't always get it right. If that information is there, as a woman,

:35:03.:35:06.

you are entitled to ask the question. It is not fair for the

:35:07.:35:10.

state to police what is essentially your baby. What has to happen,

:35:11.:35:14.

though, when it comes to abortion, women aborting their babies, aside

:35:15.:35:18.

from the horrific stories you were telling about women being thrown the

:35:19.:35:29.

stairs, it is not an arbitrary thing that happens. You have to go to

:35:30.:35:31.

unofficial clinic or the National Health Service provider. The 1967

:35:32.:35:34.

abortion act says, correct me if I am wrong, requires two doctors to

:35:35.:35:36.

sign off that you are an appropriate candidate for abortion, and research

:35:37.:35:40.

has shown that a certain percentage of women, doctors have not even seen

:35:41.:35:44.

the women whose abortions they are authorising. We have to shift the

:35:45.:35:50.

responsibility... The point is, as we heard earlier, this would send

:35:51.:35:57.

out a very powerful message... You cannot police women's bodies. It is

:35:58.:36:02.

not about policing women's bodies. It is about victims not having the

:36:03.:36:06.

courage, fearing for their life, there are unborn child's life, and

:36:07.:36:12.

not being able to speak out. Does that mean everybody is not allowed?

:36:13.:36:17.

Not being allowed to speak out? So this would be empowering? What you

:36:18.:36:21.

have to remember is that the people doing this to them are their nearest

:36:22.:36:25.

and dearest, and it is a number of multiple perpetrators, this is one

:36:26.:36:30.

isolated individual, and they need support to the empowered. So we all

:36:31.:36:37.

have got to...? Society has a role to play in protecting the most

:36:38.:36:42.

vulnerable. You did not mind what sexual child was... I wanted a

:36:43.:36:51.

little girl. I don't mind saying that. I felt that I wanted that sort

:36:52.:36:56.

of innate mother-daughter relationship, but I didn't choose to

:36:57.:37:00.

find out the sex of my child, simply because I did not want to have the

:37:01.:37:04.

arrogance of potential disappointment, because all you

:37:05.:37:07.

really want is a healthy baby. God forbid that should happen to

:37:08.:37:13.

somebody. I wanted to know it was a healthy baby. Reverend Steve Chalke,

:37:14.:37:21.

please, please, please! Sorry! It is all right! Is this a significant

:37:22.:37:27.

problem, and statistics suggest it is, it is illegal in India and

:37:28.:37:31.

China, so if not here, and how would you do it? I simply think that what

:37:32.:37:36.

we have got to do is listen to these ladies, because they understand the

:37:37.:37:39.

culture this is happening in and they struggle themselves. Thank you.

:37:40.:37:46.

It is rather ironic that, any name of liberty and freedom, we come to

:37:47.:37:50.

take away freedom. That is an extraordinary thing. Let him finish!

:37:51.:37:56.

Surely, if we believe in the sanctity of every human life, which

:37:57.:38:01.

is what I do, we have to listen hard to this. It has got to be worked

:38:02.:38:05.

through, and there are technicalities... How would you do

:38:06.:38:11.

it? Steve Chalke, would you withhold information from every woman, no

:38:12.:38:14.

matter what ethnicity, no matter where she came from? I think we... I

:38:15.:38:23.

do not have an easy answer, we need to have a debate, but we have to

:38:24.:38:27.

note these girls' lives are being lost. I think we have to find a way

:38:28.:38:34.

of withholding this information. From everyone? From everyone? I

:38:35.:38:38.

think that we have heard that you cannot tell by a woman... From

:38:39.:38:44.

everyone? I think we have to withhold this from everyone in order

:38:45.:38:52.

to protect people, it is an issue of human rights. All or nothing? It

:38:53.:38:57.

seems to me that we keep arguing about protecting these women so they

:38:58.:39:00.

find out the gender of their child when it is born, not beforehand, and

:39:01.:39:04.

then they will be at risk after it is born. You have the freedom to

:39:05.:39:08.

say, I do not want that information, I want that information, and more

:39:09.:39:12.

information is good, and we cannot take that away. If we believe in a

:39:13.:39:17.

woman's right to choose, we have to believe in her right to choose even

:39:18.:39:20.

when we do not agree with the reason. It is her choice. She may

:39:21.:39:25.

have no choice after she has had the baby. Reverend Rachel. Speaking as

:39:26.:39:31.

someone who writes as a feminist theologian, I am very conscious of

:39:32.:39:35.

how, in debate I have been involved in over many years, that there is

:39:36.:39:42.

often power held by white middle-class women like myself, and

:39:43.:39:46.

that has often stifled voices from other communities. So why are you

:39:47.:39:54.

talking?! It is precisely... I just want to say, I want to listen to my

:39:55.:40:04.

sisters... Can I just...? OK, yes, wait, wait, wait! I would like to

:40:05.:40:09.

come back on the notion of choice. I think that the word choice is used

:40:10.:40:13.

in a very simplistic fashion, and it is thrown around randomly. I think

:40:14.:40:19.

context is all important to the idea of choice, and when my choice

:40:20.:40:23.

disadvantages or entrenches disadvantage or inequality for other

:40:24.:40:27.

women, you know, whether it is about race class, what kind of feminist

:40:28.:40:33.

and I? It is a collective project. We cannot look at individual

:40:34.:40:37.

choices. How are we depriving women if we don't tell them the sex of

:40:38.:40:41.

their child? Other women who may not be, you know... What if they want to

:40:42.:40:46.

know for innocent reasons to me they are so trivial and frivolous, when

:40:47.:40:50.

in fact what you are doing is saving the lives of women. Last word,

:40:51.:40:55.

because you have campaigned so hard on this issue. It is not just about

:40:56.:40:59.

protecting the lives of women, it isn't about not killing young

:41:00.:41:03.

children that have not yet been born, girls. We must leave it there.

:41:04.:41:09.

You can join in all the debates by logging onto the BBC website and

:41:10.:41:14.

following the link to the online discussion, or you can tweet using

:41:15.:41:23.

the hashtag #bbctbq. And tell us what you think about our last

:41:24.:41:27.

question, is there any evidence about Satan? If you would like to be

:41:28.:41:32.

on the show, e-mail the address on screen.

:41:33.:41:40.

Well, the good news for those of you who are about to become godparents,

:41:41.:41:46.

you will know alone to have to pronounce the devil and all his

:41:47.:41:50.

works, so it is carry on, Satan, in the Church of England. But in Rome,

:41:51.:41:55.

they are training more exorcisms, so clearly the Catholic Church is still

:41:56.:42:00.

on guard against manifestations of the evil one. Is there any evidence

:42:01.:42:06.

for Satan? Imam Hassan, nice to see you again, good morning. Muslims

:42:07.:42:12.

believe God created the devil. What does the devil do? We believe that

:42:13.:42:18.

Satan exists and God created the devil, and in the Koran it is

:42:19.:42:21.

mentioned that the devil whispers into the ears of humankind to

:42:22.:42:30.

influence them, not control them, control the actions, but influence

:42:31.:42:33.

decisions they make. Examples Juma sinning against God, doing bad deeds

:42:34.:42:44.

towards other human beings. Is this not shifting the blame? Not

:42:45.:42:48.

necessarily. As I said, the devil cannot control human beings. The

:42:49.:42:53.

human beings control their own actions, but the devil whispers into

:42:54.:42:58.

the ears of human beings. Similarly, other human beings whisper into the

:42:59.:43:02.

ears of human beings, they influence them with words, with their

:43:03.:43:09.

behaviour and actions. Why did God create the devil? Primarily to test

:43:10.:43:14.

human beings, to test if they stick to the right path. And there are

:43:15.:43:17.

enough tests without the devil? Of course, but this is one of the tests

:43:18.:43:33.

that God created. What are djinn? Emissary is of the devil? You could

:43:34.:43:37.

put it like that, the dude be handy work of the devil. We believe there

:43:38.:43:45.

are some djinn who are believers of God. That is a spirit? Yes, they

:43:46.:43:50.

live in another dimension to us. We believe that there are believers

:43:51.:43:54.

amongst the djinn, they do good works, but we believe that there are

:43:55.:43:59.

certain s djinnwho carry out the works of the devil. Have you ever

:44:00.:44:03.

seen anyone possessed by the devil or anything like that? As an imam, I

:44:04.:44:09.

received a lot of calls, and people come to me and say, my child or this

:44:10.:44:14.

person has been possessed by the djinn or by the devil. And what I

:44:15.:44:19.

say to them is, look, why do you say that? I ask certain questions. The

:44:20.:44:24.

first question I would ask, have you been to a GP, have you been to a

:44:25.:44:28.

professional? May be that person is depressed. Have you ever come to the

:44:29.:44:33.

conclusion that somebody was possessed by the devil or by djinn?

:44:34.:44:39.

I have seen people personally, they have been influenced by the whispers

:44:40.:44:43.

of the devil, and we believe that this is something... What were they

:44:44.:44:48.

doing? They were behaving in an abnormal manner. They were not

:44:49.:44:52.

behaving in a normal fashion, and what I would tell them is to recite

:44:53.:44:57.

the holy Koran, we believe this is a miracle. It might be a mental health

:44:58.:45:04.

issue. That is what I said. When people come, I say, have you been to

:45:05.:45:14.

a professional? Do you know of people who have been possessed by

:45:15.:45:20.

the devil? In the field of mental health, it is recognised now that

:45:21.:45:27.

spirituality can be a force route to understanding mental health. What

:45:28.:45:35.

does that mean? The first one is biology and psychology. Do you think

:45:36.:45:39.

a mental health condition can be because of the work of the devil?

:45:40.:45:47.

Precisely. That is what they recognised now. Who recognises

:45:48.:45:54.

that? It is written. It is in the book. There is a section where it

:45:55.:46:03.

says, for those who are not materialist, we should give room of

:46:04.:46:09.

consideration of the spiritual dimensional of their mental health.

:46:10.:46:15.

Have you never heard the example of a child possessed by the devil? Have

:46:16.:46:21.

you heard of this? I have heard of it. There are testimonies of

:46:22.:46:25.

children who have been delivered, set free. The testimony of what the

:46:26.:46:33.

devil has done with them. What the devil has done with them! They are

:46:34.:46:39.

children. We cannot prove scientifically that Satan exists. We

:46:40.:46:45.

are not going to leave the debate here. We are going to hear from

:46:46.:46:50.

other people. Richard Hoskins, you have worked and lived in Africa, how

:46:51.:46:56.

dangerous can this be? Just the last point about children being

:46:57.:47:00.

possessed. Believe in evil powers exists in pretty much every

:47:01.:47:06.

religion. It has done since the dawn of civilisation. I was not picking

:47:07.:47:12.

on Africa but you live there. I have been in Bible camps where pastels

:47:13.:47:21.

have tried to exercise demons. There is a problem in Africa in

:47:22.:47:26.

Pentecostal churches where children are being accused of being possessed

:47:27.:47:33.

by the devil. It is not about drawing from sacred texts, it is

:47:34.:47:45.

about children being accused of being witches. It is chilling. I

:47:46.:47:49.

have been involved in some of the toughest cases this country has ever

:47:50.:47:58.

seen. I was in the Old Bailey where two people were on trial for the

:47:59.:48:07.

brutal slaughter of a boy who was branded as a witch. The Bible is

:48:08.:48:18.

very clear. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. You

:48:19.:48:25.

need to teach the person per word of God. You mentioned they are evil and

:48:26.:48:31.

people are being persecuted. Across Western Europe for hundreds of

:48:32.:48:34.

years, tens of thousands of women were murdered because they were

:48:35.:48:38.

being seen as the daughters of the devil. If you know the truth, Jesus

:48:39.:48:46.

was the first person to deal with demons and set free people. He spoke

:48:47.:49:01.

the word. Reverend Rachel Mann the devil is in the Bible like Baltimore

:49:02.:49:04.

is in Harry Potter. We are talking about

:49:05.:49:20.

interpretation. The Bible makes reference to Satan in a number of

:49:21.:49:26.

passages. It is about interpretation. In the book of Job,

:49:27.:49:33.

I think that Satan is a joke figure. In the book of Revelation,

:49:34.:49:39.

it is not clear that we are talking about some kinds of personified

:49:40.:49:43.

evil. I simply cannot bring myself to believe in a Satan, who is an

:49:44.:49:54.

embodied angel who has been thrown out of heaven. I am a trained

:49:55.:50:03.

philosopher, who has been very influenced by Saint Augustine who

:50:04.:50:07.

sees evil as the absence of good. That kind of God I believe in simply

:50:08.:50:12.

has no is based on some sort of tent who is there. Let's come back to

:50:13.:50:19.

Kate. When you have been on programmes with these debates,

:50:20.:50:24.

you're always very measured. Let me ask another question. People find

:50:25.:50:31.

this very interesting. Do you believe that the devil can appear

:50:32.:50:38.

incorporeal, bodily, form? Do you think that ever happens? It is not

:50:39.:50:46.

mentioned whether the devil appears in a physical or spiritual form.

:50:47.:50:52.

From the testimonies of people who are involved with the world of

:50:53.:50:58.

darkness, they are saying that the devil can come to them as a human

:50:59.:51:04.

being. Really? There are many testimonies of alien abduction as

:51:05.:51:09.

well. That are testimonies of people involved. Whenever I am on the show,

:51:10.:51:14.

someone on the Internet always tells me I am the devil. Well... Let me

:51:15.:51:22.

say this, it is terrifying to hear these kinds of things about children

:51:23.:51:27.

who are possessed. It implies that good and evil are these two distinct

:51:28.:51:31.

full since that operate against each other. The reality is that when

:51:32.:51:35.

Vladimir Putin said gay people are welcome at the Olympics but they

:51:36.:51:38.

should stay away from children, he felt he was doing good in protecting

:51:39.:51:44.

children. Others feel he is doing something very bad in stigmatising

:51:45.:51:47.

gay people. It is not as simple as good versus bad. Life is much more

:51:48.:51:56.

nuanced than that. I might go one step further and say, what surprises

:51:57.:52:01.

me is that here we are in the 21st-century, I have a device in my

:52:02.:52:06.

pocket which enables me to have a face-to-face conversation with

:52:07.:52:08.

somebody who lives in Australia. In this day and age, there are still

:52:09.:52:13.

people who believe in the devil and who believe in God. It is ludicrous.

:52:14.:52:24.

Tell me about the evil eye. It is the concept that evil comes

:52:25.:52:30.

either... This is the Jewish interpretation. It is the oldest

:52:31.:52:45.

religion. No, it is not. Everything that God creates will have to

:52:46.:52:48.

conceive the idea that it comes from love. Everything that God creates

:52:49.:52:57.

comes from love, the good. If there is a concept of evil it is to

:52:58.:53:02.

standardise us and make us believe we have to do better. The concept of

:53:03.:53:08.

the evil eye, people have evil inclinations from within. In the

:53:09.:53:15.

process, it can generate bad things towards other people. We can feel so

:53:16.:53:19.

malevolently disposed toward somebody that that is why we should

:53:20.:53:24.

not be arrogant and Parade GCSE results on the Internet. People have

:53:25.:53:32.

bad feeling and jealousy. There is the acknowledgement there are

:53:33.:53:35.

malevolent forces around that can stay as towards things that we do

:53:36.:53:42.

not want to do and we have to fight against it. Just a quick word

:53:43.:53:45.

because there are hands in the audience up. I think children, if

:53:46.:53:55.

they are under the influence of an evil spirit, I do not think they

:53:56.:53:59.

should be abused. They deserve compassion. I have heard every

:54:00.:54:13.

single pastor say the same thing. By telling children they can be

:54:14.:54:18.

possessed, you are abusing them. Child abuse. Sign it is child abuse.

:54:19.:54:30.

-- it is child abuse. With regard to the comments from the reverend, I

:54:31.:54:34.

find it convenient you can pick and choose parts of the Bible you

:54:35.:54:38.

believe. The way it is used and practised in forces a form of child

:54:39.:54:46.

abuse. That is how the reality -- that is the reality of how the text

:54:47.:54:56.

is interpreted. You said about interpreting the Bible correctly.

:54:57.:55:00.

The problem is, you have different groups interpreting the Bible in

:55:01.:55:04.

different ways. The argument about who is right has resulted in some of

:55:05.:55:11.

those groups... It has resulted in some of our best debates. Debate is

:55:12.:55:20.

part of human nature. The doctor has a very quick point to make. You talk

:55:21.:55:28.

about the structural apparatus of the psyche and the mind can you talk

:55:29.:55:33.

about our drive for power, money and greed. As a Muslim, I see that as

:55:34.:55:43.

the self that incites to evil. What we say is this is something which is

:55:44.:55:50.

innate within everyone. It is bad people doing bad things. Conscience

:55:51.:55:55.

or super ego is what moralisers the negative aspect within every single

:55:56.:56:04.

person. -- moralising is. There are particular religions which believe

:56:05.:56:11.

in God will stop by Des bad stuff happen? -- which believe in God. Why

:56:12.:56:19.

does bad stuff happen? We invented the concept of the devil in order to

:56:20.:56:25.

try and answer the question. The problem is, it has very dangerous

:56:26.:56:31.

results, as we have heard. Whether or not you believed in a

:56:32.:56:35.

personalised devil or the concept, what we have witnessed here today,

:56:36.:56:42.

we have listened to these ladies talking about women being thrown

:56:43.:56:46.

downstairs, that is an evil act. We have seen Channel 4 abusing a

:56:47.:56:54.

community, that is an evil act. The forces of evil are always present

:56:55.:56:59.

and we must never caved in to them. The Bible teaches about eight God of

:57:00.:57:05.

love who calls us... What is the devil? Is it a metaphor? I believe

:57:06.:57:15.

the Bible teaches the forces of evil are always present and we are called

:57:16.:57:20.

to get involved for good. That is why the Church of England chose the

:57:21.:57:29.

wording. They say people are possessed. Communities are using

:57:30.:57:34.

that as an excuse to deal with discipline issues. Homosexuality is

:57:35.:57:40.

a prime example of a young man calling the helpline. A Muslim man,

:57:41.:57:45.

who is homosexual. He was told he was possessed by the devil and

:57:46.:57:49.

whipped frequently to get rid of this devil out of his body. And that

:57:50.:57:55.

was guidance from people within his community. People are using this as

:57:56.:57:59.

an excuse to discipline and punish people and that is the problem. How

:58:00.:58:07.

widespread is this? It is a widespread issue and a hidden issue

:58:08.:58:11.

and we need to root it out. In this country, we are against the death

:58:12.:58:19.

penalty. Why do you want to apply the death penalty to our children in

:58:20.:58:32.

a mother 's womb? As always, debates continue on Twitter. Next week we

:58:33.:58:36.

are back. We will see you soon.

:58:37.:58:40.

Nicky Campbell presents live debates from Oasis Academy MediaCityUK in Salford, including:

Are the poor being demonised?

Should it be illegal to reveal the sex of an unborn child?

Is there any evidence for Satan?


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