Episode 8 The Big Questions


Episode 8

Nicky Campbell presents live debate from Wychwood School in Oxford. Is hate a crime? Should it be illegal to pay for sex? And, should religions interfere in politics?


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Today on The Big Questions, hate crimes, paying for sex and

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meddlesome priests. Good morning. I am Nicky Campbell.

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Welcome to The Big Questions. Today we are live from Wychwood School in

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Oxford. Welcome, everyone, to The Big Questions. Now, tomorrow it is

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going to be 15 years since the publication of the Macpherson

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report, which examined the Metropolitan Police's handling of

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Stephen Lawrence's murder. By defining a racist incident as any

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incident perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person,

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McPherson change the way that society approached hate crimes.

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Nowadays, being a Sabbath crime because of your religion is also

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recognised under Law Commission is currently deciding whether to our

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disability, sexual orientation and gender identity to the list. Andrew

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Bolland, from Stop Age Uk, isn't crime absolute? A crime is a crime

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and nobody should be elevated in the eyes of the law because they are

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part of a certain group, and, by inference, rarely get it? I agree

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that all crime is wrong, I would talk about the impact of the

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incident on Stephen Lawrence was Opera family, Sophie Lancaster's

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family. She was the goth? Yes, the disproportionate impact on lives,

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that is why it should be seen as an aggravating feature, which in some

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cases is enshrined in the law. Which groups should we extended to? Race,

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religion, where should it go now? Disabilities? Certainly covered

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under disability, legislation is already in place, at least to a

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degree. Gender identity? Again, it is under 2003 legislation. It should

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protect somebody where the impact on the victim had a real and changing

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difference in their lives. People have lived through these incidents

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before, and they will change their life and the way they live to avoid

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those incidents in the future. That is why it should be treated

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seriously. If a paedophile is attacked by a vigilante mob, is that

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a hate crime? Not under legislation. Should it be? Every person in the

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United Kingdom have a right for protection. But you're talking

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specifically about groups, hate crimes, how the criminal justice

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system should recognise those. Is that a hate crime? I would not see

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that specifically as a hate crime, I think research should decide how

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legislation should treat that. Personal identity, that cannot

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change, be that race, faith, that is. Identity, that is what you have

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done, that is not part of your identity, that is a crime you have

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done. Do you want to come in? You secretly how this gets out of

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control. Even talking about identity, we had a murder a few

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years ago, somebody attacked for being a chav. Then you talk about

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economic identities, what about bankers? I think it's vital to see

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this as a free speech issue. Although hate speech campaigners

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like to talk about the very serious, awful crimes that have been

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mentioned, the majority of prosecutions for speech,

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specifically under section five of the Public order act. We know that

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section five of the Public order act has been used to criminalise

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political belief, it has been used to criticise, criminalise criticism

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of religion, used to criminalise expressions of all sorts of

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completely free expression. It gets us into a quagmire? Copyright. This

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is a freedom of speech issue. For all the time we want to talk about

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it inhalation to serious offences, we should spend more time talking

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about... But these people are getting attacked? Freedom of speech

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is about choice. If you are being attacked for something you have no

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choice or control over, that is a completely different matter. You can

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choose to be all sorts of things, you can choose to take different

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stances on things, but to be attacked, verbally or physically,

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because of something that you cannot change. A judge can already

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recognise as an aggravating feature if somebody is particularly

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vulnerable. A judge can recognise it, but I think the problem is that

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it is discretionary. It is not, it is mandatory. When it is a hate

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crime, it is mandatory to sentence more harshly. Discussion goes out of

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it. Judges now have to sentence more harshly, where there is evidence

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that a particular crime was a hate crime. That is where it becomes

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problematic. The assumption is that anyone who associates with one of

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these the groups is inherently vulnerable and that simply isn't the

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case. A great little intervention now. But

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if we are looking at these groups, race, religion, sexual orientation,

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gender identity, disability. There isn't, in fact, a group there with

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which we can all identify with, one of those books, it includes the

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entire publisher of the world? It does, you can think of it like that.

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A lot of us fall into those categories. So should it be the

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crime, rather than the hate? We all have a race, religion or no

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religion. I think we have to separate the emotion and behaviour.

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You can't control peoples emotions, but you can ask people to control

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their behaviour. It is about respect, or lack of respect,

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hostility, just because of an identity or an identifying feature.

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In a society governed by law, rather than by prejudice and emotion, a

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crime is an objective, provable thing. It has to be because

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otherwise how can we have a presumption of innocence, which is

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one of the biggest guarantees of our liberty. You can't have a situation

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where the prosecution doesn't actually have to prove that a crime

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has been committed. It's an action, not what is going on in your head.

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You might have all kinds of horrible things going on in your head, you

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might have all kinds of opinions which most of us all of us would

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find revolting. Until you do something, it is not the concern of

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the criminal law. As soon as the criminal law starts to make Windows

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into people's souls, it becomes totalitarian and dangerous. So no

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one can disagree that you have to have an axe before there is a crime,

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otherwise, rightly, you are in the realm of thought crime. -- an act.

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But it is legitimate under the law for the motivation of your intention

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to be relevant. I am very hostile to speech crimes, which can be acts,

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where you threaten people, for example. That should not be illegal

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if it is not intentional. Your intention, your thoughts, is

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relevant to the courts. If someone says I did beat him up

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because of racist views, because of their race, then that is capable, as

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Peter says, as being evidence. If the court is convinced that was the

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motivation, the court can make a greater sentence. If somebody beat

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somebody up and says I eat him up because he was racist towards me

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because I am black, should that mitigate his sentence, if you want

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to turn it around? Society has decided that it is worth, and this

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is what we are debating, having aggravated sentences because of the

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damage, not because of the victim, whether you are beaten up because of

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your race or because it was a random act, it can damage you badly. But

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society says it is very damaging to society to have mobs that are

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motivated by racial hate, rather than by drunkenness, say. It's very

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damaging to society to have huge numbers of unpunished crimes, which

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we do at the moment. People have to realise the criminal justice system

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is immensely selective. It decides who it is going to arrest and

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prosecute. Many crimes are never arrested and never prosecuted. What

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we are asking for is a form of politicised Justice were certain

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groups of people are protected by the law and others are not. I don't

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think a country can accept that. Who decides who these categories are?

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63.3 million people living in the Magic Kingdom are all potential

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victims of hate crimes, it affects everyone. The most prominent victim

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of hate in recent years, Fiona Pilkington, who eventually kill

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herself and her daughter. The police would not help her and she was

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surrounded by people who hated her. Nobly thought it was a hate crime.

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-- nobody thought was a hate crime. If it had been a hate crime, maybe

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it would have been? It was crying, the problem was that the police

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didn't treat it as a crime. There is so much of this bureaucratic,

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politicised prioritisation of certain things in the police force

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that lots of things which we experience as crimes are not

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arrested prosecuted. This is interesting, how do you determine if

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a group of white youths beats up a black youth or vice versa, how do

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you ascertain if that is fuelled by race hate or alcohol? Or fuelled by

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testosterone or whatever? If the victim says in court, knowing he

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will get a bigger sentence for his assailants, because it is

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subjective, he can say that and then you have a bit of a minefield? I

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think you have, that you investigated, it is the police for

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the crew job to investigate it properly. You have witnesses, what

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language was used, it is trying to get to the bottom of it. Say it was

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black on white or white on black, and the language was about the

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colour, then you could come to conclusions that, yes, this is

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motivated by race. But it might not have been the motive, it might have

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just been a verbal weapon? But I think that a verbal weapon is still

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very damaging. In itself? Are somebody that has suffered from

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that, it is very damaging. Surely crimes committed against evil. I

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have suffered racial abuse as a youth and an adult. I don't want the

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person who has done that to me to be punished for a hate crime. I think

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they have committed a crime, just as we have heard. I think the law

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already has the capacity to take into account the impact on a

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victim. Why not just change that? Why not just say if the impact of a

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particular crime, in ordinary circumstances it may not have been

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so severe, but is completely destroyed their life, so the

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sentencing should be tougher. I don't think we are going to... We're

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going to have 1 million different groups eventually, it makes a

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mockery. Everyone is covered? So why not just make it simpler? I think we

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need to get back to reality and stop talking about groups of white men

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attacking black youths. We have to talk about the role that hate speech

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legislation is taking in the UK, it is having a chilling effect on

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freedom of speech. A violent act as a crime, speech is not a crime.

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Speech is a crime. Crime is causing harassment, alarm or distress. If

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you go up to someone in this Street, abuse them racially, using

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threatening or abusive language, that should be a crime. But

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insulting and which should not be a fence. A 15-year-old was prosecuted

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for calling Scientology a cult, under the same act. That has been

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changed, and they have removed the insulting element from section five,

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as you know, recently. But I agree there is a problem of over policing

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of speech. I agree with you. But you are using this platform as an

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opportunity to say that, I agree. When you have violent crime, it is

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legitimate. Who decides? Parliament has decided that crying motivated on

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the basis of hatred of religion or race, and it is not it is immutable,

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people can change their religion, for example, I should be subject to

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greater punishment because there is a social need for that. What

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happened to you, Mohammed? I was walking around on Thursday afternoon

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in Glasgow, a shopping centre. I was walking with my fiance. Three guys

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just walked towards me and bumped into my shoulder. They just kept

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following me, shouting racial abuse. I mean, I kept walking away.

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I said to myself and my fiance, keep walking, don't look back, keep

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walking, don't think about it, don't listen to what they are saying. We

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kept doing that. I ended up asking her to go into a shop and ask for

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help. I got surrounded and one guy punched me in the back. I managed to

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get away from them and go into the shop. One of the girls that was

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working there actually knew the guy that was attacking me. They call the

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police and five minutes later the police showed up. By the time this

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happened, the guys had already left, they got caught quite easily because

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they were causing trouble somewhere else. That was a pure unadulterated

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attack? Absolutely. I find it intolerable that that sort of thing

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should happen in the United Kingdom. APPLAUSE Reason you look at the

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research that takes place, the three or fourfold increase in depression

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and fear of hate crime victims. There is an ongoing impact on

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victims that really should be recognised and captured. Surely some

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victims who aren't victims of a hate crime will also suffer depression

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and anxiety and that should be taken into account. I agree entirely.

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Statistics say when you compare hate crime victims to general victims of

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crimes there dem demonstrable change in statistics that say you are four

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times more. But others are suffering in the same way. Why shouldn't they

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get the same justice? It is an individual response to crime. If you

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will forgive me, Peter, I want to hear from Sarah. Have you suffered

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from this type of prejudice? Prejudice certainly, but in the

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workplace as opposed to within my own... Well, rather than within a

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criminal situation. Harassment in the workplace isn't criminal,

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although obviously it does have a detrimental effect. I think the

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Equality Act has recognised that and decided what they call the strands,

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the protective characteristics. Having Asperger's, which strand

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would you be in? That's considered a disability. Well, it is a

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disability. And so I think that the legislation, it is very patchy. I

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think we need... We need a single Act. We need to tackle harassment of

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disabled people before it escalates. I think, Peter mentioned the

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Pilkington case. Yes. That wasn't dealt with. It wasn't recorded. It

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wasn't reported. So often there are issues with the police not knowing

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something was a hate crime or not considering whether or not it might

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have been motivated by somebody's disability. So I think these crimes

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are preventible. Obviously in the in every case, but I think if we see

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that people aren't taking action, then I think it sends out a message

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to other people that, well, it is not really dealt with seriously, so

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it is OK to target disabled people. It is OK to target people from a

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different background. Mary, does it say it's OK unless it is clamped

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down on? Is this should not a really strong message to send to society?

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It is indeed. It is absolutely a strong message to send to society.

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There are various groups of people in this country and in the rest of

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Europe who are discriminated against, who do face discrimination.

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I think it is quite wrong to say that hate crime will apply to

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absolutely everybody. It won't. It's designed to apply to those people

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who do face that kind of discrimination and prejudice. But it

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is subjective. If you say it was a hate crime towards you because he

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called me white and he said I was a white so and so, that's your call.

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Then the court... No, that's just for the recording. Court has to make

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an objective assessment as for the motivation of the crime for it to

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have the exacerbating sentencing. If we are talking about hate based on

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what somebody is, you have to have stronger measures to deal with, that

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because that is something that... Stronger measures stronger

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sentences? Possibly, if that's what is decided and that is what this

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legislation seems to be saying. You cannot have people allowed to

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discriminate in that way. That's exactly what a lot of people have

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been fighting against. This is elevating people before the law,

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that's the other side of this. Reverend Linda Rose, what do you

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want to say? Is if anybody's a victim of violence, obviously we

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have to take measures against that. What I'm worried about today is the

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extension of what is called hate speech. There've been cases of

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Christian preachers, street preachers being arrested because

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they've been reading from the Bible. I'm sorry. How can you accuse them

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of hate speech because they are reading particular verses from the

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Bible or just stating their belief? Not with any... The cases that we've

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had are people just being on the streets and just reading. It is even

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worse than, that there was a case recently of an American street

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preacher who was over here. He was just generally trying to - it was an

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evangelistic tract. Are these the verses on homosexuality? No. He was

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accused of reading the verses on homosexuality and he was arrested.

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And le needed legal help to get him out of custody. That's clearly

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wrong. Is that hate speech, if somebody were to read verses on

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homosexuality if a certain place in a certain way from the holy book, is

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that hate speech? If the intention is to incite violence and

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discrimination, yes it is. The intention might be do convert souls.

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Parents, people who do it with the intentional aim of causing

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incitement... How do you ascertain the intention? There's the

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difficulty. Obviously incitement to violence is and should always be a

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crime. Even with the American version of free speech, if you

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incite violence, the First Amendment doesn't apply to you. If you have a

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difference of opinion, it is bringing opinion into the law, where

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it shouldn't. I wanted to talk about what happened to Mohammed. This is a

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disgusting and shameful event. A lot of us have perhaps at some point in

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our lives been threatened in the street by unpleasant people. Yes.

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The real problem here for Mohammed and other people and the shocking

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thing to me is that in the centre of a major city but be walking along

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with your girlfriend and be threatened by youths with a strong

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threat of violence and there's nobody there to help you. The police

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aren't there to help you. If you want to stop people being

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unpleasantly treated for any reason, shoe be concentrating on getting the

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police out of their cars and helicopters and back into their size

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15s patrolling the streets. APPLAUSE Thank you all very much for

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now. If you have something to say about that debate, log on to

:22:28.:22:29.

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

:22:30.:22:33.

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

:22:34.:22:36.

debating live this morning from Oxford: Should it be illegal to pay

:22:37.:22:39.

for sex? And, should religions meddle in politics? So get tweeting

:22:40.:22:43.

or emailing on those topics now or send us any other ideas or thoughts

:22:44.:22:45.

you may have about the show. .

:22:46.:22:55.

Next Thursday the European Parliament will vote on whether

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Europe should opt for the "Swedish model" when it comes to

:22:59.:23:02.

prostitution. This is not quite what it sounds. The debate is about

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whether it should be a crime to pay someone for sex, an approach adopted

:23:07.:23:09.

in Sweden in 1999. And if Europe says yes, the UK may have to change

:23:10.:23:13.

its own laws, which currently target neither the clients nor the women,

:23:14.:23:16.

but criminalise those who control or incite prostitution for personal

:23:17.:23:21.

gain. Should it be illegal to pay for sex? Mary Honeyball, MEP,

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doesn't it just about personal autonomy for the women, people

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argue, and it is a business transaction - if I can say it -

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isn't it? First of all, I'm the author of the report that will be

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voted on... That's why you are here! In the European Parliament next

:23:45.:23:47.

year. Sit merely a transaction? The other thing I want to correct. If it

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goes through the European Parliament it is not a legislative resolution,

:23:51.:23:57.

so it may not become law for a long time. Is it merely a transaction? I

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don't think it is. When I ask audiences like this one and various

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places I've spoken at whether they view prostitution as a job like any

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other, nobody has yet, I haven't come across anyone who says that it

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is. That should tell us quite a lot. The other thing it is important to

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take account of in this debate is that a lot of women, and it is

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almost all women, are trafficked into this country and to other parts

:24:28.:24:31.

of the European Union and across the European Union for sexual services.

:24:32.:24:38.

In fact... There's law protecting these women. There are, the EU has

:24:39.:24:45.

an anti--trafficking direct active. These are statistics produced by the

:24:46.:24:50.

EU that of those trafficked in the EU, 62% of them are women trafficked

:24:51.:24:55.

for sexual exploitation. So I think it is pretty clear. Why incriminate

:24:56.:25:01.

the men? In Sweden since 1999, if you make it illegal to buy sexual

:25:02.:25:07.

services, prostitution goes down. There is a reduction. It hasn't gone

:25:08.:25:12.

down. Swedish model has been proven not to works. According to

:25:13.:25:15.

statistics produced by the Swedish police, which I'm prepared to

:25:16.:25:19.

believe, it has gone down by half. No. On-street prostitution has gone

:25:20.:25:25.

down by half. They don't know where these people are gone, whether they

:25:26.:25:30.

are still alive. They think they are probably moved online or into

:25:31.:25:34.

private premises. While the prostitution rate has gone down in

:25:35.:25:39.

Sweden, it has shot up in Denmark and Finland. Perhaps the punters and

:25:40.:25:45.

the working women have gone elsewhere. The other fact? The other

:25:46.:25:54.

fact people don't often take into account is since the Swedes brought

:25:55.:25:59.

this law in this 1999, in the enyears afterwards, rates of rapes

:26:00.:26:04.

and violence against women have gone up by 60%. Criminalising the men,

:26:05.:26:10.

would it help? No, it is very dangerous. Dangerous? Absolutely. It

:26:11.:26:17.

would distort policing practises. Last week on the news we saw Hugh

:26:18.:26:24.

Grant and Divine Brown, and in the same news clip they mentioned the

:26:25.:26:29.

grooming clip in Peterborough. They would be busy chasing the Wayne

:26:30.:26:34.

Rooneys and Hugh Grants of this world and not focusing on the

:26:35.:26:38.

grooming gangs. That's a real problem. I believe Mary is well

:26:39.:26:44.

intended with this but she is credulous. Mary said, "All the

:26:45.:26:49.

people I've spoken to." And that's the problem. Mary is only talking to

:26:50.:26:53.

people who believe what she believes. An Ipsos MORI such said

:26:54.:27:01.

59% of people felt that sex work should be an option that women

:27:02.:27:06.

should be free to use. When Harriet Harman didn't like the results, are

:27:07.:27:10.

it was repeated with the same result. Believing the police

:27:11.:27:14.

figures, and we know, we've discussed the policing figures on

:27:15.:27:17.

Stephen Lawrence, there are huge problems. To believe political spin

:27:18.:27:22.

is very dangerous. We've already got... Mary is a good European, you

:27:23.:27:29.

should know. A good European? As you know. An arrest warrant should be

:27:30.:27:34.

used properly. I want to live in a society that has more compassion,

:27:35.:27:39.

that accepts diversity, not criminalises, 25% of people paying

:27:40.:27:45.

por intimacy are paying other men, hor are RGBT or trance gender and

:27:46.:27:51.

saving up for operations. Why are we criminalising them?

:27:52.:27:57.

APPLAUSE I'm Linda, andy, you wrote this fascinating article about how

:27:58.:28:02.

in the past you used prostitutes and escorts. What effect do you think

:28:03.:28:06.

this would have on those who pay for sex? I think there'll be three

:28:07.:28:11.

effects of krillising the clients. In the first case there would be

:28:12.:28:15.

some of the clients would be dissuaded, which I believe is the

:28:16.:28:19.

aim of to legislation, to reduce committee Midland and wipe out

:28:20.:28:25.

prostitution. But to quote a New Zealand prostitute interviewed

:28:26.:28:27.

recently about the changes in Auckland, she said, if the clients

:28:28.:28:32.

were criminalised we would lose all the nice guys and just be left with

:28:33.:28:37.

all the horrible ones. Second class of customer would perhaps be

:28:38.:28:40.

deterred from visiting prostitutes in their own country wonder go

:28:41.:28:45.

abroad. Would be kicking the can across the Continent. So want to be

:28:46.:28:49.

keeping those women safe. Would be putting them in danger on someone

:28:50.:29:00.

else's doorstep. Then you have the very committed by men, the abusers

:29:01.:29:05.

and rapists, they would not be deterred at all. Even if you removed

:29:06.:29:09.

every prostitute from the street, they would target other vulnerable

:29:10.:29:16.

women. Whether it is in parliament, exploitation, there are different

:29:17.:29:19.

schools of thought in feminism, libertarian feminist thought,

:29:20.:29:25.

radical feminist thought, the women you encountered that were paid, were

:29:26.:29:31.

they exploited? Over a period of two years, I visited maybe 20 escorts.

:29:32.:29:38.

This was all high-end stuff. The reason it carried on for so long was

:29:39.:29:42.

because they all seemed so bubbly and happy, and kind. This was not

:29:43.:29:47.

just turn up, do the business and go away, this was six hours, dates, go

:29:48.:29:51.

out for walks kind of things. The illusion of the girlfriend. That's

:29:52.:29:56.

the point about the high-end, I have been accused of only talking to

:29:57.:30:00.

people that agree with me, which is absolutely not true. When we are

:30:01.:30:04.

talking about legislation, we need to be legislating for the majority.

:30:05.:30:08.

The majority have either been trafficked... No, they haven't. Or

:30:09.:30:14.

they go into prostitution because they have difficulties in their

:30:15.:30:18.

background. There are statistics that show this. Very many from the

:30:19.:30:23.

care home system, very many on heroin? And also because of

:30:24.:30:30.

poverty. I have met a lot of women that have ended up in prostitution

:30:31.:30:34.

because of those reasons. They are in the majority and they are who we

:30:35.:30:39.

should be legislating for. Your experience, working as an escort,

:30:40.:30:43.

these are not free choices, says Mary? Well, the Association of Chief

:30:44.:30:49.

Police Officers, their statistics on trafficking state that around 8% of

:30:50.:30:57.

people in the UK are trafficked, out of 80,000 people in prostitution.

:30:58.:31:00.

That is still an horrific number, and I don't see why people need the

:31:01.:31:03.

need to inflate these figures when they are absolutely horrific. Less

:31:04.:31:11.

roof finish, if I may. The majority of women in the sex trade are in

:31:12.:31:19.

poverty. 70% of them are single mothers. By criminalising their

:31:20.:31:21.

clients it is like saying to somebody, you know, you can have

:31:22.:31:25.

this shop, you can sell whatever, but nobody is allowed to buy

:31:26.:31:29.

anything from you. How are you going to feed your children, how are you

:31:30.:31:36.

going to pay your rent? I'm making it sound warm and cuddly, a real

:31:37.:31:43.

career choice. It's traumatic. One of the problems is, increasingly,

:31:44.:31:48.

historically, many use prostitutes because there was a social

:31:49.:31:54.

recognised prohibition against having sex outside marriage. It was

:31:55.:31:57.

a way of looking after their sexual needs without damaging family,

:31:58.:32:01.

without damaging that prohibition. That has all gone. It is pretty much

:32:02.:32:06.

sex wherever and whenever people want. There is not that same need.

:32:07.:32:10.

What we finding is that a lot of men are going to prostitutes because

:32:11.:32:14.

they want to have the kind of sexual indulgence, whatever, that their

:32:15.:32:18.

girlfriends, their regular partners would be really unhappy about and

:32:19.:32:24.

would totally condemn. What is the answer? Reid why are you so

:32:25.:32:28.

concerned about the men and their sexual desires? A lot of girls are

:32:29.:32:37.

being trafficked, we don't have the exact figures because it is hard to

:32:38.:32:45.

cover this. I'm getting there. OK! It is very hard to catch the

:32:46.:32:49.

traffickers. There were very few convictions last year. Trust me, I

:32:50.:32:53.

did work in this area and there are a lot of traffickers. You cannot

:32:54.:32:57.

criminalise the girls because a lot of them don't have a choice. You

:32:58.:33:02.

can't criminalise them, they are victims. But if you criminalise the

:33:03.:33:08.

payment for sex, it is much easier to crack down on it. You can

:33:09.:33:13.

actually try and deal with the trafficking problem at this level

:33:14.:33:17.

and you can protect and help the vulnerable. I would definitely go

:33:18.:33:22.

with the Swedish model. Audience as well, audience contributions. If I

:33:23.:33:26.

had ever encountered anybody I suspected of trafficking, I would

:33:27.:33:30.

gladly and willingly have reported up to the police. If I visit some

:33:31.:33:36.

body and suspect they are trafficked and I have been criminalised, I'm

:33:37.:33:39.

not going to report that. As an evangelical Christian, which do you

:33:40.:33:45.

object to most, the fact that it is sex outside marriage or the fact it

:33:46.:33:49.

is a business transaction? No, no, no, my concern is that I feel care

:33:50.:33:56.

and sympathy for the girls and the victims here. Yes, as an evangelical

:33:57.:34:01.

Christian, I would not go for sex outside marriage. Sympathy for the

:34:02.:34:06.

girls? If you feel sympathy for the girls, don't put them in more

:34:07.:34:09.

danger, because that is what this model does. You have not stood on

:34:10.:34:15.

the street, where you have got to make a quick decision because your

:34:16.:34:18.

client is criminalised, you cannot check if there is somebody else in

:34:19.:34:22.

the back of the car, you can't see if the man is strong. You need that

:34:23.:34:26.

money, whether it is for heroin or to pay for your children. At the

:34:27.:34:31.

situation in Germany, where they have taken away all restraint,

:34:32.:34:36.

legalise prostitution. That is nonsense. In Germany, there are

:34:37.:34:41.

tolerance zones. To say there are masses of traffickers, it's not...

:34:42.:34:49.

Over 500 premises with intelligence led policing, 50 police forces, the

:34:50.:34:53.

specialised forces as well, they could not find any traffickers or

:34:54.:34:58.

trafficked victims. It's an unusual day when I agree with Peter

:34:59.:35:02.

Hitchens, partly because the police were focusing on brothels where

:35:03.:35:05.

women were working safely, instead of targeting the dangerous areas.

:35:06.:35:11.

Nobody disagrees that some people are trafficked. The best thing you

:35:12.:35:14.

can do to help migrant women is give them learning and language support

:35:15.:35:19.

and to take violence against sex workers as a hate crime, as they did

:35:20.:35:22.

in Liverpool. There are things that you can do. Some audience reactions,

:35:23.:35:29.

please. That lady on the left, first of all. Good morning. Good morning.

:35:30.:35:35.

I think if you criminalise the men, you criminalise the women by

:35:36.:35:42.

default. If you legalise prostitution to an extent, and make

:35:43.:35:49.

it an open conversation, there are measures in place in places where

:35:50.:35:54.

prostitution is legal that... You can regulate it when it is legal and

:35:55.:36:00.

you can have... Keep it safe as well? Have places where they are

:36:01.:36:04.

safe, there are panic buttons in the rooms when things go wrong, they are

:36:05.:36:10.

regularly screened for STIs. It's safer. I would like to talk about

:36:11.:36:18.

the conversation going on about the sympathy and prostitution. I would

:36:19.:36:21.

like to point out the clarification, those that are

:36:22.:36:25.

penalised because the law is saying clearly that if the prostitute

:36:26.:36:35.

engaged in sex, and she met a certain criteria, I think she would

:36:36.:36:38.

be penalised. But if she did not meet the criteria, if she is below

:36:39.:36:44.

18, or if she is engaged in sex without consent, then the person

:36:45.:36:49.

will be penalised. Clearly, the Laura saying that. Clear differences

:36:50.:36:53.

as well. One more. The gentleman back there? The main point here is

:36:54.:37:00.

the safety for the women, most certainly. By making it legal, like

:37:01.:37:08.

the lady over there said, regulating and controlling it, I don't think

:37:09.:37:13.

anyone grows up wanting to be a prostitute. On that point, is it

:37:14.:37:19.

tomorrow? I don't think there is anything immoral about selling sex

:37:20.:37:24.

whatsoever. My experience was that it was very traumatic, I am not pro

:37:25.:37:29.

prostitution, I just believe that everybody... It is a moral. If I let

:37:30.:37:46.

a man take me on holiday, and I don't really like him, but I pretend

:37:47.:37:50.

I do so he gives me these things, that is immoral. But not if it is a

:37:51.:37:55.

straight up transaction. But it was very traumatic. It is not a moral

:37:56.:38:02.

question, according to Ruth? That appears to be what we are arguing

:38:03.:38:06.

about. I think it is odd that we discuss the safety of prostitution.

:38:07.:38:10.

To be a prostitute seems to be living in a snake pit anywhere where

:38:11.:38:16.

there is no real safety. The safest they would be to not go through that

:38:17.:38:22.

route in the first place. Most of us are distressed about the idea of a

:38:23.:38:24.

human creature being turned into a commodity, we would not like to

:38:25.:38:28.

happen to anybody that we know all of. Obviously it will continue to

:38:29.:38:31.

exist whatever you do, to some extent. I can't make my mind upon

:38:32.:38:36.

this law. I really don't know enough about its operation. But it seems to

:38:37.:38:39.

me that the point of law, the point of a law is that you try to find a

:38:40.:38:46.

point at which you can interrupt about things. If this works, I think

:38:47.:38:50.

we should pursue it. I think we need to know more about whether it works.

:38:51.:38:54.

If it does, it could be very effective. Back to the question of

:38:55.:38:59.

safety, the Lord is a lot at the moment to make it less safe for

:39:00.:39:05.

prostitutes. -- the law does a lot. They have effectively made every

:39:06.:39:09.

single escort agency in the country illegal. They arbitrarily prosecute

:39:10.:39:17.

these agencies. An agency could effectively be prosecuted under

:39:18.:39:22.

these legislations. These agencies are making the women's lives safer,

:39:23.:39:25.

they are able to do it in a more regulated environment, they are

:39:26.:39:29.

insuring bad clients are kept off the books, they are ensuring that

:39:30.:39:33.

the girls are treated properly. That is a real institution in this

:39:34.:39:38.

country that protects prostitutes. But it is a wholly immoral position.

:39:39.:39:42.

You are saying if it is safe, doing something bad, dangerous and wrong

:39:43.:39:46.

is all right. What you are saying is that because you think it is morally

:39:47.:39:49.

wrong you should make it less safe for the people doing it. It is a

:39:50.:39:54.

false morality. Linda said we live in a society where anything goes,

:39:55.:39:58.

anybody can have sex any time. That is not the case. We live in a

:39:59.:40:05.

society where we have rated numbers of single people, higher rates of

:40:06.:40:11.

divorce, people are a lot lonelier than when they lived in traditional

:40:12.:40:15.

nuclear family is. Higher rates of suicide, especially amongst the main

:40:16.:40:20.

demographic group that pay for sex. It is a false morality to say we

:40:21.:40:24.

will criminalise those people. Frankly, I find it very worrying

:40:25.:40:27.

that people want to... You know, that it came from one particular

:40:28.:40:33.

political party, that it is so dangerous and expensive, in a time

:40:34.:40:37.

of limited resources, it begs me think that if you can't trust Labour

:40:38.:40:41.

on the economy, you can't trust them with your autonomy. Politicising it

:40:42.:40:49.

is rather dangerous. Don't wear it on a T-shirt expat We are in a

:40:50.:40:53.

culture that things of people as objects that can be consumed for

:40:54.:41:00.

your own pleasure. Back in the 70s, Christians and feminists would unite

:41:01.:41:04.

to campaign against pornography and prostitution. It was seen as

:41:05.:41:09.

something dangerous. We have now embraced it. A lot of feminist say

:41:10.:41:13.

it is about empowerment, the right for women to do what they want?

:41:14.:41:18.

There are a lot of feminist 's who basically say, look, the new

:41:19.:41:21.

feminism looks like the old objectification. We have gone full

:41:22.:41:24.

circle and change the names. I think it is proper Matic and causes

:41:25.:41:28.

problems with lots of societies. I work with a group in Oxford, guys

:41:29.:41:32.

that want to come out of this kind of thing, they feel they have

:41:33.:41:36.

somehow been locked and trapped into a pattern of behaviour, they are

:41:37.:41:40.

feeling powerless to break it. And I think one of the good things in the

:41:41.:41:44.

Swedish model is that help is also provided for people that want to

:41:45.:41:47.

change, to provide ways to get out of a lifestyle. I think they find it

:41:48.:41:52.

often damaging for themselves. When you start thinking of other people

:41:53.:41:58.

as objects to be used, when they are demeaned in that way, there is a

:41:59.:42:01.

difference in a relationship between you and an object and you and a

:42:02.:42:04.

person. Between you and the person, it is one of connection. You and an

:42:05.:42:09.

object is one of consumption. In a lot of our sexual activity, we have

:42:10.:42:13.

replaced the idea of making a connection with another person to be

:42:14.:42:17.

in consumption, I consumed for my pleasure. By criminalising the men

:42:18.:42:22.

that paid, would that go some way to changing attitudes? I think it would

:42:23.:42:27.

be a deterrent. I know a group of businessmen in London, huge

:42:28.:42:29.

businesses that use corporate accounts to take clients out and

:42:30.:42:32.

will pay for them to sleep with whoever they want with, they are

:42:33.:42:35.

paraded in with numbers and you choose a number. I think that is

:42:36.:42:42.

very dangerous. As long as you do not name the business, I am happy.

:42:43.:42:47.

Thank you very much indeed. You can join in on the debate, log onto

:42:48.:42:52.

bbc.co.uk/thebigquestions, following the link to the online discussion.

:42:53.:42:58.

As well, you can tweet using the hashtag #bbctbq. Well, tell us what

:42:59.:43:04.

you think about our last question. Should religions meddle in

:43:05.:43:08.

politics? If you would like to be in the audience for a future show,

:43:09.:43:10.

e-mail: "Will no-one rid me of the

:43:11.:43:22.

meddlesome priest?" was said to be Henry II's plea when faced with the

:43:23.:43:25.

defiance of his Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas a Beckett, to the

:43:26.:43:30.

King's new laws. It's a phrase David Cameron may well have pondered after

:43:31.:43:33.

an onslaught of criticism for his welfare reforms this week, first

:43:34.:43:36.

from the Archbishop of Westminster, now Cardinal Vincent Nichols, and

:43:37.:43:39.

then from 27 Church of England Bishops, and 15 other Church

:43:40.:43:43.

leaders. Should religions meddle in politics? So want to be keeping

:43:44.:43:50.

those women safe. Would be putting them in danger on someone else's

:43:51.:43:52.

doorstep. Evan Harris, national sek National Secular Society, a former

:43:53.:43:55.

MP for this neck of the wooxtds isn't it great that the religious

:43:56.:44:00.

leaders made their point and the Cardinal as well and it is on the

:44:01.:44:04.

front pages? Yes. It is a leading question, meddle, because politics

:44:05.:44:08.

is for everyone and there's no reason why religious people and

:44:09.:44:11.

religious organisations shouldn't have their say. But what they

:44:12.:44:15.

shouldn't do is have privilege. They shouldn't have privileged access to

:44:16.:44:23.

law making by having Bishops... APPLAUSE We should not have

:44:24.:44:26.

privileged access to the media to make their point by the

:44:27.:44:31.

religious-only platitude of the day on the second-best radio morning

:44:32.:44:36.

programme on Radio 4, the Today programme... Thank you for that! You

:44:37.:44:41.

don't know what I'm thinking. The best one. They shouldn't have

:44:42.:44:45.

privileged access to what people, including the media, consider the

:44:46.:44:49.

moral high ground. You can have moral input into politics without

:44:50.:44:54.

religion, just as much. I think you often find, not always, more

:44:55.:44:58.

hypocrisy in religious interventions. I'm pleased

:44:59.:45:02.

personally I suspect a lot of religious people are that the Church

:45:03.:45:05.

is finally talking about poverty and not obsessing about sexual

:45:06.:45:10.

orientation as it always has. The Church of England says 1. 7 million

:45:11.:45:14.

people per month go to the Church of England and the Lib Dems have a

:45:15.:45:20.

membership of 45,000. As I say, the national society for the Protection

:45:21.:45:24.

of Birds has even more I think than religious participants, so I'm in

:45:25.:45:30.

favour of people, whatever their religion getting involved, because

:45:31.:45:34.

they are religious, because they are driven by their religious views,

:45:35.:45:39.

that's fine, but no privilege. Reverend Linda Rose, for the last

:45:40.:45:44.

election you helped out in a leafletting campaign against Evan.

:45:45.:45:50.

Because of his views on abortion and assisted is dying and secularism as

:45:51.:45:55.

well, so I guess that was a Christian intervention, some would

:45:56.:46:03.

say a non-Christian intervention. A hate campaign. Someone just said a

:46:04.:46:10.

hate campaign. If she had been allowed on the television because

:46:11.:46:14.

she was religious to put her exclusive view, that would have been

:46:15.:46:21.

problematic Which I wasn't. But you are now. Not just by virtue that I'm

:46:22.:46:27.

religious. The BBC has to meet targets for religious people because

:46:28.:46:31.

of the law. There is a religious target. Tokenism. Let's look at

:46:32.:46:42.

this. OK. Our values are founded on Christian tradition. You may reject

:46:43.:46:47.

that now but go back historically that's where it comes from. What,

:46:48.:46:51.

burning people who didn't agree with you? The Church has been an

:46:52.:46:57.

established Church of this country for centuries. A terrible history of

:46:58.:47:02.

persecuting people accused of being witches. You can't just take the

:47:03.:47:06.

good bits. Religious history of this country exists but it has not been

:47:07.:47:12.

all good. I think that's ridiculous. Let's keep it away from that

:47:13.:47:21.

appalling gender -- let's take into it religious interventions are.

:47:22.:47:25.

Meddling, to use that leading word. You've got two questions here. Evan

:47:26.:47:29.

said, and I agree with him, we are in a democracy, so everybody has a

:47:30.:47:34.

right to express an opinion. If you are coming from an religious

:47:35.:47:38.

perspective we have an equal right to express that and that's what we

:47:39.:47:43.

are doing. Do you think there should be Bishops in the House of Lords

:47:44.:47:51.

are doing. Do you think there should making laws simply on the basis of

:47:52.:47:51.

being Bishops? If I may, there's something in the newspaper today

:47:52.:48:00.

about the Government ameliorating things for those really struggling

:48:01.:48:04.

on benefits that. Looks to me, whether anything will come of it who

:48:05.:48:08.

knows, but it looks like a response to what the Bishops have said there.

:48:09.:48:13.

Linda, you wanted to come in earlier on, I saw the twinkle in your eye.

:48:14.:48:21.

Thank you for that. I would concur there shouldn't be Bishops, I would

:48:22.:48:24.

like an elected House of Lords. However, in today's paper also we

:48:25.:48:29.

saw one of the priests in Soho talking, sometime there is should be

:48:30.:48:32.

a privileged position where people are at the front line. So they are

:48:33.:48:39.

speaking in terms of subjectivity, the dangerous situation where

:48:40.:48:44.

premises, But he gets a headline, priest talks about prostitutes. He

:48:45.:48:54.

is used to dealing with issues. He has a subject sieve knowledge. No,

:48:55.:49:03.

it doesn't say man on the front line defends prostitutes, It should. I

:49:04.:49:08.

work in newspapers and man on front line wouldn't fit. Peter Hitchens?

:49:09.:49:14.

This question about religious privilege. It is true there are few

:49:15.:49:18.

Bishops in the House of Lords, but the forces of secular liberalism are

:49:19.:49:23.

hugely entrenched in our society. The Human Rights Commission and the

:49:24.:49:27.

equality and diversity laws, which everybody in the public sector and

:49:28.:49:31.

everybody who deals with it are obliged to accept, the whole ramp of

:49:32.:49:39.

political correct ideas dominate the UK BBC, the academy and the

:49:40.:49:45.

professions. Christianity has a few voices which are drowned out.

:49:46.:49:49.

Politics interferes with religion and our private lives. There is no

:49:50.:49:53.

question that politics has been interfering with religion

:49:54.:49:56.

aggressively, so for religion to reply and say we might have ideas in

:49:57.:50:02.

contradiction for yours is no bad thing and is long overdue. I know

:50:03.:50:08.

you like to say your religions are persecuted but it's not true. I

:50:09.:50:16.

didn't use the word persecuted. Let me finish the point and you can come

:50:17.:50:24.

back. In our laws are carve-outs for religions, you can discriminate

:50:25.:50:29.

against gay people in a Church and employment, it is permitted. Hence

:50:30.:50:34.

no gay Bishops, for example. You can discriminate against women in

:50:35.:50:38.

employment and religion. That's a carve-out for laws that everybody

:50:39.:50:43.

else has to obey because of religion. I think it is justified

:50:44.:50:48.

but don't come the investment you've got carvouts, you've got rights.

:50:49.:50:53.

APPLAUSE I will come back to Peter but I want to hear from Mary, an

:50:54.:50:59.

MEP. I promise you Peter I will. Mary, as an Metropolitan Police, are

:51:00.:51:05.

there any areas of legislation that concern you when -- Mary, as an MEP,

:51:06.:51:12.

are there any areas of lefgs that concern you -- legislation. We need

:51:13.:51:20.

to be careful. What are they? It is perfectly legitimate in a democracy

:51:21.:51:23.

to lobby. That is acceptable. That should be on a level playing field.

:51:24.:51:28.

Areas of concern, what are they? There are areas of concern and we've

:51:29.:51:33.

touched on them before. It is things like women's rights, like abortion,

:51:34.:51:40.

lycra exception. It is knows -- like contraception. I think as a

:51:41.:51:43.

secularist and a humanist that's a legitimate thing for law makers to

:51:44.:51:48.

be involved in. I don't accept Peter Hitchens's idea that political

:51:49.:51:52.

correctness and some liberal establishment has taken over

:51:53.:51:56.

religion. I didn't say that. It is nothing to do with taking over. What

:51:57.:52:02.

we have... He believes it is marginalised. What we should have is

:52:03.:52:07.

law makers making things on a level playing field just as interest

:52:08.:52:17.

groups, whatever they may be, So legislation on abortion and stem

:52:18.:52:22.

cell research. Abortion keeps being mentioned. Evan talks about religion

:52:23.:52:29.

burning people at the stake. The Church of England hasn't burnt

:52:30.:52:33.

anybody at the stake for hundreds of years. He supports massacre of

:52:34.:52:38.

hundreds of babies each year. This seems a much more important question

:52:39.:52:42.

than historical burning of the stake. This is interference in the

:52:43.:52:48.

law. The Christian belief that thou shallot do no murder, which is --

:52:49.:52:55.

thou shalt do no murder, which has been overridden by the law. You

:52:56.:52:59.

interrupt me every time I speak. This is very important. Politics

:53:00.:53:04.

interferes in religion. It interferes between us and our

:53:05.:53:07.

consciences in many ways. This is an example. You sit there and call

:53:08.:53:12.

abortion a right? That's you're free to do so but to moan about past

:53:13.:53:19.

persecution and to be unconcerned about mass infanticide and at the

:53:20.:53:23.

same time not to recognise the enormous interference in Christian

:53:24.:53:29.

moral at that politics has made... I don't. We are talking about

:53:30.:53:37.

economic, this is a debate we've had before and will have again, but we

:53:38.:53:41.

are talking about intervention on economic matters, matters which

:53:42.:53:43.

aren't so obviously to do with the arguments in religion. Respond first

:53:44.:53:49.

Evan. Peter changed the question. The question now it is too late. He

:53:50.:53:53.

said that secular society, politics, Parliament, was interfering in

:53:54.:53:57.

religions. Yes I think it shoot say to the Catholic Church, you have a

:53:58.:54:01.

duty to report abuse to the police. You don't have autonomy in that

:54:02.:54:09.

area. Who can disagree with that? It doesn't rewrite the Bible.

:54:10.:54:12.

Christians are entitled to say what they like about morality. On

:54:13.:54:17.

abortion it works both ways. Many women feel that religious people

:54:18.:54:21.

whose views they don't share shouldn't have the right to say you

:54:22.:54:25.

are going to be forced to have a baby and take it to term against

:54:26.:54:31.

their will. To safe abortion or contraception. It is no right of the

:54:32.:54:36.

Pope or a Catholic priest to say, you will not use a pill or husband

:54:37.:54:42.

will not use a condom. They should b pushgs tt out of people's lives. It

:54:43.:54:49.

is secularism against the religious who feel marginalised is a regular

:54:50.:54:54.

theme on this programme. Let me bring you in on interventions by the

:54:55.:55:02.

religious on political matters. Do you approve? I think the problem is

:55:03.:55:05.

not that there are Bishops in the House of Lords but there is a House

:55:06.:55:08.

of Lords. I think the problem is that we have unelected people making

:55:09.:55:11.

law. APPLAUSE You think the House of

:55:12.:55:14.

Commons is so great? Peter is right to the extent that the forces of law

:55:15.:55:18.

are going against religion in Europe today. We've seen across Europe the

:55:19.:55:25.

law intervening even more explicitly than this country. So you cherish

:55:26.:55:31.

ease interventions? No, I'm opposed to this. No, you cherish religious

:55:32.:55:38.

figures intervening? Is I see these as individuals who've a prominent

:55:39.:55:42.

place expressing their view. I think they have a right to do so. Nicky,

:55:43.:55:48.

these aren't unconnected. For many women, with speaking as a feminist,

:55:49.:55:54.

the personal is political. So, when the law interconvenience and the

:55:55.:55:58.

thing -- intervenes and the thing about Church going is connected. You

:55:59.:56:03.

look at the case in Ireland where there was no intervention when a

:56:04.:56:09.

female dentist died in order that the baby's life, the foetus, could

:56:10.:56:14.

continue. That is a big issue about morality. That is religion

:56:15.:56:17.

intervening in a matter of life or death, where some would say that was

:56:18.:56:24.

not a moral thing to do. That could be why Church going has gone down.

:56:25.:56:29.

Many women have been unhappy about the stance in their lives. Coming

:56:30.:56:34.

back to meddling in politics. Politics at its most pure is when

:56:35.:56:38.

politics make decisions and campaign on things they believe to be true

:56:39.:56:42.

and right. It is necessity vl in a democracy you will have all of these

:56:43.:56:47.

voices. I don't think it is about privileged access. If you are a

:56:48.:56:50.

leader who has millions of people you are representing will you be

:56:51.:56:54.

sought by the media and maybe other leaders. You will enjoy some form of

:56:55.:57:00.

privileged access, as I'm sure the members of National Secular Society

:57:01.:57:05.

will enjoy. Most account licks don't enjoy with their leadership on their

:57:06.:57:10.

practice on contraception. If they say I think we should ban some forms

:57:11.:57:15.

of contraception, as they have, and are entitled to do, they cannot

:57:16.:57:20.

claim a democratic mandate to justify that. No, most people

:57:21.:57:24.

realise at this point you don't seem to be representing those on whose

:57:25.:57:32.

behalf you are speaking with. And when they dos taken more seriously.

:57:33.:57:36.

It is filtered but it is inevitable. Politics will always require a moral

:57:37.:57:45.

compaxts some people will come from their position as part of their

:57:46.:57:50.

beliefs. When people don't conform to their beliefs they call them

:57:51.:57:55.

hypocrites. Would you be worried if there was no intervention by the

:57:56.:58:01.

Church, it would be like the puppet Soviet leaders. I think the Church

:58:02.:58:07.

doesn't speak out enough. Give you've as round of applause. Thank

:58:08.:58:12.

you. Sorry I didn't get back to you, Peter. That's way it goes. It is

:58:13.:58:18.

great to see Peter and Evan getting on so well. The debates will

:58:19.:58:23.

continue online on Twitter. Next week we are in peevenlt join us

:58:24.:58:27.

then. For now it is goodbye. Thank you for watching. Have a great

:58:28.:58:34.

Sunday. Turkish - next week we are in Peterborough.

:58:35.:58:37.

Nicky Campbell presents live debate from Wychwood School in Oxford.

Nicky Campbell asks: Is hate a crime? Should it be illegal to pay for sex? And, should religions meddle in politics?


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