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


meddlesome priests. Good morning. I am Nicky Campbell.


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


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


going to be 15 years since the publication of the Macpherson


report, which examined the Metropolitan Police's handling of


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


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


McPherson change the way that society approached hate crimes.


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


recognised under Law Commission is currently deciding whether to our


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


difference in their lives. People have lived through these incidents


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


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


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


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


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


specifically about groups, hate crimes, how the criminal justice


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


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


legislation should treat that. Personal identity, that cannot


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


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


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


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


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


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


this as a free speech issue. Although hate speech campaigners


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


mentioned, the majority of prosecutions for speech,


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


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


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


of religion, used to criminalise expressions of all sorts of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


recognise as an aggravating feature if somebody is particularly


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


case. A great little intervention now. But


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


63.3 million people living in the Magic Kingdom are all potential


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


politicised prioritisation of certain things in the police force


that lots of things which we experience as crimes are not


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


particular crime, in ordinary circumstances it may not have been


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


victims that really should be recognised and captured. Surely some


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the protective characteristics. Having Asperger's, which strand


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Europe who are discriminated against, who do face discrimination.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


because that is something that... Stronger measures stronger


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Christian preachers, street preachers being arrested because


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


of hate speech because they are reading particular verses from the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


with your girlfriend and be threatened by youths with a strong


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


you may have about the show. .


Next Thursday the European Parliament will vote on whether


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


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


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


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


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


but criminalise those who control or incite prostitution for personal


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


private premises. While the prostitution rate has gone down in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


it was repeated with the same result. Believing the police


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


saving up for operations. Why are we criminalising them?


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


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


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


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


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


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


prostitution. But to quote a New Zealand prostitute interviewed


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


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


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


deterred from visiting prostitutes in their own country wonder go


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


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


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


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


every prostitute from the street, they would target other vulnerable


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


schools of thought in feminism, libertarian feminist thought,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


they go into prostitution because they have difficulties in their


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


historically, many use prostitutes because there was a social


recognised prohibition against having sex outside marriage. It was


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


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


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


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


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


girlfriends, their regular partners would be really unhappy about and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


actually try and deal with the trafficking problem at this level


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


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


had ever encountered anybody I suspected of trafficking, I would


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Hitchens, partly because the police were focusing on brothels where


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


like to point out the clarification, those that are


penalised because the law is saying clearly that if the prostitute


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


single escort agency in the country illegal. They arbitrarily prosecute


these agencies. An agency could effectively be prosecuted under


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to campaign against pornography and prostitution. It was seen as


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


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


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


feminism looks like the old objectification. We have gone full


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


businesses that use corporate accounts to take clients out and


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


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


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


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


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


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


you think about our last question. Should religions meddle in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


privileged access to the media to make their point by the


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


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


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


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


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


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


hypocrisy in religious interventions. I'm pleased


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


is finally talking about poverty and not obsessing about sexual


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


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


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


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


favour of people, whatever their religion getting involved, because


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


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


election you helped out in a leafletting campaign against Evan.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


about the Government ameliorating things for those really struggling


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


speaking in terms of subjectivity, the dangerous situation where


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


question that politics has been interfering with religion


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


correctness and some liberal establishment has taken over


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


interferes in religion. It interferes between us and our


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


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


persecution and to be unconcerned about mass infanticide and at the


same time not to recognise the enormous interference in Christian


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


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


are talking about intervention on economic matters, matters which


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


is secularism against the religious who feel marginalised is a regular


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


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


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


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


law. APPLAUSE You think the House of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Sunday. Turkish - next week we are in Peterborough.


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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