Episode 9 The Big Questions


Episode 9

Nicky Campbell presents live debates. Has the time come to phase out local hospitals? Will prenuptial agreements undermine marriage? Are Bible stories the way to teach morality?


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Transcript


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agreements, and moral tales. -- prenup joule.

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

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live from Jack Hunt School in Peterborough.

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Welcome, everybody, to The Big Questions! Now, on Monday,

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Parliament will be asked to vote on whether the Secretary of State for

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Health should have the power to close hospitals in England even if

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the staff and local communities are opposed. It is a matter of keen

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interest here in Peterborough, where the local hospital is in deep

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financial trouble. Has the time come to phase out local hospitals?

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Welcome to Professor Terence Stephenson, chair of the Academy Of

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Medical Royal Colleges. It is great to have you here, how is phasing out

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local hospitals putting patients first? It is always couched as

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hospital closure, but it is hardly ever that. What the people in this

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audience want is the right treatment in the right place at the right

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time. I have spent the last week from dawn to dusk looking after a

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emergencies, and what is preventing doctors from me giving people like

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this the best quality they can is the fact that we are trying to run

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20th century hospitals with 21st century medicine. Two things we are

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struggling with - one is that all the evidence from strokes, trauma,

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cancer, heart attacks, is if anyone in this room is ill, their best

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chance of surviving that illness is to be treated somewhere where we do

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lots of it. Expertise. Expertise, you know that, if you have a flat

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pack, you build a couple of year, they don't fit together. If you are

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doing ten a day, you get very good at it. Not talking furniture, we are

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talking people. Same principle, the more you do, the better you get. The

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second point is that on a Sunday morning, there will be 200 hospitals

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open for children's emergencies. About half of those will only add

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mid sixth or seven children. In half of those, 50 hospitals, they will be

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less than 30 Minutes Drive from another hospital admitting seven

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children. Currently we cannot staff them properly. They will be short of

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paediatricians and children's nurses, so we cannot staff them, and

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we need to have the volume and expertise. So for some people, it

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will be a longer journey. For some people, it will be a 30 minute

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journey. Does this make sense? You have time this very well, because

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last week in the BMJ there was a publication that showed the number

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of hospitals we have compared to other countries in the OECD is

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extremely low. We have got to few hospitals already in this country.

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We have already seen the number of beds cut down to under 150,000 in

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the last 20 years. Some of that is due to changes that need to happen,

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but we have occupancy rates of more than 90%, when the safe level is

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around 85%. Clinically, this could be very dangerous. I will come back

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to the point about how the tax and strokes, I'd agree that there is

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clear evidence that centralising some services can improve survival.

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-- heart attacks. But other conditions, if you close your local

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hospital, what happens to acute asthmatics who have to travel

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further? What happens to a choking child? What happens to other medical

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emergencies? That data does not look at that, so this is dangerous, and

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what we have seen in the austerity that is happening at the moment,

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this is not about clinical decisions, it is about finance. If

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you increase health care spending, this is from the IMF, Stanford

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University, if you increase spending, it's the late economic

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growth, not having a negative effect because you keep the population

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healthier, so we need to go completely against the austerity

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agenda, which is damaging the health of the population and decreasing the

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number of services, which will lead to increasing privatisation and

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medical insurance is outrageous. Outrageous! Julia Manning, this is

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outrageous, but you believe that keeping a lot of local hospitals

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open, they are not safe. Absolutely, they are not safe, and this is not

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about cutting services, it is about changing the way we deliver services

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so they are fit for this generation and the next generation. We have

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people going to hospitals even though most of us know that you are

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not in there, when you have an operation, you might be in for a

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week or two. A lot of surgery is day surgery. We need to be using what we

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have in terms of resources and people in a much more intelligent

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way so that we can meet the needs of the current population, which is

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growing. But you are not meeting their needs if they have to travel

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further to visit relatives in hospitals will stop that has got to

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be bad for anyone recovering in hospital, and that might be a

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consequence of this. We need to remember that the majority of health

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care takes place in the community already, and that is where the most

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patient-professional contact takes place, in primary care. Hospitals

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are only a small part of the NHS, but we seem to have a national

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hospitals service, instead of a National Health Service. We need to

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make it fit for purpose for this century. We are not using technology

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the way I should. It is nonsense that I should have to go to a

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hospital to see a consultant to have a conversation I could have on the

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phone, they then tell me I need to have tests, tests I could have at a

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GP's surgery. We are not using technology in new that we should,

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whether that is referrals... The evidence base, apart from a few

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selective conditions, is, by their own admission, weak. We need to have

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these discussions on a case-by-case basis. The public is not

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convinced... I am sick of being patronised by experts who tell me

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that it is better for my health to close my local hospital, you know,

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and I think we need to be having these discussions in our local

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community. We were told no decision about me without me, and yet they

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are trying to bring in a fast-track... Do you think this is a

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circumventing local democracy? Explicitly. As someone who has

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campaigned against hospital privatisation, 40 days is no time to

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save your local hospital. Let's look at the evidence, these big centres

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of excellence, is there concrete statistical evidence that they save

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lives, Julia Manning? When there are specialist centres, yes, absolutely.

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We want to go to a specialist centre. Lives have been saved?

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Absolutely! If I had a rare tumour in my eye, I would only go to the

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Royal Liverpool Hospital, where they specialise. There is no expertise in

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the world better than that, I will take a train to go to that. But the

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bigger picture is we have a ?30 billion funding gap in the next

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eight years, and that is just book-keeping services as they are.

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Where do we get that from? -- just for keeping. We want to take it from

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education or raise taxes? You are looking, on the average salary, an

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extra ?100 per month. And it is going to get worse as the population

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gets older, and part of the problem with these monster mortgages that

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the hospitals have as a result of the Private Finance initiative, they

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are just frightening! Sorry, they were set in sunnier times, back at a

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rate of interest they would never be paying back now. Julie is right

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about specialist centres, but we need both, your specialist centres

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and smaller hospitals. I am a cancer specialist and a specialist

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hospital, but I do peripheral clinics in local hospitals to

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deliver a service to the wider community. You cannot afford to have

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the equipment in every hospital, it is extremely costly and you need a

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lot of expertise. Actually, we need more funding of the health service,

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people are saying, where are you going to get it from? We wasting

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billions on a health care market, we have this split with GPs buying

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supplies from hospitals, and that's just drives up costs. It is wasting

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?10 billion a year. We have got huge tax avoidance problems, ?70 billion

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a year in tax avoidance, so we need HMRC to focus on the big people,

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thousands of people... And we need to... Professor Stevenson, get your

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hands ready, I will be coming around the audience, I know this is an

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important issue locally. Professor Stevenson, clamping down on tax

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avoidance, is that ever going to be enough to pay for what we need in

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the future? It is not about pain. I started by giving people the best

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quality care we can. -- paying. We like behind Sweden and Norway, where

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people realise that the best quality care is not delivered by having 220

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hospitals. They have far higher tax rates. There are other differences.

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I worked in a centre for 22 years, and I never had a patient or

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bulletin saying, I don't want to go by aeroplane to Glasgow or

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Newcastle. -- patient or relative. Every time they said, I want to go

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where I can get the best treatment possible. Good morning. A quick

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point so we can get through them all. We have to see this in the

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economy as a whole. The public-private partnership, we have

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to see there is an argument that there is no money here, a funding

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gap. There is money in the economy here. Take the example of the big

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banks which are taking bailouts from the Government. Just last year, RBS

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had billions in their profits, paying out 9 billion in bonuses of

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executives. That is what is going on in this economy. Why can't this

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money be thrown into health services and hospitals? The Professor here.

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If you were really ill and had cancer, we have a great new district

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hospital in Peterborough which has financial problems because of

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Labour's failed private finance initiative, but if you have cancer

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here, you would want to go to Adam Brookes, which is a teaching

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hospital. -- Addenbrooke's. I think we have to look at what is driving

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the proposed laws to the Care Bill, and that was brought in by Jeremy

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Hunt tried to insert this clause to give him unprecedented powers to

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close local hospitals. Because of the situation in Lewisham. Where he

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was deemed to have acted beyond his powers. But what we are seeing with

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the closures, a lot of the closures are things like A services. To

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give an example of the consequences of that, in Chase Farm Hospital in

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London, they closed the A service there. Weeks later, a mother rushed

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her young child over to Chase Farm Hospital, not realising that the

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servers had closed. As a consequence, she had to rush around

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to find another hospital, increasing the travel distance, and there was a

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tragic incident where that child sadly died. Is that a trade union

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badge? It is, yes. We do not know the individual situation there,

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Julia Manning, but are these inevitable consequences of closures?

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That is a tragic, tragic story, and our heart obviously goes out, but

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that is a failure of publicity and telling the public what is going on

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with their health services. That is why this debate is so important,

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because the public needs to realise that we have a gap in funding but

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that does not take into account rising incidences of diabetes, sight

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loss, dementia, and we cannot go on funding buildings and pouring money

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into them. We need to put money into people and services. And it is not

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about closure, it is about transferring and changing. We are

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continually told that our suspicions are wrong, we were told in

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Peterborough that the private finance initiative scheme was not an

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affordable, that it was conspiracy talk, and then we are told it was an

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absolute catastrophe. -- unaffordable. I think our fears are

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grounded, and they need to be heard. Where I live, there is a district

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general hospital that people have fought to save, and we are now being

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told that the services, it is not the best place, the kind of points

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you are making, and we will have community-based care, in much the

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same way that we were told about mental health care and care in the

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community 20 years ago. Those services simply are not there,

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district nurses are supposed to be picking up the pieces when little

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hospitals closed down, and we have lost a lot of beds. These district

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nurses that are supposedly picking up the pieces, their figures have

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declined 40% in the last ten years. We still trained doctors and nurses

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and hospital when the majority of care takes place in the community.

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In London, they claimed five district nurses only in the last

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year, and this is supposedly the big new home. Why aren't we looking

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fundamentally at the way, not just the way the public views services,

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but the way we plan them, the way be trained staff, we need to make it

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fit for the next generation. My daughter got the certainty of having

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her children on the NHS, in a place which is safe, and secure, where

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she's going to get the best possible outcomes for the above is not going

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to happen if we don't fundamentally change the way we deliver the

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majority of services. Is there evidence that people are dying?

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There is evidence from Newark hospital. That was the AMD closure a

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couple of years ago, subject to an ongoing investigation, but the

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mortality rate of people within that region, emergency admissions has

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gone up by 30% and that needs to be looked at to be confirmed but that's

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just an example -- A People have to travel further. Ambulance

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journeys take longer. It has to do come with funding. This government

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is clear, there's a clear agenda to cut the amount of public spending

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across the board, not just the health but across the board. Because

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we don't have the money. Health insurance is coming our way. I'm

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worried about this but I've co-founded a political party... Who

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are you standing against? I'm going to stand against David Cameron in

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Witney on an NHS ticket for 2015, general election, and the people of

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Witney will have the opportunity to give the NHS they want. If we carry

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on the way we are, we will lose the NHS. Professor Stevenson, we have

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debated privatisation on The Big Questions. This leads us to the

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conclusion that we've heard from Clive, we are losing our National

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Health Service. Are we? It's not about privatisation. It's not about

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hospital closure for the Peter Bratt has 184,000 people, 39 miles from

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Cambridge, not much further from Leicester, two huge centres. If you

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have a condition which can be treated at home, the best place for

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it to be treated is at home. If you have something complex that needs

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more technical expertise, better to go to a centre where the do lots of

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it. It's not either or. It is misleading the public. There is

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hardly hospitals closing in the country and there's nothing. They

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moved to a service where you have immediate urgent care, and if you're

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seeing in a category which needs help, paramedics transfer you. It's

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a difficult sell, though. And MPs can't do it. MPs say it will cost

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them 10,000 votes for that they know that. When someone presented with an

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illness cover you don't know how old they are until they been assessed.

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If someone comes another headache and B meningitis or a migraine. They

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they need to be assessed. They can go an hour down the road. They need

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to be seen and assessed by expert medical nursing staff of having done

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that, they need to be triage. That is the modern 21st-century way. It's

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not about everybody doing everything immediately. Whilst been hearing

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what individual examples, and there are tragedies, let's not be

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complacent about the fact that, today, the outcomes of survival of

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people in this country is worse than France, worse than Germany, Holland,

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many compatible countries. We want to get up to that standard of care

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for the Wii won't do that by dwelling on this. If we were

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starting again, with a blank sheet of paper, wouldn't we be designing a

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National Health Service rather like the vision that the professor has?

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Julia Manning is agreeing. I thought she would. Local health centres

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dealing with those. There's a 12 point blank on upper body funded

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provided... Rather than your 12 point plan which am sure we will be

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reading about. Caroline, medical centres and big centres of

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expertise... No one is arguing for nothing to change, but it's

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important to remember, in 2010, though independent studies by the

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Commonwealth fund, the OECD, the NHS, in terms of pounds spent in

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terms of lives saved, it is one of the most efficient systems and the

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whole world. APPLAUSE

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And that's why people are so proud of it in this country.

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And we hear about the new technologies which can come in. I

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mean, we heard this message about the 111 service. I hear people

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laughing. It's a classic example, technology was rolled out, you don't

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need to go and clog up the hospitals and beds, just call this number for

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the that's an example of a promise which did not materialise. The last

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word from the audience. A quick comment. On the terms of saying that

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these are tragic stories, and they are really sad and can't be helped,

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and we shouldn't focus on them too much, if I hadn't got to hospital

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within three minutes of when I had anaphylactic shock, I want to be in

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the seat, C can't just ignore the tragic stories. If I couldn't get to

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a hospital, and I had anaphylactic shock now, and the hospital was too

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far away, I wouldn't survive. What is your name? Ruth. Her situation,

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she might not be here today. I have worked in the NHS all my life and

:20:38.:20:46.

I've never seen a patient... I believe in the NHS free at the

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moment of delivery for the I'm asking for an NHS which can deliver

:20:50.:20:52.

21st-century Quay, comparable to other countries, and for you, three

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minutes coming on the paramedics to come to your home if you're that

:20:57.:20:59.

sick, and get there within three minutes for them don't rely on you

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somewhere else. The modern world is the medicine comes to you. It takes

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you to the facility which can best to deliver high-quality care which

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hopefully will get you to survive. Thank you all very much indeed.

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Thank you. APPLAUSE

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If you have something to say about that debate, logon to

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

:21:22.:21:27.

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

:21:28.:21:32.

debating live this morning from Peterborough, will pre-nuptial

:21:33.:21:34.

agreements undermine marriage? And are bible stories the way to teach

:21:35.:21:40.

morality? So get tweeting or emailing on those topics now or send

:21:41.:21:43.

us any other ideas or thoughts you may have about the show. On

:21:44.:21:51.

Thursday, the Law Commission recommended that pre-nuptial

:21:52.:21:54.

agreements should be enforceable in the event of a divorce, provided

:21:55.:21:56.

both parties had received legal advice, had disclosed all their

:21:57.:21:59.

assets and the agreement was signed at least four weeks before the

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ceremony. So there's just about time to pop into your solicitor's, if you

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are planning an Easter wedding. Will pre-nuptial agreements undermine

:22:13.:22:20.

marriage? What do you think? Certainly. Yes, definitely. Ron,

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you'd be married a few times. Eight times. I'm on my last. Did you not

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think every single one of those marriages was going to be forever? I

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did, you know. It takes two, doesn't it? I've never even thought of

:22:37.:22:48.

prenup tales. In retrospect? -- pre-nuptials to me, it's like

:22:49.:22:51.

saying, you have the fork and I'll have a nice, and then you have a

:22:52.:22:57.

fight about the spoon. LAUGHTER

:22:58.:23:01.

It's pushing people to think about divorce before they even married.

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You have a lot of faith, which is the appropriate word to use on a

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Sunday morning. The last woman you married was in Thailand. The latest

:23:12.:23:17.

woman, you thought you were going to be with forever, was from the

:23:18.:23:20.

Philippines. The woman from Thailand, she grabbed and seven

:23:21.:23:26.

going to marry you. She planned the wedding while I was away for that I

:23:27.:23:31.

had no choice. She was going to jump off the balcony. Something was in it

:23:32.:23:34.

for her. She wanted a passport, gold, she wanted everything. Not

:23:35.:23:41.

with me, though. If you had gone to the solicitor and said, you get that

:23:42.:23:45.

no more in the event of our splitting up, would it not

:23:46.:23:49.

approved, if she'd signed it, her genuine devotion to you? No,

:23:50.:23:58.

because, actually, we just went in the registry office, it took five

:23:59.:24:00.

minutes, when it came to the divorce, we we saw the same lady who

:24:01.:24:04.

married us, and she divorced us within five minutes. How romantic!

:24:05.:24:14.

It's so true. No, I mean, I've never believed that. I think it's up to

:24:15.:24:18.

the couple themselves. Francine, you believed it, but isn't it turning

:24:19.:24:24.

marriage into a cold transaction? This is a triumph of cynicism, isn't

:24:25.:24:30.

it? I love those words. No, totally the opposite. This is not a career

:24:31.:24:34.

move. I'm marrying you because I love you, not for any other reason.

:24:35.:24:39.

So whenever you come into the relationship with something, that's

:24:40.:24:43.

what we had, beforehand. And we will keep it, I respect that. I'm

:24:44.:24:49.

marrying you, I love you, but we not having that if we split up. You

:24:50.:24:55.

might have inherited something, there could be family obligations.

:24:56.:24:58.

You could be third time around and you want to leave a legacy for your

:24:59.:25:04.

children having lost a lot in your relationship previously. But I'm

:25:05.:25:08.

marrying you. The first point is, if you have a prenup, you're getting

:25:09.:25:13.

out at the beginning who we are in this relationship. But the most

:25:14.:25:17.

important point is, because I love you, I want to look after you. Even

:25:18.:25:22.

though I want to hold on to what I'm coming in with, for other reasons I

:25:23.:25:26.

might have, when I marry you, you're going to be looked after and we both

:25:27.:25:33.

become... So it's romantic? Yes, because beforehand, I'm saying I'm

:25:34.:25:37.

going to look after you, take these vows of marriage seriously. If we do

:25:38.:25:40.

divorce, what's going to happen afterwards if you're going to be

:25:41.:25:45.

taking care of dollar Ade Omooba does not like this. Just let me

:25:46.:25:51.

finish from moment. If you do it properly, and the couple sit down

:25:52.:25:56.

together, you can make provision for afterwards, you don't wait until the

:25:57.:25:59.

will to see what's happening at that point. You don't wait until the will

:26:00.:26:01.

to see what's happening at that point. The it sets out sensibly

:26:02.:26:10.

about how it should be for the. Marriage is no longer mine, it's

:26:11.:26:14.

ours. If you don't understand the concept of marriage commits to

:26:15.:26:16.

individual people come together and say, we want to stay together for a

:26:17.:26:21.

lifetime. It's a lifetime commitment. Totally agree. You bring

:26:22.:26:28.

it together and becomes ours. If you're so much in love with what you

:26:29.:26:31.

had, before you but the person you are going to marry, going to marry

:26:32.:26:40.

what you had before. Marriage, we speak about it as if it's something

:26:41.:26:46.

which is extremely disabled and requires crutches. If you bring

:26:47.:26:48.

arrangement into it, it only do value set. I think you're valuing it

:26:49.:26:56.

more. Love, selfless, for one another. The moment you bring an

:26:57.:27:03.

arrangement into it, you nullify that and it makes it easy for people

:27:04.:27:08.

to walk away from it. In fact, it's harder for people to walk away from

:27:09.:27:11.

it because of having to walk away from. If I have agreed to marry you

:27:12.:27:15.

knowing that I have what I have and you have what you have, I've made a

:27:16.:27:19.

choice. I've made a choice to be with you, not with what you have, so

:27:20.:27:22.

I'm now... APPLAUSE

:27:23.:27:27.

When you go into married to somebody, you go into it with

:27:28.:27:32.

everything they have and you commit everything together.

:27:33.:27:39.

Marriage is to become one. -- two becomes one. You can have children

:27:40.:27:45.

if you wanted, and the whole family, it's for the better of that one

:27:46.:27:48.

family. You could save money, though. The lawyers fees. They cut

:27:49.:27:59.

back on legal aid for family situations and so, if you get it

:28:00.:28:02.

sorted out beforehand and know who is going to get what, say we were

:28:03.:28:07.

going to get marriage, same-sex marriage, I predict you're not a

:28:08.:28:09.

good fan of that, Francine is talking about pre-nups,

:28:10.:28:42.

I think they undermine the nature of marriage, which is what has already

:28:43.:28:49.

been talked about. And in the Church of England marriage service, the

:28:50.:28:52.

couple say to each other, all that I am, I give to you. All that I have,

:28:53.:28:58.

I share with you. Now, I know that the ideal fulsome and,

:28:59.:29:01.

unfortunately, reality shows a lot of marriages don't last. But when

:29:02.:29:06.

you get pregnant, and you have a baby, you plan the baby shower, the

:29:07.:29:13.

christening, you don't plan the sad eventuality that does happen, the

:29:14.:29:16.

baby dies for the budget don't need to do that with children... Not with

:29:17.:29:23.

the pre-nups as they are now. That brings it down to loss and profit,

:29:24.:29:29.

materialistic view of assets. When, really, pre-nups can be reconfigured

:29:30.:29:33.

and more the way Francine is talking, putting in goals and hope

:29:34.:29:39.

that couple, their expectations, not just reduce it to finance and

:29:40.:29:50.

possessions. You are a lawyer, and you? Yeah. You have dealt with

:29:51.:29:57.

divorce, a divorce lawyer, in fact. In America, it is seen as a business

:29:58.:30:01.

relationship, isn't it, marriage? We have been reading about these stars

:30:02.:30:05.

over the years, and many of us reading with some horror about the

:30:06.:30:10.

clinical nature of the situation, and get all that stuff is coming

:30:11.:30:14.

here. Does it work internationally? It works. Marriage is a partnership,

:30:15.:30:20.

and it is about trust and respect and all that, and it is not just

:30:21.:30:25.

when you look at the prenup, it is how you divide assets, it is more

:30:26.:30:29.

than that, because at that stage the couple are still talking to each

:30:30.:30:33.

other, they trust each other, they want to have a future together. And

:30:34.:30:36.

when you look at, for example, Germany, they have been floods for a

:30:37.:30:43.

long time, not only in America. We hear about actors and rich people,

:30:44.:30:50.

but that is not the reality. When we have them in Germany, it helps the

:30:51.:30:55.

marriage, because at that time, when you consider a prenup or not, you

:30:56.:30:59.

have the choice to do that, and you give security for the future. In

:31:00.:31:05.

Germany, how long is a marriage in Germany, when you get divorced? We

:31:06.:31:13.

have 15 years on average when you actually get divorced. In England we

:31:14.:31:16.

have a very high divorce rate, and it is too high, and I think we need

:31:17.:31:23.

to give the couple the security back, if they want a prenup, fine.

:31:24.:31:32.

You do not like it, do you? You are from the Christadelphians, a

:31:33.:31:37.

Christian group. I agree with Andy, it is a contract between man and

:31:38.:31:41.

woman for life in front of God, not a contract with solicitors, not a

:31:42.:31:46.

contract with lawyers. Jesus was asked about marriage, anti-sense, it

:31:47.:31:51.

is not how God is designed it. One man, one woman together for life,

:31:52.:31:56.

but he said divorce came in because of the hardness of your hearts.

:31:57.:32:01.

People want to do what ever they like. The dowry is a business

:32:02.:32:07.

transaction, a prenup agreement of sorts between families. The Bible is

:32:08.:32:13.

littered with examples of dowries. Rebecca in Genesis, I wrote that

:32:14.:32:17.

stand last night, there are many more. What is the difference? That

:32:18.:32:22.

is true, and the traditions of the time were that. The Bible does not

:32:23.:32:27.

say that you should provide a dowry, they just work, that is an

:32:28.:32:32.

historical account, an accurate historical account. What it says is

:32:33.:32:36.

that marriage is between man and woman for life. The challenge with

:32:37.:32:40.

that is that people died in childbirth, so these days you can

:32:41.:32:44.

have two or three marriages, this gentleman has had eight, there is

:32:45.:32:49.

enough time to do that. When women were giving birth and dying, yes, it

:32:50.:32:54.

was till death do us part, but the couples I am working with, who do

:32:55.:32:59.

have marriages 15, 20, 25 years, the number one thing they argue about

:33:00.:33:04.

when they divorced - money, money, money. And this is what really costs

:33:05.:33:10.

them a lot of money with lawyers. If that had been sorted out, we

:33:11.:33:15.

wouldn't have this problem. Have you got a prenup? I do, I do, and the

:33:16.:33:22.

reason for that is that this is my second marriage, and my first

:33:23.:33:25.

marriage ended very badly, we were very young, and I wish we had have

:33:26.:33:30.

protected our assets. We didn't have any children, and I was taken to the

:33:31.:33:34.

cleaners financially. And therefore with my second marriage, I wanted to

:33:35.:33:39.

make sure that what I had build up again... Was it an easy sell to your

:33:40.:33:44.

partner? I don't want you to take me to the cleaners, like my previous

:33:45.:33:49.

partner? I think he understood where I was coming from, and I don't want

:33:50.:33:55.

to say he was 100% keen on the idea, but certainly he could understand

:33:56.:33:58.

where I was coming from. The situation has changed. You can

:33:59.:34:06.

reaffirm your vows. Yes, we had a clause written into it, were in the

:34:07.:34:09.

event of children, I would revisit it, or we would take steps to do a

:34:10.:34:15.

prenup again. At the moment we have not done anything about it, and it

:34:16.:34:21.

is null and void. There is some steam coming out of 's years!

:34:22.:34:29.

AdeYou do not like this, do you? I do not like it, you have gone into

:34:30.:34:33.

marriage, and you know it is not a bed of roses, we all know that. I

:34:34.:34:38.

have been married for 22 years, I have got three kids, I love my wife

:34:39.:34:42.

and kids to bits. We don't agree all the time on things, but we know that

:34:43.:34:48.

we are committed to its together. Where we disagree, we disagree to

:34:49.:34:53.

agree at the end of the day. We live with the consequences, that is life.

:34:54.:34:58.

As everyone is here today, we don't know what is going to happen

:34:59.:35:03.

tomorrow. That is the ideal, and as a Christian, and I have been married

:35:04.:35:08.

for a very long time myself to the same man, but we know that marriage

:35:09.:35:15.

is not a healthy place for a lot of people, particularly for a lot of

:35:16.:35:20.

women and children. And I like the more creative, flexible approach

:35:21.:35:26.

that you were talking about, and we have to understand divorce, even

:35:27.:35:29.

though Jesus was against it. Luke is right, it is about the hardness of

:35:30.:35:35.

our hearts, but also people having our human nature. If we didn't have

:35:36.:35:41.

an exit route from relationships that were damaging people and

:35:42.:35:44.

destroying people, it would be worse than if they had to stay in them. So

:35:45.:35:49.

we have to deal with it, and the way to do it is, I think, marriage is

:35:50.:35:55.

too easy, divorce is too difficult. Let's make marriage more difficult

:35:56.:35:58.

so you cannot run in and get married to someone you do not know! The way

:35:59.:36:06.

to make marriage... You acknowledge that divorce is necessary

:36:07.:36:10.

sometimes? It is necessary at times, but the problems start before

:36:11.:36:16.

marriage. That is what I am saying. You might love somebody but then

:36:17.:36:22.

they start beating you up! Many people do not understand what love

:36:23.:36:25.

is before they get into marriage. What is love? In 30 years, I have

:36:26.:36:34.

counselled so many people, and I just have two young people in front

:36:35.:36:38.

of me getting married, and I said, do you love each other? Tell me what

:36:39.:36:44.

love is. They don't understand it! What is going to happen once they

:36:45.:36:47.

get into it? I said, are you ready to lay everything you have down for

:36:48.:36:51.

this management she looked at herself and said, yeah. And are you

:36:52.:36:55.

ready to do the same for the? And they both paused. Yes, they were

:36:56.:37:00.

Christians in church! This is the reason I want to sit with you first

:37:01.:37:03.

and talk about love and understanding. Did they get married?

:37:04.:37:09.

I married them, but I spent three months showing them the challenges

:37:10.:37:13.

of marriage to minimise the problem of divorce. Francine. This is where

:37:14.:37:21.

I agree with you, I spoke to a religious leader, and I said I

:37:22.:37:24.

totally believe in marriage and would like to eliminate divorce, and

:37:25.:37:28.

if I could get rid of that word, I would only call at completion

:37:29.:37:32.

anyway. I spoke to a religious leader and I said to him, I know

:37:33.:37:35.

exactly how to take young couples and show them what they are going

:37:36.:37:40.

into, it is like they both have a banner over their heads, a

:37:41.:37:43.

preconception from their upbringing, they started you that they are

:37:44.:37:46.

running. If they knew that they were bringing that strategy into the

:37:47.:37:50.

relationship, when they trigger each other and there is an upset, they

:37:51.:37:53.

will know it is coming from the past. Now, I can show them how to do

:37:54.:37:57.

that so that we can eliminate divorce and we want to get divorced.

:37:58.:38:05.

So we said to me, what you are saying... You could eliminate

:38:06.:38:10.

divorce? I could if I had speak to a couple before they got married. Wait

:38:11.:38:15.

a minute, I said to the sky, we could do that, he said, Francine, so

:38:16.:38:18.

what you are saying to me is you want to take two young people who

:38:19.:38:23.

say they are in love and do not see any fault in each other and you want

:38:24.:38:26.

to show them where they could get triggered? I see what you are

:38:27.:38:30.

saying, but I am not going to do that. Why would I do that to them

:38:31.:38:36.

and take away their dreams? Frank is a divorce lawyer, he does not like

:38:37.:38:38.

the idea of divorce being taken away! Divorce happens, like it or

:38:39.:38:46.

not, OK? It is real. Deal with it, make a deal. That is the way I see

:38:47.:38:52.

it. Ultimately, if you put your plans upfront, you cannot dispute

:38:53.:38:57.

that. By the time it gets to a divorce, people have stopped

:38:58.:38:59.

communicating, there is hate and all sorts. Divorce is not a pleasant

:39:00.:39:04.

place to be. And therefore, if you take steps to protect what you have

:39:05.:39:08.

got up front, it resolves all of that nastiness and hate that

:39:09.:39:13.

happens. We will end with you. If you have an argument, does that crop

:39:14.:39:21.

up at all? Never. It has never cropped up. We discussed it very

:39:22.:39:28.

heavily upfront. For you, it is for ever. It is for ever, yes, and that

:39:29.:39:38.

is definite. Listen... Have some faith and respect! Ten years ago, I

:39:39.:39:43.

was not a Christian. I am now a born Christian, and it has changed my

:39:44.:39:48.

life completely, God has saved me. For the first time in this debate,

:39:49.:39:55.

Ade is looking happy! Thank you. A round of applause for Ron. Thank you

:39:56.:40:04.

very much indeed. You can join the debates by logging onto the BBC

:40:05.:40:09.

website and following the links to the online discussion, or you can

:40:10.:40:13.

tweet using the hashtag #bbctbq. And tell us what you think of our last

:40:14.:40:17.

big question, our Bible stories the way to teach morality? If you would

:40:18.:40:22.

like to be in the audience at a future show, e-mail us. Next week,

:40:23.:40:29.

we are in Cardiff, Newcastle at the 16th, and one week after that

:40:30.:40:31.

Southampton! Well, a recent YouGov poll for the

:40:32.:40:41.

Bible Society found that over 60% of children had never heard, read or

:40:42.:40:47.

seen popular Bible stories like the good Samaritan, or Daniel in the

:40:48.:40:52.

line's den, but the same survey found that parents illustrate good

:40:53.:40:58.

values that children should learn. Our baby way to teach morality? Look

:40:59.:41:05.

from the Christadelphians, good morning again. -- Luke. You teach

:41:06.:41:13.

children the story of Noah. Absolutely. Do you teach them the

:41:14.:41:18.

bit about God deciding to wipe every one of the earth for being wicked?

:41:19.:41:24.

We teach them everything, we teach them the whole Bible, every part. So

:41:25.:41:30.

it is a bit indiscriminate, God killing everybody. If one of the

:41:31.:41:34.

children says, that is a bit cruel, babies and children being killed

:41:35.:41:37.

because some of them have been wicked, what do you say to them?

:41:38.:41:42.

When people say that, and they do, what they forget is that God warned

:41:43.:41:48.

those people for 120 years, and that is in there, and he warned them

:41:49.:41:52.

again and again and again, and he told them that was going to happen.

:41:53.:42:00.

They didn't listen, and finally when it happened, it was regrettable,

:42:01.:42:02.

really regrettable. God did not want it to happen, but he warned them for

:42:03.:42:07.

120 years, and when it did happen, it was on their own head. Well...

:42:08.:42:12.

Would you teach them that the archive every single animal on

:42:13.:42:17.

earth? We do. Kangaroos, polar bears, penguins? We take the Bible

:42:18.:42:25.

literally. What about the sermon on the Mount? Yes. It is remarkable and

:42:26.:42:36.

beautiful. This is one of the puppets reuse. If you have got... If

:42:37.:42:42.

you have got puppets of any other prophets, kindly not show them! We

:42:43.:42:48.

use them for two things, for public preaching, so out in the centre of

:42:49.:42:53.

Peterborough, some people may have seen these. Anyone seen them? And we

:42:54.:42:59.

also use them in Sunday schools, I teach Sunday school on a regular

:43:00.:43:02.

basis and have done for 20 years or so, and I know from my own personal

:43:03.:43:07.

experience, not just from teaching Sunday school, but from myself the

:43:08.:43:13.

morals in the Bible are absolutely fundamental to me, to who I am, to

:43:14.:43:17.

how I act, and I have seen it in children as well that I teach in

:43:18.:43:21.

Sunday school, from the once 20 years ago and the ones I was

:43:22.:43:25.

teaching last Sunday. We use the Bible, we base everything we believe

:43:26.:43:30.

on the Bible, and there is a fantastic thing, stories in the

:43:31.:43:37.

Bible, historical accounts. How does it work? I was hoping you would not

:43:38.:43:42.

do this to me! Have you got a bench early quest act as well enter by I

:43:43.:43:47.

have not, I normally leave the property is to it. -- have you got a

:43:48.:43:54.

ventriloquist's act as well? These are wonderful stories, and they? The

:43:55.:43:59.

bigger question is about stories and morale at ease, and stories are a

:44:00.:44:03.

really important way to encourage moral development, they do things

:44:04.:44:07.

that other things cannot not, adding warmth and colour and lessons and

:44:08.:44:11.

engaging children. And we are lucky right now to have access to millions

:44:12.:44:16.

of amazing stories, stories with incredible characters, with

:44:17.:44:19.

incredible lessons, which adds deep, in the way I have described,

:44:20.:44:25.

children's stories like Harry Potter... Is Harry Potter better

:44:26.:44:34.

than the Bible? Harry Potter has people cooperating, behaving

:44:35.:44:38.

Waverly. Able combining against evil in the world. And I think stories

:44:39.:44:42.

like that, stories of Philip Pullman, are a really good way of

:44:43.:44:48.

encouraging children to think about moral issues and become better

:44:49.:44:51.

people and to want to be better people because they see those

:44:52.:44:54.

examples in stories. In comparison, the stories in the Bible aren't good

:44:55.:45:00.

enough to be morally instructive. APPLAUSE

:45:01.:45:04.

I think that lots reasons. Which ones are not good enough? What

:45:05.:45:11.

about the stuff about Noah warning people? You said there's a lot of

:45:12.:45:18.

nasty violence and amorality in the Bible like wiping out the entire

:45:19.:45:20.

population of the Earth, because they're not doing what you told them

:45:21.:45:29.

to do. Also a lot of other very superficial stories. I mean, even

:45:30.:45:33.

stories that might be useful as a one-off lesson, like the good

:45:34.:45:38.

Samaritan for example, is a good example of someone reaching out

:45:39.:45:41.

across the cultural boundary to help somebody. But in the stories, it's

:45:42.:45:49.

not something they engaged something immediately like modern fiction they

:45:50.:45:54.

can get into straightaway. They have got the puppets. The fact you need

:45:55.:46:00.

the puppets to make the story useful as an indication of not a good

:46:01.:46:10.

story. It doesn't need explaining. A man was lying beaten, robbed on the

:46:11.:46:13.

floor, and a complete stranger came along and showed him compassion. And

:46:14.:46:19.

you say it superficial? It's wonderful. It's a nice moment, it's

:46:20.:46:27.

a nice moment. We don't need to go any further. My grandfather lived to

:46:28.:46:38.

120 years. He had this Bible story, the missionaries brought the stories

:46:39.:46:45.

of Jesus explaining divinity and humanity, and he was saved, he

:46:46.:46:49.

passed on to my father and my children. Do we get our morals from

:46:50.:46:58.

the Bible? Of course we do. Where did the ancient peoples, 50,000

:46:59.:47:04.

years ago, where did they get their morals from? The Bible talks about

:47:05.:47:09.

human beings. Where did they get their morals? God is an aid in us,

:47:10.:47:17.

goodness. As we leave our lives, and communicate, the moment we make

:47:18.:47:23.

decisions in our lives, we live with the consequences. So it's not from

:47:24.:47:32.

the Bible, it's innate? The Bible traitorous as people, and gives us

:47:33.:47:36.

guidance on how to live our lives and that's fantastic fulsome but

:47:37.:47:41.

millions of people live before the Bible. I'm saying, yes, I'm talking

:47:42.:47:51.

about God, who was before the Bible. The point I would make, innate

:47:52.:47:56.

goodness. I would say we are made in the image of God, and we can choose

:47:57.:48:02.

to follow a la innate goodness or not. I think, I love the stories.

:48:03.:48:07.

You are talking about Harry Potter etc. The stories in the Bible are

:48:08.:48:12.

absolutely brilliant for teaching morality. Think of the prodigal son,

:48:13.:48:15.

he goes off, makes a mess of his life, comes back and the moral of

:48:16.:48:18.

the story is, when you have blown it, say you're sorry, and God is a

:48:19.:48:22.

God of forgiveness, you can start again. But it has to be retold in

:48:23.:48:28.

every single generation. And the problem I would have with keeping it

:48:29.:48:36.

only in this century, is it is so remote fulsome children can't

:48:37.:48:39.

understand it. Stories have to be completely retold, re-dressed,

:48:40.:48:43.

reconfigured for each generation, but the Bible is filled with such

:48:44.:48:48.

incredible truth, but... There's another story here, which occurred

:48:49.:48:56.

to me. What marriage is there in the story of Abraham being on the brink

:48:57.:49:03.

of sacrificing his son because God told him to sacrifice his son? Now,

:49:04.:49:09.

these days, it's a job for social services. What is the point about?

:49:10.:49:16.

What is the merit of that story? Didn't ultimately go through with

:49:17.:49:21.

it. The merit is all about a person 's relationship to God. It's about

:49:22.:49:27.

who do you put first in your life? We would have to really tell that

:49:28.:49:30.

story differently because that would be totally unacceptable now. It has

:49:31.:49:35.

to be retold because no parent these days would ever get that far to

:49:36.:49:40.

plunge a knife to sacrifice their child for the do you think Abraham

:49:41.:49:48.

got that far? It is a story. It's not. It's a historical account. Did

:49:49.:49:58.

that happen? I don't think so. It talks about radical BDM is to God.

:49:59.:50:02.

If you started missing part of the Bible as being just stories... Of

:50:03.:50:09.

course we don't think the Bible literally. It stands as a complete

:50:10.:50:15.

book. Historical? It's not a bug, it's a library. It's fundamentally

:50:16.:50:24.

moral. I think it's extraordinary that Christians seem to think they

:50:25.:50:36.

invented morality. But it is innate. The higher cognitive species,

:50:37.:50:42.

gravity. If you look at the birds feeding is young, you don't think at

:50:43.:50:48.

the expense of the zone life, you don't think that is being moral. If

:50:49.:51:00.

you look at a fish which gives 10,000 eggs, which deaths, it's not

:51:01.:51:04.

a bad thing. Let's get back to the stories in the Bible. What is your

:51:05.:51:12.

favourite? I think the Bible is an interesting document. It's part of

:51:13.:51:16.

the social fabric of Great Britain. I think, in terms of offering moral

:51:17.:51:21.

guidance, I think it's pretty much zero. Not at all. The sermon on the

:51:22.:51:31.

Mount? Do unto others? That is the golden thread that runs through all

:51:32.:51:36.

the great religions of all time. Christians didn't invent gravity.

:51:37.:51:45.

There is a reason why morality has evolved. Partly because human beings

:51:46.:51:55.

take so long to develop in the womb, nine months, so the human

:51:56.:51:58.

brain is the most complex thing known to man. Youngsters take 15

:51:59.:52:06.

years to develop. Parents have to devote a huge amount of their life

:52:07.:52:12.

to their children. That is the crucible in which Varanasi evolves.

:52:13.:52:15.

It is inevitable otherwise they wouldn't survive. Let's hear from

:52:16.:52:23.

the audience. The word story has been mentioned a lot and if you add

:52:24.:52:29.

the word theory before it, that basically is what all those stories

:52:30.:52:34.

are about. -- fairy. Goldilocks and the three Bears, Harry Potter, Lord

:52:35.:52:38.

of rings, I don't read the Bible and I don't think children need the

:52:39.:52:42.

Bible be taught good morals. Parents need to teach their children good

:52:43.:52:54.

morals, not a book. I think the Bible is great, full of some super

:52:55.:52:59.

stuff, a simple line of Scripture, I try to live by it. I think there are

:53:00.:53:04.

dangers women look at other stories by other authors like Harry Potter

:53:05.:53:07.

for the BS, there are some great points about Harry Potter,

:53:08.:53:11.

friendship and standing up, Shakespeare, that an element of

:53:12.:53:17.

people, the occult, dangerous. The dangers of the occult. The Bible is

:53:18.:53:27.

a good reference but it surely isn't the only reference. You should

:53:28.:53:30.

reference many aspects for philosophy, etc. We're not claim

:53:31.:53:39.

exclusivity on gravity. We've never claimed that, but a lot of people

:53:40.:53:46.

are talking about children. -- morality. We have children all over

:53:47.:53:50.

the country coming to have fun, make their friends and learn at the

:53:51.:53:52.

Bible, so I ask this question yesterday, 13 and 14-year-old

:53:53.:53:58.

children, they said real people, real emotions, real lessons. And

:53:59.:54:04.

what they said as the Bible is not old, it's not old-fashioned, it is

:54:05.:54:08.

absolutely relevant for them today. These are young people who are

:54:09.:54:13.

facing the world and the problems of this world, and it's not an easy

:54:14.:54:18.

place to live. The Bible as the advantage over Shakespeare and

:54:19.:54:22.

Dickens and JK Rowling? Because it's true? Absolutely. If one of those

:54:23.:54:31.

pupils asked you about something in Saint Paul's gospel, what does it

:54:32.:54:37.

mean when it says a wife should submit her husband? What does that

:54:38.:54:43.

mean? Explain that to a child. Yes, I believe you can explain the whole

:54:44.:54:48.

of the Bible to a child. I have an 18-month-old daughter and I read her

:54:49.:54:53.

Bible stories as she grows older full I will explain the Bible

:54:54.:54:59.

stories to her. The Bible puts it, and I don't want to get into

:55:00.:55:03.

verbatim doctrine, but the Bible has principles in place and there is a

:55:04.:55:07.

principle of authority from God, through Jesus, to husband, to the

:55:08.:55:12.

wife. That doesn't mean a husband has control over the wife. It is a

:55:13.:55:22.

biblical principle. Hierarchy. You won't be surprised to hear me say

:55:23.:55:29.

that Christians hold a different interpretation of the Scriptures

:55:30.:55:36.

and, looking at the Bible, you can't look at it as a set piece. You have

:55:37.:55:41.

to look at who wrote it, in what context, what was their worldview

:55:42.:55:44.

and interpret it for us now. And that's why we need theologians. This

:55:45.:55:51.

is what is confusing. You like the cuddly bits. He likes it all. I

:55:52.:55:55.

don't just like the cuddly bits for the we have to face Noah and the

:55:56.:56:04.

flood, Abraham and Isaac, Lott 's wife turning into a pillar of salt.

:56:05.:56:09.

The radical things. We have to distinguish what is teaching about

:56:10.:56:13.

proof and reality and humanity fraught time, and what is culturally

:56:14.:56:22.

different. The wheat from the chaff for the discernment and wisdom for

:56:23.:56:25.

that that's why we have brains. This is one of the problems we have with

:56:26.:56:28.

using Bible stories as a way of trying to encourage moral develop

:56:29.:56:32.

went for the they are all the things I said before, they are narrower

:56:33.:56:34.

than other fiction. But it's also the case that some people believe

:56:35.:56:41.

they are actually true and for them, it's a religious matter. And so, the

:56:42.:56:46.

discussion about those stories becomes extremely intense,

:56:47.:56:50.

conflicted, volatile, and it's difficult to use them as fictional

:56:51.:56:53.

examples with which to develop empathy and so on for them at least

:56:54.:56:57.

a Harry Potter, very few people actually believe it's real. And you

:56:58.:57:04.

could use those stories in a proper way. The example you said about the

:57:05.:57:10.

wives submitting to their husbands... We don't have time for

:57:11.:57:15.

that. It's very important about family thought of the same chapter

:57:16.:57:19.

says a husband must not be harsh to their wives. And it doesn't say or

:57:20.:57:29.

husband controls you. In any environment, there is leadership for

:57:30.:57:33.

the shared leadership, either for one another, love one another. You

:57:34.:57:38.

get the children are held context so they take it. That is

:57:39.:57:43.

interpretation. Yes, it's interpretation. It has to be

:57:44.:57:50.

interpreted. It's not interpretation for Luke. God wrote it. No no no no

:57:51.:58:01.

no. Not at all for top human beings about it. Wonderful human beings

:58:02.:58:08.

wrote it. Inspired by God's holy spirit. It's up to us to interpret

:58:09.:58:18.

it. We believe them to it. Mayhem. Thank you all very much for taking

:58:19.:58:21.

part this morning. As always, the debates will continue online and on

:58:22.:58:24.

Twitter. Next week we're in Cardiff, so join us then. But for now it's

:58:25.:58:28.

goodbye and have a great Sunday. Thank you for watching The Big

:58:29.:58:29.

Questions.

:58:30.:58:33.

Nicky Campbell presents live moral, ethical and religious debates from Jack Hunt School in Peterborough.

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Are Bible stories the way to teach morality?


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