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Your views on Question Time Thursday 4th March 2010

14:40 UK time, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Question Time, the BBC's premier political debate programme comes from Canary Wharf in London on Thursday 4th March.

The panel includes Transport Secretary Lord Adonis, London Mayor Boris Johnson, the Liberal Democrat peer Shirley Williams, the broadcaster Carol Vorderman and novelist Will Self.

What are your thoughts about the programme and the panel? Let us know here on the Question Time debate page.

The way we run the Have Your Say debate for Question Time has changed. To give us your views you will need to sign in using your BBC iD. If you do not have a BBC iD you can create one by clicking on 'Create' at the top right of this page.

Read more about changes to Have Your Say

Do the recent revelations about Lord Ashcroft confirm that the Conservatives still only look after themselves and are not to be trusted?

With his appearance before the Iraq Inquiry tomorrow, should Gordon Brown be held responsible for his lack of funding to the armed forces when he was Chancellor?

Do the public have the right to know the circumstances surrounding John Venables return to prison?

Will televised election debates serve the interests of democracy or the cult of the personality?


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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Why does Question Time have to have 2 Conservative Panel members before it goes on air ????
    Yet again this is happening ?
    Why is this permitted ??

  • Comment number 4.

    Shirley Williams says "politics should not be bought" - so how does she square labour tucking in from the Unite Unions very deep trough? Double standards from another Scot!

  • Comment number 5.

    shirley williams makes reasoned arguments - if you want to rule us, or make laws for us... you should live with us

    if a non dom wants to donate to a political party (with no strings attached) then that this is a different question.

  • Comment number 6.

    Apparently the following does not matter - oh well.

    • Lord Paul – £69,250 in donations to Labour, including £45,000 to Gordon Brown’s leadership campaign. A close friend of Gordon Brown and appointed to the Privy Council last summer, he has admitted to being ‘non-dom’. Not forgetting the expenses claimed.
    • Lakshmi Mittal - £4.125 million in donations to Labour.
    • Sir Ronald Cohen - £2.55 million in donations to Labour. Cohen was appointed chair of the Social Investment Taskforce, which was announced by the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown.
    • Sir Christopher Ondaatje - £1.7 million in donations to Labour.
    • Sir Gulam Noon - £532,826 in donations to Labour.
    • William Bollinger - £510,725 in donations to Labour.
    • Mahmoud Khayami - £985,000 in donations to Labour including £5,000 to Hazel Blears’ deputy leadership campaign. He has helped bankroll two flagship schools, one of which Gordon Brown opened, and was personally thanked for a donation by Tony Blair.
    • Dr David Potter - £90,000 in a donation to Labour. He has previously delivered a lecture at Downing Street.

  • Comment number 7.

    Carole Vorderrmann - is fantastic! What a BRILLIANT response and at last somewhat who speaks for the people,

  • Comment number 8.

    Carol V is so wrong - she is simply an apologist for the Tory sleaze brigade

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Carol Vorderman jumping on the easy band waggon and interrupting everyone. Quelle surprise.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    Why has Gordon Brown dragged his feet on the implentation of the Reform which was agreed in 2007 and talked about by Labour in the year 2000 until after the General Election?
    Is/are he/they hiding something?

    It would seem so.

  • Comment number 18.

    for a panel who do not know the questios prior to the programme,why do thay refer to notes in front of them quoting numbers quotations ect,carol b my she likes the sound of her tory voice.
    derek stewart

  • Comment number 19.

    So, Lord Ashcroft was a non-dom for tax purposes. Any wealth-creating (and therefore, tax paying) member of the economy would be barmy not to want to reduce their tax liability when all they can see is their taxation being squandered by an incompetent Labour party. This is not a debate about altruism but common sense. As a society we SHOULD be supporting the old, young and disabled who can't work but certinaly NOT the lazy, fast-breeding, parasites that are infesting England.

  • Comment number 20.

    I'm a non-dom. If I gave the Tories a 100 pounds and they kept it secret for 10 years could I get a peerage too?

    Sleaze, sleaze, sleaze......and not just the Tories.

    No wonder people are so disengaged with politicians. We have the same issues here in Canada both at the Federal and Provinical levels.

  • Comment number 21.

    Shirley Williams, has the temerity to talk of written commitments. When her party deliberately reneged on their written promise of a referendum on the EU Treaty. Liars, not on mere personal tax but to sell out the whole nation!

  • Comment number 22.

    The defense budget is still suffering the hangover of the expense of Trident

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    When answering these questions particularly when something as serious as our troops lives would the MP's please stop using the term "in real terms" when it comes to spending. As soon as people hear this they think it is a false figure!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    Ergh! Boris Johnson lying through his teeth at everything! And what's all that rhubarb guff belongs in the politics of the 19th century! If there is ever a reason not to trust a Tory government you just have to look at his term as Mayor of London. All his election promises about helping the under-privillaged in London and making the transport system cheaper etc just thrown to the way-side when he came into office and he's done nothing but help his rich mates!

  • Comment number 26.

    I don't know how anyone can trust the only have to watch them in parliament debating......they are always laughing and having such a jolly doesn't feel that they take it seriouly at all! is that because the rules and laws that they make has no effect on their privileged lives?

  • Comment number 27.

    Carol Vorderman - please shut her up

  • Comment number 28.

    are all members of the audience students? it would be refreshing for people in the audience to have experience of the real world. i am fed up of listening to these labour babies squealing about issues that they nor thier leaders no little of.

  • Comment number 29.

    Carol Vordeman has spent the entire program shouting over the other panelists answers.

    The only time she shut up was when she was asked a direct question about Conservative policies, sometimes silence speaks louder than words!

  • Comment number 30.

    Jamie Bulger's family do have the right to know what Venables did, maybe not the rest of us

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    We have to accept that our troops ere sent into Iraq under financed and ill-equipped not forgetting on a false premise. Afghanistan the same applies. Who was in charge of the purse strings - Gordon Brown.

  • Comment number 33.

    What are the qualifications to be on the panel? Isn't it rather insulting for Shirley Williams to have a minor celebrity who adds up quickly shouting at her - and everyone else for that matter. I can see she has revised her subjects well - and brought her crib notes but question time is hopefully not about preaching but listening and debating. She's off again!

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    John Smith was a great man and gave the Labour party credibility, mr dimbleby please tell me if you think tony blair was worthy to take over his mantle?

  • Comment number 36.

    The exit strategy costs will be shared by the combined NATO members after stability in the region is established and it is wrong to single out Britain's role ONLY at this time

  • Comment number 37.

    i can't believe how annoying Carol Vorderman is. she shouts everytims and makes everything sound so dramatic and is obvioulsy trying to get a round of applause for everything she says.

    AND - 2 tories on the panel AGAIN!! and i'm not including Dimbleby in that

  • Comment number 38.

    I am great admirer of Carol Worderman and her ability to add and subtract. I am not so sure that she is a good panelist for Question Time. She has all her answers written down and simply reads them from the paper, the fact that they seem to have come from directly from Conservative HQ is actually irrelevant, she should understand that this is debating program, not a reading test. I am not sure why there are two represenattives from the Conservatives on the program, but at least Boris has shown that he has no clue as to Tory policy outside London so at least they must be relieved to have Carol there reading their policy. Maybe she is after a column in the Daily Mail!

  • Comment number 39.

    If soldiers are not equipped for the war in Afghanistan, then they should not be sent there. the soldiers out there who have died as a result of being ill equipped should be able to sue as a result. If an employee was in the same situation in civvy street then this would be the case.

    I dont agree with the people who say it isnt our war, but there is no way our boys and girls should be sent out there when they do not have the tools the do their job. The government have no right!

    sned the MPs out there without a bullet proof vest and see how they like it

  • Comment number 40.

    • Lakshmi Mittal - £4.125 million in donations to Labour.

    Mentor. where did you get this info from?

    We all know about Lord Paul and Lord Cohen, But this???

  • Comment number 41.

    Carol Vorderman was on before, and was a disaster. This time she's so partisan that she's putting the politicians to shame.

    She is, after all, being floated as a potential Tory peer.

    The choice of 'sleb' is often awful.

    The likes of Melanie Phillips, Ian Hislop, David Mitchell and Will Self are fine, but much of the time they choose a political simpleton.

  • Comment number 42.

    Sorry it's me again. Much as I'd love to listen to educated debate I'm switching off and off to bed because it's not possible with Ms Vordeman holding forth.

  • Comment number 43.

    I am left wing, but do respect cogent right wing views.
    Please, substitute Vorderman asap.

  • Comment number 44.

    Without making a judgement on the moral rightness of recent military conflicts, it is incorrect to say that we shouldn't go to war unless we are fully equipped (what does that mean?). If that were the case, we wouldn't have stood up to the tyranny of Hitler, at which time we were appallingly equipped, the RAF was still flying WWI bi-planes! Military procurement is not a matter of going down to the shops and buying a helicopter, it takes time. The government has been spending a fortune on Urgent Operational Requirements to fill equipment shortfalls, to suit the particular conditions currently being experienced.

    Taxpayers would soon squeal if the government equipped our armed forces for every possible eventuality. Priorities must be made, and they won't always be right.

    Armed conflict is not risk free.

  • Comment number 45.


    Despite what Will Self says, yes the public do have a right to know. If as he suggests it was one of the minor breaches then what is the problem - let it be known.

    If on the other hand it is for serious offences, the public then have a right to know who released him in the first place and got it so wrong.

    Just as in so many other cases related to early release of prisoners who've then gone to commit further crimes including murder, rape etc.

  • Comment number 46.

    The point Shirley Williams made several times is that Lord Ashcroft is the only one of those mentioned who put in writing his intention to change his tax status. He did this almost TEN years ago and backed down on this promise. THAT is the point. Carol Vorderman's behaviour tonight is pathetic. She is moaning about them "all being the same". I have yet to hear her criticise a Conversative. Sorry Carol stick to counting and making up diets.

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    Its all well and good saying that Venebles deserves a second chance, but these were 10 year olds who should have been mature enough to know right from wrong. There is obviously something wrong with them.
    However, would the panel let him babysit their kids?
    If not, then why release them and put the public at risk.

  • Comment number 49.

    This is turning into the Voderman show. She comes across as very aggressive.
    Please don't invite her back

  • Comment number 50.

    Lord Adonis said that the Labour Government had increased government spending on the armed forces by 10% over the past ten years. Can Lord Adonis please advise whether this includes the money spent on the armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan that they committed the country to or whether this is included in this "increase"?

  • Comment number 51.

    What is Carol Vorderman doing on Question Time? If possible, she appears to know even less about what is going on in the world than Boris Johnson. She's taking up valuable airtime which other people could be using to express informed views.

  • Comment number 52.

    let's replace Carol with a audeince member. the best way to describe her is "shrill"

  • Comment number 53.

    Tonight's programme is the worst yet. It appears to be a party political broadcast for the Labour party. Mr. Dimblby is giving Lord Adonis too much leeway. He is not answering the questions asked by teh audience.

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    Boris mentioned about the cuts to TFL and when he first announced this he said the cuts would not be to front line services. At present cuts are happing on London Underground by leaving vacancies open on stations and trains to save money and now they want to reduce the amount of staff on stations. for example victoria station, the busiest station on the network has 12 staff during the peak and they want to reduce this to 2 staff during the peak.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    With respect to the whole Iraq event why is no one telling the truth. Just Look to the next 50 years no oil no cars and no TV etc.. Yes a foothold for a democratic/share in the middle east oil. Just try to imagine what kind of country we would have if everything stopped tomorrow! Since the early 40's equivalent price of filling your car has not changed although reserves have depleted! This has meant no real investment (compared to profit!)has ever been made to a renew-able sources. Where are our politicians on real truth!

  • Comment number 58.

    The key issue is not that Lord Ashcroft was a Non-Dom, it was that he made written guarantees that he would become fully resident for tax purposes after previously having been rejected as being unfit to be awarded a peerage by an independent body.

    Since 2000 he and the Conservative party have been highly evasive and misleading over the issue. William Hague wrote in 2000 that Ashcroft would be paying tens of millions of pounds in income tax a year.

    It turns out tonight when commissioning opinion polls for the Conservatives in the last election, he paid for them with a Belize company so that he would avoid even paying VAT (about £40,000). This man has systematically avoided paying tax, leaving everyone else to pay more.

  • Comment number 59.

    If child sex offenders can be identified to safeguard the public, why not child killers!
    As for rehabilitation, what measures were taken on these two boys' parents? What morals were the two of them taught by their elders?

  • Comment number 60.

    Carol Vorderman seems to be towing the Conservative party line more than Boris. THere shouldn't be 2 Conservatives on the same panel.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    Can you please lay off the 'youth focus' on Question Time. The front rows of the audience composed 90% of fresh faced immature kids and the questions asked and the comments garnered from them disproportionate to the population as a whole. Like most other programmems on the BBC you are dumbing down in order to appeal to a young audience who are mostly occupied in youthful pursuits at 10.30 at night, and NOT engaged with QT. Thursday is going to be an early night for me, so have fun!

  • Comment number 63.

    So can i ask. These child killers are out on license, they have new identities and they marry and have children.

    How fair is it on whoever they marry and their children?

    This country has some bizarre uber-left wing attitude brought on by many years of "New Labour". We have lost our collective minds. Can't believe we are even discussing if it's right, or indeed allowing uber-left wing fanatics on tv to spread their poison.

  • Comment number 64.

    Slow moderation.....I just figured it out...BBC has already started their cuts and haven't announced them yet.

  • Comment number 65.

    Will Self is misguided - if you're convicted of murdering a 2 year old and you're finally released - if youre not then a perfect citizen you belong back in prison and why would you be protected any more than other criminals.

  • Comment number 66.

    With regards to the public knowing what offence Venebles has commited...I dont think the public need to know. This is just the British public beeing nosey, and having something to talk about at the water cooler. Why do we need to know the reasons he was returned to prison, where there are thousands of people out there returned to prison everyday. No one wants to know about them. The public just want this information to feel they know whats going on in someone else's life.

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    Redorded I could not agree more. Carol Voderman's contribution (or lack thereof) is nothing but hostile and aggressive short, an ill mannered and offensive woman.

  • Comment number 69.

    Well done to Carol Vorderman. The first panelist to be even more loopy than Melanie Phillips.

  • Comment number 70.

    Vorderman is awful, she has just lost the Tories more votes!

  • Comment number 71.

    Carol Vordemann is coming across like a petulant child - why is she qualified to give political debate anyway?

  • Comment number 72.

    How about for the live debates you have a yes / no question format so they can stop wigglying and answer the question asked!

  • Comment number 73.

    Janet@11.10, I agree. Vorderman was incredibly rude to Shirley Williams. Appalling manners.

  • Comment number 74.

    Regarding the funding to our troops in Iraq and Afganistan, my son was posted to Iraq at the age of just over 18 yrs. He was so concerned about the sub standard kit which was supplied to him that he went out and bought his own. What affect do these politicians think it has on these young lads and there families when they see their young sons or daughters doing this. It's absolutely disgraceful.

    P.s Please don't mention my surname because my son is still serving in the forces

  • Comment number 75.

    hear hear Will Self. the most sensible panelist today. Boris being his usual self - engaging.

  • Comment number 76.

    Excellent work, Carol. Your (prepared written speech)contribution has done the Tory cause, no good at all

  • Comment number 77.

    The whole point for most "non-doms" is that they do not even pay tax on their UK earnings. They spend much of their time in the UK, enjoy the civilisation, security etc. of the UK but are to greedy to make their proper contribution to living here. They ensure that their businesses are owned by overseas companies and that they are payed overseas by those overseas companies so that they do not have to pay any tax in the UK even on what are in reality UK earnings.
    Ashcroft has run a merry dance with all. The idea that anyone who has such morals and so little committment to this country has any influence in this country is an affront to ordinary decent people of any political persuasion. He and all other non-doms should be barred from contributing to any political party as well as from the legislature. The discredited honours system is brought into even more disrepute by the granting of "honours" to people such as this.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    It was a great show tonight. Carol Vorderman was a star and showed what a intelligent women she is with her answers. The EU has ruled that illegal migrants must be paid welfare. Nobody dare talk about immigration now has this become a taboo subject?

  • Comment number 80.

    i used to think Carol was a sensible person with progressive views as she is so clever. However the more she opens her mouth the more i think she does a disservice to her intellect. perhaps she should stay away from things such as QT!

  • Comment number 81.

    What a disgrace Labour berates non-doms avoiding paying UK tax on foreign earnings yet most of the MP's flipping there homes to avoid paying their UK tax were Labour MP's and by far the biggest culprit was none other than Alistair Darling who flipped his 4 times, and who is he, none other that the head of UK taxes. As for Shirley Williams complaining of Lord Ashcroft being a memebr of Government, which he isn't hes's a meber of opposition, the lib dem £2.4m donor is a member of Her Majesties Prison convicted of fraud and the Lib Dems wont give the money back, The trade unions donate millions to Labour every year yet their levies are exempt from UK tax.

  • Comment number 82.

    Please do not have Carol Vordeman on again, she is so obtrusise.
    With regards to Will or who ever he is, with the freedom of information, I should be allowed to know what my hard earned cash is being paid for, and if I, as a tax payer,alongside so many of my peers wish to know where my money is being used, without my consent I may add, then I should be allowed to know what Thompson did.

  • Comment number 83.

    is it not thursday? students should be down the boozer?

  • Comment number 84.

    Boris is a idiot and vorderman should go and make the coffee because they dont know what there talking about.Vote b.n.p

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    Next week QT is in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. I am male 30 years old and a local Town Councillor for the last 9 years. I was the youngest ever Mayor in the Kirklees area (where Dewsbury covers) for Mirfield Town Council. Why have the BBC decided that one of the many areas of West Yorkshire that is a marginal Tory seat should only have a QT "special" for the first time ever with a lady audience?

    West Yorkshire may well be the county that next choses the next government. Surely the BBC and QT are breaking some kind of human rights banning males from the next QT audience in Dewsbury.

    I bet that the BBC block this comment from the QT website!

    Regards and best wishes

  • Comment number 87.

    I agree with Shirley Williams about PMQs just being about mud slinging.
    David Steele also described it well as Prime Ministers Insults.

    So much for ending Punch and Judy politics David Cameron!

  • Comment number 88.

    will Self is talking absolute nonsense
    it was explained earlier this week recall to prison is only exercised for serious reasons not trivia as Mr Self would have the audience believe
    As for the question asked The family need to know the circumstances of the recall if they want to know; the public don't, but as this recall would appear to be for violence the public need to know that the system by which Venables was supposed to be rehabilitated has failed

  • Comment number 89.

    Carol Vorderman is embarrassing. She is viscous and makes hugely unintelligent comments. No wonder she writes for the Mirror...

  • Comment number 90.

    please do not repeat Carol Voderman's appeareance on question time. If she was commenting on these issues based on her own views and life experience then that would be fine, however she appears to have complied a huge amount of reseach and clearly has her own agenda. She is not particularly intelligent, her opinion does not represent that of the general public and her appearence on the panel is a waste of time for all concerned.
    I do not agree with all of Will Self's opinions but his views are interesting and provoke further debate.

  • Comment number 91.

    How is such an intelligent woman as Carol Vorderman so reactionary? I don't understand how she can ignore the point of all the panellists especially Will Self's question on Jon Venables hidden identity... what WOULD you do Carol?

    It's easy to complain about something you have little knowledge or empathy for.

  • Comment number 92.

    We have migrants arriving in this country with HIV. We have migrants being homed in 1 million pound homes in London getting over £100,000 a year in welfare. We need a cap on welfare - there should be a maximum amount anybody can get and this should be no more than the average wage.

  • Comment number 93.

    Has Carol Vorderman received prior notice of the questions?

    She appears to be reading from a script.

    Question Time is valuable in the sense that you see into the eyes of the panellists and then you might be able to make a judgement in terms of what they are saying.

    If you can't appear on the program without notes then you're not needed.

  • Comment number 94.

    Interesting that Lord Adonis (un-elected + poor title choice) shows such a great deal of interest in what the Conservatives would cut.

    It would be more interesting to hear him explain where Labour are currently cutting.

    ie. such as 100 care beds in Gateshead Queen Elisabeth Hospital.

  • Comment number 95.

    Shirley Williams for Prime Minister!

  • Comment number 96.

    Now Boris Johnson appears to be in competition with Voderman to see which of them can do most shouting, how rude they are to other panalists

  • Comment number 97.

    Nice to see Shirley Williams debating Boris Johnson off the park - being a Bullingdon Bully, interupting all the time does not win the argument.

  • Comment number 98.

    14% cuts - Even Maggie couldn't manage that - sobering indeed.

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    I spent the time creating an account tonight simply because I was so incensed by Carol Vordeman's presence on the Question Time panel. Leaving aside issues about the balance of the panel, I was appalled by her selfish and aggressive participation and ill thought out views. I found her to be particularly insensitive and arrogant when dealing with a member of the public who had the temerity to voice a differing view. Please, please do not have her on again....


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