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Your Views on Question Time, 13th May 2010

19:20 UK time, Thursday, 13 May 2010

Question Time, the BBC's premier political debate programme comes from London on Thursday 13 May.

The panel includes Conservative peer Lord Heseltine, Labour peer Lord Falconer, Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes, Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips and Mehdi Hasan of the New Statesman.

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 'Register' at the top right of this page.

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.
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  • Comment number 1.

    I have none.

  • Comment number 2.

    Have I missed it again ?

  • Comment number 3.

    A Conservative and a Liberal Democrat both on the panel up against one member of the opposition.

    Isn't that technically bullying? I'm not too sure how the BBC are going to get around this problem but surely it changes the dynamic of the panel.

    Hopefully there will be one Tory or Lib Dem and maybe invite another party member in. With the first ever Green MP elected surely she was deserving of a place on the panel?

  • Comment number 4.

    i think question time is losing its entertainment value. Mainly because the panel is made up each week within a group of political has beens & old hacks. Very few answer the question properly & the politicians just change the subject to something that they feel can score points against the opposition. I think an ordinary member of the public on the panel sometimes would make it more interesting rather than the same washed up comedians who often appear.

  • Comment number 5.

    After this General Election we have ended up with 649 MP's. While in the US they manage with 435 congressmen in the house of representives and a country that is 15 times bigger than ours. If the new LibCON partnership want to save money then surely the membership of the House of Commons should reduce in number.

  • Comment number 6.

    Because the Lib Dems came third in the election and are now in power, does this mean that if England come third in the world cup, they will still be considered the winners of the World Cup ???
    This is a question from my thirteen year old daughter.

  • Comment number 7.

    What about a Minister from the Con-Lib Cabinet and an MP from the opposition. Instead we have peers from the House of Lords who are not accountable to the electorate and are safely cushioned from any effect the voters heap onto their respective parties. Simon Hughes is the only elected representative there, the week following a general election! I wonder if he is in for a tough time from the audience since his party have decided to join forces with the Conservatives and hand them a healthy majority?

  • Comment number 8.

    Simon Hughes is now a Yellow Tory

  • Comment number 9.

    I like the question from butti1 (2314h) - sounds a bit like a question that the children on the bbc's outnumbered would ask!

    it does highlight the need to consider the options for AV / PR to make sense of our election process

  • Comment number 10.

    I voted for the Lib-Dems having been a life long Labour supporter until the last couple of years.

    I DO FEEL BETRAYED and very let down! I would never have supported a Tory government, having seen them decimate my hometown in South Yorkshire in the 1980s. I cannot stomach the thought of a Tory government.

    As far as I am concerned, the Nick Clegg and the Lib-Dems are turncoats and a traitor to the causes I support.

    In the future I will vote Labour (an alternative) or not at all.

  • Comment number 11.

    why does BBC persist in having Melanie Philips on QT - she's been on so many times and we really don't want that kind of view on BBC - please never again, her views and past are without integrity

  • Comment number 12.

    Lib Dems will now be dead in Scotland

  • Comment number 13.

    You can always rely on Melanie Phillips! Arguing that one minority party has a greater right to govern than another minority party is a special kind of sour grapes!

  • Comment number 14.

    an intelligent member of the public each week would be so much more exciting than hackneyed hacks like mel Philips on so many times

  • Comment number 15.

    As a Lib Dem voter - I did vote for a coalition Govt. This is exactly what the people voted for. I believe this is what is best for our country to get laws made that will benefit most rather than few people in the country. No one party would have been able to do this. Also jointly 2/3s of the country voted for the current coalition - this is surely right. Also with a 1/4 of the votes we could have expected a 1/4 of the cabinet seats!!!

  • Comment number 16.

    guy from new statesman and heseltine - real passion

  • Comment number 17.

    I voted Lib Dem in this election, as I have done in previous elections, but was undecided this time until late on and was erring on the side of voting Tory. My personal politics lies right of centre so this coalition government is exactly where I think the country should be.

  • Comment number 18.

    I think we should give this coaltion a chance - I myself am quite excited at the propect it promises, it has got to be better than the conservatives trying to go it alone and having to have an election again at the end of the year. Lets all take a step back and give this coalition a chance.

  • Comment number 19.

    Simon Hughes is blethering

  • Comment number 20.

    i don't go into politics only to be in opposition - how self serving

  • Comment number 21.

    I voted LibDem because I was impressed by Nick Clegg - I voted as I did not want to see another Labor government based on spin and deception, I don't agree with all the LibDem policies neither do I agree with all Tory policies but it seems to me that a Lib/Con coalition will be best for the country and far better than than one with Labor and the Liberals dependent on the nationalist minorities of Scotland and Wales

  • Comment number 22.

    For a political editor, Mehdi Hasan seems hugely biased.

  • Comment number 23.

    giuy in checked shirt doesn't understand that it's about politics and numbers rather than principled stands!

  • Comment number 24.

    Melanie Phillips and Mehdi Hasan are very sore losers, typical of print journalists, stuck in the dark ages.

  • Comment number 25.

    The LibDem parliamentary party has traded the values of all Liberal Democrats and their supporters and voters for jobs in government for the select few.
    They should have allowed the Conservatives to form a minority government - it would have allowed LibDems to support or oppose the Tories on a bill by bill basis. This would have allowed them to hold a true balance of power whilst keeping their morales intact.

  • Comment number 26.

    simon hughes - talks about compromise what he means is realpolitik - great comment by young black woman about clegg

  • Comment number 27.

    heseltine blaming you the voter!

  • Comment number 28.

    lovin mehdi - taking heseltine to task

  • Comment number 29.

    Hesaltine has lost it! lol

  • Comment number 30.

    where are my comments!!!!

  • Comment number 31.

    Party lines would have better served the Conservative Party. A Lib / Lab rainbow alliance would not have survived the summer, leading to another election.

    Said election would have resulted in a Conservative landslide.

    A Melanie Phillips is an embarrassment - she has nothing useful or constructive to contribute. A sore leftie loser.

  • Comment number 32.

    Isn't compromise the whole point of democracy?

  • Comment number 33.

    Are Simon Hughes and Michael Heseltine trying to convince us that it is the interest of the country? It isn't working!

    Both are happy, because both are in power!

  • Comment number 34.

    Completely Agree with Mehdi Hasan.
    Nick Clegg and his crew have betrayed everything they claimed to believe in for a taste of power.
    Nick Clegg has revealed his true colours - BLUE!

  • Comment number 35.

    Can Melanie Phillips string enough words together to make a sensible sentence? Hands up anyone who can follow her "argument".

  • Comment number 36.

    please melanie what is wrong with you? remember what you used to believe in?

  • Comment number 37.

    The electorate having banged the heads of the politicians together and succeeded with a forward looking bold coalition government, sounds like someone should now bang the journalists heads together. I can't adequately express my contempt for the partisan selfish nonsense being spouted by Melanie Philips and Mehdi Hasan. Why are these nobodies on the show?

    We have the Government we voted for and I am in support of the efforts being made by the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives to work together.

  • Comment number 38.

    I can't understand why the Liberals a bleating on about betrayal. One thing that they voted for was Electoral Reform. If that went through then we'd be dealing with coalition governments all the time! We got what we voted for!

  • Comment number 39.

    If more people voted we would not have this mess. Sorry I forgot the polling stations would be closed or run out of ballot slips. Let's hope Walt Disney forms a party they would get my vote.COME ON MICKEY!

  • Comment number 40.

    What no one has mentioned yet, is be careful what you wish for. If the votes in Yorkshire were applied in a true proportional manner, the Lib Dems would have gained much more influence. Sadly the BNP would also have 2 Yorkshire MP's (4.4% of the vote). That is a scary thought.

  • Comment number 41.

    Disappointing to see Medhi Hasan trying to win points by being so confrontational. I expect non-party panelists to be the rational interface but he reminds me of the sad madness of Carole Vorderman.

  • Comment number 42.

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

  • Comment number 43.

    Political Suicide? What do YOU think?
    For the next five years, there is no point in ever voting LibDem at the local elections, as such a vote would in reality be a vote for the Tories. Therefore, for the next five years, and at local bye-elections, the LibDems are now a political irrelevance. The LibDems will lose their grass root support. As for when the next General Election comes, it would again be pointless voting LibDem, as they would simply go with the Tories again if it suited them. From now on, the only major choice, unless considering the upcoming Independents, is Tory or Labour. Nick Clegg has committed long-term political suicide for short-term hubris and kudos.

  • Comment number 44.

    heseltine won't take an independent view!

  • Comment number 45.

    Who the hell is this arrogant woman who thinks she has the right to disregard 25% of the populations vote as "irrelevant"?????

  • Comment number 46.

    Mehdi Hasan does not know what he is talking about. I live in North Norfolk, the "Collapse" in the Labour vote in this election was from 13% to 8% Norman Lamb made this seat safe long before Ed Balls cited it as a place to keep the Tories out.

    Look to the fact that Labour was far to the right of either of the Lib Dems or the Tories in Civil Liberties and Environment.

    Politics like life is a circle and Labour had moved from Left to far right in many of it's policies

  • Comment number 47.

    mel philips sounds so horribly upset that we're not now so right wing that her paper can't celebrate

  • Comment number 48.

    For goodness sake, Dimbleby, shut UP!

  • Comment number 49.

    Lord Falkners reaction to the "snatched success from the claws of defeat" comment was very telling

  • Comment number 50.

    When Simon Hughes states that the Liberal Democrats are acting in this coalition in the interests of helping those he is responsible for, I for one believe him. His commitment to aid at the local level is the reason he has been the largely unchallenged MP for Bermondsey since 1983, and he has helped my family many a time from his seat, both when we were constituents, and now that we are not. Nick Clegg has done incredibly well to negotiate a coalition with the right, and the Lib Dems have reserved the right to abstain from the main points they blatantly disagree with! A sub-£10,000 tax exemption? Are you sure they've "sold their souls" to Cameron?

  • Comment number 51.

    Very good point raised the lib dems have no come back they have sold all their rights to oppose the tories how dare hesseltine get shirty with the public!the main rason people voted lib dem was to keep the tories out.simon hughes should hang his head in shame.Nick Clegg is an embaressment.We the public!did not vote for a hung parliment we wanted to make labour pay for their mistakes now it will be us who pay.

  • Comment number 52.

    At 11:00pm on 13 May 2010, JeanR wrote:

    "Can Melanie Phillips string enough words together to make a sensible sentence? Hands up anyone who can follow her "argument"."

    Melanie Phillips has an argument?!!!??!!!

  • Comment number 53.

    I can't believe that no-one raised the issue that the "noble" coalition cabinet have NOT in fact taken a 5% pay cut, they have all, in their desperation for power and immense greed, actually taken a 95% pay rise, as they will now take ministerial wages, nominally double that of an MP, which let's be honest would have been completely out of reach for the Lib Dem MPs.

  • Comment number 54.

    If we truly live in a democracy, can some one explain why the second largest party elected is the only one excluded in the so called 'coalition government'.
    This Lib/conservative alliance is nothing more than convenience and political self interest for both parties.

  • Comment number 55.

    in reply to the media lady how is currently on, she stresses that david cameron was stupid to jepodise a convservatives future in govt by agreeing to electoral reform. it is not about the conservatives, its about the united kingdom, and a PR system is best for the UK! and most democratic

  • Comment number 56.

    clegg and cameron have been described as ant and dec, eric and ernie - so much more like tarquin and alex!

  • Comment number 57.


  • Comment number 58.

    Dear Melanie,

    The world has changed. Get with the program.

  • Comment number 59.

    The Labour Party in currently in denial. They are blaming anyone and anything for their loss of power - the Tory press, Lord Ashcroft, the expenses scandal, the world financial crisis, the Lib Dems etc etc. But the real reason Labour has lost power is that they lost touch with the electorate and with democracy, for both of which, over the last 13 years they have cultivated an increasing disregard. This was reflected in their inability to compromise with the Lib Dems over a possible coalition.

  • Comment number 60.

    How wonderful it is to see such a great orator as Michael Heseltine up against the left wing Mehdi Hasan - he's the only one able to argue back against him, you really don't need the others, indeed I don't thing the labour chap has said more than a few words none of which have been of any significance.

  • Comment number 61.

    The whole idea of 'betratyl' is wearing really thin. The people voted and got exactly what they voted for. For the first time in history the left and the right are represented in government. What the hell is the matter with that? Maybe for once we will all have some representation. The bottom line is that the conservatives won the larger share of the vote and not the labour party. If the libs had entered into a coalition with the labour party then I would have felt that our democracy had been 'betratyed' because that is simply not how people voted. I think we should quit with the 'doom and gloom' and give the coalition a chance.

  • Comment number 62.

    Please stop inviting Melanie Phillips on, she has nothing constructive to add.

  • Comment number 63.

    There's something weird going on. Michael Heseltine is actually speaking some sense. There was little choice for either the Tories or the Lib Dems to do a deal. The only alternative was a minority Tory government which would have fallen within months. Of course he's not going to agree with every dot and comma of the agreement but then no Tory or Liberal Democrat does. Some people need to see Chris Addison on Have I Got News For You from earlier this evening.

  • Comment number 64.

    What a cynical bunch! Lets hope that we have a new politics give them a chance and judge them on thier performance in 12 months. We would appear to have the Tories tempered by the social reforming Lib Dems. Lets give them the benefit of the doubt for a while

  • Comment number 65.

    Agree with the guy below, print journalists can't cope with the coalition, they are so entrenched in their views. For goodness sake let's give it a chance!

  • Comment number 66.

    I was wondering where David Dimbleby got that tie, it's awesome and I want one. :p

  • Comment number 67.

    I Believe in this coalition - I think such an historic decision should be given both credence and a chance to succeed. Labour politics is dead in this country, certainly for England. It is time for change, and this is it.

  • Comment number 68.

    Who does Melanie Phillips thinks she is - what a fool!?
    When will people wake and smell the sweet aroma of a coalition? If people consider that it would have been better to have another general election in 6 months time (another 6 months of Brown bleeding the country dry) then they are not seeing the bigger picture! This country needed change; needed something new; and what better than the best bits from both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems? STOP CRITICISING...GIVE IT A CHANCE...YOU NEVER KNOW, YOU MIGHT LIKE IT!!!

  • Comment number 69.

    Oh for goodness sake. Why are so very many people such cynics. Most politicians go into the profession because they want to make a difference in society, not because they want to 'get power'. Therefore it was admirable for David Cameron to want to form a coalition and sensible for the Lib Dems to enter into a coalition so that they can be in a position to influence the policies that make a difference to our country. indeed even Lord Falconer said that they wanted to make that difference.

    Why can we not just accept the possibility that people are making decisions out of a sense of serving our interest as a country and not their own?

  • Comment number 70.

    cameron can never go on holiday - otherwise lib dems will be in charge!

  • Comment number 71.

    In the national interest why don't all the parties offer up another vote until one party has a majority, give the voters or as Hestletine says masters of democracy a second chance to put right a hung parliment or what has been described as an unwanted coalition?

  • Comment number 72.

    M Philips is really waffling at the moment, seems to think that voting reform would bring back labour to power, unless I'm mistaken the point of PR is to give all the parties some power. Slightly ridiculous to think that all of the conservative voters think that DC has made a bad choice. Now she appears to be arguing that a lib-lab coalition wouldn't have worked either, I think she needs to come down off her high contrary horse a little and actually decide which way she'd like it.

    the only people who are saying that their shouldn't have been a coalition on the panel are the journos, even the labour guy agrees that it is the right thing to do.

    Although now LORD falconer is daring to suggest that DC/NC might not understand the ordinary man is quite bizarre, I'm fairly certain he hasn't been on too many housing estates sharing a cuppa with the ordinary people recently.

    I wonder if someone will ask lord falconer whether gordon brown was pushed or jumped from being PM?

  • Comment number 73.

    I thought Liberal Dems were getting rid of Trident however Simon seems to have suggested that they will not now that they are in the same bed as the Tories!!

  • Comment number 74.

    Have to echo - the Lib-Dems have been given the lower profile roles in the cabinet. Appears to be a sop from the Conservatives.

  • Comment number 75.

    I am very surprised that so many people can be so naive to think they have been betrayed. It is Labour that betrayed this country and took us in to our worst debt in modern history. The new coalition is a breath of fresh air and the only route that could have taken when this country did not vote in a majority government.

  • Comment number 76.

    As a Liberal Democrat voter I am so very pleased with this new government. The sensible policies of the Liberal such as the 10,000 tax rate and a referendum on AV have been kept while many of the less popular policies designed to appear to the base such as the Euro and Trident have been shelved. Likewise on the Tories side policies like efficiency saving have been kept while investment in jobs has been introduced to soften these cuts. It seems to me that our new government has rather efficiently taken the best bits from the two parties to make a great policy agenda. As for Labour they easily forget the manifesto commitments they have ignored over the years and the betrayal of thier voters over the last 13 years.

  • Comment number 77.

    No member of the electorate voted for a coalition government, we were not given that option. We vote as individuals.

  • Comment number 78.

    The far left and far right journos on this panel are well pissed off. I am personally very happy with the coalition and wish it well. What those journos are so upset about is two sets of politicians talking to each other, making compromises and agreements and getting on with it. Grown-up politics at last.

  • Comment number 79.

    Melanie Phillips' idea of democracy is unbelievable. She counts votes for the party she supports and ignores the 65% of people who voted against them while refusing to acknowledge that 25% of the electors voted for the Lib-Dems. Phillips' problem is that after expecting a tory win for the last two years she can't come to terms with the fact that they only got 35% of the vote and did not win the election, something that David Cameron, to his credit has recognised and acted upon.

  • Comment number 80.

    Statement: The art of good government is to not know they are there!
    Fact: The last government affected me more than any previous one in a negative way...much too controlling, dishonest and greedy.
    Question: Given that the country has got what it elected, whay can't the media and the Question Time audience accept this, and give the boys a chance?
    Opinion: I think there have been some very mature decisions made since the coalition was agreed, and we should give them every chance for the future...not hang on to the past!

  • Comment number 81.

    I have voted LibDem all my life, and am very happy with the coalition government. I in no way feel betrayed. You can only change from within, and we are getting some very good compromises. Give it a chance all you grouchers, most of my friends are very pleased to see politicians working together for once, and yes, it just might be for the good of the country!

  • Comment number 82.

    tweedlecam tweedleclegg - lovin yr work !

  • Comment number 83.

    Have the BBC deliberately assembled the most contentious panel possible? Some panellists seem to be living on some kind of alternative planet where the Lib Dems should forego their only chance of power for 70 years. Surely we should be viewing this as a fantastic opportunity for a truly central party, with each party subduing the more extreme elements of the other. It may not work, but for goodness sake, let's hope it does, it really could be a new era of cooperation. Why do the parties always have to be fighting each other?!! And by the way, I feel no sympathy for anybody who 'tactically' voted - shame on you - it's backfired badly!

  • Comment number 84.

    I simply can NOT believe that no-one raised the issue of the greed which has clearly driven this "no-alition". The much touted 5% pay cut is in fact a 95% pay rise for all those in the cabinet. A pay rise the Lib Dem MPs could only have dreamed of, not to mention all the other priviledges they will receive from their position.

    Also, the irony of Nick Clegg having a no job, job, Vince Cable running a department he wanted to close. It is simply RIDICULOUS!

  • Comment number 85.

    For all you moaning Lib dems. Imagine if a minority Conservative government had proceeded.

    It would have been brought down within 6 months, due to unpopular but entirely necessary cuts, due to Labour incompetence.

    That would have brought back a completely unreformed Labour party for another 5 years of further disaster & financial incompetence.

    And who the heck is the unknown Mehdi? He is using Qt simply to promote himself - get rid and don't let him back - he has NOTHING constructive to offer.

  • Comment number 86.

    Hi I've just logged in and started reading the blog

    Its more than likely that we will never have a majority government again in this country, especially if reform is carried out during this parliament. You must see though that as all parties are moving to more middle of the road thinking and the extreme left and right are dying out we will move forward to a point where you will vote for your local MP for who they are and how they think rather than any political affiliation that they have. At the end of the day they are your voice and they need to speak for you.

  • Comment number 87.

    Election Facts:
    England - Conservative Majority

    Scotland, Wales, N Ireland, with their own Assemblies,
    diluting the wishes of the English once again.

    English Assembly please

    p.s Do not EVER invite the loudmouth from The New Stateman to appear again pleae

  • Comment number 88.

    David Cameran,one of his first speeches live on the big debate around 9 mins on the itv player.He said i met a 40 year old black man in Plymouth who came to Britain at the age of 6 and served in the royal navy for 30 tears and proud of his country. I think the maths puts the black man joining navy at 10 years old.And now David Cameran is in charge of our country and god help us.

  • Comment number 89.

    Election Facts:
    England - Conservative Majority

    Scotland, Wales, N Ireland, with their own Assemblies,
    diluting the wishes of the English once again.

    English Assembly please

    p.s Do not EVER invite the loudmouth from The New Stateman to appear again please

  • Comment number 90.

    i wonder how the mps will now fiddle the expenses to make up the 5% cut.

  • Comment number 91.

    Did Lord Falconer really say that he thought John Prescott contributed something to the Labour Government? I'm amazed. Or are they fellow pie eaters

  • Comment number 92.

    Well said stygian.

    I think the Lib-Dems have signed their own demise by going in to this coalition.

  • Comment number 93.

    I was one of the fools who believed that the lib dems would not go with the Tories. I voted for them to keep the Tories out. I will not make that mistake again.

  • Comment number 94.

    Also the journo's seem to be hyping things and being outraged, I wonder how much that has to do with selling more 'copy' tomorrow.

  • Comment number 95.

    As a lib dem voter for 20yrs despite there never a chance that they would get into government as dominated by tory and labour. I dont feel betrayed as at last at least some of their policy's have a chance.

  • Comment number 96.

    Melanie Phillips is pig headed obnoxious and arrogant. Does she posses any humanity? Surely most mild thinking adults would agree that a coalition government, at this time and with this election outcome is a good thing....and I say this as a Labour Party supporter.

  • Comment number 97.

    There have been a lot of cynical views about the coalition government but Melanie Phillips takes the prize for being the most cynical commentator. Nobody has been betrayed. The tories and the lib dems did exactly what was required given the election outcome. Let's wait and see how well they do before pouring scorn on the whole coalition agreement.

  • Comment number 98.

    How is the new goverment going to persuade Scotland, or gain there trust when 85% voted against the Torys and only gained 1 seat. Stuart (Kirkcaldy, Fife)

  • Comment number 99.

    PR can only result in proportional policy. Why are there lib dems out there that are complianing about betrayal and dilution of their policies? They got about 50 seats compared to the Tory's 300, so their policies should be shared out in that ratio - 1 to 6, simple.

  • Comment number 100.

    I have been a Liberal and Liberal Democrat all my life and the idea of joining with the Conservatives filled me with horror. But I now feel that we are in the 21st century and it is time for a change. The old idea of a parliament where one party got all its own way because it had a large majority belongs to the past. The people have voted for power sharing otherwise one or the other parties would have got in with a majority. Let's give the new idea a chance. If we don't try we won't know.


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