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Your views on Question Time 1 July 2010

17:31 UK time, Thursday, 1 July 2010

Question Time, the BBC's premier political debate programme, comes from Ipswich on Thursday 1 July.

David Dimbleby will be joined by the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, the shadow home secretary Alan Johnson, Telegraph columnist Simon Heffer, Professor of Classics Mary Beard and social policy campaigner Dame Dr Camila Batmanghelidjh.

The questions asked were:
With the Treasury projecting huge job losses in the public sector as a result of the coalition's budget, is Osborne leading us on the path to recovery or the road to ruin?

Who is right about prison? Ken Clarke or Michael Howard?

Is the emergency cap on immigration the equivalent to putting a Band Aid on a gaping wound?

Is the government returning to the old Tory Mantra of "get on yer bike" by asking families to dig up roots and move in order to get jobs?


  • Comment number 1.

    Hope someone has left Ids space to park his bike.
    Please nail the mouthpiece over his comments - people can not afford to live where the jobs are since his government sold off the affordable houses to private landlords who are reaping a harvest via housing benefit four times higher than the same social rent would have been.
    Regerate the deprived areas or admit defeat at the inability to reverse 30-years of housing and social privatisation.

  • Comment number 2.

    That should be regenerate the deprived areas - apologies for typo!

  • Comment number 3.

    Does anyone still watch that awful show?

  • Comment number 4.

    Yet another cracking show. Possibly one of the best ever.
    £150,000 is simply not enough pay all the BBC executives who produce this much beloved quality programme.

    Hold on a minute, though. What day is it ?

    Is it just me or - has it actually been on yet ?

  • Comment number 5.

    I very much enjoyed the most part of the show, but while I see the panelist sipping on water, I feel this should be complimented with cheese. I suggest some Al-Walhati Cheddar would increase the quality of the debate.

  • Comment number 6.

    did dave d win that tie at the fair?

  • Comment number 7.

    I am sorry to say it but for the first time ever I just could not stand to sit and watch those 2 women, one who looked like Dame Edna (on a good day)Even the male panelists looked uncomfortable. Thats it the telly's off and and so am I, to bed.

    RC Trowbridge

  • Comment number 8.

    Is tonight programme direct from Hogwarts?
    Alan Johnson - Professor of Dark Arts perhaps

    hey ho

  • Comment number 9.

    at last a suffolk accent.

  • Comment number 10.

    You couldn't make this up. The Conservative party, after complaining that Labour were too soft on crime giving them playstations blah blah sky tv etc. While saying theyd build new prisons and put more bobbies on the beat. Are now saying that too many people are going to prison and that we have too many police. The Conservatives were just frightening vulnerable people into voting for them after all. They've got into power now(sort of).

    The right winger horror is a bit tame this week.

  • Comment number 11.

    I am an american living legally for 25 years and i have received verbal abuse due every thing being blamed on immgration.

  • Comment number 12.

    Its okay for New Labour to say they give the child trust fund to help get people out of poverty. But what if the child who is claiming his/her inheritance so to speak has already started on a life of alcohol , drugs etc that money is just going to help there habit because they are already stuck in the rut
    Mark Turner

  • Comment number 13.

    to reduce the cuts: first cut out the £15 billion a year to the EU
    second cut out the £8 billion a year foreign aid, charity begins at home
    third cut out the billions in subsidies to useless windmills that produce little or no electricity, the Netherlans has already cut out all subsidies for renewables and Spain is following suit. All these subsidies will bankrupt the UK

  • Comment number 14.

    What use is a nintendo or playstion to someone locked in prison due to mental health problems. This happens on many occations. Also, I know people who are in prison at the moment, where during this hot spell, can open their windows 1 inch at any time? Youth custdoy may be easy, but not all prisons are like that.

  • Comment number 15.

    More communtiy punishments should be given along with chances to reform insetead of the out of sight out of mind attitudes

  • Comment number 16.

    One of your panellists tonight Dame Dr Camilla.......
    Surely she should have been shown as Dr Dame Camilla.....
    The DBE attaches to her name and not her professional qualification. You would not for instance refer to someone as Sir Professor John Smith but Professor Sir John Smith. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • Comment number 17.

    what happens to the properties left behind if people move to look for work. Surly there would be lots of run down empty areas?

  • Comment number 18.

    IDS has a thing about labling the deprived but what will the coilition do about the criminals who come out of prison? How does he think they will get jobs with a criminal record. People are being sent to prison for silly crimes for short sentences and are criminalised for the rest of their lives. No one wants to take them on so they have no choice to be unemployed and on benefits.

  • Comment number 19.

    I wish people would stop saying higher education is unavailable to children of lower paid familes.
    They get higher loans and more grants than middle income families
    Loans only have to be repaid if salaries are earned so in some cases loans are never repaid

  • Comment number 20.

    English is my second language but I cringed when the gentleman who complained about immigrants not speaking English kept talking about the "amount" of immigrant people instead of the number as it would be grammatically correct.

    I cringed even more when the minister repeated it!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    I have just been watching Q time and laughed when someone in the audience said that the young unemployed should be trained to be doctors and engineers! My brother is a graduate with a BEng and MEng in aerospace engineering and has been unable to find a suitable job for 12 months and has resorted to stacking shelves! thats what you call a waste. Its that the jobs just are not there anymore.

  • Comment number 22.

    where are they going to move to? theres been no council houses built in decades.....where are these mps from mars?

  • Comment number 23.


    with regards to comments made about the prison system; it is far to easy to forget that Lack Of Liberty, is the sentence of the court. It is not the function of the prison system or the governmnt to add further misery to their experience. Rehabilitation does not begin with brutalisation. If, for first offenders that is their experience, why should they trust and commit to a society that allows that to happen to them?

  • Comment number 24.

    It amazese me how Ian Duncan Smith can sit there and say how this socalled coalition will support the most needee, when there masivly cutting funding for grass roots projects that are fighting against the tide of unemployment/skills loss in young people.

    They wounder why so many people re-offend when they come out of prison, because when they do come out all of the routeen and little support they have stops, probation DOSE NOT WORK WITH THE MAJORITY, they're often substance abusers and 88% have no-one or nothing to return to once on the out. Its giong to take hard but guided action to tackle the bottom line causes of the basic problems within our communities.

  • Comment number 25.

    I am fed up of hearing the old sound bite "immigrants do the jobs we will not do"
    Immigrants ARE doing the jobs we USED to do.
    Ask at any university student union how many students have lost work behind bars, in cafes, restaurants, hotels etc. For the simple reason the Immigrants can do more hours
    than the student, obviously because the student needs time to study and even turn up for lectures. I think the powers that be like this because the student then needs a loan to exist. This is exactly what happened to my daughter and why she owes £15000 in student loans. Next time you hear that old mantra about doing jobs we won't do, ask, well who did them before then.

  • Comment number 26.

    ID-SMIT — please dont focus on the deductions from M0 in offenders rehab nor leverages to supply resource like police service plus prison service because the root is in accute registrars for psychology branches like psychotherapy and psychometrics in social works, psychoanalysis in profiling jobs and then psychiatric professors for interdisciplinary international intelligence.

  • Comment number 27.

    What a joke this show is.I thought they where going to talk about immigration but they turned it in to a Joke. why is it when this question about immigration is asked the panel are to scared to tell the truth. Most people can see we are over stretched as a nation. I think it would be better to sort are own people out first, what ever colour or religion before we let any more people in.

  • Comment number 28.

    I am amazed that we are having a debate on people moving to find work with over 2 million out of work - and yet the government and previous ones, concentrate on how to plough money back from the sick and disabled. If you judge me able to work - despite my doctor's opinion and that of the hospital I attend - then just where do I find this job. The answer is not to move, not to pick on the vulnerable but create jobs and make the work-shy work for their benefits, when that happens I will let you pick on me.

  • Comment number 29.

    I have put forward some ideas concerning class A and B drug users, at [Personal details removed by Moderator] from people I have come accross with these kinds of problems, loss of self worth is the real major part of the issues involved, also in jail they are fed the rent is paid and what they want they can find, this is not being dehrogerty about the prison service but bullying and brutality just increases the problem.

    And lets be clear this is about peoples proclivitys not the murder of children, more the attitude of the system murders these childrens spirit and the body remains, trying to block out the pain of that rejection, there is a better way, but we must find our own way forward,.. and not just follow like sheep the declarations of other pollitical systems or buisness interests, the drinks inustry in particula.

    please read my blog and post your comments.
    jay cambridge

  • Comment number 30.

    Farcical, absolutely farcical. I wanted the panel to explain how my soon to be third year student son can find employment in Ealing, not make a mockery of a critical situation.

  • Comment number 31.

    Oh, the tertiary degree is [re]diffusion -sighs, skish

  • Comment number 32.

    It's one thing to allow migrants from outside the EU into the country, but why do we permit so many to take British Citizenship? For many, this is an instant passport to welfare benefits, if they haven't already been claiming. Despite the fact that we charge applicants many hundreds of pounds for their applications, this is nothing compared to the costs to the taxpayer. This is what the British people are upset and angry about - the demands, the handouts. Sham marriages are a fastrack way in - when someone from outside the EU wants to marry an EU citizen in Britain, the Home Office issues a 'Certificate of Authority' (not required if the applicant has an 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' passport stamp, or a fiancee visa) as a preliminary step prior to the couple giving Notice of Intention to marry before a Registrar. Certificates of Authority are not worth the paper they are written on. Ask any Registrar.

  • Comment number 33.

    I was shocked to find that the foreign NHS consultant's question was just given a nope by Iain Duncan Smith, when he asked would there be a cap on skilled people leaving the country. Beause he the consultant can only do jobs at his hospital that the English born consultants won't do. With snobbiness like this these highly skilled people will leave Britain for a fairer society somewhere else.

    As regards, moving people to fictitious jobs elsewhere this won't work. Instead make people work for their dole payments in their own area's, even for two to three days a week. There's plenty of work locally for the lazy-lazy so & so skivers. And if they fail to turn up for local duty then stop their payment, that would soon shift them into their working pants, There's too much dilly-dallying with this kind of layabout, so it's high time they were thought a lesson in how not to be "Work-shy"!

  • Comment number 34.

    I think someone ought to point out that while imigrants are blamed for nearly everything and politicians make it sound like its an open door to all, we need to understand that no one out side the EU would come in this country without a visa which would be issued by the British Embassies and indeed paid for. Perhapes the politicians need to explain to the public that they actually make money out of imigrants. Also, people should stop claiming that illegal migrants have used up public resources because that is certainly not true. The fact that they are illegal means that they wouldn't have access to public resources.

  • Comment number 35.

    We need to cut the salaries of politicians and reduce the number of them. We are the tax payers and we should say what cuts should be made. We need education, health services and a benefit system to support the people who have always paid into it, when they need it. People on health related benefits need them - a lot have health problems are due to their working life!!

    They have already removed the fee remissions at our local college so how are young people supposed to get further education - 1.25 million under 25s should be studying/learning new skills if they aren't working and they should have support - no work, no income, no self-esteem, no future just adds to the mental health problems in this country.

    The government has failed the people in prison - why weren't there interventions in their early life? And Geoffrey Archer certainly wasn't illiterate was he! People in prison should be dangerous to the public, not some kid who stole something/drove without insurance for the umpteenth time because he has no income!

    Why should people move for jobs and fracture their families - the family is where society starts! If they know where the pockets of unemployment are, why aren't they regenerating those areas and creating jobs???

    So many people with contradictory opinions - no wonder nothing ever changes. I am 40 and all I can remember is that there has always been a lack of jobs, there have always been criminals, there has always been a financial deficit, there has always been immigration, there have always been wars and none of these things will ever change no matter who is in power and no matter how much we are taxed.

  • Comment number 36.

    With regards to high unemployment among youn people, as one of them, I thought I should point out that we have failed to get jobs not because that we lack qualifications, indeed many of us have even studied for post graduate qualifications with the hope of giving ourselves a chance but it is very difficult to find a job simply because no one is recruiting. To me the victims of this economic crisis are the young people.

  • Comment number 37.

    Am i the only one who finds the thinly veiled ideological attacks on decent but struggling ordinary people, couched in patronising, crowd pleasing rants by IDS, not only highly objectionable but profoundly hypocritical. The majority of the panel were so out of touch with most of the country by virtue of their status or education, as to render their minor quibblings, totally irrelevant. Its sadly often true that the acquisition of power allows us to glimpse the truth beneath the facade of respectability. They must think we are stupid to believe that we can rehabilitate the disenfranchised in a period of colossal cuts. I can only assume they actually mean ' rehabilitate thyself '. IDS......"get on your bike and just keep going !"

  • Comment number 38.

    As regards short sentences for crime, the other night in my local paper a young lad was "spared" jail after crashing a car he had stolen and a back catalogue of 56 other
    crimes, he got 200 hours unpaid work for the community.
    A couple of pages on in the same paper the same Court sent a young man down for 9 months for stealing a pack of disposable nappies for his daughter because he could not afford them.
    That sounds about right then.

  • Comment number 39.

    IDS completely misunderstands the existence of 'deprived areas'. He talks of deprived areas in cities such as Leeds existing close to well-off ones, but believes they exist purely because no one there works and they can't afford to travel to work.
    A huge number of the people in these areas do work, but find that the only place they can afford to buy a house is in one of these less well-healed areas. If he hopes to get rid of these areas by their inhabitants moving away to search for work, it's not going to happen. They have work, and they have homes. They can't afford to move anywhere else because of house prices.

  • Comment number 40.

    With regards to maureen's comment on illegal immigrants.
    They do use our resources because they have illegal passports etc.

  • Comment number 41.

    How to solve some of the problems related to class A & B drugs.

    THIS IS NOT A PLAN FOR VIOLENT OFFENDERS, it is a plan which can be good for manufacturing industry, for design and development of self sustaining 'green' accommodation, as far as possible, it is also good for understanding, harmony, balance and making something that will be helpful in the world, where that help is badly needed.

    There has to a better way! I do not think that a state should be at war with it's own people, I think that such a response is an indicator that ego mania is at work.,

    I propose an experiment, a secure community with an element of lite manufacturing, where residents are given the drugs they want but clean versions, based on use levels on entry, because in the future I predict there will be many problems for the health service, caused by rubbish that is currently being mixed with street drugs, residents will be given the support they need, and can stabilise their life.

    After all to be clear what this is about is personal proclivity's, of course there are elements that want to keep things the same, there is a lot of tax free money available to those involved, and that brings power, with those who are impressed by cash, and what and who it can purchase.

    A Cambridge university study found that the Emmaus project, which helps people, creates a saving of £80.000 per person per year, to the community as a whole, so 100 people should represent £800.000 !, The manufacturing aspect would be making kits that convert freight containers to accommodation, the basic unit being 2 containers 1) bathroom kitchen, 2) sleeping and living room, this could be expanded, by adding units.

    The idea being that the kits could go to where they are needed a disaster area for example, or just to provide basic accommodation that is sound and robust for those living in shanty towns or unstable housing around the world.

    Containers can be found in most counties and are replaced with new ones quite regulary, and with a few basic tools many could be converted in a relatively short time, and could have selfsustaining 'green' technologies built in.

    Residents of WORKSTATION would work for 30 hours a week, there would be accommodation, and good support, for the individual and family unit, retraining, education and recreation can all be built into the project, and creative work can also be encouraged and supported.

    Of course Workstation needs to be secure in terms of residents coming and going, and total search when leaving and returning because no trafficing will be alowed.

    but this not a prison, residents can go out to visit friends and family, and indeed this should be encouraged and where necessary supported.

    any comments welcome

  • Comment number 42.

    This a comment to 'on your bike'
    My Grandfather had spent many years in the Army way before WWII, he served in India etc then Dunkirk and he then spent alot of time in hospital after seeing his brother killed along with many other traumas.
    After he was released and deemed 'cured' I was told of his fight to find work. He used to walk the streets bare footed, (I have been assured by my father) BARE footed to find work, he couldn’t afford a pair of shoes.
    They say we need so many immigrants to fill the places other daren't go, but yet we have so many youth unemployed, surely the youth can fill these jobs, (a job is a job) not more people into the country and if that means moving then so be it. My grandfather wasn't proud he just needed to put food on the table for his 5 children, he would have done anything.
    But of course you need a council housing system, (for the people the Government are targeting). But if you live in an area of abundant jobs why would you wish to swap your house/flat for a crummy out of work area?
    Then of course this is just a dream because all of the housing was sold, never reinstated and then the private sector reap its rewards on the needy, building their property empires for their pension. Then the likes of my husband in the British Army and me are still priced out of the housing market. Greedy/NEEDY people are what Labour/Cons of the 80s produced.

  • Comment number 43.

    I often wonder to myself would people still be complaining about the number of immigrants supposedly flooding this country if it was impossible to tell if someone was an immigrant due to the fact that they were white? No matter how much they try to deny it I feel that people complaining about "all these immigrants" are basically being racist. They just try and dress it up. The irony is that a huge chunk of what we think of as indigenous British people will be descended somewhere back in time from an immigrant to this country. I myself claim Irish ancestry. In the words of Rabbie Burns, "we are all jock tamson's bairns".

  • Comment number 44.

    With reply to fedupvoter.
    This is just the stupid attitude that stops this topic being debated properly.
    And just or your information the Polish worker who took my son in laws job (for 2 thirds the wage) looks pretty white.

  • Comment number 45.

    I know a pair of reprobates who consider getting caught and going to prison as just a hazard of work. They continue to burgle houses and offices, steal the odd car, break into workers vans and steal tools. They will never change because prison holds no fears for them. Once in prison they still keep in touch with fellow thieves via mobile phones.
    A damn good birching followed by a couple years hard labour breaking rocks on a chain-gang would soon knock some sense into them.
    They need to fear being incarcerated again.

  • Comment number 46.

    The chain gang sounds pretty good. All dressed up in pyjamas and chains to humiliate when doing community service, but why not insiders in prison also... cut the grass, pick up the rubbish hey the local councils want to make cutbacks anyway, have the prisoners do the dirty work and humiliate them in the meantime, that will make them think twice about there status and respectability... hey its no longer cool to be doing time.

  • Comment number 47.

    So according to Alan Johnson, Labour brought down crime, reduced poverty, did nothing wrong with immigration, were not responsible for the housing bubble or replacing the Bank of England with the FSA causing the worst financial crisis in this country's history.

    In fact Labour were such a great and popular government who did not lose data, set up quangos for their pals, make disgraced politicians Lords, double tax on the lowest paid workers by removing the 10 pence tax band, launch an illegal war in Iraq, continually lie to the electorate, never apologise, never resign when found to be incompetent/responsible.......

    All labour ex ministers are still totally deluded and don't get it. Knocking the new coalition government will not work as people think they have made a great start and will continue to support them. The labour party are finished if they will never recognise the poison they introduced to politics. It is refreshing to hear a government being honest and actually answering questions directly.

  • Comment number 48.

    I think the coalition government should consider introducing conscription (don't write this off immediately).

    With over a million unemployed youngsters, many thousands would benefit from training in the armed forces plus they would learn about discipline, team working and comradeship all excellent qualities for young people.

    Conscripts would not have to be sent on active service unless they wished to and surely would release UK based regulars for active service.

    Many youngsters would probably wish to stay on in the armed forces, helping reduce the shortfalls currently experienced in all three services.

  • Comment number 49.

    I am glad that Iain Duncan Smith pointed out that a Labour adviser had let the cat out of the bag re the real motivation for Labour's mass immigration. To increase the Labour vote. The swing against Labour in London, and other large towns, was only 2%. Elsewhere it was up to 10%. Except in Scotland, of course, where even Gordon Brown increased his vote. In my constituency a Tory maginal has become a Labour majority of 18000 because of mass immigration.
    In other words it paid off in May

  • Comment number 50.

    I wanted to say how much I enjoyed last nights question time. I was riveted from beginning to end. All five panellists showed a great depth of knowledge, sincerity, and were willing to acknowledge respect for each other. I felt the panel was very well balanced. When the 'normal' point scoring, shouting down (politicians) and sarcasm (press) start, I usually switch off. I also felt I learnt a lot, and am reassured that there are people in power who care.
    More please!

  • Comment number 51.

    Iain Duncan Smith was passionate, sincere, commanding and correct, let us wish him well with his reforms. I can't take Labour seriously at the moment as they have no answers and increasingly look like petulant children opposing on basis of tribal loyalty.

  • Comment number 52.

    I didn't watch it.

    I woz watchin' Lee Nelson's Well good Show, QUALITEEEEEEEEEEE!

    Anyway, can't watch Duncan Smith; didn't he stand as something once? Wasn't he resoundingly rejected by the population? What job has he got now? Is he important? Does that make sense to you?

    What's the name of that fellow at the Bank the popularly walked away with a pension the size of a small country's GDP, I think we should give him a job at the Bank of England don't you? Small job, over in the corner, Director of something, as he did so well last time.

  • Comment number 53.

    Great show, and nice of Ronnie Barker to make a comeback, albeit in such outrageous drag!

  • Comment number 54.

    "20. At 11:27pm on 01 Jul 2010, TheLondonSpaniard wrote:
    English is my second language but I cringed when the gentleman who complained about immigrants not speaking English kept talking about the "amount" of immigrant people instead of the number as it would be grammatically correct.

    I cringed even more when the minister repeated it!!!"

    Did the amount come in pounds or kilos? :)


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