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Your views on Question Time 8 July 2010

18:29 UK time, Thursday, 8 July 2010

Question Time, the BBC's premier political debate programme comes from Edinburgh on Thursday 8 July.

David Dimbleby will be joined by panellists, the Conservative peer Lord Forsyth, shadow International Development secretary Douglas Alexander, Lib Dem MP and Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore, the Deputy First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, and Irish comedian Ed Byrne.

The questions asked were:

Given that the majority of voters actively voted against the Conservative cuts agenda what mandate do the Lib-Con coalition have to implement such aggressive cuts in public spending?

Should we have confidence in a minister for education who didn't take the time to check over his homework before releasing it?

Do you agree with the US senate's call for an official investigation into Scotland's release of Abdelbasat al Megrahi?

Should Britain's withdrawal of troops from Sangin Province be viewed as a beginning of a retreat?

Does planning the referendum on voting reform for the same day as Holyrood elections fit in with David Cameron's pledge to respect the devolved governments?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


  • Comment number 1.

    It is a bit odd that the Secretary of State for Scotland is they had called for the abolishment of this post, Has anyone ever heard of Michael Moore?

  • Comment number 2.

    The tories may not have a mandate in Scotland but they do in England with 299 seats in Parliament, The answer is simple give Scotland the freedom it so desires alond with Wales and NI.

  • Comment number 3.

    is it just me? what debt? who do we as a country owe this money to? ourselves? is the bank of England a private concern? who is giving us money to let us get into debt? who are we paying it back to? this kills me , I'm lost, and worst of all does Ed Byrne not have a mirror in his hotel? I know the government is mixed up but c'mon the dress sense is out the window

  • Comment number 4.

    It is a bit pathetic watching the LibDem trying to justify Tory policies

  • Comment number 5.

    Ed Byrne is right. The Tories were calling for less regulation in the City, not more. Fair enough, the Labour government messed up in this regard. But let's not pretend we'd have been better of under the Tories.

  • Comment number 6.

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

  • Comment number 7.

    It's galling that Labour frontline don't acknowledge their failings whilst in power and continue to try and blame anyone else.

    It's also tiring to see all the political parties score minor points off each other rather than debate and discuss their different policies or strategy. Sticking to traditional party rhetoric will continue to turn off voters.

  • Comment number 8.

    if we are all in debt (greece, uk, US etc) then who are we indebted to? who owns that? africa?

  • Comment number 9.

    I'd like to applaud the lady with ginger hair, who had a go at the self-satisfied SNP woman, about education spending. Good for you, mrs. And if you've henna'd your hair and it's not ginger after all, I apologise for my presumption.

  • Comment number 10.

    Can we have Ed Burn on every week please?

  • Comment number 11.

    Question Time is being hosted from a fantastic venue tonight, the Mansfield Traquair, which my sister assisted in restoring the stunning murals inside. And good political discussion tonight too!

  • Comment number 12.

    I have voted Tory all my life but even I realise that we can't blame Laboutr for all the debts we have today - and I am unhappy about the level of cuts the Tories are suggesting.

  • Comment number 13.

    When watching the news recently the story which first came on was the pope is visiting england and it will cost us 12 million pounds, this story was followed up by spending has been cut in education, is it not rediculous that we're cutting spending in something everyone NEEDS and putting money into something some people WANT.

  • Comment number 14.

    Al magrachi is an innocent man.The evidence against him was false.

  • Comment number 15.

    Ref GBK's comment, yes please give Scotland their freedom. The English probably want it more than they do.

  • Comment number 16.

    why dont the british goverment ever listen to the british people they is no point in voting because you never listen to the people

  • Comment number 17.

    3. At 10:53pm on 08 Jul 2010, lrkelly wrote:

    Its not just you.

    The private debt of the banks was met by the government borrowing money from the banks. Where did the bankrupt banks get the money from to lend to the government to pay off the bankers debts?

    All across the 1st and 2nd world cuts between 10-25% are being made in public spending to pay off the debts.

    Somewhere 1/4 of the worlds wealth disappeared.

    Lord Ashcroft seems unphased by this.

    Any connection?

  • Comment number 18.

    why reduce EMA and college bursaries????
    EMA is given to students between the ages of 16-18 who have decided to stay on at school and college bursaries are issued to students from 19 years of age so the effect of this is far higher in scale than just to college and university students. It also includes the incentive for pupils to stay on at school and go through their higher’s and get a better high school education before entering further academic studies.

    cutting such things in a time where the country as a whole should be looking to a better academic future in the current economic climate is ridiculous. Jobs are not there for pupils when they leave school and with little or no experience in a world where people with qualifications are fighting for lower paid positions it is impossible for a school leaver to even compete in this type of hostile employment environment. I think cutting such funding incentives stops the academic process to less privileged students who would like to better themselves in this world.

    I personally grew up in a very under privileged family in an era that the country was in turmoil, I am 31 years of age now and I do remember the 80’s Thatcher years and the employment upset that was caused during this era of Scottish economic history. The reasons for me going back into education at this stage of my life are varied but my view on the future benefits to me now for going into full time education were very different from when I was at school, I feel this is the second chance that I never got when I left school. I truly never want to see a young school leaver have to make the choices I had to as many of my class mates from the past are not as well as I am, I may add that some of these classmates came from a more stable background than I. Growing up in Scotland in an under privileged environment is hard enough for a student to take the right path but to have the added pressure of a benefit that the government has decided to take away disappear makes decisions for these youngsters even more complicated. I fully understand the pressures these youngsters are under and protection from this pressure is what the Scottish Government should be aiming for.

    This is what I was trying to push as my point of view in my previous email. I believe that the Scottish and UK government should be cutting back on other areas rather than education policing and health care as these are the infrastructures that can only benefit the future of Scotland and not rely on short term fix’s to our economy that does not benefit us in the future.

    I am sure my concerns are not unique and that I think I can safely say that my views are echoed throughout the Scottish Academic community.

  • Comment number 19.

    we give the money to the banks so they should be made to pay it back to easy all these cut

  • Comment number 20.

    Isn't it time that Labour members faced up to the fact that they got this country into debt, sold off our gold at a low price, plundered pensions and let bankers help themselves to our money, while our savings dwindle.
    Douglas Alexander,as a member of that government, should be apologising to the people of this country. Ed Bryne should stick to comedy.
    People in this country have been living beyond their means for a number of years,not all of them, but too many have been living on credit, transferring their credit card debt from one company to another. The bankers are getting richer and while we get poorer. The Labour Government allowed all this to happen. Many of us grew up in times without credit cards and still only buy what we have the money for.

  • Comment number 21.

    We're told deficit is £2,500 every man, woman and child.
    Cabinet ministers earn £134,000.
    Every cabinet minister & MP should have a reduction of £10,000 per annum, which will reduce deficit by one family each. £10,000 per annum reduction will only cost Cabinet MP £6,000 pa (after tax) which equates to approx £120/week.
    To balance books you can raise taxes or cut. Don't just cut - increase taxes or reduce salaries of top earners in public sector.

  • Comment number 22.

    the pope and £12 - it IS ridiculous. This is just one of the many extravagances which COULD be cut out.
    Trident is another, and all the back-handers politicians get too.
    Prescott becoming a Lord - how much does that cost?

    I don't care who caused all the debt - it certainly wasn't most of us ordinary people, but as usual, its ordinary people who have to fork up and pay the bill.
    We have had one very expensive war in Iraq - started by a politician (well more of a con man actually). Afghanistan is costing us in money, blood, young mens lives, kids losing fathers - so that the USA can establish a new business bridgehead in yet another country under the pretense of establishing 'Democracy'
    They can afford to do all of this, yet WE are told we must economise??

    Its about time someone said 'Enough!!!'

  • Comment number 23.

    Not one of the invaders / helpers of Afghanistan has ever managed to get any measure of control over the native population.

    Why should we be different?

    We should not be there.

    It is NOT winnable

  • Comment number 24.

    Re David Tullochs comment with regard to EMA. Why should we pay for children to go to school when they are already receiving a free education.

  • Comment number 25.

    I groaned when I saw a comedian was on show but take it back now and applaud his content. Hope he is on again.

  • Comment number 26.

    Why hasnt anyone asked why , in the recent budget cuts , there were no military spending cuts? We have wasted £3 trillion on iraq and afghanistan , since we went to war under labour government despite mass protest across the country!

    even with a new government they still wont listen and still wont withdraw !

    it seems as though the government would rather spend our taxes on killing humans across the world and securing resources for the US empire than rebuilding our country

  • Comment number 27.

    One audience member stated we shouldnt leave afghanistan until the heroin trade is controlled?

    its already controlled , heroin production from afghanistan increased since the US/ UK occupation.

    we are controlling the heroin production for our own profit !

  • Comment number 28.

    I find Douglas Alexander very partisan and consequently he does not add to any of the debates, just fights like a ferret in a sock to get out. Nicola Sturgeon is also only fighting her own corner - keeps going on about cancelling Trident but we wouldn't feel any financial benefit from the cancellation of Trident for many years thereby not decreasing the national deficit or debt now. As for Ed Byrne, he is flogging the 'any-one but the tories' corner and not adding a considered 'non politician' viewpoint. I enjoy his humour but I would have liked him to treat his appearance on this programme as something other than a 'gig'. Michael Moore and Lord Forsyth are far too gentlemanly for the other three but talk sense and actually add to the points raised by the audience. Am getting a bit bored with the labour representatives on the programme each week, trying to make the Liberal Democrats look dishonest and also belittling them. How they can be critical of the current Governments 'cuts' when they were planning to make similar cuts without naming where they would come from(very crafty and I could have foretold what they would be doing after the election was lost). The Labour Party are like a gang of naughty children who have hatched up a plan/strategy to discredit the Government thinking all the time that no-one will know what they are doing and all of us adults look on knowingly............

  • Comment number 29.

    20. At 11:25pm on 08 Jul 2010, Bridget wrote:
    Isn't it time that Labour members faced up to the fact that they got this country into debt, sold off our gold at a low price, plundered pensions and let bankers help themselves to our money, while our savings dwindle.

    So is it Labour's fault that Greece lost its money? How about Portugal, or Spain? Do you blame Labour for the debts in Romania? Is it Labour's fault that both France and Germany are in debt? When did Labour force the American's to borrow several times worth their value? Did Labour put Japan into recession?

    Bridget - go back to writing your diary love, as figures are clearly beyond you.

  • Comment number 30.

    Re al magrahi,
    Is it possible that Gadhafi has rewarded Scotland,as a thank you, in some unpublicised ways?
    Also,is it possible that the Libyans are more advanced than us in the treatment of cancer?

  • Comment number 31.

    The world's bravest men and women fought both the 1st and 2nd world war before I was born and they did not have the privilege of today's technology and none of those wars went beyond 6 yrs in length. The war in Afghanistan is taken longer than any of them and IT IS NOT a world war yet, there doesn't seem to be any end in sight! Am I missing something or are we just sending young people who may probably not be deemed qualified by shop floor managers to work as customer asst in retail shops to go and die in un-winnable war? Worst still, whose interest are they serving being over there? I would like to know! My heart bleeds for their next of kin and may their gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

  • Comment number 32.

    RE GBK

    The idea of EMA is to allow unde privilaged familes who no longer are eligible for benifits of that child as they are over the age of 16 to still manage to afford to stay at school , it is very much a replacement to the family allowance , When a chile becomes 16 such funding as EMA is essential for the child to goon to higher education. Can anyone not see how important such benefits are to the future of our economy????

  • Comment number 33.

    I would like to comment on the "lockarbie bomber". I'm scottish and white and lived through the whole thing.And i think Magraghie, sorry i dont know how to spell his name properly, was a scapegoat. He may have had a link with the bombing, but no more than any other thousands of others. I believe he was offered up to stop the real truth.He should have never have been in a so called court and the evidence was pretty tenious. This is a case where modern forensics should be re-applied to find out where there real truth lies. But that will open an old can of worms. He should never had been jailed in the first place and the real culprits are still at large. It is no shame on scotland that he was sent home as I think the scottish/british governments knew that the justis was flawed and maybe we will all forget about it.

  • Comment number 34.

    Michael Moore- Given that tonight we discussed the defecit that we are trying to cut. Given that there was an inquiry which we have already paid for in Scotland showed that we wasted votes when we had two votes on the same day. Given we have set the date of our election for 4 years. Let us have our own election for Holyrood. Don't waste democratic votes and money by making two ballot papers on the same day. It ignores good advice which cost us money to carry out.Folly

  • Comment number 35.

    and just to add to my last comment ,

    Our children may get free education ,. here is a list of things that do not come free.

    extra books,
    pens/ pencils and stationary,
    School lunches ( if your over 16 your not entitled to it )
    and the list goes on....

    I am a father of three you children and i knwo what expense school is at this time of year.

  • Comment number 36.

    war..what is it good for ...absolutely nothing, how has cost lives on both sides, enomous amounts of money to what end....we all pay with our lives one way or another...does anyone believe things will change in the middle east? its their country and we should not interfere.
    its not failure to pull out its having respect for life!

  • Comment number 37.

    where is my comment?. Have I been moderated?.

  • Comment number 38.

    One Gentlman got to the crux of the matter tonight regarding our involvement in Afghanistan which was washed over. That being the drug trade. Afghanistan is a major producer of currently illegal drugs which eventually find there way to the UK among other countries. Obliterating this production, or at least having some legal control over it's production would do much to reduce the crime rate in the UK. Perhaps a step to far at the moment but if drugs were legalised then governments would be obliged to control the production and would have to admit to having to do something to control this production isn't it about time we recognised this and came clean on why I hope we are there. Why can't we take a lesson from American prohibition which was the basis of the growth of the American Mafia and fight the real problem, drugs.
    Dave Burchell

  • Comment number 39.

    DD commented on the number of questions from a Scottish audience, about Michael Gove, bearing in mind that education in Scotland is decided in the Scottish parliament and not by Michael Gove in Westminster. It is probably because Scots have got used to the idea of Scottish MPs being allowed to vote on English matters(including education) at Westminster although English MPs have no say on those very same matters in the Scottish Parliament.
    It's about time the West Lothian question was sorted out. Also the outdated Barnett Formula which allocates much more money, per head of population, to be spent in Scotland than in England. No wonder Labour does so well in Scotland and the Tories have just one MP.

  • Comment number 40.

    Ed Byrne was a revelation. I never liked him that much before but I certainly did tonight. He was incisive, refreshing and intelligent and I hope he is selected again, certainly ahead the usual QT "safe" choice of the odious Kelvin Mackenzie.

  • Comment number 41.

    How soon are we the public going to be generally disenchanted by the sight and sound of ministers delivering apologies for mistakes they have made. The English minister of education, in reversing policies of his predecessors and by his errors in presenting important data to Parliament, scuppered the hopes of parents and children in the very basic right of attending an education establishment fit for purpose. At the same time he tucks away 50 million pounds of taxpayers money to fund the big idea of establishing centrally funded schools to be run at local level by whoever applies. Saying sorry is never enough. Action must be taken to alleviate the hurt. Loss of job would be appropriate.

  • Comment number 42.

    Libya have made a fool of the UK thanks to the Scottish.

  • Comment number 43.

    Chris wrote:
    20. At 11:25pm on 08 Jul 2010, Bridget wrote:
    Isn't it time that Labour members faced up to the fact that they got this country into debt, sold off our gold at a low price, plundered pensions and let bankers help themselves to our money, while our savings dwindle.

    So is it Labour's fault that Greece lost its money? How about Portugal, or Spain? Do you blame Labour for the debts in Romania? Is it Labour's fault that both France and Germany are in debt? When did Labour force the American's to borrow several times worth their value? Did Labour put Japan into recession?

    Bridget - go back to writing your diary love, as figures are clearly beyond you.

    Don't be so patronising because Bridget is dead right!

    Most of the problems are structural because of Labour's borrowing during their so-called boom years. When a binge took place based on a massive rise in property prices, made worse by plastic card personal borrowing on the strenth of bloated property prices. Labour sat back and let it all happen. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knew it would all end in tears.

  • Comment number 44.


    doesn't this nation have a private debt of over a £1 trillion?

    Principally we should not forget that everyone around the Westernised world, aside from those in poverty, has gotten used to cheap and readly available money or financing.

    we are moving into another financial era.
    I think that we should take stock of the realities of the relationships and duties that we will have to fulfill in order to continue from where we find ourselves in order to deliver for our own or collective futures, in a productive manner.


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