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Your views on Question Time 10th June 2010

16:16 UK time, Thursday, 10 June 2010

Question Time, the BBC's premier political debate programme comes from Plymouth on Thursday 10th June.

The panel is Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary Ben Bradshaw, the leader of the Respect Party, Salma Yaqoob, the businesswomen Katie Hopkins and the journalist and author Toby Young.

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

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

The following questions were asked:
Is the Coalition Government asking the public for suggestions for spending cuts simply a way of passing the buck or have they run out of ideas already?

What advice did Lady Thatcher gave to the Prime Minister during her visit to number 10 earlier this week?

Is the continuing oil leak in the Gulf a threat to US-British relations, and was Boris Johnson right to hit back at US politicians alleged 'anti-British rhetoric'?

Is Diane Abbott's nomination for the Labour leadership simply tokenism?

I graduated last year with student debts of £20,000. How much more debt do the panel suggest I should be burdened with in order to help reduce the national budget deficit?

Should the English flag fly over 10 Downing St during the football World Cup?


  • Comment number 1.

    Here's a question that I am sure will never be asked.

    Should students who can't afford to take out a student loan now consider the very excellent Open University instead?

  • Comment number 2.

    In light of the recent resignations from the FSA over the proposed dialogue on GM food will the government please consider giving the public the chance to here some open TV debate on the subject and be given the chance to vote on banning GM from the UK.

  • Comment number 3.

    The question for all is:

    Are we now lambs for slaughter under same old Conservatives and the complicit Liberal Democrat slaughterhouse round the back?

  • Comment number 4.

    Great news about the coalition saving our gardens from over development.
    Can we now have some drive to taking over all our run down derelict properties and bringing them up to a standard where they can be used to house those on housing waiting lists.
    Also can we start to identify real brownfield sites and develop some new eco and community friendly villages that encourage people to leave their cars at home and have decent facilities built in from the start.

  • Comment number 5.

    Same as always, yawn. Please change the record.

  • Comment number 6.

    Looking at the panel on Question Time tonight - oooh ...

    ... our family are expecting some very deep, profound, and knowledgeable replies and comments, on very important issues by the panel, with very large and important egos and equally large and important management companies???

    Perhaps Question Time has recently been purchased by Piers Morgan?

    Gosh, will be shocked and surprised if this comment gets past the Mods?!

  • Comment number 7.

    At Question Time should get a good viewing turn out tonight, given that big brother in on c4.

  • Comment number 8.

    I'm sceptical about the panel selection process given who appears on them these days. It seems that suggesting panelists on the BBC website is pointless. A runner-up from the apprentice!! Next we'll be getting page three girls and 'Mystic Meg'. The programme seems to be operating an intellectual gulag where panelists are selected for mud slinging entertainment potential rather than solid established views of the individual. Who will give me 100-1 odds that a pointless world cup question will be raised at the end!!

  • Comment number 9.

    Once again the panel will prattle on about the 6bn cuts this year completely ignoring the fact we will be paying in excess of 13bn every year to the EU to subsidise other member countries. I would love to bat this question in the programme but because I've had limited mobility due to cancer only people within the audience get the opportunity to raise questions. Thank you BBC for discriminating against people unable to directly participate!!

  • Comment number 10.

    Why have a debate about GM crops? The problem is the ruinous Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which encourages over production within the EU and artificial pricing. The whole mechanism produces food nobody wants and starves the devloping world because they cant compete in the EU market. We could solve so many problems in the devloping world by dumping this utterly unfair communist like policy.

  • Comment number 11.

    It's a shame we don't have smelly vision given the amount of bullsh*t these MPs spew out on this programme.

  • Comment number 12.

    The conservatives will never carry Scotland with them, we belive in community

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

    Question Time should be on cbeebies

  • Comment number 15.

    Why is Miss Hopkins on the panel? Does having been a somewhat distasteful member of 'The Apprentice' candidates give her some sort of advantage?

    I would be pleased to learn why she was picked for Question Time.

  • Comment number 16.

    lets ditch the blame game

    its time we started talking about what is important, how flexible we need these things to be and be prepared to go through with it.

    i don't like the big society idea, but this country now is far bigger and smaller than it ever was and this will not change.

    we maybe could do a quick fix of a job, but I don't like the idea of scaremongering tactic being used to make us give you your momentum, for a fundamentally important change that must happen with real consideration.

    I'm not down playing the seriousness of this, but we really need to consider what the implications of a new economy will mean.

    this is a brave new world, but i don't know if we need to be either crazy or stupid to go through with it.

  • Comment number 17.

    what key performance indicators will give us what your planning, whilst making it work?

  • Comment number 18.

    Why are people so focused on small view spending MPs cars etc etc. WAKE UP!! When these people talk about 'public spending' they talk about the NHS, police etc. None of these people talk about government spending, I say again the UK sends 45 million pounds a day the EU zone. The EU has never passed a financial audit and is riddled with corruption. The next time you travel to Spain or France on your holiday look at the EU road building signs 'Funded by the European Union' this is where your tax money is going!! WAKE UP.

  • Comment number 19.

    The BP oil leak was caused by a sub-contracted American drilling company. It's strange that Obama fails to mention this whilst he attacks BP.

  • Comment number 20.

    Its OK the minister's taking a 5% pay cut - thats nothing when you earn £100k+

    When you only earn £20k, 5% or £1,000 is a huge amount of money.

    How dare the co-alition say we are all in this together!!! Some of us are in it much deeper than those causing the problems in the government.

    Are we really only 5 weeks into this government? 4 years, 47 weeks and counting......

  • Comment number 21.

    Alan C,
    Spot on, yet another extremely poor panel. Also I think it is time for DD to retire and bring in Humphries, he is so patronising.

  • Comment number 22.

    Why are there so many right-wing panellists in addition to the Tory MP? Last week we had Matthew Paris and Kelvin McKenzie. Today we have another two - Toby Young and the woman, whose name I have forgotten.
    Your panelist choice is unbalanced.

  • Comment number 23.

    if we can create such fervour with a leek for a few months, how do we think we come across to anyone who saw the Kuwait oil feild alight and gushing into the sea?

  • Comment number 24.

    What pay cut have the new Governments ministers taken? Surely they are all earning more now that they are ministers than the were as plain old MPs, so is this not a case of having a 5% less pay rise!

  • Comment number 25.

    22 of the tory cabinet are millionairs, they have cut there wages by 5% Cameron worth 30 million that 5% pay cut is really going to hurt. Dont believe the torys they will line there pockets soon enough

  • Comment number 26.

    Question Time from Plymouth but not one West Country accent... how is that possible? Where have they found this audience? Certainly not from Plymouth!!!

  • Comment number 27.

    Is it acceptable for fame, within a celebrity culture, to imply through team leadership that assults and violence is acceptable behaviour for the global youth of tommorrow to see representing our nation today?

  • Comment number 28.

    It is amazing that people keep talking about investing - with what I ask?

    There is NO money, we are are up to our necks in debt and Labour and now Respect seem to be totally oblivious as to why. In the the case of Labour they are still in complete denial, they blame the USA and the Banks etc. Sorry but it was Gordon Brown as Chancellor who remove the 6 financial controlling bodies and replaced them with the FSA who either failed to do their jobs or were told what not to do.

    As for cuts within the likes of Hospitals etc. that is a very easy, in each get 10 50 year old nurses and 10 50 year old Doctors sit them down and ask the question - Where is the waste?

    One could ask the Council of Middlesbro why they are spending £20 million on Street Art.

    So as the pain resulting from the last 13 years starts to take effect remember, many of us faced the same following the 1979 exit of a Labour Government, this time however it will last for decades and be worse. So for those who will have to stay in the UK. fasten your seat belts it's going to be a rough ride.

  • Comment number 29.

    What a joke of a panel. A wannabe, tv show and parliamentary candidate loser, flashing off a load of bling; a frowning journo doing his best Ian Hislop impression; and two poor apologists, one each from the "leading" parties. Best of the bunch is Salma!

  • Comment number 30.

    Dear Katy, it's tokenism that you are on the panel!

  • Comment number 31.

    I have voted conservative all my life and also my parents. I don't understand that after so long in a labour government that now the conservatives are in government my husband who has worked in local government for over 25 years has yesterday been made redundant. We don't have any credit card debt, we send our children to state schools ( and are proud of it! ) How can we be REWARDED! like this. Tell me what went wrong?

  • Comment number 32.

    Salma Yaqoob is wrong when she thinks we can grow our way out or the debt crisis as we did after World War 2. She forgets that under the Marshall Aid plan this country received, between 1948 and 1951, 3 billion dollars in aid, which went along way in helping us out.

  • Comment number 33.

    kate hopkins is obviously not in touch with real people who have to budget through their whole lives.....she comes over as a very comfortable smug person who has no care for anyone else.....its all a big joke to her! who on earth got her on to the programme? she just rubs the average persons nose in it......suggesting that its all our fault and we just have to put up with it while she swans around continuing with her privileged life!

  • Comment number 34.

    There has been a lot of discussion recently about BP's responsibilities around the recent accident in the Gulf of Mexico.

    I am not aware of any comments around
    BP have always acknolweded that the clean up is their problem
    the rig was owned and operated by US companies under contract to BP

    From where I am sitting (I am not a BP employee) BP are being set up as scapegoats for an accident on a rig that they did not own, or maintain. Maintenace and operation was by US companies- basically, BP rented it.

    So, why is the US president so vociferous in his continual condemnation of BP with no reference to the US comapanies that owned/maintained the rig? Diversion of attention away from internal issues perhaps?

    Me? Cynical.....? NEVER.... well..... :)

  • Comment number 35.

    BP's handling of this disaster has been woeful and Hayward has to go.
    That said a much more important question is BP's HUGE contribution to the British economy which right now the new British govt. are seeming to ignore. BP's contribution to British pension funds is enormous and must not be ignored. Obama's rhetoric is unacceptable. He needs reminding he leads a country addicted to oil. Americans count for 4% of world population and consume 25% of global energy resources AT ROCK BOTTOM PRICES. US greed for oil is undoubtedly a contributory factor in this dreadful situation and Obama needs to be reminded of that fact of life. He, and all other US presidents, are kept in power by cheap oil.
    Furthermore, why are so many British troops giving their lives to protect US Mid East interests? Obama needs to stop the pressure on BP and instead concentrate his efforts in cleaning up this dreadful mess rather than trying to throttle the company which is doing its belated best to remedy matters.
    Most importantly

  • Comment number 36.

    Katie Hopkins comments about the labour leadership were spot on. It is the first time I have heard her say anything worth saying. We need far more females who have the courage to renounce the evil views of those like Harriet Harman. There is something worse than discrimination - positive discrimination is far more dangerous.

  • Comment number 37.

    If we are facing large cuts, why not disband the house of lords ?

  • Comment number 38.

    Privatise Uni's? NO WAY, perpetuating the wealthy elite.

  • Comment number 39.

    It's bad enough having an audience that clap every inane point but tonight's mob are even clapping questions.

    How can you clap a question when you don't even know what the answer is?

  • Comment number 40.

    I'll NOT take Alan C up on his bet re world cup point.

    I will however note that I will NOT be one of those the PM is asking to support England's football team, and as for his request that all the benches 'regardless of which poart o fthe UK they represent' oll support England.... you CANT'T BE SERIOUS......

  • Comment number 41.

    The first thing the government should do to save money is get rid of the house of lords,then cut the number of mps by half.

  • Comment number 42.

    What an appalling Right Wing panel :

    Right Wing Tory MP

    Chum of Dave from University

    So called Independent,
    who is more right wing and bonkers than the Bankers who lost us all the money and put the World into recession

  • Comment number 43.

    this is something i really struggle to understand, how the majority of students wanting to go to uni can easily get a loan/grant from the government to pay for their course, whether they are going to uni for a real reason being to be qualified in a proffesion or for the social life it brings.
    It leaves people like myself working hard at college wanting to become an airline pilot were the training fees are enourmous, yet there is not a loan/grant available for people like myself who want something like this so badly!! The fact that getting a job at the end of training is highly likely therefore the chances of paying back the grant is more likely, than those getting a degree at uni. So i feel its unfair that people like myself dont get the opportunities others get when they have no idea why they want to go to uni apart from the social aspects, yet still get the funding.

  • Comment number 44.

    1. At 4:48pm on 10 Jun 2010, Pure Evil wrote:

    Here's a question that I am sure will never be asked.

    Should students who can't afford to take out a student loan now consider the very excellent Open University instead?
    You speak as if the OU is free! You still have fees and a need to support yourself through the degree. So that means studying after a full day at work.

  • Comment number 45.


    I am not quite getting the idea that tveryone is entitled to a University education.

    Given the level of education in schools where the level of literacy nowadays is becoming ever mor equestionable, surely someone must grasp the concenpt that a univeristy education is not a right, but must be based on prior accomplishmnets in education. If you want a degree in law you surely must be able to write and spell?

  • Comment number 46.

    Katie Hopkins' comment that degrees are being handed out for free is both ridiculuous and far from the truth. Most students graduate with £20,000 of debt to repay and the majority of these students have to work hard to get a good degree.

    Second year student at Newcastle university

  • Comment number 47.

    I wonder if members of the panel and the government who had the benefit of free university education, be willing to return their tuition fees if the vote to increase fees for students takes places?

  • Comment number 48.

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

  • Comment number 49.

    Another balanced QT. Three representatives out of five of a right wing persuasion. How very BBC!

  • Comment number 50.

    Alan C's q. re World Cup...

    Guees what - non relevant question re World Cup and England has been made.

    Flying the St George Cross over No 10 Downng St...

    If my home country (Scotland) was in this, and England was, or was not , would the St Andrew's flag be flown?... NOT A CHANCE, never in a million years.

  • Comment number 51.

    sorry but most people can't tell if the union jack is upside down

    in military terms its like surrendering, if you need it to mean something

  • Comment number 52.

    It is utterly disgraceful for our 'elitist' panellists to devalue the degrees of people who require loans. Katie's gross generalisation of handing out degrees is ludicrous! A degree is a huge achievement and takes hard work and dedication. Frankly I am insulted. I had a part time job during my full time studies to train as a primary school teacher. It surprises me that Toby thinks a part time job will pay for university fees. Furthermore, having a job takes time away from studies.

    It seems we are heading back to the notion that if mummy and daddy will pay, you can go. Disgusting!

  • Comment number 53.

    Grrr. Posh private school Hopkins condemning the majority to benefit the elite. In hard times there may be a need to up student fees (not charged up front but paid back later) but I would not trust her to help the working class who don't have parents to fund them. I might trust Yaqoob to implement it.
    Mr Young seems to think that paying some money makes up for 11 dead. Of course BP can afford to pay for the financial damage but money might not make up for physical damage and they are being hurt partly because they are prioritising the dividend over paying out compensation.

  • Comment number 54.

    I am writing because I am fed up of the slating that the banks are getting and, particularly the continual references to the fact that the government bailed out Lloyds/TSB.

    Unfortunately nobody has mentioned the fact that Lloyds/TSB was a very successful, profitable organisation until Gordon Brown and Sir Victor Blank arranged the buy out of the failing HBOS organisation. Mr. Brown did not want another nationalised Financial institution, which is what would have happened, and so Mr. Brown effectively short circuited the Monopolies & Mergers Commission process. The result being that the take over happened at great speed and it was only afterwards that it actually came to light just how much in debt HBOS was. This has led to the staff of Lloyds/TSB suffering. They are not the fat cats of the banking industry that everyone makes out bankers to be, and as a result many staff are facing dire financial problems, not least because they were encouraged to take bonuses in shares which, at the moment, are pretty worthless, and before anyone starts moaning about the big bonuses that bankers get, Lloyds/TSB staff did not get big bonuses. People in other industries got, and still do get, far higher bonuses than they could ever dream of.

    Let us not lose sight of the fact that Lloyds/TSB pay considerable premiums and interest to the Government for the funding that was provided and also that the Government has substantial share holdings in the bank, which they will ultimately realise to recoup not only the funding but also a profit on the investment. Additionally when Lloyds/TSB begins paying dividends again, anticipated 2012, 42% of the dividend payment will be made to the government and represents a windfall to the taxpayer.

    So please via your programme put the record straight. Lloyds/TSB staff are very hard working and have just got over the merger, and changes, effected by the coming together of TSB and Lloyds Bank.


    Jan Whitehouse

  • Comment number 55.

    I object with the issue that graduates receive £100,000 more in wages. Perhaps over a life time. My husband who is a DSc with years of experience is only earninbg £50,000/ year in an extremely senior position in private industry (dealing with a multitude of EU legislation compliance as a part of his duties). My eldest son is at university, acquiring major debts studying physics and my youngest will (in a year's time) also acquire such. They have to absorb all expenses. As all graduates start with a clean slate, why do those on lower income not have to pay fees? Coming from the US where I came from a family below poverty level I had to pay for my education (graduated with MSc in Chemistry). They all start on an even playing field. It was suggested that tuitions mimic those in US. Those are subsidised heavily by sports and industry. Where are such in this country? At least, graduating in the 10% of my class (valedictorian) I could expect some financial assistance from government (academic excellence recognised, unlike this country). I strongly object to my husband & I having to subsidise those students who do not have the academic abilities or drive to gain a useful degree just because their families are deemed lacaking financially. It is a false economy. My husband and I had to pay off our student debts only having to (near retirement) finance our sons, who will make a major contribution to society. Is that fair?

  • Comment number 56.

    Moderators of this should be approving/rejecting comments at a much greater rate - many comments postaed are done "real time2.

    Approve/rejection also needs to be "real time" in order for comments to be responded too as they are posted.

  • Comment number 57.

    why wasn't Baldric on the panel?

  • Comment number 58.

    Utter, utter drivel. I've watched - and largely enjoyed - QT for years but that episode was dismal. The level of debate is so low it beggars belief. The audience can barely ask a coherent question and the panel - with a couple of exceptions - a disgrace. The pomposity of Toby Young is well documented but good lord, Katie Hopkins. Really? What is this woman's mandate to be on this show? Who is she? What has she done? Some second rate reality show contestant. They captioned her as 'businesswoman'. In what capacity? I resent having to listen to the views of such self serving non-entities. The fact she holds some vile opinions only makes it worse. Drop the comedians, self publicists and non entities BBC and get this programme back to people of substance engaging with the electorate on issues that matter. God knows, we need it.

  • Comment number 59.

    yeah yeah yeah.....same oh same oh......the rich will be educated and the poor will support them in the manner they are accustomed. when students were made to pay for their university education I would have had more respect for their speeches if the MPs had put their hands in their pockets and paid for their education they had been privileged to! kate is so pompous and smug in her own life of security.....she needs to watch out life has a way of showing you the harder side of life at times! it would be satisfying to see her living with pressures of finances that the ordinary person has to deal with........go on Salma you tell her the facts.....please stop smug, rich people from coming on the show and telling us how to run our lives when they haven't got an jot of an idea how we juggle our lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 60.

    Totally agree...poor panellists

  • Comment number 61.

    Having just looked up the track record of Salma Yaqoob with the 'Respect Party' (which I certainly do not respect) I have to ask the BBC QT Editor why is she on screen so often?

    You had a guy called Hassan on a few weeks ago, a very dubious and dangerous character.

    I have no respect for either of their long term aims and nor should the BBC or you should lose the 'British' from BBC.
    It's seems to no longer justifiably be a word you can claim the use of!!

    Maybe a tie-up with Press TV would be something to consider.

  • Comment number 62.

    Diane Abbot for Labour party Leader - love it!!

  • Comment number 63.

    I am stating to worry about how the bad the line up of Question Time is these days. Also, Dimbleby does not chair, he interrupts. Very snide man.

  • Comment number 64.

    go figure......most of them came from wealthy backgrounds and they had their tuitions fees paid.......where did that figure in Tobys sliding scale????? the smug, rich can talk cheap and the rest of us have to suffer with their decisions..........who cares about football.....PLEASE.......... it a game and lots of people enjoy it but be serious thats all it is!

  • Comment number 65.

    Shame there was a distinct lack of spine from the panel regarding BP

  • Comment number 66.

    re student loans.. what was wrong with the original idea that the individual gaining a degree and potentially earning more will pay more tax back into the system. This was when not everyone had a degree though..yet again a short termism of reducing unemployment figures following Thatchers dismantling production and turn to service, now service squeezed and all the family silver sold. A spiral is evolving.

  • Comment number 67.

    What a joke flyinging the english flag i thought we were one country. its the u.k. or great britian not just england. Do wales go a seperate way and we tax every englishman that comes into the country. universtiry charges . Do we expect someone straight out of university to know as much has someone who's been working on the job for 20 years to know as much but pay them 20 grand more. yes they leave university with debt but nothing compared with a working man who has to feed his family. example University grad 50K workinging man 18K so that 20k of debt is gone in 1 Year unlike the workingman which take a lifetime to get rid of. What a joke. its loooking after yourself again. i could baffle all your guest no problem and the country could see how bad we are beening run.

  • Comment number 68.

    Yet another right-wing dominated panel:-

    Jeremy Hunt, right-wing Tory MP
    Katie Hopkins, right-wing wanabe Tory MP.
    Ben Bradshaw, right-wing Blairite MP
    Toby Young, associate editor of right-wing "The Spectator".
    Salma Yaqoob, left-wing councillor.

    How do MENTORN and the BBC get away with this deliberate and obvious bias week after week?

    If proof is needed that the BBC is corrupt and completely biassed in favour of Israel, tonight's programme proves it. The boarding of the Rachel Corrie and the kidknapping of the people on board by Israeli forces was not even discussed, absolutely disgraceful.

    This programme is an insult to its predecessors and the public and it should be scrapped.

  • Comment number 69.

    I agreed with Paul ashby about whatv is been done withb vacant bui lding.This is a no no and should be stop by some law that land owners can leave houses empty until someone is willing to pay the odds for it

  • Comment number 70.

    I have just registered on this site. Question Time is the highlight of my week and most of my friends look forward to it as much as I do. Maybe I should ask them to register as it appears the site has been highjacked by people who can think of nothing positive to say about the programme!

    I registered to say - good panel tonight. Particularly liked Jeremy Hunt, a clear thinker and honest communicator.

  • Comment number 71.

    Panel choice - Was it just me' or did anybody else notice that everytime Toby Young made a statement, he had to toast himself with his glass of water? Found him rather irratating.
    Salma Yaqoob excellent. Katie Hopkins - would have been better suited to a Big brother audience mentality

  • Comment number 72.

    I've only registered to convey my utter disgust at what Katie Hopkins said on tonight's Question Time.
    The idea full privatisation of university education is a classic example of the offensive, elitist right-wing, market-will-solve-everything thinking that is designed to service the interests of those who are born into the privileged position of being able to afford to pay exhorbitant fees for education.
    It seems she feels that university is something that only middle and upper class people should aspire to.
    As a middle class professional, I do agree that it's a problem that everyone seems to have a degree. But reforming the system should be about moving away from a misguided goal that more and more people must have degrees. It should be focused on finding new and better ways of proving the skills needed for success in the modern world.
    She was happy to talk about how high fees the 'market' would support, but nothing about being accepted on merit.
    What she is proposing is that university reverts to being simply a preserve of the rich and windening of the gap between rich and poor.
    The market is as much of a problem as a solution - think gloablissation, sweatshops, social dumping, the UK housing market and the banking industry. These are all monsters created by the unchecked, blind belief in the free market.
    And to suggest that institutions that she has no knowledge or experience of should be 'blown up' is absolutely ludicrous.
    She really doesn't live in the real world.
    Why was she on?
    I can understand the BBC needs to let the BNP on to expose how ludicrous they are, but she doesn't represent anything of any importance to be exposed. She's just the architypal tory bird who can't imagine the country being run by someone that didn't go to Oxford.
    Surely we the BBC can get panelists who can provide more helpful comments. I can't imagine a worse waste of my licence fee. Yes, even worse than another series of Top Gear or Friday Night With jonathon Ross.
    Who's next on the Question Time panel? Tara Palmer-Tomkinson? Chelsey Davy? Victoria Hervey? Awful. Utterly awful.
    (End of rant)

  • Comment number 73.

    31. At 11:12pm on 10 Jun 2010, foxy1966 wrote:

    Tell me what went wrong?

    Same as was wrong in 1979, they had to pick up the country from it's knees.

    30 years later the same thing, follow Labour into Government and deal with the mess they always leave. Though the current mess is much greater due to them having had 13 years to create it.

    Good Luck!

  • Comment number 74.

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

  • Comment number 75.

    Ms Hopkins was captioned as "businesswoman", however I could not find details of any business interests she may have. She has a privileged background and expertise in self publicity. This does NOT make her a businesswoman. Her spoutings displayed a staggering level of ignorance. Why was she considered suitable to be a panellist?

  • Comment number 76.

    So graduates get £100,000 more after tax over their working life? This equates to them contributing over £67,000 in tax (assuming they pay tax at 40% on the extra income). Why should they have to pay this AND repay a chunk of the cost of their education?

  • Comment number 77.

    May I say The discussion on Question Time (10.6.10)regarding student tuition fees was completely disingenuous. People from low socio-economic backgrounds SHOULD be allowed the opportunity to defer gratification should they so wish. The panel also made the assumption that graduates are able to aquire ''graduate jobs'' in order to pay back inordinate student debt. The path we are on at the moment is no good for anyone, just look at the mess we are ALL in...

  • Comment number 78.

    Regarding the oil spill currently happening in the Gulf of Mexico, there are several things which need to be considered:-
    1). The drilling rig, which BP were using to do the drilling was sub-contracted from Transocean;
    2). Halliburton Energy Services were sub-contracted to construct the well-head on the ocean floor;
    3). The Blow-Out Preventer would appear to have failed to operate correctly;
    4). They would appear to have been drilling at a depth of approximately 5,000 feet, which is some of the deepest drilling that has ever been undertaken;
    5). The rules and regulations regarding the drilling for oil off the coast of the US were relaxed / lifted by George Bush in 2008;
    And do we know what caused the disaster in the first place? No.
    We do not know if the drilling rig was poorly maintained or had an inherent design flaw. We do not know if BP were operating the drilling rig incorrectly.
    We do not know why the Blow-Out Preventer failed to operate correctly, was it because it wasn't maintained properly or because the pressure and cold of the water at those depths caused something to go wrong?
    Basically, do we know who was ultimately at fault. Was the disaster caused by one particular thing or was it a combination. No. We do not have all the facts.
    There is a discipline called 'Safety Engineering', which attempts to predict the likelihood of problems occurring. Did anyone (the US government and / or BP) do any research to find out the chance of these kinds of problems happening?
    In short, we have more questions than answers at the moment and everyone needs to know exactly what went wrong.
    When the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, the company was initially fined $5 billion, but was eventually reduced to $500 million.
    BP has (voluntarily) already spent approximately $1 billion to date, trying to manage the oil spill when in fact they are only legally obliged to pay $75 million. If this is indeed the case, then BP have far exceeded their legal obligations.
    And what do politicians like Barak Obama do? They mouth-off about something they wouldn't appear to know anything about.
    I'm especially interested in the fact that he hasn't blamed or critiscised George Bush for relaxing the rules (governing the drilling off the coast of the US) in the first place, which was done because because the US wanted to reduce their reliance on oil from the Middle East and pay the minimum they could get away with for oil / petrol.
    Additionally, when Barak Obama became the President of the United States, it would appear that he made no attempt to re-ban the drilling for oil off the US coast.
    In the same way that people are banned from commenting upon impending or on-going court cases for fear of contempt of court, maybe politicians should be banned from commenting on problems such as these until a thorough investigation has been completed, with the same penalties applied.

  • Comment number 79.

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

  • Comment number 80.

    I used to love QT but i feel now is the time for,that word again,change..

    Dimbelby is frankly past his best and whoever picks the panelists should be removed,its not just this weeks collection no marks and never where's but its seems to be happening more and more over the last 12 to 18 months

    A revamp of this flagship show is needed quickly otherwise it really is time to send it the way of "last of the summer wine" and that for my money would be a crying shame

  • Comment number 81.

    May I sdd with regard to the discourse on university tuition fees, people from low socio-economic backgrounds SHOULD be entitled to defer gratification. The panel also made the assumption that ''graduate jobs'' are available in order to pay back inrodinate student debt.Look at the mess we are in...

  • Comment number 82.

    I wanted to respond to Katie Hopkins and Toby Young's comments about higher education in the U.S. As a person who grew up and was educated in the States, I cringe when I hear the word privatisation. And I believe what Young referred to as a sliding scale system, is the U.S. system of financial aid. I think this is a rather misleading comment on his part.

    There is such a thing as financial based aid. While its helpful, most financial aid comes in the forms of student loans. Harvard where he happened to have spent a year on a Fullbright scholarship, does has have a liberal financial assistance policy. However we are talking about one the most exclusive private universities in the U.S. During this current academic year, Harvard has had to increase tuition 18% for a total of almost $49K. Right now they are promising to cover almost 69% of tuition cost for most Harvard students. That would mean that a Harvard undergrad will still need pay for at least $20K a year in college tuition and fees. Over four years of colleges, that is $80k in student loans. That would be about 54,000 quid.

    As far as Katie Hopkins comments college, I found tremendously elitist and just plain offensive. In certain respect, college isn't for everyone but that decision should be made based on interest NOT economic status. For some individuals trade schools are more appropriate. However, I think it is undeniable that a college education is a necessity for most and NOT a right reserved for the privileged. Investing in an educated citiznery IS investing in a strong citizenry and productive tax base. This is something that often eludes politicians and policy makers in the U.S.

    Selma's response to the question of why tax payers should have paid for her education was not the clearest response. I think the more appropriate response is this. Her and her husband have been giving back to their community and country in multi-faceted ways because they received a fully funded college education. They have paid back the cost of their education through their respective professions (her husband a doctor and she's psychotherapist). Their work is a service to their community. Furthermore, they are a couple whose income offers taxes that go back to support various UK services that are a benefit to U.K citizens.

    Privatising education isn't the answer to the budget problem. Most college students attend state universities where they are paying about $8,000 a year in tuition and fees. For the past three or four years, universities have had to raise tuitions and fees often times more than 12%. These are public institution that are supposed to be funded by state government but funding has been cut even during good economies, forcing U.S. public universities to rely more on the private sector. This hasn't been in the favor of students. Tuition hikes are the norm not the exception. The reality for most college students in the U.S is graduating with considerable debt. I will say that I am not opposed to paying for college. I do believe there is an inherent value in it. I know I worked much harder for it because I was far more vested in it. However, what many US college grads are contending with is the extreme. I don't think U.K. citizens really want to place that burden on their young people. The very people who will be ensuring the well being of our generation down the road.

  • Comment number 83.

    Statistics can always be argued about, but hard facts should not be disputed. Government expenditure rose above tax revenue as far back as 2003 and continued to rise faster after that. To ignore the hard fact that government spending is simply not affordable equates to criminal negligence and Ben Bradshaw and his colleagues continue to fail to even acknowledge anything was wrong with their fiscal management.

    To sit there and complacently deny any responsibility whilst claiming they know the government's policies before they're announced is appalling behaviour. An administration that claims credit for mythical achievements and tries to blame others for its very real failings deserves a much harder time from an informed and balanced studio audience, yet it very rarely happens. I wonder why that is? How random is the studio audience selection?

  • Comment number 84.

    I was astonished to see Kate Hopkins on the panel. What on earth was she bringing to the debate? She seemed to display a self promotional stance throughout, predictably superficial views and was completely unable to see a broader perspective to the questions asked. Her distasteful reference to another panelists underpants was an embarrassment.

    Were you let down by someone else at a late stage?

    Please don't let the programme sink to this level of guest - everyone else was head and shoulders above.

  • Comment number 85.

    The discussion about the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico was poorly informed and missed the point completely. Transocean is an American company, working on behalf of BP and has agreed to indemnify BP against losses arising from leakage etc. Why was no-one on the panel aware of this? Why was Mr Dimbleby not briefed by researchers to raise the point?

  • Comment number 86.

    To those critical of Katie Hopkins, I agree but she has typical right-wing views which should be heard. The main problem is that the BBC haven't got the integrity to provide a balanced panel where those views can be counteracted.

    A new more open format should be adopted; panellists from the right should be chosen by a group of right-wing selectors and vice versa. The questions should be openly chosen by the audience, not by the producers and David Dimbleby should be replaced. How about having a woman? Olivia O'leary springs to mind.

  • Comment number 87.

    That was one of the most dull Question Time's ever and what on earth was the BBC doing inviting Katie Hopkins onto the panel? - an Apprentice contestant (and a thoroughly unpleasant one), done nothing, telly celeb - why?

    KH aside (please!), the show seemed indicative of where we are now with our politics generally. The 'new way' appears to be leading us towards political mediocrity and in the guise of my beloved Question Time, it's producing a distinct lack of the cut and thrust of intelligent political debate.

    Come on BBC, get a grip!

  • Comment number 88.

    Salma repeated the same nonsense that the union leaders will no doubt state when they all start to call for strikes, that the "ordinary person" should not have to suffer any cuts as they didnt cause the debt, the bankers did.
    The debt was not caused by the bankers. In fact they have no way to cause government debt since they do not create nor consume wealth (apart from bonuses which are indefensible but a relatively small figure overall). They only move money around. They behaved irresponsibly by pumping money that didnt exist but the root cause of the debt is simply the country spending more money than it actually creates. This would have happened without the banks involvement.
    The UK simply does not create enough wealth any longer and this largely is down to being uncompetitive on the world stage, as money flows to Asia, where all our wealth-creating industry has gone.
    The best comment of all came from an audience member who suggested we focus on wealth creation.

  • Comment number 89.

    Compton , you seem to forget that people have to complete exams and other qualifications to get into university! Do not tarnish all graduates with that brush!

  • Comment number 90.

    If graduates earn about £100,000 after tax over their working life, say 40 years, that equates on average to £2500 per year more than someone who didn't go to University. Can that be true? Or indeed credible?

  • Comment number 91.

    Well, I am suprised at many of the comments on here. I am all in favour of having as many non MP's on the panel as possible because at least they will answer a question and have an opinion about something, rather than just saying what they think needs to be said!

    On the subject of cuts, what do people expect the coalition to do? I will ask a simple question, if your next door neighbour earned for example £2000 a month and spent £6000 a month, would you say they are living out of their means? of course you would and the same applies to the UK. We cannot keep spending more than we receive in tax which is a simple fact and people need to get off their high horse and come to terms with the reality that Labour have yet again borrowed too much and left a terrible legacy for someone else to clean up. Labour always seem to make the classic mistake in thinking they can please everyone all of the time, which is just silly.

    On the oil spill, yes I do think that BP has handled the PR very badly but, I can see why they have done it. They have tried to be transparent about what they are doing, alas it has left the door wide open for criticism. The one fact they everyone keeps forgetting over all this is that BP were leasing the rig. The rig and pipes were all installed by American companies, so shouldn't they be attacked right now too?

    Lastly, universities. I am currently studying with the Open University and they are brilliant. Some of the courses are not cheap but, at the end of the day it is a choice to go for a degree. I agree totally with Katie and Toby of this issue. I am sorry but, it is not the right of everyone to go to university because everyone is not at the same academic level. Over the past 10 - 15 years we have all seen polytechnics turn into universities and remember all the jokes about your local primary school becoming a university? Anyway, my opinion is that a degree has now been devalued. I am currently looking for a new job (I don't have a degree by the way, hence studying with the OU) and instead of companies asking for a degree, they are now wanting a masters degree. So some large companies are now saying that a degree is no longer good enough. We need to get back to universities being for the top 5 or 10%, or whatever the number is, of academic people and have colleges and polytechnics for others.

    Last comment about the panelists. It's always the same, the MP's will only say what they have to and not really commit to anything. The wannabe MP's (e.g. Salma Yaqoob) will say anything to get applause knowing full well that if they actually got to power, nothing they say would ever be put into practice. Katie and Toby, shock horror, have an opinion and good on them for that whether you agree with it or not.

  • Comment number 92.

    Along with most of the others commenting here, I have to ask why Katie Hopkins was on the panel: I nearly turned off immediately. Who chooses these non-political guests? (And are they paid, by the way, I guess they are)

    QT used to have standards, it is fast losing them. Please start pulling the standard back up by choosing guests of a decent standing, guests who genuinely are intelligent, knowledgeable and have something constructive to offer, not who are there to advertise and flaunt themselevs and offer nothing of substance

  • Comment number 93.

    Why shouldn't Boris question what is happening and the statements being made, I felt he was raising some fair points rather than pandering to a mass audience.

    Have we all forgotten Almost 2,000 people died when tonnes of the paralytic methyl isocyanate gas leaked from a pesticide plant in Bhopal, central India, in the early hours of the morning on 3 December, 1984.

    This plant was owned at the time by a US company, Union Carbide. The case hasn't been settled satisfactory and where was the American indignation and support to ensure a fair deal for the victims, their families, the communities and the local economy.

    As is so often the case with Americans, its a case of we do what we want in the rest of the world but if things go wrong on the home turf and it effects our political standing then watch out.....

    So far BP seem to be working hard to solve the problem having accepted responsibility and I have not heard them say they will not pay. So it seems a shame that the president can not acknowledge this fact and talk about supporting their efforts to solve this problem with an investigation after ? At the moment he and his administration seem to be more of a problem than part of the solution....(lets hope we don't have any major problem world wide if this how he react)

    Americans do not have the right to the moral high ground as we can list a long line of activity with little respect for local communities or politics if it did not fit with their agenda.

    Just to be clear I like America and some of its values, but I dislike an attitude of we know best and a pre-judgmental mentality on an ongoing difficult situation.

  • Comment number 94.

    For the first time in years I chose not to watch Question Time even though I think Ben Bradshaw is an interesting guy. Toby Young is a remorselessly unpleasant self-publicist - and revels in it, as is the way with the modern celebrity culture - but I have watched it with him on in the past and just cringed every time a glib would-be epithet was offered as reasoned comment and listened to other panellists.

    Last night the BBC give us 'the one who boasts about stealing other women's husbands' off the Apprentice from a few years ago. Maybe one of them - though what Ms Hopkins brings to the table I'm not sure, but two is ridiculous. You can be an irritating know-it-all celebrity on QT - as Piers Morgan rather defiantly shows - but two is too many, particularly when one has achieved nothing but the dubious achievement of being on a reality show.

    I didn't watch. I checked the comments on this board. I'm glad I didn't watch.

  • Comment number 95.

    With both the Culture Secretary and Shadow Culture Secretary appearing, why wasn't a single question asked about culture policy and the announced cuts on culture spending? What a missed opportunity to find out more.

  • Comment number 96.

    Always interesting to hear the panel's views on higher education. Given what was said there a few points I would like to make:

    Firstly and most importantly, I think student numbers should be reduced overall allowing more money per student, a reduction in the higher education budget or a combination of the two. I'd hate too small a proportion to go but 50% seems excessive and a figure plucked from the sky. Without wishing to jump on the "mickey mouse degrees" bandwagon surely some vocational courses are not suitable for 3 years of academic study. This is not to say don't provide training in them but that training doesn't have to mean a degree.

    Secondly, I believe employers are partly responsible for the excessive demand in university education. Many professions insist on a degree (often in any subject) as a prerequisite yet also disregard its significance by selecting candidates predominantly through psychometric tests. I feel that other professions such as accountancy, marketing or banking should be encouraged to take bright A level students and train them internally rather than insisting they study for an often unrelated degree first.

    Finally a lot was said on the programme about a graduate premium (extra money graduates should make) justifying higher fees and a comparison between "top" universities and those that Katie Hopkins wishes to blow up. In my opinion, university shouldn't be exclusively viewed as a way of boosting future earnings as for those studying social work or teaching this is not necessarily the case. Also, "top" universities are heavily defined by the research they do rather than by teaching or links to industry. This balance needs to be considered when allocating funding and choosing tuition fees.


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