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Episode 9

Sunday Morning Live, Series 4 Episode 9 of 20

Samira Ahmed and her guests broadcaster Jon Gaunt, film maker and activist Tariq Ali, journalist Christina Patterson, former magistrate Alison Ruoff and Unitarian minister Rev Chris Hudson discuss the week's ethical issues.

This week:

Do whistleblowers risk our security?
With US soldier private Manning facing more than 30 years in prison after being sentenced for leaking classified documents, former CIA man Edward Snowden exiled in Russia and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, we ask whether they and whistleblowers like them are heroes or villains. Are they releasing vital information that needs to be heard for the common good or are they reckless and putting us all at risk?

Are we too tough on drugs?
The chief medical officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, revealed recently that she ate so-called hash cakes at University. She also said that we should be treating drugs as a medical issue rather than a criminal one. Is she right? Would a softer attitude to drugs help the problem? A father who lost his son to illegal heroin tells Sunday Morning Live why he believes all drugs should be legalised.

Should faith schools be allowed to discourage homosexuality?
Dozens of schools in England and Wales have been accused of using language in sex education policies which echoes the tone of now abolished legislation which banned the promotion of homosexuality. The British Humanist Association says more than 40, mainly faith, schools have done this, even though the controversial Section 28 legislation was scrapped ten years ago. Alison Ruoff, a lay member of the Church of England General Synod, says that schools shouldn't be forced to teach things that go against the Bible. The panel debate her views.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Sun 25 Aug 2013 10:00

This week's panel

Samira Ahmed’s guests this week are: broadcaster Jon Gaunt; author Tariq Ali; journalist Christina Patterson; Presbyterian Minister, the Rev Chris Hudson; and Alison Ruoff, a lay member of the General Synod of the Church of England.

Do whistleblowers risk our security?

To supporters, a hero; to opponents, a traitor – this week Private Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison after being convicted of 20 offences, including espionage charges. 

But should Private Manning and other whistleblowers be punished at all? Are they highlighting unacceptable behaviour and procedures which need to exposed? 

Or are their actions a major threat to national security, putting us all in danger? That's the question for our first debate this week: Do whistleblowers risk our security? 
You can vote on this question now online.

Are we too tough on drugs?

Earlier this week the chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies said that drug addiction was a medical rather than a criminal issue. 

However, while possession of drugs remains a criminal offence there are some who argue that the law isn’t enforced strongly enough when it comes to drug offences.

But should using drugs be an offence at all? Or should it be treated more like an illness? 

Our second debate this Sunday: Are we too tough on drugs?

Should faith schools be allowed to discourage homosexuality?

The sex-education policies of some faith schools are to be urgently investigated by the Government after they were accused of anti-gay prejudice. Campaigners have identified more than 40 schools across the country that use language that has echoes of now rescinded legislation that banned the promotion of homosexuality.

But should schools be forced to teach something which may conflict with their religious beliefs?


Role Contributor
PresenterSamira Ahmed
Series EditorDave Stanford
Executive ProducerSimon Barnes

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