BBC Three

Archives for September 2012

Free Speech - Immigration Special

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James Emtage James Emtage | 15:37 UK time, Friday, 28 September 2012

Immigration. It divides opinion like no other, and according to the 2012 British Social Attitudes survey, 75% of British people would like to see immigration levels reduced. But how much do we actually know about the numbers involved, and how accepting are we when we find them out?


UK Border Official

Have a little watch of this and see how many answers you get right:

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Funny how much you think you know against what you actually know, right?
Cue a Free Speech Immigration Special live from Reading on Wednesday 3rd October at 8pm. But before then, cue a Free Speakers debate from three young writers, all answering this question:

Should there be a reduction in the number of immigrants entering Britain?


Contributor - Alexander Donald

Alexander Donald, 19
Immigration has always been and still is important for Britain, bringing workers and needed skills.
However, I believe there should be some limit on the number of immigrants who are unskilled coming to Britain. While we will always need skilled professionals such as doctors, in the current economic situation jobs are in short supply and people already residing here should be encouraged to take up low-skilled work for experience instead of relying on immigrants to fill these roles. This, I believe, would help reduce unemployment and reintroduce a work ethic rather than relying on government aid.
Immigration from the E.U. also needs to be tightened as at the moment those stating they have an intent to work are entitled to national insurance and benefits and, although many do so with an intent to work, the system is open to abuse and needs to be amended.
Alexander is a student from Barnsley


Contributor - Matei Rosca

Matei Rosca, 23.

Keep those evil scroungers out – they are thieves, terrorists and polygamists with no regard whatever for the moral values this great nation holds so dear. There’s no room for them in British Society, however Big.

They are savage beasts and they should be sent back to the forests and caves they came from. They cannot help but steal, destroy and cast their wicked eye everywhere around them. It’s permanently riveted in their DNA.

London’s youth is in a deplorable state of unemployment. Why? Because foreigners take their jobs, places in universities and horizons. Upper class people know that immigrants have no souls and that’s why they keep their daughters away from them.

Surely they must have broken some laws, my goodness, why are they still at large? Indeed.

As a Romanian immigrant myself, I am incessantly tormented by what I’m doing to this beautiful land every day, and my conscience can’t handle it any more. To wit, I’m considering packing up as we speak. Or else I'll just stay in the country and continue to study, work, pay taxes, and stomp on xenophobic nerves. 
Matei is a Romanian citizen who is studying in Southampton and working as a freelance writer in London


Contributor - Alex Barker

Alex Barker, 26 
As a British citizen I value the human rights narrative that runs through our society. It allows freedom of expression, entrepreneurship, tolerance and diversity. We make room and opportunities for those who would otherwise have none in their home countries.
I also greatly value our generally high standard of living. In many respects, Britain protects its own interests first - through military action or trade agreements that are unfair on the world’s poorest. This ‘realist’, selfish side to Britain contributes enormously to why others seek citizenship here.
The immigration debate is uncomfortable because it reveals that the nation is divided by opinion on this issue. Logically, too many people will eventually weigh on our services and our economy, unless the government comes up with a miracle. To me, the question is not – ‘do I support immigration now’, but ‘what will the reality be in 30 years, if the rate does not slow down?’
Alex holds an MA in International Relations from King’s College London


They’ve kicked off the debate. YOU continue it.

Should there be a reduction in the amount of immigrants entering Britain?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or get involved with the debate on Facebook or Twitter and your points could be included in Wednesday's live show.


Free Speech - Live from Manchester

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James Emtage James Emtage | 11:22 UK time, Tuesday, 11 September 2012

If we had a quid for every time we used the line 'Mum, Dad, please can I borrow some money?' we'd probably all be millionaires.

But we're not all millionaires. In fact a lot of people are in debt, and in an exclusive Free Speech survey, 40% of those 16-25 year olds we asked who are in debt admitted they are worried about it.

And that's hardly surprising considering 23% of people who took part in the survey said they think it will take more than 15 years to pay back the money they owe.

No doubt parents are worried too, as the survey showed more than a third of young people are more financially dependent on their parents than they expected to be.

We think these shocking statistics need talking about. So, tonight Free Speech will be live in Manchester to debate the issues surrounding debt, alongside the other big topics of the moment such as the booing of George Osborne at the Paralympics, the publishing of Prince Harry's naked photos, and the overhaul of the Disability Living Allowance.

Joining us tonight we have a top notch team of expert panellists:

Francesca Martinez

Francesca Martinez - You may recognise Francesca from her Grange Hill or Extras days as she's an actress and comedian. She is currently touring the UK with a show that addresses what 'normality' means today.



Ben Howlett

Ben Howlett – As the National Chairman of Conservative Future, Ben works with young people who are up and coming Conservatives and encourages debate from a more youthful perspective.



John Leech

John Leech – Liberal Democrat MP for Withington in Manchester, John plays for the Parliamentary Football Team (who knew) but started his career flipping burgers in McDonalds.



Shiv Malik

Shiv Malik - Nominated by the Evening Standard as one of the most influential Londoners, Shiv is an investigative journalist for The Guardian. He writes about political issues affecting young people and is known for his reporting on terrorism.


As the panel get stuck into the debate, you can let them know if you agree or disagree with their points by powering up our Twitter-activated Power Bar. It's so simple – you couldn’t make a hash (tag) of it if you tried. (Sorry...)


Tweet #YesName if you like what a panellist is saying and tweet #NoName if you don't. The Power Bar moves in real time on the show and gives a voice to those of you watching and shouting at the screen.

Here are the #hashtags you need to know:

Francesca Martinez -                  #YesFran #NoFran

Ben Howlett - #YesBen #NoBen

John Leech -                 #YesJohn #NoJohn

Shiv Malik - #YesShiv #NoShiv

If Twitter's not your bag then get involved on Facebook where all of the questions will be debated live along with the show. Or simply leave your comments in the space below.

As if these juicy topics and expert line-up weren't enough for one show, we will also be revealing our brand-tastic new set and introducing this month’s social media jockey, Tinea Taylor.

Tinea Taylor

Tinea will be taking charge of the Free Speech social-media-sphere, bringing the online debate to the studio floor. Not only is she is addicted to social media, but as Rinse FM’s breakfast show presenter she is used to getting her voice heard live on a daily basis. But now she’s here to get YOUR voice heard so make sure you say your piece on Twitter or Facebook or in the comments below this blog.

Let the debate begin...

  • Free Speech is on tonight, Tuesday 11th September, at 8pm, live on BBC Three.
  • The poll was conducted by ComRes who telephone interviewed 500 16-25 year olds in Great Britain between 2nd and 12th July 2012. Full data tables can be found here.

Free Speech Debt Special

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James Emtage James Emtage | 16:53 UK time, Thursday, 6 September 2012

cut up credit cards


'Lend us a fiver will you? I'm skint...'

It's the same old line you either hear your mates asking you, or you asking your mates, 'cos one thing is for sure – being young very often = being broke. Or does it?

With credit cards, payday loans and overdrafts being pushed on to our radars through an ever-increasing variety of adverts, credit is almost available through one tick of a box and one signing of a form. But credit does, as we all should know, lead to debt. And debt has to be paid off, interest rates and all.

Have a little watch of this to see what these guys make of debt:

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So how can we know our APRs from our elbows, and how can we stop ourselves from getting into bad debt that we can't pay off? To debate some of these questions, tune in to the Free Speech Debt Special coming live from Manchester on Tuesday 11th September at 8pm on BBC Three.

To kick the debate off, we asked two Free Speakers to answer this question:

When it comes to debt and credit, does greed outweigh common sense?


Craig Chappell

Craig Chappell, 18, student from Doncaster

Greed often outweighs common sense because many of us seem to have a need to purchase lavish and unaffordable products due to intensive and often intrusive advertisements on TV, radio and in print without considering the financial impact on budgets.

The growth of the nasty, over inflated and often financially crippling yet attractive payday loan sector, now "worth" £1.7bn, and having expanded five-fold in recent years, is only testament to this.

We must begin realising that we live in 'austerity Britain' and, as such, need to cut back on purchasing what we cannot realistically afford to ensure that we live comfortably and do not struggle for vital, life preserving items such as food.


Alexander Pettitt

Alexander Pettitt, 20, student from Kent

Although I believe credit cards are the devil's invention, I do feel that in some instances borrowing money is a necessity. I am currently a second year University student from a fairly middle-class background. However like most other students, I would not have been able to afford a degree without the help of a student loan. I didn't take out the loan because I was greedy, but because I wanted to give myself the best opportunity for later life. I have the hope that it will aid me in securing a high paid job and allowing me to pay off the loan eventually.

Looking further ahead, I one day hope to purchase a house. The likelihood of being able to afford one without taking out a mortgage is extremely low. Again I don't feel that this makes me a greedy person, but it's something I feel I need to do to enable myself to live my life. However, I think the question of greed shouldn't be centered around taking out the loan in the first place, but actually about how you repay the loan. I, for example, would consider myself greedy if I chose to spend my wages on a new car instead of paying off my debts.

I do not believe for one minute that people should spend money that they do not have on luxury items such as flash cars and big screen TVs. Instead I'm suggesting that to get the most out of life, you may sometimes need a little helping hand... just make sure that one day you can pay it back.



So what do you think?

On one side there’s the temptation to slap everything on a credit card so you can look hot in your designer threads, not worrying about the consequences, as the bill won't come through for another month. Plus when you never physically see the money, but just have to type in your PIN, it must be easy to get carried away...

Or is debt an entirely sensible thing? Get yourself into debt when you're young so you can better yourself and buy the things you need in life, knowing that if you stick to the straight and narrow you'll pay it off in due course. That's not greedy, right?

These two sides of the argument are missing a vital point however – people who HAVE to get themselves into debt purely to live. If you're buying your food on a credit card and paying your bills with a loan, then which category does that fall into? Maybe into its own one - survival.

Greed, common sense, a necessity to survive are just some of the arguments about getting into debt, but where do you stand?

As always Free Speech is about YOU having YOUR say. So leave your thoughts in the comments below, or get involved with the debate on Facebook or on Twitter and your points could be included in next Tuesday's live show.

See you then.

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