BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say

Archives for March 2011

What did the cuts march achieve?

19:07 UK time, Saturday, 26 March 2011

Comments (2110)

The government says it's "listening" but won't change its policy on spending cuts following Saturday's demonstration in central London.

More than 250,000 people took part in the anti-cuts protest and rally, which was mainly peaceful.

A few hundred demonstrators did turn to violence, with more than 200 arrests after clashes between police and activists.

Did you take part in the demonstration? What cause were you marching for? Were you caught up in the protest while out in central London? Do you agree with the protests?

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

The Budget: Your reaction

09:34 UK time, Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Comments (390)

Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his Budget. What do you think of this plans?

The chancellor said the measures he was unveiling in his first spring Budget would get the UK economy moving again.

He scrapped Labour's fuel duty escalator and cut duty by a further 1p - all paid for by a £2bn tax on oil companies.

He also pledged £250m to help 10,000 first-time homebuyers purchase newly built flats and houses in England, as well as announcing a further cut to corporation tax.

What are your views on the Budget? How will the changes affect you? Do you have any questions about the plans?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed, but you can leave your comment here.

How can the Libyan conflict be resolved?

12:32 UK time, Sunday, 20 March 2011

Comments (3737)

US President Barack Obama has insisted the US involvement in Libya will be limited. What impact will this have on the crisis in the region?

Defending the first military intervention of his presidency, he said US participation in the coalition had saved "countless lives", but that overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi by force would be a mistake.

The US is due to hand over full command of the whole military operation in Libya, to NATO on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the rebel advance inside Libya has been slowed down near Sirte. In eastern Libya, rebel radio has been urging more people in the west of the country to join the anti-Gaddafi uprising.

Are you in the region? Or do you have family there? Do you think a no-fly zone is the only way to resolve the crisis in the country? Are there other viable options? What are the implications for the region?

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

Moving from Have Your Say to comments on stories

10:03 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011

We have today announced that in due course, we will be moving to a model of comments on stories across the News website.

In doing so, we are as a result planning to close this Have Your Say platform, in early April.

For more details, please see and comment on this editors' blog post from Social Media Editor Alex Gubbay.

Will Libya ceasefire resolve crisis?

08:53 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011

Comments (1291)

French military jets are preventing forces loyal to Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi from attacking the rebel-held city of Benghazi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy says. Can the crisis in the country be resolved?

It is believed to be the first act of intervention since the UN voted on Thursday for a no-fly zone over Libya.

Hours earlier, pro-Gaddafi forces launched an assault on the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi, a BBC journalist witnessed.

Will a ceasefire bring peace to Libya? Is a no-fly zone the only way to resolve the crisis in the country? Are there other viable options? What are the implications for the region?

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

What should the international community do about Libya?

09:22 UK time, Thursday, 17 March 2011


The UN Security Council has backed a no-fly zone over Libya and "all necessary measures" short of an invasion "to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas". What can be done to resolve the Libya crisis?

Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi's forces have recently retaken several towns seized by rebels in an uprising.

Rebel forces reacted with joy in their Benghazi stronghold but a government spokesman condemned UN "aggression".

Loyalist forces are bearing down on Benghazi, home to a million people.

What should be the next steps for dealing with Libya? Is military intervention a realistic option? What are the implications for the region?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.

Who should be responsible for keeping us healthy?

07:59 UK time, Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Comments (917)

More than 170 companies - including the leading supermarket chains - have signed up to the "responsibility deal" to encourage healthier lifestyles. But whose responsibility is it to promote healthy living?

The voluntary agreements for England cover four themes - physical activity, food, alcohol and health at work. Ministers said the approach would achieve more than legislation could.

They will highlight the agreement to ensure 80% of alcoholic drinks carry labels about the number of units they contain by 2013. At the moment just 15% do.

Should it be up to supermarkets to promote healthy living? Or is healthy living something we should all take responsibility for?

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

How should pensions be revised?

04:46 UK time, Thursday, 10 March 2011


Millions of workers in the public sector should work longer for lower pensions, a major report has said. How concerned are you about your pension?

Lord Hutton's independent review said public sector pensions should no longer be related to final salaries. Instead, by 2015 pensions should be related to average salaries over a career.

Unions have already warned of large-scale strike action over the review, carried out by the Labour peer Lord Hutton.

Should final salary pension schemes be withdrawn? Should taxpayers be asked to pay more? How can the country pay for the rise in longevity? Where should the extra money come from?

Q&A: Public sector pensions review

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

Should drug addicts be paid to use birth control?

10:49 UK time, Tuesday, 8 March 2011


A US charity has paid 26 female drug addicts in Britain to have contraceptive implants or coils fitted. Is this a good idea?

The charity, Project Prevention, had controversially offered to pay addicts £200 to be sterilised. But it has now said no women took up that offer because the British Medical Association did not back the proposal. Instead, the charity said, it is focusing on paying addicts to use birth control.

Although the move was criticised by several British drug charities, the scheme has found some support. Welsh drugs charity Kaleidoscope said it wanted to launch a similar scheme where addicts rather than being paid in cash to use contraception would be offered £50 supermarket vouchers to attend a family clinic and agree to a "planned approach".

Can this method succeed in the UK? Is the move to focus on contraception rather than sterilisation a good one? Could vulnerable addicts be exploited?

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

Which countries have a positive influence in the world?

12:21 UK time, Monday, 7 March 2011


The number of people who see Brazil and South Africa as having a positive influence in the world is rising rapidly, according to a BBC World Service poll. Do you agree?

The report, which polls more than 28,000 people in 27 countries, suggests that Brazil is regarded positively by 49% compared to 40% last year. South Africa, host of the 2010 World Cup, posted the second biggest rise. "The growing credibility of middle powers is the story this year" said Doug Miller, chairman of international polling firm GlobalScan.

Meanwhile, the average ratings of the three most negatively viewed countries - Iran, North Korea and Pakistan - went from bad to worse. The US, which in 2007 was among the countries with the lowest ratings, has climbed quickly up through rankings since then.

What makes you view a country positively or negatively? Are the "middle powers" more credible? Has your perception of the US changed in the last few years?

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

Are the Royals value for money?

10:55 UK time, Monday, 7 March 2011


Prince Andrew's official role as roving ambassador for British trade has been called into question after a recent flurry of stories about him. How important are the Royals to the British economy?

Prince Andrew has been the UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment since 2001, with the job of promoting Britain's business interests around the world.

The total cost of keeping the monarchy during the 2009-10 financial year was £38.2m - a decrease in the cost from the previous year by £3.3m.

Are you happy for taxpayers to pay for the Royal Family? Do they promote tourism and trade? Does the monarchy represent good value for money?

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

Welsh referendum: Your reaction

14:38 UK time, Friday, 4 March 2011


Wales has said a resounding Yes in the referendum on direct law-making powers for the assembly. What is your reaction to the result?

Almost all the 22 Welsh counties have declared, and all backed change except one, Monmouthshire. Turnout is provisionally put at 35%.

A Yes vote will give the assembly direct law-making power in 20 devolved areas, such as health and education. With only a couple of counties left to declare, the final result is now a formality.

What does it mean for the future of the Welsh Assembly? What impact will it have on everyday life in Wales?

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

Barnsley Central by-election: Your reaction

02:32 UK time, Friday, 4 March 2011


Labour's Dan Jarvis has won the Barnsley Central by-election. How important is this result?

UKIP, the Conservatives, the BNP and an independent all finished ahead of the Lib Dems, who had finished second in the seat in 2010's general election.

Lib Dem candidate Dominic Carman said his party had been given "a kicking", while Labour's victorious Dan Jarvis said it was a message to the coalition.

The contest followed the former Labour MP's resignation over his expenses.

What does this result mean for the governing coalition, and for Labour? Will the by-election send a "strong message" to the government? Do you live in the Barnsley Central constituency?

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

Should vocational courses in England change?

10:33 UK time, Thursday, 3 March 2011

Comments (458)

Too many young people in England are doing vocational courses that do not lead to a job or a university place, according to a report. How useful are these courses?

A review by education expert, Professor Alison Wolf, said between a quarter and a third of 16 to 19-year-olds are on courses "which score well under league tables but don't lead to higher education or paid employment".

The report is calling for changes to school league tables so some vocational qualifications are not counted and recommend that pupils study a core of academic subjects until they are 16.

Do you agree with these proposed changes? Are vocational courses a waste of time? Did you get a university place after completing one of these courses? Do you think there are alternatives to university when it comes to getting a good job?

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

Should there be a no-fly zone over Libya?

11:33 UK time, Wednesday, 2 March 2011


British Prime Minister David Cameron has suggested that a no-fly zone should be imposed over Libya in a bid to tackle the current crisis. Is this a practical option?

Mr Cameron said that it was essential to "plan for every eventuality" in the country, adding: "It is not acceptable to have a situation where Colonel Gaddafi can be murdering his own people, using aeroplanes and helicopters and the like".

Foreign Secretary William Hague has indicated that a no-fly zone could be introduced without a UN Security Council resolution but there are concerns, shared by the US Defence Secretary, that this could split the international community.

Meanwhile, forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi are said to be moving into rebel territory in the east, capturing an oil installation in the town of Brega. Pro-Gaddafi jets also bombed an arms dump in the nearby city of Ajdabiya.

What is the best way to solve the crisis in Libya? Should Col Gaddafi be encouraged to step down? What are the implications for the region? Should the West consider military action in Libya?

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

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