Find out what you had to say about the special edition of Schools Question Time on Thursday, 6 July, 2006 from London. The programme included an appearance by 20-year-old Matt Pollard who won a competition to find a well-informed, articulate person to represent youth opinion on the panel.
The topics discussed were:
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received:
Audience question: Is the government right to place the burden of tackling extremism onto Muslim communities?
Answers to the question about Tony Blair's comments yesterday all seem to take it as read that he placed the burden of stamping out extremism solely on the shoulders of the Muslim community. This is not the case. His comments clearly emphasised that the burden should be shared, and that the Muslim community has its part to play - as does the government.
Tim Haveron Jones, Henley-on-Thames
How can Richard Madeley say that the intelligence services are failing Britain? They have thwarted so many attacks against this country. We owe a great debt to them. It's all very well for someone that spends his afternoon pontificating on a sofa. Maybe he should spend an afternoon with the men and women who get up every day with the soul purpose of defending our nation.
James Cutts, Stamford
Text: The burden of fighting terrorism falls on everyone, not just the Muslims - but they have a part too.
Text: Mutual respect can only come with mutual understanding. Schools need to focus on religious education.
Text: Tony Blair can't win. Ask Muslims for help, he's damned, don't and he'll be accused of ducking it.
I think Blair was right to ask the Muslim community to help the situation. They benefit from the opportunities here. How is killing innocent people, who did not agree with going to Iraq, going to help their cause? I think these people are cowards because they don't attack the people who make the decisions, only the innocent.
T Roberts, Dagenham
Hasn't Tony Blair committed terrorism against an Islamic state?
Paul Adams, Rugby
The "West" has needed a bogeyman - first it was the Jews, then the Commies, now it's Muslims. The Muslim youth are not taught extremism, their views are formed by what they see as double-standards that are employed by the US/UK (and other Euro nations) in their dealings with Islamic countries.
Audience question: Do you think it's fair for Londoners to pay for the Olympics when it will benefit the whole country?
I think that the whole country should pay something towards the Olympics BUT I think that London and surrounding areas should pay more of the percentage. These are the places that will physically benefit directly from the games through regeneration projects and tourism. I'll be going, if I can get a ticket, so will effectively be one of these tourists too!
Why shouldn't Londoners pay more for the Olympic Games when we in Devon have to pay huge water bills to have a clean coastline for visitors?!
Brian Creber, Torquay
I'm watching the programme at the moment and can't believe what I hear, that those living in London should foot the bill for the Olympics because we will benefit from the developments. We are a "typical" family and we will never be able to afford to go to the Olympics, even though we will be contributing £20 a year for the next 10 years!
Margaret Smith, Ruislip
If the people of London are helping to pay for the Olympics, will they be able to get into the facilities when the games have finished for free?
I don't see why any other region should pay - after all, how will it benefit us? No money will be invested in this area and our public transport - already poor - will just keep going downhill. Why should our council tax be taken away from this area to benefit an area of no importance to us?
Matt Hinds, Tyne and Wear
Text: Will the Olympics be safe from terrorism?
Text: I'm a pole-vaulter, and I can't find anywhere to practise at weekends.
Gary B, Uxbridge
Text: The Olympics should always be in Athens!
I am pleased to hear Mr Miliband state that more money will be put into sport facilities in London. Can this government begin by making sure that Wembley Stadium is completed, in order that England does not lose any more football revenue to Wales, in respect of English football matches?
Sally Debono, Beverley
Why should the rest of the country subsidise London? If London is big enough to host the Olympic Games it is big enough to pay as Lord Coe has said the benefits to London will be great and to suggest it can benefit someone in Shetland on a low income to justify the rest of the country paying is an insult to the population of Britain who do not have easy access to London.
Valerie McIntyre, Edinburgh
I have never posted to a website before but have just walked out of the room in disgust after hearing the question raised of whether it is reasonable to expect Londoners to pay for the Olympics when the games will benefit the whole country. I cannot believe anyone is so badly educated that they do not realise that Londoners have an enormous amount more spent on them on a daily basis than the rest of the country. They have access to facilities which many can only imagine. Many people who live in London will benefit from the regeneration projects long after the Olympics have finished. How does the questioner expect these benefits to extend to 'the rest of the country' e.g. Cumbria, Northumbria, Lancashire?
Janet Harrington, Windsor
Sport in this country is often a joke! We have no basics, and we do not invest enough in facilities and coaching. Little wonder we are behind the countries who do (e.g. USA, Australia). We need to encourage coaches, and support them to develop and nurture talent - both technically and mentally (mental strength is the difference between winners and losers - ask Seb Coe!). Our biggest weakness in this country is we accept defeat. We are gracious losers - no prizes for that!
Mark Radcliffe, Blackpool
Blair and Beckham
Audience question: When will Blair follow Beckham and resign for failing to deliver the nation's dreams - and will his "Rooney" take over?
Text: Brown to beat Blair on penalties.
Text: Blair is the best PM this country has ever or ever will have.
Tom Mcgovern, Stoke
Audience question: With the latest instalment of the John Prescott saga, is there a limit to the amount of champagne that one socialist can indulge in?
Text: Turn the Dome into a prison for iffy politicians!
Text: Get Prescott on the panel, it's the only way to keep an eye on him!
Text: Keep Prescott in power - he's doing enormous damage to New Labour.
Surely if Mr Prescott has got someone to bring life into the Dome then he deserves to be in the Honours list! Well done Mr Prescott. If his critics spent as much time as Mr Prescott on at least trying do something, then perhaps they would be better at their own job as well.
Hayden Smith, London
Just as the introduction of the poll tax resulted in the downfall of Margaret Thatcher the same ending will fall on Tony Blair. Prescott is an embarrassment to the Labour Party and country as a whole, who has no morals or conscience for his stupidity and actions in the past and present. Get rid of him now before he does anymore damage.
Mark Potter, Telford
Audience question: Is North Korea a greater threat than Saddam Hussein was?
I believe that it is difficult for any us to have an informed opinion on the North Korea nuclear weapon issue because, sadly, most of us can only quote what we have seen or read in the media.
Matt said that North Korea is a country run by a nutcase with nuclear missiles in range of the US, but isn't the US just a country also run by a nutcase with nuclear missiles within range of North Korea?
Hamish McCallum, Redruth, Cornwall
Do not take to much comfort in their missile failures, they probably learnt more from that failure than a dozen perfect flights and almost certainly know the cause and possibly even the solution required already.
Andy Hill, London
Text: North Korea is dangerous because we can't bully it like Iraq.
Text: Has North Korea got any oil? If not nuff said! No oil, no interest.
Has no-one considered the possibility that the intercontinental N. Korean missile was programmed to crash into the sea after 45 miles? On the other hand, it is only sabre rattling of the highest order.
Mark Walters, Southend
How can we as a country criticise another country for testing weapons considering we want to upgrade our nuclear capability from Trident. We have a massive nuclear arsenal and we are in no position to dictate to others about having devastating weapons. Why don't we practice what we preach?
Paul Adams, Rugby
Right to vote
Audience question: At 16 and 17 you can buy a house, join the army and work, yet are still not responsible enough to vote, why?
I am 18 and I honestly believe that lowering the voting age to 16 or 17 is a ridiculous idea, manly due the fact that many 16 and 17-year-olds that I know either do not know enough to vote sensibly or would tend to vote by simply "going with the crowd".
Tim Spencer, Okehampton
I am a young person, aged 25, who is interested in politics and agree with Matt on a point made that young people in school are not educated about politics. I do feel they should lower the age to 16 to vote, but should also receive education from MPs about the system and how it works.
Lisa Nelmes, Cardiff
Although few British laws have been tested in court, I find it inconceivable that it is democratically correct or even legal, for a government to raise taxes from a person, who because of his or her age, is not afforded the right to choose either who collects the tax or how it is spent.
Tony Rix, Newton Abbot
Text: I'm 51 and still don't feel qualified to vote!
Text: Put the voting age back to 21.
I joined the forces at 17 and found it really strange that I could not vote for our country's leader but I could die in combat for a leader I may resent and did not want to govern our country. Politicians should be made to join the forces before they send our armed services to fight for their points of view.
Paul Adams, Rugby
Congratulations to Matt Pollard. He was cool, calm and very capable with all his comments. I would like to see Matt in politics as I feel he would be an asset to whichever party he belonged to.
Hazel Harding, South Yorkshire
Excellent and stimulating programme, but we need more. If the BBC has any serious commitment to help rescue democracy from the apathy of the wider British public, then give young people a voice weekly - not just annually! They ARE tomorrow's Britain. Invest now.
Kate Harrison, Clydebank
I am 71 and have been watching QT for more years than I care to remember. Tonight's programme was, without a doubt, one of the best I have ever seen. The questions showed the understanding of the younger generation. The panel's answers were succinct, helpful and "almost" without political bias. I would like to congratulate the audience, the panel, the production team and last but not least, the unperturbed David Dimbleby for a great show. I feel content that the future of the UK will be safe in the hands of these youngsters.
R J Mason, Whitehaven
The balance of the panel was excellent and nobody had such entrenched views that sensible discussion was impossible, as is so often the case. Well done to all the participants.
Denise McNicholas, Folkestone
GREAT programme last night! Your guest, Matt, being the first member of the public to be invited on the panel, really is an indictment of the show. He was far more interesting to listen to than many of the same old people you trot out. On this website their is a great multitude of suggestions for new panellists put forward by the public. Please read them and let's have them on!
Peter Harris, Bolton
In order to engage young people more in the political debate, why not have a regular season of Schools Question Time? I found it so much more lively and refreshing than the usual programme.
Cliff Cobb, London
I thought the whole programme was over-hyped in favour of minors. Discrimination comes in all forms. If this is the way forward, let's see a programme in the next series run by, and for, the over 60s.
Julian Corner, Whitby, England
Schools Question Time is a brilliant idea. It filled me with hope for the future and shows that there is interest out there that should be harnessed and encouraged. I do believe however that an earlier primetime slot would have been more appropriate. People saying the programme is ¿ageist¿ seem to be missing the point a bit I think ¿ does anybody have a problem with Junior Mastermind or is that ageist too?
Camilla Denneth, London
The panel is 80% white male and 100% white - what is going on? How many young people will feel unrepresented by this imbalance? What a wasted opportunity to involve young people in this programme.
Rose Bennett, Uxbridge
My wife and I watch Question Time every week without fail but tonight, I am facing the most bland, condescending panellists I have ever seen. I am afraid the students who put this together get only one out of 10 from me.
John Hills, Aylesbury
If this is a programme made and involving young people why is it on at 10.35 pm? I know young people stay up late nowadays - and maybe they are not in education or work tomorrow - but I still think an earlier slot would have been more appropriate.
Chris Dilworth, Northampton
Why have a separate programme for those below 21? They will have to work with older people when they get older. I think it is ageist for the BBC to start separating the ages as such. If they want to appear on Question Time why can't they apply to go on the normal programme. To start separating them sends a wrong message to those under 21, that they should be seen as more special then any other group. Will we have an over 65 session soon? Or an under 3 session? I think not! It's time the BBC and other start treating age as seriously as other discriminations.
Christopher Willis, Nottingham
Text: Why didn't we have a young presenter?
Text: Is there going to be programme for older people, or is this another example of ageism?
Text: These "kids" are the government of our tomorrow so let's take note.
Text: I now have hope for the future.
Matt Pollard=brilliant! Get him back on again. He spoke the most sense on Question Time that I've seen for a long time. Fantastic. More please!
Graham Johnson, Birmingham
What an entertaining and lively debate. It's great to know others of my age are just as interested in current affairs.
David M, Beckenham
I just felt I should write a response to all the comments as I was one of the student producers of the show. Firstly, thank you to everyone who said they enjoyed the show. I'm sorry to the people who didn't enjoy but as young people ourselves, we wanted to give the opportunity for young opinions to be heard. If this offended anyone I apologise but as a previous person said - nobody really minded junior mastermind. I was so proud of what we did and know everyone cannot be pleased. But if we got more young people interested in politics and showed we all do care - then we will have achieved our objective.
Geraint Faulkner , from Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn
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