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Is it not the case that no-one from the Prime Minister, the Chancellor, any of Panorama's celebrity panelists or the members of the public so uselessly consulted, has the slightest idea whether joining the Euro will be to our advantage or disadvantage?
I found myself agreeing with Clare Short and Kavanagh of the Sun newspaper. My views on further integration with Europe are no, no, no. I found the moving images in the background of your programme very annoying and disconcerting. Is there any need for it?
I think it speaks volumes that nearly every pro-EU argument is based on anti-American resentment. Clearly they do no have any rational arguments to put forward
How come that GREAT Britain can be so upset about something which GREAT Britain would itself be able to influence greatly, should it choose to do so. I myself hate and despise the EU bureaucracy and non-accountability, but what else to do than DO SOMETHING about it ! Please do not sit back and wince like the populist right-wing party of a very small nation (Dansk Folkeparti). If their beliefs about what constitutes Danish nationhood were true the fragility would be such that we might as well apply to become a Swedish province. The EU is all politics. Whatever the fancy visions, nothing vitally important can be agreed unless the politicians can agree on them, - which tends not to happen in a terrible hurry.
Polly Toynbee, the worst kind of socialist, the one who can afford to be a socialist. Wealthy enough to have the freedom to play games such as pretending to join the people on the margin of our society to see how they function. To 'live' their lifestyle knowing that she can scurry home to her wealth any time she likes. Then to write yet another book, claiming to have connected with these people, whilst making yet another packet, purporting to be the champion of the downtrodden. Who do you think you are kidding? Get off the set Polly, you¿re not worthy of the position you claim.
On Panorama on 8th June Polly Toynbee stated on more than one occasion that unemployment had fell consistently in Germany since joining the single currency.
However, in the Guardian on 6th March 2003 Mark Tran wrote ;"German unemployment rose by 67,000 to 4.7 million in February, reaching its highest level for five years, official figures showed today." The fact that German unemployment has been rising, and only recently started to show any fall is no secret. Why was this not picked up by any of the BBC staff on the panel ?
I watched the first 15 minutes of this programme because we were promised the FACTS behind all the emotive gut reactions. What we got were more emotive reactions and entrenched political opinions - no new facts at all. I gave up watching when the two journalists started slagging each other off. I don't care what other members of the public feel; I want to know what the real pros and cons are.
This could have been an informative programme, if you allowed for a balanced debate. To have Clare Short on the pro-European side was incomprehensible. Britain's national interest is in Europe and in the euro, driving the European economy. Not blinded by some kind of bigotry.
If you really wish to encourage a mature and sensible discussion of the issues surrounding the euro, I suggest you do better than to invite Clare Short, Trevor Kavanagh and Michael Portillo to rant their way through 30 minutes at Polly Toynbee's expense.
It was great pity that last night's Panorama did nothing but go over all the familiar arguments yet again! And I too couldn't believe that you had no representative of the Lib Dems - the only party that strongly supports the euro. Your only pr-euro panellist was Polly Toynby, whose arguments, unfortunately, always consist principally of trying to discredit those who disagree with her! There's precious little substance to what she says, and she clearly doesn't understand economics.
This was a missed opportunity.
Finally we were given an intelligent, well considered debate about the Euro. I appreciated keeping the economic argument and political argument separate, it was well-considered and some great points were argued upon.
However, what was missed was we are not a small island but we are the fourth largest economy in the world growing quicker than Germany and France over the last ten year period mainly down to our exit from another fixed exchange mechanism.
All the panelists with the exception of one all contributed well. Polly Toynbee though needs to get her economic facts straight. German unemployment hasn't fallen since they joined the euro quite the opposite. That got the biggest laugh in our household during this very good programme.
Why use anti-US sentiment as a reason for joining the euro? We don't have to hitch our wagon to either the US or the euro. We are the world's 4th largest economy. We can succeed without either.
The program was predictable, boring and incredibly biased (1 pro, 3 against). Particularly irritating was the wholehearted trust in the economic "truth", with particular focus on the issue in interest rates. Interest rates as a monetary tool of control over the economy was relevant in the post WW2 national economies. Today their efficiency is far from clear as the situations of the US and Japan blatantly shows. More interesting, in an appalling way, was the barely concealed jingoistic nostalgia for the dominant position enjoyed by Imperial Britain that many interviewees diplayed.
How can the people have the final say when the vast majority of the populace knows very little if nothing about not just the euro and its potential effects but also nothing about the changeover process itself?
I think that the government will refuse to allow this country to go into the European currency because it will blatently show how much more expensive everything is in this country compared to the rest of Europe.
The Government must lay down what the pros and cons are for us, so we can decide as a nation whether in or out. And for goodness sake stop those awful offputting backdrops
On such an important issue, I was expecting more from the BBC than have three rabid eurosceptics out of a panel of four. Poor show...
Tonight's Panorama programme was less than informative. The only persons providing facts were Portillo and Kavanagh. Like many of the general public who participated we wished to learn the effect of joining on employment, salaries, costs in shops and on our future pensions etc. We learned nothing of these matters. We also wished to learn of the experiences of these issues by those that have joined the euro. we were told by one participant that employment in Germany had fallen, by another that it had risen. We need facts not personal differing views!
The programme didn't seem to help me understand to benifits of either staying out of Eurpoe or joining, probably because I was hoplessly distracted by the weird moving background. The worst thing was that it kept repeating. If I saw the pan down Big Ben once, I must have seen it at least eight times. If you must have such a distracting b/g, please make sure it is innocous enough to not attract attention! Modern graphics can be 'too' clever.
I was looking forward to the programme and would have enjoyed the debate had it not been for constant distraction from the very annoying news clips on display behind the speaking heads, over-busy camera shots and irritating graphics on the bottom of the screen every time something was being explained. Do you think your audience will get bored if you don't show us moving images all the time? For future reference, we are quite capable of just listening to a debate without all the bells and whistles - in fact that is why we switched on in the first place!
Very interesting programme, but we would like to have heard more about the new constitution - instead of just being told it is a much longer document than Tolstoy's' "War and Peace".
Why don't we hear anything about the inflationary impact of the Euro upon the other member states. Two years ago EIRE had inflation of 8%. What is it now ? How is that affecting the country ?
if lower interest rates was the main answer to better economic growth then why is Japan with zero rate still in a downturn? Higher consumer spending from lower interest is good for China not Britain.
Strongly against the Euro many reasons for example, we have a serious problem with pension funding here, In many Euro countries the pension funding is little to none. It's a time bomb waiting to go off
Without a European super-state, there will be nothing standing in the way of us all becoming the economic slaves of the United States of America.
A Labour MP, a Tory Mp but NO Lib Dem MP. BBC bias strikes again
I enjoyed the debate this evening on the EU and single currency. I should like to ask why Switzerland is not clamouring to be a member of either if it is such a brilliant idea? Has its economy dropped into a black hole? And how can these tests be measured over many years. It is not just the now but in years to come as everything fluctuates.
Whilst the Euro is just another piece of metal and would not really bother about having this, what I do fear is the central governing bodies if we progressed into a central Europe. I would like to keep my 'governance' to a 'local government' and not the corrupt central bodies and the stability pact which controls spending, taxes etc.
I'm a Pensioner and I note that the value of the Euro against Sterling has been steadily increasing over recent months. Therefore given this trend continues, the sooner we convert to the Euro the better, otherwise the value of my investments will be worth less at the time of conversion. In my opinion, we must either get in right now or not at all!
I think the panellists are confusing britishness and englishness. Europe is good for Britain as a whole. The English are just being plain paranoid.
Why is it that a serious discussion programme such as yours feels the need to let the person with a diploma in media studies have free reign with the graphics. I speak, of course, about the extremely irritating moving backdrop to the speakers. Your viewers are probably reasonably intelligent and do not need to be entertained or be impressed about how clever you are. Please - just leave the clever camera work and graphics out. I do not enjoy them.
If the people of Britain do not want to join the Euro then be it. The people leaving in the rest of Europe are getting tired of Great Britain and to be quite honest I really wish you'd quit the EU altogether. All I can say is good riddance, if you want to become the 53rd state of America please go for it and let us get on with the job of building a strong Europe that will one day be the equal to the USA. At the end of the day if you do not want to join it will be your loss. Au revoir
Why was Polly Toynbee the only pro European on tonight's debate?
I'm appalled at the anti euro tabloid press. These papers have a responsibility to put across both sides of the argument, but instead try to whip up little Englander patriotism.
Ask Polly what this "WE" business is? "WE" do NOT feel comfortable with a European political union. "WE" do not want to be run by Brussels. "WE" are far more comfortable with the USA, but our Polly likes bandying epithets, slogans and insults against "tabloids" and "neo-Conservatives".
I have watched and listened to the debate tonight with great interest. There are strong arguments on both sides, but I am not in favour of joining the euro. We as a nation must not lose control of our economy and control of our interest rates. This is a major issue and the sooner we have a referendum on this subject the better. A no vote is I think the right and best vote for Britain.
I was happy to note that these issues were being debated relatively fairly. I take offence to the EU democracy issues since it is generally accepted that the UK is NOT a democracy where one person has one vote nationally.
Anyone who is even considering joining the single market should be tried for treason.
why is being part of a federal Europe so bad? With the stance we took on Iraq being so wrong I would be more prepared to be part of a federal Europe than to be the 51st state of America. I am worried at the England is following America into war and making up evidence to convince the public it is the right thing to do . I think we should have a more active role in Europe and join the euro ASAP
I love it over here, but having seen your discussion, I can hardly believe that all of you are aware, of were we are here from a geopolitical perspective. This is Europe here! And instead of participating, contributing and optimizing, you can't stop complaining and seeing downsides. It's the perspective and the intellectual approach of some that has to change!
Will we join the European social charter if we join the Euro - this will allow for the working week to be reduced to 35 hours by law and would surely help to sell Europe to the sceptical employee!
Why did we have to suffer those dreadful, distracting backgrounds
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