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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 May, 2004, 23:34 GMT 00:34 UK
What you've said: 20 May 2004
Find out what you had to say about Question Time's European election special, broadcast on 20 May from Sheffield.

The topics discussed this week were:

The following comments reflect the balance of the opinion we have received:

Audience question: Does the panel think that the forthcoming elections will be fought on European issues or will it be a vote on Tony Blair's leadership and the war in Iraq?

You said:

If there's one issue I agree with Robert Kilroy-Silk on, it is that Iraq has nothing to do with Europe! This rift between the USA and the EU needs to be sorted out, not through just a talking shop!
Will, Devon

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Text: The mind boggles at the gross arrogance and crass incompetence of this government so how can we not take account of that!
Mike

Sorry, Patricia Hewitt, we do wish to talk about the war in Iraq, we have been talking about the war in Iraq, we have been telling this government that we did not, do not believe this war was, is just and we see the behaviour of our government in respect of this war as a clear sign that we have an incompetent, self-serving and lying government that also has not performed well in every other area of its responsibility.
Liz Bell, Wirral

Text: Maybe if Blair had listened to his major European partners Iraq would not be an issue in the forthcoming elections.
Peter Basil, Southsea

Kilroy-Silk has the right idea. The forth-coming elections will be based on Europe and people have had enough.
Andrew Day, Norwich

Text: Europe of course, but the war is a major issue. So where is the anti-war panellist?
Tony, Tyneside

Kilroy is spot on in demanding UK independence from Europe, but I would go further. What we really need is "Home Rule", which is independence as well from the incumbent politicians who have handed over our country to aliens of ALL kinds, including George Walker Bush.
David de Vere Webb, Tyne and Wear


Audience question: If there was to be a referendum on the EU Constitution, how on earth will you simplify such a complex issue into layman terms for Joe Public?

You said:

We do have a constitution - an unwritten constitution - and it is far more adaptive than any scrap of paper.
Nicholas Lowson, Horsham

By voting for a constitution we give away even more descions to a higher power. Are we incapable of governing ourselves? Making descions about ourselves for ourselves? Europe is good and works while it is an organisation of countries working together, but it will break down when it tries to become more than that and unite peoples that are so diverse.
James, Shoreham-by-Sea

I do believe that it is ridiculous to ask anybody to vote on the European constitution as it is too difficult to understand. We elect people to read it, analyse it and then vote for the best interest of the people. A referendum about the constitution would mean leaving the tabloids to run the country as they would read some parts of this constitution and "translate it" for the rest of the people. Do not mistake referendum and popular vote!
Raphael, London

Text: Rupert Murdoch will swing any referendum on Europe and he's an Aussie!
Jimmy, South Shields

Why is having a European constitution so wrong? At least then we would have some guidelines for the government and the royal family.
Simon Ryder, Exeter

I am 45 years old and was too young to vote in the 1975 referendum. When will I be allowed to have a say on Europe? Why have we been denied democracy for so long?
Steve Edwards, London


Audience question: Does the panel believe that the neighbourly voting in last week's Eurovision song contest will be mirrored in the enlarged EU, with Britain in the margins?

You said:

I thought the voting in the Eurovision Song Contest showed what is bad about Europe, and why many British people are sceptical on this issue. The Eurovision Song Contest is a clear warning, I think, of what will happen to us and our sovereignty.
Steve Fuller, Hove, East Sussex

Text: Europe hates us, Eurovision is a good example.
Sue, Preston

Text: The European Song Contest sums up Europe!
Dave, Swinton

With regards to Eurovision voting, there are honest biases to voting for your neighbours. We voted highly for Ireland and they voted highly for us. Few other people voted for Ireland. We are no different to other European countries that voted for their neighbours.
Stephen Walker, Bath

Text: Eurovision song contest was a good example of Euro attitude!
Jenny, Herts

Text: Great question. Maybe Blair would be better off playing his guitar.
Eddie Clements, Leeds

Text: Will the new EU constitution be a bit like the Eurovision song contest? A shambles.
Tahir Ali, Preston, Lancs

Text: James Fox for European president!
Cath, Crosby

Text: What a farce. A debate on the EU descends to Eurovision. Says it all!
Tim, Elgin


Audience question: In the up-coming European election, many people will not vote. Does the panel feel this apathy to be a valid form of protest?

You said:

When the people, when encouraged, do engage in politics they are ignored! No wonder they can't be bothered to vote.
Ian Pilcher, Lincoln

I am sick of my decisions not to vote being described as "voter apathy" when it is "voter mistrust," or "voter disgust." I used to vote when I still expected honesty and integrity from politicians. Politicians need to look to themselves to see what damage they do to our institutions before criticising the electorate.
John Dobson, Manchester

Text: Turnout at Euro elections will be poor as always.
JH, Doncaster

Text: I think we will get a very poor turnout.
Graham, Perth

Text: In Bradford we have to have a postal vote, no choice. It is wide open to abuse.
Jan, Bradford

Text: Vote? Why? The government does not listen.
Mark

Text: Mr Campbell is worried because not enough people vote. Perhaps he should look at himself and his fellow politicians, particularly the MEPs.
Ann, Gosport

Text: Maybe the politicians are not worth voting for.
Alex, Banbury

Text: If you don't vote you shouldn't complain at the outcome!
Simon, Suffolk


You said:

I think a good question to put to us would be: "Are you prepared to go to war, and maybe die, for Europe?". I've asked many people this simple question, and not one of them said "yes".
John Duguid, Derby

I was disappointed that you didn't have more MEPs on as the public never hear from MEPs, and this would have been an ideal opportunity. We see most of the same panellists repeatedly and they get plenty of media coverage. I am not madly for or anti- Europe. I want to increase the good Europe can do for human rights in particular, but I want to know more about it.
Mary, London

I feel we need to be either totally in or totally out. Being on the sidelines is unacceptable.
Lindsay Scott, Dundee

I am angry that all parties seem to look backwards, as far as the European issue is concerned, with talk of renegotiation and pulling out, and so on. What we need now are political parties that can function in more than one European country. In this way, we could get away from the rather parochial style of politics we have now and move on to something that is more in keeping with the needs of Europe as a whole and Britain.
Raymond Eaton, Wallingford

The EU is for politians, they love it. Well can you blame them, it suits their interests and over-inflated egos.
A.Ridley, Basingstoke

Let's address the question as to what exactly is wrong with the idea of leaving the EU and renegotiating a new free trade agreement? Would there really be any disadvantages in doing so? If so, then what exactly are they?
Martin Considine, London

I am confused - does the UKIP expect us to vote for it so it can take its place on the EU gravy train?
Amanda Sands, Gravesend

Text: Think not what Europe can do for us but rather what we can do for Europe!
Matthew, Stoke Newington

If, as the Greens claim, we need political union to trade, then when does China join this club? Almost every manufactured item I buy is made in China!
John, UK

Text: I think we should use Europe to spread the wealth. Britain's 'island mentality' has gone on for far too long!
Chris, Aylesbury

Time for Britain to pull out of Europe. The other countries do not like us and we do not have warm feelings towards them.
Keir, Sheffield

Text: A united states of Europe is the only way to challenge the loose cannon that is the USA.
Ben, Devon

The EU is doing what Hitler could not do.
Robert, Scotland

The UK is not bound to one future only, that being a part of the EU. We could easily resign, negotiate trade agreements etc., stay out and have greater control over who we are and what we want to be. This is not a small island mentality but a desire to be British in a British way. I am not xenophobic and I have no objection to our friends in Europe coming to visit but please don't move in. Let us be honest, we are not good Europeans and never will be so let us be good neighbours and friends and leave it at that.
Dennis Wheatley, Kingston, Jamaica

Text: We need to be in Europe for good. It would be a sad day if we ever left.
Gavin, Chesterfield

I feel Britain will be financially better off out of Europe.
Chris Hancock, Chapletown

If I can vote for an MEP candidate who wants to get out of Europe, why is there no candidate I can vote for at a general election who wants a federal Europe?
Simon Meeds, Reading

Text: Being out of Europe would lead to a decline in influence and our economy.
Glynn, London

I can't believe the comments of Menzies Campbell suggesting that the idea of a political union has always been clear. Sir Edward Heath said that "there is no threat to British sovereignty" repeatedly in the course of the campaign, and the "No" camp was derided for suggesting that there was in the 1975 referendum campaign. And he has the gall to refute the charge of lying?! I had always respected him as a man of integrity until the moment he opened his mouth and said that. Long live Kilroy-Silk!
Mark C, Dartford, UK

Text: Europe is the way to go. Come on, let's lead the way.
Jerry, Washington

Why is Brussels telling UK fishing fleets to de-commission in order to save fish stocks, when new, land-locked EU member states are getting grants to modernise or diversify into the fishing industry? Is that not a little hypocritical??
Adrian D Fox, Scottish borders

Text: We should be trying to get closer to Europe and further away from America at this time!
S. Black, Fife

It was said that the EU constitution would raise living standards, but this does not add up as Norway has the highest living standards in Europe and is not even in the EU.
Roger Wright, Brentwood


You said:

It was good to see a balanced panel tonight with a Green and a UKIP representative.
Chris Williams, Oxford

David, worry not - I'm a young person. I used to be younger! And I watch QT! It's just lazy to say young people not interested in politics.
Hugh, London

Some really good debates tonight. This is BBC Question Time at its best. It reminds me of QTs years ago with Robin Day!
Tim Vince, Broadstairs

Michael Ancram is marvellous tonight, giving calm and common sense answers to counteract the hysterical scaremongering and outraged shrieking from the Lib Dems and Labour. More of this please.
Mike Davis, York

Text: Tories and Lib Dems to score nil points AGAIN!!
B, Bristol

Robert Kilroy Silk had a television programme, which the BBC took away from him. The Question Time host is David Dimbleby - Mr Kilroy Silk would do well to remember this.
Hugh, London

For heaven's sake, someone ask K-S if he would have joined the UKIP at that time if he had not been sacked from the BBC.
Cameron

Text: Typical politicians, not answering the questions, just advertising themselves!
Laura, Cheshire

For a politician to state that lying is a serious charge is rather hypocritical. All prospective political parties "pledge" something or other, and always fail to deliver. Is that not lying?
Mr Wilson, Worcester

Once again we have the Lib Dems and Labour cozying up together against the Tories and this time joined by the Greens. And where on earth do you find all these loonie lefties in the audience?
Jon Harrison, York

Text: At last a panel without actors, singers or entertainers! However Kilroy's presence is a little bit scary.
Tricia, Glasgow

Hurrah for Jean Lambert and Menzies Campbell! The only two on the panel who have not so far indulged in moronic, party-political mudslinging and sniping, but dealt with the issues. Kilroy is a failed politician turned failed talk show host; can't wait to see him fail as a politician again!
Hugh, London

Text: I get more sense out of my six-week-old than most of the panel tonight.
Graham Weston, Leeds

Kilroy-Silk is a breath of fresh air - he is right. Europe should be a free trade union, not a political union. This is in stark contrast to the patronising Labour sound bytes that Patricia Hewitt spouts.
Graeme Hart, Forres

This week, fathers have been separated from their children by the courts, a 14-year-old girl was given an abortion without her parents knowledge, the PM was attacked in Parliament, and so on. What is QT talking about? The European talking shop. There are many issues that I consider much more relevant to my life.
Jim, Louth

Text: I remember watching QT when I could tell the difference between Labour and Tory. Now, if you shut your eyes you wouldn't know the difference!?
GH, Ayrshire

Why oh why does this programme ALWAYS have Labour MPs on who tow the party line? Don't you have any who will speak openly and honestly about THEIR own opinions?
Anne Arnold, Cardiff

Kilroy-Silk is so obviously "tired and emotional" that you insult your viewers by asking them to listen to a person in that state. You should have a reserve team member available to step into the breach on such occasions
Nick Tucker Brown, Cheltenham

Good panel, but doesn't Dimbleby recognise that Patricia Hewitt has an extremely patronising manner? It's time she was told so.
David Frame, Wetherby

Would someone kindly point out to Patricia Hewitt that due to her party's policies we no longer live in a great country. We now live in a dumping ground for most of Europe's migrants and in Europe's eyes that is all our "great country" is good for. Why doesn't Labour wake up to what the real British public wants?
Jack Frost, Bristol

Kilroy-Silk has gone from one gravy train to another. The BBC was more lucrative than being an MP initially and now, without a BBC contract, he's back in politics. Both funded by the public! A man you can trust to look after your interests?
Rich Shawyer, Northolt

What a breath of fresh air it was to have Robert Kilroy-Silk on the show. It has been a long time since we have heard such passion, common sense and conviction on the show. The most enjoyable show for a long time.
Steve Hanwell, Northants, UK

Am I the only one who's glad that Kilroy doesn't work for the beeb any more?
Colin, London

Yet again, we have a panel, largely made up of politicians, who seem incapable of getting across a complex issue, such as Europe, in simpler terms. Instead they resort, as usual, to taking pot shots at each other. This programme has most definitely not helped either my view of Europe, or of politicians. Worst of all, they seem oblivious to the effect they have. Either that, or they are incapable of behaving any other way.
Robert Gough, Truro


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