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Question Time



Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2005, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
What you've said: 26 May 2005
Find out what you had to say about Question Time on Thursday, 26 May, 2005, from Paris, repeated on BBC World on Saturday 28 May at 0710 and 1910 GMT.

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The topics discussed were:

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

Impact of a "no vote"

Audience question: What impact and consequence would a "no vote" have in France and in the rest of Europe?

You said:

I think the big problem is that the referendum is being done at the wrong time. Currently, there is high unemployment, high outsourcing to cheaper countries etc. The French are not with their own government and there is also (even across Europe) a lack of confidence in politicians. Would we get a different public opinion if there was favourable a situation??
Paul Jeremy, Grenoble, France

Text: Oui? Non? Vive la difference!
Robert, Norwich.

Text: Let's hope the French do us a favour on Sunday.
Mike, Sunderland

I'm French and I have worked in Britain for 5 years, mainly because I believe more in this system. I believe most of the people don't really know what's in the constitution anyway but they tend to vote "no" in France for two main reasons.

They don't see the progress coming from Europe as promised but at the same time they oppose the more liberal system which is proposed. Today's France is similar to 1980's Britain workwise. They need Maggie more than a constitution!
Fred Marchand, Birmingham

Text: No no no. I support Europe, but enough is enough. They rule too much already.
Damien, London

Text: As a 17-year-old student I believe the way forward for our country and my generation is the EU constitution.
Ryan Gibson

Text: What does all this referendum stuff mean?
Bob, Huddersfield

As both a British and French citizen I will be voting in both referenda. In Britain I will be voting YES, but in the French one, I'm voting NO. I don't feel the UK has the credibility to both reject it and stay in the EU, whilst if France votes no, we can actually get rid of this compromise that no-one really likes. Then we can get back to the long task of debating what we actually all want from the EU, rather than just writing a constitution because hoity-toity eurocrats have nothing better to do.
Luke Sibieta, London

Text: United Europe is important for world peace and balance of power.
Suliman, Manchester

Text: This is a blueprint for a country called Europe.
Pete, Sandwell

The only constitution that'll work in Europe is the Franco/Deutsch one. Anything else gets sidelined.
Roy Ketley, Benfleet, Essex

Text: We need a French yes. Without that, we cannot say no.
Jules, Sherborne

Europe has finally got a chance to ensure that prosperity and peace can be shared across all its members. Let's not miss it. The UK has more to gain than lose from voting yes, eventually.
Guillaume, London

Text: For the first time ever, the French could do us a favour and say no to EU.
Mike, Dover

Text: The EU is a necessary step to the world coming together. Let's have a World Senate. A World President. Vive la dream!
Rob, Norwich.

I don't have an opinion about anything to do with the EU anymore, as no matter what we ordinary people think the politicians will, by stealth, push us into this great monstrous white elephant anyway.
A Ridley, Basingstoke

Reactions to the EU constitution

Audience question: The French socialists say the constitution is an Anglo-Saxon Trojan horse and the UK consensus is that the constitution is a left-wing socialist charter. Who does the panel think is right?

You said:

The history of Europe has repeatedly been a story of ideologies seeking to impose themselves on the European continent and in every case it has lead to catastrophic war. The current European "Project" claims to be a vehicle that has delivered peace on the continent for 60 years - but it is simply another example of an ideology being imposed, regardless of the views of the European population.
Philip Hullis, Hadliegh, Suffolk

I think a "yes" vote on the European constitution is good thing for both Britain and Europe and voters should not ignore the benefits of the EU.
Adan, London

You would assume that the majority of young people - who have grown up in a world of a united Europe - would be in favour of the constitution. But not in last night's audience. So does that mean the audience wasn't representative or that the younger people aren't thinking the way they are supposed to?

And if they can't sell the idea of a united Europe to the young who have longer to live with it, then should we older people even think of supporting the constitution? Could the BBC do an analysis of who votes "yes" and who votes "no" in Sunday's vote in terms of voter ages? The result might be very interesting.
Mike, Leicester

The quicker we get out from this dictatorship called European Union. The quicker lives will be saved from the Nazis that hide behind the mask of the so-called community of Europe.
Mr Free Usall, London

Text: I feel totally detached from the whole issue. The referendum has no context or meaning in my everyday life.
Matt, Cheltenham

I think the time has come to drive a stake through the heart of this EU nonsense and to send the overfed, oversexed, underworked bureaucrats in Brussels home to their own countries where they may be forced to do an honest day's work (though I doubt that this is possible). VOTE NON!
Michael Hexum, Tunbridge Wells

Text: The accounts haven't been signed off for 10 years! Why do we keep paying? It's full of crooks!
Gaz, Sale

Europe gives power away from our elected representatives to people who do not have a clue what people want.
Chris, Manchester

Text: There is one way forward and only one. Europe, Europe, Europe.
Stephen, Belfast

The EU Constitution simply standardises the way the EU has operated since the EU was formed. It will put a stop to "backroom" bargaining and help reduce corruption or malpractice.
Martin Murphy, Middlesbrough

The wealthiest countries are out of the European Union. Sweden and Switzerland as examples. Politically Europe has been historically nothing but trouble to this once Great Island. let's do our own thing. If it ain't broken, don't change it.
Robert Storr, London

Text: At last a debate with some passion!
Iona, Edinburgh

Text: Why are so many people so xenophobic in Britain?
Karla, London

It is obvious the EU is not workable. The nationalists are winning the debate and there is no way the constitution will go far.
Emmanuel, London

I read the constitution a few months ago and I am convinced that it has many advantages. However, my major concern is not whether the constitution is good enough for Europe, but whether Europe is mature enough for the constitution.

With only 50 years since the last World War, and for the first time in 2000 years, all these nations try to become one. This is a great dream, but by the end of the day it might remain just a dream. Do you believe that this is the right moment for the EU to vote for a common constitution? Why don't we wait longer?
John, London

Text: Will I get real French croissants in Britain if I vote yes?
Jaqui, London

With all due respect to the voters of France and the Netherlands, since when has a referendum abroad determined UK policy? Why is no-one calling for a UK Referendum immediately? Why did the EU not insist that all member states vote at the same time?

Why are we in the UK being disenfranchised yet voters in other member states are not? The panel has very strange ideas about democracy as they all seemed quite content to let French voters make our decision for us.
Adrian Wickens, Warwick

With regard to the EU constitution, I expect my country's politicians not to look to what the French do, but rather to take it upon themselves to explain it to the electorate at large, debate it in a reasoned and intelligible manner, amend it if necessary and ultimately propose ratification or rejection of the EU constitution.

Cheap, worthless statements about waiting to see what the French or other EU partners do first is astoundingly immature. Are we a nation incapable of reaching a decision on our own? Do we not have a vision of Europe? This mindset is so indicative of the negative attitude towards the EU in this country - based on ignorance.

How easy it is to criticise everything if we don't even bother to understand it first. By the way Spain and Germany have already said YES - it seems some of your correspondents missed out on that!
Peter Gillies, Edinburgh

Do you think President Chirac's comments about revoking le cheque Brittanique is ill-timed given that British people will be expected to vote "yes" to the Constitution?
Damian Johnson, Harrogate

What the British public needs is more information about the EU so they can decide their own future.
Ian McGregor, Plymouth

Eurovision song contest

Audience question: Does the Eurovision song contest have more relevance to the citizens of Europe than the European Constitution?

You said:

Why are we wasting time talking about Eurovision - surely there are bigger fish to fry?
Chris, Manchester

It was nice to view the interest raised about the Eurovision Song in comparison with the EU Constitution. The results of the song should be indicative of how other European Countries choose to treat the UK / France / German on very important issues, because they will all gang up together against the UK and the votes will be carried no matter how unpopular the policy would be.

The future of Europe is not a game but the future of the United Kingdom must be safe guarded against such manipulations.
Peter K Muwonge-Matovu, Ealing

Text: At least I understood the issues in Eurovision.
Ian, Lancs

Text: Where's Terry Wogan?
Gav, Bristol

You mention the Eurovision Song Contest, I would like to say that the UK is one of the best music producers in the world and who really cares anyway. What matters is what really happens in Europe, not whether Javine's bits pop out again.
Helen Turner, Portsmouth

Text: Most English people want to escape to France for a better way of life, so they must be doing better than us.
Mark, Dorset

It was nice to view the interest raised about the Eurovision Song in comparison with the EU Constitution. The results of the song should be indicative of how other European Countries choose to treat the UK/France/Germany on very important issues, because they will all gang up together against the UK and the votes will be carried no matter how unpopular the policy would be. The future of Europe is not a game but the future of the United Kingdom must be safeguarded against such manipulations.
Peter K. Muwonge-Matovu, Ealing

Text: Oh yes keep the song contest. Forget Europe.
Mac, Sheffield

Re the question constitution vs song contest - the politicians should look what has happened and always happened in the song contest. Blocks of countries will always vote with each other to ensure maximum points. The same situation will happen in European politics. It already happens on a much smaller scale with France and Germany always holding hands.

The major contributors should be very worried as they will be sidelined by the majority smaller nations and find they have no voice in Europe.
Len Holliday, Herne bay

Text: If we are to counterbalance USA, we must build a chip shop for every new McDonalds!
Neil, Devon

Text: Let's give this lot null points.
Tony, Bidford

United States

Audience question: Does the panel think that the constitution will help the EU develop a sufficiently robust foreign and defence policy to challenge the unilateralist approach of America?

You said:

A "no" to the European Constitution is a big "yes" to America. It will be the end of independent Europe and the beginning of USA control of our lives.
Bill Wilcox, NW London

The idea of a common European foreign policy epitomises the difficulty that Britain has with the European constitution in that it implies the abandonment of its characteristic pragmatism in favour of a codification of the unpredictable.
Gavin Williams, London

If the EU treaty does what many say it will (death to American world dominance with the birth of a European Federation) then I am in favour of it being ratified. I would like to encourage all European citizens to vote YES for the treaty in their respective states. I ask that everyone read the "European Dream" book by Jeremy Rifkin.
Christian Urrutia, Calexico, California

Text: I trust the Yanks more than I trust the French.
Sue, Preston

Text: All Rubbish! We do not need Europe or USA. We have all we need here. We need to learn how to govern and manage it!
Paula, Cornwall

A NO to the European Constitution is a big YES to America. It will be the end of independent Europe and the beginning of USA control of our lives.
Bill Wilcox, London

Don't these people get it. If we have a single foreign policy then another Rwanda happens. One country out of 25 could veto a response then instead of Rwanda having some kind of response from some European countries, they will get no response from any of the 25 member states. Surely that just stores up an awful mess and the loss of many lives at some point in the future.
Paul Hayward, Cardiff

Text: It seems the YES side want to create a new Cold War. This time the EU versus the USA.
Oliver, Worcestershire.

Liverpool FC victory

For God's sake keep the footballers and the comedians out of this kind of programme. The European question is certainly a more serious matter!
Andres Benguerel, London

Text: The only good thing in Europe is LIVERPOOL FC.
Gord, Cleethorpes

For God's sake keep the footballers and the comedians out of this kind of programme, the European question is certainly a more serious matter!
Andres Benguerel, London

Text: Of course Liverpool should be able to play in Europe next season. It's their right.
Sue, Preston

Text: If anyone can sort Europe out, it's Liverpool FC. Well done.
Steve, Stoke

General comments on the programme

You said:

For me Question Time tonight hit a new high. The debate was informative, far beyond any I've heard so far on current European matters, and lively to the point of being entertaining. To counter apathy in the UK on European issues (or domestic political issues come to that) we should have more debates of this quality in this format shown at peak viewing time. More please.
A very grateful viewer

The Paris programme has to be the worst ever. So important yet so shambolic. I learned nothing and the cross-talking totally spoiled it. PLEASE stick to UK!
Michael Williams, Tameside

Regardless of whether one is for or against the constitution one has to admire the two French panellists who spoke perfect English. Can you imagine a similar programme being broadcast here and having fluent French-speaking politicians from the UK?
Maddy, Guernsey

David Dimbleby needs a refresher course in chairmanship. Once again he showed little control. Eddie Izzard once again contributed absolutely nothing, please do not insult our intelligence in this way. If he was the pick of the "pro's" then the point is proven.
Keith, Penzance

Typical, no Liberal Democrat. The Liberal Democrats have many more MEPs than the Greens yet you have no Liberal Democrat and a Green on the panel. By what proportionate logic has that been decided?
Tim Hill, Bedford

How is it that the BBC licence payers can pay all that money to have the BBC send the Question Time chairman and all the staff to Paris when they don't have money to run the network? A few months ago we, the licence payers paid for the same lot going to China. Why? They visited Scotland on two occasions this spell.
Patrick, Forfar

Eddie Izzard may well be a very funny comedian, but he didn't demonstrate any understanding of European political issues.
Alec Gallagher, London

Is it me, or does Eddie Izzard seem somewhat tired and emotional this evening?
Mike, Stockport

Astonishing! A live debate from France with a mainly French audience and it's in English. Imagine the position being reversed.
Ron, Bolton

Does Eddie Izzard ever answer a question?
Neil, New Forest

Text: I never thought I would see Caroline Lucas and Liam Fox on the same side.
Rob, Newbury

Question Time today was very biased towards the right and with the exception of Caroline Lucas no one on the panel could be described as remotely left-wing. The French member on the no side was also from the centre-right UMP party while the vast majority of French people who are opposed to the constitution are supporters of either the Socialist or Communist party and I believe they should have been represented on the programme.
Stuart Miller, Glasgow

Great programme. It must be France, so lively.
Cherry Buckley, Hornchurch

Eddie Izzard ought to stay in the 2nd comedian league and leave Premiership comedian league to the MEPs.
Bob Davis, Fareham

Two pro-Yes posters and 0 pro-No posters on set. This is unacceptable bias from the BBC.
John Ross, Ipswich

One of your correspondents complains about the imbalance of pro and anti posters on the set. In fact, there were 3 "Oui" and 3 "Non" posters.
Tony, Paris

Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.

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