Find out what you had to say about Question Time on Thursday, 12 October, 2006 from Glasgow.
The topics discussed were:
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received:
Audience questions: Is it safe to rely on early release and electronic tagging?
Recent experiences in Lincs would indicate that the senior officers in the police force are more concerned about their own positions and the political repercussions of statistics and false figures than actually enforcing the law and addressing the real crimes and concerns of the local people. When will the people at the top realise they are accountable to the public? We no longer trust them to act on our behalf and in our best interest, they seem to be more concerned with their own longevity and pensions than they do with our quality of life. Stop ticking the boxes and start ticking off the criminals and anti social behaviourists in our towns.
Whilst in prison the criminal is kept away from the public. Prison has nothing to do with punishment or retribution, it protects society. Give prisoners what they want just keep them locked up and away from society. I would pay higher taxes to protect my family and keep criminals locked up for their full sentence without any form of early release. (Life should mean life.)
Don Churchill, Northumberland
Take a random sample of 130,000 young men in this country and you'll get an offending rate of above the 4% re-offending rate you get with tagged individuals. It's a story blown out of all proportion.
Tom Green, Edinburgh
Why don't we solve the problem with overcrowded prisons by sending people committed of murder to front line in Iraq (after intensive army training)?
Text: Prison needs to get back to being a punishment.
Text: Tagging run by a private company allows the Government to wash their hands. As usual.
Audience question: In what circumstances are tabloid newspapers justified in investigating and reporting on the private lives of politicians?
I am appalled that there is a personal viewpoint with Tony Sheridan on the programme. This programme should be a general debate and not aimed at individuals. Shame on you.
Jane Turner, Farnham
Tommy Sheridan unveiled some critical statistics, such as 42% of the British media being owned by Murdoch and 70% of Iraqis killed in Iraq were done so by coalition forces. Why does no other British politician deal with issues like these that shape the way we live? Sheridan for PM of Britain!
Jawed Iqbal, Oldham
Text: The public are to blame because the public seem to want gossip about anyone famous.
Text: As long as politicians stay within the law and do a good job who cares what they do at the weekend?
Text: Public people, politicians deserve all they get if they step out of line.
Audience question: Why do countries holding nuclear arms think they have the right to tell other nations they shouldn't have any?
It was fatuous of your questioner to suggest that it's only the nine nuclear countries which have voiced concern over the recent North Korean nuclear test. It seems to be common currency that with but one exception, every nation in the world has condemned this alarming development. The broader nuclear/political questions are neither here nor there - any nation prepared to starve its population in the pursuit and eventual attainment of nuclear ambitions surely deserves such global reproach. This is not a pro/anti nuclear points-scoring opportunity - this is serious!
It's monumentally hypocritical to ask Iran or Korea to stop developing nuclear weapons when we ourselves still have them. The simple solution is for Britain (& America) to get rid of our nuclear weapons and then preach.
Ben Alexander, Reading
Britain does not have an independent nuclear threat, the guiding system and codes are controlled by the Americans. So the renewal of Trident is a folly
Antony Harlow, Strood
The idea that the world is more dangerous as a result of Korea and Iran potentially becoming nuclear powers is not credible.
For 40yrs NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries faced each other with a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons which were never used largely due to the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction. This same principal could be applied by making clear to Korea and Iran that to use or even launch an attack with such weapons would mean the end of their nations in retaliatory counter strikes by NATO and its allies. And further make their populations aware of the consequences and in the end those governments would be removed from power and the weapons never used.
D Sutherland, Lincoln
Text: North Korea is an unstable country and must be stopped.
Text: If all countries had nukes no one would go to war.
Audience question: Will Gordon Brown's Scottishness alienate voters in a general election?
Gordon Brown's Scottishness? I do feel that this will be an issue, how can the Prime Minister represent a seat where the majority of issues decided in Westminster do not affect his own constituency. It is a ridiculous and totally unacceptable situation. I agreed with Nicola Sturgeon, I would like for Scotland to have their independence then perhaps us in England could have ours and we could then retake our flag and wave it with the same pride as the Scots do theirs. I do not mean the Union Jack.
Paul Digby, Maidenhead Berkshire.
Of course Gordon Brown's Scottishness is a huge problem. I will never vote for any party led by a Scottish MP. This is a problem made by Labour. So it is particularly apt that it hits them. It is completely unacceptable for a Scottish MP as PM to be directing any party's policy that affects England only. A PM cannot avoid that situation. So a Scottish MP can never be acceptable as Prime Minister of all the UK until this problem is solved. Either scrap the Scottish parliament or provide an English one. Until then no Scot has any business as Prime Minister. It is about fairness and English people regard that highly.
James St George, London
It distresses me greatly that Scottish politicians in general and the SNP in particular are so keen to break up the Union. Great Britain became great and in general a positive influence in the World due to the combined talents of the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh nations. Do not throw this legacy away but commit to the Union and work within and not against it for all our future generations benefit.
John Michael, Worcester
Text: Gordon for prime minister - no thanks but not because he is Scottish.
Text: Try and see an English person elected in Scotland - never happened.
Iraq death figures
Audience questions: Going by the recent figures released regarding the death tally in Iraq, have we now become part of the problem, rather than the solution?
I think that people's original view as to whether we should have gone to war in the first place is having too great an influence on their position about whether troops should withdraw. The two are separate issues. What is most worrying are the number of politicians on the panel who seem to want to say outright that withdrawal is the only option which is preventing a considered debate taking place on this most desperate of situations. Having watched this recent show, my mind is in no way more informed on the issue.
Alex Brodkin, London
As the majority of the nation agree it was a mistake to follow the US to war in Iraq, I believe that it is our duty to stay until a stable democracy can evolve in the country. Unfortunately this could take many years and cost many lives. It will be the legacy that Tony Blair craves but not the legacy he wanted.
Dave, Hartley Wintney
I think Britain and the US are definitely part of the problem in Iraq. The whole world opposed this decision before the war and they still stand by that. We now have the blood of thousands on our hands thanks to our so called democratic leaders. Now when there is a real need for international intervention in the future by these governments, it will be undermined by the astronomical mistake made in Iraq. Thanks to Tony Blair and George Bush the world has become a more dangerous place. While their wallets are getting fatter, thousands are suffering. Its a shame that the leaders of Britain and US will ignore domestic problems and pursue their evil agendas to control and dominate weak, defenceless and oil rich countries.
Niaz Khan, Huddersfield
Why don't the USA and UK ask for the aid of Muslim countries in an attempt to rebuild Iraq? There is no way that British troops can leave Iraq now as there is not a stable government in place that can run the country. If British troops do decide to pull out there is a chance of a civil war and the Iraqi people will be let down.
Arfaan Malik, Wembley
What gives America and Great Britain the right to invade and try to police other countries
Scott Mckinnon, Glasgow
If the coalition forces withdrew from Iraq now there would be a massive bloodbath as the sectarian groups Sunni, Shia and Kurds fought for control, this would be further aggravated by the surrounding countries Iran, Turkey and Syria intervening covertly or overtly. The tub thumping Mr Sheridan spoke a lot of rubbish by advocating that we "cut and run".
Ken Herman, Somerton, Somerset
Text: Iraq is a mess, it must be hell on earth for the people living there.
Text: Bring our boys home they don't want us there.
Text: Glasgow looks a lively audience.
Well done to both the Holyrood panellists. Yet again, on the rare occasion that Question time ventures North of the Border there was not a single member of the Executive on the panel. The two Westminster politicians (both representing English constituencies) added nothing to the debate and the lack of applause for either of them was deserved. All I hope is that tonight's programme convinces even more people that the only way Scotland can achieve its potential is to vote for independence next May.
Oisín Plumb, Edinburgh
Another Question Time when I'm told that the world is a more dangerous place. More dangerous than when we would all know someone how had died of Aids within the next three years, than the Cuban Missile Crisis, than when Stalin (not exactly a sane man) had missiles aimed at the UK, more dangerous than 1941 or maybe 1916 in France. The fear of over population and then under population, global warming and the coming ice-age, just give it a rest! Please can we have some actual debate about political issues, instead of the politics of fear! Religion was the opium of the people. but now we have the media to keep us frightened and in our homes!
Craig Daley, Sheffield
I watch your programme every week and thoroughly enjoy it. There is, however, one thing that does bore me somewhat each week. It seems that a week cannot go past without the subject of Iraq being discussed. While I understand that this topic is still very much current news, it irritates me to hear the same old arguments each week. On some occasions the questions about Iraq can be extremely valid, yet no matter how valid they are the panel always seems to be able to twist their answers to the same answers as were given in previous weeks, usually that it was a bad decision to invade in the first place and that it is all Tony Blair¿s fault. While I agree that the decision to invade on the basis of weapons of mass destruction being there was a bad decision I don¿t find it worthy of discussion every week on your show.
Robert Clarke, Newcastle
Why, if the programme is coming from Glasgow, are the majority of the panel not from Scotland. I can understand you having to look to England for a Tory representative (there is only one Tory MP in Scotland) but the Labour party has many people from Scotland they could call upon, and there are many Scottish comedians. (Same thing really!) To pre-empt your 'British' answer - How often has a representative of the SNP appeared on your programme when it was not coming from Scotland?
Bill Cowan, Dunblane
What a shame that the Glasgow show became the Tommy Sheridan Circus!!!!! Bit like the entire circus that follows Tommy everywhere.
The Liberal Democrats are part of the government of Scotland. Why are they not represented on the panel tonight?
Stephen Robinson, Chelmsford
Electronic tagging is not a safe alternative to prison as figures recently released in a report by MPs clearly show us. Dangerous prisoners have been released under this scheme as the five killings prove, not to mention the various assaults that have also been committed. I think that if criminals are sent to prison for the offences they have committed they should serve their sentence in prison. They have been sent there by a judge I suspect in many cases to keep them off the streets for the safety of the public. It is not for the Government in my opinion to decide that these criminals can be released to help ease the very serious prison crisis that they have allowed to occur.
Steve Fuller, Hove, East Sussex
Is Ms Baird a comedian because she seems as if she would like to keep the audience in hysterics: especially saying that Blair is a democrat!! Best comedy programme of the year; who needs Morecambe and Wise??
Robert Jones, Nottingham
Disappointing that tonight's Question Time largely featured Tommy Sheridan. He spouted his private battle with newspapers, and personal hatreds which denigrated the quality of QT. Mr Dimbleby should be ashamed that he let the loudest voice dictate the show content.
Gordon Jones, Paignton, Devon
Text: Clive Anderson is the only one talking sense.
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