Find out what you had to say about Question Time on Thursday, 15 March, 2007 from Newport.
The topics discussed were:
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received:
Audience question: Is the government taking the right decision to renew our Trident nuclear system now?
Text: How can we have nukes, but tell others they can't?
Text: What is the point of Westminster debating Trident when THE ALMIGHTY BLAIR has already decided?
L Phil, Barry
I must be in the minority; I am very pleased that the Trident nuclear weapons system is going to be replaced to defend our country against possible attack from known and unknown enemies. It is vital that Trident be replaced when it comes to the end of its life in 2024 and that planning begins now. We cannot afford to be without effective defence against attack. I am disappointed that 95 Labour MPs rejected new weapons altogether and wonder how they think we are going to defend the country from our enemies? It is alright arguing that the money could be better spent on education and the NHS. Fine, but it is no good having a good education system and NHS if it cannot be defended. We can all sleep easier in our beds knowing that Trident is going to be replaced in my view.
Steve Fuller, Hove, East Sussex
Text: Cancel Trident and the Olympics and there would be enough spare cash to make TV phone-ins free.
Gary B, Uxbridge
Text: If the government didn't do all it could to protect us, we would be the first to ask why!
In light of the soaring costs of the 2012 Olympic games one wonders just how much faith should be placed in the government's published figures for the Trident replacement programme. Why are no ceilings set for over spends and when will ministers responsible for the various debacles be made an example off? Does this government expect the tax payers of the country to forever bail it out of it's own mistakes ?
John Graham, Glasgow
Text: How can this be justified? What nuclear threat do we face?
Text: Trident means I haven't had to endure what my grandfather did between 1914 and 1918.
Text: The concept of the just war allows for a new beginning, Trident can only mean the end.
The yawning divide in the Trident debate is how those in favour of it talk of the future, and those against it talk about its irrelevance to threats today. Yet both are right. Trident isn't relevant to today's threats. But more importantly, this is a decision about the future, and we don't know what the future holds. As a credible nuclear deterrent is the ultimate insurance policy, the government is right. It's surely better to be prepared for the unknown, than be caught out by a serious threat. If delaying the decision could leave us without protection when no-one knows what the global situation will be, then it's right to take the decision now.
Stuart Coster, London
Text: Why not spend the money on the real threats we face?
I'll vote for nuclear disarmament when the fences come down at the entrance to Downing Street.
James Fairlie, Leicester
Text: Tough on Trident, tough on the causes of Trident.
Text: I think we should look after our forces now, they still don't have the right kit.
Given the supposed level of technology countries such as Iran and North Korea have at present, don't we have a certain amount of breathing space? Why not simply service the existing Trident programme?
Simon Ledward, Blackpool
Text: Trident - the 21st Century's unnecessary evil.
Text: Ms Short - what about Korea and Iran!
Text: America is our nuclear deterrent. Let them do something for us!
We live in a dynamic environment. What is today, will not be tomorrow. Who knows what's around the corner over the next several years. We need to be prepared for anything. We should not live today and pay tomorrow.
Ian Smith, Bradford, West Yorkshire
Audience question: At over £9bn, is the Olympics still a good cause?
Text: Turn the Olympic village into homes. At London prices, they are £2m apiece.
Why can't the £9bn for the Olympics be spent in venues throughout the UK, so that domestic traffic and foreign visitors can be spread out, rather than concentrated in London? The legacy will then be a variety of sporting facilities for everyone to enjoy. I think the regeneration of east London should be considered entirely separately.
Geoffrey Allen, Watford
Text: It won't matter, it will never be ready on time.
Why does the government pursue prestigious events such as the Olympic games when it can't get a grip of the basics?
Simon Ledward, Blackpool
I'm not sure the Conservative party can comment on the cost of the Olympics, after the Dome debacle.
Kevin Rowley, Romford
Text: London got the Olympics - let them pay for them.
Text: The Olympics might help fight the obesity problem.
I Mofter, Bedfordshire
Text: Sounds like the Dome all over again.
Managing directors would be sacked if they mismanaged a budget of this kind! Why not sack Tessa Jowell?
Text: What about the profit that the country will make?
Climate change bill
Audience question: Does the climate change bill go far enough in combating CO2 emissions?
Text: Oh no! Not global yawning again.
Peter Hitchens does not understand science. It is very rare to achieve certainty in science, even in laboratory conditions. For global warming, these would have to involve two Earths, one to pollute, the other to leave pristine, as a control, to see what happened. Clearly not possible. Therefore scientists study, and weigh the available evidence, and come to a conclusion based on a balance of probability. Those scientists have done that seriously, and have no vested interests in the oil industry, nearly all agree that: (a) global warming is taking place and (b) humans are to a large extent responsible. Thus, it would be wise to employ the precautionary principle and take measures to counteract global warming.
Nick Hodgetts, Grantham
Text:The biggest threat to the environment is politicians.
Keith B, Birmingham
Text: Ask the Chinese about carbon emissions.
If an overwhelming consensus in the scientific community isn't enough to convince Peter Hitchens on the threat of global warming, then what is? I suspect only the water level as it creeps up to neck height!
Steve Tudor, Winchester
Text: We've always had occasional extremes in weather.
I agree we should reduce our carbon emissions. I feel strongly about recycling and new technologies to do this. However its seems very unscientific to attribute climate change to one small element of a much bigger system.
Steve Hiscock, Wiltshire
Text: Global warming? End of days? Game on.
Thank goodness for Peter Hitchens and his comments on (man-made) Global Warming. It's about time that the orthodoxy was challenged without challengers being treated as heretics. And - his comments about Al Gore were spot on.
Text: Why should I be taxed more for a flight when I don't own a car?
Nobody seems to take into account the emissions of war. The Iraq, Afghani and other wars must have a massive carbon footprint. This makes our attempts to reduce our footprints laughable. Its a government distraction.
Rick Manning, Stroud, Gloucestershire
Text: Why are the public penalised for global warming through taxes? It's the industry that should pay up!
If our political leaders are prepared to go to war over oil reserves but not over the destruction of the rain forests they needn't bother to lecture me about leaving my TV on standby. And Trident missiles won't deter the rising sea any more than they will deter Osama Bin laden.
Richard Porter, Maidenhead
It is great that we are trying to reduce carbon emission but how about developing countries like China and India who would not sacrifice economic growth over this issue. As a developed nation we have burnt coal in the past to get here. How do we tell them not to?
Global warming is not a new thing, it is a natural occurrence which has happened many times before. The government is just using it as another excuse to squeeze more money from the population.
Carol Underhill, Sutton Coldfield
Text: I understand the hole in the Ozone layer is now closing, global warming will no doubt reverse.
Text: I think global warming is a load of hot air. .
No wonder Peter Hitchens looks depressed. Surrounded by politicians who fudge every issue and rubbish any idea that does not fit their dogmatic views. They always know the answer they want and are selective in their choice of "evidence". It is high time they started scrutinising the science concerning climate patterns especially if they intend to send us all back to the stone age.
E Thomson, Troon
In view of the clear evidence that increased temperature causes increased CO2 and not the other way around and that sun spot activity causes temp change, why does no one speak up for the truth?
M. Ford, Altrincham
Text: Is climate change the new "cold war"?.
Has anyone (conveniently) forgotten the doom and gloom forecast in the 70's of the impending mini-ice age!
Bobbie Alexander, London
Text: Global warming is a natural effect caused by sun spots and solar flares.
Text: Dave Cameron should stop flying round the world to have his photo taken.
If the government really wants to do something about the environment why do they not pass a new law stating that all new housing projects must by 2010 have solar or wind power i.e. 20% or more on a site. and then start to the same for all new shopping centres being built. We've got a lot of flat roofs in this country that we could use and a lot of wind to.
Martin Evans , Worcester
Text: Climate change is the con of the century.
Let's go Green. Let's drop Trident renewal and save the large carbon output that it would produce making the submarines and handling the nuclear material. The rest of the country can then give up any recycling on the carbon trading.
Trevor Burridge, Chelmsford
The climate change supposition that CO2 emissions are leading climate is fundamentally flawed. Ice core samples in the Antarctic show that global warming precedes CO2 rises in the atmosphere. I agree that we should all reduce the use of unrenewable energy sources, but why do we have to be patronised in to thinking that global warming is being driven by CO2 emissions. It seems it is just an excuse to tax and be seen to be green. Invest in renewable energy sources and drive forward the reduction in CO2 emissions but please don't keep quoting scientific reasoning as being "accepted". It isn't. They are simply theories which have serious flaws.
Text: I'm a scientist. Global warming is real. Deal with it.
Text: Most people used to think the world was flat.
Global Warming has become 'Global Hysteria'. The number of people who believe the 'CO2 causes global warming' propaganda isn't surprising, I was just pleased to hear some dissenting voices. Yes we should all be 'Green', recycle everything, save energy, buy free trade and hug trees, but don't let politicians and scientists hijack the global warming debate to justify nuclear energy, they've got the science 180 degrees out of phase.
Anyone who lived through WWII knows exactly what a wasteful world we live in. We have arrogant politicians barely out of their disposable nappies telling us how to change our lifestyles, while they rattle around in mansions large enough to house a community, jetting off to even larger mansions for their holidays. They clearly have no intention of changing their lifestyles.
Brian Anderson, Castle Douglas
Audience question: Should Blair's principle of intervention on humanitarian grounds apply to Zimbabwe?
Text: Zimbabwe must be the most desperate country on the planet. Why is nobody acting?
Text: Zimbabwe doesn't have any oil so Bush and Blair won't go there.
Text: No, because armed intervention doesn't work, does it?
Peter Hitchens clearly has no understanding of the humanitarian imperative in the world, or Britain's obligations to her former colonial possessions. We have a track record of intervention in former colonies, as witnessed in Sierra Leone. It is a disgrace that we have not intervened militarily previously, and we certainly should in the future - the only issue being where to find the troops from! A small British lead force (with a sizable Special Forces element to snatch Mugabe and deliver him to The Hague for trial), to create the conditions for an international force (under either NATO or the UN) to take over peace keeping and state building seems to be the best way forward. I know every member of the Armed Forces would be proud to take part in such an operation.
James Morgan, Liverpool, UK
Text: The trouble is Blair's already bitten off more than he can chew with Iraq!
Text: Blair is a busted flush on foreign affairs, so Zimbabwe is lost.
Text: Mugabe should be held to account.
It's our moral duty to step in and take concerted action against the continued excesses of the Mugabe regime! They are a disgrace to the African continent and I shudder everyday at the total lack of will and morals on the part of the South African Govt to do anything to end this chaos when they have it in their power to do so speedily - cry the beloved country, long live Zimbabwe.
Paul Hiller, Brussels
Text: This country has the blood of the people of Zimbabwe on its hands.
Pat, W Midlands
Text: When is Jack Straw going to see Mugabe again?
Charity starts at home - Let's sort out our own country's problems like Peter Hitchens said, and then we can think about sorting out other countries' problems!
Text: Women's life expectancy in Zimbabwe is 34.
Text: Mugabe wants nothing to do with Britain - he tells his people we are the cause of his problems.
Audience question: Is David Cameron's hair the only thing about him that's moving to the left?
Text: Hair today, gone tomorrow! Ta ra 'Dave'!
Text: I suppose Blair's busy parting the waves rather than his hair.
Text: Only right is right. What is left? .
Text: Parting on the right is now a parting on the left. Come back Pete Townsend.
Text: It's the obligatory anti-Tory question..
Text: It's nice to have a cheeky chappie like Lembit on.
Great to see Peter back. What a bag of common sense!
This show was a perfect example of how pointless and vacuous modern politics, and politicians, have become. The only meaningful and informed debate was between Clare Short and Peter Hitchins.
Joe Thompson, Stoke-on-Trent
Text: Clare is like a breath of fresh air. She tells it like it is!
Text: Peter Hitchens is the only sensible voice on the panel.
Text: Clare Short for PM, she's the only one who talks sense.
I would like to agree with the last member of the audience to speak. The absence of a Plaid Cymru spokesman on the panel from Newport this close to the Assembly elections, when the three other major parties were represented, is unacceptable. It was noted that Plaid will be present at some later date, but will this be in front of a Welsh studio audience? This is just another example of bias by the BBC.
Dafydd Pritchard, Aberystwyth
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