Find out what you had to say about Question Time on Thursday, 14 June, 2007 from London.
The topics discussed were:
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received:
Audience question: What do you think Tony Blair's biggest failure was?
I texted a comment concerning people's attitude to Tony Blair on Thursday. Basically I wondered why people seem to think he went to war in Iraq for some gleeful malevolent reason. Why can't we believe that he believed what he was doing was right? With hindsight, we all know now it was wrong.
Elizabeth Paul, London
The biggest failure of Blair's premiership? His and his cohort's promotion of spin and obfuscation. The panellists evasions are the sad result.
Gordon McGregor, Edinburgh
Text: Blair's biggest failure? The last 10 years.
When Tony Blair came into office, nearly a decade ago in his manifesto was a commitment to narrow the gap between rich and poor. Unfortunately, the gap has widened and the working people are suffering.
Ian Harris, Dagenham
Text: New Labour caused unaffordable housing.
I can't believe they didn't know there was questionable intelligence over Iraq. I could find out plenty of contrary evidence on my own and these people have researchers. The "I believed the intelligence at the time" is a complete cop out and smokescreen. Not everyone believed there was WMD and it is a complete falsehood to suggest otherwise.
Graeme, Sydney , Australia
They all say they believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. Most sensible people believed that it had not been proved by the weapons inspectors. As all of them voted for the war without UN sanction. I do not believe any of them are fit to be deputy prime minister.
Bill Evans, Oswestry
It is completely infuriating to hear these people tiptoe away from the issue of Iraq. If it's going to be brought up at all then they must be pressed. If the second resolution was not necessary then why was it so vigorously pursued? So what if Saddam did have WMD - what had changed over 10 years in Iraq? And so on. The pathetic whining leaves any respect for politicians in tatters. So hardly a surprise when people turn to anyone who will discuss the issue with sincerity, whatever their opinions.
Nicola Hale, Lincoln
Text: How can they still talk about Surestart when they are busy withdrawing it?
"Old" Labour principles
Audience question: Jon Cruddas is proving popular with the public with his old Labour principles, so should the other candidates take a leaf out of his book?
The panellists talk about more affordable housing but I bet none of them wants house prices to drop to more affordable levels. Affordable housing to politicians usually means paying top whack for half a house. It's hard to take their pledges seriously when all they seem to come up with is house price boosting shared ownership which makes the ultimate problem worse.
Text: The only affordable housing in Devon is a tent.
Old Labour principles is basically affordable housing for all, equality, higher taxes for the rich, peace and not war, and fully funded public services. If everyone on the panel except Jon Cruddas thinks this is barmy then I know who my vote would go to.
Text: Cruddas is the only one to represent working people.
Text: They have trashed pensions, education, the NHS. What next?
Several of the candidates have extolled the increase in public spending and cited the success of the health service. Really? NICE is rationing drugs for treatment of macular degeneration, condemning thousands of elderly people to blindness. Treatment which is available in Scotland and around Europe. They should all be ashamed. How anyone can think the health service, or the government is praiseworthy when committing this crime of discrimination is beyond me. How can they sleep at night?
Elizabeth Purslow, Exeter
Audience question: This Labour Government has been accused of excessive law making. What piece of legislation from the last 10 years would you most like to see repealed?
Hazel Blears constantly refers to manifesto pledges. Since when has this government carried out all its manifesto pledges? A manifesto pledge should be a contract with the electorate. Otherwise it's not worth the paper it's written on.
Warren Wright, Southampton
Text: Democracy? I don't think so, this is a nanny state!
Hazel Blears said that New Labour will not go back to "punitive taxation". What would she call abolition of the 10p Income Tax band in the last budget? This means that, from next April, anyone on around £150-a-week will see their tax bill almost doubled or by around £200 a year.
Bill Peabody, London
Audience question: Recognising excellence in others is fundamental to good leadership. So, can you name the single greatest political achievement of one of your co-runners?
Although I feel that in the whole campaign Alan Johnson hasn't fired on all cylinders, to me he is the best candidate, not only for this job but in a few years to replace Gordon too.
Sean Jinks, Watford
What was the point of dedicating a whole programme to panellists standing for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party, in whose election the vast majority of the population has absolutely no say? Is it customary for the BBC to allow one party to effectively have a one-hour party political broadcast? I do not have any allegience to a specific party, but this over-exposure of the deputy leadership contest is not helping to engender interest in politics. Are we now to have programmes dedicated to each of the other parties? Please do not repeat what I believe to have been an error of judgement in choice of panellists.
Carole Hiley, Hampton Wick
I was in the audience for last night's deputy leadership panel special, and I have to say, it was an unedifying experience. I love QT.
Barbara Armstrong, London
Hazel was saying that she sees the job of deputy leader as being one of getting the Labour Party re-elected and to bolster the membershp. I see this as misappropriation of funds. The Labour Party is going to use my taxes to pay a top minister to do party work?
Phil Mitchell, Warrington
I was disappointed that no hard question was asked of the panel by Mr Dimbleby on their reaction to the elections in Scotland whereby, after 50 years of Labour dominance, the people have voted them out. Now we have the SNP in the Scottish Parliament leading the country. Surely this constituted a request for their opinions on how this could be addressed or reasons understood?
Jim Francis, Lanarkshire
With all this fuss over the deputy leadership for what is effectively a nothing title that Prescott can hold while not even having a department, why is the real competition not for the chancellor's job? Does nobody in the Labour camp want to risk finding any shortfalls upon reveiwing the job done by their predessor?
James Stott, Aberdeen
Text: It's a tricky business agreeing with your colleagues but making out you're different.
Text: This isn't Question Time, it's a job interview.
Text: If they all have different answers it suggests lots of failure.
Text: This lot aren't going to make this failing government any better.
Text: Does anyone really care? It's only deputy party leader, not deputy PM.
The only way I can describe the deputy leadership debate is distressing. Here we had six of the most significant politicians in the country and not one mentioned that signs of an unsustainable planet are beginning to creep into everyday news reports. Climate chaos, peak oil and gas with escalating prices, 6% food inflation sparked by poor yields worldwide and backed by the rush to biofuels and changing diets in China. Much else. The writing is on the wall and the candidates hadn't read it.
David Hughes, London
Mister Dimbleby should treat his guests with more respect. Referring to 'Hain' is unacceptable; I'm sure he wouldn't refer to guests in such a way should they be named 'Tebbit' or 'Heseltine'. He was brusque with all of the panellists.
Mel Swain, Horsham
Text: David is challenging the candidates, proper debate at last.
Please stop David Dimbleby from constantly sniping at the panellists, I don't mind him making them answer the question, but mostly, he is just picking away and I personally, would like to listen to what they have to say without interruption
Frances Versluys, Wareham
A member of the audience asked a question about Europe. The whole panel were in agreement, D.D. didn't want to know, and the question was swept under the carpet. And this is supposed to be democracy in action. It's a thorough disgrace, and an apology should be given to the questioner. It demonstrates that there is a breathtaking assumption that Europe is a non issue, and nothing can be done about it. Sadly the BBC is complicit in this. So much for objectivity - either by the BBC or by any of the panellists.
Andrew Fairhead, Alresford
I think David Dimbleby takes a far too active part in Question Time. He is supposed to be the Chairman but has far too much to say, heckling and constantly giving HIS opinion. Chair the panel David and keep YOUR opinions to yourself.
Text: Labour and Conservative have both made mistakes. Give the Lib Dems a chance.
Congratulations to David Dimbleby for his handling of tonight's edition. He kept the programme moving and ensured that the politicians were not able to produce their robotic party election broadcast routines. Please can you employ this approach to future programmes - it's much more dynamic, covers more ground and produces more answers to the questions posed.
S. Martin, Shaftesbury
What we want is a deputy Leader who did not vote for the war in Iraq.
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