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EDITIONS
Thursday, 2 November, 2000, 17:20 GMT
November 2, Norwich
You can join Question Time's internet debate by emailing your views on the topics discussed in last week's programme to: questiontime@bbc.co.uk

You can watch last week's programme online in Real Video by clicking on Latest edition.


The topics discussed this week were:

Fuel: Ignominy or brute force?

Audience question: Is it democratic of the government to continuously treat a legitimate demand for petrol price reduction with ignominy or, as it now looks, with brute force?

You said:

Why are farmers so concerned about the cost of road fuel in this country? Is it because the Range Rover costs so much to fill up these days? Surely they can fiddle a subsidy somehow to cover the recent increases!
Colin Shipton, St Albans

Jack Straw said yesterday that by cutting the fuel tax it will cost jobs for the doctors, nurses, hospital beds etc. Does this mean that our fuel tax goes to fund the NHS? Or is this just another ploy to frighten the people who do not understand that we are over-taxed, over spun and under-valued as citizens.
Steve Savage, Gloucester

There are many 'legitimate' demands which people have and there are many ways within a democracy that these can be put forward. Holding others to ransom and threatening the running of the country is totally unacceptable. These people have absolutely no mandate to cause disruption on the scale we saw in September - and as for equating themselves with the Jarrow marchers!
Mr J L Hall, Huddersfield

The point people continually miss is that fuel tax was planned to be higher under the Conservatives. This is another example of William Hague trying to be all things to all people without any real sincerity or substance.
Bill McClurg, Whitfield, Scotland

If the government puts prices up on petrol because the price of oil has increased world-wide, and we have to pay the increase price set by the government, then surely the profits of an oil company would still be the same, or indeed less.
Mr Roberts, Greenwich

The people of Britain would not thank the government if they were to reduce fuel duty only to see the oil companies line their own pockets by simply adding it back on again. If the government is to make concessions, should they first ensure that the oil companies agree a price freeze?
Graham Walker, Brownhills, Walsall

I think that the farmers and the truckers are in the right and doing what needs to be done to first show this government is incapable of doing its job. Second, the truckers don't need to do anything because fear is in the people already.
Rhodri Ross, Rhyl

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Global warming: What benefits?

Audience question: How does the panel regard suggestions that global warming may benefit northern European states?

You said:

Global warming is not the only explanation for the increasing incidence of floods in this country. A massive increase in building and 'tarmac-ing' the countryside, along with more land being used for farming (especially during WW2 and after), more intensive farming methods, and ironically, better drainage systems, means that when it rains heavily, water is funnelled very quickly into our major rivers - hence more flooding.
Ben Plumridge, Cambridge

Is Matthew Paris wrong to ignore the precautionary principle even if there is incomplete scientific evidence of fossil fuel burning and global warming?
Ray Kelly, Wolverhampton

Although emissions from fossil fuel combustion have undoubtedly had a detrimental affect on the local and global environment in terms of acid rain and air pollution, it can't be attributed to causing global warming. Climate change occurs over periods of tens of thousands of years as a result of physical changes on the earth's surface (mountain building and continental movements, etc) a point which seems to have been overlooked by certain members of the panel and audience.
Andy Dorey, Cambridge

When we were having droughts a few years ago we were told by the scientists that it was being caused by global warming and that we would have to get used to drought conditions, that the water table would never again reach its proper level and that hose pipe bans would be a permanent fixture. So much for predictions!
Mary Rook, Aberystwyth

A lot of people seem to believe that Global Warming is an established fact. If so, then why is there a petition from the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine signed by over 17000 scientists, some with climate backgrounds, with the express aim of delivering the science fact about Global warming. It can be found at http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm Another site that follows the petition is http://www.sepp.org which covers similar ground to the page for the petition.
It makes for interesting reading.
Gareth Rogers, Boroughbridge

The environmental lobby has spent nearly 40 years attacking nuclear power to such an extent that it now accounts for less than 5% of all power generation worldwide, yet it emits no carbon dioxide and is cheaper than oil, coal or gas fired power generation. If they had been less vociferous in their opposition to nuclear power, would we now have developed the technology to deal with nuclear waste and its side effects, giving us all clean, cheap energy as opposed to the dirty, expensive energy we now rely on?
John Moss, London

It seems that no one is prepared to face the real cause of all the problems that beset the world. Why are there too many cars burning fuel, why do we need to build more houses on Greenfield sites etc? The answer is staring us in the face but no one mentions it. Put simply there is too many of us. People that is and the sooner governments get together and address the real problem of overpopulation none of the other problems can be addressed.
Bob Hellen, Spalding

Maybe these floods are to do with global warming? Maybe global warming is to do with the number of cars on the road. Maybe we need to stop have a political battle over, and maybe we should sit down and discuss the situation before the people start to panic buy and get flooded out of their homes.
James Manwaring, Windsor

All the talk of floods and global warming being caused by emissions is very topical and the argument by the "greenies" and Labour that this justifies the fuel taxes is ridiculous. Holland has been low lying for centuries and yet doesn't suffer in the way we do. Maybe we should focus on sorting the environmental problems rather than pointing fingers and making excuses.
Martin Spicer, Leiden

I see that John Redwood's knowledge of environmental issues is as good as his knowledge of the Welsh National Anthem - Ho, hum, hum!
Gareth Corps, Gaerwen

What a ridiculous question! How exactly is that possible, how can global warming benefit northern Europe - when the side effects are melting polar ice caps and not just warmer weather.
Louise Coles, Surrey

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Football: A German manager for England?

Audience question: Can the panel envisage a future soccer international with a German managing England and an Englishman managing Germany?

You said:

If, according to Shaks Ghosh, you don't have to be English to play for the English team then what is the point of it all? Will we have Multi-national team A, playing Multi-national team B? I don't care if England isn't the best - only that it is English and tries its best.
TP Bragg, Honiton

Why should the English people care about a German managing the football team, when they couldn't care that the whole country is increasingly being managed by Germany, and other European countries ideology, with this governments blessing!
Duncan Smith, UK

Only a woman could make such a ridiculous comment regarding football! Does that mean that the British Olympic team could be composed of any nationality?
Colin Venters, Edinburgh

I don't think we should have foreigners running our national football teams. We have enough British talent to do a perfectly effective job - The FA should learn to grow up a bit.
Dan, Surrey

If the panel approve of a Swedish "leader" to our national football team, how would they react to a Swedish (or foreign) prime minister?
Paul Barr, Waterlooville

What would Eriksson's view be if England play Sweden in the World Cup final?
Phil Eccles, Kendal

With John Redwood on tonight's panel I was surprised that nobody mentioned the unlikelihood of the British public having to endure the spectacle of Sven Goran Ericksson pretending to know the words of "God save the Queen"
Brendan Gallagher, Rep. Of Ireland

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Shedding tears for Woodhead?

Audience question: Will the resignation of Chris Woodhead be a loss to the education system?

You said:

It's a good day for education and teachers.
John and Karen Howell, Leamington Spa

Chris Woodhead was determined to raise standards and get rid of poor teachers. He has had some success but the momentum must not be lost. Chris Woodhead's going will be felt by the next generation of children.
Arthur Muttay, Wolverhampton

Chris Woodhead has done a superb job in dragging teachers kicking and screaming into the 20th (not 21st) century. It's about time teachers woke up to the real world and stopped whinging about their morale and started teaching.
Keith Whittaker, Newcastle-under-Lyme

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Gay marriages: Are they essential building blocks?

Audience question: Would allowing gays to marry assist William Hague in his quest to create essential building blocks?

You said:

It was refreshing to see a consensus across panel and audience that gay people and their relationships should be treated with respect. I am a gay Christian. A stable, loving, long-term relationship between two gay people is far better than promiscuity, isolation, despair or suicide. Gay marriages blessed in Church are the moral Christian way forward.
One of the lads, Barrow-In-Furness

Why do people think that the government has the ability to "authorise" homosexual relationships? All the government does is give tax breaks to those in "socially accepted" relationships. The morality of both is lost.
Maureen O'Brien, Ilford

I am heterosexual and proud of it. There is a difference between love and sex. Love between homosexuals and love between heterosexuals should not be counted as separate issues. I believe the panel is confusing "cruising" with "feeling". It's about time we dropped these dated values and faced up to the world we live in today.
Derek Coombes, Camberley

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"Time for bed," said Zebedee!

Audience question: It was stated today that bedtime stories are in a decline. Did the members of the panel have bedtime stories and if so did they do them any good?

You said:

There is no doubt that bed time reading is in decline, and I do think this is a pity as it provides a real opportunity to spend some quality time with your kids who you probably haven't seen all day. I think a revival is needed.
Mary Hodgson, Redruth

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General comments on the programme:

I am an avid viewer of QT and really look forward to it each week. However, for the first time ever I have just switched it off half way through. I do not think I have ever seen such an odious performance as that by John Redwood - what a supercilious and obnoxious person he is!
Mrs Carol Mason, Somerset

The idea of watching your programme, is to listen to the answers from panellists and audience. However when certain panellists do not allow others to answer without jabbering interjection, that drives you potty makes your program an absolute turn off. Let us hear what people have to say, then others can offer counter argument.
Arthur De Val, Newton Abbot

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