Thursday 12 November, Glasgow

Thursday 5 November, London

Thursday 29 October, Birmingham

Thursday 22 October, Cardiff

Thursday 15 October, Leeds

Thursday 8 October, Bournemouth

Thursday 1 October, Manchester

Thursday 24 September, London


Thursday 1 October, Manchester

Question Time was in Manchester along with panel guests Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Chris Smith MP, Tory MP Michael Ancram, newspaper columnist Janet Daley, leader of the UK's largest trade union Rodney Bickerstaffe and Baroness Emma Nicholson.

Here is how you reacted to the issues raised in the debate.

Sir Paul Condon's apology to the family of Stephen Lawrence

Audience question: "Does the panel think Sir Paul's apology is too little too late?"

Rodney Bickerstaffe said: "My own view is that there is instituitonalised racism - not in all police forces but a few... And, I think Sir Paul Condon will have to reconsider his position."

Janet Daley said: "Institutionalised racism seems to imply that it is something endemic in the system itself...and that seems to me to be an absurd idea."

You said:

Why should Mr Condon resign? People are using him as a scapegoat. If people are thugs they should be treated as such - skin colours should not come into it.
Guy McGovan

The view that the police is a representative body of society as a whole is to my mind a strange one. Physically they are bigger. Numerically they are disproportionately white and male. Age is clearly defined. Intelligence probably is misrepresented i.e few if any have an I.Q. 150+ or -100.
Ron Neesam

At last the real issue of racism in the police force is being taken seriously. Maybe now something will be done to eradicate it.
David Evans

It's all very well everyone going on about the Lawrence case and I do feel sorry for the Lawrence them but didn't PC Keith Blakelock die in a racist attack? Everyone in this country fails to recognise that anti-white racism also exists in certain parts of this country like in Luton for example this type of racism needs to be addressed also, blacks and asians in this town cause mayhem but it goes unreported as racial because the police are frightened of riots breaking out.
Terry Jones

To say that racism is endemic in our society and is thus reflected in the police force cannot and must not negate the fact that the police are there to uphold the right of the individual to protection within the law instead of apparently ignoring that liberty. Therefore it makes the acknowledgement and ultimately the eradication of endemic racism within the police force all the more pressing. That it seems to be endemic, judging by statistical data relating to its relations with part of the ethnic community, would imply an institutional problem but to what extent, is actually irrelevant and a dangerous smoke screen in front of the issue, when examining the attitudes of an institution sworn to our protection.
Ornette D Clennon

I'm fed up with people going on about how mistreated the black community is. In some areas of London they rob and kill whites but the law sometimes ignores this behaviour and lets blacks off. Law and order should punish criminals no matter what colour they are.
Klitty Mullen

The make-up of the police is a reflection of society, therefore it is inconceivable that the police in this country are not racist.
Tim Glasgow

Why is it that in this great free and democratic country we cannot put away people who everyone know fully well have comitted murder. The race side of the issue really is just a smoke screen , this in many ways is covering up the complete incompetence of the police force.
Ian Streeter

Racism and discrimination are perpetrated by many members of the community. Each police force is only representative of the community it serves.
Simon Butler

Zero tolerance policing

Audience question: "Zero tolerance policing has led to many complaints of CS gas and irrational policing. Can such problems be resolved?"

Chris Smith said: "Zero tolerance is not about the aggressive use of CS gas....It is about cracking down on criminals."

But Michael Ancram said: "In New York, it took 7,000 extra policemen to be effective. The government has got to decide if it believes its rhetoric or the reality."

You said:

Law and order in this country has never been worse. One of my friends died in Manchester after being mugged by a drug addict. The addict got treatment. What did my friend get?
Rosie Hill

With regards to zero tolerence already in the south east, the introduction of video etc is moving crime into the countryside.
Mr Bedwell

Labour Party conference

Audience question: "Are the Blairites in fact confused liberals?"

Janet Daley said: "New Labour want to split the difference on every conceivable issue.."

Chris Smith said: "There are some fundamental issues that we have always believed in as a party ..best encapsulated by the word community."

You said:

It was asked if Labour were confused? Well it seems that way as only a short time ago we were all complaining to the Ttory's about the same things we are complaing about now. Where are all the promises Labour made? It just seems they are turning their back on the people who got them into office in the first place. Why??????
Sam Piggot

It appears to be quite popular among the chattering classes to claim the Labour party is not true to its principles and has chosen liberal principles over socialist ones. However, policies such as compulsary trade union recognition, the minimum wage and the large sums of investment in health and education have all been promised by previous Labour governments (which academics have claimed to be more left wing) but never delivered. It is only this current Labour government which have actually stood by the courage of their convictions and implemented these changes which will have significant implications on the lives of the working class in this country.
Matthew Brown

I've never been moved to write any comment to such a programme before, but watching Question Time tonight I have felt moved to do so. What has the political situation in the UK come to that we are left with a government that only does anything if it feels that is what the people want? The country got fed up with the Tories because they were so selfish in thier views and alienised so many people. The Labour party watered down their beliefs so much simply to become acceptable to the electorate. Where is the party that will represent the people as a whole and stick to their beliefs?
Jason Brewster

Neither are they Liberals or confused - They are Tory wolves in sheep's clothing.
John Murray

Woe are we, the electorate at present. We have a centre party that drifts to both right and left like a close tug of war game, and a sorry state of an opposition. New Labour have just finished the first pantomime of the year with their party conference, what a disgrace to call themselves a political party, more like a management/marketing conference. As for Michael Ancram's view that his philosophy worked over the last Conservative administration, I hope he's got a good bowie knife - he will need it out in the wilderness. When will these idiots understand that 'trickle-down' economics is farcical as a system of fairness. How can these people continue to assert that the market system can deliver opportunity for all, when the real life evidence contradicts at every level.

As for New Labour, Tony Blair states "you can't buck the markets", yet he feels he can regulate it from the centre. Any assertion that "the third way" can mediate between social justice and the markets is an excercise in self-delusion.

Tony Blair is the politician of everything, of business, of single mothers, of workers, of employers, of the handicapped, even the Liberal Democrats. His political philosopy is a utopian illusion of Britain. It is, a dream, but he will get voted back in because he's not as bad as the Tories. British politics has little in the way of effective choice, the politics of 'best of a bad lot'.
Mark Cowan

Janet Daley is correct when talking about a certain degree of abandonment of core socialist policy. However, she and the Labour Party realised that nobody voted for these policies for 18 years so something had to give. It is better to be in power and to redistribute wealth by other means than to stick to policies that won't get you elected in the first place.
John Hughes

First of all congratulations for finally having someone from the union on your panels to represent a poorer section of society that as been rightly said has been abandoned by the Labour Government. And When you talk about racism how can Peter Mandelson as a minister talk in such an abusive manner about people in this country and get away with it.
Mr Levy

Firstly I would like to congratulate you on an excellent Web site, and to suggest that you add a search script to allow easy access to an enormous site. I watched tonight's debate 'live' from Manchester and one thing I noticed was that none of the panel understands the importance of BRITISH MANUFACTURING. Even the UNISON representative. This to me is DISGUSTING!
Graeme Bromley

We see now, clearly, that the Labour government really is run by "barometer" politics. There are no fundamental beliefs or issues to be tackled. Rather we see gravitation towards policies that meet "flavour of the month" criteria.
Ian Gould

Jason Brewster suggests (I think) that a government which 'sticks to its beliefs' is better than one which does 'what the people want'. Why? We saw such governments all across Eastern Europe before the fall of communism. Personally, I prefer one which reacts to public opinion. Why does Ian Gould sneer at this as 'barometer politics'?
Judith Mason

Audience question: "How could Peter Mandelson be critical and patronising of the working class?"

Janet Daley said: "There has been a systematic policy on the part of New Labour to exclude such people because they are politically awkward."

You said:

Chris Smith's comment, that "one has to be educated" to be in parliment, is exactly the sort of attitude that makes Labour and politics in general look like a blue-collared closed shop. One should use his words much more carefully especially given his privelaged position, considering it's the working class who put him their in the first place.
R Dickson

I am16 and feel that I would like to join a political party. However this would be imposibble as there is no political party that really reflects my socialist principles. This means that a large proportion of society is left unrepresented.
James Anthony

The Labour Party have made no difference to the middle classes but we can at least walk down the street without the fear of a parked car exploding in our faces which is achievement enough. Well done Mo Mowlam.
Stewart Cowley

I'd like to comment on the subject of working class people feeling like they are being let down by the goverment. Have politicans forgotten about poverty, bad housing and child crime? As they all seem to be linked and it's happening either due to poverty, bad housing and to working class people not the rich, it's about time people start talking about what there going to do and starting taking action . I thought we were trying to get a classless society yet working class people like myself are still struggling everyday to get by, and struggling to keep our homes and children safe.
Sam Piggott

Again someone mentioned the nurses. I agree they do a good job but when will someone recognise the armed forces? What people may not realise is that when the firemen and ambulancemen strike, we are the ones who cover their work. All these are paid overtime, we're not. They have a normal working week, we don't. None of these have to do their job and maybe carry out extra work on top i.e. month's away from their families to help protect countries that most people have never heard of. All for the same pay!
Viewer

Crisis in Kosovo

Audience question: "How many more Albanians do the Serbs have to kill before Nato takes some decisive action?"

Emma Nicholson said: "It's too late already it's disgraceful that these people are being killed and we must move but Nato has no obligation on human rights."

Chris Smith said: "If in order to prevent further massacres and killing in Kosovo the only way is to deploy the use of force then yes I would support that."

You said:

I wonder if the American position on Kosovo will be applied to South Florida in the future? We seem to immediately take whichever side is perceived by the world community as being the underdog, except in the case of the Palestinians. The Cuban population in South Florida is growing rapidly and will soon be the majority ethnic group (if not already). When they decide to make everything south of Orlando an independent country called Habana Norte, I wonder if Holbrooke will be able to intimidate Washington into permitting it?
Mitch

What an absurd and ridiculous statement to make , that is is too late for the West/Nato to intervene, I don't know what was going in Emma's head. Innocent people are being killed, tortured and kidnapped, people are abusing basic human rights and because this has already gone on, you think that is too late to take action? Should the Americans have stopped the liberation of Holocaust Camps because millions had already been killed ? No! The majority of the world has made it quite clear in one resounding, resolute and determined voice that we will not tolerate fellow human beings being subjected to this treament, that we will not sit idly by as thousands of people are tortured and tormented by opressors. In my opinion, we have not acted quickly enough. We need to move quickly and stop the slaying of people immediately, else these people will be dying with the sound of our hollow promises ringing in their ears, a crime that each of us will be responsible for and gulity of.
Daniel Muchow

Kosovo should be left alone. A cordon needs to be put round the area. Would the UN be so keen to be involved if there were nuclear or chemical weapons there or is that why Israel ignores the UN with impunity?
Dave

The situation in Kosovo is appalling considering this is supposed to be the 20th Century. I find equally appalling the opinions of some that the only way to solve a problem of genocide is force. Bombing won't help anyone, not innocent Kosovans or Serbs. Right now in an online debating chamber I run there are Americans who are all gun-ho and ready to bomb. I do feel that a protective UN presence would help the Kosovans and protect them from the Serbian agressors. What should be done in addition to this would be negotiations, co-ordinated by the EU. This is a European problem after all, and at worse sanctions against Serbia.
Sarah Booker

Out of town shopping centres

Audience question: "What can be done to reverse the decline local communities caused by these huge out of town shopping centres?"

Michael Ancram said: "If you believe in choice then you believe in giving the consumer choice.."

Janet Daley said: "They deprive a whole community of streetlife, take away the market place way of life in every sense and deprive a community of its heart."

You said:

I am against out-of-town shopping centres, as they promote the use of the private car, make it difficult for the elderly to shop, and kill off town centres. I'm from Shoreham in Sussex, a town highlighted in the national press as being killed off by out of town development. There is no need for these giganto shops filling up valuable countryside.
Sarah

Planners should take a leaf out of Hull's book. The Deputy PM's home town has managed to have a thriving regional shopping centre in the same place as its historic town centre. I have to admit that other cities have not had nearly as much help in flattening their town centre as we have but I'm sure it could be achieved.
James Anthony

I much prefer being able to go to out of town centres. They are hugely convenient with all the shops under one roof and you do not have to worry about the hazards of the elements either. Small shops in town just gave up making an effort, as far as I am concerned. They became lazy and took their customers for granted. Those who try to adapt to modern consumer demands may survive - the others do not deserve to.
Carmelle Jones

Rupert Murdoch's bid to buy Manchester United

Audience question: "Is British culture, media and sport safe in the hands of Rupert Murdoch?

Emma Nicholson said: "No, absolutely not."

Chris Smith said: "There is a lot of mythology about this government bending over backwards to help Rupert Murdoch..."

You said:

People as powerful as Rupert Murdoch are in effect our future dictators given 'the-skies-the -limit' to one individual with such financial powers.
R Dickson

I do not really think that he is as big a threat as others have summarialy declared. It is really the viewers' choice, and if they were to dissaprove of his services, then they would not utilise them. Thus, it really is the viewers "in the saddle" as Murdoch has said, as it is they who will ultimately choose.
Tariq






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