Question Time is an important weekly programme for politics students. It goes over some of the important news stories of the week and gets a panel of (usually) relevant people to debate the issues. Here is a summary of last night’s Question Time which you can watch here and you may also want to follow the hash tag bbcqt
This week’s panel consisted of:
Ken Clarke the Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor
Susan Kramer a Lib Dem MP
John Prescott the former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Owen Jones the author of ‘Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class’
Julie Meyer an entrepreneur
Question 1: How would you solve the unemployment problem?
Ken Clarke: the UK must keep “German-type [interest] rates with a Greece-like deficit
Susan Kramer: We are seeing the beginning of that rebalancing [of the economy]
John Prescott: You have to lift the [level of] demand – more money should be put into the economy
Susan Kramer accuses Owen Jones of plans to live beyond our means
Meyer: there are lots of apprenterships and fantastic ways in the digital world where young people can get involved in work
Question 2: Does the election of Police Commissioners risk politicising the Police force?
Susan Kramer: Policing is far too precious for it to become party political *This is following a split in the Liberals as to whether or not they should put candidates forward for the role*
Prescott (who is standing for the role) said he voted against its creation and that the role will be taken advantage of (hmm)
Owen Jones: “The danger is Robocop vs Judge Dredd wannabees tapping into people’s fear about crime”
Question 3: Will current NHS changes produce quantifiable benefits before the next election or will it be looked back at as electoral suicide?
Ken Clarke: The NHS continues to need reform and I have all the support of Andrew [Lansley’s NHS] reforms
Julie Meyer: Why not turn [the NHS] into a trillion pound healthcare industry?
Owen Jones: The Tories have ‘no mandate’ to do what’s proposed with the NHS, blaming New Labour for ‘laying the foundations’ – foundation hospitals etc.
Question 4: Baroness Warsi suggests religion is being ‘sidelined, marginalised and down-graded in the public sphere’. Isn’t this a good thing?
Owen Jones: Religion ‘more than punches its weight in this country’ – we are one of two countries to have church officials take seats in parliament
Pretty much all panellists agreed it was a good thing that we have a separate church and government.
Question 5: What difference would an independent Scotland make to my life in Nottingham?
Most panellists are sceptical about it happening and all want the union to stay together, it was raised in the audience that England should get to vote on the independence if it’s going to affect us however this point was addressed and dismissed by Kramer.