Saturday, November 26, 2011

Prime Minister's Questions

Hat tip to the Guardian for organising a set of "Prime Minister's Questions" in which various people put a question to David Cameron.

You can either read his answers here,
or hear them here.


A sample of some of the questions and replies:

From Piers Morgan, TV presenter:

If you could relive one moment in your life, excluding births of children and marriage, what would it be?

DC ANSWER: "God, that's a really good question. Piers, why don't you ever ask really good questions like that normally? I think it would be this holiday in Italy when I met Samantha properly. It was that sort of carefree wonderful time when you get together with the person you end up spending the rest of your life with. That feeling of happiness and a wonderful holiday with your family around you and the sun is shining and the sea is beautiful and you're with someone who makes you laugh, makes you happy with that sense of excitement in the future."


From Richard Dawkins, biologist, author and proseletysing atheist:

Why do you support faith schools for children who are too young to have chosen their faith, thereby implicitly labelling them with the faith of their parents, whereas you wouldn't dream of so labelling a "Keynesian child" or a "Conservative child"?

DC ANSWER: "Comparing John Maynard Keynes to Jesus Christ shows, in my view, why Richard Dawkins just doesn't really get it. I think faith schools are very often good schools. Why? Because the organisation that's backing the school – the church or the mosque or the synagogue – is part of the community. And it brings a sense of community and a sense of responsibility and the backing of an institution to a school. The church was providing good schools long before the state ever got involved, and we should respect the fact that it's not just the state that can provide education but other bodies, too. So I support faith schools on the basis of the proof that over the years they've been good schools."

From Mike Leigh, film-maker:

What is your moral justification for the state not providing free further education for everybody, and for the principle of student loans? And I do want to hear your moral reasoning: not any economic, political or historic excuses.

DC ANSWER: "I think there is a strong moral case for this, which is the evidence that going to university brings a benefit to that individual person over the course of the rest of their life. Therefore, I think it is morally right that they make a contribution to the cost of that course, which is what our fees policy does. And I think it would be morally wrong to ask the taxpayer to bear all of the burden of that cost, not least because there are many taxpayers who don't go to university who don't have that benefit."

From Ian McEwan, novelist:

There's still a very strong general feeling around that wage earners are picking up the tab for the excesses of the banking sector. Why not take seriously the "Robin Hood" campaign? (And don't be blackmailed by bankers' empty threats to move abroad – the proposed levy is tiny on any given transaction.)

DC ANSWER: "I'm all in favour of the idea of a financial transaction tax, but only if you can do it globally. And while of course it is a tiny tax on transactions, if the effect is that you just move the transactions to another country, you then lose the tax revenue. The EU keep talking about it, but in the end they know the problem is that even if you did it throughout the EU, the transactions would all go outside the EU."

From Miranda Hart, comedian:

What's the least favourite part of your job (apart from the difficulty of ordering takeaways to Number 10)?

DC ANSWER: "The thing I dread the most is news of casualties from Afghanistan, because that's the greatest responsibility. The thing that is odd and weird is having to have people open car doors for you because they weigh two tonnes and if you tried to do it yourself you'd cut your leg off."

Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP

Why do you refuse to give the British people a referendum on the EU, despite your earlier cast-iron guarantee?

DC ANSWER: "I made a policy of having a referendum on the Lisbon treaty, and if the Lisbon treaty had been still extant at the time of government, we would have had a referendum on the Lisbon treaty. I don't believe Britain should leave the European Union, but I do believe there are powers we can retrieve from Europe to have a better balance."
From David Blanchflower, economist:

There are one million youngsters under the age of 25 currently without a job. How are you going to prevent them becoming a lost generation?

DC ANSWER: "As David knows, there is no simple answer. You've got to improve the quality of education so you don't have children falling out of school at 16 without skills, you've got to have proper apprenticeships that take people from school into work, you've got to make sure that there are training programmes to help those who can't find jobs. Youth unemployment went up in the years of economic growth as well as recession, so this is a deep underlying problem with the British economy that we have to solve."

2 comments:

Tim said...

Why is Miranda Hart a comedian ? the last time I looked, women like her were referred to as comediennes.

Jim said...

for the faith schools thing
i think the person who hit the nail on the head was Holly Near.

Google "holly near, i aint afraid"

for the referendum
its a standard political answer, promise the world and struggle to deliver an atlas