The first question asked whether Labour has any friends in British business. As expected, answers from politicians became party political broadcasts, saying what their party would do and how much they supported business in creating wealth and jobs. Through the audience, the question expanded into zero hours contracts and Labour’s management of the economy in the past.
The second question concerned ‘bog-standard schools’ and whether they would continue to exist. The focus was on the new Conservative proposals for school budgets, which would see all pupils receive the same amount of money spent on them. Party political attacks continued, although Tristram Hunt said that Labour’s proposals would be announced in the coming weeks. The need (or otherwise) for teachers to be qualified, free schools and FE colleges were also discussed. I believe that the best way to raise standards in schools would be to give complete freedom to schools over how they spend money; they know the children they are working with best and what they need in order to succeed.
The third question concerned a report indicating anti-Semitism is on the increase in Britain. The increase in attacks has been linked to violence in the Middle East. George Galloway, a member of the panel, was discussed and whether his remarks have inflamed tensions; Galloway defended himself and his record despite a hostile audience, although others agreed with him.