POLITICS
16/10/2015 00:28 BST | Updated 16/10/2015 09:59 BST

BBC 'Question Time' Erupts As Rod Liddle And Simon Schama Scorn Each Other's Response To Refugees

Journalist Rod Liddle, fresh from penning a column on the 'Great British Bake-Off' that drew praise from the EDL, appeared on Thursday’s 'Question Time', engaging in a rambunctious scrap with historian Simon Schama on the issue of migration.

In a high-spirited exchange, Liddle chastised commenters for the “Dianafication” of the refugee crisis, demanding a more practical approach to dealing with the displaced.

“What’s really contemptible, Rod,” said the Colombia University professor, "is saying emotion should have no part in how we respond…”

“I’m interested in outcomes, not in your emotion," shot back Liddle, his brow firm, his eyes fixed. “I’m interested in what is good for those people [migrants] and what is good for this country, not in how you feel about yourself.”

Schama, flustered, went back in: “There’s nothing to be ashamed about having an emotional response to the suffering of four million Syrian refugees…”

Liddle, once again: “Then decide what to do about it.”

Now with some coal in the furnace, Schama hit back: “Do not presume to lecture me about the inadequacy of an emotional response to mass human suffering. Go back to your journalistic hackery and talk about outcomes, and turn your suburban face away from the plight of the miserable.”

The historian also lectured MEP Roger Helmer on the same subject, likening the Ukip man's rejection of Syrians to that of the German jews (watch that clip below).

Later in the programme, an emotional audience member lambasted panelist and Tory MP Amber Rudd over the party's tax credit cuts.

"I work bloody hard for my money, to provide for my children, to get them everything they've got and you're going to take it away from me," she said through tears. "I can hardly afford the rent I have to pay, I can hardly afford the bills I've got to do and you're going to take more from me."

As Rudd shifted with discomfort, the lady shouted, "shame on you."

The House of Commons Library estimates that tax credit cuts will lead to an average £1,300 cut in the annual income of around 3.2 million families, including 2.7 million families with 5.2 million children in them, if they come into effect as planned in April 2016.

Data supplied by HM Revenue & Customs shows that some may lose as much as £3,000 a year next April if the cuts are implemented as planned.

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