The Sunday afternoon session gave a fascinating insight into the views of the four panelists on a variety of subjects, from Brexit to Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Who’s for a fixed link?
A member of the audience asked the panel whether their travel across the Solent had influenced their views on a fixed link to the mainland and what effect it could have on the economy, education and NHS.
Bob Seely was the first to respond, stating categorically that he is against it because, “it’s just not going to happen”.
He said a fixed link would cost in the region of £3bn and “we don’t have money”.
Fixed Link “not a panacea of all”
Bob went on to ask, “Do we want to entirely change the Island?” adding that a fixed link would not be “panacea of all”.
The MP finished by saying there are a number of other projects he’s working on to improve the Island and that he’d prefer to spend his time on helping those happen, rather than “this airy fairy” idea.
Journalist, Polly Toynbee, explained that as she was born on the Island (but left when she was three years old), she understands the subject is a ‘great divider’. She went on to say that if “the country makes the error of leaving Europe”, perhaps Islanders will want to declare independence for the Isle of Wight.
Former leader of the Conservative Party, Michael Howard, explained he couldn’t add to what Bob had already said, but pointed out that Red Funnel were the headline sponsor of the Literary Festival – which after a moment of reflection, raised a few chuckles from the audience.
Journalist, David Walker, briefly stated that his travel from Southampton “was a pleasant experience”.
BBC Tweeting there too
OnTheWight weren’t the only media in the room. The BBC’s Jessica Parker was also there
— Jessica Parker (@MarkerJParker) October 15, 2017