‘What a stupid thing to say!’ LBC debate on climate protests descends into shouting match

Pierce clashes with caller on removing children from school

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LBC host Andrew Pierce attacked the thousands of pupils who skipped school to protest the Cop26 conference, demanding parents be punished for allowing their children to miss school. But Mr Pierce drew the ire of a caller named Melanie who was not happy with Mr Pierce’s negative assessment of the young demonstrators. As the debate got tenser, Melanie argued there would be no point of a job if there was no future with Mr Pierce exclaiming “what a stupid thing to say”.

Caller Melanie said: “I just want to say that I massively don’t appreciate you saying that these young people are bunking off schools…”

Mr Pierce interrupted and said children were bunking off school with Melanie rejecting the description, arguing it was a “negative” assessment of what young people were doing.

She argued the protests were showing the “incompetence” of the Government cracking down on climate change issues.

The caller added children were so worried about their future that they would prefer to skip out on their education to campaign.

COP26: Climate change activists gather for London protest

Melanie concluded by accusing the media of diverting the climate change issue back onto the public instead of putting it on companies to change their ways.

Mr Pierce attempted to reply and explain the “law of the land” but was repeatedly interrupted by Melanie.

The pair went back and forth as Mr Pierce struggled to get his voice heard.

Mr Pierce eventually said he believes many students skip school for the protests to simply get a day off.

He added if pupils were “so committed” to the environment then they could spend their Saturday and Sundays demonstrating instead.

Melanie said it was “degrading” to the young people to say they were not committed to the environment and revealed she has spoken to many at the demonstrations she attended.

Mr Pierce said the young activists should be focused on their future, their jobs and education with Melanie saying what was the point of a job if there was no future.

The radio presenter attacked the caller and said “what a stupid thing to say” before cutting the call short and saying many students would be going to university to better their future.

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Students across the world took part in the Friday for Future protest, inspired by Greta Thunberg, where they skipped school to demonstrate.

Ms Thunberg delivered a speech on Friday to a crowd of children, their parents and other demonstrators who were angry at the Cop26 inaction.

She told protesters: “It is not a secret that COP26 is a failure, it should be obvious that we cannot solve a crisis with the same methods that got us into it in the first place.”

Protests continued over Saturday where thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across the UK.

Glasgow, Birmingham and London saw the biggest crowds with another speech from Ms Thunberg taking place.

Organisers of the protests claim around 200 events have taken place across the world on Saturday.

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