Questionable Time #80


questionable time 80 david dimbleby mogwai cody

Apologies to Mogwai…

Good morning Lemmings and after last week’s no-shows we’re now at the opposite end of the spectrum as six egos are herded into the studio to fight amongst themselves. Considering that’s double the amount of panelists that we had on the show last week we should be in for double the fun, right? I wouldn’t bank on it.

That Eddi Reader looks like the mellow sort…

…At least that’s what I though when the camera panned back and revealed the panel. Sandwiched between the line of uninspiring suits and furrowed brows was this picture of free-floating whimsy, seemingly unaware that no, you’re not at Womad and no, there won’t be a workshop on how to batik Celtic knotwork onto hemp based fabrics later on. Anyway, this struck me as rather good news as I like it when they have a wavy-gravy type on and was looking forward to hearing what Scottish independence would do for the nation’s chakras. Then she had a pop at the first question.

Initially things were going well: There was a reassuringly vague statement about how she’s got nothing against the English and some platitude along the lines of ‘can’t we all just get along?’, all of which seemed very much in line with my initial take on Eddi Reader (bearing in mind that this initial take was based solely on watched Perfect by Fairground Attraction on You Tube and approximately 30 seconds of air-time). But then the menace started creeping in.

It was muted at first and her answer seemed innocuous enough but there was one line that sent a shiver down my spine: “I’ve been looking into this”. Now, looking into things is no crime but the way she said it – you know, with that splash of green ink and the crinkling of tin foil – reminded me of the way people say “I’ve been looking into this” after watching Loose Change or spending an afternoon on David Ike’s website. There was just something terribly J’accuse! about it.

As it happens J’accusing! turned out to be the name of Reader’s game as within five minutes she was J’accusing! an audience member of having faulty information (“Who ‘s frightening you?!”) before embarking on a rolling J’accuse! with Margaret Curran that would last for the entirety of the show. Some of these J’accuses! were justified and relevent but quite a lot of them just sounded – well, just a little bitter and with more than hint of the conspiratorial about them. Let’s just say I’m glad there wasn’t a question about the anniversary of JFK’s death.

Sturgo did good…

My usual charge sheet against Nicola Sturgeon usually revolves around her tendency to cross the Plucky-Chippy line but I’m pleased to say that there was none of that last night. No, in fact it was a very well-rounded little affair that saw her looking calm, in control and without any of the irritability that sometimes seeps in and snags her. However, I did notice whilst hunting for this week’s pshop material (and boy was that a thankless task) that her living room doesn’t appear to be sufficiently patriotic in décor for a high-ranking member of a nationalist party. As a result I got all a little Llewelyn-Bowen and gave the place a makeover for her (see Fig. 1). Don’t mention it Nics, don’t mention it…

nicola-sturgeon-house-gif

Fig. 1

Which is the scarier of these passages?

1. There is something evil behind this door.

2. If you opened this door with your hand and had a look inside with your eyes you might get some sort of feeling that if you carried on looking hard enough you might see some shapes or something that look pretty evil.

I’m bringing this up for Margaret Curran’s benefit as she played the role of the scary one for the No campaign whose job it was to highlight all the perils independence would bring. The problem was that she chose to go about this task in the manner of the second passage – you know, by using all the available words in the world and doing so veryveryquickly – and that really doesn’t put the frighteners on anyone. Granted, having Eddi Reader stalking about the place doesn’t exactly do much to settle one’s nerves but still, less is more Margaret, less is more.

Missed Opportunity of the Evening goes to…

noted Linux/Open Source enthusiast Patrick Harvie for not suggesting that Scotland should use Bitcoins as their currency. He might very well not see any merit in using Bitcoins for such a purpose but just to have watched Dimbers and Annabel Goldie try to get their heads around the intricacies of cryptographically generated future monies would have made it all worthwhile. Aside from that it was a good effort from Harvie, especially that last little flourish about Scotland being intrinsically centre-left. It was precisely the same point that Eddi Reader was trying to make but he managed to do it without sounding utterly terrifying.

I’ve really warmed to Annabel Goldie…

Being a Scottish Tory must be like being a Rasta in Pyongyang yet she somehow endures and does so in quite a good-natured way. Take for example the question about how independence would mean getting shot of the Blue Team and everyone cheered the sort of gleeful cheer that sets most panelists all a quiver. Not Goldie though, she just sat there and took it with a knowing look and nary a flinch. Now that’s the type of faith you only get when pursuing a truly lost cause.

I’m calling Carmichael out…

…Because according to his Twitter background picture (see Fig. 2) he’s heavily involved with bloody great axe-wielding Vikings and if there’s one thing I’ve been consistently saying QT would benefit from it’s the addition of Vikings with bloody great axes. As it happens Alistair Carmichael is less of a berserker and more of a fairly average chap who gave a fairly average performance and will be awarded fairly average points minus one for the sneaky Viking subterfuge. Hey, maybe Eddi Reader was right… Maybe politics is awash with “agendas” and “sneaky behaviour”. I should Look Into This…

Fig. 2

Fig. 2

Tl;dr

Sturgeon: 6/10

(Showed a fair amount of) Skill

Curran: 5/10

(Knows how to) Fill (a sentence up to bursting point)

Carmichael: (5-1) = 4/10

(Doesn’t look like he enjoys) Kill(ing as much as his Twitter background pic does)

Goldie: 5/10

(Does a good line in) Still (waters run deep)

Harvie: 6/10

Will (hopefully be on more often)

Reader: 4/10

(Isn’t as) Chill(ed as she looks)…

The Audience: 5/10

(Off their heads on) Pill(s)…

Well, at least they bothered to turn up is all I can say. Right, time for me to go and Look Into Things and by ‘things’ I mean the washing-up. Oh the glamour…

Next week Lemmings, next week…

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2 Responses to “Questionable Time #80”


  1. 1 MarkB December 2, 2013 at 23:49

    Sir, you need to increase your standard deviation – The Fairground Attraction was a 2 (at best) … The worst kind of closed-minded panellist… Perhaps she did us all a service by making the politician’s look good and understand it’s not as easy as it looks. She was AWFUL, up there with Johnny Rotten, “Vorders” & her reading glasses (from her brief political period when she was taken down by Will Self, or perhaps just hoist by her own petard Rita Skeeter style), and the disastrously unhinged transatlantic VC woman who thought internet start-ups could dig us out of any size hole you could think of (what was her name – surely worthy of a greatest “hits” mention). Anyway – good luck, I await another gif of the genius of IDS’s cuuuube!

    • 2 loudribs December 3, 2013 at 18:43

      You know, you’re right… I always wuss out when it comes to the scores. I’m overly protective of the top and bottom scores, constantly hoping to apply them to a performance so good or bad that it can’t have actually happened. And yes, Eddi was bad. Really bad. From now on the 1-3′s are stepping up their game.

      CUUUUUUUBE.


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