Morning Lemmings and welcome back from the Festivus break. First things first, the good news: My leg is now repaired and fully functional after my pre-Crimbo high velocity ground/Loudribs interface (apparently I bruised the bone in my hip. I never knew you can bruise bones, but who am I to argue with the good people at A and E or my own pain receptors?). In outpourings of further joy, I am pleased to announce that I have a new telly and the ghostly green shroud has now been lifted from the Heavenly Visage of Dimbleby. I was blind(ish) but now I see. So yes, rejoicing all round.
Now, just in case you thought you got away with it, here’s the bad news: Owing to other commitments, I have literally an hour to cobble something together so it’s going to be a super short QT Report tonight. I realize that this is a rather ominous start to the new series, but my sick note is in good order as I will be playing a gig with popular beat combo Achtung Everybody in a matter of hours. For all those who live in Leeds and fancy getting themselves down to Santiago’s for about 8.00, I salute you. I can’t promise that the music will be to your tastes, but as it’s only two quid on the door all subsequent complaints will be filed under ‘P’ for ‘Po-Faced’.
Right…. To the show. First up we have Michael Gove and his anatomically perplexing face (I wager that if you were to punch it, your fist would be sucked in by it’s putty like qualities and become stuck which in turn would lead to a rather awkward post-attempted assault situation where you either both freak out or end up simply standing in bewildered silence, fist still implanted in face). I must say I was quietly impressed with his outing, especially as a throng of teachers who had voted Conservative formed an orderly queue with the intention of giving him what for. This motley crew were mostly dealt with a combination of appropriately pitched humour and a very impassioned monologue that saw him get quite hot under the collar, both of which proved reasonably effective. However, he did get caught out by an early play of the “son of a fish merchant” card which Charles Kennedy then trumped with his own deployment of the “son and grandson of a Scottish crofter” gambit. Gah! Damned reformed alcoholics! Always spoiling everyone elses fun! A similar scenario later unfolded when he poked fun at Dimbers’ rapidly advancing years (seventy-goddamn-two! He’s as old as Moses!) which was swiftly counter poked with a quip about some maths he had just got wrong, leading him to retreat into a confusing little passage where he may or may not have claimed to fancy Celina Scott. Oh, and before I forget, he also came out with this humdinger. “Facts are chiels that winna ding”. According to google, this is a Burns quote. According to everyone else, it’s the incoherent rantings of a maniac who’s minutes away from being sectioned. So that is he and despite the fact he’s clearly a True Believer in something quite potty (and I find True Believers of any ilk to be terrifying), he did pretty good.
Moving swiftly on we have Dianne Abbott making her ten trillionth appearance on recent QT’s, a fact that now leads me suspect that she is having some sort of sordid affair with Dimbers. Little to say here as I’ve expended most of my Abbott material in previous reports but it was your usual concoction of affable head nodding, exacerbated appeals to reason and reassuring mumsiness. All well and good, but beware Dianne, your well deserved familiarity is getting dangerously close to generating a smidgen of contempt. Bringing up the rear of the party political end is Charles Kennedy who tended to answer questions at great and rambling length but did so in the style of reading a bedtime story, thus cementing his position Person I Would Most Like To Offer Me A Cup of Tea Upon Waking From A Hangover. Also of note were his extensive efforts to put an ocean of clear blue water between himself and the government, an exercise that involved repeated reminders of his backbench status and his vote against Tuition Fee’s. Do you know something we don’t, Charlie? Actually wait, it’s blindingly obvious: The Lib Dems are fucked.
Finally, we have the two non-politicos, Jeanette Winterson and James Caan, both of whom adopted massively contrasting QT techniques. On Winterson’s side it was a case of delivering every withering broadside (and there were many) with Old Testament levels of certainty and brimstone (assuming of course that the Old Testament had been written by a high-profile lesbian) and she even took the trouble of pouring of her Special Reserve Scorn on Vince Cable, thus ushering in the finally act of The Passion of St. Vince. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Generally speaking she was pretty good fun although the way she takes a sharp intake of breath at the end of every sentence left me feeling a little disoriented. Caan, on the other hand, was an entirely different kettle of fish and a kettle of fish that I 68.5% approve of. On the plus side, his natural suaveness and gentle tone are a nice break from the usually rabid entrepreneurs they have on but the remaining 31.5% I don’t approve of was largely accounted for by his insistence on making every answer somehow business related (or in the case of the Jack Straw question, his flat-out refusal to answer it directly at all). Still, not bad.
All of which leaves us with the crowd who were fairly rowdy, although slightly stymied by Charles Kennedy’s refusal to be a Lib Dem sitting duck. Audience members of note include a woman who’s body language was so jerky that I feared for the vertical hold on my new telly, another woman who appeared to be wearing a forage cap which actually turned out to be her hair and a serious looking banker type who seemed to have solved the entire economic crisis in a matter of sentences. Good work there, Serious Looking Banker Guy.
A fair to middling 6/10
Ok, I’ve got to go and shovel some food down my neck before rocking my socks off. Sorry for the brevity but needs must and by way of compensation here’s a link to some vintage Dimbleby footage kindly made available by Adam Curtis.
Time for a picture of Beefy? Time for a picture of Beefy.
Next week Lemmings, next week…