Good morrow lemmings and welcome to a Questionable Time sweltering spectacular! Yes, unless you’ve been trapped in a freezer all week, you can’t have failed to notice the fact that it’s got a little warm outside as of late. Let’s just hope that our brave panellists aren’t feeling the heat when they butt heads in this edition (presumably over the last Calippo).
Fallout: New Labour
We come to you from Grays (in Essex), which reminds me of those big-eyed alien things. We don’t have any of those, but we do have the next best thing: Jeremy Hunt! He’s first off the starting line as we’re given our first, sombre question: can we prevent an atrocity like that in Tunisia from happening again? Jeremy stares blankly into the camera. Isil can’t stop and won’t stop, he says. Are we going to let them walk all over us? He doesn’t think so. He’ll stab them all with his NHS pin if he has to.
The panel isn’t lacking for Jeremy representation as the Labour left’s leadership lad takes his place among the QT alumni. In 32 years as an MP, this is Jeremy Corbyn’s first time appearance on Question Time, and I suppose he would look chuffed if his brow didn’t also seem so deeply furrowed about everything. He sensibly responds that we have to stand with and help Tunisia to prevent people from getting disillusioned (by austerity, no less!) and turning to terrorism.
The topic drifts off course slightly as Douglas Murray of the Economist…wait, no, the Spectator…no, the Econospectamist appeals to stop all the silliness about calling Islamic State by any name other than the one it calls itself. “It’s very Islamic and claims to be a state”, he lisps, confidently. Ah, yes. Bombing mosques during Ramadan. Very Islamic. His Spectateconomistor chum Anne McElvoy agrees and declares that we need to bomb the shit out of Isis/Isil/Islamic State/Daesh/those really nasty bastards. After all, they’re only a “raggle-taggle army”! Shappi Khorsandi, on the other hand, squeaks sadly that senselessly bombing bits of desert left, right and centre out of revenge will create a never-ending loop of hate. Which, if taken literally, would make for a great Groundhog Day-esque film, at least.
Dougie Murray continues to practically chortle that Labour are responsible for the rise of Isis due to shrugging their shoulders and sitting bombing Assad out, and that only by bombing a completely different target this time (with, presumably, Assad on our side this time) will world peace be achieved. Jeremy Corbyn has no time for this egregious lisping. He sits, with a face like death warmed up, judgementally judging all. He’s the last man standing in a post-apocalyptic studio set. All he needs now is a lovable dog companion.
Well, I guess we’ll be at war by next week! See ya then!
Crawling in my skin
Next: should teachers be responsible for monitoring their students for signs of radicalisation? Ah, a civil liberties question! If only we had one of the few, constantly crying Liberal Democrats on the panel! That said, Shappi sounded like she was about to cry for the entire duration of this programme. Schools should be a safe space to “grow your personality”, she says – her argument basically being that most kids are shits who are eventually going to grow out of their dark ‘n’ edgy phase. Heck, I had a dark ‘n’ edgy phase. I even got sent to the dreaded Student Services, but I turned out OK! Look, now I’m running a Question Time reviewing blog! Well, then again, none of my edgy phase involved running off to join a terrorist organisation, which is, let us say…slightly more problematic.
Jeremy Hunt explains that this is something we can tackle by sniping it early, e.g. getting young, disillusioned Muslims to talk with older people in their community. It’s something we can come together as a society to sort out with rainbows and love and cake. Jezza 2 says that we’ve got to be nuanced – is some kid yelling homophobic slurs also worthy of investigation, or just the Muslim ones? Moreover, some wise wags in the audience raise the question that if these young radicals’ parents can’t detect it, how are teachers going to? They have too much marking to do to be bothered with little Abdul reading Bomb Making 4 Dummies in class.
Then the two journalists, Heffy and Jeffy, make concerned noises and use the words “a real concern” approximately ten million times. Groundbreaking stuff being aired here tonight, folks.
Brie brings glee but feta is better
Would it be a good idea to charge for missed appointments at the doctor’s surgery? Heffy and Jeffy agree with each other in turn, because we need to reform the NHS to protect it from lazyarses. Jezza Huzza beams and says this issue is incriddblee impohrtehnt. We need to take “personal responsibility”, he trembles with ecstasy, which is fine because his personal responsibility involves making a killing from shares in private healthcare. He also reveals the ‘medicine bottles with labels saying the amount paid for by the UK taxpayer’ policy a bit early. OMG SPOILERS JEREMY!!!!
“Are you going to embroider that on the Queen’s hat?” says Shappi. Well, Shappi, you don’t know that. There’s always a small chance that the Queen could have sneaked out in a parka and gone to Primark.
Then a GP goes off at “Mr Hunt”, as she so passive-aggressively calls him. Where are you getting the clinicians from, Mr Hunt? Answer the question, before I shine this light in your big, staring eyes! Seriously, stop staring, it’s freaking me out.
Finally…and we’re back to a rather important issue in the last five minutes. (Although to be fair, at least there weren’t any filler questions this time.) Why does it matter to us if Greece votes yes or no on Sunday? Jezza Corzza says we should stand with Greece, because they fall, we fall, if they rise, we rise. He believes we can fly. He believe we can touch the sky. He thinks about it every night and day. Public sector workers didn’t crash the economay.
Ginger Anne says that Greece needs to get its shit together, and Shappi implies that the IMF, being non-democratically elected, is trying to push a democratically elected government into the bin. Jeremy Hunt actually gets his sympathetic face out and says that they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Poor Greeks. He won’t say what they should do. Except turn up to the doctor’s on time.
While all the other panellists are, to be fair, being (or at least pretending to be) varying degrees of sympathetic to the people of Greece’s plight (the regular folks being a different matter than the powerful folks, as any two-month-old baby would be able to tell), Douglas Murray doesn’t give one miniscule damn. Syriza is far-left “anti-reality”, he snoots, and because the foolish Greeks democratically elected them, they deserve every last moment of their pain. Thanks Douglas. You have won the empathy wars. Bravo, you colossal shit.
Time for the scores!
(Should have waited for the press) Release
(Pleaded for) Peace
(Wore a weird green) Fleece
(Really hates) Greece
(Nearly in) Piece(s)
The Crowd: 8/10
(Used a bit of elbow) Grease
Next time: one more week! One more week!
And btw, here’s another plug for our glorious webmaster’s new YouTube channel. Amuse yourselves aplenty!
Next week Lemmings, next week…