Posts Tagged 'Aberdeen'

Questionable Time #139


qt 139

Good morrow lemmings and I don’t really have an excuse for the extreme lateness of this edition, other than being at my wizened old Nan’s all day and forced to eat many a water biscuit. Without further ado, let’s kick off. Soccer!

Clapping at my chamber door, only this and nothing more

We’re coming from Aberdeen, in, as Dimbleby puts it, “a country now dominated by the SNP” and also sweet jazz-funk grooves, allegedly. To that end, our first question is likewise about the yellow-‘n’-blacks (if I knew more about football I could make a joke about these team colours): apart from “musical chairs and clapping”, what do the SNP plan to achieve at Westminster?

John Nicolson, a new SNP MP (love the subtle rhyming going on there that sadly not enough people have translated into rap format), swells with pride. He launches into a speech about how the SNP are breaking boundaries by sitting wherever the hell they like in the chamber, clapping, and taking many a selfie, and that what are ye wee English ponces gonnae dew aboot it? Actually, that’s unfair – he does state that the SNP have been given a mandate to campaign for the issues that the people of Scotland have bombastically brought to public attention. Such as wanting control/wanting One Direction’s ‘No Control’ as a single. He also insinuates he spends his dinner parties clapping every time the food is brought in, which everybody finds a little weird.

Meanwhile, Ruth Davidson, leader of that most impressive of professions, Scottish Conservative Leader, is in a sombre mood. During the election campaign, perhaps knowing that her party didn’t have a hope in hell of getting any more than the one MP it ended up with north of the border, decided to have fun and just be herself for the duration. She fed Soleros to journalists. She posted pictures of herself singing in her car. She didn’t give a single, glorious shit. It was quite admirable, in a way.

Sadly, none of that devil-may-care attitude is on show tonight. Instead we have Serious Ruth, the stately politician, one of the last Bluecoats standing in the Wildlands. She launches into her pre-rehearsed spiel: while the SNP and Labour were being silly-billies with seating plans she’s doing the hard work in the less glamourous, more ugly Scottish Parliament. A tough beat for a tough cop.

Lord Charlie ‘Chazza’ Falconer speaks up. He looks at the flaming wreckage of the Scottish Labour Party and sighs. The Tories did this, he says, because of their superior dosh and their posters of Alex Salmond’s Shrek-like face leering down at you and/or Ed Miliband in a suggestive manner. But you know who helped them to triumph? Those wasp-coloured wankers over there.

John Nicolson looks horrified. A soft and judgey ‘ooh’ing emanates from the crowd. They didn’t like that at all. In fairness, those posters were really terrifying, weren’t they?

John, Ruth and now Alex Massie, Scotland Editor at the Spectator (what a job!), object. Alex points out the maths, saying that even if Labour won every seat in Scotland they still would have lost. He’s dressed up like an ancient country lord, however, which probably isn’t the best way to win round the crowd in these parts. Then he goes on about how the SNP would do anything or sacrifice anything as long as it advanced their main goal of independence.

Lesley Riddoch says that, whether they’re working for independence or not, the SNP can’t win either way. Except in elections, that is. Poor SNP. She then goes on to recite one of her own columns at length.

A lady from the crowd points out the baffling fact that the House of Commons simply can’t fit all of its MPs inside the debating chamber. Isn’t this a bit counterproductive? On the plus side, John says, I do have a sword hook. You know. To hang your sword up.

The SNP should accept that they lost and get on with it, screams a man in the crowd, like God from Monty Python. You sir, sound like a Unionist to me, John implies (or rather outright states). The man explodes and yells that he just said that he voted Yes in the referendum. This exciting back-and-forth goes on for about ten hours thus somewhat undermining the point of ‘getting on with it’.

Can Scottish Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats stop sucking so hard so there’s more of a debate, says another audience lady. Meanwhile, Lesley is going full throttle. She attacks certain people who say that SNP/pro-independence voters are ‘greedy’, when in reality the ones being greedy are those mean old Tories…greedy for Soleros, that is!

…I’m sorry, Solero jokes are probably passé by now. I’ll quietly give this well-loved meme a fitting send-off.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

Next week we’re going to be in Plymouth, Dimbleby interjects, and, to show you just how far we are into penetrating the fetid wastes of hell, this triggers raucous laughter in the studio. Plymouth! Oh that Dimbleby, such a card!

Football’s coming home (to die in a ditch)

Should we all stick two fingers up to the Fifa World Cup? What, you mean the fact of zillions of Qataris dying wasn’t enough to raise a few eyebrows? I don’t know anything about football, so haven’t really been following this story – merely enjoying a distant chuckle at seeing a cluster of rich ugly white dudes get their arses kicked. Always a pleasure.

Alex Massie makes a sweet burn by saying that Scotland has been leading the way in boycotting the World Cup for many years now. Such Wildeian wit! Lesley is still outraged, and cries that this ‘beautiful game’ has been sullied! Sullied forever! Forever! Truly, she has no chill. At least all the dead Qatari slave labourers have finally been mentioned. In addition, John, Charlie and Ruth finally agree on something: Sepp Blatter sucks and won’t get away with this! He’s just been re-elected as Fifa president, by the way. Question Time: always predicting the future.

I leaked a leak in time gone by

After that brief interlude, it’s time for another dose of Scotlapalooza! Round one: if Scotland votes to stay in the EU, but the rest of the UK votes to leave…will all hell break loose?

Alex, positive as always, shrugs that the people mumbling and grumbling such things are gunning for #indyref2. Nah, says John, the ‘No’ campaign said we’d be stronger together, so it’s not fair. P.S., let the 16-year-olds vote. They can Photoshop flower crowns on pictures of Angela Merkel or whatever it is they do.

Ruth squawks out reform, reform, reform multiple times like a parrot on amphetamines. The others join her and soon it’s a cacophony of voices spluttering out platitudes but no concrete plans. Lesley almost rips her shirt off as she bellows her love for Scotland, which continues on into…

Round two: should Alistair Carmichael resign? Lord Falconer is being very careful about this one. The last thing he needs or wants is another SNP MP taking AlCar’s place in the House. Although, I guess it would be kind of funny that if, after all this, he resigns and they just elect another Lib Dem in his stead. The yellow team (the original one, not the yellow-and-black one with the kilts) needs to fill up all the seats in its minibus, after all!

“It is impossible right now to know how the people of Orkney and Shetland feel!” Lesley cries. You’re telling me, mate. I don’t even know if they have Wi-Fi up there.

Should every MP who’s lied resign? Then we’d end up with a pretty empty House, hahahaha! Hahahahahahahaha! Original joke! No, we’re all nice really, says Ruth. While she decries any attempt at a “witch hunt”, honestly it looks like she doesn’t much care about the welfare of the Lib Dems, it’s not like her party is in coalition with them any more. Now the blue team can truly break out the hard liquor in the secret Downing Street stash. John, meanwhile, claims that it’s “a matter of honour” so we clearly need to cut off Alistair Carmichael’s head.

Last: should we have the right to die? A rather heavy subject for the last five minutes, one that all the panellists have but one response to: there needs to be, like, a truckful of safeguards for this shizzle. Maybe we could have a new referendum on it? asks another audience lady. Alex Massie visibly recoils.

Time for the scores!

Davidson: 6/10

(Not a) Lot (going on)

Falconer: 5/10

(Scottish Labour’s a) Dot (on the map)

Nicolson: 7/10

(Proud) Scot (and won’t hesitate to tell you at length)

Riddoch: 7/10

(Will) Slot (Her opinions absolutely everywhere)

Massie: 6/10

(Missed his) Shot

The Crowd: 8/10

Got (what they came for, maybe?)

Next time: PLYMOUTH!

Next week Lemmings, next week…

Loudribs Curmudgeonry Corner Post Question Time Match Report #47


 

david dimbleby question time oil 47Morning Lemmings and welcome to a brand new rule I’m instigating for all further Post Match Reports: Scotland, you are getting your word count cut, mainly because I haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about. Granted, you’re not as bad as the episodes from Northern Ireland where I really don’t have the slightest inkling about who’s who but since you seem to love making Question Time into a ‘Scotland this’ and ‘Scotland that’ circlejerk, I’m cutting back on how much I write as any attempt to give you the full treatment is pretty much an exercise in ignorance on my part (for all I know, the rumours are true and all that lies north of the border is a barren landscape inhabited by a wild rabble of straggly haired men who hunt wild Mars Bars while the womenfolk raise crops of super strength lager, but if it came to the crunch, I wouldn’t really be able to tell you one way or another). In short, I’m keeping this short.

 

Excuses made, let us plough on and get stuck into our first victim who this week takes the spectral form of Lord Forsyth, the back-in-the-day Secretary of State for Scotland under John Major. Now, I have absolutely no recollection of this guy as a) he was Secretary of State for Scotland and b) I was 17 when he left government but I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for and not in a good way given his background. However, what I was not banking on was just how spooky his presentation is. Some of this down to his slow, halting and low-key verbal delivery but in the main it’s a by-product of this haunted look that is forever stricken across his face. It’s the look of a man who has passed through some terrible night of the soul, seen things that no man should see and now lives a life tormented by the daemons he encountered. Still, things started to take on a more familiar form with the first question (the VAT cut/economy number) and he was soon going through the standard motions of blaming Labour, banging on about debt and generally playing to type. “Phew” thought I, “I know all this stuff is a very tired and boring but at least I know where I am with this guy”. And so I did until it got the question about the right to die. Now, I usually hate it when questions of an ethical nature appear on Question Time as a) it usually ends up with everyone in back slapping agreement and b) matters of this nature are much better suited to Sunday morning’s The Big Question (especially when that old lady with the crazy beehive hairdo is on. She’s like a Daily Mail article composed entirely out of quotes from the Old Testament). However, I was totally blindsided by Forsyth’s response and in a very good way as when it came to his turn to speak he responded by saying “I really don’t know what to think about this”. Come again? Was that a politician claiming not to have an opinion on something?  I have a sneaking suspicion it was and if so, kudos to him as I tire of the fact that politicians are pretty much allowed to do anything except admit that don’t have a position on a particular subject.

 

So that cheered me up and after a thoughtful and well put together amble around the ins and outs of right to die he then cranked it up another couple of notches by stating that Osborne was wrong for taxing the oil sector. The crowd loved it, Margaret Curran loved it, I loved it (primarily because it’s rare to see a panelist so wantonly break the party line) and Michael Moore hated it. In short, jobs a good ‘un and Lord Forsyth has made a bloody good fist of confounding my expectations, even if I couldn’t give a monkeys about the level of taxation in the Scottish oil industry.

 

Sticking with the slightly Halloweeny theme we now move on to Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland and a man who is probably best portrayed by a leering pumpkin in our sepulchral scene. In many ways you’ve got to hand it to Salmond and not only for being the only man in Scotland if Question Time is anything to go by. No, I also give him props for being an epic chancer who has a knack for pulling one out of the bag, even if it’s by the skin of his teeth. This being his first QT outing since he crushed Labour in the recent election, Salmond had every right to bear his jagged, pumpkin teeth and he made some early gains by more or less promising to shower Scotland with cold, hard cash. However, as the show moved on and got to the question about a referendum, the smile appeared on closer inspection to be a little gappy, a little crooked and slightly yellowing as the audience called his bluff on the subject. Now, I personally couldn’t give two hoots about Scottish independence as it has no great bearing on my life. Sure, the Union Flag would look a little odd without the blue bits but providing that the whiskey keeps heading south and no-one with the intention of invading daubs themselves with blue paint then we’re golden. However, I do understand that it is a big deal on the other side of the border and Salmond probably found himself at the wrong end of the issue last night. So was it a showstopper? In short, no. Salmond may have got flustered but he’s nothing if not dogged and took his licks before cleaning up on the oil question. And that’s why I do have a certain level of admiration for him: Whatever he’s selling, it’s probably a little hooky but he still gets people to buy it even if they themselves are aware that the goods are tainted. I also admire him for this photo of him pretending to be a rabbit (see Fig. 1).

alex salmond rabbit

Fig. 1

 

 

Ok, so we’ve got a ghoul, we’ve got a pumpkin, how about a witch? On the face of it, Margaret Curran should fill this slot rather well, given that she has a somewhat witchy face but in actual fact she seemed quite nice. I can’t really remember that much of what she said and none of it was especially brilliant but she does deserve credit for having a sense of humour and generally being quite reasonable on most matters. So yes, not your classic nasty witch, just a fairly nice person with slightly witchy features. However, the same cannot be said for Michael Moore as he did a bang up job of providing us with a Lurch like character, mainly through dint of being the most boring man to listen to in the entire world. Seriously, I checked my notes earlier as I have no recollection of what he was droning on about and all I found were random scribbles by his initials like “DON’T KNOW WHAT HE’S SAYING”, “CAN’T CONCENTRATE ON THIS PILLOCK” and “DEAR SWEET JESUS, KILL ME NOW”. What was apparent was that no-one liked him, Forsyth certainly wasn’t in the market for helping him out and he copped pretty much all of the flak directed at the coalition. Basically, he was powerfully boring and we probably would have had a better performance out of a reanimated corpse. Is that quite a harsh assessment? Yes. Is it also a fair assessment? Absolutely.

So that was the politicos and all we have left is Tom Hunter, a Scottish businessman who I’ve never come across before and is in possession of a very sinister set of eyebrows, thus completing our spooky line-up with some aplomb. Now, I’m not usually a fan of entrepreneurs and their ilk on QT as they usually tend to be a bit rabid and mental in a Tax Payers Alliance sort of way. However, I’ve got to say that I liked Hunter as while he did bang the business drum a fair bit, at least he did it in a jaunty and pleasant fashion. He also seems to be a little more rounded than your standard money types and although he didn’t get much of a look in last night, when he did it was usually with fairly reasonable stuff and with the odd bit of humour here and there. The eyebrows are still scary though and when they’re combined with that bald head he looks a little like a cross between Ming the Merciless and Colonel Kurtz. Jesus, that is scary.

Right, so that’s them and all that remains is the crowd, most of whom appeared to be Scottish, interested in oil and all for offing themselves as soon as they hit 60 (if the right to die question was anything to go by). Actually, I tell a partial lie as bizarrely enough, the member of the audience who made the most passionate appeal for Scottish independence was also the most English sounding person in the whole show. Don’t ask me, I just work here. A special mention also goes out to the doctor and nurse who had a running to-do over assisted suicide. Personally, I’m with the doctor although not through any major point of principle but mainly because he had a very natty jacket.

Tl;dr

Forsyth: 7/10

Undead

Salmond: 6/10

Unabashed

Curran: 5/10

Unabrasive

Moore: 3/10

Unfun

Hunter: 6/10

Unabused

The Crowd: 5/10

Understandable

So there you go, an Ok-ish show, littered with a bunch of people who can’t quite make their minds up about issues I have zero interest/stake in. Still, it could have been worse. It could have been Glasgow. At least I could physically decipher what these guys were saying and I didn’t have to hide behind the sofa for fear that the drunken mob may break through the television screen and smash-up my living room. Ok, after offending an entire nation, I’m off to enjoy not moving house.

 

Next week Lemmings, next week…


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 107 other followers

December 2020
M T W T F S S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

RSS Feed


%d bloggers like this: