Posts Tagged 'Jeremy Hunt'

Questionable Time #144

qt 144

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.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

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!

Hunt: 6/10

(Should have waited for the press) Release

Corbyn: 7/10

(Pleaded for) Peace

McElvoy: 7/10

(Wore a weird green) Fleece

Murray: 4/10

(Really hates) Greece

Khorsandi: 5/10

(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…


Questionable Time #137

qt 137

Good morrow lemmings, and welcome to the…UKIPocalypse? Or perhaps not, considering that Fightin’ Farage seems to hold on by the skin of his increasingly yellowing teeth every time. I must say, it’s rather admirable! Also on this show: Brian May. Because why not, right?

You’ve got to UKIP a pocket or two

Our first question is out of the gate and boy is it a doozy. “Is there a place in today’s politics for ‘snarling, thin-skinned and aggressive’ leaders?” – an obvious reference to Farage, who has dramatically unresigned in a daring twist of fate or perhaps existential crisis. I had one last week, and now Farage, faced with the prospect of not being everybody’s favourite pint-poser, scrabbles back to the leadership and the only thing he knows he’s good at. Naturally, opinion in UKIP is split – especially if you’re the ambitious sort looking to take up the cigar and pint glass yourself.

Lord Tristram McSnooty is first up to bat, sporting his outrageously hedge-like pile of hair and strange, bread loaf-like square face, and messes up in about five seconds. A new record! He ignores the question and goes on to his pre-prepared leadership pitch, although at the time of writing still hasn’t officially declared he’s standing. Dimbleby gently reminds him that he’s getting confused again. Meanwhile, Nigel Farage’s pointy-toed foot is twitching beneath the desk, ready to disembowel any who dares cross him.

Ol’ Nige throws his hands up, as if to say WHAT CAN YA DO. Not like I can help it, guv’na, just an ‘umble servant like m’self, ooh no. Dimbles asks him about possibly having a leadership election – would it “clear the air”? Nigel pooh-poohs the idea. Frankly, he franklies, it would increase the amount of hot air being dispelled by about 200%.

“Surely you’re in the Nick Clegg group now?” says grumpy audience man, referring to Oh-Nicky-You’re-So-Fine’s conspicuous habit of breaking promises, apologising, and crying a lot about it. B-but muh national executive, replies Nigel valiantly.

Then Jeremy Hunt enters the fray, still staring manically and wearing his little NHS pin as if that will make everybody spontaneously like him.

“We’re all human underneath…we’re pretty good at disguising it,” he whispers, in his soft, quietly menacing tones, like Norman Bates from Psycho talking about his mother. He continues with equally worrying lines like this which sound suspiciously like something an alien would say. Tristram Hunt, Hunt 2, chorfs and horfs and flails around trying to rebut Hunt and land a blow on Farage, but honestly I have more confidence in Hunt 1 (Jezza) being competent than Hunt 2 (Trissy), and that’s not a compliment.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

A wild woman appears! What will you do? >Fight >Bag >Poke >Run…I mean, ahem. This is Zanny Minton Beddoes, from the Economist, and she’s exactly what you’d expect from someone who writes for the Economist. I almost don’t need to write down anything she says, and instead throw copies of the Economist into people’s faces while they scream. It has the same effect. Anyway, she’s here to comment on how ridiculous this whole kerfuffle is (as does Brian May, in a slightly different way, hey-hey). True dat, Zanbabwe. True dat.

We need to discuss the future of our politics…starring me, says Loafy. “There’s an awful lot up for grabs,” he continues, for example, say…the leadership. Which leads us to:

Miss Labour Party 2015 World Tour

“Who is the best person to make Labour electable again?” comes the cry, and Tristram rises bumpily into the light like a drunken angel. Nigel smacks him down to terra firma by saying that Labour needs someone not from the metropolitan elite to lead them. Like Nigel! This is reasonable, except when you consider Nigel used to be a City banker, which isn’t metropolitan at all, of course.

Zanny Economizzle says that Labour needs to be in the centre. What the ‘centre’ means is a mystery, but to her it probably means taking baths in a big room full of MONAYYYY like in those old Scrooge McDuck comics. Everybody then rounds on Loafy, pestering him on his intentions: is he going to run, or is he just desperate for attention and love? Tristram explains that he’s not ruling myself in, he’s not ruling himself out, and neither is he shaking it all about.

Brian May sadly shakes his 18th century Georgian wig. ‘Aspiration’ is focused too much on monetary gain, he says, and Labour should become ‘the party of the working man’ again. Jeremy Hunt stares at him, uncomprehendingly, and explains otherwise. It’s frightening. Everyone, even Brian May, on this panel is a little frightening, actually.

Can you not tell house from electronica?

Next: “what concessions should the Prime Minister try and get for Britain from other EU member countries prior to the referenSHNRZZZZZ”. Sorry, fell asleep halfway through.

Zanny, the weird skinny woman, argues that she likes Europe – not the red tape, but rather the MONAYYYY it provides us. Jeremy merely mentions the word ‘benefits’ in the most mouse-like of whispers, and is drowned out by furious applause. It’s time for change in Europe, he says, and then makes this emoticon face: 0_0

Brian May is confuzzled. Why are we discussing this issue and not the far more adorable one at hand: fox hunting? Why not allow a referendum on that?

Jeremy Hunt continues to stare, programming his death. Foxes do not matter. 0_0 They are not humans. 0_0 They cannot hold the pencils in the voting booth. 0_0 Duh.

Farage suddenly explodes, bellowing about a “European army” ready to brainwash your children with fiendish Eurobeat music. When the topic of trading difficulties is brought up, he begins to yelp like a dog with a thorn in its paw. “NO! NO! NO! NO!” he yells, turning into Margaret Thatcher. Up yours, Delors!

Tristram bumbles and fumbles on, making his increasingly muddled pitch. He says that Labour overspent, and, shockingly enough in the constituency where Boris Johnson was elected, is greeted with a big cheer. He looks satisfied. Finally, people are beginning to appreciate him! The British people will decide, he grandstands, with new confidence – with help from the media, of course, and big donations of MONAYYYY!

Zaffy…Daffy…Dappy…whatever her name is, argues in favour of reform from within, to which Nigel is not satisfied and starts actually making some surprisingly decent points about Roy Jenkins’ valiant attempts to slap around the voting system a bit. Suddenly we’re on to another question about electoral reform, which is popular now apparently – the subject has been coming up all throughout this episode, so it’s somewhat difficult to know where to begin with such a complex issue. How about we begin with Tristram squareface breadhead messyhair parachuteseat poshguy talking about history and boring everyone? (Thought not.)

A man from the crowd, possibly an electoral reform hipster, asks where all these posers were during the AV referendum way back when. Nigel sighs and shrugs again, and then…makes the best burn of the night.

“Why Nick Clegg, after the Lib Dems campaigned for 40 years for PR, sold out for AV, I’ll simply never know.”

OOOOH, goes the crowd. OOOOOOOOH! GET IN! (The answer is, of course, because of coalitioneering, but nobody needs to know that.)

So it ends. For what appears like the 23rd time this year, Farage has gotten away with it. Or has he? Stay tuned, lemmings. Maybe we haven’t seen the last of this story yet…

Time for the scores!

Hunt (Con): 6/10

(Weirdly) Clean

Hunt (Lab): 5/10

Preen(ed and fell over)

Farage: 7/10

Keen (for this leadership stuff to just go away)

Minton Beddoes: 5/10

(Weirdly) Lean

May: 7/10

(Played for) Queen

The Crowd: 6/10

(Weirdly) Mean

Next time: not Farage.

Next week Lemmings, next week…

Questionable Time #110

qt 110

Good morrow lemmings and this week we’re in Newbury! Despite this there are sadly no references to the nearby Greenham Common which I could have made an amusing ‘shop out of. Oh well. We’d best get stuck in.

Jeremy Hunt’s NHS pin: secretly a ninja shuriken used to dispatch his enemies

Can Dave pull an emergency brake on immigration? Well, I don’t know, but let’s ask the fine folks of the panel. Angela Eagle is first up and, as she shakes her head ruefully, I rub my hands in anticipation of her performance. If you closely watched last month’s Labour conference like a complete nerd (aka like me), you’ll know that she was an effective, funny chair during the debates/speeches/general flailing and panicking, and as such I was expecting great things from her.

I was let down. It’ll become apparent why later, but let it be known that I’m so betrayed that I’ll never love another human being again.

Anyway, for now she’s just shaking her head at Jeremy Hunt and sighing. Net migration is the same as it was in the beginning of the Parliament apparently, and ol’ Cammers has been a complete dodo in Europe. Remember when the cool Eurokids dissed him by going off in their own little gang and not letting him in the treehouse? It basically became the ‘No Daves club’. (“But you let in David Glumplich!” “It’s no Daves. We’re only allowed to have one.”)

Jeremy disagrees the only way he knows how – terrifyingly. If anyone can do it, it’s ARE DAVE, he slurps. Thank you Dave for my Chinese wife. I’m not sure this is relevant, Jeremy, but he gets away with it because Jeremy gets away with everything. He may well be the luckiest and/or slipperiest man in Parliament, and I strongly suspect he oils himself down every morning so he can pencil-roll along the corridors at top speed and knock down dawdling Labour MPs in a game of human ten-pin bowling.

He’s even wearing an NHS pin on his lapel, so you know how sincere he is, and is doing his best ‘mild, constipated with truthiness’ voice. This is undermined slightly by the fact that occasionally his eyes widen even further apart than they already are (a trait he shares with a certain Ed Balls) and bore a smoking hole in the direction of his next victim. He’s a true believer, that’s for sure, absolutely confident that The Plan is good, The Plan is working, all hail the great Plan, and how dare you assume I’m one of those people that admitted to having no idea what the hell Andrew Lansley was smoking when he put together the Health and Social Care Act.

I must confess I’m somewhat scared of Jeremy.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

Suddenly, Giles Fraser, your one cool Sunday School teacher amidst a sea of ennui, punches through the wall with a mighty cry to STOP PANDERING, aiming straight for the jugular. People from other societies enrich our society, he bellows (like my Chinese wife! nods Jeremy), and do not disagree with me FOR THIS IS THE WORD OF THE LORD!

Meanwhile, Menzies Campbell is playing the traditional role of ‘the sensible one who you want to patronisingly pat on the head’, which he has done on various other occasions to great success. He’s not as amazing at it as the Nice Old Man from last week, however, as Ming doesn’t look like he really understands what’s going on. Why can’t you be nice to Europe, Dave? Audience? You’re not going to get anywhere by throwing a hissy fit. The audience revolts by immediately throwing a hissy fit.

Here Stella Creasy’s evil clone speaks up – Isabel Oakeshott, best known for entrapping Vicky Pryce and probably cackling about it. She’s also third cousins with Lord Oakeshott, who you may remember as the perennial ex-Lib Dem troublemaker. Dave was crap in Europe, she says. No he wasn’t, says Jezza H. Then there’s some meaningless back and forth around this topic for five-ish minutes, none of which is very interesting apart from a lady in the audience spitting acid about her village uncontrollably expanding, which reminds me very much of the current storyline on Downton Abbey.

Where have all the nurses gone, long time passing / Where have all the nurses gone, long time ago

The next question is on the NHS, of course. Jeremy is champing at the bit to wave his pin around but Dimbleby elects to go to the non-politicians first. Isabel is all doom and gloom – the NHS can’t afford a 1% pay rise (although MPs can afford themselves one), she says, with a smirk. Something drastic has to be done, she says, with a smug. Yeah, smug is a verb now. Jeremy Hunt is staring murderously at her and if she weren’t protected by a mystical barrier of smugness I’d be in legitimate fear for her life.

Giles is on the offensive again. Everyone’s going to have to pay more taxes, and they’re going to like it. Don’t be so negative, replies Jeremy – we’ve saved the NHS, and it’s all thanks to me.

“You know nothing about nursing!”, cries a nurse. Jeremy’s wistful voice about how much he wuvs the NHS falls away and he’s back to staring. Isabel is saved, at least. Meanwhile, Angela’s got an open goal, but nursey man is hot on her tail. What about all these new nurses, is the question, but unfortunately NO! WE NEED THE OLD NURSES! is the answer. And – woman down, woman down! Angela’s on the floor. Oh, what a shame. But patience, lemmings: her humiliation isn’t over yet.

Dimbleby decides to move on, because he’s falling asleep and Isabel’s ever-widening grin has started to engulf the entire table.

A few more moans

So, the leaders’ debates. Where’s the Greens? Ah, who cares about them. They’re not polling highly, smugs Isabel. I mean, how are you supposed to become popular unless you’re relentlessly invited on to Question Time panels? Hey, here’s an idea, Respect have an MP, let’s put George Galloway in the debates! What could possibly go wrong? (Can you imagine? You’d only have a smoking crater by the end of it.)

Dave is “up for it”, says Jezza. It won’t be a Punch and Judy show. (Also, look audience man – PMQs isn’t ‘increasingly’ ridiculous, it’s been that way since the 60s. Trust me, I’m a scholarist.) Then Giles metaphorically punches him in the face again. Appropriate for a Punch and Judy show! Wow Giles, maybe calm down a little.

Funnily enough, not much time is spent mulling over the plight of the Greens, as people want to move on to diss Lord Freud’s Freudian slip. And this is where Angela’s troubles truly begin.

“Resign!” demands Angela.
No, don’t, people yell back.
Now she’s yelling at them.
Now they’re yelling even more at her. She’s been playing political football/jumping on the bandwagon/drowning puppies/take your pick. It’s not a good look for a politician to be so relentlessly dismissed. It seems impossible, but Freudy appears to have gotten away with it. Angela, let it go. Let it go. Don’t hold it back any more.

It finally takes Giles to calm everyone down again, which considering he’s been firing on all cylinders for the rest of the programme is quite remarkable. Now we can all listen to Ming the Merciless’s snoozy voice to soothe us off to sleep once more. “He’s on probation,” apparently, but all that means is a naughty finger wagging if it comes from Mingity-Ming. At least Lord Freud’s not on Jeremy’s shit list. You’d be better off dead than there – caught in his line of sight, staring, forever.

Time for the scores!

Hunt: 5/10


Eagle: 3/10

(The reaction to her was) Jeery

Campbell: 5/10

(Surprisingly) Cheery

Oakeshott: 4/10


Fraser: 8/10

(More than he first) Appear(…ed…y)

The Crowd: 6/10


Len McCluskey’s going to pick some serious fights next time, so that should be fun, I guess?

Next week Lemmings, next week…

Questionable Time #79

questionable time 79 david dimbleby tattooed woman

Good morning Lemming and before we get underway let’s just take a few moments to truly appreciate this first paragraph for I feel it has been taken for granted of late and deserves better. Go on, have a good poke around while I thank Elizabeth for the outstanding job she did on last week’s show. Marvel at the neat array of lines and the way the words follow on from each other as I confirm that yes, we had a tattooed Dimbleby as last week’s title but that’s ok because really, how often is that it David Dimbleby gets tattooed? Breath it in Lemmings, suck it up because honestly, this is as good as it’s going to get today and if you don’t believe me, carry on reading as I try to make something – anything – out of an episode so bad that two of the panelists didn’t even turn up. Mark my words, you’ll miss this first paragraph from the second we move on to the main section – which is just about to happen right now.

Yaah, call me Ribshmael…

We all have a White Whale – you know, some behemoth from the deep who breaches the surface just long enough for you to man the harpoons only to watch them slide beneath the waves before you can get a shot off – and Jeremy hunt is mine. I mean c’mon, just look at the guy: He’s the son of an Admiral who played fast and loose with expenses, upset the victims of Hillsborough and then got caught being a little too pally with the Murdoch Empire – but not before his tax arrangements raised a few eyebrows. Naturally, we would expect a politician who goes in for this sort of thing to be covered from nose to tail in barbed projectiles yet Hunt’s skin remains intact and unblemished. In fact, not only did he avoid being dragged to shore for a vigorous flensing, he actually ended up being promoted to Health Secretary instead. That puts Hunt in a different league from the more mundane prey that make up the bulk of the good ship Questionable Time’s catch, different to the point that I’ve been longing for the day when he’d be on QT so that I could lie in wait and finish the matter once and for all. This time my White Whale was not going to get away. This time I’d land the bugger.

Except that I didn’t. Why? Because Jeremy Hunt is scarily brilliant at fluking his way out of a tight spot. Actually no, that’s unfair. There’s skill to what he does and while the paucity of opposition on the panel was a matter of luck it’s the way in which he carries himself – you know, that weird Zen thing he’s got going on with the very calm speech luring you away from the very mad eyes – that really kept him out of harm’s way. It’s also what makes him so vexing because you know just by looking at him that this man is a True Believer – someone who has big, dangerous ideas and considers consequences as incidentals. You saw it very briefly when he got animated about the private sector and his arms prepped themselves for some flamboyant gesticulating (see Fig. 1). The missionary zeal started creeping into his tone and his eyes lit up but no, just as the crowd mobilised to take him to task he caught himself, went straight back to Zen-mode and slipped beneath the surface again.


Fig. 1

So here I am, once again shuffling up and down the shoreline muttering oaths about the One That Got Away and making outlandish predictions about what I’ll do the next time our paths cross. In the words of Ishmael – Heaven have mercy on us all – Presbyterians and Pagans alike – for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.”

I have two theories about Sadiq Khans performance…

The charitable one is ‘flu’ while the infinitely more entertaining one is ‘ketamine’. Seriously though, how else we can explain away such a cack-handed and downright confusing display from an otherwise steady pair of hands? I mean, it’s not like he was just fumbling a few lines, he was mangling 90% of them before suddenly remembering that if he acted a bit angry people wouldn’t bother listening to what he was saying and just clap along for the hell of it. I gave up taking notes within about five minutes because the stuff he was coming out with wasn’t just ropey – it was incoherent and with a dollop of grumpy irritability on top of it to boot.

So what was it then Sadiq? Has the cold snap laid you low with some mind fugging virus or have you been taking the Toronto/Co-Op approach to executive conduct? Please say it’s ketamine, please say it’s ketamine, please say it’s ketamine…

Things can only get better, right?

Erh, no. Things couldn’t really get much worse than they already were but Olly Grender did her level best to make sure that they didn’t improve any either. Now I should point that making the leap between cosy This Week punditry to the QT killing fields is a hard one particularly when you’ve only just landed in the Lords but still, that’s no excuse for just how dreary everything she said sounded. No oomph, no vim, just boil-in-the-bag policy chunter and a look of all-pervading fear. Still, at least she did supply the only laugh of the night when she enjoined the people of Manchester to rejoice about all those HS2 jobs that are coming their way… In twenty million years time. Ha! Good one Olly!

And the moral of this sorry tale?

QT doesn’t work without a civilian panelist. Yeah, they may wibble a lot of nonsense and generally clutter the place up but by God are they vital to stop politicians looking even weirder than they already do. In fact I would go so far as to suggest that the next time there’s a double cancellation they should just fish a couple of random – and preferably difficult looking – audience members out and put them in to wibble nonsense and generally clutter the place up instead. Anything to stop a repeat of last night. Anything.


Hunt: 6/10


Khan: 2/10


Grender: 3/10


The Crowd: 5/10


Hmmph…. At least I didn’t have to look up as many rhymes as usual… Small mercies and that. Anyway, let’s just erase this episode from our memories and pretend that none of this ever happened.

Right, I’m off but not before plugging a couple of new T-shirts I’ve got on the go. Anyone for Blackpool? No? Then how about this Red Riding/Battle of Orgreve number? Go on, it’ll make the perfect Christmas gift for the contemporary literature loving ex-NUM member in your life.

Next week Lemmings, next week…

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