Posts Tagged 'Jimmy Wales'

Questionable Time #119


qt 119
Good morrow lemmings and welcome back to Questionable Time! Now that we’ve all finished our annual Christmas bloat, I’m sure you’re practically dying to work off those pounds by angrily sweating out a storm while watching a ridiculous political panel show. I know I am! Sure, this may not have been the most classic episode in the world – but as the beleagured Tesco slogan goes, every little helps.

Free speech, £4 a barrel

New year, same story: after Dimbles predictably advertises the Twittersphere – yet still, no matter how many times he does it, with the look of a man who knows absolutely nothing about what he is blabbering about – we begin our humble harrumphathon. Unfortunately, due to the recent tragic events in Paris, the first question is a rightly sombre affair. This makes my job harder since there’s less to take the piss out of aside from tallying to see which panellist can be the most self-important about free speech. (Liz Kendall looks disappointed. She must have eagerly agreed to appear this week, perhaps with a cheery ‘Boy howdy! Gadzooks!’, thinking she could do a little dance about A&E statistics and leave. Now, however, she’s got to contend with Julia Hartley-Brewer threatening to get the whole show bombed by throwing Mohammad cartoon confetti everywhere. Pray for Liz. Pray for her.)

David Davis answers sensibly, quietly arguing that unforgivable acts of terror should not be used as an excuse for tighter controls on civil liberties. Then Julia kicks the door down and screeches that were she not peeing herself at the prospect of getting killed, she’d wear a comfy Mohammad t-shirt just to rub everyone’s noses in what a upstanding and fair-minded citizen she is. Julia, perhaps that would be a bad idea, not even because it’s not actually a triumph of free speech, but because it’s a dickbag thing to do. No you shouldn’t be killed for it, but you should probably be tutted at. Freedom to tut, that’s all I’m arguing for here. Less guns, more grumbling.

Meanwhile, Vince Cable also sensibly points out how it’s unfair to tar Muslims with the same brush when no white people were urged to apologise for the actions of neo-Nazis such as Breivik in Norway, and Liz herself – looking resplendent in taramasalata pink – drones out something boring. Jimmy Wales is just there to ask for a donation. Alles ist gut.

Empty chairs at empty tables

Next up, is David Cameron a chicken? A big old chicky-chicky-chick-chick? Buh-gawk! Buh-gawk! This is some intense and mature debate going on here. Even Jimmy Wales suddenly turned into a Sassmaster, accusing Cammers of being a closet Green, what with his newfound love for them. David Davis rubs his hands with glee at a chance to ‘ave a go at his fiercest enemy. Him, bitter? Nah, surely not.

Then everyone laughs at person who says that Dave merely wants the Greens there to show how fair he is. They guffaw at him. They howl at him. They chortle themselves to death. ANNIHILATED.

Apparently, Nick Clegg has called on his ex-BF to stop making excuses and get out there and slap him across the chops (harder, Dave, harder!). Vince blushes and shifts uncomfortably. I frickin’ hate Clegg, he no doubt thinks. Him and his demotions.

We end this round with audience calls for a no-holds-barred knockout competition between the small parties to see who can take their place amongst the big boys and give them the finger. Or they could just take part in a Super Smash Bros tournament, it would likely have the same outcome.

Sadly we then go from silly to serious, as the next question is on Ched ‘scumbag’ Evans. Liz Kendall doesn’t hold back in telling us how gross she thinks he is, and Julia responds by being even grosser. She’s a better judge of a rape case than a jury, don’tchaknow. I mean, that woman was ~drunk~. She can’t be taken ~seriously~. Not by ~media types~ like ~her~. Liz responds by glaring in a frightening way, threatening to vaporise all in her path with her furious stare.

Julia seems alone in this fight, though, as even David Davis thinks ol’ Cheddy should feck off. Jimmy Wales, likewise, is not really that bovvered if he can’t get a job. However, Kendall Mint Cake is getting annoyed with a blue-haired woman (another one?!) who has been yelling for the majority of the programme. Careful, blue-haired woman, or Liz will come down to your local Sainsbury’s and deliver Ched Evans there herself.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

Ayyyy and E

After some more shouting, the next question is about, finally, A&E. Time to put on some Goldfrapp!

Alas – we only have five minutes to discuss this important topic, a topic that dominated the headlines before a group of laughable tossers decided it would be fun in a bun to brutally murder some cartoonists. So in summary: Vince defends things, Jimmy the King of Wiki calls for calm, Liz-who-looks-a-bit-like-Rachel-Reeves-but-isn’t ignores this and goes in fightin’, and David Davis escalates the punch up. Dimbleby, in despair, finally pulls the plug.

Time for the scores!

Cable: 6/10

(Sitting in a pool of) Stagnation

Kendall: 6/10

(A&E) Fixation

Davis: 8/10

(Question number one’s) Salvation

Hartley-Brewer: 4/10

(Her head soon succumbed to) Inflation

Wales: 5/10

Citation (needed)

The Crowd: 6/10

(Let out their) Frustration

Next time: CHORTLES AND STARKEY. I need say no more.

Next week Lemmings, next week…

Questionable Time 11


questionable time 11 david dimbleby bath

Good morning Lemmings and welcome to what is likely to be a very speedy edition of Questionable Time as I have awoken feeling somewhat grotty. Given that my plans for tomorrow are largely contingent on an absence of grottiness I think it’s for the best that I keep things compact so let us not shilly-shally about: Onwards, to Bath.

Ok, so let’s get things under way by asking ourselves “just what the hell has happened to Chris Huhne?”. I mean c’mon, two years ago he seemed like a pretty regular, off-the-shelf middle-aged politician who could occasionally get a little hot under the collar but was rarely in danger of being described as ‘exciting’. Now? Well now he’s suddenly turned into this affair-having, maybe speeding-points-transferring ruffian who may or may not turn up at the Commons wearing a leather jacket and smoking a cigarette in the near future. If any further confirmation were needed that his position is somewhat tenuous at present we need only to look at his performance last night as he testily skidded from one round of boos to the next. Is he fatally compromised? Well, not quite. There’s still some fight left in him and he does at least appear to be trying to stick to the coalition line but the omens aren’t good for Chris… When a LibDem can’t get much love from a crowd in Bath you know something’s up.

So that wasn’t great news for one half of the government but there was still the (albeit remote) possibility that Uber Euroskeptic Daniel Hannan could pull something out of the bag (and hopefully not the severed head of a high-ranking Eurocrat). As it turned out, he treated us to a rather unnerving display of single-mindedness, almost as if he was some sort of cyborg whose operating system had been replaced by a digitised version of Atlas Shrugged. Seriously, every point he made contained at least one reference to how ace free markets are and why governments will be the death of us all. Economy up the swanny? Well that’s what you get for having stupid things like ‘taxes’. What to do about a press ran amuck? Nothing that involves those parasites at Westminster, that’s what! Dropped your toast butter side down this morning? Blame the jackbooted hordes in Brussels! So yes, his was a frankly weird turn but one that was still quite entertaining in a horrific kind of way, not unlike watching footage of nuclear explosions… If you can consciously forget that they’re the ultimate expression of mankind’s brutality they are actually quite pretty.

Next up is a first time appearance for the Red Team’s Liz Kendall and I must say that it was a pretty good show that she put on. Ok, so I do get a little peeved when politicians take it upon themselves to tell me how mad keen they are on Twitter and she’s not quite the finished article yet but there is potential there: Give her another couple of outings and we could have a contender on our hands.

Sticking to the theme of ‘pleasant surprises’ we now come to Sainsbury’s boss Justin King, a man who should have by rights got it in the neck last night, what with him being a well paid CEO of a mammoth company and all that. As it turned out he actually got clean away with it and I can’t quite work out whether that’s because he represents a new and scary breed of capitalist (one who appears so reasonable that it’s impossible to feel narked about their colossal salaries) or just a genuinely nice bloke who does actually have motives beyond profit. I can’t really give you a definitive answer one way or another but I will admit that I nearly fell off my sofa when he stuck up for the union’s on their decision to ballot their members in September. That very much caught me off guard but in a very good way.

Lastly for the panel we have Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales who has taken time out of his busy schedule of berating me for money (see. Fig. 1) to appear on Question Time. Actually, I have to admit that I don’t resent Wales getting all up in my face and demanding cash because I’d be lost without Wikipedia and genuinely think it’s the best invention since tracky bottoms. Anyway, he was an odd choice seeing as he understandably knows little about UK politics but that’s not to say it was a bad performance by any measure. In fact, he struck the balance just right by pleading ignorance on the things he couldn’t possibly know about whilst making sure that his line on the things he did have some expertise on, like freedom of the press, was pretty robust. Not bad going in my book.

jimmy wales question time

Fig. 1

Ok, so that was the panel and despite being a pretty mixed bunch they did make for an entertaining episode. The crowd was also a fairly lively lot who helped grease the show’s wheels with an appreciable level of rancour but I am inclined to knock off a point for the following statement, made by a woman with regards to the government’s targets for nuclear power: “I’ve read it in the papers so you can’t say you’re not [increasing nuclear power]”. Apparently someone hasn’t been watching the Leveson Inquiry this week.

Huhne: 4/10

Beset (by demons)

Hannan: 6/10

(Doesn’t like the) National Debt

Kendall: 6/10

Safe Bet

King: 6/10

Well Met

Wales: 7/10

No Sweat

The Crowd: 7/10

(Is from) Somerset

Alright, I’m done and shall now be returning to the sofa where I shall stay for approximately the next ten days. This being the case, there will be no Questionable Time next week as I am officially on holiday (that and I’ve just purchased a copy of Arkham City) but normal service will resume the week after. Struggle on, dear Lemmings, struggle on.

In a fortnight Lemmings, in a fortnight…


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