Posts Tagged 'John Prescott'

Questionable Time #104

questionable time 104 david dimbleby streaker wimbledon
Good morrow lemmings, Elizabeth here, filling in for Ye Webmaster, with one eye on the tennis, another one on Dimbleby’s horrendous blue toad-patterned tie, and another on my extensive 50,000 word text document ‘dedicatedtoandycoulson.txt’ which consists only of the words HA HA HA HA HA repeated over and over again.

I think we can all agree that it’s been a long ride, but finally the wait is over: journalists across the country have stepped blinking into the light as the trial of the century is finally over. No mention of the gloriously vindicated Madame Curly Wurly in this edition, but plenty of hand-wringing and harrumphing nonetheless.

Not-so-jolly hockey sticks

Last night Chortles was back and more Head Girl than ever. She shook her head at John Prescott in the manner of a disappointed sixth form prefect telling off a naughty new bug. She rigorously defended David Cameron from any abuse hurled his way, whacking great unanswered questions about Essex boy Andy back at the audience with her metaphorical hockey sticks of terror. Based! On! The! Knowledge! He! Had! At! The! Time! A perfect volley, which despite Prezza’s best efforts he was not quite able to break through.

Speaking of terror, was she deliberately channelling Maggie Thatcher or what? The pearls, the hair, the dead-eyed stare…the only difference was her choice of a red jacket, no doubt stained in the blood of visiting netball teams.

Later on, on the extremism question, she seemed to have calmed down. But then, out of nowhere, Paul Nuttall suddenly decided to go for her. “NUT ‘ER, NUTTALL!” the spirit of Nigel Farage, which permanently haunts the Question Time set, roared in a drunken stupour. From then, all bets were off. From testing out her variety of withering looks to artfully breathing the words “six hundred thousand?!” in disgust, Nuttall, despite having tried out the ‘no really, I’m a reasonable guy, please believe me’ tactic pretty well for most of the show (the ‘not-Roger Helmer’ approach, it’s no doubt called, complete with lack of spectacular moustache and more of a bargain bin Al Murray’s Pub Landlord aesthetic) was so thoroughly sent flying that Dimbleby had to stop the programme briefly to remind everyone to tweet in or whatever it is these young folks are doing these days.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

Despite all this, the highlight of her performance was still the understatement of the century: “I don’t agree with Ken [Clarke] on this one”, referring to yet another edition of Ken-says-whatever-he-damn-well-likes. Not many Tories do, Anna. Not many Tories do.

‘Connecting’ with the public

Everyone’s out to get John Prescott. I am, you am, your mum probably am. But most of all, the bloody newspapers am. Prescott is always entertaining on Question Time, partly because his entire being bobs up and down in his seat like a boat wobbling in the harbour. Neil Wallis attemped to push the great beast back, but could only get into a yelling match over who was the most, and I quote, ‘bloody incompetent’, which basically went like this: “No you!” “No, you!” “Noooo, yoooou!”

It doesn’t matter if he was Deputy Prime Minister or President of the World, Prezza has passed the point of caring and can shake his head at Ed Miliband posing with the Sun all he likes. He also spent a lot of the time grinning as Soubry and Nuttall had a fight, like an excitable toddler waiting for his puréed banana at dinnertime. So really, in conclusion, he didn’t score any knock out blows, and indeed missed more than he hit last night. And yet I don’t mind purely because he still says the word ‘bloody’ on camera much to David Dimbleby’s general exasperation with everything.

Also, could Prezza take Suárez in a fight? Even if he is getting on a bit, I’m betting yes, and would pay gratuitous amounts of money for this epoch-making event to be televised.

I’ve covered Nuttall already, damn

Meanwhile, Neil Wallis had a bit of a tough job on his hands. He was there as the representation of all that is evil in the world – he knew that, and he hated it. He was greatly offended when Paul Nuttall declared that, rejoice rejoice, newspapers were SO OVER. He huffed and puffed as the audience, that judgemental bunch of fools, attempted to imply that Andy Coulson was anything less than a lovely chap who just lost his way, the poor love. He delicately described Damian McBride as ‘an interesting person’. He was everything you expected him to be and nothing less and/or more.

Maajid Nawaz, who I must say has some great hair, was much the same. Maajizzle was here as an outlier, an extremist, a dangerous ideologue – that’s right – …a Liberal Democrat. So for the first two thirds of the programme he adopted his party’s fail-safe tactic of sitting on the fence and being pretty dull. Let’s be reasonable here, guys. Everyone hates us already, so it doesn’t matter if we slag off Murdoch!

He also took the time to remind us that Muslims generally aren’t evil soul-sucking monsters. Thank you for this information. It is a sad world we live in that we have to be actually reminded of this fact.

I was hoping for more arguments but then the programme devolved into a pun-off. So here’s the scores.

Soubry: 6/10

Kept score

Prescott: 5/10

At one point almost swore

Nawaz: 5/10

Decent if a bore

Nuttall: 4/10

Euroscepticism galore

Wallis: 3/10

Please, no more

The Crowd: 5/10

Who cares about Juncker anymore?

Now clear off or I’ll hack yer phone.

Next week Lemmings, next week…

Questionable Time #47

Questionable time 47 david dimbleby weather map

Good morning Lemmings and well done: You have (I assume) survived the Mayan apocalypse, navigated your way through the choppy waters of Christmas and somehow safely emerged into the cold light of 2013. You must be very proud. Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends as the Christmas truce is over and now it’s back to the relentless, maddening grind that is Question Time. Yeah, I know, those three Thursday nights where you weren’t screaming at the telly were cherished moments, free from rancour and strife but they could never last, not in a month of Sundays. No, all we can do now is huddle in our foxholes and hope for the best as the opening volleys of the new year do their ghastly work. Welcome back Lemmings, it’s time to get questionable.

I see two figures grappling in the wilderness…

The wilderness isn’t a great place to be. It’s barren. It’s featureless. It doesn’t even have a Greggs, but – for his sins – this is where John Prescott has been exiled to. The reasons for his banishment are simple enough: With the collapse of the Blair-Brown project there’s no longer a need for a figure who spanned the gap between New and Old Labour and as a consequence, John Prescott has ceased to be useful. In fact, he probably ceased being useful quite a while back (the PCC elections were pretty much his last roll of the dice) but last night provided him with yet another chance to prove his worth.

So did he? In a word, ‘no’. The problem with Prescott is that he physically embodies all the properties of the phrase ‘gravy train’ and serves as a walking reminder to voters of why exactly they fell out with New Labour in the first place. Sure, in terms of pure rhetorical pugilism he’s still able to go the distance (too far a distance if Dimber’s constant telling off’s are anything to go by) but this can’t mask the fact that he’s deeply tainted – to the point of toxicity – by all the murkier parts of New Labour’s legacy. All the wars, the cosiness with the city, the cahoots that were gotten into, they all required a little bit of John Prescott and for that reason he’s just too culpable to be useful any more. So hard lines John, it looks like you’re set to roam the wilderness for the time being. Unless of course you punch someone. That’s tended to work in the past.

As it happens Prescott wasn’t alone last night as there was another panelist trying to find her way out of the political tundra and that panelist was Nadine Dorries. Now, Dorries has been excommunicated not on account of her utility but for her dangerousness. Her problem is a) she’s mad as a box of frogs, b) the press know she’s mad as a box of frogs and indulge her more than your Common Garden Backbencher and c) she gave her party a cast-iron excuse to remove the whip by going on IACGMOOH. However, it must be said that in terms of escape plans, last night was pretty good. For a start, she reined in some of her battier tendencies and refused to be drawn into matters like her stance on abortion and she also made a relatively (‘relative’ being the operative word) good fist of the ‘do politicians court celebrity?’ question. Alright, so it wasn’t a stellar performance but given that she’s the most divisive of figures who was at the mercy of a crowd all hopped up on local hospital closures, it could have been worse. My prediction? She’ll be back in the tent before too long. Why? Because last night proved that she can hold it in when she needs to… Or at least long enough to get to the to flap and aim outwards.

I’m becoming oddly attached to Ed Davey…

Here he is, the Adult In The Room. You may not have noticed it – what with all the panto shenanigans of Prescott and Dorries – but there was an actual politician on the show last night, the sort of politician who takes his job very seriously and the sort who if he finishes all his allotted tasks on time may just celebrate by having an extra Digestive before going to bed. Ok, that was cruel (particularly in light of how well boned up on Lewisham’s ongoing hospital woes he was) and I feel bad for mocking Ed Davey because he’s exactly the sort of politician we say we all want – diligent, committed and in it because ‘someone has to’ – yet automatically pick on because they seem a little…. well… square. Consequently, I find myself becoming rather attached to Ed Davey in the same way I’m attached to my toaster: My world wouldn’t fall apart if they/it went missing but things would seem marginally trickier in their absence.

John Bird would get me as far as Burton-on-Trent…

So, what to say about John Bird, founder of The Big Issue and self-styled “working class Marxist Tory”? Well, on the one hand he was great: Outspoken, assured and with the back story to back it up but on the other, he failed the Exeter St. David’s to Leeds test. For the uninitiated (which is all of you) this is a hypothetical hoop I throw people through when I’m not 100% sure of our long-term compatibility: At what point on that train journey would I be secretly wishing that I could just listen to my iPod? In the case of Bird I reckon we’d have a fine – nay, cracking time – until about Cheltenham Spa. We’d talk, I’d find his bafflingly contradictory political self-definition intriguing and we’d even go so far as to crack open a spur-of-the-moment tinny. This state of affairs would persist until about Birmingham New Street. By then his innate confidence would start to irk me, the beer would have left me with a cotton mouth and the conversation would start taking on a very one-sided aspect. By Burton-on-Trent, I’d have broken and sloped off to another carriage under the pretext of a toilet break. I’m not proud of the above but it’s better that we’re honest about these things.

Camilla Cavendish should ask for her money back…

It must be gutting: You get on QT, start saying a bunch of fairly reasonable things, find your stride and then BAM! You get cut off. That was pretty much how it panned out for Cavendish and while my gut tells me that she seems pretty legit, I never really got the chance to find out. I did, however, discover that not only did an audience member look vaguely like me, he was also wearing the exact same outfit. Thanks for freaking me out, you massive imposter (see Fig. 1)!

Fig. 1

Fig. 1



Davey: 6/10


Prescott: 4/10


Dorries: 5/10


Bird: 7/10


Cavendish: 6/10


The Crowd: 7/10


So there it is: A nicely gee’d-up little romp aided and abetted by a crowd all stoked on local issues. Now here’s a goofy pshop of Nadine Dorries being chased by a shark while John Prescott looks casually looks on. I made it when I was sure that Prezzer was going to trounce Dorries. Oh, hindsight… What chaos have you wrought? (See Fig. 2)

nadine dories shark john prescott

Fig. 2

Next week Lemmings, next week…

Questionable Time #18

questionable time 18 david dimbleby depression

Good morning Lemmings and let’s make this snappy as I have much to do today. Ok, I don’t really have that much to do but I would really like to finish watching the fantastic Russia, Putin and the West for the following reasons:

  1. It’s gripping
  2. Putin is clearly as mad as a box of frogs.
  3. The Russian Defence Minister – Sergei Ivanov – is now my #1 Guy on Earth purely by dint of a) looking uncannily like Christopher Walken, b) leading Condoleezza Rice astray at meetings of great diplomatic import, c) literally telling the Taliban to “F – off” and d) being an all round wag of the highest order.

It’s unfortunately disappeared off iPlayer but a cursory search of youtube should see you right… Get amongst. Right, enough of this off-topic waffle and on to the question in hand: What, dear Lemmings, did we learn last night? This.

1. Despite him being in Parliament longer than I’ve been on this earth, I still struggle to know exactly what John Prescott is for.

Ok, so there’s the obvious things like he’s good at punching people (both physically and verbally) and there was a time when he provided the Old Labour brigade a much-needed sugar-coating to the bitter pill of New Labour but aside from that, can you think of a single thing that John Prescott has done that isn’t about him? As it stands, I am left no wiser by last night’s Question Time as all he appeared to do was grin mischievously whilst lining up a series of well rehearsed jabs for Ken Clarke (rehearsed to the point that he even bought props with him). That this was an entertaining spectacle is of little doubt but I still can’t escape from the fact that once you strip away all the bluster and bombast, there really isn’t a great deal to Prezzer other than an eye for self-promotion (Police Commissioner Prescott anyone?) and a good rhetorical right-hook. Oh, and I’ve totally got his ‘what to do when you’re caught off guard’ strategy pegged: It’s basically ‘deliver a pile of vague and flakey platitudes in the thundering tones of Absolute Certainties’ – like when he said he’d fix the economy simply by chucking loads of money at it. So yes, whilst all the heat generated by his presence was certainly warming, the light was dim and flickering.

prescott clarke boxing

2. I totally get what Ken Clarke is for.

I shan’t go on about this too much as I’ve written plenty about it in the past but the main point of Ken Clarke is to be a Tory who doesn’t fill me with certain dread and for the most part he does this pretty well. However, I can’t help feeling that the poor old sod has grown rather weary of this damnable coalition business and he spent most of last night looking knackered and harried. To be honest, I’d look a little harried if I was being mercilessly assaulted by a lump of Humberside belligerence but I get the feeling that it goes a little deeper than that and all the old boy really wants to do is quietly resign himself to a twilight of gout and jazz 78’s. And well he may for despite being one of the most successful Tory chancellors of all time he is now treated by his own party like a weird and embarrassing uncle that should not, repeat NOT be allowed anywhere near 6th form girls college without strict supervision. You deserve better than that Ken and should you ever feel the need to disappear in a fog of cigar smoke, I for one will be entirely sympathetic…

3. Dimbers clearly doesn’t like Susan Kramer.

Ok, so I’m not exactly a card-carrying member of the Susan Kramer fan club and her QT appearances always end up being a bit ‘meh’ but for Christ’s sake Dimbers, cut the woman some slack! Sure, she didn’t exactly bring a great deal to the show and yes, her hair is quite terrifying but did she really deserve a full hour of shirtiness and being cut off mid-sentence? I think not. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Dimbers, that insect tie: No.

4. Owen Jones is clearly the frontrunner in the race for Angry Young Man of the Year award.

So this was Jones’ first ever appearance on QT and boy did he do well. The trick with him is that not only is he self evidently very bright but he also does the whole Righteous Indignation thing with considerable aplomb and without appearing to be an unhinged wingnut (a la the likes of Douglas Murray and – if he’s having a bad day – Mehdi Hassan). That the crowd loved him is without the slightest doubt and barring a late surge from Liam Burns, the new President of the NUS (and very much one-to-watch in my opinion), that Angry Young Man award is in the bag. Now, naturally all of the above should inevitably lead us all to believe that I’m going to award him top marks at the end of this post but I’m afraid I can’t quite bring myself to do that for the following reasons:

  1. No-one is ever going to get top marks on Questionable Time as I feel it would set a dangerous precedent.
  2. He’s five years younger than me and that is manifestly a perversion of cosmic justice.

‘Jealous’ you say? Well maybe just a little.

5. Julie Meyer is actually the worst Question Time panelist I have ever seen.

So I just said I’d never give out a 10 on Questionable Time and until last night, I felt the same about giving out 1’s for very much for the same reason: It creates an artificial hard ceiling/basement that can only ever be equalled but never bettered. In the past I have stuck rigidly to this rule and even the most wanton displays of wrongheadedness have escaped without the shame of being 1’d. For example, remember when Carol Vorderman went from being a relatively-innocuous-if-creepy-dork-turned-vamp to a screaming-torrent-of-reactionary-twaddle? Yeah, she got away with a 3 that time and even Melanie Phillips at her most poisonous has never sunk below a 4. Why? Because although I consider both to be pretty repellent figures, I can actually figure out what they’re on about. Julie Meyers? Well, I got the impression that she likes “entrepreneurs” and all things “digital” but beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. That on its own would push her deep into ‘2’ territory but it’s what she represents that really irks me: That weird collision of Big L ‘Fuck You’ Libertarians with the nebulous/vacuous world of ‘e-commerce’. Now, I find hard-line Libertarians to be a weird enough bunch in the real-world but when you slather another coating of unreality on them in the form of the internet then they stop making any sense whatsoever. Julie Meyer is the living incarnation of this unholy nexus, a walking absurdity who lives in a rickety virtual construct of her own making and has no place opining on matters that pertain to the real world. So here you go Julie Meyer, here’s a gift from one “digital native” to another: A big fat ‘1’.


Clarke: (A little) Flabby


Prescott: Jabby


Kramer: (Got treated a little) Crabby


Jones: Grabby


Meyer: Shabby


The Crowd: Blabby


Well, well, well… A Questionable Time first. Please take note of your surroundings so that you can spin a good yarn when your grandchildren ask “where were you heard that Julie Meyer got a ‘1’?”. You’ll thank me when this situation inevitably comes to pass. Right, I’m off to watch more despotic shenanigans with Mr. Putin…

Next week Lemmings,next week…

Loudribs Curmudgeory Corner Emergency Question Time #1

question time dimbleby riots 50Good morning Lemmings and just what, may I ask, has happened to Silly Season? I ask because a) like all the shell-shocked looking MP’s who’ve been violently ejected from their mid-summer torpor, I shouldn’t be here right now and b) I love Silly Season and feel somewhat slighted that I haven’t been able to spend the summer reading about cats with bus passes or spurious moral panics. To be fair though, it’s not like I didn’t have fair warning: As soon as the phone hacking scandal broke, I knew that it was going to take a shark at least fifty Dimbleby’s long (my new favourite unit of measurement) to be sighted off Cornwall before normal service resumed but I must say that I wasn’t banking on society collapsing in quite the spectacular fashion that it has. Still, here we are now so we might as well try and make the best of it. Welcome Lemmings, to a very rare event: Emergency Question Time.

Ok, so the backdrop to this episode is pretty clear, what with the youth of today trying to affect political change through the mass sacking of JD Sports (a novel tactic, but one not without its merits) and as a result, Dimbleby has been defrosted from his traditional Recess-CryoSleep in order to provide the middle classes with a socially acceptable alternative to the Jeremy Kyle Show in their time of need. So, with who’s company do we share this impromptu return to the abyss with? Well, first up we have former Deputy Prime Minister and God’s Gift to Photoshop (see Fig. 1), John Prescott. When I first heard he was going to be on the show I was actually quite pleased as he had a very good turn of form when it came to the phone hacking scandal and a busy summer for him may also mean that he won’t have the time to appear in any more car insurance ads (for which the nation would be grateful), However, what I totally forgot was that while he can be very effective when whoever happens to be holding his leash singles out a target and hollers “Sick ‘em, boy!” and is frankly brilliant at soaking up punishment that would break less hardy souls, he is terrible at situation that have even the slightest hint of nuance. Not only that, but he also has an uncanny knack for reminding everyone exactly why they fell out of love with New Labour, not something that’s especially useful when the Labour party is frantically trying to rebrand itself.


Fig. 1

In practice, these traits boiled down to a pretty straight forward affair, mainly characterised  by sentences starting with “You and your mates” whenever Fraser Nelson was in the frame and much hot-under-the-collary at all other times. To be fair, his opening shots about police numbers did find their mark but any territory gained was quickly squandered by him flying off the handle at the slightest provocation and his insistence on making the argument personal. That approach is fine when there’s a clear villain to assail (like in the case of phone hacking), but in a situation as fluid and dynamic as the one we have before us now, it just looks ropey. Worse still, his insistence on casting the whole shebang as some epic left-vs-right affair gave both Nelson and Davis ample opportunity to dredge through Labour’s record and paint them as the baddies. Now, I’m not saying that Labour don’t have a certain level of culpability when it comes to the events of the past week as the kids who we’ve seen cutting a merry swathe of carnage through our cities grew up on their watch. However, Prescott’s approach had the effect of making it easy for the other side, easy to the extent that they didn’t really have to do any legwork and could sit back while Prezzer dug his own hole for them. Oh, and demanding that the police be armed with “plastic guns” rather than ‘plastic bullets’ doesn’t really help things much either, but there we go.

So, it wasn’t exactly the best night for the Red Team but how did the Blue Team do? On the face of it, they should have come in for the most flak considering that they’ve just presided over the most profound civil disorder for thirty years and were nowhere to be seen when the paddle fell into the creek, but strangely they got away with it rather lightly. Much of the credit for this feat can be taken by whoever had the bright idea of not letting any cabinet ministers go on and  put up David Davis to bat instead. The beauty of this move is that Davis is one of those MP’s who inhabits a certain political Goldilocks Zone: Far enough away from the tent to deny responsibility when things go wrong but close enough to scoop up any credit should they go right. Not only that, but Davis also has some rather crafty tricks up his sleeve, the main one being that he grew up on a council estate. Now, I’m personally very partial to this particular trick as it often results in epic little spats where audience members get caught out for not doing their homework but this week’s incident had a further twist to it. It began as it usually does: An audience member sees a Tory on the panel and decides that they may go for some of the ‘all Tories are toffs’ fruit that dangles temptingly from the lower branches of the QT tree. Thus it was that a young lady saw an opening, concluded that it was too good an opportunity to miss and briskly embarked on a spot of “has David Davis ever lived on a council estate?”

“Yes, I grew up on one” came the reply and I awaited eagerly for the pained expression of a plan gone wrong to pass across her face. But wait! What’s this? She’s not even broken her stride and is instead ploughing on anyway, oblivious to the sound of her credibility vaporising! Truth be told, I didn’t know who to admire more: Davies for timely deployment of his trump card or the audience member for her sublime ability to turn a blind eye to an inconvenient reality.

Anyhoo, minutiae aside, Davis played what could have been tricky hand rather well last night, stopping short of going balls-out ‘string ‘em all up’ whilst still sounding like a man you’d rather not mess with. I imagine there must have been a few sighs of relief in Tory HQ as it was a real gamble for them not send on a frontbencher and one that Dimbers did his best to make some hay from. However, deploying Davis proved to be a winning stratagem and his ability to temper his firm stance with a certain level of pragmatism carried the day for them. Not by much, but enough that they ended the show largely out of harms way.

All of which brings us to the Yellow Team and their chosen man of the hour, Brian Paddick. On paper, Paddick should be a winning politician as he seems to know what he’s talking about, has an interesting background and is not inarticulate. However, despite these natural advantages he’s never really cut the mustard for me and after watching last night’s show I think I’ve figured out why: He’s too needy. Now, I’m not saying needy in the sense that he came on with a teddy and some warm milk but there’s something about his delivery which is grasping and belies an urgent need for him to believe that he’s being taken seriously.  Take for example where he was trying to make the point that the you can’t compare these riots to the G20 demo. It’s a good point and one that he hammered away on for ages, but for some reason the way he said it drowned out the meaning. About five minutes later, David Davis strolls past, makes exactly the same point and gets a whole bunch of claps for efforts. Immediately alert to this, Paddick then desperately tries to climb back on to his own bandwagon for fear that Davis might twock it outright and resorts to desperately reminding everyone it was originally his point. In short, it wasn’t entirely edifying.

So yes, there’s something about Paddick that just doesn’t add up and I can’t help feeling he has a rather large capacity to sabotage himself. That’s not to say that anything he said was particularly bad, it’s just that I couldn’t get past the way he said it.

Right, that’s the politicos done, on to the civilians who are this week represented by Fraser Nelson, Camila Batmanghelidjh (who will now be referred to as ‘Batman’ as I don’t have the time to keep typing out her name… Seriously, it’s more like a Windows Activation Code than a name) and John Sentamu. Starting with Nelson, I think it’s fair to say that he’s the sanest of the Oddly Similar Right-Wing Scots (as represented by himself, Douglas Murray and Niall Ferguson) who are forever haunting Question Time and he had himself a pretty good show. Granted, Prescott did most of the heavy lifting for him and Davis provided covering fire but in general he came across fairly well. As for Batman, well I have a feeling she pulled her punches last night and in all honesty, I think that was probably for the best. As was expected, she did try to fight the rioters corner to certain degree and made sure that the deeper causes got a good airing, but she had the sense to see that nerves were just a little too frayed for a full on round of devils advocate and went about her business quietly. That was a good call as while I think she’s largely right, saying the right things at the wrong time can get you in a whole heap of trouble.

And finally there’s Sentamu, a man who I have all the time in the world for. The reason for my fondness for Sentamu is that not only does he look and sound mischievous, he actually is wantonly naughty (what with all the chopping up dog collars and camping out in York Minster) and revels in a bit of grand theatre. However, I must say I was a little disappointed by his outing as he seemed really slow on the uptake and a little lost at times. Most of his responses ambled around for a bit, got sidetracked into analogies about pigs or leaking water before finally ending in a bellowing statement that may or may not have been relevant to the subject in hand. So, John Sentamu, more mischief and less rambling next time around please… Streaking across the studio perhaps…

All of which leaves us with the crowd and to be honest, they were the most interesting part of a show that never really found its feet. Predictably, the audience contained the obligatory blowhards from both extremes of the political spectrum (like the man who demanded all rioters have their personal property confiscated and the woman who dismissed the whole thing as a government orchestrated stitch up) but for the most part they were just confused, angry and unsure who to blame. As a result, the show itself seemed to lurch around, seemingly unable to hold its focus whilst people struggled to articulate things that can’t yet be articulated. In that sense, it was a pretty good depiction of the feeling that pervades the nation at present and sets the stage for what is going to be a frantic period in British politics. Everywhere you look, something menacing seems to be developing and I have a feeling that the events of the last week are just a taste of what is yet to come. In short Lemmings, I want my Silly Season back.

Prescott: Huffy/puffy

Davis: Well deployed

Paddick: Doth protest too much

Nelson: Marginally sane

Batman: Stealthy

Sentamu: Fuzzy/shouty

The Crowd: Freaked out

Right, I’m outta here… It’s been at least an hour since I’ve seen the news and I’ve already started to get the first pangs of withdrawal. I’ll see you all in September for the new series, civilisation pending of course…

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