Posts Tagged 'Kezia Dugdale'

Questionable Time #127


qt 127

Good morrow lemmings and welcome to a very deep-fried edition of Questionable Time! Now I don’t know much about Scottish politics, aside from the fact that everybody currently seems terminally pissed off at the Labour Party, like a cat that’s thrown up on the rug. With this flawless understanding of the political climate in hand, let’s dive straight in. What could possibly go wrong?

It’s a piece of cake to debate a pretty cake

“Here we are in Glasgow”, begins Dimbledore with an air of desperate finality. For some godawful reason, we have six people on the panel instead of five. Why this nightmare is happening to me is never adequately explained, so I’m going to guess that it’s a trial run for the election debates (if they ever happen). Judging by this showing, it’s going to be a clusterscrew.

Speaking of the debates, our first question is whether everyone should start making chicken noises whenever David Cameron walks past. The Scottish Conservatives lady does not think so, but she has to be a bit mad (being a Scottish Conservative) so it’s safe to ignore everything she says. I don’t understand how anyone can look at David Cameron weakly wriggling out of a debate with Ed Miliband and not think he’s the biggest scaredy-cat to ever hawk a hairball. The same Ed Miliband who, the media will tell you, cannot eat a bacon sandwich unaided, and yet is too threatening an opponent for Fave Dave to match up to. Poor show David. Poor show. And poor show Ruth, thinking anyone is going to fall for this nonsense. Oh wait…looks like some of them have. Like Toby Young, who is here for some reason instead of down South in the warm. Well, takes all kinds!

In other news, why does Danny Alexander look so weird now? He’s suddenly not ginger, and his eyes are all bulgy! Ever since he gave up his glasses he hasn’t been the same and has been slowly morphing into some kind of frog person, perhaps in anticipation of losing his seat and returning to his previous life of living in a pond. He remains as dull as ever, though, the only man in existence to have both a non-sexy/non-hilarious Scottish accent.

Just put a plate of Eton mess there instead, says Humza Yousaf, and nobody will be able to tell the difference. If you have it next to a tape recorder repeating the phrase ‘long term economic plan’ that really would be eerily similar. But judging by this bite-sized nonsense it won’t be a very good debate anyway, no matter who decides to turn up. Humza and Kezia Dugdale are fighting, Val McDermid is appealing for an energised electorate, and the audience is responding in kind by mainly yodelling. I’m tired out already, but the fun is just beginning.

This is what happens when you remind Scottish people of the magic of voting

What will the result of the SNP pwning j00 n00bs be? The floor is open for screaming and crying. Kezia, the Scottish Labour deputy leader (what a job!), bravely climbs into the shame pit first. Kezia says it’s good news for DCam, but would rather not think about what it means for Labour. Meanwhile, Ruth Davidson tries not to seem smug.

Humza, akin to an angry and unstoppable robot, gleefully tears into anyone and everyone and disses Trident to great cheers from his posse. In response, Kezia huffs angrily about the SNP’s tax policies, but she is too boring to strike a fatal blow! Humza has her cornered before triumphantly making a mighty gaffe. “We’ll look at an issue-by-issue basis of working with the Tories – I mean the Labour Party!” he squawks. Yet more mass yodelling in the studio follows, as Dimbleby tries in vain to calm everyone down. But it is no use. This is merely the first step on the audience’s pub crawl tonight. Danny tries to intervene in his monotone voice, before being smacked down by a frustrated Dimbles, who reminds him that he probably won’t even have a seat after the election, so nyah nyah. Also he looks like Brian the snail. Double nyah nyah.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

After the right-wingers nod sagely amongst themselves about the break up of the union and the coming heat death of the universe, Val makes a point about dragging Labour to the left somehow. We don’t know how. By not voting for them, maybe? Yeah, that’ll work! Nevertheless, I think Kezia (and Jim Murphy, by extension) could morph into Tony Benn right then and there and Scotland would still act like a wronged wife whose husband has forgotten their anniversary, as evidenced by the audience grumbling at everything she says. Though she isn’t helping by being so terribly uninteresting. Still, as the old saying goes: you made your bed, now you’ve got to lie in it. And it’s got itchy crumbs everywhere so, like, eww.

Toby Young isn’t being horrible enough, this displeases me

Next up, do we need stronger laws to prevent hate screeching/preaching on university campuses?

This question actually gets a pretty reasonable response from the panel. I beamed in pride, watching over them like an attentive mother hen. It’s so nice when people are advocating freedom of speech but not apologising for war crimes! It’s so great when even Toby Young surprises you! Indeed, banning these jackasses could just make them seem like a delicious cake, a cake that you are not allowed to eat. We need to have an open conversation about how shit they are, and how bad the cake tastes.

Incidentally, Dimbles mentions a spat between David Cameron and Grant Shapps – when pressed, Brian the snail says nothing about this important issue. I was disappointed. This is clearly what the people most want to hear.

Next: why is Scutlernd missing its targets? Well, it’s not a political issue says Ruth Davidson. Convenient! Suddenly, Kezia is squealin’ and reminds us that Labour is the bestest. And has a cool mansion tax. Dimbleby interrupts again (seriously, man? This is, what, the sixth time?), asking “how much will you raise in Glasgow?” Burn! As if Glasgow is so impossibly awful that OF COURSE one couldn’t raise any money with a MANSION tax, har har har! The audience hates Labour so much, however, that they’re willing to put up with David Dimbleby dissing their own city for a cheap laugh.

After a skirmish where Humza derides ‘creeping privatisation’ in the NHS while ignoring SNP flirting with Weightwatchers (which sounds like a much funnier story than it really is), and Toby claiming that Labour’s mansion tax must be magic while doing his best Paul Daniels impression (‘how much will it raise? Not a lot!’), Val, detached, wraps everything up the way only she knows how, presumably. This country has its own ‘historic health problems’, says she. The spectre of deep-fried Mars Bars looms large.

This gets the biggest applause of the night. I’ve given up trying to understand this edition.

I’ve given up in general, actually.

Time for the scores!

Davidson: 6/10

(Had her lines rehearsed down to a) Tee

Dugdale: 4/10

Plea(ded)

Yousaf: 5/10

FREEEEEEEE(dom)

Alexander: 4/10

(Crawling gooily up a) Tree

Young: 6/10

(Did not go on a killing) Spree

McDermid: 6/10

Gee, (what’s a left-winger to do?)

The Crowd: 9/10

(Will) Knee (you in the groin)

Next time, Ian Hislop gurning.

Next week Lemmings, next week…

Questionable Time #85


questionable time 85 david dimbleby loader aliens

Good morning Lemmings and hold on to your hats because there’s just too much excitement going on here. Dundee. Four panelists. Half a show on Scottish independence and a man who got slightly confused as to whether you really do get £500 pounds if you vote one way or another – it truly is a thrill-seekers manifesto. So brace yourselves for impact Lemmings, this is going to be one wild ride.

 

Did I say ‘wild ride’? I think I actually meant ‘a slightly more subdued rehash of every Scottish independence episode we’ve ever had’….

…You know the deal: The Yes camp paint a picture of the sunlit uplands awaiting a newly independent Scotland, the No camp retaliate with a bleak canvas of the fog drenched lowlands that lie in store for a mutinous Caledonia while both side’s fan clubs clap obediently on command and use the word ‘scaremongering’ a lot. Yup, pretty exciting stuff!

 

Still, at least there was a subtle variation to the formula as the usual question of ‘Will it be Salmond or will it be Sturgeon for the SNP’ was rendered moot by the debut appearance of John Swinney, head of all things monetary and economic in the Scottish Parliament. Now so far as I can tell, Swinney takes most of his cues from the classic Salmond playbook (which basically means promise everyone everything and move quickly when the details get irksome) and he mostly does ok on this front – except for one thing: He can’t do The Knowing Look.

 

To the uninitiated, the Knowing Look is the thing that makes Alex Salmond so special and it all seems so simple on paper – you make pledges that sound completely unobtainable but instead of just releasing them into the wild and hoping they make it to safety in one piece you send them on their way with a twinkle in your eye that says ‘I know. Everything I just said sounds completely mental but trust me, I’ve got this covered’ (and in fairness to Salmond he usually does have it covered – or at least partially clad). John Swinney’s problem is that despite having an air of general likability and making a decent fist of bigging up the positives in independence, he just looks a little skittish when the facts start getting awkward. Take the part when some of the questions regarding the White Paper were raised (i.e. where’s the money?): This is the sort of situation where Salmond flutters those ‘Trust me, this is so crazy it might just work’ eyelashes at the crowd and everyone ends up going along with it because it just feels right. Swinney on the other hand simply doesn’t have that magic and when things start getting tricky his eyes suddenly begin to dart about, the tempo increased and it all just felt a little – well – wrong. Was it a deal breaker? Not really but by the same token it wasn’t a case of unalloyed triumph either.

 

We nearly had a proper good fight in the No camp… Nearly…

So both Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale managed to set their tribal differences aside in the face of a common foe (no doubt aided by the main recipient of political woe this week being the absent Lib Dems) but it was a close run thing and there was a split second where it looked like it could all go very wrong. The pretext was about the recovery and both were bashing away at their party lines until their eyes met briefly then locked together for just a little too long, each set inviting the other to come and have a go if they think they’re hard enough. Alas it came to nothing but I reckon it would have been a good scrap as they’re both able panelists who are more than capable of fighting their own corners. Personally, my money would be on Davidson as I imagine being a kickboxing lesbian Scottish Tory involves quite a lot of standing up for yourself but I wouldn’t rule Kezia out either: For a QT first-timer she did well and she’s got a clear height advantage over Davidson. Anyway, it’s a shame it never came to pass but should either panelist feel like they need to satisfy their honour in the arena of single combat, I will more than happily officiate.

 

A Nearly Fight and some darting eyes? Is that it? Please tell me this gets better…

It does, thanks largely to Jim Sillars and not just because I couldn’t quite tell if he does genuinely believe that money grows on trees. No, while the impassioned tales of imperial decline and the zero tosses given about the Lord Rennard case were happy little affairs, I liked watching Jim because it reminded me that we used to have people like him in England – you know, authentic, unabashed socialists for whom politics is less of a game and more of an ache that they feel in their bones. I guess we still have a few of them kicking about – Dennis Skinner springs to mind – but most were either co-opted or quietly shuffled out of the spotlight by a Labour party that was desperate to impress the cool kids and couldn’t abide the thought of its cranky old uncles turning up at the disco. On the evidence of last night the reverse is true in Scotland as not only was Jim a hit with the crowd, the panel also showed him a great level of deference when it would have been very easy to dismiss him as a pedlar of last century’s monkeyshine. I’m into that. I’m into that almost as much as I’m into how Jim’s face looks like a blissed-out version of Alan Sugar’s (see Fig. 1).

 

jim-sillars-alan-sugar-gif

Fig. 1

Tl;dr

Swinney: 5/10

Slim

 

Davidson: 6/10

Prim

 

Dugdale: 6/10

Vim

 

Sillars: 7/10

(Full to the) Brim (of old school socialist thunder)

 

The Crowd: 6/10

(Would really help with the rhyming process if they were all called either) Jim, Tim (or) Kim…

 

Alright, so it wasn’t quite as dreary as I made out in the intro but still, I can’t say I’m in a terrible hurry to watch another Scottish independence episode, particularly if they’re going to run with the 4-on-the-panel format. But hey, what do I know?

 

Right, Norwich next week and you’ll pleased to know that I’ll still be in the dark on all current affairs thanks to Celebrity Big Brother being extended. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of CBB, remember how I said last week that one of the male contestants would end up pregnant? Well Lee Ryan from Blue ended up lactating last week. A coincidence? I think not…

 

Next week Lemmings, next week…

 

 


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

Join 108 other followers

March 2020
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

RSS Feed


%d bloggers like this: