Posts Tagged 'Liz Kendall'

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…

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Questionable Time #102


questionable time 102 david dimbleby terminator

Good Morning Lemmings and todays Questionable Time comes from Llandudno, seaside town par excellence and universally-recognised Lovely Part Of The World. Not for us the seafront, the Great Orme, and an afternoon trip to Conwy Castle, though: our lot is to listen to politicians say “all the spam on my email, that’s what winds me right up” in the first ever 68-hour episode of Question Time. I’m Mike and I’m taking over from his Loudribsness this week, so trust my luck to get a real baptism of Something Like Fire But Boring. As I watched the crowd move from “disinterested” to “borderline catatonic” I began to go a bit strange, and found myself wondering if the reason for the panel’s dullness was that they were hiding secret identities as superheroes. Surely, only the Clark Kents of this world say so little… but if they were concealing secret powers, what would they be? And more importantly, could I actually get a Questionable Time article out of it? Read on…

Liz Kendall, The Human Windmill: Liz Kendall’s arms are the closest thing that mortals will ever see to perpetual motion. Every time she spoke her arms took over, whirling in a way that’s unfortunately reminiscent of a very agitated Kermit The Frog. Liz would undoubtedly be the plucky-but-always-in-trouble one of the superhero group, until the chips were down and Mecha-Kendall would chop up the villains in a spurt of impassioned fury with her aircraft-propeller limbs. Or perhaps we could combine her with Simon Scharma and wipe out the necessity for all of the UK’s wind farms.

OK, let’s get the for-the-record bit in: Kendall had a good night. The NHS question was something of a grenade, but she negotiated it (just), partly by spinning a smart “How dare Cameron say Wales is crap” but mainly with the unusual tactic of actually sounding like she gave a damn about the subject. Her performance wasn’t without wobbles – interrupting an audience member is always dodgy ground – but she wasn’t patronising and came across as a rare thing, a politician who’s both knowledgeable and – shock horror – likeable. But well-deserved praise is no fun and I’ve got a tenuous analogy to continue, so let’s keep going.

David Jones, The Human Suit: If you show me a photo of Jones in a T-shirt, I’ll simply assume that a: you’ve gone to unfeasible lengths to hire a double or b: I’m hallucinating. Jones is clearly The Boss in our superhero collective, who runs some shady government department or other and tells all the other superheroes what to do while negotiating with his shadowy masters. He rather looks like he’d enjoy it. Plus, like all those figures, he has a mistake hidden deep within his dark past. It seems he broke the two primary Westminster rules: Don’t Seem Too Posh and Don’t Do Anything John Prescott Ever Did. A hundred-yard Jag ride is very Bloke In Charge.

david jones MP sedan chair

Fig. 1

Hywel Williams, The Human Shadow: I generally like the Welsh episodes because Plaid Cymru have a solid repertoire of good QT performers and can present an interesting alternative voice. Williams may even fit the bill, but it’s difficult to tell because he barely bothered to turn up at all and ended up resembling a sort of avuncular absence. Having spent most of the show avoiding answering anything in any meaningful way – his invoking of the IRA on the terrorism question looked like it might go somewhere interesting, but he then effectively shrugged and changed the subject – he finished off with the most spectacular backfire of a joke since, um, last week. I think it was meant to sound like “I lie to telesales peoples so they leave me alone” but instead came out as “Nobody can sell me anything because I’ve already got it, I’m so insured you’d be amazed.” Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the man who wasn’t there… but might good for the end-credits bad gag in our superhero show.

Isabel Hardman, The Human Chameleon: I suspect Hardman would be pretty good on a livelier panel, but she couldn’t lift this tepid affair and the most creditable thing she did was opt out of the POW-negotiation question. What started as sharp analysis lapsed into seventy-four variations on I Love Accountability, Me and her “I can’t stand pizza menus” contribution to the last question was a peak of banality. So I just found myself looking at her weirdly familiar face trying to work out who she looked like, and this morning I still haven’t managed it. My search for the answer has so far revealed she doesn’t like anyone in The Breakfast Club, Dark Season, Blake’s 7, Elastica, or my class at school. If nonspecific familiarity isn’t a superpower, I don’t know what is.

Nev Wilshire, The Human… Human? Apparently I was supposed to know who Nev Wilshire is, and I didn’t. Gah! Some frantic research revealed a BBC3 docudrama and that most things written about him use the phrase “real life David Brent” at some point, so you can understand why someone thought he’d be good Question Time box office. Well, sort of… after all, nobody wants to spend an hour with David Brent. So it was a relief when he turned out to be just some slightly gruff bloke, but the superhero throughline clearly collapses and dies here. He didn’t do anything terrible, and shrugged off the telemarketing question with a sort of weary bravado, but if you told me they’d pulled a randomer from the crowd and made him sit there I wouldn’t be so surprised.

Kendall: 7/10

(Not short of) Animation

Jones: 5/10

(Solid) Presentation

Williams: 3/10

(Brought me much) Aggravation

Hardman: 4/10

(A bit short on) Oration

Wilshire: 3/10

(Nope, I can’t even be bothered)

The Crowd: 5/10

(Were practically in a) Hostage Situation

And that’s that, an episode that started out as a reasonably diverting and informative affair but tailed off into something between “dreary” and “I have a nostalgic yearning for the days of Closedown.” Look to the future, Lemmings. King’s Lynn awaits.

Questionable Time #89


questionable time 89 david dimbleby boy wine

Good morning Lemmings and stop sniggering at the above picture because sniggering is not welcome this week. No, thanks to the inclusion of not only a celebrated author but also a philosopher QT has gone all highbrow on us and as a result there is to be no silliness today, no petty gibes and definitely no laughing at audience members trying to make jokes about bankers and biscuits. Alright, who am I kidding? QT can be as highbrow as it wants but my brows are feeling decidedly low-to-middling today so snicker away to your heart’s content at what turned out to be a much less sophisticated affair than its creators most likely anticipated. On we go…

I’m reassessing my reassessment of Philip Hammond…

I’ve been pretty mean to Philip Hammond in the past, what with all the .gifs and pshops about him being the greyest looking man in Christendom but over the last few weeks I’ve had a trademark change of heart and promised myself I’d give him a fair go this week. Why? Well, two reasons really:

  1. I was genuinely impressed with how much punishment he soaked up when Newsnight (which still can’t seem to work out whether it’s an august beacon of deep thought or the T-4 of current affairs) put him in front of a very well-heeled Thames Valley lynch mob.
  1. I recently discovered that he used to be a goth and I have a soft spot for goths, mainly because they are such a constant in life. Empires may come and go, nations may rise and fall but the one thing you can count on is that there will always be goths walking (well, shuffling) amongst us and they will look exactly the same as goths have always looked – sullen, dejected and slightly pink around the mouth from all the snakebite and black. Staying power – that’s what I respect about the goth.

So yes, ‘Let’s give Philip a fair bash’ was my mission statement this week and initially it was looking good – right up until the point he got Liz Kendall confused with Rachel Reeves. That didn’t go down too well (particularly when the Blue Team are getting it in the neck for their lack of female MP’s) but it wasn’t fatal and should have only been a temporary setback – that is until he did it again. Suddenly you could see something primal light up the eyes of Kendall, Kennedy and Dimbers – like hyena’s who’ve just heard the cry of a wounded antelope – and what should have been a display of steady-handedness quickly descended into an ignominious rout as they cracked wise, poked fun and even fashioned name badges out of the materials to hand. Were they perhaps a little too brutal with him? Maybe, but this is QT and as George W. Bush once pointed out “Fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again”… Or something along those lines.

Anyway, the point is that I gave Hammond a fair crack and he buggered it up so we’re back to the business as usual: Here’s a picture of the intensive makeup process they used to colourise his face prior to filming (see Fig. 1).

philip hammond make up grey

Fig. 1

Liz Kendall – Goth Slayer

It was an impressive scalp for Liz last night and a deserved one too – Hammond may well have bought his own petard along but it was Kendall who did the bulk of the hoisting and she did so with glee. The other thing that really struck me about Kendal (other than her waving her arms about like she’s in that scene from Minority Report) was that she sounded like she might actually have a song in her heart – you know, like Labour MP’s used to before 13 years of government turned them all into dead-eyed middle-managers. Granted, that song might have sounded a little jarring if she’d been properly put on the spot about the Red Team’s benefits policy but as Hammond had incapacitated himself she got the run of the mill and did so with a breathlessness that just about stayed on the right side of the Enthused – Annoying Line. Well done Rachel!

Greenham Common called – they want their novelist back…

While Kendall may have briefly reminded me of the hopey-changey days of 1997, Jeanette Winterson went one better and managed to embody an entire decade simply by existing. Yup, the 80’s were back in town and appeared to be having a thoroughly good time of it all by damning privatisations, cocking a snook at the toffs (“David Cameron has never been hungry in his life!”) and invoking the spirit of James Lovelock. Did we learn anything we didn’t already know? Not really, but it was rather good fun to hear those bouncy just-north-of-Manchester vowels get slung about with genuine conviction and I’m never averse to a trip down memory lane. Now if you’ll excuse me I have a copy of Exodus to reacquaint myself with.

Such bouffant! Much luxury!

For a softly spoken man, Roger Scruton doesn’t half clang a lot – like when he managed to go from floodplains to just-shy-of-eugenics in three easy sentences. CLANG! It wasn’t just that point either – plenty more was to follow when he managed to chastise an entire generation for taking Media Studies (CLANG!), made out that £50k’s worth of debt is a trifling matter (CLANG!) and slagged off pretty much every voter in the country, several dozen of whom were sat right in front of him (CLANG!).

Truth be told, I don’t know what to make of Scruton other than he lives in a different world to the rest of us but seems completely oblivious to this fact. I will say though: I rather like his surname. ‘Scruton’ – it sounds like it’s inches away from being a swear word.

Charlie’s still in the game…

I was getting worried about Charles Kennedy as he’s been really mardy on his recent QT outings, almost as if he doesn’t know what to do with himself now that the Yellow Team have all grown up and left home. Last night was different though: Gone was the fidgety and slightly grumpy Charlie of shows past and in was the avuncular fireside chat Charlie who would only stray briefly into politics before gently wrapping us up in the warm blanket of chummy anecdotes and good-natured waggery. Oh Charlie, it’s good to have you back…

Tl;dr

Hammond: 3/10

(Did) Poke (his own eyes out)

Kendall: 7/10

(Should be) Stoke(d with herself)

Kennedy: 6/10

(Appears to have) Awoke(n from a deep and troubled sleep)

Winterson: 6/10

(Doesn’t like how many) Bloke(s are in parliament)

Scruton: 3/10

(Doesn’t seem to know much about regular) Folk

The Crowd: 6/10

(Think that James Knox) Polk (is history’s most underrated President)

And there we are – a rather pleasing affair that revolved heavily around the ostracisation of an ex-Goth and the ramblings of a talking hairpiece. It’ll do for me. Right, I’m off to hide in the basement as the sky appears to have turned blue and I’m not quite sure how to deal with that any more.

Next week Lemmings, next week…

Questionable Time #67


questionable-time-67-david-dimbleby-robocopGood morning Lemmings and…wait… hello? Is there anyone there? Oh, right… You guys were all clever enough to go to bed when the footy reached extra time meaning that I’m probably the only person in the entire country who bothered to watch last night’s episode. Well, I can’t blame you and if it’s any consolation I can only claim to have half-watched it (it was more ‘lolling about listlessly whilst going one can over my QT booze quota’ than actually ‘watching’). Anyway, you’re here now so I suppose I’d better slap something together… Welcome to a very a fuzzy and bleary eyed instalment of Questionable Time…

Something’s gone deeply, deeply wrong for the Red Team…

Here’s a little sum for you:

Tory-led Spending Review + Newcastle + Question Time = ?

That should be easy enough to figure out – after all Tyne and Wear is solid red when it comes to electoral results and even if we factor in that the QT audiences are picked to represent the political make-up of the nation as opposed to the locality, the maths should still be fairly straight forward to figure out, right? Wrong. Nope, I’m afraid this is a case of dunce’s hats all round as no matter which way you cut it, Labour came out of last night’s encounter looking thoroughly bruised. So what gives?

I guess the logical place to start is with their horse in last night’s race, Liz Kendall – one of the 2010 intake who is so far famous only for inappropriately tweeting pictures of Parliament (see Fig. 1). Now, in QT terms she’s still pretty wet behind the ears having only one outing under her belt and there was some clear evidence of n00bishness going on (the frantic scribbling of notes throughout the show, the wall of statistics she’d produce at regular intervals, the being hoisted on her own 50p tax petard) but it wasn’t n00bish enough to warrant the frosty response she got. Take her first answer for example: She got to open the show with a response to the Spending Review question and did so with a comprehensive charge sheet aimed squarely at Teams Blue and Yellow. Still vaguely awake at this point, I waited for the robust applause to arrive and put some credibility icing on this largely competent cake but was instead treated to a parade of tumbleweed and scowls. More of the same was the order of the day for the rest of her innings, but it wasn’t Kendall herself – over-eager and trying very, very hard as she was – that seemed to be the cause of all this audience ire. Something else was going on.

liz kendall selfie

Fig.1

‘What about her opponents?’ I hear you say. ‘Could this be a case of her being outmanoeuvered?’…

…And to that I’d reply ‘You’re half right’ as she was up against one of QT’s most frequently underestimated panelists, David Willetts. ‘Willetts? The egghead with the ridiculously soft looking skin?’ you cry as I start to worry that this fabricated conversation might soon overrun the entire paragraph… ‘But he’s soooooo boring!’ to which I’d respond with ‘Ah ha! But that’s one of his secret weapons!’ before quietly shutting down this fictional exchange for fear that I’m beginning to look a little mad. I start making ‘I must be getting on’ gestures, you start feeling a little uncomfortable and we go our separate ways, never to speak of this again. There, it’s over.

So anyway, Willetts: Underestimated a) because he looks and sounds largely innocuous and b) because a he’s right ‘un for triangulating his answers. Did you catch how many times he ended sentences with allusions to ‘a sensible third way’ or some sort of ‘reasonable middle ground’? Well that’s what he does and he goes about it in a meticulous fashion, precisely measuring out the maximum amount of It’s All Their Fault/We’re Really Not That Bad he can get away with before igniting the mixture and escaping under the cover of the ensuing smokescreen. As an offensive tactic this has limited value but that’s not really what David Willett’s is for. No, Two Brains is the kind of guy you want when you’re in a potentially sticky situation (like being a Tory in Newcastle after announcing billions in cuts) and to that end he did really well – to the point that he actually got quite a bit of applause. But this still doesn’t explain why Labour had it so hard last night as Willetts’ effort were mostly directed towards holding the line.

What of Simon Hughes? Was it he that laid the Red Team low?

In a word, ‘no’ and this is because his performance took a turn for the meta and became all about him. Now this whole I Cry Myself To Sleep at Night/I’m Still A Fearless Instrument of Social Justice psychodrama has been a regular QT fixture for yonks but it actually took on a tangible form last night when he was asked directly about it by an audience member. Off he went, picking a fight with himself that he eventually won but that meant there wasn’t much room left for aggressive operations against his opponents and the mystery of the Labour collapse remains unsolved…

So it must be down to the civilian panelist then?

Again, no – but there is a revealing clue in it all that I’ll get to in a second. First off though I must admit that there was some very good baddying going on from Jill Kirby, a panelist who is so cut-and-dry in her veneration of all things free-market that the Snowden affair becomes less about the implications for free speech/national security and more of an HR issue. The government just downloaded the entire internet? Boo-hoo. Some guy breaches the terms of his contract? OH THE HUMANITY! So yeah, that was fun.

However, it’s Mark Steele – a man I’m generally on board with but who’s never more than a cross-media collaboration with Billy Bragg away from annoying me – who provides us with the final piece of the jigsaw. He had a good run last night, saying the things that – by rights – Labour should but also by tapping into the real reason why the crowd were so anti Red Team: It was the feeling that they’d been betrayed by an Opposition that should be fighting their corner.

And therein lies the problem for Labour – they’ve let the Tories choose the music for the next election and that will cost them, particularly in places like the North East where there’s a very sentimental attachment to the Labour movement. Of course, the cold hard logic is that they can afford to burn some political capital in the North (after all, who else are they going to vote for?) in order to chase those juicy Southern swing voters but there is something rather unedifying about it all. There’s also something a little unedifying about David Dimbleby slapping a table but in his defence, at least it woke me up.

Tl;dr

Willetts: 6/10

(Goes in for) Precision

Kendall: 5/10

(Didn’t really deserve all the) Derision

Hughes: 6/10

(Was involved in a) Collision (with himself)

Kirby: 5/10

(Will be having words with Edward Snowden at his next) Supervision

Steele: 6/10

(Is pretty good on) Television

The Crowd: 6/10

(Are most probably appalled by the outcome of this year’s) Eurovision

Well, there you have it… a red-eye special that stands in stark contrast to the giddy tomfoolery of the past two shows. Anyway, that’s nearly it for this run as we have one more episode left and then it’s the summer hols. And what will I be doing with this new-found Friday freedom when it arrives? Illustrating misheard lyrics, that’s what.

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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