Question Time is the BBC’s flagship political programme, a weekly event where the general public gets the chance to grill its politicians. It being the evening of polling day, I thought I would take the opportunity to live blog the programme. In the last few weeks, politicians on all sides have taken a real battering. So let’s see what happens tonight. And whether Europe actually gets a mention. I’ll keep updating the post as the show progresses……
FIRST QUESTION -
“Should Gordon Brown resign?”
And the representative of the Government, Baroness Royall is first up to answer.
“Funnily enough I was expecting that.”
“What, his resignation?” Dimbleby chips in. “Absolutly not”, she laughed with distinct desparation.
Next, Fiona Philips, a former morning tv presenter, and supposedly a friend and fan of Gordon Brown. Well that’s lucky, I was thinking - he surely needs all the friends he’s got tonight. Oh, dear I spoke too soon. She is introduced with the fact that she was once offered a job in Gordon Brown’s cabinet…
“Thank goodness I didn’t take it. Yes in ‘a government of all the talents.’ There are precious few of them left now.”
She goes on to say that what Brown should do is “carry on with his policies and sing like Susan Boyle.”
Oh, and I forgot to say, that in a blaring sign of how febrile the state of British politics is at the moment, an announcement had to be made to introduce the programme to announce that it was recorded before James Purnell, (former) cabinet member resigned (the show is pre-recorded a couple of hours before transmission). They’re dropping like flies. I wonder if anyone will be left by the time it finishes.
On which point, next question:
“Will there be any ministers left for a reshuffle?”
(And no, you’re not imagining it, the E word has not been mentioned once yet). Europe, that is - not expenses; they are getting a mention, of course.
Woo hoo. European elections get a look in. But only because they’re discussing proportional representation. Does that count?
Royall is trying defend Brown again. She’s being shouted at from all sides of the panel (including the chair). She is saying Brown is not a media star.
“You have to be able to relate to the human race,” former Daily Telegraph editor Max Hastings interjects.
Audience member: ‘I can trust plumbers more than politicians.’
“When young people think carrying knives is normal, how can we counter this?”
“What can be done to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable adults like Susan Boyle by the media?”
By my counting, that’s one more mention for Susan Boyle than Europe.
Paddy Ashdown compares our “culture of blood lust” (Britain’s Got Talent and the House of Commons) to the fall of Rome.
“Should children be denied an education if they don’t have the MMR vaccination?”
Elections, what bloody elections??????????
QUESTION 6, and European politics get a mention, but oh, no not the elections, but Sarkozy’s shenanigans…..
“Do you think it’s right to send a representative to the D-day service after the snub to the Queen?”
Well that didn’t really work out, did it. Oh, I suppose it was worth a try. I was just a bit naive in assuming that national elections might be up for discussion!