BBC Question Time: open thread

by Stephen Tall on April 17, 2008

Liberal Democrat shadow housing minister Lembit Opik is one of the panellists on tonight’s Question Time, which returns after its Easter-ish break (and is broadcast on BBC1 and online from 10.35 pm GMT).

The panel will include the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman, the chairman of the Conservative Party Caroline Spelman, the author and columnist for The Mirror Tony Parsons, and the right-wing commentator Simon Heffer.

I’m not always convinced by Lembit’s penchant for grabbing unnecessary headlines, but he’s undoubtedly one of the party’s most eloquent, passionate and liberal communicators. Which makes it all the more of a shame that too many people know his reputation for the wrong reasons. Let’s see how he gets on tonight…

… and if you’re watching, and want to sound-off, please feel free to use the comments thread.

Enjoy reading this? Please like and share:

No comments

I love that pinstripe suit . . .

by Laurence Boyce on April 17, 2008 at 10:41 pm. Reply #

Why is Brown such a disappointment? He is surely no better than Labour party deserves. Blair was all ego. Brown just quietly gets on with the job.

by Laurence Boyce on April 17, 2008 at 10:44 pm. Reply #

Hey? What does Lembit mean, “why did Labour introduce the 10% tax band in the first place”? It was John Major who introduced it.

by Laurence Boyce on April 17, 2008 at 10:56 pm. Reply #

Lady from the audience (in pink) says we should tax the rich more. Yeah, that’ll solve everything . . .

by Laurence Boyce on April 17, 2008 at 10:57 pm. Reply #

This is not really the first time Labour has taken from the poor to give to the rich. It’s what has been happening since 1997, in effect, when they allowed council tax to rise inexorably above the rate of inflation.

by Laurence Boyce on April 17, 2008 at 10:59 pm. Reply #

Seriously though, why don’t we drop a couple of bombs on Mugabe’s palace? Just a couple . . .

by Laurence Boyce on April 17, 2008 at 11:01 pm. Reply #

Caroline says that Labour were quite supportive of Mugabe when he first came to power. To be fair, that is going back a bit . . .

by Laurence Boyce on April 17, 2008 at 11:03 pm. Reply #

Fot Lembit to compare the Islamic threat with Northern Ireland is a bit weak. NI was a rather parochial affair by comparison.

by Laurence Boyce on April 17, 2008 at 11:18 pm. Reply #

Oh dear. Tony Parsons wants the terrorist threat tackled at a theological level. But he doesn’t seem to realise that theology is the whole damn problem.

by Laurence Boyce on April 17, 2008 at 11:22 pm. Reply #

Hi Laurence – agreed on your point re theology being the problem but it is really fun when you beat them at their own game as an external observer – sometimes it even makes them think.

by Peter Dunphy on April 17, 2008 at 11:30 pm. Reply #

Interesting the debate on race vs immigration would have probably not taken place 10 years ago. Irrespective of the argument on whether it is good or bad I think it is healthy that it can be debated without a racial overtone.

by Peter Dunphy on April 17, 2008 at 11:32 pm. Reply #

Hi Peter.

Immigration gave us Lembit. The killer argument . . . for something. 🙂

by Laurence Boyce on April 17, 2008 at 11:33 pm. Reply #

Yes agreed. We obviously can discuss immigration. Time to forget Powell. He is dead, after all.

by Laurence Boyce on April 17, 2008 at 11:35 pm. Reply #

Race vs immigration; Peter Dunphy says it’s healthy it can be debated without a racial overtone. Grow up…racial overtones have been replaced by racial undertones…just that people have got more sophisticated – and careful – as to how they express themselves.

by Dennis Minnis on April 17, 2008 at 11:46 pm. Reply #

People are saying a respected Labour MP has died…

by MBoy on April 17, 2008 at 11:48 pm. Reply #

Update: its Gwyneth Dunwoody. Shame. We needed more like her.

by MBoy on April 17, 2008 at 11:49 pm. Reply #

Racial overtones have been replaced by racial undertones.

Not quite sure what you mean there, unless you’re talking about religion. Care to give an example?

by Laurence Boyce on April 17, 2008 at 11:52 pm. Reply #

One small thing that bugged me re Enoch Powell. . .

Listen again to the video starting @ 54:45. A lady from the audience criticises Powell for saying that, “the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.” Then in the background you can hear Simon Heffer’s voice protesting, “he didn’t say that.”

No, that’s right Simon – he didn’t say that. Rather, Powell was quoting one of his constituents who allegedly said that, “In this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.” (See the original text.)

Powell was stirring up racial hated, pure and simple, and never managed to find the grace and humility to admit it and apologise. What a shame that the best Simon Heffer can do is to defend him on a technicality.

by Laurence Boyce on April 18, 2008 at 12:40 am. Reply #

Leave your comment

Required.

Required. Not published.

If you have one.