BBC Question Time: open thread

by Stephen Tall on May 8, 2008

After Paddy last week, it’s the turn of another former Liberal Democrat leader, Ming Campbell, to represent the party on the panel on tonight’s Question Time (broadcast on BBC1 and online from 10.35 pm GMT).

The panel will also include the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (and future Labour leadership contender?) James Purnell, senior Conservative politician Lord Heseltine, “well-known television personality” (aka the smuggest man in the world) Piers Morgan and novelist and journalist Rachel Johnson.

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

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Ming and now Morgan both asserting that the credit crunch may have “bottomed out”. Grossly wishful thinking methinks. We ain’t seen nothing yet!

by Andrew Duffield on May 8, 2008 at 10:53 pm. Reply #

Is Rachel Johnson Boris’s sister? If so it seems that the BBC have once again effectively got 2 tories on the panel 🙁

by Peter1919 on May 8, 2008 at 11:02 pm. Reply #

Not about QT, but I just wanted to ask when the LDV online poll is going to be changed. You could leave the current one up there for 1,000 years and I doubt it’s going to change much.

by Stuart on May 8, 2008 at 11:18 pm. Reply #

Peter1919 – have you seen the poll in The Sun? Two Tories is probably fair representation!!!

by Stuart on May 8, 2008 at 11:19 pm. Reply #

Why would I have read the rubbish that is ‘The Sun’?

by Peter1919 on May 8, 2008 at 11:22 pm. Reply #

You wont need to read it there…it will be all over the other newspapers too….it has Labour on 23% Tories on 49% and us on 17%.

by Darrell on May 8, 2008 at 11:27 pm. Reply #

Haven’t looked but I bet it is a rubbish YouGov poll

by Peter1919 on May 8, 2008 at 11:33 pm. Reply #

Fair point about the online poll, Stuart – care to suggest a new topic?

by Stephen Tall on May 8, 2008 at 11:35 pm. Reply #

Nice to see most of the panel talking some sense on the reclassification of cannabis, shame the government doesn’t

by Peter1919 on May 8, 2008 at 11:39 pm. Reply #

Make that 2 tories and two labour.
BTW Things must be getting desperate for the gov when Piers Morgan is toeing the party line rather than kicking them.

And as for James Purnell – he will go far : press the buttons and he speaks the message exactly as programmed – Not a nuance of doubt or apology.

by simonsez on May 8, 2008 at 11:41 pm. Reply #

It is YouGov poll but it will set hearts-a-flutter because people will see it as another indicator of which way the wind is blowing….

by Darrell on May 8, 2008 at 11:42 pm. Reply #

The You Gov poll is a piece of work so it is. Anyway, Ming and Hezza were right, the heat is coming off the world economy and GB has coped better than almost every leader in keeping it minimal here in the UK.

The Cannabis thing doesn’t matter either way. The thing about drugs and ASB and flyposting and grafitti and so on and so forth is that they gain power from being proscribed.

In which case it could increase offending. But not the worst thing in the world.

Compared to the Tories having no policies at all, less even than the Lib Dems, the decision on blow is neither here nor there. IMHO IAPC.

by Chris Paul on May 9, 2008 at 1:10 am. Reply #

Chris, YouGov seem to be rather more accurate than all those polls that said that Ken was going to squeeze victory in London. I suppose you can play the ostrich / PM and pretend everything is fine but I don’t think it is going to do yo9u much good int he long run.

Indeed, given the horrendous Gordon and Wendy Show last week it is incredible that even 23% think that Labour is fit to govern, really.

by Passing Tory on May 9, 2008 at 10:10 am. Reply #

Passing Tory, David Cameron has one very slight problem: his inability to take votes from Liberal Democrats. Even in Harlow (about which the blues crowed so loudly) all Lord Ashcroft’s horses and all Lord Ashcroft’s men couldn’t stop the Lib Dems beating them. Cameron is benefiting from an anti-Labour protest vote which will evaporate once the economy turns the corner and Brown gets his act together.

Wow! Didn’t Lord Heseltine just fall into the trap when he started prating on about recreational drugs! The smirking Piers Morgan was only too happy to pull the lever on him.

by Sesenco on May 9, 2008 at 10:23 am. Reply #


We have been through all this before, so we should probably just be content to disagree on this point.

If you want to think that the Lib Dems are in a really strong position and want to jump up and down shouting it then go ahead. I still think that, on current positioning, the Lib Dems are likely to be squeezed come the next GE. This, I should add, is an academic opinion, rather than what I would like to see / what would be convenient for me to see / party spin etc.

by Passing Tory on May 9, 2008 at 10:57 am. Reply #

Passing, if your opinion is, as you claim, objective, then presumably you have some facts to back it up?

Ah, I get it. Of those millions of voters insanely in love with Cameron there is a significant minority who cannot tell the difference between a bird and a torch. And there are more of these Tories in areas where the Lib Dems are strong because they are so used to seeing birds on a daily basis.

by Sesenco on May 9, 2008 at 11:07 am. Reply #

Has anybody considered the possibility that the party that will get squeezed is Labour?

by Darrell on May 9, 2008 at 11:08 am. Reply #

Sesenco, of course I do. The question is, do you?

by Passing Tory on May 9, 2008 at 11:26 am. Reply #

Passing, you know perfectly well I do, because, unlike you, I have presented them.

by Sesenco on May 9, 2008 at 11:31 am. Reply #

Who is that Rachel Johnson? She did the rather embarassing thing of saying “As a Johnson…..”, as if we’re supposed to know who she is or what that means!

by Dominic Haney on May 9, 2008 at 12:07 pm. Reply #

Come on then, mr virtually live-in Tory, what are your facts?

by Grammar Police on May 9, 2008 at 12:11 pm. Reply #

Thanks for asking me to suggest a new topic. Sadly I am only just checking in again after last night and there’s a new one up there already. I do admire the independence of mind of the person who voted that the next election will produce a big Labour majority. As a liberal I do like people who kick against the consensus.

I thought Ming was very good last night. I was with him (and Heseltine, I think) on the question of forced airdrops in Burma. Doing that would kill off whatever chance there currently is the generals allowing all the aid agencies in… today I am beginning to change my mind; it looks increasingly like they aren’t going to allow anyone in. Perhaps assertive humanitarianism is now the least worst option.

by Stuart on May 9, 2008 at 8:55 pm. Reply #

Dominic, I thought that the “as a Johnson” line was part of the long-term project to get us all to think that BoJo is a great optimistic Reagan figure who, in years to come, we will turn to in gloomy times and elect into Number 10.

by Stuart on May 9, 2008 at 8:57 pm. Reply #

Sorry for the delay; been off in a corner of the world with no internet.

Sesenco, you have not presented a coherant set of facts; you have repeated one fact again and again.

Tempted as I am to go through the details of my position I am afraid I will have to decline. There comes a point where revealing data to other parties is just a little rude. As for the final conclusion, you can take it or leave it; it is no problem to me … if you really want to believe that Cameron is in a terrible hole and only releasing huge swathes of policy will get him out of it, and that all is well in Lib Dem land, then who am I to shatter your dreams?

However, I would have thought that the C&N result should have been a prompt for you to reconsider at least a little.

by Passing Tory on May 24, 2008 at 10:51 pm. Reply #

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