BBC Question Time: open thread

by Stephen Tall on June 26, 2008

Lib Dem shadow shadow home secretary and two-time leadership runner-up Chris Huhne is one of the panellists on tonight’s Question Time (broadcast on BBC1 and online from 10.35 pm GMT).

The panel will also include the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Yvette Cooper, the Conservative shadow security minister Pauline Neville Jones, contemporary artist Grayson Perry and the veteran Daily Mail journalist Ann Leslie.

So, if you want to sound-off as you watch, please feel free to use the comments thread.

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Pauline Neville-Jones – “interest rates are too high”.

I bought my house in Feb 2001 – base rates then were 5.75%. At no point since then have they been above that level.

by Hywel Morgan on June 26, 2008 at 11:41 pm. Reply #

“Nannygate” continued (see Michael Crick’s posting on the BBC website, in anticipation of tonight’s “Newsnight”):

‘ … shadow security minister Baroness Neville-Jones [who] said [to BBC1 Question Time] she was “quite certain that Caroline has made it very clear that if she has contravened the rules, that she will do the right thing”.

‘The money paid to Ms Spelman’s nanny was “quite a small amount”, the peer told BBC One’s Question Time.’

Except that:

‘Another of Mrs Spelman’s previous Westminster secretaries was also unhappy that the nanny was being paid from public funds – which amounted to about £14,000 a year … or more than £25,000 over 22 months.’

Twenty-five grand. “Quite a small amount”. Hmmm.

Meanwhile, notice the stunning silence from the usual cyberspatial Tory apologists.

by Malcolm Redfellow on June 27, 2008 at 1:43 am. Reply #

I thought Chris Huhne was good on MP’s expenses, but not convincing on Zimbabwe, and I was surprised that Evette Cooper failed to capitalise on that. The debate on the economy at the end was too short.
Really no one has any idea about how to bring down Robert Mugabe. It may be significant that South Africa is beginning to turn against Mugabe.
But having observed people like him over the years, I think he will be finished nce the army turns against him, as happened with the Phillipine’s Ferdinand Marcos many years ago.
The leverage that South Africa has is with economic sanctions, and if they go down that route it may do the trick.
I don’t think the UK can do anymore than it is already doing.

by Geoffrey Payne on June 27, 2008 at 8:20 am. Reply #

I think part of the issue here is that we are, quite literally, the last country in the world where public government criticism or visibly UK-led action against Mugabe can have much useful effect.

That doesn’t mean we should do nothing. As fellow human beings – we should not and cannot stand by and let the people of Zimbabwe suffer so terribly.

But we need to work via other countries and international bodies – (EU, UN, Commonwealth) – to support the Zimbabwean people and neighbouring African countries working for change – and avoid doing anything that leads to people and countries working for change being labelled as agents of British colonialism…

If that means that the British Government has to keep quieter than it would like – and let other countries and institutions lead on this (at least visibly), then so be it.

by Martin Tod on June 27, 2008 at 8:51 am. Reply #

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