BBC Question Time: open thread

by Stephen Tall on July 10, 2008

Julia Goldsworthy, Lib Dem MP for Falmouth and Camborne and the party’s spokeswoman on communities and local government, 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 Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander, former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, television presenter and business woman Saira Khan and the winner of the people’s panellist competition Michael Heaver.

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

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You could use CoverItLive, you know, open threads are so 2007 🙂

by Liam Pennington on July 10, 2008 at 10:08 pm. Reply #

Oh dear. There seems to be a sizeable support for the Young Person, despite his having said little of interest.

by Andy Hinton on July 10, 2008 at 10:45 pm. Reply #

Hi Andy. Do you know this kid? How did the exams go?

by Laurence Boyce on July 10, 2008 at 10:48 pm. Reply #

May his noodly appendage help us when Saira Khan has the most sensible thing to say…

by Andy Hinton on July 10, 2008 at 10:53 pm. Reply #

Hi Lawrence, nice to see you (digitally, anyway!) I’m afraid I don’t know the Young Person. Am I supposed to?

Exams went bizarrely well, thanks – got a first, which was so far out of my field of expectations that I didn’t believe the friend who told me, and had to go check on the department noticeboard for myself before I believed it.

How’s you?

by Andy Hinton on July 10, 2008 at 10:55 pm. Reply #

Tonight’s audience ought to cure us once and for all of our “votes at 16” policy. Never before has the need for weighted votes been more obvious.

by Laurence Boyce on July 10, 2008 at 10:58 pm. Reply #

A first? You bastard! 🙂 I’m doing OK.

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

Hmm. The Young Person is 18, though – he can vote anyway, sadly.

by Andy Hinton on July 10, 2008 at 11:00 pm. Reply #

How did Ollie do?

by Laurence Boyce on July 10, 2008 at 11:01 pm. Reply #

Oh, he got a first too, but that doesn’t surprise me – the only person I know to read academic papers not directly related to a current essay!

by Andy Hinton on July 10, 2008 at 11:02 pm. Reply #

I wonder if Saira Khan would rather they forgoed their meal, or they produced a sensible policy?

by Andy Hinton on July 10, 2008 at 11:05 pm. Reply #

You bastards! You’ve got the whole world at your feet now. I expect to hear great things!

by Laurence Boyce on July 10, 2008 at 11:06 pm. Reply #

Nice that a comment from the audience allowed a shift of an otherwise pretty arse-witted topic to shift onto the CAP and fishing quotas.

by Andy Hinton on July 10, 2008 at 11:13 pm. Reply #

Crikey, IDS has come a bit unhinged…

by Andy Hinton on July 10, 2008 at 11:20 pm. Reply #

Oh god, he’s an EU flat-earther too…

by Andy Hinton on July 10, 2008 at 11:29 pm. Reply #

Julia Goldsworthy sadly isn’t pushy enough to get Cleggers’ unilateral introduction of as much transparency as possible into her answer.

by Andy Hinton on July 10, 2008 at 11:34 pm. Reply #

So Michael Heaver is on the way to the University of East Anglia to read European Politics without the faintest idea who “this chap Heathcliffe is” – after gaining an ‘A’ in English!

by Sean Blake on July 11, 2008 at 11:32 am. Reply #

That’s hardly surprising – a lot of people taking GCSE and A-Level English Literature have not read many of the traditional books if different ones were selected for their modules.

by Tim Roll-Pickering on July 11, 2008 at 12:48 pm. Reply #

If he’s off to UEA to read English without knowing who Heathcliff is, then I can only assume standards at that university have gone right down the pan since Malcolm Bradbury’s death.

by Tez Burke on July 11, 2008 at 1:02 pm. Reply #

Emily Bronte’s character is part of our
English heritage, something the European debunking Mr.Heaver should surely be aware of. That he hadn’t encountered him because ‘Wuthering Heights’ didn’t appear in his module or as a set text is a lame defence.

by Sean Blake on July 11, 2008 at 1:13 pm. Reply #

The “Young Person” was an open UKIP supporter and said so, so I’m honestly not surprised he turned out to be a swivel-eyed loon

There were a couple of occasionas Julia could have been more forceful but I thought she did ok. How, however, did we manage to spend twenty minutes talking about knife crime and black communities without once mentioning poverty or deprivation? If nothing else I though that was right up IDS’s alley these days.

Oh, and I want to have Saira Khan’s babies.

by benjamin on July 11, 2008 at 1:54 pm. Reply #

Tez Burke: He wasn’t off to read English, but European Politics.

Sean Blake: I don’t know if you’re entirely serious, but I’ll bite. I too have no idea who Heathcliffe is, and you know what? I don’t really care. I don’t see having read every single book in the extended canon of English novels as an important part of calling myself British. I don’t like the idea that there is a set of books that I simply “should” have read; what a boring world we’d all live in if we all read the same books.

by Andy Hinton on July 11, 2008 at 2:48 pm. Reply #

I didn’t see Question Time last night. But I’ve seen Saira Khan on other programmes and she seems to be quite articulate and sound politically. I have some doubts on her campaign for more referenda, but on the whole she seems quite liberal. She’s a lot better on politics than she was on The Apprentice.

I am sure that loads of people don’t know who Heathcliff is, but I am surprised that someone who did A-Level English doesn’t know. I tend to agree with Sean that knowing who Heathcliff is is knowing about British culture as much as about literature. I do admit a bias though as I studied Wuthering Heights for A-Level English and it is my favourite ‘classic’.

by Anders Hanson on July 11, 2008 at 3:51 pm. Reply #

Thanks for the bite, Andy, but I was serious.
However, I wouldn’t expect anyone who “forgoed” rather than forwent a meal (see your earlier reference to Saira Khan) to have much taste.

by Sean Blake on July 11, 2008 at 4:12 pm. Reply #

In reply to Tez Burke at 1:02 pm: As others say he’s doing European Politics, but even if he was doing English Literature I’m not sure how UEA can be held to blame. University admissions offices are rarely in a position to assess such information. Usually they make an offer based on the student’s existing results and other information on the form and aren’t able to check the details of the curriculum studied or the student’s wider knowledge. Indeed requirements and demands that admissions be blind make it even harder for them to do the individual assessment to check this. Instead for most offers they are reliant on the output of the exam boards (usually in the form of just a list of grades) for their main information.

In reply to Sean Blake at 1:13 pm: There is a lot of ignorance of much of this country’s literature these days.

by Tim Roll-Pickering on July 11, 2008 at 7:54 pm. Reply #

Wasn’t Heathcliff a character in a song by Kate Bush ????

by crewegwyn on July 11, 2008 at 8:36 pm. Reply #

Sean: I know, dreadful isn’t it? In my defence, I can only say that my mental faculties had just been assaulted by Question Time.

Anders: I did English A level. For it I read Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”, Graham Greene’s “The Human Factor”, Evelyn Waugh’s “Brideshead Revisited” and also his “A Handful of Dust” (which I had forgotten, to be honest). Others might have done fewer books from the 20th century, but really, there’s no reason to expect someone to know who Heathcliffe is unless they happen to have been set Wuthering Heights, which is to do with their teacher, not them. To me, English A level isn’t about having an overview of the entire landscape of English literature (although you’re not going to be marked down for having one); that’s what a degree is for. A level is simply about developing the skills.

by Andy Hinton on July 11, 2008 at 11:34 pm. Reply #

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