BBC Question Time (10/12/08): open thread

by Stephen Tall on December 11, 2008

Lembit Opik, the Daily Sport’s new political columnist – and Lib Dem MP for Montgomeryshire – is the party’s representative on tonight’s BBC Question Time (BBC1 and online, 10.35 pm GMT).

Lembit will be appearing alongside Labour’s Schools Minister Jim Knight, Conservative MP ‘Mad’ Nadine Dorries, one-man polymath Will Self, and broadcaster (and Lembit’s fellow reality TV stand-by) Esther Rantzen.

And for those who are staying up extra late for BBC1’s This Week, John Bird (the Big Issue one, I think, rather than John Fortune’s pal) and Jenni Murray (from BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour) will be on hand to lighten the atmosphere alongside Andrew Neil, Michael Portillo and Diane Abbott.

If you’re tuning in to watch, remember: don’t get angry, get commenting.

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Will Self is the most irritating shit on the planet. Fact.

by Laurence Boyce on December 11, 2008 at 10:41 pm. Reply #

Hardly, when mealy-mouthed Esther Rantzen said ‘oh, this was what it was like for me, so I must enforce it on pain of vicious sanctions on everyone else’.

And, though he wasn’t as anti the government’s disgusting kicking of people on benefits as I’d have liked, at least Mr Self hit out at smarmy James Purnell, who’s worse.

And Mad Nads turns my stomach.

So Mr Self may be self-indulgent and up himself, but he’s a very long way down the list. At least he doesn’t inflict punishments on people who don’t follow his whims, like most of the panel.

by Alex Wilcock on December 11, 2008 at 10:54 pm. Reply #

No, he’s right at the top of the list. No contest.

by Laurence Boyce on December 11, 2008 at 10:56 pm. Reply #

I had wondered why I saw Lembit being photographed with two Daily Sport ‘lovelies’ on College Green on Monday.

by Stuart on December 11, 2008 at 11:32 pm. Reply #

Another badly-balanced panel from the Beeb!

by Oranjepan on December 11, 2008 at 11:37 pm. Reply #

Did you see that brainless loon of a woman in the audience who claimed that smoking is less of a problem than alcohol and illegal drugs? Notice how she was allowed to get away with her insinuation that ALL young people who dirink alcohol cause trouble? If she’d said it about blacks or Jews there would have been uproar. Do politicians ever challenge ill-informed opinions of that kind, or is that a silly question?

BTW, Will Self claims that when he was a teenager he had an affair with the (much older) wife of a Liberal politician, whom I will not stoop to name.

No, Mr Self isn’t an irritating s**t, even though he smokes. Well, not quite. He thinks Stanstead Airport is an eyesore (it is), and he thinks Hatfield Forest is worth preserving (it is – and I recommend a trip there if you can bear the noise). So he’s right about two things.

by Sesenco on December 11, 2008 at 11:58 pm. Reply #

Exactly Orangepan with two known Lib Dems and Lembit…

by Dan on December 11, 2008 at 11:59 pm. Reply #

(this is where I whisper into the forum that I really like Will Self…)

by Liam Pennington on December 12, 2008 at 8:15 am. Reply #

No need to whisper Liam – so do IJ At least he is not afraid to voice an opinion unlike so many of the so called “celebrity” guests on Question Time these days.

I miss the 5-minute talk/essay Self used to give at the end of the Today programme on a Saturday. I think he used to share the slot with Frederick Forsyth. Now there is someone who is really is the most irritating sh*t on the planet.

by Nick on December 12, 2008 at 8:40 am. Reply #

Will Self manages to irritate me even when I agree with him!

by Hywel Morgan on December 12, 2008 at 10:55 am. Reply #

Will Self was a tad irritating, but I still listened to his arguements.

Overall, it was a pretty good debate. I think Jim Knight’s the first liked Labour politician to appear on the show for a good few months. Tory lady was pretty weak, Opik put out a good performance as always.

by Huw Dawson on December 12, 2008 at 11:00 am. Reply #

“Tory Lady” was appalling. Tipped for top? Tipped for the tip. Couldn’t string a sentence together. She needs her fibs to be pre-drafted for her.

by Chris Paul on December 12, 2008 at 11:10 am. Reply #

Shortly after I made my last comment, I lost the feed, so I’m just returning now to explain why Will Self is such a shit. Here he is (see video @ 45:30) explaining why he is a member of “Plane Stupid” (appropriately enough):

“It’s not because I actually think we’re going to manage through things like this [the Stanstead protest] to reduce CO2 emissions and so save the planet. Sorry guys, we’re toast on that front already. It’s because I don’t actually think that people really feel a great sense of freedom being herded into the cattle barns of our airports where they are subjected to more retail opportunities before being flown off to some sunny southern strand where they do the same. I don’t actually think the expansion in air travel over the last ten or fifteen years has been such a great thing. I don’t think there’s anybody in the audience who would stick their hand up and say if I deprived them of their low cost flight to the Med, it would really ruin their lives. [audience then tells him how wrong he is]”

Wow! It’s good sometimes to know where people are coming from. So he thinks that it’s too late to do anything about global warming, but nevertheless he retains a dripping contempt for anyone who wants a cheap family holiday. There’s nothing he loathes more than a good deal or somebody turning a profit. Apart from people that is. He really hates people, especially people shopping. How dare they enjoy themselves on the Med! And for this he would invade an airport? Truly breathtaking.

by Laurence Boyce on December 12, 2008 at 11:59 am. Reply #

Laurence Boyce wrote:

“How dare they enjoy themselves on the Med!”

Paul Johnson (when he was still a lefty) famously annoyed “New Statesman” readers by complaining about the hoi polloi blocking the roads to the south of France.

Trouble is, no-one detests the hoi polloi more than middle-class socialists. Johnson said in public what his readers thought in private.

As for Frederick Forsyth, yes, the man is a sanctimonious right-wing windbag of the first order. And like Mr Self, he smokes.

by Sesenco on December 12, 2008 at 3:10 pm. Reply #

Laurence – I think that Will Self is largely right (disclaimer: didn’t watch the show so I obviously didn’t catch the tone of his remarks, just your transcript)…

Not being able to fly to the Med for a week would obviously not ruin your life, and airports are obviously horrible soulless places designed to sell you as much crap as your travel-fogged brain can handle. I would have thought that neither of those points were particularly contentious – we’ve had budget airlines for maybe ten years now, it’s not as if all was misery and gloom before 1998. People just spent their “fun” money on different things. Of course some people would like to go and baste in Mallorca for a week – and I have no problem with that, I enjoy a good beach holiday – but isn’t it fair to say that we could all live without cheap foreign travel?

by sanbikinoraion on December 12, 2008 at 4:43 pm. Reply #

I’m sorry but I thought we were supposed to be liberals. Will Self, however, justifies invading an airport, basically because he hates capitalism and hates people. He can hardly contain his glee at the present financial turbulence. It’s why we should run a mile from the socio-eco-fascists who rarely let their guard down in so dramatic a fashion.

When Will Self rules the world, we will find ourselves living in the most ghastly and dreary socialist hell-hole to rival anything from the Soviet era. His self-indulgent whining adds pretty much nothing to the debate on any topic.

by Laurence Boyce on December 12, 2008 at 5:17 pm. Reply #

“His self-indulgent whining adds pretty much nothing to the debate on any topic.”

It takes one to know one. Look at your own “contributions” to this site, which are uniformly worthless, before judging others.

by david brough on December 12, 2008 at 6:12 pm. Reply #

Thanks for that stunning insight David, but you will note that I am not a feted author who appears on Question Time. You might also note that many of my articles have also provoked an interesting and lively discussion. Uniformly worthless? I’m mortified.

by Laurence Boyce on December 12, 2008 at 6:41 pm. Reply #

You’ve read 2 or 3 books and you think you know it all. Showing off these opinions wouldn’t get you anywhere in the real world. You’d be mocked if you tried going into my factory and talking about what a big, hard man you are.

by david brough on December 12, 2008 at 6:51 pm. Reply #

Sorry, you’ve lost me with that factory business. But I fear I may just know myself better than you do. Know it all? Yes, of course. I know it all. Every last thing . . .

by Laurence Boyce on December 12, 2008 at 7:06 pm. Reply #

Who picked Nadine Dorries for question time? No doubt with her self inflated ego she would put hereself forward.
At least we were not subjected to the “Poor As A Chursch Mouse” childhood or any stories about her daughters.
We trust the BBC will choose a more worthy canidate in future

by Lorraine on December 14, 2008 at 5:42 am. Reply #

Lorraine ammends the spelling above.
Should be “HERSELF” and “Poor AS A Church Mouse”
Sorry about the typing errors.
Have followed her career since 2005 and have not changed my opinion of her.

by Lorraine on December 14, 2008 at 5:48 am. Reply #

What exactly have you achieved in life, Lorraine?

by david brough on December 14, 2008 at 8:46 am. Reply #

Interested in Huw Dawson’s description of Jim Knight as “the first liked Labour politician” ….
As he is my local MP and I possibly have a different view, is that a general perception – if so it may feed into our campaigning strategy.

by Ian Roebuck on December 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm. Reply #

Don’t know if Knight is likable – he seemed diffident, bumbling, and rather feeble on Question Time. I suppose at least he wasn’t the usual arrogant spinmeister.

by David Allen on December 15, 2008 at 3:28 pm. Reply #

What have I achieved in life Mr.Brough !
At least I know reality from fantasy and can sleep at night with a clear concious knowing that I have not deceived my constituents with a “colourful childhood” that in part was most certainly not true. Spending a great deal of time on personal family history in print isn’t what the Tax payers pay her for ! Dorries could surely spare Conservative supporters her life’s history. No other MP dwells so much on her family.
And I can say I have achieved many other worthy things here, but lets us not get into personal achievments here and “bore’ readers senseless.
Look back from 2005 onwards at Dorries Blogs and maybe you will be less sarcastic.

by Lorraine on December 16, 2008 at 11:16 am. Reply #

re Laurence : while I kind of agree that Will Self’s manner can be unfortunate at times, and probably alienating to many of the people he was addressing on Question Time, he was still by far the most effective panelist. Which of course was the point of having him on the show; there’s no way a politician in this day and age would make grand, idealist statements addressed directly to the audience, free of spin and rich with uncomfortable truths, whereas a writer such as Self, (one with a strong sense of artistic responsibility), is very well-placed to challenge recieved wisdom and comment from an observer’s vantage point. What he hopefully managed to do was to stimulate some degree of consciousness of, and anger at, the arrogant abuse of free-market capitalism.

Your comment at the top of this page is the sort of shite you’d expect to read in the Daily Mail, which I find interesting, as in the current economic situation factions of the right and far left appear to be agreeing on a few things.. are you sure you’re in the right place, Laurence?

by mark on December 22, 2008 at 1:51 am. Reply #

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