BBC Question Time (22/1/09): open thread

by Stephen Tall on January 22, 2009

David Laws, Lib Dem shadow secretary of state for children, schools and families – and the brains behind the Orange Book – is the party’s representative on tonight’s Question Time (BBC1 and online, 10.35 pm GMT).

David will be appearing alongside Labour’s Minister for Europe Caroline Flint (and let’s see if we can avoid mentioning Caroline’s phwoar-factor in this thread, eh?), shadow defence secretary Liam Fox (whose sexist, racist jokes keep ’em rolling about on the Tory benches), former British ambassador to Washington Sir Christopher Meyer (whose diaries revealed the extent of Blair’s Iraq hypocrisy), and Daily Telegraph columnist Janet Daley (who almost derailed Nick Clegg’s leadership single-handedly last year by praising him for “talking common sense about tax and public spending”).

And for those who are staying up extra late for BBC1’s This Week, Rageh Omaar, Will Hutton and Kwame Kwei-Armah will be on hand to lighten the atmosphere alongside Andrew Neil, Michael Portillo and Diane Abbott.

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Caroline Flint doing her best to defend the Northern Rock bonuses. But (i) her best so isn’t good enough, and (ii) she’s making herself look silly and the Goverment clueless.

by Stephen Tall on January 22, 2009 at 10:49 pm. Reply #

Maybe there is a phwoar factor it makes up for the fact she can only get her point across by talking everybody to death. Like so many other labour clones.

by simonsez on January 22, 2009 at 11:21 pm. Reply #

Watching Fox ‘n’ Flint squirm on why Labour and the Tories palled-up on exempting MPs’ expenses from FOI is blissful.

by Stephen Tall on January 22, 2009 at 11:36 pm. Reply #

Oh, and David Laws did a great job.

by Stephen Tall on January 22, 2009 at 11:36 pm. Reply #

Good performance from David Laws on FOI,(MP expenses)
Foxy and Flint tried to put their best face on an indefensible position.

Not a bad show for once.
staying up for Will Hutton on This Week.

by simonsez on January 22, 2009 at 11:40 pm. Reply #

Good performance by David Laws.
left Foxy and Flint squirming over MP expenses secrecy.

Christopher Meyer always good value.

Staying up to watch Will Hutton on This Week – value his opinion on the economy since I read ‘The state we are in’ 1997,
largely ignored by Blair at cost to us all.

Better program than usual.

by simonsez on January 22, 2009 at 11:52 pm. Reply #

I don’t always argree with David laws on policy issues but his performance tonight was very good

PS Stephen are you attracted to witches or something as that is all Caroline Flint makes me think of when I see her

by Peter1919 on January 23, 2009 at 12:36 am. Reply #

(I think) I have been paying attention and Laws tonight was the first party spokesperson to even begin to spell out what is comming. Vince has hinted at it but the political class has been loath to narrate how awful this situation is going to get in human terms. Laws is right. there are large pockets of the country that have yet to recover from the 80’s and 90’s recessions. I understand the arguement that we are not going to see deindustrialisation this time but by all accounts the contraction is going to be an awful lot worse over all.

I have observed before that up until Christmas this all seemed like one of those disaster movies where Aliens blow up New York. You don’t think about the hypothetical death of millions as the point is to munch pop corn and look at the special effects and the hero will save the day.

I suspect the real reason for the second Brown poll Bounce is that a hero saving the day is hard wired into our mythic structure.

However this is not a film. With the familar and warm Icon of Woolworths closing the story arc/rolling news event has become immanent.

The lagging indicators are kicking in. I’m not entirely sure where this is taking me but it sounds in my head a bit like a Blairesque ” Demand, Demand, Demand”.

Its long term inactivity that is the real killer in the after math of recessions. The political debate needs to shift radically and quickly from banks, the rhetoric of tax cuts and restarting consumerism into creating Labour intensive demand.

In terms of cheap Labelling who’d have thought it would be an orange booker to be the first person to say it.

by David Morton on January 23, 2009 at 1:38 am. Reply #

I caught the opening of QT last night. My mother in law, who is visiting, remarked after Laws’ first comment “He’s good, very articulate, who is he?”. She was surprised oto find he was a Lib Dem. She was very impressed.

by Tabman on January 23, 2009 at 11:27 am. Reply #

That Europe Minister deserved a gag, and I doubt we’ll see her on QT for a good while. You don’t mess with the Dimbleby! 😉

I agree about Law putting out a very strong show – he was the only person on the panel who got a direct compliment from the audience, and he put forward the best comments. Shame that he kept putting on such an odd face in front of the cameras, though!

(Maybe in the future all our representatives on QT should wear a yellow tie and a hat that says “I’m a Lib Dem”!)

by Huw Dawson on January 23, 2009 at 12:05 pm. Reply #

I had to go for a lie down for two reasons:

A Dimblebore invited the Lib Dem to be the first speaker (rather than the 8th, as usual);

B I found myself agreeing (more than once) with Janet Daly.

The world is turning upside down ….

P.S. Yes, all Lib Dems on QT should wear something yellow to remind people we exist.

by crwegwyn on January 23, 2009 at 12:54 pm. Reply #

Sorry, forgot to mention that I thought David Laws was excellent.

by crewegwyn on January 23, 2009 at 12:55 pm. Reply #

Maybe our panellists should be encouraged to cultivate beards – sandals would not be visible unless they put their feet up on the desk which I fear would suggest a somewhat flippant atitude to the proceedings.

Not really sure what the corresponding charicature of a female Liberal Democrat is. I suppose they could sport stick on beards, it would certianly cause them to stand out from the rest of the panel.

by Painfully Liberal on January 23, 2009 at 1:55 pm. Reply #

Laws was excellent, and Daley pretty good until “Gitmo” was raised (sadly not in the “to the ground” sense) and she went all neo-Con, or at least Con.

Meyer achieved the impossible, by managing to come over even worse than Liam Fox. Remarkable, Sir, quite remarkable.

by Julian H on January 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm. Reply #

I’m glad someone else noticed how truly awful Meyer was. Even on the expenses question he managed to repeat his damning of all politicians, which seemed to be his popularity seeking thread for the debate.
I found it more repellent that the deviousness of Caroline Flint and Liam Fox.

Of course David Laws was superb; he is so incredibly articulate, really better at making a concise,and persuasive case than anyone in the party, Vince included.

by Elizabeth Patterson on January 23, 2009 at 7:26 pm. Reply #

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