BBC Question Time (26/2/09): open thread

by Stephen Tall on February 26, 2009

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Assembly Member for Brecon and Radnorshire, is the party’s representative on tonight’s Question Time (BBC1 and online, 10.35 pm GMT).

Kirsty will be joined on the panel by the permatanned Peter Hain (the man who staked all on becoming his party’s deputy leader), political editor of the Sun (yes, they really do have one) George Pascoe-Watson, Conservative shadow secretary of state for Wales (and, erm, MP for Chesham and Amersham – it makes sense, non?) Cheryl Gillan, and leader of the Plaid Cymru group in Westminster Elfyn Llwyd (whose hobbies, Wikipedia informs me, include pigeon breeding … say no more).

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

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Lots of good points made on both sides about the Cabinet minutes on the Iraq war. Still don’t know what the answer should be.

by Lonely Wonderer on February 26, 2009 at 11:17 pm. Reply #

Kirsty – good performance on a lacklustre show (so far)

Stephen you jest surely!
George P-W is the authentic voice of Mr Murdoch.

by simonsez on February 26, 2009 at 11:20 pm. Reply #

Honest answer by Peter Hain for once.
He doesnt mention that one of the biggest users of the private TNT service is the government – I see the TNT van outside my local DSS/jobcentre every morning.
– yet another government dept shafting the publicly owned post office,following the lead of the DVLA etc.
George – Doesnt Mr murdoch have a stake in TNT?

by simonsez on February 26, 2009 at 11:30 pm. Reply #

LW – I don’t think Hain’s arguments really stack up on the Cabinet minutes. It is five years ago, the US Government has changed, the Iraq government has changed, we’ve had another election since and a new prime minister. In reality there is little risk in publishing.

I also found his oft repeated point that there has already been three inquiries weak. Yes there have been three inquiries into specific aspects but no overall inquiry.

And there are serious implications from that. Not just about whether the Government got it wrong or not, but about how our inteligence turned out to be so faulty, and whether anything has changed since. About whether the Cabinet was actually given the full facts and objective advice and, if not, has that changed.

The idea that they can avoid publishing, and avoid a full inquiry, is unsustainable.

by Liberal Neil on February 26, 2009 at 11:34 pm. Reply #

Liberal Neil
Thanks for that. I found all the points you make pretty persuasive, except maybe the last one!

I do wonder, though, if one thinks that it is Parliament that should make the ultimate decision on war, then if the debate is lost there (even on false information, faulty arguments, misdirection, scaremongering and shifting rationales) maybe the decision-making of the Executive is of subsidiary importance. They’re there to form a view and then persuade Parliament of that view. I don’t much care how they came up with their nonsense if they can’t persuade Parliament.

But if there are to be secrets from the public, and those secrets are important in Parliament’s decision-making, who should know those secrets? Isn’t this why we need something like a Privy Council?

by Lonely Wonderer on February 27, 2009 at 12:07 am. Reply #

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