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Saturday, 6 March 2010

Question Time

For me, regular viewing on Thursdays was Question Time with its audience populated by posturing people proffering party political propaganda and populist piffle in the guise of enlightened debate. Alas no longer. Like many others I find the same old clap trap too much of a bore and bed time in a rage isn’t the best aid to sleep. However, nodding off as one does during the football item at the end of the 10 o’clock News I was aroused from my slumbers last Thursday evening by familiar music and the sight of an intriguing looking panel.

On the Chairman’s far left was the Lord Adonis, a misnomer if ever there was one even if he is referred to in the corridors of Whitehall as “Muscles”! Next was the long time favourite with her no-nonsense hair style, Shirley Williams, Baroness Williams of Crosby. She was to battle valiantly to restore some dignity to the programme but had no hope of victory.

On the right was the blond bomb-shelled Mayor of London, Boris, boosting buffoonery to new heights. One may have thought him the most disastrous representative of the Tory Party but worse was to come in the shape of their now red-headed Maths advisor, Carole Vorderman. I must admit she looked fantastic, especially for a woman pushing fifty; a real tribute to the make-up department. When she put on her scholarly spectacles she looked every inch the boyhood dream of the perfect school mistress only lacking a 12” rule in her hand.

Perhaps oddly placed on the far right was the self effacing ‘say it as it is’ Will Self who these days reminds me of Melanie Phillips. Not for looks which are a slight improvement but for her Zionist outburst on a previous show in 2001 when, if my memory serves me correctly, she described Will as a disgrace to Judaism (his mother was Jewish) for daring to disagree with her.

This time it was Carole’s performance that stole the show. I thought I may have been uncharitable, perhaps influenced by her much criticised high interest TV adverts which appeared to target the poor and needy, until yesterday when I stumbled upon an on-line article in the New Statesman (I have now added their Blog as an antidote to Cranmer for fear of being labelled) which not only mirrored my views but which attracted a large number of comments from the like minded.

When she opened her mouth the experience was a bit like an aural version of the days of the dance hall when, after tapping a girl on the shoulder she turned around and you almost exclaimed, “Oh, consonant, consonant, vowel, consonant!” But we were often surprised, reinforcing the view that beauty is after all only skin deep. But not this time.

Mr Dimbleby the Chairman never tires of telling his audience that the panel has no idea of the questions they are about to be asked but that doesn’t stop panellists preparing briefing notes, so comprehensive in Ms Vorderman’s case that on one occasion during her diatribe she appeared to have lost her place. Even the audience appeared embarrassed by her performance, no mean feat where extremist views are far from uncommon. As she snatched the pillock prize from an increasingly baffled looking Boris I concluded that, after all the furore of the parliamentary expenses row, this was to be the launching pad for a new political career. Surely something the Tory party would now be desperate to avoid. The Monster Raving Loony Party perhaps?

But the big question now is Has Question Time had its day? Despite some of the potty people who pander to popular public opinion it still provides an increasingly rare forum for public debate. So time for a change? My suggestion is that Mr Dimbleby gives up his public platform (with notes) and spends more time with his Land Rover travelling around Britain to bring us more programmes such his admirable Seven Ages of Britain. Any nominations for a replacement?


  1. Angus Dayton should fit the current format if he is out of quarantine.

  2. hey petros - think that mr.geert wilders might fit the bill as bumblee's replacement as he would surely provide a breath of air, fresh or otherwise, to the fairly predictable fare we currently get. however let us remmber to 'keep in touch with the Dutch' and power to the people.

  3. hey petros - just noticed your 8th feb 'let him burn' well I never! and power to the people.

  4. Religious identity was a burning issue at the time of the post. Petros