Archive for ‘Question Time’

February 3, 2011

Damian Green felled on forest sell-off

BBC Question time has just finished, and unsurprisingly one of the hot topics for debate was the proposed sell-off of Forestry Commission owned woodland. This weeks Government representative was Immigration Minister Damian Green. When asked to explain the decision he  floundered around on some tenuous arguments about efficiency and stopping the regulator and owner being the same, but was all pretty vacuous. He even agreed that the Government wouldn’t make money from the sales! Eventually Andy Burnham asked him directly for one reason for the sale, and he just couldn’t give one.

Green also hid behind the fact this was week one of a twelve week consultation, not a decision. See you in 11 weeks for the u-turn then.

December 3, 2010

>Coalition bashing reaches a new low

>It was always going to be hard to follow last week’s Paddy and Ken show, but on last night’s Question Time there was a particularly pathetic piece of coalition bashing. It wasn’t even from Ken Livngstone. No, one member of the audience, during the inevitable, dull discussion on the snow, got a microphone and piped up with the fantastic line:

“In terms of what Ken Livingstone mentioned [that should have been the warning-Ed] about these extreme weather conditions being more regular across the globe, is it fair to say that the coalition have lost the plot, if there ever was one, [cutting – Ed] on climate change?”


What?! Firstly, this is going to be the greenest government in Britain’s history. The Cameroons love a solar panel, and Chris Huhne is the Secretary of State, preparing one of the most comprehensive green strategies British government has ever seen.

Secondly, the Government has only been in power 7 months! They can clean up the economic mess of the last few years, but unfortunately turning the clock back on environmental damage and climate change is ever so slightly more complicated.

November 26, 2010

>Gloria De Piero plays the sacrificial lamb

>Being on the Paddy and Ken show last was never going to be much fun for the Labour lamb sent to the slaughter, but new girl Gloria De Piero faired particularly badly. Like most in the Labour party she has screeching and finger waving down to a tee. Is there a training session of self-righteous anger that runs at Labour conference?

While Ashdown and Clarke brought wit and knowledge to proceedings, De Piero offered nothing by cheap, humourless tirades. Even on Howard Flight, where VN slightly agrees with her, she rendered her point meaningless but saddling up and getting onto her high horse. The rants became so boring and predictable she almost made Nigel Farage seem reasonable. Almost…. You can still watch the Paddy and Ken show on BBC iPlayer.

November 10, 2010

>VN doesn’t crosspost from Lib Dem Voice, but if we did…

>…we would definitely send you the way of Jeremy Browne’s piece on the site, showing just what a genuine liberal he is. The piece came in response to the criticisms he faced after his performance on Question Time last week.  Browne gets the full brunt of the “oh no, he’s got a posh voice, he MUST be  TOOORY’ (boo hiss etc) treatment, which really is a nonsense on many levels.

As Mr Browne concedes in the piece, not everyone will agree with his examples, but they show a deep sense of individual responsibility, of liberalism, that is deeply commendable, (even though control orders are not). Have a read here

November 5, 2010

>Jeremy Browne in a muddle on question time

>It will not surprise readers to know that VN rates Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne rather highly. So when Question Time pitched up in Nick Clegg’s Sheffield constituency yesterday, it seemed sensible that someone of his calibre was sent to put both the party and the government’s line.

The first question was, inevitably, about Lib Dems being wiped out in Sheffield due to the u-turn on tuition fees. Agree with him or not, (VN doesn’t like 9k fees,) Browne put up a robust defence when many of his colleagues would have been flattened. Later, while it was deeply disappointing that he didn’t say that illiberal and useless control orders would definitely go, it was not unreasonable that as a minister he did not pre-empt the review currently ongoing.

However, when the conversation turned to the subject of the new Anglo/French military agreement Browne seemed to be possessed by the Daily Mail, or at least Jon Gaunt sitting across the table from him. VN suspects that, as someone who works in foreign affairs, he was trying to make a satirical point about the xenophobic tabloid response to the announcement, and is not in fact a raving racist. However, his response rather jarred….

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