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

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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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • David Morton 23rd Jan '09 - 1:38am

    (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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • Painfully Liberal 23rd Jan '09 - 1:55pm

    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.

  • Elizabeth Patterson 23rd Jan '09 - 7:26pm

    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.

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