Question Time with Griffin – a wasted opportunity

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After all the hype, last night’s Question Time proved to be rather underwhelming.

The panel of Jack Straw (Labour Justice Secretary), Baroness Warsi (Tory shadow communities minister), Chris Huhne (Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman), Bonnie Greer (playwright and critic) and Nick Griffin (BNP leader and MEP) immediately split into the factions of Griffin versus the rest and went rapidly downhill from then on.

It soon resembled nothing more than ‘An Audience with Nick Griffin’ and concentrated almost exclusively on the BNP policies regarding race and immigration.

Straw seemed to doze off at times and he reminded me of the incontinent old gimmer who sits in the corner at parties and wakes up every so often to moan about the music being too loud before shitting himself and nodding off again.

Huhne was blandness personified – nothing he said really registered with me.

Baroness Warsi performed reasonably well and gave Griffin a few tough moments but never really got going and when she did, Dimbleby reined her in and moved on to the next question rather abruptly.

Bonnie Greer came out with some amusing stuff but seemed more concerned with making herself look clever than with making Griffin look a fool. Even then her historical banter with Griffin showed that neither of them had much grasp of history.

In short, the panel lacked intellect and gravitas.

The debate never widened and we never got a chance to hear how Griffin’s party would sort out the economy, improve policing and the justice system or tackle Afghanistan.

So, how would I have handled this edition of QT?

The panel would have been stronger: Redwood or Hague for the Tories, Cruddas or Field for Labour, Ming Campbell for the LibDems and Shami Chakrabarti as the non-politico (although that’s open to debate!)

The questions would have been far more wide-ranging so that the emotionally-charged  matters of race and immigration were far less dominant and the audience should have been less partisan.

That way, there would have been more of a level playing field but Griffin would have had to prove himself as an ‘all rounder’, which so far he seems not to be.

As it was, Griffin emerged as a one issue politician who was fortunate to have only been asked questions on his ‘specialist subject’. I doubt whether his performance boosted his popularity to any significant extent and he had one or two sticky moments when he looked like a blustering idiot, but he could have emerged from the programme far worse than he did.

In short, a wasted opportunity and the only winners were really the BBC, who managed to attract 8.2 million viewers.

Nick Griffin on the Jeremy Kyle Show!

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Well, it’s a big fucking day here on Planet Hype.

People all over the world are peeling back the shrinkwrap from their eagerly-awaited copies of Windows 7 and those who queued up last night to get their hands on their copy at mdnight are probably jacking off to porn as we speak and marveling at how fast the pages are loading or something equally mindless.

Microsoft are encouraging people to have ‘Windows 7 Launch Parties‘ FFS.

The only logical outcome of celebrating such an underwhelming event must eventually be ‘Congratulations on a successful morning dump’ telegrams from the Queen. (I’d get one every fucking day!)

It’s another Microsoft operating system – not some sort of Second Coming – and merely makes Vista less of a fucking pain in the arse than it was.

So, just get the fuck over it.

However, if Twitter is anything to go by, the Windows 7 launch pales into insignificance compared to BNP leader Nick Griffin’s appearance on tonight’s ‘Question Time’ on BBC1.

As I write this, UAF supporters massing outside BBC Television Centre have breached security, been ejected and now Griffin is in the building ready for an early recording of the program.

My own view is that Griffin should be allowed to speak so that he isn’t denied his rights and, hopefully, so that he will be revealed on national TV for the obnoxious turd smoker that he is. The UAF – those self-appointed guardians of free speech for everyone but fascists – would seek to deny the British public that possibility. Go figure…

What interests me more, however, is how much of the hype that’s been built up over Griffin’s TV appearance is all about ‘trainwreck television‘.

Whatever happens tonight – Griffin makes a total arse of himself, someone else makes a total arse out of him, the audience get stroppy, fistfights break out between covert BNP and UAF members, someone has a ‘grassy knoll’ moment, etc, etc – I’m sure that it isn’t going to make boring viewing, but, then again, neither would a nun being torn apart by rabid stoats.

And isn’t that what it’s developing into?

Another chance for the great British Public to see something shitty happen to someone else from the comfort of their living room sofa?

People are planning – again, if Twitter is to be believed – Question Time parties and there’s even a Nick Griffin drinking game that I’m sure is going to be de rigeur in certain circles tonight.

I’m not against fun – and, let’s face it, Nu Labour have taken a lot of that particular commodity out of our lives because it’s very, very bad for us – but are we really so hard up for entertainment that what could be a worthwhile debate is transformed into the Jeremy Kyle Show for the tweeting iPhone owner?

The BBC – Publicly-funded Socialist television

A hat tip to Mish Masher for producing this.

It’s what many of us suspected and what Harman and Dimbleby make very clear at about the 50 second mark…

Watch it and be afraid…be very afraid…

The fucked-up Daily Mail and Sachsgate – the stench lingers on

Even by its own lamentable standards the Mail has made a bit of a twat of itself today.

Yes, it’s the Ross/Brand circus all over again after the news that OFCOM has fined the BBC £150 000 – that’s about one MP’s expenses for those wanting a quick currency conversion.

Make Ross pay: As BBC is fined record £150,000 over sick stunt, MPs demand £6m-a-year star and Russell Brand foot bill

Two points worth raising here.

MPs?

Well, only just…as one Lib Dem Don Foster (who he?) chips in (they’ve always got something to say about everything, haven’t they?) and Labour’s Gerald Kaufman is prised out of cryogenic storage to speak his brains – file between fish fingers and hash browns.

So, yes, that’s certainly MPs in the plural but hardly the swell of parliamentary opinion that the headline infers.

The other point concerns the woman in this affair – Sach’s granddaughter.

Interesting choice of photograph of her the Mail has made for this ‘story’…stockings, suspenders, etc.

So, whilst the comments column below is full of a bukkake-like outspewing of moral froth and puritanical self-righteousness the actual story is illustrated with a picture whose only purpose seems to be to titillate the readership.

Weren’t there any photographs of Ms Baillie in slightly more clothes?

And where does that place the Mail in its attempts to lay claim to any moral high ground in this whole affair?

It portrays Ms Baillie as the injured party yet shows her in her underwear in a pose clearly intended to be provocative.

It’s confused and confusing to say the least and takes me into places I’d rather not go with regard to the twisted psyches of some Mail readers – not to mention their journalistic pimps.

One last thing…

Hazel ‘eee I’m just a simple Northern lass wi’ me flatcap on me head and a whippet in my briefs’ Blears appeared on the BBC’s Question Time program last week and also joined in the Ross/Brand debate saying that they should pay the fine, so that’s one MP the Mail missed, bringing the number of MPs actually calling for this to happen to a grand total of 3:

The BBC is funded by all of us as licence-payers, so actually, are we having to pay the fine?  Then I thought maybe Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand should pay it… that might be quite a good idea.

However, I’m sure that Hazel ‘eee I’ve gone upmarket and now I keep me coal in the bath at me second home and pass me some more whippet and black pudding flavour crisps’ Blears has something slightly more pressing to think about right now.