Friday, 6 November 2009

Round-Up: Question Time Comes To Town!

It's always causes a stir of excitement when TV provides a forum for recognisable public figures to go head-to-head in confrontation.

Although this week's event was no competition for the recent controversy caused by the appearance of BNP leader Nick Griffin on the BBC's flagship political debating programme local intrest was piqued because it took place in Reading and a representative sample of local residents were on hand in the audience to give a flavour of public opinion on the issues.

You can watch it again for the next week on the BBC's iPlayer.

Over on my other blog I was bitten by the bug of anticipation and started the build-up by asking what the main topics of discussion were likely to be.

The BBC handily provided a resume of the panelists, who included:
  • Labour's Peter Hain MP (he recently declared he would boycott the programme in the aftermath of the BNP affair);
  • Conservative Nick Herbert MP;
  • Former Veritas MEP and BBC presenter, Robert Kilroy-Silk;
  • Comedienne, Times contributor and Humanist, Natalie Haynes; and
  • Former Metropolitan Police Commisioner Sir Ian Blair.
Mark Reckons provided his usual excellent service and covered it live with his message board - highly entertaining reading it makes too!

Mark's live survey suggested 2-out-of-every-3 people think David Cameron's decision not to offer a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty now that the Czech courts have approved ratification is a climbdown, while 4-out-of-5 think this will upset potential tory voters.

On the deployment of troops in Afghanistan 94% of respondents said our strategy is not working.

But while there was an almost even split on whether MPs deserve a pay rise only 1-in-6 said it was politically feasible.

A similar number (1-in-6) thought the Government was right to sack Professor David Nutt.

For those of you with more patience than me, you're welcome to pick through the BBC Have Your Say forum, home of the widest range of commenters online.


Update: Reading Forum's commenters are uninspired by the edition.

Piwacket says they were scraping the bottom of the barrel with panelists, while Riverside turns his attention in reverse, noting how the Labour party managed to pack the audience.

Oranjepan says:
Frankly it's amazing how much can be packed into just over an hour of TV time, but for an occasion on a wet November 5th (or maybe because of it) it was more of a damp squib than a display of fireworks.


  1. Hardly a representative survey by "Mark Reckons" considering it is an overtly Lib Dem blog. It would be a bit like ConservativeHome putting up a survey asking whether Lib Dems U-turn twice a day on policy issues - 9 out of 10 would says yes. If you asked that on a LibDem Voice it is likely to be 1 out of 10.

  2. Thanks for the comment, but I think you've just demonstrated that there is no rule that says readers must agree with the publisher of a blog.

    Having read the liveblog there ws certainly a range of participants admitting support of different parties, so I'm sure you'd be welcomed for future weeks' editions.

    Maybe you'd like to say what your response to the questions would be, in order to give a more 'representative' balance.

  3. Don't know the exact phrasing of the questions, however my personal view is that as there is now no Treaty to vote on, there can't be a referendum (well there could be, but it would serve no purpose as it's now european law).

    I think most potential Tory voters will be more upset that Gordon Brown forced it on the country, despite promises that he would consult with the people. Although they will probably be even more worried about the economy.


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