Last Thursday’s Question Time was more interesting than usual, mainly due to the inclusion on the panel of the historian and broadcaster Davis Starkey, and Professor Alison Wolf. Tessa Jowell MP was predictably awful, George Galloway MP spoke some sense and some nonsense, and Matthew Hancock MP’s contribution was barely worth listening to, as he was toeing the Conservative party line so closely as to send viewers to sleep. The programme:
We’ll be putting up separate files of the two important discussions on our YouTube channel in the course of the next few days, but in the meantime the following should help guide you through the content:
ANONYMITY FOR MEN CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULTS (00:00 – 15:52)
An important piece in the wake of the recent scandalous show trials of two Coronation Street actors, one of them 81 years of age. Both men were cleared on all charges.
00:00 – 00:54 Introductions
1:15 – 3:29 George Galloway MP. A surprisingly good contribution to the debate.
3:30 – 5:24 Tessa Jowell MP predictably didn’t give a damn about men’s lives being ruined by false rape allegations.
5:25 – 7:33 Alison Wolf, Professor of Management, King’s College (London). A very impressive contribution to the debate.
7:34 – 10:54 David Starkey. An impressive contribution, followed by some nonsense from George Galloway.
10:55 – Matthew Hancock MP. The Coalition reneged on its agreement to re-introduce anonymity for people charged with sexual assault, and Hancock’s contribution to this debate was little short of embarrassing. It’s worth suffering his piece just to get to a little later material.
ALL-WOMEN PROSPECTIVE PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE (PPC) SHORTLISTS (46:24 – 57:18)
I spent more than a little time yesterday posting comments in response to a piece on ConservativeHome in which contributing editor Andrew Grimson was calling for the Conservative party to adopt all-women PPC shortlists. Pleasingly, almost all the comment stream consisted of hostile opposition. A link on a blog piece yesterday will take you to the article and the comments stream.
46:46 – 48:25 Tessa Jowell. More embarrassing drivel from Ms J. The Labour party plans to adopt all-women PPC shortlists for half the seats they deem ‘winnable’ in 2015.
48:26 – 51:10 Matthew Hancock. More embarrassing drivel including statements such as:
I’m a passionate supporter of having more women in parliament.
How many viewers realised the implications of the statement? He may as well have declared:
I’m a passionate supporter of having fewer men in parliament.
We suggest Hancock lead by example, and give up his seat for a woman in 2015. Nearly two years ago we presented him with a ‘Toady’ award:
51:11 – 53:14 Alison Wolf. Another very solid contribution.
53:15 – 54:45 George Galloway. He’s not a fan of all-women PPC shortlists given that all but two of the 101 ‘Blair Babes’ – new female Labour MPs elected in 1997 – voted for the Iraq wars. He wants shortlists to drive up the number of working class people in parliament.
54:46 – David Starkey. Another excellent contribution, followed by a comment by Tessa Jowell – about people invited to dine at 10, Downing Street – which was mind-numbingly stupid even by her standards.
If Tessa Jowell’s intelligence level could somehow be doubled, it would then be half Alison Wolf’s intelligence level.