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Question Time & Twitter

Every week Question Time comes on the old tellybox at 10:35PM on a Thursday night. Around that time twitter starts becoming one of the most partizan and hilarious places on Earth (or to be more exact – cyberspace). Everyone has their opinions and they will back what their man or woman says and boo religiously anything anyone they don’t like. It is part of why politics annoys me – sometimes people you like say things you don’t agree with and sometimes people you don’t like say things that are right in line with your opinions.

However when it comes to #bbcqt and the twittersphere then that seemingly not the case.

Take for example last night. There were some pretty big hitters on there. Nadine Dorries is rounded derided for being an appalling woman (which is fair – because she is), Red Ken Livingstone who somehow lost an election to Boris Johnson – which either shows that he ran the worst campaign in the history of the world (except for Al Gore) or that the voters of london are morons. Danny Alexander was also on and he gets a lot of stick from both Labour supporters and his own Lib Dem supporters due to the fact he’s in a coalition and isn’t calling the Tories a bunch of **** (this word has been deleted to due the fact that it’s a very very bad word – or so my ex-housemate told me). Jon Sergeant was also on there but he was being a populist idiot and someone else whom I forget but he seemed relatively fair (just watching it back on iPlayer this was Sir Christopher Meyer)

So we’ll start with the evil witch that is Nadine Dorries. A despicable woman who if the election was held in a seat that wasn’t a safe Tory seat she’d be run out-of-town. If the Tories put up a talking monkey in Mid Beds then the talking monkey would win. That is how safe the seat is. This is a woman who says that anyone tweeting over 50 times a day is not disabled and should be able to work. Like twitter should be a threshold for the government to decide if someone is fit to work or not. I know plenty of people who could tweet for England but are genuinely unable to work. If she doesn’t then she lives a sheltered life and doesn’t meet real people.

Anyway despite all this – she made one comment last night on the tuition fees debate that was spot on and justified. she said that this might make students value their education more and think about what course is right for them. This resulted in howls of derision from the live audience and twitter blew up. The thing is though that she is right. Plenty of people just go to university for the piss-up and the three years of fun and not for the degree and the future prospects that a degree opens for people. That is a fact. So if people have to pay for it then maybe they’ll take it more seriously. She also said that plenty of people don’t want to pay for students through their taxes – and whilst I don’t agree with this as I personally think that we should – it is a fair Point of View for many.

Next we’ll look at Danny Alexander (who looks likes he may have just gone to Boots and purchased some ‘Just For Men’ as his gingerness seems to have gone down a notch or two in recent days). He’s a Lib Dem but there is a faction of the Lib Dem party who hate him due to the fact he’s in government. ‘Just join the Tories and have done with it Danny’ I saw on more than one occasion. Danny might not be the greatest speaker ever – he’s no David Laws that is for sure – he – like most Lib Dems said the right words but the people didn’t want to listen to it.

I said it on Vince Cable a few days back that he is involved in cabinet responsibility and Danny has to break the pledge he signed on tuition and vote for the bill or he has to quit the government and walk away from office. Now it seems pretty clear listening to Danny last night and Vince earlier in the week that the Lib Dems desperately want to block vote on this. They all pull in the same direction. Under the coalition agreement they can all abstain but that will please no-one. It shows weakness. So in reality they all have to back it or all vote against it. If they all vote against it then the coalition will surely collapse and the Lib Dems join the opposition benches.

So it is a question of whether or not the tuition fees bill is the one that breaks the Lib Dems. We all knew this would be the case months ago and we are now just a few days away from finding out how it’ll go down. If they vote against it – then the Lib Dems can say they kept their principles and ethics when push came to shove – however they’ll also be seen as weak and unable to make the big decisions. Do people vote for MPs because of ethics or because they’ll make the tough decisions in Parliament? We may find out sooner rather than later.

Another thing was the eejit who basically told Danny Alexander (and in turn the watching audience) that he had to listen to his constituents because the students didn’t like it. I’m sorry sonny jim but are students now 100% of constituents? I’m guessing when you take into account how many students bother to even register that in an average seat less than 2% of eligible voters are 18-22 university students. Now let me just check my basic maths here but yep – two is a lower number than one hundred. Plenty of constituents do not want to fund the students – should Danny and the Lib Dems listen to them as well or only those who agree with the student position?

Look. The Lib Dems made a pledge. They are now in a position where they cannot fulfil that obligation unless they dramatically pull out of government. A decision will be made on what is more important – the country or the students and going through with that pledge. We’ll see how it plays out but I’ve written on more than one occasion that in a grown-up world things and position change.

Anyway back on message – Red Ken does what Red Ken does. He talks pretty bluntly, doesn’t pull any punches on either side and says it how he sees it. It’s why personally I have a lot of respect for Ken Livingstone. Twitter seemed to be indifferent to him last night with comments such as ‘as much as I hate Red Ken, I agree with him’ – sometimes you wonder what he’s done for people to hate him so much.

Last word for John Sergeant who said on tuition fees that we’ve afforded free education for all so we can now. Clearly he has in-depth knowledge of the financial situation the country is in otherwise he wouldn’t have spouted such populist drivel. Or would he…?

Every week #bbcqt comes on and it’s a laugh on twitter. If people actually listened to what the panelists said and not just say how much they disagree with them the moment they open their mouths then it might be a sensible debate. Until then it never will be. Anyone with an open mind with agree and disagree with most people on most things. There are very few people in life that I (or anyone) will agree with 100% of the time (and the same for disagree). If I’m being honest then I’d be stunned if there was even one person in the world where I’d be unable to find something that I disagreed or agree with them on.

Politics. At times it is far too tribal for me and none more so than during #bbcqt

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F1 – The Brundle v Legard Debate

Over on DigitalSpy there is a long thread going on about F1. With strong rumours circulating that Martin Brundle has told the BBC that he can’t work going forward with Jonathan Legard then it looks like one or both of them will be leaving the commentary box on the BBC next season. Most people want Ben Edwards in or just promote both David Croft and Anthony Davidson from the 5Live coverage.

Here are my thoughts on the situation as I posted over there:

As one of the casual observers and F1 watcher I’d like to bring what the average person thinks to this discussion.

They like Martin Brundle. They don’t like Jonathan Legard. They don’t know who the other commentators are.

I have watched the Practice sessions so do but your average F1 watcher for qualifying and the race do not. The average ‘Joe Public’ like Brundle and have done for years. He was part of the last great F1 commentary team in most people’s eyes. His relationship with James Allen was often questioned but deep down they had a respect and understanding. Allen knew that Brundle had insightful things to say and let him say them. Legard seems to want to call everything.

Murray and Martin had a very simple technique when they wanted to talk and the other one was – they tapped each other on the shoulder and it worked. They very very rarely spoke over each other. As far as I’m aware JA and MB used the same communication technique. I have no idea if JL and MB use it but it doesn’t seem like it. Even if something big happens when MB is talking JL feels the need to call it and that is where for me (and most people I speak to) the problem is. This isn’t like football where your colour guy is rarely talking in the middle of a clear goal scoring opportunity – things happen in F1 at anytime.

In cricket they do have lead and colour guys but whoever is talking when a wicket falls or any big event finishes the call and the other guy will chip in with their thoughts when the call is over.

JL needs to get over the ‘I’m the play-by-play announcer’ spiel as even though he is – MB can call live action if he is in the middle of talking. I don’t want MB as the lead play-by-play guy but if he’s talking when something big happens then he can do that. Murray let him do it and James let him do it. Commentators do it in most other sports so why can’t JL do it?

Your average Joe Public would want Murray back but that isn’t happening so all in all they don’t care as long as whoever comes in works well with MB.

To use an old Ferrari term when they signed Rubens – think of A.N.Other New Commentator as Commentator 1a and MB as 1b. That is how it has worked well in the past and how it can work well in the future. James Allen would be fine as long as he toned down his love of the Brits. His voice came across as too faked at times (probably trying to be more Murray like) and he didn’t need to. However he did (and still does) know the sport inside and out so he would be an option that most would be ok with.

As for Ben Edwards – he suffers from ‘Gareth Barry’ syndrome. All the time he’s not there he becomes a better and better commentator. Whether he’ll do a good or great job we won’t know until they try but if you ask every one of the five million or so people who they would like to lose least from the F1 team then it would be MB (followed by JH) and who they would like to see go most it would be JL I’m sure.

To read my thoughts on DC joining Brundle in the Comms Box for 2011 then please follow this link

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.