Enter your email address here to receive updates from the team.
Is the new government targeting the BBC’s main discussion programmes?
Special Offer: Get 12 issues of New Statesman magazine for just £12
Back to the subtitle to the piece.....
Is the new government targeting the BBC’s main discussion programmes?
I don't think on just two refusal to appears on QT you can say that this is targeting by the Government, you need more evidence to say that with any clarity.
I personally, however, think it is questionable and does not look good for the Government. At such a crucial point of the political calendar, to put personality before politics and the people poses serious questions that the government need to answer rather than spin around. The government has no right to dictate the panel of a programme. Freedom plays a big part in the new governments coalition agreement and fairness for all too and perhaps the government needs to practice what it preaches.
Nick outed as a racist.
Lou outed as a homophobe.
2 down, 98 to go.
Please people who actually want a normal and relevant discussion, ignore Abdul as his comments show he is not even reading(understanding) other peoples contributions. do not waist time responding to his childish arguments as they have no weight of thought given to them. (personally i think he is starved of attention).
Abdul - Your comments started to proliferate on this site immediately after Mehdhi's appearance on QT.
I wonder if the following scenario rings any bells at all:-
A reactionary white man of no discernable age watches Queston Time and is aggrieved by the "lefty shit stirring" New Statesman panellist. He is still reeling from the "arrogant little shit"s appearance the next day, so he decides to Google "New Statesman" on his PC. He is subsequently delighted to discover that he can direct his ire at the "Shouty Man" in the Comments Section. He wisely decides to give himself an "ethnic" pseudonym so that his criticisms of Mehdhi don't accidentally slip into (or are perceived as) racism. This also covers his tracks when he feels the need to spout any right-wing guff on other issues like immigration.
You know full well that Nick wasn't being racist - a discerning non-fantasist "ethnic" would not be so trigger happy in playing the race card. I don't understand how the accusation of homophobia directed at Lou came about either. Are you coming out as gay just so you can correlate that anyone who criticises you must be a racist homophobe? Since you're a man, feel free to label me a misandrist (you haven't used that one yet) and then there'll be 3 down, 97 to go - whatever the hell that means.
It goes without saying that you should be able to express an opinion but when the only insights you can offer are attacks on somebody's appearance or personal life, they add nothing to the discussion and serve merely as brain farts.
It kind of mystifies me why right-wingers indulge their precious time to post on this site anyway. In a parallel webiverse (i.e. Spectator's Comments Section) do a handful of self-important lefty irritants with too much time on their hands troll the boards hoping to get a rise from Tory supporters?
I imagine them having monikers akin to something like "snout" or "Sasquatch" - yeah, I think regular readers of the Comments Section will know what I'm getting at here.
mo - I realise I just broke the cardinal rule of feeding the troll with my ramblings.
I'm off to do something more constructive with my time - like posting childish comments on the Spectator website ;-)
This article is tarnished by the ego of the author. Is someone in NS scared to tell him he isnt that important and not that clever?
Dylan, think you got the image of a certain person at the PC down to a T there! I can just picture said image; you're much nearer to the truth on that one and certain someone knows it!
But I entirely agree with you Mo; we shouldn't give to his attention seeking ways, it's a lowering of our base point in sensible mooting of views; we shouldn't be giving said someone hope that he's somehow worth listening to! So this is the last time I'm going to bite back at said someone, if we all do the same, perhaps he'll go somewhere else and find a new found 'importance'.
As to Mr Laws, like you Lou, I don't give two hoots about his sexuality, but the whole issue of these financial irregularities (this being a cross party issue which ever angle you come from) is just laughable.
Somehow, it almost seems to have been forgotten, a few token Labour MP's are in the 'frame' (I think with one Tory as well?); and no doubt when they come up for trial it'll be a big media distraction
excercise from bigger issues concerning the running of the Country. No single party comes out with any credibility on this one, but they've almost all got away with it. They'll use the prosecutions as a way of justifying removal Legal Aid in the criminal sector (helping the cuts further) which will harm those genuinely in need of it.
It incenses me how they gain so much public approval by taking the moral high ground on getting tough on benefit cheats who often come to grief by falling foul of failing to tell their Local Council of a minor change in their ever confusing tax credits awards (I've seen it time and time again in my work with such people). The Council gets a subsidy for a sucessful hit on 'fraud', a fow points are scored by the government for some media exposure of how well the 'crackdown' is working, the often innocent victim ends up getting a criminal record, but the MP's get away with it scot free!
Just how did it go so quiet on all of this? There's got to be some leaning on the media somewhere hasn't there?
The Liberals took the 'we're whiter than white' ground, they are all as bad as each other; if ever a 'public enquiry' was needed it's still over this. Each and everyone of them should be much more rigourously scrutinised by those that paid for gross miss appropriation of our money(where's our say?). We should remain as vocal on this one as we do on Iraq.
Where improprietry is established punishment should be severe. A token appearance in Court by the selected scapegoats should by no means be the end of this matter!
A proper investigation with resulting removal of elected MP's would change the number of seats in a way most embarrassing to all concerned (and that's not aimed at any one party, it's the lot of them)
It still makes my blood boil; just how come we allowed ourselves to be so easy on them all?
My previous thread was at a tangent to the subject heading, but that's what's good about debate. One issue raises another and parliamentary expenses should not be forgotten!
The BBC should be fined £10,000,000 every time they even *think* about allowing Alastair Campbell any air time.
The man stands for all that is bad and wrong about British politics in the last 15 years.
It was a blessed relief when his arch-enemy Brown became PM... at least until he couldn't resist trying to run the country from an unelected position and made up with Brown (along with Mandy) to get his hand back on some power.
Going off at those sort of tangents is good Nick, it's inane ramblings that are the problem.
Mo, I realised the game hence my getting back to the point and not retaliating again but thanks for your words of wisdom. Thanks to you too Dylan.
The issue about expenses is connected, we were discussing the no show of DL on QT, then the expenses irregularities were revealed and thus the debate diversifies.
I just find Mr Laws position very questionable as Chief Sec to the Treasury. It's hypocritical to have a man telling us what cuts are best for the country, making much of targeting benefit claimants and fraudsters whilst his own behaviour has been less than honourable. I do not accept his statement on him not considering himself to be a partner and therefore doing nothing wrong technically when he stated earlier that they had been a couple since 2001, he has no excuse for claiming that money.
He doesn't deserve to be outed but surely common sense must have told him his questionable claims would uncover this at some point?
The new government said we could get rid of MPs where they had been found guilty of doing wrong, out of all those who fiddled their expenses there has not been one guilty verdict yet and as a mark of good faith I believe Laws should resign his position until such investigations are completed. If he doesn't, then this government is no better than the last government, it's one rule for them and another rule for the rest of us.
I thought Question Time was excellent and thought provoking. Good questions and interesting answers; you don't always have to agree with the answer to find it thought provoking. I thought Campbell was asked on specifically to deal with his part in the Iraq war, so nobody else would have done. The discussion between Morgan and Campbell was far from a cordial pat-on-the-back for each other. It is so good that honest debate can take place. Interestingly, Redwood's reluctance to admit that the loss of the Future Jobs programme would lead to the loss of jobs showed a naievity not in keeping with his obviously intelligence. This was such an imaginative move by Labour, to provide meaningful work experiences for the young and it will be really sad when it dries up.
I would like to ask Cameron how it would feel if his own child was struggling to find meaningful employment because of some disability or personality disorder, or just some individuality and such a special, imaginative scheme was withdrawn.
On the issue of expenses, it is just way too unacceptable to have MP's running roughshod over us all, Cameron's big promise was an end to all of this but the exposure of Mr 'Laws' (how apt is that?) should be immediately acted upon. In the world in which we all live in if we did anything so suspect we'd find ourselves instantly suspended pending disciplinary action.
It's Cameron's reponsibility to set the standard and show how he's 'getting tough' on his own; this dodgy alliance has got off to a flying start with its intent to ditch the constitution and flout honour on promise. It's a disagrace; I would like a government of change but it's not this lot. I firmly believe that this lot will fall with mass public discontent. The media will side with the majority (it has to sell its papers) and I genuinely belive Cameron will go down in history as the most shallow non - transparent PM ever.
As for Clegg he's lost his followers trust by allowing himself to become Cameron's puppet.
It's interesting that the few people in support of this alliance have so little to say on the substance of just how they believe 'their' party is going to deliver. I'm not being deliberatley sceptical, I'm just seeing early and worrying signs of a very dangerous government wrecking all the good that was built up by Labour over 13 years. No party should just change things unless (a) they wern't working (b) the substitute is beneficial. There is nothing which I have seen so far which persuades me any of this is for the collective better of the Country.
It may seem I'm continually on Cameron's case, I'm not. Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan but to be fair when he came in as leader of the opposition he gave a very commendable speech in the house on the virtues of working with good ideas from all sides; that was a promising start. Unfortunately it very quickly went the way of the usual opposition for opposition sake prompted by a need to conform with the old party faithful of yesteryear (yes the ones that still seem to be very much around despite all that was spouted about this being a progressive coalition of 'change')
Media attention is always on the rants and jabbing fingers accross the house when really it should be much more focussed on the excellent work that goes on in many very contructive cross party debates. Sadly the media put such stuff on at times of the day when no one is tuned in or too tired to watch. It's all very well the Tories and Libs criticising all that has been done over the last 13 years but they'd do well to remember how much of it was implemented with their agreement and consent in the previously mentioned debates.
And returning to Mr Laws, under laws passed with your agreement you'd do well to remember the definition of partner under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, now if you were a benefit claimant you'd most definitely be fixed as having a partner and your benefit would be paid at the couple rate!
Come on NS - start blocking the IP addresses of trolls like Abdul Amir Hassan! And come on the rest of us - stop feeding them!
Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.