An audience member in tonights episode of Any Questions, I feel oddly qualified to comment on it, although I heard nothing you listeners of the electric wireless didn't.
The most notable thing was that on most issues the whole panel seemed to agree, and nobody defended the government. Everybody agreed with Lord Turner on pensions before he even spoke. Ed Vaizey, even had the enormous cheek, for a Tory, to suggest (correctly) that any reformed pensions should be the property of the individual to stop the state raiding the kitty. (Again.)
Ming Campbell was excellent of course, on the question of C of E disinvestment in Caterpillar, which prompted the usual arguments about Israel and Palestine, which I dare not comment on. Vaizey seemed to endorse the ludicrous position that considering any policy of the Israeli government unethical was anti-Semitic. Frankly, if this is the case, most of the Jews I know are anti-Semitic. Ming pointed out that questioning the policies of the Israeli government does not make you anti-Semitic any more than questioning George Bush's policies makes you anti-American.
And on Guantanamo Bay, and on the glorification of terrorism Ming was excellent. Dimbleby attempted on occasion to challenge a panellist with the government's position on some issue, a noble effort. But with Diane Abbott representing Labour and largely opposing the government, the whole program was somewhat surreal. Much as I'd like to think that there is a popular consensus that the government is getting things wrong, we are not quite there yet. You would have thought that a program like Any Questions ought to have a pro-government voice on it - so that the government's best arguments can be defeated, of course.
Tag: Any Questions