Thursday, April 28, 2005


The BBC is currently broadcasting a "special edition" of Question Time in which all three party leaders appear. Not at the same time, though - no, that would be too much like a debate. Instead they'll troop into the studio one after the other to face "nearly thirty minutes of questioning". Forgive me if I fail to share the Beeb's excitement.

Why? Because the claim that:
It's a step forward from the last general election when each of the leaders
appeared in their own separate edition of Question Time.

is just completely wrong. Last time, when the leaders went face to face with a live audience on their own, they did it for far longer. Nearly twice as long in fact. There's no way that they will be able to carry the argument from one to another effectively, because otherwise the order in which the party leaders appear becomes a major issue, as some won't get the chance to hit back at accusations made against them. My guess is that it will be tremendously anodyne stuff with the leaders trying their best to waffle away to waste the 30 minutes as much as possible. It angers me intensely the BBC are trying to pull this off as a triumph. They're letting our leaders get off scot-free.