Friday, February 06, 2009

Chakrabarti Outshines Will Young on Question Time

Thanks to Will Young, last night's QUESTION TIME got its highest ratings this series, with 3.2 million people tuning in. Pity he died on his arse. I thought he would actually be worth watching, but I was wrong. He had nothing to say on any of the questions, I thought. You always know when someone is struggling because they say they are "worried". Will Young was "worried" about every issue, it seemed.

The highlight of the programme was Shami Chakrabarti's highly emotional demolition of Geoff Hoon on the question of torture. He was like a rabbit in the headlines as she tore into him. I have rarely seen a Question Time guest act in such a way, but it was gripping to watch. If anything she went slightly OTT, but you can hardly blame her when Hoon kept evading, and actually tried to pretend at one stage that the Government had won the High Court case.

I was none too pleased with Theresa May for her reaction to the Carol Thatcher question, but she was very strong on torture. Nigel Farage put in the best performance of the night, I thought (and I am not just saying that because I am spending the afternoon with him today!). He's got a highly tuned way of being able to touch an audience's G spot. Not an image I urge you to dwell on, but you know what I mean.

Someone, I think it was Tom Harris's wife Carolyn, on Twitter, reckoned that Will Young should sing a song at the end of the programme. Rather bitchily, I suggested LEAVE RIGHT NOW.


Damon From Birmingham said...

Presumably you mean Hoon was a rabbit in the "headlights" not the headlines!

molesworth 1 said...

The Transport Sec. was, in fact, a complete Hoon.

Dick the Prick said...

Outshines in the 'gosh, it's dark in here' kind of a way.

Is Teresa May a Conservative?

ghanimah said...

I thought Shami Chakrabarti contradicted herself on QT last night.

One moment she was advocating human rights for torture etc then when it came to Carol Thatcher, human rights (freedom of expresssion) went out the window.

She launched into a rant about how 'everyone' was offended (speak for yourself Shami) and giving a list of words we can and cannot say in private. The audience seemed to give her short shrift on that.

Agree about Will Young though, embarrassing

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

I don't think Teresa May had a particularly good QT either, but redeemed herself on the issue of Binyam Mohamed. Hoon was a Hoon as always. The word flounder comes to mind.

Don said...

O/T but this is for Mr Draper. i refuse to click his site anymore. Should make him realise his place in the world.

Old Holborn said...

I liked the bit when Dimblebum called Geoffs kids "little Hoons"

Prodicus said...

May? On again? Oh, FFS. Shoot me, someone.

Don said...

Apologies, link appears too long for this comments section here they are in tiny.

martin day said...

"but she was very strong on torture."


She certaintly is especially against her own! Though she is still Tory - An overbaring letter I once recieved from her had a lovely Blue flame when her signature went up after i lit it with a match!

If the LD's had pinched her seat at the last election it would have been a Tory Gain!

JuliaM said...

"I thought Shami Chakrabarti contradicted herself on QT last night.

One moment she was advocating human rights for torture etc then when it came to Carol Thatcher, human rights (freedom of expresssion) went out the window."

Yeah. Funny how people like her seem to be blissfully unaware of the contradictions.

And also seem to think that people can't see those contradictions, and draw conclusions from them...

"She launched into a rant about how 'everyone' was offended (speak for yourself Shami) and giving a list of words we can and cannot say in private."

That's it, Shami. Keep flogging that dead horse. :)

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Anybody who expected Will Young to be anything more than a spare dick on QT is a fool.

He has a modest career as a singer, shored up by hysterical fan worship and the way that music sales turn vaccous crooners into superstars.

It happened when the bloke from Blur was on and it regularly happens because pre-pubescent beeboids think that pop stars and actors are omniscient.

Question Time has long ceased to be the bench mark for enlightened debate. Best get over it and move on.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Will Young was a complete waste of space, Farage was ugly and gobby and reminds me of a wide-mouthed frog. Theresa May remains shaggable but insipid last night and Hoon was, is and always will be a hoon.

Chakrabarti was emotional, bless her, and it was good to see The Hoon squirming.

However, I objected to her rant about golliwogs, and the fact that she doesn't like the word.

Golliwogs exist. The Queen sells them. So when did the word become illegal to use, and who is Chakrabarti to tell anyone which words are acceptable, and which are not?

Just a tad above herself, or up herself, perhaps.

no longer anonymous said...

"She launched into a rant about how 'everyone' was offended (speak for yourself Shami)"

Precisely, most people couldn't give a toss. I understand why she would be offended but her opinion doesn't represent the rest of the country's.

Simon Gardner said...

Don said... Apologies, link appears too long for this comments section

You can use html:
Link 1
Link 2

neil craig said...

I thought the high point was when Farage said global warming was a lie & the audience cheered loudly.

Of course that may just be me & I don't like the way Chakrabarti is such a regular fixture on the programme.

Dick the Prick said...

Tony Blair did the same thing at the Obama orgy yesterday - "we will support you" - who's we? Best be talking about the quartet buster as 1st person plural is out of bounds in reference to Blighty.

trevorsden said...

Why should the BBC think that Will Young would have anything coherent to say? About anything?

Does he have any qualification to discuss anything? The BBC might as well drag any old sod in off the street.

Its worrying to think that the man who gave us Disaster in Basra is in charge of keeping our transport system going this winter.

Word verification 'werin'
TDs definition '(slang) as in "wotcha werin tonight". qv Eastenders'

Lady Finchley said...

Sorry, Iain, old bean but I thought Shami came across as hysterical and shrill - not a good look.

trevorsden said...


I hate quoting the Telegraph because I fail to see why I should give any credit to a rag which employs Simon Heffer.

However - so much for Brown leading the world

Painfully Liberal said...

Will Young was pretty unimpressive. Not to worry though, next week they've promised us that political Titan, Monty Don.

Old Holborn said...


Exactly 57 minutes in.


Colin said...

"Chakrabarti Outshines Will Young on Question Time"

Yes, she out-shined him in the beyond parody category. Her little outburst was one of the most hilarious things I've seen on TV a long time.

I'm not a fan of the Buff, but I thought Hoon handled the whole thing very well. He came across as someone who, having the benefit, or the curse of certain knowledge, understood the need to operate with the contextual constraints and ambiguities that result from that.

"Chatshow" Chakrabati on the other hand came across as the fatcat, celebrity, metropolitan, a la carte freedom crusader that she is.

I thought at one point she was going to stand up and stamp her feet whilst covering her ears with her hands.

She is funny as fcuk.

wv: citinob

Bill Quango MP said...

Will Young was dire.
But didn't Farage just nick that line about Hugh Grant straight off Guido's post from earlier?

Martin said...

Who cares about some halfwit getting a razor taken to his balls? Honestly Iain sometimes you amaze me.

Islam is no friend to the western world and you as a gay man in particular should know that.

Chakrabarti just spat her dummy out and lost the plot.

I don't want my security being put at risk for an Ethopian who has not right to live in the UK.

Hoon is a tosser, but he's a tosser for sending our soldiers off to fight in a war with no body armour, guns that didn't work and no strategy for getting out.

That's where you should be concerned Iain not some halfwit no one cares about.

Try reading Littlejohn's take on it.

Engerland said...

I thought Shami ranting was a bit immature a bit sixth form. I didn't like the way she brought the BNP in to the question about foreign workers (always concerns about immigration must mean you are a racist) neither did I think Hoon answered it either I thought the strikers were striking because they have the skills but are not being employed Hoon waffled on about training!!!! He needs training and so does she the pair of galoots

Engerland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dick the Prick said...

Chakrabarti's communication skills really should be improved. Petulent indignation may work in the green room but QT is the blue ribband show - hardly an arena to assume viewers or audience members are ignorant, uncaring and anything but involved.

Few lessons with a decent rhetoric teacher should help. I guess looking about 12 hasn't really been an advantage in that people just say 'bless' and continue. But she's had her job a while now and should raise her game.

Dick the Prick said...

Martin - loved the bit about medieval torture using razor blades - err... not medieval then really? More an homage, an interpretation perhaps.

David Boothroyd said...

Shami Chakrabarti's rant against the refusal to allow the US intelligence to be disclosed showed all the signs of having been very intensely practised. Like a laser beam she went straight for the easy applause lines, and never engaged with the realities of a complex issue.

Hoon was OK, May was rather tepid, Farage was play-acting, and Will Young did reasonably well given his obvious extreme nervousness. The first question on the snow was his best answer of the show.

Chalcedon said...

I saw Farage laying into the European Parliament via youtube. it was a sparkling performance and received a round of applause at the end, even though he got muttings during the speech.

Wish I had tuned into question time now.

David Boothroyd said...

Incidentally, Iain: Hoon "actually tried to pretend at one stage that the Government had won the High Court case" - the Government did win the High Court case. See Mohamed, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs [2009] EWHC 152 (Admin) at paragraph 107:

"In the circumstances now prevailing, the balance is served by maintaining the redaction of the paragraphs from our first judgment."

Oliver Drew said...

Yes. The only question Will Young had anything interesting to say on was on "Thatcher-gate", where he was the only one contradicting the majority view.

Impressed with Shami Chakrabarti regarding torture - was good to have someone finally going full on against the government..."that answer was an embarrasment" was my line of the evening!

Impressed with Farage for a change - I just think it's a shame that UKIP don't have a more rounded policy set because I tend to agree with their European policies...

Hoon was typical really - not at all convincing on the torture issue - actually, he was pathetic.

I'm not really a fan of Teresa May anyway so it is not surprising I didn't think much of her performance.

jon dee said...

Clarkson for Question Time.

Hoon for a War Crimes Tribunal.

ukipwebmaster said...


Ethan Hurlington said...

The fact is that despite how bad will young was, and he was bad, teresa may was hardly any better... she is a politician, if there is one thing she should be good at, its holding the government to account. I am sick of the nice touchy-feely members of the shadow cabinet... can you imagine what it would be like if we were in government now and it was labour's hatchetmen/women attacking us?... they would make the mud stick. There is a time for being statesman-like, and this is not it.

As for the Chakrabarti attack on Hoon, it was great stuff. Hoon is the one who is always sent into the breach when Gordon and co know something is going badly, he is the fall guy, and is pathetic enough to at least gain some sympathy. However, the way Dimbleby asked him at one point if he wanted to answer a question from Chakrabarti, as if that wasn't the whole point of the question showed the weird sympathy he often holds for government ministers. And yet when a shadow cabinet member makes a good point he cuts in before they audience can give applause. I have never seen Dimbleby offer a guest the change to duck out of a question, I guess thats proof of how badly Hoon was doing.

Oliver Drew said...

Yes - but remember in the programme David Dimbleby said something that got Hoon bang to rights - cannot remember what it was, but he got a round of applause for it.

strapworld said...

Will 'y.know' Young was, I agree shocking. Didn't he read politics at Exeter University. Halfway through his stuttering first answer to the snow 'crisis'I thought he was Garth Gates!

Iain, Can I, through your excellent blog Apologise to Shami Chakrabarti. As a youngster I collected the Robertson Jam Gollies and got my badge! then I started collecting all the badges!

Shami my guilt, my shame in helping this poor cartoon character and doll become a symbol of racial hatred, is something I will find hard to forget. Here was I thinking it was just a lovely thing.

Now we have banned the word, when do we start burning books?

JuliaM said...

Dick The Prick: "Petulent indignation may work in the green room..."


Dick Puddlecote said...

Will Young must have a good agent, that's all I can say.

Theresa May was very disappointing. And it's worrying that the Tories don't seem to be standing up against Labour. I keep waiting for them to score from one of the very many open goals, but they still hang back. Surely they must start attacking soon, or are they holding it all back until the GE is called proper?

My fear is that they won't even light the blue touch paper then either.

Desperate Dan said...

You have to make allowances for Chakrabati. She didn't grow up with gollies. Neither did her cousins, her parents, her aunts or her grandparents. But it says a lot about her that when she did find out about them she automatically placed a vile and disgusting interpretation on them.

Bird said...

I switched off after Theresa May sided with the BBC over the Carol Thatcher affair.
I'm all for promoting more women in the Tory Party, but she's ready for the knacker's yard.
I was disappointed with Shami C. I thought she'd moved on from the racist/victimhood agenda.
I also think she should be honest andcome out as a Bangkok ladyboy.

Shirking From Home said...

Chakrabarti is one of those constantly enraged individuals desperate for air time. She had a few good points and anyone who treats Hoon as the hoon that he is gets a late pass.

Young was an embarrassment. Why the BBC gave him airtime is a mystery. Then again I don't like his music either.

boggartblog said...

You have offered the opening (oops, pardon) for so many vulgar jokes here I am having trouble restraining myself. But I must behave, this is a family blog.

I'm afraid Will proved that an intelligent, personable pop singer is still only a pop singer.

It is a pity more people on mainstream media have not defended Carol Thatcher. The reaction to her slip, and it was a slip - any premeditated racial insult would be much more hurtful, is way over the top.

Golly Gosh! My Mother Is a racist

Zeddy said...

Was going to take Martin to task but I think he shot his own argument in the foot when he ended his post with one of the most hilarious lines in the history of Iain's blog: "try reading Littlejohn's take on it".

Tendryakov said...

martin day 1.15

If the LD's had pinched her seat at the last election it would have been a Tory Gain!

fie upon you! pinching a lady's seat nowadays is almost as bad as using the word g******g!

Baldwin said...

In my view Question Time is essentially a show business product, less good than its radio equivalent and ought not be taken too seriously.

I watch it intermittently, remote to hand and spend more time watching Newsnight.

Simon Gardner said...

Baldwin said... “Question Time. I watch it intermittently, remote to hand and spend more time watching Newsnight.”

Quite. Gave up on it years ago. Dull, dull, dull. Is Dimblebore still anchoring?

KimT said...

I have to agree with Iain.
Although Hoon is a regular military scapegoat, he is still a twit and Chakrabarti tore him to pieces. He looked uncomfortable and squirmed so much in his seat i thought that HE had a razor to his balls!...What goes around...
It is refreshing to see someone stand up for what they believe in with such passion, in the face of the adversity she faces on a daily basis (as proven on here with some people's need to constantly critisise her appearance). She is a voice for Human Rights and should be taken as such.
As for 'Desperate' Dan's ignorant comment regarding her upbringing... she was born, raised and bred in London you ignorant hoon.