Friday, August 27, 2010

Any Questions for 'Any Questions'?

Tonight I am appearing on Radio 4's Any Questions. Eddie Mair will be presenting. It's the second time I will have been on the programme (I wrote about the debut experience HERE) but I am no less nervous than the first time. The other panellists are Deborah Mattinson (Gordon Brown's pollster), Matthew Taylor (Tony Blair's head of policy) and Adrian Fawcett (CEO, General Healthcare).

I doubt I will be blogging anymore today as I need to prepare as I travel down to Newcastle on the train from Edinburgh. If you'd like to help my preparation you could leave a comment tipping which questions you think are likely to come up tonight.

Anyway, do have a listen from 8pm on Radio 4. The repeat is tomorrow at 1.10pm. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

37 comments:

JJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Denny said...

Luckily you've got Eddie Mair. Jonathan Dimbleby seems to think that "Any questions" is addressed to him, and he treats it as an excuse to interrogate the panellists even before they've finished their sentences.

But even Eddie Mair is getting that disease. It shifts the focus from the person asking the question and just turns it into yet another political interview show.

I hope you have the courage to say "This is the audience member's question, not yours Eddie!"

It would also be nice for the producers to accept more general and philosophical questions, as they used to in the 1950s-70s. Nowadays everything's got to be a current affairs question, which is too predictable and boring.

Wyrdtimes said...

Please don't forget to point out which issues affect England only - because despite the King Report the BBC won't.

Piush said...

Something about the health white paper? Unions seeking judicial review and ceo of a company likely to make money off the back of it on the panel.

JJ said...

Any Questions?...only if aunty likes them!

Iain - I can tell you one question you won't have...and that is should the smoking ban be repealed?

Anyway bone up on Azil Nadir (Polly Peck) remember him?

Alcuin said...

Iain,

A poll in the US reckoned that the political bias of the MSM was worth 10% in the 2008 presidential election. Not only the bias, but the almost total failure of the US MSM to scritinise the background, history, competence and political views of Obama. This swung the election.

In Britain we have the BBC, which is getting more and more shrill in its attacks on the current government. Look at the order of items in the BBC news and you can see that items such as the recent IFS report (which the BBC never mentions was commissioned by a lobby group and reflects its particular angle), over major world events.

The BBC has to be taken on. Even that nice Eddie Mair is part of this, and if it means getting into a slanging match with him, so be it. The bias of the BBC in favour of Labour has to be brought to the attention of the listeners and viewers at every opportunity.

Mick Turatian said...

Nasty Tory Cuts are bound to crop up here and there so perhaps bone up on examples of Labour waste and profligacy which make cuts necessary.

In a similar vein, the proposal for a costly and unnecessary regional assembly for the NE was roundly rejected by the sensible voters of the region who rightly rejected the idea of paying for a further tier of one-sided "conversations" and "dialogues" with politicians.

Unsworth said...

Need we ask why the BBC is putting up two people who were directly involved in and with the last regime? Mattinson has her book to sell, but her involvement with Brown makes her position immediately suspect, and similarly Taylor's dealings with Blair cast doubt on his credibility.

As an ex-Poacher, Fawcett will be well placed to answer questions on binge drinking. As to the other likely questions, perhaps Kelly will come up, certainly The Budget and The Economy, the Labour Leadership 'Contest', possibly Endellion too. One should always remember the track record of Any Questions and its presenter, who has the habit of 'intervening', although Mair is usually better than Dimbleby. 'Any Questions The BBC Choose' would be a more apt title.

Nonetheless, Good Luck - both in getting there and on the programme!

MikeyP said...

BBC Bias should lead to a cut or abolition of the licence fee

What would Labour have cut?

English Parliament

A level and GCSE grade inflation

Just a few topics to raise in the course of the program.

Jonathan said...

Iain:

Make sure that in any budget questions you emphasise that Labour were running a budget deficit from 2002 all the way through the boom years and that the current fiscal problems are less due to the banking bailout and more due to the government overspending in the boom years on waste and inefficiency, ie. total UK government debt is £930bn but excluding the banking bailout it is still £820bn and increasing by 10% every year.

Also mention that the first decade of this century had the lowest growth rate since the 1940s, so how were Labour planning to repay all that debt when they had been so poor at growing the economy.

freddo41 said...

What Alcuin said.
And good luck!

Norfolk Blogger said...

Two Labour, one Tory, no Lib Dems. Typical BBC bias.

neilreddin said...

Yep, they'll definitely be fishing for the "Asil Nadir - remember he donated to the Tooorieees" question beforehand, judging by the time I was in the audience for an AQ recording.

trevorsden said...

Its clear we will get a question about the budget and how it allegedly affect the poor. This really needs a robust answer.

There may be a question about Balls and his preposterous comments today and I think that if either Miliband appoints him has Shadow Chancellor then it shows that Labour totally do not understand economics.

George said...

Ask Mattinson whether she has any ethics/morals and regrets being so close to Brown and acting as his propagandist, thus facilitating the cloud cuckoo land mentality the whole country had to endure.

Take no prisoners with these flaky lefties.

Duyfken said...

Immigration and population growth

sinosimon said...

Ed Balls attempt this morning to position himself as even more of a spendthrift lunatic than gordon might just come up......

so....the morality of spending other people's money to buy yourself political advantage would be something to mull over........

or the (blessed be) rumours that gordon's voices are telling him he really needs to save the labour party by clinging on to the front bench should be worth a grim chuckle...

Dave H said...

The ethical conduct of charity fundraisers would be topical.

You might also ask privately why AQ isn't available as a podcast.

(If you are unable to listen to the live broadcast, yet desperate for a Dale fix, AQ recordings are available for yonks anyway, far more than 7 days: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qgvj. This is a fact which will also, naturally, help to calm Iain down as he faces a superb opportunity to make a right arse of himself to a wider audience)

Dave H said...

In fairness 'praps I should have typed 'possibility' rather than 'prospect'.

Enlightened Despot said...

Weight loss on the NHS
The IFS report
Barnardo's call for "fairer" school admissions
Are better growth figures down to Labour, as Balls claims?/Will Government cuts hold back growth?

P. Stable said...

Cats in bins.

Tomfiglio said...

Asil Nadir will probably be mentioned - you could ask why all the old scandal is being dredged up to beat the Conservatives with. Mention some shady Labour/millionaire relationships to balance it out (remember Harold Wilson and his Gannex raincoats? Look up Joseph Kagan).

Patrick said...

they may ask you about the chilean miners.

i hear they are piping them football and anti-depressants... Perhaps its west ham matches they are showing!

Wallenstein said...

GCSE results - get your niece a mention on the radio :)

Roger the Shrubber said...

Cat woman..

Unions and strikes because of cuts.

Regional assemblies?

Cameron's security in Afghanistan?

Rosemary's, sorry, Samantha's baby.. ;)

IvorBiggun said...

Here's my question, a paraphrase of Father Jack (from Father Ted):

"How did that gob sh*te get on the wireless?!" :-)

Hamish said...

If they ask about the cat in the bin, please say No Comment.
[I rather think Wyrdtimes is labouring under the delusion that Newcastle is in Scotland.]

Liz said...

What are your views on cats and recycling ;)

David Miliband Leadership Campaign said...

Why has Ed Balls had his very badly economics speech highlighted compared to an absence of David Miliband on the same subject?!!

Ed Balls is wrong and extreame as is Ed Miliband!

P. Stable said...

"If you could put anyone in a bin, who would it be?"

Lola said...

You could ask Eddie why the BBC it allows such a biased smug lefty nerk like him to present its mainstream PM programme?

Roland Deschain said...

You can be sure someone will ask the question "should the Conservatives repay money donated to it by Asil Nadir?" Be ready with some equally dodgy, and more recent, donations to other parties.

Make sure that whenever "nasty Tory cuts" are mentioned that the audience is told why there is a need for them. As others have mentioned, it's not just the banking crisis but the running of deficits throughout the boom years, which is economic insanity.

Above all, be ready for BBC bias and don't let them get away with it. The BBC knows the Tories don't have the balls to take them on and are becoming less and less subtle about it.

Salmondnet said...

Hamish. I am sure Wyrdtimes is fully aware of the geographical location of Newcastle. The problem is that many people who are nominated by the BBC as talking heads are unaware of the constitutional location of Scotland. They therefore speak as though everything Westminster does affects the whole of the UK in the same way when off course much of it doesn't. Deborah Mathieson has in the past been particularly guilty of this.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Hasn't that Deborah got a husky voice?

Give her throat some lubrication, Iain.

Fausty said...

Predictably, you were ambushed, Iain. Newcastle is not exactly Tory territory.

A bit of a cock-up, PR-wise on the "fat" issue though. Even though I agree with you and prefer honesty to spin, you were booed because:

* you could have been more tactful - difficult when you are nervous;

* a goodly proportion of Newcastlers (I'm guessing) tip the scales in the unhealthy direction.

Next time you appear on a show like that, particularly if run by the BBC:

* study your audience well in advance - their prejudices and proclivities, etc.,

* ask yourself why you were invited onto this show, at this location, at this time.

* study your fellow panellists and try to anticipate their stance on topical issues.

I've no doubt that the BBC employ great deviousnous when it comes to 'right-wingers'.

Fausty said...

That said, I think you did well. Cogent arguments and good humour. So don't beat yourself up about it (as I'm sure you'll be tempted to do)!

Victor, NW Kent said...

I listened. Packed house - packed against you. Rude tykes.