Phil Gyford


Friday 21 March 2003

PreviousIndexNext Questioning time

What he said.

Last night, unable to find anything on TV that wasn’t about the war, that wasn’t crap, or both, I watched Question Time, which I usually avoid due to my dislike of listening to people who will never agree having pointless arguments. I was surprised how good the show was and you can watch it online for the next week. It’s a good snapshot of the views of (opinionated middle-class) Britain’s views and worth a viewing to see the unbearably smug William Hague roundly booed for making the ludicrous assertion that The Mirror’s anti-war stance means they’re pro-Saddam. And to hear Piers Morgan, the paper’s editor, saying he wanted to vomit whenever Bush or Rumsfeld spoke on TV and that Peter Hain (the cabinet minister) would, if he was honest, say he felt the same. Next to Morgan, Hain was doing his best to control a large grin at the thought.

While Morgan goes a bit far with his tabloid crowd-pleasing (saying he’d shoot Claire Short, for example), it was unusual and refreshing to hear that kind of rhetoric from a left-leaning perspective. It was a remarkably invigorating companion to Shirley Williams’ sensible and considered arguments. Other topics covered: whether the road to peace plan for the Middle East is mere publicity; whether one can be against the war and not anti-American; the crazy idea that a country using its UN veto is somehow more damaging to the UN than ignoring its will.

Last time I voted I half-regretted doing the easy thing and voting Labour. I just can’t imagine voting for them next time around, which, coming as I do from a long-time Labour family, saddens me.


A wiser choice might have been, removal of sanctions, restoration of diplomatic relations, a continued arms embargo (France and Russia would have ignored the embargo). We will never know now. That would have been my alternative.

On the other hand I would prefer an evening out with Bush, Rumsfeld or Haigh (William or Alexander) any day rather than having to endure the company of Piers Morgan, Shirley Williams or the odious Peter Hain. The last three all make me queasy.

Clive James once said of Jane Fonda, "I agree with almost everything she said, until I heard her say it".

Posted by Richard Hyett on 27 March 2003, 8:33 am | Link

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