Friday, 15 May 2009

Why did we put Ming on Question Time???

When, I saw the listings for Question Time 5 minutes before it was about to start, my face fell.

I managed to blog off this quick post questioning the wisdom of this but secretly hoping I would be proved wrong. I wasn't.

That was horrible! Commentators over at the LDV QT post have picked up on some of the "unhelpful"/misjudged things he said but really he was a hiding to nothing from the beginning.

As per usual we have the whole rollcall of establishment rallied against us. (I include Dimbleby in this. When we cut off Ming when he was trying to respond to a direct angry audience question about his food allowance and said we'll just deal with the other point first I said to Mrs. L, "he won't go back to him, he never gives the LibDems a chance" and lo, he didn't. I should have started keeping a log of Dimbleby snubs but don't really watch QT much anymore - I don't watch the smugfest This Week EVER - my head would explode!)

Considering this was probably going to be the most watched QT of the year, considering the opposition we face and considering how people would be tuning in looking for answers/direction, we needed someone "clean" (Sarah Teather?) who could put across our mainly strong position on expenses. We could even have had any of the other MPs will lesser (financically), more easily explainable problems , ie. phone bill, trouser press or even better one of our MPs who have been unfairly maligned.

Now we have successfully let the establishment make it a story of "the three main parties" (how we wish they would do that normally!).

Where was the list of our record in fighting for the release of expenses (and being thwarted by the establishment parties).?

Where was the list of what we had paid back (really small beer) compared to the other parties (obviously this really couldn't have been given by Ming!)?

Where was the demanding of an apology from Ben Brogan for the treatment of Andrew George and Alan Reid?

Where was the case against safe seats and for electoral reform?

This was probably our biggest opportunity of the year to break through in the public consciousness and we blew it! Now we're just as bad as the others in the public mind.

Who the hell thought putting Ming up was a good idea???

I'm actually really angry about this. This is a massive failure on behalf of the party.
Really there is nothing good I can say about this. I am livid with the party. (UPDATE: Got a bit carried away here!)

I wouldn't be surprised if activists aren't even more demoralised now.

UPDATE: A few comments have pointed out that these things are arranged in advance, and would my preferred option be that Ming pulled out (and put up someone else)? Well yes it definitely would be ! (Do we know if the other party guests were the originals or were they replacements?).

Yes the BBC would have made a sarky comment and maybe this would have put us in their bad books for a while but I think this was so important that it was a sacrifice worth making!


Mark Valladares said...

Errr... because we don't get to pick who goes on?

Anonymous said...

You really don't know much do you.

What makes you thing the party 'chooses' who goes on question time?

Question Time requests people - often months in advance and try to balance their panels as part of that process.

Ming would have agreed to do QT this week ages ago.

It would have been cowardly to pull out.

Why not rage in publice after you know the facts rather than start spreading blame around before you know what is what.

Anonymous said...

Precisely - the party doesn't 'choose' who goes on, Question Time asks - several weeks in advance. The only option would have been for Ming to pull out, is that your preferred option?

LibCync said...

"The only option would have been for Ming to pull out, is that your preferred option?"

Yes! I've updated the post accordingly.

Alix said...

I very much doubt we would be permitted to put up someone else. So it would have been no Lib Dem facing the music, and you can bet the other two would have made hay with that.

Jennie said...

While I agree with your comments on Ming's performance (it was fvcking dire, and made me alternately wince and swear vociferously), the others are right, we don't get to choose.

Rage against the QT producers for picking him, rather than the party.

Andy said...

It's pretty unlikely Ming would have been allowed to "put up someone else". The QT producers don't like to be managed by the parties, they usually give people a hard time if they try to replace an inconvenient guest spot with someone they'd prefer.

Anonymous said...

The Question Time producers are among the most openly biased and hostile people in the world of media - they would make Alastair Campbell blush.

Ming is and always was useless but the fact is that until a group of Lib Dems disrupt a live QT broadcast or similar , nothing will be done.