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Panel beating Feb 03

I don’t usually watch Question Time, but I’ve been tuning in recently as each of the LibDem leadership contenders have taken turns on the panel. (Next week will see a debate between all three.) Last night, it was Chris Huhne’s turn so I was particularly interested, and expectant.

I wasn’t disappointed. He was calm, collected and confident, in marked contrast to Simon Hughes who seemed – understandably – on edge last week. He was fortunate to be first to answer and immediately seemed in command of both the issues and the panel. None of the questions tripped him up and he put forward the LibDem case on issues from freedom of speech to Iraq with ease.

Once again the panel had two Tories, but only one openly so (Adam Rickitt, who seemed uncomfortable and a little out of place, was credited as an actor, just as Zac Goldsmith was identified previously as a magazine editor – both are on the Tory approved candidates list). Rhodri Morgan, Welsh First Minister, was the panel’s most obvious big hitter, and there was also a Plaid Cymru AM. Morgan got himself into hot water with the audience by refusing the state his position on Iraq on the basis that he isn’t an MP, and wasn’t at the time of the vote to go to war. Huhne pointed out that he hadn’t been an MP either at the time but that hadn’t stopped him from holding the view that the war was wrong or from going on the big anti-war march in London.

I’m not just saying this because I’m backing him: Huhne ran rings round the other panellists. Of all of them, he seemed the most statesmanlike, the most knowledgeable and – of course- the most liberal.

For the next week, you can watch the episode on the Question Time website.

One Response

  1. 1

    Well, Goldsmith and Rickett may not have been credited as Tories, but then again there are a whole host of celebrities who are to all intents and purposes Labour supporters (if not on candidates’ lists) who are there as interesting people, too. Similarly, although journalists leanings can normally be identified, they don’t appear on the show with their biases made totally explicit.