I had expected Any Questions? to be largely about the local elections and reshuffle. It wasn’t but here’s my review of it anyway…
8.49pm: Stephan Shakespeare says SM achieved much at Middlesboro with limited resources and wishes him well. He attacks incompetence of FA over recent years and says he hopes McClaren gets better support.
8.43pm: All panelists welcomed decision not to execute ZM. Geoff Hoon argues that a life in prison is more of a punishment than the death penalty.
WHAT DOES POSH MEAN?
8.37pm: Baroness Scott – A thin woman married to a footballer! David Davis – Someone who speaks like David Dimbleby!
8.36pm: Geoff Hoon – It’s Port Out, Starboard Home. Posh is about wealth and privilege.
WHAT CLASS ARE YOU?
Davis regards himself as working class because of his origins and
outlook. He says a commitment to greater social mobility is one of his
defining political beliefs. Stephan Shakespeare says that class is now
a not very useful way of categorising people. YouGov, he says, finds
newspaper readership a more interesting way of grouping people.
CONCEIVING AT 63
Davis declares his serious concerns at 63 year-old woman conceiving a
child because of a danger of mother dying or becoming ill before the
child becomes an adult. All other panelists essentially say it is a
matter of individual choice.
RESHUFFLE AND LOCAL ELECTIONS
8.18pm: Geoff Hoon says John Prescott’s role of overseeing Cabinet committees justifies his continuing status in the Cabinet.
Shakespeare says that the appointments of Reid, Johnson and Blears
reminded him of Michael Howard’s last reshuffle – positioning possible
competitors to the frontrunner for the party leadership. David Davis
says it is disgraceful that John Prescott has been stripped of his
responsibilities but kept his perks and salaries: ‘Two Jags, Two Pads
and No Job’.
8.09pm: Baroness Scott says reshuffle does nothing to address fundamental weaknesses and incompetences of the Government.
8.06pm: The first thing we
learnt is that Geoff Hoon has been demoted and will be a minister of
state, not a secretary of state, at Foreign Affairs.
Link: Any Questions? Members of the panel are Geoff Hoon, David Davis, Baroness Scott (LibDems) and Stephan Shakespeare of YouGov.