Sunday, June 17, 2007
People hate me so I'm pretty sure I shall never be asked to take part in either Radio 4's Any Questions? or BBC One's Question Time. Nevertheless, while listening with mounting distaste to Roy Hattersley on the last Any Questions, I evolved a strategy in case, through some clerical error or momentary lapse of attention on my part, I ever find myself on either of these shows. Hattersley is the supreme politician in that he has no grasp of or concern for reality whatsoever. Confronted by an audience, he simply mouths crowd-pleasing platitudes. He is perfect for these shows because both have evolved into a mindless competition between the panellists to milk the most applause from the audience. 'We must do something about Palestine!' Applause. 'We are all guilty!' Applause, 'But especially the Americans!' Applause. Ecstasy. 'Peace and love. People should be nice!' Yeah! My strategy, therefore, is obvious. I would try to get through the whole programme without provoking any applause whatsoever. 'The Palestinian problem is utterly intractable.' Silence. 'Your guilt is of as much use and of as much interest as a speck of dust on the nose of a rat that died several hundred years ago in Croydon.' Deathly hush, one cough. 'The other panellists are just trying to make you clap.' Silence interrupted by nervous shuffling. 'Every opinion you ever held is wrong.' Silence interrupted by weeping.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 9:46 am