Always Worth Saying’s Question Time Review

Question Time 29th February 2024

The Panel:

Baroness Warsi (Conservative)
David Lammy (Labour)
Caroline Lucas (Green)
Tim Stanley (Journalist)

Venue: Croydon

At the time of writing, there’s no sign of any Question Time guests. Ordinarily La Bruce pins the team sheet on the notice board of the Question Time web page changing room on a Wednesday tea time, in anticipation of a 10:45 pm Thursday kick-off. By coincidence, the whistle blows for me too on a Wednesday evening. After my weekly seven-a-side Wendyball game, a shower and the picking up Mrs AWS and her sister from work, I do my QT guest ‘prep’ late into the night.

This isn’t inconvenient. The programme has become so repetitive guest-wise, I can use the G-P search engine to find, truncate and paraphrase previous biographies. My pupil, Mr AI Bot, is also at hand. A youngster, he tends to be too generous to the panellists and is often wrong – sometimes caught out confusing different people with similar names.

No matter.

On Thursday morning I can re-write the previous night’s efforts and look for one or two interesting rabbit holes to chase down via the likes of Companies House, the ever-useful ‘They Work For You’ website and the newspaper archives.

By early afternoon I have my thousand-word introduction and can record the first half of the podcast. Then comes a time management challenge, starting with the need for a breather before I go to work.

Even before the cheering had died down upon her elevation to Number 10, Mrs Truss (not her real name, Mary Elizabeth O’Leary) was on the phone paying me the dubious compliment of a needy country wanting me back in uniform.

I informed the 48-year-old PPE graduate, MP for South West Norfolk and a brief First Lord of the Treasury (who charges £65,751.62 to speak) that I’m too old to tackle the outside of a moonlit Bulgarian embassy with a knife between my teeth.

No, no, no, not what she had in mind. According to the gal at the top, putting my knuckles and knees on the line for England was not the strategy. Moreover, it had been a pointless waste of a career, proven by the absence of medals or a pension.

What we’re desperate for is minimum wage, semi-skilled service industry workers of a certain age. Yes, desperate. No need for a CV, references, a P60 or a P45. At the interview, read out what’s printed on the motivational wall posters behind the deputy head of HRM on his half-day up from Preston.

Yes, ma’am.

So much for khaki and camo colours concealing black tie and full evening wear. The dark blue torso and orange shoulder flashes of the supermarket aisle beckoned. Chanting ‘eye level is buy level’, ‘you can’t sell an empty shelf’ and ‘retail is detail’ did the trick.

Today my uniform includes a name badge with someone else’s name on it and a mysterious loop of material above the heart which might be meant to accommodate a Commando knife during the troublesome local gypsy fair.

Shouldn’t complain but don’t tell the tax man. For my remuneration is ‘as well as’ not ‘instead of’ and pays for the higher energy and food bills with more than a little left over to invest in beer and model railways at the end of each month.

While we’re on the subject, here’s something I shouldn’t say. One must never criticise one’s audience but why, oh why, oh why did the Puffins fall out with a chap who owns a brewery? If you spot a biblical scholar skulking in disguise among the unread comments, ask of a parable regarding the old shopkeeper now paying for what had previously been freely given.

Not to worry, Mrs Truss to the rescue, but I don’t finish work on a Thursday until after nine or ten. As there are swings and roundabouts, so there is (we hope) a promised link on Twitter allowing the programme to be watched as, or after, recording at 8 pm.

This means I can make notes as soon as I arrive home, correct them, do the second half of the podcast, and get to bed at a reasonable hour.

By the way, as further proof nobody watches Question Time, I’ve tried to explain all of this to the girls at work but they’re determined I must be the star of a thing called ‘Gogglebox’. They then divide into two camps.

The faithful, ‘Oooo, Worth, what’s Roman Kemp like in real life?’ And the doubters, ‘Well, I haven’t seen you on it. Is this one of your daft lies? Like meeting Bin Laden before he was famous and saving the Pope’s life dressed as a nun.’ I reassure with a line Puffins might also keep in mind. Half of it’s true, but I’m not telling you which half.

All of which leads to an important conclusion. There is a point of no return at which there isn’t the time and/or the inclination to pen comprehensive introductions to the guests. Instead, a frustrated reviewer must ramble on about something else. Can you think of a topic?

As for those missing… Given this week’s media-political bubble obsessions include ‘Islamophobia’, Muslim mob rule, no-go areas defined by race and religion, Sadiq Khan being controlled by Islamists and a Rochdale by-election won by a suspended anti-Semitic Labour candidate weeks before the ballot (thanks to Pakistan postal votes), might there be a shortage of volunteers?

Volunteers to be assembled in Croydon of all places. My pupil, Mr AI Bot, in his naivety, describes the South London borough as;

‘Home to people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, creating a vibrant and inclusive community showcasing various cultural events, festivals and culinary offerings. These events enrich the local community and attract visitors. The coexistence of various cultures in Croydon fosters an environment of cultural exchange and understanding. Multiculturalism in Croydon has also brought about economic and social benefits, contributing to the area’s dynamism and attractiveness.’

Poor, deluded boy. QT Review HQ, Puffins and, one is forced to assume, potential Question Time panellists know better!


When the QT panel was eventually revealed it was no surprise that a particular type of panellist had been chosen. Also, the live stream wasn’t to be available ‘due to the ongoing by-election’. Odd. Notice the omission of the word ‘Rochdale’. I wonder if it’s a no-go area? Have any high-profile politicians been there across the last few weeks campaigning? I don’t think so. A political no-go area it is then, owing to a large Muslim ghetto and the presence of the George Galloway show.

This reviewer is on the record predicting an Azhar Ali by-election win. Despite being suspended from the rotten local Labour Party, he will benefit from the rotten borough’s rotten but well-organised Islam-driven block postal vote. I may be wrong.

Is the QT panic in anticipation of a George Galloway victory that will raise the temperature in the no-go areas even higher? The BBC couldn’t give a stuff about the mill towns in the North of England but Gaza and the racial and religious segregation it exposes also resonate uncomfortably close to the London media/political bubble’s exclusive London postcodes. Interesting times, and a late night for me.


Question one was about free speech. La Bruce quoted Lee Anderson and Suella Braverman before giving the floor to Lady Warsi. Talking trash isn’t freedom of speech, she replied. The race card began its busy night, introduced by La Bruce and picked up by Warsi. She called her own party and those in its highest offices racists. Asked by La Bruce, Warsi called her own prime minister, Hindu Mr Sunak, a racist.

David Lammy defended London mayor Sadiq Khan, stating he wasn’t in hock to the people who vote for him. Hmm. As for the no-go zones, Tim Stanley said the idea that there are places you shouldn’t go to is absurd.

The day before yesterday, Mr Bernard Fowler went to Harold Wood. He shouldn’t have gone there. The 87-year-old was killed in a hammer attack. A 22-year-old man has been arrested, named as 22-year-old Miles Skai.

What concerns Caroline Lucas is that saying things is worse than wrong. Far more dangerous. A lurch to the hard right. Deeply, deeply dangerous. The Hindu prime minister, not the mob, terrorist or murderer, is pulling the country apart.

The Muslims are the victims, chimed in Warsi. The people who cover women from head to toe in black sheets, force girls to marry, sexually mutilate young women, cut animals’ throats without stunning them, marry their own first cousins and throw gays off tall buildings, are being ‘othered’. One wonders why!

A black lady in the audience in dark glasses monologued, including criticising Lammy (to applause) for cancelling Labour Party members who criticise Israel. She went on and on and claimed there are no no-go zones in Islington.

Lammy struck back. You can criticise anybody at all from within the Labour Party, but not you know who because that’s anti-Semitism. Caroline Lucas pointed out that in Lambeth, Labour councillors had been sanctioned for wanting a ceasefire in Gaza.

Question two, tax cuts! £20,000 an hour Fiona Bruce began to glow. Knocking a penny off income tax is going down the road of Liz Truss, according to Lammy. People are feeling the squeeze. Because taxes are too high, Lammy you arse.

The Green Party will be burning money on public services, said Caroline.

And where’s the money coming from, asked Lammy.

A wealth tax, an asset tax, replied Caroline. That means taking lumps out of your property and your pension and your savings until there’s nothing left.

Despite pretending to be a Conservative, Warsi wanted to tax non-doms and took the opportunity to bash her Hindu prime minister’s Hindu wife.

Lammy talked tripe about people paying higher mortgage rates than ever before because of Liz Truss. Likewise, Caroline Lucas and the ‘green economy’ which thus far has done nothing other than throttle the economy with ridiculously high energy prices.

Question three was about ‘assisted dying’. Tim ‘held back’. He saw the thin end of an expanding wedge with required illnesses becoming less severe and those being killed becoming younger. He wanted to hold on to life. He saw death coming into fashion with people wrongly treated as though only units of production.

Warsi disagreed, she was in favour of euthanasia, but called it ‘end of life’. There’s already an end-of-life pathway, Baroness. Assisted dying isn’t end of life. It’s killing people who are far from a natural death.

Interestingly, Warsi is a Muslim, Tim Stanley a Catholic and so is Lammy whose starting point was his Christian faith – but he was ‘open to the discussion’.

In a nutshell, Caroline Lucas wants you dead after she’s stolen all your money. ‘How much better to allow that person to die.’ She has a way with words. Not only that, she’s already ‘in training to accompany people’. Shooting at targets in the back garden?

Next question was about Ukraine. Lammy rambled but concluded we have to ensure Ukraine prevails. Warsi sees a political solution that nobody else does, especially since, as even Warsi conceded, Russia is winning on the ground. Tim Stanley saw a stalemate. The West want too much. The present situation is already a victory to the Ukraine, somehow.

Caroline Lucas was terrified of Putin. I suppose if you’re frightened of an atmosphere containing 0.04% carbon dioxide, the thought of Vlad and the Red Army will open every hole in your body.

And on that unpleasant thought, La Bruce closed the programme.

© Always Worth Saying 2024

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