Obviously, I spent last night feeling sorry for myself while snuffling pathetically into a handkerchief. I could tell I was ill because I stumbled across Question Time and didn't switch channels. Now, I like the idea of Question Time, but the recent trend for always having 'celebrities' on the panel usually annoys me so much I can't watch.The celebrities in question last night were writer and professional grump Will Self (who I actually have a lot of time for) and ex-Countdown number mistress Carol Vorderman.
Vorderman has recently become more closely identified with the Conservative Party and currently chairs the Tories maths taskforce. However, it wasn't till last night that she showed her true colours so obviously. She was an unashamed Cameron mouthpiece and actually seemed to out-Tory the Conservative London Mayor Boris Johnson. That in itself isn't a problem - we live in a free country, she's entitled to her views and to present them in whatever forum she sees fit.
However, last night she presented herself as a petty, bigoted, small-minded, Daily Mail-ist, shrill, hectoring, right-wing busybody. She seemed to be continually reading from notes as if she was unsure of what she really thinks and kept trying to railroad the discussions so she could trot out her 'populist' pre-written soundbites. David Dimbleby seemed particularly cross about her constant hijacking of the agenda and her penchant for shouting over the other panelists.
I found her snivelling pandering to cheap right-wing thinking so frustrating that several horrifying mucas explosions ensued as I hurled impotent invective at the screen. Her attempts to portray herself as some sort of UK Sarah Palin (a US ex-politician who feigns colossal stupidity to appeal to lowest common denominator populism. See my previous thoughts on her here) are unbecoming for someone who has made a career out of being intelligent.
The perfect example of this followed a question from the audience regarding the public's right to know about Bulger killer Jon Venables' recent return to prison. She spouted a soundbite from her notes about the public having a right to know and that knowing Venables' misdemeanour would somehow help the family of Jamie Bulger. Clearly, she hoped that this would strike a chord with the audience and garner an approving round of applause. As it turned out, there was only a smattering of claps and Will Self quite rightly challenged her on this and asked her how it would help. As her crib cards clearly didn't contain any relevant pearls of wisdom she babbled like a reactionary moron instead.
Self then went on to pose possibly the best question of the night. Why is it that we consider young children who commit awful crimes much much worse than adults who commit the same sort of crime? Watch the following video from the BBC website. Pay attention to Vorderman's expression in the middle of Will Self's statement. At that moment, I would have happily dunked the woman in a vat of my own flu-related mucus.
The Invasion **
Kung Fu Panda ****
Doctor Strange ***
Flags of our Fathers ****
Ghost Town *
The Ninth Gate *
Resident Evil: Extinction **
Sherlock Holmes ****
Little Miss Sunshine *****
Avatar 3D (Imax) ***
The Mist (2008) ****
The Day the Earth Stood Still **
Predator 2 **
Charlie Wilson's War ****
This last one was downright weird. But very compelling