‘Just an idea’

I haven’t watched Question Time on the BBC for a while but I took a look at this evening’s debate which featured a promising panel of Harriet Harman, Malcolm Rifkind, Vince Cable , Jeremy Clarkson and Nick Cohen.

Surprisingly (or perhaps not?) Jeremy Clarkson who plays the ‘anti-PC’ populist reactionary on most issues, was the anti-war voice on the panel.

But the main impression on me was made by the studio audience. The comments and questions about terrorism were dreadful. A young man who suggested “Surely by trying to impose our will we are just as bad as the terrorists” and a women who believed we are mistaken to fight terrorism because it is just “an idea and not a nation state” were fairly typical of the contributors.

I really hope that the BBC’s claim that they get a roughly representative sample of the population in the audience was off the mark this week because if that really is a cross-section of British public opinion on terrorism then the level of denial is even higher than I imagined.

You can watch the programme here ( Click on ‘Latest Programme’ you’ll have to endure Oliver Letwin’s party political broadcast before Question Time begins but the terrorism/Iraq stuff is first up)