For anyone who missed Question Time last night, you can still view it on the BBC web site (don’t know how long for hence no hard link). First up was Charles Kennedy, who was cheered both at the beginning and the end of his 30 minutes. After a shaky start to this campaign, Charles was on fine form. He came across as confident, strong and principled. His supporters couldn’t have wished for more.
Michael Howard – who has started to remind me of Vincent Price – seemed hell-bent on self-destruction as he told the audience that even though he called Blair a liar, and believes he was misled into supporting the war, he would have invaded Iraq anyway! Thus he single-handedly consigned all his anti-war protest votes to the dustbin of history. You can imagine the Tory faithful burying their heads in their hands. He was also tackled head-on by a very angry asylum seeker.
But Blair had the worst night of the three. He was clearly getting fed up with defending himself on Iraq, but the audience showed little mercy. He started to sweat. As you watch the video, Blair got more and more sweaty the tougher it got. It got worse. Seems he was unaware that GP’s have found a great wheeze for meeting appointment targets: don’t let people book an appointment more that 48 hours ahead – just make them call back nearer the day. He didn’t know, he hadn’t got a glib smiley answer ready. He was off balance. Then Dimbleby struck the killer blow by revealing that Blair had refused to debate with the other leaders – hence the one-at-a-time formula.
‘Coward’ shouted someone in the audience. Cue credits.