Mark Steel on This Week’s Question Time Panel

It is refreshing to see an authentic left wing, progressive voice appearing on Question Time for a change. Mark Steel, comedian, writer and activist, will be appearing on this week’s show from Plymouth on a panel with the vile Melanie Philips, the Labour Party careerist and Blairite David Lammy, and two complete nonentities from the Tory Party and Lib Dems.

Watch out for an interview with Mark on SU in the near future.

38 comments on “Mark Steel on This Week’s Question Time Panel

  1. Jellytot on said:

    Mark’s a great guy and I look forward to watching him countering Philips’s reactionary garbage.

    Catch his French Revolution DVD from 2007 if you can. I was at the recording of that and it was a good night.

  2. Reason to be cheerful! Obviously, however, I will temper my cheer with a sober assessment of how fucked we are and how soon our painful catastrophic deaths will be, lest I be accused of any blind optimism.

  3. The problem I have is that Phillips brings out such uncontrollable rage in me that even Mark being on it may make it difficult to watch. No, seriously I nearly kicked the screen in one time she was on. And I now have a not bad telly.

  4. jim mclean on said:

    Off Topic. The Big Debate BBC Scotland now. Virgin 862 for those not blessed to live here. The Pros and cons of Independence.

  5. I disagree Jim – the BBC Scotland debate, as usual, was stifled and contained and could even be described as largely puerile. I would recommend John Foster’s recent articles in the Morning Star as a starting point for a proper debate from a class perspective.

  6. history tells us things on said:

    ‘UKUncut joins against welfare reform bill

    Tax avoidance group forges alliance with disability campaigners in marked strategic shift to stage day of mass civil disobedience’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jan/25/uk-uncut-welfare-tax-disability

    ‘Message from the invisible’

    http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/

    Perhaps he will mention this, he supported the Spartacus Report, perhaps posters in London could go on it and it would be good if this blog reported on it…

  7. jim mclean on said:

    Jim:
    It wasn’t “We’re on the March with Ally’s Tartan Army” was it?

    No but I had to buy this one when I saw it in a charity shop last week.
    http://www.45cat.com/record/nevs104-2

    Haven’t actually played it yet, seems the group were always on Thingummyjig if you remember that one.

  8. Halshall on said:

    Better to make a comment after the event I think; although the thought of having to listen to that excresence Phillips makes me feel queasy already !

  9. Ecolefty on said:

    Caroline Lucas was on last week, attacking Labours capitulation to austerity so it must be the first time I will watch consecutive episodes for a long time.

  10. ex-Labour voter on said:

    Thanks for telling us about this.

    You never see people like John McDonnell or Jeremy Corbyn on this programme. I seem to remember Alan Simpson saying he was due to go on several times but then the Labour leadership pressed the programme-makers to withdraw their invitation.

  11. #16 – as I understand it, the Question Time programme makers select a “pool” of MPs from Labour and the Conservatives in advance of every series and then choose their weekly panel from there. How much influence the relevant party machineries have over these pools is open to speculation.

    What is less clear is how the non-political panellists are drawn. It seems every week there is some sort of authoritarian hard-right wing shock-jock (i.e. Kelvin Mackenzie, Katie Hopkins, Rod Liddle, Jon Gaunt, Melanie Phillips) or, worse still, someone who doesn’t even appear to have any real political base or understanding whatsoever (Will Young from Pop Idol)

    Meanwhile I have counted 1 trade unionist per series in the last three seasons.

    It’s no good just moaning. The channels are there for us to complain and suggest panellists if we wish. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/question_time/9394558.stm#1

  12. Syzygy on said:

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Mark, but I fear he may be badly mauled by a rampant Melanie. The Chair needs to keep her on a tight leash.

  13. Syzygy:
    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Mark, but I fear he may be badly mauled by a rampant Melanie. The Chair needs to keep her on a tight leash.

    Mark Steel is a stand-up comic. He’ll just have to use some of the put-downs he keeps in reserve for particularly persistent hecklers. It should be quite entertaining.

  14. John Fisher on said:

    You need to know that Question Time is pre-recorded and edited. As he states on Twitter “It seems my rant about the bankers was cut out of Question Time, which is a bit bloody irritating.”

  15. He seemed to be given less time than others on the panel, though I came in halfway through. But I have noticed the same thing with other left-of-Labour panellists on the rare occasions QT gets them in.

  16. I think that’s true, but I think it’s also true that it seems that way because you have one person saying something decent and four right-wing shitbags parroting the same old nonsense.

  17. There were examples of him given less time, like at the end where Fruitloop Philips was allowed to expound her paranoid theories about Iran at huge length, Steel was given the briefest of opportunities to respond, before DD cut him off….to let the Fruitloop back in!

  18. Cut or not, he was bloody good. And to be fair, David Lammy was rather better than I expected him to be.

  19. chjh,

    Well Ed Milliband could even be good if he wanted to but a mouthpiece on a soapbox and eternal subservience to party whips give very different realities.

  20. Halshall on said:

    Mark was better than I expected, even if he was cut short. IMO he kept his cool magnificently and outmanouvered not only Phillips, but the others too.

  21. Having cast my eye over a few segments of QT last night while I thought Stel was excellent I have to say it is pretty obvious why they wanted more of Mel P.

    She makes spectacular telly. I mean epic stuff. My jaw literally hit the floor esp on drugs . Does anyone think that these days?

    Granted it is a bit Sunday afternoon visiting Bedlam

  22. #32 Didn’t that Norwegian fascist mass murderer have a lot of nice things to say about Mel P?

  23. Halshall on said:

    I think that in general the audience response was quite encouraging as well.
    Dumblebum seemed quite censorous to Mark though; as well as overgenerous to the nasty islamaphobe Phillips.

  24. Syzygy on said:

    Vanya:
    #32 Didn’t that Norwegian fascist mass murderer have a lot of nice things to say about Mel P?

    He was later certified as psychotically insane.

  25. redcogs on said:

    Steel wasn’t too bad at all, but Paul Foot he aint.

    The Beeb appear terrified of making a proper space for intellectual marxists (ie Richard See-More, Michael Rosen), or an articulate working class marxist voice with trade union clout (examples would include Scargill but he has been ‘disappeared’).

    That said, i sense that the year ahead could see our side breaking through this disgraceful state censorship with a burgeoning mass movement that the elite lovies feel obligated to accommodate.