Thursday 22 September 2011

Question Time.

The Question Time show rumbles on. Its going to be another 'special.'
Liberal Democrat one this time. Conference season has begun.
David Dimbleby is joined in Birmingham by
Vince Cable, A C@W favourite. We call him The Gaffer after his many hopeless pronouncements. On the back benches he's known as MOG. {A play on Gladstone being known as GOM. The Grand Old Man. With Vince I think it means Mad Old Git.}
Harriet Harman, Soviet era apparatchik and one trick smack the pony.
Priti Patel, Conservative 'A' lister but an uneven performer. Usually speaks her mind.
Ian Hislop. Private eye editor. Straight man of the aging HIGNFY team but easily able to destroy anyone on the panel if he so wishes.
And Justine Roberts founder of Mumsnet, the surprisingly influential chatroom . {Its like Guardian online, but for women only. Mrs Q calls it Mums-nag.}. Married to Ian Katz, deputy editor of the Guardian, which is a fact missing from the wiki page. Odd, seeing as how mumsnet is mums.}

Best guesses this week come from Hopper, who remembered JR was on the show.
1. Coalition - were the LDs right to coalition with the Tories? Why haven't they been implementing more of their manifesto?
2. Economy - now the western economy is circling the drain shouldn't we be on plan B? I'd like a bonus point fit each time someone says "invest" when they mean "spend".
3. Dale Farm - why is the Daily Mail encouraging 'raceism' against harmless traveller folk.
4. Cage fighting - wouldn't it be better to have Cameron cd Miliband rather than 8 year olds. Sick society etc.
5. Mumsnet question - what biscuit does the panel take with their tea?

Update 23rd Sept

September leader board.

Botogol - 9½
BQ - 9½

Timbo614 - 8
Budgie - 7 ½
CU - 7
Miss CD - 7
Nick Drew - 7
Measured - 6½
Hatfield Girl - 6½
Hopper - 6½
Philipa - 6½
Hovis - 5½
GSD - 5
Malcolm Tucker - 5
Appointmetotheboard - 5
Woman on a raft - 4½
Sebastian Weetabix - 4½
Andrew - 4½
Dick the Prick -4½
Mark Wadsworth - 4
Jan - 4
Miss S-J -3
Alex - 1½
Electro-Kevin - ½

Follow on Twitter @BillQuango
and a passing nod to


Bill Quango MP said...

Gas service to be resumed after the show ND.

BQ has
1. Obama's plan B has failed and its only few hours old. Greece's plan A is a disaster. Osborne's ?

2. Human rights question. Unable to deport violent criminals. Is this really what the Lib Dems think the voters want?

3. Israel Palestine independent state. Would peace be easier if Palestine was a member of the UN club. Judging by Iran ... no.

4.Vince wants to stop horrid Tories from doing things they weren't planning to do. Such as youth unemployment solved by sending teenagers up chimneys.
So..he's already achieved his aims..hooray! {the question will be more like - Are the Liberal democrats a shield for the Tories.}

5. Erm.. I dunno ...Travellers.
{Travellers! I've got more BP fuel points than the lot of them.}

Budgie said...

Errm ...

1. Global financial meltdown horror crisis armageddon - it's all the fault of Thatcher, the Americans, the Bankers and MOG has all the answers. It's definitely not the fault of the euro - oh, no. Greece is a victim but even the Lizards are panicking now (see Cameron and co.).
2. PFI - evil Tories spend money on evil big business builders expressly to deny caring for our children.
3. Aborted human embryo stem cells are new miracle cure for the humans not aborted. Soylent Green here we come.
4. Is Huhne a Hoon? Speeding tickets, divorces, windmills, more taxes and other Huhnery.

appointmetotheboard said...

Jeez. * Another* special..? Is it going to be just Lib Dems asking the questions? Harumph.

1. Should we still join the Euro? OK, its a ridiculous question, but it seems like Lib Dems have been asked that one all week. Mention of Greece, markets tanking, etc etc.

2. Are the Lib Dems the breaks or the engine of the coalition / was electoral suicide worth it?

3. Are we at some kind of tortured metaphorical economic war? Also known as, what's Plan A+ Vince? And don't say QE...

4. Can we wait until 2019 to ring-fence too big to fail banks?

5. Would the world be a better place if run by women, as Lynne Featherstone said? There would be no financial crisis anyway...

Anyone else doing CNBC's million dollar challenge? I've lost $50K of fake money just today. Its just like the real thing. If I keep this up, I may even send my CV to UBS.

Miss S-J said...

- The Liberals applauded attacks on Tories as happily as as attacks on Labour. Has no one told the ranks that they ARE the government.
Disunited Liberals question.

- Double dip is likely. Should the UK spend millions on more fire control centres and NHS IT systems to combat it?

- Abortion question - Mad Nads - embryos

- Cage fighting

appointmetotheboard said...

I knew there was something I meant to ask before the season started. How many of us are London based? It would be nice to crown Botogol as champion at an official award ceremony over a pint at the end of the series, and put a face to all you capitalists...

Timbo614 said...

'ere you capitalist don't call me a capitalist, you capitalist. I'm here to provide balance to my reading! I'm a small scale (money losing) capitalist. I mean who would choose to renew their retail shop lease this year! Doh!

But if you are offering, I'll accept your pint and provide banter and maybe some amusement.

Actually I was in "The Banker" last night, on the river (Cannon Lane? by Cannon St. Station) Quite a good venue but got a bit busy by 5:30 :) If I win of course the beers are on me!

P.S. BQ: Be generous this week - - I am away next week with no internet access. (Might be able to enter via smart phone, not sure).

andrew said...

1 QE3 - any chance it will work this time?

2 NHS and Lab PFI - obligatory but you invented it - but you abused it mixed in with the general inability of govt to manage projects

3 50p tax - keep or not / what about the 12500 tax threshold

4 Finches look like they are endangered. Other yellow things are endangered. What is the point of the Lib Dems?

5 It looks like the speed of light is not an unbreakable limit, what other laws need to be re-written.

appointmetotheboard said...

Timbo614! Comrade! Here was me thinking that I was the token marxist!

I've been to The Banker too. Not the worst place in the world. Is there a decent boozer in Threadneedle St?! Or maybe The Speaker in BQs honour..?!

Botogol said...

I am London based (Canary Wharf - but more than happy to head to the City proper, where there are even bars suitable for growns ups, as I recall, sigh)..

Mumsnet just for women?? I'll have you know I am a regular there as well... (but if I told you my moniker I'd have to kill you)

Anyway here comes the guesses of that sod Botogol :-)

- for being in coalition, has the price the Liberals paid nothing less than their soul

- a stock market crash, the world ending, and a mass strike on the card strike ballots, have the unions gone quite mad?

- does the NHS show the folly of PFI

- to travellers have a right to ignore planning rules (dale farm)

- is cage fighting a good way of keeping feral kids off the streets (surely this IS the mumsnet question)

bonus if Hislop brings up this weeks' meme that the worst rogue trader of the last ten years is Gordon Brown (selling our gold, dodgy, off balance sheet PFI, massive speculative investments in broken banks)

A lot of topics, tonight, and quite a lively panel I think... see you on twitter in 20 mins.

Bill Quango MP said...

Anyone else doing CNBC's million dollar challenge? I've lost $50K of fake money just today. Its just like the real thing. If I keep this up, I may even send my CV to UBS.

appointmetotheboard: Link please.

I made so much on the old celebrity index I {virtually} retired to a private island.
{Buy Beckham and Lopez.. can't go wrong.}

Bill Quango MP said...

appointmetotheboard : The 'where are you based' is a good idea for a poll.

You reading this CU?

appointmetotheboard said...

Oh, sorry, never even thought. Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge:

By signing up tomorrow and missing out on today's carnage, you'll probably go straight to the top of the leaderboard..!

Bill Quango MP said...

Q1. Its a plan B question. Hislop agrees with me. The deficit isn't cut. We've just spent more than ever. Dimby has a good poke at Vince's expense 'You've been talking about this all week but we're none the wiser"
He did just say more, but I'm still no wiser.
Justine has a good line. "Government saved us being Greece, but might make us Japan."
Might even be true.

Audience members seem good sorts.
Always liked Brum
{actually no..hate the place..had endless trouble .}

Hattie talks about public sector job losses. She has a point{ish} but offers only the tired Ed Balls, too far, too fast and crappy VAT cut argument. The VAT cut won't create faster than a 20% price cut in the shops.

{which is coming fairly soon..its been priced into the stock .. I recently bought some ladies fleece hats to sell at £5.99 with a 60% discount.. They'll be £2.99 Soon and clear out at £1.99 for Christmas..But don't all rush..They're not that great...but they will sell.}

Priti bashes Hattie. Its a good show so far.

Q2. Travellers .. looking good for everyone so far. Priti wants campers to obey the law. Damn right. Even Batty Hattie agrees, {with various PC exceptions}
No one really supports the pikeys. And Hislop really lays into the illegality of it all. Its like the squatting laws..Lets just sort out the bloody laws to make illegal things, illegal.
{except Justine..who wants a lot more done for the travelling communities. Despite the Liberal windbaggery of is a sensible strategy. Can't keep moving people on with nowhere for them to go except Tesco carpark.}

Q3 Capitol Punishment question.
Bit of a surprise. Has been on the radio news all day and the blogs. Massive cheer for Hattie saying 'we don't want the death penalty.'
PP WANTS the death penalty for rape/murder etc. VC wants tough sentences but no death penalty.
Which is what we have..usually.
Mumsnet is FOR death penalty.. Very surprised to hear that.
Must be the mumsnet users view. That'll be Botogol messing with them & distorting the pop up polls.

The audience man makes the best point.
It doesn't really work as a deterrent. Its expensive, takes decades to pass, can have terrible consequences and doesn't make a lot of difference to crime and death stats.
It does extract revenge though. Who would care if Huntley was to be killed?

Q4. Palestinian Question. OhhhYeah! Double points for me i think.
JR says yes. {doesn't mention Obama's going for a big, NO}
VC doesn't know how the vote from the UK will go yet.
PP - Pushed by Dimby to explain WHY making Palestine a state isn't a good idea. She does ok ..two parties fighting. No rights of Israel etc.
Hattie is very keen on the idea. Very strongly in support.

Q5. The national trust and countryside planning question. Good one.
Vince says 'its complex' that's five out of five 'its complex for VC.

Twwet of the night - botogol
#bbcqt Justine Roberts has come dressed as a mum..

Botogol said...

hmm-- NOT a liberal democrat special edition, that's for sure. A low scoring round, no one got the National Trust, I am sure, did anyone get the death penalty?

Timbo614 said...

Oh dear :( Half a point if I'm lucky methinks.(I did "romanies" in my intro BQ...)

Bogotol: Strange world - the only reason I was in The Banker was because I was "Up Town" and texted my daughter "I'm in the city Drink?.." and she works in.... Canary Wharf tower!

Bill Quango MP said...

Priti says dealing with planning is a nightmare. Damn right.

I'm looking at plans for a hospital. The planning even includes the requirement 'wildlife must be able to be environmentally sustained and enhanced within the East hedgerows :- Then there's a long list of suitable hedges that can be used on this site, with an amendment about which can't be used until a further drainage and rainfall survey is undertaken. It takes hours just to read.

Overall a good show. Good panel Good audience. two ticks.

Budgie - way, way off - just -1{+½ for PFI that Hislop joked about} -1½

appointmetotheboard - same -1

Miss S-J - ditto -1

Andrew - 1 + pfi - 1½

Botogol -1½ + tweet of the night = 2

Miss CD - 2 {amazingly no Murdoch question.} -2

Sebastian Weetabix - In Asia ? Anywhere nice? - still only - 1

Jan - good effort but QT this week had 3 unlikey questions - so just the -1+½ for making me laugh at your q.1 = 1½

Malcolm Tucker - Human right {ok i'll allow it. It was death penalty though } - 2

Hopper - 2 + ½for the biscuit - 2½

Hovis - {½ for the beardy gag} - 2

CU - 1{½} for the audience droning on about student fees - 1½

Hatfield Girl - {double points for being the only death penalty spotter{well Philipa too - but close enough for government work} }+ Iain Dale farm = 3

Measured {unusually polite tonight. Want something?}
Not really on target ..still ..1

Dick the Prick - static travellers - that's a half right there. - 2 {and you almost had that Palestinian one} - 2

Philipa - travellers, death, plan b - Bingo! -4

Nick Drew - 2+ ½ for Camo point = 2½

Timbo614 - 2 {includes 1/2 for NHS system [didn't understand a word. What actually happened to it? Did it just not work? Did they try turning it on and turning it off again.That's what we do with QE. Seems to fix the problem for a while.] -2

Pip - anything would be more exiting than a lib dem conference . if you nee a good spanking I recommend .. no..I've said too much..

BQ - just rocke - 4-1/2 {includes double bubble for Palestine}

This weeks winner is ME!
As BQ jnr {age 2½} keeps saying to me in his best toddler Lightening McQueen, Owen Wilson Cars voice ...


Dick the Prick said...

So near, yet so far. KEEERRRR PLUNK

Botogol said...

well done BQ...
head to head eh?

Electro-Kevin said...

Oh damn !

*bursts through door straightening tie*

Did I miss it again ???

Sebastian Weetabix said...

BQ, you'll be pleased to know Capitalists@work is a threat to Chinese state security. I can only view the site through a VPN connection to my home network... China blocks it.

Timbo614 said...

@BQ: What Happened to it? (NHS IT). You might be sorry you asked!

1) Committees (as I was trying to clumsily demonstrate in my question)! No decision makers, every one covering their backside. I mean the companies involved were not even British! That there is an immediate mistake - no "local" knowledge at the top.

I worked on a big project once where the contractors team arrived and spent the first six weeks of the project working out what they DIDN'T have to do under the terms of the contract!

2) Trying to do too much at once. Computer system development is most successful when you take it small bites[there's a joke there] at a time. It looks like they tried to run before learning to even crawl.

3) Testing failure! Given the budget for this project I would have created at least 3 FAKE "hospitals","Doctors Surgeries", "Chemists", etc with all equipment for the targets duplicated exactly as far as possible. Plus some staff (who could play multiple roles) drawn from the real world, "just retired" staff are excellent choices for this role - they have probably been doing it 20+ years and will tell you, as a system developer, stuff you never even dreamed of! "Patients" could be hired in part time - to complete web pages for appointments, or arrive with their paper documents and create real-life chaos(it a fact of life). Then used this test bed to assist in the system design, iron out the problems and fix the underlying specification and software for all other real locations. Expensive true, but the real equipment used for testing could be passed on to real hospitals after the project was complete.

Local conditions, connections and differing equipment can be then be dealt with in isolation - because you know the underlying system is robust and works properly. That is a job for the roll-out team.

4) The last nail in the coffin was probably what we call "Feature Creep" - instead of sticking to the basics and completing them, bells and whistles start getting tacked on, slowing things down further.

When peoples lives/well-being is involved you do NOT go near a real live hospital except for roll-out of a fully tested system.

Even then you employ "Parallel running" all old systems keep functioning along side the new system and you compare results. No danger of losing 1000s of appointments/records delayed operations etc. Because if the new systems screws up the old system will have delivered in parallel.

The political trouble with this approach is initially "It looks like nothing is happening" in actual hospitals. So there is nothing for polititiabs to gloat about.

I could go on - but the premise of the errors and failure is demonstrated in several articles around the web.

If you are inclined this is quite a typical discussion:

Bill Quango MP said...

DP - I still like that game.

Botogol - Its a duel to the death!
{or end of season..whichever is the soonest.}

EK - well, after a big defeat in battle a famous general was told by his second in command 'Well, General, we've had the devil's very own day of it today, haven't we?'

'Yes,' he replied slowly, 'lick 'em tomorrow, though.'

Sebastian Weetabix - Damn right too! No one needs to read what capitalist, imperialist, colonialists think.

Thanks. Was talking about it yesterday but from the private sectors view of how these things go.

The over ambition of governments.

Botogol said...

@BQ -- perhaps we should cut the quiz, and have Capitalists@Work .. cage fighting edition?

Jan said...

Ah "feature creep"!

My yahoo is soooo slow since someone messed about with it and changed the system. Worked fine before and didn't need changing. What's the matter with these IT guys? They just can't stop fiddling.

Electro-Kevin said...

BQ - A famous general said "We'll lick 'em tomorrow, eh ?"

I think I know who that was. General Post - you know. The one with the office in London.

Electro-Kevin said...

... having rotated to a position he considered tedious in civvy life from major military defeats he was well known for not taking his job too seriously and leaving all the nasty chores to the next day.

Bill Quango MP said...

Nice EK.

James Higham said...

Mumsnet question - what biscuit does the panel take with their tea?

The one Caroline Flint garnisheed.