Thursday, December 13, 2007

11:30 pm Paul in Evesham says "any more peas Norma" Ryan in brighton says he stopped because of dull txters but he's started watching agian. Tim in Worhting says Phe enjoyed Pieres and Krstie did good but Hazel has to try harder.

David in Cambridge says Piers is working hard for his Pierage.

Mike in Perth says "capello for the panel.

Helen in Thame asks if its' impossible to be psh and northern.

MJJ in Execter wasjs why peiers is being so positive about Boenw

John in Leeds says Northerner are posh too.
Magsin Cornalls says for goodness sake stop printing these stupied texts about Peruvian Eartherwoms]
GD in Norfolk asks how grduates can repay mortages with loans to repay. David in Hants asks ithere's a shortage why are prices falling. Simon in Torquaty says the best managers are wither cab drivers or barbers.

Erik in Dundee says "we like peruvian earthwoms mags"

CKS in Derbyshire questions if Hazel is posh. Neil in Harwich asks if ther are any English football plaeyers i our teams. Pause Bill in Lincs says Capello can't do any worse than the previous two idiots. Sarah in cheshiure asks who wants a countryside looking like Sheffield. Pedro in Glasgow says Harry Redknapp was robbed. Bill in Penryn says it shte FA that's a liability. Sandra in Londo nsays Copello won't give in to digficult players. Rob in London says the Englsih tema is full of English people. I was bor on Peri and I care about Eerathwowmws says Mikein Hemel Hempstread. Peter in Barnsley says having a non-English manager doens not bode well.
CJT in Dartmouth asks if Simon is the only person in Torquay watching.

Pete in cambridge days to bring back major.

Gary B in Uxbridge says Gordon doesn't like a currey (joke re Major?). I an Earthwodm from Boliviacan I claim asylum - Ian No place. GP in Cornwall says WHaale posh quite northern is priceless.
11:18 pm New question abour Fabio
11:08 pm Kavin in Salfrod says Rich people get inquest and poor people don't. T in Somerset says Kirstie talks a lot of sense. Zed in Middlesbrough says Kirstie knows nothing. Andy in Glasgow laments the death of Joe Bloggs. For God's sake give the Peruvian Earthworms a decent burial from Anon. Fred in Berwisk says its good that house prices are down. Simon in Torquay cna only afford a tent. Joe Bloggs says he still alive. Lon long pause.

Baggie in Wolverhampton asks us to get Hazel a canoe. Simon in Torquay comes back with his tent mortage story. Mark in camelford says hooray nowmore hosue makeover shows. Paul in Hertofrd says flats are called apartments now. Leein Newcastle asks which colour Hzel recommend sfor him paintin his toilet. Gaqrry in Birmingham says he can't afford a ladder let alone get his foot on it. Jack in troon says it's all Kirstie's fault. Col in Sheffield asays people shuldn't be allowed to buy second or third homes. Rob in boreham says he can't affor dto pay the rent. itch in sheffield says we should ramp upo hosue building. Moira in Dundee asks how mayny times we have heard the "build more houses" malarkey. Haden in Oswestry says banks are still thowin money at people they shouldn't. Stan in Morely says the prograame is as interesting as ackground muzak,
11:02 pm David in Torquay shays we should cancel the Olympics to save the money. Long long pause here new messages. Jock in brigg asks again what the speed trap money is being spent on. Keith in Bury says he's fed up about hearing about Diana. Richard in Kent says again "oh no not Diana again". Lucy in London asks if we can leave Diana alone. NIgel in Leeeds says that Kirtie's acfent means she's a Tory. Long pause again Lisa in Eccles asks about what happened to hte Peruvian Earthworms - asks if they've beeb sacrified for inflatino. Anon says about Diana - she die, the nned. Pat in Liverpool says its the drivers fault not the cameras. Mark in camelford says whay are we so obsessedin the past. Simon oin Torquay says she died because of a drubk driver end of stsory. Jim in Glasgow asks if Joe Bloggs death would still be an issue at this stage. Lorraine in Barnsley says its teh best QT in ages and worth staying up for. IF in Brentford says Kirstie talks sense. Pedro in Glasgow says sys the lesson from Diana's death is don't drink and drive
11:00 pm New Question...Marlo Devilliers "Has the time arrived arrived that we shoud allow PRincess Diana to go and have a good rest"?
10:54 pm Martyn in Northumberland asks if Dimblebaboon only interrupts Blears. (Actually, as Dimble is interrupting Kenndey). Daivin Idle Hill asks who would arrest the policed if they went on strike. Nigel in Beds tells txter pat that Kirstie is teh best thing on the show. Chris in Stevenage says that the English are subsifing the Scottish police. Alan in Kent asks if the MP's will get a 1.9% payrise. Nicky in Leeds asks what payrise the MPs will give themselves. Mike in Lincs says poiuring money into public serices is bad. Elliot in Shrops says the olice should strike now. Mark in Chester says the taxpayer should come first, not the police. Phil in Stoke says the police deserve their backpay because they work for coppers (hoho). Paul in Bristol hopes MPs accets a 2% payrise. Mike in Chingford says we shold watch out for more police speed traps to help make up the money shortfall. Bob in Aberdeen asks why public servants should pay for Bonws mistakes. Peter in Barnsley says no one has proved that inflation is bad (!!)
10:55 pm Angela in Bognor says the polic would arrest ou if you went on strike. Chris in Hampton says Hazel looks "inanely cheerful". Deb in Newark says we back banks but not the police force. S in Pntefract makes the same point about the miners as was made previously. Simon in Torquay says the polic should rfemove protection from the Govenrment. AC in London says "pay them the money". Ron in Dundee asks if MPs payrise will be restricted to 1.9%. Peter in Sandhurst asks what percentage rise MPs got. Andy in Liverpool says its about breaking a promise. Sammy in Maida Vale says that the polic didn't make a dontation.
10:45 pm Bill in Penryns says Charlie is still his darlin'. John in Nottingham asks when the European Sstate Capital transfers to Berlin. DS in Cromer says as long as we are in Europe wwe cannot control our bodersd. Geoff in Norfolk says a referndum merely counts the ignorant. Graham in Corby says that if Brown had gone, he'd be accused of putting Europe first. Another long pause..

Pat in Broadstairs says something complciated about Kirstie Alsop. Jock in Brigg says teh underpaid police should arrest Brown. Clairein Lances says Hazel is smug and self-satisfied. A comment from Anon about the minders - I don't like anons.

Mags in Cornwall says she agrees with Piers Morgan.
10:41 pm Theo in Teddington has Gorn put the dum in referendum. Excellent. RW in Sussex says its a Xmas Turkey. Susan in Essex says Brown hasn't guts. Rita in Nottingham says its nice to have Piers Morgan back. Mal in Hull says Brown know she has done the dity on the British public. Jane in Edinburgh says that Gordon has got thsi right. Robin in Marford says Gordon didn't have the guts NOT to sign the treaty. Moira in Dundee says it always makes sense when Charlie's on. Al in Ltun says it's teh Sun that "will get 'em".

There's a long pause after this one. The editors are clearlyexpecting more interesting messages to come.

It's 10.35 and Ceefax 155 is On

10:35 I'm not interested in the telly. I'm intersted in that little Ceefax panel at the bottom. The first txt is from Robin in Coulsdon says he's happy to be the first txter. Rick and Julie in Bristol say something clever about "location location location" Graham in Cornwall says something about politics and Xmas. Jay in Montrose says Brown bottled it and is a disgrace. Sheila, AScol says to txters that we should enjoy it because it won@t be possible when we go digital. Crispin, Beare says that Brown was signing away the nexct election. David in Devizes makes a joke about David Milliband's "brother", Glen. Hohoh. Ed in Kent (old mate) says its criminal that Brown has signed without a referndum.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

No QT Extra

1:22 PM It's now the day after the day after and the Beebie Seers haven't uploaded QT Extra to the website yet. So I can't do my post-match analysis.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Peruvian Earthworm Goes Global

4:04 PM I can't remember why I first txted about the Peruvian Earthworm on QT. It's clearly a subconscious Pythonesque irrelevant reference which I found particularly funny at one point. It's now found a fond and regular spot among QT txters and their watchers.

sasha13 on the answerbank blog asks "On the texts that were being sent into Question Time last night, peruvian earthworms kept being mentioned. What was that all about??"

Daz in Herts on the QT blog also notes that "At least Gordon never put VAT on Peruvian earthworms." And an anonymous txter calls themselves "Peruvian Earthworm"

Disgusted Dorothy in Glasgow made a reference in The Herald who said about the QT debate: "The most interesting thing to emerge was the peruvian earthworm, the lady who had written her Christmas cards (which spurred me into action!) and the lady who had done all her ironing"

Someone calling themselves "The writer is a TV producer" notes on The First Post "Now, whenever the debate lags, Peruvian earthworm questions appear on Ceefax"

cosmo s on the Conservatives notice board on Yahoo's politics section notes "I have come to realise that the Peruvian earthworm would probably form a more credible least there would be no need for the press to dig the dirt..... "

Thursday, November 22, 2007

All Done For Another Week

11:38 PM David Bimblebody says goodnight and we go home. Time to reflect and come back to the issues tomorrow. Not a good night. No flair. All a bit flat. A few good friends - Ron in Devon, AJ in Essex, Andy in Liverpool and others. But no great flair.

Sometimes an evening down the pub can be like that. Doesn't have to be fireworks every night. Goodnight.

Ron in Devon Unites Us

11:32 PM At last I get published again - I txt to say something like "Ron in Devon is mad to ask for an English assembly because his neighbours, the Cornish, will kill him". I get published as "Mark in Reading" - one of a few people who wrote in about Ron in Devon.

My manic efforts (about 5 txts) to raise the plight of Earthworms on the public agenda simply delivers no results at all. I'm gutted.

Question 4 - Terrorist Detention Period

11:28 PM Ciara McCurrie asks "In light of the comments from the Director of Public Prosecutions and Lord Goldsmith can Gordon Brown maintain his stance on extending the 28-day detention period for terrorist suspects?"

Pause For Brain Defuzz

11:20 PM My brain goes into meltdown. This is simply not doing anything for me. Maybe because I'm trying to txt, blog, watch and listen all at the same time and it's fuzzing my brain. I'm pausing.

Question 3 - Scots Voting On English Issues

11:17 PM Alastair Bailey asks "How can you justify Scottish MPs voting on English issues?"

Even The Txts Don't Do It For Me

11:15 PM CT in Croydon says we should bring back Paddy Ashdown. Keith in Shropshire says we had enough of LibDems last week. S Crees in Pontefract says Huhne comitted suicide in last week's debate. Jack in Eastbourne says it should have been pistols at dawn but I don't pretend to understand that one.

Andy in Reading says to Davy (that must be 'Davy in Fife' from the previous post) that he thought all Scots had died with laughter. I like these conversations - Andy in Reading wasn't txting to "us" the viewers, he was txting to Davy and we kind of "overheard" the conversation. Love it.

A new question from the TV floor...How do you justify Scottish MPs voting on English issues? (Have we not heard this before Ad Nauseam? Zzzzzz)

Leave My Darling Alone

11:11 PM Ian in Somerset asks if he gets interest on his loan to Northern Rock. Davy in Fife asks the football score from last night (hoho - another witty Scot trying to wind up the English). Phil in Stoke says the football plyaers last night should have had ID cards becuse they obviously didn't know each other. Another hoho on that one.

Dimblebottom says something which makes people laugh - I love those moments, but again, I miss it. Doesn't matter - the laughter was shared, the tone lifted, I briefly smelled excitement and thought "There IS a God!".

But no. Pedestrianism is but a txt away as John in Carshalton says Labour is in meltdown. Tendai in Brentwood tells another txter off, but I miss the point. I like these cross-screen references.

David in Surbiton asks what is the point of the LibDems - we had that question last week. Yaaaawn. Come on Beebie editors - buck up.

A "Mrs Darling" asks us to leave her "Darling" alone. Another hoho.

Question 2 - Are LibDems Backstabbers

11:08 PM Jenny Longmuir asks the second formal question of the evening (actually since Question 1, Dimbledore has weaved a merry dance around a number of questions including Trident and the armed forces, so I'm a little confused) "Has the public spat between Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg reinforced the public impression of the Liberal Democrats as a party of backstabbers?

The Death Knell - LibDems Again

11:06 PM Al in Buxton (hang on - we were there last week. Go away Al in buxton!) says online forms have got many boxes to fill in. Er...yes, wonderful. Julie in Kelso says she'd rather have a bovine tag in her ear than an ID card. Ian in Lancs says Greg Dyke was honourable.

Mark in Camelford asks why the Government is hell bent on pushing ID cards. Andy in Liverpool (my ol' mate) says he'd like to buy someone drink.

David in Leeds would like the missing disks to be those of the Spice Girls.

Then......a question on the future of Trident and something about the LIBERAL DEMOCRATS!!!!!! Arrrrgggggghhhh. We had all that last week. Boooo.

ID Card Banality Overcomes Me

11:00 PM We now get blessed with stunning insight from the txters. Phil in Hants says he will not have an ID card. Becky in Lincs says there wouldn't be enough room to send us all to jail if we all refused to get ID cards.

Ian in Birmingham asks if one of us has Gordon Brown's details. Wayne in Glos says the driving licence is an ID card. John in Bexhill says the two CDs are going out with the Mail on Sunday. Good on you John.

Tess in Dartford asks for fixed term parliaments.

ID Card banality? General banality. I can't believe how angry I am about the stupid twats who *post* 25 million items of personal data and *forget* encryption. It is such monumental pants that I'd be expecting a riot on the floor of the BBC QT TV studio - but what we get is "I'd like a fixed term parliament".

Steve in Essex says it seems fashionable to criticise the Government of the day - er yes Steve, we've just lost 25m personal records????

Mike in East Yorks says he has a passport for his ID. Ken in Lincs (again) asks Scotland to take brown back. Gaary in Lanark asks how we can vote Labour. Trev in Birmingham threatens to sue the Government.

Scottish lady (the Tory one) is frowning earnestly. MG in cambs says they hope terrorists don't get hold of the disks.

Why is this so flat? It's not going anywhere!

Our First Giggle - The Pertinent Fishie

10:52 PM Jan in Devon says that Moira in Glasgow missed some cracking txts last week. Mike in Cheshire (from last week surely) asks what happens with the used CDs. Ron in Devon says there is too much information in one place and he wouldn't have an ID card. SD in Cambs says they'd rather go to jail than pay for their own ID card. I can't see the point of that comment, personally. Joe in Alloa says ID cards should go to "people coming in to our country". I think that means immigrants? Why does the BBC always push comments on immigrants to the fore? Or is it my imagination.

Geo in Hartlepool asks why the Scots are so unhappy given that England lost in football yesterday. Tony in Somerset says we have proof that this Government is not fit for purpose. Jim in Glasgow says he's had three fishies from banks this week - beware. Now, I think I know what a fishie is - it's a jokey-Scottish term for a "phish" email asking for personal details. That's a Hohoho.

John in Birmingham reckons the disks may still be in the sorting office at the Post Office. Del in Nottingham says the Government is fit for nothing.

This is all far too tame. Here we are on the BIGGEST BLODDY SCREW UP FOR PERSONAL ONLINE DATA IMAGINABLE OF ALL TIME and people are wittering away, blaming each other and making apologies - this is truly apalling. The txts are far too benign. The thing has lost its bite. This is all too flat. I'm a revolutionary and I want to get cross but it feels to me like I'm watching another LibDem leadership shootout with spudguns.

Three Women

10:47 PM CB in Yorks celebrates three women on the panel. Jimmy Mac in Glasgow says its a cracking panel and QT at its best. Aaronovich is too earnest again and my eyelids are falling. Steele interrupts and is earnest. Moira from Glasgow says she's glad QT is back because she went to bed early last week.

A "G Brown" in London asks if anyone wants to buy two disks. That's a hoho. Probably not the real "G Brown" hey? Derek from Epsom wisely notes that privatisation is the root cause of all evils. Shelly in the Midlands asks if anyone has looked down the back of the sofa (for teh two disks). Mal in Hull asks how we can trust the security of the nation to this Government.

ID Cards Hit On The Head?

10:42 Bill in Eaglesham says he's glad that QT is coming from the real centre of the Earth and thinks English viewers will be impressed. Julie and Rick in Bristol have checked their bank statements and found that that have just enough to txt QT. Baz in Notts asks how we sack Brown. Someone says "It's not me txting in but someone who has stolen my details". Hoho

Steeley panelist man waffles about how great he used to be and puts me to sleep. Kenny in Loch Lomond thinks that QT in Scotland will show us what debating really is. So I'll watch the txts to see how many Scots txt in.

Bob in Orkney (the Scots are well busy tonight) say that Blair's details should have been stolen. John in Birmingham asks why things are sent by post.

I'm looking for the common theme...but it's not hitting me yet.

One of the politician woman says it's a gloomy mess. Yaaawn.

Question 1 - Death of ID Cards

10:41 PM Kevin Kelly asks the first question of the evening: "Is the HMRC IT blunder the final nail in the coffin of ID cards?"

We Start At Last

10:40 PM Dimblebottom says we're in Glasgow with a full panel - a schoolgirl called Sturgeon (in red), a firey-looking Alexander (in red), David Steele from Spitting Image (in grey), Annabel Torysomeone (in grey and red), Aaronovitch Journosomething (in grey) and Dimblepersona himself (grey with funnytie ensemble). Oh my God - it's the same old faces!!! The same old we're-in-Scotland-wheelout-our-famous-Scots a same-old token journo to wind us all up again and increase ratings. Cut the politicos and stick with the Aaronoviches, I say. Give us unfettered spice. Give us gobshites not semi-humans struggling in the cavern between partyline and genuine strong opinion. I'm pent up and raring...

Graham Norton's Got It Right

10:21 Watching Graham Norton before QT and thinking - hey, he's picked a specialist topic ("The Dukes of Hazard") which is a bit off the wall, attracts a mad hard-core nutter audience which loves the subject too and we all enjoy the eccentricity.

Maybe the QT broadcast team will choose the same approach tonight - eccentric, interesting, challenging, unusual, clever?

All Me Mates - See You Tonight

8:21 PM So I'm thinking now who will join in tonight. Loads more names to look forward to, with some already mentioned, all gleaned from last week's QT Extra broadcast on the web:

Ed inKent, SJ in Herts, David in Leek, Ian in Stoke on Trent, SL in Herts, Sarah in Bath, Simon in Oldham, Debbie in Buxton, Ajit in Manchester, Neville in Southampton, LR in Sheffield, Seamus in Leicestershire, Robert in Halesowen, G Mason in Derby, Chris Bovey in Totnes, R Dickinson in Sheffield, Frank Greaney in Formby, Gordon in Aberdeen, Andy in Derby, Mary Clarke in Seaford, Chris Jones in Bristol, Joe Deri in St Helens, John Minard in Sheffield, L Reynolds, Andy in Derby, Steve in Birmingham, Tony from Ramsgate, Mark from Kent, Ray in Fleetwood, Ian from Yarm, Steve in Dorset, Jo in Bristol, Paul in Belvedere, DJP in London, AGJ in Essex, John Purdy in London, ben in London, Pat in South Yorks, Dee in London, Ron in London, Mel from Hull, Jake in Plymouth, Steve Ellis in Welling, Dom in Northahnts, Tony in Norwich, Dave in the West Midlands, Mick in Reading, Tom in Norwich and Dominic in Northampton. And more. See you tonight lads.


8:11 PM If I tell you that in England's football game against Croatia last night we had 56% posession, I'm giving you data about the game. This is often referred to as "metadata", or "data about something".

Our world of txt is a "metashow". It's a show about a show. It can't exist without the TV show, but it is something distinct in its own right. The QT Extra show is a metashow too. By the time we have active blogging, the website, the txts and the-TV-show-after-the-TV-show we're going to have more metashow than show.

One day QT will broadcast for about 3 minutes and we'll be blogging and txting for a couple of days on it. Like the monks in that joke who sit silently but every now and then call out a number which makes everyone laugh: the numbers, it transpires, refer to a list of jokes and when someone shouts "10", everyone recalls joke number 10 and has a good titter.

Eventually, we won't even need the show.

Txts and Emails - 2,458 Of The Buggers

8:03 PM It's getting time to settle down and watch QT as a blogger for the second week. Over the weekend, I sat through the web version of the TV show QT Extra - the "show after the show" which analyses the show. It replayed a few txts and gave some key facts. In all, it helped clarify and shape the txt community in which I now live on a Thursday night.

It looks like the BBC want to get a large number of txts and emails from people like us. In a wonderful moment of dataconfusion, Chris Eaking, the QT Extra presenter, said they had "around 2,500" txts and emails last week which was "a little bit low". That's the good bit - "a little bit low". He said "3,200 is good" and "2,800 is generally not so good" and "3,000 is about average". So yes, Chris, 2,500 is not "a littl bit low" at all. It's pants if you're trying to boost the numbers. It's a failure. It's official - the LibDems put us to sleep. But I suppose they'd better cover them on QT once a year (I think that's the current frequency of leadership elections) as part of their public service duty.

In fact, the figure was 2,458 according to Eakin at the end of the show.

So were we txters right? Answer - patently yes. The show WAS dull and we knew it would be - the interaction from the audience on emails and txts confirmed it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Txters Are The Show

12:21 PM I'm banging on to Pepdoc in Reading about QT txters. He's a real human, not especially a txter, with a real name, but for the sake of convention, we agreed that if I was to blog him then a tag would be better than a real name.

He doesn't watch QT and gives the reasons why without hesitation: the show is too formulaic, it is too staged, Dimbleperson is too arrogant. The truth hits me. The first two are exactly why I now watch it….or rather why I tune in.

It is precisely because the broadcast is so predictable that the world of txting around the the show has become such an interesting place.

The TV show IS apalling and that is exactly why txting about it is so worth doing. If the show was relevant, pertinent, informative and entertaining then I guess we wouldn't be txting.

Txting is the bit that now makes the show interesting for me (and others?). In fact, we are not "augmenting" the TV show when we txt - we are creating our own show. We are the show.

And that's why the minute the TV show started on Thursday night, I had already zoned out from the broadcast before the first word had been spoken. The show is poor - and that's what has created the counterworld in txtland.

But on Dimbleboy, I disagreed with Pepdoc - I still think he's a god.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Why So Rude About People?

09:30 AM What right have I got to be rude about people by calling them "greymen"? Only on reflection does this strike me. And yet, on rereading the blog, it seems that the minute the show started, I zoned out from the detail, and automatically made the panel grey. As had most txters, I think. I had preconditioned myself to ignore the visual TV element and go for the txting.

So with apologies to the greymen, nothing personal, here's the skinny:

The Chair was David Dimbleby. The venue was Buxton in Derbyshire and the panel comprised the two contenders for leadership of the Liberal Party. They were Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg. Huhne is the 53 year-old (a.k.a. bluetie) MP for Eastleigh and LibDem shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA. Clegg is the 40 year-old chap (a.k.a. redtie), MP for Sheffield Hallam and LibDem home affairs spokesman.

On Dimblebody

09:09 AM It's now the morning after and I'm electing to tidy up some of the apalling spelling mistakes and typos on the blog from last night. I reflect that I never gave Dimblebody any airspace, and I should have. He would wrestle the question answerers back on course, he would interject and shape in a brilliant way - clever, prepared and with wit. The man is absolutely amazing. I think if he did QT with a troupe of budgies, he could make it work.

But he patently hates the technology, almost gagging as he is forced to tell viewers each week about the txting facility and quaintly muffing his "www" when giving us the web address.

Maybe there's a way to make "chairing", the job he does, something we could enjoy online as well? I have no idea how this could work. For goodness sake, don't get him reading out txts as the poor wooden devils on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme have to. No, his brilliance lies in context-sensitive interjection - and a bit of that might play well on the txts. Not sure.

43 Credits

o8:25 AM Last night's show owes everything to the contribution of the txters. I estimate that around 120 txts were shown - I felt I was noting down comments on about 1-in-3 and reading back through the blog, it seems I referenced 43 separate txters.

Special thanks then to all those who participated - people I will never know but who have become 'friends' or 'aquaintances', with their own political views and sense of humour. I'll reference them again in future broadcasts, no doubt, and I'm sure when I read back, I'll find some will appear more than once - they'll form their own traits and personalities and I'll find that there are some I like and some I don't - the same will apply to them. It's our community.

Special credits and thanks then to those 43 txters who I referenced in this week's blog: Trevor in Leeds, DG in Norfolk, Gary B from Uxbridge, Dave in Montrose, Paulie in Hallsal, Susie in Leeds, Val in Yorkshire, Chris in Yorkshire, Cliff in Manchester, Ed in Kent, Penny in Brighouse, Sandra in Hull, Sarah in Bath, Jim in Glasgow, Mike in Stoke, Margaret in Glasgow, Malcolm in Leeds, Ella in Wakefield, AJ in Essex, "Earthworm", Hton in Hamilton (yes, that's how it was spelt on the TV), D in Cheshire, Dee in London, Rachel in Sheffield, Ben in London, Robert in Halesowen, Viv in Falmouth, Ray in Fleetwood, Neville in Southamption, Chris in Edinburgh, Robert in Scotland, SJ from Herts, Andy in Essex, Jim in Buxton, John in Southend, Tony in Ramsgate, John in Shrewbury and John in Preston, Steve O in West Yorks, Erik in Dundee, Rob in Aberdeen, Paulie in Halsall (that's how it was spelt onscreen), Julie in Herts and Peter in Liverpool and Andy in Liverpool.

And special credit if your txts were posted by the BBC last night more than once. Truly legendary status - celebs within our txt community.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Last Post

11:40 PM So, the show has now finished and I pause to reflect. It's hard work and my back is aching. Typing very intensely and quickly for an hour, trying to listen to the telly, read texts on the TV screen, interpret, type and correct type at the same time, while trying to string together poignant reflections. Time for a cuppa.

But what's my takeaway from this? Well, it strikes me as very strange that when I sat down at 10.30pm to watch, the first feeling that struck me was of boredom. The minute the show started. Why does this kick in? Was it the desperate predictability of it all? Am I cynical? Or is it really that the staged drama of two politicians standing on podiums answering predictable questions in staged words really has become "past it"?

I honestly think it has. There was nothing to touch me in the broadcast TV content. It was sameold sameold. The real interest lay in how the txters bantered with each other, and tried, alternately, to make poignant, relevant, sage and insightful comments on the one hands and sharp witty asides on the other.

The txting show was a community. It felt like being WITH people rather than watching a show. I felt part of it - knowing I could txt in, get noticed and get some response, live from around the nation.

If this ever catches on, I suspect the future of TV will be massively different and "broadcasts" will become ever less relevant and uninteresting. It will catch on.

Great Hand Movements

11:36 PM Margaret in Glasgow ends on the txts by saying that the greymen have "great hand movements". This, surely, as the show draws to a close, must be the epitome of real quality user-generated content.

Bring it on more, I say. Dimblebody is now signing off by reading out the telephone numbers and stumbling, as ever, when he reads out the web address, and a final txter asks "can we download the texts from the BBC website?".

And Goodnight, the show finishes.

Mrs Clegg and Mrs Huhne

11:35 PM A txt comes in saying how much they are enjoying this edition of QT and signs off as "Mrs Clegg and Mrs Huhne". I think that's a reference to the names of the two greymen? Yes, it is. What a wheeze, using a "pretend" txt signoff from the Mums or wives of the panelists. Hoho.

Question 6 - Opponent's Qualities

11.33 PM Sarah Talbot asks our 6th formal question of the evening: "What Are the Best Qualities of Your Opponent"

Engaging More Young People

11:30 PM Redtie greyman says he has a similar birthday to Cameron but there is a gulf because he was apalled by a "dismal soulless vision" of Thatcher. Val in Yorkshire says on txts that the txters should go home and read their Beanos. Chris in Yorkshire says on the txts that 16-year olds shouldn't vote.

Cliff in Manchester txts (again!) and says the txters tonight are the best ever and Penny in Brighouse admonishes Ben in London on his txted comments about the BNP. But...Sandra in Hull txts in that she shall now vote LibDem.

A questioner from the floor in the TV studio asks how the greymen will engage young people and they read out a list of..civil liberties..injustices etc and say, simply, "therefore, young people should get involved". Jim in Glasgow says on the txts that we shouldn't moan about the show - we should turn over to ITV. I think that's how we get young people involved - wry comments.

Question 5 - Cameron's Leadership

11:24 PM "Has David Cameron" asks Ian Guyver from the floor "Already Cornered The Market in Young But Inexperienced Political Leadership?"

Free At The Point of Use

11:18 PM We're now getting very passionate on the telly about the principles of the NHS and how important it is that it remains free at the point of use. Every fourth word uttered by the greymen is now emphasised and they rant. Malcolm in Leeds asks "How Many Shopping Days To Christmas?" on the txts and I'm now getting interested in the txt zone again. On the telly, a lady asks the greymen how they were educated and they blabber on about how despite their private education, the state system should give the best start in life and how "real" we should get about the role of knowledge blah blah blah, bigger investment, blah blah.

"Earthworm" on the txts says "I'm off to Peru". Hail!!! The Peruvian Earthworm phenomen appears on the txts once again and the evening's show reaches a heady new height.

A Breath To Reflect

11:10 PM It's actually hard work typing while reading txts and listening to the telly. So what have I learned so far...pause to reflect.

OK, I've paused...One of the blokes is getting very earnest about food being on kids' plates and a txt cheers me up by comparing one of the greymen to "the noddy dog in the adverts". Probly the Churchill dog. Ella in Wakefield says on txt that she'd prefer to be stuck in a lift with one of the greymen rather than Cameron and Brown. AGJ in Essex asks on the txts about immigration policies again. (Why are the BBC always putting this issue up?)

The greymen are waving their hands and saying "one other point..." and the tone of voice is now more earnest, almost hectoring...they're talking on public services and local people and how desperately important everything is. Dee in London texts in says says Mr Clegg (one of the greymen apparently) is too serious. She's right.

Hton in Hamilton txts in and asks "Was that Noddy in the audience?" Rachel in Sheffield txts in and asks another txter a question, but I it's gone before I note who she was referring to. Ben in London txts that the BNP will be the third party in time.

A greyman drones about "difficult and complex areas". Something to do with the NHS, but I've lost the plot.

No Difference Between The Candidates

11:06 PM One of the greymen says something about Green Taxes and Dimblebody interrupts the greyman to ask if there is actually any difference between them on this subject - the answer is no so we move on. Great telly.

A bloke from the floor asks "How Do We Tell Which Of You Is Which?" What a great question - he's reflecting exactly what we've been saying on the txts since 22:30. One of the greymen says "people have been turned off" and they "need to reach out to people". Errrrrr....I've heard that a million times. Margaret in London is getting irate on the txts reminding texters that "we need a third party". One greyman on the telly says he's 13 years older than the other and that should help us tell the difference between the two greymen. Very helpful. I think one of them (bluetie, I think) had made a quip about their ties being a good way to tell the difference.

Question 4 - Tax Cuts

11:05 PM I think it's Peter Ashenden who asks the evening's fourth major question on the telly: "How would you appeal to voters who want tax cuts?"

Will Putin Use Gas?

11:04 PM The audience on telly asks if Mr Putin is going to use gas. Hhhhm. This sounds earnest now. Talk on the telly of instability, paranoia in Russia and he's "genuinely worried". Looking down to the txts and.....Ray in Fleetwood is asking about immigration. Er...why? A new bloke asks from the floor on the telly how the greymen would appeal to voters who want tax cuts.

Nuclear Deterrents

11:00 PM We're going to spend £15bn to £20bn on nuclear weapons, national interest, earnest speeches, impassioned verbiage from the TV screen, an audiencebloke says on the telly that the debate is getting tangled and asks "How Do We Play A Really Serious Role in The World?" and something about disarming and Neville in Southamption is talking about Chris Hulme's tie. Robert in Halesowen says it has the impact of a Parish Council meeting. The two greymen on the floor of the TV studio are fervent, earnest, sincere - now talking about Belarus, the US new balistic defensive system which Gordon Brown "signed up to in secret on 25th July" and Chris in Edinburgh is txting to Robert in Scotland that he can get tablets for his condition - I missed what condtion it was - bugger, another joke passed me by.

Ask The Audience

10:58 PM Cliff in Manchester suggests on txt that we ask the audience questions instead of asking the panelists. Still no comments on Peruvian Earthworms.

The greymen are lathering now about Trident. Redtie is talking very earnestly about "once in a generation opportunities". Earnest, earnest, earnest.

SJ from Herts (again) txts and says we are watching "invisible men". Andy in Essex txts in and asks if we can have a power cut. We're not getting a good on-screen txt banter going yet - the BBC editors need to get more imaginative. Jim in Buxton makes (the second) joke about "drinking the local water". (The show is from Buxton). Sarah in Bath suggests that the two blokes on the telly make Gordon Brown look interesting and John in Southend says "I'm a Liberal Democrat get me out of here". Excellent - now we're smoking.

Can I Watch Your Paint Dry?

10:54 PM Tony in Ramsgate asks if anyone is decorating and if so, could he come round and watch the paint dry. John in Shrewsbury asks why the panelists are standing up. Good point John - more indepth probing from the British public. John in Preston invites us not to "underestimate these men". I think he's serious. This could mark a turning point in what the BBC gods choose to post on the blue txt box on the screen. Nope - SJ from Herts calls them "deluded toffs" and we're back (thankfully) in the fun zone. Ed in Kent valiantly tries to elevate the debate by asking on txt if the LibDems will bring troops home. Anon ("a lib dem voter") says it's time for bed - God if the LibDems are going to bed......??

Question 3 - Is Trident The Answer?

10:53 PM The third question is along the lines of "Is Trident really the answer to securing a safer planet?"

Sorry, I'm Not Interested At All

10:45 PM Steve O in West Yorks says he's "Not interested at all". Why are so many of us flocking to the txtbox on the telly simply to express our lack of interest? It's fascinating. On the telly, one of the blokes (bluetie, I think) says he agrees with the other and Viv in Falmouth txts to say "Wouldn't you be sullen with those two in front of you". How true Viv. Erik in Dundee (another from Dundee!!) notes the cliches "Stood the test of time". Well spotted Erik.

Which Party Would You Support?

10:44 PM I bet they've never been asked this before! The BBC have dug deep here to pick out the most stimulating, probing, incisive questions. Well done Beeb. Mike in Stoke says both greymen have the charisma of the spot on Baldrick's nose, and with that elevates the tone of the debate back to where I'd hoped it would be. "Two bookends and an audience of cardboard cutout party workers", says a txt from someone whose name I missed. D in Cheshire asks on txt what's wrong with an alcoholic running the country because Yeltsin did it for years. Peter in Liverpool says this QT is about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.

One of the blokes on the telly says they could "break the two party system" and suddenly....I fall asleep.

Don't Put Us In A Coma

10:43 PM Rab in Aberdeen on the txts begs for the BBC not to put us in a coma - and the txts get rudely interrupted as one of the blokes on the telly says something about Trident and the audience applauds. Bugger, I missed that. But Julie in Herts says "we should count the cliches" and Andy in Liverpool, noting there are only two candidates, says "Let's toss a coin". Democracy is working and spewing out new and intelligent ideas for citizen participation.

Question 2 - A Hung Parliament

10:43 PM The evening's second formal question on the telly goes something like: "In a hung parliament, which party would you be willing to form a coalition with?" I think it's from a Lindsay Allan.

No Point Beating Round The Bush

10:34 PM The bloke on the left (redtie) says "now is a great time to draw a line" under stuff that's happened in the past. Wow - straight in to political speak. The txts flood in - Trevor in Leeds asks if "only two panelists" is due to BBC cutbacks. Good point Trev. DG in Norfolk comments on the sullen-looking audience. AJ in Essex shouts that it's "no chance" for either liberal candidate. Gary B from Uxbridge says something vaguely poignant and Dave in Montrose says "I'm off to bed". (This was a line in previous shows which I always txted after 10 minutes into the show) Paulie in Halsall asks if anyone has a chair. A strange question - but it seems to make perfect sense - quick txt her and give her the name of our local furniture store! Susie in Leeds shouts "Two grey suits - Whooppee!". Now it's getting emotional and really interesting and the txts have definitely taken over from the TV sound and visuals.

Question 1 - Negative Effects

10:32 PM The first question of the evening is from Julia Read (sounds like) and goes something like "Has the way in which the previous 2 leaders left office had a negative effect on the LibDems?"

Not BBC2

10:31 PM After xx years (I can't remember how long - but it's many) of watching QT, I'm tuned in to BBC2 TV and find......QT's on BBC1! Am I a complete idiot? Why did I not know?

Back to BBC1 and a guy telling me about the weather. Another bastion of falsehood and greymen on telly.

"A Liberal Democrat Leadership Special"

10:30 PM Oh enthusiasm has plummeted as the BBC1 announcerman says it's a "Liberal Democrat Leadership Special". And it's from Buxton. Says it all. Let's talk about something else.

About me...

10.00 PM Half hour to go. I should really tell you about me? I have no vested interest in this at all. (Neither does the BBC - they are not part of this at all) My work is advising creative firms such as those in media, fashion, design, marketing and internet on business - nothing to do with why I'm writing this. I come home shagged on a Thursday night most weeks and flake out in front of the telly, a thing which I have over the years come to value less and less. Question Time has emerged as almost the last thing I look forward to watching. But like many people, all I seem to do is sit down, watch it and start to rant. I'm sure it brings out the Meldrew in all of us.

My txts - if they ever get shown by the mad editors behind the scenes at QT - are marked from 'Mark in Reading'. Because my name is Mark and I live on the edge of Reading.

To Join In....

09:50 PM If you'd like to join in: set your telly to BBC2 10.30pm on Thursdays then select Ceefax page 155 and watch the txts. Join in by txting 83981.

First Post

It's 9:37 PM on a Thursday evening and I settled down for the evening looking forward to Question Time on BBC2 later this evening. The real joy is now that the QT action takes place not on the telly, but on a Ceefax page (number 155) where a merry band of sad rogues like me send txt messages commenting on the show.

I've grown to love this txting forum. It's actually taken over completely from QT itself. I'm now sitting down and looking forward to txting. My thumb's out, my phone's plugged in, charged and ready to go.

But now, I'm taking it one level further with a live blog. My plan is to blog live while QT is one and to tell the real truth behind the Poppy debate, the Peruvian Earthworm debate and the shape and colour of David's tie debate.