Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Bexhill rocks Question Time!

The popular political debate show Question Time appeared in Bexhill on Thursday 8th November with a fantastic panel at the De La Warr Pavilion. HOT’s Solomon Curtis attended in the audience and reveals what may not have been seen on screen.

With a fantastic panel: Prof. David Blanchflower [right], a very entertaining economist and former Bank of England executive; Chuka Umunna, The Shadow Business Secretary; Baroness Shirley Williams, Liberal Democrat Peer; Damian Green, The policing and crime commissioner; and Jane Moore, a journalist for the Sun newspaper.

After a short introduction from David Dimbleby to the audience about the show, we entered the auditorium ready to do a practice question with our panel to test the technical equipment. The question was about cyclist safety.

Shirley Williams, the former Education Secretary revealed she’s still a keen cyclist. Good on you girl. During the whole programme, she seemed to just answer questions and show she is still at her age a feisty woman, who even shut up David Dimbleby with “will you just let me finish!”


A very entertaining David Blanchflower seemed to steal the show with entertaining facial gestures [see below] and educating the Tory minister on economics. This was the point that I decided to speak and tell Damian Green (policing minister) that he ought to listen to Prof. Blanchflower, who was clearly telling him that the economy had not grown.

At one point during the programme (not shown), a man walked out after someone asked “with the success of Obama, what can British politicians learn?”. He claimed “it makes me feel physically sick that he won and I’m leaving… good bye”. Quite frankly, he made me feel sick, so goodbye to him. The audience felt relieved he had gone.

modern politician photoshoot there Chuka

A very polished Chuka Umunna exceeded the typical politician once again. No wonder he’s tipped to be the next leader of the labour party and first black Prime Minister. Mr Umunna spoke with clear intellect that the government’s employment schemes were not working, but refused that his party (the labour party) should take any blame for the economic recession.

You would expect a journalist for the Sun to be dreadful, but Jane Moore also an author came across as an intelligent woman, who had a great sense of humour. When being asked what can we learn about Obama winning, she said “well people like to let someone finish the job… especially women, let’s give the guy a go”.  She received a roar of laughter and then questioned the audience with “I thought Bexhill was a nice place”. Personally Jane, I prefer Hastings and St Leonards, but Bexhill’s alright.

Finally, we had Policing minister Damian Green, who when asked about what the Police Commissioner would do to cut spending, he said “I don’t know”. He also defended the PPC elections, unlike any of the panel, saying “We need an elected representative to be responsible for the police”. I thought we had a policing minister, called Damian Green, to do that! The entire audience was against the elections.. Well let’s be serious, how can a turnout of 15% be democratic.

Bexhill seemed like the perfect place to host the BBC show especially with nearby David Dimbleby in Lewes, who got the audience going with “What’s the point in this Hastings Bexhill Link Road?”.

Question Time will be appearing in Corby next week for the by-election and Westminster Hall, Houses of Parliament the week after… I advise you try and go along, see what happens behind the screens.


Posted 13:14 Friday, Nov 9, 2012 In: Home Ground

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