Warwick campus hosts QT

For those who enjoy a different Thursday night entertainment to Smack (only slightly different, of course), Thursday of Week 4 offered the chance to go along to the Warwick Arts Centre and see some political heavyweights take on the people of Coventry. That’s right – BBC1’s Question Time hit campus with a bang.

It was an interesting week for politics, and the issues touched upon included MPs’ expenses repayments, privacy laws in the wake of the John Terry scandal, Tony Blair’s appearance at the Chilcot Inquiry and the assisted death debate. Being the eclectic and topical paper the Boar is, you will also find several of these issues discussed in the following pages. We are so good to you.

If you prefer to stick with the BBC though, you had your own eclectic selection of panellists to hear from: feline MP and erstwhile reality TV contestant George Galloway; tight-lipped war-hater and former Labor minister Clare Short; Blairite peer Lord Falconer; Tory front-bencher Theresa May; and Daily Mail columnist, islamophobe, homophobe, anti-scientist and all round hateful woman Melanie Phillips.

The show went largely as expected: a question would be asked, and the panellists would all give the exact answer you would expect them to give (usually with Melanie Phillips demonstrating how painfully ill-informed she is, particularly on the issue of assisted death). David Dimbleby performed his usual role of separating the panellists like a parent standing between squabbling siblings, as well as dishing out the questions in a fair manner and offering the occasional chuckle.

However predictable the format. the Boar is nonetheless delighted to see this kind of political engagement occurring here on campus. What is perhaps less pleasing is the level of awareness of this event. While the Arts Centre was offering non-participatory tickets to students, most people seemed unaware that the programme was even being filmed here. Hopefully this is merely due to a lack of advertisement on the part of the BBC and Arts Centre and not symptomatic of a general level of apathy and disengagement in the student body. Perhaps the fact that we in Comment have not written an article about Barack Obama in the previous few weeks has turned off an otherwise politically enthralled Bubble – though perhaps this is not related.

Whatever the reason, the Boar is keen to see shows such as Question Time returning to campus in the future. If we can keep ourselves interested in the political debates surrounding us, perhaps there is yet hope for our generation which seem unable to stop being labelled as apathetic.


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