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BBC Parliament

October 19, 2008

I’m currently addicted to watching BBC Parliament. I’m no expert on politics, but I enjoy hearing people debating things. Anyone who can deliver an articulate argument makes me swoon. I’m very fickle. Politician A will make a case for the government, and I’ll nod my head in agreement, and then Politician B will demolish their case with a fine rebuttal, and I’ll nod even more vigorously. I’ll agree with almost anything if it’s argued well enough.

In the evenings I’ve been watching The Record Review, which is a summary of the day’s politics. It’s presented by possibly the greyest man in existence, who looks as though he has just been airlifted into the present from 1989. I don’t know his name, but he has absolutely no charisma whatsoever, and the show is all the better for it. There’s a wonderful lack of glamour or showbiz on the channel. It’s mostly just middle-aged men laconicly musing about the economy. It’s brilliant.

The other evening they were showing Jacqui Smith answering questions about the government’s failed bid to pass the 42-day arrest law (or whatever it’s called) and it was genuinely riveting telly. Like a less glamorous, more British version of The West Wing.

If you click on the BBC Parliament website, it gives you a lowdown on which select committees will be on screen this week. Sunday night will be The Public Administration Committee with…

  • Matthew Taylor, chief executive, Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and former head of the Number 10 policy unit
  • Geoff Mulgan, director, Young Foundation and former head of policy at Number 10
  • Zenna Atkins, chair, Ofsted
  • Sir Steve Robson, former second permanent secretary at HM Treasury
  • Can you think of anything more exciting? Who needs coke and hookers?

    And when I’m bored of BBC Parliament, I can always switch over to 4Music, where Jason Donovan is doing a countdown of classic overlooked hits from the 80s.

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