Saturday, September 02, 2006

Any Aaros?

DA was on Any Questions yesterday (Friday) which willl be repeated today (Saturay) at 1:10 pm BST. And available on the web until next Friday; after which there will be a transcript. He was on with Peter Hitchens (madder brother of the more famous Chris), Shireen Ritchie (who disappointingly, didn't marry Madonna or make ultraviolent blokey films, but is a fairly reasonable Tory - former SWPer Peter H having taken all the unreasonable Tory positions) and Zulfi Bukhari (who is a Muslim).

I listened to it, as I usually do on Radio 4, doing other things. Peter Hitchens's belief that the country is going to hell because no one is polite anymore doesn't constrain his other belief that other people are really only there to listen to him. I'd be grateful if someone who is more familar with PH could confirm whether he has a sense of humour, as early in the programme he was batting for the government's suggestion that we should all get married and said various things like there's less abuse in marriage and that children conceived or born out of wedlock are at some great disadvantage. Aaro gently pointed out the timing of his parents' nuptials and his own arrival into the world. Hitchens responded with an affirmative grunt straight of Monty Python's "Upper Class Twits". I think we could be generous and conclude that this was merely jokey. It just seemed spectactularly rude to me.

DA did very well. He worked for the BBC and ITV as a researcher and later as a producer for over a decade, so he should do really. Of course, being against Peter Hitchens confers a huge advantage. The latter's pomposity and bullying make audiences cool toward him, and he refuses to distunguish convincing arguments from lists of things he likes or hates, which utterly impedes him when trying to sway a listener.

Not that I think DA was consistently right. He played the loyal Blairite too well. (IIRC, and I'm writing this the morning after), he predicted with absolute certainty than Blair will step down of his own accord in July 2007. Michael Crick, who I admire, but I think DA is cooler toward, was on Newsnight (available until Monday evening) suggesting that sufficient Labour backbenchers felt otherwise. He also thought the disciplining of the Glasgow firemen was right (I disagree) and said that being sent on a BBC course (for tolerance or some such) was one of the best things that ever happened to him. I'd have liked to know more about why he thought this, but Peter Hitchens boorishly interupted.

God, I hate Peter Hitchens.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Philip Cross said...

Peter Hitchens posts as "Clockback" on Wikipedia and entertains and infuriates those of us who follow and respond to his contributions. He is also beginning to take over the talk page of the article on his brother.

9/02/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Backword Dave said...

Not entirely relevant, but splendid.

9/02/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Anonymous James O said...

I find Peter Hitchens ultimately laughable because his arguments are so far removed from reality. Reading his opionions - I remember he once claimed Bush was left-wing - is like wading through a looking-glass world.

9/03/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Anglonoel said...

If anyone want to know about what Peter Hitchens really thinks, try:

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/

I see him as a potential Limey Pat Buchanan: a former Cold War Neo-Con turned Post-Berlin Wall Paleo-Con (social conservative, political isolationist, wants limited state intervention in the economy ie PH supports rail renationalisation). If he joined and led UKIP they and he might get somewhere, but being The Thinking Person's Kilroy-Silk doesn't seem to move him much.

9/04/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous little keithy said...

PH is also a humourless tosser. I remember him taking great offence by his brother claiming that the day the Red Army waters its horses in Hendon would be a happy day. PH started ranting about it being an insult to the good burghers of Hendon.
You could hear from a great distance Chris's arm gyrating the winder.
I do find his odyssey from left to right rather sinister given its speed. I read something by him that he was defending the monarchy as an institution in the Labour Party in the early 1980s – a strange time in the LP for such a position and only about six years after his time in the International Socialists.
Or maybe he just has a great big chip on his shoulder because of his more talented brother.

9/04/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

They go over that in slightly too much detail here

http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1496347,00.html

I thnk CH is confusing Hendon with Henley.

9/04/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Backword Dave said...

Thanks Matthew. Good Lord: "...the kind of crap you get in the Guardian all the time, from Seamus Milne and Jonathan Steele and Richard Gott and all those other wankers and fascist sympathisers..."

I don't buy tehgrauniad any more, but it's not the wankers who drove me away ...

9/04/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Martin Wisse said...

What was infuriating about that particular Any Questions was the complete absence of any leftwing voice on the panel, which seems to be a trend: the past half dozen Any Questions have either had no leftwing commentators or ineffective onescompletely snowed under by the rest of the panel.

9/07/2006 02:27:00 PM  

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