Friday, October 02, 2015

The significance of Charlotte Church on Question Time

I never quite saw the point of Charlotte Church. A young girl who could sound like an adults soprano was remarkable, but why not just listen to an adult soprano?

Boy trebles, by contrast, have a discrete repertoire to sing and their careers are mercifully brief.

Church is still with us and has branched out into politics, aided by Question Time's mania for celebrities.

It is also striking how often these days the people who speak up for the views of the Labour left now come from showbiz.

That trend will only accelerate, given how few Labour MPs share their leader's views. It also seems that expressing left-wing views is now obligatory if you want a career in comedy.

The right-wing alternative, which consisted of people who played golf with Jimmy Tarbuck, seems to have died out in recent years.

Charlotte Church did not enjoy appearing on Question Time last night, but her tweet above is instructive.

Though right-wingers always complain that the show's audience is biased against them, the BBC is at pains to make it representative of the wider public.

So it may not be unfair to see Charlotte Church as experiencing discomfort on encountering the electorate and then retreating to the cosy womb of social media.

There she need meet only people who agree with her.

Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceAs this approach is likely to be typical of the Coybynista in the coming months, it is appropriate that she should represent them on Question Time.


Tom HJ said...

Charlotte Church's appearance on Question Time was significant.

What struck me on that show were 2 main points:

1. For all Stephen Kinnock MP's professional polish and articulacy, his words and opinions are unenlightened received wisdom from the hall of mirrors between media chatterati & political royalty.

Ms Church showed greater intelligence, despite her naturally going beyond her comfort zone in engaging with public political debate. e.g. She made an interesting and relevant point on the drought that had lingered in large swatches of rural syria from 2003-2010. Sadly her interest on this oblique angle fell on stony silence, but it showed that the other panelists were less questioning or interested and more ignorant on the Syrian civil war than this celebrity.

2. LibDem standard representation on QT- and Any Questions on the radio has clearly been removed from the format, other than perhaps occasional appearances with similar frequency to the Green Party. UKIP are clearly now used as the 3rd usual party, given that (a) they're the 3rd UK party in number of votes and (b) are of media interest in the run-up to the EU referendum. The LibDem voice was often diminished during the period in Coalition, as often a 'Coalition' voice was given on these politcal panto shows. This didn't help the party get its voice out, and now the media deem the party even less relevant and therefore have a much smaller media window than the party has known since the Liberals in the 1960s.

Huw Jones said...

Well said, Tom. The point on the drought in Syria is one that is so often ignored by those seeking simple solutions. The Middle East has long been recognised (by George Orwell in "1984", for example) as a difficult area , the meeting point between three continents and the spawning ground for religions.It is a considerable over simplification to blame curent troubles on Assad, or Sadam Hussein, or even on the British Empire. The starting point to finding a solution is to recognise the difficult climate of the area, and the effect that has on agricultural productivity, and from that to social and then political stress. And one has to remember that oil wealth has enabled countries in the region to sustain an artificially high population, and the depression in oil prices and the reduction in productivity of some oil fields will add to the stress. At the moment we seem to be obsessed with removing the symptoms of stress and the triggers of conflict, while leaving the fundamental problems to remain until the next war.
Charlotte Church, for all her faults, raised an important point, that was too complex for our sound bite obsessed politicians to deal with. She nicely ilustrated the point that our current political system can no longer cope with the real world that exists beyond Westminster and the headlines of the Tabloid Press.