-----Question Time Review----
Steven Spielberg certainly seems to have concentrated minds. My wife and I have long been expressing our incredulity that China could have been awarded the Olympic Games, but until now it has seemed like we were talking only to eachother. Tonight's BBC Question Time demonstrated otherwise.
The programme was dominated by Melanie Phillips - scarcely surprising as she was the biggest brain as well as the biggest mouth on view. It's a sign of age, I suppose, but I find myself agreeing with her on more and more issues these days, not least on her view that awarding the Games to Beijing was a disgrace, and that the Archbishop of Canterbury is not fit for office. The government representative, Housing Minister Caroline Flint may be better-looking than Phillips, but her leaden asnwers to most of the questions showed she's an intellectual pygmy by comparison. In fact the opposition spokesman, Baroness Warsi, made a far better fist of the "constructive engagement" argument in relation to the Chinese, though she seemed to have little to say for the remainder of the programme.
Of the other panellists, Clive James was amusing in a desultory sort of way, though it was scarcely the cutting-edge humour we might have expected from him a decade ago, and Stephen Lowe, Bishop of Hulme, was clearly there only to put the case for Dr Williams - not the most straghtforward of tasks.
Having given it a fair amount of thought, I just don't buy Williams' argument that he has been misrepresented by the media. As Phillips rightly pointed out, his original comments amounted, in terms, to the advocacy of a parallel system of law to which Moslems could choose to give their loyalty. I have long believed Rowan Williams to be too politically naive to lead the Church of England effectively, but this was not mere naivety, it was wrongheadedness. It's time to bring on Sentamu.