Question Time returns: Steve Coogan, public schoolboys and plebgate

The new series of Question Time kicked off with Steve Coogan and Kirsty Allsopp arguing over public schoolboys, and a whole lot of plebgate.

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The Independent Online


As Question Time returned to our screens many of us could have been forgiven for not being as excited at the arrival of Steve Coogan as we were with John Lydon in the final episode of the last series. However, Steve showed throughout last night's show that they had one thing in common, they both equally dislike the Tories. He was also controversial and at one point, led Location, Location, Location star Kirstie Allsopp to shout out ‘bollocks’.

This was in response to his statement that ‘all’ public schoolboys become Tories in the end. This contentious debate was raised when the question was asked about whether we have too many public school boys in government making decisions that affect us all - Allsopp didn't think so.

Lib Dem MP Danny Alexander then argued that everyone deserves a fair chance in society and that there should be an equal balance of public and state school educated individuals in government. Well, yes.

While Alexander certainly made some interesting points, there was the typical party bickering between himself and Harriet Harman, who, as so many MPs do on Question Time, seemed more interested in talking about the mistakes everyone else has made rather than answering any of the actual questions being raised.

Steve Coogan continued to show his general hatred of the Tories in stating that while Nick Clegg doesn’t get many Lib Dem policies through, he's ‘the fly in the Tory ointment’ and that this could only be a good thing. Fair point, Coogan. He bluntly said he’d rather a Tory government where the Lib Dems can block the occasional policy, than the Tories passing whatever policy they like.

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg argued that if the general public disagree with what a leader of this country is doing, they do have the choice to change it a general election every few years. But that takes years, Jacob.

Rees-Mogg later defended the Tory policies that allow tax cuts for the rich by saying that if we tax the rich too highly, they will leave the country. Referring to statistics that the top 1% of incomes in the UK pay £39 billion, he argued that this shows the rich contribute enough already. Surely this proved that they could be paying a lot more?

An interesting night of debate to kick-start the series; perhaps a little too much of which surrounding Andrew Mitchell's plebgate. Roll-on next week.