Self declared left wingers absolutely love censorship but practice it so religiously you'll rarely hear them admit this. However, they know there's something "bad" about censorship itself so the game becomes quite complex when they try to argue in favour of a controlled media. Particularly when they're on a format such as, Question Time, with a high profile celebrity who is on their side and it appears they have almost won the argument. It's at moments like that when they berrate and jeer a woman who has dared to express herself in a controversial newspaper such as, The Daily Mail, that you can see their devotion to the idea of a proper Ministry of Truth that would tell everyone what they can and can't say by full force of the law!
It's just a shame for me as a fan of, Steve Coogan, that in this instance he was one of the people full of rigteous and indignant fury as this woman, Ann Leslie, tried to justify having a different opinion to him and his mates. After all, he's a good looking film star who can make funny voices and pull amusing faces, she should have thought more about what he might think of the world when she dared to put her words on the page. It was in the jeering and booing that Mr Coogan and his lefty sympathizers, both on the panel and in the audience, made their censorial urges most apparent.
It’s a strange fact that you can guarantee the audience of Question Time will shout and jeer at the mere mention of The Daily Mail. They clapped furiously after Steve Coogan, in his attempts to defend Islamist Abu Qatada from deportation suggested “it may be that this man is just full of vitriol and hate filled views, in which case he could just go and write for, the Daily Mail”. Alister Campbell’s heckling of her opinion that he’d damaged the country received seven seconds of enthusiastic applause from the audience: “for God’s sake, 40 years on The Daily Mail and you talk about damage to the country?”. All this is unusual because we know that Question Time audiences are strictly cleansed and vetted demographically by the BBC beforehand in the name of “impartiality”.
Sometimes, as with Tony Ferrino, Coogan's solo material is so bad you just have to pretend it didn't happen at all. Thursday's question time will have to be one of those occasions for me. No funny lines, no laughs just a dour looking Mr Coogan who seemed totally out of place and out of sorts.
As usual he was calling for more controls on the press, almost oblivious to the fact that no one wants or needs such a thing. Listen, you and your mate Alister Campbell must surely know hacking a phone's voicemail is currently illegal. What do you want to do, make it a hate crime as well?
Coogan's skill is making funny voices and pulling amusing faces. Ironically that is the only line I can think of to defend him with. He was, as he appeared to be, a harmless bloke who was out of his depth. The same cannot be said for Al (millions dead in Iraq) Campbell.