Question Time Prep
I am not expecting much sympathy for this little cri de coeur. I had said, weeks ago, that I would be available for Question Time on 5 December. I hadn't then quite realised how close it would be to getting my Laughter book finally dispatched. I had thought that I might have had a good few weeks to catch up with the human race, and to prep gently with the newspapers.
In fact, I pressed the send button, gave my final lectures of term (actually last one tomorrow), have read great chunks of work from my very active PhD students, and am now beginning to wonder what kind of stuff will come up on the programme. (No, you dont know the questions in advance.)
In a way, that's why I like it. It is bit like doing an exam .. with all the question spotting, the prep, the thinking (and only humiliation facing you if you mess up, not (all being well) a career-ruining disaster).
Anyway, I have spent the last few days buying more newspapers than I could possibly read, of all political complexions, and trying to predict what the hot topics of the day will be in East London on Thursday.
If I were to tempt fate, I would predict some selection from the following: Dave's visit to China (did he REALLY take Charles Moore's Thatcher bio as a gift for the Chinese leadership?); UK attitudes to the EU (and vice versa); Boris and IQ's (a bit old maybe); the PISA education rankings (if any politician talks any more about this being a "wake-up call", I'll give them the "hard-working families" treatment), energy pricing, Osborne's Thursday statement, the obviously sad case of the forced Caesarian (though many more people seem to think they know what has happened than actually do....it's a foolish person who pontificates on this one, I think)... and...err. Ok give us a hand. Any ideas? All welcome.
And if you say: why on earth do I do it after what happened to me last time, I have to reply: well, that is the point. You can't let women be frightened off these programmes just because of a lot of vile, but ultimately silly, internet abuse. And if I don't go back on, what message would that send to other women out there, who might be thinking of putting their head above the parapet too?
Besides, the programme is nerve wracking, but quite fun in its way!
Hoping I'm still saying this, this time on Thursday night.