[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News

Question Time



Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
From David Dimbleby...
David Dimbleby
I asked the women in the Bournemouth audience before we went on air how they liked to be addressed.

Probably two thirds said as "lady" and a third as "woman".

Exact opposite of last week.

So there is no way of knowing what offends least. I will just have to carry on muddling through.

Jack Straw made headlines (and our first question last week) with his comments on Muslims wearing the veil.


I wish he had said it when he was on the panel the week before instead of saving it up for the Lancashire Telegraph.

There is a long tradition, though, of MPs letting their views out via their local press. Apart from anything else it flatters the local paper which they depend on week in week out for favourable coverage of their comings and goings.

I ran a local newspaper once and was reminded of it this morning watching BBC Parliament channel's re-run of the 1983 General Election programme.

Alan Watson just failed to win Richmond for the Liberals by 74 votes.

Our newspapers had done a poll the week before, designed to discover what readers liked about the paper, and we tacked on a question about voting intentions.

It showed the Liberals to win, which we splashed as our lead story.

Alan never forgave us.

He was convinced that the effect of the poll was to bring the Tories out in a panic and deny him victory.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific