A Lib Dem, a Tory, a Labourite, a Green and Mark Stuart walk into a lecture theatre… No – not the beginning of the worst joke of all time – but the latest installment of PolSoc’s Parties Question Time.

Following in the footsteps of David ‘Ed’s Sexy Brother’ Miliband, Nottingham University was graced last week by four more politicos, here to duke it out in time-honoured fashion: a Question Time-style debate, ably chaired by our very own Dimblet –  Professor Mark Stuart.

From left to right (no pun intended) former Lib Dem MP for Chesterfield, Paul Holmes; Tory MP for Loughborough and Assistant Whip, Nicky Morgan; Mark Stuart, Nottingham Uni Politics Department; Labour Councillor for Melton, Matthew O’Callaghan; and Deputy Leader of the Green Party, Will Duckworth.

After a subdued start, questions came thick and fast from a vociferously partisan audience. Topics ranged from the under-25 Housing Benefit, to the conflict in Gaza, and from the intricacies of Britain’s “stupid, undemocratic electoral system” (don’t ask… please just don’t ask) to the I’m A Celebrity’ antics of Tory MP for Bedford, Nadine ‘Mad Nad’ Dories.

All the panellists fought their respective corners ferociously, helped (and hindered) by Mark Stuart – quipping, chiding, interrupting and cross-examining in a manner the great Dimbleby himself would have been proud of.

Over a passionate two hours, (as well as the usual hackneyed clichés – how many times do we need to hear a Tory condescendingly tell us that coalition government is difficult?!) the audience was treated to a veritable fire-fight of sniping between the Labour and Lib Dem panellists.

Having taken flak over the public’s dislike of politicians who break manifesto promises, hostilities culminated in Labour’s Matthew O’Callaghan rounding on fellow lefty, Paul Holmes with the decidedly un-Parliamentary, “It’s Liberal Democrats we despise – you’re so on the fence you’ve got splinters in your backsides!”


O’Callaghan was on the ball again minutes later; following Green Will Duckworth’s bungled response to a heckler on the back-row – apparently the cure for the UK’s debt woes is to simply “stop paying the interest” and print more money (you heard it here first!) – the Labour Councillor quipped, “and presumably this money would be printed on recycled paper? Cue Duckworth’s face turning as red as his economic policies.

All in all, PolSoc President, Ryan Holmes summed the evening up – “A great event with some rigorous debate and really interesting questions from the floor.”

Head over to www.politicssociety.co.uk, or check out Notts Politics Soc on Facebook and Twitter for all their upcoming events.

Thanks to Morgan Griffith-David for the photos.