""If you all attack on different fronts we'll never get anywhere," said David Dimbleby towards the end of the most-watched edition of Question Time for many years. He's said that sort of thing many times, of course, but it's never before had the flavour of a tactical suggestion.
"After 30 minutes of singularly concentrated fire - almost everyone present directing their contempt at just one of the politicians present - this unique political consensus was briefly broken up over a question on Labour immigration policy. But it wasn't long before Griffin was under attack again - everyone present conspicuously aware that the following day they would be asked "what did you do in the war". And if you want a crude bottom line on victory and defeat you'd have to say that the principle of free speech had just about managed to stay upright while Mr Griffin had retired wounded. Was it an early Christmas present for the BNP, an audience member asked finally, as Peter Hain had charged? If it was it was one of those presents that requires you to adopt a fixed and unconvincing grin, and which falls apart in your hands even as the wrapping is coming off."