It was a compelling moment of live theatre which redeemed all those lugubrious hours of panel guest economic doom mongery which litters the news coverage at “this difficult time”.
Mark Thomas, comedian and political activist, unhindered by the need to mince words, was relishing the chance to expose the choicer nuggets of political reality underlying the morass of modern capitalism.
With each successive point, sharply put, Thomas merely highlighted the feebly pragmatic, sincerity-grade spin of the government, represented by the likeable Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development.
The absurdity of the free market, with all its attendant abuses, was honed to a rousing climax as Thomas pointed out that even government buildings had been sold off and that the Home Office itself was owned by an offshore company.
“we’re all paying rent to tax dodgers” Thomas boomed.
Douglas visibly reddened, Paxman chuckled longer than he ought, and for a moment the dynamic tension of the Newsnight Studio summed up the whole sorry story of our politics.
Some say it as it is, some would like to but have a job to do, and so many of the rest are too cynical to do more than sigh, or snigger at the sparring.