Question Time 14th February 2019
Aylesbury: voted 50.5% to Leave.
Jacob Rees Mogg (Leaver)
Lisa Nandy (Remainer)
Grace Blakeley (Marxist Leaver)
Geoff Norcutt (Comedian. Leaver)
Jimmy Wales (Remainer. Wikipedia co-founder)
For the first time ever QT reflects the actual Referendum result.
First question was NOT about Brexit- shock horror! Should we take back the ISIS girl? Brucey interjects that the girl is pregnant and in that faux sentimental voice that she reserves for special cases adds “heavily pregnant” as if that made any difference. It is sad to relate that the whole panel soft-pedalled their answers and reverted to “she has a British passport and must be allowed back to face justice”. Nandy, as is her wont, added that it was basically our fault that she was radicalised (lack of “community” investment) which the Marxist Blakeley was happy to double down on. Well, dear reader, you may not be surprised to hear that all this got short shrift from the audience which almost unanimously declared that the daft bint could stay in Syria and rot. Oops- what a nasty bunch of racist bigots we are.
Second question brought us merrily back to Brexit. Has the British population been let down by politicians following their own agenda? Although I understood this question to pertain to ALL politicians the fragrant and definitely unbiased Fiona read this as an attack on the ERG group and immediately turned to Mogg for his take. Needless to say Mogg quietly batted this away and Norcutt mainly backed him up with “we voted Leave and this is what we must do”.
Whenever a Remainer politician tell us a story that begins with “I have a constituent that I met last week and she asked me…” I reach for my Things-That-Never-Happened gun and Nandy last night certainly had me loading the twin barrelled Purdey Trigger Plate. It seems all the sick children in her constituency will die after Brexit because of lack of drugs. This kind of hyperbolic nonsense should immediately be challenged by a competent chairperson but it was allowed to drift out over the audience like poison gas blowing over the Front Line trenches in WW1.
Wales (the man not the country) complained that he was the only true Remainer on the panel. He wasn’t as Nandy had already declared herself, Spartacus like, as the Remainer but that didn’t stop him calling for a second referendum. You’d think that the growing lump on your forehead might just tell you that bashing it against a brick wall just might have something to do with it and perhaps it would be a good idea to stop with the self harm. But no, off they go again. Wham! Oooh, that hurt! And the result is always the same. No-one, including the Aylesbury audience, has any sympathy. I have to say at this point that Wales is not a natty dresser. Sporting a jacket under which he was wearing a crew neck jumper from which a shirt was desperately trying to escape he looked more like a reluctant Dad watching his son’s school football match from the muddy sidelines on a damp Saturday afternoon. He might be Wikipedia’s wealthy co-founder and likes to be called “Jimbo” (a nomen which would immediately get my back up) but boy he is way out of his depth when it comes to politics. And haute couture.
I haven’t mentioned Grace Blakeley much up till now but what can one add when one watches the mouth moving, hears the words spew forth like an overheating Gatling gun and yet not quite grasp what this Marxist economist is saying? Where Nandy lisps her well rehearsed lines from the Labour song sheet, Blakeley is powering through Das Kapital at a rate of knots that would have Stanley Unwin standing back in appreciative wonderment. Her moment to shine came when the question of whether Churchill could be described as a villain or hero. Warming to her task and presumably forewarned to judge by the frequent glance at her notes she began to rattle off the horrors that Churchill committed ooooh….back in the Boer War. To take Ms Blakeley at her word we’d have to believe that Churchill was literally Hitler if he massacred as many people as she argued he had. It took Mogg to counter her hysterical rantings with facts (damn those facts, they always get in the way) which, of course, only served to get the good lady frothing at the mouth. It was the highlight of the evening which goes a long way to telling you that this particular QT was rather lacklustre as a whole.
The audience only really came alive when the question of HS2 came up. Aylesbury is one of the areas that is to be blighted by the line going through the middle of it and to a man and woman not one single member of the audience, when asked by Bruce, supported it. Oh dear, the vision of the metro elite being able to whizz up to Birmingham in a journey 30 minutes faster than it now takes looks to be dissipating faster than the smile on Fiona’s face when she is told she can’t travel First Class. Mogg called for the scrapping of HS2 and thus ensured that at the end of evening he would be carried out of the Aylesbury Hall shoulder high and being cheered to the rafters. Tom Merry of St.Jim’s triumphs again!
That’s all folks.
© Roger Ackroyd 2019