Question Time 14th March 2019
Julia Hartley Brewer (journalist. Leaver)
James Cleverly (Tory. Leaver – soft wing)
Ian Blackford (SNP – Remainer)
Clive Lewis (Labour – “on yer knees bitch” Remainer)
Catherine Bernard (professor of EU law at Cambridge)
Ealing voted quite decisively to Remain. Even so the regular trolls on the BBCQT twitter feed continue to shriek that the audience will be stuffed with “Ukippers, ENL (whoever they may be) and Tory Leavers” and the bile thrown at JHB certainly mirrored that which is aimed at the fragrant Isobel Oakeshott whenever she appears on QT. As it turned out, for a suburb that voted 65% Remain, there seemed to be a remarkable number of vociferous Leavers throughout the audience.
While I would never wish to deny the opinions of the SNP to be aired – however parochial they may seem to those south of the border – it seems rather self-defeating to entrust your manifesto to be paraded in front of the Sassenachs by an avuncular goblin that has all the charm of a comatose Dr.Cameron wheeled in from a remake of Dr.Finlay’s Casebook on BBC Alba. Blackford made the fatal mistake of stating as if he were Rob Roy standing on Hadrian’s Wall that he won’t let Mrs May take Scotland out of the EU to which a response came from someone “well, how’s that going to work then since Scotland turned down independence?” Exit, stage left, bagpipes deflated and trailing porridge from a dangling drone.
Of the other two politicians on the panel, Cleverly and Lewis, there was little to choose between them for empty blather – a fact noted by more than one member of the audience. In fact the heat began to rise from the assembled proles quite markedly at the mid-point which may have given both these unattractive nerds a foretaste of what may be in store for them a little further down the line. Fiona Bruce, who is beginning to get on my tits with her weak little jokes (“Cox’s Codpiece” she thought was hilarious but raised not a titter from the audience), pointed to a member of the audience for his opinion. She could not have known that this particular person was a fully signed up member of the High Order of Labour Ranters that are to be found babbling and frothing at the mouth on the conference sidelines. I am sure MPs can spot them a mile off and ensure they give these loopfruits a wide berth. It was like opening the watertight door of an engine room of a cruise liner generating enough power to shove 30,000 tons through a Force 10 gale. The noise was deafening. Hair flailing, mouth trying to fashion words into some discernible language he finally managed to get to the nub of his argument. THE BUS! Yes, folks, this is what really gets these ranters off their pots. Not any reasoned argument about the Lisbon and Maastricht treaties and how the U.K. has been corralled into a corner by successive governments without recourse to the electorate. No discussion about the diminution of sovereignty and inability to control borders and laws. No. It’s always the sodding BUS which tips them into a madness that only a firm slap across the chops would alleviate.
As would the phrase “they didn’t know what they were voting for” which floated up once more form the audience like a turd that refuses to flush. You just know that this is an argument only ever used by Remainers and strangely it never refers to themselves. Apparently it is always only Leavers that didn’t know what they were voting for. It is surprising, given that the HoC had just flushed the turncoat Wollaston’s second referendum amendment into the murky depths of the Thames just a few hours before, that there were still some in the audience – and the Scottish goblin as well – who were advocating the idea that was already rotting nicely on its seaward journey to the Dogger Bank.
There is something indefinably odd and slightly disturbing about Clive Lewis which I can’t quite put my finger on. He reminds me of a Pierrot in negative, the obverse of the whiteface clown with the pointed hat that creeped me out as a child whenever I went to the circus. That he was one of 36 Labour MPs that boosted Corbyn into the leadership contest indicates that his penchant for tomfoolery is alive and kicking.
Julia Hartley Brewer, as is her wont, gave a fairly good account of herself and her views on Brexit. An exasperated and obviously deeply puzzled Bruce asked her why she wasn’t worried about a No Deal Brexit with – and here she had to go to her notes that she had prepared beforehand – The CBI, the Bank of England, blah blah blah (you know the mantra by now) warning us of doom. JHB quite rightly brushed all this fear stuff away as if it was some creepy politician trying to touch her knee. In fact Bruce who has steered a middle course since she began her stint on QT is beginning to display the typical Beeboids attitude to Brexit. It’s just little things she says that give the game away. You will recall Bunter’s “mob” jibe about the ERG earlier this week. Here we had Bruce describing Jacob Rees Mogg “and his cohorts” as the ones holding up Brexit. The dissing never falls far from the Broadcasting House tree does it?
At the very end one member of the audience finally voiced what the panel should have been addressing. The Lisbon Treaty and its stranglehold on this sovereign nation and what Mrs May’s “Deal” actually does, i.e. basically keeps us locked in for ever. Somehow the panel forgot all about that.
Next week Belfast. A tough assignment for yours truly.
© Roger Ackroyd 2019