Roger Ackroyd’s Question Time Review

Question Time 7th March 2019


Dominic Raab (Tory. Leaver)
Iain Martin (Times journalist. Leaver)
Owen Jones (“journalist”)
Javed Khan (Barnado’s CEO)
Margaret Beckett (Labour. Remainer)

Venue: Dudley

Dudley voted Leave by 71.7% at the Referendum. There is a snivelling Grauniad piece somewhere on line that complained that the “old” people stole the future from the young that weren’t eligible to vote. Possibly penned by Jones himself.

It is always interesting to see the Twitter feed under the BBC QT weekly announcement of the panel. Invariably you will come across exactly the same tweets querying “how many UKIP members will be in the audience?” or “the BBC will have loaded the audience with racist UKIP members as usual”. The tweets are almost identical giving one the impression – surely only a cynic would imagine – that a certain political cult attached to the Labour Party had sent out an edict “Troll Question Time!”

Chamois Chuckabutty was listed to be on the panel this week. I don’t suppose the shitshow that is Labour’s attempt to make its organisation “judenfrei” has anything to do with her non-appearance. Anyway, if you are “earning” 300 smackers a day sliding your arse on and off the leather benches of the HoL – a short tube ride from your favourite wine bar – why would you waste your time travelling up to the heart of Leave to get laughed at and abused by the proles?

There were three subjects under discussion: knife crime, Brexit and the latest perceived racist mis-speaks from Elmer Fudd. Let’s deal with the last first. Little did we all know that the newest version of “Scrabble” designed by and for London hypersensitive metrosexuals has a set of rules markedly different from those available to the rest of the world. In their version any use of a word that can be denoted in any shape or form as offensive is subject to a minus score. Thus, while “black” is fine and used appropriately (NOT affixed to an already laid down “bastard”) is OK, but trying to convert “red” to “coloured” will receive an immediate penalty of scorn trumpeted all over Twitterdom. Equally, if you arrange your plastic tiles to form the word “turd” and think you have scored a winner by incorporating a triple word square you will be disappointed to discover that you will be heavily penalised if either the words “Owen” or “Jones” already exist in any shape or form in the word pattern on the board. It is said that Islington dinner parties where this new game has been played have resulted in nervous breakdowns and even the odd suicide when less “switched on” players have inadvertently displayed themselves to be racists, bigots and incipient Tommy Robinsons (not his real name).

Let me say here that there have been some Labour MPs and fellow travellers in the past that I have admired greatly. Vic Feather, invited to the school to give a talk by my Latin teacher Derek Enright (himself to become an MP in later life) always seemed the acceptable face of trade unionism. Manny Shinwell who was gracious enough to spare a few minutes at the launch of his autobiography back in the 70’s to chat one to one with the gauche young writer of this piece had the blood of the old crusading Labour movement flowing through his aged veins. As did Barbara Castle who I met at the same book launch and who had little trouble in attracting admirers with the strength and belief in her mission.
All of which digression brings us to the subject of Margaret Beckett. No matter how much she tries to divert attention from what lies north of her neck by wearing what can only be described as a migraine inducing coat the fact remains that it must have been her that the late H.R.Giger used as a template for the Alien monster. Now, now, I can hear you tutting away out there saying that personal attacks on someone’s appearance is not playing the game but give me a break, ladies and gentlemen, this one surely deserves our opprobrium in whatever shape or form we can devise. Having promoted Corbyn into the Opposition top spot she is now an advocate of the “people’s vote” – a choice that didn’t go down at all well with the audience. It was left to Iain Martin, sitting on her left, to suggest to her that if that was indeed her wish then she and the rest of the Labour Party should stand at a General Election on a manifesto that promoted rejoining the EU – and see how far that particular policy got her. I fully expected to see a mini Alien to emanate from her mouth and spear Martin and affix itself to his face. Dear God, the woman is a shameful piece of detritus on what remains of the once campaigning Labour movement. One can only suppose she hangs on in the HoC to collect her substantial emoluments which, by now, have probably furnished her with the glitziest caravan ever sold to her by Swiss Toni.

Dominic Raab had the guts to cry “freedom and the WTO” on the Brexit question and recognised that all those MPs who are actively thwarting the referendum result will have to face the consequences come the next GE. Iain Martin, another Leaver, was a little more wishy-washy on the subject and seemed to advocate going for May’s deal as the alternative was remaining in the EU indefinitely. He, like many others within the media world, would seemed to have been cowed by the “catastrophe” mongers into accepting anything that has the word “Deal” to it, however bad it would be. Except of course NO deal.

Owen Jones was introduced by Bruce as “columnist, author and political activist” which in most respects covers yours truly but I have never been invited on to any BBC, Sky or ITV political discussion panel. Which brings us to the crunch question. Just why and how does this little Marxist motormouth get himself in front of the cameras at all let alone so often? He has never stood for public office so who precisely does he speak for? Who in these media organisations thinks “oooh, let’s get Owen Jones into the studio to give us the benefit of his views”? And here he was yet again spouting the Marxist mantra so, so, familiar to anyone who has the misfortune to stumble upon this preening ninny when in full flow. As the terminally violent Yosser Hughes from The Boys from the Blackstuff would say “Go on. I can do that. Gi’us a job.” I await the call.

Dog whistle phrase of the evening: “Windrush generation” uttered by Jones (who else?)
The FFS Not Again comment: “the lies on the side of a bus” (from a medic in the audience)
Answer to knife crime? Yoof clubs.

A rather drab QT enlivened at its death by a dig at Lammy and his “white saviours” comment by a woke young lad in the audience. Poor little Owen was frothing at the mouth to get a reply in but was cut off by the Rear of the Year (2012) – not her real name – to bring the curtain down for another week.

© Roger Ackroyd 2019

Roger’s book.


Audio file