Question Time 16th May 2019
Eilidh Douglas (Amnesty International. Pro-Independence. Brexiteer)
Christine Jardine (LibDem and ex-BBC)
John Swinney (SNP)
Richard Leonard (Scottish Labour)
Bim Afolami (Tory)
The first thing that came to my mind when I read the listing was “who the hell ARE these people?” The second thing that I noticed when I did a little research is that only one of these non-entities is a Brexiteer. The BBC have now gone down the rabbit hole big time. You’d think that there would be some semblance at balance a week before the EU elections but instead it doubles down on its anti Brexit agenda and rolls out no-name, third-raters. I suppose it made a change from the same faces being wheeled out on Newsnight – Zahawi, Grieve, Blair etc etc – all exercising their gums on the subject of Brexit but it is increasingly clear that the media in general and the BBC in particular can now only rinse and repeat the same tired tropes. The complete lack of imagination and stultifying wheel of rehearsed and familiar arguments has atrophied the minds of our politicians and commentators. Throw into this mix the “Scottish Question” you have a QT that was always destined to be a yawnathon of epic proportions. With a panel such as this, indeed ANY panel with such entrenched views so familiar to all of us, the result could be as predicted as if we were faced with five pre-recorded tapes with buttons being pushed by our Fiona.
You might think that the meteoric rise of The Brexit Party would deserve the close attention of these panellists but such was the poor quality of these public representatives of our democracy that it was only Swinney who bothered to mention them just the once. And that was in conjunction with the Bingo words “no deal catastrophe” that if I were a betting man I would have placed a £1000 punt on it being wheeled out by at least one of the panel. Such is the predictability of these people no bookie would even take my bet.
There is very little to report on these non-entities. Bim Afolami, Eton educated, had as much difficulty in expressing any cogent argument as a fifth former from Grange Hill. Where do the Tory Party get these people from and why do they think they have anything to contribute to the public good of this country? No fire, no conviction, a tick-the-box career politician who can be trusted to trot through the political scene and departmental jobs until some unfortunate malfeasance comes to light years down the road by which time he has feathered his nest, solidified his pension and can retire into obscurity in a nice rural retreat well away from the oiks.
Eilidh Douglas, being a Brexiteer AND a Scottish independence campaigner offered up a semblance of an argument. It is at least a logical stance to make, i.e. removing the baleful influence of the EU from your life completely. I have never had it explained to me why demanding independence from the rest of the U.K. whilst chaining yourself to the EU is in any way fulfilling the wish of the Scottish people. Just the title of the Scottish National Party would indicate that er…they were for a National identity not one subsumed into a federal EU state.
The audience were perhaps a little more vocal than I expected and surprisingly more pro-Brexit. A call by Douglas for breaking the deadlock by just leaving on WTO was roundly applauded. Who’d a thought it? But if the crowds who are flocking to the Brexit Party gatherings are anything to go by we are beginning to see a sea change in the political landscape. The media are sniffing the revolution in the air and don’t like what could be coming down the road. With desperate hit jobs being undertaken by the likes of C4 and no-platforming of Brexit and UKIP speakers on political programmes you can sense that a nervous frisson is running through the media. Pumping out such worthless and bland spokespeople as were on QT last night only serves to show how different the Brexit Party is in its approach to political discourse. Someone in Brexit knows how Trump won -and it ain’t by appearing on such dead dog programmes such as QT.
Predictable, dire and our Fiona has ramped up the annoyance factor.
© Roger Ackroyd 2019
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file