Question Time 17th October 2019
Leicester voted to Remain by a small margin (71k to 68k).
On the BBC QT Twitter page it has come up with three “essential facts” about Leicester:
Leicester won the Football League in 2016 against all the odds
Leicester was the birthplace of modern English allowing Vikings and Saxons to converse.
Leicester is host to the biggest Diwali festival outside of India.
Other sources tell us that the population is now 420,000 and is split 50/50 white/BAME and that Gujerati and Punjabi are the second and third most common languages. Norwegian is no longer spoken.
Keith Vaz is an MP for the town. Still.
John Merrick – “The Elephant Man” – was born here.
Walker’s Crisps are manufactured in Leicester. The crisp salesman once played for Leicester FC.
Matt “Burble” Hancock (Tory)
Martin “Mad Dog” Daubney (Brexit)
Anneliese “Mad Hair” Dodds (Labour)
Javid “don’t ask me about grooming gangs” Khan (Barnado’s CEO)
Philippa “who?” Whitford (SNP)
The BBC have really worked hard to present a Z list panel on what is possibly the most significant day in the whole of the Brexit saga.
I would love to have seen a LibDem on the panel rather than a SNP representative who will just regurgitate the same tired old Nationalist nonsense – forgetting that more Scots voted for Brexit than they did for independence. Hopefully Daubney will remind her of that uncomfortable fact. Whitford – a medical surgeon – predicted in 2014 that the NHS will have gone totally private “within five years”. She is married to a German GP. One suspects that they are both coining it bigly courtesy of…the still unprivatised NHS.
If you wanted someone to explain the WA in a coherent and forceful way which would make it seem attractive to the ordinary voter then the person you would NOT choose would be Matt Hancock. His delivery is disastrously hesitant to the point where the listener has great difficulty in actually following his argument and one is left with the deep impression that he himself doesn’t really believe it either.
The poor quality of our MPs was never more apparent than in the three HoC representatives sitting on the panel tonight. The arguments were well rehearsed and were trotted out as if they were on the conveyor belt at the end of The Generation Game. “Worker’s rights, cd player, environmental concerns, cuddly toy…” jeez, don’t these people have anything else to say? The SNP woman reiterated the mantra “Scotland voted Remain” so many times I – and, I suspect, most of the population south of the border – are now keen as mustard to see them get their independence. Her insistence that migration has been great for the country would most likely fall on sceptical ears in many parts of England especially when Scotland has not played host to the deluge that has surfed in to the previously industrial Midlands and the North.
Daubney has a “geezer” style which is disarming and he wasn’t going to take any shit from the Labour harridan sitting next to him. Sometimes his mouth moves faster than his brain but his crowning glory came when a member of the audience accused the Brexit Party of being racist. Daubney fired back “we have the widest ethnic mix of all the MEPs in the EU Parliament”. The guy in the audience had obviously not done his homework and was shooting from the hip. “How many BAME members have you got?” “We have 6 out of 29 members, one fifth of the Brexit Party MEPs. Way more than the LibDems and Labour”. Facts, dear boy, facts. They don’t like it up ‘em.
Javid Khan played the sensible uncle role while the other four bickered but I bridled somewhat when he asserted that “there were parts of the country I wouldn’t like to walk down the road alone at night – or even the day – for fear of being abused or attacked”. Hold on a moment, that’s nothing to do with being tinged or black or indeed white. The little girls who went to the Manchester Arena were ferried there by their parents who thought they would be as safe as anywhere in the country. They weren’t. And all those who died in the Tube trains and on that bus and got run over on Westminster Bridge. They thought they were safe but they weren’t because of the actions of adherents to a perverted religion. Nowhere is safe for anyone, black, white, yellow, tinged.
As to the audience it was divided more or less 50/50 on the Brexit question but I didn’t get any sense that another referendum would be appreciated. A general election yes, but Dodds prevaricated enough to put the choice behind her, like a schoolgirl having just been handed a love note from the spottiest boy in the class and didn’t want the teacher to catch her reading it. She knows that Labour are in for a beating and Daubney piled in hard with “your betrayal of the working class”. Even from my prone position in bed a fair distance from the television I could see the flush rise on her chest and neck. Her response was to accuse Daubney of UKIP racism during the referendum. His reply? “I was working with Labour at the time and have never been a member of UKIP”. Game, set and match.
Ms Bruce was keen to remind us yet again that the film maker Ken Loach will be on next week’s panel. She obviously thinks this is a plus. Others will definitely argue otherwise.
© Roger Ackroyd 2019
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file