Question Time 3rd October 2019
Wallasey is a strong Labour constituency with one of the Eagle brothers as its MP. At the referendum it was split right down the middle Remain/Leave with hardly a fag paper between the two sides. I do hope we have a Labour MP on the panel to explain to their devoted followers precisely what policy their Party is towards Brexit and beyond. It should be instructive to watch the audience response.
The first ever guide dogs for the blind were trained in Wallasey in 1931. This is a factoid that the BBCQT Twitter feed felt important to impart. There is a joke in there somewhere involving “old dogs”, the blind leading the blind” and “who the fuck cares” but I haven’t the strength to drum one up. Unfortunately the important information, namely who is on the panel this evening, was not forthcoming at time of my putting finger to keyboard this late afternoon so I shall have to wait until kick off to list the unfortunates.
Later…details now in.
Sarah Jones (Labour MP for Croydon Central. Her one good deed – she ousted the wobble-head Barwell from the constituency.)
Melanie Phillips (Leaver. Likely to eviscerate Jones on any Labour policy)
Bonnie Greer (Remainer, luvvie and Trump hater)
Anand Menon (Director of U.K. in a Changing Europe.)
Nadhim Zahawi (Tory Leaver. Gets sweaty under the TV lights.)
Bonnie Greer resigned from The Bronte Society because, she said, it wasn’t appealing enough to the ethnic community of Bradford. If you can see her behind the pile of chips on her shoulders tonight you’ll be lucky. Melanie Phillips should easily be able to push the dual national Greer back in her perpetually offended box. And so to the actual show….
The problem with Zahawi is that he just cannot get to the point quick enough and the same goes, to some extent for Phillips. I find myself metaphorically trying to press the accelerator pedal whenever these two are developing an argument. What happens is that – in the case of Zahawi – it allows Bruce to butt in and he loses the thread and with Phillips she lacks the focus to ram the point home quickly and decisively. More than once she rambled on and Bruce, understandably for once, reined her in.
I have seen Anand on QT before and he has always seemed a reasoned and thoughtful contributor. I’m not sure he added much to the Brexit debate as a whole but he was at least head and shoulders above Greer and Jones. Those two would appear to be of the opinion that Brexit has to be stopped because of the possibility that IRA terrorists will begin the “Troubles” once more. Greer in particular was much exercised by Ireland and how we “owe” it to that country to care for its future. No-one mentioned how much Ireland still owes the U.K. financially for the massive bung we threw its way some years ago.
I was really interested in how Sarah Jones was going to go down with the Labour stance on Brexit in a strong Labour seat and to judge by the reaction of the audience she and her party have big problems in any upcoming GE. The relentless mantra of “safeguarding jobs and worker’s rights” which is all you ever hear from Labour QT panellists is failing completely to cut through to the electorate. The procrastination evidenced by Jones and the majority of the Labour Party is now becoming a matter for outright mockery and I cannot believe that Jones didn’t go home after the show, pour herself a stiff drink and mutter to herself “we’re fucked”.
On the matter of Boris’s proposals put forward to the EU today the panel – apart from Zahawi – were of the opinion that it was a 3D chess manoeuvre to push the blame on the EU, exit no deal on 31st October and then eviscerate Labour and the Brexit Party in a late November GE. It is an opinion that may not be a million miles from the truth. The audience would appear to be firmly of the “let’s get the bloody thing over with now” irrespective of Leave/Remain sensibilities so Boris may well be on a winner.
One last piece of nonsense thrown out casually by Greer but which was bravely picked up by a member of the audience and threw it back at her. She said that “she knew how difficult it was being a foreigner in a Brexit U.K.” Whoah there, cowboy! What precisely do you mean? Well, it turns out that she has a “friend” who is Polish and has lived here for 20 years but cannot speak Polish to her own child on the bus otherwise she will be abused. Here’s my folder marked “Things That Never Happened”. I’ll just pop that in there for safekeeping eh?
Two other subjects. Sparkles letter that her dad flogged to Mail on Sunday. Zero interest. Measles jabs, should they be compulsory? Yes, no, whatever. Heaven knows what QT will cover when Brexit is over. It will all seem a vast anti-climax.
My deed is done for this week and I wish you all a fruity FF.
© Roger Ackroyd 2019
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file