Question Time 31st October 2019
Having been born to a Brummagem dynasty on both sides of the family I have a soft spot for Birmingham. Maternal great-grandfather ran a very successful accountancy business in the city and his son, my grandfather, was to become an RFC officer in WW1. His experiences blighted his post-war life and he threw all his medals away. My paternal grandfather lived in the back-to-backs in Franchise Street long since flattened for a University car park. His wife died in the flu outbreak of 1919 and he died in 1926. Destitute. My earliest memories of Birmingham are The Bull Ring and the trams that rattled down Oulton Boulevard as well as the Outer Circle No.11 bus. In the late 40’s and early 50’s we lived in Sarehole Road with the River Cole running down the back of the garden where we local lads could splash around by the Green Lane ford and try not to get any leeches down our gumboots.
Today the area has transformed beyond recognition. Sparkhill, just at the end of Sarehole Road, is now a ghetto from whence a number of jihadis emanated – those that have been caught and jailed. My late uncle was the last to escape the area, moving to Solihull some years ago. His comments on what had happened to the area in which he had worked, brought up his children and from which he left for five years to fight for his country would, in the oh so modern style, be termed “hate crimes”. I said I have a soft spot for Birmingham. Let’s put that, sadly, in the past tense. I don’t see myself ever returning.
Birmingham voted Leave in every constituency.
Panel – A riff-raff of knaves:
Isabel Oakeshott (The Fragrant One)
Layla Moran (The Gobshite one)
Jon Ashworth (The Dim One)
Paul Scully (The Tory Leave One)
Mairead McGuiness (The EU Gobshoite One)
Three RABID Remainers, two Leavers (and only one of which, to my knowledge would go WTO/No Deal)
Audience: Diverse – including a contingent of the permanently offended – but surprisingly bolshy (in a good way).
There is something insufferably smug about Mairead McGuiness. The media and the BBC in particular are much enamoured of her, wheeling her in whenever possible to give a “measured” EU view of developments. She has motor mouth syndrome which make those who suffer from it talk incessantly, repeating the same arguments over and over until the audience has fallen asleep. The only way to counteract the infliction is to interrupt the sufferer with a phrase such as “shut up” or “you’re talking bollix” but Bruce is incapable of doing this to a favoured Europhile so she was allowed to spew Uriah Heep type messages along the lines of “I do hope you will be able to sort your politics out” and “it is sad to see a great country like yours descend into the mess it has” while creasing her brow in faux concern. A custard pie in the phizzog would have been appropriate at this point and a response such as “the EU is one of the least democratic constructs ever devised, sucking in vast amounts of money and devising more ways to waste it than a 5 year old child in a sweet shop given £10 and told to spend it all.” I’ve see McGuiness in action at the EU Parliament cutting off BXP speakers, literally, by turning off their mics if they get even slightly uppity. She is one of the most undemocratic hypocrites ever to grace the QT panel.
Which brings us to the other one, Layla Moran. The LibDems are doubling down big time and Moran is the gobby mouthpiece – along with Swinson – in vocally denying 17.4 million UK citizens their democratic wishes. You have to give it to them. Standing up and advocating that you will revoke Article 50, come what may, is a bold step. Unfortunately it is one that is already, and appropriately in Moran’s case, slapping them in the face as the first audience member to be given the mic chose to land a right hander full on the chops. A young lad who had been too young to vote in the referendum called out both Labour and LibDems in a controlled and marvellous rant that had the audience whooping and cheering. If the two charlatans, Moran and Ashworth, thought that they had half a chance of forming the next government, singly or in alliance, then this was the moment reality hit them. Bigly. Oh so bigly. In addition Oakeshott handbagged Moran with “what on earth do you think would happen if you gained power and then not only actively ignore the votes of the majority but went on to do exactly the opposite? You talk about bringing the country together. Well it might well do that. It’ll bring people out onto the streets”.
Paul Scully a “Leave Means Leave” Tory deputy chairman. Never heard of him before but he battled reasonably well enough against the incessant interruptions of Ashworth, Moran and Bruce. He countered Ashworth’s Labour line – and lie -about the NHS being sold to the Americans if the Tories get in but we could hear Ashworth shouting the same mantra over and over as if repeating it endlessly made it true. This, as we know, is Labour’s top election attack device and despite Oakeshott reminding Ashworth that the NHS already buys pharmaceuticals from American companies and it made sense to shop around for the best deal Ashworth persisted with the nonsensical line that it would cost the NHS £500 million a week more after Brexit.
The audience watched these fuckwits squabbling and not unnaturally came to the conclusion that a vast number of them needed to be swept away which naturally brought us to the next main topic – do female MPS feel threatened and need a “safe space”? During this discussion Bruce came up with the most astonishing statement to the effect that the majority of abuse, i.e. death threats, come from Leavers. It was definitely a WTF moment and even Ashworth had to put her right in saying that the report she was looking at had been disputed and that she was only looking at the misleading headline. She mumbled something and looked down at the notes she had no doubt been handed by the producer before the show. It was a dreadful moment of unabashed BBC bias but, as we all know only to well, a lie is half way round the world…..etc etc etc.
Needless to say one of the permanently offended in the audience got in a jibe about Boris’s letterbox comment which as Sully pointed out was taken out of context and manipulated by the media to cause offence when none was intended. He wasn’t looking at Bruce when he said this but he should have been.
The evening was topped off by a member of the audience who said she had voted to Remain but would now be described as a Leaver because she believed in democracy. It is a simple equation is it not? Three of those on the panel are still trying to tell us that 2 + 2 = 5.
© Roger Ackroyd 2019
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file