Question Time 7th November 2019
Barry “Uphill” Gardiner (Wind the bugger up and set the snooze button to zzzzzzz)
Kirstene Hair (Tory who admits she didn’t vote in the referendum))
Humza Yousaf (SNP Scottish Government Minister)
Angela Haggerty (Pro-independence Scottish journo)
Iain Anderson (LGBT business exec)
This has to be one of the direst collection of panellists ever offered to the viewing public. Two Scottish Independence protagonists? Why bother with the others? Just let the discussion wander on for 60 minutes and let them vent their hate and spleen against the English. I feel that our fine Going Postal Scottish correspondent, DH, would be better placed to spot the nuanced responses of this particular panel. Looking at the QT twitter feed I sensed there was partisan stances being taken and expressed quite forcefully, especially around the Haggerty woman who would appear to have enraged one section of the religious divide in Glasgow. Perhaps the audience will provide some “entertainment” more likely to be found in the streets around the Celtic or Rangers football grounds. I was tempted to drop an email to SB to say that could I be excused this shitshow but we are made of sterner stuff here on GP. It feels like I am faced with having to read one of the more dense Waverley novels – under pain of death.
Teeth gritted, loins girded. Here we go.
It was L.P.Hartley who opened his novel “The Go Between” with the now famous line “the past is another country they do things differently there” and, as an Englishman, I listened to the discussion and looked at the panel and audience all of whom were Scottish by birth or by adoption and said to myself “old Les could quite easily have attributed that quote to Scotland”. The level of delusion emanating from Haggerty and Yousaf mounted in proportion to the encouragement being given them by the audience. As I have said I am no expert on Scottish parochialism and Glasgow may well be Independence Central for all I know but if this is representative of thinking throughout the whole of Scotland then I fear for their collective sanity. Independence! independence! independence! goes the cry as if they are cheering on Wee Nippy to mount Ben Nevis carrying the flag proclaiming Excelsior! while at the same time willing to cede virtually all independence to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels is a stance and argument that defies all logic. By the time we had dragged ourselves to the final minutes I cannot have been alone in thinking that Scotland should definitely be given a second crack at an independence referendum and Manuel he say “bye bye”.
The panel and audience were virulently anti-Tory and Kirstene Hair did a fair job in handling the discussion in the face of constant interruption from Yousaf and Bruce. She basically ignored Bruce – the best response – and told Yousaf to shut up. He came over as a thoroughly nasty piece of work and was quick to wheel out the Mogg’s comment on Grenfell.
Iain Anderson (sadly not the Jethro Tull front man) was all quiff and glasses to present the business side of the arguments but had little to add to much of the discussion except to say that the quality of the MPs wasn’t up to much these days. He then went on to spoil this rather valid point by saying that Ken Clarke and Gordon Brown were good examples of the kind of MP we should be nurturing.
Barry Gardiner eh? What can one add that hasn’t been said a million times before? Tedious grinding bore? A manipulator of arguments away from the question down circuitous paths so serpentine that one becomes disoriented and lost in a fashion that a wish for a theatrical trap door to open up beneath him becomes a longed for wish? All of those things. And more.
The evening ended on a discussion about treating druggies. All the panel agreed that Scotland had the highest proportion of drug use in the whole of the EU and of course it’s the English government’s fault for not providing the money for “control rooms” where drug use could be supervised. Well, when Scotland gets its independence it can go cap in hand to Brussels. I am sure they will be more than delighted to fork out the moolah and, may I say, good luck with that Jocky MacJock.
A pretty dire QT.
Next week, Brighton. Greens, Quares and students. Oh joy.
© Roger Ackroyd 2019
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file