that woman on question time
“Monica: Pheebs, do you have a plan? / Phoebe: I don’t even have a ‘pla’.”; S1E4 ‘The One With George Stephanopoulos’
If you are a political nerd like me, then you may have seen this week’s Question Time. If you didn’t it was held in Islington, London and featured James Cleverly (Con), Emily Thornberry (Lab), Jo Swinson (Lib Dem), Melanie Phillips (journalist) and Nish Kumar (comedian). Let’s discuss.
Can we start with Fiona Bruce? Thursday was the first episode with the new host after David Dimbleby’s departure from hosting Question Time for God knows how long. I, for one, loved her! It’s so nice to not only see a woman in the role of moderator in one of the most fiercely political shows in the UK, but also a woman who is clearly not afraid to call out anyone’s bs. She is straight to the point, cuts out politician’s waffle and actually gets an answer from them.
Exhibit A with her brilliant response to Conservative deputy-chairman James Cleverly:
“If this is the government being in control, what does out of control look like?”
But the main thing I wanted to discuss was the brilliant questions and responses from some of the members of the audience. Specifically, one woman who straight up crushed Theresa May.
“Can we get over feeling sorry for Theresa May?”
Woman in the yellow jacket, I want to thank you for being real and finally saying it as it is. So many people on QT have been too scared to just tell the truth and criticise the Prime Minister for her currently shocking job of delivering Brexit.
Moreover, this woman is absolutely correct. People seem to forget that this environment of xenophobia has been partially cultivated by her actions as home secretary, do you remember these vans?
They were initiated by Theresa May in 2013 and it is things like this that whip up the fear-mongering around immigration and lead people to believe that everything that has gone wrong in their life is the fault of their immigrant neighbours. As Home Secretary, May repeated anti-immigrant rhetorics which were weaponised by Vote Leave in the EU referendum. Amber Rudd took the blame for the Windrush scandal (and I am not exonerating her from this responsibility), but May was the original designer of the “hostile environment” policy. We must not feel sorry for May as she helped create the situation we find ourselves in now, with cabinet resignations seemingly every 5 minutes, inflation and deadlock negotiations.
That is not even starting on her term as Prime Minister as she set herself up for failure with personalities such as Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox in her cabinet, pursuing an economically-devastating hard Brexit, who she is completely incapable of standing up to. She has spent two years spinning the narrative that “no deal is better than a bad deal”: it’s her deal no deal or no Brexit. But this isn’t true. There is clear support in parliament for a deal that secures Britain’s membership in single market and customs union, not to mention calling a vote on the final deal (with remain as an option). But working towards economic stability with a well-thought-out plan has never been a priority for May; she has continually tried to keep herself in office by conceding to the small (but vocal) minority of far-right-wingers in her own party, working for 52%, not 100%.
Finally, I want to leave you with my favourite moment of the evening… this summing up of Brexit by Nish Kumar:
“a remake of Groundhog Day directed by Ken Loach”
I’m not going to discuss Melanie Phillips because frankly, I think she’s a nutter and as I established in ‘why anti-vaxxers are dumb’, I do not argue or deal with bigots.
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