#BBCQT why can't politicians tell us the truth?

The first question was "Why can't Governments tell us the truth about the 60% of cuts that are heading our way?". Dimbleby joked about sticking to the shorter version which titles this blog before handing over to, Sajid Javid Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Javid bumbled on about how the economy was a priority and Labour left them no money and so on. Then the reality emerged. Savage cuts to Government spending are still required.

This has come up before, in June of last year. The idea we're currently facing a United Kingdom in the grip of "austerity" is inaccurate. The cuts we've seen are LESS THAN HALF of what is still to come. "Forecasters predict public spending will fall to levels not seen since the 1930s, suggesting the loss of one million public sector jobs by 2020."[1]

Yvette Cooper, shadow Home Secretary, agreed that cuts were needed. The message to taxpayers is simple, either way they're going to give you less for your money. You can choose Labour or Tory. The pitch from the opposition is that they're 'nice' people. That's it really. They will be 'fairer'. That's the UK's democracy.

A pointless argument about who is nicer.
Then we got Baroness Williams from the Liberal Democrats on telling us to stop assuming all politicians are liars. It goes straight through me each time I recall that I live in a country, claiming to be a democracy, with unelected Lords, Baronesses and a Monarch. It amazes me that so few of my fellow countrymen are irritated by this. She got into a conversation with a member of the audience and even managed to get a round of applause for more tax cuts.
This is the depressing thing about #BBCQT. It makes me feel like people are idiots even though I know they are not. You have no choice, we're going to cut services. Vote for what colour you want them to wear while they do it, blue or red. Oh, by the way, who wants us to steal more of your money? Yeah, cheers and applause.

Time for this lad's question, he thinks politicians need to stop being so greedy:

"MPs expenses have risen by 5 million in the last five years, when are politicians going to take their share of the cuts?" was his question. Here the comedian Omid Djalili excelled himself by talking about direct democracy. Lets have referendums on things. Regular readers will know I am a huge fan of this idea. It was great to watch other audience members pick up on it, after this chap accused the politicians of all being the same and got a huge round of applause.

No one votes for you 'coz you're all the same.
It was interesting to see how Dimbleby shot the referendum idea down as it picked up among the audience's discussion.

We could vote on things for ourselves...
This chap seemed to run with the idea, almost as if it was new to him and he was excited by it. "So, elections don't work for you?" fine, lets move on. We didn't plan to discuss this. The whole thing is stage managed. That's so clear. Dimbleby's role is to keep it on topic. "Time is pressing, we must move on".

Omid Djalili advocates direct democracy.
The next question was about Britain's identity now Mohammed is the most popular name in the UK. I swear to God this is not a new story. It comes round every year and has done so since before I started doing "political talk" on LBC. I remember it on Kerrang and Hallam FM. However, for a while, the figures were artificially manipulated as different spellings of the name were not added to the total.

Really this is a question about immigration. I used to think people who raised such concerns were racists. When I hosted a talk show in South Yorkshire I would assume the people moaning about it were just bigots. The show in question covered Rotherham which has subsequently been shown to have had a huge problem with Asian grooming gangs. Yvette Cooper, who represents the Labour party who were in power at the time, had none of her recent "tough talking" up her sleeve during the discussion: Yvette Cooper steals Tory immigration slogan from 2005

Next question was about Gordon Brown. A tedious discussion about him followed. He deregulated the banks and lied to the Scottish, that's his legacy. He and Blair attacked Iraq, for no good reason and as Omid pointed out, the reality is few of us will remember him.

A confused question from a "young person" knocked the conversation into one about zero hour contracts. Here Jill Kirby infuriated the audience members by pointing out "a zero hour contract is better than no contract at all". Those who believe they are part of some sort of left wing struggle thrive on this kind of thing. "Go back to London" shouted one man. She's their token right wing guest, presumably there to "balance" the lefty comedian. It wasn't long until she was being misquoted on twitter:

More interestingly this moment occurred during an exchange with Yvette Cooper, who claims her party hates zero hour contracts...
When challenged on this and asked why Labour don't stop zero hour contracts at their councils her answer was "I think we should stop them for everybody". In other words, she ignored the question. This is because there is no real difference between the two parties. None at all. They do as they are told in Her Majesty's Government.

Finally there was a brief exchange about the fact the NHS are refusing to treat people.
No one aside from Kirby thought it a reasonable idea. That's because it's not. She tried to frame it as a question of people taking responsibility for their health.

Nick Margerrison

[1] From the BBC: Osborne: Autumn Statement cuts warnings 'hyperbolic' - quote from this article.

Story in more detail here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30327717


Haydn said…
off topic but wondering your thoughts on the Russell Brand's trews videos the titles regularly including the troubling words 'What should we think'

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