The latest BBC Question Time served as a confirmation that after all of this time, all of the embarrassment and backlash, the political establishment simply still don’t get it.
Rather than admitting to their own political failures, the panel, made up of headteacher-esque political old timers like Anna Soubry, Amber Rudd and Jonathan Reynolds, instead decided to take aim at Nigel Farage, ridiculing him at every opportunity.
Not only did these attempts largely fail, with Farage being met with bursts of applause when carefully and concisely laying out his case on the table, making it clear the likes of Soubry, Rudd and co seek only to thwart and deceive Brexit, but these attempts completely bolstered the cause of the Brexiteers and unmasked their own to be completely dishonest and self-interested.
It made it clear that they just still don’t understand why leaving the European Union is so crucial to our democracy, and no matter how many times Rudd attempts to spin Theresa May’s catastrophic ‘deal’ as a form of Brexit, neither the public nor the principled MP’s within the Conservative party will buy what she is selling.
Even when confronted with the reality of the situation and the unpopularity of Theresa May’s government, Rudd was oblivious to that fact, swatting away a poll by Conservative Home that shows that 80% of Conservative members want Theresa May to stand down as supported by a ‘certain type of person’, instead choosing to refer to her own constituency, of which she has a minuscule majority, as an example of those happy with the disaster that has been May’s premiership. The snobbery of these comments is deeply reflective of the attitude of the parliamentary party towards not only conservative voters, but voters in general, who grow extremely frustrated with the political class of today and their dismissive attitude towards our grievances.
Giving us long, lecturing answers similar to that of a teacher to simple questions no longer cuts it, and Farage has exposed that by stepping back out onto the political arena.
Whilst on the radio I was discussing the events that ensued during Question Time, and the honesty and straight-forward nature of this approach was met with cynicism; again the classic approach of mistaking what voters want. I truly believe voters want a politician that is straight to the point, not engaging in a laborious exercise of political spin to dance away from the actual point of a question, which is what our establishment politicians do to no end in order to escape adequate scrutiny.
Not everyone has to like Farage, but one must admit that trying to convince the general public to not to support him whilst at the same time seeking to thwart or completely reverse a democratic mandate given by 17.4 million people, simply because he’s ‘bad’, is a completely fruitless exercise and one that will only end in their failure. Brexit has exposed a deep and growing malaise within our society. It has exposed just how disconnected our politicians actually are, how comfortable they’ve become with political spin and being parachuted into safe seats in order to get into Parliament, and then swiftly into the Cabinet if they say the right things.
Politics (for some, not all lot) modern day politicians, is no longer about integrity or delivering on the will of the people, it’s about careerism and petty bickering amongst overly confident MP’s, convinced that Brexit was a blip that can be forgotten about.
As a democracy, we must continue to demand to be heard. This isn’t just about leaving the European Union, it is about repairing what is broken, and the week’s Question Time displayed just how broken our political discourse is.