I love Thursdays….. It’s a sort of triple whammy of politics shows, 12 noon is the Daily Politics, 10:35 pm is BBC QuestionTime and following that at 11:35 pm, is This Week.
The style of each is completely different. The Daily Politics is quick fire up and at ‘em, QuestionTime is mostly a process of evasion - and This Week is a reflective round up of recent events.
By far the most incisive is The Daily Politics. It works so well because the guy at the helm knows a hell of a lot more than the politicians he interviews. Andrew Neil has a knowledge without parallel in the British political orbit. If there was ever anyone in media Britain with the political brain of a planet then Paxman may think he’s got it, but he hasn’t - Andrew Neil has.
Last Thursday was a case in point. Pious St Harriet of Harman was on the box talking about how very important it was to teach Britishness and British values in all of our schools. She spoke very, very slowly. Gravitas was oozing from every pore…. Harriet was Harmonic. She had her serious statespersons boat on all right, no messing. – Apparently, if our kids didn’t all embrace Britishness, then the Greenland ice cap would shrink so fast it wouldn’t even cool a large gee and tee. …. It was Neville Chamberlain all over again – but this time wearing a flowery twin set… Germany had invaded Poland because too much Teutoniciness was being taught in Berlin’s secondary mods…. And if we weren’t careful the same thing could happen here.
Did I hear a Hallelujah, was God sending down an ‘Amen to that, Sister’? St Harriet fluttered her big fat eyelids and waited for a congratulatory back slap from Andrew Neil. ….
She didn’t get one. Neil went into ‘attack mode’
First of all he picked her up on the fact that she was fraudulently claiming that ‘Britishness’ was to be taught in all of Britain’s schools. It took a couple of incisive jabs with his truth stick – but in the end she caved in and admitted Britishness was an English only thing.
"So, Britishness is only going to be taught in English schools then?"
Pause, pause, pause, pause, pause, pause, pause…
"Yes, but I’ve no doubt in Scotland and Wales they’ll be teaching something simil"…….
Well I happen to know that in Scotland they have absolutely no plans to introduce classes on Britishness, not now, not for the next 5 years….
The halo on St Harriet’s head, placed there by no less than Pope Tony the Innocent, wobbled..
By the way, what are British values?..
Cue diatribe of values – ‘Fair play, Tolerance, Democracy, Yawn, Tony Blair’s pointy finger, Fish ‘n’ Chips, The Queen Mum, Ena bloody Sharples, Bobby Charlton's comb-over…..…
Well they’re not special to Britain are they? What about America or Germany or Italy? France for instance, it’s ingrained into their constitution ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’…… So British values are the same as everyone else’s…Right?
St Harriet looked worried, uncomfortable and twitchy - was Old Nick himself sitting on her shoulder?…
Not exactly. It was much worse than that, Old Neil had her by the jugular and wasn’t letting go.
"Can I put it to you that the only reason for doing this is to try and head off the rising tide of English Nationalism? Can I put it to you that this is entirely of New Labour’s making due to the fact that the English have been left out of the devolution debate?
St Harriet was squirming. Either she wanted the bog like right away – or Andrew Neil’s truth stick was sticking somewhere where the Sun don’t shine.
St Harriet didn’t believe it was the case… "I don’t believe it is the case" she said.
He ripped her head off, dribbled with it, did a bit of keepy-uppy and smashed it into an open goal.
"So you don’t believe it’s the case? Ms Harman, let me tell you, (jabby finger) we get more correspondence on the issue of West Lothian and the dissatisfaction of the English due to your government’s policies on devolution than anything else. We get piles of emails whenever we raise the issue. The people of England are very angry about it"…
St Harriet didn’t believe it. "I don’t believe it" she said.
"We’ll see what our viewers have to say" said Neil…
They went onto another item somewhere on location, then came back to the studio - and Andrew Neil with a pile of emails in front of him.
"Well, I told you our viewers would have something to say about it Harriet…. We haven’t got time to read any of them out because we’re about to go off air – so you can take them with you"…….
With that he plonked them in front of her.
St Harriet gazed down at the piles of paper run outs. She looked like she’d just been shown some triple x despicable pictures of debauchery from the bowels of hell – or maybe someone farted because she looked utterly disgusted…
Amen for knowledgeable and truthful Scotsmen.