My relationship, if it can be described as such, with the BBC’s Question Time, is becoming not entirely dissimilar to the one I have with the Daily Mail. To say I loathe Viscount Rothermere’s repellent, rabid, right-wing rag, and everything it stands for, with every fibre of my being, would not be an exaggeration. And yet, every day, without fail, I find myself taking a peek at the Mail’s website, knowing full well, that there is every likelihood that something, if not everything I find there, will disgust, and, or infuriate me.
It is increasingly the same, with Question Time. Well, I say the same, but in truth, I am far more likely to be bored, than disgusted or infuriated, though the former and the later, are not unheard of. Last night’s broadcast was the perfect example. It did not move me to rage, or despair, but it did, just about bore me to death. It may be my imagination, but to my mind, the quality of the panellists, and of the debate, or discussion, has gotten progressively poorer, in recent years.
None of this, has been helped in any way, shape or form by Brexit. Every week, since the referendum, it is the same. The hour is taken up, almost in it’s entirety, by Brexiteer’s angrily insisting that Brexit means Brexit, while the Bremoaner’s bleat on, about there being no majority for hard Brexit. It is all so very banal. Will things improve, when the Government actually gets its act together, and there is actually something to discuss? I fear not.
I must admit, though I am no fan of his, much of what Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, had to say on Question Time, made sense. What he, and those who agree with him, need to be mindful of, is coming across as, or being made out to be, attempting to reverse the result of the referendum. At the same time, they must not let the Brexiteer’s run amok, someone needs be the voice of reason. In this instance, that voice should most definitely be Parliament.
Again, you are unlikely to hear me extolling his virtues (has he any?), but Tony Blair’s intervention in the Brexit debate, though not altogether welcome, is just about worth hearing. As is that, of Mr Blair’s immediate predecessor, John Major. It is not unreasonable, that should the Brexit negotiations fail to yield sufficient gains, so as to ameliorate the inevitable pain, that the British people may, as Mr Blair suggests, wish to reconsider. If a referendum was good enough, to bring about Brexit, then surely, it is “perfectly credible”, to use Mr Major’s words, to have a second referendum to accept, or reject, the terms on which we leave.
There remains the possibility, that the consent of the Scottish Parliament, may be required to trigger Article 50. Imagine! The Express and the Mail would be apoplectic. As for the headlines, I suspect the “Enemies of the People” used to describe the high court judges recently, would seem positively restrained in comparison.
Seriously though, the First Minister is not stupid, far from it. It is unlikely, that the Scottish Government, will risk a second independence referendum, or seek to block Brexit, via the Scottish Parliament-should the option be available, if concerns about access to the single market are addressed. Even if these concerns are not addressed, it might be, that whatever is on offer, is put to Scots, via a UK referendum on the terms of Brexit.
I could go on, for there are permutations aplenty. The only thing, that anyone can say with any certainty, is that nothing is certain. Frustrating though it is, we shall simply have to wait and see. In the meantime, though it bores me rigid, I will probably continue to tune in to Question Time, in the off chance I stumble across a rare gem.