Failure “big-time” on Question Time

Richard North, EUReferendum, mentions the pervasiveness of myth where the question of Norway and “fax-government” is concerned, reminding us that Roland Rudd was on the idiots’ lantern last night, sharing his ignorance about “fax law” with the Question Time audience.

The section of the programme dealing with this subject begins at 29:00, the questioner asking: “Countries such as Norway and Switzerland have thrived outside the European Union but still have strong trading links with other EU member countries. Should the UK follow suit?”. Roland Rudd, Caroline Flint and Mary Beard all repeated the line that Norway pays into the EU and has no say over what comes out of Brussels by way of legislation. Grant Shapps dodged the point completely and Nigel Farage just didn’t mention it.

Is it any wonder that lies/myths gain traction when, present on the panel, was the leader of a party to whom debunking of myth and laying bare the lies of the political class should be second nature? Was his brain not in gear when he came to respond or is it that he just doesn’t know?

Interestingly, the last two comments from the audience on this subject both made the same point, namely that to hold a referendum now would be nonsensical in that the public would be asked to make a decision about something of which they know not and that there should be an unbiased education programme about the pros and cons of EU membership prior to any referendum.

How can the public be educated when those who should be doing the education either spout blatant lies or, as in the case of one person on the panel, when the golden opportunity to correct a myth is gifted them promptly fail to grab the opportunity with both hands.

It is perhaps the time to turn back on Farage a comment he made many years ago and one which he is fond of repeating. Where standards of political debate are concerned, you can’t put a cigarette paper between any of our politicians – they all seem totally incompetent.


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18 Responses

  1. kenomeat says:

    I have to say that I totally agree with you. I was practically screaming at Nigel to tell the audience about the real influence that Norway has in the international arena whilst we have to vacate our seat so often to the EU representative. It could even be said that, when it comes to global regulations, Norway has more influence on the EU as an outsider than Britain has as a member. (Obvious thanks to yourself and to Richard North for educating us on this). Apart from that though I thought his performance was quite good.

    • david says:

      Thanks for your support! On the question of Norway’s influence, in about a week (much work to do by others and me) this whole matter is about to be blown wide open. Be patient………

  2. David Coe says:

    Only two things are infinite. One is the universe, the other is the stupidity of politicians, and I am not even sure about the universe.

    A Einstein

  3. Sean O'Hare says:

    To my mind Farage didn’t get anything like his fair share of speaking time on any question during the program. On the EU question especially Beard hogged the majority of the time talking absolute twaddle. There was no way that Farage could have adequately explained the complex subject of how Norway does get a say in international standards adopted by the EU. I agree with kenomeat that he did well under hostile circumstances.

    • david says:

      See above comment. To not have taken the gift that he was given is unforgivable! In that respect, I do not agree that he did as well as he could.

      • Nick says:

        I do agree with Sean. Question Time permits no time for discussion, only rsponse. Considering the desperate arrogance of the BBC he would not doubt have been interrupted several times and prevented from making his point. In return, the constant stupidity of people like Flint would have simply shook their heads. The audience, being either dumb or just chock full of Labour voters would then look at the ‘real politician’ and agree with her.

        DAvid, with the very greatest of respect yourself and Dr North have got to start to realise that most people, a good 80% of the population are pig poo thick. They really, truly are. This is why the political class have been able to do what they have. With the support of the BBC there is no possibility of a fair fight on matters EU.

  4. dan says:

    Still, have another dig at Farage while you are at it. All those who claim such insight and who constantly stick the knives in his back haven’t set the world alight in getting the message across, have they?

    • david says:

      Sorry, but as someone who holds himself up as the leader of a political party, his performance and the omission to counter an obvious lie/myth was unforgivable!

  5. Eddy says:

    The problem Dan, is that Farage fluffed an easy question. It doesn’t take many words to point out that there is no Norwegian ‘golden fax’.

    • Robert says:

      Not only did he miss an open goal, the answer he gave had nothing to do with the question and you could see the audience switching off during his speech.

      Never mind educating the electorate, how about educating Farage (or dumping him if he won’t learn)

      • kenomeat says:

        UKIP has no better spokesman than Farage. Roger Helmer is pretty good but other prominent UKIP members to appear on tv (Paul Nuttall, Marta Andreason and the occasional peer) don’t come across too well. So UKIP can’t dump Farage. Anyway, we are all allowed the occasional mistake.
        But I agree that he could have refuted the golden fax argument in a few words.

        • david says:

          Occasional mistake? Occasional???? I know that you wish to stick up for him, but even you must admit that his performances are not up to the standard they should be.

          • kenomeat says:

            Sorry David but I still think he does a pretty good job. I’d be interested to read your suggestions for a better spokesman for the anti-EU movement in general. If, for instance, there was to be a referendum on the EU and each side was allowed one speaker in a one-off debate, who would you nominate? (I’d like to throw the question open to others as well).

            • david says:

              Nuttal? Batten? Helmer? Why does Farage not put one of the latter two up next time they want a Ukip spokesman – they’ve had Nuttal on.

              Gerard Batten speaks quietly and does not lecture, which NF can tend to do.

      • david says:

        Agreed where Robert’s comment is concerned.

  6. Dave Peters says:

    I agree, the comments that Rudd made were a complete travesty of the truth and I could just not understand Farage not telling it how it is.
    Farage ought to have been expecting this question too.

    As for Ms Beard… give me strength.

  7. Paul Williamson says:

    I have come to the view that I can decide without knowing too much of the detail. I work on the principle of ‘Do I want a more or less sovereign nation?’ If you want it less sovereign join the EU. If not let’s leave the EU. And given the massive economic crisis we have and the amount of millions of euros being spent at conference after conference with no results, being part of EU won’t make us more secure or wealthier. Unfortunately though even this current government is less interested in people’s security. And it seems less interested in people’s sovereignty. So our government think precisely like the EU! But why o why does it say that the Falkland Islanders have the right to self determination, when it clearly does not believe it for itself? It is not about self determination. It is about power.

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