‘A big, fat lie’: Wembley Question Time debate puts Boris in the crosshairs

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AFTER nearly forty years as the venerable face of the BBC’s election coverage, Question Time presenter David Dimbleby hosted the biggest debate of his career as leading Brexit campaigners battled with top Remainers in front of thousands of people at Wembley Stadium. 

It was fitting that Dimbleby’s old Bullingdon Club cohort Boris Johnson joined him on the panel for a discussion that repeatedly tackled the influence of the elite in British politics, although Johnson’s own nepotistic rise to power went largely unnoticed. 

In recent weeks the Leave campaign has argued that the metropolitan elites of Islington are trying to foist their dastardly plans for Brussels domination on British workers, when in truth working class concerns have been hijacked by a group of neo-liberals intent on stripping Britain of its public assets. 

This point was finally made by a Remain campaign that has only awoken from its slumber after slipping traumatically in the polls, when trade unionist Frances O’Grady attacked the idea of dismissing expert opinion.

“If you don’t believe the experts, listen to the shop floor,” she thundered, arguing that working people are being used by the Brexiteers for their own private gains, regardless of the financial risk involved for those at the bottom of the pyramid. 

She was joined in making the Remain case by Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives who made a strong impact in recent local elections and was making her first prime time televised appearance south of the border. 

Davidson went straight to the jugular, namely her alleged colleague Boris Johnson, attacking him for hogging the limelight while indirectly contributing to what she herself called ‘the Boris show’. 

For his part Johnson stuck to his lines, claiming that Britain should ‘retake control of its destiny’ while weathering the onslaught from his fellow panellists in nonchalant form, the same man who said in February “What I won’t do is take part in loads of blooming TV debates against other members of my party”.

Still energised from his historical election as London mayor, Sadiq Khan enjoyed himself, rounding on his predecessor Johnson whom he accused of relying on slogans rather than policies, and hypocritically benefitting from UKIP’s racist campaign while publicly denouncing it. 

He won himself a fair round of applause for his own slogan-esque jibe at the Leavers, suggesting that they were masterminding ‘project hate’ in their hefty focus on immigration and casting foreigners as outsiders intent on destroying British identity. 

Khan also took on one of the Leave campaigns greatest deceptions when he denounced the claim that Turkey is about to join the EU as a ‘big, fat lie’. 

Although Boris Johnson is of Turkish descent and has previously written of his unwavering support for Turkey’s accession to the European Union, he has lent his support to Brexit propaganda that the nation is on the verge of joining, despite talks being at the lowest ebb in decades and member states retaining a veto over new membership. 

With the referendum only a day away, it is unlikely that the debate will have any real impact on the result and both sides will be anxiously awaiting the count knowing that neither landed the knock-out blow they so desperately craved. 

11 COMMENTS

  1. It does not matter if Turkey joins the Union today or in ten years time, for Brussels has agreed to allow Turks VISA-FREE travel to the E.U. That means we can expect tens of thousands of Turks heading for the E.U. to live off the benefits that are so generously given to all and sundry who enter Britain.
    Whether they join or not Europe will still accept them with this rule. We need to get out to stop this flow adding to our overcrowded country.
    Even with the number of immigrants we have now the NHS is under intolerable strain, our education system is being sabotaged, and Brits are unable to find work because immigrants work for a lot less pay.
    Get out NOW before we become part of the Union of European States under the direct control of those idiots in Brussels.

  2. So the join or leave debate is solely about Turkey and immigrants is it?
    Instead of simply dwelling on these ridiculous points, which will still be a problem outside of the EU (at what point in the last 30 years has the NHS or British schooling system not had a problem?) suely you should be listening to both arguments.

    The UK will have an immigrant problem whether you are inside or outside of the EU, and to say that immigrants are taking your jobs – do you actually own a business and have your tried employing British Citizens? Most are fine, but a large proportion are lazy and wont leave benefits or get out of bed for double minimum wage. Take a closer look at the Brits around you before judging members of other EU countries who simply want to work and make money.
    Most small businesses rely on immigrant hard workers who are supposedly taking all your jobs, and realistically take on the work most other lazy Brits simply dont want to touch!

  3. I see “Ilnur Chevik who is Turkey’s Erodogan’s advisor” told newsnight yesterday that they had thought Cameron was their chief supporter in their quest for EU membership, they where shocked to hear he is saying he was against it now! It is reported that Turkey will be back on the agenda at talks in Brussels next week! What is important about this, immigration or the obvious blatant lies that appear to be shoved at us from our PM and others in government or who actually don’t know but think they do, people like Sadiq Khan for example! I might add that not wanting other countries to come into the EU does not mean you are racist, it means you are thinking with common sense!

    Now it might surprise some people that there are many including myself who believe we should have 100% control over our laws and civil rights, no other entity should have that control least a bunch of unelected commissioners who couldn’t decide what name to give a corridor in one of their buildings, those whose decisions or lack of them are pushing Europe towards civil unrest!

    Now people can believe who they want and vote as they want but if there is a remain vote then that will not be the end of it, there are new elections coming up in a couple of years and a lot will have happened in the EU between now and then. I fear people will see their mistake in voting to remain by then and I think then things will start to become interesting… just in case people don’t think they are now!

  4. James, who said that the leave debate is about Turkey – not me! If we leave we are able to allow in immigrants who have work skills and speak English. That we cannot do at the moment.
    We can then also prevent them from living off benefits by instituting a law much the same as Germany by saying they do not get any until they have paid into the system for a number of years.
    As to the schools, it has been well reported that many schools have a majority of immigrant children who don’t speak English, especially Muslim, and much of the lessons are given in Arabic while British children twiddle their thumbs. Our children are suffering because of this.
    As to the lazy workers, this would change if the government lowered their benefits if a job is available to them and they don’t take it.
    If Britain was able to deport foreign criminals our prison population would be down to acceptable levels, but as it is, immigrant criminals are filling our prisons at an ever accelerating rate and there is nothing we can do because the HRC will not let us deport them.
    For each and every problem the U.K. has there is a solution, but they cannot be imposed if we remain members of the E.U.

  5. Please someone tell me why so many people seem to know better than the leaders of the two main political parties in the Uk who say remain in! You voted them in so why not accept their view. Otherwise vote for someone else who holds your out views!

  6. Well Mark just so you don’t seem to know the answer to your question: David Cameron had very clear ideas on the EU needing changing or reform as has been very widely discussed, he said there was nothing wrong with the British bill of human rights and there for why did we need a European Bill of Human rights, he said we had to pull back out power on regulation and cut EU bureaucracy amongst many other things he promised, he was a clear supporter of massive EU reform… up until the end of 2015, then he changed his mind! He went on a EU trip trying to get support for his changes, he came back with nothing, or something that was as good as nothing. On top of this he sells it to the public that it is a “fantastic deal for us”, total and utter rubbish!
    He was voted in by many on what he said those beliefs where and has let those people down, he knows Tories won’t win with him at helm and that is why he is leaving after this term… or maybe before!

    Jeremy Corbyn voiced very strong ante EU opinions until he was made leader of Labour, he has been relatively quiet since until yesterday… why has he suddenly decided to remain when being so outspoken about the EU? My guess: He knows he can’t be leader of Labour while wanting to leave EU, he had to think of how he could handle it, he decided to state he wanted to remain but make clear he was against many of the things it was for except unlimited immigration, Cleaver maneuvering to keep his position!

    Lack of trust is probably an answer to your question!

  7. As far as voting for someone else who holds those views is concerned: I think if there is a vote to remain, which I do think will happen but with a small margin then things will happen within the EU over the next couple of years where people will finally understand they have been lied to for getting a remain vote. UKIP, I might remind people “as much as a small number of people spit out racist and idiots when they are mentioned” actually made massive gains in the last election, no elected seats in parliament but that is because of the way the system works. I think that will could change at the next general elections and if it does then they will be pushing for another referendum on the EU… so, the rocky road through our political life “even life in general” in the UK and Europe will not be at an end and personally I don’t think that is a good thing but then nor do I think being part of a EU is either! If we left it brings it to a close and we can go forward once and for all working with other countries in the EU and it would be with them because they need our business and money.

  8. Just something to add to this:

    Today June 22nd 2016 Junker has stated in a press conference: “British voters have to know there will be no kind of any renegotiation. We have concluded a deal with the prime minister. He got the maximum he could receive, and we gave the maximum we could give, so there will be no kind of renegotiation”.

    In other words, there is no more renegotiation on the EU from outside or within for the UK, everything the remain MP’s have been telling us including other front line supporters is just not possible, as I and others who want to leave have stated time and time again… but people still listen to the misguided statements DC our PM, who is supposed to be working for you and being honest with you, and his puppets come out with on this!

    And guess what, the BBC nor SKY are reporting anything about this press conference that Junker had today… as always the truth doesn’t fit into the medias agenda unless it suits them!

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