Letter to the Editor, The Guardian, 22 February, re Question Time, 20 February

22/02/2020 Comments Off on Letter to the Editor, The Guardian, 22 February, re Question Time, 20 February

Good on Owen Jones for his criticism of the BBC (Opinion, 20 Feb 2020) for tweeting about the hate-filled, racist rant that was allowed to go on forever on Question Time. But there is far more to say about what happened on that programme. The discussion began with a question about the proposed new regulations limiting the number and “type” of Europeans who will soon be allowed the privilege of working in this country. The responses were all appalling, even if one foul-mouthed woman got all the attention. Fiona Bruce sat open-mouthed and did nothing. There was not one person on the panel except Ash Sarkar, and no one in the audience at all, who stood up for the millions of European citizens who have made this country their home, who have formed relationships here, had children here, participate in their communities – as well as doing essential jobs. No one said the truth – that they will be irreplaceable. Not just those doing the “lowest” jobs – you know, the ones who keep the streets clean, the gardens beautiful, the garbage collected, the old people looked after – but also the ones driving the buses, staffing the shops, restaurants and hotels – and the NHS – and doing a lot of the agricultural and fishery work that puts food in the mouths of everyone in that audience. Quite a few of them have well-paid, higher-up jobs too. They are our neighbours, damn it, they have a right to live without being trashed on national TV and harassed in the street.

Still, Question Time did the nation a favour Thursday night. It exposed the racism underlying Brexit that is infecting the country. Who was the ass who said Brexit is done? Brexit is just beginning, and this is what it’s going to be like, every day, from now on.

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