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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Who won BBC Question Time special.


Theresa May answered confidently, fluently and thoughtfully says John Rentoul


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John Rentoul, the author of this article, describes himself as having a "slavish admiration" for Tony Blair. His column in The Independent on Sunday, has become one of the last bastions of pure, unadulterated Blairism"(sic).
Itis therefore not surprising that Rentoul should produce a critique praising the performance of Theresa May during last nights (2nd June) BBC Television election 2017 special version of Question Time. Using phrases such as confident, fluent and thoughtful ending with the comment that, "Corbyn warmed up right at the end, saying there was lots more to talk about, but by then it was too late. Theresa Mayhad won ", it was clear that Rentoul had watched a different programme than the one I watched.

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John Rentoul
However, Rentoul has aligned himself with the minority view in suggesting that the Prime Minister had won the "debate". It was never a"debate" in any case, as Theresa May does not "do debates", unless it is part of a stage managed exchange or a planted question session (and there were a few planted questions from last nights audience) such as Question to the Prime Minister every Wednesday in the House of Commons. The consensus of opinion was that the programme produced another draw with a few leaning towards the view that Corbyn had won again.
Thereal reason for Rentoul's article was to use the programme as a vehicle, to produce another piece from his pen critical of Jeremy Corbyn. He must have been a tad disappointed when Theresa May' performance came across as evasive, hesitant and nothing like as "Prime Ministerial" as it should have been.
Corbyn on the other hand was relaxed and comfortable in his responses to questions on housing, zero hour contracts, taxation, NHS and even police numbers. The only time that Corbyn seemed a little fazed was when the favourite subjects of the Telegraph and Mail were thrown in. The IRA and Trident has been used by elements of the anti Labour media throughout this campaign and even before then, as some sort of bludgeon with which to batter Jeremy Corbyn and gain support for May in the eyes of the voters. A well worn and now discredited tactic which in any case, seems to have had little success so far. After interruptions from Telegraph supporters and even from Dimbleby himself on more pointless Trident related cul de sac inputs, a member of the audience drew the subject of nuclear deterrence to a close with, "I don’t understand why everyone in this room is so keen on killing millions of people with nuclear bombs. Move on.”
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"I don’t understand why everyone in this room is so keen on killing millions of people with nuclear bombs. 
It is clear that Rentoul must have his own agenda and motivations for being so shamelessly anti Corbyn. He has held the same inclinations ever since the first Labour Party Leadership election in 2015 during which he readily endorsed Liz Kendal for the vacant role. Perhaps he is still smarting from Corbyn's win in that election, compounded by the defeat of Owen Smith in the second election. What ever the reasons may be, Rentoul writes a brazenly commending article for the conservative party generally and for Theresa May in particular, notwithstanding the U Turns, contradictions on policy, lack of manifesto clarity, ineptitude and incompetence of the conservative campaign, the personal attacks on her opponent and the appalling record of her government while in office in so many areas.
I have no idea if Rentoul remains or ever was a member of the Labour party, but his column on Friday 9th June should make interesting reading what ever the result of the election may be.