The BBC's Question Time was from Bradford last night and my heart sank as I looked out an audience comprised largely of fat people who pretty ssoon showed that they were also - almost to a person - just plain stupid. It was all too predictable what followed as a questionner asked whether George Osborne's pre-election talk about a Northern Powerhouse was just vote grabbing waffle.
A silly Labour MP said how some Government department had just been moved from Sheffield to the South and asked how this would help the Northern Powerhouse. The audience lapped it up. Shuffling desks in the great State apparatus has nothing to do with creating wealth and prosperity but that was a point no-one in the room seemed to appreciate.
A woman in the audience who appeared to have an almost negative IQ and thus boasted that she worked in local Government talked of savage cuts in her employer's budget and austerity and the rest of the audience wet themselves with joy.
The odious careerist Amber Rudd for the Tories talked about investing in trains in Manchester & Liverpool but that seemed only to irk the audience from the other side of the pennines even more. One assumes that Ms Rudd, like myself regards all residents of the grim Northern welfare safaris as pretty much the same. But it seems that up in the Grim North the various tribes hate each other almost as much as they hate we in the hard working south. One would have hoped that a real Tory might dare to mention private enterprise but instead we only had Ms Rudd on the panel.
No-one dared put it to the audience that the North was once a great powerhouse not because of Government but because of wicked evil capitalists who established great factories and brought jobs, prosperity and wealth to the region. Government does not create such wealth but there was a consensus in the hall that it was the job of Government to do everything right down to wiping the arses of the ignorant lazy folks from the welfare safari.
If more Government "investment" did create real wealth, sustainable jobs and prosperity, then folks would have been hopping over the wall from West Berlin to the land of milk and honey in East Germany and it would have been West Germany that collapsed in economic ruin. But do not let facts get in the way of reality.
Some chap in the audience bleated that the only jobs being created in the North were in retail and distribution. The audience again wet themselves in approval. They were egged on but a battleaxe from the Lib Dems who agreed that what the Government should be doing is ensuring that there were real jobs, that is the manufacturing and industry of old. Gladstone must, at this point, have been spinning in his grave. Does his party really now believe in the commanding heights, that the State can create industry? It seems so and it seems as if the folks in the North would rather have no jobs than those which wicked capitalists create by risking their own capital if those jobs are not in the industries they choose.
The BBC insists that its Question Time audiences are representitive. If that is indeed the case then God help the North for it is doomed. Please Can Nicola Sturgeon press for independence for an enlarged Scotland, taking in everywhere North of Coventry, as soon as possible?