Jonathan Bartley on ‘Any Questions’ (16th Dec)

This was Jonathan’s first outing as Green Party Co-leader. As I expected, he will have enhanced the public perception of the Green Party. He received the most sustained applause for any contribution, and the topic was environmental protection due to membership of the EU.

To be fair, the questions did not generally lend themselves to the answers I would have liked to hear, and he was interrupted in a somewhat cavalier fashion in his first answer by, I think it was David Gauke MP.

So it is certainly not in a spirit of criticism from my comfortable arm chair of someone in the hot seat that I offer a couple of possibilities.

In reply to the last question, whatever it was, he could have said

“I am disappointed that given my presence on the panel, there has not been a question on climate change. The latest information from the Arctic is extremely worrying.

On Brexit, Jonathan could have used the way the topic was broached – a Civil Servant’s opinion that negotiations may take 10 years – to chip away at the nonsense which Brexit is. I will not repeat my advice from a couple of weeks ago, but sooner or later Brexit will have to be abandoned. I got the impression from the above mentioned applause that the audience was pro-remain. A huge clap for such a stance might have had considerable public impact.

The Panel was asked what they thought was the most positive event in 2016. I confess I would have been stumped if asked to answer first, but by the time Jonathan got his chance, I had worked out the following:

The reduction of the majority of this environmentally appalling government from 12 to 10 at the Richmond Park by-election. Only 5 more to go.

As this was the last question, that is probably all he could have added to the comment suggested above. I have reservations about the Progressive Alliance, but Jonathan is a supporter. He could have pointed out that Labour voters in Richmond told the Labour Party that they did support such an alliance.

So well done, Jonathan, but don’t forget what the woman at the Chepstow hustings said – Clive would be hopeless as a leader, but he has the right ideas.


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