POLITICS: Any Questions and the statistic that stuck…

on behalf of Blackmore Vale Liberal Democrats

I HAD never been to a live radio programme broadcast until attending Any Questions this month from Marnhull. The refurbished hall looks fantastic. What a vital asset a good village hall is to a rural community.

The BBC team was slightly concerned that a cricket match was being played directly outside as the broadcast went out. All was well, though. No well struck six. No unfortunate language.

Goodness me, but Danny Kruger MP must have felt he was a modern-day Humpty-Dumpty as he came to be firmly but fairly pushed off his lovely blue wall by the Marnhull Village Hall crowd.

The bit the crowd really disliked was the blame for a lack of progress being laid at the door of the Civil Service, the Blob, as some have it.

It is a sad reflection on many career politicians that they do not have the management and leadership skills to galvanise teams to get things done. Even then, there is precious little mandate for what this crew are trying to push through.

The puff and phwaw of the Johnson 2019 win has evaporated, if it ever had any substance. Then Truss, now Sunak. The one undermined by her own actions, the other being undermined by the same forces that put Truss in power.

You only had to glimpse the unedifying spectacle of the Trumpist Terribly Concerned Conservative New Wave conference thing at which the Home Secretary, cabinet collective responsibility notwithstanding, thrust herself forward to receive the braying support of those assembled. The most potent voices on the Any Questions panel came from the NFU and Oxfam. These seem to be well-led organisations.

The stat that stuck came from Oxfam.

It keeps an eye on a list of the top 100 food and energy firms worldwide. In the past two years their profits have risen by an aggregate £80 billion. If you want to understand why so many commodities have increased in price so dramatically, just look at the list. It happens because it can. It happens because of imbalances of power, of influence, because doing the right thing is so often trumped (sic) by shareholder short-termism and greed.

Yes, Opportunity is good but Liberal Democrats always add Compassion and Fairness to create a better mix.

Although Any Questions is some 70 years old, it filled the hall to bursting.

The programme is delivered by a tiny but professional team intent on delivering a locally-focused, meaningful experience for the audience as well as an entertaining, informative and influential national broadcast.

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