HENRY DEEDES: Corbyn was just like a surf-battered swimmer clinging on to a buoy for dear life5 min read

0
25

Friday night in front of the telly. Time was when that meant unhooking the phone receiver and settling in for the latest episode of Dynasty.

Last night, we had to make do with our political leaders being duffed up by a Question Time audience.

As entertainment goes, it lacked the glamour of Joan Collins and Linda Evans clawing each other’s eyes out over the chaise longue, but it made cracking sport all the same.

Jeremy Corbyn was up first, looking like a dog’s breakfast as usual. His shoes were scuffed and his trouser hem needed taking up a couple of inches. Unlike Tuesday’s ITV debate, his specs had at least this time benefited from a squirt of Windolene

Must admit, I’m not normally a Question Time viewer. Usually more of an Any Questions? man. At the risk of sounding a first-class snoot, the level of debate on QT tends to be saloon bar at best.

Last night’s special episode, held in Sheffield, raised the standard considerably. This was one clued-up audience. It was as though our leaders were confronted with all their ghosts of Christmas pasts. They endured a rough old time of it.

Our hostess for the evening was Fiona Bruce, resplendent in a white, quasi-futuristic blazer, which made her resemble a sexy extra from the Starship Enterprise. 

What a cracking job she did, by the by, exhibiting a gentle, tigress-like authority. 

‘Hey, I’m in charge of this thing!’ she was forced to shout at one point when the audience got unruly, which earned her a hearty round of applause.

A gentleman laid into him over video of Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth being abused at the launch of an anti-Semitism report which showed Corbyn having a friendly chat with the heckler. ‘I’m not buying the whole nice grandpa act,’ the man shouted

A gentleman laid into him over video of Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth being abused at the launch of an anti-Semitism report which showed Corbyn having a friendly chat with the heckler. ‘I’m not buying the whole nice grandpa act,’ the man shouted

Jeremy Corbyn was up first, looking like a dog’s breakfast as usual. His shoes were scuffed and his trouser hem needed taking up a couple of inches. Unlike Tuesday’s ITV debate, his specs had at least this time benefited from a squirt of Windolene.

The set was a proper tuppenny-ha’penny job. Every expense had been spared. Most of the budget had presumably been blown on Fiona’s fancy tunic. Jezza endured a flurry of early abuse from angry young men. 

Sturgeon is an accomplished politician, watertight, but totally parched of charm. When she signalled she would be willing to work with Corbyn as prime minister, you could almost hear the Tory spinners cooing with delight

Sturgeon is an accomplished politician, watertight, but totally parched of charm. When she signalled she would be willing to work with Corbyn as prime minister, you could almost hear the Tory spinners cooing with delight

A hirsute Chewbacca lookalike described his socialist agenda as ‘genuinely terrifying to me, my friends and my family’. 

A gentleman laid into him over video of Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth being abused at the launch of an anti-Semitism report which showed Corbyn having a friendly chat with the heckler. ‘I’m not buying the whole nice grandpa act,’ the man shouted.

Check this out  Mom claims Ukrainian daughter, 9, she adopted was really a 22-year-old with dwarfism

His nonsensical Brexit policy extracted weary groans. This was going worse than Prince Andrew’s Newsnight interview the week before. 

Corbyn, his suit hanging from his frame, balanced himself on a table as he tried to absorb the attacks. He looked like a surf-battered swimmer clinging to a buoy for dear life.

Nicola Sturgeon was next off the conveyor belt, sporting more hairspray than a glam rocker and flashing the crowd that lemon-sucking smile. Goodness, she was humourless. 

Jezza endured a flurry of early abuse from angry young men. A hirsute Chewbacca lookalike described his socialist agenda as ‘genuinely terrifying to me, my friends and my family’

Jezza endured a flurry of early abuse from angry young men. A hirsute Chewbacca lookalike described his socialist agenda as ‘genuinely terrifying to me, my friends and my family’

Sturgeon is an accomplished politician, watertight, but totally parched of charm. When she signalled she would be willing to work with Corbyn as prime minister, you could almost hear the Tory spinners cooing with delight.

‘Two down, two to goooo,’ whistled Fiona as Jo Swinson tottered to the stage, all purposeful strides and flappy arms.

Actor Christian Bale is said to have based his murderous depiction of American Pyscho anti-hero Patrick Bateman on Tom Cruise, whose intense friendliness in interviews belies a sort of lifeless energy. An alien pretending to be a human being is how he put it.

Something of the Batemans about Swimsuit, n’est ce pas? Those saucer-sized peepers of hers flame like Roman candles but there appears to be nothing going on behind them. 

Nor do I detect a great deal of warmth from the sisterhood. She got a particularly rough time from a ginny-voiced female Remainer who disagreed with her policy of overturning the referendum result.

Check this out  Princess Beatrice's Shaun Leane engagement ring is worth up to £100k

Swinson looked on the verge of losing her rag. Her best moment? Standing up to an unsavoury-looking beard about Corbyn’s failure to tackle anti-Semitism.

The Prime Minister was last man in, plodding to the stage in that peculiar gait more befitting a man at least 30 years his senior. 

Corbyn, his suit hanging from his frame, balanced himself on a table as he tried to absorb the attacks. He looked like a surf-battered swimmer clinging to a buoy for dear life

He got some early fast-bowling on the Government’s housebuilding policies. Boris flapped and flailed like an eccentric geography teacher.

He got the worst hits of his newspaper articles – namely the thing about Muslim women looking like letterboxes – which left him momentarily flailing. Boris’s whole manner was rather put upon. He stammered, he guffawed.

All the polish and sheen his advisers had applied to him for Tuesday’s ITV debate appeared to have worn off, though to give him his due there was nothing by way of any sympathetic questioning.

After two hours we were done. How much more entertaining this was than those daft debates. 

As for Bruce, once she’d done her ta-tas she headed off to the bar for what she’d promised would be a well-deserved glass of vino collapso. 

For her drycleaner’s sake, I hope she gave the rouge a wide swerve.