Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Ruth "the Truth" and King Khan own Wembley Arena

Quick fire colour for the Daily Record from Wembley

Goals, fouls, and fumbled passes, this debate had more than the average Euro 2016 game, even if the result won’t be in for another 48 hours.  

Strictly speaking the BBC’s Big Debate wasn’t sport but this cross between Gladiators and the Question Time  was raw politics - with added applause.

For Ruth Davidson, the pint-sized politician from the north, this was a step-up to the UK stage. She owned Wembley Arena, she nearly took the roof off it at one stage.

And what a stage it was, with 6000 people somewhere out there in the darkness, shouting back as if they were the audience at two rival stand-up gigs, hecklers and cheerers taking turns.

Feisty is a word London journalists are having to get used to when describing Scottish politicians and Davidson won new fans last night.

Direct and fearless she went for Boris Johnson, the largest moving target in north London last night, as we demand from this Tory on Tory EU debate.

Even when in trouble, tackling the myth that the EU makes our British laws, she ploughed on until she had her applause line.

When Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom accused her of “nonsense” Davidson came back again and slammed the Brexit lies that 60 per cent of UK laws come from Brussels.

“I can’t let it stand that you tell a blatant untruth in the middle of a debate days before a vote. According to the independent House of Commons library the number is 13 percent,” she stormed.

“You deserve the truth, you deserve the truth,” she bellowed until the audience gave her the biggest roar of the night.

But when it came to small people landing big punches it was the 5’6” mayor of London Sadiq Khan who swung some real blows.

Pumped up from winning the capital last month he went for the kill on the old king, accusing Boris Johnson of “lying” about the jobs benefits for London and of hate-mongering on immigration.

“Your campaign hasn’t been Project Fear. It’s been Project Hate as far as immigration’s been concerned,” he said to huge prolonged applause.

For once the voice of the workers was heard, giving TUC leader Francis O’Grady the stage changed the terms of the debate. People heard their own experiences of work reflected back to them.

"Too often we hear the word ‘red tape’ and what they’re really talking about is getting rid of vital rights at work we all rely on,” said the TUC leader. “Can they promise us today that you will protect each and every single right we won through the EU?”

She stunned the Leave team into silence by asking if it would return a £600,000 donation from a former BNP member. 

Andrea Leadsom said that was “unworthy of debate”. So was that poster of refugees, and SNP bit-player Humza Yousaf MSP called them out on that,

“All the remain side have to talk about is Project Fear,” said Andrea Leadsom. 

With Davidson, Khan and O’Grady they were left looking  beaten and fearing the truth.   

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