“Whatever else this man is he’s not a politician.” Nick Cohen begins by saying that left wing journalists failed in their duty by not saying that Ed Miliband couldn’t win an election because he wasn’t convincing as a prospective prime minister.
Cohen argues that 2015 was also a turning point where the traditional progressive majority in the UK was eroded and the parties on the right gained over 50% of the votes (58% if you include the Liberal Democrats).
Manzoor invites the audience to ask questions during the discussion to be “part of the conversation”. It has mixed results and the discussion becomes more than a little fragmented as a result. We move onto Tony Blair, there is a sense that the audience is skeptical about him and that both Cohen and Manzoor believe he is the sort of leader that the Labour Party now needs. Manzoor challenges a Tory voter in the audience “did you feel the Conservative campaign was full of love?” She responds by accusing him of being patronising and a vocal section of the audience agrees.
Bizarrely many of those speaking from the floor say that they voted Conservative but few of them seem happy about it. That could be a “Hay effect” but begs the question as to why they grabbed a microphone.
Another member of the audience takes a swipe at the chair, this time taking offence at being addressed as a lady. “Dimbleby never gets this kind of shit” says Manzoor.
Nick Cohen has some very interesting and insightful things to say but the early evening session is dominated by people from the floor. They completely ignore Manzoor’s request that they ask questions rather than take the opportunity to give their own, far from original or insightful, opinions.