Monday 9pm – 10pm, BBC2
Unquestionably the trust in UK politicians is at an all time low. A steady decrease in trust has taken place for over 10 years, fuelled by different scandals, particularly the expenses debacle and more recently, everyone’s favourite topic they are fed up with, Brexit. However, there is far more to it as Jeremy Paxman attempts to reveal in this hour long programme on Channel 5. Searching deeply into the past he seeks through other issues raised by the public, including first past the post, spin doctoring, putting their own interests before that of the electorate, their class background, the list goes on and on.
Canvassing on the streets of Peterborough he gets it straight from the public, just what do they think of MPs? And let me assure you, they don’t hold back. The City provides a solid insight into the disdain for the ‘old school’ MP’s, labour only narrowly beat the Brexit party in a recent local election – and even that had the conspiracy theorists out with why Labour just pipped the new party on the scene.
In an attempt to balance the opinions and views, Paxman takes to also interviewing some MP’s to get their insight, although in all honesty this will probably just put fuel on the hate fire and provides very little defence to those in Westminster. There are some very feisty exchanges with Anne Widdecome, Rachel Johnson, Martin Bell, Roy Hattersley, Jonathan Aitken and Alastair Campbell.
It’s a very difficult time for MP’s, and without trying to defend them, the UK is in uncharted water with Brexit. The divide between remain and leave, combined with poor leadership and self-serving interests amongst politicians leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of the electorate, only 34% of the public trust MP’s and with these facts, Paxman truly goes for the jugular.
While Paxman explores all of these issues, he sadly does not have the time to delve into them all, whether that be because there are so many reasons the public is fed up with MPs, or it is just his journalistic method, it will provide weeks and weeks of conversation over tea breaks and during dinner.
Following Paxman’s programme, Channel 5 presents a debate by Jeremy Vine which takes the points raised in the previous hour and puts them to a panel of experts, MP’s, members of the public, commentators and journalists.
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