>Jeremy Browne in a muddle on question time

>It will not surprise readers to know that VN rates Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne rather highly. So when Question Time pitched up in Nick Clegg’s Sheffield constituency yesterday, it seemed sensible that someone of his calibre was sent to put both the party and the government’s line.

The first question was, inevitably, about Lib Dems being wiped out in Sheffield due to the u-turn on tuition fees. Agree with him or not, (VN doesn’t like 9k fees,) Browne put up a robust defence when many of his colleagues would have been flattened. Later, while it was deeply disappointing that he didn’t say that illiberal and useless control orders would definitely go, it was not unreasonable that as a minister he did not pre-empt the review currently ongoing.

However, when the conversation turned to the subject of the new Anglo/French military agreement Browne seemed to be possessed by the Daily Mail, or at least Jon Gaunt sitting across the table from him. VN suspects that, as someone who works in foreign affairs, he was trying to make a satirical point about the xenophobic tabloid response to the announcement, and is not in fact a raving racist. However, his response rather jarred….


3 Comments to “>Jeremy Browne in a muddle on question time”

  1. >I think he's just too posh for most of us to tell when he's being sarcastic by his voice, but it was extremely obvious to me that he was ironically mocking the xenophobic outpourings of anti-French bigotry. Lot of fuss about nothing.

  2. >What he's saying is that the idea that our Forces will end up wearing Onions/Stripey Shirts etc is what some of the papers might like you to believe.Use a bit of common sense! It's a joke not a serious comment. And it's not a statement of his opinion. Jeremy is no racist.

  3. >It was blindingly obvious that Jeremy Browne was attempting to parody the sort of "berets and onions" remarks that would by made by The Daily Mail, Nigel Farage and all. The heckler in the Question Time auduence who shouted "racist" (if that is what he said, it's not clear) obviously wasn't paying sufficient attention – as indeed is true of many people who have subsequently reported on this.

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