There’s been embarrassment for Cardiff South and Penarth Labour MP Stephen Doughty at the hands of Talk Radio presenter Mike Graham on the MP’s knowledge – or lack of it – on matters relating to the European Union.
Doughty – who opposes democratic will of the people of Wales and wants the UK to remain in the European Union – came somewhat unstuck when put under pressure to answer questions on the EU from Talk Radio presenter Mike Graham.
Mike Graham, it has to be said, appeared to have a rather better grasp of European institutions than Doughty had given him credit for. Doughty also made the fatal error of alleging that Mike Graham hadn’t done his EU homework.
Doughty confidently told Mike Graham “You obviously haven’t read what’s been going on …..”
Graham retorted “I have read many things. I tell you what YOU haven’t read, right? Do you know who is going to be the next president of the Council of the European Union?”
There was a pregnant pause before Doughty – apparently treading water – said [wrongly] “That hasn’t been decided yet”.
Mike Graham put Doughty straight. “It has! It’s going to happen on Tuesday – right? It’s going to go to Romania. Did you know that?”
A flummoxed Doughty hesitantly replied ” What? Well no …It goes around . ..you’ve just literally said something again that’s not correct ….”.
Mike Graham explained to Doughty “Romania will take the leadership role as president of the council of the European Union”.
Doughty then decided to play the man rather than the ball and retorted “You don’t like Romanians? – Is that what the issue is?”
Mike Graham came back at him “…You’ve just told me it’s not happening Stephen – which is it?”
Doughty hesitantly responded “Well….”
Spotting the hesitation Graham said “You don’t know do you?..,.You don’t know Stephen! ….Don’t come on this show and be ignorant and tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about!”
Doughty came back with a somewhat lame response “So I’m ignorant now am I? I’m a liar and I’m ignorant. It’s a great show isn’t it ? . ..That you get to rant ….””
Graham wouldn’t let go of his wounded quarry and cut across Doughty’s protestations saying “You’ve just told me this is not true Stephen!.”
Doughty attempted a diversion: “This is the very problem with the media that we’ve got in this country”
Graham – scything through the Doughty’s blustered indignation – “Oh really? What? You mean we know the facts – and you don’t”.
Doughty responded “No – you don’t want to debate the facts …”
Graham charitably offered Doughty another chance to answer the question which had appeared to have stumped the Penarth parliamentarian. He put the question again :“I’m asking you what you think – as a voted MP of this country – of Romania being the leader of president of the council of the European Union”
Doughty replied” The presidency of the European Union rotates between all the countries – – we get to do that as well”
Graham “Yes it does – what do you think of Romania getting it on Tuesday”
Doughty “Every country gets to do it every 6 months”
Graham: “You don’t have an opinion on it?”
Doughty “Well…What’s the problem with it?
Graham |“I’m asking you what you think of it “
Doughty “…You don’t want Romanians – is that what the issue is?”
Graham ” No, I love Romanians. I have a very, very nice bunch of Romanian friends. Why would you ask me that question?”
Doughty “So what’s the problem?”
Graham “I’m asking you what you think. You are an elected representative of the people. I pay your wages. I think you should answer the question!”
Doughty “...Well it changes every six months . There’s no question with that. Britain gets a chance to chair it ….”
Graham “Do you realise that they [ i.e. the Romanians] are currently at loggerheads with the European Union over some of the policies that they are currently conducting inside their own country?”
Doughty – rather than chance giving an answer, asked a question instead “So Is Britain at loggerheads with the policies? Everyone gets to have a say . That’s democracy “
Graham “Ah right – So democracy when it suits you. But we’ve had our say. We want to leave the European Union OK? ..So why can’t we?”
Doughty – apparently leaving the door open to the prospect of perpetual referenda on the EU – said “Democracy is an on-going process and I think people should have the chance – that puts it to …. People should have their chance to have a look at the deal that’s been put forward and nobody wants by the way – whether you are a Leaver or a Remainer”
At this point of the recording, it sounds as though the telephone line between the two may have gone dead.
PDN NOTE: The president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has told a German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that be believes “ the Government in Bucharest has not yet fully understood what it means to preside over EU countries….. He added that he had “some doubts” about Romania’s presidency.