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It’s never a good time to accost a beast, though particularly not in the days following its scrutiny by rightwing media.
Renowned for his razor sharp wit when riled, Dennis Skinner is known to bite.
As the battle-scarred Beast of Bolsover stalked the corridors of Conference, brave or stupid Huffington Post reporter Owen Bennett naively took his own chance to pounce.
On the subject on nationalising utilities, Bennett asked:
Critics would say this is Labour not learning their lesson from before, would they be right?
Skinner replied fittingly:
Do you think it was wrong for Nye Bevan to build the NHS to save your life?
A response which should perhaps have been taken as a cue for the upstart to scarper. But Bennett stutteringly persisted, refusing to take the hint.
At which point the Beast unleashed a characteristically beautiful but merciless sequence of rhetoric:
Do you think it was wrong to build all those council houses after the war? …Is it a good idea to get rid of zero hour contracts? In case you get one? …Answer! I’m giving you a chance to get involved!
Bennett, long since realising he’d made a mistake, retorted meekly:
I’m just here to ask questions
It’s time that you understood you’re not somebody outside the perimeter… you are involved… you are somebody that could be affected by all the proposals that you’ve heard today… but somehow you people connected to the media think you’re above it all… like Trump… vain… conceited… believing no should argue with them
Before throwing his perfectly placed knockout punchline:
And thus the parliamentary socialist stalwart of fifty years schooled the young reporter, demanding he and his ilk hurry up and get with the programme – to stop working as the mouthpiece for the increasingly-Orwellian and fascist mainstream propagandists; to remind them they are an integral part of a society that needs their support; that they should start once again serving the public rather than be the unquestioning, agenda-driven stooges of authority.
Here is Dennis Skinner. Hear him roar:
Dennis Skinner running rings around journalists at Labour conference. pic.twitter.com/uaSYRsq8so
— Left Design (@UK_LDC) September 26, 2017
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