This post was first published by The Croydon Advertiser 09/11/2017.
Everyone is loving the young audience members from Croydon who stole the show on Question Time last night
There might not be a lot of love around for politicians at the moment, whether it is because of sexual harassment allegations or undisclosed business meetings while on holiday.
So perhaps we need some fresh blood in the corridors of power – and it appears there are plenty of young people in Croydon who could be up to the job.
Because when BBC One topical debate show Question Time was filmed in the town last night (Thursday) it was the members of the audience and not the politicians on the panel who left viewers mightily impressed.
In particular the younger members of the audience won widespread praise, with floods of viewers taking to Twitter to express how much they had enjoyed the show as a result of how eloquently and intelligently they presented their arguments.
David Dimbleby presented the show, which was filmed at Trinity School, in Shirley.
Having been filmed earlier in the evening, it was broadcast at 10.45pm.
The panel featured Education Secretary Justine Greening, TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp, Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty, Daily Telegraph columnist Charles Moore and Stella Creasy, the MP for Walthamstow.
But it was the audience members who stole the show with praise being heaped on them on social media as being “superior” to the panel when discussing the topics chosen for debate.
Laura Slinn tweeted: “Amazing! Croydon audience is vastly superior to panel. Actually vaguely entertaining this week #bbcqt .”
The show’s panel debated a number of topics on the hour-long show, including whether Prime Minister Theresa May can still call her government “strong and stable” in light of recent events.
One audience member criticised the PM’s decision not to sack under fire International Development Secretary Priti Patel and called it a “failure” that she instead resigned.
The future of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was then debated before thoughts on tax avoidance and the release of the Paradise Papers were aired.
The next question, from a student in the audience, was greeted by rapturous applause. He asked: “As a 17-year-old schoolboy, how is it that I know how to respect women better than some government ministers do?”
It comes after a host of allegations were made against a number of MPs, with Sir Michael Fallon’s position as Defence Secretary coming to an abrupt end last Wednesday (November 1) amid the sex row.
The question, which was called a “really good point” by the panel, was then answered by Nathan, the student who asked it. He said the recent revelations were “disgusting” and called for change in the way men, and women, behave towards women.
The schoolboy’s thoughts on the subject earned praise on social media.
John Broadfoot said: “Really enjoyed taking part in a very well-run BBC Question Time from Croydon last night.
“Great debate and input from a wonderfully talented, involved, young, diverse audience that I thought was a great credit to Croydon and bodes very well for its future.”
And comedian Mark Steel went further still, predicting incredibly things for the town in the decades ahead – although he may just have been exaggerating a little bit!
He said: “The young people in the Question Time audience in Croydon are magnificently articulate. In 20 years Croydon will be more powerful than China.”
To watch the episode of Question Time held in Croydon go to www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09fgcc4.