Question Time audience member questions Tories’ ‘morality’
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Speaking before audience members in Beckenham, Jordan Peterson, 59, explained how extremely successful individuals are dissuaded from entering politics because of what they have to give up. The discussion comes after the former Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson, 65, resigned as the MP for North Shropshire following a lobbying scandal.
Since then MPs have voted for the Prime Minister’s amendment to clamp down on second jobs.
Boris Johnson, 57, has also appeared to acknowledge he had handled the debacle poorly.
During his appearance before the Tories’ 1922 Committee, Mr Johnson conceded: “On a clear road I crashed a car into a ditch.”
But Mr Peterson, who hails from Canada, said: “I know a lot of people who have had staggeringly successful careers and they are often loathed to go into the political field despite the tremendous expertise they’ve developed because they have to put everything they have already accomplished on hold or in hawk, in a sense, to enter the public sphere.”
The clinical psychologist added: “I understand the conflict of interest problem but one of the problems with that is that most highly competent people in many fields are dissuaded from a political career because it requires the unproductive sacrifice of everything they’ve built and so what that does, in some sense, is deprive us of some of the best people who could be considering politics as a mode of public service and so that is a complicated problem to try and solve.”
But one audience member did not seem to agree with Mr Peterson’s analysis.
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She asked: “Why do we assume that such people are the ‘best people’?”
The audience member then claimed: “They are obviously not the best people for the job!”
The pair then locked horns over the issue with the author of ‘12 Rules for Life’ replying: “Because they have demonstrated extreme competence in at least one area of their career.”
The audience member was having none of it, she instead replied: “That’s banking, this is why we are in the situation we are with people like politicians we have at the moment that are corrupt.”
After some lengthy psychological analysis, Mr Peterson said only three percent of the population are psychopathic and suggested the number remains like this as going down such a route “is not a very good strategy”.
But, and with laughs from her fellow audience members, she replied: “So why is that three percent elevated as our leaders?”
Mr Peterson, who by this point had been engaged in the clash for 80-seconds, exclaimed: “They’re not, they aren’t, that’s wrong and to think that way is counterproductively cynical.”
He added: “To blindly assume that that is more characteristic let’s say of your political leaders than it is of you, for example, as a person, or that it is more specifically characteristic of political leaders than people who are operating at the highest level of capacity in other areas, it’s an empty sort of cynicism, it doesn’t serve people well and it’s not true of reasonable Governments or countries.”
“It’s simply not true.”
But not all viewers seemed happy with Mr Peterson’s appearance.
LBC host, Iain Dale, 59, tweeted: “Lots of people think Jordan Peterson is a man with interesting things to say. He’s not living up to that reputation on Question Time. Very odd.”
One viewer, Andrew Parnall, posted on social media: “Jordan Peterson on #bbcqt spoke at length whilst saying absolutely nothing I could understand. He was a complete waste of a panellist’s chair.”
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Another viewer, using the handle @Yorkshire77, added: “Jordan Peterson is a man who reviews books without reading them #bbcqt.”
@SalimAWriter went on to claim: “Peterson was like a malfunctioning robot, glitching every few seconds, spouting pre-programmed phrases whenever poked. 10 more minutes and Fiona would’ve needed to plug him in to charge between questions. #bbcqt.”
The Canadian psychologist joined BBC host Fiona Bruce, 57, in Beckenham alongside Tory Employment Minister Mims Davies, 46, Walthamstow’s Labour MP Stella Creasy, 44, the SNP’s Westminster Business spokesman Stephen Flynn, 33, and ex-Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West of England Nazir Afzal, 59.
During yesterday’s Question Time episode the panel also discussed the Government’s transport commitments, the ongoing migrant crisis and racism in cricket.
Next week Ms Bruce will make the trip to Cardiff for the next episode on Question Time.
The show will be aired on BBC One at 10.35pm on Thursday.
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