An evening with Peter Stefanovic in Buckingham
Left wing political commentator, journalist and lawyer Peter Stefanovic gave a passionate talk at Buckingham's Radcliffe Centre last night.
A captive audience, largely consisting of local Labour Party members and supporters, and which included Mayor Jon Harvey, listened to the former Buckingham schoolboy for exactly an hour.
Mr Stefanovic, who was suffering from laryngitis (“probably because I've been shouting at the telly all week” he joked), began by recalling fondly his time as a working class lad on one of Buckingham's council estates and how he had to battle the class divide to make his way in the world.
However, he saved his real animation for his favourite subject; calling out the Government on its inaccuracies and its policies that he believes are harmful to the country.
He got Brexit out of the way firstly, focusing on the recent flip-flopping of ERG members in supporting Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement, singling out “Jurassic Rees-Mogg” as he referred to the Conservative MP. Needless to say this was particularly well-received.
Our embattled Prime Minister was next in the firing line. Mr Stefanovic played a clip of Mrs May speaking to a 17-year-old schoolboy about the consequences of scrapping tuition fees on a radio phone-in programme. The Prime Minister, the daughter of a vicar, said that no tuition fees meant an 18-year-old electrician would be paying for opportunities for someone else.
Mr Stefanovic explained how only higher wage brackets were to see an increase in taxes under Labour Party plans, and concluded:
“That's our Prime Minister on national radio blatantly lying to a 17-year-old.”
Moving on to the Government's response to the shortage of 40,000 nurses in the NHS, Mr Stefanovic explained that rather than tackle the crisis, the Government has exacerbated the problem by overseeing a real terms pay-cut of 40% in the the last decade and abolishing the nursing bursary. Shaking his head in disbelief, he said:
“No one can be this stupid – this can only be a deliberate act of sabotage against the NHS.”
Highlighting how out of touch he believes the Government is, the left-wing commentator then showed pictures of various Conservative MPs, including former Brexit Minister Dominic Raab, using the opening of Food Banks as a reason for celebration and a photo opportunity, somewhat amusingly highlighting one where a ribbon appeared to have been cut.
“Claire Perry is apparently ecstatic at opening a Food Bank in her constituency,” he quipped.
The popular speaker also criticised the Government on employment levels, real term wage cuts and the reduction of Police numbers, among other things.
However, it was Peter's mum who received the biggest cheer of the evening. He finished by requesting a round of applause for 85-year-old Aileen, who still lives in Buckingham and was seeing her son speak for the first time.
Afterwards Mr Stefanovic posed for photos with various attendees and took part in a question and answer session.
You can most easily follow Peter Stefanovic's work on Twitter: @PeterStefanovi2