Browsing Youtube last night, looking for kittens playing the piano, or the like, I came across the clip above. Actually it is not really a clip, it is one and a half hours long.
I began by thinking "I'll watch a bit of that" and ended up watching it all. It is a fascinating dissection of the issues surrounding human rights, and although I have not followed the argument which they are talking about to any great extent, this debate is simply one of the best things I have seen in a long time.
Why? Well I think any undergraduate studying philosophy, or theology or politics should be forced to watch it and take notes. Rory Stewart's explanation of the discussion is masterly, and although I may not accept all of this conclusions, nevertheless you cannot fault his skill.
Also, they are not speaking with notes. They know this stuff, they are intelligent men who have this information at their finger tips. Love them or loath them, they are not playing to the crowd. They are able to put forward detailed arguments in a clear way, not reading someone else's hand out.
And they are doing it for the simple reason that it has to be said. This is not the cut and thrust of Prime Minister's Questions, the point of which seems to be to get a headline for that day... it doesn't really matter if is it right or not, just that it is snappy. The debate between Jacob Rees-Mogg and Rory Stewart may be many things, but it is not snappy. They are not doing it for the cameras (Jacob Rees-Mogg is almost horizontal!) and not for the crowds (Youtube has 35000 views, and, let's face it, the chamber is not exactly bulging), but because the issues deserve an in depth discussion.
So, I would prefer to trust these men rather than the men and women who will say just anything (especially when they know nothing) just for a cheap vote.
And this is why the UK Parliament is simply wonderful. Because this debate between Jacob Rees-Mogg and Rory Stewart took place in the House of Commons. This debate, at an hour and a half, and watched by few, is part of our governmental system.
Would that there were more of it.