REMEMBER back at school when the teacher asked you a question in front of the whole class that you were expected to know the answer to – but you didn’t, and so you just guessed when you’d probably would have been better just saying you didn’t know. No? Just me then. But the following was a bit like that…
Appearing at election hustings organised by the Jewish Forum at the JW3 Centre in Finchley Road last night, the Green Party’s London Assembly candidate for Barnet and Camden Stephen Taylor was asked whether he supported BDS, known in full as the movement for boycott, disinvestment and sanctions on Israel. “I don’t have much to say on this,” he answered tentatively, bearing the look of a man who might not actually know what the initials stood for but was a little worried about admitting so. “I’ve read some of the arguments but I’d let it go ahead,” he added.
“YOU’D LET WHAT GO AHEAD…?,” said the surprised host. “BDS,” he replied, leading to even more surprise from the audience, who were now shouting back: ‘Do you support the BDS. yes or no?’
Now resembling a man who had taken a 50/50 shot only to learn from the gasps and grunts echoing around the hall that he must have picked wrong, Mr Taylor’s face drew pensive and he put his hand to his chin like a thinker while he came up with a new answer.
“No, I’d say I’m neutral,” he now said. More muttering and irritation from the audience, which might not be too surprising given this was a hustings organised by a Jewish organisation at a Jewish institution, where those who turned up had expected a little bit of prior homework on the issue that, it goes without saying, clearly means a lot to them. UKIP’s John Baskin also elected to pass the question, later confessing he did not know what BDS stood for.
It was all caught on camera by the Barnet Bugle (@BarnetBugle), with whose permission the footage is posted below: