Reprobates united


1. an unprincipled person. 
“he had to present himself as more of a lovable reprobate than a spirit of  corruption”
synonyms: rogue, rascal, scoundrel, good-for-nothing, villain, wretch, unprincipled person, rake, profiligate, degenerate, debauchee, libertine
2. archaic
(in Calvinism) a sinner who is not of the elect and is predestined to damnation

Well, that’s the dictionary definition, but you can judge for yourself how it was meant when Labour councillor Rishi Madlani used the archaic Calvinist insult ‘reprobate’ to describe Conservative rival Gio Spinella in last night’s discussion on Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban. During a debate and motion which had been billed as the opportunity to make a statement of unified opposition to Trump’s policy, with party politics left at the door, Rishi had accused “the lady across the chamber”, or Conservative group leader Claire-Louise Leyland to the rest of us, of not understanding what it was like for refugees.

The cross-party consensus on Trump torn, Rishi snatched at the ‘pound shop’ meme too, that slightly crusty line with roots in Russell Brand’s use of it to get a clap and a laugh on Question Time when he called Nigel Farage a ‘pound shop Enoch Powell’. Here Theresa May was the pound shop Thatcher, according to Rishi.

Gio, off camera, had heckled his way into the piece by reminding Rishi that Claire-Louise is the only councillor to visit a refugee camp on the Syrian border, while Claire-Louise herself again appealed for everyone to work together against Trump’s divisive ideas.

That plea largely fell on deaf ears, btw: Councillors Flick Rea, Abdul Hai and Doug Beattie were among other speakers in the chamber bashing Theresa May’s response to the travel ban as the debate went on.

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