It only took Benjamin Zephaniah two sentences to cut through the crap on Brexit

Benjamin Zephaniah on Question Time panel
Emily Apple

Professor Benjamin Zephaniah appeared on Question Time on 30 November. Much of the programme focused on the ongoing mess that is Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal. But while the politicians came up with the usual spiel, poet and writer Zephaniah cut through the crap.

“The workers will get screwed”

Zephaniah injected a dose of reality into the debate:

It doesn’t matter if we have Brexit, Remain or Leave, however you look at it, trust me, the workers will get screwed.

He continued:

The banks are screwing you; the insurance companies are screwing you; the utility companies are screwing you. It’s just about how much you get screwed.

Many social media users agreed that Zephaniah nailed it:

“Fish should be in the sea”

Later in the programme, the panel discussed fishing rights post Brexit. Again, Zephaniah demolished the political waffle with one simple sentence:

I believe all fish should be in the sea.

Many people appreciated his “his beautifully simple answer”:

Others said it was the best comment of the night:

Cutting through the crap

Zephaniah’s direct comments were perhaps unsurprising though, as this uncompromising honesty is what he does best. In an interview published by Red Pepper, Zephaniah said:

Reforming does nothing. That’s why I’m an anarchist.

Meanwhile, when he was touted as the next Poet Laureate, he responded:


I won’t work for them. They oppress me, they upset me, and they are not worthy. I write to connect with people and have never felt the need to go via the church, the state, or the monarchy to reach my people. No money. Freedom or death.

After hours of media time devoted to Brexit, May’s deal, the financial implications, and general crap about ‘taking back our country’, Zephaniah’s simple but direct statements rang true with people. Devoid of bullshit and party political manoeuvring, his comments stood out with those two simple observations: “Workers will get screwed over” and “Fish should be in the sea”.

Featured image via screengrab

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