Francesca Martinez’s ‘Question Time’ Speech About Austerity Goes Viral
Francesca Martinez has slammed the government for its austerity policy in an impassioned Question Time speech that has been declared the show's "greatest moment".
The comedian, writer and actress, who has cerebral palsy, said on the BBC One political debate on Thursday night that the Conservative government had "blood on its hands", pointing to research that suggested 130,000 people had died as a result of austerity.
Calling the figure "absolutely outrageous", Francesca said: "That's 130,000 mums, dads, daughters, sons, uncles and aunts who have died because the Tories and the Lib Dems decided to make ordinary people pay for a crash that was caused by bankers, who we bailed out."
Francesca also spoke out about the suffering of disabled people, saying: ""As a 'wobbly woman' [referring to her cerebral palsy], I really have to highlight the tens of thousands of disabled people and sick people who have died after being found fit for work.
"Whatever your politics, you can agree that punishing disabled and sick people for falling on hard times is absolutely morally wrong and they have blood on their hands"@chessmartinez on the government's austerity policy. #bbcqt pic.twitter.com/3zQUDVLvOa
- BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) June 13, 2019
"We are one of the richest countries in the world and this is absolutely outrageous. Even the UN has called Tory welfare reform a violation of disabled people's rights."
She went on to point out that "anyone can become disabled or sick at any time" and that right now "this government is taking away the safety net that we have fought for collectively over decades to help those in need".
"Whatever your politics, you can agree that punishing disabled and sick people for falling on hard times is absolutely morally wrong and they have blood on their hands," Francesca added.
The passionate speech quickly went viral on Twitter, with followers saying it was one of the "greatest moments" ever on Question Time, and that Martinez had delivered "one of the best full critiques of austerity".
Francesca Martinez is knocking it out the park tonight. #BBCQT
- Skint London Mag (@SkintLondon) June 13, 2019
#bbcqt @chessmartinez You have become a hero to millions for being brave as a lion for saying what should been said on the BBC years ago.
Moreover, for saying it very fankly and not skirting around the issue.
We all salute you Francesca - Agree RT pic.twitter.com/mbqSmkFfhI
- Ramesh Patel - Everything They Told You Was A Lie! (@IamalrightJack) June 13, 2019
#bbcqt @chessmartinez was literally the only reason I decided to watch tonight & she hasn't let me down in the slightest. Finally someone calling out austerity and the deaths it has caused, the hardship for disabled people. Unfortunately the debate moved on all too quickly.
- David Hooks (@PoliticsScot) June 13, 2019
Other fans called Francesca a "hero", with one saying: "I've never heard a more moving, honest speech. How dare the UK treat vulnerable people so badly. How dare we allow the hard fought for Welfare State be dismantled or sold off under our noses. Clearly those in charge don't care. We have to."
Featured Image Credit: BBC