Can we talk about how Mhairi Black is so our new idol? The 20-year-old MP gave her maiden speech yesterday and it was awesome – like seriously stand-out of your seat amazing. In fact, it was so brilliant Mhairi’s fellow SNP MPs got a bit of a telling off for giving her a ‘whoop whoop’ instead of the prim and proper ‘hear hear.’
As for Twitter, well, it heaped praise on Mhairi for being funny, confident and superbly smart – with many saying it’s the best speech to be seen in the House Of Commons… ever. Praise indeed. It’s safe to say if we were Mhairi we’d be feeling pretty smug about now…
But what was it about Mhairi’s speech that attracted so much attention? If you haven’t watched it yet, we outline our fave bits below…
She Was Seriously Funny
And by this we mean she was hilarious, but her jokes had very serious points. She had everyone chuckling as she joked about how William Wallace was from her constituency… Then bam! she pointed out what the current government had done to the area. And that wasn’t funny at all. In words that sent shivers down our spines she calmly pointed out that “one in five of the children in my constituency go to bed hungry at night.”
Later, with perfectly timed irony she pointed out that since the budget has cut housing benefit for anyone under the age of 21 she’s not only the youngest MP in Britain, but the only person for whom the ‘chancellor is prepared to help with housing.’ (We were cheering pretty hard by this point.)
She Spoke About Real People
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It’s getting a bit tiring hearing “budget this, austerity that” from MPs and feeling ever-so-slightly like they just don’t get it. That they’ve lost sight of who they are supposed to be helping. Which is why Mhairi’s speech was such a breath of fresh air – she demonstrated many of her points with real people she knew, and how their lives have been badly affected by current policy.
She Was Calm and Confident
Think of all the times you’ve had to give a big presentation to your boss, and even the thought of it is completely terrifying. This, we imagine, for Mhairi was like that but a hundred times more. But if she was nervous then she really didn’t show it – each point was delivered in a tone that demanded respect, and not once did she waiver from her points. If she wasn’t so busy changing the world we’d ask her to become our personal career mentor…
She Made This Excellent Point
Well, she made many. But we cheered the hardest when she said “food banks are not part of the welfare state. They are a symbol that the welfare state is failing.’ Gaun yersel, Mhairi!
And Finally… She Gave Us Hope
Hope that there is a different type of politician out there. Hope that there’s finally someone out there on our side. And hope that actually, yes, our voices do deserve to be heard – and Mhairi is going to make everyone stand up and listen.