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Senate Judiciary Committee - 1; House of Commons Select Committee - 0

Blog | By Harry Mount | Sep 28, 2018


The Senate Judiciary Committee's grilling of Brett Kavanaugh – to examine him for a place on the Supreme Court – makes for brilliant telly.

By turns, Kavanaugh is praised to the rooftops by Republican senators and quizzed about his High School and university drunken escapades by Democrat senators.

It could be a TV drama. The elderly American senators looks TV-ready: the men with their glossy manes and glossier teeth; the women with immaculate hair and clothes. They've also all done their homework, drilling down into Kavanaugh's past, for flattering and not-so-flattering incidents; and rising to great perorations of praise or condemnation. It's all straight out of Mr Smith Goes To Washington (pictured), the marvellous Frank Capra film starring Jimmy Stewart as an innocent senator who exposes the rotten nature of politics.

I'm afraid it's all much more impressive than the usual fare of our Select Committees. Our MPs aren't so slickly dressed or coiffed – testament admittedly to our lack of vanity. But also they're often less prepared; and the people in the hot seat don't get grilled to a crisp like Kavanaugh. They could learn a lot from the terrifying, dazzling Senate Judiciary Committee.