Episode 64 – It’s a post election wtfomgbbq special! What happened, how much have you laughed about what happened, why it happened, how is it still so funny and what will happen next? Tiernan answers all. And laughs a lot.
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Hello and welcome to episode 64 of the Partly Political Broadcast. I’m Tiernan Douieb and ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahah sorry sorry, excuse me just one minute hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahhahahahahahahah Oh dear. Sorry. I’m Tiernan Douieb and like startled griffin and currently but for how long Prime Minister Theresa May, I too think the UK needs certainty which is why I’m very pleased she’s made certain everyone in the UK think she’s a useless idiot who wasted £143m on an election entirely because of her own overblown hubris.
I’m going hold my hand up and say despite everything I’ve said on this podcast so far, I was wrong and actually, Theresa May, you were completely right. Holding a snap general election was actually a great idea. If nothing else you temporarily made the entire country laugh an awful lot at your expense and that may well be the Conservatives first ever contribution to bettering people’s mental health. Yes the Conservatives did win the election but in the sort of pyrrhic victory that means the long dead corpse of King Pyrrhus of Epirus is thinking, thank fuck, maybe they’ll call it a Mayist victory from now on. It seems that along with putting overconfident leaders in their place, the only other thing you can do to really make sure the British people turn up to fight is give them a target. May for weeks said if she lost only six seats it’d be Jeremy Corbyn doing EU negotiations, and the British public went ‘six? We can easily beat that.’
The Conservatives lost 13 seats which now gives them 318, making them the biggest party but not big enough to form a government all by themselves, or really have a mandate for the hard Brexit they wanted to deliver. So instead of giving May a stronger hand this snap election meant that she’s been made to wear mittens to cover up several painful hangnails. while Labour exceeded the expectations of everyone who didn’t like young people increasing their seats from 232 to 262. For over a year the internet has been awash with jokes about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn looking like Obi Wan Kenobi, yet after months and months of being struck down, he came back stronger than anyone could possibly imagine and by similarly seeming to appear in the visions of young hopefuls seeking to take down the Empire too. Labour even took areas like Canterbury for the first time since 1919 proving that the political landscape is so array even Kent is now unpredictable, and Kensington which they won by only 20 votes. Bloody Metropolitian Liberal elite Kensington eh? What next? Harrods to become a co-op? So Labour lost but when they were predicted to disappear up the negative bum hole of the Parlimentary Labour Party, they instead pulled the ultimate hustle by being all positive and actually appealing to people with their manifesto. I bet Corbyn plays poker by telling everyone what’s in his hand saying it’ll help out those in need to know, only for few of the others to trust the transparency and fold out of caution. It’s almost as though people were sick of negative campaigns with no substance or something. Weird.
The Conservatives made gains in Scotland, as did Labour, meaning the SNP are still the biggest party there but now without a majority for to secure another indy ref. It turns out for many Scottish people, the idea of independence is only fun if you have someone to share it with. UKIP gained nothing and have now become a minority group which will be quite hard for them to cope with considering. UKIP Leader and chicken nugget brought to life through evil magic Paul Nuttall resigned, probably to spend more time on his career as an astronaut or top ballerina that he’s told everyone about probably. Melted scrotum Nigel Farage has threatened a political comeback which is hard as sadly he’s never really gone away, and no one looks forward to the quiet squelch he’ll make as an unelected non-leader of a completely defunct party.
As for the government, well after months of warning that a vote for Labour would be a vote for a Coalition of Chaos, it looks like the Conservatives will form some sort of agreement with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, the political equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition. The DUP are very socially conservative, meaning they really don’t have many friends and are against gay marriage, abortions, climate change, or generally just being in the current day and age. Ideally if time machines were invented they’d probably scrap all their policies in order to insist on returning everyone to circa whenever the fuck Noah’s Ark was. Though of course Time Machines would be pretty futuristic which may cause issues. There are also DUP connections with loyalist paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland, and this whole collaboration could shit all over the Good Friday agreement. So the Conservatives warning of a coalition of chaos if you voted against them, then providing one now that people did, feels a lot like when your parents told you, you wouldn’t get what you wanted for Christmas, then they did get it for you, only it’s a knock off shit version. It’s all a Lepin Brocks Moany Figures set on a major scale.
Despite calls for Theresa May to resign it doesn’t look like she will because she is obviously one of those enemies of the public we keep hearing about, who wants to ignore the will of the people. It’s probably partly also because no one really wants to inherit the mess she’s created, fairly certain any new leader would arrive to find a note at No.10 saying ‘there’s no dignity left’. She told the Conservative 1922 committee, so called as that’s when all their policies are from, that ‘I got us into this mess, so I’ll get us out.’ Which does make me wonder if in a week’s time she’ll announce ‘To get us out of this mess I need a stronger mandate, so I’m calling a snap election.’
There were rumours that Foreign Secretary and cloud pig Boris Johnson would make a leadership bid which is a terrifying thought. Though on the plus side while Brexit negotiations with May at the helm could last weeks and end negatively, if Boris did them he’d likely make a xenophobic comment about goose stepping or Napolean and be chucked out with Brexit called off in minutes. Boris has explicitly said that he is backing Theresa May, though judging by his record that could just be into his own readily sharpened knife.
May’s speech the morning after the vote said that she will lead a government that promotes fairness and equality, before then announcing they would also work with the DUP proving she’s now so adept at u-turning, she can do it mid sentence. May has kept a lot of cabinet members in their positions because if it is broke why not keep hitting it with a hammer until people don’t remember how it looked beforehand. Michael Gove has also returned to the cabinet because like a yeast infection if you don’t deal with it properly it will come back. He is the new environment minister which makes sense as he’s usually responsible for upsetting changes to the climate. It also looks like a lot of the Conservatives manifesto will be watered down, which is hard as it was piss weak to begin with and this essentially means both left and right wing voters now will be equally unhappy with the results. The DUP haven’t formerly agreed anything at the time of recording though this alliance would make sense as Arlene Foster also faced calls to resign after the completely ill thought through cash for ash scandal. So her and May would mean two wrongs do in fact make a fairly far right.
The Queen’s speech was meant to take place next Monday but it has been delayed by several days probably on account of her majesty not being able to read through the current script without corpsing with laughter. Opinions polls now have Labour way above the Conservatives and Labour say they’re ready if another election happens. Great! Who’s up for this new bi annual tradition of elections? We can make it our new British thing and even export a couple, helping bolster whatever sort of Brexit we have by 2019 by the time we’ve elected our 4th government in two years now compromising of Lord Buckethead, six people from the Animal Welfare Party and the only people who turned up to the polling station that day.
Meanwhile in other arrogant unwanted leaders who have no idea what they’re doing news President of America Donald Trump aka Whiney the Poop, has said he won’t visit the UK until the British public are supportive of him. So that’ll be never then. If only he applied that criterion to the rest of the world and the US and he’d spend a lot of time walking around in a tiny circle in Mar-A-Lago. Former head of the FBI James Comey testified last week that Trump did put pressure on him to drop the investigation into his connections with Russia, to which Trump responded by calling him a leaker. Judging by the prostrate medication his doctor prescribes him, that should mean Trump has more in common with Comey than he thought.
Oh and in France Macron looks set to gain between 390 to 445 of the possibly 577 seats in French parliament with his party that didn’t even exist a year ago, because garcons et filles that is how you do strong and stable. Mic goddamn drop.
Hahahahahahahahahah sorry, I just remembered the results hahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaah. Oh god it is amazing. Hello you. Welcome to the first podcast post of this new government which is a phrase I may well be saying every week for the next few years. Thank you as always for listening and a big thanks to all of you who came along to the live Partly Political gig on election night last week. It was a truly special night, made more special by the uplift the crowd got when Will, Jonny and the Baptist’s manager, got on stage and read us all the exit polls. I’ll pop the audio clip of it on the end of this week’s show. I then drank horrendous amounts, popped along to Simple Politics all night election party, drank more there and spent Friday laughing at the news then having to stop because it kept making me feel sick. Win! Even though it was a lose. But a win lose nonetheless. Anyway, if you enjoyed the live gig let me know and if you think I should try and do more, god knows there might be 12 more elections by the end of the year, then get in touch via all the usual places the @parpolbro Twitter, the partly political broadcast group on Facebook or email@example.com. Similarly with your thoughts on what you’d like to hear on this show in coming weeks. I have a feeling every episode I bring out for a while will be out of date before it gets to you, so should I be looking at more worldly issues, general topics, or you know, just favourite ways of stoning people if the DUP really do get much of a say in future weeks. Do let me know.
Thanks to Leo for donating to the ko-fi last week, that was much appreciated and don’t forget if you enjoy this weekly attempt to make the incoherent slightly more coherent, then please do either donate monthly at the Patreon.com/parpolbro page or at least a one-off at the ko-fi.com/parpolbro page. And if you can’t do either of those then please do spread the word and tell other people to tune in, subscribe and like and do give the show a review on iTunes or stitcher or drop it in during your favourite game of Chinese Whispers, a game that I’m sure should be called something else nowadays, like Russian whispers or US intelligence whispers, and you can throw in a tasty review so someone at the end shouts ‘Portly Partical Broadstairs is a Groot podracer!’ Or something.
Quick plug for some live stuff. I’m doing an Edinburgh preview at the Phoenix in Cavendish Square, where the election night gig was, on Sunday 18th June with the brilliant Bec Hill. Tickets are only £6 and you can grab them at phoenixcavendishsquare.co.uk. Next week there are the final two Stand Up For Refugees shows with Adam Hils headlining our one at Hertford theatre on June 20th and Dara O’Briain and Mark Steel at our show at the Brighton Dome on June 21st. There are still, somehow, tickets left for both, so please head to those theatres websites and grab them if you can. Oh and lastly, due to monumental fuck ups, my Edinburgh Fringe show venue has changed. It was at the Liquid Room Annexe at 2.30pm everyday but it’s now at The Waverley Bar at 2.30pm everyday which is actually easier to find but also sounds like it might be all wobbly even before you drink in it.
Right, this week’s show has no guest because no one has a clue what’s going on, but it’s a bit of a where are we now episode. There’s a look at the results, a key to the latest Kingmakers the DUP even though they only believe in one king, also what on Earth happens with Brexit now. All of which will probably be completely irrelevant within two minutes of me posting this onto Acast, but hey, why not choose to use this show as a sort of sanity stick whereby you can watch the news going ‘how has this fallen apart, I’m sure we had no indication this would happen anywhere’ then listen back to an episode of Partly Political and think, ‘no we didn’t, it’s ok, everyone is confused, especially Tiernan.’
So where to start? Well, how about with….
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?
Well first let’s look at the figures. That’s right, I’ve got a bulky but sexy one and you’re looking sleek as. Sorry, I mean election figures. The Conservatives got 42.4% of the vote which is their highest since 1983 and five points up from 2015. Also with such narrow wins for other parties in some areas, they could have gained a working majority with just 75 votes, which makes you realise just how important your vote is, and also that we need to keep a really close eye on those 75 and warn them that if they even think about changing their minds next time, they’ll get a smack down. I mean you Barbara. I’m talking directly to you. Labour almost got a bigger share of the vote at 40% than Blair did in 2001 at 41%, and they got a ten point lead on their 2015 result 5 of which is probably just because this time they didn’t have any mugs with immigration policies on.
Of course vote share is of votes overall, which is why, as we don’t have proportional representation, it doesn’t always equate to more seats, with labour only getting 2.4% less than the Tories but 56 fewer seats. On the plus side, not having proportional representation means UKIP have completely died so you know, swings and roundabouts. But the reasons for these Labour gains and the Tory losses are many and varied with probably one of the most important ones being what’s now called ‘the youthquake’ which sounds a lot like what happens when a lot of teenagers stand too near to a speaker during a dubstep gig, but actually it’s the effect that happens when young people turn out. The youth vote for under 35s was up 12 points since 2015 and over two thirds of them voted Labour because they still have a future unlike Conservative oldies who know they’re going to die soon so why not make things shit for everyone else because who cares.
Also take into account that UKIP’s vote dropped by 10.8 points from 2015 because it turns out you can have a protest vote that is racist and ill informed if you like. Then there is the fact that the Lib Dems made a few gains but also a few losses including Sarah Olney who was beaten by Zac Goldsmith in Richmond because of 45 votes, some of which must’ve been dogs who snuck a vote in under a pseudonym, incensed by the whistle of Goldsmith’s views during his mayoral campaign. Seriously, go check. At least one of those votes will be by Woofy Barkington or something. Then Nick Clegg lost his seat in Sheffield Hallam to Labour’s Jarad O’Mara, the first time the seat has been Labour since it was created in 1885. Nice to think Clegg gave everyone the parting gift of a free lesson on what happens when you fuck over students. Overall the Lib Dems lost 0.5% of their vote share. And the SNP lost several seats and vote share too and you can start to see that pretty much everyone in the UK decided this was a two horse race between someone who would probably use their horse to hunt foxes with and someone who’d probably give their horse it’s own equal share of land and encourage it to start a small business selling peanuts.
And no one predicted this at all. Well except fro yougov and Survation polls who both took into account the possibility of young people voting. But the rest of them didn’t and the general tabloid bullshit buzz was too cynical, assuming Labour’s left wing manifesto wouldn’t ring with people what with all the positivity and progressive nature to it. I mean, we’re a country that watches dancing children get slagged off on Britains Got Talent so why on earth would anyone want anything nice for once? But also predicting the vote of young people is hard with them rarely in for door knocking as they’re too busy being out and about knocking each other, and that means they usually miss phone surveys too. Labour’s manifesto contained stuff people actually liked and Corbyn’s campaign was pretty strong throughout the seven weeks despite the odd need for an iPad. While it has been echoed a lot, and it’s impossible to really tell, who knows what Labour’s result would have been if they’d not had such vicious press attacks for the past year and a half. At the same time, who knows what they’d have been if they’d presented themselves as they did way before the campaign. But then again that may not have lead to an election and then hey, until we invent some sort of device that let’s us delve into a parallel universe possibility, we’ll just never know. And when we do invent that, I will mostly spend time seeing if evil me doesn’t have a beard. But you have to wonder if people are paying much attention at all to print media anymore and if social media is now far more important. Also does this mean Rupert Murdoch will finally burn down all his empire in order to start his plans to block the actual sun instead?
It’s also clear that Scotland has less of an appetite for independence than they had before and it’s likely Ruth Davidson, leader of Scottish Conservatives and her slightly softer brand of hey I’d almost hang out with them but not without an excuse planned so I can leave early Tory won people over. What also looks like it was a big decider was that the Conservatives manifesto was so poorly constructed, attacking the older vote they usually target with the dementia tax, bringing back fox hunting which is never publicly popular, and not bothering to cost anything because who needs a magic money tree when you have billionaire donors who can pull money out of their arse whenever needed. May’s lack of appearances and constant repetition of the same shitty taglines made everyone realise that she was not so much leadership material as that of a faulty lifeboat. And after years and years of everyone accusing each other of project fear and finger pointing, perhaps, just perhaps, everyone was sick of a campaign that didn’t say ‘hey we’ll do this’ but instead ‘hey they won’t do that.’ There’s only so long you can point a finger of blame before people look at the arm attached to it and realise it comes directly from an arsehole like a terrible Dr Frankenstein early project.
On the positive side, there are now more than 200 female MPs, and more BME MPs, LGBT MPs and MPs with disabilities than ever before. And still no UKIP MPs. See. Have that. I often feel like this country’s going backwards together, but right there is proof we’re not. I thought about writing a joke there but I just want to revel in that. Go on. Enjoy. Ahhhhhh.
Right enough of that. The big question is:
WHAT ON EARTH HAPPENS NOW?
Well firstly, the first PMQs should be brilliant fun. It’ll be like that Have I Got News For You after Angus Deayton got caught doing coke with prostitues. I mean, only difference is, Deayton turned up. There’s every chance May will just send Amber Rudd to do PMQs instead. That’s if she’s Prime Minister still by then. Which, and I’ll take this gamble, I think she will be. Firstly because she’s too stubborn to resign even after the past few days but also because seriously, who’d want to take over? Imagine trying to instil confidence in a public that’s concerned about Brexit negotiations and a DUP coalition and then them having to deal with Prime Minister Boris Johnson. That’s like saying to a goat herder, hey I know you were concerned about the safety of your flock, but that’s ok, I’ve got this troll to watch over them. A Survation poll from the Mail on Sunday, who’s election predictions were pretty spot on, shows that actually any May replacement would make the Conservatives even less popular than they are already with Michael Gove topping of the poll of most least favourites because no one wants to be lead by a wobbly head toy of a slapped arse. Most polls now are either shows voting intentions to be neck and neck for Labour and Conservatives or for Labour to be ahead, which while that definitely changes my mind about how soon we need another election, I think if anything, it’ll put the Conservatives off.
But if May stays, after a loss like that, she’s not going to have a lot of power in dealing with her own party. Apparently her campaign was run with a very small team, keeping many of the rest of the party in the dark like posh potatoes. This is part of the reason her reputedly abusive advisors Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill quit, with many pictures shown of them walking away from Downing Street looking like a brother sister folk band who mainly sing about fucking each other. They’ve been blamed for having too much power over May, bringing in things like the dementia tax, and according to May’s former director of communications they were toxic but not in a cool Britney Spears way. Thing is though, May is still responsible for her own doings too and getting rid of the advisors doesn’t mean it’s any less her fault. Well unless they altered her programming so she couldn’t do otherwise.
May’s cabinet reshuffle left most of the top team where they are, including Hammond as least interest raising Chancellor in more ways than one, Johnson as the idea of doing a sensible job to him is completely Foreign Secretary, Fallon as overly Defensive Secretary, Rudd as not in my Home Secretary and Jeremy Hunt as Health Minister because if you want to keep doctors away, he’s ten times more efficient than an apple a day. Then disgrace Liam Fox the disgrace has stayed as whatever it is he doesn’t do, and David Davis is still in charge of not having a clue about Brexit. In addition David Gauke has been given the post of Secretary of State For Work and Pensions because with his record of voting against any sort of benefit rises and lots of benefit cuts a surname that sounds like retching seems appropriate. Andrea Leadsom is leader of the house because as a mother she’s lead infantile humans around a house before, plus she can add it to her CV under Prime Minister. Damien Green who’s Theresa May’s pal from uni and now Secretary of the fucking State of things. David Lidlington who’s now in charge of justice and much like his predecessor Liz Truss seems to barely even know about coles law. And also Michael fucking Gove who’s Environment Secretary because everyone’s still had enough of experts. Gove tried to ban climate change information from the education curriculum when he was Education Secretary and keeps voting to sell off the forests. I swear every Conservative Party reshuffle is like a game of who would be worst for this. If they had a post for Secretary of Driving Safely they’d probably give it to Richard Hammond. If they had a Secretary of Elderly Care they’d probably give it to the corpse of Harold Shipman. If they had a Secretary of Being Anything Other Than A Fucking Lump of Useless, they’d probably move Boris Johnson to it. May has also give the job of chief of staff to former MP Gavin Barwell, a man who has easily the most punchable face in the UK and who lost his seat last week because you know the Conservatives just hate to reward failure.
By keeping people in their posts, by getting Gove back in, it’s all to keep people on side. But Scottish Conservatives may break off and become their own party, while staying allied with the Conservatives, partly due to their disagreements with Brexit and partly due to possible DUP alliances. Then many of May’s party are unhappy with her and may rebel. Then of course they don’t have a majority anyway so it’d be really easy for almost anything the Conservatives put forward over however long to be blocked every time making May much less strong and stable and a lot more sitting and duck. This may also explain why they might be rowing back on some of the harsher elements of the manifesto, meaning the people that voted for them won’t get what they want and the people who didn’t vote for them will just get less of what they didn’t want and ultimately Theresa May should rewrite How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. Though to be fair I’m still not sure she’s as unpopular as that book’s author Toby Young. But I mean really, you imagine trying to repeal the fox hunting ban to a House of commons that’s sees taking you down as blood sport. I mean, I would like to see that. A number of commentators today were boo-hooing about how they feel sorry for May because she had a tough week. No! She did it to herself! If an endangered animal species was only in trouble because it decided it was better than all the other animals, challenged them to a duel and then got fucked up by a lion I’d think, nah mate, your times done. Also May hasn’t had that tough a week. She didn’t get what she wanted and thought she deserved. Essentially she’s finally understood what it’s like to be a member of the UK public at the moment.
Oh and I realise that while I’ve mentioned them a lot, I have explained about….
I HEARD OF DUP BUT DO YOU KNOW THEE?
You might remember back in ep45 I spoke to Matt Fulton at Progressive Politics Norther Ireland who explained all about the Cash For Ash scandal. You don’t remember that? Well, go skidaddle all the way back and have a listen. Go on. I’ll wait.
Doo doo di doo doo doo dah dah di doo dooo
Back already? That was quick. So now you know Arlene Foster essentially gave a ton of money to people to heat empty homes and building, then was called to stand down but didn’t then the late Martin McGuiness from Sinn Fein was second minister stood down because the Good Friday agreement says the First minister can’t exist without the second and Arelene Foster was the first minister and that led to Assembly elections where no power sharing agreement was made and now here we are. Phew. Well to summarise the DUP, they are a right wing unionist party in Northern Ireland. They were formed by Reverand Ian Paisley who was known for speaking in ever louder and louder tones until it was just a wall of noise emanating from his mouth. The DUP are the main opposition to Sinn Fein, and they seek union with the UK against Sinn Fein’s calls for a united Ireland. They’re super proddy. Like super religio. They hate the idea of gay marriage because it’s not natural, even though they probably use computers, shoes, and cars all of which are not natural and really the idea of marriage for anyone isn’t natural because when do you ever see it happening in nature with two monkeys exchanging rings and walking down an aisle you out-dated twats? They are also anti-abortion because why should any unborn child get a free pass to avoid their shitty policies. They are creationists which means they don’t believe in dinosaurs. That may make it pretty difficult to work with many Conservative back benchers or Lords.
They also won’t work on Sundays which at least means we’d never have to see them on the Marr show. There’s issues that after months of accusing Corbyn of having dealings with Sinn Fein whilst they had links with the IRA, the DUP still have links to the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Ulster Defence Association, paramilitary groups, also responsible for the murder of many during the troubles and who only recently were responsible for two deaths due to internal feuds. These groups have publicly endorsed three DUP candidates and while the head of the DUP Arlene Foster has called for all paramilitary to disband there still appear to be several links between her party and those groups which isn’t a great look for the Conservatives when they pretend they’re all about security.
That’s not to say that governments haven’t tried to form an alliance with the DUP before. Gordon Brown tried to broker a deal with them in 2010 when there was a hung parliament vote and really this current government have little choice. They need at least 326 seats for a proper majority, or 323 if count the fact that Sinn Fein never take theirs. Lib Dems won’t fall for that again yet, SNP and Labour would never join them and that leaves only the DUP with enough seats. And really you just sort of wonder, why don’t some people lie across a few seats at once?
The government said they had a deal with the DUP, the DUP said they didn’t yet and the government then had to retract it because that’s exactly the sort of people we want in charge of Brexit negotiations. ‘Hey we’ve got everything we wanted. Oh wait, sorry, we’ve got nothing.’ But if they do sort a deal out then the DUP are going to want things in exchange for supporting the government in forming a majority. Based on a document the DUP made in 2015 with demands of a Conservative government of a possibly hung parliament then, it seems they mostly wanted tougher immigration laws, better treatment of soldiers, a scrapping of the bedroom tax, and more funding for infrastructure in NI. Yes quite a mixed bag of left and right wing wants. I bet their tinder profile says ‘likes GSOH, but will stab you to death if you laugh’. The DUP are very pro-Brexit but they want a soft border with Republic of Ireland which doesn’t mean it’s made of marsh mellow and its hard to cross without getting all sticky. What it does mean is the DUP may put a big orange spanner in any possibility of a hard Brexit where we leave the customs union. Plus what will they call themselves? The Con Dupes? That isn’t great PR. The Duns? The Coups?
And all of this then poses the question of:
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR NORTHERN IRELAND?
Well who knows. Gerry Adams from Sinn Fein has already said that the DUP having a collaboration with parliament means they have broken the Good Friday agreement. That agreement says everyone has to watch that film with Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren at least twice a year. No wait, sorry it means that peace is agreed on the basis of a power sharing agreement between Northern Ireland’s political parties in the Assembly, and an international agreement with the British and Irish governments and is approved by all parties. This is why appropriately titled MP James Brokenshire is the Secretary of State for NI, and he negotiates between British parliament and NI MPs on UK issues as a supposed impartial peace broker, while the Assembly members with a power sharing agreement work on devolved issues. Which in the case of creationist DUP is everything I suppose.
But with the Assembly elections still to happen, having the DUP work with the government might be giving them a power advantage that breaks this agreement. The DUP have argued that if it does then Gerry Adams and other members of Sinn Fein shouldn’t have seats in the Irish parliament either as surely that breaks it too. But as Ireland is a separate country to NI but NI is part of the UK it causes all sorts of issues. And all in all, this is making things more tense then someone from Northern Ireland talking about Wimbledon.
Last week’s elections completely wiped out the smaller Irish Nationalist party the Social Democratic and Labour Party, and the smaller unionist party the Ulster Unionist Party, so unfortunately for a two state country, it’s become even more two state in terms of politics. The Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has warned this alliance will put the peace process at risk. It does all feel pretty irresponsible from May and her government, and almost as though they’re charging through this only thinking of boosting their own power while ignoring all the consequences. But they’re not the sorts to do that sort of thing, are they?
Oh and incase you’d forgotten, there’s still Brexit, always Brexit. Looming over us like a dark cloud in the shape of Michael Gove pissing on the UK. Brexit negotiations are meant to start on Monday the 19th. Yes just seven days away our Prime Minister Theresa May is meant to begin negotiating with 27 EU countries about the best deal for us, while she might not even have a clue what her own government is doing. Have you ever turned up to work and realised you’ve only shaved half your face or your skirt is tucked into your knickers. This is that, but for an entire nation. They won’t actually start until the government is formed, but that’s also not necessarily a good thing. Donald Tusk who is the EU commission President and chief Brexit negotiator tweeted on Friday that ‘we don’t know when the Brexit talks start but we know when they must end.’ Yes. In two years. In two years we’ll have left the European Union and there’s every chance no one will notice as we’ll be too busy screaming at Theresa May as to why on Earth she hasn’t sorted out the Queen’s Speech yet. The incredible thing is that only last week Theresa May said she couldn’t attend a leadership election because she was too busy with important Brexit details. Brexit details that are so important she’d thought she’d waste seven valuable weeks she could have been doing them having a snap election instead that resulted in her having less of a mandate than before. Though it does look like Jean Claude Juncker persuaded May to have a snap election and while there’s part of me that wonders if that’s because they knew how shambolically hollow she is and just how funny it’d be, I think actually it’s because had the Conservatives gained a majority we might finally have a clear picture on what sort of Brexit they want.
Now however, things may be even easier for the EU, as David Davies, the Secretary Of State For Department Of Exiting The European Union and genetic cross between a myxomatosis diseased rabbit and a bollard has said that the mandate for a hard Brexit has now gone. Personally I think that’s great. That might mean we stay in the single market, stay in the customs union, keep freedom of movement and generally do everything we did before only know we pay even more money for it and have absolutely no say making Brexit entirely pointless. Though it might save us a ton of money and time that would’ve been spent hiring extra civil servants to go through laws and legislation for ten years. David Davis is the sort of person who’d tell you he was arranging a surprise party for you even though you don’t want one and know he’s ruined the surprise, then he’d forget to invite anyone and blame you for not having your birthday on a different date.
Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Conservatives don’t want a hard Brexit, the DUP, if the Conservatives do ally with them, they want a soft border with Republic of Ireland which would require a soft Brexit, the SNP are putting pressure on for a soft Brexit and while Labour keep saying they back scrapping freedom of movement I can’t help but wonder if they did that for votes and I’d hope they’d also back the idea of a soft, squishy fluffy Brexit. A Breffule if you will. If that is the case then the Conservatives no longer have any sort of majority to defend against that.
My only concern is that with a soft Brexit, does that mean we’ll spend money on more soldiers to dip in it and won’t that just make everything worse right now?
Lastly, where does all this leave Labour? Well Corbyn looked very content on the Marr show on Sunday. When asked why he was smiling he replied that it was a nice sunny day and when asked if he was staying on for the long term, he replied ‘look at me, I’ve got youth on my side.’ Which was a comment about the large amount of young people that voted for his party rather than about the supple skin on his medial aspect. Corbyn’s office have stated there have been 25,000 more Labour members join since June 8th, not 150,000 as was regularly tweeted by lots of supporters, which was either a typo or they’d signed up a beekeepers union who included all their workers when no one was looking. Corbyn is insisting he’s preparing an alternative Queen’s speech in case May’s government plans fail, and while I mainly hope it’s various verses of the Sex Pistols, this is an unlikely scenario. Labour got 262 seats and they’d need 323 for a majority. So even joining with the SNP, Greens, Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru, they’d still be 9 short. Sinn Fein won’t ever take up their parliament seats which would add another 7. But the Lib Dems have already said they won’t enter another coalition as after they were hurt so bad in their last relationship they just need time by themselves to have a few casual collaborations before they work out what they want to do with their lives. Also there’s no guarantee the SNP, Plaid Cyrmu or Greens would want to collaborate, and there’s no way Labour would seek a union with the DUP like the Conservatives have. It’s all about who wants to play with who, but personally I’m hoping for a Lab, Green, SNP, Lib Dem and grime artist collabo that occasionally involves Skepta in the house of commons telling Theresa May she got shut down.
But Corbyn now has a mandate in his own party even though some members of the PLP still don’t seem particularly happy about it. But under him and his manifesto and based on last week’s election, Labour are more popular than they were under the last two leaders so trying to oust him now would be stupid. There’s been several commentators saying that under a different Labour leader they could have won, but under a different Labour leader there may have not been a snap election and would the youth have been so persuaded to go out and vote for someone who brought a manifesto that actually benefitted them and didn’t grow such large courgettes? But now the trick is for Labour to play this properly, block the Tories when they can, keep their manifesto ideas at a level that pleases more than alienates people who unnecessarily fear everyone will be forced into Marxist ideals and get equal pay and awful things like that, keep young people incensed with ideas that actually would work for them and generally they have to make sure that all the party infighting is done and do a shitload of outfighting instead. I really think the positivity angle of the campaign was a big winner and I’d like to see more of that. Manifesto’s entitled ‘We just hope you like it and please let us know if you don’t but let us know what day it’s ok to call you back and we’ll lend you that book we were telling you about too.’ Stuff like that.
Right that’s it for this week’s show. The podcast should hopefully be back to normal standards next week. Again there was no time for Trump which is the title of my new children’s book, and there’ll be guests again as of next week, and probably a partly big question too. As always if you have anything you’d like to say about the podcast, anything or anyone you recommend I talk about, then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, the @parpolbro Twitter, or the Partly political broadcast facebook group. Or you could encode it backwards into a shit jingle by an MP and then when I play it in reverse while trying to make a dubstep remix of it, I’ll hear your message. I genuinely spent two hours trying to do that with Conservative MP Greg Knight’s campaign jingle. It was too shit to remix. Which is the title of my other new children’s book.
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Big thanks to Acast for hosting the show, my brother The Last Skeptik for all the music and Theresa May for genuinely making me laugh more than I have in some time with her Darwin Award winning cock ups.
I am still laughing about last week’s proof that karma might actually exist but there’s shit tons of work still to do and I’m not out of a job yet. So this will be back next week when no doubt The Queen will be reading a speech made up of demands about how children should be taught that dinosaur bones are just God’s lego or something.
This week’s show was brought to you by this noise the crowd made when Will read out the exit polls on June 8th: