Episode 7 A Dave Rave, ESA Cuts and Tiernan Douieb chats with Professor Catherine Barnard and Dr Amy Ludlow at Cambridge University about their EU Migrant Worker research project.
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PPB Episode 7
INTRO LINE – On this week’s show: Why we should all go to Madrid and a Dave Rave!
Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast. I’m Tiernan Douieb, which, when translated into Japanese, is ‘Tiernan Douieb’ because that’s how names work.
Here we are in March, the only month that’s also an order, and already it’s episode seven of this podcast. I hugely appreciated the nice comments we’ve been getting on the iTunes saying how much you’re enjoying it all. Especially the one from Mafu83 that I saw this morning who’d clearly listened to my advice at the end of last week’s show and has just posted the word ‘Buttress’ 29 times. Excellent, excellent, work Mafu83.
Also some of you have been saying you can’t download this on the iPhone ‘Podcasts’ app properly, which is clearly an issue, as I can’t download it on my iPhone either. My web man James, and yes ‘web man’ does sound like a pound shop Marvel hero, has investigated & it seems, well, it’s Apple being difficult. There’s no real tips anywhere on how to fix it and look, if they aren’t going to co-operate with the FBI, then we’ve got no chance. That’s a tricky situation isn’t it? Personally I think we should continue to protect people’s privacy, but then if the info on that phone could be used to stop further attacks, then it’d be handy if the FBI had it. But then what if it sets a precedent for them to break into all our phones all the time and they’d find out awful secrets like just how much time I spend on Twitter? Hairy dried apricot Donald Trump thinks Apple should back down, so working on how everything he says is wrong, maybe they shouldn’t? Incredible how the iPhone can manage to keep information so secure but freezes when you change the date to 1970. You may as well spend £200 on a time capsule & bury your secrets in the garden.
So yes, sorry, what I mean is, we are on the case with the downloads. And by we, I mean James. I don’t understand what to do with it at all. Oh and this week’s episode should hopefully sound better. Mainly because I’m not editing it after drinking beer with a friend. Ahem.
Hopefully you’ll find a way to listen to this week’s show though, as it’s filled with stuff including a fascinating interview with Dr Amy Ludow & Professor Catherine Barnard at Cambridge University who are currently undertaking a research project into EU migration, I’ll also be talking about cuts, yes I said that right, this one’s a clean ep, and oh, there’ll be that jingle again. Well, no one’s sent another one in for me to use, so you’ll just have to suffer.
But first in line with the 88th Oscars ceremony this week, here are the headlines:
THE WINNER OF MOST BORING COSTUME DESIGN GOES TO….
David Cameron who this week decided that the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn needed some fashion tips. Jezza was asking Dave questions about the NHS & junior doctors contracts during Prime Minister’s Questions, seemingly forgetting that it’s called that because there’s never any Prime Minister’s Answers. You’d get more useful information out of the door that always lies in Labyrinth. Anyway, a Labour MP heckled Cameron telling him to ask him mum about the cuts in Oxfordshire, after she signed a petition against them last week and Dave responded with:
Which isn’t really what people need to hear to be reassured about the government’s strategy on the health service. Is this going to be standard fare from now? Dave, what are you going to do about the increasing lack of teachers in the education service? ‘I think your hat is rubbish and where did you get your shoes from? The dustbin?’ It’s also quite dishonest from a man who’s been photographed many times without a tie and who’s second in command George Osborne is often dressed up in hi-vis like a member of the village people. It also calls into question why he wants everyone to be dressed up smart, singing the national anthem? It’s a bit North Korea isn’t it? Corbyn responded a day later saying Cameron was jealous of his ‘Holloway Road style’. Having lived near Holloway Road my whole life, the only fashion choice you make there is not wearing obvious valuables. Honestly, they once put a display of spring flowers out along the central reservation & most us assumed there’d been a mass gang killing. Anyway, the plus side of all of this is that Cameron’s sound bite sounds great to an old school rave tune:
PLAY DANCE DAVE
THE WINNER FOR EMULATING THIS YEAR’S OSCARS THEME A BIT TOO WELL IS….
Well, we don’t know the name, but black MP Dawn Butler mentioned on Radio 5 Live that she was in a members only lift when another MP told her ‘This lift isn’t really for cleaners.’ Now there’s a teeny weeny chance that he was just bestowing her with an unneeded fact, like when I tell people out of the blue that wombat poop is cubed, yes, yes it is, but the much higher chance is that the MP was being massively racist, making the assumption that because Dawn is black, and female, she must be a cleaner. Sadly Butler has said this one of many racist remarks that have been made towards her since she was elected in 2005. Again, I can’t say it’s at all surprising, especially considering how many in the Commons seem to act as though we’d be better off back in colonial times, but it’s still very upsetting. Politicians have a responsibility to combat racism & sexism, but with those sorts of comments it looks like that’ll only happen if Dawn Butler is allowed to punch bigots in lifts.
THE WINNER OF WORST USE OF BUDGET GOES TO….
The Ministry of Justice, who this week cancelled a GPS tagging contract that they’ve already spent £21m on. The contract was brought in in 2012 by Chris ‘nothing behind the eyes ‘ Grayling, saying it would save money & track & monitor offenders. But now the MoJ have said it wouldn’t save money so they’ve cancelled it. Well no, it’s cost you £21m! I wonder if they’d have been better off just using that money to buy some big bloody calculators. So that’s this cancelled contract as well as G4S and Serco still being paid for services they have been barred from delivering. It’s lucky justice is blind cos if she saw the current MoJ bank service she’d be one angry lady.
THE AWARD FOR LEAST SUPPORTIVE ACT GOES TO:
George Osborne who’s warned of further cuts like an overenthusiastic barber. The next budget is on March 16th and George has already pulled out classic quotes like ‘We need to balance the books’ which makes you wonder why he hasn’t taken deportment lessons. He says it’s due to economic turmoil which due to low interest rates and previous quantitive easing the UK is now totally unprepared for. Thanks George. So basically he’s saying that due to poor management of the economy so far, the public have to suffer the brunt of it again. I’m starting to wonder if he’s actually always in hi-vis so that like a builder he can keep upping the estimates, saying it’s a bigger job than he first realised.
Right, it’s time for everyone’s favourite jingle:
WITH OR WITHOUT EU
This week’s EU news has been largely letting us know which politician you really don’t like and try not to remember if that they exist is now backing the leave campaign. Iain Duncan Smith is backing the leave campaign saying that leaving the EU would be a stride into the light. Which I think sounds like he wants us all to die. Which he probably does as that’d mean he wouldn’t have to pay out for pensions or welfare anymore. Startled egg and former Conservative leader Michael Howard also said he’d be backing the leave campaign which was a shock to everyone but mostly only because we’d all assumed he was dead. UKIP’s Douglas Carswell said that Howard’s announcement was massive, which is wrong. A) because Howard’s opinion is about as important to most people as hearing their old neighbour that they didn’t like once thought a thing about a thing and b) because actually, jungle is massive.
Meanwhile the government’s official report says that a Brexit would lead to a decade of financial uncertainty. Yeah? You should try being self employed mate.
Anyway, that’s enough from me on the EU. This week’s interview is with two guests who are again, far more knowledgeable about it all than most pundits you’ll see on the TV. I spoke to Dr Amy Ludlow and Professor Catherine Barnard from Cambridge University, who are currently working on a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, that explores the experiences of EU migrant workers in the UK. EU migration is and will continue to be one of the main issues of the referendum, with and so I thought I’d ask Catherine and Amy a few questions on whether it’s something we should be so concerned about.
INTERVIEW PART 1
Back to Catherine and Amy in a minute. But first:
PROPER SUIT TRACK
I’ve never understood the government’s ideas about people and work. For a start they keep mentioning hardworking families, which can’t be a thing as a whole family can’t go to work. Children haven’t been allowed to work for sometime. It does make you wonder if the Conservatives will start pushing for workhouses again. Then there’s this idea of hardworking people in general, and how to encourage people into work when most people I know who are in work, hate it, and would much rather not be if they could. Alternatively, people I’ve met who don’t have a job aren’t pleased about it and would prefer to be working if they could. I mean most daytime television is enough to make anyone wish they could leave the house. How many bargains does one person need? And then there’s the idea the Department and Work and Pensions seems to have that people will be more incentivised to work if you cut all the money and support they need in order to get to it. I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me more enthused about slogging away at a job than knowing I can’t even afford to travel there in the first place. I understand that necessity drives innovation, but if you can’t drive yourself in the first place because you’re one of the 14000 disabled people who’ve had your mobility car taken away, then it won’t help.
The House of Lords have just defeated, for a second time, plans to cut disability benefits by £30 a week from £102.15 to £73. They’d already voted for an amendment to the bill to reverse this cut once, but MPs decided to overturn that, Conservative MPs winning a majority in the House Of Commons, because…well… look jokes aside, I think they genuinely hate disabled people.. There’s no other reason you’d do it. If you listen back to episode 3 where we spoke to Anita Bellows from Disabled People Against Cuts she said just how many cuts are directly affecting people with serious illness or disabilities. Those claiming ESA are considered by the DWP to be incapable of work but may be able to return to employment in the future. There are a lots of case studies that show that assessment may be wrong in the first place, but more than that, if you cut the money that helps these people with work focussed interviews and training programs then it certainly won’t help them get back to work any quicker. You may as well snatch food away from starving people to see if it incentivises them into becoming Michelin starred chefs.
The whole idea is that this cut brings ESA into line with jobseeker’s allowance, which doesn’t take into consideration any extra support those on ESA might need which would then mean the amount is lower than jobseeker’s allowance. It’s a bit like whoever scripted the policy had been forced to do their job despite not being capable and wants to take that out on everyone else. Both Minister for Employment and trainee weasel Priti Patel & evil potato Iain Duncan Smith have managed to dodge all questioning about this, and ignored all criticism from disability charities saying how dangerous this will be. Instead they just keep saying ‘disabled people need support’. If their idea of support is taking support away, then I’d hate to see how they build a tent. Now it’s been defeated a second time, MP’s will probably attempt to overturn it again, and this is known as ‘parliamentary ping pong’ because they view people’s lives as game that most people play very badly with no control.
Perhaps there should be a motion to remove all MP’s expenses and 30% of their salary in the hope that it might incite them to work harder and actually listen to those they represent? Though I reckon most of them wouldn’t pass the fit for work assessment in the first place.
And now back to Professor Barnard and Dr Ludlow.
INTERVIEW PART 2
So clearly Madrid is the place to go to until June if you want to avoid even more boring EU headlines. Why did I say I presume a lot in that interview? I wasn’t discovering Dr Livingstone.
Anyway thanks to Professor Catherine Barnard and Dr Amy Ludlow for talking to me. Always fascinating to hear that actual research can be so at odd with what we hear from sound bites, but also that as Catherine said, soundbites really aren’t enough time for someone to fully explain a situation. Well, it’s only a referendum that may affect the future of the UK that people will be blindly voting on without the correct information eh? What could possibly go wrong….
The EU Migrant worker project can be found at:
Or on Twitter at eumigrantwork and on Facebook at eu.migrantworker.
The other websites that Catherine recommended are Full Fact which I do use all the time for this podcast and angry tweeting during Question Time. That’s at
https://fullfact.org or on Twitter @fullfact
Also check out InFacts.Org which is a pro-EU fact checking service, but as Catherine said, scrutinises both in and out campaigns. And lastly ukandeu.ac.uk which the website for UK in A Changing Europe which collates independent research on UK-EU relations. Have a read of some of those before June if you can. You’ve only got 4 months and some of those articles on those sites aren’t even long reads.
So my aim with this show was to make it non-partisan so each week I’d happily mock all the parties for their doings with no loyalty to any of them. Here we are in week 7 and yet again every possible topic is about something awful the Conservatives are doing. On my list I’ve got the teacher shortage or NHS staff shortage or police shortage or the rise in rough sleeping or the Human Rights Act being under threat. It’s getting to the point where I’m almost certain the Conservative campaign in 2020 will simply be ‘Well you all seemed to like Mad Max: Fury Road so much, we thought we’d help make it real.’
The very scary thing is that they might not even need a campaign slogan as currently it looks like The Conservatives are putting several things into place that’ll make them impossible to unelect. Proposed boundary changes are going to reduce the amount of MPs in the House of Commons from 650 to 600. Less politicians you say? Woop-de-doo that can only be a good thing right? Wrong. Because the areas that will lose MPs are predominantly Labour ones. The boundary changes that were proposed in 2013 had 35 of the 50 seats as Labour MPs. Those changes were stopped by the Lib Dems. I know right? So odd to think we now almost miss them. Almost. Not only that but the seats that gain expanded boundaries will now have more voters, often reaching out of city areas and into surburbia where, you guessed it, there are more Tory votes. So they’ll no longer be safe Labour seats. That’s good in terms of democracy, but also, bad in terms of democracy.
Then take into consideration that since the electoral register changed, almost 800,000 people have dropped off it, mainly in student areas and cities where Labour does best. You think you’d noticed if that many people fell off a thing. And George Osborne announced a cut in short money, which is the funding for opposition parties to both campaign and challenge the government. Then C4 News have now uncovered that the Conservatives illegally cheated in three by-elections in 2014, using over £90,000 more campaign funding than the legal limit and disguising it by keeping certain costs off the books. So far, they’re getting away with it. So the 2020 campaign will about as democratic as Immortan Joe’s desert fortress. I think I still have some silver spray paint somewhere if anyone wants a head start?
To think some MPs want to leave the EU because it’s undemocratic eh?
That is all for this week’s show. Thanks again for listening and please feel free to shout about it from the rooftops. Or probably, tweet, facebook and email about it instead as standing on rooftops can be dangerous and cold. Also feel free to review the show on iTunes. Perhaps this time with your own EU based song title. ‘I will always love EU’ for example if you’re an in voter, or maybe ’50 Ways To Leave EU’r Lover’ if you’re an outie. Hee hee, like a belly button.
If you’re super bored go check out my TrumpSlamDunks.tumblr.com that I made when I was bored, and a big thanks to Hywel Evans from the Box Set podcast for some tips on making this show better.
This week’s show was brought to you by a proper suit, a done up tie and the national anthem.