Episode 14 – Elections! All of them! Local, Welsh, Scottish and Tiernan speaks to Rachel Holdsworth from Londonist.com all about the London Mayoral ones. Also, some bees.
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INTRO LINE – Kate Hoey clip
Oh my god! Kate is totally right about facts. I mean this beehive could be half full of bees or half empty of bees!
Oh no! It’s still got loads of bees in it! ARRRGGGGHHHHHHH!
Hello and welcome to this week’s Partly Political Broadcast. I’m Tiernan Douieb and I’ll be honest, I thought BHS went into administration about 15 years ago. Though yes, it is very sad for any workers being made redundant or anyone that wants hand painted salt and pepper shakers in the shape of an owl, which is everyone right? But I also give it all of 5 minutes before the Vote Leave campaign start some sort of ‘British Home Stores’ for ‘British Home Shoppers’ statement and blame it all on migrants. I can’t believe anyone is surprised that former owner Phillip Green sold BHS in the first place for lots of money or isn’t helping with the pension fund deficit. Of course he had no interest in British Home Stores, according to HMRC he doesn’t even have a British Home anymore.
Anyway, this week’s show is sort of vaguely election based. I did think about leaving all election stuff till next week, but I’ve noticed a few of you listen to this several days after I release it, so I’d hate to think you’d only be getting vital important cynicism after you’d already crossed a box. So instead, I’ve got a great interview with Rachel Holdsworth who is the senior editor of the Londonist and she explained all about the London Mayoral elections to me, despite being hungover. Proper trooper. There’s also some stuff on Welsh and Scottish elections, as well as what on Earth a police commissioner actually does. I did also want to talk about Theresa May’s call, again, to leave the European Convention of Human Rights but the Guardian did a sketch video with Patrick Stewart that is so good, I honestly can’t top it this week. Go watch that, then come back and listen to this. Go now. Hurry up.
You’re back? Great. It’s excellent isn’t it? All I’d add to that is if we did leave the ECHR, I’m not sure our current government would create much to replace it. The UN are still investigating whether the cuts made to welfare are a breach of human rights, the Investigatory Powers Bill will probably breach everyone’s privacy, the rise in zero hours jobs breaches everyone’s right to minimum standards of decent work and I’m sure even having to see Jeremy Hunt’s stupid smug face as he refuses to back down on his imposed junior doctor’s contract often feels like torture. So if May got her wish and we left the ECHR, I worry we’d end up more with some sort of Human Wrongs Act. Oh but we have the Magna Carta I hear idiots cry! Yeah, and I’m pretty sure that we could easily return to the standards of the 13th century charter where only kings and barons are protected and peons like you and me have to dance when you’re told to. In fact, Theresa May has already ruined dancing anyway, peons or not, as if the IP Bill comes in then we’ll all have to dance like someone’s watching at all times anyway, as they probably are, and no, they don’t like your bogle. Oh and I’ll talk about the administrative error that is the Conservatives 2015 election campaign spending in a future show. I will just say that they’ve now had ‘administrative errors’ for donations to the daughter of an arms dealer, policies on their crime bill, and an large sums of money given to a councillor amongst other things. You sort of think they should get some new admin staff eh? Maybe one of those paperclips on word that just pops up and says ‘so it looks like you’re trying to reshuffles your expenses?’
Anyway, this week:
I think Jeremy Hunt should be made to walk around with the sort of warnings you get on cigarette packets, attached to him at all times. Warning: This man is dangerous to all health. Listening to Jeremy Hunt will reduce the life span of the NHS. We all wish he’d have a slow and painful death. Junior Doctors are begrudgingly on another strike this week after Hunt refused two opportunities for compromise. Last week the BMA offered to call off the strikes if Jeremy called off his decision to impose the heavily flawed junior doctor contract. But this was turned down as apparently choosing to delay or change the introduction of the contract that will cause disruption to the NHS, might cause disruption to the NHS. This also seems to ignore all the other disruptions to the NHS such as the selling off of loads of bits, or the freezing of nurse’s pay or the complete top down reorganisation that’s happening that the government promised they wouldn’t do. Essentially the NHS is becoming so disrupted thanks to the government’s tampering, it’d almost be safer for patients if they sold it to East Coast rail and people were told they couldn’t come in as there’s the wrong kind of leaves in reception.
The second attempt to curb the strikes came from an offer to pilot the contract first, in a letter from Labour’s Heidi Alexander, Conservative Dr Dan Poulter, Liberal Democrat Normal Lamb and the SNP’s Dr Phillipa Whitford. Hunt rejected this too, knowing full well if it got a pilot it’d never ever go to series due to very low audience ratings. Instead he said this offer was ‘opportunism’ which considering a Tory MP took part in it, shows that Hunt simply doesn’t understand what opportunity is. Though I guess it does only favour the brave so he’s probably never had any. He also tweeted that a further delay will just mean it takes longer to eliminate the weekend effect. If you remember from episode 1, and from many, many articles that have come out since, the weekend effect in terms of hospitals is a fallacy. So he won’t pilot a project or cancel it’s imposition in order to make sure something that doesn’t exist is eliminated quicker and further mess doesn’t cause further mess. I really hope Jeremy smacks his own head against a wall repeatedly in order to not do any more damage.
If you listen to this in time, do support the Junior Doctors. Despite headlines they’ve all put enough contingency plans in place to assure that patients that urgently need attention aren’t ignored and less urgent appointments are postponed. Hunt’s statements that all of this could risk patient safety is a massive Freudian projection. He’s like if Dexter was in the cabinet. Happily murdering the NHS but unfortunately because he’s the one diagnosing it, so far, he’s getting away with it.
Lord Dubs would be an amazing name for a grime DJ. Instead he’s a Czech born former MP who’s amendment to the Immigration Bill calling for the UK to take in 3000 lone refugee children from Europe was rejected by the government. The arguments against helping children in desperate need involved one minister saying it could drive children into the hands of traffickers, whereas, you know, leaving them unaccompanied means they’ll be totally safe from exploitation right? Conservative MP for Rochester and Strood Kelly Tolhurst said it would cost too much to take in 3000 children and obviously that might mean they’d have less money to illegally overspend on election campaigns. So sadly those 3000 children will have to stay in Calais, but with a Prime Minister who neglectfully leaves his own daughter in the pub, perhaps they will actually be safer in France.
Watch out hayfever sufferers! In just over a week we’ll be surrounded by pollin’ stations! Ha! On May 5th like some sort of political Viagra party, there will be elections popping up all over the place. In London where I reside, we’ll be voting to elect a new London Mayor and a new London Assembly. But what do any of those things do? For the last eight years the London Mayor has been the lovechild of a elite scarecrow and a bag of piglets Boris Johnson and all he’s seemed to do is increase homelessness, sign off on unaffordable housing and get stuck on a zipwire looking like a twat. So is that part of the job? If London is the city that never sleeps, will we always get some sort of a loving Night Mayor? Why do Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith seem like the sort of candidates that had been invented by a bunch of accountants who overdosed on Prozac?
This week I spoke to Rachel Holdsworth who is the Senior Editor at the excellent London based website Londonist. She knows all about all things Mayoral and in the London Assembly so was the perfect person to explain it all to an idiot like me. I also found out by Twitter afterwards that she was really hungover which I had no idea of, so extra points there. Also she seemed disappointed that she didn’t swear at all during this conversation so I got her to record this afterwards:
Just mentally add that in whenever you feel it’s necessary.
As per always, there is a SOUND QUALITY APOLOGY ! I’m starting to wonder if I should get a jingle just for this. This week I bought a new microphone and headphone set to reduce echo and instead they’ve increased echo I also sound like I’m eating bees. And I only ate one or two. No that’s not why they’re disappearing. I plant a bee for every one I eat. Promise. Anyway, here’s Rachel and me eating bees:
INTERVIEW PART 1
We’ll get back to Rachel in a minute but first:
Obviously it’s not just the London Mayoral elections on May 5th. There are other places in the UK too! I know! Bonkers isn’t it? How do they get there without a tube station? I just don’t know.
First up is the Welsh Assembly which isn’t just where people in Wales go to sing hymns then Bangor take it in turns to do poems they’ve written about Harvest. No, the National Assembly of Wales is a devolved assembly, of 60 MPs who can make legislation in Wales without having to check in with the Secretary Of State For Wales which is handy because it’s Conservative MP Alun Cairns who once had to apologise live on air for calling Italian people ‘greasy wops’. Consulting him on opinions for anything would probably be like asking a black cab driver to, well, say anything. It always ends up racist. Always. There’s currently 30 Labour MPs in the Assembly, 14 Conservative, 11 Plaid Cymru and 5 Liberal Democrats which goes to show that pity is an emotion that spreads all over the British Isles. However this could all change as Labour support in Wales is at it’s lowest since 2010, which was the first time that people forgot that bankers caused the global crash. This probably hasn’t been helped by a Conservative campaign that says Welsh Labour have caused increased waiting times and NHS budget cuts. Which is true, but it’s also worth noting that funding for the Welsh Assembly comes from the UK government, who slashed their NHS budget by 8%. And despite this, cancer treatments in Wales continue to be much quicker than in England. Also, judging by Jeremy Hunt’s policies, Wales will probably be getting an influx of junior doctors any day now, which I’m sure will help.
But the Welsh public seem to want a change and sadly UKIP polling is quite high, which is odd because if Nigel Farage boarded a train in North West Wales, he’d probably hear quite a lot of people not speaking English. The UKIP candidate, Haydn Rushworth has a campaign video that involves him jumping around with a cheesy grin looking like he might try to sell you overpriced holiday insurance despite being too scared of foreigners to leave the country himself. His campaign slogan is ‘We were born to be independent’. He’s an Englishman, trying to get elected to make decisions in Wales. Nice one Haydn. Hopefully he’ll try to tell everyone how St George was great because he slayed a dragon and the people of Wales will immediately discredit him.
The Scottish Parliament Election is also happening on May 5th. Scottish parliament is also a devolved legislature. I really don’t like how it’s devolved rather than evolved. I mean look at Westminster, the only way you could be devolved from that bunch of dinosaurs is if you had a parliament run by primordial gloop. Ministers of Scottish Parliament can pass laws but not as many as they were promised they would be able to if they voted to stay in Britain in the Independence Referendum. They did and as a result, Westminster only gave them a handful of new powers and none of them were the sort you’d make a Marvel film about. Oh Universal Credit varying man please slightly vary our terrible situation to only be almost as bad! So anyway, Scottish Parliament is currently led by Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party with the SNP having 64 seats to Scottish Labour’s 38, the Conservative’s 15 which is far more than I thought there were. I guess the English that own all that land up there need to vote for someone. Then the Lib Dems have 5 and the Greens have 2. The Scottish Lib Dem leader is called Willie Rennie which sounds like a solution for upset genital issues.
Scottish Labour look set to lose more seats in this election too, especially as the SNP continue to stay popular despite criticisms that they aren’t doing enough to tackle poverty. Scottish Parliament’s poverty tsar Naomi Eisenstadt said last year that Sturgeon’s government hadn’t taxed the rich enough and by refusing to remove winter fuel allowance from wealthy pensioners, was not evenly distributing funds to all Scottish citizens. A report of recommendations from Naomi in January urged for bold moves on tax reforms, the living wage, childcare and public service delivery, but the SNP have stated they won’t reply to it until after the elections. That seems fair eh? I mean what harm can come from overwhelmingly voting for a party that don’t want to say what they’ll do for you till after you’ve blindly got them in power? By the way, if any of you want to send me all your computer passwords that’d be great. I’ll tell you why after I get them. Thanks.
And of course there are local elections which again, Labour are predicted to do badly in. Thanks to the 2015 elections we all know that polls are 100% accurate and always to be trusted. And there’s also the police commissioner elections which no one really knows what they are for. Well they do. It’s for a police commissioner for your area, but what is that? Someone who commissions police like you might commission an art piece? Hi I’d like two clay police and one hanging policeman for the garden. No what they actually do is manage the police force budget for your area, and set out police force’s priorities in a police and crime plan which I guess mainly says ‘stop the crimes’ and ‘have doughnuts’. Apparently they also have ‘oversight for crime reduction’. You’d hope they have foresight not oversight, otherwise that’s not that helpful at all is it? They also get a pair of golden handcuffs. No, I’m joking. It isn’t part of a PCC’s job to tell constables what to do on a day-to-day basis, but then I’m not sure what you’d count a crime plan and managing budgets to be. Polite suggestions of what officers should do maybe? You can find all your local candidates at apccs.police.uk and it is worth a look. For example in the West Midlands there’s an independent candidate called Andy Flynn who posts hugely racist things on his Facebook including Nazi imagery. Although I suppose actually that does sound like he might be right at home in the job….
And hopefully after that, by May 6th, everything should be fixed right? You’re welcome.
Ok before we go back to Rachel, in this second bit, the recording cut out twice. Why? Because I can’t afford nicer things. One of the times it cut out it happened in a way that was impossible to edit so at one point Rachel just misses about 6 words. See if you can guess where that happens. There is no prize. Just like life. Also I say Sky Scapers. Sky Scapers. I’m an idiot.
INTERVIEW PART 2
Yes I laughed at ‘dick swinging’ I am a child. Victoria Wood as mayor would’ve been great too. Imagine having a mayor that was unlike Boris was actually funny and considerate too. Those people Rachel mentioned that you should look up if you want more London Mayor coverage are: Tim Donovan & Don Edwards at BBC London, Ross Lydale and Pippa Carerra at Standard and Dave Hill at the Guardian. More importantly you can follow Rachel @rmholdsworth on Twitter or at londonist.com. Next week I’ll either be interviewing a brilliant journalist called Rebecca Omonira who I saw speak about immigration and ghettoization recently and was brilliant, or someone from Hacked Off who, er, will be interesting. I might just try and ask them questions about their private life till they hang up.
There’s no With Or Without EU this week because frankly, it’s boring. The highlight for me last week aside from Kate Hoey’s stupid comment on facts on Question Time was Michael Gove making a speech about how the Remain campaign was childish, before then mentioning in the same speech Batman twice, Game Of Thrones and Dennis The Menace. Oh and Boris Johnson’s repeatedly, often racist sounding, whining about Obama. The Mail on Sunday’s headline was ‘Boris Rage at Ridiculous Weird Obama’ which made him sound like some sort of Conservative Hulk. So based on that, this week’s Question of the Week was which superpowers would you give which MPs and why? And again some cracking answers.
@flahr on Twitter said: Cameron should have Duplicate Girl’s powers, so at times of crisis he can be in London AND Spain instead of having to come back.
@_SuperHugh Jacob Rees-Mogg is clearly a time-traveler from the 19th Century
@GavinCurnow It would appear that a lot of politicians have been bitten by some sort of radioactive cunt
@flufflogic BoJo clearly related to Mystique, as he too can be whatever people want him to be on command. Cameron runs fast after interviews!
Pod Bro Matt Hoss said ‘Most Tory MPs have the power of invisibility right? Or at least their tax returns do. Farage is incredibly nationalist and so he can be Captain America.’
@uroborosmessiah Corbyn’s power: induce narcolepsy, Nicky Morgan: out-stare anyone on the planet, and Andy Burnham is captain uncomfortable. and of course Osbourne is already a spineless shapeshifter that can lick the back of his own eyeballs.
@f00ledagain is Captain Pugwash a superhero? Nicky Morgan does have the same eyes
@unrealMcKay I’d suggest Tim Farron be given the power of invisibility, but I’m pretty sure he has it already.
And that is all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast. Thanks, as always, for listening and if you enjoy listening please do tell others too as well, and maybe review us on iTunes with some nice stars. I mean ratings stars, don’t just say your favourite celeb as a review. No actually, I really want reviews so much, feel free to just put ‘Shane Richie’ if you like. And if you don’t like listening then I admire your gumption in getting to this point of the podcast. I’m not sure why you do it. Maybe see if someone can sponsor you to listen to next week’s?
Also if you’re in deepest West Wales, I’m doing a solo show of new and old gags at the Machnylleth Comedy Festival on Saturday April 30th in the afternoon. Do come along and see how many bits I’ve just stolen from the podcast and how badly they don’t work live on stage when they aren’t just shouted directly into your ear.
This week’s show was brought to you by two bees. Or not two bees. Wow, facts are hard.