Episode 18 – Tiernan talks to Susan Jex at Care 4 Calais (@Care4Calais) about the refugee crisis. Also how will Cthulhu vote in the EU referendum, a junior doctor update from Keir Shiels (@keirshiels) and The Queen’s Speech.
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Hi! I’m Cthulu and I think the UK should Vote Bremain cos lemme tell you, the EU’s fishing laws technical measures mean I’m not constantly getting stuck in those mesh nets anymore. Seriously, it’s hard being an ancient cosmic entity when one of those is tugging you right in the tentacles! Ha!
Hi, I’m Mary, or Bloody Mary as apparently I’m pretty spicy in the morning! I don’t know what that means. We need to leave secular Europe and Brexit. Can’t have all those proddy’s running around free movement everywhere. Let’s get back to a Sovereign Catholic Britain! And I’ll burn anyone who says otherwise! Oh is that what they mean by spicy?
Hi! We’re the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Well, three horsemen today. I’m War. I’d love a Brexit as I’m tired of this peace between member states nonsense. I’m Pestilence. We should totes Bremain as free movement is great for spreading lovely diseases!
I’m Death. I really couldn’t care less. You’ll all die single market or not. I wish some of you would die sooner to be honest.
And yeah, Famine can’t be here as he’s on the 5:2 diet and today’s a fasting day so he hasn’t got the energy or brain power to think about it.
Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast. I’m Tiernan Douieb and while Nicola Sturgeon warns against using fear tactics, I’d like to warn against you all using fear tictacs. Mint is a much better option for fresh breath than chewing on the possibility of impending horror. Plus they come in packs with huge bright aggressive lettering but not much actual content inside.
On this week’s show I’ll be looking at my least favourite of the fruits, The Queen’s Peach, of course there’s EU nonsense, my guest from episode 1 – remember way back then? – Keir Shiels has an update for us on the junior doctors contract and I’ll also be speaking to Susan Jex from Care4Calais about the refugee crisis.
Not much to say up front this week, other than the usual PLEASE REVIEW US, SUBSCRIBE, SEND ME CAKES IN THE POST, but here are a few of those not much things. Firstly I’ve been asked to be part of a politican free panel on the EU. That’s not one where there’s just a bin full of free MPs and you get one in a goodie bag. No, better than that. It’s a panel with no MPs anywhere near it. Imagine a Question Time, except you might enjoy it. Exactly. It’s organised by the lovely people at Simple Politics and is taking place at the Whitstable Umbrella Community Centre on 16th June. I believe it’s free to come to if you live round there, and if not, it’ll be streamed live online via the Simple Politics website. As well as me there are some people who’ll be able to actually have a reasonable debate, including Sophia Cannon, Dominic Frisby, Emma Pullen and the Huff Post’s Owen Bennett on a fact checking desk.
Further adding to the bizarre conspiracy theory that I actually know anything about anything, I’m on the Challenging Opinions podcast this week trying to explain the EU referendum to an audience who are mostly US listeners. I’m not sure I manage it, but have a listen if you fancy hearing things I say that you can then use against me. I have really discovered that without google, I know very little indeed. If I didn’t research this show every week before writing it, it’d really just be me blowing raspberries for 50 minutes. Which, let’s face it, would still be more bearable than either of the EU campaigns or another article by Tristram Hunt. I saw him on a bus a few weeks ago. Yes, he does look like a CGI dog that’s been turned into a human by a curse in real life too!
Oh and feedback from last week’s show is generally that it’s a lot nicer for your ears. If you still think it’s too loud I’ll keep lowering levels until it’s just a low hum which you may like to use for meditation purposes. Anyway, hums and raspberries aside….
Austria have voted in a new president, an independent candidate backed by the Green Party called Alexander Der Bellen, which yes, sounds a bit like Alex The Bellend and yes, that is funny. But no, that’s not why this is a news. Nor is it that Der Bellen is the first environmental activist to become President which is a positive result in itself. Sadly, it’s news because Der Bellen only very narrowly beat the far right candidate from the ironically titled ‘Freedom Party’ Norbet Hofer by only 31,000 votes. Now that may sound like a lot to you and if this podcast had 31,000 listeners I’d be pretty happy, but out of the nearly 5m people who voted, that’s really not much. And for a country that’s really witnessed the damage a far right Austrian leader who surname begins with H can do, it’s worrying that there was that much support. And while you may argue that it’s a cheap comparison to make, and yes you may argue that last week’s show was all about politicians saying Hitler too much, it’s odd they didn’t this week when Hofer came very close to power. Especially when he’s been known to wear a blue cornflower in his lapel, which is a Nazi symbol, and carries a gun with him at all times because of the threats of immigration. Basically his popularity, despite his overall loss, is part of a rise in the far right across Europe, including Marine Le Pen’s Front National party in France, The Party Of Freedom in the Netherlands, and the anti-Islamic alternative for Deutschland in, yeah Deutschland. Sort of obvious that one.
With the two centrist, previously most popular parties in Austria being knocked out of the running early on, it’s clear that the political dissatisfaction felt by most that’s caused the rise of Corbyn and UKIP in the UK, Sanders and Trump in the US, is happening all over Europe too. And that could be a good thing, such as Der Bellen winning, or it could mean that we’d all better get building bunkers in our garden asap. Hee hee it does sound like Bellend.
SNP MP Stewart Hosie will be quitting as the party’s deputy leader in the autumn after allegations that he claimed expenses for accommodation used to carry out an extra marital affair with the same woman SNP MP Angus MacNeil was also having an affair with. Makes sense they’d both cheat on their wives, considering how against the idea of Better Together they were. Hosie took it upon himself to resign in order to spend more time with his families.
A source involved with the long awaited Chilcott Enquiry told press it would savage Tony Blair and Jack Straw and is absolutely brutal. Good. Can’t wait.
Despite a lot of protesting against it, North Yorkshire county council decided why not take a leaf out of the government’s book and generally ignore what the public actually want to instead focus on lovely money. They have approved a bid for fracking to take place in Ryedale. You know, fracking, that process of drilling deep into the ground that hasn’t yet been proven to not cause tremors and water contamination. I mean, why wouldn’t you want some of that in your backyard? This is a worrying victory as it could open the floodgates, hmm, perhaps wrong choice of words, to other plans for fracking extractions around the country. I’m trying to think of a plus side to all this, but really, the closest I can get is that at least if fracking opens up tons of cracks in the ground, all the floodwater in the winter will have somewhere to go. It’ll be like a poundshop version of Godzilla vs King Kong. Yeah, not quite good enough is it? Fracking hell.
THE QUEEN’S SPEECH
Around this time every year the government find a little hatch in the back of The Queen and feed in their Christmas list of wishes that she regurgitates as part of her speech at the opening of Parliament, with all the enthusiasm of a self service till. This year’s diatribe of telling you what cuts will happen to all the things you need in your life while she sits in a golden throne contained 21 bills. Which is a lot unless you’re at some sort of William convention. Some of those Bills, much like Queenie’s grandson William or advert against eating E-Numbers during pregnancy Wil.I.Am aren’t really very exciting such as the Bus Services Bill, but others, like Shakespeare or Shatner could a very long lasting impact. These include the Higher Education and Research Bill which will allow tech firms like Google or Facebook to start their own universities. Nothing like knowing those thousands that you’re paying for education will end up somewhere in Bermuda while you still can’t find a job despite graduating from a search engine. On the plus side it will finally make a drama or media studies degrees seem worthwhile when someone out there is getting a 1st in Farmville.
There’s the Bill Of Rights which got it’s annual mention as some sort of tradition under the Conservatives. Ultimately they’d like it to replace the Human Rights Act on account of it not being more fair to giant lizards or pigs but this year the Human Rights Act wasn’t mentioned. So perhaps it’s just an extra British Bill Of Rights including things like being able to talk about the weather for 15 whole minutes without interruption, the right to drink three cups of tea without judgement or the right to complain about everything but only after it’s happened and long after you could have done anything about it.
One of the most concerning was the Prison and Courts reform Bill. This is basically another one of Michael Gove’s and is basically an academy program from prisons, allowing them to be run independently. Which sounds great if someone has an innovative idea for how to run things, but what if they’re a big Harry Potter fan with dreams of a real life Azkaban? The idea is that they’d all be reform prisons, working on the a notion seen in many Scandanavian countries of y’know, actually reforming criminals which is great, but it does seem like the way this will all be monitored is with classic Michael Gove stats and rates rather than case studies and actual progress meaning that yeah, Dementors could well get the best results from people regardless of how they do it. If you look at the problems prisons such as Oakwood, run by G4S have had with riots and violence you really need to make sure the people running the prisons know what they’re doing before you delegate powers to them.
Several old prisons are being closed and six new reform prisons will be built instead. There’s also plans to allow prisoners convicted of smaller offences to have home curfews, working during the week but spending weekends in prison, allowing them the best excuse ever to avoid social events and boring works dos. It also might mean that they realise just how awful jobs and the job centre are at the moment, leading them to commit further crimes for a less stressful life.
Part of the same bill will also be to close a fifth of courts. The idea is to digitise more fines which sounds great for me on account of how often people misspell my name meaning those speeding tickets will never get to my email.
So yes some things to be wary of, as per every year. And some, as per every year, could actually be quite useful. Like the Modern Transport Bill paving the way for driverless cars on UK roads. Mindless vehicles pre-programmed to drive things home. Bit like the Queen’s speech in a way eh?
INTERVIEW PART 1
The current refugee crisis is now the largest since WW2 with the movement of asylum seekers, particularly from Syria and Iraq, growing every day. The British government grudgingly agreed to u-turn and take in 3000 unaccompanied refugee children from Europe, but that’s really not that many. Instead the sentiment seems to be a lot keener towards sending more bombs to Syria then asking why people from the places they’re bombing keep fleeing. I expect the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon regularly takes dumps in his own living room, then complains that the rest of the family won’t watch TV together with him anymore. When Angelina Jolie who is a special envoy for the UN Refugee Agency stepped forward and said Britain needs to take in more asylum seekers, it just led to people being even more angry with her than after they saw Tomb Raider 2. But something needs to be done and really, it’ll be pretty hard to do without Britain, and the rest of Europe, really changing their game plan. By that I mean they need to realise it’s not Risk or Go, and instead they should be helping those in need play the Game Of Life.
This week I spoke to Susan Jex at Care 4 Calais, a campaign run entirely by volunteers to help those in the refugee camps in France, to talk about what can be done.
Sue had had a bit of a nightmare day transport wise. We had planned a time to chat but after a ridiculous train journey I moved our interview time and spoke to her when I think she was on her way home. So the sound isn’t bad but there is the odd bit of background noise. If anything, why not listen to it when you’re on your way somewhere and you can feel like you’re travelling together. Or like me, listen to it while sitting down but pretend you’re actually doing exercise, which is better.
INTERVIEW PART 1
We’ll return to my interview with Sue shortly but first….
GODS EU BITS:
Set – god of disorder, violence. Brexit
Sisyphus – working regulations Bremain
It is just one month to go until the EU referendum which means only one month left of nonsense filling up the news and sadly only four podcasts left of this jingle:
WITH OR WITHOUT EU JINGLE
And as things get closer to the voting day it seems the Remain campaign are opting into scaring voters into fearing the absolute worst if a Brexit happens, meanwhile Vote Leave appear to have hired the Boris and Penny improve group to just make up campaign points based on various suggestions from the crowd.
Let’s start with Turkey. You may remember way back in Episode 4 of this show when I couldn’t find a guest to interview, I instead went through a UKIP advert pointing out everything that was wrong about it. You didn’t listen to that one? Well stop this one, check that out, and I’ll see you here in a minute.
All done? Great. Well since then, the relationship of the EU and Turkey really hasn’t changed much at all. This of course hasn’t stopped the Vote Leave campaign from making whacking great big adverts saying ‘Turkey is joining the EU’ which is isn’t, and for Tory MP and defence minister Penny Mourdant from saying on the Marr Show that Britain can’t veto Turkey from joining. Even though, it actually can. It requires a unanimous vote from all EU member states to allow another one in, so if Britain stays in the EU it absolutely can make it like a Vegetarian thanksgiving, a no Turkey party. David Cameron called her out on it immediately, saying that she was wrong, as did anyone that’s ever read anything, and everyone watched in glee as the tears in the Conservative Party grew more than the ones in my trousers after a Vegetarian thanksgiving.
The Vote Leave campaign has been accused of being part of a race row and that’s before anyone from UKIP was even allowed to comment on it all. Part of the campaign suggests Turkey has a large number of criminals and that staying in the EU means Britain wouldn’t be able to stop them from entering our country, which is hugely inflammatory. Plus if they were very rich criminals it wouldn’t matter if we stayed in or left, I’m sure the government would help them launder money and buy private flats in London anyway. Vote Leave have pointed out that even Theresa May said she was worried about Turkish organised crime earlier this year, but that’s possibly because no one is worried about unorganised crime from anywhere as they usually can’t get it together to do anything.
It does feel like the Vote Leave campaign is clutching at straws. Boris Johnson claimed last week that the EU won’t allow the UK to have bunches of more than three bananas, which is concerning. It either means London has had a mayor for 8 years who doesn’t even know how to buy fruit, or that supermarkets and grocery stores everywhere have been breaking EU law. I suggest if you see a bunch of bananas with more than 3 in, that you tweet a picture of it to Boris and ask for his help.
Strangely the one line that was thrown to Vote Leave this week to help pull them back to credible shore was George Osborne warning that the recession that could follow a Brexit would lead to a fall in housing prices. Which would, I think as a renter, be brilliant! It’s one of the arguments that makes me wonder if I should vote out so I can actually buy a place at some point before we have to leave the planet and live in space. Instead of capitalising on this, rallying young people everywhere to the cause, getting all suffering in the housing crisis to cheer ‘out out out’ in unison, the Vote Leave campaign just said Osborne wasn’t telling the truth and that wasn’t happening. Proving that with Conservatives leading both sides of the campaigns, they really are just aiming everything at other rich people. Until they really let us know how much Netflix will cost after a Brexit and if we can still bring over cheap booze from France, I don’t think anyone will connect with us till they’ve realised we’ve voted the opposite way to how they want.
The Remain campaign have put all their irons in a big scary fire that threatens to burn everyone if it’s a vote out. Speaking during a visit to B&Q’s head office George Osborne gave Treasury analysis that Brexit would cause a year long recession and the loss of 820,000 jobs. The crowd at B&Q responded by bringing him three different types of ply wood he didn’t want, saying they didn’t have any recessions in the colour he wanted and by talking to each other about what they were going to do on the weekend instead of paying attention. The Treasury gave two possible out comes. One which suggested sterling would fall by 12% and 520,000 jobs would be lost, and the ‘severe shock’ scenario which could be a lot worse. Frankly I would have preferred a choose your own adventure type scenario that gave us a forecast if we took the rare jewel and went left or if we chose to look in the minotaur’s cave before meeting the wizard. Osborne tweeted his crap B&Q based rhetoric saying ‘Do people really want to vote for DIY recession?’ forgetting that that’s exactly what they did when they voted his party into government.
Several economists have said there is no proof that a recession would happen, nor that jobs would be lost, with several saying it could in fact be the opposite. And yeah, again, we’re back to simple realisation that really, none of us can have any idea exactly what will happen if we go. But hey, the idea of four bananas in a bunch? Can you even imagine?
On a personal note, I’ve spent some time this past week reading the left wing arguments for a Brexit and I think they are all valid points on how the EU promotes privatisation and easy access to our services and properties from the very wealthy. If you get a chance to listen to the New Economics podcast this week about TTIP – which I will get to at some point over the next few weeks – it’s a terrifying thing, as is the CETA. Cameron this week signed off on protecting the NHS from those things, but he is a fan of both and while there’s a chance that we’d get them anyway if we stayed in, you do have to wonder if the single super state that is the EU, is good for many of the public services everyone but the wealthy rely on. But at the same time, the thought of being left with just the current government for decisions and policies is a scary thought, and when the leave campaign are banking on racism and fruit based bollocks, you have to vote against that don’t you?
And now back to Sue:
INTERVIEW PART 2:
Huge thanks to Sue for speaking to me, despite her transport issues. If you’d like to get involved in care 4 calais, do. You can find their website at care4calais.org and donate and get involved via the links. They are also on Twitter @care4calais. I’d really like to go over and help at some point myself so perhaps if you are thinking of volunteering, drop me a line and maybe we can head over together to help out for a day or so.
Should have some interesting guests for the next few weeks, but as always, if you have anyone you think I should talk to or any issues in particular you’d like to hear about, let me know via the firstname.lastname@example.org email, or @parpolbro on Twitter and Facebook. I’d be really interested in finding a left wing Brexiter and a right wing Bremainer if possible. The latter is easier to find but tips for both would be great.
MORE GODS BITS:
Vlad the Impaler
Hi I’m Hel, the Norwegian goddess. And boy oh boy it would’ve been easier for me if Norway had been part of the EU when I got banished from Asgard. I wouldn’t have had to get stuck in shitty Niflheim if we’d had free movement. Seriously, all the cold and ice is hel for my skin….oh yeah I see what I did there. Hahaha oops.
Ok so bonus bit on this week’s show. Jeremy Hunt actually listened to some doctors last week! Oooh, are you ok? Did you fall right off your chair? Yeah that sounded like it hurt. Don’t get too concerned. He’s still awful and has this week also announced plans to close 3000 chemists, presumably because he’s so numb inside already he never needs pain killers. But back to doctors. The Department of Health and the BMA sat round and actually discussed amending the junior doctors contract and while BMA members haven’t actually signed off on it yet, this is huge progress from the Hunt of a few weeks ago who seemed to hope if he closed his eyes and hid in a cupboard everything might just sort itself out. Anyway I thought it’d be nice to ask junior doctor Keir Shiels who I interviewed way back in episode 1, if he’d give us a quick update on what the contract changes mean. Are they good? Or bad? So he gave us this quick, free diagnosis. Bless the NHS.
Huge thanks to Keir. Fingers crossed this is beginning of a good thing and all works out. Follow Keir on Twitter @keirshiels for updates and I’m sure we’ll be mentioning this again on the podcast soon.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK.
This week a photo of Labour MP Liz Kendall surfaced of her posed on top of a British war vehicle dressed in combat gear. That means it’s the second time after the leadership election that Kendall’s political career has tanked. Ha! Was she trying to look patriotic? Or was she just hoping to be the cover girl for the Chilcott Report when it’s released? Either way I thought I’d ask you lot what should other MPs pose with for PR purposes? In line with their image.
@ParPolBro Can Ken Livingstone take a picture with Hitler? Maybe Boris too?
@ParPolBro neil Hamilton sitting under a post- disappointing sex flaccid pens dripping uti fluid.
@ParPolBro Nicky Morgan with the pirate ship Black Pig?
@ParPolBro Michael Gove with an ass? Preferably a pompous one
@ParPolBro Sajid Javid with Dan Dare and the Mekon
@ParPolBro Boris Johnson with a clown car, George Galloway with a giant mug.
@ParPolBro Boris Johnson should pose alongside a seven foot pink rabbit. Then we should tell him that only he can see it.
@ParPolBro David Cameron in front of an oncoming train?
@ParPolBro Sadiq Kahn next to a bus. He might as well since no one can stop harping on about what his dad worked as.
@ParPolBro Eric Pickles. Massive pie.
That’s all for this week’s show. As always, thank you tons for listening, please do give the show some more reviews on iTunes it really does help, and please keep spreading the word about it too. I’ll be back next week unless I finally finish building my time machine, in which case, I’ll be back last week. However due to EU restrictions on time machines, that’s unlikely to happen. Unless it already has. Oh god that’s confusing.
This week’s show was brought to you by 21 bills including Withers, Gates and Murray and an angry letter that says rude things about Turkey.
YET MORE GODS BITS:
Asag – Sumerian mythology – has sex with mountains. – Bremain travel to mountains