Episode 26 – The podcast returns! Tiernan interviews C4 News producer Felicity Spector (@FelicitySpector) about the US Presidential Elections, there is more Brexit chat and a catch up of all the summer goings on.
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Hello and welcome to Episode 26 of the Partly Political Broadcast. I’m Tiernan Douieb and the podcast is back after several weeks away, hopefully creating more anticipation amongst you than a Frank Ocean album. I did try my best to release a 45 minute visual album first but it would’ve just been of me in black and white shouting at the news over and over while sitting in my pants so I thought I’d spare you the pain.
Some of the weeks away have been intentional due to summer’s silly season kicking in and me wanting to watch the Olympics to see if Team GB were able to bring home enough Gold that we could kick start the UK’s credit rating again. Did you enjoy the Olympics? I think it’s amazing how the deeply corrupt Brazillian government saw the state of their country, people in need of food, hygiene, shelter and said ok ‘how about lots of people in swimsuits who can do spinny things when they dive?” Democracy right there in action. My favourite moment of the Olympic closing ceremony was seeing Shinzo Abe the Japanese Prime Minister dressed as Super Mario. Mainly because it made me think of our Prime Minister Theresa May and how she could only carry that off if she emerged from a tunnel dressed as the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Some of the week’s this show has been away weren’t intentional including when I called an interviewee at the time we agreed and they weren’t able to chat because a leaky pipe meant their kitchen was full of water. So yes, while I was tempted to make a joke about them flooding me with information or well, something weak about Wikileaks, I just rearranged and hopefully they’ll be on the show in a few weeks.
But there’s also not been a lot going on in UK politics despite Theresa May leaving Boris Johnson in charge of the country while she was away, which is like leaving Kanye West in charge of your self awareness group. Perhaps more curious was that May went to Switzerland, a non-EU European country for her trip, as if to check it out on the sly. Though I suspect its more because her holiday consisted of just sitting in the screening room of a euthanasia clinic with a bag of popcorn having a great time. Former UKIP leader but eternal twat Nigel Farage grew a moustache, probably his bodies defence to stop his nose smelling the constant bullshit he spews out. And the Labour leadership continues to be depressing to the point where I almost wonder if the ballot papers will just say ‘Who would you most like to lose the general election in 2020?’
So on this week’s show there’s a bit of a catch up, a bit of a looking forward at terrifying things to come and as per usual, at least one shit jingle. There’s an interview with Felicity Spector at C4 News explaining the terrifying reality show of the US elections, I’ll be looking at the titbits of Brexit fallout information we’re slowly getting.
But firstly thanks as always for listening in, and I promise this will now be back to regular episodes as often as I can and I’ve got a few guests lined up all of which should be pretty interesting. Also, quick plug for some things. Firstly my 2015 stand-up show ‘The World’s Full Of Idiots, Let’s Live In Space’ is about to be online any day now. It was recorded in January of this year so has, thanks to the world falling apart, about 10% that is now out of date, but the rest of it should still all make sense. Best thing to do is sign up to my mailing list and you’ll get a wee post from me when it’s out and I’ll give you the proper link next week. Also also also you might remember that pre-Summer I held a charity gig for Help Refugees at Conway Hall in London with a stupidly nice bill. Well the acts have all agreed to let me use a teeny bit of their sets and I’ve made an mp3 of a truncated version of the show that you can download for £1 from tiernandouieb.bandcamp.com and all proceeds will go to the Help Refugees charity. So do check that out too. Oh and on advice from PPB helper Matthew Hoss we now have a PPB Facebook group. I have no idea what this means but if you do, hunt it down and join.
Right, now for a few bits you may have missed….
The Somerset based nuclear power plant has been given an unexpected setback at the end of July when the government decided to delay giving it the final go ahead. This is due to them agreeing that too many people in that area already have 6 fingers so it’s not worth a fallout causing further mutations. Ha! I joke! And a very hack terrible stereotyped one too. I very much expect complaints to go nuclear. Ha! Ok, I’ll stop now. There are lots of arguments for Hinkley Point C to be built including providing 7% of the UK’s electricity allowing other older nuclear power plants to be shut down, it’s low carbon output will help climate change prevention targets and it will provide 25,000 new jobs, and undoubtedly a lot more Homer Simpson and Mr Burns memes. Bizarrely part of the argument for it is also that it will make the UK less reliant on imported energy which sounds good, but the plant will be mostly owned by French company EDF and Chinese investors so will still come under their energy tariffs, possibly costing UK customers the same. And really what it will actually just mean is that lots of UK taxpayers money over the next 30 years will just go towards the French and Chinese companies rather than us investing in British based, and therefore cheaper, alternatives. The development of wind, tidel and solar energy has progressed hugely and it would make a lot of sense for the government to stop Hinkley’s development and invest in those instead. I mean, let’s face it, all you’d need to do is hook a wind generator up to the House of Commons and you’d be able to collect enough hot air per PMQs to power the UK for years.
Over the summer Theresa May and the Education Secretary and part vampire Justine Greening announced they were in favour of opening more grammar schools. Now I’m sure many of you, after a brief look online or at texts you’ve been sent are thinking ‘well we bloody well need more grammar. Far too many apostrophes are array and I just don’t anymore if things are possessive or contracted terms.’ Well, there there. And yes, I spelled both of those they’re on purpose. But for those of you to young to remember them, grammar schools are in fact a state school where pupils are only admitted based on ability after taking an 11 plus exam. While there are always cases of people from deprived backgrounds doing well at schools like this, the overwhelming evidence is that they mostly only take children from privileged backgrounds, whose parents are able to afford private tutoring to help their children pass the 11 plus. Bringing them back re-enforces the idea of selective education, a two tier education system and creates further economic segregation. It’s a scary prospect for parents with young children and really if the government wants to promote the idea that some 11 year olds are failures then just do what I do and show them how much better your Pokemon Go collection is because you have your own phone & unlimited data then point and laugh at them because they can’t drive.
The Labour Leadership ballots are being sent out this week and party members can now vote if they joined up more than 6 months ago or were able to cough up £25 in time, because let’s not forget there’s nothing like showing you support the people than charging them than two cinema tickets to gain access to democracy and watch something far more dull than even the Suicide Squad film. So far the elections have got more and more tedious with interviewers focussing on trivial pop culture questions rather than policies. Jeremy Corbyn was slated for not recognising Ant & Dec, because how can any leader understand just how dire the situation in the UK really is, until you’ve seen our attempts at talent on a Saturday night? On music tastes Jezza said he likes Beethoven while nothingness with glasses Owen Smith said he likes The Vaccines. Which makes sense what with Corbyn preferring movements and Smith constantly insisting he can prevent the party getting more sick of itself. Corbyn has upset many by refusing to say if he’d back a NATO ally against a Russian defence despite obviously pandering to the Brexit voters who don’t want to help anyone outside their own village. Meanwhile Smith said that they way to deal with ISIS would be to get them round the table for talks because that’s likely to work eh? 2018 and ISIS has been defeated by having dinner at Owen’s house and they backed down after he told them off for putting their elbows on the table.
At the time of recording this a PR stunt from Corbyn’s team has horribly backfired after a pic of him sitting on a train floor to show what many people go through on overcrowded trains, was challenged by Virgin trains who provided footage of him walking past many empty seats. An ill thought out move from his press team yet again, though to be fair, having sat on a Virgin trains seat only recently the floor is a far more comfortable option.
Smith is backed by Ed Miliband who lost the 2015 general election, Corbyn is backed by Bernie Sanders who is a failed US presidential candidate and you start to wonder who’s going to get Ryan Lochtie on side first and walk onstage to Beck’s 1993 hit ‘Loser’. Ultimately it’s a battle of ideologies with Smith and the centre right part of the party wanting to fight fire with fire, undoubtedly leading to more terrible fire, while Corbyn and the left of the party want to fight fire by talking to it and maybe calling it a friend. Personally I’m still hoping a Disney’s Robin Hood appears out of nowhere dressed as a crane and wins last minute, because otherwise chances are, with the PLP unwilling to work with Corbyn and many members threatening to leave if Smith gets in, there’ll be no decent opposition for the foreseeable future.
INTERVIEW PART 1
Across the pond there is the glimmer of hope that the UK won’t be the biggest chumps on the planet this year, but it’d be at the cost of the wellbeing of the planet as Trump versus Clinton for the US presidency. Ever since Trump insulted the parents of a Muslim American soldier who died serving with the US forces in Iraq, then kicked a baby out of his rally fro crying, presumably because those attending were confused as to which one was the Presidential candidate, his poll numbers have plummeted. Meanwhile no one still likes Hilary Clinton partly due to her pro-business, pro war in Iran, pro just generally being so devoid of charisma there is a fear the US could be in danger of her being replaced by a robot, or even just a vending machine without any one noticing for years. It seems either way America is going to have a rough ride till 2020. Pretty much like the UK then.
So what does it all mean? Why on Earth does the US Presidential election go on for so bloody long? And why do we care when at least a 3rd of the US population probably doesn’t even know where the UK is? Well this week I spoke to Felicity Spector who is a senior producer at ITN and Channel 4 news who’s bang up to date on all US election goings on. Now I should mention that due to her job she had to be impartial on opinions about the candidates even though we all know any sensible human thinks Trump is an angry racist Satsuma. So I had to ask Felicity questions that’d not prompt a personal opinion but I think she very clearly explains a lot about it all. Also at one point a car alarm went off. I’ve edited out me asking what it is, because frankly you’d gain nothing hearing that and now I’ve told you what it is, I’ve wasted the same amount of time anyway.
So here’s Felicity…….
INTERVIEW PART 1
We’ll be back with Felicity in a minute, but first….
What’s your ideal Brexit? Personally I think we should moonwalk out of Europe so it looks like we’re actually walking in, and therefore please everyone until they realise what’s happened. Sadly though, the moonwalking option doesn’t appear to be on the table. Instead, while Parliament’s been in recess, the team in charge of Brexit have been making grumbles and not just because they’re reverted to solely British grub on principle. It looks like there are two main options to get out of Europe.
The first, is a Snap Brexit or a ‘unilateral continuity’ which is the hardline Brexit option. So called Snap Brexit, not because if it matches someone else’s EU deal then we win the game, or because anything will break other than the UK economy. Instead it’s because it’d be super quick, the UK would simply tell the EU ‘BYE!’ and then we wouldn’t impose any trade tariffs unless the EU did it first. Theresa May would have to trigger Article 50 then pass an act of parliament which would annul the 1972 European Communities Act then bang, the UK is gone.
However while this is what the Brexiteers want, Trade Officials in Brussels say this would be completely illegal and would break all the UK’s treaty obligations. Not only would that be bad for trading with the EU but it’d cause other countries like China and India to probably look at us unfavourably. I mean, you know how if you’re about to buy that cardboard cut out of Boris Johnson off eBay so you improve your darts skills then you see the seller has pretty low ratings? Yeah like that but way more important, even though people often underrate how much I’d like better darts skills.
As long as the UK is still an EU member, EU law applies even in leaving and a Snap Brexit could mean EU lawyers take the UK to court, plus the UK would face immediate external tarrifs on things like food and cars. So we’ll all be getting sued and we won’t be able to afford to get a drive through McD’s milkshake to cope with it.
The other option for Brexit is less clear, mainly because no one on the Brexit side really knows what they want, as was made clear by their entire campaign and not only that but they don’t have the people power to do it yet either. The Department of Exiting The European Union or DExEU which sounds like a sum that when worked out equals a shitstorm, has hired just 150 of the staff it needs, and most of them have been borrowed from other parts of the civil service. They’ll probably have to hire in from private companies which will cost a ton, or from abroad which won’t help those promises of lowering migration. If anything, the Brexit may now increase it.
Also there are conflicts within the team behind Brexit with a leaked letter revealing total disgrace Liam Fox made a power grab to take responsibility from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, which feels a bit pointless as you could probably just say ‘Boris over there’ and while he’s distracted, walk in and take it. This is the disgraced Liam Fox who is a disgrace had to retract a press release saying the UK would be governed by World Trade Organisation rules until other possibilities are negotiated. WTO tarrifs would ruin a lot of UK industries due to high charges and this is all further proof that Liam Fox should never have been allowed back in government at all. Or outside his home. Or anywhere. What’s also not been taken into consideration until now is what other countries will do. Norway has already said it’s not sure if the UK should be allowed to join the EU free trade association that it’s part of as a big country doing so would change the balance in the group and possibly make things worse for the other countries within it as Britain dominates trade. Not only that but joiing the European Economic Area would require us keeping free movement and will largely be just like staying in the EU but without a say as to what any of the rules and regulations will be.
Meanwhile Angela Merkal has been meeting with other European leaders to discuss protecting the EU from the aftershock of Britain brexiting. It’s not yet known what has been discussed but bilateral agreements to keep links with UK’s intelligence services look like they’ll stay. Although post Brexit you wonder if they think much of our intelligence at all anymore anyway.
So if Theresa May is smart she’ll carefully negotiates with each EU country about what the future holds meanwhile the Vote Leave lot will argue amongst themselves about what they actually want. And the Conservatives MP Dan Hannan will keep banging on about how we just want blue British passports back so they match the depression we’ll all have during the inevitable endless post Brexit recession. Some are saying Article 50 will be triggered in Spring next year, giving the UK two years to leave, others are saying 2018, or even 2019 with some forecasters saying the whole Brexit process could take up to 10 years. So on the plus side, if you were a remainer but quite old, you might still be in the EU for the rest of your life.
What we do know so far is that the British fruit and vegetable industry is already suffering due to migrant workers not being able to send home as much money now the pound has fallen. The NHS looks like it will lose a lot of expert staff as EU citizens unsure about their status are leaving to work elsewhere. And the housing market has fallen sharply, which might be bad if you’re a home owner, or not if you’re not, but most importantly it means Foxtons shares have dropped which is great. If Brexit means that I can watch as repo men remove those shitty beer fridges and fluorescent lights from those smug estate agents and I can wander in and say ‘ooh its very spacious in here’ as they do, then frankly, it’s probably been worth it.
And now back to Felicity……
INTERVIEW PART 2
Big thanks to Felicity Spector at ITN and C4 news for that. Hopefully that clears a few things up for any curious election watchers. Felicity asked me to warn you that she mostly tweets pictures of food on her Twitter and Instagram @felicityspector on both, but you can find some of her articles and research on the C4 News website. And do check out the podcasts and sites she recommends too. I’ve got a very interesting guest and something a bit different next week, but as always, I’m keen to hear who you’d like me to chat to, or what areas I should try and speak to people in. Subject areas I mean. I don’t want you to get in touch saying ‘interview someone in a Lidl carpark’. That’s not helpful.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, @parpolbro on Twitter or Parpolbro group or page on FB.
7 DAY NHS
Turns out there are loads of risks to having a 7 day NHS service in the way gormless llama impersonator and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants it to be. Because yes, there is already a 7 day NHS service and we’ve been through this. Leaked documents show that as there is a painful lack of detail in Jeremy Hunt’s plan, which no one ever is surprised about. The problems include overstretching and working of staff, the fact that patients probably won’t report any difference or improvement in services out of hours or at the weekend, that it probably won’t affect rates of death on a weekend, and that the NHS employs 55,000 staff from the EU so Brexit may mean that each hospital only has three very stressed doctors having to fix up each other inbetween patients in order to get through the weekend.
Hunt’s promise that it will cost £10bn to implement a full 7 day service have also been rejected and it all looks very likely that Jeremy Hunt has been entirely misleading parliament. Either that or I want whatever he’s been prescribed as whatever’s giving him those sort of confident delusions would help us all get through the next four years of this shitty parliament.
And that’s it for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast. Next week the PPB question should return and as I said, I’ve got a rather interesting guest lined up too. If you’ve enjoyed the show please please give us a review on iTunes, it really really helps and do drop me a line @parpolbro on Twitter, ParPolBro group or page on FB and email@example.com about, well, anything you like really, I don’t have a lot on in September.
Also a huge thanks this week to Mark Struthers for sound editing on the interviews. Mark does his own very fun podcast all about Stockton Heath called, wait for it, Radio Stockton Heath. Do give it a listen at radiostockton.podbean.com
This week’s episode has been brough to you by the numbers 24-7 and an open letter to Jeremy Hunt telling him that’s not possible and that he’s a dick.