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PPB Ep 30
Hello and welcome to Partly Political Broadcast episode 30! I’m Tiernan Douieb and in accordance with the Labour Party I have decided to purge listeners from this show based on reasons I’ve made up. These include if you’ve ever said the word ‘plinth’ aggressively, if you’ve ever known anyone called Gerald, if you’ve ever owned an A-Ha album on cassette, if you’ve ever listened to another podcast, or know what a podcast is, or have ever heard the word podcast.
So on this week’s podcast…oh no! What have I done!
FOOTSTEPS/ DOOR CLOSING NOISES
DOOR OPENING NOISES/ FOOTSTEPS
Ha! I jest! You’re all welcome to this podcast regardless of your views. Just do bear in mind, my views are bestest. It’s conference season! No, I don’t mean prime time for pears though there were two of them this weekend. The first was the UKIP conference which no doubt took place in a very narrow room with no windows so as not to upset the attendees blinkered views. No sorry, it happened in Bournemouth so they could all line up on the shore and watch out for waves of migrants together. This year’s opposite of Future Fest saw Nigel Farage’s last speech, though sadly only as UKIP leader, despite the hopes and dreams of many. Farage, like some scrawled a face on a tumour, said that UKIP was like a Big Dipper, presumably because it’s over very quickly and makes many people sick, and that they had won the war on Brexit but must now win the peace which doesn’t really make any sense. He then went on to say how the Conservatives aren’t doing enough to get us out of Europe with it’s unelected bureacrats before saying he’d like to nominate an outgoing UKIP chairman for a peerage. Farage then claimed UKIP had got their country back, in the same week the Conservatives gave the go ahead to a huge UK nuclear power plant owned by China. Farage apparently celebrated his last day as UKIP leader by swimming in the sea in just his pants, presumably his attempt to return the beaches to their disgusting, filthy state like they were before the EU meddled with them.
Diane James was announced as the new UKIP leader, and has already called for unity within the party, because let’s face it, there won’t be much between them and outsiders. James is a big fan of Putin, so we can expect her to take the party in a relaxed, inclusive, liberal direction. HA! More likely expect homophobic comments and pictures of her riding to meetings topless on a horse.
The second conference this weekend was the Liberal Democrats one. It was held in Brighton but by the sounds of it, they could’ve saved a ton of money and just done it on WhatsApp. The conference included such optimistic talks as ‘Will 2080 be the year we get the next Lib Dem Minister?’ which is a stupid question as we all know, due to global warming we’ll be completely underwater by then and under the wrath of Titan The Sea King. Former leader Nick Clegg took to the stage to say ‘Brexit means Brexit, have you ever heard a more inane and disingenuous phrase in modern political discourse?’ The crowd remained quiet, remembering when Nick promised not to raise tuition fees. One of the main lowlights was when the chair of the Cheltenham party questioned why prostitution wasn’t given as a career option at schools for pupils, trying to show the Lib Dems are still right up there with the Tories and Labour when it comes to members that should be investigated by Operation Yewtree. And party leader, Tim Farron, a man who according to an interview with Buzzfeed news, want’s to be Britain’s Justin Trudeau, a statement that’s much like hearing a terminally ill child wants to be Spiderman, spent much of the conference appealing to pro-Europe voters. Farron said it was utterly despicable for the government to impose on the British people a deal nobody voted for, completely forgetting 52% of the population in fact did vote for it. He insisted that the Lib Dems are ‘in a good place’. With only 8 MPs and 8% in the polls, we can only presume he meant Brighton, which having been there lots, is indeed lovely. The Lib Dems might be better off staying there for a long weekend rather than returning to the bleakness of their reality.
Thanks as always for listening to this. I worry that this is getting boring me asking you to review the show on iTunes every week, so this week, to put you off doing it even more, I’ve made a jingle
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So, onto this week’s show which features a chat with Andrew Smith at Campaign Against The Arms Trade and a terrible pun from me – I know, who’d have thunk it? – There is of course more Brexit Fallout and I’ll be looking at Libya, especially since David Cameron stopped bothering to himself by about 2012. But before all that:
Government ministers have given an appropriately green light to the nuclear power plant Hinkley Point C, because there’s no better to way to provide the UK with cheap energy like causing all the people who think it’s a shitty investment to heat up with outrage at a silly decision. There are many reasons why the government might have decided to finally go ahead with the project. It could be that several billion pounds have already been spent on it so it’s too costly to cancel. It could be that now EDF have revised down their shares and the government ministers didn’t even mention China in their statement, that the UK will be able to take a larger stake in it. It could be that like all bad guys they just want some nuclear power in order to give strength to their hulk soldiers when they block out the Sun. Or it could be that several members of the EDF advisory board are also Conservative peers, including Lord Patten who wrote an open letter to Theresa May in the Financial Times a few weeks ago asking her to press ahead with Hinkley Point, and Simon Robertson who pays £50k a year to be an exclusive Conservative club in order to have private dinners with the Prime Minister. Yeah £50k. Yeah someone’s going all out with starts and desserts at Wagamamas. With the cost of electricity from Hinkley set to cost consumers over twice the current wholesale price, and Hinkley itself costing taxpayers until 2060, you do wonder if that money could’ve been better spent on renewable energy. Still, at least a few Tory peers should be able to comfortably warm their homes by making a fire from all their excess £20 notes.
After being fired from the cabinet, former chancellor GEORGE OSBORNE has announced that unlike his bladder faced former boss, he’s staying in politics to ‘see how it ends.’ After doing such a terrible job with the economy, I really hope it’s unhappily. Osborne aims to stay as chair of his Northern Powerhouse Partnership which aims to help the great cities and town of the North pool their strengths and take on the world. And after the austerity measures brought in by Georgy mean 10 of the 12 most declining cities in the UK are in the North of England, pooling their strengths really might be the only way they’ll be able to do anything.
Opponents of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have been criticising the left wing group Momentum’s new plans for Momentum Kids. Yes that does sound like some sort of terrible exercise plan for children involving rolling them down large hills, but actually it’s a proposal set up by two mums from Stroud to create better access to crèches and child care for Labour activists so they can get engaged in political activities. While that sounds like a pretty good idea, social media has been swamped with people saying Momentum Kids is like Hitler Youth, because linking Nazis and breakfast clubs for children is a fine way to bring up the German dictator. Make sure somebody tells Ken Livingstone. Fan of Corbyn or not, helping parents to engage more in politics is surely what parties should be backing isn’t it? Or are they worried that those are the sort of people who have enough childishness to deal with already in their everyday lives?
The government has shelved plans to sell off the land registry, which is great news. On the downside it does remove chances of using the retort ‘No it isn’t, it’s all been sold to private companies’ whenever bigots say ‘Britain’s own country’.
INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW PT 1
Arms dealers. The only people who are even more loathsome than gym going bros when they say ‘check out my gun show’. Though bizarrely, if you remember, a job that John Whittingdale still thought was less embarrassing to do than say ‘Tory MP’ when on a date. In actuality, Conservative MPs and weapons sellers often go, excuse the terrible pun, arms in arms. Last week UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia were questioned in parliament after air attacks on Yemen, possibly, well almost definitely, using UK made fighter jets, bombs and missiles, is in breach of international law. This comes after sales show the UK is now the second biggest arms dealer in the world after the US, and you realise that we really are a country that profits in the horrific suffering of others, and that’s before you even get to including people who travel on EasyJet.
This week I spoke to Andrew Smith at Campaign Against The Arms Trade, a UK based NGO that has been working since 1974 to abolish the international arms trade and he explained to me what the reports were all about and why the government is so intent on making it’s terrible human rights record go global.
We’ll be back with Andrew in a minute but first….
As days since he resigned as an MP go by, David Cameron’s legacy as prime minister of the UK looks more and more like a list of Cards Against Humanity suggestions. Now to add to his CV to increase his chances of a decent job in hell, the foreign affairs committee has said that swollen ham face himself was responsible for failures that lead to Libya becoming a failed state. Well done Dave! Maybe add that to your bit about being a team player.
A little bit of background history for those of you who, like me, don’t really know where Libya is and maybe thought Tripoli was a type of pasta. Libya is situated between Algeria and Egypt in a North African sandwich and up until 2011 when he was overthrown by NATO forces, was ruled by eccentric dictator, revolutionary and poor Gene Simmons lookalike Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. He wasn’t the most stable of human beings, with reports after his death stating he did things like keep his enemies heads in his freezer, which to be fair, would definitely put me off getting a midnight snack of ice cream far more than any diet scheme. Gaddafi’s draconian laws and funding of militant and terrorist groups all over the world, plus his constantly outspoken views against imperialism and the UN meant he was really not on many of the Western world’s BFF’s list and why would he be when popping round to grab an ice cream had such terrifying consequences?
Anyway, long story short, when the Arab Spring hit Libya and NATO backed rebels who wanted to oust a leader they’d had no say in having since 1975, Tripoli fell and Gaddafi went into hiding, before being killed in as yet, unconfirmed circumstances. Which does mean it’s likely he’ll probably return in Avengers: Infinity War. While his death was seen as an end to 42 years of misrule, since then Libya has been plunged into the verges of civil war, economic collapse, a humanitarian crisis, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across North Africa and growth of ISIS. And a large part of that seems to be the blame of one David Cameron. Well and the other NATO countries that intervened, particularly France. The Foreign Affairs committee has gathered evidence from senior ministers and defence staff at the time and found that there were issues in the way that the UK government opted to change the primary objective from protecting civilians in Benghazi to regime change, something that anyone who’s lived under a Conservative government won’t be surprised by. It seems the operations were then carried out using little evidence and a lack of investigation into the rebellion happening in Libya, and as a result at least 30,000 Libyans, many of whom were civilians were killed. Then post Gaddafi’s death NATO said they would end operations by 31st October 2011, but the Libyan government asked that they stay till the end of the year in order to help rebuild and repair the country. But NATO soundly ignored that because hey, the blowy up bit all done, let’s go get a beer and leave these dicks to clean up our mess and they pissed off end of October anyway.
The UK spent under half as much on rebuilding Libya as it did on the intervention and none of the European countries really bothered to help restabilise Libya post Gaddafi, leaving it to become in the mess it is now. President Obama said getting involved in Libya was one of his greatest regrets, saying he assumed the UK, France and other Europeans would have more investment in the follow up to the war and calling them ‘free riders’. Overall Obama said the war was a ‘shitshow’ and he would know, coming from a country that has Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News.
The report asks the foreign office to conduct a review into whether the United Nations is the correct body to coordinate stabilisation and reconstruction in a post conflict environment, as judging by Libya, it isn’t. Or at least the version Cameron was part of wasn’t. And as for Dave? Well he refused to give evidence to the select committee and now he’s not an MP, he’s just swanned off and left it all behind like his daughter in a pub. David Cameron causing a shitshow then leaving others to clean it up? Now where have I heard of that happening before…..
INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW PT 2
Big thanks to Andrew for talking with me this week and thanks to PPB helper Matt Hoss for arranging it. You can find campaign against the arms trade on their website caat.org.uk with full details of local groups all over the UK and I’m sure they’ll have updates on the court case when it starts too. You can also find them on Twitter @caatuk and on Facebook at facebook.com/campaignagainstthearmstrade. Also one of the many reasons I started doing comedy about politics was due to the amazing comedian Mark Thomas and in particular, having a chat with him after seeing his show ‘As Used On The Famous Nelson Mandela’ which was all about the arms trade. It’s a few years old now but the book is still very worth a read if you get chance and incredibly Mark manages to make you laugh despite the bleak reality of the weapons trade.
As always I’m keen to hear who you’d like me to interview or on what subjects I should find someone to interview about. Do drop me a line, or you know, some sort of text as a line is very hard to interpret, @parpolbro on Twitter, the Parpolbro FB group or firstname.lastname@example.org
PPB QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
After the double conference weekend, I asked you lot what stalls or talks you’d have expected to see at either the UKIP or Lib Dem conferences and a handful of you replied.
Rick B @TenPercent 22h
22 hours ago
@ParPolBro Talk for both ‘maintain your income by keeping an irrelevant party going’
Stalls: Offshore wealth management, Saga retirement.
18 hours ago
@ParPolBro “Fuck Their Policies”, a live rap by Tim Farron discussing the differing views of the Lib Dems & UKIP – NWA reference
19 hours ago
@ParPolBro the Lib Dems have Norman Lamb’s one-man tour-de-force ‘No really, it’s fine that Tim won’
17 hours ago
@ParPolBro How to lose votes and alienate literally everyone.
21 hours ago
@TiernanDouieb @ParPolBro Lib Dem talk on subject ‘Was forming a coalition with Torys a vote winner’ 4 word talk – ‘Of course fucking not’
22 hours ago
@TiernanDouieb @ParPolBro UKIP’s poison chalice leadership drinks’ stall.
Lib Dems Farron Wilderness tour talks. The search for voters.
Quick Brexit update if such a thing is possible. Herman Van Rompuy, a man who’s name sounds like a terrible Carry On character, and Donald Tusk, who’s surname sounds like his always disappointed in your cheap jokes about Herman Van Rompuy’s name, both on the European council, have said Brexit talks are likely to happen in 2017 by January or February. However Theresa May has denied she ever specified a date because who knows, by then the world may have ended and she won’t have had to bother making a decision. In the meantime European Commision president has made British tabloids almost credible by proposing an EU military headquarters for a common military force, in compliment to NATO. Of course, the bonus of this is if he does set one up, May could do something to piss them off, they’ll invade and then it’ll be another way of saving her having to trigger Article 50 as they take over and inflict decent air quality controls on us and efficient hair dryers.
Yet another fear that’s been mentioned in the last few days is that a hard Brexit would mean UK banks would lose the automatic right to trade in EU states, or passporting rights, as they’re known. But while it would cost banks some of the money they keep getting from the Bank Of England’s magic money tree that they swear doesn’t exist, Moody’s rating agency says they would manage. So banks having a slightly harder time, possibly having to regulate more and losing money? Using that as a case against a hard Brexit is like saying you shouldn’t press a button as will open a trapdoor underneath Piers Morgan causing him to plummet into a pit of snakes. I’ll be pressing that twice then.
Hard or soft, we still don’t know when or how we’ll be Brexiting and don’t hold your breath for any answers soon, unless you have hiccups.
And that’s the end of this week’s Partly Political Broadcast. Thanks again for listening in and do please review the show on iTunes or I will play that shitty jingle again. As always you can get in touch via all the usual methods and, if you enjoy this show you can buy my new stand-up special ‘The World’s Full Of Idiots, Let’s Live In Space’ for £3 from my website tiernandouieb.co.uk.
Special thanks this week to Mark Struthers for sound magic, Matt Hoss for guest wrangling and Steve Spicer for making the @parpolbro twitter account better.
This week’s show was brought to you by the letters LD and the number 8 which on its side it looks like the infinity sign which is the least amount of time it’ll take for the LD’s to get back into government.