Episode 31 – This week’s episode is Labour conference a go go. There’s more Brexit chat, a look at the first US Presidential Campaign Debate and Tiernan talks to Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) from politics.co.uk.
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Hello and welcome to episode 31 of the Partly Political Broadcast. I’m Tiernan Douieb and I’m pleased to say that I’ve been re-elected as leader of this podcast with over 60% of the vote. Which sounds good but as I’m the mostly only person that’s involved in this podcast, what it really says is that I should probably work hard on my confidence issues.
It is the weekend of the Labour Conference 2016 or, as it’s known on Twitter #Lab16, which is an appropriate title given that it sounds like the latest in a series of failed experiments. Of course the biggest story of the conference so far is that Jeremy Corbyn aka J-Corbz aka Jezza Corbster aka Jeremy from the Block has been elected Labour leader again, proving that Labour are indeed best at wasting 3 months of everyone’s time. This time round Corbyn had an even higher share of the vote which could be down to the increased membership since his election as leader the first time round, it could be because Corbyn’s left wing, anti establishment stance has really hit it off with members, or most likely, it could be because Owen Smith was the sort of alternative on the ballot that’d make you think a potato with a face on was a better choice. In fact, I reckon a potato would be less likely to get a roasting from the Tories or press than either Corbyn or Smith and make less of a hash of things. I’m really starting to think it’s a genuinely good idea and not just because I reckon I have enough puns about it to last at least three of these podcasts.
So of course, now with Corbyn back in the throne, the call from all sides of the Labour rift are for unity. Not uni-tea which is a hot beverage made from straining liquid through the mythical unicorn beast, but unity, an even less plausible idea that the entire Labour party might work together instead of destroying itself. In fact, across the weekend, Labour MPs have been using the call for unity, much like racists use the ‘I’m not racist but’ line. Various supporters of Corbyn kept calling for unity but refused to speak out against deselection of MPs, various detractors of Corbyn called for unity but then continued to criticise Corbyn in interviews and refuse to join the shadow cabinet, anti-Corbyn Labour activist group Labour First are organising specific groups to tackle Corbyn supportive group Momentum around the country and at the Momentum debate on anti-Semitism people handed out leaflets for the expulsion of the Jewish Labour group. And while the left wing side of Labour has been talking about tackling austerity, Caroline Flint at the right of centre Progress rally banged on about how ‘most of our voters aren’t homeless or poor and they want to hear about their lives too.’ Because you know, it’s not as if most TV or radio doesn’t help them achieve that already. So yeah, I’m sure they’ll all be hanging out, swapping loom bands and like super BFF’s by the end of the week. It’s like the political version of Suicide Squad. In that it’s even more boring than you expected.
It was decided Brexit would not be on the agenda for this year’s conference because Labour’s environmental views seem to have extended to even trying to preserving the elephant in the room. To be fair considering how little the government seem to know about Brexit, having a discussion about it might’ve seemed more like a philosophy seminar. If we don’t know what a major policy and political change is, or when it’ll be and we spend ages talking about what to do about it, will it make a sound anyone really wants to hear? Also it will have been discussed and mentioned but the four main subjects chosen by trade unions and party members were grammar schools, housing, child refugees and NHS. Yes, all things – well maybe except grammar schools – that will be hugely affected by Brexit. Great work everyone.
Other notable things include Clive Lewis saying Labour’s policy for Trident renewal won’t be overturned, even though Corbyn is adamantly against it. But he said that they do stand for multilateral disarmament. So I guess they’ll just pop Trident in a large glass box saying to break in case of emergency when it’s all redone. However Clive’s speech was edited on the autocue by head spin doctor Seumus Milne as he said it which is hugely out of order and an odd way to treat your shadow cabinet minister. If someone did that to me I’d be so angry I’d run around telling everyone just how great and brilliant Seamus Milne is. Hang on! I didn’t write that! SEAMUS!
Emily Thornberry said Labour would focus on replacing the post Brexit EU funding that will be lost from certain deprived areas that mostly voted to Leave because there’s nothing that shouts British sovereignty like shooting yourself in the foot then complaining that your foot is bleeding. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell announced Labour would boost the minimum wage to over £10 in 2020, that they’d repeal the trade union act and push for greener energy. He said they’d clamp down on tax avoidance and under Labour there’d be no more Phillip Greens, which is awkward as there’s 972 of them on Linked In for the UK alone and I’m pretty sure they’ll be upset if they have to change their names. McDonnell said Labour would be an interventionist government, helping small businesses and finished by saying labour is a party where you no longer need to whisper it – it’s called Socialism. Which was both a powerful statement about the direction of Labour under Corbyn and also another easy sound bite for the tabloid press to use to terrify people who think socialism means they all have to speak Russian and eat borscht. But really, all very sensible sounding policies, the big issue will be whether Labour can get anywhere near power to carry out any of them. Also, part of me really wishes John McDonnell had actually finished by saying ‘Labour is a party where you don’t need to whisper it, it’s called JAZZ! Then doing a calypso leap off the stage. I reckon some proper jazz dancing would’ve really persuaded any swing voters out there. Geddit? Sorry.
Thanks again for subscribing and listening to the podcast. Last week’s horrific jingle asking you all to review the show on iTunes lead to two brand new reviews, so I will take it as read that it worked and won’t play it this week but you should know, the threat of it being played again is ever present, so do get clicking those stars. I mean the stars on the iTunes page, don’t go round snapping your fingers at celebrities. You will get in trouble.
Couple of things to mention this week before I ramble on. Firstly, this may be slightly late notice but if you’re a listener in Liverpool or Manchester I’ll be all up in your grill this week. I’m doing a double header show with fantastically funny Bec Hill at the Unity Theatre in Liverpool on Thursday September 29th and the Dancehouse Theatre in Manchester on Friday. I’m doing some old and some new stuff, and Bec is doing her brilliant show Caught On Tape. It should be fun so pop along if you’re nearby. Appropriate details for both are on the respective theatres websites, or my website, or on my personal twitter as I furiously RT convincing myself that people still look at things on Twitter that aren’t just GIFs of cats looking sassy. The other is that my filmed stand-up special ‘The World’s Full Of Idiots, Let’s Live In Space’ is still online. And still £3. I mean, it’d be weird if I’d changed it since I banged on about it last week but yeah if you enjoy this show, you’ll enjoy that as it’s like this, only it’s that instead.
Ok so this week’s show is slightly different to past week’s, partly because I have a chat with editor of politics.co.uk Ian Dunt who covers many of the things I might’ve mentioned this week, and partly because I’m aiming to record part of this week’s podcast at 2.30am straight after seeing the US presidential debate. I have no idea if that’ll be any good considering a) how tired I’ll be, b) how depressed I’ll be after watching it and c) how much of my bottle of whisky I get through in order to deal with what will undoubtedly be the sort of horror show that gets banned from screenings for 30 years for being too upsetting and only when future generations are so far removed from it, will it be released and viewed as hilarious nostalgia. Anyway, that bit will be towards the end of the show.
This week I thought it might be nice to talk to someone who actually knows about politics to give you all a break from my half researched opinions. Ian Dunt is the editor of the website politics.co.uk which is one of the leading political and completely impartial news websites in the UK. I regularly read it and often refer to articles for this show, and in particular I always enjoy Ian’s very well informed, well written and often candid opinions. So I thought I’d ask him all about the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, the future of the opposition, British politics in general and where best to hide to survive the inevitable apocalypse. Enjoy.
IAN DUNT INTERVIEW PART 1
We’ll be back with Ian in a minute, but first….
My favourite moment of the past week of politics was when SEUMUS MILNE WAS JUST HANGING ROUND BEING EXCELLENT AS HE ALWAYS IS….Hang on! I didn’t write that! BLOODY SEUMUS MILNE! Sorry, my favourite moment was after thatched roof on top of uncooked dough and foreign secretary Boris Johnson said on Sky News that it was ‘complete baloney’ that there was a link between the EU’s single market and it’s principle of free movement. And he’d know right? I mean, he’s foreign secretary isn’t he? So he’s knows all about their odd foreign ways with their unpronounceable pastries and casual attitudes to kissing. Well it turns out, surprise surprise, Boris has less of a clue than Alicia Silverstone in a 90’s teen comedy. And here it is, my fave moment was when German finance minister offered clarification for Boris by saying that there are four freedoms in the EU that cannot be separated and said he would gladly send ‘Her majesty’s foreign minister a copy of the Lisbon treaty’ and that he can also say it in English if he needs them to visit and explain. Boom! Those Europeans throw some serious shade, which explains a lot of their moody arthouse films.
Boris, an advocate for the leave vote but only seemingly because even he didn’t think anyone would listen to a moron like himself, also backs giving £5bn of the UK’s contributions to the EU as funding to the NHS, which is only £345bn less than they promised, but I guess it’s the thought that counts. And he also said we should be out of the EU by the next round of MEP elections in 2019, meaning we’d have to leave by May next year. Or next year, triggered by May. No one’s sure where the intonation was and so which May he means. And then of course there was all his stupid remarks about how he still thinks we can keep the single market in a brexit without keeping the policy of free movement. Because apparently international trade deals seem to involve Britain saying ‘I’d like this and this and this’ and then every other country keeling over and complying because it seems Boris still lives in the 1800’s. I wouldn’t be surprised if he promises France they can marry one of our Princesses and Germany a galleon of gold and will assume it’s all sorted. Bear in mind he has also overtly stated this week that Russia are guilty of war crimes, which, while he’s not wrong, isn’t the most tactful way of negotiating with Putin. You sort of assume the next meeting Boris has in Russia will involve him blowing raspberries at Vladimir while saying that his dad is bigger than Putin’s so he should back the fuck down.
Though Boris isn’t the only politician, if you consider that his main job now that all the travelling detracts from his post as village idiot, to think the most important thing is getting rid of freedom of movement. Several Labour MPs including everyone’s favourite replicant Chukka Ummunna, Jonathan Reynolds, Rachel Reeves, Stephen Kinnock and Emma Reynolds all believe it’s more important to scrap freedom of movement than stay in the single market. Because there’s nothing like having a country where tariffs mean it’s too expensive to buy anything from abroad but we also don’t make anything here because we don’t have enough migrant workers to do the jobs that make the things we would have. Essentially what you have is a group of Labour MPs willing to tow the completely false line that immigration is more than a fabricated problem in the UK, aiding the possibility of a hard Brexit and fucking over the entire country. Unless this is some new super desperate plan where they’ve realised the only way now to get rid of Corbyn is to destroy all of the UK as well.
And on the real life and how this will all affect you immediately front, many supermarkets are beginning to shrink packets and reduce quantities, as well as use cheaper ingredients in preparation for increased tariffs on food exports. Still, at least the next series of Celebrity Masterchef should be interesting.
What are you making? ‘It’s a lasagne made with cardboard slats instead of pasta and water with red food dye to replace the tomatoes.’ Ah the taste of taking back control.
IAN DUNT INTERVIEW PART 2
Huge thanks to Ian for taking the time to chat to me. You can find him on Twitter @iandunt and do check out politics.co.uk for a constantly interesting and informative view on political happenings.
As always, if you’d like to recommend someone I should try and interview for this show, or a subject you’d like me to find someone to interview about, drop me a line @parpolbro on Twitter, the ParPolBro FB group or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, running on a similar unoriginal theme to last week, because look, I have to pretend to make time to have a life sometimes, I asked you, the revolting electorate, what talks or events you think would be at this year’s Labour Conference?
@budgie Just A Hit… Minute, with Ken Livingstone
@jaynemortimer Sep 25
@ParPolBro how to make jam and alienate people – Corbyn.
@GavinCurnow Sep 25
@ParPolBro It’ll Be All Right on the Night
@EthanDLawrence Sep 25
@ParPolBro Wiping The Slate Clean: a presentation by a Washing Machine Salesman who may or may not be Keith Vaz
Philip Alexander /react-text react-text: 90 /react-text Washing Machine Sales 101
@beaubodor Sep 25
@ParPolBro Coup Strategy. Key Lessons From Recent History.
@beaubodor Sep 25
@ParPolBro Keeping Things Together After Failing To Break Up.
24 hours ago
@ParPolBro card gluing lessons.
Matt Hoss /react-text react-text: 49 /react-text Labour Film screening: Marvel’s Civil War.
Paul Jenkins /react-text react-text: 300 /react-text A presentation led by Moomentum: Herding skills for dealing with unruly cattle.
I wrote a few myself:
11am ‘How to get a seat on a ram packed train’.
12pm ‘How to beat off 1200 boys in order to get married.’
1pm ‘How to hate Tories as much as you hate your colleagues.’ 3pm ‘What is unelectable?’
5pm ‘Ed Balls: It takes 1 to Tango’
7pm ‘Keeping friends close, but your enemies even closer by making them your colleagues .’
8.30 Joint talk. Momentum & Progress ‘Working together to stand still’
11am ‘How to get a seat on a ram packed train’. 12pm ‘How to beat off 1200 boys in order to get married.’
US TV DEBATE REACTION
Ok so a little pre-amble before we zoom to the future, which will be your past, as I stay up to watch the first US presidential debate. This is the first big one between the woman who looks like she’d cut you with a blade if you didn’t use a coaster, and a giant infected blister with wig on. The first presidential debate is usually watched by around 100m American viewers but this will probably be more as it’s always nice to witness the moments that lead to the point you’ll have to tell your grandchildren about how you survived. Oh and I’m going to watch it, so that’s 100m and one. Currently the candidates are neck and neck in the polls ever since Hillary’s pneumonia scare, that fitted in with Trump’s bullshit stories that she is basically a barely animated corpse, even though he constantly looks like he is burning up with something you only get from having sex with something he found in a skip. So the big thing with this debate is that the Democrats want the host, Lester Holt to fact check all the statements, while Trump’s campaign wants nothing of the sort, as since they worked out how to stop Donald’s nose growing, they’ve been getting away with it. So Trump will probably spout complete nonsense, no one will challenge it and America will be on the path to making Britain the second most ridiculous post truth idiots on the planet. So I have a massive glass of whisky, the TV’s on. I’ll see you on the other side of this televised shitstorm.
Time travel noise
CLINTON – Think about future. Invest in small business
TRUMP – JOBS ARE LEAVING WE HAVE TO STOP THEM LEAVING – Clothing label / $14m small amount / Keeps sniffing
Clinton – Donald rooted for housing crisis.
Trump ‘that’s called business money’
Clinton – 10m new jobs .
Trump – Much better job at keeping our jobs. Pro energy, never said climate change was a hoax – but previously said climate change was created by China to make US manufacturing competitive.
CLINTON – apologises for email scandal.
Trump – Audit lie . Admits to not paying tax. Admits to not paying people who he hired for a job.
Trump on race – bad people with guns, take away guns,
Clinton – implicit bias is a problem for everyone
Trump criticises Hilary for ‘super predators’ .
Boasting that he caused Obama to produce his birth certificate. His racist business sued by DoJ ‘They sued loads of people’.
Clinton not quite laying into him enough. Tax question, birther question.
Trump ‘”The security aspect of cyber is very tough and maybe it’s un-doable but we’re not doing it”
‘A very against police judge’.
Trump says he didn’t approve Iraq invasion –
‘I haven’t given much though to NATO’ ‘ I have a much better temprement’.
‘We can’t protect countries that don’t pay us what we need.’
“Everyone would agree with me about saying vile things about a woman” – Didn’t say the horrible thing I was going to. It’s not nice to do attack ads’
And that is the end of this week’s Partly Political Broadcast. Thanks again for listening and please do spread the word like it’s some sweet sweet word jam and gizzuz a review on iTunes as I’ve been told it helps by people who have better podcasts than I do. Speaking of which, Adam Buxton’s podcast is a constant favourite of mine, and on his last one he recommended Malcolm Gladwell’s recent Revisionist History podcast about the satire paradox. It’s very fascinating listening if you get the chance. Also I love the New Economics Foundation’s Weekly Economics Podcast, which is 15 mins of easily listenable clear chat on economics stuff. It’s very good. But obvs, don’t listen to them instead of this one because that would be cheating and yes, I would know because I have a private detective who goes out and takes pics and would show me evidence of you not downloading ParPolBro and instead indulging in more intelligent better produced podcasts and then I’ll have to eat ice cream in my pants crying in some sort of montage sequence. Ahem, sorry.
So yeah, do drop me a line on @parpolbro on twitter, the Parpolbro Facebook group or email@example.com about, well, anything you like really. Favourite banjo solo? Exactly what size teacup you’d need to fit a storm in it? How do they get almond milk when almonds have no discernable teats? Anything like that. Next week’s show may be a bit late on account of being up North all week but it will be there so talk at you then!
This week’s show has been brought to you by the numbers SEUMUS MILNE IS SUCH A GREAT GUY WITH GREAT HAIR AND A FANCY SWAG……hang on, I didn’t write that! BLOODY SEAUMUS MILNE!