Episode 32 – It’s the 2016 Conservative Conference, there’s actually some Brexit news, and Tiernan talks to campaigner and author Phil Frampton about the CSA Inquiry.
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Hello and welcome to episode 32 of the Partly Political Broadcast. I’m Tiernan Douieb and while I don’t have any innovative jam for the Department of International Trade, I do occasionally eat peanut butter and marmite sandwiches which I refer to as ‘peamar buttmite’ and I think that’s pretty sellable as an export especially due to its catchy name.
It is the week of the Conservative Conference which means Birmingham is currently filled with people who were brought up reading Robin Hood backwards and think White Privilege is the paint colour you should use on your 3rd house. While at the time of recording this it’s only two days into the conference, there have already been some very, very strong contenders for the title of ‘idiotic comment of the year’.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd stated that ‘immigration is a good thing, but we need less of it’, presumably because the Conservatives main campaign stance is to ensure that people have less good things. She then went on to say that helping the vulnerable is one of her top priorities, before saying that the government are doing all they can to help child migrants. Apparently, because they are in France, you can’t just drive in and get them, said Rudd, obviously baffled by the notion of being able to put a deal into place when there’s a small channel of water in the way. No wonder the idea of immigrants confuses her when they travel across water all the time. I wonder if the conference had to be held in Birmingham in order to stop her accidentally seeing a harbour and freaking out.
Easily trumping Amber, and yes, I mean that in the US Presidential Candidate sense of the word, was Eton Mess Boris Johnson as he referred the entirety of Africa as ‘that country.’ Yes, we have a Foreign Secretary who thinks the second largest continent on the planet , with 1.1bn people and 54 recognised sovereign states is just one country. Though if he assumes the world is on a far smaller scale than everyone else, then this maybe does explain his passionate reasoning for Brexit if all along he thought we were just in a union with the sovereign state of the country of Europe and his insistence on acting like a village idiot despite his position in national governance.
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and, according to her CV, Nobell prize winner Andrea Leadsom pitched in with her entry to the idiot list with comments on how the UK is now “selling coffee to Brazil, sparkling wine to France and naan bread to India.” Great I’m sure there’s real high demand for countries to buy stuff they already have. What are they selling us? Blinkered, bigoted politicians? Our department of international trade is trying the global sales equivalent of selling ice cream to Innuits. With all the warmth of a real estate agent trying to sell you a cardboard box as a spacious studio flat, Leadsom also suggested that British people could replace seasonal EU migrant workers as fruit and vegetable pickers. Just because the Brexiteers in the cabinet want to the option of cherry picking doesn’t mean the British public do. I think most of us would much rather stay as couch potatoes.
Egg with eyes, Sajid Javid criticised Labour MPs for being landlords, which is an odd one considering 20% of Labour MPs are landlords compared to 44% of Conservative MPs. Hence why they keep banging on about being the party of home ownership, because they all have several themselves. Chancellor of the Exchequer and vultures from the Jungle Book tribute act Phillip Hammond complained that the UK’s productivity is lower than France and Italy and how people are working longer hours for lower pay. Yes. He said that without at any point realising that may be something to do with the last 6 years of his government. It’s like not seeing the wood you planted for the trees you also planted. Adding to the previous government plans of a ‘Northern Powerhouse’, Hammond also referred to the ‘Midlands Engine’ which I guess is why Westminster is constantly exhausting.
Oh and the Department of International Trade tweeted, supposedly in promotion of British exports, that France needs high quality, innovative British jams. No one is entirely sure what an innovative jam is, but it definitely isn’t the sticky situation the country’s been in since the EU Referendum. Oh and Theresa May has now said that Article 50 will be triggered by the end of March 2017 because there’s nothing like skipping Spring and ploughing blindly through into a winter of discontent till 2019. But more on that, later.
Big shout out to the lovely people I met at my shows with Bec Hill in Liverpool and Manchester last week who said they were listeners to this podcast. It is very nice to know that the numbers that pop up on my not very reliable podcast stats site are actually real people as well. It’s like a nice version of The Prisoner. I am not a podcast number! I am a podcast listener! Also ta to those of you who have actually added reviews to the iTunes site. I will continue to refrain from playing the awful jingle that I used in episode 30 as it does seem the mere threat of it’s use has an effect. It’s like this podcasts Trident. Arguably the time and cost of making that 30 second jingle could have been much better used elsewhere. Anyway, if you haven’t reviewed the show, please do head to iTunes and click some stars and write some words if you can. It really does help.
Couple of quick plugs for things. One, if you’re in Barnsely then I’m trying out some work in progress new nonsense with the Skeptics in the Pub, at the White Bear on Thursday. I’ll be opening and the brilliant political comic Chris Coltrane will be closing with his actually finished show from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Check out Barnsley.skepticsinthepub.org for details. Two, if you’re London based or have heard of London, now probably known by Philip Hammond as the London er, gas casket, then I’ve helped organise a big charity gig for the excellent Help Refugees, alongside very funny comedians Jen Brister and Kerry Godlimann. We’re all on, but so is Frankie Boyle, Sara Pascoe, Doc Brown, Shappi Khorsandi and more and that’s at Conway Hall, Nov 8th. Tickets aren’t cheap at £15 but it’s all for a very very good cause. Check out Conwayhall.org for those details. Three, I had a lot of fun doing a short stand-up set for the Simple Politics party in London last week and met some really interesting people who are all doing things to make politics clearer and easier to understand. If you’re a long time listener you’ll remember I spoke to creator of the site Tatton Spiller the morning of the referendum result back in episode 22 and I use the website to inform me about all sorts of things for this show. So do check out Simplepolitics.co.uk and sign up for the updates if you can. And lastly, thanks to the pound plummeted since the Article 50 announcement it’s now slightly more expensive to buy my show from tiernandouieb.co.uk as the hosting site only works in US dollars, so you should get on the case and exploit the pants out of that. Or whatever the opposite of exploit is.
Ok, this week’s show is a shorter episode but there is some clarification of the current Brexit nonsense and I’ll be speaking to author and campaigner Phil Frampton about the mess that is the Child Sex Abuse Inquiry. But first, a few quick things you may have missed:
HUNGARY’S REFUGEE REFERENDUM
Hungarian Prime Minister and owner of second most likely to be a supervillian name after Elon Musk , Victor Orban has failed to persuade Hungarians to back his referendum on refusing to let more refugees enter the country. Yeah, sounds like a lovely man doesn’t he? Considering Hungry’s history of Soviet and Nazi rule, you’d sort of think he’d be a bit more sympathetic to the plights of people in need, but then, he does have the second most likely to be a supervillian name after Elon Musk. While over 98% of those who voted – and yes, I’d assume that’s 99% too, but apparently they’ve closed the door on rounding up numbers already – while over 98% of those who voted voted in favour of closing the doors to refugees, less than half the population of Hungary voted at all making the entire referendum null and void. How excellent is that? Proper armchair activism. Almost makes you wonder if next time our government put up an ill timed referendum and you want to make a protest vote, maybe just treat yourself to putting your feet up and having a cup of tea instead eh?
SCRAP RETESTING OF CHRONICALLY ILL PEOPLE
The government have made yet another U-Turn though this time, it’s actually a good un. The Department Of Work And Pensions have scrapped bi-annual tests for chronically sick benefit claimants, in a move that probably has former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith turning in the grave that he probably sleeps in. Previously benefit claimants with lifelong conditions would have to have these regular tests to prove they were still unable to work you know, just incase they’d drank some magic potion or had a change of mind or something equally as ludicrous. There’s not yet clarification on who the beneficiaries of this change will be, or what criteria health professionals will draw up but it’s a welcome change. While there is still a lot the government needs to do before it can prove they actually care about and listen to people with disabilities, including fixing the crappy universal credit system, the £30 a week cuts to Employment and Support Allowance, this does feel like a tiny step in the right direction. Though cynical me just wonders if Damien Green and the DWP only did this so now there’s even less claimants they have to listen to every 6 months.
RIGHT TO BUY
Turns out the Right To Buy Scheme is more of an expensive game of finders keepers than a policy to help people buy homes. Data has shown for every eight houses bought using Right To Buy, only one was replaced meaning that sure, you have a right to buy, but only if you find a place that hasn’t already been sold off to private investors first. Back in 2011 housing minister and half hamster, all moron Grant Shapps said that the scheme would ensure that every home sold is replaced, a promise backed up by Prime Minister Theresa May in Prime Minister’s Questions two weeks ago. But it turned out like any advert from a loan shark, there was small print that said they’d only replace additional homes on top of what they expected to sell and of those additional homes that they counted for, most of them haven’t been built yet. I mean, I guess they didn’t say what they’d replace them with? I mean, if there’s further small print that says ‘will replace every home sold with an empty promise’ then they are bang on the money.
INTERVIEW WITH PHIL
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was started over two years ago after the investigations into Jimmy Savile revealed widespread abuse, stretched over decades all over the UK, by figures from media but also political institutions. But despite then Home Secretary Theresa May announcing it in July 2014, progress has stalled since. It’s had more chairs than a furniture shop with poor sales, as soon as they seem to have settled on Professor Alexis Jay, a social worker and academic, as the fourth head of the enquiry, than Ben Emmerson the lead counsel resigned. There has been a lot of resistance in running the enquiry so it’s in line with what the survivors, who should be at the forefront of the investigation, actually want and need for it to work. And there is something rather odd about the Home Office, who when it comes to the Investigatory Powers Bill, seem to think ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’ yet don’t seem all that keen on investigating parliament for evidence of abuse.
So this week I spoke to Phil Frampton who is an author, a campaigner for survivors and child protection and is himself a survivor, being in care from birth till aged 18. Phil is part of the Whiteflowers Campaign for justice who were part of a group of survivors and experts that took part in meetings at Parliament to help shape the inquiry when it started and have been lobbying for a strong independent voice for survivors since.
I should say, having grown up with both my parents working in child protection – Phil actually mentions my mum’s website towards the end of the interview – I know it’s a harrowing subject but we mostly discuss the inquiry itself so hopefully none of you will find it upsetting if you’re of a sensitive nature.
It’s only taken three months but THERE IS ACTUALLY SOME BREXIT NEWS!
In her speech at the Conservative Conference on Sunday, the day after her 60th birthday and knowing if she needed to, she could jump on a free bus out of there with her new pass, Prime Minister Theresa May announced she would be triggering article 50 by the end of March next year. Aside from being the only article that requires a warning pre-trigger, it also means that the UK would be out of the EU by summer 2019. You know, just before your much needed holiday to Spain. The second bit of news was that Theresa May announced the Great Repeal Bill for the Queens speech next April. Now ‘Great Repeal Bill’ sounds like some sort of Velcro addition for a duck that’s been in an accident, but what the Prime Minister says it is, is a bill that repeals the European Communities Act 1972 whenever the UK leaves the EU, replacing EU law with UK law when appropriate. May said that this bill would mark the first step in Britain becoming a sovereign and independent nation’. You know, like we totally haven’t been in that way we can’t have referendums and haven’t been able to create it’s own laws or announce bills to repeal other bills and stuff like that. God, I can’t wait for that independence to kick in eh?
So two big ‘yep we’re going’ announcements. Except the thing is, neither are actually very big news, nor, particularly in the instance of the Great Repeal Bill, do they actually mean much. Ok, I take that back a bit, Article 50 is important. But firstly, May said to European Council president Donald Tusk only a few weeks back that Article 50 would be triggered by January or February next year, so this announcement shows it’s already been delayed by a month. Secondly a legal challenge against Brexit had a minor victory in the High Court where the judge has ordered the government to reveal secret legal arguments that state Parliament doesn’t have to be consulted before triggering Article 50 by October 13th. Unlucky for some. So there is a chance this could have to go via Parliament, and it could either be delayed again, or even rejected especially when you think about how many MPs were pro-Remain and, I suppose you could cynically say, it’s not like they do what the majority of people want them to do most of the time anyway.
The Great Repeal Bill is pretty much what would have to happen when we leave the EU anyway. May has added the word ‘Great’ at the beginning of it so, like Bake Off, those interested in it can be excited at first then horribly let down when everyone you liked stops being involved and suddenly Paul Hollywood is alone, standing on the shores of Dover, swearing at the French while we sink into expensive tariffs and feudal law. Howver while it is a standard repeal bill, the government wants ‘flexibility’ in repealing primary legislation or Acts of parliament, by statutory instruments. Yes, I’ve made terrible jokes about how statutory instruments aren’t the trombones gargoyles play on a previous podcast, but what it means is that Parliament could use this statutory instruments to amend or repeal things in primary legislature without having to go via a judge or court of law. So yeah, if it happens, basically, the government can fuck with all those things that were voted for democratically and strengthened by law. Yeah! Taking back control! Specifically, from the powers of parliament into just the hands of the government. But apart from that the Great Repeal Bill is primarily an Emperor’s New Clothes Bill where they do what they have to do anyway but have stuck a Union Jack emoji on it to please Brexiteers.
So all in all, not really much news. Time for a reverse klaxon.
Oh and as soon as May made this announcement, the Great British Pound fell to just one percent above it’s lowest level in 31 years. It seems in borrowing the Great for the Repeal Bill, they’ve accidentally knocked it off, leaving just a British Pound. It’s also worth noting that May’s speech seemed to suggest we’re heading for a hard Brexit as opposed to a soft, overeasy, or poached one. But in contrast to this, in the Chancellor Philip Hammond’s speech, he stated that it was important to protect the UK’s access to the single market because doing otherwise would be catastrophic. Meaning he wants a soft brexit. So it looks whatever type of Brexit happens, many eggs will be broken and it’ll all be very scrambled.
Squidgy tube with hair Boris Johnson said his stance one Brexit was ‘we will have our cake and eat it’. By the looks of it, I don’t think Boris should really have anymore cake it all. Along with this and his Africa is a country statement, Boris also entirely flip flopped like a dead whale off of a diving board in his views on Turkey. Just months ago during the Vote Leave campaign, Johnson warned that Turkey would join the EU by 2020 and we’d be flooded with 76m people, a statement that, as I’ve mentioned in previous episodes was more balls than an overfull ball pit at Gulliver’s Land. Well it seems Boris agrees too now as in Ankara last week, he announced that ‘Britain will remain committed to helping Turkey’s path towards accession, helping in anyway possible.’ I assume he’ll be using his bloated cake filled body to allow those 76m to just float on over here then eh?
INTERVIEW WITH PHIL PART 2
Huge thanks to Phil for speaking with me. You can find more information on him at his website philframpton.co.uk and his book ‘Golly In The Cupboard ‘, the true story of Phil’s childhood in care, is available on Amazon and many other online bookshops. As Phil said, do check out the Whiteflowerscampaign.org and my mum’s website lizdavies.net not only because she’s a leading expert in child protection, and is actively involved in the campaign too, but also ‘cos she’ll be well chuffed if you do.
As always if you have someone you think I should interview or a subject you think I should interview someone about, please do let me know. You can let me know via the @parpolbro Twitter account, the ParPolBro FB group or firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m very aware that my last few guests have all been men, so I will endeavour to get more gender diversity in this interviewee bit in future before I have to do some sort of awful jingle about mansplaining and let’s face it, no one wants that. I would tell you why they don’t but I feel that’d be falling into a terrible trap.
It’s time for the question of the week! After previous week’s being events and talks you might find at the other conferences, it’s only fair I asked you for your thoughts on what you might find at the 2016 Conservative Conference. So….
@_adenrw Oct 2
@ParPolBro The dunking chair as disability assessment device: the only way is down, and then up again, and then down again, and then…
@gibbymcdibby Oct 2
@ParPolBro Fox, Davis and Johnson read Jerome K Jerome’s “Three men in a boat” (the up-shit creek-without-a-paddle edition). guest featuring Adam Werritty as Monty the dog)
@flufflogic Oct 2
@ParPolBro new way to say “Brexit means Brexit” and sound less like we’re stalling for time
Philip Alexander /react-text
Conference means Conference
@AlKayeAlKaye Oct 2
‘Conflatpulence means Conflatpulence & Glungetangle means Glungetangle’ with Theresa May
Boris Johnson: “talking to Johnny Foreigner in 2016 and beyond”
‘Mandate Schmandate!’ And… ‘which country *is* Africa?’ with Poetry from Boris Johnson
@Altook Oct 2
@ParPolBro “Boundary changes..how we can rig it so we’re in power forever”
10 hours ago
@ParPolBro @TiernanDouieb The Great Repeal debate & Tory plans to Repeal the last 7 decades and make it 1946 again so we get the empire back
6 hours ago
“A house in the country; why do you only have ONE?”
“Why only other parties have a problem with antisemitism.” (Scheduled today, Rosh Hashanah, so none of THEM can attend.)
6 hours ago
“The politics of envy.
Adam Werrity/Liam Fox“
6 hours ago
@ParPolBro Post-Brexit game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey! Donkey = UK public. Tail = political stagnation + real financial hardship. #dark
Matt Kinson /react-text react-text:
21st Century Power Stance techniques
An advance screening of I, Daniel Blake because they haven’t had a good laugh in a while
A motivational seminar by the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz on how to heartlessly stumble through life
Matt Hoss /react-text react-text: 434 /react-text Deflecting Blame: How to avoid facing any responsibilities by blaming either Labour or immigrants.
Rebecca Zaidee Gamble /react-text react-text: 49 /react-text how to investigate the westmister paedohile ring, using techniques from ‘the usual suspects’
how to use the lovely emotive jingoistic language of brexiters, referencing world war 2 ‘dunkirk spirit’ etc to both drive down wages and produce rather fetching tea towels..oh maybe that was the last conference..ah well, it’s always a winner
And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast. I’ll be back next week when Theresa May will have no doubt just stuck the word ‘Great’ in front of a series of other terrible already existing policies to make them sound appealing. Great Investigatory Powers Bill, Great Selling Off Everything We Own Bill, Great Scrapping Of Human Rights Bill. I’ll admit I was cynical before but now I know they’re actually great and all patriotic and that, I’m in. As always if you want to get in touch about anything at all, drop me a line @parpolbro on Twitter, the Parpolbro group on Facebook or email@example.com and don’t forget to give the show a review on iTunes if you enjoy.
This week’s show was brought to you by the letters CPC and the number 16, which while it’s the twitter hashtag for the Conservative Conference, also sounds like some sort of terrible gas that has the smell of bullshit and through inhaling will slowly and painfully kill everyone.