Episode 54 – Due to Article 50 triggering, illness and a cancelled interview this week’s show is one long Brexit Fallout featuring clips from speeches by Philipe Legrain ( @plegrain) and Ian Dunt (@iandunt) from the Stand Up For EU Citizens event plus Tiernan’s terrible Daniel Day Lewis impression and too many Star Wars jokes.
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Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast episode 54. I’m Tiernan Douieb although under due to post Article 50 triggering concerns depending on who’s asking I’m also my new British name of Timothy Dobbington and no, of course I don’t do a podcast that criticises the government and Brexit. No no. I spend my time making sure people’s British passports are blue once again. Not in colour. I just write ‘bum’ on each page.
So this week’s show, predictably is pretty much all one big:
Yes Prime Minister and hollow vessel body for the next Sith Lord Theresa May wrote a 6 page break up letter in a sort of ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ manner to the EU and they responded by saying ‘s’cool, we’re in an open thing with these 27 other guys and gals and you were always the annoying, demanding one anyway so yes it definitely, definitely was you, don’t expect everything you want on a plate, especially when the plate was a gift from Greece. Au revoir, auf wiedersehn, Bye.’ European Council president said it was not a happy day, and told the UK ‘we already miss you’, which is a sentiment I’m sure he won’t feel after two years of having to deal with the UK’s petty threats about a process we no longer have a say in. Like the one in article 50 that basically said we won’t help you stop terrorists unless you’re nice to us. Yes it turns out when David Cameron said ‘ISIS wanted Brexit to happen’ and everyone screamed project fear about it, they didn’t realise it was because a UK outside the EU would happily give the terrorist group a leg up if we thought it’d help our innovative jam sales. Brexit Minister and tormented albino gerbil David Davis said it wasn’t a threat but it was an argument for getting a deal. Yes in the same way Daniel Day Lewis’s character in There Will Be Blood had that great argument for a deal that went ‘One night I’m gonna come to you, inside of your house, wherever you’re sleeping, and I’m gonna cut your throat.’ Classic deal.
Luckily former Tory Leader and denizen of the undead Michael Howard was there to alleviate any tension by suggesting May must stand ready for a Falklands style invasion over Gibraltar because there’s nothing like trying to negotiate the best possible trade agreement with a body originally created to stop war between European nations than by starting a war with a European nation as soon as you’ve left. Howard’s reasoning for suggesting a UK versus Spain battle over who wants a tax haven rock most was because we must make it absolutely clear that we stand by Gibraltar. Well considering 96% of Gibraltar wanted to stay in the EU the best way to stand by them would’ve been not to Brexit. It’s not at all dissimilar to our relationship with Scotland, a sort of global treat them mean keep them keen tactic. I wouldn’t be surprised if we follow this up by demanding Gibraltar to call us Daddy, before inhaling gas, dry humping them and asking them to gag us with a strip of Blue Velvet.
This was all prompted by the EU saying that Spain should have a veto over any Brexit deal that applies to Gibraltar, a reasonable ask considering 95% of it’s imports come from Spain, as do 94% of it’s tourists, and half of it’s workforce, so not having free movement makes The Rock less of a working overseas territory and more the sort of place Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery would want to break of after breaking into. The Chief Minister of Gibraltar accused Spain of bullying the EU and using them as a bargaining chip before calling Donald Tusk the alt-right insult of ‘acting like a cuckold’. I reckon it’s only time before he points out that ‘actually all lives matter’ and that Brexit was really all about the ethics of gaming journalism. Theresa May laughed off the idea of a war with Spain – presumably because we’ve got 309,000 undercover spies there already who’d tear the country apart by constantly demanding British food in Spanish restaurants in louder and louder home counties accents. May said the policy of talking over Gibraltar with Spain would be ‘jaw-jaw’ which I think means she’s going to design a hugely irritating CGI character with racist overtones, that make everyone wish the whole thing had never happened. Oh wait, she’s already got Liam Fox.
Meanwhile the right wing press and some of the most bonkers Brexiteer Conservatives are still banging on about getting blue passports, bendy bananas and imperial units which I’m pretty sure are Stormtroopers aren’t they? Yes that’s three star wars based gags in just the opening of this week’s podcast but let’s face it, there are few films with so many references that sum up Brexit better. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering may as well have been the entirety of Donald Tusk’s response to May’s Article 50 letter. But yep, considering what the you wonder if this whole thing couldn’t have been averted if we’d just all taken blue felt tips to Express readers passports and handed out damaged, malformed fruit with every issue of the Daily Mail. Still on the plus side with expensive exports and no one to pick our own fruit we’ll soon have no bananas at all, and with the pound as low as it is, it doesn’t matter what colour our passports are as we’ll all be doing staycations.
Thank you for listening to the podcast once again, this week is something a little bit different. What I hear you cry? Haven’t we had enough change already these past few weeks? Which is a good point actually. Isn’t a change meant to be as good as a rest, yet here we are, post Article 50 triggering and I’m bloody knackered and, as you can probably hear from my voice, a bit ill. The latter bit is partly the reason for this week’s slightly truncated show, as I’ve spent the weekend gigging and generally making the weak croak you probably heard on last week’s show become so gravelly that if I were to call it hoarse it’d probably have to go through equine euthanasia. But yes, no voice, also this week’s interviewee dropped out last minute so I have something else lined up and also also parliament is now on a break and all the news, apart from Trump which I’ll get to next week, is, remember the correct term? That’s right, fucking Brexit. And worse than that, it’s mostly stuff I’ve already covered, more speculation, more hyperbole and generally things that I’m so bored of hearing now I’d sooner put a spoon in my eye than repeat them all again for you. So this week, instead of an interview I’ve put clips of two speeches, by Phillipe Legrain and Ian Dunt that took place at an event I hosted last week on Article 50 day called Stand Up For EU Citizens as I thought they were both interesting, clearly explained and will probably things into better context than I would’ve done with my brain full of mucus and my voice like listening to Macy Gray through a broken walkie talkie.
Before that though, hello to all the new listeners. It’s so very exciting to see that this show’s audience is doubling on a weekly basis, so thank you for tuning in. Please do keep spreading the word, letting people you like know about it, and letting people you don’t like to look over there while you make their phone download every episode just so it takes up all their phone memory and it makes them sad. If you haven’t given this show a review on iTunes or Stitcher or your listening platform of choice, then you’re in the majority, but if I’ve proved anything in these last 54 episodes it’s that the majority often make terrible decisions, so why not give us a five stars on there and gain the sort of badge of honour you can’t wear and if you could, probably wouldn’t. Also if you’d like to contribute with the monies towards this show, perhaps helping me buy better sore throat preventative medicines, then you can either head to the Patreon which is about to have new extra stuff on it soon promise including a video that’s being edited right this goddamn second, not by me obviously – at patreon or patreon? Or pa-treo-n? .com/parpolbro or you can do one off buy me a coffee type payments at ko-fi.com/parpolbro. Obviously if you can’t contribute I wouldn’t want you to spend your last pennies on it as this is a free podcast and will remain so, but any extra does help me spend more time on this thing.
Ok, so before we crack on with Brexit stuff a couple of super quick stories you may have missed:
Education Secretary Justine Greening has pledged an extra £2.4bn towards schools in England for extra places and building repairs. Apparently this will create 600,000 more school places by 2021, which is great except with so many schools recently having been forced to make staff cuts, the schools are just going to have even more space for children to not be adequately taught by enough teachers. So it’s essentially just shoving kids in a place in the day so they aren’t outside. A mass child shed incentive. Next they’ll probably give money for more hospital beds while cutting more doctors and nurses, then shove all the ill people in, dob a red cross in the door and be done with it. Greening also promised a ‘new model’ for grammar schools saying that local communities would get a chance to say how the selection process works which is a gamble I think. I’ve been to certain local communities that have had a fight over how to choose the selection for the village cake sale or where a postbox should be located. More on this on a future podcast.
The Green Party are now bigger than UKIP in terms of MPs, but still not on TV half as much. Though that may be because green screen technology means other stuff is superimposed infront of them. But on a rare appearance on the Andrew Marr show joint leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley announced their proposal for a three day weekend to boost productivity as people would be less tired, it’d allow for better spreading of employment and depending on which side of the weekend it fell on, you’d have a whole extra day to get over all the shouting you’ve done at Question Time or the Marr Show. I’m against it and think it’s a terrible but that’s only because as a self employed comedian, every day for me is a weekend except Saturday and Sunday when everyone else gets in the way. Also Thank God It’s Thursday becomes the Acronym TGIT and that sounds like someone’s insulting me so I’m out.
You know the Tampon Tax? The initiative that instead of saying ‘hey let’s make women’s necessary sanitary products more affordable’ said ‘let’s keep them the same price then give them to the charities that help women in a weird sort of let’s keep the patriarchy strong by adding unnecessary middle men not even middle women motion.’ You know that one? Well it turns out that £250,000 of the money from the 5% VAT on tampons and sanitary towels has gone to Life an anti abortion charity set up by a man. Life aim to find an alternative to abortion for women faced with a crisis pregnancy. By alternative, they mean, have the baby from your crisis pregnancy and they’ve been hugely criticised for handing out leaflets at crisis pregnancy centres that suggestion there are links between abortion and cancer, mental illness and suicide which isn’t true, and their website also referred to abortion after rape as a ‘death penalty’. Idiots. Life say the money is being put towards a project for homeless pregnant women which will of course need double the space and cost twice as much as they’ll all have to have their babies. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has said that the funding was for that specific project in West London and has declined to comment on whether they had any concerns about it going to a pro-life charity, but it does seem incredible that women are charged because of their biology and that money is given to people who think they should have even less say over it. What next? The sugar tax being siphoned off to Willy Wonka?
So as I mentioned, this week’s interview fell through because of life, oh life, and while I have the same interviewee lined up for a future week’s show which is good, I couldn’t arrange a new one in time, and my last back up interviewee I interviewed a few shows ago. Drat and quadruple drat. So instead I thought I’d bring you some clips of the speeches at the Stand Up For EU Citizens event I hosted last week. The night was jointly organised by Canbury Press and Conway Hall and was all in aid of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants. It was a lovely mix of comedy from some excellent acts, Sindhu Vee, Grainnne Maguire, Ed Byre and Shazia Mirza and speeches about the EU from Phillipe Legrain from Open Policy Economic Network and Ian Dunt, former guest on this podcast, and editor of politics.co.uk. It also happened to be on March 29th, the same day as article 50 was triggered which was a total coincidence as it was organised before May announced the triggering date. But of course, it did dictate much of the evening’s material. I’ve only put clips because at some point soon the whole first half, including my hosting, is being released online, so I’ve chosen bits that I thought you might find particularly interesting, though all of both talks are fantastic and as soon as the full audio is out, I’ll let you know. So first up is Phillipe Legrain. He is a political economist, and writer, who specialises in global and European economic issues and between 2011 to 2014 he was the principal advisor on the Bureau of European Policy Advisors to the President of the European Commision, José Manuel Barroso. Phillipe’ talk was all about the reality of EU immigration and I, and the 300+ people at Conway Hall thought it was a very interesting and important speech indeed. So here’s a short clip of that speech. Hope you enjoy:
CLIP OF PHILIPPE LEGRAIN’S SPEECH
Phillipe can be found on Twitter @plegrain and Open are on Twitter @open2progress and do check out their website at opennetwork.net and subscribe to their mailing list as they send out a number of interesting articles on working towards a more open society. Which would be nice wouldn’t it? Though someone recently said to me, ‘but aren’t racists more open and honest as they’re saying what they think?’ which I guess is true, but I’m not sure if it counts if your mind is so narrow to begin with that the opening is only very small. They’re like those shitty pistachio nuts that you have to bite open then you get all the shell in your mouth and regret trying in the first place.
Right I’ll get to Ian’s speech in a minute but first a little look at:
THE GREAT REPEAL BILL
It’s so clever isn’t it, how if you add the word ‘Great’ to something, it makes it sound much better. It’s like saying ‘fantastic pile of cow pats’. You’d have no intention of seeing a large amount of cow pats, but now I’ve told you they’re fantastic, you’re probably thinking ‘maybe they’ve been shat out in the shape of an Anthony Gormley?’ The Great Repeal Bill, as explained back in episode 50 by Tatton Spiller from Simple Politics, is meant to be a straightforward policy to repeal the European Communities Act, to convert existing EU law into domestic UK law and create a power to correct the statute book so it can all be done in time for us leaving the EU on March 29th 2019 a year that up until that point was really fun because horizontally 2019 looks like a really happy Cyclops Elvis impersonator. Now all in all, that sounds fairly straightforward but the Great Repeal Bill white paper doesn’t have much information on it to say exactly how they’ll repeal over 12,000 EU regulations, 7900 statutory instruments which have implemented EU laws, how ever many statutory instruments have observed EU laws and over 1300 UK Acts that incorporate a EU influence. Basically the EU is all over our laws and principals and getting it out of their will be a lot like picking 4 tonnes of glitter out of Brian Blessed’s beard ie a much harder task than you think and hugely headache inducing.
The White Paper also states that no major policy changes will be made but leaves it open that minor ones could be. Plus they will be using the Henry VIII powers so called probably because the rotund king was known as the defender of faith even though he often misinterpreted it for his own gains. These powers have been called a ‘self inflicted blow to Parliament’ by Lord Judge as they allow the government to push through amendments without any say from MPs. And when you see the white paper says it needs to balance the need for scrutiny against the speed of this process you worry that there will be a lot of laws rushed through and ticked off without much thought and ministers can just sign off on laws that may affect people without anyone getting to challenge it. This is apparently more power and less accountability than any government has had during peacetime, which is amazing when you think about how the vote was about taking back control. Unless like the times of early Henry VIII they meant ‘taking back control from the people, handing it over to the leaders of a hugely unfair medieval feudal system.’
The European Union exit and trade negotiations sub committee is Theresa May who couldn’t deport a woman because of a cat, Phillip Hammond who u-turned on a budget policy within 7 days, Amber Rudd who as Energy secretary failed to deliver it’s mandatory renewable energy target, David Davis who I’m sure isn’t aware of where he is half the time and Boris Johnson who’s own views on the EU depend on what article he’s being paid to write and what job he might get. Yeah, I’m sure we’ll be fine eh?
This week it’s 40% of UK games industries as they hire many EU workers. Well I guess it must be frustrating watching someone create a problem without any clue how to solve it when you create virtually thousands of them so no wonder they might give up on this quest unless some sort of patch is released soon which is unlikely. I mean, if Brexit means the games industry can’t console themselves then we’re really in trouble.
Right, here is the second speech. This one is by Ian Dunt who was guest on this podcast waaaay back in episode 31 where for some reason the description on iTunes still says his name is Ian Aunt even though I’ve changed it twice. Anyway, Ian is the editor of politics.co.uk, and he has recently released a book called Brexit: What The Hell Happens Now? Which is a very readable and clear guide of the options we have as we leave the EU. It’s very worth a read. Ian’s talk at last week’s event was on aspects of Brexit and here is a clip of some of that:
IAN DUNT’S SPEECH
Ian can be found on Twitter @iandunt and his book Brexit What The Hell Happens Now Is available from Canbury Press at all good book shops. I don’t know if bad book shops sell it, or really what constitutes a bad book shop. I guess Subway is a bad book shop as it doesn’t have any books. Just sandwiches. And I don’t think they sell Ian’s book. Probably best to go to good one.
As I said before the full recording of the first section of the show is going up online at some point soon, so I’ll post links on the @parpolbro Twitter, the Parpolbro facebook group and the Patreon page too. And I’ll be adding my bits of stand up from the event to the Patreon for all subscribers in the next few days as well as an extra couple of minutes from my chat with James last week that I forgot to post on there last week. I am rubbish. So if you do want to donate to patreon.com/parpolbro you can get those things.
PARTLY BIG QUESTION
With the Great Repeal Bill ever imminent, I asked you lot, them out there, what British names would you give to repealed EU laws and oh you were oh so good at the wordplay.
Matt Kinson All treaties sound like they were already named by Russel Brand. All the laws that the DWP work from are replaced with the worst bits of Dickens’ work
Philip Alexander Anything that supports workers’ rights can just be grouped under the banner of “Enemy of Businesses”.
Paul Jenkins The ‘Working time directive’ to be replaced with the ‘Get your backside into work when we tell you’ directive. Energy efficient appliances to be discontinued and replaced with ‘Dark Wednesdays’ to make up for the power shortage. Blue flag beaches to be replaced with greenish-brown flag beaches.
The Working Time Directive could be the, “Come On Now, It’s Working Time! Directive.” To remind Corbyn he has to actually do something.
Replying to @ParPolBro
VAT on energy… The winter is coming law. Renewables… Choke the poor law.
Length of front lawn… The re – mowner law.
Rob Skene The vacuum cleaner energy limit to be renamed the UK Sucks bill.
And that is it for this week’s slightly shorter show. I did want to add a quick:
And just say that I’m now personally of the opinion that we have to make this work as well as possible, which I’m not sure it will but I hope it does. Though Farage did say he’d leave if it didn’t so it wouldn’t be all bad if everything goes wrong. While I get angered by this sheer dogged determinism by hard Brexiteers that you shouldn’t be gloomy about it and it will be amazing and hey there’s no turning back which you would never say about a good thing. ‘We’re going on holiday, there’s no turning back’. Why would you say that? Isn’t it a good holiday? Why would we want to? But while they anger me, I am envious of it as the more I learn about it all the more I realise just how much work it will all be and how with the people currently in charge, the opposition and other politicians we have, it doesn’t seem like a recipe for fun times. I mean, the recipe for that is two scoops of high quality enjoyment, a cup of exciting things, two teaspoons of woah no way and a kit kat and Netflix. In fact, probably to be honest, just the last two.
A good listen this week is the Guardian politics podcast from last week, as it was a live panel post the Article 50 triggering with Alex Salmond, Conservative Graham Brady, Scottish Conservative Ian Duncan, Gina Miller who took the cause to court for MPs to have a say in the Brexit deal, and Natalie Nougayrède foreign affairs commentator for the guardian. It’s all very interesting but I found it particularly interesting to hear Natalie Nougayrède point out that the EU doesn’t want anything from Brexit, they didn’t want it at all. They have other stuff to do. There are 27 other countries and really this has sprung up and needs to be dealt with quickly so other more important things can happen. I’ve been so wrapped up in our news that I forgot that the rest of the world isn’t talking about Brexit every two minutes and when you look at it like that, we’re the customer asking the waiter for a fork instead of chopsticks because we don’t really like using them while they’re trying to serve 27 other people before the food goes cold and while making sure the Russian restaurant across the road doesn’t kill everyone. We matter because we’re human beings in a place in the planet but we don’t matter more than other people in other places on the planet despite what blue passport desiring, malformed banana wanting, dirty beach demanding newspapers think.
Anyway, that is all for this week’s show. Next week I’ll have an interviewee again. I KNOW! And I’m going to try my best to not speak to anyone for a few days till my voice is better. Until then please do tell people about the show, review it on iTunes or stitcher or tripadvisor and see if people try to jump inside your phone, drop me a £1 or two on Patreon.com/parpolbro or ko-fi.com/parpolbro and drop me a line @parpolbro on Twitter, the parpolbro group on Facebook or partlypoliticalbroadcast at gmail.com about anything you like, but especially your recipe for funtimes. Not in imperial measures though, or you’ll get replies with rude words in them.
This week’s show was brought to you by the letter of notification of intention to withdraw and the number 27 which is both the number of EU countries without the UK and the number of dresses and looks a bit like a snake about to eat a duck. Yeah the EU is definitely doing well without us.