Episode 57 – Elections! Who doesn’t love an election? Oh that’s right, everyone when you’ve already had 500 of them in the last few years. This episode is all election but also Tiernan speaks to Dr Tendayi Bloom on the issue of statelessness.
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Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast episode 57. I’m Tiernan Douieb and like Paul Nuttall as he announced UKIP proposals for a burqa ban I too think people don’t integrate if you can’t see their faces so I’d like to push for a ban on surgical masks, large Elton John sunglasses, moustaches fake and otherwise, death masks, gas masks, eye masks, face masks, creepy squid masks, swine flu prevention masks, clowns, Mexican wrestlers, ski-ers, those hoodies that zip up over your face, scuba divers, motorcyclists, Daft Punk, DeadMau5, Sia, the Power Rangers, Batman, and all those racist EDL wankers that Paul Nuttall is trying to appeal to who cover up their faces when taking part in fascist marches as a result of dog whistle politics like Paul Nuttall does.
INHALES Ah smell that? Yes it’s the nostalgic whiff of an election. Here we are, less than two years since the last general election, less than one year since the Brexit referendum and we’re already back with a brand, spanking new general election happing just seven weeks from now, appearing just after a local election scouts the way ahead, like a suicidal canary. Yes, it’s now clear that when Theresa May said it her Easter statement that the country was coming together, it turns out it’d be by her hand, as announcing a snap general election last week, everyone, Leave, Remain, Right or Left is now united across the UK in thinking ‘oh for fuck’s sake not again’. Is it because with so many critics of the government’s grammar school plans, May has realised it’s easier to destroy the education system by ensuring schools have to be closed all year for endless elections? Do the Conservative government have secret investments in the company that makes those tiny, tiny pencils? Or is Theresa May just a die hard fan of reverse treasure hunts so likes putting crosses on boxes? No it appears, according to the Conservatives this vote is about Brexit because we’ve not had one of those about that before, except for that one last year about exactly that. And Theresa May says it was necessary to strengthen the government’s position and create a ‘stable government’, which judging by the last year means one that continues to be full of horse shit. Only a few days in and it’s becoming more and more clear that the 2017 general election is like hair of the dog after a very boozy night out. You know it definitely feels too soon after the last intake of booze to do it all again, but who’s to say whether it’ll actually make everything better or in fact, and more likely, much, much worse making the hangover even longer than the already hellishly never ending ruinous wave you’ve already signed up to.
According to polls and predictions the Conservatives are heading for a landslide victory on June 8th, so called because once they’re in, everything will be downhill till 2022. What it means is that so far, May hasn’t really bothered to woo voters at all, refusing to do interviews, getting a helicopter to appearances and making speeches in closed locations like a toothpaste factory in her constituency of Maidenhead. I hope she didn’t choose that location to promote a Brexit that appeals to UKIP voters, so is extra whitening. So far the Conservatives have pledged a cap on energy bills, a proposal that when suggested by Sandwich impaired former Labour leader Ed Miliband was dismissed by former most useless Prime Minister of the UK David Cameron, as being a petty socialist campaign and a gimmick. I applaud this though and hope they continue to take Ed Miliband’s then dismissed ideas, releasing the 2017 Conservative manifesto on a giant fuck off headstone. Labour’s policies include four extra bank holidays for the UK on the days of the Patron saints, which plays to religious and nationalist voters as well, as, er banks, probably. It doesn’t take into account that all those days are in Spring, the time of the year already full of bank holidays thus rendering the UK closed till June, when everyone starts taking their annual leave for the Summer. Productivity will soar. Many though are still concerned about what they should do if they hate the Conservatives but can’t stand Labour leader and what would happen in Hemingway wrote a novel about an allotment owner that had to fight a giant courgette, Jeremy Corbyn. It is a tough choice. Do you cave in and vote for someone you might feel is a bit incompetent, has caused divides in their own party, has an unsure stance on Brexit and could very well lead Britain to ruin? Or do you think, fuck it there’s no way I’m voting Tory and go for Labour anyway? Arf….see what I did there? Do you? Arf.
Feeling like they’ve had all their hard work plagiarised by the Conservatives, UKIP have decided the only way is far right, with Paul Nuttall announcing that one of their manifesto election promises will be a burqa ban to help integration. That coming from a man who thinks the way to fit in is to pretend his mates died in a horrific tragedy. A square peg trying to fit in a round hole would give better integration advice mate.
Meanwhile across the channel the first round of France’s presidential elections means the contest is now between former investment banker Emmanuel Macron and Far Right hate stirrer Marine Le Pen. Or as I like to say it’s cash vs fash. Hate vs interest rates. Centrist vs racist. Both are technically political outsiders so it’s now up to France to decide if they want self proclaimed ‘candidate of the people’ Le Pen as President, or the man who is trying to appeal to the left and right Macron, who says he is for ‘optimism and hope’. Macron has more political support and is currently in the lead, but I’m worried that with ISIS claiming responsibility for an attacker who shot a police officer in the Champs Elysees last week, I just hope the 2017 French response to a call for optimism and hope isn’t ‘meh.’
Hello you. How are you coping? I realised that I’m so sick of this upcoming snap election already that when I heard Theresa May wasn’t doing TV debates, I didn’t think, as I should, that’s pathetic she’s afraid of having her policies taken down by other leaders. No instead I thought, ‘oh well maybe if they empty chair her, then empty chair the other leaders too, then empty chair the audience, and the chairperson and then turn the cameras off, we’ll finally get a lovely quiet hour and a half where I can sit and watch a blank screen feeling like I’m finally enjoying something on the television.’ But actually whether it’s a good or a bad exciting, this snap election is at least exciting even if it meant that I had to release a mini episode mere hours after releasing last week’s show because I swear the Prime Minister does it on purpose to derail me. FOR GOD’S SAKE THERESA! And what I’d like to do in these next few weeks in the run up to June 8th is get input from you as to what you’d like me to focus on? My guests in this week’s episode and next week’s aren’t election based BECAUSE NO ONE TOLD ME AN ELECTION WOULD BE HAPPING FOR GOD’S SAKE THERESA! But after that I’ve hopefully got someone to explain how polls work and why they can go horribly wrong or very right, someone hopefully from Full Fact as well. But what sort of people do you want to hear from? Most other podcasts, radio and TV will be speaking to candidates so I’m aiming to talk to voices you might not hear and if you have any specific aspects of it all you’d like me to look at or interview someone about please do drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org as considering we only had one of these in 2015 I don’t entirely know what’s useful for everyone apart from me swearing even more than I did in last week’s mini episode or giving top tips of things you can use to claw your own hair out effectively.
Thank you to Eleanor for the ko-fi donation last week and Julia for the Patreon donation. If you fancy donating to this show please head to either ko-fi.com/parpolbro for a one off thingy or patreon.com/parpolbro for a regular thingy. This week’s extra on there is the Brenda from Bristol mix so for a $1 a month you can have gems that’ll you’ll only listen to once and never again just like that. And PPB got a whole two reviews on iTunes last week too! TWO! I know people, you’ve really upped your game plan. If you want to help beat that record please head to the iTunes page for this show and give the show a 5 star rating and I don’t mean compare us to the 80’s pop group. Thanks.
Some live things admin. Firstly, thanks if you came along to any of the fun shows I did this past weekend at the brilliant Take Back Control Youth Event in Shoreditch or the very fun Quantum Leopard vs The Tories last Saturday or my preview at the Good Ship on Sunday. If you’re going to the ever secret but not actually Mach Comedy Fest in deepest west Wales next weekend, I’m doing another Edinburgh preview at 12.30pm on Saturday April 29th and I’m sure there’ll be tickets on the door. And online. And well everywhere except the sold out board, so please do come along. All my other previews and shows are on my own website tiernandouieb.co.uk on the gigs page so check that out if you live in places other than the few I’ve mentioned. And lastly, bit of an experiment but I’ve teamed up with twice pod guest Tatton Spiller from Simple Politics and we’re doing a show at the Udderbelly Southbank on June 4th for children and families. It’s called What’s This General Election Thing All About? And it’ll be a non-partisan, kid friendly mix of comedy, clear explanations and some guests to help smaller people understand what this crap is all about. If you have kids and are struggling to explain to them why this is all happening yet again, head to underbellyfestival.com and search for What’s This General Election Thing All About? It should be a lot of fun. I’m also trying to put together a live Partly Political type night on June 8th election night somewhere in Central London so we can all drink and cry together. More news on this as it happens aka I finally reply to some emails.
Right on this week’s I interview Dr Tendayi Bloom on the issue of stateless people because I had no idea an election was happening. So hopefully you’ll find it very interesting and a break from the nonsense that the entire rest of the episode is going to be about. Well nearly all of it. Because of course, there is also, this:
Unlike the UK where we like to have an election, then a year later a referendum, then another year later an election, the French system prefers to follow a pattern very similar to their meals in that in a way there’s lots of them and it sort of feels over indulgent, but also highly satisfying and afterwards everyone needs a bit of a rest. France has two elections in quick succession for the position of President followed by a short break then two elections within a few weeks for the National Assembly shortly afterwards then no one bothers voting on anything for a few years allowing it all to digest, until the European elections which are either a cheese board or a dessert depending on if you think the EU is very mature or total crepes. Sunday saw the Hors d’oeuvre of the elections as Fillon, Melenchon and Hamon were all knocked out of the Presidential race, leaving just Macron and Le Pen which doesn’t rhyme and no that isn’t the only reason it’s not the most ideal two to have on the cards. The main concern is that Le Pen is the daughter of a holocaust denying fascist and while it’s unfair to judge someone by what their parents were like, Le Pen has mostly followed in her father’s goosesteps running her Presidential campaign on tackling the supposedly uncontrollable situation of foreigners in France. You know, France, yet another country that spent years invading and colonizing other countries with force, but still has certain citizens that want to keep France for themselves. Like one of those arseholes who steals everyone else’s frites but hogs all theirs to themselves. Le Pen got 22% of the vote which is scary but is also exactly what was predicted in the final polls. So yes, it’s always concerning someone on the far right has that much support and yes, very concerning that so many young people disillusioned due to a lacking job market felt she was their only hope. But it does mean there was no unexpected rise in shy Front National voters, which bodes well for Macron who is 26 points ahead in the run off polls and looks set to have the support of not only those who voted for him in round one, but also very likely most of those who supported Fillon too because a centrist is closer to their values than someone who’s very polarizing. Because no one wants polar eyes. It’s cold and means you have to restrict your vision to some very narrow viewpoints.
Round two is on May 7th and hopefully next week I should have a guest to can go into a little more detail on what it all means, and selfishly what a Macron or Le Pen presidency might mean for the UK’s Brexit.
If you feel like all the election based news isn’t giving you enough room to breathe, that’s because, well, it literally isn’t. The government are seeking to delay their plan to tackle air pollution until after the general election, because let’s face it, no one expected a breath of fresh air from them. In the sort of statement you’d only expect from a giant lizard person trying to masquerade as a human, Secretary of State for Environment and other stuff Andrea Leadsom told the commons that ‘air quality is vital for humans’ and then confirmed the measures to combat air pollution will be delayed. It is concerning that when running for Conservative leadership last year she banged on and on about being a mother but seems to only have the most basic grasp of what human beings need. I bet her kids can’t wait till she realises food and water are pretty useful too. But by delaying this plan, the government may face legal action as the High Court had given them until 4pm today to deliver a draft of measures after an environmentalist group ClientEarth took a case against them. So it could be court issues and a rise in pollution for the beginning of the Conservatives election campaign. Still I guess that fits in with a manifesto of their other toxic policies AMIRIGHT?
Also on the fun ‘who really cares about the planet anyway’ tip, the Green Investment Bank was sold last week to Australian bank Macquarie which is the bidder everyone said ‘please don’t sell the investment bank to them please.’ So that’s great. The GIB, yeah you know me, has investments in 85 environmentally friendly projects from a biomass plant in Wales and one in Belfast that turns waste into energy, and is probably entirely fuelled by repeats of Prime Minister’s Questions. It also manages the world’s first offshore wind fund which again is probably entirely fuelled by repeats of Prime Minister’s Questions. And the whole thing was set up with £1.5bn of taxpayers dosh with the aim that the UK would benefit not only environmentally but also from the assets. Macquarie have bought the bank for £1.7m and it’s thought that the government will keep £140m of assets until they can be sold for the best amount. But Macquarie have a record of asset stripping where they just sell off various bits for the best profit completely ignoring the point of it in the first place. And you can see exactly why the government have preferred them. Macquarie acquired Thames Water in 2013 and since then they’ve paid out large dividends to share holders, run down it’s capital and not paid taxes. Great! I’m sure they’ll be perfect for the Green Investment Bank, after all what’s more energy saving than not even expending time or effort paying taxes?
So poor air and no green investments. You’d think that after the marches for science all over the world this past weekend that the government would want to follow the will of the people? Or is it just that all this time we’ve all been getting it wrong as to what type of green investments they meant?
If I was to mention statelessness you’d probably think I was going on about some sort of electronia band who’s album cover likely looks like something that might happen if a robot was instructed to paint like a child. But statelessness is actually when someone becomes a citizen of nowhere, finding themselves, for a number of possible reasons, having no nationality at all. While some of you are probably thinking that this either sounds brilliant on a Jason Bourne no one knows who you are level or perhaps that even having no nationality means you don’t have to vote in a general election yet a fucking gain, actually, it’s not all that peachy. Instead being a citizen of nowhere means you aren’t entitled to a number of things such as healthcare, national insurance, benefits or any of the things you need to have records for. If you consider how hard it is getting those things under this government in the UK with those records, imagine what it must be like for those without.
Statelessness has been a largely hidden crisis as how on Earth do you help people that you don’t have a record for or know how many there are? It becomes less of a solvable situation and more a philosophical issue. Which is why this week I spoke to Doctor Tendayi Bloom, a political and legal theorist currently specialising in the area of people who are stateless. She explained to me what statelessness means, what steps are happening to deal with it and why we need to focus on the question of what citizenship and more importantly, noncitizenship means. Despite reading up on this before our chat I still found it hard to get my head around what statelessness means, partly because it covers such a broad range of people in a broad range of situations and partly because I’m an idiot. So a few times I asked questions that I worried where going round in circles in order for me to grasp it all. However Tendayi is brilliant and made everything as clear as possible about a global political issue that you’ll realise is anything but.
INTERVIEW PART 1
We’ll be back with Tendayi in a minute but first:
GENERAL ELECTION JINGLE
Ok. So we know we’ll all be heading to the polling stations on June 8th to put a tiny cross in a box, which you only do when voting or burying a dead pet hamster. We know it’s a snap election mainly because May wants the same sort of result as the last one, and we know that MPs overwhelming voted for it at 522 to 13 because those 13 largely are either knackered, think May is taking the piss or both, or in the case of Clive Lewis, both and he’s meant to be getting married on May 6th and this election has meant he’s had to cancel his honeymoon. There’s a possible Labour campaign angle right there. ‘Vote Labour because Theresa May is literally ruining things between happy couples.’ And we know that Parliament will be dissolved on may 3rd, which is gonna take a pretty big glass of water AMIRIGHT? And then it’s local elections on the 4th of May, and various mayoral elections and it was going to by the Manchester Gorton by-election but that’s been cancelled due to the general election announcement which is the first time a by election has been cancelled like that since 1924. Which coincidentally is exactly the year Theresa May wants to take things back to.
But here are a few things you might not know, and let’s start with boring bit of admin:
HOW DID THERESA MAY CALL A SNAP ELECTION?
In 2011 the Fixed Parliaments Act received Royal Assent, hee hee I said Royal Ass, and that introduced fixed terms to elections, with the provisions of the Act stating that there must be parliamentary elections every 5 years. Before that parliament could only be dissolved when the reigning monarch said so which usually meant the prime minister has to say so first because it’s not like The Queen can be bothered to watch Question Time when she has special servants to clean her bum. Probably. I don’t actually know that she does. No you google it. I’m scared.
So this fixed parliaments act meant that our next un was to be in 2020, which we were all a bit hopeful about as 2020 is the year of perfect vision. In 2016 a petition to call a general election as Davey Cameroon had been involved in the Panama Papers scandal was responded to by the government by saying ‘no government can call an early general election anymore anyway’ due to the Fixed Parliament Act. BUT IF THAT’S TRUE THEN WHY ARE WE HAVING ONE NOW?
Well here’s the rub, the act states that if the House of Commons with two thirds of its total membership decides on the need for an early general election then there shall be one. So the government weren’t 100% lying when they said no government can call an early general election anymore but they were also a little bit as Theresa May called for one knowing full well her party would back her and then everyone else would have to otherwise they’d look like scaredy fraidy cats and no one wants cats in parliament as they’d just fall asleep and clean themselves which would be gross and it’s ultimately how the house of lords works anyway. So that’s how. But probably the more important question is
WHY OH WHY OH WHY OH WHY OH WHY?
Which is the question I’ve asked with nearly all politics ever and whenever I see a packet of salad dressing flavoured crisps. Why do I want my unhealthy food to taste of healthy food? Crips flavoured salad, I’m in mate, not the other way around dickhead! So the why according to Theresa May in her election announcement speech is because of division in Westminster since Brexit, that has been impeding the government’s plans even though we still don’t really think they have any so how can anyone get in the way of something that isn’t there? May pointed to Labour threatening to vote against the deal the government reach with the EU, the Lib Dems saying they want to stop Brexit entirely, the SNP calling for an independence referendum, and unelected House Of Lords members voting against various steps of the article 50 bill triggering. So by having an election now May could potentially get an overall majority then bulldoze Brexit through however chaotically she likes without any old nags getting in their way with their stupidy valid concerns for the future of Britain. Gah! What kind of idiot MPs try to use the democractic system we have in place to fight for the best for the British people? Duhhhh.
But it’s a good time for May to call it as the Conservatives are currently on nearly 50% on a lot of polls which they haven’t had since the days of Thatcher. Yep really. Maggie was on a real winner with that whole destroy communities, shut down entire industries, have a massive whacking poll tax thing. I put it down to British people loving a good old moan about things and if someone was in that actually made them happy, what on earth would we talk about? Can’t be having that and so with any luck the welfare system will be dismantled entirely and we can have a right old complain about it while having a cuppa and dying of some ancient disease. So yes May is well up ahead in the polls making right now seem like a great time to knock the other parties back several notches, especially now UKIP are no longer a threat but the left wing vote is divided between Labour, Lib Dems and Greens.
But there’s other factors too. Firstly a general election in 2020 would’ve come not long after we officially Brexit in March 2019, and now having till 2022 to cement the post Brexit society they want as well as inflict boundary changes in 2018 that’ll really, really hurt Labour, the Conservatives could find 2022 an even easier victory. And here we were thinking the Great Repeal Bill was a big ol’ power grab eh? This election could make that look like a toddler reaching for a triple A battery in comparison.
Oh and just a little thing. Probably nothing to it at all really, but do you remember all the allegations of electoral fraud committed possibly committed by members of the Conservative Party in the 2015 election? Remember? Well I’m sure this is nothing, but the Crown Prosecution service has said they are considering charges against 30 individuals. These charges if the individuals are found guilty could’ve caused by-elections to happen. The general election by passes this. Though May has said she’ll stand by all of those running again in the seats concerned and there’s every change the CPS will bring in the charges during the electoral campaign which surely isn’t a good campaign tactic? ‘You know the phrase cheaters never win? Well help us, the Conservatives, prove that wrong.’
IS IT DEFINITELY A CONSERVATIVE WIN?
Er…. Yeeees. I mean I feel like predicting anything other than the death of predictions since 2015 is pointless, but while polls have been wrong in the general election, Brexit, and Trump, a lot of the reasons they were wrong seem to be to do with unrepresentative samples, which is also what I call it when someone puts a clip up of me on youtube that they filmed on their camera phone. I’m only kidding. No one ever films my sets, they’re too busy leaving. So the polling companies say they have made adjustments for the unrepresentative samples since, and while you might think that these adjustments didn’t work for the Brexit vote partly because they had no record of how people had voted previously. The last EU referendum was in 1975 and was about joining not leaving. Oh and with Trump, he didn’t win the popular vote, but he did win the electoral vote which is because America loves stupid outdated systems that don’t make sense or seem to really demonstrate democracy say I in the UK with a 2016 year old Parliament system where the government just called an election because it’s easy for them to win. If you look at the 2015 election polls, they largely predicted higher gains for Labour due to too much data from Labour voting areas. Then Labour got considerably less than predicted. This time, Labour are 23 points behind. I’ll just let that sit with you for a minute. Yeah. No wonder they’re pledging more bank holidays. For them to stand a chance they don’t just need the big guns they needs policies that they can feed spinach too and Popeye this shizz.
But as well as Labour, the Conservatives have a seen a rise in polls in Scotland that could lead to the SNP losing 10 seats and then probably losing their chances of a second referendum too. Yeah even though Theresa May said ‘now is not the time’ to Nicola Sturgeon and then launched a new general election. I can’t work out if certain Scots secretly love being patronised or are genuinely impressed with how shitty May has been and think ‘the baws on that’.
So June 9th could see a very Blue Britain indeed, which will neatly match the mood once the new government get going. But who can say for sure? They may not get as big a win, get less of a majority they want and be in the same position as before making this whole thing pointless. Or the CPS could charge several candidates making things tricky or Jeremy Corbyn could get an endorsement from The Rock and no one hates The Rock, or Tim Farron could promise unicorn frappacinos and win everyone over or Theresa May could fall down a well. Who really knows? Seven weeks isn’t that long, but it’s enough time for anything to happen. Including me starting a kickstarter to build more wells in Westminster and Maidenhead.
WHAT ARE THE PARTY’S STANCES?
Now we won’t have manifestos for a few weeks so here’s a quick rundown. The Conservatives mainly want to do Brexit how they want to do Brexit ie as they go along, with the worst team possible. Policy wise we know so far they have promised an energy price cap because it turns out that the chaos that was predicted had everyone voted for Ed Miliband in 2015, is now exactly the sort policy substance the Conservatives now want for themselves. Considering they are going for the same message this time with Corbyn, Farron and Sturgeon I almost wonder if the 2022 Conservatives will pledge a Scottish independence referendum and a tax rise for top earners. Other than that, at the time of writing this, not much. Though we know they are going back on their cuts to foreign aid, which is suggested as a way of quelling them losing support to the Lib Dems in the South East, because they’re all about the foreign aid. And it looks like they are going to ditch their pledge to not raise national insurance, VAT or income tax because they’re being that cocky right now. I mean, the baws on that. I’m never against a tax raise personally but a VAT raise on top of already rising costs would really hurt a lot of low and middle income earners, and a self employed national insurance raise is what Chancellor Philip Hammond had to u-turn on after a ton of white van drivers got angry and, I dunno, played ACDC even more loudly than usual while beeping their horns, probably. So if he u-turns again, does that mean that the Conservatives are just going round in circles?
Theresa May is refusing to do any TV debates, because they’re tough when you can’t actually be caught on camera – ha! Vampire joke! – but it does make you wonder if she knows she hasn’t got much that’ll hold up to scrutiny apart from ploughing on with Brexit. On the day May announced the election both the Number 10 official spokesperson and Downing Street’s communications director resigned which feels a lot like rats and a sinking ship. But May has balanced that out by hiring a massive rat in the shape of Dylan Sharpe in the Department of Work and Pensions. Sharpe is former spokesperson for printed vom The Sun where he spent some time responding to anti-page 3 campaigners by sending them pictures of naked women. At least when people complain to the DWP about a lack of a working benefit system he’ll struggle to find pictures of Universal Credit actually helping anyone.
And as for the other parties? Well again I’ll look at this more when the manifestos are out but at the moment Labour is backing Brexit ruling out a second referendum, but is aiming for a Brexit that works for the many, not for the few. Few is in not many not as in phew! Which is the sort of Brexit I want. One where when I happens I go ‘phew’ rather than a low wailing noise that lasts for about a year. But all Labour’s policies are aimed directly a low and middle earners with many that I mentioned a couple of podcasts ago including a £10 minimum wage, free school meals for primary school children, triple lock pension and adding to this repealing the trade union legislation introduced last year and 4 new bank holidays. Oh and a promise to raise the top rate of tax for people earning over £70k which caused a lot of people with money to say that that wasn’t rich and a lot of people without money, like myself, to say that it was. To be fair, the threshold should really be judged on who doesn’t gasp if a pint comes to more than £3.50. But while Corbyz’s first speech of the election campaign was confident and drew praise from very unlikely critics, it was only days later on the Marr show where he was cagey about if Trident would be renewed if Labour were in power and ruled out the notion of using nuclear weapons as a first strike option. Now I’ve got gripes about Jezza but him not wanting to nuke stuff isn’t one of them. Conservative Defence Secretary Michael Fallon retaliated by saying Radio 4 that he would definitely fire nukes as a first strike if necessary then went on to complain about the dangerous chaos of Jeremy Corbyn. You’ve just said you’d blow up everything before trying anything else and damage the environment in a way that takes over 50 years to heal and you call Corbyn dangerous? This is the same government that only weeks ago were threatening war with Spain over Gibraltar.
So far some actual super weak points in Labour’s campaign include Corbyn’s stance against the rigged system which is all a bit Trump like for me. Then again, Trump did win despite the polls. Maybe Jezza should promise a wall? And Labour’s party political broadcast last week showed a teacher telling her overcrowded classroom about how the government were damaging schools and education, seemingly ignoring the fact that it’s illegal for a teacher to unfairly influence pupils under the education act. Great work everyone. It’s also important to know that to enact any of these things, Labour have to win a majority at the election which is hella unlikely, which always makes me wonder why the opposition don’t just promise really implausible stuff. Free ice cream for everyone? Done. Everyone can have a free house and a free car, done. And a pet unicorn, vote for us, sorted. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? They get voted in and have to u-turn on it? Yeah to be fair, I can’t imagine anyone doing that ever. Look to camera, knowing wink.
The Lib Dems are on a hugely anti-Brexit tip and are the only sort of main party doing that and promising a second referendum because what everyone really wants after yet another vote is yet another vote. The LD’s have also said they won’t make any coalition deals which makes you wonder why they’re running at all and what it is that they’re on as I’d really like some too. The Greens are very anti-Brexit too but are playing a slightly nicer game than the Lib Dems, as they’ve already opted out of running in Ealing Central so help current MP Labour candidate Rupa Huq gain more votes. Rupa is also keen on environmental issues and an ardent Remainer so it makes sense and oh isn’t it nice when politics is actually about being helpful to people? Oh and UKIP are using more dog whistle politics than a party that only represents shepherds.
WILL TACTICAL VOTING WORK? MARGINAL SEATS?
And that is a good question. There are 10 really really marginal seats in the UK. Ready? Gower, Derby North, City of Chester, Croydon Central, Ealing Central and Acton, Berwickshire Roxburgh and Selkirk, Ynys Mon (Anglesey), Vale of Clwyd, Brentford & Isleworth and Bury North. I’m sure at least 4 of those are made up. In all of those the MP that won in 2015 won by a margin of 0.1 to 0.8 which is tighter than the entire Department of Work and Pensions. Overall there’s 110 marginal seats and these are the ones that need to be watched. So is tactical voting between the parties you like the way to, well, anyone except the Conservatives?
In the last election the Conservatives got 11.3 million votes and won 330 seats. Labour got 9.3m votes but if you add that to Lib Dem, Green and SNP they’d have beaten the Conservatives by 3 million votes which sounds brilliant if they hadn’t all spent the entire campaign slagging each other off instead. But the problem is, these extra votes don’t necessarily add up to extra seats as it’s all area dependent and the tactical voting would have to be very exact. Going on 2015 elections for example, if all Lib Dem voters and Labour voters had worked together – HA! – then we’d be in a much lovelier world. Sorry, I mean it’d have given 17 extra seats to Labour and 15 to the Lib Dems. So Labour would have still been 50 seats behind but yeah at least the Lib Dem would need two camper vans to drive their party around for this election which they’d have liked but ultimately it would’ve used more petrol and so actually we’re better off it didn’t happen. The current projections are that the Conservatives will win 392 seats with Labour winning about 170. This time round SNP votes won’t make much difference either as they already hold 58 out of 59 possible seats and the Conservatives aren’t expected to win any in Scotland despite gains in polls. So either everyone has to unite pretty big and somehow persuade everyone who isn’t a Conservative voter or could potentially not be to all vote for one other party, then maybe just maybe, it’d work. I’ll do a tweet and I’m sure we can sort that out, right guys? Who shall we go for? Monster Raving Looney Party yeah? Who’s in?
Tony Blair rose from his grave this week to tell voters that if they have an anti-Brexit Conservative running in their area, they should vote for them rather than Labour to fight against Brexit. Yeah that’ll definitely work Tony. I’m sure if May had an even bigger majority than before that the entire party wouldn’t fall into line like Conservatives are able to do like a pack of elitist ants. Honestly don’t understand the Labour MPs who think the best thing for Labour is to lose the election horrendously so they can go back to being the Labour party that lost the 2015 election instead. It’s like cutting off your arm because they think that they’ll get a new arm that is the arm they really want, ignoring the fact that actually they’re bleeding to death.
Ultimately make sure you’re registered to vote, vote for who you want to, look up your local candidate, see who suits what you want, help my kickstarter for more wells in areas Theresa May travels and we’ll all wake up on June 9th and cry together until we realise that at least I’ll have reason to keep this podcast going till 2022 if we aren’t nuked to death after Michael Fallon’s erection accidentally hits a red button while watching Trump and Kim Jong Un kill each other.
And now back to Tendayi:
INTERVIEW PART 2
Big thanks to Tendayi for speaking with me. For someone who looks at those stuck with no records or national identity, Tendayi isn’t on social media but if you type her name into google you’ll find a number of great article by her, especially on statelessness.eu and institutesi.org as we mentioned in the chat. Tendayi’s book Noncitizenism is out on Routledge soon as Understanding Statelessness which she contributed too and if you order that from the Routledge website you can get 20% off if you put in the code FLR40.
Next week I should hopefully be speaking to a France 24 journalist on the French Presidential elections, then after that we’re in full UK General Election 2017 interview swing. So if you have anyone you’d like me to interview for that, and I’m still thinking maybe not politicians, but rather different aspects of it all if I can, then do drop me a line @parpolbro on twitter, the parpolbro group on Facebook or email@example.com. Or you could just whisper it into a Southerly wind and I’ll keep me ears to the breeze, unless I’ve got my headphones on which is likely so maybe just email yeah?
PARTLY BIG QUESTION
So as we’ve got seven weeks to the election, that should give me time to spend at ask you for preferred slogans of each political party one a week on the podcast. So to kick it all off, that lot what are already in charge, The Conservatives. I asked you what their campaign slogan should be and you’ll find a lot of the answers had a reoccurring theme:
Same time next year?
“Are you thinking what we’re thinking?”* *warning: Investigatory Powers Act 2016 will be used to confirm
“Just checking it’s OK to screw you over for the next five years as well”
‘Vote Conservative and get what you deserve’
‘Total bastard? Vote Conservative’
Vote conservative and get what YOU can pay for
Conservatives 2017: “Would you all please know your place?”
Rob Skene Conservatives – Because “fuck you”. 😉
Matt Hoss The Conservatives: Throwing you under the bus, then charging you for the healthcare since 2010.
Matt Kinson Conservatives 2017: Pledging to make I, Daniel Blake look like a comedy by 2020
Matt Kinson More Than Maximum Rage For Less Than Minimum Wage
From those wonderful people who gave you junior doctors’ contracts,
@flufflogic 21h21 hours ago
Replying to @ParPolBro
“We want it all, we want it all, we want it all, and we want it now!”
Paul Jenkins Conservatives: Because Brexit means Brexit. And waffles means waffles. Lots of things mean things. Look, just do as you’re told.
“you hate us, we hate us. All in it together”
I mean I sometimes pretend to myself that this podcast gets listeners across a few steps in the political spectrum, but from that I feel like all of you that listen to this are pretty certain about your feelings for May. Well thank goodness for that eh? We should be fine come June 9th. Why is there such a loud echo in here?
Next week I’ll be asking for Labour Party election campaign slogans so keep your eyes on the Twitter and Facebook groups for that.
WHO’S IN AND WHO’S OUT GENERAL ELECTION?
Ok, so a mini farewell and welcome to those departing the world of politics on June 8th and those that may be joining it. Firstly this lot are leaving their MP duties in order to spend less time ruining people’s families. Former Chancellor George Osborne is stepping down as he’d forgotten he even had a seat being far too busy with his other 5 jobs. Hilariously the Evening Standard broke the news, but Osborne, the editor of the fucking paper, gave it to them past the print deadline. Fingers crossed he ruins that shit rag in the same way he ruined the economy. My concern though is if Osborne thinks he’s now responsible for creating all the news for the Evening Standard and I’m worried exactly what he’ll do in order to make front page headlines.
Also out is former secretary of state and local communities Eric Pickles. I really hope his more regular irritating presence at home will lead the Pickles to join his expensive Troubled Families initiative especially as it’s very easy to attribute his localism act to a large proportion of problems in society much like he did with low income families.
13 Labour MPs are stepping down including Gisela Stuart, Michael Dugher, Alan Johnson who’s going on to spend more time with pastel shirts, Tom Blenkinsop, Dave Anderson and Andy Burnham who will be running for Mayor of Manchester instead hopefully helping him escape the Westminster bubble which I suspect he tries to evade like a scene from the Prisoner on everyone of his parliament visits.
Former only UKIP MP Douglas Carswell is stepping down saying he thinks he’ll be the first and last UKIP MP thus proving he wasn’t as against minorities as we all thought. Nigel Farage isn’t running again after having failed to get elected seven times. He says he won’t do it this time as it’d be too easy. Other things Farage has found too easy and so has refused to do include safely travelling in a plane, staying married to his wife and not being the world’s biggest arsehole every single day.
Attempting to come back to the fold because now Bananarama have really, what’s stopping anyone trying, is Vince Cable because he’s tired of fighting the Smurfs, also Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson who will be running again in her Scottish seat in East Dunbartonshire because really, what are the Lib Dems on? Really, can I have some? Also there are rumours that Zac Goldsmith will be running for his seat in Richmond Park again because hahahahahahahahahahah I mean, at least there’s that right?
The Women’s Equality party leader Sophie Walker is running against mega sexist Tory MP Philip Davies, the one who filibustered new laws tackling violence against because apparently men suffer violence too. I really hope Sophie Walker proves his point by massively kicking his arse. Writer, cook and defeater of Katie Hopkins Jack Monroe is standing as an independent in her area of Southend and she really knows how to cook up a storm with very limited resources so hopefully that will be good. And a man dressed as a fish finger is aiming to running against Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron in his seat to ‘put him in his plaice’ their joke, obviously not mine. Come on guys. You know that’s not mine, right? To be fair the fish finger man trying to raise money is very similar to Farron in that in the 2015 election the Lib Dems got battered too. Yeah that is mine. Yeah I see what you mean.
And that is all for this week’s episode of Partly Political Broadcast. Do let me know what you’d like to hear about for the election. I will be doing much more in depth looks at manifestos when they’re out, but what else do you want to know? Give me a shout even if it’s just to let me know you have a particularly good or odd or awful candidate in your area. You know the places to contact me by now right? @parpolbro on Twitter, the parpolbro group on Facebook, firstname.lastname@example.org or keep typing random 11 digit numbers into your phone and calling them. You’ll get to me eventually.
Please donate if you can to my parpolbro patreon page, it really does help, or a one off to ko-fi.com/parpolbro if that’s easier and give the show a five star review on iTunes. Or Stitcher. Or your favourite gaming magazine and see if people try to play this podcast and win it.
This will be back next week with a more in depth look at the French election and more general election and more noises from my face like this one: And maybe this one: As well as a special appearance from a completely silent guest throughout the entire show. Maybe. But how will you ever know?
This week’s show was brought to you by the number 7 as in weeks till the general election and coincidentally the amount of deadly sins, and the letters Y and O repeated after each other ad infinitum or now at least 2022.