Episode 60 – Tiernan talks to Marcus Roberts (@marcusaroberts) from YouGov (@yougov) about how polls work and when they don’t, and to Josh Dell (@JoshDell) from Bite The Ballot (@bitetheballot) about raising the youth vote. Also elections, smelletcions and mehlections.
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Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast episode 60, I’m Tiernan Douieb and like many hospitals around the UK the NHS cyber hack means I got no time for patients, so let’s get straight into this show.
Yes the NHS suffered a cyber attacked over the weekend causing many sci-fi fans like myself to wonder if they’d got confused when trying to find the Doctor. But no, it was instead and I’ll use clever computer talk here, some internet bastard doing naughty things. While you’re probably thinking Tiernan, why are you talking about this? Even though you do the clever computer talk, you don’t do a tech geek podcast, this show isn’t as good as reply all. Yes I know, but it seems this may have been the result of the government refusing to spend money on extending a support scheme for government computers using Windows XP back in 2015, something that was authorised by then Home Secretary and Witchfinder General Theresa May. Which is odd as I’d have thought an out dated robot would be more than up for supporting an obsolete computer system.
If any of you are thinking that my constant weekly referring to Theresa May as some sort of android is harsh then you were clearly lucky enough to avoid her appearance on the One Show with her husband, er James May. Or Brian? No one really cares do they? The Prime Minister used her appearance on televisions equivalent of boring a hole into your brain using a pastel coloured drill bit, to communicate with humans by twice saying her childhood was stable, that she liked buying nice shoes because that’s what the humans do and at one point when her husband, er Theresa Man probably replied to a question on how it was to negotiate with May at home, I get to decide when I take the bins out, the PM followed by saying ‘there are boy jobs and there are girl jobs.’ Either this is a confusingly patronising view on equality from someone who, having become Prime Minister, should assume there are no boundaries to anyone doing any job. Or perhaps she’s just pointing out that the Conservative Manifesto will promise to bring back child labour. This was just a day before Theresa May announced that what her party’s manifesto would have was a free vote for MPs to end the ban on fox hunting. Yeah that’ll sway any swing voters concerned about the cost of living but mostly just waiting to get on all the horses they own with all the many hounds they have and kick off the steam they’ve created struggling with ailing public services by tearing the crap out of a small mammal. It’s just what the Just About Managing’s have been crying out for! Or it’s a subtle way of saying that after another 5 years of this government, hunting for food may be most people’s only option of survival. This may explain why the Conservative front bench is so devoid of anyone bright eyed and bushy tailed. Today May took to Facebook live to be respond to voters questions and the fox hunting came up quite a lot. Overall she was photo bombed by 9.8k Paul Nuttall tributes during the hour. Oh no wait, sorry I mean angry faces which is much better. Brilliant. Like. Laughy face.
At the time of recording this show the manifestos haven’t quite been released but that’s ok because someone in Labour’s team being ever helpful, leaked a draft version to the press last week. Every week they become less of a party and more of a ultimate fighting cage match where everyone taking part decides the best way to destroy their opponent is to keep running headfirst into metal posts. The leaked and supposedly draft Labour manifesto contained a lot of policies that are very popular in the public eye including renationalising the railways, creating a National Care Service and a rise in corporation tax. These were all things much of the newspapers referred to as Labour wanting to drag us back to the 1970’s which has confused everyone as it’s now even less clear exactly what time period the papers would like us all to be dragged back to. I’m hoping for some point in the early 1600’s personally as there weren’t newspapers around then and it’s much easier to avoid a piece of slate that’s boringly contradict themselves on a weekly basis depending on their own financial interests. The main complaint from the Conservative party was that Corbyn’s promises that a Labour government would be extremely cautious about using the Trident Nuclear weapons would cause chaos. Yes it’s a stupid comment though if the Conservatives were to just nuke the crap out of the Earth killing absolutely everyone, it would be pretty quiet on the planet for some time after and overall you wonder if they have a point. You do suspect if the Conservative manifesto wasn’t leaked on account of it just being the words strong and stable written 400 times over and then some pictures of dead fox trophies. Meanwhile Labour leader and man who’s name sounds like someone being excited by rubbish, Jeremy Corbyn decided to capitalise on good press by banning Buzzfeed from attending Labour press events because they printed a nice interview with him. Great work Jezza. Next, you may as well aim for 10 downing street by expelling members who are trying to unseat the worst Health Secretary the UK’s seen since, well the one before that, by backing the NHA party candidate in that area as part of a potentially successful progressive alliance. Hah! What? Oh. They’ve suspended all three of them? Oh for fuck’s sake.
Meanwhile in the US, President and Ambergris with features Donald Trump fired the Director of the FBI James Comey because nothing says trust me I don’t have connections with Russia, like eliminating the person currently holding an investigation into whether you can be trusted or not over connections with Russia. Trump may as well have done it while wearing a Russian ushanka hat, put PROSHCHAY in capitals and sealed the letter with polonium.
Oh and while the Eurovision Song Contest was won by Portugal’s entry, a man who looks like a mouse made human through magic singing the sort of ballad you’d find on a Netflix drama pretending to be meaningful, the UK did better than expected despite Brexit. Turns out maybe everyone’s happier knowing they won’t have to deal with us. Though the UK’s entry Lucie Jones singing “Never Give Up On You’ was really pushing it.
Yes, lots to talk about on this week’s show as per all the time ever, and two interviews as well! Yes two interviews! But before that firstly thank you for listening to this and a quick question about well quickness, but again this week’s episode is a long un and as you may have noticed they seem to be getting longer as well, more news keeps happening. I can’t help but feel if I’d started this circa 2010 the podcasts would’ve been about 20 minutes long. So is the podcast now too long or are you happy with me droning on for an hour 15 each week? I’m keen to not miss things out but I’m also aware that some of you may have better things to do with your life like say boo to geese or practice your yodelling. So let me know. Should I cut down content and focus on less stuff or continue as we are and I promise I’ll never make it over an hour 15 unless it also includes some serious advanced yodelling tips. But it’s why I’ve ignored all the Trump stuff lately apart from the gags at the top of the show, as there just isn’t time to fit that in as well as election stuff. But I mean why would he put ‘tapes’ into quotation marks? Does that mean they aren’t tapes? Does it mean he’s just making mental recordings that he then says out loud when someone presses his nose? Doesn’t the fact he’s threatening Comey with the possibility he has tapings of their conversations mean he’s wiretapped himself and has committed an illegal act? OH GOD SO MUCH TO MENTION SO LITTLE TIME. Plus John Oliver, Antony Atamanuick and other podcasts do the American thing better anyway. So let me know your thoughts at the @parpolbro Twitter, the parpolbro Facebook which is gradually getting more posts from people other than me which is nice or by email at email@example.com. Considering there will be probably be a decrease in democracy from June 9th in the UK I may as well try and balance it out by at least pretending to listen to your views about my podcast. Ahem, I mean listen to your views. Oh god.
Big big thank you this week to Phillip and David who have become a mega pod listeners by donating to the Patreon at patreon.com/parpolbro and to Rainy, Andrew and Andrew, or Andy and Andy. Or Andrew and Andy. Or Drew and Ann. I don’t know how they prefer to be called. But thanks to all three of them who all donated to the ko-fi at ko-fi.com/parpolbro. And bit of a plea this week actually as the usual ParPolBro microphone sadly died a death last week, just 4 months outside of warrenty. Yes yes it was probably after one too many jingles being badly sung into it. But as a result I’ve had to fork out for a new one, and I’ll be honest, I got a better one on recommendation and doesn’t it sound lovely? Yes I know. It’d like HD but for my voices. You can almost hear the definition of my tonsels. But it cost me more than I’d have liked and while that is entirely my choice, if you have been thinking about joining the Patreon or donating to the ko-fi, then doing so this month would very much help me out. Not just to cover the tiny coffin I’ll have made for my old H1 Zoom before I bury it somewhere noisy, which is what it would’ve wanted. Oh and as always if you don’t want to donate or can’t then please do at least give this show a review on iTunes and while you’re there look at the very witty comments from previous reviewers. I am hugely impressed with you lot, I really am. And if you’re a stitcher user give the show a review on there too and like, subscribe and all those other things that helps lure other unsuspecting ears this way.
Lastly tickets are selling fast-ish to my Fuck the Election show on Election night June 8th at the Phoenix Cavendish Square in Oxford Circus. If you are around and fancy having a laugh before Emperor May bans that sort of thing on June 9th then come along. Tickets are available from wegottickets.com if you search for partly political broadcast, or The Phoenix Cavendish Square. If you have small people and are London based pleased bring them along to the kids show I’m doing on June 4th with Tatton at Simple Politics and some aces improvisers too, where we will explain this whole general election thing to children, because let’s face it most of them would be above the levels of childishness that happen in the commons anyway. That’s June 4th at Underbelly Festival on the southbank and you can get those tickets from the underbellyfestival.com website if you look up ‘What’s This General Election Thing About Anyway?’ Lastly if you’re in Birmingham, I’m hosting the Stand Up For Refugees event at Birmingham Rep on May 31st. I can now announce that as well as Joe Lycett, Nish Kumar, Mrs Barbara Nice, Tez Ilyas, Alyson June Smith and me, Al Murray is also on the bill. Tickets are £20 but it’s all for Help Refugees so you’re obviously filling up your karma points card in return. You can get the tickets for that at the Birmingham Rep website or via the stand up for refugees facebook page. Which essentially has a link to the Birmingham rep website. But hey, I guess sometimes typing fingers need exercise too.
Right this week’s show I’m speaking to Marcus Roberts at YouGov who explains what polls are actually all about. I also chat to Josh Dell at Bite The Ballot about getting those young people motivated to votivated. Plus elections, smeletions, mehlections and sadly a leetle bit on Trump. BUT FIRST!
Ransomware sounds like a clothing label designed by a rapper but it’s actually a malware program that locks your computer until, in the case last week, you pay $300. Which post Brexit is about £12m. The attack last week hit 47 NHS trusts in England, 13 in Scotland but also targeted companies such as FedEx, Renault and the Russian interior ministry too. And while this is mostly a story who’s moral is ‘bloody hell just update your computers security so it’s not like fitting your harddrive with chainmail in order to fight off a nuke’ it’s worth looking at why it hit the NHS so hard. Jeremy Hunt a man who thinks being Health Secretary just means removing himself from threats as often as possible, has raised his stupid emu head above the parapet to say that more than 80% of the NHS was unaffected. I wonder if he was hit in the face with a brick if he’d feign being fine because only 20% of his features were a mess? The 20% that were hit were hit hard with lots of surgeries and appointments cancelled, MIT and CT scanners wouldn’t work and it appears a lot of it was down to these NHS trusts having not updated their security software. The government have called out the NHS on this saying they’re spending £50m improving NHS servers security, that the trusts have been repeatedly warned to update, and Security Minister Ben Wallace has said these trusts have enough money to protect themselves. Which is partly true except a large amount of the money saved for the NHS is having to be used to bail out other parts of hospitals like the A&E departments and two years ago the government decided not to bother renewing a £5.5m deal with Microsoft to support all government computers using Windows XP because yes, it’s not just wages in the UK that haven’t changed since 2007. Shadow Health Secretary John Ashworth has highlighted the National Audit Office report that shows last year the Department of Health transferred £950bn of it’s £4.6bn budget for stuff like NHS IT, and instead used it for day to day NHS activities. So saying the NHS have the money to update their security software isn’t wrong, they just have to use some of that money for the other more urgent bits that the government have cut funding from, and frankly I’d opt for still being able to do emergency procedures and play minesweeper than lose patients because you’re spending half an hour working out where the start button on windows vista is. So now the question is whether this will happen again before there’s any improvement to the NHS Trusts software security which is unlikely considering the government’s Investigatory Powers bill suggests they think the best way of stopping people hacking into software is to leave all the windows open for them. Pun mostly intended. Microsoft say they are aware of the flaw in their software and that Friday’s attack was a ‘wake up call’ which I guess at least means it just made a fairly pleasing sound.
It must be hard for the Conservative Party eh? Never having lucky escapes, never having things go their way in life eh? Well don’t worry, I’m pleased to say that finally they had a bit of a break from the endless torment of their privileged lives. Yes that’s right, they are facing absolutely zero charges from the Crown Prosecution service for expenses breaches in 2015. YEAH! JUSTICE IS SERVED! How far exactly can I push this sarcastic tone of voice? For anyone who was hoping this would be the 2017 elections Deus Ex Machina galloping along to save the day, the Crown Prosecution Service said that while there was evidence to suggest the spending returns were inaccurate there is not enough evidence to prove that the individuals involved acted knowingly and dishonestly. Which isn’t, as Theresa May put it, an admittance from the CPS that everything was properly reported, it’s more proof that they did it all wrong but the legal bods don’t know if it was due to evil or stupidity. Neither of which is great pre-election. Do you want someone who’s potentially either evil with money, or really stupid? Vote Conservative. The electoral commission fined them £70k in March for breaking the rules on expenses so the lack of criminal convictions and a fine barely bigger than what Iain Duncan Smith spends on breakfasts means it’s worth everyone keeping a beady eye on their 2017 expenditures.
In Germany everyone’s favourite non circular chancellor Angela Merkal – you know because angular? Yeah? No? Jeeez. Alright – anyway, her party CDP, or the Christian Democrats have unseated their main rivals the Social Democrats in an election for Germany’s most populated state North Rhine-Westphalia. Know it? It’s home of Beethoven. Well I mean, not anymore obviously. It also includes Dusseldorf and Cologne. The place and probably some bottles of the smelly stuff too. Anyway, the Social Democrats have had this as a safe state seat pretty much since the Second World War, so this is quite a blow to them, but also to their party leader Martin Schulz who had predicted that a victory in North Rhine Westphalia would make him the next German chancellor. As it is, Merkel now looks like she has a big boost to getting a fourth term in the federal elections in September. Imagine that eh? A Conservative government just winning again and again as the candidate aiming to be down to earth and close to the people gets heavy loses in even safe areas. Oh. Oh dear.
Polls! Who doesn’t love a good poll? What? 64% of you? Oh. Oh well. Polls are great. Who doesn’t want to know everyone’s opinions on everything all the time? What? 57% of you with 13% saying they’d rather not know anything ever? Weird. Wells polls play a pretty big part in elections. We’re always hearing how parties are doing in the polls, how leaders are doing in the polls, or how certain policies are seen but we’re never hearing how the polls are which is selfish right? Well this week I set out to find out exactly what the polls are. Yes I know what a poll is but there’s a lot more to the way polls work in the political world than ticking a box to say you think Theresa May would be better at snorkling than Jeremy Corbyn or that you think Tim Farron would be a funnier cartoon animal than Caroline Lucas. So this week I spoke to Marcus Roberts, director of international projects at online poll site YouGov. No you gov! No you gov! Ad infinitum. YouGov has over 4 million participants and it’s political polls are regularly used by the political community as a guideline for possible election outcomes. So Marcus very kindly explained to me how accurate they are, why they haven’t always been so accurate before and why they’re a pretty useful tool overall. And after talking to him, 99% of me would entirely agree. Yes, 1% didn’t know. My little toe is an idiot. Before this first interview a quick:
Due to death of the microphone, which is also the title of my indie band, this was recorded using the microphone in my headphones and Marcus was on his mobile with mostly reasonable reception. So apologies as there’s a few wobbles and they aren’t just from my belly but it should be mostly dandy for your ear holes.
INTERVIEW 1 WITH MARCUS – EXCUSES EXCUSES
Big thanks to Marcus for chatting with me. Marcus can be found on Twitter @marucsaroberts and I’ve posted the article he mentions about how sampling works on the Twitter and the facebook and will do again this week, but it can also be found at ukpollingreport.co.uk/faq-sampling. Hopefully that has helped clear up what polling is all about and you’ll be able to see on June 9th just how accurate they’ve been this time round, and fingers crossed it’s not too accurate as the polls this week are brutal for anyone other than the Conservatives. Yougov is of course at yougov.co.uk and since speaking to Marcus I’ve signed up and spent some time trying to decide if I heart prehistoric archaeology or dance studies and how Harry Styles endorsing a party has never made me remotely care about anything he ever says. Do sign up and contribute if you can.
Interview two is on it’s way in a bit but before that:
Only 24 days to the election! I’m so excited I’ve already planned all the kinds of moping I’ll be doing on June 9th. Firstly loud swearing at the television, secondly tweeting something sarcastic, then thirdly feeling just a bit miserable followed by fourthly looking up other countries and seeing how shit they are, then fifthly drinking while combining points one and two. It is looking pretty gloomy for anyone other than Theresa May who’ll no doubt wake up on June 9th look at some nice shoes, have one very strong hand and then tell some people how stable she is before dismantling the country with a speed that’d cause the Flash to feel travel sick. The past week’s news has been mostly hyperbolic with little trinkets of information on what most of the parties will be peddling in their booklet of easily shattered promises, sorry manifestos. But while the full manifestos and all their costings won’t be released until a couple of minutes after I release this podcast because everyone hates me, some of the pledges have been revealed, so on this week’s election shizz let’s have a looksee at what we’ve gotsee.
The Conservatives have released an 11 point plan which is focused on the expansion of workers rights, which largely looks like another way of saying ‘we’ll stretch workers rights really thin so they cover a lot of ground but without much substance.’ There is a pledge to increase National Living Wage in line with earnings until the end of parliament which is great. You know except for UK earnings having been overtaken by interest rates and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development report stating average pay rises will be at their lowest in three years. So the National Living Wage which is already £1.45 less than the Living Wage Foundation has calculated it needs to be, and is only available to over 25’s, will very quickly become the ‘Barely Alive OH GOD PLEASE Kill Me Now Wage’. There is a guarantee that workers will enjoy the same rights after Brexit as they do under the EU, which would be a relief as that should mean the government keeps the Working Time Regulations, Agency Worker Regulations, paternity & maternity leave and collective redundancy rights. But then there are also a number of rights that are under British law only such as the minimum wage, which is now super seceded by Living Wage for over 25’s, which as we know now, isn’t anything to go all jazz hands about. Which is a shame as I’m really hoping for someone to make a pledge for at least 50% more jazz hands. To be fair, it’d make some of the shittest policies at least seem slightly more fun. ‘We’re turning the NHS into a giant Foxtons’ booooo ‘jazz hands’ ooooh!
They have pledged for worker representation on company boards which could be interesting, as well as protections for gig economy workers which is very very long overdue. Though you could argue and yes I will that it does also shows a lack of want to tackle the gig economy altogether which should really be the priority as ultimately it just allows companies to skimp on a lot of costs including taxes. Otherwise telling you to keep your shitty non-secure job but hey, you’ll get some badly paid maternity leave if you do isn’t that great. There is a pledge to extend the Equalities Act to those with mental health conditions which again sounds pretty good and long overdue. But as has been mentioned in a few interviews on this podcast the Equalities Act which lumped the Sex Discrimination Act, Race Relations Act and Disability Discrimination Act together in 2010 has meant that some of those areas are more neglected than when they were dealt with by specifically dedicated departments. So putting Mental Health in there too may not mean it gets more focus. They have also promised 10,000 more NHS mental health staff by 2020 but with NHS staffing cuts and mental health trusts losing £598m from their budgets each year from 2010-2015 you wonder how exactly how they might manage 10,000 more staff to suddenly appear like magic, promising to work for nothing which is the sort of shit even people suffering from psychosis would struggle to come up with. Is that joke ok? I don’t know, but I do know it’s a lot better than making false promises that will leave people with psychosis without any of the proper care they need. Does that make my joke ok? No not really. Sorry everyone. Sometimes writing is hard.
There is the right to child bereavement leave which is nice especially as widowed parents will lose bereavement benefits just 18 months after their partner dies. Essentially the Conservatives are planning to make you think about which family member it’s more beneficial to lose. And then the big pledge is to allow workers rights to take a year’s leave to care for elderly relatives which sounds astonishingly caring. Then you find out it’s a year’s unpaid leave and really all it is a rewording of saying ‘well we’ve fucked social care so you should forfeit any income to do it instead.’ I honestly can’t work out why anyone would think this is a good promise unless they already have a lot of money and have a very capable elderly relative so they can go travelling together for a year like some sort of Pixar film. Otherwise it is dressing up you getting no money to do work that the government is no longer funding. Brilliant. What next? A pledge that parents can have eights years off work unpaid to bring up their kids as a disguise to cut childcare, and a pledge that you can have 25 years unpaid leave to look after a relative accused of a crime because the prison system is overcrowded and fucked.
Oh and the Conservatives have promised MPs a free vote on repealing the ban on fox hunting which makes little to no sense at all, as it’s not popular with the public being seen as an archaic elitist blood sport, which I think it is, but also practically it doesn’t reduce fox numbers but instead increases them, foxes aren’t much of a threat to livestock even if it did, and it’s very cruel not just to the foxes who are killed but the hunting dogs too who usually die young due to the pressure they are put under. So the only reason to bring it back would be ideological for the few toffs that love the feeling of murdering something inferior to them, so not at all dissimilar to how the current government operate the Department of Work and Pensions.
Now Labour haven’t intentionally revealed much of their manifesto and again, by the time you hear this, the full final draft will have been launched. But taking a look at the leaked one there’s a lot I personally like but it does also feel like the sort of manifesto you’d put out there knowing this will be a tough fight. To be fair that’s what I’d do too. If I was the opposition to the Conservatives when such a landslide was predicted I’d also pledge anything that sounded good. I’d nationalise ice cream, promise free scooters for everyone, especially grown ups and make sure all squirrels had first and second names. You know, stuff everyone wants. Now I know I’m being facetious as the manifesto is filled with left wing joy. On the NHS there are promises to reverse privatisation, which sounds great but doesn’t explain how. Would it mean getting rid of PFI contracts and if so, how to repay the debt built up by those while giving the extra £6bn funding also pledged to the NHS, that is collected via taxing higher earners. Something again, I personally agree with but there’s a lot of case studies that show higher earners find yet more ways to avoid more tax, and yes I’m not saying you shouldn’t try but they’re slippery bastards especially the ones in oil – eh, eh, eh – and if it doesn’t increase tax intake then does that leave the NHS screwed by more rich people than just Branson? Also £6bn isn’t that much when you consider that it looks like the NHS will have a £10bn black hole by 2020, and unlike space sci-fi black holes if you go through it you won’t end up in another dimension but probably just more sad about the NHS than you were before.
In social care there’s very promising ideas about having a National Care Service, making carers allowance the same as jobseekers, while in housing Labour are pledging to build 100,000 new council and social houses per year. Though they have also pledged to protect the green belt even though most of it isn’t very green, it’s like the Greenland of London. Only not, as it isn’t icy. But you know what I mean. No you shut up. But it really really isn’t as special as everyone thinks it is and means there won’t be that much space for any of those 100,000 houses per year around London. And I could reel off tons of things that sound great in this. Scrapping the bedroom tax, benefit sanctions, and give housing benefit back to the under 21’s, as well as scrapping the horrific disability assessment tests, a national education service, tons of money to invest in infrastructure, abolishing tuition fees, renationalising the rail which some say would be terrible as British Rail was terrible but at least unlike Southern Rail their bloody trains turned up, and renationalising royal mail which would be great as I still have no idea how many stamps an A4 envelope needs and how else would I send my signed pics to people who haven’t asked for them. They’ve pledged no immigration cap, but do support controlled immigration and they’ve promised to eliminate the current budget deficit over five years. Phew! Let’s all get Billy Bragg to rewrite the national anthem while we’re at it and Ken Loach will take over the Proms so it’s only struggling brass bands that take part.
But and there are several buts in there and they aren’t all peachy. The reversals to benefit cuts are great but there’s no mention of reversing tax credit cuts which have really hurt people, nor is there anything on the welfare cap. There is a lot of state intervention involved with this, which would take a lot of work to put back into place. A lot of this is having to reverse things the previous government and governments before it have done and that is a lot of work and a lot of money, and with Brexit looming like an evil weaver, there’s no clue how much money there’ll be for all of this and not enough detail in the leaked manifesto to say how it could be done. But hey, by tomorrow half of this could be gone, or backed up or neither and whether you’re a Corbyn hater or a total Jezzbian you should hopefully be pleased that compared to the last Labour election manifesto in 2015 this one has actual different ideas to the Conservative one, compared to Ed Miliband’s oh I’ll do immigration control but not that much but a bit ok have a mug. It’s definitely not a return to the 70’s, though a large part of that is because in the 70’s tons of the national infrastructure hadn’t recently been destroyed by previous governments. The thing is, ever since George all the jobs Osborne and David Cameron starting pitching the idea that Labour was responsible for a global financial crash and Labour at no point said ‘hang on we really aren’t that powerful’ that narrative has stuck. So it means unless everything is added up to perfection people will still think this is a more risky and less progressive manifesto than one that includes fucking fox hunting. There’s also a big issue with people still not understanding the difference between deficit and debt. I mean, I have to look it up every time as it’s interchanged sometimes mid-conversation with politicians. The deficit is the difference between what the government spends and what it takes in, and the deb is the debt accrued from government borrowing. Really it doesn’t matter too much if the debt goes up if it means the money is being used to balance the deficit ie invest in infrastructure so we can trade more, create more work, get more money into the economy. Under the Conservatives debt is at £1.729 trillion, which is £123bn up on last year. But the deficit isn’t down as much as Osborne or Hammond had promised. So the Conservatives asking us to trust them on the economy while Labour can’t be is like a gambling addict saying that you should loan them £100 because there’s a chance you’ll get a bit of it back, but you shouldn’t give it to this other guy because he walked past a cash machine eating someone’s card once.
Oh and look, I’ve ignored other manifestos here and will do more on them next week, but the Lib Dems have said they’d back a regulated cannabis market in the UK, which I like because it means even if they were terrible in government I wouldn’t notice as I’d be off my face. Drugs policy in the UK has been terribly mishandled for a long time and I’ve got someone I’ll be talking to about it on this show at some point soon, but there is a lot of evidence to say that decriminilising cannabis would help raise tax revenue, reduce crime rates and legal costs, benefit certain groups medically and probably raise a fuck load of money for all snack companies. The Lib Dems are also pledging more paid paternity leave which they are dubbing their ‘Daddy Month’ policy. Seriously? Daddy Month and weed? People think Labour’s manifesto is going back to the 70’s yet all the Lib Dems need with those is a disco ball and a start up funds for car washes.
Youth Vote – INTERVIEW 2 WITH JOSH – EXCUSES EXCUSES – Promote Rize Up
You know the youth yeah? Like the oldth, but younger and always on the snapchats? Yeah them. Suggested turnout for voters aged 18-24 on the June 8th election is only 42%, which would mean nearly two thirds of people that age are going to have no say in the government that is probably going to affect them more than any other age group. At the moment the housing situation makes it impossible for young people to own a property, let alone rent in some areas, higher education costs and maintenance grants cuts mean university is now out of reach for many and youth unemployment is higher than a decade ago. So things ain’t easy for them kids, and politicians won’t focus their attentions or policies on groups that don’t convert into votes. But at the same time many don’t feel incentivised to vote because they don’t feel politicians are doing anything for them. Which is a shame because if those young people just felt the drive to get off their er, space hoppers, and stop er, beboing pictures of their Gameboys….oh god I’m so old, then it could actually change the election results quite drastically in certain areas. So this week I spoke to Josh Dell at Bite The Ballot, a long running movement to get 18-24 year olds proactively involved in politics. Their new campaign ‘Turn Up’ runs this week until voter registration for the June 8th election ends on May 22nd. Josh explained why young people are feeling like voting ain’t for them and what we should all be doing to get more voters to put crosses in boxes.
Oh and another quick:
By the time I did this interview I had my fancy new microphone, but had no time to work out how to use it. So every now and then it sounds like I’m speaking through a tannoy. But it’s a very good clear tannoy. But still a tannoy. Josh was out and about and we were regular heckled by selfish vehicles that weren’t silent, which is probably better for road safety really. Anyway, I think it’s turned out all dandy, so here’s my chat with Josh. Enjoy:
INTERVIEW WITH JOSH
Big thanks to Josh for chatting with me. Do get involved in the #turnup campaign and maybe get a goat as well? I mean I think you should get one anyway, just so you can say things like ‘I kid you not’ and awful puns like that. Genuinely love the goat idea. Bite The Ballot are on Twitter @bitetheballot and facebook the same and their website is bitetheballot.co.uk. I think this is hugely important issue and next week I am also speaking to someone on a different campaign focusing on a similar age group, so if you are a person of that age, make sure you’re registered and tell your peers to as well, and if you know people of that age, talk to them about why it’s important to vote. Another great campaign launched by some excellent people I know is Rize Up which is supported by Professor Green, Doc Brown, other characters from Cluedo! HA! I JOKE! Akala, Riz Ahmed, Rudimental and other excellent artists and they’ve got a special incentive where Stormzy’s producer 5ive Beats has created a track for anyone to upload and record a verse over, and you can win a chance to get it recorded in a central London studio end of this month. So if you know musical types who need a voter based push, send them to www.rizeup.org
More interesting people next week and please do keep your excellent suggestions for guests coming and as always you can let me know who to harass with interview requests by contacting me @parpolbro on Twitter, the partly political broadcast facebook group, firstname.lastname@example.org or just take an instagram pic of something that reminds you of that person, tag me in and then I’ll not understand, untag myself and report you for spam.
PPB Question of the WEEK:
Right, you lot have nailed potential campaign slogans for the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems, so this week’s question of the week was an ask for general election quips for Captain Planet’s favourite crew The Green Party.
I didn’t want to use any electricity to send a tweet. It’s what they would have wanted.
Just use last time’s slogan: they’re FANS OF RECYCLING. (See what I did there? See??! Cos the Greens have a number of ecol–oh, you get it.)
“Get us on the fucking telly, 2017”
The Greens: taking back the protest vote from the racists.
Greens: Waiting for the call from TV. Or radio. Small poster? Hello?
Greens: Vote For Us If You Live In Brighton
The Green Party: sharing jobs so there are more to go around.
Labour Tory Labour Tory Why recycle your government? Vote green.
Everyone’s second team, just not quite relevant enough to be #1. Like an okay looking girl you snogged once but you’d rather no-one knew.
VOTE GREENS FOR FOX SAKE
Matt Hoss Green Party: We love recycling, but please don’t recycle the current government.
Green Party: We’re mental about being environmental
Matt Hoss The Green Party: Despite what the BBC thinks – we’re still a party.
Rob Skene The Green Party – Pepe the frog was our mascot first… It’s not easy being Green.
Excellent work, and those should be enough to power the Greens to some electoral victories and if not, at least there’s no carbon emissions from any of them. Though I’ve probably personally released enough to counteract that. Next week will of course be slogans for UKIP and I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with more witty slogans than they have MPs. Look out for the question on the Twitter or Facebook group next Sunday.
And that is all for this week’s show and I’ve barely skimmed the surface of the past week’s news. Nothing on Trump, nothing on a Tory MP telling a school girl to fuck off which is tricky because that is pretty wrong but then I’ve also been on a bus full of pupils leaving school and felt very much like doing the same, or anything about the millionaire backing pro-Brexit MPs which is bizarre as really I’d have thought they’d all want to leave. But that’s ok, because I’ll be back next week to tickle your cochlea with my vocal farts. Please do send me your thoughts on the show @parpolbro on Twitter, parpolbro facebook group, email@example.com or tell me about anything else you’d like to see between now and Doomsday, sorry June 8th, review the show on iTunes and stitcher, donate to the parpolbro patreon.com or ko-fi.com, spread the word in general and if you see two magpies ask them where they’ve been and if it was fun.
Thanks as always to Acast for hosting the show, my brother The Last Skeptik for all the musics, my other half @proresting for putting up with me ruining every Monday to do this and all the shouting I do at the telly and you lovely lot for going all Ceaser and lending me your ears. BYE!
This week’s show was brought to you by girl numbers and boy numbers. Which are, er, 6121 and er, 807. Look if you had that on a number plate I’d think you were a twat. Fact.