Donate to the Patreon at www.patreon.com/parpolbro
Buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/parpolbro
Hello and welcome to Partly Political Broadcast episode 62. I’m Tiernan Douieb and ah shit, what a horrible past week it’s been. About 30 minutes after I popped last week’s episode up on the internets I saw the horrible news about Manchester and felt well shit and depressed by it all. There’s little I can add to what’s already been said about the terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena, but before I get into the usual sardonic critique of the week’s political bullshit, I just wanted send thoughts and much love to all affected, to any of you listeners who live nearby and say that the response Manchester has given to the worldly shit it’s suffered was one of kindness, aplomb, thoughtfulness and caring of the kind that should always be the way that I think these things are responded to. It seems to have been inbuilt in us to respond to tragedy with further fear mongering, and finger pointing. The former is the worst kind of mongering, with cheese being the best and the latter should only be used as a dance move, to point something out or for a very dramatic nose pick. But Manchester with it’s vigils, it’s fundraising, it’s collective spirit that even got Liam Gallagher being charitable, that’s how to do it. In my experience, and again, as everyone’s said, Manchester has always been an amazingly diverse and inclusive city, except if you’re an open spot 12 years ago who started their set in front of a rowdy crowd with ‘So I’m from London’ in which case they will tell you fuck off and rightfully so, but I’ve learned since then so it’s cool everyone. While I don’t believe love conquers all, because if that’s true, why can’t I love my verruca away? But I do think it’s a ton more powerful than using last Monday’s attacks to inhibit human rights, divide people more and generally make things worse. It’s important to remember there are shitty shitty people in the world, but we always have more in common than that which divides us. And we also share 60% of our DNA with bananas so maybe we should stop eating them too as it’s kind of weird when you think about it.
ISIS claimed credit for the attack because they are the John Terry of the terrorist world and I often wonder if we’d be best to defeat them by ringing them up about car accidents they haven’t had as they’ll definitely say they did. It looks more like the attacker was a lone British citizen from Libyan descent Salmen Abdi and while he was killed in the attack, 13 other men have been arrested in suspicion of terrorist offences and the threat level was raised from severe to critical temporarily but is now back to severe so chill everyone because that only means there is a possibility of an imminent terrorist attack. Yes that’s where we are in the UK in 2017, a place where ‘severe’ requires a nonchalant state of calm yet people will get into a hissy fit panic about how far away you should start waving to someone you know if you approach them from a distance. Prime Minister and Maschinenmensch Theresa May became the first UK leader to deploy Operation Temperer which sounds a lot like everyone gets free thai style battered prawns or veg, something that if you add sweet chilli would definitely sooth the nation, but sadly actually means that 5000 army troops were deployed to help the police at key strategic strikes because nothing makes people feel more secure about the possibility of someone with a dangerous weapon in their area than knowing for sure lots of people with dangerous weapons are there to stop them. While politicians stopped campaigning for two days out of respect for the victims, the attack raised lots of questions that may effect the election, including Theresa May’s cutting of 19,000 police officers during her time as home secretary as well as 25% cuts to police funding. Obviously the 5000 army troops may not be necessary with a fully staffed police force instead and you wonder with army recruits falling below 80,000 and the defence budget also cut, who would replace them if they’re needed while they’re replacing police? You could argue the government’s counter terrorism plan is just to swap everyone’s jobs around to confuse any potential terrorists who are too baffled by nurses working for the fire brigade and farmers driving tanks for them to do anything. May’s argument is that she wants to increase police powers, especially when tackling online encryption, but you need more resources to use those powers otherwise we’ll have a daddy long legs style force with deadly poison but no fangs to bite anyone with and instead stupid, stupid long legs that flap about when they fly into your face because sometimes evolution is a total piss taker.
While May was at COBRA meetings which always sounds right as I’m sure she speaks parseltongue, Labour leader Jeremy ‘I can’t believe he doesn’t own a narrow boat’ Corbyn attended the Manchester vigil before making a speech on Friday where he stated that terrorism was in part a retaliation to Western interventionism which no one wants to hear as if that’s true it means we’re the bad guys too resulting in us having to make a speech about all our evil plans and we’re not good enough at transparency for that sort of thing. Besides the US press would probably leak it first. Actually two former heads of MI5, 16 US intelligence agencies and Boris Johnson are among some of the people who’ve also commented on how, while it’s by no means the only factor, intervention by the UK in the Middle East has a link to rise in terrorist attacks here. The main argument against this is that terrorists just want to attack us for who we are. Well if that’s true then we are a country that likes to bomb countries in the Middle East so I guess it’s still part of it.
As the election campaign kicked back in some, but not all of the polls have shown Labour closing in on the Conservatives and the response from the Tories has firstly been to ramp up accusations of Corbyn’s possible connections with the IRA. This included Foreign Secretary Boris ‘ who overstuffed the taxidermied llama’ Johnson tweeting a picture of Corbyn with recently deceased former first minister of Northern Ireland and Sinn Fein politicians Martin McGuiness. This was accompanied by the tagline ‘I genuinely think it is important people know Corbyn claimed in recent days he never met the IRA. You cannot trust this man!’ Good point BoJo! There are loads of pictures with the Queen meeting Martin McGuinness in 2012 so I think we should get her in for questioning asap too as she clearly can’t be trusted with the safety of our country. Oddly no one seems to have asked anyone from Northern Ireland how they feel that the UK government are bringing up the troubles all over again and throwing accusations about democratically elected Sinn Fein politicians around but I’m sure they trust the Conservatives to not carry out any sort of injustice when it comes to NI politics. Hmm. While many of the Labour side are keen to counter this accusations against Corbyn by saying he was a key part of the Northern Irish peace process, several Northern Irish commentators have said they didn’t really remember him being part of it at all. Tough call for Jezza. To be fair, as opposed to May riling up the EU, selling weapons to the Saudis and befriending Trump, perhaps there is no safer alternative than the UK having a leader that no one notices or pays any attention to.
Meanwhile US intelligence kept up its reputation for being leakier than a Welsh soup as all info passed from the UK about the terrorist attack appeared on US media before it had been released here. Still, at least they didn’t try to remake or reboot any of it. President of America Donald ‘I’ve had too many Berocca’s’ tweeted after the G7 summit in Sicily that ‘British Prime Minister May was very angry that the info the U.K. gave to U.S. about Manchester was leaked. Gave me full details!’ Proving the old adage that if you can’t work out which of your pals are leaking information that’s because it’s almost certainly you. The summit were unable to come up with a statement of consensus on the climate change tackling Paris Agreement, because Trump hasn’t yet made his mind up on actively reducing gas emissions. No, you make your own jokes. German Chancellor and squished Emo Philips Angela Merkel stated that they can’t rely on the US and UK anymore as she has experienced at the summit, and that Europe must take destiny into it’s own hands. Either she doesn’t realise Destiny 2 is coming out soon, or maybe post-Brexit ‘global Britain’ actually refers to how everyone all over the world thinks we’re shits.
Oh and Trump also met the Pope which is the first time I’ve ever seen a major religious figure appear to really rethink whether there is actually good in everyone. Trump meanwhile mostly looked like he was thinking I’d be a great pope, the best pope. Terrifying thought. Imagine if all God’s secrets were leaked to the Russians? Is there even such a thing as Dogma whistle politics? Would we have to change the term papal bull to mean something else?
PHEW! OMG HOW IS THERE STILL SO MUCH NEWS! Thanks you tons for listening to this show and firstly apologies as such is the result of releasing this podcast at the same time every week and the way the news works, obviously last week’s show didn’t mention the horrors of Manchester so if you listened to it assuming I’d ignored it like some sort of callous arsehole, then I’m very sorry indeed. Though I am still a callous arsehole but for many other reasons. Also on this week’s show I have been desperately trying to get an expert in terrorism or risk studies or war studies for this week as it’s an area I have absolutely no idea about, despite how defensive I can get if you question why I like savoury porridge – it’s because it’s then like a whole meal instead of a dessert and you can have sweet porridge afterwards like a dessert and at no point do you have to chew. Sorry. But yes I contacted about 15 different possible guests and understandably they were all swamped with other media requests, so huge apologies for not being as relevant as your other listens this week. Which does prompt me to ask actually – finding guests for this show is the hardest bit of it, well aside from getting you all to review it on iTunes. All you have to do is click some stars. Yeesh! Blood from a stone guys! – so if any of you would have time in the week to chase up guests for me it’d be appreciated or even to help point me in the right direction of who to ask. I’ve got a couple of people that help me on this but more the merrier and higher the likelihood I’ll get in guests that can talk about breaking news stuff. Especially as post election, who knows what we’ll be needing to talk about. So if you’re interested in helping, do drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks this week to Andy Zoidberg for donating to the ko-fi account which you too can do at ko-fi.com/parpolbro or if you wanna do a more regular thing and get extras like the bonus chat with last week’s guest Jamie MacColl, then please join the Patreon with even a £1 a month at patreon.com/parpolbro. And if you haven’t heard of money before or aren’t sure what it is, then why not just review the show on iTunes or stitcher or in a letter to Ok! Magazine prompting others to tell you how a ghost once reviewed something they did and how the sweat patches on your review are ugly.
Next week I might release a mini-podcast but there’s not a lot of point in releasing a full length one when it’ll be out of date just two days later but that is ok as I got so much live stuff coming up that you can get your fill of Douieb in the real world and hear me with your eyes as well as your ears if you wish. This Wednesday if you’re an alpha team Tuesday listener, is the Stand Up For Refugees gig at the Birmingham Rep. There are somehow still tickets left which makes no sense, so please help sell that out. Then June 3rd I’m doing an Edinburgh preview at the Regather festival in Sheffield with the brilliant Jordan Brookes, June 4th is the kids show about the election at the Underbelly Festival Southbank with Simple Politics, and of course on June 8th election day is my Fuck The Election special show at The Phoenix in Oxford Circus with Marcus Brigstoke, Josie Long and other pals joining me and it will be the perfect post voting cathartic eve. So those are all on my website tiernandouieb.co.uk/gigs with all the other shows I’m doing, and I’ve popped that up on my personal comedian Facebook page too with links and everything because I like your face.
This week’s show is of course looking at security issues, a brief look at the manifestos of the Lib Dems, Greens, UKIP and other parties and I had a chat with James Smith, leader of Something New a very recently formed party running two candidates in the election because I wanted to know why on Earth you’d want to start your own party. He spoke to me from a sunny field so he’s clearly got his shit together.
So this week, let’s start with some of this:
Last week’s terrorist attack has raised a lot of important questions and no I’m not talking about asking what the best way to celebrate Katie Hopkins getting fired from LBC as a result of her awful Nazi based comments is, because we all know the answer to that. Yes it’s to laugh pretty much forever and ever, then take a breath then laugh forever again. No it’s not an infringement of freedom of speech as Hopkins can keep spouting her racist bile if she likes, just not in employment of a radio station that’s mostly only listened to by people with broken radio tuners. But no, there are some very important questions and while turning such an event into something for political gain isn’t right at all, the fact is, a terrorist attack like that is political and that’s unavoidable. Go on, try and avoid that. See? You can’t. I mean you were more malleable than I thought but you still can’t. Have you tried limbo though? I think you’d be great at that.
First up is the bleakest bit which is looking at the motive and the attacker. Salman Abdi was Manchester born and his parents came to the UK after fleeing Gaddifi’s rule in Libya. Gaddafi was up there with most bonkers of dictators mixing his time up before being killed by the US in 2011, between keeping his enemies’ heads in a freezer and hanging out with Michael Jackson, two things that you, like me, probably didn’t think were that mutually exclusive in the first place. Anyway, Salmen Abdi and his family were regular goers to Didsbury mosque which has been under investigation before due to connections with a number of Syrian and Libyan extremists over the last few years including Abd al-Baset Azzouz who left Manchester to run a terrorist network under al-Qaeda. I don’t know what a terrorist network looks like but I’m guessing the comments are worse than a social network but it also has a nipple ban. Salman Abdi was apparently quiet, respectful, played football and smoked weed, but then started travelling to Libya a lot in 2015 which is when intelligence officials started to notice his behaviour but according to Home Secretary Amber Rudd, only up to a point. So they are know looking into if he worked alone which is possible as the bomb he used was made from as they call it ‘over the counter’ materials which means things like an acid lead battery rather than you know, condoms or night nurse. But there is also the possibility he was a mule as part of a much bigger, Libyan influenced network, but with 14 people arrested, which include Abdi’s two brothers and his father. The threat level has now been reduced so while they’re keeping hush hush on more details of the arrests we assume they think they’ve shut it down for now.
But while officials would point out it’s very hard to stop a suicide bombing despite intelligence being vaguely aware of Abdi, what is becoming evident is that he was one of a number of people the intelligence services were vaguely aware of that were allowed to travel to Libya and back, no questions asked, in order to join the fight against Gaddafi. Reports state individuals put under control orders in the UK because of concerns they may join militant groups in Iraq, had travel to Libya facilitated by MI5. While the take down of Gaddafi seemed entirely necessary, the UK government or France who were also key to the UN sanctioned actions, made no plans for any fall out of a Libyan failed state post Gaddafi. Total disgrace Liam Fox the professional disgrace total the foreign affairs committee in 2016 that he did not recall there being an assessment of the threat of Islamic extremism among anti-Gaddafi rebels. Liam Fox not knowing about something is nothing new but unlike European laws or trade agreements in this case it seems that he didn’t know about it because it never actually happened. Now Abdi was too young to be part of the fighters sent over in 2011, but the connections he may have made on his later visits might be key to the investigations as to why this all happened. Oh btw you’ll never guess who the Home Secretary that oversaw all this would you?
So that’s the first bit, and….this is meant to be a comedy podcast isn’t it? Bloody hell. The next question is have police numbers fallen and is this a problem? Nope and nope. HA! JOKE! Yes, government grants to police have been cut by 25% over the last 5 years and there are 19,000 less police officers than there were in 2016. Is that why May has had to put the army on the streets? Well, bluntly, yes as last year the government announced they would provide funding to train 1500 firearms officers to protect the public from terrorism, but the money they pledged to do that was only enough to fund 1000 of them, with police forces being made to stump up for the extra £500 themselves despite the lack of budget. No wonder we call them coppers as that’s all most police headquarters have in their pockets now. Also the funding was for a five year period so those 1500 would come in stages so when Theresa May is promising she’ll keep you safe from terror, she means it in the same way that adding one lock to just one door or window in your house once every year would keep you safe from burglary. Sure they won’t be able to steal your stuff by getting through that window and you just hope they don’t understand how houses work and leave it at that.
Next up is the US intelligence leaks where its kinda necessary to ask how the US media got hold of information about the attack before the Brits did, especially as we now get blockbuster films and albums pretty much on the same day as the US. Now Washington DC has always been notorious for being a leaky city, which explains the Tidal Basin, and actually UK journalists have apparently looked to US first to get info about the UK. But with big ol’ sieve head Trump in charge things are leakier than ever and the UK government had to briefly stop sharing info with the US last week as a result. They weren’t even the first to do that last week, with Israel reviewing their intelligence sharing approach with the US first after big ol’ Donny wigface blabbed Israeli info about ISIS to Russian officials. The UK are now sharing info with US intelligence again but there’ll have to be careful with this while the administration is how it is. With US out of the picture and Theresa May making threats to the EU about possibly removing intelligence sharing if Brexit deals aren’t good enough, then it’s going to become increasingly impossible to get the info needed to prevent attacks at all. First step is buy Donald Trump a Secret Safe diary.
And lastly, slightly off-track but there is the question about whether Jeremy Corbyn has terrorist connections with the IRA and therefore whether the UK would be safer under him or Theresa ‘Fuck The PoPo’ May. Now while it makes me angry that it seems to be a big part of the Conservatives election campaign to trivialise the Troubles, I’m going to speed through this as we could be here a long time. What do you mean longer than we’re already here? Shhh. From 1972 there is evidence that successive government maintained so called back channel links, tee hee hee, yes it sounds rude, with the IRA and Sinn Fein. For example in November 1993 then PM John Major told the commons that the idea of talking with Gerry Adams the leader of Sinn Fein and the provisional IRA would turn his stomach and he wouldn’t do it. One month later it was revealed that government officials were already talking with them. I bet Major used very similar chat to convince his wife he wasn’t having a 4 year affair with rotten eggs loser Edwina Currie too. These meetings with Sinn Fein became integral to the peace process under Blair in 1997 too and the Conservatives said in 2009 that they would not give parliamentary allowances to Sinn Fein unless they took their Westminster seats, and eight years later with the Tories in power, they’re still paying them their allowances despite no appearances in the UK parliament from Sinn Fein. But Corbyn was very public with his meetings with Sinn Fein despite knowing they were linked to the IRA, and while it was Labour party policy for Irish unity, he was very outspoken about it. Also while he did sign a motion in the House of Commons in 1994 that condemned IRA violence, and he muttered a condemnation for the bombings and killings they carried out on Sky News last week, it’s weird Corbyn doesn’t just say a big ol’ ‘Them IRA were right wrong un’s’ in public and be done with it. It was also odd that Shadow Home Secretary and main test subject for the Dunning-Kruger effect Diane Abott also refused to just condemn them on the Andrew Marr show this week instead saying that she had different hair 35 years ago and she’s since changed her hair and her opinions. Firstly that makes it sound like she’s pro-cuts, secondly she now has bangs which is insensitive considering the subject matter. Thirdly it’s just not helpful. Were, however unlikely it still is, Corbyn to get into No10 and the DUP stay in power in the Northern Irish assembly, this could all make that relationship a tad messy. Also despite calls from support in NI, Labour have never run candidates there for general elections or Assembly, though to be fair I’m not sure what good it’d be for a still divisive Northern Irish political system to have a party that can’t even support itself half the time.
So it’s all a bit strange but I am amazed that the Conservatives campaign narrative is somehow calling Corbyn a terrorist sympathiser and a pacifist at the same time. How can he do that? Does he want them to attack people with love bombs? But it’s not helpful for Northern Ireland to bring up the past while they currently have an unstable assembly that won’t have a second vote till after the general election May sprung on them. Not forgetting the entire Good Friday agreement may be shafted by Brexit anyway. I’m not sure what the opposite of a peace process is, but it does feel like the Conservatives are trying to find out.
Also it brings up the issue that is forever a problem in politics of whether or not politicians are allowed to change their minds, admit to making mistakes or not. I’m not saying Corbyn has done any of those things, but if you can be admonished for making a u-turn, rather than everyone looking at it as though you’ve changed your mind, would it be a good or a bad thing to say you’ve changed your mind over things you’ve said in the past if you’re now seen as a conviction politician? It’s almost as if politics is hard or something. So to sum up, an awful person did awful things which was awful. It probably couldn’t have been entirely prevented but if useless people including Theresa Useless May had done less useless things it may have been averted. Donald Trump is still awful. Corbyn is weird. And now we’re all on the terror threat level ‘severe’ which I think severe terror possibilities just means the IT reboot is going to horrible. As if we haven’t had enough of clowns making everything worse already. Seriously when can some nice news happen so comedy gets easier?
INTERVIEW PART 1
I’m always intrigued when I get to the polling booth on voting day to find a ton of names of people from parties I had never heard of before. In 2015 my area not only had Labour, Lib Dems, Conservative, Green, and a hugely unpopular UKIP candidate called Clive Morrison who’s campaign was all about standing up for real change which made him sound like one of those shitty statue street performers. Anyway as well as those, there were Christian Peoples which I assume is a party and not one independent candidate, the Workers Revolutionary party that are all for people with jobs to do more spinning classes, probably and the Hoi Polloi Party who called themselves a political party for people who hate politics, which explains why no one turned out to vote for them. But there are so many other parties and while some of them may just be a man dressed as a fish finger to run against Tim Farron, some of them work genuinely hard to have proper policies and proper manifesto. No, I don’t mean the Monster Raving Looney Party thought it is frightening how many of their policies have ended up happening including 24 hour licences and pet passports. This year they’re proposing replacing Trident with a new Tuning Fork, which I guess would at least have all critics and pro-Trident people singing to the same tune. They also want to give nectar points to tax payers which I’m super keen on. But the first passed the post system and party funding makes it really hard for anyone new to actually make a mark in British politics.
Anyway, this week I spoke to James Smith who is part of Something New, a party that was founded in 2014 in response to James’s views about the lack of difference between the main candidates at the time. Something New have two candidates in this upcoming Snap Election which will be the second general election they have run in, as well as two local elections and one by-election. And they’re really serious about it too, with a very thorough and pretty progressive manifesto. So I wanted to speak to James about what it’s like to be one of the little guys on the election ballot, why on Earth you’d put yourself through it, and what Something New are all about. James spoke to me from a field on a sunny day because he knows how to live his life, and we are at one point heckled by some lovely bird sound. Probably someone complaining on Twitter. Eh? EH? Sorry.
Anyway, here’s James:
At the time of recording we are T-minus 11 days till election, and just 9 days of campaigning left and I’ve just spent the last hour and a half watching Sky News’ Battle For Number 10 that sadly didn’t include any sort of battle at all or it might’ve actually been interesting. Jeremy Paxman seemed angry at everything because he obviously isn’t let out of his cage often enough to question people anymore. Highlights included people laughing at May, people applauding Jeremy Paxman for calling the Prime Minister a blowhard, a man being caught on camera mouthing bollocks twice at her answers, and a man standing up at the end to give May a standing ovation, realising he was on his own and sitting down again. Corbyn fared pretty well despite Paxman asking him again and again why he wouldn’t condemn us all into a nuclear war, WHY WON’T YOU HAVE A NUCLEAR WAR JEREMY? HAVE YOU NOT SEEN AKIRA JEREMY? DID YOU NOT LIKE THEIR FANCY BIKES JEREMY? Worringly Corbyn seemed to impress everyone least favourite fire scarred goblin Nigel Farage who tweeted that Jezza came across as sincere which is something I didn’t know Farage knew or could recognise as a thing. Boris Johnson on the other hand tweeted that we can’t have this weak jelly for PM, which prompted queries as if that’s because if he was a weak jelly Boris would try to eat him. I don’t feel I learned much from it at all. May repeated a lot of the same stuff as though someone had forgotten to hit shuffle. Corbyn said he’d met the Queen and looked like he hadn’t changed clothes since yesterday. Mainly what I spent the entire show wondering was if Jeremy Paxman’s wife, Mrs Paxman looks exactly like him but with a bow. Oh and also Corbyn mentioned a President Terry of Peru which made me happy as I like to believe he’s a cockney that just took a gamble on holiday and it paid off big time.
This election is genuinely bonkers and while it still looks like it’ll be a Tory win, it’s really not certain how much by or if it’ll have been worth May holding a snap election at all. While I’d love for her to lose, if she gains a pyrrich victory I will also laugh for about 400 years, because there’s no better British value than the one where as a nation we want to knock people off a high pedestal as often as possible. A value that only Nelson seems to have avoided and stilt walkers are terrified about. The Tory manifesto not being costed and including dementia tax has really hurt them, while Labour’s seems to really be chiming with people. But I hear you cry, what about all the other manifestos? Well, don’t cry, that’s a bit of an over reaction. But while there are seats such a Richmond that the Lib Dems have a great chance in, or Brighton that is always Greens, I do think this, as always, is a big Labour Tory fight. Or in Scotland, an SNP Tory fight with Labour occasionally running in to do a kick but missing. However I thought I’d do a quick round up of the other parties
First up, the party that used to be all about sex scandals until they were fucked by the Conservatives, that’s right, the Lib Dems. Their main manifesto push point is to have another referendum on the final Brexit deal because what people really want is yet another vote. I wonder if this is their way of winning over school kids by giving them a day off so they’ll forgive them for their 2011 tutition fees balls up. They are the pro-Europe party in this election and they are promising to retain membership of single market and the customs union which would mean we’d have to not leave the EU at all or join the EEC at least. And they’ve also vowed to retain free movement which again, as part of the EEC they’d have to. I guess if they did give a 2nd referendum and people pledged not to do those things, half of their manifesto would be scuppered. The Lib Dems say they will protect Britain’s place in Europe which I guess means they are up for fighting any shifting tectonic plates that occur and good on them for aiming to do groundwork like that. Ground work, geddit? No? Oh.
The Ldizzles say they’d reverse universal credits cuts and reinstate housing benefits for 18-21 year olds which are both good policies, and in fact the Lib Dems manifesto promises to reverse more cuts than the Labour one does. Though you do wonder if reversing the housing benefit for 18-21 year old is just to help them save money to pay tuition fees with out of guilt. Yes I will keep bringing that up. If it was a big enough deal to make an autotune track out of it’s big enough to base everything on! They vow to scrap the Snooper’s charter which shows they understand the internet more than the Conservatives do, have a democratically elected upper chamber which I like the sound of mainly to piss off Andrew Lloyd Webber, but also the Lords have been actually pretty good at challenging May’s Brexit bulldozing lately so it’s become hard to know how I feel about them now. Apart from Andrew Lloyd Webber who I still hate. He flew back from New York just to vote for cutting tax credits, he looks like a rejected League Of Gentlemen character and rollerskating train people is the worst idea for a musical ever. Sorry. The Lib Dems also want votes for 16 year olds, as in for 16 year olds to vote, not for people to vote for them. Though I guess they could. It would really jazz up the Commons if half of them gave speeches through emojis. And they also want to regulate cannabis because let’s face it, the country needs a break and a bit of a slow down.
Not a bad manifesto at all, full of really interesting stuff but the fact it’s based mostly on not-Brexiting has it’s problems. Especially for any Lib Dems campaigning in strong Leave areas. It seems that releavers is also a thing, which are people who voted remain but now accept a leave result. Yes yes I know releavers sounds like people who go round giving hand jobs. But if that is a thing then the Lib Dems won’t even have all of the Remainers on side with this either. Maybe they’ve realised that with just 9 seats they can take the whole party round in a minibus and don’t want anyone upping their costs?
Often I think of purple as the colour of bellends. Appropriate then that it’s also the colour of UKIP, who’s manifesto post Brexit has more dog whistles than a One man and his dog competition. Firstly is a one in one out immigration system which you’d expect from Paul Nuttall who looks like the bouncer to a nightclub that he promises is full of girls or boys depending on your preference then you walk in and it’s just a sad man playing Tony Christie dance remixes while a sad woman clears away chairs. No clues on if the one in one out policy also includes a ban on sportswear but they do say they’d like to reduce net migration to zero. I’m not sure they realise that can be done by making just as many people leave the UK as stay and with a UKIP government they may end up in the negatives. The manifesto also promises a moratorium on unskilled workers or low skilled workers for five years post Brexit because British people have been dying to pick their own fruit for years. On no wait sorry, we all enjoy cherrypicking. Not quite the same. There is a proposed burqa ban because as they say ‘clothing that hides identity, puts up barriers to communication, limits employment opportunities, hides evidence of domestic abuse and prevents intake of essential vitamin D from sunlight is not liberating’. Yes! That last bit is really there! They think Muslim woman all have rickets under burqas or niqabs! It’s really there! The idea that if they lived in Britain they’d gain anymore anyway. If UKIP are really concerned about vitamin D intake why don’t they fuck off to live somewhere hot? They also want social attitude tests to stop people entering the country who believe women or gay people are second class, though there’s nothing about what to do with people already in the UK who think like that including most of UKIP’s members. Oh and there’s a VAT tax cut on fish and chips but I don’t know if that’s a small or large one.
Also one UKIP candidate, Aidan Powlesland who is standing in South Suffolk has added to his leaflet a section called ‘The Starry Firmament’ which tee hee hee, sounds rude. This section details how he wants to set money aside to mine the asteroid belt. Fair play mate, at least he’s thinking outside his village for once. Though sadly I think the only astronomy area UKIP will achieve this election is being totally eclipsed and sucked into a black hole of nothingness.
Next up The Greens, who are looking at a universal basic income, something I’ve discussed on this show before and a potential solution to the increasing automation of society. They also want a referendum on a final Brexit deal which would include a not leaving the EU option which I hope would just be listed as ‘I’m sorry, I made a mistake, can I have another go?’ They want to phase in a 35 hour or four day working week, which I mean so far, a universal basic income and a 3 day weekend. They should really offer the Lib Dems idea of cannabis regulation too and mandatory dressing gown wear and we can all live like The Dude. They would write off existing student debt, scrap tuition fees, end private companies investing in the NHS, take railways into public ownership and fund it all by taxing top earners. Some of that probably sounds familier. Yes it appears Green have successfully recycled and re-used the best bits from other manifestos. Of course there is strong environmental protections too but then they also printed their manifesto so hmmmmm
For any welshies listening, Plaid Cymru’s manifesto focuses a lot on Wales having no costly barriers to trading with the EU, something that Wales absolutely won’t get to decide unless it became independent. Though to be fair another Plaid Cymru policy is to ensure all future trade deals are endorsed by the National Assembly though again, not sure that’d be allowed to happen. They want to fund £7.5bn of investment into Welsh infrastructure, block the Port Talbot super prison though they don’t say where else they’d imprison super villians, ensure a living pension for all which I always think sounds like a horror film, and a Wales wide transport system which if you’ve ever been to mid-West wales, is unlikely because the transport system to get there is shit.
SNP haven’t unveiled their manifesto yet as they delayed it due to the terrorist attack last week. But we do know they would pursue a progressive alliance if there was a hung parliament, which is an interesting stance for a group seeking independence. It’s like saying I want to do my own thing but if I can’t afford a flat by myself, I’ll get married.
So some good stuff, or in UKIP’s case, all awful, but a mixed bag with none of them looking, except in Scotland, like they might give a good challenge to Conservatives or Labour. But who knows? It’s all become more of a two horse race again with Conservatives and Labour on 80% share of the polls. Greens are going to a left wing Labour, UKIPpers are going back to Conservative and Lib Dems are going nowhere fast. So are you red or blue? Considering I’m holding my breath waiting for results while this all keeps heating up, my face is oddly both at the moment, which ultimately tells you nothing other than on June 9th I’ll probably need a lie down.
And now back to James:
INTERVIEW PART 2
Many thanks to James for chatting with me. If you want to find out about Something New and feel they’re a party you want to help grow, do head to their website at somethingnew.org.uk where you can also find their open manifesto. They are also on Twitter @havesomenew and on Facebook too. If you’re in the constituencies of Horsham or Ross, Skye and Lochaber and don’t wish to vote for any of the major parties, then why not give them a look?
There will be no guest next week as it’ll prob be a mini-pre election episode, then I’m in need of guests after that to discuss Emperor May and how quickly she’s renamed parts of the UK to Mega City One, Two, Three and the Cursed Earth. So, and I’m really asking this week, if you have suggestions for who to interview or what on Earth you’d like to hear about in the world of politics post June 9th then please do drop me a line @parpolbro on Twitter, the Partly Political group on Facebook, email@example.com or wait for a full moon then howl in the key of E major which I’ll be able to differentiate from a proper werewolf howl as I’m out hunting them and I’ll note down your request accordingly. Again, email is probably best.
PPB Q OF THE WEEK
As the last pre-election podcast question of the week, this week I asked for suggestions for campaign slogans for any of the other parties ranging from the big regionals, tee hee hee that sounds rude, such as SNP, Sinn Fein, DUP & Plaid Cyrmu and then the itty bitty other ones from NHA to Animal Welfare. Anyway, not many of you responded this week, probably due to bank holiday or perhaps the overwhelming possibility of choice which makes you wonder if a two party system is in fact best. Here’s some of the replies I did get:
Matt Kinson Animal Welfare: Against Trump’s “Gram em by the pussy” on so many levels
Monster Raving Looney Party: By 2020 we will look reserved and demure
“Plaid Cymru: Dead men don’t wear plaid, but smart ones vote it”
@gibbymcdibby Vote whig: the h is important- we are in no way associated with or endorsed by Donald trump
@gibbymcdibby Vote SNP: because we aren’t all sick of referenda yet
MRLP: A. A ha. A hahaha. A hahahaHahahHAHAHAHAHAHA. Look at these clowns!
For WEP #notallmen #obviously. My feminist soul now hates me.
Sinn Fein: “Just because we spoke to Boris Johnson doesn’t mean we in any way support his extremist views.”
I’ll just add to that a few:
Pirate Party – put a cross in the box for us and we’ll dig it up looking for treasure.
Communist League – Like the Justice League only Batman has to share his stuff.
Church of the Militant Elvis Party – Making sure politics gets all shook up. Uh huh huh.
The Realists’ Party – Dunno why you’d bother, we won’t get in
And the Populist Party – Hey look, it worked last year.
More questions coming in June. Check the twitter or Facebook for ‘em in a few week’s time.
And that is all for this week’s show. Thank you once again for listening, or at least just playing this while you paid attention to other stuff. Personally I always imagine you sit in a meditative state while tuning in unable to do literally anything else but take every word in. Sure, I know in reality this is what you use to go to sleep or something you play in the garden to keep cats away but a guy’s gotta dream. Please do give the show a review on iTunes, stitcher or Yelp just to see if anyone actually uses it. Also please do donate to the parpolbo patreon or ko-fi sites if you can, it really does help and do please spread the word about this show. It’d be nice to think we can start the next government with some nice new listening figures so we can all feel miserable together.
Big thanks to Acast for hosting this noise ride, and to my brother The Last Skeptik for allowing me to use his musics.
This will be back briefly next week by which point hopefully all I’ve have to report on is Corbyn saying he’s never met anyone called John, while Theresa May is reported missing after a complete lack of public appearances for a week.
This week’s show was brought to you by the numbers 45% and 34% which is both average polling figures for the Conservatives and Labour after this weekend, and also how many comedy fans I have before and after I tell a shit joke.