Episode 63 – Oh man, there’s more awful terrorism awfulness, but otherwise a brief pre-election episode with one tasty new jingle to help you go vote.
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Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast episode 63. I’m Tiernan Douieb and like Theresa May I too think the UK is far too tolerant of extremism which is why I’m voting against her and her party on the 8th.
Ah fuck. Fuckity fucking fuck. I shouldn’t be starting yet another podcast full of sadness at lives lost in another fucking pointless terrorist attack. This week’s episode was going to be a mini-pre-election booster to send you off to the polling stations with a kick in your step and a the possibility of hope that while it’ll still be a Conservative win it might not be an amazingly big one and really that’s still a win because after years of abject defeats seriously my bar is now really, really fucking low. But instead some unbelievable terrorist arseholes senselessly murdered 7 people and injured 48 others in London Bridge and Borough Market on Saturday night. I love those areas of my home city and regularly pop by Borough Market to eat as many samples of things as possible in order to basically get a free lunch because there’s no way I can afford the food there otherwise and until Saturday the biggest crisis there would’ve been someone complaining about a lack of almond milk. So it hit home pretty hard to hear about it now being the scene of several stabbings and a vicious hit and run. But despite this attack and despite twat pumpkin Donald Trump calling out Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for telling people not to be alarmed – because yeah that’s right you fucking idiot it’s far more leaderly to tell everyone to panic as fuck yeah? For Fuck’s Sake. The terrorist were dead within 8 minutes so the reasonable thing to do is tell London to be calm but Trump’s never been the leader of somewhere that isn’t in constant panic so what would he know? – Anyway after all that London very much carries on to the extent that a third reported attack in Vauxhall on Saturday night turned out to be an unrelated stabbing because even our criminals are resilient in the face of terrorism. That’s right terrorists! You can try all you like but Londoners will never stop stabbing and mugging each other anyway so take that you shitters! These sorts of events make you proud of the strangest things. I found myself rejoicing at how many people commented on how on earth anyone could manage to drive that quickly down London Bridge, a road usually congested worse than one of those cold filled heads in a Lemsip advert.
In a speech on Sunday morning Prime Minister and early rejected blueprint for a human Theresa May said that we cannot and must not pretend things can continue as they are’ which sounded a lot like she was doing Labour’s campaign work for them. I mean, she has been Prime Minister for nearly a year and she was Home Secretary for 6 years before that so if our approach to dealing with terrorism needs to change, then she should really leave as it was her approach and it was shit. Even though a campaign suspension was announced May’s speech sounded a lot like it was capitalising on the moment by setting out a four point plan which included longer jail sentences for terrorism related activities which will go great with the overcrowded prison system we have, and further nods towards banning encryption which would of course, just make it easier for cyber crime to occur. Since the year 2000 there have been nine counter-terrorism laws in the UK and about 100 statutory instruments and let’s be honest, it seems pretty clear that those wishing to commit acts of terrorism aren’t that bothered about how legal they’re being. It’s also quite something for the Prime Minister to suggest new laws after she said the police federation where crying wolf over cuts in 2015 and while the Home Office announces it may not publish a report into foreign funding of jihadi groups. Sort of makes her new laws pledge feel like an offer to fix a leak by turning a tap off while your home is flooding due to a fountain from under the sink. Former Conservative Downing Street Strategy Adviser Steve Hilton who’s the sort of man who looks like it’ll only ever take him 2 seconds of chat before he tells you what he did at the gym that day, even Brexit backing, Fox News presenting, man who who previously gave full on classic awful Tory advise to pigboy Cameron Steve Hilton, is blaming May for this and saying she should resign. I mean, calling for her to resign just three days before an election is a bit pointless but I suppose it would be the exact reverse of how she became Conservative leader in the first place.
In his speech after the attack, Labour leader and official Japanese mascot for garden centres Jeremy Corbyn said police must be able to use whatever force is necessary to stop terrorists. So I guess that includes Frictional, Gravitational, Spring and Jedi if required. Many were surprised by this very primary colours statement after last week’s question time leader’s special had audience members angry that Corbyn said he would be cautious about using nuclear weapons. What? How dare he not want to kill millions and millions of people and irreparably damage the planet? Doesn’t he understand that to truly be leader of Great Britain, you have to be as self loathing as the rest of us where we honest couldn’t give a shit if we all die horrifically, as long as someone else far away has as well. Its not that we don’t think about others, it’s that we do, but only when we can assume they’re having a worse time than we are.
Conservative MP Craig Mackinley has been charged for overspending in his 2015 election campaign. He is of course innocent until proven guilty but if he is charged he could one year in jail which being a Conservative MP translates to about 5 mins in jail and a fine he could probably pay with what’s in his pocket. Mackinley says he questions the police’s timing of this charge, which I mean yeah how dare they accuse of him being fraudulent in an election during another election campaign where he’s still trying to get people to trust him. How selfish of them.
And President of America and atomic kumquat Donald Trump has decided to pull the US out of the Paris agreement on account of him being unable to promise to reduce his own gas emissions! Ha! No but seriously it’s terrifying as the US are the largest polluters in the world and it now won’t be making any impact to reverse the impacts of climate change. Trump’s said he was voted in by the people of Pittsburgh not the people of Paris, which is problematic as he doesn’t seem to realise they’re all on the same planet, nor understand that the majority of votes in Pittsburgh were for Hilary. Do we pander to this idiocy and make lots of UN agreements happen in Pittsburgh just so he’ll sign them? Or does the world risk him pulling out of the treaty of Berlin because he thinks it’s unfair Germans get treats instead of him. France, Germany and Italy made a joint statement deeming the Paris Agreement irreversible as decided in 2015 and this wasn’t backed by May in the UK who instead just told Trump over the phone that she was disappointed in him. You know, like you’d tell a puppy who’d shat on the carpet again rather than someone who’s trying to plunge the world into endless smog death. On the plus side we may now all die from a rogue tsunami before Trump accidentally nukes everyone. If that wasn’t enough Trump bile for a week he responded to the London terror attack by tweeting about more extreme vetting in the US, trying to suggest the UK should have more guns and attacking Sadiq Khan personally for thinking fast on telling people not to be alarmed. Though I think Donald is just jealous that other people are able to think fast without it causing brain bleeds. Still it’s all ok because Theresa May will definitely leap to Khan’s aid any minute now. Or now. Or….now. Nope. Ok. Now? No? Now then. Still no? SIGH.
Hello you. Thanks, as always for being a ParPolBroPod listeners. Can you believe, 63 eps in and I still don’t have a good name for you. PPBees? No that sounds like bees made of urine. I’m open to suggestions. For names that is. Not wee insects. Thanks for listening and this is just a mini-ep as unless you’re an immediate Tuesday pod-listener aka alpha wee insects, I really can’t stick with that, then this episode will go out of date quicker than, well, a very popular date salesperson or more likely go out of date quicker than these shows usually do. So super quick ask for reviews on the iTunes please, donations to the patreon or ko-fi accounts please… parpolbro for both and also a big thank you to Red Online who listed this show as one of it’s five recommendations for best podcasts to listen to pre-election which is nice. I mean it seems to have had no effect and I’m concerned that they don’t think you shouldn’t listen to this post election but who am I to complain? Very chuffed to be there.
And also I will plug again the election night gig I’m running at The Phoenix in Cavendish Square in Oxford Circus on June 8th. Josie Long, Marcus Brigstoke and tons of others will be on and it’ll be a lot of fun. So grab tickets to that at phoenixcavendishsquare.com.
This week’s show. There is no interview. What there will be is sadly more comments on terrorism again but it’ll be quick as last week’s chat on police cuts still stands, and I will have a proper terrorism expert on in a couple of weeks time to talk about it all more thoroughly. But mostly today’s show is a summary of election stuff so far, a few of my own shiny thoughts and a new jingle to leave you marching to the polling station on Thursday with slightly less pessimism than you had before. But first as always a very quick bit of this:
At the time of recording we still don’t know a lot about motives behind the attack on Saturday in London, ISIS have of course claimed responsibility in the way that I bet they only support a football team after it wins the league. In 2015 then Prime Minister with his face like a fresh blister David Cameron authorised an investigation into just how extremist groups in the UK were being funded, har har lets all make the joke about how its due to all the millionaire donors that pay them har har the Tories are extremists hardehar. But no, I mean the funding of jihadist groups. The Lib Dems insisted they do this in exchange for backing the Conservatives extending air strikes into Syria to attack ISIS in probably the world’s most extreme version of shoot first, ask questions later. Except, 18 months later, there’s still no report even after all the recent attacks. The Home Office says this is down to it having very sensitive contents, which is how I refer to myself too, and that a decision on whether to publish it or not would be up to the next government after the election. It’s sensitive contents are likely to be a lot of finger pointing at Saudi Arabia, who are already known to fund a number of Wahhabist mosques in the UK. Wahhabist? Wahhabout it? Wahhabism is the sort of very full on version of Islam that Saudi Arabia operates under where they insist on a literal translation of Koran probably because you can’t do it as a picture book much. Most Sunni and Shia Muslims denounce Wahhabism but it’s Saudi’s state funded religion and in the UK it’s often been the case that the mosques that teach Wahhabism are the ones with links to extremists. But the problem is it’s the finger pointing at Saudi that is the sensitive bit because Theresa May was only there visiting in April and the UK have sold them over £3bn of arms since they started attacking Yemen in 2015. Conservative MPs have also received nearly £100k of gifts from the Saudi Arabian government since then too including luxury food hampers which feels all the more shitty considering the amount of famine occurring in Yemen since the attack started. That’s like the High Priest from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom sending his buddies packs and packs of lovehearts. Yes that is a very specific reference. You’re right.
Both Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Lib Dems leader Tim Farron have been putting pressure on May not to suppress the report but what do you want to bet that if it comes out at all, it won’t be until after June 9th? You don’t want to bet anything? Oh. What about a drink? No if I’m offering you a drink it doesn’t mean I’m dehydrating someone elsewhere.
With the news that South Thanet Conservative MP Craig Makinley has been charged with electoral expenses fraud, many questions spring to mind. Such as could Al Murray have been the proper MP for that area if it hadn’t happened? Or more importantly, why on earth the Conservative Party are talking about scrapping the Serious Fraud Office? I mean if you want to make people trust you as a party, why insist on closing down the one department that investigates how corrupt things are? If you think people not being able to prove you’re doing anything wrong means you aren’t doing anything wrong well then you’re right because that’s how the law works. But it’s also what the SFO was set up so it could proved if you were. Now the SFO hasn’t always done it’s job to the fullest – an investigation into false accounting during arms deals with, wait guess who! That’s right, Saudi Arabia – was dropped in 2006 probably because well, Saudi Arabia.
But leading lawyers – aren’t all lawyers leading? Isn’t that their job? – they’ve warned May that if SFO closes it will ruin a number of ongoing investigations as well as affect working with other agencies such as the US department of Justice and make the UK much less effective at tackling crime. The Serious Fraud Office has also brought in £600m into government through deferred prosecution agreements where companies pay fines to avoid prosecution. But May wants it all to become part of the NCA, National Crime Agency, where fraud would be lumped in with all the other crimes and probably won’t have the same budget. There’s something hugely dodgy about trying to brush under the carpet an agency whose job investigates much under carpet brushing. What next? Burying the land registry? Eating the Food Standards Agency? Hiding the Forestry Agency so you can’t see it for the trees? Hmmm…..
So by the end of this week we’ll either have a Conservative government that is likely to be a smaller one than May anticipated, a hung parliament with negotiations to see who can pretend to be friends long enough like when your parents had to take the arsehole kid home from school as well as a favour, or as it’s 2017 something completely unexpected might happen and aliens could invade or due to a spelling error a squirrel ends up as Prime Minister leading a party consisting mostly of ducks and one confused looking bear. Who really knows? I certainly don’t and if I did, I’d have put a bet on at the bookies and get all rich on June 9th like it was 1955 and future self just handed over the grey sports almanac.
It was meant to be an election about Brexit but Brexit hasn’t really come up much unless as an excuse as to why you didn’t turn up. I’m ok with that normally. You were meant to meet me at the cinema? Sorry. Brexit. Why didn’t you make our wedding? Argh, I wanted to, but you know, Brexit. Sadly though the person using Brexit as an excuse was Theresa May who avoided last week’s televised leaders debate because she was too busy with Brexit negotiations. Funny that. You’d think if they took up so much time YOU WOULDN’T CALL FOR A SNAP ELECTION IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR NEGOTIATING TIME. And instead of Brexit, it’s become a battle of personalities between a woman who doesn’t really have one and Jeremy Corbyn who’s gained quite a confident character in the campaign weeks but won’t say he’d press the red button if necessary so has lost some support. I mean come on guys, how can you trust someone who doesn’t want to watch extra Glastonbury coverage or the outside courts during Wimbledon?
What is really evident is that Theresa May called for a snap election assuming it would be a roll over with a lucky number, but none of the Conservatives seemed to bother to check if they had any of the required balls. Their manifesto wasn’t planned in time, wasn’t costed and targeted some of their core voters. May hasn’t turned up to several of the debates on only given public talks when the public can be specifically invited and told what to ask and the horrible events of the past few weeks have mainly shown up how shit she was at being Home Secretary while the fact they had a snap election at all after promising not to said quite a lot in the first place. Through UK parliamentary history, more snap elections have gone wrong for those who called them then have gone right. 1923 snap election called by Conservative Stanley Baldwin resulted in a hung parliament, Baldwin resigning and the first ever Labour government. But Baldwin did then become Prime Minister two more times in his life because sometimes you can’t just get these things right first go. 1931, Labour Prime Minister Ramsey McDonald lost a snap election after his government split over dealing with the great depression. Some of them probably said regular exercise works best and the others said there was no evidence for that, probably. Anyway the Conservatives took over & Labour lost 80% of their seats in a proper seat stealing smackdown. 1951 snap election had Clement Atlee lose despite holding it to increase his government’s majority. Winston Churchill became PM again. Then 1974 Edward Heath’s snap election to try and get a mandate against the miner’s strike resulted in a hung parliament, and then a Labour government which is basically the exact opposite of a mandate against the miners strike so backfire ultimato. Only three snap elections in 1955, 1966 and 1974 went mostly the way they were intended. So what can we learn from history? Probably only that there’s every chance Stanley Baldwin could be Prime minister again on June 9th because he jus’ don’t know when to quit.
While I’d love to see May absolutely fail in every way, I’m not sure that would happen entirely. But if she’s called a snap election and doesn’t get an absolute majority with more than they got in 2015 – that’s 306 seats fact fans – then will she be forced to resign anyway? Or will she just not turn up in the first place and get replaced by Amber Rudd? If people want a change, will they still vote for the Conservatives who’ve been in power since 2010, generally cocked up loads since then but mostly blamed immigrants for it, and now say they’ll go through with Brexit but no one knows how, or more importantly, why. They’ve run such a poor campaign there’s part of me that almost wonders if they want to lose as they’ve backed themselves into such a tight corner with Brexit the only way out is to be forced out of it as someone else takes over. I mean would a leader who really wanted to win avoid so many debates, have such a poor manifesto targeted at prime voters, and refuse to even defend the London mayor against abuse from the US? Couldn’t she just have said ‘fuck this’ and quit seven weeks ago and saved us all the hassle? If May does want to lose how has she managed to even do that badly?
But despite Labour being further in the polls than expected and Jezza’s media appearances being much much stronger, people are still put off by Corbyn leading Labour because what if they can cost their policy and things start to work in the UK again, then what on earth will we shout about on Twitter? Labour have been super savvy with a manifesto people like, and while the IFS has criticised some of the costings mainly because it’s partly based on hope that tax avoiders will be haunted by three ghosts on June 8th and gain some morals, the fact is, at least it’s costed. The Conservatives accusations that Labour believe in a magic money tree is undercut by the fact that a) technically apart from the £5 notes and coins, money does come free trees as it’s mostly made of cotton paper so there, and b) that the Conservatives won’t even reveal where their magic money comes from or how much they’ll use of it, even though we all know its likely millionaire investors who’ll sway policy as a result.
Also for the campaign most of the Labour party have managed to pretend they’re a team. Well apart from candidate for Barrow and Furness John Woodcock who’s publicly said that if Labour win he’d demand they need a new leader. Though to be fair that might not be him being negative about Corbyn and it could just be that he loves the now annual tradition of a party leadership contest. There’s lots to say that if Labour did have a different leader now, the Tories would be even lower in the polls, but at the same time May probably wouldn’t have called a snap election if that was the case. Plus anything other than a supposedly very left wing but actually not that left wing manifesto might not have cut through public conversation in the same way. Who really knows? If you dislike Corbyn you might look to the US and see how Trump won despite being the outsider, if you like him you might look to Macron. Who really, is nothing like Corbyn either. But there’s been a spate of the outsider doing pretty well. Even if Labour don’t win but do better then expected that gives Corbyn enough reason to stay on as party leader which would no doubt please John Woodcock no end as who else would he want to invite to his traditional event?
I’ll be surprised if UKIP survive the night now that the Conservatives have stolen all their best material, though if the Conservatives don’t do as well as they thought and Labour do rise up, it might give UKIP a reason to stick around. Which always a shame. They’re like the barnacles of the political world in that they hang around leaving nasty scars but no one likes them and can’t wait for them just to fall off and die. I have no idea how the Lib dems will do. It seems their call for a 2nd referendum has done them more harm than good as Brits seem clear that Brexit is going to happen. They have truly underestimated the British value of just getting on with things even if they are hugely damaging. Yes my car does appear to be on fire but I mustn’t be late for work and I don’t want to make a fuss. The SNP will likely keep majority in Scotland but look set to lose a few seats possibly due to making this election for them about another independence referendum because due to years of a Conservative UK government some Scots think they might have to live at home a while longer. And the Greens will likely keep Brighton and possibly even get the Isle of Wight too but it’s hard to say now that Corbyn’s Labour seem to be appeasing Green voters as well. Which really, Greens should like as it’s far more energy efficient for one party to do it all.
Saying that the environment hasn’t come up much in this election. And hey why should it? I mean it only affects absolutely everyone. Neither has the possible threat of automation though I’m sure that’s because if May had to pick a side between robots and humans her programming wouldn’t allow her to pick the latter. And security has of course taken a much bigger centre stage than it would’ve done if the events of the past few weeks hadn’t occurred. Will the fact that Corbyn’s possibly got previous connections with a terrorist group from 30 years ago make a difference? Will the fact that May possibly has connections with people who fund terrorists now do it? Will it just make everything think oh fuck it all, how do I vote in a squirrel resulting in the 2017 Snap Election electing Henry J Nutsworthy as leader with his cabinet of ducks and Tony Bear who sadly eats his party leader in 2018 causing another snap election to occur.
I just don’t know. But we will soon. So please do go out and vote on Thursday. If it’s after Thursday and you’re listening to this thinking ‘ha he got it all wrong’ as we sit under Chairman May’s new strong handed regime where we disconnect from the world entirely in one fell swoop and the first Hunger Games is hosted by Graham Norton in November.
GO AND VOTE JINGLE
Personal bit why I’m voting Labour. Housing, education, policing, I hate May. Even if you hate Corbyn he’s the least shit shit.
And that is all for now and for Partly Political Broadcast under this government. I’ll be back next week with thoughts on what on earth did or didn’t happen and if it’s really bonkers and my hangover isn’t too awful, there may be a mini-episode out on Friday. Do come along to the election night gig at the Phoenix and if you do, come and say hello. I’ll also have various bits and pieces coming out over the next few days including a vid of a chat I had with Josie Long about housing, so I’ll post those up on the Partly Political Broadcast facebook group or the @parpolbro account on Twitter. As always you can drop me a line about anything on those sites or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also review the show on iTunes or Stitcher or at the site of the Raymond Revue bar which is now the Box Soho so I’m not sure you can review things, you probably just have to confine them. Don’t forget that if you have excess monies you need to shed then please donate to the show monthly at patreon.com/parpolbro or a one-off at ko-fi.com/parpolbro
Thanks as always to Acast for hosting the show, to my brother the last skeptik for the beats, my other half @proresting for reading through this shit when I ask her nicely and the Conservative government from 13th July 2016 to 7th June 2017 for making this show so much easier to write.
This week’s show was brought to you by the letter X which I shall be writing in a little box on Thursday like the world’s most minimalist pirate.