Episode 96 – The podcast returns with now parent Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) more weary and already loaded with awful dad jokes. ON this week’s show he chats to Marlon Soloman (@supergutman) about anti-semitism in UK politics, plus there’s a look at if London really is more murdererery than New York.
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The podcast returns with now parent Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) more weary and already loaded with awful dad jokes. On this week’s show he chats to Marlon Soloman (@supergutman) about anti-semitism in UK politics, plus there’s a look at if London really is more murdererery than New York.
At the end of the podcast Tiernan mentioned the Agitpod podcast:
Links and sources of info from Marlon Soloman’s interview:
All the usual ParPolBro stuff:
Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, a podcast that haphazardly dissects the past week’s political news and wonders on inspection, how it’s survived for so long with no heart or spine. This is episode 96, I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week I’m worried that if the government are bringing in the Serious Weapons Bill that angry teenagers will just find a way to kill each other with silly weapons like bananas, a clown’s shoe or anything the Foreign Secretary says.
Yes London now apparently has a higher crime rate than New York, though presumably that’s because New York’s biggest sex offender is now based in Washington DC. Sorry, that’s inaccurate of me. It’s not crime rate, it’s murder rate as the cities across the UK have seen a rise in teen violence involving weapons in something the Conservatives like to call ‘oh well it’ll only damage the Labour vote.’ More than 50 people have been killed in London already in 2018 something that is not to do with falling police numbers, even though a leaked report says it is, says Home Secretary Amber Rudd, a woman who looks like your mum’s scary friend, you know the one who when you were a kid would wait for your mum to leave the room then tell you how she once had to kill a pig with her bare hands. Rudd is partly right in that its not just the massive reductions in police officers and police resources in the last 8 years that have lead to this, but also all the cuts to youth services, family services, welfare services and more. Really it’s amazing that she’s surprised children are stabbing each other when the only example the government give is going round cutting things left, right and centre and expecting to get away with it.
Former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia have recovered from the nasty nerve agent against them in Salisbury, bringing up new conspiracy theories that whoever it was that did it might’ve just been a bit shit at their job. The Porton Down laboratory revealed that while it was likely to have been used by a Russian state actor, which I think means someone who does most of their national TV dramas like say their Bill Nighy, they said that they couldn’t verify the precise source of the Novichok agent. While this doesn’t mean it wasn’t Russia it does mean that once again Foreign Secretary and 4000 slugs in a trench coat Boris Johnson has been caught out as lying again after he said the scientists at Porton Down had said it definitely was Russia. Boris has of course handled this in his usual professional manner of acting like a child with cookies smeared round their face denying they even know what a cookie is, and said that he never said those comments before making sure the Foreign Office delete the tweets that say he did and pray that no one ever uses Google ever again to find all the interview footage where he definitely said it. I’m starting to wonder if Boris dreamed the Porton Down man had said that after eating too much ham before going to bed and is now very confused as to which bits he was actually awake for. Of course Porton Down saying that they aren’t sure if it’s Russia doesn’t mean it wasn’t Russia and doesn’t mean it is Russia either but what it does mean is that Boris’s pants are on fire and that he and Labour Leader Jeremy ‘I have special shoes for gardening’ Corbyn are having a spat as to who is the biggest idiot. Boris says Corbyn is the Kremlin’s useful idiot, a phrase that I assumed was what followed Johnson’s name on his business cards. He said that about Jezza because he refused to unequivocally blame Russia for the poisoning that no one yet has full evidence to use to unequivocally blame them with yet even though they probably did it. Meanwhile the Labour party have said Boris is the idiot because he’s undermined the government’s position by saying it was definitely them when no one knows it was definitely them even though it probably was them but there’s a small chance it also wasn’t. Got it? No? Good. Meanwhile Moscow still say it wasn’t them which doesn’t mean it wasn’t them either and the UK won’t let them investigate because if it was them then this would be a weird Dexter type situation. And while all this is happening the victims appear to now be ok, which is good, however because Sergei Skripal’s house was put on lockdown his two pet guinea pigs died of dehydration and his pet cat was found in a distressed state and had to be put down. No I don’t want to start any conspiracy theories of my own, but ignore Russia for a second, has anyone questioned suspicious looking local dogs? Was this a terrierist attack? Oh god I’m so sorry. But also not sorry. The dad jokes are falling out of me now and I can’t help it.
While Jewish people all over the world were celebrating their major annual holiday, one thing that didn’t Passover was accusations of anti-Semitism against the Labour Party. Hundreds of protesters campaigned outside parliament a week ago and this week outside Labour HQ to call for zero tolerance for anti-semitism in the party. Corbyn has responded by saying the Labour party has been too slow in dealing with cases of anti-semitism, in a statement that proved his point as he made it more than two years after the accusations were initially brought up. Several papers criticised the Labour leader for attending a Passover Seder with a left wing young Jewish group who apparently poke fun at establishment Judaism, you know like young people of most religious groups do. Part of critics complaints was that Corbyn brought them a beetroot from his own garden when in fact it was a horseradish. I can see how that could cause problems if you assume he’s visiting Jews to present them with beets, as opposed to embrace their er roots er vegetables. I’M A DAD NOW THESE JOKES WILL HAPPEN BECAUSE I’M SO TIRED.
Facebook is going to contact users to let them know if their data was shared with political psychometrics company Cambridge Analytica allowing people to find out if they were targeted because they were susceptible to racist ideology or if actually they weren’t but were just racists all along anyway. Senior figures from the company have been called to appear in front of parliament as part of an inquiry into fake news and misinformation and no one’s sure if answers will be demanded or if MPs just want to take down some hot tips for the upcoming local elections.
A new centrist party is being set up by the founder of LoveFilm, because he’s obviously just really into stuff that stopped being popular in 2009. The as yet unnamed party – though may I suggest The Middle Of The Road Party, the Paul Hollywoods, or perhaps the Liberal Democrats? – apparently has access to £50m of donations because what the UK needs right now is a party set up by a millionaire and backed by millionaires. They are aiming to break the mould of Westminster which is the sort of thing millionaires say because their cleaners are the ones that usually tackle mould and know what you need is a mildew spray and some rubber gloves. This is the umpteenth centrist party that’s supposedly been about to launch in the last couple of years to give a home to those who find Labour have gone too far to the left and I would say the Lib Dems have disappeared up their own arse but that’s the sort of thing their last leader would’ve condemned. Will a new party affect Labour votes or Conservatives votes as is likely to do with our ever two party first past the post system. Well boring centrist dad and man who’s name makes him sound like a limb thief Nick Clegg said he has not ruled out joining the new party so that means they’ll likely just be propping up the Tories.
And legendary children’s comic The Beano have issued a cease and desist letter to Slenderman’s Butler Jacob Rees Mogg to stop masquerading as Dennis The Menace’s enemy Walter The Softy. I don’t think that’s a fair comparison at all, as one is cartoon caricature of an out dated sterotype who divides his class through petty plots and tricks and the other is in The Beano.
Hey hey ParPolBrods! The podcast is back! Thank you all for sticking with it while I took two weeks off to try and adapt to parenthood and I’m pleased to say that two weeks in of looking after my tiny baby daughter, she is doing brilliantly and me and my wife are the tiredest humans ever to the extent that I think tiredest is a word. Everything you read says babies need to sleep 16 to 18 hours a day and when we read that pre-baby we thought ‘amazing! This should be easy!’ except no one tells you that sure they sleep but just in very short bursts broken up with the sort of screaming that sounds like someone is sacrificing an alpaca that at 3am. I’m supporting Frankie Boyle all month this month and let me tell you, there is nothing more fun than being in front of 400 people and forgetting what your joke is half way through it. Good times.
Thank you tons to Rob for the Stitcher review, which means there are three whole reviews on Stitcher now! Yeah! 3 whole ones, that’s the magic number so no more there please. I mean, no er please do 30 more reviews so there’s 33 there or you know three hundred and thirty reviews, that would be great. The reviews on iTunes have also dried up and look, I know it’s boring as you get asked to review bloody everything now online. I had an email asking to review a petrol station I’d been to recently and if I’d recommend it to others. What? Hey guys if you’re in need of petrol why not go out of your way to visit the Shell garage at the roundabout between the A12 and the M25 for a very unremarkable selection of snacks, a level of customer services that was so ok its not worth mentioning and some of that tasty overpriced world polluting petrol that you cant get elsewhere except all the other petrol stations. Actually what I should’ve done was recommend it on tripadvisor as a great place to see such sites as a lorry doing a 700 point turn because the slip road is too narrow and an unsightly pile of litter being pecked at by an equally unsightly pigeon and then maybe it’ll become so overrun with tourists no one will be able to buy petrol there again. Actually that’s a bit mean but all I’m saying is while reviewing that petrol station isn’t important, the only way this show can get boosted on iTunes or all those places is with more reviews and that so please spare two mins and say something nice please. Or even just something fine. Hit 5 stars and then say why this show is not as good as a petrol station and I’ll be just as pleased.
Also if you can donate to help this show keep happening that would also be amazing. This podcast is free and I entirely plan to keep it that way to stop me from shouting my odd thoughts in the park at strangers instead but in order to justify spending more time researching stuff and getting good guests it very much helps to be able to turn down other work to do this. So – and I did try to find music played on a tiny violin for this bit but it turns out they are called violas and it’s not the same – if you can donate to the slightly dwindling Patreon page which is at www.patreon.com/parpolbro for even one dollar a month, that’s a huge help, or buy me a coffee at ko-fi.com/parpolbro or, alternatively, spread the word about this show as the more listeners it gets the higher the tiny chance that I might earn anything from the ads on it ever ever because capitalism is a known evil but to defeat thy enemy you must know them so you know, help me get money and I’ll help take it down with sarcastic comments. That’s how it works right? And yes if you do all that, I might even bring the admin jingle back next week.
The only other bit of admin this week is to say that if you are a newer listeners – hello! – and also don’t forget to check out older episodes. I’m only going to briefly talk about all the grim youth murder stuff this week because back in episode 91 I interviewed Bob Singha who is a youth coach who’s worked for over two decades with young people involved in gang crime so do have a listen to that as it’s sadly still very relevant. I mean the jokes on that show aren’t though if that helps. Which it doesn’t.
Oh and some very nice news that came in last minute today is that for anyone who remembers my chat with Gracie at Against Borders For Children who were campaigning for the Department Of Education to stop collecting nationality and country of birth data of children as part of the government’s stringent immigration checks. Well the DfE have just u-turned on that data collection policy today which is really nice news. Right, now back to shitty news again.
Ok, so this week’s show is not a long one as just working out what to say in this bit took 40 minutes because it was interrupted by two nappy changes, but there is a chat with actor and writer Marlon Soloman all about anti-semitism even though Agitpod have already done that this week, the bastards, a little look at the rise in the murder rate and surprisingly this week, no Brexit. I KNOW! How nice is that? Its because Prime Minister and ghost train extra Theresa May has been spending her Easter holidays doing a UK tour, which sounds like a shit gig to me. Bet there won’t be any crowd pleasers, the same old playlist she’s been doing for years and support from sentient fog patch David Davis trying and failing to blow his own trumpet. But of course before all that, there’s a little short bit of this:
The sugar tax has come into force this week which means I’m gonna have to pay loads for my sweet ass… I mean, manufacturers either have to cut the amount of sugar in their drinks or pay a levy. The more sugar in the drink, the higher the tax, which should mean that between Coca-Cola and Red Bull, the UK deficit should be cleared within a week. It was actually estimated that this would bring £500m to the treasury but then several sneaky drinks companies cut the sugar in their drinks so now it’s reckoned to only bring half of that. More than 94% of people in Britain exceed the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of sugar intake but also have you seen the weather? If we can’t through this with booze and muffins, how else do we do it?
Will the sugar tax work? The Institute of Fiscal Studies says it may change how much sugar young people have but mostly people who have a high sugar diet will continue to do so and just be more poor because of it. Imagine that, getting a massive sugar crash and not being able to go anywhere to burn it off It does also disproportionally effect poor people because healthy food with less sugar is more costly already. Studies show the most likely people to be obese in the UK are those in the bottom 20% of earners, so by making them pay more for either the food they already have or even more for healthy grub, it doesn’t feel like the right way to drive a healthy initiative. Unless this is part of the on-going government plan to make people lose weight through starvation, in which case they’ll be sorry when everyone saves up to have just energy drinks all week and storms parliament once they’ve stopped shaking and pooing funny. Mexico introduced a sugar tax in 2014 and by the end of 12 months Mexican’s were having 12% fewer sugary drinks with the largest reduction in poorer households. So you never know, it could make a difference. Either way, I’m concerned about all those poor dentists who’ll be losing patients in the bucketload. Though if they all gnash their teeth in anger they should be able to stay afloat by treating each other.
Anti-Semitism when said with an American accent sounds like it might be a kindly relative who guards all people who speak semitic languages but still insists on kissing them on the lips when they visit. But sadly when not said in that accent, anti-Semitism is a horrible genre of racism directed towards Jewish people that has depressingly been prevalent in society since the 11th century. Recently it’s reared it’s ugly head in UK politics as accusations of anti-Semitism in the Labour party have been rife, something that seems at odds with Labour’s anti-racist stance unlike the Conservatives who happily hire vans to drive round and tell people to fuck off home. Labour members such as Ken Livingstone were suspended after he kept shouting Hitler a lot, in a rare case of a politician who’s later career would have done better if he’d been less honest, and various other members have been expelled or suspended for abuse ranging from supporting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories all the way to full holocaust denial. Something that I cannot understand because why would you make up an event so horrific if it didn’t happen and the fact that’s where deniers creative mind goes says a lot more about them than anyone else. Its like all these people who assume the anti-gun campaigners in the US are crisis actors. No, you clearly don’t know actors as if they were, they’d have already put it on their CV and be telling everyone they had a prominent speaking part. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has come under criticism for a facebook comment he made in 2012 in support of an anti-Semitic mural, proving that some art is shit, leading him to apologise and delete his facebook account which on the plus side means he now won’t be so susceptible to the Vote Leave campaign’s adverts. The biggest problem and I say this as an openly mostly Corbyn fan is that he has taken so long to condemn these accusations if at all and you can’t help but feel that if back in 2015 when this started to pop up he’d just dealt with it efficiently then, ejecting certain members, that maybe now it’d wouldn’t be such a problem.
While I have Jewish heritage – including a Russian Jewish great great grandmother who was once arrested for brewing her own alcohol like a hero – I am not Jewish myself, or if I am, only really the ish part. So aside from finding it pretty tricky to find anything humorous in this issue as you could tell by the sadly gagless end of that last paragraph, I also am not the right person to be telling you what is and isn’t anti-Semitic, so I thought it best this week to speak to Marlon Soloman an actor and writer who took his show Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard’s Tale, a show all about, well Conspiracy theories, and anti-Semitism to the Edinburgh Fringe and will be touring it around the UK later this year. Marlon explained exactly what anti-Semitism is, what should be done about it within Labour and the important differences between being pro-Palestine and criticising Israel and then crossing the line or, er, wall to anti-semitism.
During this some idiot on the street outside decided to start up drilling work. I mean I don’t think it was a random idiot, I think it was you know, workpeople who’ve been hired. I don’t think you can hear it but it’s also all I’ve been able to hear for the last two hours so I’m numb to it and now and really don’t know. Either way, hope you find this chat with Marlon as informative as I did. Here’s Marlon:
INTERVIEW WITH MARLON
We’ll be back with Marlon in a minute but first…
LONDON MURDER RATE
London has always been a bit on the murder side, what with Jack the Ripper and a place in Enfield called Shoot Up Hill. But according to recent statistics the capital of the UK now has a higher murder rate than New York, the place people basically go to get murdered. I mean they don’t, but if they did, that’s where they would. Now any true Londoner like myself would probably feel a little bit proud just because yeah we’re beating the yanks at something but it is obviously a rather disturbing statistic to hear about. But also fuck you America, goo Brits!! Sorry, I just can’t help it. But as with all of this sort of stuff, it’s not quite that straightforward. The cities are compared because they both have roughly the same population size of a bit more than 8.5m people which is why when you get on the tube or the subway you think ‘oh for fucks sake why don’t you all fuck off.’ The murder rate data, or muratadata as I call it and no one else does, is just from the last two months. In February London had 15 killings while New York had 11, and in March London had 22 while New York were only 1 behind with 21. So that’s a 5 murder difference in a very short period of time, so for all we know New Yorkers were just waiting till the end of March to get super violent, you know, in time for the Spring. I mean for a start in January New York had 18 killings compared to London’s 8, and it was January and people were miserable. So far this year London is 3 murders less murder than New York and last year it was a whole 174 dead bodies down. Actually what these figures show is that London’s murder rate has stayed pretty much the same since 2010 while New York’s has been declining due to methods of targeting gangs and repeat offenders, while getting police to work closely with communities where they perhaps weren’t so keen about the popo before. New York police are also using deadly force less often and using stun guns instead which I think just shoot out a pic of me looking sexy. I joke. But maybe they also do. But loads of criminologists say none of this crime reduction is to do with extra police presence in communities or any of that sensible sounding stuff, but more economic reasons with the JFA institutes studies saying interest rates, inflation and unemployment are more likely to cause crime than any other factor. It’s almost as if not being able to afford to live makes people do bad stuff rather than starve to death. Weird.
So looking back at London, while it’s overall murder rate is pretty low compared to worldwide, this recent increase, if it continues, could show things are getting pretty bad. While overall crime is falling, knife crime across the UK getting higher and higher with London’s figures being 114 knife attacks for every 100,000 people. So if you live in London and know that many people and only 113 of them have faced a knife attack, maybe stay in a while. The West Midlands have 56 per 100,000, then Yorkshire and the Humber at 52. So why is this? Well as everyone likes saying ‘there are a myriad of reasons’ which is a lovely way of saying ‘we’ve let too many things fuck up and now it’s got complicated.’
Part of the blame for the rise in knife crime and murder is pointed at police no longer using stop and search on account of them mainly unfairly targeting young black men, causing police to waste time and resources and not really catch anyone and it made people hate the police so all in all it’s probably not a great idea to start that again. It could also be, as a leaked Home Office report – something that really makes you wonder how good they are at protecting anyone if they cant look after their own shit – says because police numbers have fallen by over 20,000 between 2009 and 2017. But not all areas with falling police numbers are experiencing knife crime surges so that means Amber Rudd can pretend it isn’t a thing as long as she doesn’t look at the ones where it is a thing. The Sutton Trust announced this week that twice as many Sure Start children’s and family centres were shut down than official figures state since 2010, meaning that families no longer have support with everything from parenting classes to language therapy and more. Studies on Sure Start centres showed that these places helped families have less chaotic home lives and better relationships between children and parents. Between 2010 and 2016 youth centres suffered cuts of £387m with 350 youth centres closed and 41,000 youth centre places gone. Oh and several government policies are set to increase child poverty by 4%. Remember when May said she was all about helping JAMs? I’m not sure she knew the acronym meant Just About Managing Families and thought they’d be fine in ever stickier situations.
Now sure I’m ignoring elements of the drugs trade which could also be dealt with by more relaxed laws on prohibition and that universities unfairly exclude students from working class backgrounds, or that youth unemployment is high and it’s odd that the government are so confused as to what could be causing this rise in murders when they’ve basically written the recipe book and cooked up something really depressing. Like a sad murder lasagne. Or a violent moussaka. So is London as dangerous as New York? No, not yet and it’s only as dangerous now under Sadiq Khan as it was under sleeping bag full of trifle Boris Johnson when he was mayor and it wasn’t as important then. But if we really want to be better than New York, the capital and other UK cities needs to work hard to kill all the contributing factors so the only thing kids will want to murder is I dunno, a cup of tea, or a pie. Or a sad murder lasagne whatever that is. I really don’t know what that is but I assume it’s a multi layered crime. Yes I’m finishing this bit on that. Yes I am. You can’t do anything about it.
And now back to Marlon…
INTERVIEW WITH MARLON PART 2
Thanks to Marlon for having time to chat with me. Marlon can be found on Twitter @supergutman and his blog is at marlonsoloman.wordpress.com. Marlon’s show Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard’s Tale all about, well, conspiracy theories will hopefully be on tour soon so keep an eye out for that and Marlon does take bookings for it if you would like a performance of the show for your workplace, local venue, er, I’m not sure where else. Wedding? Funeral? Kid’s party? Probably not those ones, but it looks like it’s a fantastic show so do contact him if you’d like to see it. We discussed Israel several times in that chat and at some point in the future I would like to interview someone about that and the horrific violence from Israeli forces on the Palestinians that’s been happening again recently, so if you know of good people to chat to about that totally uncomplicated subject – SIGH – please let me know. Also do listen to this week’s AgitPod podcast too as they discuss the anti-semitism thing brilliantly as well with Micheal Segalov from Huck magazine and David Schneider and it’s a fascinating and informative chat too.
I’ve got some nice guests planned and hopefully a pal of mine for the big 100 hunner ep in a few weeks time but AS ALWAYS, and I’ve written that in caps but you can’t see that, so I’ll just say it like it’s in caps. AS ALWAYS please send me recommendations of people you’d like me to interview, or subjects you’d like me to find someone to interview about, and you can send all those to all the usual addresses, and some unusual ones like twelvety-speven Winklebob Avenue, Bishop’s Wangford, PostCode: AAA RGH. I mean it won’t get to me, but imagine the fun that’ll cause your local post office? So much fun.
And that is all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Many thanks for your ears, you may have them back now, I’ve run out of places to put them and my neighbours have noticed and are calling the police. Please do review the show on iTunes or Stitcher or maybe even just go into your local petrol station and shout ‘Partly Political Broadcast 5 stars’ just for my sake. If you can donate to the patreon of ko-fi I’ll be your best friend forever and please do just tell people you know and people you don’t know to have a listen, though if it’s the latter do it in a nice way, don’t just walk into the petrol station they are in and scare them by shouting ‘Partly Political Broadcast 5 stars’ as you may get in trouble.
Thank you to Acast for hosting this goddamn thang and to my brother the Last Skeptik for the musics even though he’s about to go to LA for three months so actually screw him the jammy bastard.
This will be back next week if there is a next week as while recording this week lymphadenopathy with a face and US President Donald Trump said he will make a decision on Syria within the next 48 hours and all I can think, no not you No one wanted you to fix this. Sure Assad needs to be dealt with but not by you. It’s like finally going into hospital to have a dangerous tumour removed only to find it’s being done by a blindfolded dog with forks for arms. So anyway, good luck everyone.
This week’s show was brought to you by Amber Rudd’s Security Force. Do you need protection and defence? Rudd will make sure you have a considerable amount less security than you had before then tell you to stop crying as you’re unable to stop people walking out of your open door with all of your stuff. Amber Rudd’s Security Force, the best defence is none at all, like barely any. Maybe just a beware dog sign. But you know, a funny one.