Episode 98 – Yo Windrush The Show

Released on Tuesday, April 24th, 2018.

Episode 98 – Yo Windrush The Show

Episode 98 – The Windrush Scandal, Brexit Fallout returns and Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) chats to Dr Dave O’Brien (@drdaveobrien) about the lack of working class representation in the arts. Also Tiernan has hayfever due to some evil karma from his bad joke last week, so please excuse a few dodgy edits to get rid of sniffs!

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Further Reading

Linear liner notes

Episode 98 – The Windrush Scandal, Brexit Fallout returns and Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) chats to Dr Dave O’Brien (@drdaveobrien) about the lack of working class representation in the arts. Also Tiernan has hayfever due to some evil karma from his bad joke last week, so please excuse a few dodgy edits to get rid of sniffs!

Links and sources of info from Dr Dave O’Brien’s interview:

All the usual ParPolBro stuff:


Transcript

EPISODE 98

Welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, a podcast that cross examines the past week’s politics, although what other way to examine it is there when it’s all so angry making. This is episode 98, I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week I have taken initiative from the government and created my own hostile environment policy whereby if you plan to come over and visit our new baby for more than an hour I will make it as difficult as possible for you to stay, with as much yawning, phone checking and endless talking about nappy changes until you give up and self deport.

Yes according to the government, an administration error lead to the Home Office swooping in and ruining the lives of many British citizens of the Windrush generation, people who have lived and worked in the UK for decades. I mean, c’mon. I’ve made loads of admin errors in my time and worst that ever happened was a double booking or a lost invoice. I’ve never fucked up admin so much that people got deported. But it must’ve just been an error right because how else could you explain that a government like ours would have such a change of character so quickly? It’s miles apart from all those detention centres that detain immigrants indefinitely, Brexit or you know, those vans that were commissioned to drive around and tell people to go home, or face arrest. That’s arrest as one word, it wasn’t a passive aggressive way to tell people who came to the UK to work really hard, that they should have a well deserved break. Former aide to the PM and man who looks like he should spend his time singing the tales of Frodo Baggins Nick Timothy, quit Twitter after suggesting that Prime Minister and only person for whom the recoil reflex is her default setting Theresa May had not authorised the racist vans in 2013. But it turned out, like everything Nick Timothy’s ever said to anyone, he was wrong. Instead it seems May not only backed the scheme but also personally intervened to make sure the language on the vans was toughened up because previously I think they were just going to say ‘hey, where are you from? No I mean originally?’

In amongst all this, Environment Secretary and bee stung protruding colon Michael Gove told Radio 4’s Today Program that the UK had a more welcoming attitude to immigrants than any other country in the EU, and yes, he’s right because while Sweden and Germany rank amongst the best countries in the world for immigrants, how many of them stock the Daily Mail as the first free paper you receive at the airport on arrival? So welcoming! I mean why not just loop the airport departure lounge so the signs to ‘arrivals’ point you straight back on the plane you arrived on? Of course Jacob Rees Mogg, a man who clearly drills holes into the attic floor to spy on the people below him, blames the whole windrush scandal on the EU who have made Britain the sort of country who demand to see your papers. I mean, this is confusing as Mogg has regularly voted in favour of a stricter asylum system and tougher enforcement of immigration rules, but here he is, suggesting no one needs any papers at all and passport checks should just have their gates open like the Boxing Day sales at Next. I’m sure that’s not it. I reckon it’s way more likely that he envisions a world where everyone is checked by colour of skin, accent and whether or not they’ve been brought over to work on his garden or be his children’s nanny.
Labour leader and toothbrush in a suit Jeremy Corbyn, got very excited at the prospect of not being pinned as the racist party leader of the week, and has told the government to end their hostile environment policy, which is basically a veiled way of saying just quit. I’m pretty sure just knowing who the UK government are puts a lot of people off coming. May has apologised and said those who have been treated unfairly by the home office will be compensated where appropriate. Considering most people affected by this have lost their homes, jobs, health care and dignity, what on Earth do they have to do to be deemed appropriate for compensation? I worry May will demand that they prove they’re grateful for being treated as second class citizens before having to perform a traditional ceremonial dance. So far May’s apology has been to look at plans that will unfairly discriminate against migrant voters in the next election by asking for identification at the polling station. Great! Look how welcoming we are! Come to Britain and if we allow you to stay, we’ll take all the hassle of democracy out of your hands too! Why add the worries of voting to your concerns about being forcefully shoved onto a plane over night to send you back to a country you’ve never been to in the first place? Yes you will be able to grab a free Daily Mail before you fly. God we’re so, so welcoming eh?

In Brexit news, and yes there is some this week, the Lords proved they’re not dead yet once again by voting 348 to 225 that the government have to look into the possibility of staying in the EU customs union, something that the government are insisting they won’t do. Classic Brits, assuming that they’re welcome everywhere else while they won’t let anyone come here. They’re like the dodgy boyfriend who always wants to stay at yours and never at his, and then one day you sneak round and find out it’s because he lives in a rose tinted gaslighted version of the past. It does seem more and more like Brexit will be pretty much what we had before but worse and for more money. Which is odd, because when that happened to Freddo’s, people were livid.

Meanwhile across the world, North Korea have announced they are suspending nuclear testing. That must be because they’ve recently seen how pointless they are while US President and untreated ulcer Donald Trump is able to ruin an entire country just by tweeting.

And lastly, as I’m recording this, the Duchess of Cambridge has gone into hospital to give birth to their third royal baby but the question is, what if The Queen rejects this possible host body too? Meanwhile the new baby’s granddad Prince Charles has been named as the new head of the Commonwealth which is a surprise to no one. I’m not saying it would make up for the Windrush Scandal but if everytime he was going to fly on diplomatic duties to a commonwealth country it would really help if he was just unexpectedly bundled onto a plane, late at night by some Serco guards.

ADMIN

Yeah here we are again. And there you are again. Look at you with your face and you know, face accompaniments. Thanks you for listening once again. I am the victim of karma this week as after I did a truly shit joke about hay fever on episode 97, I’ve been hit full in the face by hayfever this week. I believe it is all the tree pollen, which is essentially tree jizz, getting all up in my face. I’m a big fan of nature but ever year when my eyes start streaming and nose running I do have moments where I think all plant life can absolutely do one. On the plus side it does now look like I’m crying all the time which means after I see Avengers: Infinity War this weekend it will provide a good disguise for my likely emotional distress. Oh god it’s so stressful, who will die? Is it Cap? Is it Iron Man? Is it the Marvel franchise because after 20 films we’re like, yeah, that’s enough now? So tricky to call.

I’ll tell you some superheroes I’ll never bore of though, that’s right, it’s you lot who keep adding reviews to the iTunes page along with some very lovely words, so please do keep doing that as it really helps the show and you never know, you might end up with your own Marvel film in about 40 years time when they’ve run out of everything else and are left with you and I dunno, Manfred Mann. If you don’t use the iTunes which my incredible stats – another possible superhero – suggest most of you do, then please do give the show a review on Stitcher or anywhere else that allows you too. Try, I dunno, Just Eat? Then maybe people will order deliveries from me and I’ll read some words into a pizza box and they’ll be super disappointed when it arrives. Also if you can donate to this podcast that’d be appreciated and you can do that with a teeny tiny monthly donation to the Patreon at www.patreon.com/parpolbro or a one off buy me a coffee type donation at ko-fi.com/parpolbro. And this week I will use all donations to hire someone to go round telling trees to bloody stop it.

Also this week, PLAY THE UH OH I DONE A PODCAST THAT ISN’T MY OWN ONE KLAXON

KLAXON SOUND

I did a podcast that isn’t this one. GASP AND SHOCK. Yep if you want more of my voice in your ears check out the brilliantly 3 Track podcast that was featured in the Guardian a while back. It’s hosted by the lovely Gabriel Eblulu who has the best radio voice ever. He should definitely definitely be on 6 music. And the point of the show is that guests pick their favourite three tracks which was impossible for me and caused a minor break down. Anyway, aside from me having a mind blank on Nat King Cole songs which was stupid, and forgetting entirely about being a runner at Ninja Tune or my favourite hip hop MCs, it was a very fun chat. So 3 Track Podcast, go download and listen to that.

Oh and this past weekend I watched the BBC4’s Imagine series on Cuba, it’s called habeneros. It’s amazing and very worth a watch with some amazing footage from 40’s and 50’s Cuba onwards. It’s the first documentary I’ve seen that really captures how odd Cuba is and was. I went there in 2007 and it’s hard to explain how weird it is seeing an oppressive police force and buildings falling apart, but happy, very health children playing in the streets, feeling safe like I’d never seen before. I also realised on that trip that they don’t think ham is a meat. I’m veggie so there’d be a cheese sandwich or a cheese and ham sandwich, so I’d ordered the cheese one, and it’d come with ham, just less ham than the cheese and ham. Incredible. Anyway with Raul Castro stepping down last week and it being the first time a Castro hasn’t been leader of Cuba for well over 50 years, it’s a good time to watch it on the iplayers.

On this week’s show though, I am talking to Dr Dave O’Brien about the newly released Panic 2018 report into under-representation of the working classes in the arts, plus a look at the Windrush Scandal and a teeny, yes sorry, bit of Brexit Fallout. But at least that goddamn jingle returns amIright? And that’s what we’ll have to comfort us in 2021 as who knows what will happen, we’ll always have that jingle. Even though you can’t eat it, even if I play it into a pizza box and have it delivered right to you. Speaking of which, have this aural pizza too:

INTERVIEW – DAVE O’BRIEN – PANIC

Where are all the working class people in the arts? And no, don’t say Eastenders because actually most of the actors playing the parts in Eastenders aren’t and, also, I said arts. It probably won’t surprise you that there is huge under representation of anyone who isn’t Benedict Cumberbatch, or at least also a middle to upper class white male, across the whole arts industry. We’ve seen the Oscar’s so white protest from a couple of years back that slightly changed with Moonlight winning in 2017 but only after the wrong film was read out because black films are that invisible to the movie community, and then this year Get Out was beaten by Shape Of Water, a film about a giant fish man. Oscars’s so whitebait? But it’s not just films, it’s theatre, radio, visual arts, dance, and all across the arty spectrum, which should really have more colours than any other just by nature of genre alone. You ever noticed how it’s mainly white people who work at museums? And how they don’t like it when you try to kiss the paintings? Sorry, I mean as someone who works in the comedy industry, if you can call that arts, I’ve really noticed the difference the cost of living has had on who has decided comedy is a career for them. Professional acts are having to resort to extra day job work while new acts from wealthy backgrounds can afford to have accommodation while earning nothing and still somehow pay thousands to be part of the Edinburgh Fringe. This is the same for any arts subject that is underpaid and so can now only be taken up by those who can already support themselves. Not only that but so many television shows focus on the rich, with there still being a dearth of programming about any other area of society, unless you count the news.

So as I said, none of that will likely surprise you but a good way to tackle and put forward the need for changes is sturdy research proving this is the case. The Panic 2018 report was published last week and is billed as the first sociological study on social mobility in the cultural industries. I spoke to one of the paper’s authors, Dr Dave O’Brien at Edinburgh University who explained to me why the arts industry is so socially closed, and no its not just because we’re all awkward offstage. Dave explained to me the many reasons working class people, as well as women and people of colour are neglected across the arts and thankfully we didn’t at all discuss the kissing paintings thing. I found this a really fascinating chat and as you will hear, I probably interjected with slightly too many ‘but what about comedy’ questions because that’s all I understand.

Here is Dave:

INTERVIEW PART 1

And we’ll be back with Dave in a minute but first:

WINDRUSH JINGLE

There’s something about the name The Windrush Generation that makes me imagine a group of specially trained warriors who can control weather stuff, like the Last Airbenders but with a less homophobic and thus had to be changed for the UK name. But actually The Windrush Generation is the term for people who arrived in the UK from 1948 to 1971 from the Caribbean, with the term coined after the first boat that arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex in 1948 with 492 passengers, The MV Empire Windrush. God they were so lucky not to have to do that in Boaty McBoatface era. The reason they headed to the UK? Well we needed workers as after the war, loads of our lot were dead because you know, war. I mean it is baffling how so many anti-immigration protestors are also so pro-war because ultimately they’re going to be upset at some point. There’s no actual record how many came over during those years because children arrived on parents passports and many didn’t apply for travel documents but we do know that now, in the UK there are about half a million people that were born in a Commonwealth country. So that’s 500,000 people whose families travelled to the UK to help work and keep the country going after the war. So why, when they’ve spent decades adhering to the bigoted standards of British Values and contributing to the country that gave them indefinite right to remain, are so many now finding themselves chased down by the Home Office and threatened with deportation?

I’ve got no idea. BYYEEEEE. Hear you next week!

I’m joking. There are a number of reasons and none of them are remotely ok and pretty much just highlight the institutionalised racism in not only our current government, but also the Labour Party and society and the Star Wars prequels. Ok not the last one because we all know how it’s there don’t we? There’s just no hiding it.

So first reason and the main reason is because our current government have a record of this. No, it’s not Mike Read’s UKIP Calypso, but it may as well be as they’ve been pandering to the anti-immigration demands that were brought to the forefront by everyone’s least favourite party of gammon. In 2010 the Conservatives brought in the Hostile Environment Policy. No it’s got nothing to do with my flat after I’ve had beans. Instead it was a set of measures to make staying in the UK as difficult as possible for people without leave to remain. I mean, as if our shitty weather, constantly failing transport, collapsing councils, austerity measures and at the time having a Prime Minister who looked like someone punched some wafer thin ham slices together, wasn’t enough. Why would you try to get rid of anyone who can survive all that? Well its because the Conservatives pledged to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands which was a stupid promise firstly because they refuse to remove foreign students from those figures which is roughly 130,000 a year, and for who the benefits of their arrival outweigh the cost by 10 times. As said a study by the Higher Education Policy Institue, so it did. Secondly overall immigration figures in 2016 were 588,000 including those foreign students, so to narrow that down to just tens of thousands requires drastic and unnecessary action that not only ruins all the industries those people are coming to work in across the board, but also really doesn’t suggest to other countries that we’re too great to work with. Hey! Come trade and work with us, no no we’ll come to you. No by come I meant not here. You stay there, we’ll peruse how you can help us from over Skype. We’ve got the best higher educational institutes in the world. No you can’t study there. No just look at this picture and we’ll send you some worksheets. And thirdly or is it fourthly? Anyway, somethingthly it’s also going to be near impossible to do, unless you really do surround the country with massive electric fences and close all airports and docks, or alternatively, encourage so many Brits to leave that the net migration figure will be zero. Which to be fair, does often seem like their plan.

Now back in 2010, everyone’s favourite taxidermied bird of prey and least favourite Prime minister Theresa May was of course Home Office secretary and she said quite openly on 2012 – you know the year we invited the world to come over for the Olympics – that the aim was to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants. So plans went into place for a deport first, appeal later application process because that’s really handy if you come from a war torn area and have to get sent home and fight for your life while trying to find a decent wi-fi connection and fill out an overly complicated form. Then there was a policy to remove any homeless European union citizens which may explain why the government have increased homelessness by double, as some sort of horrific escalating drastic plan to deport several of them. Then there was the really nasty assumption that people would do the snitching work for them with NHS staff, charities, banks and landlords being required to carry out ID checks, which has lead to people not being given homes or accounts because of their name and birthplace. Schools were required to collect date on children, up until recently when Against Borders for Children won their case. Then there were the oppressive Immigration Detention Centres that I interviewed Mia Sullivan about last week and of course, the go home racist vans. These were commissioned to drive around the UK with a big sign saying ‘go home or face arrest’ which shocked everyone because we had no idea you could make van drivers even more racist.

This hostile environment policy has purposefully complex rules with even the court of appeal referring to them as Byzantine, which is an interesting term because that also refers to the actions of an empire that was on it’s last legs. But these policies were popular for an era of newly revived nationalism, and because it allowed the government to go ‘hey you know all those austerity policies that we brought in that are destroying you and you know that big crash what the banks did, well look over there, that man has a funny accent so it’s probably actually his fault because he wants to work in the NHS and heal people.’ Labour backed the 2014 Immigration Act that the hostile environment policy was part of, with only 18 MPs voting against it. They even had a mug that said ‘controls on immigration’ on it, you know so you could get it for people who want everyone to know how they like their coffee.

But the government has been warned about the effects of this policy and that people such as those from the Windrush Generation would be targeted and mostly, the government have not given much of a fuck. The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and Liberty the civil rights group released a dossier in 2014 highlighting the impact of the policies, Diane Abbott raised it in the commons in 2014, and even last month May was told of the case of a man who was being denied cancer treatment unless he paid over £50k even though he’d lived in the UK for 44 years, and May said she sympathised but would not intervene as he needed to evidence his settled status. I don’t even believe the sympathise bit personally. She hasn’t passed that bit of the Turing test so far in my book.

And so here we are, with The Windrush Generation finding that they do not have evidence they should be in the UK. Many of the landing cards belonging to them were destroyed in 2009 by the UK border agency on data protection cards, something that Theresa May used against Labour in PMQs because there’s nothing like political point scoring over people being deported, which is the sort of thing the Conservatives would say if it was the other way round. But it was an agency decision not a ministerial one. The government now say there is no question that these people should have a right to stay but there’s likely to be around 60,000 people affected and if the Home Office can’t handle that it’s quite worrying about what will happen when 3m EU citizens suddenly become categorized as immigrants too after Brexit. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the Home Office had become too concerned with policy and strategy and lost sight of the individual. Which explains why she’d lost sight of being the individual in charge of it all. Rudd told the Commons that the State had made an error. You’re the state Rudd! It’s you! No wonder she’s not sure if these people are citizens, she has no clue where she works or where she is.

This should be a resignation issue for Rudd and May. It was brought in when May was Home Secretary and Rudd has now continued that legacy. But it won’t be, despite pressure from Labour MP David Lammy who’s been on this since the beginning, and Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbot. Instead May has apologised for any anxiety caused, because that will really help those who’ve lost homes and jobs and cancer treatments. Maybe she could also have a thought for them, you know before she goes to sleep or perhaps send some wishes. Rudd has waived language tests and citizenship fees for any Windrush generation families, which is nice because they can apply for those to be sent to the homes they no longer have. It is the very least they could do and they only did it because people noticed. It’s one thing to pick on people immigrating over the to the UK now, but picking on the people bigots think are good immigrants was one step too far. Not those immigrants they say, they learned the language and didn’t take our jobs and benefits at the same time like some sort of magic money wizards. Ultimately all of this scandal will eventually just be blamed on an administration fault. Then in years to come people will wonder what happened here and someone will say it was probably a bad immigrant that lost some important papers and it’ll all start again because no one ever learns anything ever.

And now, back to Dave.

INTERVIEW PART 2

Thank you to Dave for the interview. The Panic 2018 report can be found in full at createlondon.org/event/panic2018 and Dave’s own Twitter account is @drdaveobrien. Or if you go to Edinburgh University, just go and annoy him on campus. Probably. Dave gave a very long list of recommends which I’ll post on the Twitter and Facebook later this week, but a special shout out to Arts Emergency who are a brilliant brilliant charity to help get arts to those young people who have less access to them. Do find them at arts-emergency.org or on Twitter @artsemergency.

Do you have someone political like you’d like me to interview for this podcast? Is there a burning issue I haven’t yet covered that you’d like me to find someone to interview about? Let me know at partlypoliticalbroadcast@gmail.com or via @parpolbro on Twitter or the Partly Political Broadcast facebook group that I am rubbish at being admin on and keep forgetting to post things. Or suggest yourself as an interview then when I call you up, only answer questions with names of people you’d like me to interview instead and after a very short amount of time I’ll do a swear then hang up. But I’ll also secretly admire you for a damn devious plan.

BREXIT FALLOUT

Brexit stuff is happening again and by happening again, I mean nothing is really happening. I mean it is, but it’s things like the Lords debating the EU Withdrawal bill on the issue of the UK staying in a customs union with the EU after Brexit and they voted overwhelmingly that it should. Sort of. They actually voted in favour of a plan meaning ministers would have to keep reporting on the steps of negotiating maybe needing a customs union maybe. I mean basically, as long as someone shouts ‘oi oldies, we’ve had a chat about it with them lot who like waffles, and we’re not sure yet’ just once every so often, that’ll do. Apparently this defeat is embarrassing to the government but I’d have thought it’s not as embarrassing as still not having a plan for if we don’t have a customs union with the EU even though they’re saying we won’t. Aren’t you glad this section is back?

Let’s quickly go through this again. Why would we want to be in a Customs Union with the EU? Well that’d mean that we’d share the same taxes on imports to goods from outside the union, as the rest of the EU, meaning once they’ve cleared customs in one country, they can go to others without extra costs. It’s like how you know if you order several things online and then you only pay postage and packaging once cos they all get put together in an overly large cardboard box with the sort of plastic bubble wrap you could disguise a body in and you’re like, but I only ordered three books and a pencil. Yeah, sort of like that. Except you know, also not. It would also mean that there could be an open border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which you know, would be nice.

So why wouldn’t we want one? Well because Disgraced MP Liam Fox The Disgraced is a bellend, but also it’d supposedly mean we couldn’t strike trade deals with countries around the world, even though some EU countries have done that and we might be able to negotiate a new customs union that allowed some of that except we probably can’t because the people we have doing the negotiating couldn’t win an argument with a soggy paper bag with the words ‘I’ve given up’ written on it in black marker and containing a rat waving a small white flag. And of course, why would you want an easy solution for Ireland and Northern Ireland when you can pretend you’re going to use technology to sort it all out even though you have a government that doesn’t understand encryption or how to use Facebook or driverless cars so I’m sure invisible customs checking border technology that doesn’t exist should be a whizz for them.

So Labour want a new customs union with Europe that would be like the old one only not and because May is banking her whole Brexit stance, albeit a stance that mainly involves her on her back legs in the air, flailing around like a stuck tortoise, on the idea we’ll leave the customs union, rules are that Conservative ministers are drawing up a plan for a customs union in all but name to get around it. Yes that old gem that we’ve already heard with freedom of movement, and well, all of Brexit. The papers are calling it an alternative customs union which means it’ll either be lo-fi or grungy, or run by angry misogynistic pro-Nazi teenage boys from their room at their mum’s house.

Nicky Morgan, the Tory MP who always looks like a pet who is worried it’s owner isn’t coming back, she has called for rational debate on this. Has she not been paying attention to any of Brexit so far? There’s no such thing. Chances are she’ll be called a traitor for even mentioning the word rational as that goes against all of it. Meanwhile the plans for what will happen to EU citizens in the UK after Brexit will finally be revealed in the coming months. Judging by the Windrush Scandal I’m sure the full plan will be for May to say she’s sorry for any anxiety caused then she’ll just hope no one asks her about it again and she can quickly deport everyone. So only 9 months to go till article 50 kicks in then another 21 months till we properly leave. And all we have to sort out in that time is the EU Withdrawal Bill, the Irish Border, Free Trade Agreements with absolutely everyone, regulatory divergence ie how closely it stays aligned with EU regulations, a post Brexit EU deal, and well, what anyone actually wants from this and why oh why David Davis gets hired to do anything. Why do I get the feeling I’ll be giving you exactly the same run down in December 2021? I suggest we call it a traditions intercourse and just keep it exactly the same otherwise. Someone give me a job.

END

And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Ta for the loan of your ears, I will now return them with added interest. I’m not sure how that works. You may now just have bigger ears. Apologies to your hats and or correctly fitted ear wigs. Please do donate to the show if you can afford to at either the Patreon or the Ko-Fi site, and do give the show a review on iTunes, Stitcher, Audihole, Glibsyn, or Buzztwat or any others that I’ve just invented.

Thanks to Acast for hosting this hour of noise and to my brother The Last Skeptik who does all the musics. I saw him on Sunday and he was exhausted because he’d been out drinking with Taika Wahiti, yes that one, and I was exhausted because I had to change my daughter’s nappy at 3am while she screamed in my face. So it’s nice to know we’re both living the dream. Sigh.

This will be back next week when the government will announce new hostile environment policy of just painting Michael Gove’s stupid face onto the white cliffs of Dover to ward everyone away.

BYEEEEEEE

This week’s show is brought to you by Theresa May’s anxiety remedy. Feeling concerned about being unfairly deported? Worried you’ll never see your family again because someone can’t do admin? Well take one of these pills and it will do the absolute least possible to make you feel better. Theresa May’s anxiety remedy, for when you don’t really want to do anything about a problem but want to tell everyone you care.

Email Tiernan