Episode 127 – Theresa May’s new old plan that is full of the same things but different! No confidence in May’s Deal, some confidence in May, none at all in the quality of this podcast or Tiernan’s (@tiernandouieb) well being after the past week of politics! Plus an interview with Charlotte Hughes (@charlotteh71), blogger and campaigner, about the horrors of DWP sanctions and universal credit. And some unnecessary sound effects!
You can find Charlotte’s blog here: thepoorsideof.life
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Theresa May’s new old plan that is full of the same things but different! No confidence in May’s Deal, some confidence in May, none at all in the quality of this podcast or Tiernan’s (@tiernandouieb) well being after the past week of politics! Plus an interview with Charlotte Hughes (@charlotteh71), blogger and campaigner, about the horrors of DWP sanctions and universal credit. And some unnecessary sound effects!
Links and sources of info from Charlotte’s interview:
All the usual ParPolBro stuff:
Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the podcast that looks at current politics and laughs because, well, have you seen it? I’ve seen more reassuring blood clots. This is episode 127, I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week Brexit continues to be the kind of car crash that only happens because a 97-year-old Royal assumes people will swerve for him if he just keeps careering forward without looking. Prime Minister and sad boom mic Theresa May says she is looking for ways to break the parliamentary deadlock that exclude her listening to anyone or resigning or doing anything remotely useful. So far her main plan appears to be to bring her old plan that was historically defeated in Parliament, and reintroduce it as her plan B with the hope no one will notice. She hasn’t even tried to put a moustache or glasses on it, and in a way I think fair play to her. It’s the old Robert The Bruce method of try, try, try again, just with May there’s absolutely no desire to listen to the needs of the Scottish people. Of course a better solution would be for May to listen to criticism and work on something better, but what the past week has shown is that May is the sort of person who if she was having an argument with her husband, whatever his name is Brian or Vanessa or whatever, about who should take the bins out this week, she’d have rubbish banned from the UK, change the definition of the words bins and have all the collection men deported before even considering saying ‘I’ll do it as you did it last week’.
So far, her promise of cross-party talks have mainly involved her confronting other Conservatives, who to be fair, are a very cross party right now, so I suppose it’s not that inaccurate. Labour leader and fuzzy felt construct Corbyn refused to meet with May to discuss her new plan which was actually her old plan, on account of her refusing to take the possibility of a no deal off the table, which probably she didn’t do on account of that not being possible or maybe because that wasn’t in the first plan no one liked so why change it? While it isn’t possible, that didn’t stop Chancellor and man entirely made of coat hangers Philip Hammond assuring businesses that it could be done so it seems its’ entirely possible to reserve a place at the table if you pay shitloads for a reservation.
Meanwhile Disgraced MP Liam The Disgrace Fox reached out for solutions by accusing Remainer MPs of trying to steal Brexit, which adds a value to it that we all know it doesn’t have. Rather than pinch it, I think Liam, you’re going to have to pay someone to take it away and probably offer to take them on some diplomatic trips with you at the taxpayers’ expense.
Last week May’s Deal suffered a historic defeat in the Commons with a majority of 220 against which is the most a government has ever lost a Parliamentary vote by ever, so its nice to know May is good at something, even if its being the worst. Many commentators said that no other Prime Minister had been humiliated like that, which is especially damning considering everyone said for at least a year that the last PM fucked a pig. Everyone knew May would lose the vote, but that didn’t stop her trying to avoid it, pleading with MPs to support unity over division, you know, as if Sam Beckett had just Quantum Leapt into her body with absolutely no idea of what had happened over the past two years. Environment Secretary and what if Chucky from Rugrats was neglected as a child Michael Gove warned that ‘Winter Is Coming’ quoting Game Of Thrones, a popular fantasty and therefore the exact opposite of May’s Deal. Of course Gove watches that show and I bet he does so while taking notes for his own career. ‘Hmm stabbing someone who thought you were their ally…working with an icy dragon…bastards battling bastards…’
Pairing was suspended for the vote meaning that heavily pregnant Labour MP and woman who always looks like she’s about to ask you to sign up to a student campaign group Tulip Siddiq had to delay her planned caesarian and get to the House of Commons in a wheelchair, which must’ve confused the DWP as to whether her turning up to work to vote against May’s deal was exactly what they wanted or not. Nothing more powerful than a constant reminder to the government of someone who’s future they’re actively ruining. There were four amendments put forward, but three were pulled and fourth, the Baron amendment, so called because the MP who proposed it and Reese Shearsmith character John Baron, is clearly incapable of bringing any joy into the world. His amendment was to give MPs the option to terminate the Northern Irish backstop, which can’t be done but also if it had gone through would’ve gone through to be on a Deal that didn’t go through. It was a huge waste of time and voted down at 600 votes to 24, which you could say, if nothing else, made May’s defeat look less awful. Imagine that being your legacy. John Baron’s main achievement in 2019 was seeming even more shit and less popular than Theresa May. It’s like winning ‘Greatest Idiot’ award or ‘Best Moron’. Then May’s Deal was defeated 432 votes to 202, proving that it was a terrible plan across the board, except for a few Conservatives and three Labour MPs who voted with May, because what kind of opposition are they, if they’re not always opposing themselves? And while we all knew May’s Deal would fail, it was still so satisfying seeing her lose at something. To be honest, I’d be pleased right now if I heard she’d lost the end of the cellotape. But rather than resign, which we all know May will never do as it’d require some sort of ancient incantation spell, she challenged Jeremy Corbyn to call a vote of no confidence in the government and so he did, like a weird bearded fish seeing bait on a hook connected to a line of power.
On the Wednesday there was a debate on the No Confidence vote, following one on low level letter boxes which seemed at odds with the later one, till you remember they’re both essentially about problems with delivery. The No Confidence debate though was somehow even more boring, like the world’s shittest comedy roast. Gove did a lot of boring wanging on in his speech which many said was the best speech of his career, proving just how awful the rest of his time in Parliament has been. Everyone else either said why they thought May was rubbish or they lied. The whole thing must’ve been massively confusing for many Conservatives who are only usually used to saying they have confidence in someone just before they’re forced to resign. May won the vote by 325 to 306, as several Conservatives who had absolutely no confidence in her deal the day before, now suddenly backed her as though maybe they’d misread the ballot and assumed it was a vote against Meresa Thay. In most respects compared to the meaningful vote the night before, this one was a meaningless vote, but the results did show that if big fans of Luther the DUP had voted against her, May would’ve lost by 1 vote. I think that works out at…. hang on…. one hundred million pounds per vote. Phew. Money well spent eh? Still it meant May won by 51-52% of the vote so I guess that’s final and no one can ever question it ever again no matter how pointless. There we go, there’s confidence in a woman who’s failed to sort out a deal within two years of Brexit, did badly at a snap election she called to boost her majority and had to pay people to like her. I’m amazed the whole vote didn’t end with a small boy standing up shouting ‘but can’t you see, she’s not wearing any clothes?’ May offered the other party leaders to meet her for cross party talks, because why not offer an olive branch when you’re holding onto it in an ever faster flowing river, hoping someone will help you out?
May gave a speech at 10pm that night prompting everyone to wonder if she was going to say something actually important like sod it, I’m off, or that maybe she was now hosting the Oscars or that Brexit means Sexit. But no, it was pretty much exactly what she said earlier, only in a more boring way. ‘The people want us to get on with delivering Brexit’ she said, while faffing about ruining everyone’s evening instead of doing something useful. I bet she’s also the sort of person who insists on making speeches at weddings, delaying dessert, just to say she agrees with what everyone else has just said. May insisted that she wants to do what’s in the national interest and yet hasn’t resigned so that’s clearly bullshit.
Earlier that day the Conservatives had admitted that May had not invited Corbyn to any cross-party speeches but by that night May was blaming him for not wanting to meet with her. I was certain that by the Thursday her friend would ask him if he prefers May or her, and then by Friday he’d pass a note to her pal during class and then by Saturday they’d be going out but only holding hands. Corbyn did say he wasn’t going to meet May unless she promised to take the possibility of a no deal off the table, which is ridiculous because no deal will automatically be on the table if we don’t have a deal by March 29th. No Deal is the wasp at a picnic in summer. It’ll definitely be there ruining everything unless you prepare adequate cover. At the same time May could at least have tried to make some effort to listen to anyone else, as it seems by accounts from members of other parties she met, and her statement to the commons, the Prime Minister has insisted she’s standing firm on her red lines. Which means she won’t be at risk of getting parked on but it also means the EU won’t be slowing down or stopping to look at them considering they’ve already said they’re not possible. Corbyn told the house that it felt like Groundhog Day, before again asking May to impossibly get rid of the possibility of no deal for the six billionth time.
Political stalemate but with less of the mate bit as no one is being very friendly to each other and lots of really off comments about everything.
Work and Pensions secretary and Linda La Plante’s least loved character Amber Rudd has warned number 10 that lots of ministers may quit if they’re banned from voting for an amendment that does help stop a No Deal, and insists on an Article 50 extension if there’s no plan by end of Feb. Which would put May in a tricky position as she’d then only have a few MPs who still agree with her that she could form a cabinet with. It’d be more of a bedside table with a single drawer. Worryingly I think that might be her plan, just to whittle it down until it’s just her in Number 10, with boarded up windows and doors and a baseball bat with nails in it, shouting ‘its in the national interest’ at anyone who asks if she’s ok.
Labour MP David ‘always posing for a school certificate photo’ Lammy said that Labour frontbenchers may resign if Corbyn does back a second referendum, while other frontbenchers are threatening to resign if he does. Perhaps he should back a second referendum then an immediate third one and go for best out of three, hopefully placating both sides? Ultimately there’s every chance that within a few weeks time, parliament will just be one or two people putting on a series of different hats and voices making all the decisions for the country.
DUP leader and woman who’s come to tell of your children for laughing and smiling Arlene Foster openly said that there has never been a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, showing that she wants to stay part of the UK so much, she’s acting like the English and completely gaslighting part of Ireland’s history for her own benefit.
Tumble dryer filled with bricks Boris Johnson claims that he didn’t use any anti-Turkish messages during the EU campaign which is at odds with the all the anti-Turkish messages he made during the EU campaign. Then again, knowing Boris, he didn’t think they were anti-Turkish, as they were the sort of thing that was perfectly acceptable in the 1800s. Top hamster cage material The Daily Mail revealed that Boris’s girlfriend refers to him as Bozzie Bear, which is further proof he’s just an unfunny Muppet rip off.
Meanwhile EU President of the European council and Hoggle Donald Tusk says remaining in the EU only real option for the UK, which I mean, he would say. He’s not going to say ‘actually everyone, your best bet is to walk into the sea and leave me alone’ though I reckon we are only days away from that. Leading German figures have written to the UK asking them to stay in the EU, saying that Britain has become part of who we are as Europeans. Which is nice, but you can’t help but feel that it’s like writing to a foot growth that you don’t want removed because it means your socks will no longer fit, despite knowing you’ll be able to stride forwards a lot easier without it.
British Army reserves have been given a notice to get ready to deploy to help in case of a no deal. Typical Brexit, we only get the reserves, not even the main team.
The debate on May’s Plan B will be on January 29th, when based on the current outlook of it being very much a rose by any other name that still smells like it was planted in a dungheap, MPs will likely just be trying to beat their previous record of rejecting it. Then article 50 may have to be extended but the EU MEP elections are in July and I can’t imagine there’ll be much of a turn out if we make it that far.
May has told EU citizens in the UK that while they still have to apply for settled status to ensure they’ll be ok after Brexit, they no longer have to pay if they’re part of the pilot scheme. Though I wouldn’t trust May that by pilot scheme, she means she’ll be popping them on a plane as soon as possible. The whole Home Office scheme would be far more honest if they had to apply for ‘unsettled by this stupid situation status instead. Ministers have revealed that May is keen after Brexit to scrap the Human Rights Act, a promise she makes every year or so, and one that once again raises conspiracy theories about giant lizards being in government as wouldn’t a human want to keep that? I’m only joking. Who wants a human rights act? I mean what next? Animal rights? Special rights for children? When will this madness end?
And Nigel ‘look what the dog brought in’ Farage is reported to be considering a return to politics, despite politics promising it hasn’t invited him. His plan is for a new Brexit based party, which I for one hope he calls 2KIP. Still it does mean there’ll actually be something to look forward to next general election, as old soggy face tweed balls fails to get elected for an 8th time.
Yo yo yo yo yo ParPolBrods. Another week in politics full of really stupid games, no one willing to budge on anything and nothing of any actual substance happening. Its lucky they’re not in charge of the quality of people’s lives or anything huh? Oh, how we laughed through the tears. I’m starting to really worry that Theresa May just cannot be removed ever. In 50 years from now they’ll be trying to evict her from Number 10, ‘you’ve lost the last 10 general elections’ and she’ll just be carrying on like she hasn’t heard them.
Anyway, how are you all listeners? I hope those of you in the UK are handling the icy weather and those of you in Europe are handling the actually cold weather and those of you in Scandinavia are mocking both of us as you have to get a sled home from work. I’m not saying it’s cold in my flat today but as I’m working on today’s episode, my computer keeps freezing. Arf. My flat is actually cold though, and genuinely each finger pricking blood test I’ve done today for my Type 1 diabetes has taken at least 8 attempts. I’m scared that when I warm up, I’ll drink some water and end up firing it out of my finger-tips like a cheap water pistol. But luckily that problem shall be solved soon as we are now flat hunting again, which always poses the question of where do I find a net big enough and how do you sneak up on a building? Sadly, our landlord is having to sell the building I’ve lived in for the last 6 years and so we have to be out by April 1st, which yes part of me has wondered if it’s an extremely elaborate April Fools gag but I’m not sure I want to risk it. So my week has been mostly looking online at pictures of flats and working out how many people were obviously murdered there or how somewhere can be classed as having a second bedroom when it looks like you’d have to sleep standing up. The rest of my week has been waiting for a package from Yodel delivery who are the worst in the world. Have you ever dealt with them? Three times they’ve messaged me saying ‘sorry we missed you’ while I was at home, looking at the window for them and no one arrived. Is it possible to miss something you weren’t targeting in the first place? I’m starting to wonder if that’s the service the government has been using to deliver Brexit.
Thanks tons for listening again this week and to new listeners too who seem to keep arriving this year, which is appreciated. Don’t forget if you are new to the show, you have to pass the secret initiation test that involves running a dangerous gauntlet filled with really boring people who’s opinions you have to try and listen to without swearing at them, having to explain Brexit to someone from outside of the UK without making them laugh and then climbing a big wall because, you know, it’s a gauntlet. No I’m only joking, you are welcome here without any gauntlet or settled status application and I hope you enjoy the show. Don’t forget if you do, you can let others know how much by reviewing the show on the pod app of your choice. Someone last week asked how they review the show without doing it on iTunes or Apple Podcasts and the answer is, er, do it somewhere else? You can review the show on Stitcher, podbean and several other podcast app sites, but if you’re really opposed to a review on an Apple site, and the others are too tricky, then why not just Tweet, Facebook, Instagram, Friends Reunited, Myspace or post on your local neighbourhood watch pinboard about how much you enjoy the show as that helps too. You can also donate to the show at ko-fi.com/parpolbro with monthly or one-off payments and thank you so much to Rob for donating this week, or patreon.com/parpolbro for monthly ones and all of that helps me make this show better whether that’s through drinking enough coffee to sit through one of May’s speeches without falling asleep or something better like buying recording equipment so it doesn’t sound like I’m doing this in a cave, even though I am. Which is why I have to move, it’s being sold for mining reasons.
Some other admin bits this week. A few of you on the ever underused Facebook group, I mean why would you use it? Who wants Zuckerberg selling all our hot political takes to whichever weirdo would want them? But a few of you asked after last week’s show was released on the day of May’s Deal therefore being out of date pretty quickly, why I release it on a Tuesday and not say, on a Friday, or a Sunday or something? Well the very boring answer is I am primarily a stand-up comedian and on a Monday, when I write this show, I rarely have to do a gig or anything so I can spend time on this instead. The even more boring answer is that when I started podcasting I was told Tuesday was a good day to release them and I think they were lying but now I’m stuck. Basically, if you’d all prefer this to come out on another day of the week, let me know, then donate enough so I can turn down gigs. Wait, where have you all gone? Come back! Speaking of gigs, I’m once again supporting the brilliant Frankie Boyle on all his warm up gigs for his BBC2 New World Order show again, in London throughout February, March and April. There are loads of dates, they are not all sold out and I’m doing, I think, all of them. So if you’d like to hear 20 minutes of my bad ideas followed by 40 minutes of his excellent ones, do come along. They are all at Leicester Square Theatre, the Museum of Comedy and a few at the Hen and Chickens in Islington which aren’t on sale yet but should be soon, so head to the respective websites for those. And on March 27th top idiot Mark Watson is doing another stupidly long comedy show. This one is 26.2 hours in honour of the London marathon, and because I’m a glutton for punishment, I will be involved for the duration. If you’ve seen any of his previous shows, I’ve generally had something awful and punishing to do whether it be sit in the corner of the room for the whole time as the show’s pet, getting hit in the face by a custard pie of increasing size every hour or at the last one, suffer some horrible punishment. Though I did also get my back shaved by Gillian Anderson at the last one, which was a weird and incredible experience all at once. This one is all in aid of the Dementia Revolution and tickets for the whole thing are on sale at the Pleasance Theatre website if you want to come and see a cavalcade of comedians doing incredibly stupid things for charity in a theatre that will inevitably smell a bit like the inside of a sock by the end of it.
On this week’s show I am interviewing Charlotte Hughes, the brilliant campaigner and blogger who volunteers helping those who’s lives are ruined by awful DWP sanctions and universal credit. Warning, the interview contains some mentions of suicide and the effects of the rape clause if those things upset you, though I should say the latter is just about the policy and no cases in particular. But if those worry you then you might want to skip through when you hear me asking questions about mental health and the 2 child policy. Then as well as that, a very small Brexit Fallout because really, what is there to say this week? And there’s also a very small bit of this:
Upskirting has finally been made illegal in a law that probably caused MP and creepy Toby Jug Christopher Chope to say ‘I guess I’ll have to learn to use the internet now instead.’ If you haven’t heard the term before, Upskirting doesn’t mean when an item of clothing depicts a very sad tale for 10 minutes before a lovely fun one about squirrels and balloons. No, instead it was an invasive form of sexual harassment involving a picture being taken up someone’s skirt without their permission. It has been happening as long as people have had phones and skirts but it’s taken a stupidly long time to be classed as a crime as part of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 mainly because of idiots like Christopher Chope, who single handedly blocked the bill on it in June last year which resulted in a lot of women in his constituency plastering his office’s door with pairs of pants, which worked on two levels, both as a protest and as a way of warning passers-by that behind them lived a total penis. Thanks to writer Gina Martin, who was targeted by upskirters at a festival, she got 50,000 signatures on a petition to make it illegal, followed by cross party support and despite Chope’s stupid intervention, it got government backing in July last year and has now passed. It’s been illegal in Scotland since 2010, and in several other countries but in England and Wales until last week, police could only ask the perpetrator to delete the photo and not much more. Now though, in an important victory for equality, they could get up to two years in prison because Parliament finally stopped skirting around the issue and addressed it. Yes, that is what I’m finishing this bit on. Yes, deal with it.
The government has published their Clean Air Strategy, which they say is a world leading plan to tackle air pollution, but they haven’t said which world and I’m concerned its one of the gas planets like Neptune or Uranus. Hee hee Uranus. The World Health Organisation has said that a pollutant called PM, which surprisingly doesn’t stand for Prime Minister, but instead Particulate Matter, is the most damaging and over 40 cities and towns in the UK exceed their limit of dangerous PM in the air which is literally a breath taking number. The government though, who have now lost three court cases in regards to their insufficient approaches to tackling air pollution, are now saying they’ll have it all sorted by 2030 and not just because they’re asking Boris Johnson to breath in more than he exhales. Their plan is to ban the sale of the most polluting fuels for woodfires and coal burners and only have the cleanest domestic stoves available by 2022 but most green campaigners have pointed out that is all a bit vague and doesn’t have any legally binding stuff, so it’s highly likely they won’t manage any of it. Nor does it really do anything with car pollution as it gives that over to underfunded local councils to deal with. In 2017 the national audit office said the UK government were 10 years late on air quality targets, so are these policies a breath of fresh air, or is it more likely that by 2030 we’ll realise that air in the UK is only how it should have been by 2020, and their policies were just a lot of smoke without fire? Yes that’s how I’m finishing that bit too. No I’m not sorry.
INTERVIEW WITH CHARLOTTE PART 1
Poverty is definitely the worst sort of tea, followed by property and one that I once had with cardamoms in it because I wasn’t listening properly when offered it and it made me cough for ages. So gross. Right now, relative poverty is rampant in the UK, which does sound like it means you just suffer an awful family, but it actually means that that around 14 million people are deemed to be earning less than 55% of the median income. The government don’t use that measurement, and instead opt for evaluating it by absolute poverty, which is the level that they’re satisfied their policies have really destroyed you enough. That’s not true, but in a way, it also is. In November last year the UN special rapporteur said he found that ministers were in a state of denial about poverty and he encountered ‘a lot of misery, a lot of people who feel the system is failing them and a lot of people who feel the system is there to punish them.’ Which if that was a TripAdvisor review for a theme park or holiday company you’d probably not use them. Austerity, the bedroom tax, public service cuts, welfare changes and Universal Credit with its vicious sanction system have all affected Britain’s poorest communities pretty harshly. Last week the Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd delayed the roll out of the latter to 3 million people, after months and months of headlines and evidence that it will leave many worse off than before and increase homelessness and child poverty. Or it could be that she hasn’t yet got quite enough televisions in her office to watch them all suffer at the same time. Who knows? What is for certain is that the government are insisting on pushing ahead with Universal Credit, despite how damaging it will be. So out of character that, eh? Really, really unlike them.
This week I spoke to Charlotte Hughes, a campaigner, activist, blogger and most importantly volunteer who helps vulnerable people who are let down by the jobcentre where she lives in Ashton Under Lyne, in Greater Manchester. Charlotte decided to blog about the people she met and helped and what they were going through, on a blog called the Poor Side Of Life, and she has been praised for giving a voice to people who have been suffering under the government’s often draconian policies. It can be quite hard reading at times, but always eye opening and really important that its highlighted just how many are affected. Charlotte kindly had time for me to speak to her last Friday morning and talk to me about why she does it, what she encounters and what, in an ideal world, needs to change. Just a heads up as I mentioned in the intro. There is a brief mention of the rape clause, and there is also mention of suicide so if those upset you, please do skip through my questions on the effects on claiments’ mental health and the 2 child policy. Also Charlotte has an amazing sounding Jack Russell called Pippin, who lovingly tried to answer a few questions himself. I’ve edited out the barking but there’s the odd bit of tail wagging that you might hear in the background. Either that or its some covert government plan to wag the dog. Anyway, I’m really grateful to Charlotte for speaking to me and I think this is a pretty important one to listen to:
INTERVIEW WITH CHARLOTTE PART 1
We’ll be back with Charlotte in a minute, but first…
NOTHING HAS HAPPENED, ok the end.
I’m joking, I’m joking. Ish. I mean this could be a long Brexit Fallout where I list all the bickering that’s happened and why it’s all wrong, but that would be the exact opposite of fun aka a speech by Chancellor Philip Hammond. So instead I thought this week might be a good time to do a quick bullet points catch up of where we are and I have found this effect to use for each one, as a way of waking you up inbetween all the borings bits.
How can you stop a no deal when a no deal is the absence of a deal and you may not have a deal? Answer: You can’t! It’s the default! If the UK doesn’t have an agreed deal by March 29th, we don’t head to some happy Brexit limbo where nothing much happens and we thumb twiddle till trade deals plummet into our groins. Nope, we automatically fall out like a big restless dude in a small bed. So the only way for May to guarantee we’ll avoid a no deal is to promise that in the event that she doesn’t have a good deal which she thinks she does even though no one likes it, Article 50 will be revoked, or she’ll tell the EU to just give us whatever they want as she honestly doesn’t care anymore or…no wait, I think that’s it. So when Corbyn says he wants her to promise to avoid a no deal, he’s either saying ‘hey maybe let’s all call it off’ which you won’t believe if you’re a remainer and will believe if you’re a brexiteer, or he’s really confused about what he’s talking about or is doing it on purpose to make everyone angry or is just boxing May into a corner to actually do something.
A second referendum, or as no one but me called it, a secorendum, probably won’t happen now. May ain’t big on it, as she’s said a billion times, because she’s worried it would set a difficult precedent that could have significant impact on how we handle referendums in this country. Yeah what a shame if parties weren’t able to illegally spend on their campaigns for them anymore or you know, actually had to provide information on what it all meant to people before they voted? It’d be awful, just awful. Labour says they haven’t taken a second referendum off the table should they not manage to get a deal that conforms to the things they’d like which aren’t possible and won’t happen, but it’s unlikely it’d get a majority in a parliamentary vote and so even though it really seems like May’s thing to have a vote on a definitely unpopular idea, maybe it’s just slightly too popular for her to risk it. Then again, never say never, except when saying it twice to get home that point.
Article 50 can be revoked by the UK without any ruling from the EU but it probably won’t be unless, I dunno, they stop pumping whatever gas it is into the houses of parliament. I say that, but its an old building, do you think in years to come we’ll find Brexit was all down to asbestos? Sorry, I got distracted. So if it wasn’t revoked, it could be extended, but that would require the other 27 EU countries to do that and if it was extended then the UK would have to be careful about when to do it until as July is the meeting of the new EU MEPs so there’d have to be an election for them in May and I’m really not sure anyone can be bothered to vote for someone who may only have a job for a month or two, especially when one of them is Nigel Farage. Then there’d have to be all this effort made to set up a ton of polling booths and ballot papers just for no one to use them. Basically it’d be just like the last time there was an MEP election in the UK in 2014, you know, where only 35% of the population bothered to turn out and then everyone complained that the EU was undemocratic.
If you’re an EU citizen in the UK, you have to apply for settled status even if you’ve been settled here for ages and own loads of throw cushions to prove it. Originally you had to have lived in the UK for 5 years and you know only ever started conversations with people by mentioning the weather and generally being awkward about sex. No wait, sorry, just the first bit. Then you would have had to pay a £65 fee, but Theresa May announced that that would be waived for anyone applying early on in the pilot scheme. Or at least, once you’ve handed over all the details so that you can be quickly removed come the purge, they’ll promise to reimburse your fees which they’ll likely not have time to do as they’ll be lacking in staff because of Brexit. Still though, until that happens you’ll have the same access to our failing healthcare and education services, same as everyone else.
So all that can really happen now is tabling amendments. Is it the same table that Corbyn insists on things being taken off of or left on? Where is this table? What shape is it? Who sits there? Who laid it? What coasters do they use? So many questions, absolutely no answers. MPs will be tabling amendments over the next week to suggest changes to May’s Deal which will be voted on, on Tuesday January 29th, yes just after another one of these podcasts is released and therefore goes out of date, yes I get the message again…Anyway, between now and then new laws will be put forward, and things like a bill that’s been proposed by a group of ministers lead by Labour MP and Just William Yvette Cooper, has the aim of delaying the UK’s departure from the EU if May still has nothing by February 26th. Which would then give them just over a month to ask the EU 27 to extend article 50, and then we’d have to have MEP elections probably and by that point you’d probably think, like I do on most wintery days, oh fuck it, let’s stay in, it looks horrible outside anyway. During amendment time MPs who are not in the government have to propose private members bills and several are trying to suspend normal parliamentary rules to allocate more time to them. But the government has to allow that and money resolutions for any bills that require spending and there’s every chance they’ll just go ‘No’ because you know, they want to give the British people a sovereign parliament. Some MPs also want ‘indicative votes’ which is where MPs sort of do test runs on a vote to see what they might vote for, which in this limited amount of time seems as useful as saying no one can make a statement until they’ve told the house about the dream they had last night in a way that makes it sound like you think they care.
So that’s that and where we are this week in politics, basically, same place as last week, but more tired. Oh and…
LIAM FOX JINGLE
Just thought I’d throw this in. I mean, Disgraced MP Liam The Disgrace Fox has said a lot of stupid stuff this week about Remainers trying to steal Brexit even though you can’t steal something that no one has a clue what it looks like. Its like saying ‘hey that mouse is trying to steal the Gruffalo!’ He also said that Brexit is not Dunkirk, which I mean, he’s right on. That was an evacuation of allied troops, whereas Brexit is a willing kamikaze move. Why would you just list really terrible things Brexit is not, when previously you’d said it was a success? Either Fox knows he’s lying through his teeth and it’s a shitshow, or he’s the worst advertiser ever. Try this toothbrush, it’s not a toiletbrush! Sure but what does it do for your teeth? Well it doesn’t get poo on them! Is it clean? There’s no poo! But neither of those are this week’s Fox Up. Instead let’s head back to 2017 when Liam Fox said that the government would replicate 40 EU free trade agreements that exist by the time we leave the EU so there’ll be no disruption. Remember that? He said we’ll have up to 40 ready for one second after midnight in March 2019. Well it looks like, right on target, they may have 2 ready. 2 out of 40. Ladies and gentlemen, Liam Fox, a man who in any other business with those sorts of success rates, would resign or be fired, but in the government lead by a woman who’s suffered historical defeat and stayed on, he’s basically in the running for staff member of the week. Emphasis on the member bit. Still, at least it’s not Dunkirk eh?
And now back to Charlotte…
INTERVIEW WITH CHARLOTTE PART 2
Thanks so much to Charlotte for the interview. You can find Charlotte @charlotteh71 and her blog at thepoorsideof.life. You can also donate towards her blog and volunteering work there too if you’re able to. Charlotte also mentions DPAC, which is Disabled People Against Cuts, and you can find them at dpac.uk.net or on Twitter @dis_PPL_protest too. I did interview Anita Bellows from DPAC way back in episode 2 of this podcast but the sound quality wasn’t great back then as I was a fledgling podcaster, and while sadly not much has changed since then I will drop them a line to try and get an updated chat about the mistreatment of those with disabilities soon. As for all Charlotte’s other recommendations, they’ll be on the partlypoliticalbroadcast.co.uk website soon and if you have local charities or campaigns that you support, drop me a line and I will happily plug them on this show to help others find them as it’s not always easy to do.
There are so many issues I need to do updates on for this show, and more I’ve never mentioned before, so to help my sleep deprived brain, please do let me know if you’ve got any suggestions for who I should interview or what political issues I should find someone to interview about, remember this is still an MP free zone, but other than that, I’m all ears like some weird giant ear monster that looks terrifying in appearance but is actually a great listener. Drop me a line @parpolbro on Twitter, the Partly Political Broadcast Facebook group, the contact page at partlypoliticalbroadcast.co.uk or email@example.com. Or you could physically send it to me via Yodel and they’ll never pick it up in the first place but insist it’s my fault for not living at the sender’s address so it could just be handed over and they could be left alone to get on with picking their nose and making paper clip chains. They’re so, so shit. Anyway, it is, of course, probably just best to email.
And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Ta loads for firing these noises into your brain flaps, and please don’t forget to review the show on a pod app or alleyway wall, donate to the Patreon or ko-fi if you can afford to and generally tell everyone all about this show till it’s the only thing anyone ever listens to and I can control your brains with subliminal messages so I can make you all bring me crisps. Yes I probably should do something better with that sort of power than that, great responsility etc, but damn, I love crisps. They’re just so crispy.
Big cheers to Acast for bolstering this show into its sound structures, to my brother The Last Skeptik for all the musics, and you can find him on @thelastskeptik or thelastskeptik.com and to Kat Day for typing up the linear liner notes for the website every week and she is @chronicleflask on Twitter and her website is chronicleflask.com.
This will be back next week when Prime Minister Theresa May calls off the vote on her Plan B by announcing Plan C, which is pretty much the same as the last two but she’s used comic sans for the headings and a Windows 2008 clipart image of a frog for the cover.
This week’s show was sponsored by John Baron’s Fix It All Solutions. Are you worried you’ve done a work presentation so badly you may get fired? Hire John Baron’s Fix It All Solutions and he’ll turn up to your work with a display involving such terrible offensive images and statistics that barely even look like numbers, so you’ll look like a hero in comparison. Botched up a decorating job? Give John a call and he’ll take a dump on the carpet before taking a blowtorch to all the skirting boards so your shoddy handy work will look like Renaissance Art. John Baron’s Fix It All Solutions, when the only way to make you look good, is for someone else to look much much worse.