Episode 133 – It’s a Chris Grayling Special! And basically that means that due to terrible organisation there is no interviewee guest, some awful editing, Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) has a sore throat and there are some Brexit Fallout ramblings and a look at the #SoldFromUnderYou investigation.
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IT’S A CHRIS GRAYLING SPECIAL! YES, THIS WEEK’S SHOW IS GUEST CURATED BY TRANSPORT SECRETARY AND BIB FORTUNA THEMED DILDO CHRIS GRAYLING! WITH MUSIC BY…TOTAL WASTE, WASTE DISPOSAL MANAGEMENT…hmm bit weird. Do they play music Chris? It doesn’t say anything here about any musical abilities? EDITING BY *CUT THIS UP BADLY*, ARTWORK BY A DOG CHRIS PAID £5m TOO, ABSOLUTELY NO GUEST BUT I’VE BEEN PROMISED CHRIS WILL FIND ONE IN TIME FOR *checks notes* 2023, AND WRITING AND HOSTING FROM TIERNAN DOUIEB. Oh, come on. Seriously? It’s like you haven’t even tried Grayling! You haven’t even tried.
Hello and welcome to the Chris Grayling special of the Partly Political Broadcast, the podcast that…that…hey Chris, I thought you said you’d get someone to sort out the intro line…oh For fuck’s sake….GRAAAYYLLLINNNNGGGG. This is episode 133, I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week Chris Grayling has proved that he’s so useless at everything, he’s even failed to get the sack. Despite wasting £204m of taxpayers money on things he messed up, Grayling remains Transport Secretary, which is quite an incredible position for someone who only ever seems to halt progress or push the country into reverse. £33m went in an out of court settlement to Eurotunnel who were miffed that there was no public procurement procedure when the government hired a ferry firm without any ferries. I mean, just imagine who else could’ve gone for that contract if they’d correctly advertised? That’s right, anyone without any ferries so that only really excludes P&O and Roxy Music. I can’t believe I didn’t sue. Then it was revealed that the failed privatised probation and rehabilitation service Grayling put in place when he was Justice Secretary, is now going to cost the taxpayer £171m because they haven’t worked. I mean, what more evidence do you need of this other than the fact that Chris Grayling himself is always reoffending?
The only way Grayling’s continued cabinet position makes sense is one of two possibilities. 1) His ability for everything he touches to turn to shit like a grim King Midas, King Gastritus if you will, means that the absolute horror show that is the rest of the government seem competent in comparison. The Ministry of Defence’s £495m privitised army recruitment plan has failed to meet its targets, but hey, if Chris Grayling has been in charge, there’s every chance the British army would be staffed by children with pea shooters and some angry pigeons, several of whom wouldn’t even bother to turn up for work.
2) The other possibility is that Prime Minister and Momo challenge Theresa May has to let Grayling stay as she just can’t lose anymore cabinet members, especially as losing him would mean she’d need five really useless people to achieve the same level of dire. Two more MPs have gone in the last week in regards to Brexit, with Farming Minister and stock photo of the sort of person elderly people should’ve answer their door to George Eustice quit after May said she would allow the Commons a vote on delaying Brexit. Yeah well maybe he should be grateful it isn’t Grayling in charge or it wouldn’t just be delayed, it’d probably be cancelled, with no promise of when normal service would resume. No wait, some of that actually almost sounds good. Then MP and ill Bob Mortimer Alberto Costa was asked to resign from his job as Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Scotland office because he tabled an amendment to protect the rights of EU citizens regardless of the outcome of Brexit. Obviously, you can’t be a part of the government when you care about the safety of anyone who might be forrin eh? You wanna rise to the top Costa? You need to be tabling amendments to ensure anyone who even mentions they had a nice time on holiday be ejected from these shores. Costa’s amendment was passed unopposed, so it’s also possible that someone with such popular ideas that can actually achieve parliamentary agreement has no place in The Conservative Party.
Or maybe it’s just that Chris Grayling is the ideological hero that the Conservatives now follow? Like Xi Jinping Thought, Grayling’s life wisdom, or rather, lack of, is a way of being. Being shit that is. Absolutely nothing has happened with Brexit despite a looming deadline – so that’s very Grayling right there – with several votes happening that basically mean apart from Costa’s amendment, that nothing is changing it may just be that we have even more nothing for even longer. How much longer? No one knows. Will it mean that we have to vote in the European elections in May? Possibly. Will that be worth it just to make sure that porridge skin congealed round an old slipper Nigel Farage loses his MEP pension? Yes, yes it will and to be honest, even if May said that was the only reason she was delaying Brexit, I might actually gain some respect for her.
The European but not Research but don’t do any Group but barely are very angry at the possibility of a Brexit delay or article 50 extension and have said that they will vote for May’s deal next week if it passes three tests, all of which the EU have already said 6 trazillion times they won’t accept. I feel like the ERG need to take a test that is simply the same question over and over again for an hour, to see if at any point they register that they’ve been asked it already. There are also rumours that the ERG have said they’ll vote with the Prime Minister if she resigns once her deal is passed, so I’m expecting her to delay the vote on it for at least another 5 to 10 years to make sure she can stay in Number 10.
The US have said that the UK will have to accept their farming standards in order to trade with them post Brexit, but the UK government have insisted food standards will not be lowered. So, does that just mean that things will be as they are and once a year British farmers have to hold a baseball match for ghosts? Many are concerned it’ll mean chlorine washed chicken is the standard here, but I think that’s only a concern if someone’s peed in the swimming pool they use for it beforehand.
Jaguar Land Rover is going against other car manufacturers and has announced it will be making a big investment in advanced manufacturing in the UK, despite Brexit. Well hey, I think that’s pretty smart as there won’t be any other vehicles here the way things are going, so they can clean up the market. Are they able to run on hollow promises and blue passports?
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs told business leaders that the UK doesn’t have enough of the correct wooden pallets in order to export to mainland Europe if we have a no deal. That’s understandable when parliament seems to be full of misshapen planks.
May is still trying to buy support for her deal, by offering a £1.6bn stronger towns fund to leave voting Labour areas, in order to encourage opposition MPs to back her deal. But that is over 6 years and doesn’t come close to the funds from the EU those areas will be losing after Brexit, or the amount that has been cut by the government over the last few years. It’s a terrible bribe. It’s like an assassin saying to someone they’ve shot 26 times that if they give them the info, they’ll get given a single soggy plaster.
It is March, there’s still no Brexit developments happening till next week and instead Theresa May has just been using cheap advert slogans in the Commons. May told the SNP Westminster leader and animated gnocchi Ian Blackford during the weekly emptying of the bowels that is Prime Minister’s Questions, that he should vote for a deal, simples! As in the catchphrase from the Compare The Market meerkat that was popular many years ago, and therefore only really highlighting that a CGI exotic rodent has a greater understanding of needing an insurance policy for the future than she does. It turned out May only said it because her aide had made a bet she could get the PM to say it, and as a result won tea at the Ritz. Many are upset that again politicians are treating this all as a game when real consequences are on the line, but what I want to know is has anyone asked The Ritz how often this aide is seen there? It could explain a lot of what May’s said over the last few years. I’m pretty sure Red, White and Blue Brexit was for a three course meal. Still just imagine if Chris Grayling had been the intended bet target? He’d have shouted ‘its bloody simple you tarts’ before his trousers fell down and his aide was rewarded with a stick of gum and someone calling them a twat.
If it wasn’t nothing happening in Brexit but loudly, then last week’s news was yet again about party racism, which isn’t the sort of bigotry that’s acceptable at social occasions but more the worst new trend in parliament that isn’t really new whatsoever. Labour MP and Christopher Eccleston’s worst character Chris Williamson was suspended after footage emerged of him saying the party had been too apologetic over anti-Semitism, and that was he was planning a screening of a film in parliament of a film defending another Labour activist who was suspended for anti-Semitism. Now firstly, regardless of how you feel about what he said, why oh why would he do that just a week or so after Labour MPs left the party blaming anti-Semitism? Wouldn’t you at least think, oh well, maybe this week isn’t the best to show the film? It’d be like turning up to a party in California just after the wild fires with a copy of Backdraft on Blu-Ray. I swear Williamson is the sort of person who’d be told to shush in a library, nod his head as though he’d acknowledged what was said, and then start his fog horn practice in front of the librarian.
This lead to a clash within the Labour Party – what? That’s so unheard of. I KNOW RIGHT? – this time between Deputy Leader and Carl Fredrickson from Up Tom Watson, and parallel universe Louise Minchin and General Secretary Jennie Formby over how anti-Semitism should be dealt with in the party with Watson saying their opacity and delays had lead to a loss of trust. So, he set up a parallel complaints system because nothing stops a lack of trust like two bodies trying to do the same thing better than each other. That may be illegal according to GDPR procedure though, but no one is really sure as I don’t think anyone read a single one of those emails.
Meanwhile over in the Conservatives, former co-Chair and Asian Liza Tarbuck, Baroness Warsi – I mean seriously, they’re basically twins – said the party showed tell tale sign of institutional racism. What? I had no idea. Here was me thinking the Hostile Environment Policy, Windrush and, I dunno, all of their immigration policies, were all just random occurrences that in no way reflected…no sorry, I can’t even pretend. It’s all so obvious I’m certain somewhere out there is a white supremacist rock band called May and the Citizens of Nowhere. Warsi was specifically talking about the rising Islamaphobia in the party after they took a long time to expel a member who was posting anti-Muslim hate speech online, with more Conservative councilors being found to have posted abuse on a pro-Boris Johnson facebook page. Which is sort of exactly what I expected to be on a pro-Boris page, along with blueprints for infrastructure projects that make no sense and a random sentence generator to use whenever anyone asks you about Brexit. BBC reporter and what if Arya from Game of Thrones had to mention all the houses for balance Laura Kuennsberg tweeted that the Islamaphobia issues in the Conservatives is on a different political scale to Labour’s anti-Semitism issue. Now that’s an odd way to put it but I think she means it’s one where it’s pitted against the feather of Ma’at and if the story has any weight they ignore it incase it ruins things. White male MP for Crawley Henry Smith said that he hasn’t come across any Islamophobia in the party so I guess that must mean it isn’t there, because he’d totally know right?
The Right to Rent policy, that requires landlords to check the immigration status of tenants was deemed as breaching human rights by the high court which means that judging by some of the flats I saw over the last couple of months, many of them were breaching them in several ways. The Home Office said they were disappointed with this ruling, and I’ve no doubt Home Secretary and serious grape Sajid Javid will vow to make up for it by personally knocking on every rented property’s door screaming ‘do you belong here?’ at the occupiers.
Speaking of racism, stupid neck and far-right campaigner Tommy Robinson has been banned from Facebook though that could just be because they have very strict policies about tits. Meanwhile dog poo bag filled with wallpaper paste Nigel Farage has announced a March For Leave trek from Sunderland to London to protest against a Brexit Betrayal. Which in typical Brexiteers fashion isn’t a march but a bus journey, something that’s probably necessary as many on it would likely be taken out by a small breeze. It will cost anyone who takes part £50, which is £13 more than each person pays to be a member of the EU per year and its taking part from the 16th to 29th of March, which is after next week’s votes on May’s deal and could potentially be even more completely pointless than it already is by the time they start. The advert for the march is a video that looks a lot like someone overdubbed a have you been injured at work advert featuring several people who had very heavy things fall on their head. Railing against elitism in the promo are a former trader, a Conservative MP and a millionaire entrepreneur, with one particular highlight amongst the lowlights being human car alarm Esther McVey saying nasal gazing instead of naval gazing, something that I suppose could’ve been intentional considering how little she nose.
In other news, Labour leader and only human ever made entirely of chintz Jeremy Corbyn was hit by an egg outside the Finsbury Park mosque on Sunday. No confirmation yet on if it was Iain Duncan Smith. On Thursday, just days after the hottest ever winter day, MPs debated climate change in the commons for the first time in two years, but only 10 Conservative MPs turned up, with not many more on the opposition benches. Then again, maybe they just didn’t want to add to the unnecessary releases of carbon dioxide in the air.
Disagraced MP Liam The Disgrace Fox spent £100,000 on a podcast project that only 8398 people listened to. What an idiot! If he’d just asked me, I could’ve told him how to get that few listeners for a budget of nothing. And Theresa May paid tribute to Salisbury one year after the Novichok poisoning crisis, by tweeting that Salisbury is a beautiful, welcoming English city alongside a picture of Bath. Still, at least it wasn’t Chris Grayling doing it eh? He’d have just added a picture of Sainsbury’s.
Hello ParPolBrods! Here we are back again with a Chris Grayling special! By that I mean there is no interviewee this week due to terrible organization skills. Still, at least it hasn’t cost you £204m for the privilege of having less stuff. I say it’s terrible organization skills but its actually because I spent a large chunk of last week, well 26.2 hours to be precise, doing Mark Watson’s 26.2 hour Comedy Marathon show which raised just under £22k for the Dementia Revolution which isn’t too shabby and the whole thing was an exhausting amount of fun. Turns out though that while initially having spent the last year mostly awake due to my daughter’s apathetic view towards sleep, initially it helped me get through the show as at say 4am I was thinking ‘well I’d be up now anyway’ by the end it turns out, not so much help at all. But despite having to spend Friday in a functioning coma I very much enjoyed being part of the weird Brussel sprout Bradley Walsh cult that was created overnight with a lovely audience and excellent group of comedians all willing to do absolute stupidity for an unreasonably long amount of time. Also, also, also, I didn’t have to talk about or read about Brexit for nearly two days and let me tell you as exhausting as it was, I’d hurriedly run back into a marathon show in a second if I knew it’d carry on past March 12th and then another for whenever the delay is until if I could be promised an entire lack of news throughout. I reckon it’d almost be possible to maintain a vague level of happiness, at least until the No Deal Brexit supply packs got delivered by the box office staff.
How’s you? We’re now in Brexit month, even though we probably aren’t. But how mad is that? It’s now been two years since Article 50 was triggered and let me tell you, time does not fly when absolutely none of it is fun. While I’ve always got annoyed at those people who shout ‘get on with it’ about the most complex political event in many years, I now too would quite like someone, somewhere, or in fact, anywhere, to get on with something. I feel like those idiots who shouted it before were the children who asked if ‘are we there yet’ as soon as the car sets off, whereas I’m the angry child who didn’t want to go in the first place but now we’ve been sat in traffic for 4 days and dad’s made another wrong turn, I’d quite like to just get there and get it over with.
Thank you this week to Peter for the Patreon donation which was much appreciated and you too can through me a dollar or two there at patreon.com/parpolbro to or at ko-fi.com/parpolbro to keep me in coffees so I can make it through this show without too much pointless admin witterings. Yeah I’m throwing that out there. The more coffees you buy me, the less I’ll make crap analogies about kids in cars in relation to Brexit. You heard me. Get buying. Thanks also to all the reviews last week, particularly from CustardSlipper and Emsie, both of which very much made my consecutive days. Only 61 to go on iTunes till I hit the big 200, so if you fancy hitting the five stars & writing some nice thoughts about this please do, or on any other podcast review site. And of course, better than both those things but maybe not the coffee slash money one is just to tell other people about this podcast and bully them into listening to it. I’d go so far as to hovering over them as they subscribe, download and then play it and glare at them if they go without laughing for over a minute. It’s best for them in the long run, trust me.
That’s it for this week. No guest, just some ramblings on things from me and hopefully normal service should resume next week if anything actually happens in politics ever. In the meantime, you know what is here? Yes of course, because it’s the Chris Grayling special so its not like I’ll do anything that would actually work for you. On the plus side, it also means I won’t be attempting to platform any specific points because there’ll never be any trains to arrive at them. So here you go:
We are officially in Brexituary, where if you’ve been opening your Brexit calendars, today you should’ve received nothing as it’s been rationed in case of a no deal. It’s very likely that Brexit won’t be happening this month, on account of, well, still no one having any plans at all or being able to agree on which of the crap ones they do want. But while delaying is totally necessary there are also problems with it. Theresa May’s former chief of staff Nick Timothy has said in a TV interview that the Prime Minister just sees Brexit as a damage limitation exercise, which is interesting as everything she’s done so far has meant there will have to be at least some damage when she could’ve averted any. It’s like she lit the fire and is now trying to demolish everything, so the fire won’t ruin things as much as she already has. But the only way to limit damage now is by delaying Brexit so a deal can hopefully be in place, or more likely, May can squeeze in even more damage in the extra few weeks.
But apart from it meaning even more weeks of nothing happening except Brexit while everything else in the UK falls apart, a delay also could mean serious issues for businesses who have planned for two years for Brexit to happen on March 29th and now will probably have to replan all over again, while the economy continues to plummet for a further few months. Its like if you’ve been told you only have two years to live and at the end they say ‘oh and a couple more months’ which by that point isn’t all that helpful as now you’ll have to attend your own funeral and apologise to that person you hate that you told could go fuck themselves before doing it all over again nearer to the time because it was one of your last wishes before still having a shit ending. Companies like BMW had plans to shut their Mini plant for a month at the end of March, to cope with a possible parts shortage but now will have to rearrange reopening it and then re-closing it again end of June. Yes I know it’d be terrible for the economy but I’m starting to think all of us should just stop working from end of March until whenever it’s sorted and if nothing else, that’d mean we could all take advantage of the plummeting holiday prices. It’d be like how everyone smoked the day before the smoking ban, except this time, we’d all be in Europe right up until we weren’t allowed. And smoking because it’s allowed over there innit?
But May has said end of June would be the longest an extension could go on for but if it did, that’d probably mean we’d have to take part in the European Elections on May 23rd which will be a huge cost and pretty pointless considering it’ll be to give potential MEPs a job for just over a month. It is legally binding as a member state can’t remove the right of its citizens to vote for its representatives in any EU state. If the government tried to stop it, they could receive a massive penalty from the European Court of Justice which would hilariously probably just add onto the bill we already have. I’m starting to think being in the EU elections would be very worth it. I mean, there’s loads of people in need of work, its not like they’ll get to do much and they’ll have a fat salary and possibly a pension plan and that’s, say, 73 homeless people we could be giving a temporary respite too. It’s definitely better than a zero hours gig, being that it’ll be a bit more than that. Why aren’t the DWP getting in on this, promoting the idea to anyone who’ll have a 6 week wait for their universal credit? And as I mentioned earlier, if nothing else, if no one runs in any seat apart from Nigel Farage’s, we could at least vote him out of his pension and enjoy that for all of 5 minutes before we realise the cost of organizing the elections now means the NHS can’t afford to give anyone bandages anymore and has to use strips of old copies of Hello magazine instead.
So lots of Brexit chat this week with, potentially, some sort of deal breakthrough from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox if he can find something somewhere that enough MPs may get on board with, and then there’ll be a vote on May’s deal again on March 12th unless he doesn’t and she moves it again, and then if that doesn’t pass, a vote on leaving the EU without a deal on the 13th, and a vote on extending Article 50 on the 14th. Yes, the first big vote is on a Tuesday again. Yes, I’m certain they hate me.
Councils are damn important. They deal with stuff like your bins and, erm, *checks notes* your bins. It’s very much part of the Conservative’s ideology to reduce the public sector as much as possible, from ol’ ham face David Cameron’s Big Society plans to make people do care work voluntarily and remove responsibility away from authorities, while thumb with eyes Eric Pickles slashed core council funding when he was communities and local government secretary from 2010-15 and at the same time wouldn’t allow them to up the council tax. That lead to the closure of libraries, community centres and all services councils had to deem as non-essential in order to rebalance the books. You know all the vital things the Conservatives now have to hire a loneliness minister to ignore. ‘I wonder why everyone is so alone when they could just go to all those places that we closed? Weird. Hmmmmmm.’ Cuts have continued and demand for housing and social care have risen, so it now looks like councils across the country will have a £5bn funding black hole by 2020 which is the sort even a Star Trek expedition would be wary of exploring. So, all of this means you end up with cases like Northamptonshire Borough Council running out of money in February last year, meaning they cut all services except care for vulnerable people and this year they’re having to raise council tax by 4.99% in order to stay afloat of some very murky waters. So there’s goes my hopes that the Picturedrome there will ever be a nice gig to play. But raising council tax isn’t the only way councils are trying to get some dosh in.
This week the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Huffington Post compiled a report of data on more than 12,000 public spaces sold out off by councils since 2014/15 and found that one in six councils have used £381m of the sales money to pay to cover cuts, and a third of that was used just to pay off staff’s redundancy pay so they could let them go in order to save more money. It’s a completely bonkers way to have to run anything. It’s like if I sold my car just to use the money to pay for cabs for my wife so I don’t have to give her lifts anymore and save petrol money. This then has then has the effect on the community of less assets such as allotments, car parks, day care centres that were invaluable to the vulnerable, and in one case, a university building, while simultaneously creating unemployment. On top of that, the investigation found that two thirds of councils aren’t adhering to data standards that require annual reports on what is being sold and to whom meaning the public aren’t in on what’s is disappearing from their area and who will now own it. I’m not saying I watch too many films but I’m sure this is exactly how Hydra infiltrated the Marvel Universe.
In years to come if councils need space for more schools or housing, they won’t have it, as they’ll have sold off the land. Will they build schools on top of other schools and then inter-school football matches will have to happen on the stairwells? Homes on top of other homes…oh wait, that does already happen. And when government funding for local authorities is pretty much phased out after 2020, they won’t have any other options but to sell everything they have. Which brings us to Theresa May’s announcement this week, of her Stronger Towns Fund, which sounds like it’s all about getting smaller areas into weights & protein shakes and then have them all fight it out at the end, but is actually an idea that is meant to sway Labour MPs in Midlands and Northern areas of England to back her deal by getting a £1.6m of extra money over six years. Great, except that means yearly, it’s just around £266m but that’s a fraction of what they’ve lost through cuts and after Brexit, they’ll no longer get the EU Regional Development and Social Funds to UK Regions Grant which is around £1.56bn per year. So what May’s doing is promising to give more money in order to take away more money from the money the councils already don’t have. Does no one do maths in government anymore? So now we’re looking at a post Brexit UK where every public asset is bought up by a private company or individual and if the government, as rumours suggest, do reduce tariffs on all imports to zero, then there won’t be any goods made in the UK either. So, no buildings owned by the people, no jobs for the people and nowhere for those who need care or support to be looked after. Still, on the plus side, whenever racists say ‘Britain’s our country’ they’ll be mostly factually wrong.
And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Normal service should resume next week, for the podcast I mean, not politics. I think that’s fucked for at least 3 more years minimum. Thanks to you and yours for choosing this show to waste your life juice to, and please don’t forget to review, donate to, like, subscribe, tweet, Facebook or stand on a soapbox in your local park and shout about this show to anyone passing by, occasionally adding that maybe the power of Odin compels them to listen or something just so they take notice.
Thanks to Acast for nuzzling this show in its audio bosom, to my brother The Last Skeptik for all the music rappity song noises, and to Kat Day for typing up the linear liner notes every damn week.
This will be back next week when it’ll be announced that Chris Grayling has had to pay all of the No Deal reserve money as an out of court settlement to RyanAir after giving an emergency contract for flights to Ireland to a boy with a remote control helicopter.
This week’s show is sponsored by STRONGER TOWNS FUND RUMBLE! Do you and your town think you can kick your neighbouring towns ass? Sick of their jibes about how your local swimming pool was sold to Richard Branson just so he could wash his balls in it when in the area? Well ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Take stronger towns protein shakes, protein bars and protein protein and soon everyone in your Wetherspoons will have muscles popping out of their eyes and fertility issues but goddamnit, you’ll have those losers in Soddington or Buttsville or whereever, trembling with fear in their overrated Waitrose. STRONGER TOWNS FUND, I mean what else will you have to do after Brexit?