Episode 134 – Still nothing has happened though it’s likely more nothing will have happened by the time you hear this. Until then, this week is all about knife crime, Tiernan (@TiernanDouieb) speaks to Cameron Archibald (@MammothWhale) from MMT Scotland (@MMTScotland) all about MMT, and Gavin Williamson wants the army to fix everything.
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Still nothing has happened though it’s likely more nothing will have happened by the time you hear this. Until then, this week is all about knife crime, Tiernan (@TiernanDouieb) speaks to Cameron Archibald (@MammothWhale) from MMT Scotland (@MMTScotland) all about MMT, and Gavin Williamson wants the army to fix everything.
Links and sources of info from Cameron’s interview:
All the usual ParPolBro stuff:
Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the podcast that pretends to take a fresh look at politics, but instead just keeps bringing back the same unwanted look again and again with the hope that you’ll eventually cave in an accept it and then we supposedly move on. This is episode 134, I’m Tiernan Douieb and once again by the time you’ve heard this podcast, MPs will probably have voted against May’s deal, which might have been meaningful, or possibly just provisional, maybe emotional, or spiritual, but regardless very likely inconsequential, as Prime Minister and windshield that would only ever hide behind whoever needed to use it Theresa May, will probably just delay Brexit so that she can keep just returning to Brussels with exactly the same plan again and again like a pet who’s owner has died but they still keep prodding the body in the hope they’ll get fed. I’m obviously not thinking of a cat. They’d just eat their owner’s face.
I have no clue what is happening with Brexit this week, which puts me on level footing with all political commentators, experts and in fact politicians themselves as the country heads towards a week of votes that’d have more obvious direction if the outcome was picked by an iPod shuffle. Over the past week May and the Attorney General Geoffrey ‘my voice has far more depth than I do’ Cox have been at EU HQ trying to negotiate some leeway on the Irish border backstop that they had put in place because again Brexit is like a heady decision to get married on a boat in Vegas to someone you’ve only just met and then the next day realizing that it will probably take you several years to divorce them and where are they and why do you not have your wallet and where are your shoes and oh all of this was such a bad idea?
Earlier today to answer Labour leader and felt llama Jeremy Corby’s urgent question on Brexit, Brexit Minister and 12-year-old boy Robin Walker represented the Prime Minister as she attended Commonwealth Day ceremonies in a desperate attempt to gain insight into what it was like when anyone paid attention to Britain. I have a feeling that by PMQs this week May will be represented by Number 10’s Chief Mouser Larry the Cat who’ll proceed to lick his own arse and still provide more insight than she does. May flew to Strasbourg to meet President of The European Commission and star of children’s cartoon Arthur Jean Claude Juncker and as announced by Chancellor of the Duchy and cosplay estate agent David Lidlington to parliament, improvements to May’s Deal were made. What improvements? Well a joint instrument, which is when you can play a tune on a fat reefer, sorry, I mean, a legal obligation for the right of the UK to suspend the Irish backstop if the EU don’t uphold their side of things, though telling it a ghost story or good thriller isn’t the same as removing it. Then the other addition is the legal obligation to replace the backstop with alternative arrangements by December 2020, which judging by the speed it’s taken to just get to this point, will mean it’s likely replaced by a stockade or something else they’ve found in the thesaurus for backstop. Lidlington warned that not voting for this deal will plunge the country into a political crisis. Mate where you have been? That’s like saying ‘if you don’t vote for this deal, things will be equally as dire and yet dull as they have been for the last 2 or so years.’ Oooh terrifying!
Rumours suggest that if May’s deal fails, which it will because everyone still hates it because it’s still the same, she might still put forward a Brexit delay until the 24th of May which would be one day past the start of European elections meaning that article 50 can’t really be extended beyond that without a lot of hassle and then she’ll turn up and say hey here’s my deal again and all I’ve changed is my shoes and hope that everyone votes for it. She is purposefully kicking the can down the road which is stupid as she may need to eat from it if we end up with a no deal.
If that is the case then everyone will still be unhappy, because no one ever likes anything that’s happening and Brexiteer and what would happen if a vampire bit an egg, Iain Duncan Smith has already complained that the EU were just laughing in Geoffrey Cox’s face, which they probably are. I mean, there’s a man who spent last referring to the renegotiations as Cox’s Codpiece which doesn’t make any sense unless he’s admitting they smell of sweaty balls.
Over on the opposition side, Jeremy Corbyn has met with Tory MPs to discuss a Norway deal which would mean a much softer Brexit but I’m concerned that somehow they’d screw it up and we’d just end up with beer that costs £9 a pint and nothing else. At the Scottish Labour conference Corbyn said that poverty and climate change are bigger priorities than Brexit. And hey look, he’s not wrong in a way as what good is a trade agreement when your whole country has sunk underwater due to melted ice caps? Though I guess that would make a border in the Irish Sea a lot more feasible. But the little, teeny weeny issue is that Brexit makes dealing with both issues a whole lot harder. It’s like saying that navigating the Labyrinth is way more important than killing the minotaur but we all know that it makes it a whole lot harder to find the exit if you’re being chased by a large man with a massive bull head.
The rest of the week’s politics mostly felt like Conservative MPs were having some sort of competition to see who could say the very worst thing. Well either that or a lot of aides have been winning tea at the Ritz. Disgraced MP Liam The Disgrace Fox managed to tweet the wrong name of the World Trade Organization, calling it the World Trading Organization. Now sure, it’s not that wrong but when it is literally your job to deal with them it just once again proves that his concept of trade involves just putting something on a tray and assuming it’s done. I bet he spends his weekend walking around help yourself canteens and telling people about all the trading he’s done while spilling tea down his leg.
Work and Pensions Secretary and resting disappointed face Amber Rudd referred to Shadow Home Secretary and mushroom Diane Abbot as the racist term ‘coloured woman’, something that when called out on, Rudd said she had been clumsy. You know, that sort of clumsiness that causes hugely outdated racist terms. How many times have you tripped up or stubbed your toe and thrown out a hate crime? Happens to the worst of us. In Rudd’s defence, maybe she assumes calling someone ‘coloured’ is actually a compliment on account of all the translucently pale grey people she has to work with in her party? But before everyone could shout ‘you see the Conservatives are the really racist ones’, Leader of the Commons and mother Andrea Leadsom had already handed everyone all of her beer and suggested to the Commons that Islamophobia was a matter for the Foreign Office. Now you could interpret that as though she thinks that Muslims can’t be British citizens or you could….no, no that is the only way you could interpret it. Of course, if cases of Islamaphobia were handed over to the Foreign Office, Foreign Secretary and giraffe shaped pasta Jeremy Hunt would probably think it was something to do with a fear of llamas and then say that his wife comes from there.
Leadsom’s comments came in a week where the Conservatives had to suspend 14 party members over Islamophobic comments in a Facebook group, saying that while the group wasn’t officially anything to do with the party, they had immediately acted and suspended those who are members. But then leaked emails showed that actually Party Chair and distressed porcupine Brandon Lewis actually knew about some of them last year and did nothing. Hey now, be nice. Maybe he was just working out if any of them were suitable to take Leadsom’s position if she steps down. Meanwhile Labour peer and worst Game Of Thrones character Lord Falconer has said that anti-Semitism could pose an existential threat to the party, which I assume means that if he does end up in charge of an internal investigation into racism against Jewish people in the party, if he thinks it’s there, then it is.
Meanwhile Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and human photobomb Karen Bradley has faced a lot of calls of resignation after stating that security force killings during the troubles were not crimes but just people fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way. Nice one Karen, way to help the continued peace in Northern Ireland. Why not next head West and scribble out Derry on all the signs so it just says London? Its quite clear Karen still has no clue over the history of Northern Ireland despite being appointed to her role over a year ago and I wouldn’t put it past her to have assumed that because they were called the Troubles they were probably just about a tummy upset or something so what’s the big deal? Bradley apologized for her comments pretty quickly but didn’t step down because having absolutely no idea what you’re doing is now a key government hiring policy. But, and it’s weird to say this, but at least she apologized which is becoming less and less common despite it being the most obvious British value I can think of. Everytime the government go on about upholding British values, I am amazed they don’t just prove they really care by overly apologizing then saying something about the weather.
I mean take another contenders in Don’t Conservatives Say The Absolute Worst Things, aka what if daytime TV got possessed Esther McVey who tweeted an article that said all EU member states would have to join the Euro by 2020, asking if the public were aware of it and hashtagging it #WatchOut. Turns out the public were aware it was from 2014 and has been widely debunked since, as it’s a load of shit. McVey didn’t apologized and instead tweeted that even if people didn’t agree with the article can’t we all agree that the UK shouldn’t join the Euro? Yeah nice on Esther, now let’s do another one. Can’t we all agree that an elected MP shouldn’t spout completely untrue things? Otherwise are we at least able to do the same for you? Did you know Esther McVey is composed entirely of the worst comments on Mumsnet? Even if you don’t agree with that, we can all agree that she’s one of the most awful humans.
Theresa May was accused of having not listened on knife crime by an ex-police chief, and later that week of not listening to Islamaphobia claims or Brexit concerns. I’m sure it’s possible that she just can’t hear as her aides only filter through very old advert slogans. May said all the increased deaths of young people by stabbings was appalling, though that could be because she was hoping to get them through austerity first. Home Secretary and star of Despicable Me Sajid Javid demanded more funding for police, possibly to cover up the cuts to funding for a knife crime prevention scheme he’d recently made. Still if he’d managed to get more funding for police but still not quite enough to cover all the cuts that have been made, then they could go in insufficient numbers to take on all the kids Javid has let down by his other funding cuts and then when they get arrested it’s suddenly the Ministry of Justice’s fault. Basically, as displayed by Andrea Leadsom, the government is one big imaginative delegation group.
Luckily Defence Secretary and little boy that’s just scoffed all the e-numbers Gavin Williamson has a solution to the issue of knife crime, that’s right, get the army involved. That does seem to be Gavin’s solution to everything and it can only be a matter of time before we find out he’s missed diplomatic duties because he’s insisted he gets a lift to the airport in a tank, or gets in trouble after he asked some squaddies to shoot his neighbour’s cat out of the tree, or has been hospitalized after asking the army to sort out a plumbing issue in his house by grenading it. Meanwhile Independent Group sort of leader and unused extra from Channel 4’s Humans Chuka Umunna suggested that national conscription was needed to fix knife crime. Yes great suggestion from a man who went AWOL from his own team.
Labour MP and similar to Jesus, just the one from the Big Lebowski not the bible, Fiona Onasanya had her appeal against her conviction for perveting the course of justice, turned down. The charge comes after she colluded with her brother to lie about who was driving her car when she was caught speeding, though let’s be fair, it’s not unusual for a current MP to pass the blame onto almost anyone else. Challenging the decision, Onasanya a former practicing solicitor, decided to represent herself but turned up without any notes which probably didn’t help her case when it looks like she was hoping to race through it. A recall petition for her seat in Peterborough could now be in place, which could lead to a by-election. As Onasanya has previously compared herself to Jesus Christ, this would now be the time to find out if her political career can rise again after it has definitely died.
Jeremy Hunt confirmed that the Prime Minister would reject a second Scottish Independence vote, because you know, she’d never re-run a vote again and again until it passed. Ever. Nuh uh. The Digital Economy Act 2017 kicks in next month meaning that you will not be able to access commercial porn sites in the UK without an age verification check, however to make up for it, it will be free for everyone to see the government fucking the country on repeat on the news. Far right activist Tommy Robinson is the best funded politician in the UK, which is surprising when he looks like someone stuck a brillo pad on a turnip. Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley Lennon, has gained all his money through donations which he has used to buy a big house and go on lots of fancy holidays but to be fair, I’d send him some cash too if I knew it’d definitely mean he stayed indoors more or fucked off to another country.
And lastly, in the US, President and drowned orange roughy fish Donald Trump referred to the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, as Tim Apple during meeting. This caused wide mocking of the man baby but let’s be fair to Trump, it would be a lot easier if we just called people what they do in their jobs, for example how about Donald Sex Pest?
Hey ParPolBrods. Another week, another podcast where I’m wondering why I bothered with a weekly politics show and didn’t just do a podcast about refusing to believe in certain chinaware and call it No Such Thing As A Dish, or a less topical politics shows about special advisors mistakes causing the cancellation of foreign aid and call it My Spad Wrote Off Borneo. But no, here I am, once again trying to work out how to fill an hour of a show without just playing Entry of the Gladiators on repeat and laughing hysterically. Although I wouldn’t do that as music licence costs are priceee. On the plus side, I really haven’t watched much news this past week which is always nice. Instead I’ve mostly spent time dealing with my daughter having a cold which means our house currently looks like a low budget Ghostbusters spin off that no one wanted. This has also coincided with her perfecting doing an impression of an elephant, which was adorable, until the arm trunk coincided with the appearance of a snot rope and suddenly the tiny ‘paaarp’ noise was much less appealing. Oh, and I went to see Captain Marvel which is ace, despite what the internet trolls will tell you, as I know they’re usually such a trusted source of critique. The only thing I didn’t like about it, is that it’s set in the 90’s which is seen as retro and that meant I spent the whole film feeling really, really old. I’m not sure how to start an internet campaign about that but I feel one that is actively happy for more female leads as awesome as Brie Larrson, but at the same time doesn’t want any films that are set in time periods that remind me that there are adults alive today who’ve never seen a cassette. Urgh. Horrible stuff.
So look, I’m glad you’re here for whatever this week is, and it’s better than last week in that there is a guest and everything. So I have definitely tried my best. But before that, thanks tons to Shoreditch Twat, IndyRikki and Manic mechanic for your lovely iTunes reviews, that is much appreciated and on the latter’s review, they said their only complaint was that the bumper volume does your head in. Yes, I am aware that every week the volume of the adverts on this show can be staggeringly louder than the rest of the show and no, it isn’t some sneaky plot to keep waking you up every time you nod off because I’m being boring. It sadly actually isn’t up to me, and I’ve worked on making this podcast as loud as it possibly can be, using clever things like equalizing and amplifying and lots of buttons on the editing software I use that I’ve been shown how to do but don’t understand. But when I upload it to Acast, the pod hosts, it gets compressed again and then they add the adverts at a level I can’t control. I have asked them about it and as yet had nothing back and I know that other podcasts I’m a fan of, like Talking Politics, have the same issues. So I’m sorry Manic Mechanic but as soon as I can do something about it, I will. If you too would like to review the show and deduct a star for something that is completely out of my control then please do so on whichever pod apps you use, or if they don’t do reviews, use one you don’t use which will mean you’re using it and then this instruction becomes pointless. You can also donate to the show which at the moment, is mainly just a way of keeping me fueled in caffeine to survive both parenting and politics. You can do that via ko-fi.com/parpolbro which I’ve noticed now also has a commissions option. Not sure what any of you would want to commission me to do, but if you have any ideas pop there, sling me some bucks as they are my preferred four legged mammal and let me know. Otherwise you can do a one-off or monthly payment there and over at patreon.com/parpolbro you can just do monthly ones but any are much appreciated. And of course if you can’t do either then you’re dead to me and don’t be showing your face round here again or there’ll be trouble. Sorry, I mean, just spread the word on your socials or anti-socials about how much you like the show and that’s just as good.
Right this week’s show: I ask Cameron Archibald from MMT Scotland what Modern Monetary Theory is, why we should adopt it and can I eat it? Ok not the last one. Plus a little bit of stuff on the causes of knife crime. Spoiler: It’s not just knives. There is no Brexit fallout because I may as well just shout lottery number predictions at you instead for a similar level of coherent insight into what may happen this week. 42, 7, 5, 89, 4006, and then for your octagon number choose a goose and for your magic shape I pick the outline of unidentifiable roadkill. Fingers crossed that helps. So instead, let’s crack on with this:
INTERVIEW WITH CAMERON – MMT
If I was to say that MMT is taking the US by storm, you’d probably assume I was discussing some sort of cool new drug that all them kids are taking in order to get whazzed off their jackboxes while doing disco pumps, but actually, its pretty much the exact opposite as MMT is an economic theory. Yes, less dancing, more finaancing. Ahem. Modern Monetary Theory, as my poor understanding of it gathers, is all about countries creating their own currency and debt not really being all that bad, two things that make me really thing my plan of taking out a massive loan so I could live on an island and draw Tiernan Dollars with crayons before announcing my new country, is not that bad an idea at all. Well actually it is, because apart from many sensible reasons against me doing it, my daughter would definitely eat a lot of my money on account of the crayon taste. Then I’d have to trade in toddler poo and I can’t imagine the foreign exchange being all that enamored by it. Sorry, I went off track. Bascially, money breeds money, not in the way that if I rub two fivers together they definitely don’t give birth to some little 50ps, but more in the idea that if you put money into the economy, people will have more money to put into the economy. It doesn’t seem that difficult to imagine. MMT is cited by Democratic Senator and owl Bernie Sanders, and US Representative and my new political stan because I mean come on, she’s amazing, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, have publicly backed MMT and it takes a hefty place within the Green New Deal, policies designed to help the environment, which as you know, is even more important than money as you can’t fight a tsunami with £50 notes. Various economists are of course critical, as are right wing commentators who seem concerned that an MMT based economy will cause more debt, seemingly ignoring that that is the exact point of it. Nice one team.
MMT is starting to influence economic theory in the UK too, with several of Labour’s advisors suggesting elements of it and many are now citing it as a plausible way that an independent Scotland could thrive. But what is it? Would it definitely work? Why don’t people refer to it as ‘mmmmm T’ like you’re having a tasty hot beverage? Well long time listeners of this podcast will know that when it comes to economics, I haven’t got two pennies to rob together, so this week I spoke to Cameron Archibald, the co-founder of MMT Scotland, and I asked him, to well, pretty much sell MMT to me. We only had a limited time to chat so this interview is very much a beginner’s guide to what it is, what are the barriers to it working and why it might work for an independent Scotland. I tried to find criticism online to question Cameron about, but apart from the concerns of hyper-inflation which he addresses, there’s not a lot out there. So feel free to write in if you can think of other concerns and I’ll read them out on future episodes. Anyway, I hope you find this as informative as I did. Here is Cameron:
INTERVIEW WITH CAMERON PART 1
And we’ll be back with Cameron in a minute but first….
You know what they say, knives don’t kill people, people kill people, just mostly by using knives. The big argument right now is around what is causing the two thirds increase in knife crime since 2014 with accusations and pointed fingers looking at everything from ‘maybe we should just ban all knives and just spoon butter onto bread’ all the way to ‘what about if we surgically attached mittens to all teenagers?’ with everyone taking a stab at who’s to blame. Arf. Last week in her infinite ridiculousness Theresa May denied there were any links between austerity or a reduction in police numbers and the increase in illegal blade activity. Yes, she has denied that the government making a lot of unnecessary cuts that ruin people’s lives has anything to do with it. While there are some studies that show stop and search, as is being called for by Home Secretary Sajid Javid, doesn’t reduce crime, the police cuts of 19% and 21,000 fewer officers means that the police have reduced safer neighbourhood whose job was to know the streets and families in the areas they patrolled, and they could use trust and familiarity to warn kids away from criminal activity. Like Dixon of Dock Green but you know, known by even people who aren’t ancient. Police officers are now disproportionately dealing with cases involving people with mental health issues, left uncared for due to cuts to social care. The expulsion rate in schools has risen by 15% with 50% of those pupils having mental health issues as schools no longer can afford the support staff or time to work with them, or risk low test scores incase it affects classroom funding. Spending on youth services has been cut by 62% since 2010 and overall politicians don’t even want to listen to kids when they’re upset about climate change let alone their unlikeliness to ever own a house or afford to have less than a few jobs or work abroad or so much more. I mean, when you really think about it, are these kids carrying knives in preparation for a post-Brexit dystopian future that they are all too aware of? Will they be the only ones able to rule in gangs with monopolies on tinned goods while us middle aged folk run around waving wooden spoons and hoping for the best?
Then cuts to the court system mean legal aid is denied to many who then don’t get a fair trial, while broken draught excluder Chris Grayling’s failed, I mean, obviously, rehabilitation programs, mean reoffending has actually risen since they were implemented. Probably because they involve telling criminals how bad things are on the outside and they realise in the inevitable post-Brexit purge, they’d be safer in a cell. Then there’s the rise in child poverty and lack of support for struggling families and that selling drugs is more likely to benefit your bank account than doing an unpaid workfare job in Poundland where all you’re doing is cleaning up the liquid from broken snowglobes …look austerity is definitely a factor and giving extra funding to the police is only one part of many repairs that need doing, like assuming one plaster over a paper cut will save a victim with multiple stab wounds. Javid has asked for a £15m fund for a short term boost in police officer because you know, as is obvious, you fix it once, it’ll never come back right? It’s the glandular fever of crimes yeah? Chancellor and only person who can frown with their entire body Philip Hammond hadn’t denied Javid the funding, saying that the police have enough money and should just divert cash from other budgets like a Goofy cartoon where he pops his finger over a leak in a pipe as another pops up elsewhere and so on and so on. Brilliant, why don’t the cops put all their cash into fighting knife crime and then when there’s an increase in car theft and, I dunno, pet arson, then they’ll cover those areas till knife crime comes back. What it requires is the government to realise that all of society needs a lot more TLC because there’s no easy solutions to this. If young people are unhappy with no future prospects, you can stop and search them and ban all the knives you like, but before you know it, there’d be an increase in spoon violence, the spatula violence, then children dying from cake tester attacks and so on and so. The Conservative Party really can’t just be searching for random solutions as it’s a pretty insensitive time for them just to be taking a stab in the dark.
And now back to Cameron…
INTERVIEW WITH CAMERON PART 2
Many thanks to Cameron for having time to explain MMT to me for the podcast. You can find Cameron on Twitter @MammothWhale and his mostly economics blog is at mammothwhale.wordpress.com, and you can find MMT Scotland on Twitter @MMTScotland and online at mmtscotland.com. As I mentioned in the intro to our chat, we were on a limited time schedule so I messaged Cameron afterwards to send me some recommendations for follows on the subject and he suggested the MMT don Stephanie Kelton who is on Twitter under her name, the Deficit Owls who are on Facebook and aim to explain MMT in clear and easily understandable way and the MMT Podcast which is hosted by a pal of mine Christian Reilly with Patricia Pino and can be found on all pod apps much like this show because sometimes, just sometimes, the internet makes life easier.
Thanks very much to Matthew for emailing me to recommend Cameron. After last week’s absence of guest due to, ahem, Chris Grayling’s fault, I am very much in need of more ideas of who to interview in upcoming shows. So, let me know. What policies, theories, initiatives, campaigns, ideologies, or politically named dance moves shall I interview someone about and who? Drop me a line @parpolbro on Twitter, the Partly Political Broadcast on Facebook, the contact page on partlypoliticalbroadcast.co.uk or email me at email@example.com as Matthew did. Or like living fossil, the dinosaur ant, you could release a chemical alarm signal, by er, secreting pheromones from your, er, glands and then either I’ll catch a whiff and be sick, I mean know exactly who you want me to interview. Or more likely, you’ll just embarrass yourself and then a ton of large queen ants will try to hump your legs. As always, it’s much easier just to email.
And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast. Thanks again for listening even though, really, at the moment this show is just an exercise in how many words a man can say about nothing at all happening. Hey ho, who knows, this time next week you could be listening to a ParPolBro that’s actually about something happen…hahahahahahahaahah anyway as I said, thanks for listening, please donate to the ko-fi or Patreon if you can, review the show and not the adverts on your pod apps of choice and please do tell other people to listen in, or even maybe just allude to it in a teaser trailer sort of way so that they spend ages searching the internet and instead end up subscribing to the Pally Petri Broadsword and never stop thanking you for it.
Yeah cheers and that to Acast for collating this show in its noise display, big cheers to my brother The Last Skeptik for all the musicy bits and much thankings to Kat Day for typing up the linear liner notes every week.
This will be back next week when Theresa May tells parliament she’s made an important improvement to her deal in time for the 3rd reading only for MPs to discover she’s made all the dots on the i’s little smiley faces and it fails again.
This week’s show was sponsored by Gavin Williamson’s Army Fixes. Have you got a problem? Let Gavin send in the army to take care of it. No problem too small, no ego boost too big. Creaky floorboards? We’ve got IEDs that’ll get rid of those in no time. Ant infestion? Well you know what ants don’t like? That’s right, flamethrowers right in their stupid tiny faces. Guy at work being a dick? We’ll have him stripped naked with a bag over his head and some embarrassing photos of us waterboarding him within minutes. Gavin Williamson’s Army Fixes. Be the best!… at a variety of menial tasks.