Episode 135 – A very croaky voiced Tiernan (@TiernanDouieb) looks at the past week of Brexit madness, Bercow’s 400 year old zing and the Spring Statement. Plus a chat with Hazel Sheffield (@hazelsheffield) and Gareth Davies (@gareth_davies09) about their report ‘Sold From Under You’.
Sold From Under You: https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2019-03-04/sold-from-under-you
Bureau Of Investigative Journalism: https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/
Far Nearer: http://www.farnearer.org/
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Linear liner notes
A very croaky voiced Tiernan (@TiernanDouieb) looks at the past week of Brexit madness, Bercow’s 400 year old zing and the Spring Statement. Plus a chat with Hazel Sheffield (@hazelsheffield) and Gareth Davies (@gareth_davies09) about their report ‘Sold From Under You’.
Links and sources of info from Hazel and Gareth’s interview:
All the usual ParPolBro stuff:
Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the podcast that tries to find the funny side of politics but has very much realized that it’s the bit that’s face down in the dirt, dead. This is episode 135, I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week the world reels in shock at New Zealand where the government have responded to a vicious and upsetting terrorist attack by showing compassion, empathy for the victims and talk of gun reform laws. WHAT? What on earth are they doing? Haven’t they heard of prayers? How on Earth will they make a profit from decisions like that? Where’s all the victim blaming? So weird. It’s like they’ve taken absolutely no lessons from other world leaderships.
In a horrific attack on two mosques, 50 people were killed by a white supremacist who many commentators struggled to call a terrorist, possibly because due to the colour of the gunman’s skin, they were surprised that he hadn’t chosen to ruin the lives of minorities by using his privilege to get elected to a position of power and then inflict a series of damaging policies and cuts instead. It was a very upsetting incident and the response to the disturbing massacre has mostly been an outpouring of love for the families and friends of those who died and were injured and a call for unity, but it has also raised awareness of the rise of the far right in those who already knew the far right was rising but had chosen to leave it in the oven for a bit longer to see if they could just get a scent around the house so that it’d make people more interested in whatever self-serving ideology they were peddling. No, it’s not an attack on freedom of speech if you don’t let a fascist speak on your national TV show, in the same way that refusing to smear bin juice around your face isn’t detrimental to harmful bacteria. Leave it be and eventually it’ll die off or get eaten by rats before affecting anyone. It baffles me how many outlets are questioning where this violent hatred of Muslims has come from, as though they’ve been completely unaware of their own output for years. If your newspaper or news program has spent the last 18 years calling them terrorists and other hateful terms, or your governments have found unsubstantiated excuses to bomb Middle Eastern countries or your nation has been allowed to vote on devastating decisions that empowered the views of people terrified by anyone who isn’t translucent white, and you’re going ‘but how has this happened?’ then I’m not sure you should be allowed to do basic things like drive as you’ll probably fall asleep at the wheel and then wake up wrapped around a lamppost in Birmingham and start questioning how you got there.
Thoughts and love to those in Christchurch, and now to the victims and their loved ones in Utrecht too.
Right, now let’s get the UK’s bullshit out of the way:
Brexit, where there are never any steps forward, just constant steps back, as we fall over our shoelaces that the government have insisted we tie together to give us the upper hand in negotiations, assured that we can shout demands as we flail around on the floor like a pissed beetle. Last Tuesday saw Prime Minister and lovechild of the Pixar lamp and Nurse Ratched Theresa May have her deal rejected again because it turns out politicians still don’t like the changes she hasn’t made. After it was promised to the commons that May had an improved deal, the big question on the table that’s now covered in various Brexit options and oversized questions and when oh when will someone clear it and just serve dessert? Sorry, the big question was what was actually improved? It looked very much the same, it smelled very much the same and sounded the same. Was the change within? Had May given it a different backstory? Had its Stanislavskian objective changed but we, as viewers would only know by the finale? Who knows but attorney general and rejected Toby Jug Geoffrey Cox said the legal risk of being tied to the EU after Brexit remained unchanged meaning that most of the extreme Brexiteers were still opposed to it as being tied to anything gives them weird public school flashbacks. Ireland said May’s deal is just the UK talking to itself, which I guess we are prone to do rather than learn enough language to converse with anyone else. Former Foreign Secretary and eyeholes poked into a raw chicken Boris Johnson said that the deal had reached the end of the road, as though quoting from his R&B group Boyz II Man Babies. 149 votes was what May’s deal was lost by and with it, her voice, both politically and literally as she once again croaked out that she was disappointed in the house’s decision in a very much, it’s not me it’s you, kind of way. Why should I change my inadequate deal when its you and your insistence on not just giving in that needs to change? Health Secretary and life vessel for teeth Matt Hancock tweeted that the there was strong cabinet backing for the deal, which I guess there was but unless they’re secretly Spartans it’s like applauding the strength of a knackered mountain goat that’s been swept away by an avalanche.
The next day was Chancellor and what if we built a man entirely out of corrugated cardboard Philip Hammond announcing his Spring Statement where he warned that the rejection of May’s deal leaves a cloud of uncertainty over the economy. Except it’s not uncertainty is it Phil? Its steam emanating from the pissing that Brexit mayhem is doing all over it. Hammond’s statement was largely lacking in anything useful but he announced provisions of £100m for police forces in England to pay for overtime to tackle knife crime, which considering the cuts that have been made to cops, that means they’ll now only be losing £600m by 2020 and those who don’t lose their jobs are going to have to work extra hours to make up for the government not wanting to actually deal with knife crime. Still Hammond did also announce free sanitary products in schools so if that includes sanitary towels, teenagers can take extra to double up as dressings for stab wounds. Phil called for MPs to put their differences aside and compromise over Brexit which is an odd thing to ask for when your leader’s biggest example of compromise is occasionally forcing herself to smile as she presents the same deal again and again.
Then came the vote on whether the UK should leave without a deal. Environment Secretary and puppet they take to school to warn kids about not speaking to strangers Michael Gove spoke passionately about the dangers of a No Deal, as did several other Conservatives who then all voted against avoiding it. How are you meant to solve divisions in a party when most of the party ministers seem to be warring with the voices in their own heads. Ministers overwhelmingly voted to reject a no deal under any circumstances, but it wasn’t a legally binding vote so as was to be expected it’s mainly lead to May telling everyone that the only way to avoid a no deal is by her deal that also no one wants. Then the next night MPs voted against Labour MP and proof that its impossible to wear round glasses without looking like a comical side kick to Sherlock Holmes, Hilary Benn’s amendment to take control of Brexit from May if she couldn’t find a way forward. It lost by two votes. So, MPs said they don’t want May’s deal, they don’t want no deal, they also don’t want to be in control of it themselves but they don’t want May in control of it as she obviously isn’t. It really feels like there needs to be a special button that can be pressed in these sorts of situations so that parliament collapses to the size of a marble and someone the entire country actually trusts like, I dunno, David Attenborough or one of the BBC Breakfast presenters pops it in their pocket and sorts everything out, or maybe just rolls it into an open drain. An amendment on having a second referendum was also rejected, as was Labour’s amendment basically asking if they can have a go and after a string of surprising victories, the government also won on MPs voting to have an extension to Article 50, pushing the Brexit date past March 29th, except it isn’t a win because it’s not legally binding, the EU have to agree it first and they’ll only do that if they’re given a good enough reason to which isn’t going to be that May has slightly changed the paragraph spacing or put it all in a nice binder.
So, what now? Well May was planning to bring back her vote yet again in the hope that it’d just keep wearing everyone down until they gave in and voted for it just so they didn’t have to hear her talk again, but firstly the DUP were not onside as there was no money involved and then 40 Tory rebels told her they’d only vote for it if she quit straight after. May is now the unpopular kid in school who the teachers have told you, you have to be nice to. Sure, we’ll go see the film you want to see if you never ever hang out with me ever again afterwards as I just don’t want to see your collection of insect legs that you keep in your pocket. But even without those obstacles Speaker and hedgehog John Bercow has ruled that she can’t have a meaningful vote 3 if her deal hasn’t changed substantially, which means she’s now probably aiming to change the font and title, as well as do some of it in coloured ink and the rest in memes. Nominative paradox and Conservative Deputy Party chair James Cleverly complained to Bercow that if ministers had known the second meaningful vote was the last time they’d get to vote on May’s deal they might have voted differently. True, with any luck they’d have told her to get fucked ever harder and all voted against it except mewling Cleverly.
So an extension maybe? Except the EU have to agree to that and Chief Brexit negotiator and former host of Pebble Mill Michael Barnier says there’s no majority in the EU for extending Article 50 but I’m guessing May will try to go ahead even if only 52% of them are keen. It seems dismembered eel penis Nigel Farage and what if Martin Kemp was a fascist Andy Wigmore have been trying to persuade the far-right Italian party Lega Nord who are currently part of a coalition government to block an extension. Which is odd as I thought those two were very much against foreign interference into British sovereignty from Europe. But if the EU agreed to it and an extension did happen? Well it looks like it could mean the Brexit date is pushed back to June 30th which would be ideal as that’s International Asteroid Day meaning we call spend it wishing for something to crash us before we crash out.
Speaking of Farage which is sadly something that happens far too often for a man that I really believe should be placed in a deep well and only occasionally remembered so that people can shout echoey swear words into it, the March for Leave which he promoted, started on Saturday. If started is the right word for a handful of shuffling angry idiots making their way through the rain like a zombie horde absolutely struggling to find brains. Only 350 people signed up, with less actually attending and Farage said that he wouldn’t be attending the whole thing because everything he does is a metaphor for everything he does. I was expecting him to vanish 5 minutes after the start before handing over to slapped arse cheek Paul Nuttal who would tell everyone he’d completed 567 ultra marathons already so this would be piss easy, before Farage kept skyping in just to tell everyone how much it had gone to shit now he’d left. Rent a shit opinion Isabel Oakshott said on twitter that numbers were limited for security and that Leave Means Leave were overwhelmed with offers, proving that despite it being their core support, they still can’t spot bots. I’m certain that by overwhelmed she means 4 spam emails, someone wanting to bring their dog and a sexbot that they invited but then blocked them. Pictures of the event are very hard to distinguish whether it’s a very poorly attended rally or a well-attended meat raffle. Anyway good luck to them as nothing will thin out the ardent no deal bunch if a second referendum occurs quite like making them all walk through the rain for several days.
In other news because somehow there is some, Deputy Labour leader and face on toast Tom Watson has set up the Future Britain group for Labour Mps who want to stay in the party but feel disillusioned and so want to join something that sounds like if Britain First worked out how to use electricity. Lord and prince of snarkness Peter Mandelson said the first meeting of 130 MPs represented a coming together of the TB-GBs, which is his phrase for followers of Blair and Brown but I think sounds more like the heebies jeebies which similarly makes many feel uncomfortable despite being outdated.
Aforementioned twat Boris Johnson said on streaming bile site LBC that police spending on historic child sexual abuse allegations was being spaffed up a wall. Which many are angry about him saying but I think it could’ve been a compliment as he was just referring to a much loved game he played with his house masters at Eton. And lastly Lib Dem leader and farmer bean Vince Cable is stepping down from his prime position in May. There’s no clue as to who will replace him yet but sources say possible contenders for this ever diminishing party are a plain digestive, a pair of khaki slacks or the band Maroon 5.
Urgh I am ill. I’m full of chest cough horrors and in any other normal week I’d record a 5-minute cough filled apology to say I was skipping a week of podcast in order to hack up my lungs off mic somewhere. But I couldn’t leave you all this week could I? What with all the votes that ultimately don’t really mean anything and all the debates where everyone said things then absolutely didn’t follow through with them? I mean how could I abandon you this week when we all know that without this podcast you’d still be in the know just as much as if you hadn’t heard it, didn’t watch the news and lived on the moon. Ah just imagine the peace and quiet of living on the moon eh? Sure, it’d be cold and have no atmosphere but that’s not that different to a lot of offices that I’ve previously worked in, with the difference being that they were full of people I didn’t like, so the moon is definitely better. Anyway, there’s also loads of bits I’ve missed this week. Turns out that having a chest cold thing makes it very hard to try and find any humour in subjects like the former Lib Dem leader being suspended because he knew about Cyril Smith’s pedophilia. But on the other hand, I also had no space to put that Anna Soubry is like if, while driving in the rain, you accidentally caught Robert Smith from The Cure in your headlights. I mean how long should a podcast be? If a podcast is played in the forest and all the squirrels try to eat your smartphone, does it count as a listen? All I’m saying is this week’s show is what it is and after I’ve stopped recording, I’m going to down a bottle of Bronco Stop. That’s what I’m on at the moment and it really sounds like I should be able to sip it then fight an angry bull, but actually it just makes me cough a lot and then feel sad. I demand a more appropriate name.
Anyway, thanks to you for being here or wherever you are. I mean you’re not all here, that’d be awful for you as you’d catch whatever this is I have and then you’d cough through the show too and miss bits. Or if you timed it right, cough when I cough, which will all be edited out so you’ll still miss things. All I’m saying is that I’m glad you’re not here. For your sake. But yes, same old bit here, except that I’m ill so you know if you want to donate to the ko-fi.com/parpolbro or patreon.com/parpolbro then it’ll save you buying me grapes, flowers or a card or telling me I have man flu and to shush. Or you could review the show and I won’t even mind if you write your derogatory thoughts about my obvious manflu on some itunes comments if you also give the show five stars. I’m that shallow. And ill and it’d definitely make me feel better. Definitely. Ahem. Or you know, just tell people to listen in. This show gets a very nice amount of listeners but what would really get rid of my cough, as doctors definitely, definitely agree, would be having even more listeners. Like hundreds of thousands if possible. I mean, if it got millions then chances are I’d never get ill again. I’m just saying, think about it and if you don’t then I’ll assume you’re some sort of cruel doctor death type who revels in other’s sadness and frankly that means we can’t be friends. Though I suppose even if we were, I wouldn’t want you here anyway.
Other admin stuff for this week includes the kids politics show what I do with Tatton at Simple Politics, called How Does This Politics Thing Work Then? It is next at the Pound Arts Centre in Corsham on March 30th which could’ve been the day after Brexit but now might not be but also might be. Why not bring your children aged 6+ to laugh at exactly how on earth we’ve rewritten things last minute? It’s a 2pm start and you can find tickets at poundarts.org.uk. Hopefully I won’t have coughed myself to death by then.
Then something that I won’t be at so my health status doesn’t matter anyway, is a brilliant charity comedy night in aid of Women and Children First a charity that supports women, children, mothers and babies in the poorest communities around the world. The show is at the Leicester Square Theatre on the 13th May and has Josh Widdicombe, Kerry Godlimann, John Robins, Laura Lexx, Bec Hill and Dane Baptiste among loads of other good uns. Anyway, it’ll be brilliant and I’m gutted I couldn’t be part of it as I’m otherwise engaged/dead from coughing to death. But do grab tickets from the Leicester square theatre website or womenandchildrenfirst.org.uk/comedy.
And lastly, assuming I survive the week, there might be a little pod gap in early April as that’s when I’m moving flat and knowing the wonders of the internet, I probably won’t have any as it’ll require a man to come round and patronizingly show me how to plug a router in that I’ll have already plugged in or something. So hopefully nothing will happen early April anyway. Obvs if something really stupid happens I’ll find a coffee shop with free wifi and just yell in the corner for 5 mins and load it up so you’re not completely alone.
On this week’s show there is Hazel Sheffield and Gareth Davies from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism all about their report on local councils selling off all their public assets to pay for staff redundancies. Yes, that’s right, it does sound bleak. COMEDY! Plus: I’m going to attempt to explain last week’s Brexit votes even though ultimately it doesn’t really mean anything. But I guess, does anything apart from my awful cough and the likelihood that I am mere minutes away from hacking up at least one vital organ? Thanks for your obvious sympathy. Let’s start with some of this:
The problem with the Spring Statement being nestled in amongst all the Brexit voting is that no one really cared or had time to care what Philip Hammond announced. He could’ve said ‘I’ve bet all our money on a pig race. Count Oinkula FTW!’ and I reckon there’s a chance it would’ve got through under all the noise of no deals and extensions. And hey, that makes sense right because what’s the point in putting in a ton of hard effort and then we thunk out of the EU without a deal and all the money is spent using rockets to bring potatoes over from Estonia or training seagulls to deliver pottery to Sicily? And to be honest if you had paid attention to the statement, then there wasn’t a lot in there to particularly float the economic boat. There was the whole ‘hey aren’t we doing well’ chat about the economy because the government will be borrowing less next year than the Office For Budget Responsibility predicted, which means we’re now at a 10 year low for borrowing which is great but that doesn’t quite balance out with the lack of specific funding for social care or the benefit freeze which is continuing for at least another year.
I mean it’s all well and good that the government don’t need to borrow money but it feels a lot like they’re saying that as a way to punish their naughty kids. Oh no they don’t need ice cream, they’ll be just fine, as one of them keels over with low blood sugar. Hammond promised £100m for police overtime to tackle knife crime which is a bit weird. Why would you want police overtime rather than, you know, more police officers? I can’t imagine the best people to chase after teenagers with knives is a knackered, underpaid officer? Also as was mentioned on last week’s show, it’s not just police that need extra funding in order to deal with knife crime so this feels like spending for dummies. Ok so knife crime, give the police some money. What next? Unemployment? Cool, buy the job centre 5 new chairs. There’s a £3bn affordable homes scheme to build 30,000 new homes that will fall under the not actually affordable bracket and it’ll still leave them short of their annual housing targets. £800m is going towards an increase in non-NHS spending which I guess is a nice way of saying ‘that’s all we’re putting into absolutely everything else’ and there was no mention of the current crisis in funding that councils are suffering from. Two years ago in the March budget it was announced that there would be a Green Paper on social care with a public consultation and a look into funding for it. Yet here we are, 2019 and still nothing. Unless its so green its had something else super imposed onto it the whole time? Phil, is that the green paper you’ve made to look like the really bored MPs behind you? Oh, and yeah Hammond did promise free sanitary products in schools to end period poverty but that only ends it if you’re at school. What about the holidays and what about women in poverty who are too old to go to school and what about you know, just stopping poverty? It feels a bit like telling people who can’t afford to feed their babies that it’s ok, every nursery will have some tuc biscuits there so that’s that, job done.
But as the Chancellor said, none of this will happen if Brexit goes without a deal anyway and if there is some amazing deal that appears and fixes everything then hey, there’s a whole £26.6bn he can add, which is nice as Brexit has cost the UK £40bn so far according to the Bank Of England. I wish I could work like that. Tell my landlord that this month I’m paying him a two-thirds increase on last month’s rent, despite his protests that last month I only paid an eighth of what I should. Don’t worry, I’ll also be putting a fat sum of cash into my credit card which won’t remotely make up for blitzing it over the last 3 years. Still, I can slightly sympathise with old Phil. Imagine putting a whole load of hard work into something and then bloody Brexit has the potential to ruin it within days. Try doing a podcast Hammond! You’ll see! You’ll bloody see!
INTERVIEW WITH HAZEL AND GARETH
If you listened to episode 133, the Chris Grayling special, which, fittingly according to listening stats, several of you failed to do, then you’ll have heard me talk about the lack of funding in councils. I mean, there just isn’t any, so how on earth are they meant to deal with the bins? And whatever else it is they’re meant to do. In the Spring Statement last week Philip Hammond didn’t even mention the £5bn funding black hole that local councils are going to have to deal with by 2020. Now some of you, like me, may have had a council tax letter through your door recently that said it had an extra increase in order to fund adult social care and hey, look I’m more than happy to support my local community needs but it does kind of smart when that’s mainly just because the government want to spend it all on fridges for Matt Hancock to buy instead. But social care is just one of the areas councils are struggling with funding for, and some of their methods for dealing with this cash depletion are a bit odd. For example, the recent Sold From Under You report, which sounds like its about the time I sat on an auction item at the Antiques Roadshow, is actually about the 12,000 council properties that have been sold off in order to pay for staff redundancies. Yes, you’ve no longer got a youth centre because some people in food safety had to go. There’s no winner in that sentence. You’ve lost out, they’ve lost out, it’s the financial policy equivalent of this podcast. Arf.
So I dropped a line to the authors of that very report and luckily, two of them, Hazel Sheffield and Gareth Davies, got back to me and said they were very happy to tell me all about how bad things are for councils, why they’re selling off everything and exactly what the third bin I have does because I’m really not sure and I’m starting to think it’s for unwanted guests. Ok I didn’t ask them that. Oh and…
This isn’t the best recording sound wise as I spoke to Hazel and Gareth on their mobiles at the same time because technology is amazing but also as you’ll hear or maybe not hear if you’re listening on a train or while piloting a plane or driving a tank, it’s not that amazing. I have tested it on a few people and by that I mean my wife and daughter, the latter of whom really wasn’t bothered, so I think it should be ok, but if it isn’t then please do type me an email and then delete it before you send it and go do something useful. Thanks.
Here’s Hazel and Gareth:
INTERVIEW PART 1
And we’ll be back with Hazel and Gareth in a minute but first…
It feels necessary to do one of these this week but what can I tell you that’ll still be relevant within a few days? Well the easy answer is ‘it’ll still be exhausting and shit’ and whatever happens that’ll be true. The hard answer? Well there’s a lot of those and I thought it might be useful to do a shouty quick answer decomplication session which is my snappy title for what will happen now:
WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK?
Loads but also not loads. May’s deal got rejected again, but not as harshly but still really harshly and all of this feels like she could swap the deal for my teenage love life and if that’s true then I suggest she gets a deal that involves being part of the school play cos that really worked a treat. Ahem. Then the next night having a no deal under any arrangement got rejected too even though the Conservatives had whipped their lot to vote against it but they didn’t listen because no one likes May, but that wasn’t….
WHY DID SOME CONSERVATIVES TALK DOWN NO DEAL THEN VOTE FOR IT?
Ah well, because one of the amendments on the rejecting a no deal motion was the Spelman amendment, which sounds like it incorporates a really boring education based superhero into proceedings but what it actually did was remove the date of March 29th from the government’s wording. Originally if the motion had been voted for, it’d have meant no deal was off the table for the upcoming Brexit date but with the Spelman amendment then it means its off for any date and whatever happens which means MPs aren’t as pressured to vote for May’s deal again. Except they are as it’s not a legally binding arrangement so basically it’s a big ol’ pay attention to my feelings signifier and a nice smack in the chops for el governmento who lost yet another vote.
WHAT WAS THE MALTHOUSE AMENDMENT THINGY? ISN’T HE A CHARACTER IN THE SIMPSONS?
No, that’s Milhouse, idiot. The Malthouse Amendment was really stupid and basically involved going to the EU with our own backstop that we’d manage that wasn’t possible and then having a sort of managed no deal that also isn’t possible and look, it was really stupid and no one liked it and it got rejected so who cares. And hey, none of that was legally binding anyway so there could still be a no deal if no one agrees a deal. Yes that is some of your life that you’ll never ever get back.
AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED?
Then Labour leader and distressed human fleece Jeremy Corbyn said ‘well we have to extend Article 50 now’ even though he’s one of the people who said it should be triggered immediately two years ago and that the vote on delaying article 50 was going to happen anyway so really why didn’t he just shout ‘you’re all dickheads’ and then do a dance as ultimately it would’ve been the same result only he’d have gained popularity. So then there was a vote on extending article 50 and the amendment for a second referendum got voted down. Labour members were whipped to abstain it and some, like Ruth Smeeth resigned just to avoid the whip but so she could vote against it, god isn’t it all so weird? But it would’ve lost anyway as no one wants another referendum yet even the second referendum people who also abstained on their own amendment because they realized no one likes them. Then Hilary Benn’s amendment for parliament to shout fuck this shit and snatch Brexit off May and try and do it properly that lost by just two votes. TWO VOTES! ZOMGWTFBBQ! Then Labour’s amendment was for parliament to find time to find an approach that wasn’t May’s deal but that was rejected by a majority of 16 because they don’t want May’s deal but they also don’t not want May’s deal. And anyway the government motion did pass which meant multi wins for the government which they were happy with because they don’t win anything anymore because cheaters never win and anyway none of that is legally binding either so what is the actual fucking point?
AND WHY DID BREXIT SECRETARY AND HUMAN COTTON BUD STEPHEN BARCLAY GIVE A CLOSING SPEECH FOR THE NEED FOR AN EXTENSION THEN VOTE AGAINST IT?
Mainly because he’s an idiot. I mean he also says the closing argument was to make sure people voted against Benn’s deal then because Conservative Ministers had a free vote for the main motion he didn’t want anyone to frustrate the process even though he doesn’t seem to understand any process and everyone’s frustrated and now the Brexit Secretary isn’t voting in line with the Prime minister anymore though to be fair it’s not like he does anything anyway.
SO, THEN MAY WAS GONNA BRING BACK A MEANINGFUL VOTE ON HER DEAL 3 RIGHT?
Yes! And she spent all week trying to butter up Tory rebels who all told her ‘ok I’ll vote for it but only if you resign immediately afterwards’ which feels like it probably wasn’t the answer May wanted. Imagine being a door to door salesperson like that? Will you buy this series of books? Sure, but only if you drop dead as soon as I make the purchase. May and Hammond have also been having meetings with the DUP to get them to accept May’s deal which they didn’t agree too because they were too busy looking like they needed to disapprove of the fact you smiled about something. The plan was either for May to bring back her vote this week, before she went to the EU leader’s summit where they’d all have to find ways not to sit next to her at lunch incase she started telling them about her deal that was all new again, or she’d meet EU leaders and ask for extension with no reason to ask for an extension then bring back her vote next week which would be stupid if there was an extension and yes, all of this is really, really thick.
But today Speaker John Bercow made a surprise announcement where he brought up a 400 year old law that was all about MPs not being allowed to repeat a motion within the same session if it was the same or very similar to a previous motion and basically I would usually rail against how out of touch our parliament is but then suddenly its all about a 400 year old law and damn, I’m back and the HoC is great. The motion is from Erskine May which isn’t a relation to Theresa but the most authoritative reference book on parliamentary procedure, so yes, pretty much the opposite of the prime minister in every way. Authoritative, referential and a book as opposed to a metallic clunk machine. The No 10 spokesperson took over four hours to respond but when they eventually did they said ‘this is something that requires proper consideration.’ Which means May will leave it till last minute then just bring her deal back again without any changes.
So now she’s gotta go to the EU leaders summit and still ask for an extension and there won’t be a reason why other than that no one can decide on what they want to do.
WOULD THE EU GIVE THE UK AN EXTENSION ANYWAY?
Possibly not. Michael Barnier said there is not unanimous concensus to do so at the moment. Plus right wing idiots Nigel Farage and Andy Wigmore, among others, say they’ve been telling the far right half of the Italian coalition government to block it, and other eurosceptics have been lobbying Polish and Hungarian parliaments too. So I’m guessing an extension to at least June 30th is likely which is what May wants, and the EU says it’ll terminate the UK’s membership by July 1st if they don’t hold European Elections which would have to take place between May 23-26th. But EU President and amalgamation of Hellboy and an egg Donald Tusk said he’ll advise members that Britain may need a long period to rethink its approach, so they might insist an extension of say, two years.
WHICH IS NEEDED RIGHT?
Yeah except there’s worries that a longer extension would mean all the other EU countries would demand more things, like Spain getting more rights over Gibraltar, and further limits on the UK’s influence over EU laws that we’ll have to be subject to. And while I kind of think ‘weeeelllll serves us right’ I also never like the idea of being the only ones not having a say in a democracy. Oh and businesses of course will generally be losing their shit at all the different end dates. Apparently Transport Secretary and insomnia personified Chris Grayling faces a potential bill of £28m just to re-negotiate his ferry contract which currently only covers an exit date of March 29th. But let’s be fair, Grayling could lose £28m down the back of a sofa that didn’t have any cushions and was actually a large dog that had never even seen a sofa before.
But of course, by the time you hear this, that could all be wrong. Helpful?
And now back to Hazel and Gareth….
INTERVIEW WITH HAZEL AND GARETH PART 2
Many thanks to Hazel and Gareth. You can find the Sold From Under You report on the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s website at thebureauinvestigates.com, where you can find the link to the Bureau Local too, and I’ll pop the link in the podcast info too. Huffington Post have done a summary on their site as well. Hazel can be found on Twitter @hazelsheffield, her website with links to her journalism and filmmaking is hazelsheffield.com and one of her main projects, Far Nearer about local projects and people building economic resilience in the UK, is at farnearer.org or on Twitter @far_nearer. Gareth is on Twitter @gareth_davies09 and you can find links to his work at the aforementioned Bureau of Investigative Journalism site.
I’m getting some lovely suggestions from you lot as to who to interview and as always, not all of them reply to my very, almost begging like emails asking to interview them, so I still need more suggestions. Do I need someone who can update on something this podcast have covered before? What other new subjects should I ask someone about? Who can this show give a voice to that needs one, albeit a small voice that’s often badly recorded. All thoughts welcomed. I’d love to get someone on to talk about defence if you know or follow any one who could do that and isn’t a weird war loving bellend. My current basic research shows this is quite hard to do so please do enlighten me if that’s not the case. But I’m open to all suggestions except between 12 and 1pm when I’m closed for lunch. Ahem. So please do contact me @parpolbro on Twitter, the Partly Political Broadcast group on Facebook, the contact page at partlypoliticalbroadcast.co.uk or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The last two options end up in the same inbox, ha! I’ve had you fooled all along! Or you could write it in a note that you hide along a dirt track, through a field and somewhere along a ridiculously long stone wall, pop it under a particular stone, in a box beneath some soil. But then chances are Morgan Freeman will find it first and while he’d read it in a better voice than I would, he’d probably just be a bit confused and disappointed. All in all, as always, it’s probably just best to email.
And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast, and, as it probably sounds like, my voice. Thank you for sticking with this when at the moment you’d probably get just as much input into current events by listening to someone throw garden tools down some stairs, so your ear absorption of this show is much appreciated. Again, please do donate to this show via the Ko-fi or Patreon if you can, review the show on your pod applicators of choice and tell other people to listen in any way you can. Maybe write it in all the bibles in every hotel room you stay in so that this show gains a listenership of people who actually read bibles in hotel rooms and in a desperate attempt to please the audience I swap all political content for lounge jazz versions of classic hymns? Or you know, maybe not.
Thanks again to Acast for hosting this background noise in amongst its orchestra of sounds, to my brother The Last Skeptik for all the tunes and to Kat Day for typing up the linear liner notes every goddamn week.
This will be back next week when Theresa May will have told EU leaders that she needs an extension because she has a dentists appointment and the EU allow her 4 extra days during which she just keeps presenting her completely unchanged deal to parliament every 2 minutes until she’s sectioned.
This week’s show is brought to you by Bercow’s Little Book of 400 Year Old Solutions. Bit of a headache? Check John’s little book, as chances are you need some blood letting, good luck! Need some fashion tips ladies? How about a debilitating farthingale for under your dress? Comfy. Got guests coming by and struggling to think of what fancy food to serve? Well the Bercow 400 year old menu won’t let you down with suggestions of how to make lashings of plain porridge made with sewage water or the bile of an orphan slave. Mmm mmm. Bercow’s Little Book of 400 Year Old Solutions for when you need a little bit of history to solve life’s menial mysteries.