Episode 146 – Urgh, Trump is here. Way to ruin the warm weather guys. Luckily Dr Frances Ryan (@drfrancesryan) is here to talk all about her new book ‘Crippled: Austerity and the Demonisation Of Disabled People’. Plus the Conservative leadership campaign staggers on like roadkill desperately wanting to be put out of its misery and Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) looks at the recent review of the Modern Slavery Act. What more could you want? I know there’s lots. It was a rhetorical question. Shhhhh.
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Urgh, Trump is here. Way to ruin the warm weather guys. Luckily Dr Frances Ryan (@drfrancesryan) is here to talk all about her new book ‘Crippled: Austerity and the Demonisation Of Disabled People’. Plus the Conservative leadership campaign staggers on like roadkill desperately wanting to be put out of its misery and Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) looks at the recent review of the Modern Slavery Act. What more could you want? I know there’s lots. It was a rhetorical question. Shhhhh.
Links and sources of info from Frances’ interview:
All the usual ParPolBro stuff:
Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the political comedy podcast that tackles the news accidentally by falling into it when not looking because it’s too busy tweeting something sarcastic in order to stop fascism. This is episode 146, I’m Tiernan Douieb and yes, lazy, lazy cosplay of Jabba The Hutt and US President Donald Trump has arrived in the UK for his fucking state of this visit. Before his plane even landed ol’ big burnt sienna face Trump had already tweeted that Mayor of London and alternative Martin Freeman Sadiq Khan was a stone-cold loser and should be focusing on crime in London instead of him. But as Trump is one of America’s biggest sex pests and he’s now in the capital, I sort of feel like it’s the same thing.
Only last week in the US, life model for Sam the Eagle and now former Special Counsel Robert Mueller said that his report did not say Trump was not guilty of collusion, its just that charging him was not an option on account of him being President. Then Mueller announced his resignation because having to spend that much time focusing on things Donald has said is enough to make you want to give up on everything. Trump took this statement to mean he is innocent tweeting that the case is closed again adding to my theory that I think he’s so unaware of anything that they may as well just set him up in a prop version of the White House from an old film or TV set with a toy phone on the desk, and tell him he’s still president, while installing a grown up in the real one, and I doubt he’d know the difference for quite some time. So now, the UK is the first to welcome the president with his new potentially criminal status, because apparently, we’re all about the second chances except when it comes to referendums. Or any other criminals unless they run a country and might want to buy all our broken stuff after Brexit.
Before arriving, Trump insulted Sadiq Khan and referred to the Duchess of Sussex and the one The Queen keeps thinking is a member of staff Meghan Markle as ‘nasty’, which I suppose could have meant he was just keen to sexually harass her. But within a day he’d rejected these comments saying he never said them despite the audio of him saying them. Which means one of two things. Either he suffers from a dissociative disorder where like say Gollum, 90% of the day he’s evil Trump, spouting batshit rudeness, and then for a brief moment every day, the real Trump appears and tries to fix things before being pummeled back under tan and horror unable to escape. Or more likely, he’s just a horrible prick and we’re now so deep into an age that advocates lying and a lack of facts that the only real way to tackle this might be to use lies and fear against people like Donald. ‘No don’t get on air force one and leave the country, it’ll only clean the air more. Facts? Oh sure, I drew them on this napkin, see?’ ‘Every time you use Twitter it creates 5 more vegans’ and things like that.
He also said that human ball pit Boris Johnson would make an excellent Conservative leader, which is the sort of compliment that I think cancels itself out when it comes from someone who’d struggle to lead a horse to water without the horse deciding it was better just to die of thirst if it meant his collapsing body might fall on this orange turd and save the planet. The President’s other endlessly unwise comments included that drooping goat anus and leader of The Brexit Party Nigel Farage should be involved in the Brexit negotiations. Actually, I think that’s a great idea as it’d mean he’d have to actually go to Strasbourg or Brussels, and not just to visit one of his mistresses, but to actually enter the EU Parliament which I think might cause him to melt like a slug. Trump actually wants Boris or Farage involved, not just because the two of them are one face swap and tan bed away from being his budget clones but also because a No Deal Brexit would mean the US could swoop in and buy up everything. US ambassador to the UK, and man who’s name basically means he’s a double penis, Woody Johnson, has openly said that in a post Brexit deal with America everything, including the NHS, would be on the table. Considering the standard US portion size, it’s highly likely they’d gobble it up and order dessert. The only single bonus of a US style healthcare system is that with all the cigarettes he smokes and pints he drinks, there’s a high change Farage wouldn’t get any insurance and we’d all laugh as he has to resort to becoming a health tourist in a European country.
Air Force One landed at Stansted, proving that maybe it’s not much of a welcome after all, before getting straight on a helicopter. I was hoping that they’d then drop him off to get on a glider, then a wingsuit before finally he was left in a field with one of those caps with a propeller on. Trump is in the UK for 3 days, during which who knows what he’ll manage to do. I wouldn’t be surprised if next week’s podcast starts with me commenting on how he managed to sit on the Queen, complain that the UK was hostile to him because it started to rain and he couldn’t put his umbrella up, before spending 30 minutes talking to an old throw rug thinking it’s Prime Minister and skin wrapped around a void Theresa May. So far at the time of recording, all that’s really happened is a series of videos of Trump, Melania and various royals walking round the palace looking like a really boring promo for the Walking Dead. What I do know is that several protests are planned despite any attention merely feeding the beast. It would be much better for us all to completely ignore his visit and pretend we don’t know who he is and every time he speaks to someone they just say ‘I’m sorry, I don’t understand, do you speak English?’ before walking off. The Trump baby balloon will be flying over London again which I have to say, I do think is an unfair representation of the US President, but only because he’s always releasing his hot air usually from both ends. All of this in the week of D-Day celebrations and here we are in Britain welcoming a man who sympathizes with white supremacists, it’s like announcing to the world ‘Hey we used to fight them and now we’re inviting them for tea with the Queen! Come and visit to see how much we’ve progressed backwards. No wait don’t come, that’s the opposite of what we want.’
Outside of unwanted foreign interference the Conservative leadership race is stumbling along like barely alive roadkill that’s desperate to be put out of its misery. Even more candidates have been announced because if you throw enough shit at a wall people eventually can’t see the wall anymore and begin to normalize living with an endless cascade of shit instead. The newest contenders are current Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party and man who even his own name is a lie James Cleverly, a man most well-known for saying stupid things on Twitter, so to be fair, in this current climate and based on this week’s visitor, that could well qualify him for leadership. James says the party needs a complete refresh, which he assumes would still mean he’d be in it. If that’s all a refresh manages then I think this system is sadly corrupted and what it actually needs is deleting and installing an entirely different OS. Next up is lumpy custard in a suit Kit Malthouse who is best known for coming up with a Brexit compromise that wouldn’t work and no one liked. Again, this doesn’t disqualify him from being Conservative leader. Oh god. How did we get here? Malthouse has previously openly admitted that he wanted to make homeless people uncomfortable, which is really horrible but also, quite tough when they already have to sleep outdoors due to his party’s shitty policies. One of Malthouse’s leadership shouts is to inject fresh new ideas like buying up lamb for schools in the event of a no deal. I’m not sure if that’s for food or you know, as a no deal will deprive the UK of so much, maybe it’s also for stationary with children having to write things in lambs blood directly onto the carcasses of diabetics like me who will have died from insulin depravation within a few weeks. Maybe they can tie all the giblets together for skipping ropes in PE before using the hooves for basic percussion instruments in music? I know you’re screaming ‘why not use various bits for science?’ but come on, there won’t be any science lessons when we hit Dark Ages 2.0 silly billy.
Lastly but probably not leastly is Minister for Universities and Simon from the Chipmunks Sam Gyimah who won’t win because he’s not white, went to a state school and he wants a second referendum on the Brexit deal. I mean the only way he could make himself less electable to the Conservative membership would be by being in a wheelchair and saying he thinks the Archers is shit and he’d be forcibly removed. Oh no wait, there is one more, Mark Harper but I’m honestly not sure if he exists or is just a construct made from an album full of stock photos of men who’ve just found a hemorrhoid cream that works.
All the ten thousand and six other candidates that shouldn’t be trusted to run a tap let alone the country have also been setting out their Brexit policies or lack of. Mother Andrea Leadsom said she’s seeking a managed no deal, which is impossible as that would be a deal which she isn’t looking for. Then she said she’d secure a bill that locks in all the mutually beneficial measures that have already been agreed by the UK and EU, except none have yet as no deal has been agreed. Again, I’m mostly bothered by the lack of imagination. If you’re going to promise things that can’t be done and don’t exist, why not promise a free manticore for every household and kitchen taps that also do custard and jelly? Leadsom always bangs on about being a parent but it must be a pretty tedious life for her kids if any playtime with them involved her telling them they had some trade deals while cutting off all their supplies. Stupid clothes peg and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has u-turned on his Brexit policies by no saying a No Deal is political suicide. Although as is having Hunt as PM so it’s possible he’s still going for a No Deal.
Brutalised sea cucumber Michael Gove says that he’ll delay Brexit, possibly until late 2020, which is basically saying ‘vote for me, I’ll be exactly like the last PM only even harder to look at’. Enthusiastic children’s dog puppet and health secretary Matt Hancock has a plan for an Irish Border council, which is a great idea and not at all insulting to Northern Irish citizens who don’t even have a government but will now have a special council for a currently invisible line. Whereas pebble with eyes and Home Secretary Sajid Javid has basically offered to throw money at Ireland for them to install border technology that doesn’t yet exist for a job they haven’t caused, like how he might, say, throw a wad of notes at his cleaner to remove a body that had an accident that never happened. Javid also said he’d put money towards an extra 20k police officers on the beat, something he said he couldn’t do in the previous government, where he was the Home Secretary and in charge of police. Basically, his campaign is entirely ‘Vote for me to delegate things to other people who might be able to do it better than I can.’
Meanwhile walking engorged neck vein Dominic Raab has spent most of the week saying that he’s not a feminist, probably because he thinks that means being a citizen of some country called Feminasia he’s made up in his head and thinks is across this channel he’s just discovered. And lovechild of Richard Ashcroft and the Woman in Black Rory Stewart has embarked on his campaign which mainly involves him travelling around the UK, pretending to film himself promoting things that he’s previously voted against in parliament. One such film showed him dressed in a mac in Kew Gardens saying people could meet him there if they had any questions, as though he’d be lurking at the back of the Greenhouse ready to either pass on a secret code or show them his knob. All for the entrance fee of £16. Apparently his homegrown campaign raised £23k in the first ten hours of it being on his website, all in £10 and £20 donations, though I do wonder how many people thought their Kew Gardens entrance fee was included. Stewart also admitted that he once smoked opium at a wedding in Iran, and said it was a very stupid mistake, but actually it shows he’s better than anti-feminist Raab as he’s all about the heroins.
Oh and then there’s Boris who launched his campaign with a video where he looks like he’s just sipped from the cup he thought was the Holy Grail but wasn’t, and keeps banging on about supporting business, even though it was this time last year that he said, referring to business concerns over a no deal, ‘Fuck Business’. So, either he has no awareness that people can use google, like Trump he does but doesn’t care, or he’s super aware that anything he’s fucked will actually need quite a lot of support afterwards. There is a chance Boris won’t make it to the end of the race though as he’s been summoned to court accused of misconduct in a public office after making the claim that the UK give the EU £350m a week and that would be spent on the NHS after Brexit, something that everyone who’d ever read anything, said definitely wasn’t true. The only issue might be is that if Boris is found guilty, and it becomes illegal to lie in public office then it could mean that we suddenly need 650 entirely new MPs….wait, did I say that was an issue? Sorry. I meant it could be exactly what’s needed.
So that’s 13 contenders, unlucky for most, and the BBC have announced that they will be televising the leadership debates because there’s nothing more fun than watching a witches’ coven full of arseholes make promises they won’t keep for an election we can’t vote in. But is it all pointless anyway as one opinion poll last week showed Lib Dems at the top of the public’s Westminster voting intention, an outcome that must’ve got the party so excited that they probably opened up their pre-mixed spritzer from M&S and shared it around the three of them, but not too much as it was a school night you know. The Lib Dems are also currently looking for a new leader to replace Vince Cable who’s presumably leaving so he’ll be able to play Friar Tuck in Disney’s live action version of their Robin Hood film. So far potential leaders include Simon Day’s least enjoyed character Ed Davey who would allow the party to take all the recent gains they’ve made and violently throw them into a trash fire or eternal head girl Jo Swinson, who seems a more sensible choice on account of her not appearing like a political George Costanza. When asked on the Today program what the naughtiest thing she’s ever done was, Swinson replied that she had fun in her teenage years. Which I mean, is such a non-answer as everyone did didn’t they? Or at least remembers they did, even though it was mostly spent squeezing spots and trying to work out how not to be a total arsehole. Or ‘I had fun in my teenage years’ is proof that she and some friends ran someone over on a Spring Break road trip and barely survived after the undead creature chased them fish hooks around a port town for at least three films. It’ll be one or the other.
Another poll last week however had the Lib Dems much further down, with The Brexit Party up top, because nothing fills my heart with fear like the possibility of a party winning a general election with a manifesto that’s just full of the shrug emoji. Brexit Party MEP and Sylvia Ganush in Drag Me To Hell Anne Widdicombe really aided the party’s image of being something for the 21st century, that’s BC obviously, by saying that she believed science might one day produce an answer to being gay. A comment that was shocking not only in its content but also the revelation that Widdicombe believes in science when we were all certain she was into some sort of ancient black magic. So, she’s still an old homophobe and fingers crossed scientists ignores her comments and instead spends their time working on a cure that will completely remove her.
In other news, shaved Wind In The Willows character and speaker of the house John Bercow has said he has no plans to stand down from his position, though that will make his legs tired during those very long parliamentary sessions. This announcement has angered a lot of Brexiteers who think he will work on a way for parliament to block a no deal, which must be really annoying when the sovereign parliament you get isn’t the one you read about in the brochure that doesn’t exist.
The Labour Party, the opposition who represent the everyday people, because most everyday people don’t like their boss, have come under fire for expelling Former Labour spin doctor and hunter of imaginary weapons Alistair Campbell after he announced that he had voted Liberal Democrat in the EU elections, something that is against the Labour membership rules under rules that were put in by the government Campbell was part of. Many were quick to point out that Labour MP and warning on a cigarette packet Kate Hoey has often promoted The Brexit Party but hasn’t been expelled but seem to forget that she can only be expelled by removing all her horcruxes, many of which are still in unknown locations. Campbell has said it’s a discriminatory decision and I’m just waiting for him to claim there’s no evidence and for everyone to ignore him.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a formal investigation into the Labour Party over allegations of anti-Semitism, which to even get to the threshold for such a thing to happen is pretty damning. Labour have said they’ll fully co-operate but released a statement saying that a 70% budget cut mean the EHRC can’t operate properly, which feels like an own goal as if they find that Labour is guilty of severe anti-Semitic conduct it’ll now show that even with a couple of part timers they were able to find evidence pretty quick by just skim reading twitter on an unpaid lunch break. Following the investigation announcement Labour suspended NEC member and evidence that human beings can cave in from the inside first Peter Willsman after he blamed the Israeli embassy for the anti-Semitism allegations against Labour. So that there is proof Labour do handle issues of anti-Semitism quickly by making sure they deal with members as soon as they’ve made their 14th or possibly 15th comment over a number of years. Its effective but only if you look at the entire history of humanity in comparison to the timeline of the universe. The leaders office are also under pressure over the reinstatement in 2017 of communications team member and David from the Royale Family David Prescott who had allegations of sexual harassment made against him at the time, including allegedly that he took a shit on the kitchen floor of a female MP who had rejected his advances. Labour say no formal complaint had been made which is why they reinstated him after two weeks, but if that’s the case, and rules are rules, at least reassure people he’s never in charge of lunch or doing the washing up yeah?
And lastly decomposed melon Gerard Batten has resigned his leadership of UKIP after their EU elections failures. Good. I hope he goes back to where he came from.
Yo yo yo yo yo yo. Welcome ParPolBrods to another episode of this where the intro has to be so long to cram in all the absolutely nothing of note that’s happened over the past week. It’s amazing to watch a leadership race, or in fact a race of any kind, where you really really somehow want everyone to lose. I’m really starting to feel that the whole Conservative contest should be done as a sort of Royal Rumble style death match which to be fair, I would actually watch on the BBC, so they should really get onto that. I have spent the last few days recovering from taking our little one to a friend’s B-B-Q on Saturday where we failed to really eat anything, or talk to anyone, as we spent the entire time stopping her from charging face first into burning hot fire things, or peoples’ plates of food, or smashing all their drinks or somehow trying to do all three at once. Still I suppose what’s important is that she had fun, which I’m not sure she did as she mainly cried the entire time because we wouldn’t let her burn her face off. Its very weird that it’s a child’s instinct to throw themselves off things, jump at sharp stuff, try to eat all the things that would instantly kill them. I often feel pleased that I spent quite a lot of time as a kid playing the computer game Lemmings so I feel almost prepared. But how did we survive as a species if that’s the general instinct? We should’ve been wiped out thousands of years ago when a few toddling Neanderthals thought it best to charge at a mammoth and try to climb or bite it’s tusks. Sorry, I can’t get the thought of careering, crazed toddlers destroying humanity out of my head, it must be the Trump state visit that’s done it.
Thanks tons for being here once again, despite some of this podcast probably running out of relevance pretty quickly in this week of everything happening. It’s Trump visiting now, Peterborough by-election, then D-Day anniversary and May’s last day all this week, whereas last week was largely just Rory Stewart asking everyone to play an extremely boring live action version of Pokemon Go. But you’re here and that’s what matters and thanks this week also to Davalon for the very lovely review on the iTunes. If you too would like to throw this show 5 stars and say something nice about it on any of the pod apps then please go do that as it does help lure other unsuspecting ears to this show. I’m aware iTunes is supposedly going soon, to be replaced with a podcasts app which I’m guessing will be the same. I’m just going to refuse to update my computer and get people to pay tickets to come and look at it like it’s a museum. If you have already reviewed the show or are actively against the idea or your parents were killed by a review when you were a child and now spend your evenings dressing up as a vigilante in order to take them down, then why not throw me a £1 or two at the patreon.com/parpolbro or ko-fi.com/parpolbro pages so in this hot weather I can buy a cold drink that I’ll never have time to consume as I’ll be too busy trying to stop my daughter from somehow chucking it at an angry dog. And of course if you can’t do either of those things, please just do spread the word about this show.
Only other thing this week is the small announcement that while I am not doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year, on account of not being a multi-millionaire as it seems renting accommodation there this year requires you to re-mortagage the house you don’t own. I am doing two shows at the Camden Fringe on August 4th and 5th, which is a Sunday and Monday because I meant to book a Tuesday & Wednesday but looked at the wrong month on my phone calendar. TRUE STORY. Anyway, you can book tickets for those at camdenfringe.com and it will be 60 minutes of new stand-up from me, very likely including some politics whining as well as parenting whining and also…no wait…that is it. But it’ll be jokes. Promise.
On this week’s show I am very chuffed to have interviewed brilliant Guardian journalist and disability rights campaigner Dr Frances Ryan all about her new book, which is a must read. I was so pleased she had time to chat. Also, a little look at the review of the Modern Slavery Act which absolutely no one is mentioning anywhere because everyone is too focused on which useless Tory they can’t vote for or the Chewits monster that’s stomping around the UK insisting everyone eats chicken that tastes like swimming pool. So let’s get on with it shall we?
INTERVIEW WITH FRANCES
There’s that famous quote by Mahatma Ghandi that’s often thrown about twitter, where he said, ‘A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.’ Which if you go by that, our nation is pretty great as it appears be led by a bunch of total weak members. And they are having a great time being really, really shitty to people with disabilities, who wouldn’t be at all weak if it wasn’t for a massive slashing of every benefit, service and avenue of independence many of them have. If you have a disability and live in the UK, it means for the last nine years you’ve probably been referred to as a scrounger or work-shy, been told you can work even though you can’t or if you can, been unable to find work that will actually provide the necessary support so you can be there and then had all your money cut off on account of you not being able to provide for yourself. Thanks to policies started by ol’ spoon face David Cameron and his government back in 2010, the Department of Work and Pensions has become less of a functioning public body and more a frustrating Sphinx, throwing out riddles that had Oedipus already stuck pins in his eyes when confronting it, it’d probably have made things harder just to be a shit. People have been sanctioned for payments for not attending appointments despite being completely bed bound, they’ve been declared fit for work with notes saying they can walk their dog despite not being able to walk or having a dog, or they’ve been told they’re too well for benefits while being denied work or study as apparently they’re not well enough for those. It’s the sort of thing Joseph Heller would’ve deemed too impossible and cruel to write about. Yet while you probably all remember ATOS declaring themselves not fit to work anymore, Angry Thumb Iain Duncan Smith spending more money on his breakfast than anyone in need and Lord Freud enforcing bedroom tax while he lived in a mansion with so many rooms only necessary so he could hear his maniacal laugh echo around them, the suffering that disabled people are going through hasn’t been dwelled on in the media all that much in recent times. The 2017 UN report stating that the UK’s treatment of people with disabilities was a human catastrophe, was shrugged off by the government as ‘disappointing’ causing them to do absolutely zero about it, although that could be because disappointing is their mark of achievement. Instead millions of people have just continued to suffer without a voice, without any hope for change and with universal credit, despite its immense failures, still being pushed forward and social care being annihilated.
So, this week, as a podcast that has also regretfully ignored this issue for quite some time, I spoke to Dr Frances Ryan, a Guardian columnist and campaigner for disability rights, and she spoke to me all about her new book Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People. The book is out this week and having read it, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a brilliantly written, very powerful read, though the stories of what people have been forced to go through and how they’ve pushed into severe, sometimes life ending poverty did cause need for me to put it down a few times and just generally despair. I think it’s a very necessary read and hopefully Amber Rudd is digesting a copy in the DWP right now, though somehow, I’m sure in reality she’s just unaware of any of it. Anyway, I was so pleased Frances had time to chat, as I’ve read many of her articles and she often provides such intelligent, acute insights into the effects of austerity and general terrible state of things. So I hope you enjoy this and if you do, I’ve popped a link to her book in the podcast blurb so do get yourself a copy. Here’s Frances:
INTERVIEW WITH FRANCES PART 1
And we’ll be back with Frances in a minute but first…
If I said the words Modern Slavery to you, you’d probably think it was some album by an alternative electro pop band whose worst sufferance was that time the sound tech said they didn’t know how to connect their emotions to the mixer desk and there were no turmeric fountains backstage. But actually, Modern Slavery is real slavery, just now. New and not at all improved and really, really horrible. Examples include trafficking, people being forced to work to pay off a debt, child slavery, domestic servitude, forced marriage, and of course having to painfully somehow write jokes about an incredibly bleak subject all for no pay and just because the people demand it every single week. Ahem. Ok not the last one. Obviously. The Modern Slavery Act was passed in the UK in 2015 and at the time was hailed as a landmark set of measures. It meant that traffickers could be jailed for life and supposedly gave better protection for vulnerable people, while forcing big businesses to outline their actions to avoid forced labor. Except a parliamentary review that started last July found that it doesn’t really do enough of any of those things at all. There were 7000 victims of modern slavery that are known in the UK last year, which is a rise of a third from 2017, with nearly half of them being children used as drugs mules for gangs. But the Global Survey Index says the UK is actually home to 136,000 modern slaves which is a good deal higher than all government estimates. What? This government get their figures wrong? Who would have thought it? While this week it’s been revealed that the Home Office have been releasing victims of trafficking from immigration detention back to the addresses where they were enslaved, as no safe housing is arranged. That’s total horror. Imagine Yarl’s Wood ending up being the brief respite from an even worse life. That’s ten billion times worse than when you turn over the news for a breather only to find Jamie Oliver is on the other channel pretending that pasta is exotic. But doesn’t even compare. Look you try and make jokes about this subject that you’ve chosen to do for your comedy politics podcast and now maybe regret it a bit ok?
The panel for the review was made up of Frank Field the former Labour MP and now independent who complained that immigrants take all the jobs and is very pro-Brexit, Maria Miller the Conservative MP who was forced to resign after over claiming expenses, and Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss who had to resign from being the chair of the child abuse enquiry due to family connections that meant she would not be non-partisan about it all. So as they say, it takes one to know one and those three have the perfect set of skills between them to spot when workers and children are being exploited. In their review they made 80 recommendations focusing on how the law needs to actively punish big businesses more that don’t disclose their anti-slavery actions. It turns out that 29 of the UK’s biggest companies don’t at all, although Marks and Spencer and Tesco’s were the best. I’m happily surprised by the latter because their slogan of ‘every little helps’ really didn’t bode well.
It was suggested that changes are made to the role of the independent anti-slavery chief, currently taken by former police chief Sara Thornton, so they can scrutinize the government’s actions more thoroughly. Which is good as Thornton only took the job after the previous anti-slavery chief quit complaining about government interference which is amazing as most other areas this government seem to avoid then claim they had no idea why it failed. Other proposals were to give financial compensation for victims and support for child victims. But, unsurprisingly, critics have said that none of this addresses how the current drastic immigration law leads to trafficking and abuse, as power was taken away from undocumented workers in the Immigration Act meaning that employers can continue to abuse workers’ rights while it’s only those who are exploited that end up punished.
The UK Act does strange things such as provide its own definition of human trafficking, because it seems UK politicians are obsessed with just providing their own version of what everything means. Remember when they changed poverty to no longer mean anything to do with wealth? And how Prime Minister now just means a weird, vapid, listless entity? Well the Modern Slavery Act doesn’t use the international version of human trafficking which defines more acts under that title. So currently under UK terms, offenders involved with the offence but not directly, such as in through recruitment or reception, aren’t implicated in the crimes.
Fact is, it’s great that it was reviewed and shown to be not good enough, but the review is also not good enough and to really tackle modern slavery the government probably needs to not be in government anymore as rather than actually deal with labour exploitation, they’ll probably just say the term now means when the opposition take the piss about something the government have done badly.
And now back to Frances…
INTERVIEW WITH FRANCES PART 2
Thanks so much to Frances for having the time to talk to, and her publishers Verso for very kindly sending me an advanced copy of her book so I could read it before I interviewed her. Frances is on Twitter @DrFrancesRyan, she regularly has articles in the Guardian that are always very worth a read and her book, which I cannot recommend enough, though as I have mentioned, some of it, the parts that refer to the situations some people are in, are really bleak, albeit important and eye-opening. Her book is called ‘Crippled: Austerity and the Demonisation of Disabled People’ is out now and available at all good bookshops as well as moderately behaved ones and likely a handful of immoral ones too. I’ll pop a link to the latter of those on the pod blurb.
Thanks to the ever-excellent Jason Reed from the Stop and Search for recommending I drop Frances a line, and I’ve got two more guests already lined up but there are five more shows before the podcast takes a summer break. So, who do I do talking to? Whose ears shall I fire questions into only for my ears to be bombarded by a series of retaliatory answers? All suggestions are welcomed apart from some of them. Why not see if your suggestion is a good one or a bad? Please let me know who to talk to, what to find someone to talk to about, and you can do that via @parpolbro on Twitter, the Partly Political Broadcast group on Facebook, the contact page on partlypoliticalbroadcast.co.uk or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you could mow your suggestion into some fields nearby an airport and next time I fly anywhere I could see as the plane comes into land, except chances are I’ll have forgotten or been too stingy to pre-book seats so I’ll get stuck by the wing again and you’ll just really confuse a tourist or make some people think aliens are asking for some really specific test subjects.
So as always, it’s probably just best to email.
And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed your fill of jokes and info and thoughts and occasional horrible breath noises. If you did, why not consider throwing one of your Earth money tokens towards the Patreon or ko-fi pages, reviewing the show with a 5-star rating somewhere I can see it so my fragile ego will survive another day. Sorry, I mean so other people can see it’s worth tuning in. Or just tell everyone you’ve ever know to give it a go, because they never know, they might just like it a little bit. Or they’ll hate it, choose never to speak to you again and then win, that’s one fewer social occasion you have to attend! Hooray!
Ta to Acast for pod platforming, my brother the Last Skeptik for all the sounds that aren’t from my mouth or other body parts, and to Kat Day for typing up the linear liner notes every single week.
This will be back next week when the Conservative leadership campaign ramps up to the lip sync challenge but all contestants fail assuming it’s something to do with lip service and just carry on their campaigns as usual.
This week’s show was sponsored by Lamb! Not enough places to hang up your clothes? Try a lamb! Draughty front doors? Stick a lamb there! No one to watch your amateur dramatics play? Fill up the seats with lambs! Stuck with nothing to finish your poem with but it needs to rhyme with jam? Try lamb! Lamb lamb lamb lamb lamb lamb lamb lamb lamb LAAAAAMBBBBB. You be bleating mad not to! No wait, you’d be baaaarmy. No wait. Don’t be sheepish, try lamb. Oh god I hate my life.
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