Episode 148 – Boris Johnson is going to be Prime Minister and the only way that’s remotely ok is if he keeps not turning up to things and is generally never seen ever again. Plus: Why have the BBC cut free licence fees for the over 75s? Spoiler: Because the government are awful and they did it really. Also Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) chats to Tom Salinsky, co-writer of Brexit The Play (@brexitplay).
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Linear liner notes
Boris Johnson is going to be Prime Minister and the only way that’s remotely ok is if he keeps not turning up to things and is generally never seen ever again. Plus: Why have the BBC cut free licence fees for the over 75s? Spoiler: Because the government are awful and they did it really. Also Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) chats to Tom Salinsky, co-writer of Brexit The Play (@brexitplay).
Links and sources of info from Tom’s interview:
If you’re anywhere near Oxford on Friday 28th June come and check out http://www.offbeatoxford.co.uk/2019-whats-on/2019/6/28/mythmaking-a-night-of-new-stories-for-old-objects — it’s FREE! (But booking needed)
All the usual ParPolBro stuff:
Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that contains an awful lot of stuff that result of a face swap between a chimpanzee corpse and a sea cucumber Nigel Farage would probably call the police about. This is episode 148, I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week as its announced that Britain’s next Prime Minister will be decided by 160,000 mostly white, rich and male Tory membership in their 60s who mainly read the Telegraph or Mail, I’m really, really concerned that it’s only a matter of time before the country is led by Steely Dan.
Depending on when you hear this, there’ll be somewhere between 6 and 2 Conservative leadership candidates left. In the race that is, sadly not alive or that’d mean there’d be some hope for the future of the UK. While the notion of televised debates and weeks of coverage all for a new Prime Minister that most people can’t vote for did seem futile just a week ago, it’s now clear that it was actually very necessary in order to mentally prepare us for what will be a terrible, terrible few years or however long it’ll be until Britain sinks itself into the Irish Sea as an act of protest. Over the next few days candidates will drop out after either not receiving enough support in the ongoing secret ballots, or maybe, like champion five head Matt Hancock, just dropping out because they already know no one likes them. Hancock only just got enough votes to get through the first round and thought he’d quit while he was behind. Seems his policies of a time limited backstop that has already been pitched and rejected, didn’t woo his colleagues who’d already heard and rejected it. There’s something wonderful about a man who has previously vowed to take on social media companies realizing his career can’t move forward as he hasn’t got any friends. There is of course also the chance that the remaining candidates will just drop out after having a moment of clarity, realizing that absolutely none of them are suitable leaders and the appointment to Prime Minister of any single one of them would be simultaneously catastrophic and pointless for the United Kingdom. But based on the delusional, self-aggrandizing, contradictory, hypocritical and bullshit filled race so far, it’s far more likely that one of them will get hospitalized from trying so hard to appear sincere and human that they burst a blood vessel in their head.
The first of the televised debates on Channel 4 took place on Sunday, on a set that looked as though it was designed for a taxing game show, but in fact it was merely a jazzed up pilot version of Conservatives say the most horrifying things. Jeremy Hunt, a man so devoid of depth that on a personality test he scores cardboard, kept saying that the only way to defeat the Brexit party was to do what they want, proving that hostage negotiator would be yet another job he’d be shit it. How does being the Brexit Party defeat the Brexit Party and will he use the same tactic to beat Labour, the Lib Dems, and the Greens, like a political Super Skrull? Would the next general election just involve him shouting other parties policies resulting in the Conservatives being like a parliamentary convenience store that’s full of all sorts of things but never exactly what you need? Hunt’s main push though, which he tweeted after the show is to improve social care, something that he actively didn’t do when in charge of social care. He said ‘every older person deserves to die with dignity and respect. We should be the party who sorts it out.’ Is anyone else worried that he has a planned time and date for that? Not sure the membership will be keen for Jeremy to turn the party into a cross between Waco and a Saga holiday. Bloated sea monkey Michael Gove said he was the candidate school nativity snapchat filter Jeremy Corbyn would be scared of facing but that is because looking directly at Gove’s ancient congealed rice pudding face can induce nausea. Every time he looked straight down the camera I had to willingly seal all orifices to stop 3 weeks of dinner from trying to leave. Gove said that he’d won the referendum, that he was a man in a hurry, and basically said that he’d experienced everything, could achieve everything, known someone who’d suffered everything and had been everywhere, all of which very much sounded like the cocaine talking. If he’s not still on drugs how could he state, with sincerity, that in education he transformed schools and think people will see that as a plus? On Gove’s record he was in charge of the Transformers they’d go from a car into a smoldering piece of useless shit that ruined children’s dreams.
Dominic Raab, a composite of everything that pushes through the TV in Videodrome, kept talking about telegraphing the EU, seemingly unaware that we’ve moved beyond that technology wise. I’m worried that his leadership would involve sending a bard to Brussels by foot and suspending parliament till they return. Raab kept saying that the EU had to believe No Deal was still on the table, forgetting that again in Europe they also have TV and have met Raab before and will probably just distract him with a hoop and stick while going off to another room to talk to adults. Man who used his only magic wish to get a rugby ball for a head Sajid Javid said of the possibility of a No Deal, that he’d never walked into a room without the ability to walk out without signing. That explains why he doesn’t walk into a lot of rooms and will run away to Australia if things get tense. And the small alien inside of the alien’s mouth in the film Alien Rory Stewart kept bringing out a weird analogy about how the Brexit negotiations were like him trying to fit too many bin bags in a bin even though his wife was saying that wouldn’t work. An odd analogy especially considering most of the Conservatives Brexit ideas were already toxic trash to begin with, but despite that, they keep being endlessly recycled. Stewart said ‘believe in the bin’ which I think means parliament. Or possibly the EU. Or maybe just a bin and he really thinks all the Tories should get in it, in which case I long for him to win just so at the Tory Conference in September he can walk onstage in a suit made of bin bags and try to re-enact Stomp to complete silence. Stewart was trying to be the everyman, the voice of the people, saying that everywhere he’d been he felt a sense of palpable anger, but that ignored that it was likely because he was always in the way with his stupid fucking selfie stick.
When Krishnan Guru-Murphy asked the candidates what their weaknesses were, none of them said ‘needing to feed on the blood of innocents as soon as the moon rises’ so you know it was all bullshit. Krishnan asked Gove, ‘isn’t hypocrisy your biggest weakness?’ and Gove replied, ‘No, I learn from my mistakes’ instantly proving Krishnan right. The whole show could’ve been reduced to 5 minutes with each candidate saying ‘the main way to make the country better would be to reverse all the terrible, terrible things I did while in the government’ and then leave it at that knowing that they absolutely wouldn’t and would probably make it all worse. These gruesome caricatures of people continued more of the same tiresome shit at the lobby hustings on Monday. Stewart trying to be the moderate candidate, speaking of having a citizens assembly for Brexit if Parliament can’t decide, proving he definitely hasn’t met or spoken to any real people on his travels or he’d know that was an awful idea too. Stick to the bin mate. Javid tried his best to insert any warmth into his personality like how it sometimes seems crocodiles are smiling. He said that he’s tried hard to communicate better, but that his dog Bailey is more popular than him. Great, let’s let him run. I can’t imagine Bailey would make any more of a dog’s dinner of this than any of the other candidates. I think only Larry would be annoyed. And Bailey? After the castle fortification with a curtain wall? I mean, you can see why he was gutted not to go to the state dinner. Javid said that if Labour won, he didn’t know who’d be first against the wall, journalists or Tories. That’s funny, as I bet he’d know exactly who’d be deported first if he got into power.
When asked about human vuvuzela and US President Donald Trump retweeted skin wrapped around the Daily Mail comments section Katie Hopkins slagging off the London Mayor and pocket politician Sadiq Khan, Jeremy Hunt said that wouldn’t have used the same language as Trump but agreed with the sentiment 150%. Great way to win over voters that. Hey everyone, I only use big words to convey my racism and I don’t understand maths. It was revealed in the Mail on Sunday that Hunt’s wife calls him Mr Big Rice which can only be because if you leave him standing in room temperature for a while he makes you really ill. Meanwhile Dominic Raab told journalists that the UK could weather any difficulties from a no deal, in a week where the M25 got sinkholes after some rain. He said Dublin and Brussels have politicized the issue of the Irish Border, which I mean, oh god. Oh, dear god. Then finally Gove who insisted none of the other candidates understand the politics of Ireland better than him, which considering Raab’s statements, is a very low bar. At the time though Gove did actually say the Good Friday agreement was like normalizing the desires of pedophiles or Nazi appeasement, but to be fair I his mind, that might mean he was behind it. I’m almost certain Gove once went into an O’Neills and now assumes he’s an expert. Though that’d mean he wouldn’t listen to himself, and ah I see it now, hypocrisy is his weakness, but he totally thinks it’s a strength.
So far, the candidate winning the most backing is cross between Bulk from Superted and several Crufts rejects Boris Johnson, who seems understands that the only way he’ll win is to make absolutely no one hears or sees anything of him until it’s all over. C4 put out an empty podium to symbolize his lack of appearance and he was nowhere to be seen for the lobby hustings. Either this is an uncharacteristic shocking sign of self awareness from Johnson who realizes that every time he opens his mouth people remember he exists and automatically feel a bit sick, or he has a very savvy team around him who are hoping that everyone just forgets he exists which in comparison to the others, will make him most likeable. It does mean that so far, he’s been the least awful person in the debates and I mean, but while the Devil’s greatest trick was to convince the world he didn’t exist, everyone already, and unfortunately knows Boris exists and that he has a habit of being a racist lying bigot. At his campaign launch last week he dismissed questions about his ability to be leader when he makes statements such as ‘Muslim women look like letterboxes’, saying that was just ‘plain speaking’ which I guess is why it’s the opposite of anything someone grounded might say. But here’s the thing, for people to forget that, they really mustn’t see him anywhere anymore. I’m starting to feel that with these sorts of tactics, Boris is the best candidate for PM, but only on the basis that we’ll never see or hear from him again. Civil servants can just leave a bowl of pork scratchings and some brandy outside number 10, and they’ll always be gone in the morning, but as for policies and plans, nothing will happen. Which again, in comparison to the last 9 years of Conservative rule, would be an absolute blessing. Think of how popular Boris would be if as Mayor of London, he’d never said a thing? Or during the leave campaign, he’d just stood beside a blank red bus, and just gazed into space like a low budget, middle aged shit version of Drive. Or as Foreign Secretary, had shook the hands of foreign diplomats but nothing more and in France they loved him on account of his obvious mime skills.
More likely though he’ll win and become Prime Minister because the Conservative Party are now full on delusional and think it’s perfectly fine to have a big fat fibber in charge because the US do and hey now the two countries can literally lie together in their special relationship. And if he crashes us out of the EU like we’re a Japanese schoolkid playing rugby, the head of the civil service and man with default pained expression Sir Mark Sedwill, said that the government is in pretty good shape to deal with a no deal Brexit. Except HMRC have found that only 10% of British businesses are even remotely close to handling it. But hey who cares if the government will all be fine right? I mean what the British public want is a long period where PMQs can still happen and while they’re all shouting childish jeers and taking ages not to clarify anything, we will all be too busy to watch as we’re outside fighting for water. And chances are Boris will be nowhere to be seen.
Speaking of Brexit, MPs voted 309 to 298 against Labour’s bid to try to get control of the parliamentary agenda in order to stop a no deal. I mean phew eh? Just imagine if Labour had control of parliament for even one day, before you know it, all those Tories and journalists would be against a wall of some sort. Whereas a No Deal, at least parliament will just continue as usual so I can totally see the logic. Thankfully without control of parliament for a day, Labour will now have extra time to attack themselves, as they most enjoy doing, with Corbyn telling an education conference that the last 30 years of governments had all been the same when it comes to inequality, which led to the only known sufferer of monochromitus Tony Blair to rise from his political grave and pick on the bit of the 30 years that he was involved in which makes me think it’s obviously a sore spot for him. If only Corbyn had said ‘the last 30 years except for that bit in the middle’. Blair posted a video online where he said it’s time to set the record straight, though he only meant on Corbyn’s comments not Iraq or anything like that. Blair said that the Labour governments from 1997-2010 had seen the most dramatic improvements to public services with the largest ever peacetime investment in them, which is odd as some of that wasn’t peace time as the UK had invaded Iraq. Thing is, both him and Corbyn are right, as New Labour did do all that increased spending, but overall inequality didn’t actually change much because they made the public sector really dependent on the private sector that it turned out, was not very trustworthy at running itself. You can see why Tony Tony Tone is a tad upset though because he doesn’t like being compared to Thatcher who he said was an inspiration to him. But that’s ok because ultimately all anyone will really remember is that Labour is a broad church but some people use it for community purposes, and others mostly attend funerals and say its everyone else’s fault that they happened. Meanwhile Blair mostly hangs around the crypt.
Corbyn also made a statement that there was no credible evidence that Iran were behind attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, saying that the UK should ease tensions in the area rather than fuel a military escalation. Jeremy Hunt said that Corbyn was pathetic and it was almost certainly Iran, even though he probably has no idea where that is. The situation in Iran is complicated but let me quickly explain it like this. Japan, Norway, France, Germany and now Corbyn say there’s not enough evidence to say it was definitely Iran what did it. Donald Trump who lies a minimum of 5 times a day and hates Iran, and Jeremy Hunt who wants to kill old people, accepts racism if it’s well written and can’t remember where his wife is from, say it’s definitely Iran.
In other news, proof that you can deep fake an entire person Chuka Umunna has now joined the Lib Dems, in the knowledge that at least he and them won’t be the worst coalition they’ve been part of. Ummuna had previously tweeted that he’d never be able to forgive the Lib Dems for what they did to his area, but as he’s staying MP for Streatham despite the multiple party change, maybe he’s just trying a Jeremy Hunt and to defeat the Lib Dems he has to become them? Theresa May, a woman with all the charisma of a dentists waiting room, said she will stay as an MP after she leaves Number 10, with the aim of sitting on the backbench and giving people some of the same medicine they gave her. Presumably that means she’ll just hand out cough sweets. Before she goes though May has announced that the UK would become the first nation to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050, which Conservative MPs say tie the hands of her successor and may scupper their economic plans. Will it? I mean if Jeremy Hunt wins, which he won’t, and he does make all older people die with dignity and respect during his tenure, then that’s already a lot of reduced carbon emissions isn’t it and a whole ton of saves costs too?
And lastly, Friday was two years since the horrific tragedy of the fire at Grenfell Tower. With over 70 families still without homes and dangerous flammable cladding still on so many properties, you’ll be glad to here that the government acknowledged the anniversary with some green lights shone on parliament. Brilliant. I bet they were the same ones used for Mental Health Awareness Week too. Why use your expensive lighting for one vapid hollow statement about people you’ve abandoned when you can use it for two? And comedian Jo Brand got into trouble after making a joke on a comedy program about making dangerous jokes on Radio 4, where she said, in reference to the milk-shaking of far right activists, why bother with a milkshake, when you can get some battery acid, before then apologizing and saying she wouldn’t do it. Sense of humour failure personified Nigel Farage kicked off, and reported Brand to the police for incitement of violence, because if anyone is going to up arms and take to the streets it’s a Radio 4 comedy audience isn’t it? Where will it end? What if Desert Island Discs encourages True Britons to emigrate to an atoll with only a handful of sounds? What is the Shipping Forecast means people showers Doggers or Vikings moderately?
Yeah ParPolBrods. It is late here in Partly towers, as this week’s episode has taken ages to write, trying to work out how to basically say ‘oh dear we’re fucked’ in as many different ways to last week as possible. It does get tricky after a while. But here we are and as its late, so late, this bit will be full of less chat than usual. I’ll get the pleasantries in though because I’m a gent. So how are you? Good. I mean, I’m assuming good even though Boris Johnson might be Prime Minister which really means bad, though I feel like he is who we deserve as the entire country feels stuck on a zipwire trying to look cool because we’re too unaware to be embarrassed. Sorry, I’m keeping this brief aren’t I? I was in Tunbridge Wells on Friday, a very Tory area and the audience booed every single Conservative candidate when I mentioned them. So that’s interesting isn’t it? Sorry, keeping it brief.
Thank you to all of you for listening and tuning in and this week, a thank you to Paddy who gave the show a 1 star review on iTunes saying it was ‘Another Mr Angry over Brexit, disguised as comedy. Other than preaching to the converted, not really sure what this achieves though.’ Thanks for listening Paddy! I have a feeling he heard all of three minutes then got sad, but at least he realized comedy was a part of it, so that’s nice. I’m not sure podcasts are meant to achieve anything Paddy but preaching to the converted can be a useful solidarity tool, plus if it upsets people so much they write bizarre Mr Men book stories in my reviews, I think that’s all good. If you’d like to leave a better starred review, you can of course do that too on all the pod review apps, or if like Upset Paddy you’d like to give a one star review because I’ve made a joke about someone you like and its all confusing, then please just go shout at some pigeons. Also if you fancy donating to the ko-fi and Patreon then links are in the pod blurb and please just tell people you know to give this a listen eh?
Quick admin bits this week. Firstly my brother The Last Skeptik, who does all the music for this show, has released a new single called ‘You Make Me Wanna (Kill)’ on which he raps for the first time in ages, and despite being his brother from exactly the same mother, I love it. Its getting some nice 6Music airplay but do go check it out on all the streaming sites. Link is in the pod blurb. Also if you’re in London in August don’t forget to come and check out my new stand-up show at the Camden Fringe on the 4th and 5th and again link to the tickets is in the pod blurb.
Right, this week’s show has a chat with Tom Salinsky, co-writer of Brexit The Play, plus a little tiny look at the free BBC licence fee cuts for the over 75s because if old people have to pay to access jokes that will make Nigel Farage upset, what is the world coming to? Except they won’t as that’s radio so that joke totally doesn’t work. Someone call the police.
INTERVIEW WITH TOM PART 1 – BREXIT FALLOUT?
All the world’s a stage, wrote Shakespeare bloody ages ago. But little did he know just how correct that statement would be 500 years later when the entire planet feels like an endless tragicomedy and one where white men still seem to be playing all the parts. I also blame a lot of hipster facial hair on Willy Shaketown too so sure he did all them plays but he’s got a lot to answer for. Theatre and all the other art bits and pieces in that slot in under that heading, have always had a part to play in politics, whether it’s part of the political renewal like during the Russian revolution, challenging the status quo such as the Dadaist movement, or aiding it like the Futurists, or just interpreting all the goings on for the audience, allowing them to digest and understand it in a way that shows it in a new light. If they’ve been able to fork out their life’s savings for a ticket that is. But with a situation like Brexit, where things seems to be completely stagnant while at the same time ever changing and constantly interesting yet boring all at once, with characters that wouldn’t seem out of place in a pantomime. What exactly can art or theatre do with that when nearly everything about Brexit seems to provide its own blend of Black Mirror level dystopia and comedy that’s stranger than fiction, and everything else is trade negotiations, the text of which could bore a severe insomniac into a coma. At least as a comedian I get to update jokes every week to the expense of having any sort of life, but what do you do with more permanent artforms like theatre where the same show has to run for weeks? And what message is it worth giving an audience who’s already losing patience with the subject matter and who all definitely have their own views about how an impossible situation should unfold? And would using a safety curtain upset half the audience who insist we’d be better off without one and whatever damage may occur will be fine in 30 years time?
Well in the case of Tom Salinsky and Robert Khan, they’ve chosen to use theatre not only to provide some sense of relief and humour to this stupid stupid situation, but also, a solution. Sort of. Well if you go see Brexit The Play, then you’ll see what I mean. Currently on at the Kings Head Theatre in Islington, after a previous sell out London run and Edinburgh Fringe run last year, the show tells the story of new Tory leader Adam Masters, played by David Benson, who has become Prime Minister during the 4th year of the two year Brexit negotiating period, and looks at just how he handles, or rather doesn’t, the situation. It has had rave reviews and I got to go see the show last week and thought it was brilliant, very funny and above all, really sharply aware of the limits to where Brexit may go, providing an interesting possibility for whoever next leads the Conservatives. I mean, it’ll be Boris who is forever demolishing the 4th wall mainly by falling into it while lying about something. After seeing Brexit The Play, I got to speak to one of the writers, Tom, co author of the Improv Handbook and producer of the Guilty Feminist podcast, all about the difficulties of writing about something that is still ongoing, what theatre can do that reality can’t, and if they chose to not use a backdrop incase it someone tried to put a time limit on it. Just a quick note, we recorded in a room at the Kings Head Theatre that they kindly let us use, and it was a tad more echoey than I’d have liked but it should still be very clear and just means you can pretend, if you like, that we had a chat in a well or a cave. Also towards the end I asked Tom if there was anything I should have asked him, and he said yes, about the cast, so I’ve shoddily edited that extra bit on the end meaning some of you might have to try extra hard not to write in to tell me about that shoddy bit of editing but please don’t as I will just ignore it, but also print it off and feed it to a nonchalant pig. Right, enough of that. Here’s Tom:
INTERVIEW WITH TOM PART 1
And we’ll be back with Tom in a minute but first….
The BBC, home of some of the most incredible television, radio and online programming but also sadly some things with Greg Wallace in and about 5 hours of daytime TV where Gloria Hunniford, Gloria Hunniford and Gloria Hunniford explain how if you’re old everyone is out to get you and take all your stuff. But mostly, it’s pretty indisputable how valuable the BBC is and how much it provides as the oldest broadcasting service in the world. Its been described as Britain’s Most Important Cultural Institution, which it is, although they’re lucky as that’s partly because I haven’t updated my mini disk collection for a while. What other broadcaster has a nickname like Auntie Beeb? A name that suggests the broadcaster is part of most people’s families but also, like a lot of auntie’s will cause your mum or dad to get really miffed with it and occasionally bring you things you’ve never ever wanted and hope your friends never see. Last week the BBC decided to restrict free television licences for the over 75s, prompting a lot of commentators who always slag off the Beeb and say how the licence fee should be scrapped altogether, to now campaign to get the decision reversed. The Sun, a newspaper so called because it’s best when consumed in a ball of fiery gas, has told people over 75 to boycott the BBC and instead watch Sky instead, where the subscription fee is far higher than the licence fee. That is quite the effective protest eh? It’d be like complaining about a high street chain’s one time use of fur, by spending millions on the rarest mink garments made by a serial killer and parading outside wearing them all at once.
The decision means that 3.7m will have to pay £154.50 per year unless they claim pension benefit credit, though the threshold for that means sometimes claimants have missed out by a matter of pence, and the monthly licence fee cost could knock them into poverty, or leave them facing criminal charges. Although to be fair, they would then get free BBC in prison so it’s not that bad an idea. I mean it is, ahem. So why on Earth would Auntie Beeb make such a decision that’s sure to alienate a large percentage of their viewing and listening base, and leave all the Gloria Hunnifords with no one left to terrify? Look I don’t want to shock you or provide any nasty surprises but, get this, it’s not really the BBC’s fault, it’s the government’s. What? Not even a flinch? No? I really thought I’d catch you out there with some totally unexpected info. The idea of free licence fees for the over-75s is only 20 years old, and came in in 1999, which was, weirdly enough, 20 years ago, thanks to exhausted clam and then Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. The policy was accompanied by a government pledge to make up the shortfall in BBC revenue by using the treasury coffers. At that time the state pension real value was lower than it is now so the idea was that by easing pressure on TV licence fees, over 75 year olds would have more money to spend on important things like waterslides and nerf guns. Then in 2010, austerity measures were brought in by the coalition government and the world’s worst double act, wobbly headed boil toy David Cameron and the Mongolian death worm George Osborne, who said that the BBC now had to fund the over 75s concession as part of a plan to reduce the work and pensions budget. This wasn’t consulted with parliament or the public and while its very hard to believe, the Liberal Democrats rebelled against their coalition partners and several members of the BBC Trust threatened to resign and it all ended with the BBC agreeing to freeze licence fee costs and to take over funding for the BBC World Service from the Foreign Office, as well as other costly concession. Though considering the spate of Foreign Secretaries we’ve had recently this may have been a smart move. Boris would’ve insisted all its content was based on an old map he found from the 1800s and Jeremy Hunt would’ve repeatedly forgotten what it was and may have even assumed he was married to it.
These cuts were pretty bad and led the Beeb to cutting BBC Three as a broadcast channel and nearly losing 6music and BBC Four, before deciding that a lack of 90s music and the ability to see how badly people used to dress on Top Of The Pops could potentially lead to a middle aged uprising, which to be fair, would be quite slow and could be quelled by a rationing of coffee. But it did mean that the Treasury promised that they’d suffer no more government funding attacks. And like all Conservative government promises, it was broken in 2015 when the BBC were told yet again that they’d have to fund the free licences for the over 75s, with no public or parliamentary consultation about it. See? Repeats are terrible. The BBC argued that time that if that happened, then BBC Two, BBC Four, all local radio stations and radio news for BBC Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would have to be immediately shut down and the government backed down as they realized closing all those channels would dramatically reduce the stations that let Jacob Rees Mogg do interviews on and that’d mean they’d have to see more of him in parliament. So instead they ended the licence fee freeze, and changed the rules so you couldn’t watch iPlayer without a TV licence. It was decided the DWP would reduce how much it contributed to free licences over 5 years to 2020, after which the BBC would have to fund it and be in full control of the policy. That means the BBC now take the blame for cancelling free licences instead of the government, which is the sort of plan you’d expect to be announced at the end of a film before the villain is defeated. Continuing the scheme would cost the BBC £745m which is a 5th of their overall budget, and as it is, providing them for pensioners who do claim pension credit will cost them £250m by 2021/22. So, it’s either over 75s pay the licence fee, or the BBC has a much smaller range of outlets. There have been lots of call to pay presenters less or keep all salaries below £150k a year, to which the BBC have pointed out that would only save them £148m, which is nowhere near enough to cover costs and then they’d also not have the presenters people like. But paying presenters over a £1m a year is really silly and let’s face it, no one needs or wants Greg Wallace or three Gloria Hunnifords so that’s an immediate saving there.
Unlike when the government tried to do it in 2010 & 2015, 190,000 people were actually consulted on this policy this time by the BBC and out of them, 52% said the fees should go, so as Conservatives like Theresa May or Jeremy Hunt, and right wing commentators criticize the BBC for their decision that isn’t really their decision, I’m surprised they haven’t overly enthusiastically backed it, shouting that it’s the will of the people and then provided no actual plans how to carry it out while dithering about for so long making sure it never actually happens.
Age UK currently have over a half a million signatures for their online petition stating that the government should go back to subsidizing the cost but I guess that’ll be up to whoever the new Prime Minister is, and the Culture and DWP ministers too. If Boris is in charge I wonder if he’ll want to save BBC2 to allow for more Have I Got News For You Appearances that he could do or let them die so there’s even fewer TV debates that he’ll have to find excuses to avoid. What I do know is that if someone doesn’t support the Gloria Hunnifords, they’ll be out of a job and having to pay a licence fee which just isn’t right. I mean seriously, what type of Rip Off Britain is this?
And now back to Tom…
INTERVIEW WITH TOM PART 2
Thanks very much to Tom for having time to chat, and also to Emma at Mobius Industries for setting it all up and sorting me out a ticket to see the show, and to the Kings Head Theatre for the space to record. Brexit The Play is on in the aforementioned Islington theatre until the 6th July and you can grab tickets for that at kingsheadtheatre.com, the text is available via Oberon Modern Plays at many book shops and the show has it’s very own Twitter account @brexitplay too. Tom is also the producer of the incredibly popular and brilliant Guilty Feminist podcast, hosted by the very funny Deborah Francis White, which I’m sure you all already listen to. They are doing a mahoosive live show at the Royal Albert Hall on July 7th and apparently have a pretty incredible international star appearing that they won’t tell me who it is, even off the record. Spoilsports. They’ve also got a whole heap of other amazing sounding guests like Hayley Atwell and I’m sure it’ll be a superb evening. You can grab tickets for that at the Royal Albert Hall website.
Thanks to those of you who’ve sent guest suggestions in, they’ve all been brilliant and if I don’t manage to speak to those people before the show’s summer break, I definitely will try my best for the autumn. But if you haven’t dropped me a line maybe you’re spending every listen of this show screaming BUT YOU HAVEN’T INTERVIEWED ALL THE PEOPLE I WANT YOU TOO, then maybe realise that I won’t hear you if you just scream out loud, unless you are my next door neighbours who do that a lot and it’s really annoying. Instead why not drop me a line @parpolbro on Twitter, the Partly Political Broadcast group on Facebook, the contact page on partlypoliticalbroadcast.co.uk or email me at email@example.com. Or you could move in next door to me and just yell through the wall, preferably at someone else like they’ve particularly wronged you, and maybe time it exactly as we’re trying to put our daughter to sleep. You’d probably think that actually this is a silly plan as it’ll just further persuade me to call noise pollution officers on you but then you’ve not realized how adverse I am to form filling and how noisy I am when people nearby are having a row, so it just might work. Saying that, it’s probably just an awful lot easier to email isn’t it?
And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Thanks again for giving up valuable life time to listen to this and I hope that you did while also carrying out other useful actions such as washing your trebuchet, herding your flock of guinea pigs or maybe filing your axes, as is an annual necessity. And once you’ve done those necessary tasks and made everything secure so your toddler or loved one won’t be found lobbing guinea pigs at passers-by, then why not show your appreciation for this show by giving it a review on your pod app of choice, donating a coffee’s worth of pounds to the Ko-fi or Patreon accounts and just generally spread the good word, which is obviously mellifluous or possible bombinate, and once you’ve shouted that in their face with the utmost possible joy, then why not pause and tell them to check out this podcast too? I’m sure they’ll be keen to listen.
Thanks to Acast for letting this podcast lay its audio hat there, to my brother The Last Skeptik for all the music, and don’t forget his new single You Make Me Wanna (Kill) is out everywhere now. And thanks to Kat Day for typing up the linear liner notes all of the weeks.
This will be back next week when Rory Stewart has had to be rescued from a landfill site after trying to carry out a speech from a bin on a Tuesday morning but instead gets carried away by waste disposal services.
This week’s show was sponsored by Jeremy Hunt’s book of mindfulness to tackle illnesses. Want to defeat measles? Then you need to become measles. Climb onto someone’s skin and perpetually annoy them until your measles magically disappear after a few weeks. Maybe put lotion on them too. Want to defeat your asthma? You need to become asthma, stand so close to your loved one that they find it hard to breathe. Want to defeat your stroke, do like a stroke and get arrested after touching people in appropriately on the bus. Jeremy Hunt’s book of mindfulness to tackle illnesses, £5.99 or free if you become the book.