Episode 164 – Week 1 of election campaign brought the worst of human kind and the Brexit Party totally failing to stand up to the elite by making a pact with the Tories. So what is going on? No idea but this week’s podcast has all that, plus Election Flex and Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) speaks to Jonn Elledge (@jonnelledge) from the New Statesman on all things GE2019.
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Week 1 of election campaign brought the worst of human kind and the Brexit Party totally failing to stand up to the elite by making a pact with the Tories. So what is going on? No idea but this week’s podcast has all that, plus Election Flex and Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) speaks to Jonn Elledge (@jonnelledge) from the New Statesman on all things GE2019.
Links and sources of info from Jonn’s interview:
All the usual ParPolBro stuff:
Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that wears a poppy all year round because it’s important to let people know just how much you love heroin. Mmm mmm, so moreish. This is episode 164, I’m Tiernan Douieb and I think it’s important, given the circumstances that we start with a moment of silence, to remember all those that have fallen. No I’m not getting all remembrance day on you, I’m talking about the 317 Brexit Party candidates that just last week were lined up to Change Politics For Good, but have now been stood down as it turns out keeping politics the same for the worst is more fitting of their party. Yes Brexit Party leader and rice pudding skin atop chewed duplo Nigel Farage has decided that the best way to represent 17.4m voters, take on the elites and refuse to back the Conservatives’ Brexit deal as it’s not Brexit, is by not representing voters and standing-by and helping the elites win so they can push through their deal. Farage said that by removing his party’s candidates from standing in areas the Conservatives won in 2017 he was giving Prime Minister and burlap punchbag Boris Johnson half a chance, which I take to mean a cha. So, while it’s not quite the threesome envisaged by US President and hi-vis embolism Donald Trump, Nigel’s very much accepted a political tea bagging. What could be more fitting for a Brexit Party than to promise so much then barely deliver?
As the saying goes, campaign for real politicians, real pain for anyone who’s attempted to follow the general election lead up so far. It has been a week of fuck ups and faux pas which have often made me wonder if anyone at all wants to win this thing or if the real winners of the election will those that dropped out along the way. Before the Conservatives even kicked off their campaign last week, Napolean Whine-a-shite Jacob Rees Mogg said live on radio that the real tragedy of the Grenfell fire was that the victims lacked the common sense to ignore the fire brigade’s instructions to stay in the building, claiming that he would’ve survived had he been there. Firstly, that’s a horrific thing to say but I’m not remotely surprised Rees-Mogg said it as he’s a man who probably thinks the Gashlycrumb Tinies is a guidebook for parenting. Secondly, no he wouldn’t have survived. He’d have stood still and waited for his Nanny to collect him and carry him out. He was, of course, forced to issue an apology though it’s not really sorry if you haven’t said it like you mean it, rather than are just mean. Grime hero Stormzy said that Mogg was an actual piece of shit for his comments, but I’d say that’s wrong as I’m pretty sure people would line up to purposefully step on Rees-Mogg. But despite Mogg’s realization that he was wrong, if that’s at all what it was, he was still defended later that day by the man who tried to find Jessica Hyde in Utopia, Andrew Bridgen who defended his colleague by saying that he would’ve survived as he’s clever and we want very clever people running the country don’t we? A comment that has led me to be 100% certain that Andrew Bridgen has no idea that he’s champion moron Andrew Bridgen.
That same day the Conservatives posted a doctored video of Shadow Brexit Secretary and Minecraft creation Keir Starmer on Good Morning Britain seemingly struggling to answer a question about the Brexit deal Labour might get, and not just because he was trying to hold in all the natural retching that happens if you catch even a glimpse of the pulsating bubous that is Piers Morgan’s face. But actually, Starmer answered immediately and the Conservatives had changed the video so that it was misleading. But when it came to defending the post, party chairman and what if you squished Roland from Grange Hill into a traffic cone James Cleverly, said it was a humorous video that they’d made, before in a different interview saying it was clipped short for time purposes, all the while refusing to use the word doctored probably because he prefers the term private healthcare practitioner. It’s a wonder the party didn’t edit down his list of excuses so it sounded at least vaguely plausible. Cleverly then didn’t turn up for his interview with Sky News meaning presenter Kay Burley empty chaired him, but on the plus side this meant the interview was less full of shit than if Cleverly had been there, even though in his absence she spoke to a stool. He’s so ridiculous that I reckon if you investigated it, James Cleverly is definitely an invention by a 7 year old boy, as he’s MP for Braintree and I bet a small bit of research would show he’s also from NotStupidLand and Planet Clever.
Following this Welsh Secretary and only person to have survived his head being shrunk Alun Cairns resigned from his government post over claims that he knew about his former aide’s role in sabotaging a rape trial, while another Conservative candidate and Lego figure with water retention Nick Conrad had to quit after making horrific comments about rape victims. None of this should seem remotely surprising from a party that have spent the last nine years ruining people’s lives regardless of consent and then blamed them for it.
But perhaps the party are just following in the leader’s clunky plodsteps as Johnson started his campaign with a front-page piece on tree hell the Telegraph comparing Labour leader and Velcro gnome Jeremy Corbyn’s stance against billionaires to Stalin persecuting the Kulaks. And that’s a great analogy as the Kulaks are just like the billionaires of today as they owned their peasant farms and were executed for refusing to hand over grain which is basically the same as say, factory damaged sex toy Jeff Bezos having to pay some money towards the upkeep of society, an amount that he won’t even know is missing once it’s gone. Basically, the same isn’t it? Similarly, Stalin is basically just like Corbyn in the way that ol’ Joseph definitely spent 30 years as a constituency MP before being deemed unelectable by everyone and repeatedly criticized for being a pacifist. Totally the same. His official election launch started with a speech by Cleverly standing in front of a slogan that said ‘Unleash Britain’s Potential’ even though earlier that day he’d been upstaged by furniture. Boris’s speech was the same old dross where he insisted they didn’t want an election which must be why he tried for one four times and called the opposition cowards for opposing it.
Later that week a video emerged of Johnson at a party insisting there will be no customs checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain under his Brexit deal even though there will be because that’s what it says in the Withdrawal Agreement he arranged with the EU proving he hasn’t even got a clue what he’s negotiated though this could be why he actually supports it. Then during the Remembrance Day ceremony the Prime Minister managed to place the wreath upside down which many criticized but I think was just Johnson accurately portraying Tory policy that largely forgets to support veterans. Then he visited a flooded area of Matlock in Derbyshire and tried to mop up floodwater for a photo op but had no clue how to do it and made it much worse because there isn’t a single thing he can do that isn’t a metaphor for his time as Prime Minister. They’d have had more progress turning him upside down. In between all of this there has been a little bit of Conservative manifesto policy, including plans to encourage more NHS staff from abroad as well as up the number of migrant workers that do seasonal jobs in the UK. In the same way I’m trying to attract more birds to feed in our garden after years of shouting fuck off to everyone that flies nearby, telling everyone I know that birds are evil, detaining anything I see with wings unless it gets the correct paper work, or I send it back to where I think it came from, and doing lots of dog whistling to cats. Of course none of that is true, I don’t have a garden because the Conservatives have done nothing to fix the housing crisis. It was revealed last week that they’ve built zero of the 200,000 houses they pledged in 2015 which is so bad its actually impressive. Though considering they also hired a ferry company that has no ferries, maybe we’ve misunderstood Conservatism all along. Perhaps it’s actually it’s a surrealist ideology, and that would explain why they’ve insisted that poverty isn’t and that zero hours are a unit of time.
The other main charge of the Tory election campaign so far is insisting that Labour’s policy plans will cost £1.2 trillion but haven’t actually costed their own promises yet. When No Deal planning has cost over £4bn so far, the HS2 cost keeps rising and among many other things the Prime Minister himself spent £53m on a bridge that didn’t even get built, it really feels like the Tories shouldn’t throw stones in glass houses even though those glass houses probably haven’t actually been built in the first place and were intended as luxury flats with no social areas.
It’s not been all gravy for the opposition either, as headlines about all the Conservatives mishaps were knocked off the front page to report that Deputy Party leader and what if Little Ralphie from A Christmas Story had a hard life Tom Watson as he announced he was stepping down as an MP in order to become a level 2 gym instructor. Based on his career so far, I’m assuming that’ll be teaching spin classes. Watson did say he wouldn’t be leaving politics altogether and aimed to support Labour in the election, you know, in the way you might help someone tidy up by putting all things in the wrong places and breaking several plates as you go. Following Watson, former Labour MP and poundshop Pete Waterman Ian Austin told voters they should vote Tory as he thinks Corbyn is unfit to run the country on account of the anti-Semitism accusations. Ah yes, it seems Ian Austin only left Labour over its racism because it wasn’t the right type and he’s much more comfortable with the anti-immigrant, Islamaphobic racism in the Conservatives as it fits what he’s been saying for years. Oh, but if you don’t vote Tory, he might lose his job as Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Israel and while you didn’t really need yet another reason, knowing that could definitely help incentivize you to put a cross in any other box.
The party have blocked former MP for Derby North and The Kurgen Chris Williamson from running as a Labour candidate on Dec 12th, after accusations of anti-Semitism, accusations that he denied in his his letter announcing that he’d stand as an independent before accusing Labour of capitulating to the Jewish Labour Movement. Great work there Chris. That’s like announcing you definitely didn’t rob someone’s stuff in an email they can see was sent from their iPhone. Former MP for Leicester East and Asian Milhouse’s dad Keith Vaz is standing down after his Commons expulsion after he, as official terms state, expressed willingness to buy cocaine. His biggest issue is that he pretended to be a washing machine repair man to do it, when if he’d just said he was a Conservative MP Vaz would’ve got away with it.
Labour’s full manifesto will be out next week but while they intend to keep many of their proposals from their 2017 manifesto and the policies voted on at conference, they say others will be watered down. Hopefully not their pledge to re-nationalize water companies otherwise that’ll just add even more costs.
Lib Dem leader and yes she’s definitely the one that told on you for smoking behind the bike sheds Jo Swinson said Corbyn isn’t fit for office as he wouldn’t be able to authorize nuclear strikes. I’m not certain it’s a plus for a country to have a leader that revels in destroying millions of lives at the touch of a button but then again it is 2019 and perhaps a PM that is willing to just say ‘fuck this, let’s just nuke ourselves and get it over with’ is what we need. It’s an odd thing for someone to say that’s just allied with the Greens as part of a remain alliance as they’re usually not that gung-ho about weapons of mass destruction, but I guess what could be more remain than making sure absolutely no one ever leaves the UK?
One of the Lib Dems main policies this week has been for a £10k skills wallet grant for every adult in England to be able to get education or retrain in a new job or sector if they want, which is a good scheme, albeit more limited than Labour’s free retraining but perhaps more financially doable. However, I can mainly see a problem with the name, which no doubt topped a long list of choices such as knack bag, deft purse and talent pouch. I’m looking forward to Lib Dem candidates have to answer questions on how they’d get their skills wallet filled without laughing.
And of-course the Brexit Party are now partly backing the Tories, which could leave voters on either side dismayed as they won’t be backing down from Labour seats which the Conservatives need to win. Instead candidates like multi-millionaire and man who looks like a walking fraud case Richard Tice will be running in Hartlepool, because what that area, one of England’s poorest, is crying out for in representation is an elitist Surrey boy who lives nowhere nearby to make sure they get what they need. And will this Brexit Party and Tory alliance stop, what Farage reckons is most important, a hung parliament? Well yes I guess it could, as if it’s got both what remains of his party and the Conservatives in it, it’ll definitely be far more of a chode one. Farage was apparently offered a peerage 48 hours before his decision, but said he’d turn it down because the last thing he wants is a job with any sort of responsibility involved.
Lastly the UK is at its slowest growth in a decade, which some economists are calling a slow puncture economy. Makes sense, when the last three years of Brexit politics have left everyone feeling pretty deflated, tired and flat, and there’s every chance this election will be what causes the country to go spare.
Heeeeey ParPolBrods. Happy not quite mid-November to you. What’s going on? I hope you haven’t been flooded, I spent the weekend in the west country with some pretty flooded roads here and there and the footage of parts of the midlands under a lot of water looked really bleak. I’ve probably said this on the podcast before but I’m always reminded of hearing an interview with a Dutch politician who was talking about how the Netherlands was flooded really badly in 1952 and then has never been again since, no I’m not sure that’s the right facts, no I’m not going to look it up. You do it. But what I do remember is the interviewer asking him ‘how did you prevent flooding from then on?’ and he replied ‘oh we just spent money on it.’ Yeah, sensible. But then I guess if the government here did that, you wouldn’t get photo ops where everyone dons wellies and gillets, stares at water like they understand what to do with it and then the Prime Minister attempts to mop some of it up with all the dexterity of a beanbag trying to hump a railing. But yes, if you are affected, I hope you’ve got assistance and probably aren’t listening to this as I can’t imagine it’d be that useful to have electronic devices near all that water. God I’m so useless as any sort of comfort, with ill thought through words of concern on a format that any who needs them is very unlikely to check out while in an emergency situation. I can’t imagine anyone currently trying to dry out their precious belongings is thinking ‘the only thing that’d make this better is a man with no clue what this is like to offer very vaguely conciliatory tones’.
This is why I’m certain its harder to be an MP than we all think and yet, somehow so many politicians right now make it seem even harder. I mean, I know that if I went to somewhere that, say, had a sinkhole or something, I know I’d be prone to say ‘this is the pits’ without meaning to. But I wouldn’t say, for example, I hope you fill that hole full of poor Luxembourgians and then bomb it because, well, I wouldn’t want anyone to do that, but also because even if I did, it’d be really easy not to say it. I don’t want that promise. If you are in Luxembourg you’re totally safe around me and sinkholes. Well I mean you’re not; sinkholes are dangerous. What am I on about? Sorry, what I meant to say is thanks for listening as always. This is only a brief admin bit this week as this show has taken far too long to write up today, so you know the usual, please donate, please review, please just tell someone you know about this stupid weekly thing and maybe just maybe tweet or Facebook something about it, unless you’re an MP as chances are you’ll write something awful around it without being able to stop yourself and then you’ll have to resign.
Quick correction from last week as I plugged a book called A Wild And Precious Life which is currently being funded on Unbound and said that Kat Day who types up all the linear liner notes for this show had written a story in it. She hasn’t. I got all confused. But you should still fund the book if you can as it sounds great and I’ve popped the link into the pod blurb once again.
And on this week’s show I interview political journalist Jonn Ellegde although we spoke last Wednesday and so much has changed since then and also nothing has changed but still, it’s a very fun listen. Plus a little bit more Election Flex because what’s the point in having an election jingle that bad if I don’t use it? Exactly.
INTERVIEW WITH JONN PART 1
Are you enjoying the election so far? It’s a strange question to ask when the last few years of political happenings has lead to the level of disappointment for anyone even marginally left of centre to be so gnarled with concern that things will just get even worse that there was celebration that Labour didn’t win in 2017 but because it wasn’t as bad a not win as we’d assumed. This time round, could things change or will the whole country look at the lying, bungling mutant ear of corn that is the Prime Minister and think ‘you know what, at least if he’s in Number 10, he won’t suddenly turn up at our house, so we may as well vote for him.’ Who knows? And that uncertainty doesn’t usually equal excitement in the same way that say, not knowing which cameo character will appear in a superhero film might, or what the next Star Wars film will be called and how it might upset the alt-right, or even in the way knowing that at least one crisp manufacturer will release a Christmas flavor that will induce vomiting but it’ll be great to tweet about. This one could mean the end of 9 years of a really terrible government, or another 5 of a really hard life. So how, oh how, can we be positive about it?
Well this week I spoke to Jonn Elledge. Jonn is a political journalist for the New Statesman and he regularly manages to both convey important and necessary views on current politics, but also be very funny about it all too. Jonn has just started a daily election rundown newsletter and he recently wrote an article about why he was looking forward to this election so I thought I’d ask him all about it. But as you can probably guess, you can’t have a full chat about looking forward to something that is ultimately terrifying, so we discussed all things election and what might or might not happen. We spoke last Wednesday and as is the nature of there being a breaking news story every two minutes, lots has happened since. But hopefully you’ll still find enough in here that’s relevant and you might even enjoy it. Here’s Jonn:
INTERVIEW WITH JONN PART 1
And we’ll be back with Jonn in a minute but first…
Manifestos should start coming out next week as are any costings if parties do them. By that I mean Labour have said they will, the Conservatives will probably just spend all their time telling you why Labour’s aren’t costed properly, while announcing policies that they’ve basically copied from them and made shit, because their campaign is like extreme negging and I don’t know why the Tories don’t just marry Labour if they love them so much. But yes otherwise right now, until next week, we are all in the dark about anything other than the ways the parties like to insult each other. Which I mean, hey, is useful as we’ve got the Conservatives going all out with poor historical comparisons, badly edited videos, hypocritical criticism and reminders that Labour may work with the SNP completely ignoring that a lot of us have watched Borgen and if you throw another party in there too it just all feels very progressive and Danish. Then Labour are doing the whole you can’t trust the Tories thing, which I mean, considering there’s already been a part u-turn on the fracking ban they announced last week and well, every other time they’ve said something and completely not done it, it’s kind of a fair claim. In one online statement recently Corbyn referred to the current Conservatives as ‘Thatcherism on steroids’ and now I have a horrific image of Maggie deadlifting and single handedly destroying mines with a punch and it makes me shudder. Thanks for that. The SNP are on a similar tone but with an independence lilt. The Lib Dems are insisting the Labour and Tory Brexit plans are the same which is tricky as Labour want a 2nd referendum and the Conservatives want Boris’s hard Brexit deal. But then today Swinson tweeted that the Brexit Party and the Conservatives are the same so maybe she just has her own special diagram where her party, the Greens and Plaid Cymru all chill on remain and everyone else is listed under the heading ‘bastards’ or something.
So aside from fighting talk, I thought I’d very quickly run through one area that we all know for certain and yes, you’re probably very aware of it too, but it’s the party’s Brexit policies. No wait, come back! Look promise this’ll be super quick, especially as this election might not be a Brexit one even though lots of people seem to want it to be.
So, the Conservatives, want to leave with Johnson’s new deal that has now been scrutinized a bit more and is terrible in terms of workers rights and being able to forgo all our trading standards so the US can sell us paprika with 11 rodent hairs in. Yes that’s some of the US food standards. US food producers can leave up to 30 insect fragments in a 100g of peanut butter, 11 rodent hairs in 25g of paprika and 3 miligrams of mouse or rat poop in each pound of ginger. While that might not sound that tasty to you, it’s also really ruined the Pixar film Ratatouille for me. Johnson’s aim would be to get a majority this election then win a vote to leave on January the 31st with his deal and by pancake day we’ll all be topping our well flipped creations with sprinklings of weasel jizz and bee eyes. The Conservatives are now saying their transition period won’t go beyond December 2020, as was originally planned from the original leave date that didn’t happen. That’s just 11 months to negotiate a new Free Trade Agreement with the EU, something that usually happens over 48 months at the minimum and there’s all that there border check stuff to sort out which may take longer than just under a year. So chances are either we crash out, technically with a no deal on January 1st 2021 reverting back to WTO rules which very few people want, or they negotiate a very bare bones deal sorting out goods trade very quickly, or Johnson has to extend the transition period which is allowed under the deal that Theresa May agreed, and then a whole load of ditches will once again be disappointed on new year’s day.
Labour’s policy is to renegotiate Johnson’s deal and then put that deal against remain in a referendum for the people to decide on what happens. The plan would be to do all that in six months because it’s either like they haven’t been paying to attention to the last three years of nothing happening or they’re aware that they might actually turn up to the EU meetings with notes, or without having blamed them for everything 10 mins before or you know just being able to construct a sentence properly. The Conservatives have said that there’s no way Labour could get a new deal negotiated that quickly but Johnson boasted about how he got a new deal sorted within a few days so based on that, almost anyone else on the planet should be able to manage one within a few minutes. If they manage a new deal and if there’s a referendum and the public still vote to leave under the new deal, then Labour would probably need to extend the transition period as they’d only have 5 months left to negotiate a new FTA otherwise. But its likely their new deal would mean the UK was still part of the customs union, a bit Norway has now, and we would retain a close single market relationship which probably means being in the single market, like Norway is now, as you can’t really just be in it a bit or call it a self-partnered market just for kicks and hope no one minds. Some Labour MPs would campaign for the remain referendum option, some wouldn’t, Corbyn won’t say but if you’re a Brexiteer you think he’ll back remain and if you’re a Remainer you think he’ll back leaving. Chances are he’ll just draw a courgette on his ballot and spoil it, managing to annoy everyone.
The SNP want to scrap Brexit and remain, probably via another referendum. Though really they want Scottish Independence, via yet another referendum because they are cray cray for ref refs, and then for Scotland to be in the EU which would probably mean as a new country they’d have to have the Euro and to be honest that’d be much easier than trying to spend a Scottish £10 note anywhere south of the border.
The Lib Dems want to cancel Brexit but based on current cancel culture that might mean some people carry on Brexiting because they think it’s cool and alternative and fuck you. I’m not even sure that joke makes sense. I’m so old. If the Lib Dems don’t get all of the seats in the world or failing that, make every other MP become a Lib Dem as part of Jo’s global domination plans, then they’ll back another referendum and obvs campaign for Remain.
The DUP, remember them? They don’t like Johnson’s deal so while they want to leave, they also want a veto on his deal and an ability to reject it, but if Johnson gets a majority he won’t need them so they probably won’t get a say and then once again Northern Ireland has its future dictated to it by the British upper class and I’m sure that’ll all end really really well just like the last time.
Greens are all about another referendum because that’s basically renewable politics innit? Plaid are the same even though Wales voted to leave, which sort of goes against their new campaign slogan of ‘Wales, it’s us.’ I mean, apparently when it comes to Brexit, it isn’t. And the Brexit Party who are now part backing the Conservative Party, I just don’t know what they want. It really isn’t clear. While that is a silly not very good joke, they were campaigning for a no deal and saying that Johnson’s deal was not a proper Brexit but that was last week before Nigel was offered a peerage. Oh and the independent group of change hahahahahaha no, there’s really no point is there?
So that’s where things are right now. Lib Dems, Plaid & Greens have buddied up with their Just-Us and no one else League. Will Labour and the SNP join in? Brexit and Tories have started their economic suicide squad. Will the DUP lurch around ten paces behind them while scowling at children? We’ll have to wait and see, and with 5 weeks left to go, there’s every chance that by the time it comes to voting everything will have changed, everyone will be voting on completely different issues. Either way, by Feb 1st next year, there’ll be a lot of ‘Get Ready For Brexit’ posters in a bin.
And now back to Jonn..
INTERVIEW WITH JONN PART 2
Thanks to Jonn for having time to chat. You can find him on Twitter @JonnElledge, his articles at the New Statesman and do sign up to his daily election run down called Evening Call, which you can find at newstatesman.com/evening-call and I’ll pop a link in the pod blurb too.
What else do you need to know about for this election? Are their certain policies you want to know the records of? Or the importance of? Or maybe you just want to know who’s racism is the least bad or which party will ensure the best deal on crisps? Let me know and you can do that at the contact page on partlypoliticalbroadcast.co.uk, the @parpolbro twitter, the partlypoliticalbroadcast facebook group or email me at email@example.com.
And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Cheers to your ears and remember if you enjoy this show please take 32.6 seconds out of your life to spread the word about it online or IRL or in unreal life, or in your dreams? I’m pretty sure it’ll distract the whole class from you being in your pants if you tell them to tune into this podcast instead of acknowledging it. Please also donate, review, do what you do, skeeby be wap, and doo be de doo.
Thanks to Acast, my brother The Last Skeptik and Kat Day.
This will be back next week when Nigel Farage has yet another cheese dream and announces that Brexit Party candidates will only run in areas with his initials in and where he has driven through and where he’s seen a dog and where he hasn’t coughed and eventually ends up sending 283 candidates to Barrow In Furness where they all fight each other and get too injured to take part.
This week’s show was sponsored by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Et Salutem. Tips to ensure you get all clever enough for your own health and safety, including what Latin might be best to shout at a shark that’s eating you to ward it off, how having six children can provide a handy barrier against any collisions with a steam train, and how mostly don’t worry as Nanny will save you. Et Salutem, found in all ancient book shops down gaslit alleyways near you.