Always Worth Saying’s Question Time Review

Question Time 21st May 2020


Chris Philp (Conservative)
Andy Burnham (Labour Mayor of Manchester)
Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Politician)
Camilla Tominey (Journalist)
James Graham (Playwright)

Venue: London

Founder of the British Medical Association, architect of St Thomas’s hospital and owner of the patent for the cure of the common cold (kept securely in his bank vault in Switzerland), Nobel laureate Professor Doctor Sir Robert Peston MD FRCS DPhil MPhil FRS ITV, is fully occupied in a laboratory in Murmansk, developing a talking amoeba. As the number of new recorded coronavirus cases in London reduces to zero, this week’s Question Time panel doesn’t have to include a medical expert.

The BBC has given up trying to give Question Time a location. All of the programmes now come from London, as do nearly all of the panellists. Usually, one regional type is relegated to a giant square up on the wall, as if a magic lantern slide of a distant tribe in a Royal Society lecture. On last week’s QT even the fake Geordie (or Mackem?) MP, Oxford graduate Bridget Philipson was in the studio in London, down there for the duration of the pandemic rather than being “home” in Houghton and Sunderland South.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, moving QT to 8pm gave a dangerous taste of honey to members of the reviewing community. Moving it back to its old 1045pm to 1145pm slot, reminded one that God intended two o’clock in the morning for dreaming of Isabelle Oakeshott, not for writing up what she’s said and dictating it into a podcast.

Two weeks ago, I lasted until halfway through an Afua Hirsch uninteruptable ethnic monologue (about 25 minutes in, according to the iPlayer). Last week, former “Would of the Month”, Miss Devi Sridhar, finished your humble reviewer by whispering, “containment is good for the economy”, at 16 minutes and 28 seconds. Can this modest scribe last longer this week? Might he even “Get Question Time Done”? We shall see.

The fake BBC, and lying Fiona Bruce, continue to tie themselves up in knots trying to construct a politicised and weaponised “worst in Europe” CORVID-19 meme. According to Oxford University’s Our World in Data Project, up until Wednesday, May 20th, coronavirus deaths per million in Europe were as follows:

  • 1st Belgium 785
  • 2nd Spain 594
  • 3rd Italy 532
  • 4th Uk 520

One of the rules of QT Review, is that one mustn’t criticise members of the public, as they are not political or media professionals. I must make an exception. The first question was asked by an hysteric who suggested that a generation of children had had their education destroyed by the coronavirus lockdown. Madam, they have been off for six weeks, three or four of which they would have been off for anyway because of Easter, bank holidays and weekends.

Andy Burnham, from the screen on the wall, proclaimed that in Manchester there is a mixed picture regarding returning to school. In other words, the mayor of Manchester has no idea what is going to happen in his own schools. He has no policy. Burnham’s previous contribution to public health includes being Minister of State for Health between May 2006 and June 2007. His responsibilities included the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust where, at the time, patients survived by drinking out of vases.

A draft report from 2009 by the Healthcare Commission, based on mortality statistics, claimed that between 2005 and 2008, up to 1,200 more people died at the Stafford Hospital than would have been expected. Burnham was Health Secretary again between June 2009 and May 2010 during which time he refused a public inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal. It wasn’t until Burnham and the Labour Party left office that a full, and subsequently excoriating, public enquiry was called.

Previously, much merriment has been had from Andy Burnham’s likeness to a Thunderbird’s marionette. The joke has now gone too far, with Burnham, up on the wall in the QT studio, looking exactly as a portrait on a communication screen in the radio room on Tracy Island. As I type, the real Scott Tracy is on the phone to his image rights lawyer.

Journalist Camilla Tominey is represented by Knight Ayton Management, of 29 Gloucester Place, London, who promote her as a royal correspondent for overseas television companies. Tonight, for your enlightenment, she is a pandemic expert for the BBC with a special insight into safety at schools.

She has three school-age children. One goes back to school after half term and she wants rid of the other two. Camilla has been impressed by school preparations, there will be temperature checks at the doors and social distancing inside the building (how long with that last with a load of kids?). She’s been observing Europe and has spotted a spike in Northern France. Ouch. We shall keep our social distance from it, Camilla. She was unsympathetic of teachers and felt that they were more at risk at the supermarket than at school.

I was hoping to describe Ms Helle Thorning-Schmidt-Kinnock as if up on the wall, an exhibit in one of those Royal Society magic lantern shows. A snowy skinned, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, high cheekboned Nordic Ayran, she even has a bit of ‘Schmidt’ in her. A good start. However, Danish Helle was in the studio in London. How can this be? Has she, perhaps, married outside of her tribe? Read on.

Ms Helle Thorning-Schmidt-Kinnock is one of the Glamorganshire Thorning-Schmidt-Kinnocks. From modest working-class stock, the family have made their fortune, since the previous century, by sticking their snouts in the tax payer’s trough. Her father-in-law, The Lord Kinnock, was a Labour MP and Vice President of the European Commission. Her mother-in-law, Glenys, The Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead, was a Member of the European Parliament and is a Labour member of the House of Lords. Their son, Stephen, in the interests of diversity and equality, is also a Labour Member of Parliament and is the husband of Ms Helle Thorning-Schmidt-Kinnock. Not quite having married outside of her tribe and in keeping with the Kinnock family tradition, in a further triumph for diversity and equality, Helle was also a Member of the European Parliament and was Prime Minister of Denmark between 2011 and 2015.

Away from the trough and between the four of them, they have had one job. Glenys was a school teacher. Stephen often claims to have ‘worked’ in Russia. He was a thumb-twiddler at the British Council, courtesy of his mum and dad. Since retiring from front line politics, Helle has allowed her name to be put forward for a large number of pointless globalist quangos. Amongst many, many other (vitally important) appointments, she is a member of the lead group of the United Nation’s Scaling Up Nutrition Movement and Chairperson of the Women’s Commission to promote women’s football in Denmark.

Her in-laws must be so proud.

Scandinavian friends inform me that Helle is a ‘golden skirt’. One of a clique of fortunate ladies, promoted way beyond their ability, because of a quota system encouraging women towards certain openings and positions (so to speak).

In keeping with senior Labour Party high panjandrum’s respect for the working people’s party’s prohibition on private education, Steven and Helle’s offspring were privately educated at Atlantic College. As described by the Daily Telegraph,

Atlantic College is located at the 12th century St Donat’s castle, where students enjoy the gothic dining hall, 25,000 book library, surrounding gardens and woodland, tennis courts and boat-building facilities.

According to Always Worth Saying’s Labour Party weapons-grade hypocrisy in data project, comrade’s school fees are as follows:

  • 1st Stephen and Halle’s daughter, Atlantic College, £29,000 pa.
  • 2nd Baroness Chakrabarti’s son, Dulwich College, £21,000 pa.
  • 3rd Dianne Abbott’s son, City of London School, £19,000 pa.

For legal reasons, one must beat about the bush somewhat. Suffice it to say, maybe she should have spent a bit more on him?

In the EU referendum, Helle, as a Social Democrat, was on the losing side, having voted ‘in’. That’s the 1992 referendum when the Danes voted themselves out of the Maastricht Treaty. Not to worry, Denmark stayed in it anyway.

Incidentally, Camilla Tomiley attended St Alban’s High School for girls. If she were a Labour Party official, it would be difficult to place her on the private school matrix, as the fees are so high that St Alban’s are too embarrassed to put them on the website.

In response to the first question, Helle wanted to inform us that Denmark is so much better than Britain (then why don’t you ……?). They compare, compromise and consult over there, with parents, teacher and many others. Do we need more committees, Helle? Does she want to be on them? In Demark, they sing the national anthem as they use the airport in Copenhagen as a school. Over here, museums of art, theatre and other museums are empty and could be used as schools. Period four, Chemistry, middle two rows of the stalls? Hockey practice, next to the Rubens, take great care. When she suggested, “use the sea for a sailing education,” I switched the television off. About 8 minutes. Never mind, we shall continue without the programme.


Earlier today, purely in the interest of research, your humble reviewer was forced to inform Mrs AWS that he couldn’t make the tea or do the hoovering as he had to watch, ‘The Coalition’, by Question Time panellist, playwright James Graham. Very good it was too. Graham’s more recent work, ‘The Quiz’, was well-received when it transferred to television just a few weeks ago.

Usually, the non-politician on the Question Time panel (for example, Buckie soaked nonentity ‘rapper’ and Pollok council house kid, ‘Loki’) are easy to sneer at, but Graham might actually have had an interesting perspective worth listening to.

His ‘The Coalition’ is an impressive, informative and fast-paced work, all the more powerful as it avoids the polemical. However, it does pull one significant punch. A big query is left hanging. Given the circumstances, why did Gordon Brown do so well in the 2010 election? The answer is the importance of the racially and religiously defined Labour block vote in many of the big cities and mills towns. Excuse me, I am digressing from tonight’s Question Time but not at too acute an angle. A decade later, as the post-COVID-19 blame game develops, the left’s obsession with identity politics may well take centre stage.

Much has been made of BAME deaths during the coronavirus pandemic. As promised last week, a couple of observations. A professional acquaintance informs me of the detrimental effect upon health caused by crowded living conditions within Asian Muslim multi-generational households.

Clicking on the accompanying link will take you to Savilletown in Dewsbury. Famously, in the 2011 census, one Dewsbury sub-ward contained only 8 white British inhabitants. Not 8%, 8 people, out of a sub-ward population of a couple of thousand.

Observing Savilletown on Street View, nearly every attic has a skylight or a dormer window. The backs of the houses have been extended. On the satellite view, you can see that every property has an extension, shed or a concrete hut in the back yard. Although it is difficult to see on Street View, in real life partitions can be seen running down the middle of upstairs windows. Upstairs rooms are shared, sometimes between two families.

The Victorian terraces of Dewsbury, and many places like it, are more cramped than they were in the times of the Victorian mills, for whose workers they were built. This makes social distancing impossible, and the multi-generational nature of the overcrowding makes elderly people vulnerable to coronavirus infection. Even the Guardian concedes the point, in the following quote from 20th April 2020,

Analysis by the New Policy Institute shows that even after allowing for the much higher infection rates in London, the top five most-crowded areas in the country have seen 70% more coronavirus cases than the five least-crowded, where better-off homeowners are likely to live in larger homes with spare bedrooms and more than one bathroom.

However, the article remains stubbornly stuck in London and goes on to blame “Victorian slums” rather than the consequences of mass immigration. Another point that the Guardian is unlikely to concede is the detrimental effect upon health of first-cousin (consanguineous) marriage, which we will examine next time.

As for tonight’s Question Time, given that James Graham was the only panellist with a track record of talking any sense, might I suggest that, as in post-Cold War Czechoslovakia, writers should run this country? May I allow my name to be put forward? If the job hasn’t already been offered to a Kinnock, could I be in charge of women’s football? If I leave the likes of Helle, Afua and Devi out of the team, I might even last the full ninety minutes.

© Always Worth Saying 2020

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