Always Worth Saying’s Question Time Review

Question Time 28th May 2020


Helen Whately (Conservative)
Ian Murray (Labour)
John Swinney (Scottish National Party)
Layla McCay (NHS Confederation)
Alex Massie (Journalist)

Venue: Scotland

Proprietor of the Coniston & Windemere Surgical Appliance & Truss Company, inventor of Madame Gaulle’s Elixir for Intimately Embarrassed Gentlemen, Nobel laureate The Very Reverend Professor Doctor Sir Robert Peston MD FRCS DPhil MPhil FRS ITV, has been sacked! Puffin overboard? An even more ludicrously qualified goofy doughball has been appointed as the Medical expert on the Question Time panel, Layla McCay, more of whom later. A friend informs me that Professor Sir Dr Robert intends to retrain as a journalist. Can’t see it working for him.

Your humble reviewer resides in the Debatable Lands. This is the territory north of Hadrian’s Wall and south of the Scottish border. During the independence referendum, the woeful Dan Snow suggested that there was no physical border between England and Scotland. There is. The river Sark leads to Scots Dyke which leads to Liddel Water. On the other coast, I know not, it is beyond my ken, I suspect the river Tweed plays a part.

Dan’s ignorant comments were motivated by preventing the government of an independent Scotland from increasing taxes for his father in law (the then Duke of Westminster), a big landowner in Scotland. Snow is not an historian. He is an hereditary London media bubble nonentity and an ill-informed PR man. Avoid.

North of that border lie prosperous and loyal Tory shires. Doughty, reliable and hard-working honest men and women vote for the Union and for Conservative MPs. Another border beckons, less well defined, probably about fifty miles further north, closer to Motherwell. It is the border between the real Scotland and the screeching irrelevants of Scottish nationalism. Have they been allowed out for tonight’s Question Time programme? We shall see.

To Be Announced turned out to be the lush Helen Whateley. Bruce finally had an audience, twelve up on the big screen, all of them in Glasgow. The first question was about track and trace. No it wasn’t, it was about Dominic Cummings.

Dominic Cummings Derangement Syndrome continues apace. The latest angle is that Mr Cummings contravening the Road Traffic Act, for driving to Barnard Castle when he possibly couldn’t see properly. During the week did I hear Bunter Boulton on Lie News say, “Dominic Trump”? I think I did. Other symptoms include not being able to see Ian Blackford on his 700 mile trip from London to Skye (to move into a junk shop window, if his Skype is to believed) or Stephen Kinnock visiting his parents. Fortunately, only MPs and media people suffer from DCDS, hopefully it is fatal.

The first panellist, a Scotsman in London (Ian Murray), twisted it about a bit to blame Cummings as well as the Scottish Government for a patient zero in Scotland.

It’s very rude to comment on a ladies’ weight. We all know that being overweight is bad for coronavirus. As Ms McCay (NHS Conference) began to speak, I couldn’t help but think, “physician heal thyself”.

Ms McClay didn’t give DC too much of a kicking, so Fiona Bruce turned to the ‘impartial’ audience to do it for her. An audience chap mentioned Steven Kinnock. Bruce corrected him, Labour Hypocrisy Syndrome can be cured with “vitally important shopping”, according to Bruce.

Another media luvvie, the usually more reliable Alex Massie got carried away and parroted the London bubble’s “fatal blow to Boris”, narrative. “It won’t do,” he said. No, it won’t Massie, dry up.

Another audience chap wanted to ‘move on’. He couldn’t give a toss about Cummings and cared more about eggs and flower. Is something wrong with the QT audience DNA? They haven’t been checked and traced; common sense is breaking out.

Bruce ignored him and rounded on Helen Whateley trying to catch her out with an interpretation of the rules which might contradict DC.

“Follow the guidance,” replied Helen.

“Unless? Unless? Unless?” shouted Bruce, rather like Torquemada shouting, “Confess! Confess! Confess!”, beside a Spanish Inquisition rack.

John Swinney (SNP) tested positive for Dominic Cummings Derangement Syndrome and went on and on about him. John’s is the worst case I’ve seen so far. Shaven headed and with black-framed spectacles, Swinney is even starting to look like Dom. John is already isolated, up on the big screen, in front of the smallest bookcase yet seen in lockdown. Only four books wide.

The next questioner was speaking from a Portacabin and wore AirPods. Cool. In an Australian accent, the questioner told us that father had a superiority complex and never asked for directions. Maybe that’s why they ended up in Scotland?

Bruce pinned down Whately again and tried to catch her out on detail, this time regarding teh app, as if a difficult piece of scripture Torquemada needed to be explained.

“But on public transport?” Bruce interrupted. When was the last time £15,000 an hour key worker Fiona Bruce was on a bus?

Leyla thought that we were getting there. Bruce had to interrupt. Why isn’t teh app world-beating, she asked? It doesn’t have to be, replied McCay, it just has to work.

I wonder who the audience were? Apart from the chap lost in the Portacabin, they all looked more than a bit, Bearsden if not Milngavie or even Helensburgh. Perhaps tomorrow’s papers will inform us? At this point, 23 minutes in (not bad), I was just about to give up and go to bed when something remarkable happened.

The curtain dropped unexpectedly. The theatre lights were raised and a panicked minor member of the cast rushed to the front of the stage and pleaded,

“Is there a Director of International Relations at the NHS Confederation in the house?”

Well, yes, there was. Layla McCay raised a hand.

He continued, “We also need an Asia Global Fellow, a director for urban design and mental health, a distance learning tutor and adjunct professor, a public health systems consultant, an international researcher at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, a writer for National Geographic, a director of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing Secretariat, a Tented researcher, a visiting scholar from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a head of global and national policy and advocacy at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, a director from Basic Needs, a BUPA assistant medical director, a governor and psychiatrist of the South London Maudsley NHS trust, a director of the Oval House Theatre, a Salzburg fellow, a clinical advisor to the World Health Organisation, a clinical advisor to the NHS Medical Director at the Department of Health, a physician, surgeon and pathologist to the Greater Glasgow Health Board, a medical officer at Hillside Healthcare International, a research associate at the Harvard Institute of Medicine and a research associate from Osaka University.”

“Och,” replied a blushing Ms McCay, trying to sound modest as her arm remained raised.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for someone who’s been able to hold onto a job for more than a year, then much employed Ms McCay might not be for you.

As the QT Review award for the daftest CV is wrenched away from Devi Shivar and handed over to Ms McCay, let’s not forget that Ms Shivar went on to spoil her copybook by suggesting that lockdown was good for the economy. Does Ms McCay carry any more integrity? Read on.

McCay’s NHS Confederation sounds rather grand but it appears to be no more than a goodie club for senior NHS staff. It exists both as a company and as a registered charity. Despite having only 500 members (out of an NHS staff of 1.2 million), NHS Confederation has 212 employees, 45 of whom earn more than £60,000 pa, (up from 26 in 2018) 13 earn more than £100,000 and one earns more than £240,000. In 2019 the average salary and pension contribution was £47,000 pa, an inflation and austerity busting 7% increase on 2018.

NHS Confederation’s website claims that

“Approximately 48 per cent of our income is generated through membership subscriptions; 24 per cent is generated through conferences and events, including sponsorship and exhibitions; and 26 per cent is generated through the reward of grants and contracts.”

This is a bare-faced lie.

In the most recently-submitted accounts (April 2019), income was £17.9m of which £3.5m (only 19%, not the 48% claimed) came from membership subscriptions. Even then, the member doesn’t pay the fee, you do. The wording of the application form to join NHS Confederation is telling. It states, “By signing up to membership, you are committing your organisation to pay the full amount for the membership year.” In other words, the NHS employee member does not pay, their NHS department pays. The joining fee can be as high as £40,000. The annual membership fee can be as high as £14,000. This is NHS money, taxpayers money. Next time a senior NHS employee mentions austerity, tell them to f___ off.

In the accounts summarised by the Charity Commission, NHS Confederation claims that £14.6m is raised from “Charitable Activities”. However, in the accounts submitted to Companies House this money is itemised as “members” fees (described above), plus £11.1m in “contract delivery”. At 62%, this is the bulk of NHS Confederation’s income. What is this “contact delivery”? It is any more than a series of members jollies, ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) style, in effect charged to the NHS? Besides lobbying government for their own benefit, their events diary is busy with regional dinners and round table breakfasts (at the best hotels), padded out with Common Purpose claptrap style conferences, that you are paying for. All of this appears in the accounts as *cough* charitable activities.

* * *

Much has been made of a disproportionate number of BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) deaths during the coronavirus pandemic. The other week (9th May) I noticed an interesting tweet from Crick. Before you get too excited, not from the famous geneticist, Francis, but from the irritating journalist, Michael. He serves our purpose, we will persevere with him. In the tweet, Michael Crick noted,

Here’s another thought. Most of us with children can say, if the line continues, that in 1,000 years the almost entire population of the world will be descended from us. And if we hadn’t lived, then the population of the world in 3020 would be a totally different set of people

He is, of course, completely wrong. For geographic and cultural reasons our offspring will start marrying each other (rather than complete genetic strangers) at some point. The family tree isn’t a mass of endlessly spreading roots or branches, it is more like a self-contained trunk. That’s why we have races and tribes. The sooner this process begins, the smaller the gene pool will be. If the process begins immediately, with first cousins, then the ‘clan’ gene pool will be relatively very small.

According to the BBC, 70% of the Pakistani population in Bradford marry their first cousin. Nationally, again according to the BBC, the proportion is 55%.

Down the generations, marriage within the same clan results in fewer different ancestors and more shared ancestors. As well as being first cousins, a married couple will be related in many other ways. The gene pool being smaller, they may be closer genetically than ordinary first cousins or even brother and sister. This is known as ‘Pedigree Collapse’ and is explained in more detail in the linked Discover Magazine article.

This makes offspring more susceptible to genetic diseases as they can be conceived with a double dose of defective genes from two genetically similar parents. The consequences of which were reported in the Daily Mail as follows,

 In Birmingham, around one in ten children from first cousin marriages either dies in infancy or develops a serious life-long disability caused by genetic ailments, according to health officials in the city, where half the mothers of Pakistani origin are married to a close relative. Meanwhile, a research document by the NHS-funded Enhanced Genetic Services Project reveals that in Birmingham in 2009-2010, the combined infant stillbirth and death rate ‘definitely or probably’ due to genetic disorders inherited from Pakistani cousin parents was 38 times higher than that among white European babies in the city.

The linked Bradford case study entitled “Did my children die because I married my cousin?” is a difficult read. Both parents, Ruba and Saqib, carry a gene for an incurable condition. They have had six miscarriages and have lost three other children.

As well as genetic illnesses being an underlying medical condition, making sufferers vulnerable to coronavirus, inbreeding has a negative effect on the immune system. The institute of canine biology explains,

No doubt about it, your body’s defence system is extremely complicated, and all of its magic depends on exceptionally high diversity in the genes that run it. One of the consequences of inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity [in purebred dogs] is decreased diversity in the genes of the immune system. This has led to weaker immune systems and higher rates of autoimmune disorders.

Although mainstream media occasionally cover the issue, they do so in a whisper and will not make a link between inbreeding and higher BAME coronavirus death. Their assumption is that medical information will produce better choices. This bien-pensant fallacy ignores the influence of culture, religion and the desire to get close family members into Britain through (often forced) marriage. The media-political bubble appears to agree with the World Health Organisation, that attempting to stop first-cousin marriage is “undesirable and inappropriate”.

As Puffin’s already realise, the evidence will be ignored and BAME deaths will be shoehorned into an existing, sanitised and weaponised identity agenda, as per this week’s terrible events in Barrow in Furness. In Barrow, the alleged victim has already been charged by the police as if the perpetrator. For legal reasons, it is difficult to know what to write beyond an expression of despair.

© Always Worth Saying 2020

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