Question Time 26th November 2020
Nadim Zahawi (Conservative)
Vaughan Gething (Labour)
Adam Price (Plaid Cymru)
Claire Fox (Member of the House of Lords)
Tanni-Grey Thompson (Paralympian)
Your humble author is forced to admit that he hasn’t visited Welsh Wales for many years but has fond memories of the principality all the same. Not least from attending an international sporting fixture there. Before the reader makes assumptions about corporate hospitality at the rugby Mecca that is Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, I attended a round ball contest at the Racecourse in Wrexham. In those days, one side of the pitch was bounded by a hotel.
On that particular night, a sixteen-year-old Mark Hughes, with the only goal of the game, sent England fans away disappointed. With the lack of a big scoreboard or smartphone and with the view from the terracing being not great (much of the proceedings were also in Welsh) and with the general terrace mayhem of England away games during a certain era, your humble author thought it had been a 1-1 draw. The next day’s newspapers, liberated from a bundle at Preston railway station on the way home, put him right.
Highlight of the evening was joshing banter with a fellow man of words, Barry Davies. Mr Davies (Cranbrook School, King’s, Sandhurst, BBC Sport) had to walk around the pitch, perilously close to the terracing (and in his beige flairs) to get to the commentary box. As he approached, myself and others couldn’t resist the urge to call, “Mr Davis! Mr Davis! Mr Davies!”, in high pitched, overexcited, camp, posh voices. As Mr Davies turned, smiled, paused his stride, made eye contact and waved, all assembled felt obliged to shout, “F*** O**” at the top of their voices. Hahahahahahahaha. It was the 80s. As the late great Jimmy Hill once observed, as ten of thousands of those around him chanted, “Jimmy Hill, you’re a wanker, you’re a wanker”:
“That’s fame for you.”
Four decades on, Wrexham FC is owned by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) and Rob McElhenney (Lost, Fargo). The hotel has been replaced by the Hays Travel Stand, a 3,500 capacity construction of red Lego. Progress?
Noticeable at the time, was that the good people of Wrexham hated the South Welsh more than they hated the English, which takes us to tonight’s South Wales venue, the city of Swansea.
Swansea returns two MPs to Parliament, both Labour, both interesting. Mrs Carolyn Harris, who represents Swansea East, affects the appearance, demeanour, physique and gravitas of Harry Secombe in a purple wig. Previously, as if upon that eighties terrace, Mrs Harris was involved in a catfight at work. In a subsequent court case, relating to a different matter, Wales online quoted witness Paulette Smith who worked in a constituency office at the same time as Mrs Harris and a Miss Jennifer Clarke.
“Jen was working on her comput-er, I was working on mine. All of a sud-den there was a blood-curdling scream from Jen. I turned round and I could see Carolyn Harris with her hands clawed on Jen’s head. When she did even-tually release her hands, there were little tufts of Jen’s hair in them. Jen was in agony.”
Mrs Harris was also known to refer to Miss Clarke’s attire as including ‘dyke boots’. Best of order please, ladies!
The MP for Swansea West is Geriant Davies. Last week, QT Review learned that Ian Blackford (SNP) was previously the second-highest House of Commons MP’s expenses claimant. Mr Davies can go one better than that, previously being the highest. Ian Blackford’s explanation, that he represented the faraway Isle of Skye, couldn’t be applied to Mr Davies as he was MP for Croydon Central at the time. Then again, perhaps it could be, although his constituency was only a twenty-minute commute from Westminster, Mr Davies was forced to claim expenses on a central London second home.
Meanwhile, QT Review HQ has been rocked to the core by revelations in The Sun newspaper that Question Time’s TV audience has now fallen to a record-breaking low of 630,000. In the accompanying Sun poll, your humble reviewer was one of only 2.4% of respondents hardy enough to still be watching the programme.
To put this into perspective, in its hay day QT attracted up to 3 million viewers. When Nick Griffin (BNP) appeared on the programme, that figure climbed to 8 million, proving the point that all that is achieved by getting woke, is going broke. To put this into another perspective, slightly fewer viewers watch QT than fifteen-year-old repeats of Midsomer Murders on ITV3 and only slightly more than ITV’s Yorkshire evening news opt-out.
£1 million a year Ms Bruce was hit by a wall of abuse in the unread comments below the line and on Twitter. Cruel (and very nickable) monikers included Fiona Br-useless and snowflake Fifi.
The first question was, should we buckle down for a Christmas lockdown?
Tanni Grey-Thompson (Paralympian) thought we were a long way form a vaccine and next week she’d be in Tier 3. It was all very complicated, as the rules were different in different parts of the country. Where she lived, the rules even differed between Durham County and the County of Durham.
Carys Davina Grey-Thompson, Baroness Grey-Thompson, commonly known as Tanni was born in Cardiff and, in a refreshing break from Oxbridge and PPE, graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Politics and Social Administration.
In the guff that comes with QT, the BBC managed to spell her name wrong, putting the hyphen in the wrong place, calling her Tanni-Grey Thompson. As if Tanni-Grey, the bleach-blond fallen Alabama country and western bimbo, always the last one standing on her own at the bar at two in the morning. To add salt into the wounds Bruseless introduced her as a ‘wheelchair racer’ rather than a multi-gold medal-winning Olympian.
Previously, wheelchair user Tanni-Grey has complained of the reaction that she received when she was expecting. An indignant Tanni-Grey told the BBC:
“This woman stopped me and said: ‘How did you get pregnant?'” Grey-Thompson recalled.
“I remember screaming at her in the street: ‘I had sex. How do you think I got pregnant?’
“She was like: ‘Oh, that’s disgusting.’”
Older Puffins with a strong constitution might recall the great Bernard Manning’s take on Stephen Hawkins’s sex life. An awkward twenty minutes even in the days of Chubby Brown and an unleased Jim Davidson in his prime.
In response to the first question, Nadim Zadawi (Conservative) proved how difficult the rules are, by trying himself up in them, Huounii style, but then, unlike a great escapologist, he just stayed there trussed up, going round and round in circles, while the rest of us were baffled.
Nadhim Zahawi is MP for Stratford-upon-Avon and therefore a Warwickshire Zahawi. Nadhim regularly appears on Question Time, last being on the panel only a few weeks ago in September. Therefore, his private education, links with Kurdish oil concessions and tax havens, £3,000 a month and £20,000 a month outside interests, £25 million property portfolio, expenses claim to heat his horse’s stables, etc etc etc etc can be read in a previous review, Southampton, 4th June.
In a sign of how repetitive and predictable QT has become, fellow panellists on that programme included last week’s David Lammy and 9th October’s Donna Kinnair.
Claire Fox (Member of the House of Lords) spotted a pandemic of unemployment and of robbing of civil liberties. In England, we were coming out a lockdown which was less strict than some of the tiers that parts of the country were now going into. “It’s like a religious cult.”
A lady in the virtual audience said, “Val-eee”. This won her a bet. No doubt about it. She is £20 better off. Good luck to her. It was like watching a footballer kick the ball right into touch from kickoff, having had a pony on the first throw-in being in the first minute.
Vaughn Gething (Labour) looked very serious, like someone trying to sell you a funeral plan, which, to be blunt, he might well be. He had a silver bucket on one of his shelves as he Zoomed from his house. A bit of an eternal adolescent, he’d been out nicking road signs. He’d dragged a big red one with ‘Llywodraeth Cymru’ into his backroom. Not well hidden, you could see it in the background on his webcam. As you shall read, not the first time he’s been caught out on Zoom!
Born in Zambia, Vaughan Gething is Minister for Health and Social Services in the Welsh assembly. Vaughan grew up in Beaminster in Dorset, before studying law at Aberystwyth and the University of Wales in Cardiff.
At first glance, Mr Gething seems rather dull if not completely vacant. Highlights of his political career so far appear to be, telling somebody to eff off on Zoom when he thought it was muted and being caught by the newspapers (perfectly legally) having a bag of chips on a park bench during May’s lockdown.
Hannah spoke from the virtual audience. Proving that there is an ancestral tribal link between the Welsh and my own Debatable Lands, Hannah looked just like me and all my relatives at her age. Now in early middle age, I look like another Welsh person, comedian Rob Brydon. That’s what Hannah’s got to look forward to. Now, I hear you say, “But you’re bald, AWS!” So is Rob Brydon but he wears a toupee.
Should people in the public sector get pay rises when those in the private sector are getting the sack, asked the next questioner?
Public sector worker Vaughan (Welsh assembly) thought that public sector workers should get a pay rise. A message should be sent out. Jenette who asked the question, thought nurses and the police should get a pay rise, but she forgot to mention politicians. “We don’t have the money,” realised Jenette.
Public sector worker Claire (House of Lords) decided that, “We all deserve a pay rise.” Private sector workers had kept the country going too, Amazon deliveries, supermarket workers. Claire was keen on development and economic growth, that’s what pays for the public sector.
Public sector worker Tanni-Grey (House of Lords) said her family worked in the front line of ….
If I may interject. You aren’t paid for being a nice person. It isn’t a reward. Payment is a measure of the value that you’ve added to a product or service through what you do. That value is not bound to increase year after year, or even ever. No one is entitled to a pay rise.
Million pounds a year public sector worker, Fifi Bruseless (television tax), repeated the question for Adam Price (Plaid Cymru). He mentioned Keynes and a deflationary spiral. No matter what his methodology, public sector worker Adam (Welsh assembly) decided it was pay rises all round.
Spurning, Oxford, Cambridge, Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Carmarthen born Adam Price has a degree in European Community studies from Cardiff University. According to The Times newspaper, Cardiff University is the 94th best university in Europe. Unfortunately, some of its subjects haven’t fared as well.
Looking down the list of degree programmes, European Community Studies doesn’t seem to have survived the troubled times that we live in. The closest I can find, via Bachelor’s Portal (not what you think) is a BA in European Union Studies at Istanbul’s Bilgi University. In the unread student reviews, commenters praise Bilgi University bigly. Undergraduate ‘Anonymous’, studying English, gives the institution five stars and adds, helpfully, “Bilgi University has an area where offers to live with gentle and freedom to students.”
Perhaps with a nod towards his own bachelor’s portal, Adam is positioned 7th, below Gareth Thomas and on top of Hannah Winterbourne (the first transgender officer in the British Army), on Wales Online’s Welsh Pinc List.
Back on the question, public sector worker Nadhim Zadhawi (MP) has just been awarded a big pay rise. There were gazillions more monies that were going to be invested in schools, hospitals, nurses, doctors, MP’s. “4.1% more for MPs,” Snowflake Bruseless reminded him.
The next question was from Sheree. Was it right to cut the foreign aid budget?
2nd of the G7 at 0.5% back to 0.7% ASAP. The Gobi vaccine summit made it all worthwhile. £24 billion to the Ministry of Defence, joining that to office work, Foreign Office work, Mr Zadawi corrected himself. This was interspersed with lots of ‘eers’ and ‘erms’, a very unconvincing presentation.
Adam Price mentioned the unmentionable, ‘A Biden Administration.’ Has nobody told him that Biden and the Democrats are crooks? Alan seemed to think ‘A Biden Administration’ would be ‘progressive’ hahahahahahaha, and help the poor and needy hahahahahahaha.
An audience member used the aeroplane analogy, we have to put our own oxygen masks on first.
Tanni-Grey said that foreign aid was hard politics, a quid pro quo for global influence.
Claire preferred development to aid (the girl’s been red-pilled) but she blamed Western countries for an economic slowdown in developing countries through coronavirus. No Claire, that’s the fault of the Chinese. Keep taking the pills. She was rightly cynical about aid, it goes to big NGO corporations, rather than to those in need, she said, concluding that, “Aid is patronising.”
Claire Regina Fox, Baroness Fox of Buckley (Member of the House of Lords) was born in Lancashire but raised in Flintshire and attended the University of Warwick before becoming an English teacher. She is a former member of the Revolutionary Communist Party.
Upon the collapse of Communism in the 1990s, the Baroness founded the ‘Institute of ideas’. Many of which were bad. Fox supported the IRA, defended Garry Glitter’s ‘right’ to download child pornography and worked for the BBC. Her better ideas have included being anti-abortion and pro-Brexit (she was a Brexit Party MEP for seven months until January 2020).
Ms Fox’s Linkedin profile contains only one testimonial, a glowing reference from the vice-captain of a golf club.
Baroness Claire hasn’t been on QT as often or as regularly as Zahim Nadawi, her last appearance being in 2006 when the other panellists included John Redwood, Simon Hughes and Zac Goldsmith.
Vaughan still hadn’t been able to hide that road sign. Anybody who’s got lost trying to get to Llwodrath Cymru, will know who to blame!
The next question was about independence.
Adam said that independence for Wales was record popular. “But Plaid Cymru aren’t”, sniped snowflake Bruseless. Adam wanted to be independent so that he could be in charge of the magic money-making machine. He was going to test everybody for coronavirus and bring in a universal wage.
Then, there was an awkward moment when Tanni-Gray spoke. She mentioned independence as being driven by a detached London bubble. When she visits schools, young people say they don’t like politics, they never watch….. a very long silence followed, tumbleweed blew down the streets of Swansea, crickets could be heard …………never watch Prime Ministers Question Time announced Tanni-Gray. Was she sweating? Was her tongue bleeding from a giant self-inflicted bite? I think it might have been.
Bruceless Fifi Snowflake threw her arms apart and gasped, “I wondered what you were going to say then.” Well, Fiona, the rest of us didn’t. Not that there’s many of us left, but we knew exactly what Tanni-Grey was going to say before she corrected herself. Jeepers. Claire began to answer the question but Bruce more or less told her to belt up because we’re out of time. Hope nobody was watching.
© Always Worth Saying 2020
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