Question Time 14th January 2021
Victoria Ford (Conservative)
Jon Ashworth (Labour)
Donna Kinnair (Royal College of Nursing)
Mike Barton (Former Chief Constable)
Philippa Whitford (SNP)
The first question from the QT50 audience was, “Is the health service still open?” As the questioner was a surgeon, Bruce asked him to answer it. “Yes,” he said. Oh, then why did he ask? QT50 is a carefully selected representative cross-section of posh, nice people who know somebody at the BBC and who think the right things. Sixteen of the fifty are used each week, in a place of that old fashioned pleb riddled, and occasionally free-spirited, thing called a studio audience.
Donna Kinnear is the Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing. Properly monikered Dame Professor Donna Kinnair DBE RGN HV LLB MA, she is registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a medical practitioner. She answered the question by saying that what was happening in the NHS was unprecedented. No, it isn’t, it happens every winter. She added that her son worked as a surgeon at a private hospital. He was doing this for the NHS, she reassured us. Incidentally, do Puffins suspect that every single panellist on QT has private health care?
Another QT50 member, a medical student, mentioned struggling staff ratios. The next contributor was an ambulance driver.
After that, another doctor spoke, panellist and Les Dawson lookalike, Philippa Whitford (Scottish Nationalist), a former breast surgeon and current SNP MP for Central Ayrshire. Born in Belfast, she moved to Scotland aged 10 and is a graduate of Glasgow University.
There is a rule at QT Review that, unlike the programme, we must not be repetitive. All of tonight’s panellists have been on Question Time before. Barton recently, Ashford and Kinnear often and recently. Regular readers will already be aware that the exception to our rule are the links between the SNP and the Nazis detailed here.
Phillippa told us that routine operations had had to be scaled back. Should have gone private, love, Donna’s son will give you an estimate. Donna and La Bruce had a little squabble over the first and second waves and England and Scotland’s performance during them. Scottish case rate numbers are the lowest of the four nations, said Phillippa, despite the new variant of Covid. She was bursting to call this new variant the ‘The English Pox Plague Disease’ but didn’t.
As a Jesuit might say, ‘Give me the girl at seven and I will give you the woman’. Philippa has the dress sense and demeanour of a lady of a certain age who should be back in Belfast, wearing a headscarf, dispensing china cups of tea from a tray (to seventeen-year-old squaddies with Belgian SLRs), next to a barricade while singing, “I live on the Shankill, I’m fed up to the ankle, with Bernadette and Ian.”
Jon Ashworth (Labour) thanked all fifty of the QT50 for working for the NHS. He was dressed like an undertaker, in a very dark suit with a very dark brown tie. He wore a plumbline parting across his black hair, a little tuft of which stuck up at the back, as though he’d caught it on an upright coffin when rushing out of the shop. Jon raised the IQ of the QT studio by noting, “If you are ill, seek medical advice.” Poindexter.
Jon has represented Leicester South since winning a by-election in 2011. Jon has never had a job. Having graduated in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Durham University in 2000, he served as national secretary of Labour students before continuing at the Labour Party as a political research officer. Prior to becoming an MP, Jon held various advisory and secretarial positions within the party.
As proof that ‘God makes them and pairs them’, his wife, the lush Emilie Oldknow (imagine a more recent model of il fragrante Isabel Oakstott but with fewer owners and not as many miles on the clock) has never had a job either.
After leaving Newcastle University in 2002 with a degree in Government and Politics, Emilie was accepted onto the Labour Party’s Trainee Organiser Scheme in the East Midlands. After rising to become Regional Director there, she was promoted to Labour’s national Governance, Membership and Party Services section. For the 6 years prior to 2018, she was considered the most senior woman in the Party’s organisation and seen by many as an unofficial deputy general secretary. Upon her shock resignation in March 2018, the Huffington Post gushed that Oldknow was,
widely admired by her colleagues in London and the regions
In her own, similarly gushing, resignation letter Ms Oldknow returned the compliment,
I have been so lucky to work with amazing people throughout my party career – the fantastic staff… you have made the last six years in this role a pleasure. You are all mega-talented with superhuman powers of delivery, dedication and more importantly patience”
The HuffPo also added, via ‘senior Labour Party staff sources’, that Emilie,
is well respected by all parts of the party including staff, LOTO [Leader of the Opposition’s Office] and the unions”
In October 2018, Mrs Oldknow-Ashforth was awarded an OBE for political services.
Her resignation became less of a shock upon the publication of the Labour Party’s own investigation into “The Work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in Relation to Antisemitism, 2014-2019.”
In the report, Ms Oldknow is mentioned on 198 of its 851 pages. The respect that she received from LOTO wasn’t reciprocated. The report censured her for making ‘sexist and derogatory comments’, via WhatsApp, regarding a young female LOTO staff member, including, “You’d think with all that money she could afford to buy a jacket and a bra”. Oldknow also hurled abuse at LOTO chief of staff Karie Murphy, nicknaming her “Medusa”, calling her “fat”, and a “smelly cow” for wearing the same clothes on consecutive days. LOTO Political Secretary Katy Clark is referred to as “pube head” and told to “fuck off”. An employee with mental health problems is mocked.
Ms Oldknow refers to her husband’s colleague Evette Cooper as “grovelling and embarrassing”, suggests Puffin’s favourite Dawn Butler’s was lying about racism and refers to a former Pedophile Information Exchange advocate as “Harriet ‘white privilege’ Harman”.
The report states that,
The language used in many of these conversations was deeply inappropriate for Labour members, let alone Labour staff, and more serious than many of the comments for which Labour members were suspended in the 2016 leadership election.
In one conversation, Oldknow alters a selection committee in the Manchester Gorton constituency, in order to ensure her allies are in majority. (Older Puffins may recall a more innocent age when Manchester Gorton was represented by the excitable Gerald ‘Geraldine’ Kaufmann MP, a confirmed bachelor with an intense interest in youth’s issues).
The report also accused her of hampering the suspension of Ken ‘Hilter was a Zionist’ Livingstone in order maximise the embarrassment to Jeremy Corbyn. Simultaneously, Oldknow wanted to lift the suspension of ally Simon Danzcuck, despite him sending ‘flirty texts’ to a seventeen-year-old.
In January 2017, Oldknow and others discussed a Labour leadership election and set up a ‘discreet’ process to decide its rules and timetable. Nonce finder general
Lord Tom Watson was told to prepare to become an interim leader. Electoral rules would be changed to ensure a victory for Emilie’s prefered candidate. For the same reason, the NEC youth elections would be moved. Likewise, Angela Eagle’s constituency party would remain suspended for internal factional political advantage.
Elsewhere, Emilie wanted a Jewish member to win a parliamentary seat, not for their own sake but because as they left the NEC their replacement would be a certain Mrs Eddie Izzard (not of our parish).
The report noted,
One staff member referred to Emilie Oldknow expecting staff to “fabricate a case” against people “she doesn’t like/her friends don’t like” because of their political views.
After Emilie’s shock resignation in Spring 2018, things improved for the Labour Party, the final conclusion of the report being,
from spring 2018 onwards, the Party has introduced appropriate processes, systems, training, education and effective line management to ensure antisemitism complaints are dealt with swiftly and robustly
All’s well that ends well, not least for Mrs Emilie Oldknow-Ashwoth OBE who was appointed Assistant Resource and Organisation Chief Operating Officer at Unison. By coincidence, the trades union that backed her husband when he became the Labour candidate in Leicester South.
* * *
Given the dishonesty, naked political self-interest and total disregard for rules, fair play and democracy displayed by the Left, are Puffins agreed that, if the Left were able to control mainstream media, social media, big tech, the electoral process and had $1.6billion in donations, they would be able (and willing) to fix a presidential election?
* * *
Victoria Grace Ford (Conservative), another Ulsterwoman, is the MP for Chelmsford and Mr Johnston’s Minister for Children. Victoria’s parents were County Tyrone doctors who sent their daughter to the exclusive St Paul’s School and Marlborough College. After graduating in Maths and Economics at Trinity College, Cambridge (where she met her husband, Hugo, now an oncologist at Addenbrookes Hospital), Victoria worked in the City of London for JP Morgan and Bear Sterns. Since nobody likes a smart arse and since her maiden name is Pollock, we shall call her Vicky Pollard.
Formerly an MEP, Ms Pollard was a member of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with China. Hm. Perhaps not surpisingly, Vicky Pollard has an interest in mobile phones. In 2015, Vicky welcomed the EU-China 5G agreement promoted as ‘vital to unlocking the benefits of digital innovation’. Hmm.
In 2016, Vicky shared a platform at a one day 10 tech enablers conference in Brussels with Chen Lifang, corporate senior vice president of notorious Chinese communications technology giant Huawei, who were subsequently removed from Britain’s 5G project. Hmmm. We shall keep an eye on Vicky Pollard.
Although not dressed as an undertaker, Ms Pollard was wearing knee-length black leather boots. Rather distracted by the boots, your reviewer can’t remember what she actually said, beyond the statuary thanking of NHS staff.
The camera returned to the original questioner. There is a certain class of person who defines themselves by the size of their bookcase. Lockdown and Zoom has brought the worst out in them. Visible in the background, the questioner had obviously got his wife to move their bookcase in front of the camera, where it blocked some cupboard doors. It was a bit too obvious.
Mike Barton (Retired Chief Constable), as well as looking like a copper and sounding like a copper, lived in a house like a copper. He was wearing his front room like a uniform. High ceilings, teak doors, obviously out in the country, no need for bookshelves, polished cabinets of dark wood. Mike, rightly, wanted to mention mental health. As per last week’s QT Review, Mike noted that mental health was neglected by the NHS and much of the responsibility of running about after the mentally ill fell upon the police.
Speaking of Hitler, Eddie Hitler lookalike Mike (© Farouk 2021), retired from the police in 2019 after 39 years on the force and six years as chief constable of Durham. From a Lancashire farming family, Mike is a law graduate of Newcastle University who began his career on the beat in Blackpool. Barton is a
good old fashioned police officer, in the style of Dixon of Dock Green, who’d clip you round the ear for stealing an apple shameless careerist and self-publicist, who prefers cameras and microphones to handcuffs and helmets. When he was Chief Constable of County Durham, Barton even had his own newspaper column, through which he reassured the good readers of The Northern Echo that, “I didn’t vote for Brexit.”
With an eye to what direction the political wind blows in, Mr Barton is more likely to be spotted at a Common Purpose conference in the metropolis than in a Masonic Lodge in a county town’s Abattoir Lane. Mike is in favour of decriminalising drugs.
The next questioner was either speaking from a Victorian sewer or had bought the only rolls of London Brick Company Fletton No 3 wallpaper ever sold. He asked of the speed of the vaccination effort. Jon Ashworth wanted to mobilise people. He mentioned community and his constituency in Leicester. He also mentioned ‘government failure’ and ‘too slow’. A rather poor attempt at insulting political opponents, compared to the high bar set by his wife.
Let’s get these jabs into the arms as quickly as the manufacturers can make it, said Vicky Pollard, craftily shifting responsibility for any delays to the manufacturers and away from the government. A QT50 member mentioned the triple bonus GPs are paid for every vaccine administered. Yikes! It’ll be the QT49 next week!
Cath from the virtual audience mentioned a lack of community trust. In her community, only 39% intended to be vaccinated. This was because of ‘medical racism’. Hahahahahahahaha. Somebody had to say it. Cath talked very posh too, being from QT50 rather than from down in the ‘hood.
Mike worries when governments set targets. He’s been a victim of such things. Members of his family were in the health community. It was a bit disorganised. They’d been told the vaccines were coming and then they hadn’t. People had had to be ‘de-warned’. He didn’t believe that doctors were being paid triple. He thought up a very complicated excuse for them. No doubt, down at the Lodge, a mutton-chopped, tweedy, provincial GP would do the same for Brother Mike.
There had been fewer vaccinations in Scotland, claimed Fiona Bruce, challenging Phillippa. Phillippa blustered and spluttered and seemed to suggest that it was a lot more difficult to administer the vaccine to drug-addled, Buckie soaked layabouts than to the neat rows of Wonderkinder that lie south of Hariands Wall. Puffin, if you’re wagging your finger at me, you’ve never been to Motherwell.
The night’s third question referred to the rules of Covid lockdown enforcement.
The rules aren’t clear, said Mike, and what does ‘local’ mean in legislation? There was now a mishmash of new rules covered by over one hundred statuary instruments. Mike conceded that, in normal times, it used to take up to a year to train the high IQ alpha individuals in the ‘Boro plod in each new law.
The next QT50 contributor didn’t think there was a lockdown. Her town was busy. She’d been to B&M. The Vicky Pollard lookalike competition was hotting up.
The real Vicky retaliated by repeating some of the rules, which sounded as clear as mud. She said the police were doing a good job but then let the cat out of the bag. As the police explain the rules to you, they note your identity and put it all on file. Hm. If they have to talk to you a second time, they’ll know. Hmm. You can take the girl out of Huawei but can you take Huawei out the girl?
The final question was about the rather disappointing school food hampers that the needy have been receiving. The panellists chanted, “St Marcus of Rashford, pray for us,” while giving Vicky Pollard a good hard thumping.
I’ll tell you what a friend has done. The top of his cooker is cracked. The rings are failing one at a time. He has set up a gofundme page. If the rest of his family want a new cooker, they can help to pay for it. He is more than happy to eat raw food off the floor, it won’t be the first time (he tells me).
Families. Should. Be. Self. Reliant.
There seemed to be a nieve view amongst the panellist that vouchers and cash would be better than food parcels. The QT50 applauded when Mike suggested monies be paid straight into bank accounts. Mike, it will go on fags and booze and the children will continue to go without.
Just before La Bruce ended the programme, Vicky Pollard folded and said that the Government was going to give ‘free’ school meals over the February half term. Or rather she didn’t. She said ‘support’, not food. She got very annoyed and started pointing, shouting and talking with her hands. If the real Vicky Pollard was watching, she might sue me.
© Always Worth Saying 2021
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