Question Time 18th March 2021
Victoria Atkins (Conservative)
Jess Phillips (Labour)
Kirsten Oswald (SNP)
Mark Carney (Former Bank of England governor)
Ian Hislop (Editor and broadcaster)
Venue: London, East Renfrewshire and Ottowa
The first question was, “Has Johnny foreigner taken vaccine nationalism too far?” It was asked by Tony, a QT50 audience member who previously had a Nimrod up on the wall behind him. Tonight, in its place, was a bi-plane. Vicky Atkins (Conservative) was pleased that 25 million adults here had had their vaccinations and reminded us all that Boris Johnson is due to be the 25,000,001st tomorrow.
Victoria Mary Atkins is the MP for Louth and Horncastle and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Safeguarding. In the interests of diversity and equality of opportunity, Victoria’s father, Sir Robert Atkins, is a former Conservative MP and MEP and is presently a Conservative councillor in Garstang. Victoria was privately educated at the Arnold School in Blackpool. Subsequently merged with the King Edward VII and Queen Mary School, Lytham St Annes, annual fees are £12,000. Victoria graduated in Law from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, became a barrister in 1998 and an MP in 2017.
“All said with a straight face,” quipped Ian Hislop (Editor and broadcaster), who went on to add that the EU were not only dismal at such things but were prone to blame other people for their shortcomings. “How dare you have this vaccine, it doesn’t work,” was how he summarised Johnny foreigner’s contradictory strop.
Mr Hislop is the editor of Private Eye magazine and a team captain on the BBC’s Have I Got News For You. The advertising industry’s Campaign magazine informs us that 86% of Private Eye’s readership is of the ABC1 ‘educated middle class’, a demographic similar to that of The Guardian or The Times. Having an older middle-aged male-skewed readership makes it attractive to advertisers like “BMW or high-end funds”.
Ian was privately educated at £37,000 per annum Ardingly College in West Sussex. Given that the school’s strapline is, “We prepare our students to be world ready,” and given that Ian has never left a cosy media bubble in Islington, is he due a refund? Ian is a graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford, his degree being in English Literature.
Despite this, and even while having his name in the title, I object: Ian Hislop’s Search for Dissent, is the paltry 321,032nd most popular book on Amazon, a disappointing 41,169 places behind the Marquis de Sade’s, 120 Days of Sodom. Just saying.
Despite the Eye’s reputation for fearless investigative journalism, Ian forgot to challenge Jimmy Saville while sitting beside him on an episode of Have I got News for You. Instead of exposing Saville, Ian preferred to laugh at the notorious paedophile’s jokes, including Saville’s hilarious quip,
“I’m feared in every girl’s school in this country.”
Hislop, “What do you do in your caravan?”
Saville, “Anybody I can lay my hands on.”
Not forgetting his Monika Lewinsky joke. Or rather, we will forget about Jimmy Saville’s Monika Lewinsky joke and get back to the vaccines.
Jess Phillips (Labour) wasn’t a fan of any type of nationalism. All in black, and sporting short hair, Jess was in mourning, a Remainer disappointed by the EU. It was “vanishingly astonishing” that the French might consider vaccine fakery or nationalism, she sobbed.
Mark Carney (Former Bank of England governor) conceded that Canada didn’t have a vaccine. Mr Carney sat in an odd room. There were shutters on the windows, but pointing inwards. A painting behind him was of a perspective disappearing towards a vanishing point. It was as though he was sat in the Canadian National Optical Illusion Museum.
Kristen Oswald (SNP) spoke. She pretended to be under fifty by claiming that she was still waiting to be called to be vaccinated. She also appeared to be (worryingly, not an optical illusion) at least three times wider than the door of the room that she was sat in. Nurse and needle will have to go to Kristen. Does Nichola Sturgeon now have to resign, asked Bruce, changing the subject to a committee claim that Sturgeon had misled the Scottish Parliament. As befitted an outsized Alice in Wonderland in a tiny room, Kristen preferred the conclusions of another committee that was being led by someone else and hadn’t reported yet. “When I read a committee report,” she might as well have said, “it means just what I choose it to mean.”
Ms Oswald is the MP for East Renfrewshire. After graduating in History from Glasgow University, Kirsten rose to be head of human resources at East Kilbride’s South Lanarkshire College. In her House of Commons member’s list of interests, Kirsten declares herself a £27 an hour ‘marker’, presumably of college exams.
On the subject of nationalism, vaccine or otherwise, let’s not forget the SNP’s links with the Nazis. The chap in the kilt, pictured with the Hitler Youth, is Arthur Donaldson, who was leader of the Scottish Nationalists between 1960 and 1969. In the modern-day, the SNP have an annual Arthur Donaldson lecture. Shame on them.
Ian wanted to talk about Scotland and accused the SNP of always changing the subject and pointing things back to London and Boris. Nicola Sturgeon had been quizzed by the committee for eight hours, retorted Kirsten. This isn’t a gig, said Jess, it was an enquiry into sexual abuse of women in Scottish politics and Mrs Sturgoen had let them down.
Question two. Are the government doing enough to protect women? Fiona Bruce wanted to know what had happened to the questioner. She’d been threatened with a knife when a man had tried to get into her car.
Jess claimed that the government weren’t doing enough. Any political initiatives were taking too long. At this point, Jess didn’t offer any solutions of her own. Victoria mentioned a domestic abuse act going through parliament. There was going be a strategy. Convictions for rape were too low. Alleged victims don’t like to hand over their mobile phones to the police. Jess got bogged down in definitions, and the parliamentary bill making process. An observation; surely these things are already illegal? Does juggling laws about make any difference? Surely the problem is human nature not legal procedures?
Jessica Rose Phillips is the MP for Birmingham Yardley and Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding. A QT Review Biography of Jess Phillips is available here. The key points being, grammar school girl Jess is very upper-middle-class, her parents being a Health Service executive and a teacher respectively. Having their own business they, in the interests of equality of opportunity, employed Jess. Likewise, in the further interests of equality of opportunity, you paid MP Jess’s husband to be her office manager. Likewise likewise, in the interests of equality, tolerance and diversity, Jess’s constituents blockade the local schools because of a curriculum that includes LGBT.
Other than working in her parent’s business, Jess has never had a real job. After graduating in Economic and Social History and Social Policy from Leeds University, she ‘worked’ in leftie advocacy before becoming an MP in 2015, having benefited from an all-women Labour candidate’s shortlist.
For whatever reason, Ms Phillips is the ‘go to’ for nicey feelings for journalists and often enjoys a very generous press. Away from the media bubble, she is less well-received, having to drop out of last year’s Labour leadership contest before the voting had even started.
Speaking of human nature, a chap with a Northern Ireland accent wanted to create greater fear in potential offenders. Jess interrupted before he moved us towards hanging, flogging and castrating irons (unfortunately). Ian found it all depressing and thought this kind of thing was getting worse. Do more, don’t just say it isn’t practical. He wanted more education and CCTV.
Kristin was getting bigger. Does East Kilbride have an optical illusion museum too? Real and significant issues, she said, but didn’t mention what they were, other than that they would be helped by an ‘overall holistic approach.’
“Systemic misogyny,” said Mark. “When you were at the Bank of England?” Asked Bruce. “Yes,” said Mark. Oh.
We are too soft, said the questioner, when Bruce returned to her. “I don’t think our justice system works,” she concluded. Neither does anybody else.
Josh asked the next question. It was about the recent defence review. Crazy hair, crazy guy, stupid question about Trident being used in a cyberwar. Kristen said these weapons of mass destruction were very close to her. She wanted them moved them away from the Clyde. Good. Plenty of English coastal areas are suffering economically. If the SNP want to export jobs to them, then let them. Kristen was looking bigger still, now as big as Barrow Built Boomer, HMS Bigly. Mark Carney wondered what we were trying to defend against? Mark was trying to defend against cyber attacks. Build-up domestic resilience, he said.
Mark Carney was born in the Northwest Territories of Canada in 1965 and graduated from Harvard University in 1988 with a degree in economics. After completing his MA and PhD studies at the University of Oxford, he enjoyed a thirteen-year long career at Goldman Sachs. Subsequently, he became Governor of the Bank of Canada and Governor of the Bank of England in 2013.
Mark was an uber-Remainer during the Brexit referendum and, despite his gruesome warnings about what leaving the EU would do to the value of Sterling, the pound is now ($1.40) exactly where it was on the day of the Brexit vote. Upon leaving the Bank of England in 2020, he was appointed Vice Chairman and Head of Impact Investing at Brookfield Asset Management as well as United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance.
Puffins, we have a winner. As one in the eye (so to speak) for the Marquis de Sade, Mr Carney’s recent book, Value(s): Building a Better World for All, is the 120th most popular book on Amazon, by far the most impressive performance from any Question Time panellist author.
But what of Mr Carney’s value(s)? One wonders if there is another competition he might impress in?
As Vice President of Brookfield, Mark is one of 176 leadership partners, managing partners and managing directors. In the interests of gender equality, 20 of them are female and 156 of them are male. In the interests of racial equality, one of them is black (Nailah Flake-Brown) and 175 of them aren’t.
In a Radio Four Today programme interview on Tuesday (16th March) Mr Carney, with his United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action hat on, mentioned climate crisis and claimed climate change to be an existential threat. There is no room for a trade-off, he said, net-zero (emissions of carbon dioxide) must be the goal.
What he didn’t mention is that Brookfield, of whom he is a Vice Chairman, have huge interests in hydrocarbons. One of their biggest investment partners is the Qatari Royal Family who made their money from, erm, oil and gas.
If we look at the Brookfield website, we discover that they are a Canadian corporation that manages $600 billion of assets. In order to save the planet from carbon dioxide, these assets include 16,500 km of gas pipelines distributing from 600 billion cubic feet of gas storage. Oh. At least they’re not involved in the coal industry. Ah. Read on. Interestingly, the Brookfield website’s built-in search facility returns no references to ‘Dalrymple Bay’. Hmm.
During the Radio Four Today Programme interview, Mr Carney was asked:
Mishal Hussein: “Something like the plan for a new coal mine in Cumbria, should that go ahead?”
Mark Carney: “Well it’s, I can’t quite reconcile it with the overall objective, at least in my head.”
Mishal Hussein: “So it shouldn’t go ahead?”
Mark Carney: “Well, It’s a decision for the Government but I think the standard by which major investments should be judged, one of the standards is if they’re consistent with our objective, to get to net-zero not just at a 2050 horizon but for a nearer horizon, consistent with the trajectory that has been set up.”
The mine in question is the planned Woodhouse Colliery in Whitehaven which would extract coking coal for the steel industry. Coking coal is also known as metallurgical coal or ‘met’. As a measure of the quantities required, about three-quarters of a ton of coking coal is needed to make the steel for one medium-sized car. Importantly, coking coal is used for its chemical, not thermal, properties. As it is not used as an energy provider, it cannot be replaced by alternative energy.
Woodhouse would provide 500 well-paid pithead jobs, in an economically depressed part of the country, and another 2000 supply chain jobs, many of them local. This is what Mr Carney is trying to stop.
So much for what is in Mr Carney’s head, shall we take a look inside his wallet?
What Mr Carney forgot to mention to Mishal Hussein, is his very own Brookfield’s Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure Ltd. Still retaining a 49% stake, last year Brookfield raised $1billion from the sale of 51% of the business. What does Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure Ltd actually do? Mining giant BHP informs us that Brookfield / Dalrymple Bay export coal from Queensland’s Bowen Basin coalfield. Exports that include 70 million tonnes of coking coal a year from BHP’s nearby mines.
Yes, Mr Carney wants to prevent the Whitehaven coking mine from opening while himself being the world’s biggest exporter of coking coal. BHP also inform us that coal from Dalrymple is exported to Europe. Surely, Mr Carney, it would be kinder to the environment to produce coking coal here, rather than bring it halfway around the world from your port?
As if we needed to be reminded, Mr Carney and globalists like him, couldn’t give a toss about the environment. Rather, they speak as well paid lobbyists for giant corporations. Besides his book award, might your humble reviewer nominate Mr Carney for ‘Cunt of the Year’?
“What would you do if we were going to be attacked?” asked a questioner of Kristen. Nothing, she replied. Attacking the enemy could kill somebody. Bi-plane Tony was closer to the target. Nuclear weapons are a deterrent, he said, that stop others from attacking us in the first place.
Ian was puzzled as to why there had to be an increase in the number of nuclear warheads? He said the MOD was a calamitous black hole for money. He thought the defence review was incoherent and saw the big cyber threat as being from the Chinese. Ian was also incoherent, he thought our aircraft carrier didn’t have any planes on it, which it does, and then confused extending the life of T boats, with Trident carrying submarines (which are really V boats).
Jess struggled with the ‘why’.
The final question was about a new press conference room at Downing Street, supposedly costing £2.7 million. Ian thought it expensive and sounded exasperated, there was nothing wrong with the previous set up. Ian especially liked the slides.
Victoria said she wasn’t a builder and Downing Street is a Grade I listed building. Mark chuckled, he had missed the story. Whether it’s Trident or the briefing room, Downing Street is making the wrong choices for communities, claimed big Kristen.
Terrible choices, said Jess, she would have spent the money on women’s refuges. Jess had spotted a Henry the Hoover in the publicity photos and declared him ‘good’. Perhaps unlike Mr Johnson, Henry was cheap and worked. Bruce said that other hoovers were available. Kristen was about to say that they should really be called ‘vacuum cleaners’ when the girl’s stereotypical chinwag, about cleaning behind the fridge, was interrupted by the closing credits.
© Always Worth Saying 2021
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