Question Time 27th May 2021
Grant Shapps (Conservative)
Emily Thornberry (Labour)
Tom Newton Dunn (Journalist)
Kate Clancy (Writer and teacher)
Nandra Ahmed (National Care Association)
First question, do you agree with Dominic Cummings that thousands of people died needlessly in the pandemic?
Emily Thornberry (Labour) thought lots of things brilliant, such as the vaccine and the NHS, but the Government had been, and still was, chaotic. She wanted an enquiry and referenced alleged cuts in the health service and people being discharged to care homes without being tested.
Ms Thornberry is properly monikered Lieutenant Colonel (temporary) The Right Honourable and Learned Lady Emily Ann Nugee QC MP. A bit of a mouthful, previously QT Review has referred to her eminence as ‘Lady Emily’ but, upon reflection, Lardy Emily would seem more appropriate.
Lardy Emily’s father was Belfast born (and four times married and divorced) United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Cedric Thornberry. Lady Lardy’s husband is Sir Christopher George Nugee, The Right Honourable Lord Justice Nugee, a QC and a High Court of Appeal Judge. Her father-in-law was pre-eminent Chancery barrister, Edward Nugee. Her mother-in-law was Rachel Makower, a Bletchley Park code breaker and World Central President of the Mother’s Union.
Despite this, Lardy takes every opportunity to plead poverty, claiming she grew up in a council house on the mean streets of Guildford.
Unlike Mr Shapps, and despite not being a Palestinian, Lardy Emily is a friend of Palestine. When Shadow Foreign Secretary in Jeremy Corbin’s toxic anti-Semitic opposition, she promised to recognise the ‘State of Palestine’ and ‘review’ British arms sales to Israel. Adding at the Labour Party’s Brighton conference in 2019,
“You can be assured that standing up for the Palestinians will be at the top of my list of priorities”
A carefully rehearsed QT50 audience queued up to kick the Government.
The original questioner sensibly found it difficult to know who to believe, and referred to Mr Cummings and his recent select committee evidence to be that of one who has ‘an axe to grind.’
Grant Shapps (Conservative) didn’t agree with the premise of the question. Mr Shapps was dressed in a sombre black suit with white shirt and black tie. Was he expecting the first question to be about George Floyd?
Mr Shapps is the MP for Welwyn Hadfield and Secretary of State for Transport. As a QT regular, Puffins are already aware that grammar school boy Grant is the proud possessor of an HND in Business and Finance from Manchester Polytechnic. More honourable pursuits, such as get rich quick pyramid selling scams and content trawling click-through advertising apps, having failed Mr Shapps entered parliament in 2005.
Because the vexed Middle East is in the news and a question regarding ethnicity likely, we must sound the ‘Careful Now’ claxon. Mr Shapps was formerly a member of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organisation (BBYO), rising to become its national president in the 1980s. However, the Jewish Chronicle reminds us,
The [then] new Conservative Party chairman [Mr Shapps] is not known for making the rounds of fundraising dinners for Jewish charities, making grand statements about Israel or intervening in debates about Holocaust education or antisemitism.
Nandra Ahmed (National Care Association) spoke on Zoom from a palatial front room. She complained about the price of PPE and care home’s protective equipment being diverted elsewhere. She disagreed with embattled Health Secretary Mr Handcock’s oft-stated view that care homes had been well shielded.
Tom Newton Dunn took it as read that tens of thousands had died un-necessarily and the key point was to find out why and then decide who to blame. Two important issues, the system in March 2020 was inadequate and incapable of learning. The system was completely lacking.
Kate Clancy (Writer and Teacher) despite being a Scot, talked like a posh English person. She thought there were many known unknowns at the start of the pandemic and leaned toward the Government’s response being botched.
Ms Clancy is a leftie poet and teacher. In 2019 she was teaching at a multicultural school in Oxford. In an overlong Guardian feature, Kate claimed the school was ‘plural’, that is, with British pupils pushed into a minority.
I have written a poem for her.
Kate teaches in a school,
Where being ting-ed is the rule,
Where multi-culti skin hue,
shows English pupils few,
What shall we do,
Fellow proud Brit?
Surround with Iron Dome,
and bomb it.
A fitting tribute.
Emily didn’t want Dominic Cumming to have the last word on this and repeated her call for an enquiry. Having said that, she shared the conclusions of her own enquiry, that anything negative said about the Prime Minister ‘somehow rang true.’
Never mind that, Puffins want to know about this humble author’s aches and pains. Next slide. Another tooth out, weight down to 11 stone 8 pounds. I can’t chew. With my pretty young dentist being in uniform (PPE), speaking a foreign language (Scots) and ordering me about while towering over my prone self with pliers and screwdrivers, these appointments are rather like a vision from the hagiography of the recently departed Saint Max of Mosley.
Incidentally, the pain killers also kill off all of my other aches and pains. For the first time in years, I’ve been able to look over my shoulder while reversing the car. Every cloud.
Even so, I have put myself on light duties and early nights. If this review, therefore, detaches from QT in the way a seven-hour Dominic Cummings rant might detach from what really happened in Carrie Symonds’ Downing Street, you know why.
A contradiction arose about care homes. Tom drew a distinction between doing something and trying to do something. Mr Handcock had somewhat oversold his capacities.
Tomas Zolton Newton Dunn currently presents on Times Radio. Yes, Zoltan, his mother being the Hungarian European Union quangocrat Anna Akri. Tom’s father is Bill Newton Dunn, a career MEP, firstly for the Conservative Party before defecting to the LibDems in 2000. Tom’s grandfather was Lieutenant-Colonel Owen Frank Newton Dunn, OBE, of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment. Lieutenant-Colonel Newton Dunn was awarded his OBE for his service in Berlin during the Cold war.
As a young man, Tom followed in his father’s footsteps to £40,000 a year Marlborough College after which he took English Literature at Edinburgh University before commencing a career in journalism.
Mr Newton Dunn has worked in numerous roles for the BBC, not least presenting Week in Westminster. Tom’s sister, Daisy, is a BBC producer while Tom’s wife’s business, The Return Hub, is endlessly plugged by the corporation. Mrs Newton Dunn, better known as Dominie Moss, is a graduate in Art History, Criticism and Conservation from the University of East Anglia and her business concerns City of London corporate headhunting.
The second question asked, ‘After the Dyson report can the BBC regain the confidence of the public?’
Tom, perhaps not surprisingly, was positive about the BBC but found the decision to re-hire Martin Bashir an odd one which required heads to roll. Grant Shapps reminded us that there is a mid-term charter review on its way at which point things could be put back on track.
Kate said ‘we’ need the BBC. A source of news that ‘we’ can trust. Where’s the BBC in that sentence, sweetheart?
A QT50 audience member blamed a failure of accountability of management, also seen at the Post Office, the banks and elsewhere. A brave man, perhaps making his final QT50 appearance, thought Fiona was paid too much, the Royal Charter should be scrapped and an advertising model used instead of the licence fee. Was it Andrew Neil in disguise?
Emily mentioned accountability and management and claimed this was all over 20 years ago. No, it wasn’t Emily. Martin Bashir left the BBC last week and he wasn’t sacked, he left on health grounds. Emily thought the BBC was an antidote to fake news. ‘It belongs to us.’ The ‘us’, as with the ‘we’ being an Islington bubble of fakes like Lardy Emily and Tom, she forgot to add.
‘A respected voice,’ added Nandra Amhed. Interestingly, all of these people who are being paid to appear on the BBC are keen on the BBC.
It would be a big help if the forthcoming GB News channel not only provided the BBC with much-needed competition but were to broadcast an early evening Q and A panel show, preferably with the likes of David Starkey and Lawrence Fox involved. We shall cross our fingers for a while longer having *cough* got off to a premature start on Wednesday *hangs head in shame* with an ill-timed preview *flagellates self*.
The latest timings for GB News are, May 27th, showreels, May 31st, teasers, June 13th live broadcast launch at 8pm. Have you seen the showreel? I’m Always Worth Saying. Truth. Sarcasm. The occasional funny voice.
The George Floyd question finally arrived.
Grant thought justice had been done with the conclusion of the Minneapolis murder trial, but there remains an ongoing fight (in the ghetto, between gangs?). Bruce mentioned the Islamophobia report which cleared the Tory Party of such things but which Bruce drew the opposite conclusion from. Mr Shapps reminded Lardy Emily of another report that excoriated the Labour Party’s anti-Semitism.
Ms Amhed said it still went on in America. She felt lost.
What have we learned in the last year asked Bruce? I’ll answer that. We’ve learned that the media bubble in London can’t cope with race, are terrified of the large black population in London and will say and do anything to appease it.
Teacher Kate told us young people were more empowered to speak up and name their experiences. I wonder what that means? She wanted to change the school curriculum to include the partition of India (when Muslims, Shiks and Hindus slaughtered each other by the hundreds of thousands).
Tom had been to a footy match (Arsenal v Brighton) and was surprised when people booed the black lives matter knee. Why Tom? All lives matter. That’s how detached from reality Tom’s London media bubble are.
Lardy Emily’s heart bled for St Marcus of Rashford as he continues to suffer ape references on social media. I will ask a question that I have asked before. Lardy Emily, which would you prefer, to listen to monkey noises or to listen to your daughter being multi-culturally ‘groomed’?
The last question regarded another source of racial conflict – the Eurovision song contest. ‘Why are we so disliked across Europe?’ Asked uber Remainer Tom of our last place in the competition. Your humble reviewer suggests it’s not a popularity contest, it’s about the quality of the music. Perhaps our song was just plain crap?
Having said that, Germany finished second bottom, so Tom might have a point.
© Always Worth Saying 2021
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