Question Time 10th June 2021
Gillian Keegan (Conservative)
Lucy Powell (Labour)
Kavita Oberoi (Businesswoman)
Yanis Varoufakis (Economist & politician)
Frank Luntz (Pollster)
Venue: London & Greece
Now that his teeth are better, your reviewer has some more good news to share with Puffins. Because of a shortage of microchips, wariness of post-lockdown public transport and the strange times we live in, my car is now worth more than it cost. In effect, this time last year, a humourless middle-aged man dressed in lederhosen and with steel-framed spectacles perched around a helmet-shaped head, paid me £300 to drive about in one of his cars for the next twelve months. Willkommen bei Volkswagen indeed!
Rather than beginning with a question, this week’s Question Time began with a ‘candid language’ warning. Don’t know what a candid language warning is? Neither do I. Read on.
First question, is the EU having its sausage and eating it?
“A very good question,” responded Lucy Powell (Labour) stalling for time. Essentially, Lucy wanted us to surrender to the EU and claimed that this is what Biden wants too. As for why it should be any of the President of America’s business, she didn’t say.
Janis Varoufakis (Economist & politician) decided that both London and Brussels were behaving like spoilt brats. No freedom of movement means no movement of sausages, he joked to an embarrassing silence. He described the UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic as being an impossible triangle. It’s a sausage war. Both sides have to work together thus this would best be resolved harmoniously.
Speaking of spoilt brats, Yanis Varoufakis is the uber-rich indulged son of Egypiote Greek former steel magnate Georgios Varoufakis who made his money when Greece was ruled by a military junta. By coincidence and as further proof that God makes them and pairs them, Yanis’ wife, visual and installation artist Danae Stratou, is the uber-rich indulged daughter of Faidon Stratou, a former textiles magnate who made his money when Greece was ruled by a military junta.
The J in Donald J Trump stands for genius, American Frank Muntz (Pollster) informed us. Then he took off us his Union Jack sports shoes, waved them above the desk and dedicated them to Roger Daltry. Maybe Biden really is but one from a multitude after all?
Frank Ian Luntz is a 59-year-old focus group guru and former Oxford University Thouron scholar contemporary of Boris Johnson. Mr Luntz’s father, Lester, was a notable Connecticut dentist and his mother, Phyllys, the co-author (alongside her husband) of The Handbook for Dental Identification: Techniques in Forensic Dentistry, which remains to this day the ‘go to’ for bite marks in criminal investigations. His sister, Mona, is a Registered Republican voter and lives in a condominium next door to a fire station in West Hartford, Connecticut. You heard it here first, Puffins.
The EU have a legal right to open every package passing the Irish border but is it reasonable to do so? Asked Gillian Keegan (Conservative). Sensible practical solutions please, she instructed.
This is bigger than a sausage war, said Kavita Oberoi (Businesswoman). Once agreements are signed on the bottom line they’re Gospel. How will we navigate out of it? She didn’t know. She felt sorry for the people of Northern Ireland and repeated ‘sausage war’.
QT50 audience member RAF Tony (or should that be RFA Tony?) who had previously been sat in front of paintings of Comets and Lancasters was tonight surrounded by wood and curtains, perhaps in a caravan or possibly, given his form, in a Zepplin’s gondola. He demanded common sense.
The next question was about extending the lockdown. It was challenging for business, according to Kavita, and business has to be driven by data. She has a 21-year-old. A twenty-one year old what? Car? House? Wig? Boob job? She didn’t say.
Lucy thought Freedom Day a misnomer but didn’t know what plan B should be. She had no ideas and suggested nothing. Businesses were closing in Manchester as employees were being pinged by the track and trace app.
Lucy Powell is the Shadow Secretary of State for Housing and the Labour and Cooperative Party MP for Manchester Central where she enjoys a Lammy or Abbottesque 70% of the vote.
Ms Powell attended Parrs Wood High School in Greater Manchester’s posh Didsbury before going down to Somerville College, Oxford. After graduating in Chemistry, Ms Powell continued her studies at Kings College, London, before embarking on a career of non-jobs in the Labour Party, PR, campaigning and quango-land.
Those campaigns included Britain in Europe *snarf* and the quangos included NESTA, civil society innovators generating societal change for good by partnering system shapers and venture builders (committed to equity, diversity and inclusion) towards a clear mapped destination strategy pathway.
No, neither do I.
Bruce decided hospitalisations were going up slowly but a QT50 member said there was a pandemic of mental ill health. Natalie from the QT50 spoke from a Photo Me booth.
Gillian Keegan didn’t have a plan either, such things would be discussed at Cabinet over the weekend. Three of four stages of unlocking have gone well. We have to get the evidence and the data. Will there be financial support, asked Bruce? I haven’t seen the data replied Gillian.
Gillian Keegan is the MP for Chichester and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills. Gillian makes much play on having been an apprentice. In fact, she was a trainee buyer with General Motors who moved into financial services from where she progressed on her husband’s coat-tails. Her mother-in-law is one of the Caribbean Goslings who made their money from rum and slavery. Her father-in-law was Conservative MP Dennis Keegan. A fuller QT Review biography of Mrs Keegan is available here.
Despite claiming that she left school before taking her A-Levels, Gillian is a graduate in Business Studies from Liverpool John Moores University and an MSc in Strategy and Leadership from London Business School.
As the girls talked over each other they were interrupted by Frank. Don’t do this, he said. Don’t make vaccination a political issue. In the States, Republicans won’t get vaccinated as it’s become too confrontational. Don’t politicise this, insisted Frank.
Janis wanted to invest money in suppressing the virus rather than locking people down. Frank agreed with him and ran through the bullet point benefits of the pro-vaccination case.
The conversation moved towards ‘certain communities’. Were we about to reach peak candid? Gillian Keegan mentioned an increase in black and Asian jabs.
Frank had had a stroke recently because of his unhealthy lifestyle. He was passionate about people protecting their health. Don’t make the mistakes I’ve made, he advised.
Question three related to international aid.
Gillian thought Foreign Aid vital at which point Bruce asked her, “Then why are you cutting it?” Mrs Keegan tried to make the cut look like an increase. Lucy thought this shameful and detrimental to our status in the world. We’ll be taken over by France and Germany and even Saudi Arabia. She meant overtaken. At least, I hope she did.
Frank said, it’s how you spend it, the effect must be meaningful and measurable. As the ladies squabbled, Frank told them they were making the same mistake that had happened in America. The ladies contradicted him. Kavita said she was passionate about women. Crikey.
Kavita Oberoi OBE puts the ‘K’ and the ‘O’ into, “OK baby, back to my place!” Be careful what you wish for. Lush Kavita, a West Riding Oberoi, was born above her father’s plumbing shop in Bradford. Not quite clever enough to be a doctor, Kavita took a first in Applied Chemistry at Huddersfield University, where she chaired the Asian Society and played for the netball team.
Upon graduating, QT Review’s very own Asian babe began a lucrative career as a sales rep at BAYER. For Puffins not in the know, mark-ups on prescription drugs are vast and Big Pharma’s salespeople are unbelievably generously incentivised to push them onto GPs and pharmacists.
Eight years later and having relocated to Derby, Ms Oberoi’s career had reached a ceiling from which point she struck out on her own by founding Oberoi Consulting.
In among another batch of impenetrable corporate gobbledygook, Oberoi Consulting appears to sell management consultancy services to pharmacists and GPs practices concerning the implementation of never-ending changes to Government guidelines.
Under the rather grand guise of The Oberoi Business Hub, they also rent out spare facilities at their Derby business park office unit which is nicely located next to a Kia franchise.
Kavita’s husband, Deven, is also in business and offers ‘lighting solutions’ from a retail unit opposite a Derby housing estate’s Ladbrooks, kebab shop and Nisa Local. In the interests of equality of opportunity, Deven is also company secretary of his wife’s company.
Having tricked his way into lush La Oberoi’s confidences, this reviewer found her to be an exceptionally giggly girly-girl from Girlville who wanted the world to know all about her ‘body bill’.
During the day, I usually wear a Bobbi Brown foundation with a little Lancome bronzer and complete the look with Dior lipstick. A few years ago, I treated myself to laser treatment. At around £10,000 for all the sessions, it wasn’t cheap, but, as I don’t have time for waxing, it was perfect for me.
Kavita continued with mention of her face (take note Ash Sarker), legs and forearms. Talk of the underarms was bad enough, but as she proceeded towards her bikini line your humble author began to feel uncomfortable and took the precaution of crossing his legs and placing his notebook and fountain pen over his lap.
After an excruciating trip around eyebrow threading, massage and acupuncture, this modest correspondent was forced to make an excuse and leave (by now unable to walk in a straight line) as the conversation careered out of control towards a ‘monthly Chinese facial’.
Interviewed upon more mundane matters by Digital Recruitment and Me Kavita explained that,
“The business [Oberoi Consulting] has never had to rely on bank finance to fund expansion.”
Despite being slow to borrow, reference to consecutive annual financial statements filed at Companies House shows that Oberoi Consulting have been more enthusiastic when it comes to lending:
- 31.8.2017 £34,882 loaned to Mrs Kavita Oberoi
- 31.8.2018 £36,974 loaned to Mrs Kavita Oberoi
- 31.8.2019 £26,443 loaned to Mrs Kavita Oberoi
- 31.8.2020 £36,452 loaned to Mrs Kavita Oberoi
Why would Ms Oberoi borrow money from her own company every year on the final day of its tax year? Crunch.uk are on hand to explain,
This is a method [known as bed and breakfasting] sometimes used by directors to dodge tax by repaying their borrowed money to a company before the year-end to avoid penalties, only to immediately take it out again without any real intention of paying the loan back.
Now we know pays her body bill. You, the taxpayer.
Janis wondered about a shelter for battered women in The Sudan. Those ladies might be turned out into the street or into the dirt. An obnoxious decision. He mentioned de-funding ‘bloody foreigners’ as being attractive to British voters. The candid language klaxon sounded. We had a winner.
Is taking the knee tokenism or a way of abolishing racism, was the final question.
Frank had originally been hostile to the knee, especially as it had been practised during the Star-spangled Banner, but now felt people should use a platform if they have one. He was also in favour of booing. Stopping freedom of speech is never helpful but, he added, “I’m a foreigner, I have limitations here,” as he grabbed Janice’s prize from him.
Kavita said we had to tackle racism. Booing sends a message. Statues have been coming down. In the 1970s Kavita had been called a ‘Paki’ every day at school, a comment that pushed a despondent Janis into the candid language bronze medal place.
“Nobody doesn’t want to end racism,” said Gillian symbolising her support for the double negative. Gillian wouldn’t judge the knee but said it was a symbol rather than an action.
Gareth Southgate’s Dear England letter got a mention. Everybody should read it, said Lucy. Good news for Minute Media’s brand content campaign for Nike fronted by the England manager, Lucy was too thick to realise.
Janis thought it was brilliant that England players take the knee and also fine for others to boo them. Bruce was not happy, why is that fine she asked? Janis had one more push at the candid language prize, “Football has always traditionally attracted racists, even neo-fascists, British National Party. Magaret Thatcher supported apartheid.” Did she? “She supported the continuous imprisonment of Nelson Mandela,” he continued, now making a fool of himself by trying too hard to trump ‘Paki’.
“That’s why this show is so special. This is the best English speaking news programme anywhere in television,” said Frank, proving he really had had a stroke and, having given up on being candid, was now just trying to flatter the judges. “If we had more shows like this…”
Frank, pal, I’m going to cut you off there. Get down on one knee and don’t say anything more about Question Time until you’ve been reviewing it for eighteen months.
© Always Worth Saying 2021
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file