GB News 8th July 2021
Rebecca Reeve (No idea)
Andrew Doyle (Comedian)
Constantin Kisin (Comedian and Political Commentator)
Richard Tice (The Reform Party)
AN Other (Also captioned as Richard Tice)
Megyn Kelly (‘US Media Superstar’)
Venue: Dan Wootton Tonight
Your humble author can’t pretend to be an intellectual, but today he feels like one. Forget the dreaming spires and glittering prizes of Oxbridge academe or the ivy-clad antebellum brickwork of the great American schools. No, better than that. The Sorbonne? Meh. Le Institute International de Phisique Solvay with Einstein, Max Planck, Neils Bohr and Madame Curie about the corridors? Poor.
Imagine me a Chinese intellectual, THE professor of Mandarin dangling modifiers or Confucian gerundives. It is the 1960s. It is Mao’s Cultural Revolution. It is a rice paddy a thousand miles from the nearest
television college quadrangle. This Great Man wears a dunce’s cap. A sign hangs around his neck. Broadly painted strokes of Cantonese capitals run up and down torn cardboard announcing, “Everything I wrote was wrong, even if it wasn’t.”
His Shanghai Polytechnic dandy suit now hangs as a pair of curtains in a tile maker’s canton cottage beside a particularly nasty set of rapids on the Jinsha River. Our fallen academic is dressed in sackcloth and wears a woven rice stalk coolie hat. He is out in the fields, four days train ride from a senior common room and any string quartet playing Haydn from the gallery of an oak-beamed refectory. The children of Happy Commune Number Ninety-Eight throw sneezing bats at him. His only friend is a water buffalo.
However, the morning mist is being burnt from the paddy fields. The rising sun is spilling a golden light upon distant hills. As Chairman Mao intended, there has been an epiphany.
The squabbling Senior Common Room pedants, who’ve never had a real job, now belong to a forgotten world beyond those high peaks. As do ungrateful students who contradict everything said and whoop and clap in all the wrong places during a lecture. The air is fresh. The heat is bearable and often pleasant.
Even six decades later it is bad politics to say so, and the history books will never tell you this, but our re-located, de-chaired, broken intellectual is as happy as a lamb.
In Bertolucci’s over-rated but still impressive biography of Pu Yi, the subject is released from the burden of the accident of his birth as if a little boy’s captive pet locust disappearing from an ornamentally carved bamboo tube.
Dear Puffins, myself, the intellectuals of Mao’s Cultural Revolution and The Last Emperor of China are brothers. We tread the same path. Belatedly, my polished brogues have joined their silk slippers and countryman’s rough sandals on the gold and lucky red path to enlightened liberation.
Question Time has finished for the summer. I am free.
As you know, QT Review HQ never sleeps. Holidays are for wimps. We shall review something else. The obvious place to look being Andrew Neil’s new organ, GB News. Dinner time with Gloria di Piero and Liam Halligan was tempting, the subject being double vaccine dose delight and with Gloria, in her yellow and white summer dress, herself looking like an outsized double scoop dose of banana ice cream jammed into a cone.
But QT Review is a more discerning work. Having been raised on a diet of Lala Moron, Ash ‘The Tashe’ Sarkar and George the Poet, we shall start at the weightier end of the body politic with Dan Wootton Tonight which airs at 9pm on weekdays.
You can say what you like about the cretins at the BBC, but they did provide a list of QT panellists a day in advance of the programme which was handy for prepping embarrassing biography’s.
As the clock ticks down to 9pm, your anxious reviewer prays for guests close to the Rod Liddle and Lady Colin Campbell (and her dog) end of the interesting people spectrum. Beyond that, I cross my fingers while cobbling together at the last minute – as they do on GB News.
Dan starts his programme with a monologue, tonight’s being about ‘we’ getting to the Euro football finals. New Zealander Dan went on to lay the lockdown card reminding us Mr Hancock is a hypocrite and telling the Government there should be a Euro final Sunday amnesty including allowing pubs to stay open for as long as they ‘bloody want’.
Meanwhile, Japan were trying had to ruin the Olympics with no spectators in the venues and not even a torch relay. Blame the Government, said Dan. No, we’re not the BBC any more, he meant blame the Japanese Government, not Mr Johnson. Only 15% of the Japanese people have been vaccinated.
Dan has his own panellists. Tonight they were Rebecca Reeve (no idea), Andrew Doyle (parody Tweeter Titania McGrath) and Constantin Kisin (comedian and political commentator). The first question Dan put to them regarded the dropping of Covid rules.
No one follows the rules anyway observed Constantin. Drop them. Rebecca Reeve added that theatres are struggling with social distancing while football grounds are full-ish. She pointed out to Dan an important omission in his monologue. The England girlie’s football team have previously won their Euros.
But women’s football isn’t as good as men’s, said everybody. And not as many people watched it, added Constantin. Dan said he prefers netball. As if we need to be told.
Rebecca thought football was for stupid people and had never seen a match until last night. She was now a convert. Andrew had done it once but had no idea of what was going on and hadn’t done it again.
Dan made an important point. The left associates football with patriotism which they associate with hooliganism which they associate with racism. The others corrected Dan from ‘left’ to sneering upper-middle-class Islington types.
Constantin was encouraged after spotting a mosque where they’d been celebrating like mad. But he wasn’t specific. Celebrating what? They’re millionth postal vote for the parish council election?
Dan said not everybody will be engaged next Sunday evening during the Euro final. The Scots, the Welsh, people who don’t like football. He made what he described as a public service announcement, “Watch me on GB News instead!”
Daniel John William Wootton comes from down under, from Lower Hutt, New Zealand’s sixth most populous city making it about the same size as Burnley.
Educated at Lower Hutt’s Naenae College (other old Nae-nae-non-ians include pop music duo Bill & Boyd and New Zealand Idol contestant Luke Whaanga), Dan graduated from the nearby Victoria University of Wellington with a degree in Media Studies. After working in print media in both his native land and in London, Dan moved to radio presenting with Talkradio and thence to TV.
Mr Wootton was the Sun executive editor who published the story headlined, “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?” which resulted in the never-ending hilarity of the Johnny “Mr Stench” Depp and Amber “Amber Turd” Heard libel case.
The next question. Recent rule changes are good news for holidays, but what about vaccine passports? Constantin was concerned on grounds of civil liberties. He’d just got back from the Ukraine, visiting his dying grandmother, and was bogged down in quarantine and endless Covid tests. Ninety percent of adults have the antibodies, he reminded us. Get back to normal!
Rebecca claimed she was too young to be double jabbed. Erm. Andrew, took a civil liberties angle too and didn’t want a two-tier travel system based upon vaccination. Rebecca said countries can decide for themselves who crosses their borders. Dan wondered about evidence and variants and then paused to tell Rebecca she was wrong.
The great thing about commercial breaks is that you don’t have to wait for the Scottish Nationalist to speak before making your supper.
Suitably refreshed, the second question was, “Should we carry on wearing masks?” Is the division between maskists and non-maskists the new Brexit?
New segment, new guests. Who better to ask the ‘B’ question of, than Richard Tice – both of them. The real Richard Tice said polls suspiciously always backed the Government’s position. Richard, presumably via Reform UK, had done his own bigger survey of 18000 people, most of whom were going to give up masks. There’s no difference between wearing one and not wearing one. A study in Denmark had shown that. Masks have a propaganda use, he more or less suggested, based on fear, which some medical experts seem to like.
The other chap, also captioned as Richard Tice, conceded masks were inconvenient but they do give some protection, particularly for others, in the same way washing hands protects oneself. The first Richard Tice, Reform UK Leader and squeeze of the fragrant Lady Isabel of Oakeshott, was going to ditch his mask. We would have to live with the virus. He repeated that ninety percent of people now have anti-bodies. Coronavirus is way down the list of causes of death. If not now, when?
Are masks about virtue signalling, asked Dan?
The other chap, still captioned as Ricard Tice, compared this to smoking outdoors. It only saves a few lives, but it does save lives.
Incidentally, never mind a mask, nobody at GB News wears a tie. Scruffy lot. Likewise, for a programme full of comedians there weren’t any gags.
Masks spread anxiety and fear claimed Real Richard. Stay in your bedroom if you don’t want to work hard and play hard. There’s the gag – bedroom, hard, play, Isabelle Oakshott. Do it yourselves, you don’t have to be a comedian.
Real Richard had been at the footy with his sons and had been emotional, not just at the devastation caused to the entire population of Scotland, but by seeing ordinary people enjoying their lives in the company of each other.
Megyn Kelly appeared after the next break. Another captioning error labelled her as a “U.S. Media Superstar”. Never heard of her. Perhaps the other gag? There followed baffled Biden footage from America. While trying to buy something in a shop, off-camera as if by a member of the public, Mr Biden was asked about a Russian cyber attack. The President ummed and ahhed and paused and then took his lines out of his jacket pocket, unfolded them and read them out. In other words, the whole thing was staged but he forgot what he was supposed to say.
Megyn’s mom’s 79 and tells the same stories over and over again. It sounded as though Megyn is quite rude to her. “Mo-om!” Mother’s and their daughters.
But Mr Biden volunteered for this job. How much is he still capable of functioning?
Should he take a cognitive test, asked Dan?
We see enough on camera, responded Megyn. He’s childlike without his notes. All old folks have cognitive decline but not all old folks are president.
Dan cited media hypocrisy with The Donald getting a good kicking for much less. Megyn reminded us of the different coverage of aircraft step stumbles.
Dan mentioned an ESPN major race row, at which point we entered territory where Meghan could fill time but only with that of which the audience cared not.
Something to do with two female commentators in America, Maria and Rachael. One is white and one is black, and the black one expects to take over some of the white one’s contracted responsibilities because of “well, you know.” The white one’s been sacked anyway but the black one wants eight million. Megyn had reached the limit of her courage and wasn’t for Maria, wasn’t for Rachael.
Your humble reviewer was about to reach the limit of his courage too.
“After the break, Christopher Biggins,” announced Dan.
Time for bed.
© Always Worth Saying 2021
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file