Always Worth Saying’s Question Time Review

"The best English speaking news programme anywhere in television" - Frank Luntz (stroke victim)

Question Time 1st July 2021


David Davis (Conservative)
Andy Burnham (Labour)
Chika Russell (Businesswoman)
Madelaine Grant (Daily Telegraph)
Benjamin Zephaniah (Writer)

Venue: London

Question one touched upon Boris’s non-sacking of Matt Handcock. David Davis (Conservative) mentioned the lynch mob. Boris had prevaricated to create time regarding one of the most important offices of state. Having said that, Davis concluded that Handcock had had to go.

Andy Burnham (Labour) disagreed and chanted, ‘Dominic Cummings’. What does it take to get sacked, asked Burnham? Twelve hundred unnecessary deaths during the Stafford hospital scandal when you were Health Minister, Andy?

The QT50 were obsessed by Mr Johnson’s non-sacking of Mr Hanccock. Somebody tell them it’s too late. Hancock’s resigned.

He has to lead by example, said Benjamin Zephaniah (writer). We need political leadership. Benjamin became emotional. His family were affected by current events. His sister has to bury people. Is she a journalist with access to CCTV?

Madeline Grant (Daily Telegraph) was on the line, with big red flowers on her Zoom room’s wallpaper. There was a level of disparity, an inconsistency in what was allowed. Big crowds at Wembley, exceptions for business meetings, but strict rules for schools and weddings. One rule for them and another for us.

Madeline Grant was educated privately at the £14,000 a year Arnold Lodge School, Leamington Spa, and at the £14,000 a year King Edward VI High School for Girls in Birmingham.

Her mother, Sally Jones, also a King Edward’s old girl, represented England in real tennis, appeared on numerous TV quiz shows (including Mastermind) and became a sports reporter with BBC Breakfast.

Madeline’s father, John Grant, was a civil engineer and director of numerous property and construction companies as well sitting on the board of an exclusive golf club in Bromsgrove. Her brother, Roly, was a finalist in the BBC’s Britain’s Brainiest Kids.

Towards the end of her time at school, Madeline modelled with Christoph Chalvet de Recy’s Profile agency.

According to the Evening Standard, while auditioning for London fashion week, size eight, nine stone and six-foot-tall Madeline was told she was too fat! Her hips being a disastrous two inches wider than the samples.

A furious Mr Chalvet de Racy, watching his commission disappear, called the designers “sad” and part of a “gay mafia” who had never fancied a girl, didn’t like curves and wanted, “androgynous bloody clothes hangers.”

Madeline recovered from the trauma and went on to study English at St Hilda’s, Oxford, and to represent her college on University Challenge. She also followed her mother onto Mastermind. A breathless action news reporter from the Leamington Spa Courier was on hand to tell us that Madeline scored 15 points on her specialist subject of Harry Potter and a further 10 points in the general knowledge round.

Which begs the question, does Madeline rest her Harry Potter books on her rack? Her book rack, Puffins. Obviously.

In 2012, when standing for the post of Oxford Union Librarian, innocent Miss Grant was unpleasantly misunderstood by academia’s prickly obsessives. Miss Grant’s manifesto reference to her aforementioned impressive rack, and her kindness toward the elderly Japanese businessmen sponsoring her studies, was horribly misinterpreted by the sort who might want to pull down a statue of philanthropist Cecil Rhodes.

Naive Miss Grant was fined £120 for damaging the reputation of women and subsequently resigned from the Union.

Following her previous Question Time appearance, on 16th January 2020, the Daily Mail reported that Miss Grant had found love with fellow panellist Lawrence Fox. However, by the following November, the same organ wrote that Mr Fox was single again and registered with a celebrity dating agency.

Will Cupid’s arrow strike again on this week’s QT? We shall see.

Tony of the QT50 was back. Since last time, he has left the RAF and got a job at the library. Behind him, Cilkas Journey and Monsoon sat where the Canberra and the Lancaster had been.

He is the leader of our nation, said Chika, we are all super-tired business people. “Myself as a business leader, my team looks to me for direction.” (She has four employees). I mean, you know, I mean, you know. You know. Blatant infidelity. I think. Yes. Six children involved.

Perhaps as if in a Two Ronnie’s sketch, was she answering a different week’s questions?

Bruce informed us that this is the last QT before the summer break. She plans to be back in the autumn with, pandemic permitting, a live audience. She then killed the excitement with, “If you live in Croydon…….”

The second question was about Savid Javid saying we will have to live with some consequences of coronavirus well into the future.

Benjamin made an interesting point. As a vegan, these illnesses come from other animals. People are also giving Covid to their cats and dogs. We have to change our relationship with animals and the environment. Black men of a certain age are the most vulnerable, said Benjamin with a quiver in his voice. At his gigs, teenagers spit their poetry over him. Tough crowd.

Chika what do you think? What would you like to see? Chika wanted to maintain some restrictions including masks. Schools and the children have suffered. She knew to expect the unexpected. Make a plan. You know. You know. At first we didn’t know but, “Now that we know that we know, you know.” Another Two Ronnies sketch?

Andy Burnham wanted to move away from restrictions and towards advice. He wanted to keep either masks or social distancing, not stop both. He saw the propaganda benefit of mask-wearing in that they are a tangible reminder that we’re in a pandemic.

Although born in Liverpool, Andrew Murray Burnham was brought up in the desirable Cheshire village of Culcheth. Since graduating in English from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, Mr Burnham has never had a job beyond party politics.

Formerly the Labour MP for Leigh, since 2017 Andy has been the Mayor of Manchester, recently re-elected with a bigly 67% of the vote.

Chances of dating Madeline Grant – Evens. Mads and the rotters at the Telegraph will be lining Burnham up for a broom cupboard CCTV sacking. Mark my words.

Mads disagreed, and didn’t want to live in China. She wanted a context to the daily statistics to relieve uncertainty and fear. Burnham was wary of new variants.

Benjamin teaches at the university. He teaches performance poetry on Zoom. He would rather be in the classroom but he’s seen the stress on his student’s faces as he reads out his poems. Erm.

Doctor Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah PhD, had possibly the most expensive education in the history of Question Time. More expensive than Fiona Bruce’s (Haberdashers’ Aske’s), or Madeline Grant’s or Chika Russell’s. More expensive than grammar school boy David Davis’. More expensive than the private schools that QT favourites and anti-private school campaigning comrades Dianne Abbott, Steven Kinnock and Sharmi Chakrabarti sent their children to. The City of London School, Atlantic College and Dulwich College respectively.

No, in today’s money Mr Zephaniah’s time at approved school, now local council-funded privately owned community homes, can cost up to a wapping £4,000 a week.

Despite the expense, Dr Zephaniah left approved school unable to read and write. Despite this, Benjamin was subsequently named by The Times as being one of Britain’s top fifty post-war writers, having published novels, collections of poems, children’s books and plays. Benjamin has been poet in residence at lefty Michael Mansfield QC’s legal practice and at the Africa Arts Collective in Liverpool.

Despite all of this, his mighty work Rasta Time in Palestine, presumably because of racism, is a disappointing 3,335,085 places behind the Marquis de Sade’s One Hundred and Twenty Days of Sodom on the Amazon best-sellers chart.

Much decorated, the Great Man of Words has six honorary degrees as well as an honorary doctorate. Benjamin turned down an OBE saying the word ‘empire’ made him angry and reminded him of slavery.

Keen on Brexit, is the author of Rasta Time in Palestine a Puffin? As an honorary patron of the Vegan Society, a republican, and having endorsed Corbyn in the 2019 general election, no, he isn’t.

Chances of dating Madeline Grant – Nil. If he turned down an OBE, he’ll turn down Madeline.

We don’t know what we know, you know, you know. Guess who said that? Hemingway? No, it was Chika.

Tony was back. The Quest and Treasury were now piled up on the runway, spines fortuitously pointing towards the camera.

Fatima asked the next question. Tinged and dressed in a shalwar kameez, Fatima wondered about her ethnic homeland, Batley and Spen. Is it over for the Labour Party if they lose today’s by-election?

Burnham was all at sea. Private landlords, zero-hours contracts. The right has made people afraid of each other. By threatening to kill them because of cartoons in the classroom? No Andy, that’s the left. He was inspired by the England team taking the knee. Andy, taking the knee hasn’t done Starmer any good.

Mads said there was an identity crisis within Labour. Benjamin thought a defeat would be representative of the Labour Party’s decline. The Tory’s were struggling with their traditional identity too and followed left-wing policies such as furlough. We need good, new ideas. As a reminder of some old, bad ideas, Benjamin told us he’s an anarchist who supports Corbyn.

You know. You know. Call me mystic Meg. You know. They feel forgotten and let down, you know. Chika knows numerous people who live around Yorkshire. Does she? You know. You know. You know. It could be the end for them. She got there eventually!

In interview with the Independent’s Hazel Sheffield, Chika Russel claimed that her office is opposite billionaire smoothie tycoon Richard Reed’s uber-trendy West London Innocent Tower.

This is not true. Ms Russell rents a desk half a mile away at a Workspace facility. Her other premises, the operating core from which she manufactures and distributes snack foods, is a lockup garage in this modest row of industrial units in Willesden. The business employs five people.

As every Puffin knows, cash is king. A glance at Chika’s latest accounts, filed at Companies House on 31st December 2020, shows that her business, Minios Limited trading as Chika’s Foods, doesn’t have any cash just a mountain of debt.

So why is Chika Russell a lauded businesswoman and one of Business Insider’s top thirty inspiring UK entrepreneurs?

Because she is independently rich, her marketing is woke, she is black, female, nice to look at, lives in London and has an ethnic (Nigerian flavoured crisps) product.

Later in the interview, Chika gave the game away further,

“People totally think my husband is giving me money for a hobby to keep me quiet at home.”

London born Chika is one of seven siblings. She identifies as Nigerian and spent part of her childhood in the West African country between being educated in England. Her parents are wealthy business people. Chicka followed in their footsteps, qualifying as an accountant and working in the City for The Royal Bank of Scotland and ICAP. While still living in the family home, she had already bought two other London properties.

By age 24, she was married after, according to, her banker husband proposed to her while they dined beneath the stars on a Shanghai rooftop.

During private art shows at her exclusive Notting Hill residence, the Independent informs us, “Guests would rave about her homemade Nigerian snacks.” Chika’s Foods was born. An appearance on the Dragon’s Den beckoned.

Nigerian ladies carried snacks on platters before the television cameras. Chika is committed to communities that inspire her. She empowers girls. She is passionate.

Ms Russell was not on the Dragon’s Den to raise money. She has plenty of that. She was there for publicity and turned the dragon’s offer down.

If it ever does move into the black, Chika’s Foods is committed to donating 2% of its profits to build schools in Africa as the crisps are led by a truly diverse, inclusive team with females at the helm.

That’s what it says on the packet.

In the mega competitive snack food market, dominated by a small number of giant fast-moving consumable re-sellers, you are not being sold snacks. You are not buying unhealthy crap that costs less than the packaging. You are buying values and a story. This applies to politics too.

Chances of dating Madelaine Grant – 5/2 It would sell a lot of crisps.

No it’s not, said David Davis, both parties have been on their uppers over the years. Should they get rid of Starmer? No, because that’s not what the Labour Party’s civil war is about.

A full QT Review biography of David Davis is available here.

An interesting feature being, his disingenuous claim of being raised by a single parent on a modest London council estate. York-born, by the time David lived in London his mother had married a Battersea Power Station worker. They lived on the Aboyne estate where former council houses now sell for £600,000. After leaving grammar school and university, Mr Davis rose to be an executive at Tate and Lyle before becoming a Hull MP in 1987.

Chances of dating Madeline Grant – 1/5 on favourite, former SAS reservist meets pretty girl.

Bruce asked when the time would be right for Mr Burnham to take a seat back in parliament and lead the Labour Party. “Not now,” said Andy reminding us he had just committed to a second term as mayor of Manchester. Place first not party first, he said.

An important point: Burnham was very confident until he came to speak about the warring comrades within his own party. Ominous considering he is the strong favourite to replace Starmer. The Labour Party seems to have given up on national politics and is concentrating on its ghettos of big-city mayors and London and ‘progressive’ constituency MPs.

As the Labour Party ends, so does this series of Question Time. As you know, QT Review HQ never sleeps. Added to which, holidays are for wimps. Shall we review something on GB News next Thursday night? I think we shall.

© Always Worth Saying 2021

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