Always Worth Saying’s Question Time Review

Question Time 11th November 2021

The Panel:

Lee Rowley (Conservative)
Lucy Powell (Labour)
Emma Pinchbeck (CEO of Energy UK)
Tom Newton Dunn (Political Commentator)
Alastair Campbell (Former Press Secretary)

Venue: Hartlepool

First question, do you think being an MP is a part-time job?

No, said Lee Rowley (Conservative) who hasn’t had a second job since he became an MP. But what we need to decide as a society….

Oh, dear.

Lee went on to suggest that society might conclude that his colleagues, or himself in the future, should be allowed to fill their pockets any which way they can while being paid a full-time wage (plus expenses) by the taxpayer.

Alastair Campbell (former press secretary) agreed but felt one or two of them might want to work for free at a food bank or charity. Alastair pointed out that Boris earned more when an ordinary MP, through his journalism and public speaking, than current trougher-in-chief Geoffry Cox does with his British Virgin Islands legal cases.

Somebody mentioned Fiona Bruce (chair of Question Time and presenter of Antiques Road Show) has two jobs!

The type of job, wondered Tim Newton Dunn (political commentator). Nursing, doctoring (not that type) or being a military reservist was one thing but being an advisor or a lobbyist was a different matter and should be banned.

Being an MP is absolutely not a part-time job, it’s a full-time job said Lucy Powell (Labour), despite Parliament’s fast approaching three-week-long Christmas recess.

Emma Pinchbeck (CEO of Energy UK), a lobbyist, liked MPs. She saw these things as a partnership between big vested interests and Members of Parliament, rather than corruption. She said she’d never paid an MP. Hmmm. She mentioned the great success of the lobbied for windfarm industry, which has been a big failure for the long-suffering electricity bill payer and a massive windfall for the landowners.

Grammar school girl Emma studied Classics and English at Oxford before further studies at the Cranfield School of Management. After a year as a graduate consultant at JCS consulting, she tried a number of positions (behave yourselves) including Head of Climate Change and Energy at the World Wide Fund for nature.

The 35-year-old is presently CEO and of Energy UK, the UK energy sector’s main advocacy and lobbying body. She is also the chief executive of the Energy Retail Association, the chief executive of the Association of Energy Suppliers, the chief executive of Energysure Limited and the chief executive of the Association of Independent Electricity Producers.

Remember, as you listen to Ms Pinchbeck, she couldn’t give a toss about the environment or standards in public life. She is paid to shill for the big energy companies.

Emma has been tweeting from COP26. On Nov 10th she needed to tell the world,

Last night I met Tamara, an indigenous activist from British Columbia as we both got lost walking to find the town centre. “Are they listening to you in there?” I said. “Well, they’re letting us protest closer to the action now, I guess” she said. She was amazing.

There’s been better nights out in Glasgow.

But climate education nutter Dr Jennifer Rudd, who feels the need to be surrounded by blick ppl on her tweet photos, was more enthusiastic. Replying to Emma she tweeted,

I have to say, having you just on my Twitterfeed has enriched my life. I can only guess at what people who get to hear and see you gain.

After seeing and hearing Ms Pinchbeck on QT, your humble reviewer suggests ‘fuck all’.

What a load of tossers these climate crackpots are. Having said that, Emma was modest enough to tell Dr Jennifer that meeting in real life would be an encounter with swearing, chaos and terrible dairy management.

Another of Emma’s Twitter friends is having it even worse. Climate Megan tweets,

The homesickness is hitting hard today. Got trapped in the COP26 pavilions and took 15 minutes to find the exit. Wondering if any of this is worth it?

Not exactly Dunkirk, love.

Question two, is it acceptable that people are dying at home waiting for ambulances?

Obviously not, said Lucy. Her husband is an A&E doctor. There are six million people on waiting lists. Despite this, the NHS is treasured and wonderful. In order to help, Lucy’s husband is desperate to work longer hours for less money and take a smaller pension, she didn’t say.

Maybe our GPs could do a little more? Suggested a man in the audience, accompanied by applause.

Tom Newton Dunn saw a terrible storm with everything happening at once; an ageing population, drugs are becoming more expensive, Covid. He suggested mild coronavirus restrictions to relieve pressure on the NHS. He then suggested that the health service as a model for providing health care was unfit for purpose and the whole thing needed re-thought.

Tomas Zolton Newton Dunn is the son of a former MEP and a Hungarian quangocrat. In the interests of equality and equality of opportunity, Tom was educated at the same public school as his father – £40,000 a year Marlborough College.

After graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in English Literature, Mr Newton Dunn began a career in journalism which resulted in many commissions from the BBC where, equally in the interests of equality and equality of opportunity, his sister Daisy is a TV producer.

Lee Rowley blamed the pandemic. Lee is the MP for North East Derbyshire. Born in Chesterfield to a father in trade (milkman), Lee studied modern history at Lincoln College, Oxford. After a short career in management consultancy and insurance, Mr Rowley entered parliament in 2017 and is currently Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business and Industry.

Having obviously written his own Wikipedia, his entry boasts that, when a councillor in Maida Vale, Lee was responsible for an innovative trial allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes, agreed an out of court settlement regarding a parking contact and won a High Court victory allowing not-as-lucky-as-they-thought-they-were motorcyclists to be charged for parking.

Lucy said this was a long time coming outwith coronavirus. She linked the NHS with the provision of social care. A lack of the latter blocks beds in the former.

Lucy Powell is the Shadow Secretary of State for Housing and the Labour and Cooperative Party MP for Manchester Central. Ms Powell is an old girl of Parrs Wood High School in Greater Manchester’s posh Didsbury and a graduate of Somerville College, Oxford. After graduating in Chemistry, Ms Powell continued her studies at Kings College, London, before embarking on a non-career of non-jobs in the Labour Party, PR, campaigning and quango-land. She was elected to parliament in 2012.

Emma wanted to agree with everyone on the panel. She saw a demographic change.

There was a bit of an arms race. Emma had a bad heart after falling off her bike. A lady in the audience had had bone cancer. Lee had bad asthma. Another audience lady trumped the lot of them with a death. Not her own, a parent’s two years ago.

Besides demographics, Emma mentioned better ideas and better management.

Nobody asked the killer question. Which of the panellists (I’ll bet you it’s all of them) have private healthcare?

Alastair has bad asthma too and bad depression. His GP was worried about him. He diagnosed an A, B, C of the NHS’s problems. Austerity, Brexit and Covid. Groan.

Grammar school boy Alastair is a graduate, in Modern languages, of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Gonville and Caius have published an interim report entitled Legacies of Slavery and Coerced Labour at the College. Although the college headlines ‘little evidence of any direct connections to slavery’, reading the actual report suggests the precise opposite with many slave owners sending their offspring to Gonville and Caius and with the college actually owning shares in the South Sea Company. Conveniently, whole categories of donations and donors are filed under, “passed over for further study due to time constraints.”

I wonder if these academic types might be tempted to pull the same trick when it comes to inconvenient data about the climate?

After benefitting from the proceeds of slavery, Alastair began his first job as a cub reporter with the Daily Mirror and the Tavistock Times.

His rapid rise in Fleet Street led to depression and alcohol abuse. In 1986, the committed socialist was arrested and committed to (a private) hospital after suffering a nervous breakdown.

The downward spiral continued with, by 1994, Mr Campbell having sunk as low as being then leader of the Opposition Tony Blair’s press secretary. Worse was to follow. Beyond the Pale, the gutter and the sewer, Alastair was to become Prime Minister Blair’s official spokesman and Downing Street Director of Communications and Strategy. In these positions, he was instrumental in a dodgy dossier that committed Britain to the unnecessary and illegal Gulf War II. He also participated in a sequence of events that led to the death of Iraq weapons of mass destruction whistleblower Dr David Kelly.

These days, Alastair cuts a pathetic figure, stumbling through the auto-cue text at Good Morning Britain during Richard Madeley’s days off and doing £20 a time quickie knee-trembler pieces to camera, on any subject, from in front of the bookcase in his cold and lonely North London bachelor flat.

A salutary warning and a waste of slave owners’ good money.

Is COP a success?

Tim Newton Dunn wasn’t keen. There will be a self-congratulatory final communique but the big players such as China and Russia hadn’t even turned up. More progress needed to be made.

This was Emma’s specialist subject. The biggest myth is the overall ambition. Not sure what that meant. She explained it meant 1.5 degrees. Will we get far enough along the road to send a good signal? The private sector was running ahead of government. She was reading all of this from a sheet of paper.

Alastair said it was too early to tell as it depends on what flows from it. The hard stuff starts on Monday.

Somebody asked about the energy deficit approaching as we are forced to move to electric cars. Lucy recognised a transition and claimed the technology exists but not the production capacity. Hartlepool could win the global race but it was up to the government to have a plan, Lucy was clueless.

A chap who used to be on the QT50 panel spoke, the one who had the pictures of aeroplanes on his wall. He pointed out the nonsense of importing biomass from America when we’re sitting on coal.

Emma invented the term “negative emission technologies” which would get us to one point five by repeating catchphrases rather than by actually doing anything.

Will all of this be legally binding? Asked a wise audience member. Will there be sanctions against those who don’t keep to the targets? That’s the plan, sir, and it will need some kind of supra-national globalised legal process to impose it upon us.

We’re out of time, noted Fiona Bruce, as both climate crackpots and libertarians might worry.

© Always Worth Saying 2021

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