Question Time 17th February 2022
Jake Berry (Conservative)
Andy Burnham (Labour Mayor of Manchester)
Juergen Maier (Industrialist)
Inaya Folarin-Iman (Journalist)
Frances O’Grady (TUC)
In a direct, Yorkshire sort of way, the first questioner asked, is it now time for the Grand Old Duke of York to **** ***?
Andy Burnham thought the prince should take full financial responsibility despite a blurry line between public and private funding of the Royal Family.
Bruce reminded us that the prince denies any wrongdoing regarding giving millions in compensation to someone he’d never met. Burnham suggested another TV interview to clear things up. Like the last one did?
A woman in the audience, with no experience of the legal system, said you don’t settle unless you’re guilty.
Inaya spotted a moral dimension regarding Epstein being a convicted sex offender that the prince kept on meeting even after the conviction.
One of the Garden of England Folarin-Imans, Inaya was educated privately and then at Tonbridge Grammar School before attending Leeds University to study Arabic and International Relations for four years.
Taken by the dreaming spires and glittering prizes shimmering over Harehills and Beeston, Inaya lingered as a Leeds University ‘Intercultural Ambasasador’, student radio producer, Leeds Loves Ambassador and contributor to the university’s Gryphon newspaper.
I must say, for the brutish Anglo-Saxon, Inaya Folarin-Iman is difficult to spell and hard to pronounce in a podcast. In order to avoid offence, should we call her ‘Dorothy’ instead? I think we should.
Since university, Dorothy hasn’t done much apart from make herself comfortable in a media bubble in London. Her credits include The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Times, Spiked and numerous contributions to the BBC.
On the 30th June 2020, she had a letter published in Andrew Neil’s Ghislaine Maxwell supporting Spectator.
She is also involved in impressive-sounding organisations such as The Equiano Project and Free Speech Champions but, upon further investigation, these prove to be little more than donation attracting one-man bands founded by herself.
Jake Berry (Conservative) wanted a clarification that public money wouldn’t be used to pay off Miss Roberts and all the lawyers. He praised the Queen.
More Yorkshire types wanted the prince to fall on his sword.
In a first for Question Time, a gentleman in the audience spoke from behind fluorescent green glasses which made it impossible to take any notice of what he was saying.
“We can only stop this behaviour when all of us speak up,” said Frances O’Grady (TUC) as part of a media-political elite that covered up for the likes of Savile and Asian Muslim paedophile rapists for decades.
Oxford-born grammar school girl Frances O’Grady was educated at Milham Ford School, alma mater to disgraced tycoon Robert Maxwell’s daughters Christine and Isabelle. After benefiting from a selective education, Frances studied at Manchester University where she graduated in Politics and Modern History before progressing to Middlesex Polytechnic to complete a diploma in Industrial Relations and Trades Union Studies.
Her father worked at the Cowley car plant, near Oxford, which was subsequently massacred by bolshy unions.
Bizarrely for the leader of an organisation supposedly for the benefit of working people, Francis has never worked, having spent her entire adult life at the Transport and General Workers Union and the TUC.
Question two wondered about levelling up in the north.
Jake said levelling up didn’t require anything other than the ambition of people in the north. Cut taxes and deregulate, Jake, and let them get on with it then.
Burnham, tieless and in a dark cardy, wanted London levels of bus fares. £1.50 a trip. Thirty bus routes are at risk in Burnham’s Manchester because he needs a handout. De-regulate bus services, Andy. Make it easier for people to start their own.
Hybrid working said a lady, to give people in the North access to locational jobs in the South. If, next week, I read the second half of News at Ten while Tom Bradbury does 14 and half minutes of podcast on Nish Kumar and Ian Blackford, you’ll know she was right.
Pro-Brexit Dorothy blamed Brexit even though no one else had mentioned Brexit. She wanted to frack.
Jake and Andy squabbled over Andy’s clean air charges on Manchester buses. Andy blamed Jake’s clean-air policies. Jake imposes rules on Andy then campaigns against them. The audience sided with Andy.
James Jacob Gilchrist ‘Jake’ Berry was privately educated at Liverpool College before graduating in Law from the University of Sheffield. He is the MP for Rossendale and Darwen and former Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth.
Jake’s first wife was Charlotte Alexa. However, sadly, the Manchester Evening News of 17th September 2016 announced their splitting. Thankfully the couple’s press release included the phrase, ‘No-one behaved badly, we have simply grown apart.’ They were divorcing ‘after much painful heart-searching’. The pair stressed that they had had a ‘very loving, supportive and wonderful marriage’ and went on to conclude,
“Over the last few years, however, we have both pursued our own challenging and time-consuming careers and over this period our marriage has become increasingly difficult. It is nobody’s fault, no-one has behaved badly, we have simply grown apart.”
Awwwww. Despite being dewy-eyed romantics, and this being St Valentine’s week, QT Review HQ couldn’t help but be concerned at a curious oblique reference to ‘inaccurate rumours’ amongst the loving, supporting couples description of their wonderful marriage. Hmmmm.
On the 30th October 2018, Mr Berry hit the headlines again, this time in the Lancashire Telegraph which announced, “Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake thrilled with second baby son.” Hmmmm.
His and his new wife Alice’s second son was Foster, a younger brother to ’18-month-old Milo’. Do the maths. Interestingly, on planet Jake, ‘not behaving badly’ in a ‘wonderful marriage’ involves getting your mistress pregnant. By the way, Alice (nee Robinson) was formerly Boris Johnson’s office manager.
London based TUC Francis saw a deep regional problem. She wanted rail to thrive because it’s heavily unionised but pretended it’s because it’s green.
Jurgen wanted to lift the feeling in the hall. Not with the German sense of humour we hope. He thought Leeds had transformed since the 1970s. He’s a champion of re-industrialisation and new green economies.
He told us German levelling to the ground has always been done properly by Germans. Excuse me, he’d seen German levelling up done properly when West Germany was reunified with the Osties.
Question three, has Putin already won?
Putin wants to divide Europe claimed Juergen. Juergen wanted Europe to be united and wanted sanctions to ruin the German economy with a boycott of Russian gas and hammer the City of London with a boycott of Russian finance.
Dorothy thought the previous day’s certain Russian invasion of the Ukraine, “Hadn’t definitely been the case.” She pointed to the draconian regime in Canada and the retreat from Afghanistan and wondered if we had the moral authority to criticise others. The rhetoric needed to be toned down.
Jake decided Putin had lost. The Russian premier had awoken a Ukrainian national identity. Jake forgot to add that the non-Russian part of that identity is an eye-watering nationalism that the panel complain of in Putin.
Francis has been talking to her trades union friends in Ukraine and Russia. They all want peace. She managed to bring Trump into it. Frances wanted to ‘clean up’ Russian money in the City and noted Russian financial support for the Conservative Party. Jake mentioned Barry Gardiner taking money from the Chinese Communist Party.
Burham blamed the political class of which he is a well-paid and life-long member. He’d wanted to boycott the World Cup in Russia in 2018 because of the Russian annexation of Crimea. He wanted a long term clear strategy, tough and consistent and muti-lateral, but he didn’t actually suggest what the strategy might be.
The next question was about the Post Office’s technology scandal where mistakes in the computer software resulted in postmasters and postmistresses being wrongly accused of fraud. No one has been held accountable.
It gets spun out forever as with Grenfell and Hillsborough. There is a deliberate policy to fob off victims, Francis reminded us
Juergen couldn’t explain. What would you do? Asked Bruce. Juergen hinted at one or two little problems at Seimens on his watch while suggesting a transparent and open investigation into the Post Office.
Born in Karlsruhe, a ten-year-old Juergen Maier emigrated from the country that lost the war to the country that won it.
Unimpressed with his new surroundings, in interview with the Manchester Evening News he said,
“I left behind a clean, modern city for one [Leeds] where the lights kept going out.”
Should have paid the bill. Or put some money in the meter. What does he think the West Riding Electricity Board is? The Marshall Plan? No sympathy for him.
Interesting to see that the BBC’s Yorkshire connection on a programme from Leeds is provided by a Nigerian and a German.
If Puffins from overseas or other parts of Britain are unfamiliar with Yorkshire, it is below my own Debatable Lands. Well below. The best thing to come out of Leeds is the train to Carlisle.
On one such crowded service, your humble reviewer put his luggage on his seat and excused himself to the buffet. Upon returning, a large woman was occupying his place. “Bums reserve seats in Leeds, lad, not bags,” she bellowed in explanation.
After studying production engineering at Trent Polytechnic, Jeurgen became a salaryman at the giant German industrial conglomerate Siemens. During his 33 years at the company, as he rose to be UK CEO, Siemens was a byword for bribery and corruption.
In 2008, the Munich based company paid a €395m fine in Germany regarding the ‘failure of its board to fulfil its supervisory duties’. The previous year they had been fined €200 million over a bribery scandal in their telecoms division. A US settlement saw the company pay $450 million dollars to the US Department of Justice regarding charges of bribery and falsifying corporate books.
Also in America, the Securities and Exchange Commission fined Siemans $350 million under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In the District of Columbia, they pleaded guilty to operating a $1.3 billion slush fund used to win overseas contracts.
According to a December 2008 piece in The Guardian newspaper,
“Yesterday’s fines, in the biggest corporate scandal in post-war Germany, bring the total cost to Siemans so far to €2.5 billion”
Siemens wartime record also leaves much to be desired. The company’s own website informs us,
“Carl Friedrich von Siemens was head of the company from 1933 to 1941. A staunch advocate of democracy, he detested the Nazi dictatorship. However, he was responsible for ensuring the company’s well-being and continued existence.”
“Starting in 1940, Siemens relied increasingly on forced labourers [ie slavery] to maintain production levels. These labourers included people from territories occupied by the German military, prisoners of war, Jews, Sinti, and, in the final phases of the war, concentration camp inmates.”
The Siemens website goes on to enlighten us that, because of ‘capacity destroyed by Allied bombing’, the Nazi detesting advocates of democracy moved production to death camps.
Juergen retired in 2019, but having taken the German out of Siemens, has Siemens been taken out of the German? Amongst a bewildering array of quango-land appointments, an obsession with harmful crackpot extreme politics continues with endless nutty Net Zero and Green crap which threatens to knock the lights off in Leeds (and everywhere else) once more.
Siemens questionable ethics continue. Their consumer products division’s Zyklon hairdryers and vacuum cleaners might sound like bad taste given Zyklon B was used as concentration camp poison gas but their marketing department has managed to come up with much worse.
Advertising industry trade magazine Campaign disclosed on September 5th 2002,
“The application to the US Patent & Trademark Office to register Zyklon as a brand trademark was made by Siemens consumer products operation Bosch Siemens Hausgeraete. It filed two applications, according to a BBC report, one of which was for a range of home products, including gas ovens.”
It’s that German sense of humour again.
If you’re wondering what this new word, ‘Sinti’ means, it is a recently invented ancient ethnicity (dripping in victimhood) which explains pikey travelling people of a Romany inclination to be dark-skinned, not because they’re out all weathers thieving, but because they’re descended from the fine people of Sindh in southern Pakistan. They who have made Karachi what it is today.
Burnham wanted to adjust the scales of justice towards ordinary people with a Hillsborough law enshrining a ‘duty of candour’.
In short, civil law is outrageously expensive and the criminal law doesn’t want to know. Here and elsewhere here is no justice, there is paid for self-interest.
David Gow, The Guardian, “Record US fine ends Siemens bribery scandal.”
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