Question Time 5th May 2022
Damian Green (Conservative)
Louise Haigh (Labour)
Charlotte Ivers (Journalist)
Jack Thorne (Writer)
Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones (Businessman)
Tonight’s first question referenced the cost of living crisis. The questioner was demoralised and wanted to know how much the panel had in their bank accounts. She thought having to buy ‘value items’ was disgusting.
Global crisis, began Damian Green. The national living wage is going up. There is a warm homes plan and subsidies on fuel bills and for some council tax payers.
Grammar school boy (Reading School) and expenses cheat (second home in Acton despite his constituency being only 45 minutes from Westminster) Damian Green is a Balliol College, Oxford, PPE graduate. Mr Green worked in journalism at the BBC, Channel Four and The Times before becoming MP for Ashford in 1997.
In yet another Westminster sex scandal, raven-haired beauty and would be Conservative candidate, Miss Kate Maltby, revealed Mr Green (a friend of her parents) had sent her an unsolicited message admiring her corset and feeling impelled to invite her for a drink. Gracious.
Previously, in 2008, thousands of pornographic photographs were found on Cabinet Minister Mr Green’s parliamentary computer during an unrelated investigation. Having at the time denied the presence of the images, he was later forced to concede their existence while claiming he had not downloaded or viewed them. Following the ensuing Cabinet Office enquiry, Mr Green resigned from Mrs May’s Cabinet.
Louise Haigh (Labour) had encountered real fear on the doorstep when canvassing in the local elections. Put a bag over your head then love! *snarf*. There have been twelve years of Tory rule. Louise referenced pensioner Elsie who had to ride the bus all day because she couldn’t afford to heat her home. Louise wanted a windfall tax on some energy companies.
A picture of poverty-stricken Elsie, full name Elsie Hall-Thompson, beside the ceramic hob in the fitted kitchen of her Westminster apartment can be seen here. And here’s Elsie laughing and joking with Conservative chancellor Rishi Sunak. Obviously, the Elsie story is a complete fake. According to an April 5th article on the AgeUk website, Elsie retired after a career in the construction and engineering industries. She has six children and twelve grandchildren ‘spread around the world’.
Comrade Louise Haigh is MP for Sheffield Heeley. Public school girl and woman of the people Louise was privately educated at £14,500 a year Sheffield High School before dropping out of the London School of Economics and eventually graduating in Politics at the University of Nottingham. Not only a supporter of extreme leftist public school boy Jermey Corbyn, she was even one of his nominees in the run-up to his disastrous leadership of the Labour Party.
At the moment, Louise serves under another public schoolboy, Kier Starmer, (Reigate Grammar became independent while he was a pupil) as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport.
Ms Haigh copes with the cost of living crisis by having someone else pay. Her declared parliamentary interests include accepting numerous four and five-figure donations from trades unions and a £560 trip to the St Ledger courtesy of bookmakers William Hill. A £900 jolly to Glastonbury was paid for by UK Music.
Likewise, a £500 trip for two to the pictures to see critically challenged Valerian was provided by Lions Gate UK. How the hell can a can a trip to the pictures cost £250 a head? When your humble author used to take Mrs AWS up the Ritzy (behave yourselves) every Friday night there was change out of a tenner.
And, if Ms Haigh laments the government’s plan to privatise Channel Four, Puffins must bear in mind it was the Horseferry Road brodcaster who paid for her £1,840 night out at the British Film and Television Awards.
On a more serious note, the MP for Sheffield Heeley accepted an £854 jolly to the Holy Land courtesy of Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). Old acquaintances of QT Review, one feels obliged to quote onself,
If Puffins are concerned about MAP, so are the Charity Commission for England and Wales. The month before Dr Rosena [or in this case Lousie Haigh] enjoyed MAP’s largess, it was revealed that some of MAP’s annual income is used for political propaganda, they have links to funding NGO’s tied to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, claim Israel is to blame for breast cancer in Palestinian women and promote anti-Semitic works such as the videos of former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke.
Wilfred picked up on value brands. He claimed they were a compromise of quality and recommended his premium brand sausages instead. He wanted higher prices at the supermarkets, claiming to be a ‘small supplier’ which is nonsense. Products carrying his brand are produced by giant food manufacturers.
A large lady in the audience said she wasn’t getting enough.
Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, the black farmer, isn’t a farmer and one wonders how typical his life is compared to the vast majority of black people. I’m grateful to Puffin 10210ken who points out (in an un-read comment) that Wilfred’s knowledge of tractors extends no further than the Chelsea variety.
In interview with The Guardian’s Rachael Crooke, Wilfred admitted he lives in South London and doesn’t farm. Mr Emmanuel-Jones is a marketing wallah. The Black Farmer is no more than a brand name licenced to products produced by multi-billion pound food processors such as Cranswick. Ms Crooke was also able to tease out of Mr Emmanuel-Jones that two of his three children were ‘boarders at the best public schools’.
The third millionaire panellist to speak was Jack Thorne (writer). He referenced austerity and the cutting of benefits. He was really, really scared. Perhaps Jack fears starving plebs storming his millionaires Islington mansion to gorge the soy?
Jack Thorne was born in Bristol and spent his childhood in posh Newbury (his father was a town planner, his mother a teacher) before going up to Pembroke College Cambridge, alma mater of fellow panellist Charlotte Ivers. Jack is an award winning and prolific screen and theatre writer, producer and actor.
During an interview with the Royal Television Society, we learned Mr Thorne lives in a ‘tall Islington townhouse’. There, amongst other projects, he penned the stage adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in collaboration with shamed and cancelled transphobic leftie Gloucestershire patrician bigot Joanne Rowling (not her real name). Despite his upper-class luvvie London background, he has culturally appropriated gritty working-class kitchen-sink-containing-a-dead-rat dramas by scripting episodes of Shameless and Skins.
Away from the nauseating cliquiness of the capital’s media bubble, Jack’s wife Rachael is, oh, a ‘comedy’ agent. As is her sister, Cathy. To hermetically seal the clique, Cathy is married to complex, occasionally funny but recently harmless, lefty tendency TV comedian Frank Skinner. Racheal and Cathy produce a nauseating podcast in which they interview the likes of, erm, their husbands, while providing self-congratulation with somewhere to wallow and backs with lots of slaps.
Charlotte Ivers (journalist) talks to people. It is going to get worse but the government are planning to do something but she didn’t know what. Dare I suggest abandoning Net Zero which is costing a fortune for no benefit at all?
Usually thick-skinned souls, QT Review HQ feel sorry for Charlotte Ivers. With a father, Scottish stepmother and four Scottish sisters in the West of Scotland, Charlotte was packed off to boarding school (£41,000 a year Dean Close, Cheltenham) at an early age. Rising to be a popular and well-respected Head of School, her university application UCAS statement was tosh, but the kind of tosh self-important otherworldly admissions officers pleasure themselves over. For instance,
Philosophy’s uniquely probing character lets us turn the lens of inquiry on to the nature of argument itself. Analytic Philosophy’s commitment to thorough logical argument appeals to me and I am keen to explore formal logic – uniting my interests in languages and Maths – as both a means and an end.
Charlotte was admitted to Pembroke College, Cambridge, (alma mater of fellow panellist Jack Thorne) where she studied History and Philosophy of Science. In June 2016, Charlotte spoke in a Cambridge Union debate. The motion read, ‘This house believes the Labour Party is over and it’s time to go home.’ As yet another example of the cliquey inward-looking nature of a London media-political bubble that would make an Oxbridge admissions officer blush, all the debate speakers were QT regulars. Four of them (Lord Bilimoria, Dan Hodges, Matt Forde and now Charlotte Ivers) have been on the programme over the last few months.
At A-level, Ms Ivers studied Maths, Philosophy, Economics and French while teaching herself Religious Studies. As well as being Head of School, she commanded the RAF section of Dean Close’s Combined Cadet Force. At Cambridge, Charlotte became editor-in-chief of The Tab and treasurer and subsequently president of the Cambridge Union.
After coming down from Pembroke, the Old Decanain worked for the Conservative Party, firstly in the research department at Conservative Central Office and then at Number 10. Upon her promotion to Downing Street, an inferior politics website, headed by an obese gin-soaked SPAD and Gregg’s obsessive, noted Charlotte a ‘bright talent’ popular with colleagues.
So far so good.
In 2017, boyfriend and Red Wall MP Richard Holden was caught up in a court case as part of the never-ending Westminster Pestminster sex scandals. A ‘friend’ of Prime Minister’s wife Carry Symonds claimed Mr Holden had grabbed her bum at a social event. At the time, Ms Symonds was a special advisor to Savid Javid who corroborated the story but a significant contradiction in the evidence resulted in Mr Holden being found not guilty after a jury deliberation lasting only half an hour.
A subsequent Daily Mail article revealed, despite being acquitted, Mr Holden had been banned from being promoted and girlfriend Charlotte Ivers was no longer at Number 10 but was now a political reporter. In a tone usually reserved for boards of directors giving the ominous vote of confidence to a soon to be sacked football manager, the Mail reassured its readers, “There is no suggestion that Miss Symonds is responsible for blocking Mr Holden’s promotion.”
Nor, they may have added, that Ms Symons made sure his girlfriend, pretty Charlotte Ivers who habitually appears in a short skirt, was kicked out of her Downing Street position in the general direction of Fleet Street.
Ms Iver’s subsequent reportage has included talkRadio and The New Statesman. She is currently a political correspondent at Times Radio.
I couldn’t hear the second question and neither could Wilfred who asked for it to be read aloud a second time. La Bruce (chair) obliged. Should Conservative candidates in the local elections be punished because of Boris?
Wilfred reckoned you can always dig up dirt on people and politicians should be judged by results instead. He would forgive mistakes if a good job was done. Wilfred referred to the Conservative Party as ‘we’ and was booed.
Charlotte said it depends upon what the voters care about. Local services? National issues? Bashing Boris?
Another large woman in the audience blamed all the politicians, of both the beergate and partygcate varieties. She suggested politicians raise their hands and admit to mistakes. Lousie Haigh disagreed. Starmer had worked, stopped working, had a beer and curry then started work again, whereas Boris’s Number 10 is the most prosecuted premises in Britain! Yawn.
An audience member criticised Westminster and its eight subsidised bars.
Fiona Bruce had been reading my prep and reminded Damian Green about his computer porn. He blamed you – Westminster reflects society as a whole. It was even worse when I became an MP 25 years ago, he said. He drew attention to the terrible abuse that Angela Raynor gets online. Although QT Review hesitates to condone the abuse of Ms Raynor, neither would one want to be on the benches opposite when Angela does her PMQ’s party piece. Unless, of course, there was a bicycle to be parked.
Charlotte found it odd. She had experienced so much sexual harassment when she started in Westminster aged 21 (6 years ago) but not now that she is a political journalist with a column to fill.
Politicians are in a bubble and don’t relate to the public, said a gentleman in the audience. Damian Green, proving that he lives in such a bubble, replied that politicians don’t live in a bubble.
There is a difference between herd experience and lived experience, claimed Jack. Politicians, unlike luvvie Jack, don’t have any real-life experiences. They are in a bubble. The camera zoomed to the audience. Although not socially distanced, there were only about forty of them. A carefully selected BBC bubble, exemplified by the next question which was, following the pandemic should the Tories be charged with manslaughter?
Yes, said Jack, somehow managing to sound surprised while saying there had been excess deaths amongst the elderly and severely ill during a pandemic. No they shouldn’t, said Wilfred. It had been a difficult set of circumstances and the decisions made hadn’t, and never could have been, right every time.
Jack was bigly triggered.
Labour Party policy was the same as the Tories, La Bruce commented to Louise. Ms Haigh blamed the care system which wasn’t the fault of the care system but of the government.
Charlotte reminded us of Operation Signet which was a 2016 trial run to war-game a pandemic. Despite the shortcomings that emerged, nothing was done. She quoted Dominic Cumming – the levers of government (as if we need to be reminded on an election day) are made of chocolate.
© Always Worth Saying 2022
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