Question Time 16th June 2022
Robert Jennrick (Conservative)
Matt Vicars (Conservative)
Thangham Debbonaire (Labour)
Ella Whelan (Commentator)
Richard Walker (Iceland Foods)
Alison Thewliss (SNP)
Venue: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Your humble reviewer once lived in Newcastle upon Tyne and didn’t like it. Hefted to his own Debatable Lands, he found the Tyne-side city too big to be walkable while simultaneously suffering from bus routes too complicated to understand. As for the natives, although we’re all supposed to fall in love with the famously hospitable, chirpy, humourous Geordies, I found them tedious. One yearned for the ‘just as pleased to see you leave as to arrive’ demeanour of the inhabitants of my own county town on the grumpier side of the Pennines.
A silver lining was the Newcastle University library. In the days before security and ID, anybody could wander in and spend a day reading and writing or just keeping warm while browsing their newspapers. As a lover of wisdom at a less prestigious establishment elsewhere, during the summer recess back in Newcastle at the end of my second year, I spent eight weeks in the library writing my entire third year’s essays. Excellent. There’s always a but. Between year two and year three they altered the course. I couldn’t be buggered to do all my essays again so I just changed the titles. Bound to pick up some marks. Unfortunately, not many.
In the subsequent (taxpayer-funded) ten months in digs with essentially nothing to do, I taught myself how to program a computer, ran up and down mountains and went to Belgrade on the train. Through the Julian Alps to Zagreb. General Tito. Working steam sheds next to the main line. Better times.
Incidentally, our jurisprudence lecturer was the cleverest woman in the world. She actually literally was noted as such in the Guinness Book of Records. True fact. Thing is, why lecture in jurisprudence? Why not build a death ray or fix the tables in Monte Carlo? Strange girl.
Question one, Boris’s ethics advisor’s resignation. Matt (Conservative) didn’t know what it was about and wanted to talk about steel subsidies. One or two people clapped. “To lose one ethics advisor…” began Thangum Debboniare (Labour) parroting a special advisor’s over-used corny joke. “It’s all you need to know,” said Thangam. Why do you need an ethics advisor, one might wonder? Thangam answered the question by saying Boris won’t have another.
In an echo of my previous stint in the North-East, careful preparation in anticipation of Robert Jenrick proved pointless as he didn’t turn up. Who is replacement Matt Vicars? No idea.
On the other hand, Cambridge educated grammar school boy Robert Jenrick is the MP for Newark and former Minister of State for Housing. A regular QT guest, this time last year he was even on the same programme as tonight’s fellow guest Thangum Debonnaire. Except he’s not there. It is the third year of my degree course all over again. Puffins already know that Robert’s country residence is Eye Manor in Hertfordshire. A Grade I listed building, the 17th-century manor built for slave trader Ferdinando Gorges.
Puffins also know Mr Jenrick’s constituency is 161 miles from his home and that the taxpayer pays all the extra accommodation and travel expenses involved. Between 2015 and 2021, you also paid Mr Jenrick £121,340 to rent in central London. With all these comings and goings, Robert must have gone to the wrong place, as if a dizzy homing Pidgeon strapped to a giant magnet flying through an electrical storm.
A cretin in the audience said she was from the People’s Republic of Teesside. Fffffffatcher, she added. Dear God. There are six MPs on Teeside, four of them are Conservatives. Silly mare.
Ella Whelan (commentator) thought these issues relatively important but boring. She wanted Boris held to account over policy decisions, fuel and lockdowns rather than what the rest of us might label as Boris Derangement Syndrome in a bubble in London.
A London media type herself, Ella Whelan’s forte is as a freelance writer, public speaker and columnist in Spiked magazine. Having grown up on an inner-city London estate she studied English Literature at the University of Sussex. Her speciality is feminism.
Another ranty girl who worked in the NHS and boasted her mother worked in the NHS too said silly things.
Alison Thewliss (SNP) obsessed about Partygate and repeated some more well-worn lame catchphrases. Many in the audience wanted to move on from Boris’s rule-breaking and on to something else. They couldn’t be bothered with ethic advisor Lord Geidt’s resignation. One doubts his Lordship can be bothered with the North-East of England either.
Thangam sounded frustrated. “That’s your truth,” she said to an audience member. Patronising cow. “People can’t pay their bills.” Get a job. They are hiring.
Thangam Debbonaire (not her real name, Thangam Elizabeth Rachael Walton, not even her real maiden name, Thangam Elizabeth Rachael Singh) was privately educated at Bradford Girl’s Grammar School and Chetham’s School of Music. Another cretin, this time one who doesn’t know how to delete her old Linkedin profile, after dropping out of Oxford, she studied at tec college in Manchester, eventually leaving school aged 29 with an MSc in Management, Development & Social Responsibility.
Puffins will be unsurprised to hear that Ms Debbonaire has never had a job after specializing in being a ‘Director and Lead Independent Practitioner in the domestic violence response sector’, a research manager, voluntary governor and Labour parliamentary candidate (un-paid). As such, in the interests of equality, Ms Debboinare benefitted from an all-female shortlist and was elected to Parliament in 2015 as MP for loonie leftie, trying too hard to be Portland, Bristol West.
Question two referred to the relocation of illegal immigrants to Rwanda. Alsion Thewliss said the illegals are coming from all around the world. No, they aren’t. They’re coming from France, twenty miles away. Then she told a lie, “The only way you can claim asylum is to come here.” Bare-faced lie. Nothing to stop them from claiming asylum in France, a safe country.
Richard Walker (businessman) thought it was the people trafficking that was immoral and if the Government’s policy worked with large numbers of illegals it should break the people traffickers’ business model.
Full. No room left. Filling four-star hotels, said a Puffin in the audience. We are an easy touch.
Only men, said another Puffin. Coming from a country not at war. Is the SNP woman going to take them in? Another Puffin? Is this one of our socials and I haven’t been invited?
They could be rapists, murderers, anybody. They don’t even have documents.
“We hear what you say,” muttered Bruce now herself desperate to be somewhere else.
No, it won’t work, said Thangam. The threat of deportation isn’t stopping the people traffickers. Indian Thangam announced this was an un-British thing to do.
Ella didn’t think this would stop the people traffickers either and quoted Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. Although Ella didn’t mention it, through the week much was made of 24 senior C of E clergy signing a letter condemning the policy. What the fake media didn’t tell you is that there are 108 Church of England bishops. If 24 signed – 84 didn’t.
The EU had tried the same thing in cooperation with Colonel Gadaffi and the opposition were hypocrites for not complaining about that at the time, continued Ella. Despite being a Brexiteer, Ella had given up on trying to control our borders and wanted your money to be spent on housing and public services for illegals.
Question three, how would the Labour Party level up?
Thangam would have a policy-free emergency budget which would solve everything. Good, skilled, well-paid jobs would appear from nowhere because of the ‘Climate Crisis’.
Another Puffin, called Thangam a well-trained rambler who was providing no solutions either to levelling up or illegal immigration. “You don’t solve anything, you don’t offer an alternative.” Ms Debbonaire-Walton-Singh rambled some more. She said the government’s plans to relocate illegals to Rwanda were unlawful. Hmmm.
A word on international law, a concept much quoted regarding the Rwanda deportations. There is no such thing. It is a gobbledygook word invented by self-important politicians, journalists and greedy lawyers. There are conventions and organisations that some countries have signed up to and many haven’t. Those that have, don’t take any notice of the rulings anyway, eg Israel.
At the moment, the International Court of Justice in the Hague consists of 14 judges appointed from such justice-respecting territories as Russia, Morocco, Somalia, China, Uganda, Jamaica and Lebanon. If you’re expecting Putin to be indicted for war crimes, don’t bother, Russia isn’t part of the European Court of Human Rights.
There are fifteen members of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Presently they include Bolivia, China, Pakistan and Russia. As for the International Criminal Court, also based in The Hague, the United States isn’t a member and neither is China.
As we’ve seen with the Rwanda deportations, Big Globasised Law, like Big Globalised Charity, is a self-serving scam for the benefit of its corrupt participants.
Richard has stores in the North-East that he visits. The politics of the every day is important. He highlighted the importance of a sense of ownership. He sees it in the stores he owns. Obviously. Iceland are doing what they can, including a ten per cent discount for the over sixties. Now he’s talking. That’s what I call a policy. Then he spoilt the effect by suggesting an online sales tax.
Richard is the joint managing director of food retailer Iceland. In the interests of equality of opportunity, he serves under his father Executive Chairman Sir Malcolm Walker.
Savvier about such things than Thangam, not only does Richard keep his LinkedIn up to date but uses it to plug his book. However, in a salutatory lesson to those attempting to sell to Question Time reviewers and members of the domestic violence response sector, Richard’s mighty environmentalist tome, The Green Grocer (get it?), despite being a free audiobook, is only the 254,079th most popular work on Amazon, a matt black funeral director’s disappointing 213,515 places behind the Marquis de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom.
Look, I know I promised Puffins a review of the Marquis de Sade’s filthy book but it’s beyond disgusting to this simple, un-worldly somewhat rustic son of the North Country. What I’m part way through, is reviewing the reviews. Yes, the Marquis’ dirty work has excited the interest of generations of critics, inspiring them to reach for their implements with their right hands and get busy.
There have been stage adaptations. There is a DVD to look forward to which, according to online track and trace, is on its way north from a lean-to shed near Antwerp docks.
(Writing implements, behave yourselves)
Two more Puffins spoke from the Newcastle audience and gave the London Labour Party a good hard kick. Why didn’t I like the place? If I was a politician, I might suggest it’s Newcastle Upon Tyne that’s changed, not me.
A food bank volunteer spoke. Nurses got a mention! Collecting food parcels with their brand new 4x4s in between foreign holidays. Having ordered ahead with £1,000 iPhones, no doubt.
Fundamental change is needed in local economies, said Ms Thewliss, not big shiny things with ribbons on for politicians to cut.
Alsion Thewliss, not her real name (Alison Wright – husband Joe is a software developer) is the Scottish Nationalist MP for Glasgow Central. According to The Scotsman, Ms Thewliss’s experience of a proper job extends no further than a few months at Next. Prior to that, she studied Politics and International Relations at Aberdeen University. Subsequently, she became an intern at the EU in Brussels and a Holyrood researcher for MSP Bruce McFee.
Aged 24 she was elected a Glasgow city councillor before finally making herself useful by ousting the interesting Anas Sawar (Labour) from his Glasgow Central seat in the 2015 General election. A proud mother of Kirsty and Alexander, Ms Thewliss authors the BelgroveBelle blog. One of her most recent entries, Would You Like Your Road Repaired? attracted a disappointing two comments, a miserable 2,567 fewer than Going-Postal’s very own Postcard From Lille, Episode Ninety-Seven, Are We There Yet?
Miss Thewliss serves to remind us the SNP’s origins lie within Nazism, fascism, racism and sectarian bigotry. Arthur Donaldson, a founding father was pictured with the Hitler Youth. Another founding father, Alexander Dewar Gibb, quoted Hitler in his speeches, and was a self-confessed fascist who expressed a visceral hatred of the Irish.
Richard wanted to open new stores but the planning system slows everything down. He wanted the planning departments up-resourced. No, no, no, no, no, no. Cut the bureaucracy and down-resource the clock watchers and thumb twiddlers at the council’s lack-of-planning department.
Bruce’s hour was up. Question Time was over until next week, and Puffin Time was over forever as the audience selection wallah was deported to the bottom of the River Tyne.
© Always Worth Saying 2022
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