Always Worth Saying’s Question Time Review

Respected from Carlisle to Kiev

Question Time 13th October 2022

The Panel:

Douglas Ross (Conservative)
Anas Sarwar (Labour)
John Swinney (SNP)
Isabel Hardman (The Spectator)
Stuart Murdoch (Musician)

Venue: Musselburgh

The first question was grunted by a local and seemed to be about Mrs Truss. Douglas Ross (Conservative) welcomed the energy relief measures as did John Swinney, however, John cautioned that rising mortgage rates would cost people their homes. He hoped Mrs Truss’s whole mini-budget would be ‘un-picked’. An audience member thought the mini-budget had crashed the economy. Another thought there wasn’t an energy price cap as the more you use the more it costs. It’s a cap per KwH, Jock, not an absolute cap.

Isabel Harman (journalist) claimed this a political problem caused by Truss rather than just about economics. The Conservates need a period in rehab. They have run out of ideas and are facing opposition. Anas Sarwar (Labour), speaking from his pot, called the Tory kettle black, using words such as ‘lies’ and ‘morally bankrupt’. In a silly hat, Stuart Murdoch (pop star) said that the Tories don’t care about people. We deserve to be at a rich person’s table (he already is!), rather than hoping for a trickledown. An audience member said Rishi Sunak must be at home laughing his socks off. Well, it is October and his home is in California so he has more to laugh about than the rest of us.

Question two. Are unionist politicians frightened of a second independence referendum, asked Charlotte. Douglas preferred to focus on the things that really matter to people rather than constitutional issues. These things were in the hands of the Scottish Parliament but they do nothing about them. John Swinney said there is a parliamentary majority for independence. Not really, the SNP are in coalition with the Greens and the anti-referendum parties got more votes than the pro-referendum parties in the 2021 Scottish elections with the discrepancy in seats explained by Scotland’s dodgy party lists proportional representation system.

The audience seemed unenthusiastic. John Swinney admitted he had work to do and this was the fault of Brexit. How financially secure would Scotland be without a central bank, wondered Isabel. The turmoil in Westminster gets a lot of mentions, independence will cause more turmoil. Is SNP turmoil somehow superior to Tory turmoil? John suggested the problem would be avoided by an independent Scotland giving up its independence by joining the EU. He blamed the present problems, not on the war in Ukraine or high interest rates in the USA, but on Brexit. Isabel said she lives in Scotland but works in London. No she doesn’t. What an odd thing to say.

Never mind all this nonsense, Scotland needs its own Unionist Party. They would do very well. Look at the send off the Scots gave to the Queen. The inertia of the London facing Scottish Liberal, Labour and Tory parties are the problem north of the border, not the SNP.

John Ramsay Swinney is the Deputy First Minister of Scotland. An Edinburgh University politics graduate, Mr Swinney entered the Westminster Parliament in 1997 as the SNP MP for Tayside North and in 1999 was elected to the first modern Scottish Parliament as MSP for the same constituency. At the 2001 general election, he stood down from Westminster and concentrated on Scottish politics. As proof that the Scottish media-political bubble is even more cliquey and inward-looking than the English, John’s wife is Elizabeth Quigley a BBC Scotland news reporter.

The presence of John allows us our regular QT Review reminder that the SNP’s origins lie within Nazism, fascism, racism and sectarian bigotry. Arthur Donaldson, a founding father, was pictured with the Hitler Youth and urged Scots to side with the Germans while Clydebank was being bombed by the Luftwaffe. Another founding father, Andrew Dewar Gibb, quoted Hitler in his speeches and was a self-confessed fascist who expressed a visceral hatred of foreigners. His 1931 work, The Wrongs of Scotland claimed ‘The Irish have invaded Scotland by hundreds of thousands while Scotsman have had to emigrate to make a living.’ Not quite as keen on mass, uncontrolled, unlimited immigration as Krankie pretends to be.

Douglas Ross is the leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland. The son of a Moray gentleman farmer, Douglas is a graduate of the Scottish Agricultural College and a qualified UEFA Wendyball linesman.

One of the West of Scotland Sarwars, Comrade Anas, son of a Labour MP, was privately educated at £14,000 a year Hutcheson’s Grammar School. After graduating from the University of Glasgow, Anas worked as an NHS dentist for 5 years. That Labour MP father was cash and carry magnet Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, who gave up his Glasgow Central seat in 2010, as well as his British passport, and returned to Pakistan where he became the incorruptible governor of the font of honesty and integrity that is Punjab province. In the style of the subcontinent, his Westminster seat passed to Anas who was MP for Glasgow Central between 2010 and 2015 when he was defeated at the polls by Alison Thewliss of the Scottish National Party.

Anas returned to frontline politics in 2016 when elected as an additional member for the Scottish Parliament from a proportional representation Labour party list. Elected party leader in 2021, Sarwar led the Scottish Labour Party to its worst-ever Scottish parliamentary election results a few months later. The Labour Party only received 20% of the vote and Mr Sarwar lost the seat he was contesting but was re-elected anyway via the same party list dodge.

Although the supine Scottish and London media give the Sarwar clan a ridiculously easy time, not so the seekers of truth and veracity who inhabit the corridors of inquiry in the Pakistani newspapers and who regularly kick Governor Mohammed and his extended family up and down the dusty streets of South Asia. This reviewer’s provincial Urdu is a bit rusty but he was able to compile the following sorry tale from The Frontier Post, and elsewhere, for a previous edition of QT Review. Note the connection between the Sarwar ‘charity’ in Scotland, the Sarwar ‘charity’ in Pakistan, business interests in Dubai, the foreign aid budget and forced labour in Pakistani prisons. Charming people.

Isabel Hardman is a journalist at Andrew Neil’s Ghislaine Maxwell supporting Spectator magazine. As well as a pad in London, herself and her husband, the silly Lord Walney, have a home on Cumbria’s Walney Island, famous for its airfield, giant jellyfish and blocks of picturesque Victorian cottages beloved by shipyard workers. It is also thinly disguised as Sodor Island in the Reverend Awdry’s Thomas the Tank Engine books. However, without the aid of satellite mapping, and with his Admiralty maps upside down and the wrong way around, the Reverend thought Walney ran all the way from Barrow-in-Furness to the Isle of Man whereas every Puffin knows it’s only 1,000 yards wide and ends at a stony beach next to the third oldest golf links in England, rather than at Ramsay.

Isabel is often seen thereabouts, out and about on her bike and doing other sporty stuff such as swimming in lakes and running through the mountains. Her husband was formerly John Woodcock, Labour MP for Barrow-in-Furness between 2010 and 2019 who gave up the Labour whip and sat as an independent for the final year of his tenure. He was elevated to the Lords in 2020 where most recently Mrs Truss has appointed him as a UK trade envoy to Tanzania. Previously, his Lordship was a consultant on counter-extremism at un-indicted war criminal Tony Blair’s Institute for Global Change.

As for the Lady Walney, Isabel was educated privately at £34,000 a year St Catherine’s. The Guildford-based school’s motto is ‘Let us go on’ which, judging by the photographs on their website, should be suffixed with ‘a recruitment drive in China’. After graduating from the University of Exeter with a First in English literature, Isabel completed a National Council for the Training of Journalists course and began a career in media.

Stuart Murdoch, who through no fault of his own I’ve never heard of, is a musician and a member of the popular music combo Belle and Sebastian, who I also haven’t heard of. As a teetotal, heterosexual white man keen on church and family, one assumes the BBC’s invitation was posted in the wrong pop star’s pigeonhole. Be that as it may. More importantly, after all these years, we finally have a winner. Belle and Sebastian’s great work A Bit of Previous sits an impressive 13,844th on Amazon’s CD and vinyl best sellers list, a triumphant 27,679 positions ahead of the audiobook version of the Marquis de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom.

Question three was about Krankie’s hate-filled rhetoric when calling her Tory opponents detestable. John Swinney re-issued Krankie’s statement. It’s the policies that the First Minister detests, not individuals. In doing so he made sure to call the Tories ignorant. Isabel said John and Krankie have a responsibility to lead debate helpfully and not to entrench division. It was a slip-up, said Stuart, everyone makes mistakes and we should move on.

“We all love Scotland and we all hate the Tories,” announced Anas, quoting himself from a previous TV debate. He then reminded us that he hadn’t meant it before making a Rwandphobic remark about it being detestable to send people to the Switzerland of Africa that is Rwanda.

People both in the audience and on the panel gave a long list of threats and abuse that Sturgeon’s Nasty Party had hurled at them, including at the Perth Tory hustings where Conservative Party members and BBC journalists were abused and egged by SNP numpties.

The next question was about the NHS which is the best in the world despite ‘doing too much with too little’. Isabel’s written a book about it. That’ll help! She highlighted a problem with the massive pensions which, according to her, force the staff to retire early. Despite being the best in the world, there is little preventative care and all the treatment Isabel has had for her mental illness has been provided privately because she’s rich.

There’s a record number of staff in the Scottish NHS, despite a big vacancy level, said John. Ill people are clogging up the hospitals, he contined. Best place for them, one would have thought.

The last question was supposed to be what advice would you give to a young person wanting to go into politics, but there wasn’t time to ask it so Bruce ended the programme and I headed for bed.

© Always Worth Saying 2022

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