Question Time 1st December 2022
David TC Davies (Conservative)
Vaughan Gething (Welsh Labour)
Adam Price (Plaid Cymru)
Olivia Utley (GB News)
Shavanah Taj (Wales TUC)
“Where are you from?”, asked a posh old lady in the audience. Anticipating the usual obfuscation from a Question Time panel, she persisted, “Where are you really from? Really, really from?”
“From Africa Ma’am,” replied an unfazed Vaughan Gething (Labour).”I was born in Zambia and am half-Zambian. I grew up in Dorset and studied Law at Aberystwyth University and the University of Wales in Cardiff. I was a solicitor and partner in an un-heard of middling law firm and am a member of the GMB, Unison and Unite unions. I was president of the Wales TUC and before that the NUS Wales. I’ve been a county councillor, school governor and community service volunteer.”
The posh lady looked disappointed, as if she’d been expecting tall tales of the copper belt, big game hunting, pith helmets atop baggy shorts, fixed bayonets and slavery.
He continued, “Between 1999 and 2001, I worked as a researcher for former Welsh parliament representatives Val Field and …”
Before Vaughan had a chance to excite his audience further with mention of Lorainne Barret and his present position as the rather grandiose Minister for Economy in the Welsh parliament, he was interrupted by Oliva Utley (GB News).
“Actually, I’m from London,” she announced, as London people always do. “Friends call me Livvy. I’m a hereditary journalist, don’t you know. Uncle Tom is at the Daily Mail. Grandpapa T.E. was at The Times and wrote Mrs Thatcher’s speeches. Great-grandpa Dermot was at The Times and the Daily Mail,” continued the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, Holland Park, old girl. “Mummy works for the BBC. I’m a graduate of York University in English Literature and History of Art. After uni I was a researcher in the House of Commons then…”
To the relief of the audience, both in the hall and at home, Olivia was in turn interrupted. Watching live on the iPlayer at the Ministry of Truth, the Woke Police had spotted a disturbance in the Matrix and dispatched a SWAT team to Aberystwyth. The old posh lady was sacked on the spot by a Snowflake Commando and led away in handcuffs for having had the temerity to ask where somebody came from.
Following the commotion, La Bruce (Chair) – relieved not to have to mention her colonial childhood when her parents earned enough to send her to Haberdashers’ Askes while the Coolies lived on a shilling a month – moved on to the next question.
The second question asked if the first question was a symptom of racism in the royal family.
Vaughan was saddened and disappointed but not surprised. Oh, yah, said Livvy, but it was a shame for the lady too because she’s 83. Shavannah Taj (Welsh TUC) has had the same experience. The word ‘abuse’ was used. She is bored with the conversation and bigly triggered. Asking where she comes from threatens her existence. To save Puffin’s from stressing her further, I’ll tell you. She’s from Pakistan.
David TC Davies (Conservative) suggested everybody is British no matter who they are or where they come from. No wonder a Tory government is presiding over uncontrolled immigration, much of it illegal.
It was awful, decided Adam Price (Plaid Cymru). Meghan Markle is the only person of colour in the royal family for 1,000 years. That had me reaching for the history book. In 1022, Harold Godwinson became king of England. Was he blick? Dare we ask where he came from? I know a chap called Godwin and he’s Nigerian. Makes you wonder.
One man in the audience stood up for royalty and claimed taking an interest in someone else’s origins isn’t racist. Bruce told him he was wrong and that everybody in the hall disagreed with him.
The next question was about Labour’s class war-type crusade to shut down public schools.
David pointed out that public schools are big employers. Closing the schools will push private pupils into state schools – costing the taxpayer money.
Vaughan was against private education and wanted to hammer the schools with business rates as well as charging VAT on fees. I hope his privately educated party leader Kier Starmer isn’t watching, or his predecessor public schoolboy Jeremy Corbyn or predecessor Fettes old boy Tony Blair.
Question three. What’s the solution to ambulance waiting times? Going on strike appears to be the ambulance driver’s union’s best idea.
Vaughan waffled. Labour has been in power for twenty years in Wales, Bruce pointed out. A lack of social care brought a ripple of applause from the audience but how is Vaughan going to do that? “A progressive policy,” was his meaningless response.
Shavannah thought the solution was a nurse’s strike. They are going on strike because they want better patient care she suggested somewhat self-contradictorily.
As if a kind of Poundland globalist, Adam Price (Plaid Cymru) has a degree in European Community studies from Cardiff University and spent his gap term at Saarland University in Homburg. Mr Price is a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. According to his biography on the Nesta innovation foundation website, ‘Before entering politics Adam was managing director of a UK policy and economics consultancy and executive director of the Welsh economic development and cultural change agency Menter a Business’. All of which elevates the present Member of the Senedd for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr to the QT Review ‘Never Had a Job’ wall of fame.
A pink lister, in the interests of equality he was allowed to adopt a newborn baby despite being aged 52. Puffins who want to be creeped out can see Adam and the brown baby here.
Puffins who want to be really, really creeped out can see Mr Price, complete with a small boy decked out in a rainbow hat here.
David TC Davies, just about his real name – David Thomas Charles Davies – is the Tory Secretary of State for Wales and the Member of Parliament for Monmouth.
Mr Davies said it wasn’t about unfairness in funding as Wales spends more per head on healthcare than England. The UK government is trying to bring down inflation while the nurses are demanding a 19% pay rise.
A scion of the Burrow Heath Shipping dynasty (sounds very grand but its the name of his father’s haulage company) David was reprimanded in 2009 after paying £1,933 in public funds to his father’s company for stamps, leaflets and a publicity stand used to advertise himself at Monmouthshire’s summer season of agricultural shows.
A bit of an impressive chap, the 52-year-old was previously a truck driver, TA soldier, British Transport Police plod and licenced amateur boxer. He voted against ‘gay’ marriage, is sound on Brexit and was once booed by the National Black Police Officers Association. However, David subsequently succumbed to his inner Caroline Lucas.
Originally a carbonphobia sceptic and climate realist David subsequently backtracked and now claims that he accepts a link between carbon dioxide and (so-called) climate change.
Or was he just being sarcastic? Although in a 2019 parliamentary sketch John Crace of The Guardian anointed Mr Davies one of the dimmest people in parliament, who even his fellow Conservates took no notice of, QT Review suggests David might be an artist in the dark arts of irony and satire. In a cringeworthy letter (on House of Commons notepaper) to pop group The 1975 which Mr Davies began with ‘Hey Guys’, the MP said he’d been listening to Greta Thunberg and wondered about the 4-piece musical combo’s commitment to Climate Extinction given that they were about to fly around East Asia on tour. Amongst a blizzard of lame and puerile remarks worthy of a great review writer, Mr Davies asked if the group were travelling by trans-Siberian express or a £4 million super yacht similar to Greta’s?
Another question mark sits beside his judgment given he previously excepted hospitality from President Assad of Syria during a jolly to the Middle Eastern country after which he voted against plans to launch military action against the Syrian leader during the subsequent civil war.
Mr Davies has been married three times – to the same woman. As well as a civil ceremony at Llansantffraed Court Hotel, Llanvihangel Gobion, the groom was betrothed to bride Aliz Harnisfoger during a religious ceremony at St Mary’s Priory Church, Abergavenny. The following year, they tied the csomó again in Ms Harnisfoger’s home country in a traditional Hungarian wedding.
When best man Nigel Evans MP was on trial for indecent assault following a series of drunken clumsy encounters with young men, some witnessed in the House of Commons bars, Mr Davies stood as a character witness on Evans’s behalf. Being prior to the Me Too movement, the unpleasant Mr Evans was acquitted.
When not getting married, lucky Aliz is paid £9,999 per annum as a part-time office manager – for her husband, out of your taxes.
Fun fact – Mr Davies’s great-great-great-great-grandfather, Peter Williams, translated Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer into English.
Another fun fact – Brexit supporting David’s children, Hannah, Sophie and Dominic, have dual nationality and Hungarian passports.
One of the Glamorganshire Taj’s, 45-year-old Ms Shavanah Taj is a Muslim from Pakistan and currently the TUC’s Secretary For Wales and National Officer For The South West. Unsurprisingly Ms Taj has never had a job beyond at weekends and after school. Shavanah is a graduate of the universities of Glamorgan and the West of England and the proud holder of a National Diploma in Law and a degree in Sociology and International Relations. Since completing her education she has wallowed in trades union land via the Public And Commercial Services Union, climbing the ladder from Regional Organiser to Negotiations Officer, to National Organiser, to her present position. Her father was a union wallah too.
According to the guff,
‘Shavanah is passionate about equality, social justice and human rights. She is a patron of Show Racism the Red Card Wales, and a trustee for the Henna Foundation which supports victims and survivors of domestic abuse and honour-based violence. She’s a trustee for Fio, a grassroots theatre group that encourages young working-class people to engage with arts and culture. She is also a trustee for the People’s Health Trust and the Bevan Foundation’.
Wouldn’t it be better if more interesting guests were panellists on QT? Perhaps older people with more life experiences. May I propose Lady Susan Hussey? A long-standing lady-in-waiting to royalty, Susan features in The Crown, is the fifth daughter of the 12th Earl Waldegrave and is a recipient of Mexico’s Sash of Special Category of the Order of the Aztec Eagle. Her brother is William Waldegrave the former Cabinet Minster. Her late husband, six foot five Rugby old boy and ‘patrician amateur’ Marmaduke ‘Dukey’ Hussey, was senior at The Times, top banana at the BBC and spent five years in hospital after losing a leg at Anzio. Any seconders?
A number of audience members related horror stories of dreadful treatment at the hands of the Heath Service.
The service is on life support and dying, said Adam Price. Coming out of the pandemic, the Welsh Government’s pay offer is derisory. Staff are leaving as they have burnt out but then re-join via expensive agencies. He wanted raised taxes for the Welsh.
Not fit for purpose, said Livvy. Complaints about funding are untrue. The funding is vast. The model has to be different and the service needs fundamental change to more of a German or French system.
The final question, in light of the recent census results, was about religion.
David didn’t want to mix politics and religion but thought there was a faith that might be misogynistic (without mentioning Islam). He had been brought up in Anglicanism but it is now too left-wing. Muslim Shavannah thought her Islam was a private matter. Is a belief in God outmoded? Wondered Bruce repeating the question. No, Shavannah would not be drawn, a private matter she repeated.
Vaughan, lots of positive values are contained within religion. What’s done in the name of religion isn’t the same as what the religion stands for. Livvy thought it was a daft census question and didn’t think it mattered. Adam found religion dogmatic and hierarchical, however, he saw atheism as a religion too. Spirituality has a positive role, especially in life’s rites of passage.
By the miracle of modern science, we can search every word in the Bible in an instant. Perhaps unsurprisingly the phrase ‘question time’ doesn’t appear in the Holy Scriptures and perhaps surprisingly, given the valued and eternal significance of the Word and the obligation to spread it, neither does ‘always worth saying.’
I’ll be back next week all the same.
© Always Worth Saying 2022
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