Always Worth Saying’s Question Time Review

Question Time 15th December 2022

The Panel:

Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Shabana Mahmood (Labour)
Daisy Cooper (LibDem)
Peter Hitchens (Journalist)
Pat Cullen (RCN)

Venue: Winchester

Privately educated Peter Hitchens attended Mount House School, Tavistock, the Leys School, and the Oxford College of Further Education before graduating in Philosophy and Politics at the University of York. After a brief spell as a regional titles journalist, Peter was with the Daily Express between 1977 and 2000. This included a short stint in Moscow around the end of the Cold War which Peter exaggerates to having known Stalin and Lenin and having stood on those steps next to the battleship Potemkin one cold October night long ago. Previously a Marxist, the drunkenness of his adolescent politics has long since passed but a gone-native naivety remains from his time in Russia causing him, if not to lean towards Putin, to certainly lean away from Ukraine during the present conflict.

Not so much pro-Brexit as anti-EU, Hitchens on this and many other issues, is too much of a contrarian and ends up dangerously close to standing for nothing. Previously contemptuous of social media, the 71-year-old has recently converted to Twitter after his publisher told him how many copies of his new book he is likely to sell via the toxic leftie instrument in the run-up to Christmas. Likewise, there have been plugging appearances on Jo Coburn’s (not her real name) Lose Politics and tonight’s QT.

The first question was about the nurse’s strike. Pat Cullen of the striking Royal College of Nursing is on the panel and began by saying that the strike was tragic for nurses, patients and the NHS. She claimed 320,000 nurses deserve better. They had been showing Pat the food banks they use. She also claimed that nurses eat the food left behind by the patients. No wonder they’re so fat!

Jacob Rees-Mogg agreed that this was a tragedy and went on to list the government’s offer. A £1,400 pay rise and a £40,000 a year salary after five years of service – based upon the recommendations of an independent pay review body.

A junior doctor spoke from the audience, followed by another healthcare worker who said sometimes no nurses are available for shifts. Despite there being 320,000 of them? Shabana blamed the government for not negotiating but offered no insight into what kind of an offer a Labour government might make during such negotiations.

Shabana Mahmood, one of the Warwickshire Mahmoods, originally hails from third-world dump Mirpur. Ordinarily Mirpuris disguise the fact, after being repeatedly asked where they’re from, by eventually replying, “Near (poshish) Rawalpindi.” Ms Mahmood prefers to disguise the dung-covered streets and tin sheds as ‘Azad Kashmir’. Oooooo, who does she think she is!? We know where you’ve been dear!

Before we sneer too much, in a similar manner, residents of Barrow-in-Furness lay claim to ‘the South Lakes’. Likewise, when asked, TV star Helen Skelton summons ‘the Eden Valley’ whereas her footballer brother Gavin comes straight out with ‘Carlisle’. Even your humble reviewer is known to use the nom de place ‘Debatable Lands’.

Previously Shabana closed down a grocery store with a protest. Turning a blind eye to human rights violations in North Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and while the Careful Now Klaxon sounded over the kosher aisle in a central Birmingham Sainsbury’s, tolerant Shabana led a 100-strong occupation protesting against the stocking of Israeli products produced in Palestinian territory she considers occupied.

Ms Mahmood represents the Birmingham Ladywood constituency and in doing so follows in the footsteps of Neville Chamberlain and Puffin’s favourite Clare Short. Recently enriched by mass, uncontrolled, unlimited immigration, Shabana ludicrously receives 80% of the vote.

A grammar school girl, Ms Mahmoud attended King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls before graduating in law at Lincoln College, Oxford subsequently completing the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law with a scholarship by Gray’s Inn. Previously a practising Barrister, the 42-year-old specialised in professional indemnity until entering parliament in 2010.

Ms Mahmood copes with the cost of living and energy crises by getting things for nothing. While we struggle to pay our heating and food bills, she recently received £510 worth of tickets and hospitality from Aston Villa FC.

Peter Hitchens thought nurses shouldn’t go on strike and noted that the whole country was taking a pay cut because of high inflation caused by an expensive overreaction to covid that he had predicted.

Yet another healthcare employee spoke. The pay margin between agency workers and NHS workers was too high. Why not pay the staff more and spend less on agency workers, she wondered?

Daisy Cooper thought the government underhand but didn’t explain why. Jacob touched upon reform of the Health Service and pointed out the Labour Party’s Wes Streeting’s recent similar sentiments subsequently shot down by his fellow comrades.

Regular readers will be unsurprised to hear Daisy Cooper has never done anything. After public school (£34,000 a year Framlingham College), horse-faced snob Ms Cooper was a perpetual student of law before eventually becoming a LibDem volunteer. Whereupon, she was part of the leadership-bid team of the successful but woeful Jo Swinson who subsequently announced she would be prime minister after the 2019 general election but then lost her seat. Beyond that, Ms Cooper has done nothing but spend your money through pointless quangos such as the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group

The next question was about providing safe routes into England for illegal immigrants.

There are safe routes Jacob reminded us, from places like Hong Kong, Syria and Afghanistan. We can’t accommodate everyone who wants to come here and those arriving from safe countries don’t have a right to residency. For instance, Albania half of whose illegal immigrants are allowed to stop when they shouldn’t be. Fiona Bruce wanted to let the entire population of Iran in, all 85,000,000 of them, in case one might be persecuted if they stayed put.

Shabana said the government had broken their own immigration system. She wanted agreements with other countries to return illegal immigrants. She blamed Brexit via the Dublin Agreement which, in reality, was never used to return anyone. She took the side of the French who are the ones dumping illegals on us.

A lady in the audience said we have to do something to stop the channel crossings. No madam, that’s the French’s job.

Peter saw one sensible policy which involved paying the French to stop the people traffickers. He thought it would be possible to pay them enough. He suggested scrapping Trident and HS3 to pay the French to secure their own borders.

None of the deals with France have worked, barked Daisy. Safe and legal routes should be opened. La Bruce asked her to explain what she meant. She said it had happened before. They can go to a refugee camp and get a humanitarian visa, then come here to ‘complete their application’. Vulnerable, desperate, vulnerable, desperate, she chanted.

What are they fleeing from in France? Peter wanted to know. Daisy pretended that they didn’t really want to come here and that the people traffickers were forcing them. Really?

Somebody in the audience said nobody wants to come across the channel. Then why do they?

Question three pondered having to queue at Spanish immigration and blamed it on Brexit. You had to queue pre-Brexit because we were never in the Schengen open borders agreement, this reviewer muttered at the telly.

Peter dodged the question by saying he hadn’t taken part in the Brexit campaign and had expected us to leave the EU whilst still being in it, especially regarding the single market.

Go to Portugal and use the e-gates. Go to where you are welcome and don’t waste your hard-earned cash on the Spanish if they don’t want you, advised Jacob.

If Wintonians have recently noticed a flying boat making its final approach towards the River Itching followed by the distinctive puff, puff, puff of a Fardier a Vapeur digging a trench in the tarmac as it labours towards the Guildhall, it might just be Jacob Rees-Mogg and his valet, pilot and fireman making their way to tonight’s Question Time venue.

Ordinarily, Jacob’s well-heeled patrician eccentricity would be a source of mirth amongst the plebs but while they freeze and starve and the old Etonian continues to enjoy the excesses both of good breeding and a very lucrative career in the City, at some point the laughter must mute then turn to anger.

Jacob really is one of the Somerset Rees-Moggs. His father, Fleet Street supremo and old Chartusian Lord William, was born at Cholwell House in the county’s Cameley parish. One of five siblings, Jacob’s younger sister Annunziata Rees-Mogg was a Conservative Party candidate in the 2005 general election.

Sounding too posh for an Aberavon ballot paper, it was suggested she stood as ‘Nancy Mogg’, as if a mortuary cleaner in a Dickens novel rather than the daughter of a former editor of The Times. The Godolphin and Latymer School old girl politely refused and finished fourth behind a David Francis, a Claire Waller and a Philip Evans. The good people of Aberavon having concluded that only Green candidate Miranda La Vey had a dafter name.

A wine importer and exporter of thirty years experience complained about EU paperwork but blamed us, instead of the EU who force the paperwork on him. Puffins, if your wine merchant’s a noddy, go to the supermarket, the shelves are piled high.

Daisy set off blaming Brexit for everything. Her solution was to fix the deal we now have with the EU (how?) and rejoin all the EU institutions we’ve left and then rejoin the single market. However, she didn’t trust such things to be decided by a future referendum.

A lady with red hair set off with the Brexit is a disaster nonsense. The Brexitphobia was high. What’s wrong with drinking English wine and eating British food? Asked a lady. Hear, hear.

Shabana wanted to make Brexit work with a better deal than we have but not to rejoin the single European market. How? She conjured all kinds of other agreements out of the air including a new Northern Ireland protocol. After these entirely rhetorical solutions, she accused Jacob of rhetoric.

Pat has an Irish passport. She knows where she can put it. As for me, it was time to put myself to bed and also the present series of Question Time which now ends for Christmas. As you know, at QT Review HQ holidays are for wimps. Tune in next week for a Harry and Meghan Netflix review.

You lucky people!

© Always Worth Saying 2022

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