Question Time 23rd February 2023
David TC Davies (Conservative)
Thangham Debbonaire (Labour)
Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid Cymru)
Rakie Ayola (Actress)
Anita Boateng (Political commentator)
One of the Surrey Boatengs, Anita was born in Hackney but moved to Redbidge aged ten, presumably to attend the local grammar school. Her Wikipedia page informs us that her father was a driver and her mother a cleaner. Not her real name (Anita Boakye-Boateng), after graduating in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, Ms Boateng interned in her native Ghana within President John Agyekum Kufuor’s administration.
On investigation, via AKADi magazine’s ‘Ghanaians in British Politics’ supplement, it emerges that far from being a driver, Mr Boeteng is a Ghana-based business owner. It also emerges that he and his wife are permanent residents in the West African country, presumably having taken advantage of a free education for their children here prior to returning there. Tellingly, throughout the magazine article Anita refers to herself as Ghanaian rather than British.
On her return from Ghana, Ms Boateng became a researcher at Policy Research Unit and then, as the BBC continues its never-ending quest to climb up its own bottom, was ‘political producer’ for our very own Question Time. After three years in the job (2013 – 2016) she moved even further up the Westminster media-political rectum via a bewildering blizzard of special advisor posts, some of which she admits to on her LinkedIn profile and some of which she doesn’t.
Did I say ‘political producer’? That’s what she’s put on her Wiki page. Elsewhere, on the internet movie database IMDb, she is listed as a humble, bottom-of-the-heap ‘researcher’.
Under the subheading of ‘Racism’, Miss Boeteng confided to ADARKi magazine that, and Puffins of a sensitive disposition may want to look away now, she recalls ‘being mistaken for other black female MPs’. Call the police! Although, as per the spirit of her Wiki page, Anita is not actually an MP, she is a Conservative councillor in Redbridge.
For the last two years, she has also been a partner in Portland Communications, a shadowy advocacy group that promises ‘communications and public affairs advice to brands and high-profile individuals’. Founded by Blair protegee Tim Bell, Portland claims experience across ‘the political world and global institutions spanning Downing Street and Whitehall to the UN’ while worryingly having access to a ‘roster of editors.’ Equally worryingly their website claims, ’We help leaders in business, philanthropy and international affairs to make a measurable impact on the world.’
Previously Portland set up a web blog, promoted via an accompanying Twitter account, to attack critics of the Qatar World Cup. Published articles included, ‘Winter Wonderplan – four reasons why a Qatar World Cup held in winter might be a good thing’ and ‘Hypocrisy Flavoured – [Qatar critic] Linekar’s recent comments leave a puzzling taste in the mouth.’
It is with these kinds of paid advocacy articles that your favourite blog is pestered with day and night.
For some reason, Portland didn’t name the blog and Twitter account ‘Portland’s Paid Advocacy For Qatar’ but ‘The Pressing Game’ as if its content was serious and impartial journalistic coverage of wendyball.
When challenged by PR Week, Portland admitted its digital team ‘helped to’ set up the blog but insisted it didn’t run the site and although they admitted to being paid to work for the Government of Qatar they claimed that this wasn’t part of it.
Oddly, one of the few contributors to little-read Pressing Game was Puffin’s favourite and Blair lickspittle, Alistair Campbell. By an amazing coincidence, according to their website, Mr Campbell is employed by Portland in a senior part-time role.
Make no mistake, when you see a candidate in a leadership election being trashed while another bafflingly remains squeaky clean and unchallenged, companies like Portman are making that ‘measurable impact’ and are being paid big money by unseen hands to do so.
The first question referenced Kier Starmer’s five missions, one of which is to grow the economy. But how?
‘It’s good to be ambitious,’ began Thangham Debbonaire (Labour), before listing intentions rather than processes. Apparently, renewables from expensive and inefficient wind farms will bring the bills down that keep on rising as we rely more and more upon expensive and inefficient wind farms. She extrapolated enviable growth from the last Labour government while taking great care to miss out the Labour Party’s credit crunch crash of 2008.
David TC Davies (Conservative) disagreed and pointed out that last year we had the third-highest growth rate in the G7. Fiona pointed out the miserable financial forecasts from the IMF. Mr Davies preferred the actual growth rate since 2010 which is much better. Welsh Labour have just cancelled major road-building projects and have wasted £200 million on a pointless airport extension in Cardiff. Is this the model for Kier Starter?
A full QT Review biography of David TC Davies is available here.
Briefly, his father is a self-employed lorry driver who rather grandly refers to himself as Burrow Heath Shipping. David has been a truck driver, TA soldier, British Transport plod, and licensed amateur boxer and has claimed on expenses for various services provided by his father’s company. Simultaneously his wife, Aliz Harnisfoger, is paid £9,999 a year by you to be the MP’s part-time office manager. Sound on Brexit, David’s children still manage to have Hungarian passports. Mr Davies was also sound on ‘gay’ marriage, having voted against in parliament.
A gentleman in the audience accused the Tories of ruining the local microchip industry while other countries are investing tens of billions. Mr Davies replied that the problem was of security as the factory was Chinese-owned. The Labour Party and unions had raised similar concerns.
Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid Cymru) claimed this was a red herring and blamed the South East of England rather than the Chinese Communist Party. She complained that nothing that happens ever helps Wales. She wanted a radical rethink. Despite having its own government in Cardiff, all of this was the fault of the ‘dead hand of Westminster’.
A PhD in the audience pointed out that Tangham’s answer had been a table of contents rather than a body of actionable knowledge. Labour were relying on the Tories being unpopular. Tangham replied by promising lots if details, but not now.
Rakie Ayola (actor) said ‘mission’ is the keyword. Listening to Starmer’s oft-repeated missions is like taking part in a drinking game with Buzz Lightyear. Yes, she really said that. Perhaps it’s one of those word exercises that actors use to warm their voice up before they’re asked difficult questions?
Anita Boateng (political commentator) also picked up on the lack of detail. We need to hear about ‘how’. Starmer uses a lot of language that no one can disagree with but where is the actual plan?
Question two. Is Bomber Begum really a threat to UK security? Yes. Next!
David Davies sided with the courts and security services who have decided she is.
Does it trouble you she was a child? Asked Bruce.
No, it troubles me she went to Syria to commit atrocities, replied Mr Davies wisely.
Liz Saville Roberts didn’t understand what was going on and made fool of herself. Assuming Bomber Begum had dual nationality (which she never did), Liz said this set a precedent for removing dual nationality for those with British passports. Which it doesn’t. Despite being corrected by Bruce, Saville Roberts continued in the same vein by fearing for Jews who have dual Israeli and British citizenship. Is she stupid? Yes.
Elizabeth Saville Roberts is the MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd in North Wales. Born in London’s Eltham district, Liz left the capital aged 18 to study languages at Aberystwyth University, during which time she learned Welsh.
On her Wiki page, the 58-year-old claims to have worked in Welsh-medium higher education (whatever that means) but according to her old university, after graduation she returned to London and then came back to Wales to work as a journalist before becoming a local councillor who ‘supported and developed post 16 Welsh medium education’ (whatever that means).
At the May 2015 general election, Liz was elected to parliament.
As well as being fluent in self-taught Russian, posh Liz’s mother was a noted scientist with a doctorate in Chemistry.
Cousin Jenny is a contemporary British artist specialising in depictions of the naked female form. Before Puffins search for her work (on behalf of a friend), they should be aware that Ms Saville is of the contemporary metropolitan degenerate school, and depicts pretty faces deformed by gore, grotesquely obese nudes, and lots of children’s genitals. What a weirdo.
A tinged idiot in the audience said Bomber Begum had been let down by the UK.
Another idiot said she’d be better here under surveillance the in Syria where we don’t know what she’s up. Yes, we do. She is part of a sophisticated propaganda and leftie legal campaign trying to set a precedence for unlimited numbers of ISIS terrorists, their relatives and dependants to be given the right to come to this country and harm you.
Citizenship isn’t just about rights but about responsibilities, Anita Boateng reminded us. At times it is right to remove it. It is clear that Bomber poses a threat. Anita sided with the courts.
Thangum gave us a lecture on the separation of power between politicians and judges. Private citizens with a lawyer are entitled to … Caught between the horns of the Labour Party’s reliance on certain communities and Starmer’s standing order to at least pretend to try to be a bit patriotic, Thangum waffled on without saying anything.
Public school girl Thangam Debbonaire (not her real name, Thangam Elizabeth Rachael Walton) was educated at Bradford Girl’s Grammar School and Chetham’s School of Music. After dropping out of Oxford, she studied at technical 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 non-employment via the ‘domestic violence response sector’ Ms Debbonnaire entered parliament as the MP for Bristol West. In the interests of equality of opportunity, she benefitted from an all-female shortlist. Her comradely proletarian and egalitarian credentials are further enhanced by being the wife of Kevin Walton – an opera singer.
A fuller QT Review biography of Ms Debbonaire is available here.
Question three addressed the rewriting of Roald Dahl’s books. La Bruce read out some of the changes. Fat is replaced with enormous. Mrs Twit is just beastly rather than beastly and much more. Crazy and mad have been removed. The Big Friendly Giant no longer wears a black coat, somebody else is no longer white. A weird African language is no longer weird.
Rakie Ayola was honest enough to say that she hadn’t read the books but was familiar with the filtered versions seen on stage and screen. Perhaps re-writing them might bring in new readers? She saw this as a financial decision, not least through all the publicity the controversy was creating.
Despite living in London for the past thirty years, actress Rakie Olufunmilayo Ayola is headlined by the BBC as if one of the Glamorganshire Olufunmilayo Ayolas.
Despite being black and 49 at the time, in 2017 Ayola played Hermione Grainger in the West End production of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child.
Puffins will be disappointed to hear that Rakie is one of those luvvies married to another luvvie and has two luvvie in-laws. However, they will be thrilled to discover that her actor father-in-law was Jack Smethhurst who played Eddie Booth in Love Thy Neighbour. In the 1972 – 1976 sitcom which ran to 53 programmes across eight series, a white couple, Eddie and Joan Booth, lived next door to a black couple, Bill and Barbie Reynolds, with, unlike in real life, hilarious results.
You can have a debate without changing the words, mentioned Davies who couldn’t see the point of the alterations. He thought a more pressing concern to be the unpleasant misogynistic content in modern music.
A large gentleman in the audience said he’d rather be called fat than enormous. Someone else wanted to ban Steinbeck.
Liz wanted a debate on social change. We’ve moved ahead. Have we? List a few recent books that are better than Steinbeck, Liz. Lots of authors have been de-selected. And more authors should be, she had the cheek to add.
If I may interrupt and preach. What the author writes down is sacred. Those sheets of paper are holy ground. Nobody has a right to alter what the writer has written. End of sermon.
La Bruce wanted to preach as well, about the darkest African origins of the Oompa Loompa, who subsequently appeared as orange in the film.
Anita said we must fine-tune our filters to decide whether something’s true or not. Assess why it is written and what is its purpose. She thought the censorship was ridiculous and harmful.
Thangum Debbonaire agreed with me. It is difficult to be wrong all of the time. If words are changed, the work is not the author’s any more. She reminded us of what had happened to Salman Rushdie, blind in one eye and having lost the use of an arm after being attacked by one who took offence at his words.
The next question was about the Welsh Government cancelling numerous road projects for environmental reasons. Will it damage the economy?
Liz Saville wanted to reduce the number of new roads but not in her constituency. There’s a nasty left turn just after a Grade II listed bridge in Dwyfor Meirionnydd where the artics get stuck.
Thangum rejected the question. La Bruce reminded her she couldn’t. It’s Question Time, not Rejection Time you silly tart. Thangum said she didn’t know the answer. In fact, Thangum’s stuck for an answer as a Labour Government in Wales is currently causing chaos with the kind of environmental policies which are part of Starmer’s mission for England.
Yes, it will harm the economy, said David TC Davis, plus money had been spent planning the roads which was now wasted. Endless traffic jams on clogged-up old roads don’t help the environment.
Rakie likes public transport. She is a train and bus girl. And coaches. When filming in Wales, she gets the 3 am coach and can be back home in Greenwich having breakfast by 7.
Yay! Somebody blamed Brexit. Alway’s a good excuse to go to bed.
© Always Worth Saying 2023
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