Always Worth Saying’s Question Time Review

Question Time 4th May 2023

The Panel:

Mark Harper (Conservative)
David Lammy (Labour)
Peter Hitchens (Journalist)
Minette Batters (NFU)
Billy Bragg (Musician)

Venue: Telford

David Lammy is the son of Guyanese immigrants, was born in 1972 in Tottenham, and is one of four siblings. As a QT regular, Puffins already know that he is the MP for Tottenham, lives in a £3 million house outside of the constituency in order to get his children into a decent school and that he is paid tens of thousands of pounds by corporations who need a black face at their Black History Month and Black Lives Matter virtue signalling events.

But here’s something you didn’t know. Lammy’s father, David Sr, was a self-employed taxidermist who struggled to make a living during the 1980s as the recession and a new agenda of animal rights, wildlife protection, licensing and export controls, took a toll on his business. In despair, when David Jr was eleven, David Sr left his family to make a new life in the United States.

A former border at the King’s School, Peterborough, David graduated from the School of Law, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and was called to the bar in 1994.

He is presently an associate tenant at Doughty Street Chambers whom Puffins will recall are leftie lawyers who give free legal representation to troublemakers such as former Yorkshire County Cricket Club player Azeem Rafiq.

David Lammy’s wife is Nicola Green, a British portrait painter. They have been married since 2005 and have three children. Green founded the Khadija Saye IntoArts Programme in memory of her mentee and friend, artist Khadija Saye who was killed in the Grenfell Tower fire. If you’d like to donate, according to their website,

“£5,000 allows 90 Year 5 pupils to take part in one of our Arts-themed FOCUS Days, spending a full day at our local centre exploring a new creative topic and developing their curiosity in the Arts.”

Yes, Comrade Lammy’s wife is on £5,000 a day. And no, I didn’t crib the Lammy taxidermy business from Mr A.I. Bot. I read it in David’s autobiography, Out Of The Ashes. A mighty work well stuffed by the Marquis De Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom which sits 755,068 places above it on the Amazon best sellers list.


La Bruce introduced question one while dressed in a strange light blue outfit which showed ‘Mou’ on a sweater partly revealed by a teasingly open jacket.

Do you think the majority of the public will swear allegiance to the king? In an oath that will be introduced on the big day when Archbishop Satan Welby begins, “All who desire say together…”

“I already have,” replied David Lammy (Labour) who does such things anyway as an MP and Privy Councillor.

Billy Bragg (musician) isn’t even going to watch the coronation on the telly. He thought such things belonged to Game of Thrones rather than to real life.

Peter Hitchens (journalist) declared himself more of a monarchist than the king. A commitment to contentious politics such as Net Zero isn’t the kind of thing that a king should do. Charles’ interventions in politics were wrong. These things are un-English.

The audience had mixed views ranging, obviously, from would to wouldn’t.

Mark Harper (Conservative), thought many would take the oath and, as with David Lammy, he already had. “If you want to,” is the key part of the sentence. People can choose what to do, if you don’t want to you, don’t have to.

Mark Harper was educated at the Headlands Comprehensive School and Swindon College before attending Brasenose College, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. After that, he worked as a chartered accountant for KPMG and Intel Corporation before entering politics. He is currently Secretary of State for Transport and has been the Tory MP for the Forest of Dean since 2005.

“Absolutely I will be,” began Minette Batters (NFU) before obsessing about climate change, a path that King Charles has also been on for many years.

Second question, when is the government going to solve the rail strikes? Pronounced ‘stroikes’ in Telford. What’s it got to do with the government? The dispute is between the unions and the train operating companies.

Cynically targetting the Eurovision Song Contest, said Mark Harper. The present offer should be put to the members. The ball is in the RMT’s court, not the government’s.

The strikes have gone on for over a year, said David Lammy. There should be constant negotiation. Public sector workers go to food banks.

The average train driver’s wage is £60,000 a year, interjected Mark Harper, “They ain’t going to food banks.”

“How do you know?” Asked a lady in the audience rhetorically.

Minette’s son had booked concert tickets. It had been a nightmare. She’d made three journeys this week when it had been standing room only.

Minette Bridget Batters is a British farmer and the current President of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) of England and Wales. She is the first woman to hold this position, having previously served as the vice president from 2014 to 2018. Batters runs a 300-acre mixed farm near Downton in Wiltshire, which includes a 100-cow continental-cross suckler herd and a small herd of pedigree cattle. In addition to farming, she also owns a catering business and a wedding venue.

Minette advocates for the farming community to work with the government to produce globally competitive food while also improving the environment and mitigating climate change. She was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire in August 2021. Batters grew up on a tenant farm near Salisbury and attended Godolphin School (£30,000 per annum). She is divorced and has two children.

Billy Bragg said the unions were upping the ante by disrupting the FA Cup and Eurovision. They have a right to do that. He supported them 100%.

One wonders, why is there a right to go on strike?

Peter Hitchens thought we were all being pushed by the rise in the cost of living. He became very wet indeed and claimed those who could are justified in pushing back through industrial action. He wanted the railways re-nationalised. Peter wanted to make sure his ticket office would remain open. Mark said people don’t buy tickets anymore, it’s done online. This reviewer’s local station has a closed ticket office with ‘use the app’ painted across the shutters. The impenetrable, unusable app it omits to mention.

In much the same way that the leftie Twittersphere can’t cope with Peter Hitchens neither can Mr A.I. Bot. After informing me he was born in England (in fact Mr Hitchens was born in Malta) the world’s giant digital brain insisted, “Peter Hitchens was raised in a family of left-wing intellectuals.” We know better. His father was in the Navy – hence the connection with Malta. His mother was a Wren. Your humble reviewer wouldn’t pretend to be an expert on the Andrew but in recalling his few contacts with the Senior Service, words like ‘left-wing’ and especially ‘intellectual’ don’t ring true.

What we can be certain of is that Peter attended Mount House School, Tavistock (£20,130 per annum), the Leys School (£41,880 pa), and the Oxford College of Further Education before graduating in PPE from the University of York. After university, he worked for several newspapers, including The Daily Express and The Daily Mail. He is known for his conservative views – with a small ‘c’ – and is particularly critical of the left-wing agenda in the UK.

Can we trust the Labour Party not to renege on any of its policies?

Billy Bragg ummed and ahhed. In West Dorset he was tempted to vote tactically rather than for Starmer.

Barking-born Steven William Bragg is a British singer-songwriter, guitarist and left-wing activist. The cap maker’s assistant sales manager’s son began performing in the late 70s with the punk group Riff Raff before embarking on a solo career in the anti-folk movement of the 80s. The sixty-three-year-old is known for his politically conscious lyrics and socialist activism and has released several successful albums throughout his career. His most recent work, The Million Things That Never Happened, was released in 2021 and is a country-influenced ode to resilience in hard times.

During the 2010 general election campaign, leftwinger Bragg was filmed having a stand-up row with London Assembly member Richard Barnbrook who was campaigning on behalf of BNP Westminster candidate Nick Griffin.

During the finger-pointing, Bragg told Barnbrook, “You do not represent the people of Barking and Dagenham.” Does Billy Bragg? As forewarned by Mr Griffin and the BNP, mass uncontrolled unlimited immigration had a devastating effect on the Essex town. In the 1991 census, 93% of the population of Barking was white. However, by the 2021 census the white British population had been ethnically cleansed to only 30.9%.

A white flight that included Comrade Bragg who decamped to a millionaire’s mansion on the multi-cultural and enriched Dorset coast. Bragg sold the 25-room Victorian villa in November 2021 and made a cool £2.5 million profit in the process. Despite endlessly bashing bankers and having previously threatened to withhold his income tax unless bankers’ bonuses were capped, man-of-the-people Billy took the cash from buyer Richard Spencer – a managing director in real estate investments for Goldman Sachs.

Mark Harper declared himself working class and Starmer’s flip-flopping on tuition fees might make working class educational outcomes here as bad as in Scotland.

David Lammy drew a distinction between an ideological leader (like, apparently, Liz Truss) and a pragmatic leader like Mr Starmer. La Bruce referenced re-nationalisation. Lammy promised a fiscal plan of such things. I can predict that the fiscal plan will be populist and aimed at public sector workers and minorities. It will be funded by a wealth tax. i.e. the theft of your house, savings and pension.

Peter was sniffy about the Blair creature’s university expansion. He wanted a smaller number of brainier people to be invested in, with apprenticeships for others.

The next question was about artificial intelligence. Hmm. La Bruce showed an unconvincing AI graphic of Donald Trump being arrested. Imagine a badly lit, badly photographed montage of bad Madame Tussauds wax works.

Peter Hitchens was concerned. Nay, deeply worried. It is difficult to find out anything or discover anything that the world wide web doesn’t agree with. The internet, in effect, has an opinion.

Minette confused robotics with AI and mentioned automated crop picking. These things are unregulated, she noted, and it is all happening behind closed doors.

You can’t un-invent technology, said Mark Harper. AI can be better than the human eye at examining medical scans. Again, a panellist misunderstood intelligence. Mark wanted to work together with companies to shape AI rather than try to stop it.

Peter made an important point. It’s the politicians who are enthusiastic about increasing social control through technology, for instance during the pandemic.

As a user of AI, this reviewer is unconcerned. For a start it’s not intelligent, it just trawls text from the internet and puts it into sentences. Properly spelt sentences it must be said, which is why it’s a time saver at QT Review HQ as my spelling is shot (especially at one o’clock in the morning).

Flannel. How? Who? Many will suffer depending upon who sets the rules, worried David Lammy. These things are invented here but then we lose control of them. He wanted an ambitious programme of regulation similar to the (so-called) rules-based international law established by the Allies after the war.

Oi woory, said a lady in the Telford audience. I wonder what her Alexa makes of that?

La Bruce played some awful AI-generated vocals and passed the baton to Billy Bragg. He thought such things were a tool to be used. It could allow different perspectives to look at things. Was he frightened of being replaced? No, he wasn’t. Music is empathetic, emotional and best live. You can’t get that online.

However, what is truth? Billy continued, the internet is open to be used for untruth, false facts and lies. Obviously humans, and especially the politicians and journalists who inhabit the QT panel, would never be capable of such a thing.

© Always Worth Saying 2023

The Goodnight Vienna Audio file