Always Worth Saying’s Question Time Review

Question Time 1st June 2023

The Panel:

George Freeman (Conservative)
Jess Phillips (Labour)
Nimco Ali (The Five Foundation)
Jack Monroe (Activist)
Chris Patten (Chancellor, Oxford University)

Venue: Leicester

I’ll tell you what happened. Despite being a gentleman adventurer, I couldn’t face a bank holiday trip to Londonistan to see my Local XI’s unexpected Wembley final appearance. instead, I paid the £11.98 for Wendyball TV and invited friends around to watch at chez AWS. Unfortunately, as the fixture continued into extra time and penalties, the buffet sat in the sun for a bit too long. Worse still, having poisoned myself and several others, my guests want the very reasonable two pounds back that I charged them to watch the match.

Not to worry. Sickies are for wimps. Myself and my able assistant Mr A.I. Bot will review as best we can despite the oudeur emanating from the QT Review HQ dungie. And besides, watching Question Time might be therapeutic in the same way that being purged with mercury and covered in leeches is.


Nimco Ali, an FGM survivor, strategist, and author, was born in Somaliland and raised in the UK. She is a prominent British Somali feminist and social activist who co-founded Daughters of Eve and the Five Foundation. The Five Foundation, established in collaboration with Brendan Wynne, is an organization committed to ending female genital mutilation (FGM). Among their partners are who’s who of Civil Society NGOs including; Plan International, Action Aid, The ONE Campaign, Save The Children (UK), UN Women (UK), and Women for Women International.

The Foundation’s work includes advocating against the medicalization of FGM, supporting grassroots African women’s organizations, and raising awareness about FGM risks during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their involvement has led to significant accomplishments such as the banning of FGM in Sudan, raising awareness of a Kenyan doctor’s efforts to legalize FGM and the passage of the US Stop FGM Act.

Ms Ali also intends to ban child marriage. She’ll be popular in Leicester! And doesn’t she know it, making the excuse that she was stuck in Ethiopia, Ms Ali didn’t turn up for the programme.

Question one was about whatsapp messages. Should they be private or should the Covid enquiry be allowed access to them?

Jess Phillips had spent the morning with a rape victim. Her phone had been the subject of a ‘digital strip search’ because of the court case. Jess offered her entire whatsapp history to the public. Including her request for loo roles. Was she watching the match at my house on Sunday?

Jess Phillips has been serving as the Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley since 2015. She is an advocate for women’s rights, social justice, and equality. Born on October 9, 1981, in Birmingham, grammar school girl Phillips grew up in a politically active family, with her parents being long-standing Labour Party members and public sector troughers.

Before entering politics, Jess Phillips had never had a job. She is known for her outspoken nature and has often made headlines for her candid approach to politics. Over the years, she has campaigned on issues such as women’s rights, domestic abuse, and mental health. In January 2020, Phillips briefly ran for the Labour Party leadership but withdrew from the race later in the month.

George Freeman pointed out that these things shouldn’t be written down, if you don’t want them to be subpoenaed or taken out of context. Official business should be conducted through official channels, not on internet chat apps. On the other hand, only messages relevant to the pandemic inquiry, not personal matters, should be forwarded to the judge.

The government aren’t a load of criminals waiting to be caught, the enquiry is important and shouldn’t be seen as a cynical ploy by the judiciary to nobble the government. The government is going to court to test the privacy principle not to cover anything up.

Born on July 12, 1967, in London, George Freeman is currently serving as the Member of Parliament for Mid Norfolk, and has done since 2010.

Freeman was educated privately at Radley College and Girton College, Cambridge, where he earned a degree in Geography. Before entering politics, he worked in various roles within the biomedical and agricultural industries. In Parliament, he has held multiple positions, including as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Life Sciences (2014-2016) and the Chair of the Prime Minister’s Policy Board (2016-2017).

He is known for his focus on innovation, science, and technology, particularly in relation to the life sciences sector. As a legislator, Freeman has advocated for research, development, and investment in these areas to drive economic growth and improve public health.

(I must say, Mr A.I. Bot is very good and very quick but he just can’t be bothered to look up school fees or scandals. He must remain my pupil for a while yet).

Chris patten said it was up to the judge, not you me or Mr Johnson who is reluctant to hand over all of his communications during the pandemic.

During our previous lives more interesting, this humble reviewer of TV programmes and Mrs AWS happened to be in Honkers – having escaped from a Phillipino jail – prior to the 1997 handover and recall the last governor of the colony, tonight’s guest, Chris Patten (not his real name, Christopher Francis Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames, KG, CH, PC) or Fat Patts he was known affectionately behind his back at the time.

As every Puffin knows, the Cantonese speaker struggles with consonants at the end of words, especially ’t’s. Therefore the locals mangled his nickname to 肥彭. According to me, and I may be wrong, although 肥 (fai) sounds like fat and 彭 (pang) sounds a bit like Patts, it is 彭 which means fat in Cantonese. Make of that what you will. Hope I’m not boring you.

While we’re laughing at him, let us pause to reflect that himself and Mrs Thatcher got a much better deal from the Chinese than a subsequent generation of politicians managed from the nefarious EU. Ourselves, the Chinese and Hong Kong did well out if for a near quarter century before President Xi’s ambitions got the better of him

A higher high panjandrum than anything seen in silk and gold braid on the mainland in any dynasty between the Xia and the Quing, Mr Patten was governor of the colony between 1992 and 1997. If this were light opera, Mr Patten would be every character in Gilbert and Sullivan squeezed into one well-living skin. Appearing with different names and different titles in legal documents makes it difficult to keep up with his appointments. I have done the best I can. What follows in the addendum is merely a sample of his directorships and positions, there will be many more.

Jack Monroe wanted as full an enquiry as possible to avoid the government trying to kick the can down the road for as far as possible and avoid any criticism of themselves.

Jack Monroe is a British food writer, journalist, and activist. She is well known for her advocacy on poverty issues, particularly hunger relief. Monroe came into the limelight by cooking frugal meals for £10 a week, which gained her a lot of attention. She identifies herself as a transgender woman who is non-binary. Yawn. Monroe has been the subject of controversy, with critics accusing her of exaggerating her influence and being non-transparent about her finances. Despite the criticism, she has won several awards for her advocacy work, including The Grocer’s Hero of the Year and 2022 Food Hero at the Observer Food Monthly Awards. In 2019, she announced that she was an alcoholic in recovery.

She rose to fame by sharing inexpensive recipes for single parents with a young child on her blog, “A Girl Called Jack”. Monroe has also written several books on the subject of budget-friendly meals. Although she used to have a twice-monthly food and recipe column for The Guardian, Monroe shares tips on how to master finances without sacrificing the things that make you happy.

Question two was from a hard-working single father. When will he begin to feel better off again?

Jack Monroe gave a speech on the welfare state being hollowed out across a period of time. Now that it affects the chattering classes, it has a title, ‘the cost of living crisis’. She didn’t know when it would end but wanted to improve your lot by taxing you to death to pay for an even bigger public sector.

Within a few months, George reassured up. The government has spent a fortune on cost-of-living relief. It’s not the cost of Conservatives. It’s happening all over the world. He referenced the pandemic and the war in the Ukraine.

What none of them mentioned was the madness of Net Zero and that following what’s happened across the last few years, the future isn’t going to be like the past.

Puffins are familiar with the idea that you have to take opportunities as they arise, be self-sufficient and be flexible. Does parliament, the BBC and the giant, sclarific (sic) public sector realise that? Perhaps not.

And on that point, I realised I’d be better off resting my sore tum and retired to bed.


Some of Chriss Pattern’s directorships and appointments:

  • Oxford Russia Fund
  • Japan House London Trust, Christopher Francis Patten of Barnes
  • Oxford University chancellor
  • The Europaeum
  • Retired governor of Hong Kong.
  • Non-executive director at Russell Reynolds Associates
  • Adviser to Hutchison Europe (ports)
  • Member of the European advisory board of the private equity group Bridgepoint.
  • Member of the EDF Stakeholder Advisory Panel
  • Advisory board member to St Benedict’s School in London
  • Gordon Brown business ambassador
  • International adviser to the Japan Art Association
  • Co-chair of the India-UK Roundtable
  • The Scar-Free foundation
  • The international crisis group
  • Cadbury ltd
  • Mondelez UK Holdings & Services Limited
  • Prior Park Educational Trust
  • Mediahuis UK Ltd (published of The Independent)
  • Chairman of the BBC Trust
  • Lead of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland
  • Member of the European advisory board of the private equity group Bridgepoint.
  • Chancellor of Newcastle University
  • President of Medical Aid for Palestine
  • Oversaw Pope Benedict XVIth’s visit to the UK
  • Head of a Vatican advisory body
  • Member of the Global Leadership Foundation
  • Member of Advisory Council of Vontobel Asset Management
  • Trustee, the Tablet Journal
  • Non-executive Director of Russell Reynolds (recruitment firm)


© Always Worth Saying 2023