Always Worth Saying’s Question Time Review

Question Time 15th June 2023

The Panel:

David TC Davies (Conservative)
David Blunkett (Labour)
David Linden (SNP)
Charlotte Ivers (Times Radio)
Guto Harri (Former Boris Johnson Aide)

Venue: Deeside

David Blunkett (not his real name, The Right Honourable, The Lord Blunkett, Baron Blunkett, PC) is a prominent Labour Party politician and has been a Member of the House of Lords since 2015. Blunkett, despite being blind from birth, has had a significant political career, having served as Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough from 1987 to 2015.

The 76-year-old held crucial roles in Tony Blair’s Cabinet, such as the Education and Employment Secretary, Home Secretary, and Work and Pensions Secretary. However, he resigned from these positions in 2004 and 2005 due to media scrutiny regarding his personal life and business interests.

Blunkett’s early life was marked by adversity. Not only was he born in Sheffield but his father was killed in an industrial accident when David was aged only 12. Despite these challenges, he received an education at schools for the blind in Sheffield and Shrewsbury and eventually earned a place at the University of Sheffield where he graduated in Political Theory and Institutions.

Following graduation, he worked as a clerk, studied for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and was a lay preacher at his local Methodist Church. His political career began when he became the youngest-ever councillor on Sheffield City Council at the age of 22 in 1970.

During his time on the council, Sheffield’s ratepayers benefited from living in a Nuclear Free Zone and having their own Anti-Apartheid Working Party.

Outside of politics, Blunkett has held various charity and trust positions and has authored several books, including an autobiography. He was also awarded a professorship in Politics in Practice at the University of Sheffield in May 2015.

Despite his success against adversity and being a professor, that autobiography, ‘The Blunket Tapes: My Life in the Bear Pit’, sits a limp 653,139 places behind the Marquis De Sade’s ‘120 Days of Sodom’ in the Amazon best seller’s list.

All the more surprising as, one assumes, the tome contains a first-hand account of the near-De Sadian events that led to his resignation as the UK Home Secretary in December 2004. The controversy was centred on allegations that he had fast-tracked a visa application for the nanny of married Kimberly Quinn, with whom he was not only having an affair but with whom he had fathered a child.

Fourteen years his junior, at the time Quinn was the publisher of the Spectator magazine. The controversy was fueled by the detailed diaries of their affair maintained by Quinn with the scandal resulting in Blunkett resigning from his position.

After briefly rejoining the Cabinet, Blunkett had to resign again following revelations regarding an undisclosed directorship and an investment of £15,000 in DNA Bioscience – a company close to David’s heart in that they were bidding for government contracts to provide paternity tests to the Child Support Agency.

Question one, is Boris Johnson’s political career dead and buried?

Fellow Conservative David TC Davies thought it was – for good or ill. Boris has been right on Brexit, Ukraine and the vaccine rollout and that’s what he should be remembered for. We have to move on with Rishi Sunack who is doing a good job. He had confidence that Harriet Harman’s commission of enquiry into the former prime minister had done a good job too.

David TC Davies has been serving as Conservative Member of Parliament for Monmouth since May 5, 2005. Last October he was appointed as the Secretary of State for Wales. He is known for his vocal opposition to the European Union and support for Brexit during the 2016 referendum. Less resolute on Net Zero, Davies initially questioned the evidence supporting the role of human activities in climate change, but later he endorsed the UK government’s aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Fluent in Welsh, Davies learned the language when he became a member of the National Assembly for Wales. Despite his fluency and subsequently standing to be in it, he was critical of the idea of a new Welsh assembly and spearheaded the ‘No’ campaign in the devolution referendum. Apart from his political career, Davies is also a former president of the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association and has participated in multiple charity boxing matches under the moniker “The Tory Tornado”.

Lord Blunkett (Labour) started by saying that Boris seemed to have sucked the lifeblood out of the body politic. He told an embarrassing pre-prepared un-funny, bordering on offensively off-taste, one-liner about Boris, Donald Trump and the recently deceased Berlusconi.

His lordship went on to blame Boris for everything including blaming Boris for blaming everyone but Boris.

An audience member made an important point. Boris might make a comeback as he has a connection with the public that the rest of parliament doesn’t and, the gentleman might have added, that’s why parliament want rid of him.

Guto Harri (former Boris Johnson aide), perhaps to his credit, sided with Boris Johnson while he’s down. If Kier Starmer had been handed over to a committee of enquiry made up of hostile Tories there would have been uproar. Politicians shouldn’t be investigated by other politicians.

Do you not agree with the select committee, Bruce kept on asking, as though we’re not allowed to disagree with them.

Guto Harri (not his real name, in Welsh ‘Guto’ is a diminutive of Griffith and his family name is Pritchard-Jones) is a Welsh broadcaster, writer, and strategic communications consultant, known for serving as the Downing Street Director of Communications. Harri spent 18 years as a journalist at the BBC, followed by a role as Director of External Affairs for the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, from 2008 to 2012.

He also worked in public relations for various companies, including Rupert Murdoch’s News International. His most recent media stint was as a presenter on GB News, which ended after he publicly took a knee on air, resulting in backlash from viewers. Described as a ‘well-connected, impactful, and battle-hardened communications expert’, Harri has been a vocal critic of Brexit.

Besides when as mayor of London, Gito has had a close relationship with Boris Johnson dating back to their time together at Oxford University. Harri also served as the head of communications for Johnson during his tenure as Prime Minister.

At Oxford, Guto studied at The Queen’s College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. Continuing his academic journey, Harri further honed his skills in journalism at the Centre for Journalism Studies in Cardiff, where he earned a postgraduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism.

A lady in the audience nailed it. Outside of a political bubble, nobody cares plus all politicians lie.

Charlotte Ivers (Times Radio) obsessed about process, as if process is more important than outcome.

Charlotte Ivers is a journalist serving as a Political Correspondent at Times Radio and as a columnist for The Sunday Times. The 28-year-old has written extensively on a variety of political subjects.

Some of her key commentaries include Rishi Sunak’s middle-ground strategy, Boris Johnson’s potential return, and the appeal (or lack thereof) of the Tories to the younger generation. Besides Question Time, she has made notable television appearances on the unwatchable and unwatched leftie backslap fest Have I Got News for You. Ivers is well-versed in political affairs, with experience as a special advisor for Theresa May’s government.

Charlotte attended £45,000 per year Dean Close boarding school in Gloucestershire before pursuing higher education at the prestigious Pembroke College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. While there, Ivers studied philosophy and also contributed to student journalism by writing for Varsity and The Tab. She also held the position of president at the Cambridge Union debating society. In addition to philosophy, she achieved a BA in History and Philosophy of Science and garnered several awards during her academic journey.

The chickens have come home to roost, said David Linden (SNP). He wanted to punish Boris further by hitting him with a big legal bill and scrapping Boris’s honours list.

The Borisphobia was strong.

Thinking of chickens coming home to roost, La Bruce mentioned it wasn’t the easiest of times for the SNP. Linden was very triggered and started quoting the Contempt of Court Act to avoid further mention of three-arrests-and-a-campervan-gate.

David Linden has been serving as the SNP MP for Glasgow East since June 8, 2017. Born and raised in Cranhill before moving to Garrowhill, he has been an active SNP member since 2001. Prior to his political career, Linden worked in the finance sector and completed a qualification in business administration at the Glasgow Credit Union.

At Westminster, he serves as the SNP’s Work & Pensions Spokesperson and chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Premature & Sick Babies. Outside of politics, Linden is a fan of Airdrieonians Football Club and a committed runner, having completed two London marathons.

Guto compared the police’s investigation into Partygate, which resulted in one fixed penalty fine for one minor offence, with Harriet Harman’s hysterical myopic obsession.

After moralising about lies, a media-political bubble that insists women have penises and men have babies moved on to question two.

What’s to be done about increasing mortgage payments?

The government could tell the Bank of England to stop doing it, began David Blunkett. He claimed the previous Labour government presided over the lowest of interest rates but forgot to mention that was because they’d wrecked the economy in a credit crunch.

David TC Davies said interest rates are needed to lower inflation and as inflation drops interest rates will follow.

La Bruce wondered about price caps on supermarket food. David TC Davies suggested a voluntary one.

A very large woman in the audience had recently taken on a big mortgage. Erm, whose fault’s that?

David Linden wanted price caps. Look at France, he said. The riots? 40% of them voting for the National Front? Then he blamed Brexit. Yay! And Liz Truss. Yay! For ‘crashing the economy’ despite the fact that our economy continues to grow while the Eurozone is in recession.

Another large lady in the audience mentioned starving to death while being allowed to monologue. Strangely, despite her terrible situation, she was determined not to get a job. There was no incentive for her to return to work – despite the starvation.

Guto’s solution was to grow the economy. The plebs had been paid £400bn for doing nothing during the pandemic. A noble act, according to Guto, but it hadn’t grown on trees and high inflation has resulted.

Question three referenced the case of the killing of an eight-month gestation baby whose mother was recently jailed for the offence.

Having insisted the rules in all their vigour upon Boris Johnson, all but one panellist suggested the rules protecting babies should be ignored. Very strange.

The exception was David Blunkett, and more than one person in the audience. A gross failure of the BBC’s oft-exercised ‘right to choose’ the opinions you’re allowed to hear.

© Always Worth Saying 2023

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