Question Time 16th November 2023
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Bridget Phillipson (Labour)
Paul Johnson (Institute of Fiscal Studies)
Juliet Samuel (The Times)
Danny Sriskandarajah (Oxfam)
Sir Jacob William Rees-Mogg is the Conservative Member of Parliament for North East Somerset. The 54-year-old spent his childhood in the county before Eton and Trinity College, Oxford. Prior to politics, Mr Rees-Mogg established a career in finance through his own company, Somerset Capital Management. In his personal life, Jacob resides in West Harptree with his wife and their six children.
As ever, the family dullard is plonked onto Question Time. Jacobs’s wife is Helena Anne Beatrix Wentworth Fitzwilliam de Chair. The daughter of Lady Juliet Tadgell and four times married Somerset Struben de Chair, neglected author and poet, and one-time Conservative MP for South West Norfolk and for Paddington South. Ahead of his time, Somerset stood in an early European Parliament election as an ‘anti-European superstate’ candidate and as a young man during the Second World War served in Iraq and Syria as an intelligence officer with the 4th Cavalry Brigade.
His relatives include an admiral, the Transvaal Strubens and a Councillor to King Charles (the 9th of France).
Of extravagant tastes and an inhabitant of a series of large country houses, it was beneath one of the family Van Dykes that Jacob knelt on one knee and proposed to daughter Helena.
Helena and Jacob have been blessed with six children, or is it twenty-two? According to familypedia their progeny are; Peter Theodore Alphenge, Mary Anne Charlotte Emma, Thomas Wentworth Somerset Dunstan, Anselm Charles Fitzwilliam, Alfred Wulfric Leyson Pius and Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher.
Bridget Phillipson (not her real name, Bridget Maeve Dimery) is the Labour Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South and the current Shadow Secretary of State for Education. Born in Gateshead, and a Labour Party member since she was 15, Bridget left the North East at the first opportunity and is a graduate of Modern History from Hertford College, Oxford. A stage school-type, Bridgit can play the violin and has appeared as an extra on children’s TV’s Byker Grove. Ms Phillipson entered Parliament in 2010 aged only 26. Puffins will be unsurprised, therefore, to hear the 39-year-old has never had a job beyond a position at her Labour Party member mother’s taxpayer-funded charity.
Elected too late to be involved in the parliamentary expenses second home ‘flipping’ scandal, her husband Lawrence Lionel Dimery (a financial services wallah, formerly of the Bank of England and currently a market risk analyst), appears to be recently registered, along with Bridget, at a property in her Houghton-Le-Spring constituency. Hmm…
Ms Phillipson copes with the cost of living crisis by filling in surveys for £75 a time and by accepting donations. Mr Trevor Chinn gave her £10,000 between March and December last year. This year, Mr Stuart Roden has given her £40,000 and Mr Chinn has given her another £10,000. Jim Murphy (a former MP and current PR executive) has given her £15,000, Paul Callaghan, £10,000, Tom Hay, £5,000 etc etc etc. A cynic might conclude that as a possible Cabinet Minster in the near future, vested interests are throwing money at her. As Mr Murphy puts it on his website, his clients might want to ‘understand’ Labour and ‘strengthen relationships’ and ‘shared agendas’.
To save the environment and reduce air travel, Bridget has also accepted a free trip to Australia worth £8,000.
Danny Sriskandarajah (not his real name – Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah) is currently a £120,000 per annum Chief Executive at toxic and scandal-ridden Oxfam. According to their website,
Our vision is a world that is just and sustainable. A world in which people and planet are at the centre of just economies. A world in which women and girls live free from gender-based violence and discrimination. Where the climate crisis is contained, and inclusive and accountable governance systems allow for those in power to be held to account.
Bandaging the leppers’ wounds can wait!
In a previous edition of Question Time, climate crank Danny blamed the degrading environment in Somalia on your central heating – while neglecting to mention the country’s never-ending civil wars or its six-fold increase in population over the past six decades.
Born in Sri Lanka, the 47-year-old emigrated to Australia when he was young. He is also a graduate of Oxford University and holds a Master’s Degree and Doctorate in International Development.
A non-job quangoland lifer, his positions have included roles at the Institute for Public Policy Research, the Royal Commonwealth Society and CIVICUS. Next January, Mr Sriskandarajah will take up a new job as Chief Executive with the globalist climate change fanatics at the New Economics Foundation. According to their website,
‘For more than three decades, the New Economics Foundation’s mission has been to transform the economy so it works for people and the planet.’
The New Economics Foundation is largely funded by the Dutch-German Brenninkmeijer family, owners of the global retail group C&A. In earlier decades the Brenninkmeijer’s mission ‘to transform the economy so that it worked for people’, included benefitting from the forced Aryanization of Jewish property and using slave labour in the Lodz ghetto.
Puffins will be relieved to hear that when challenged in a 2016 interview, executive Maurice Brenninkmeijer assured a Times of Isreal reporter that he was certain his family had not been committed Nazis. Phew!
Paul Gavin Johnson is an economist and civil servant, currently serving as the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Besides his role at the institute, he is a Committee on Climate Change member and a visiting professor in Economics at University College London.
Prior to those quangos he served on others at the Cabinet Office, the Financial Services Authority, the Department for Education and Employment and the Treasury. Johnson’s social sciences and economics contributions, without which the world would have stopped turning, earned him a CBE in 2018.
Aside from his institutional roles, the First Class honours Keble College, Oxford graduate regularly writes a column for The Times and contributes to other broadcast media. Mrs Johnson is Lorraine Dearden. Keeping it in the family, brainy Lorraine is an Australo-British economist and professor of economics and social statistics at the Department of Social Science of the Institute of Education, University College London.
According to wiki, it was Lorraine who found out that,
‘Intergenerational mobility in Britain from the 1960s to the 1990s was low as upward mobility from the bottom of the wage distribution fails to compensate for the rigidity of downward mobility from its top’
Oh. How would we manage without her?
Juliet Samuel is a journalist specialising in finance, business, politics, and economics. The 28-year-old holds a Social Studies degree from Harvard. While there she contributed to the Harvard Crimson, which, one assumes, is to Cambridge Massachusetts what the Accrington Observer and Times is to Accrington.
Upon completing her education Juliet became a blogger with the inferior politics website Order Order, proprietor a certain Mr Fatty Gin-Soaked Greggs-Obsessed Fawkes, where no doubt she compiled spreadsheets of SPADS for the reader to snooze in front of.
Ms Samuels’s other media bubble credits include City AM, the Wall Street Journal, The Telegraph and her present position at The Times.
Away from her specialities, and as the Careful Now Klaxon sounds over QT Review HQ, Ms Samuels writes of the difficulties of finding a book explaining Chanukah to children, repudiating a giant squid controls the world, and wonders where, as per the fully integrated Normans, British Jews might be repatriated to.
Question One, is the sacking of Suella Braverman and the appointment of Lord Cameron a masterstroke or desperation?
Jacob Rees-Mogg pointed out the discrepancy in policing between different protests. He found Ms Braverman’s criticism of the Prime Minister jaw-dropping and would have phrased such a resignation letter differently. As for the return of Lord Cameron, most people don’t notice reshuffles.
Bridget blamed Cameron for schools ‘falling into the ground’ after cancelling a school re-building programme a decade ago. A gentleman in the audience welcomed a move to the political centre. He mentioned the ‘far-right’.
Juliet thought Cameron a needed talent brought into government. On the other hand, it showed a dearth of new talent. Suella was derailing the government and had to go whether you agreed with her or not.
The audience member, perhaps an old Etonian married to a Baronet’s daughter, found Cameron ‘relatable’.
Paul pointed to Lord David’s experience. Of ‘gay’ ‘marriage’ and losing a referendum? There’s been too much movement of ministers in recent years. Fourteen housing ministers since 2010, more than one a year.
Danny claimed poverty and inequality are increasing here and around the world. When Prime Minister, Cameron was committed to foreign aid but subsequently it, and Net Zero obligations, had been diluted. He wanted our ‘standing in the world to be maintained’. Hmm. By which Danny meant the government doing what gives nicey feelings to the global elite rather than doing what’s right for you and me.
Question two was about the Rwanda issue. Bridget thought the policy ‘batsh*t’. She wanted a new approach. La Bruce asked her what it was. ‘Cross-border working’. Whatever that means. Bridget was going to clear the backlog of immigration cases. Presumably by letting them all stay and then bring in their relatives.
Jacob concentrated upon incentives to come here and the high human cost attached. He announced the High Court of Parliament could change laws here, even if based upon international treaties, that block government immigration policy. La Bruce told him he was wrong.
Danny’s heart bled for the illegal immigrants.
A loon in the audience blamed Brexit.
A sensible person suggested pushing the boats back to France.
Juliet thought the Rwanda policy dead. She mentioned ‘international law’ – whatever that is. She also mentioned an overall European problem of limited capacity to accept ‘refugees’. She thought the best way forward was to talk to like-minded countries and then rhymed off a list of nations who hate us and dump illegal immigrants on us.
Paul pointed out these illegal immigrants total 30,000 from an annual immigration total of over a million. He saw the population of Africa increasing rapidly. The problem is only likely to get worse. His solution was to conjure cooperation and new treaties out of thin air.
Another bleeding heart, this time in the audience, expected us to make the whole world a better place.
Question three was about the bombing of hospitals in Gaza. Collective punishment or defeating terrorism?
It is collective punishment, announced Danny, to applause. He has 30 Oxfam colleagues in Gaza but struggles to contact them. Food is being used as a weapon of war and our leaders, to more applause, do not have the moral courage to call for a ceasefire.
Juliet disagreed. There are over 200 Israeli hostages. Hamas has to be removed. A terrorist regime is embedded in a densely populated area with civilians being used as a human shield. Those civilians would benefit from the defeat of Hamas.
Bridget wanted aid to enter Gaza but didn’t approve of a ceasefire. A third of Labour MPs disagreed in yesterday’s Common’s vote countered La Bruce. But everybody wants a pause for humanitarian aid, Bridget responded.
Jacob took the side of Israel. He read from the Geneva Convention and claimed Hamas has been using hospitals for actions of terror. Danny referred to the Geneva Conventions too. It’s insistence upon proportionality – in relation to the number of Palestinian children being killed by Israeli bombing.
The final question was what would the panel like to see in next week’s Autumn Statement?
Honesty, replied Paul. Public services are poor. Interest payments on public debt remain high. We are in a difficult situation. He suggested more spending on education and protecting the infrastructure budget.
Thirteen wasted years, Mrs Truss wrecked the economy, droned Bridget. Her solution? A green prosperity plan, along with taxes on public schools. Jacob wanted planning reform, more de-regulation and to abolish what he described as ‘death duties’ but what these days is known as Inheritance Tax.
An industrial strategy, said Juliet. More investment in electric batteries and cutting business rates. Danny mentioned an increase in inequality and wanted a fundamental reset to the economy. At which point, £20,000 an hour Fiona Bruce, who does rather well out the economy just as it is, called an end to this week’s programme.
© Always Worth Saying 2023
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