Always Worth Saying’s Question Time Review

Question Time 15th February 2024

The Panel:

Graham Stuart (Conservative)
Lucy Powell (Labour)
Drew Hendry (SNP)
Juergen Maier (Industrialist)
Jill Kirby (Columnist)

Venue: Lancaster

Graham Stuart is the Conservative MP for Beverley and Holderness. Like your humble reviewer, he was born in Carlisle and also in common with this modest scribe, in 1962. Upon leaving the maternity ward our paths diverged. Mr Stuart was educated privately at the £40,000 a year Glenalmond College near Perth and studied Philosophy and Law at Selwyn College, Cambridge, but left without graduating.

As Minister of State for Energy Security and the Net Zero scam, perhaps appropriately Mr Stuart’s constituency contains Drax biomass power station, the country’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide. Despite being the third largest source of CO2 in Europe, the facility is labelled ‘Green’ and receives £800 million of your money in environmental subsidies a year while releasing 14.8 million tons of emissions per annum into the atmosphere.

Although a regular on QT, Puffins may struggle to find him using the G-P search engine. This humble reviewer must apologise for spelling his name wrong for years. In spite of what you have read on these pages, he’s a ‘UA’ not an ‘EW’.

In the interest of equality of opportunity, Graham employs his sister as his House of Commons office manager.

Lucy Powell (NHRN, Lucy Maria Williamson) is MP for Manchester Central and Shadow Leader of the House. Posh Ms Powell is an old girl of Parrs Wood High School in Greater Manchester’s exclusive Didsbury. Comrade Powell’s husband, James, is an Accident & Emergency doctor.

The 48-year-old has never had a job. After graduating in Chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford, she pursued further studies at King’s College, London. Lucy then embarked on a non-career of non-jobs in quango-land and politics which led her to parliament in 2012.

Drew Hendry (not his real name, Andrew Egan Henderson Hendry) is the Scottish National Party MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch, and Strathspey and has been since 2015. He entered politics as a councillor in the Highland Region of Scotland. Unusually for a QT panellist, Mr Hendry had a previous career both as a salesman for Electrolux and as a founder and director of Teclan Ltd, an Inverness-based information technology company which provides digital marketing services for online retailers and e-commerce merchants.

The Edinburgh-born 59-year-old serves as SNP Treasury Spokesman.

Speaking of service, Mr Hendry allowed himself to be served to excess during a November parliamentary jolly to Gibraltar. Eyewitnesses claim Mr Hendry and two other MPs drank heavily both before departure and the during flight, arriving at the British Overseas Territory intoxicated. It being 2021, upon arrival they told airport staff they were double jabbed and did not need COVID tests. In the confusion, Mr Hendry and his colleagues became rude, threatened staff and had to be dealt with by MoD personnel. Behaviour all the more unpleasant as the party were visiting to take part in Remembrance Day commemorations.

Juergen Maier (not his full name, according to himself via his online blog: Prof. Juergen Maier CBE, FRS, FREng, FIET, FCGI) takes himself seriously even by German standards and describes himself as, ‘Industrialist, Chair of the Digital Catapult, Co-founder of vocL and former Chief Executive of Siemens UK’.

Boasting of his 33-year-long career with the German multinational, Herr Maier omits to mention during his time there Siemans became a byword for bribery and corruption. He also forgets the company’s links with the Nazi Party and use of slave labour. The whole sorry story can be read from a previous edition of QT Review linked here.

A paid-up member of the great and the good (das Große und das Gute?) besides holding a CBE the 60-year-old enjoys a host of honorary titles and seats on government quangos. Born in Karlsruhe, the family emigrated to Britain when he was ten years old. His salaryman’s career with Siemens began following graduation in Engineering from Nottingham Polytechnic.


Incidentally, one shouldn’t say this as what happens on an exchange student’s mobile phone should stay there, but it being half term, Mrs AWS and myself are hosting a young German. His father is keen on model railways so we’ve been swapping pictures between my Debatable Lands attic and an impressive Stuttgart stockbroker belt cellar.

The thing is, amongst the pristine Marklin rollingstock and loving representations of idyllic Baden-Württemberg pastures framed by steep hillsides, there are swarms of little tanks and soldiers. No doubt more are concealed (along with an improvised scratch-built plasticard terror weapon or two) in an unnecessarily lush 1:87 scale forest next to an innocent-looking level crossing where a row of tiny nuns and schoolgirls wait for Die Schwabenland to pass. They can’t help it can they. You can’t stop them. Will they never learn?


According to herself via her web blog, Jill Kirby is a freelance writer and broadcaster and a frequent guest columnist for the Daily Telegraph. Her work emphasises the development of individual and family responsibility, the importance of independent institutions and the limitations of state intervention.

From 2007 – 2011 Jill was a director of the Centre for Policy Studies, the ‘independent’ centre-right think tank. Hm. She previously chaired the Centre’s family and welfare policy group. Hmm. And published a series of reports. Hmmm.

Only two weeks ago, QT featured Fraser Nelson, a current director. Regular Kate Andrews is also a CPS-type. A fortnight ago we begged the question, what is the Centre For Policy Studies? Our unsettling conclusions can be read here.

The worrying take-home being that CPS publications are unsold and unread and the organisation exists to lobby on behalf of anonymous donors via platforms such as Question Time. In Jill’s case, again according to her weblog, those platforms also include Radio 4, The Times, Sunday Times, The Express and Daily Mail as well as the Daily Telegraph.

Modest Jill omits a backstory from her blog and doesn’t have a Wikipedia page. If she has a LinkedIn profile it is lost among many others who share the relatively common name. Allow QT Review HQ to fill the gaps!

Born Jill Christine Fernie in Bedford, the present Mrs Kirby is a grammar school girl who attended selective Rugby High School for Girls. After studying Law at Bristol University, Jill qualified as a solicitor in 1981 and embarked upon a career in commercial litigation and employment law in the City of London.

In 2002, The 66-year-old stood for election in Southwark’s Peckham Rye ward. Finishing well down the ballot, Jill tied with fellow Conservative Daniel Aster De Crecy Cranshaw on 323 votes – in the index of such things, a humiliating 81 fewer than Mike Pence in January’s New Hampshire Republican Primary.


Question One. Is the Labour Party’s biggest challenge to winning the next election the Labour Party itself? La Bruce chose to focus on anti-Semitism. ‘Well look,’ began Lucy, ‘we’re a world away from where we were.’ She then made the mistake of reminding the audience what vile bigots the Labour Party are. Jewish members needed bodyguards at a previous Labour conference. Jews left the party in droves. An equality commission put them into special measures. But you cannot legislate for every utterance. Candidates are highly vetted but some get through the net.

Graham felt sorry for Lucy. He referenced Labour’s former Rochdale byelection candidate’s egregious racist conspiracy theory rant.

Graham felt sorry for everybody, especially the Jewish people who had put their trust in a Labour Party which is back to square one.

I don’t need a lecture from you replied ungrateful Lucy. Comments made by that person were out of character. Really? The character involved is Azhar Ali who addresses the voters in Urdu.

Who else was at the meeting? Asked Stuart.

I won’t take lectures, replied an increasingly irritated Lucy. Lots of these byelections are caused by Tory misdemeanours. ‘Pincher by name, pincher by nature,’ she reminded the audience.

Who was at the meeting?

Lucy was bigly triggered and started pointing and shouting.

Who was at the meeting, that’s the interesting question?

La Bruce reminded Stuart a Conservative in Salisbury has been suspended for similar reasons owing to WhatsApp comments.

There’s no room for hate began Drew laughably, speaking on behalf of a political movement that throws a wall of hate at both the English and Scots who don’t agree with the SNP. Since Mr Hendry raised the subject, QT Review feels obliged to remind readers that his party’s origins lie within Nazism, fascism, racism and sectarian bigotry.

Arthur Donaldson, a founding father, was pictured with the Hitler Youth and urged Scots to side with the Germans while the Luftwaffe was bombing Clydebank. Another founding father, Andrew Dewar Gibb, quoted Hitler in his speeches and was a confessed fascist who expressed a visceral hatred of foreigners. His 1931 work, The Wrongs of Scotland claimed ‘The Irish have invaded Scotland by hundreds of thousands while Scotsman have had to emigrate to make a living.’ Plenty of room for hatred there.

Labour u-turns and the end of the pledge for the green £28 billion are also hindrances to Labour winning an election, concluded Drew.

Too many of our politicians have lowered standards in public life began Juergon. He was wearing a rainbow-coloured enamel ‘progress pide’ flag which might make him unpopular in Rochdale too. Juergen found it refreshing that Kier had made a decision.

A lady queried the definition of anti-Semitism. We can criticise Sudan, Indonesia, France, Germany but you say a word against Israel and you’re anti-Semitic.

You mean a word against the Israeli government? Wondered La Bruce, exercising the BBC’s sensitivities.

The Israeli Government and Israel generally, continued the lady. Anti-Semitism should be about a face and about Jewish people. I have been on countless marches surrounded by Jewish people shouting things which if I’d said I’d be accused of anti-Semitism. It’s a political thing and I think we need to look at what the definition of anti-Semitism is. At the moment it’s wrong.

Alright, responded La Bruce, there will be people who disagree with you, she continued, reminding us both of the BBC’s sensitivities and of who we’re supposed to believe.

To clarify, there is an International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. It can be read here. Although the definition is relatively brief, the IHRA’s working definitions (also contained in the above link) are much broader.

Who are the IHRA? An intergovernmental organisation of 35 member countries, all of them European except the United States, Canada, Israel and Argentina. None of them are Asian (except Israel), none are African and none are Muslim. Who drew up the definition and its working definitions? The lead drafter was Kenneth Stern, the American Jewish Committee’s anti-Semitism expert who subsequently complained his work had been weaponized by right-wing Jews.

Labour, the LibDems, the Conservative Government and the SNP Government have all adopted the IHRA definition and its working definitions. Therefore, none of the politicians on tonight’s programme are speaking freely.

Remember, CPS Jill probably isn’t either. She brought us back to what the candidate for Rochdale had said at a meeting and noted no one present raised the controversial issue at the time. She referred to the terrorist attack on October 7th and to gruesome video scenes taken at the time. Hideous, absolutely hideous. The candidate for Rochdale suggested that was arranged by Israel to give them a green light to attack Gaza.

She compared the response as if to the Holocaust. Can you imagine if these people suggested the Jews brought that upon themselves, they wanted it to happen? So deeply offensive. We should be horrified. Starmer should have acted immediately. He didn’t do that. He waited for subsequent newspaper leaks. Lucy, you cannot defend that. You cannot say the Labour Party has been cleaned up when something like that is allowed to happen.

As a footnote, the ‘racist conspiracy ranter’ will win the by-election by a mile. He already has – thanks to the postal votes – many of which will be postmarked ‘Pakistan’. An even bigger Labour scandal, unmentionable due to the London bubble’s invented definitions of racism and Islamophobia.

© Always Worth Saying 2024

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