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July 20, 2023
Pod Save the UK
Is Keir Starmer a Kid Starver?

In This Episode

Nish and Coco ask “what’s going on with Labour?” Sir Keir Starmer caused consternation within his own ranks, by saying he wouldn’t abolish a two-child limit on claiming some benefits – a Tory policy that many of his frontbench colleagues have condemned. Nish and Coco wonder why politically tough decisions only ever seem to come at the expense of the poorest in society. 

 

SNP MP Mhairi Black tells Nish and Coco about dodging falling masonry,  sociopaths and bullies in the corridors of Westminster – part of the reason she’s quitting at the age of 28. 

 

We also have a handy guide to three crucial by-elections. Plus why you should never accept a plum from Coco – or invite her to a picnic!

 

Pod Save the UK is a Reduced Listening production for Crooked Media.

 

Contact us via email: PSUK@reducedlistening.co.uk 

WhatsApp: 07514 644572 (UK) or + 44 7514 644572

Twitter: @podsavetheuk

 

Guest:

Mhairi Black, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, and deputy leader of the SNP at Westminster.

 

Audio credits:

Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg

BBC News

parliamentlive.tv

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Nish Kumar Hi, this is Pod Save the UK. I’m Nish Kumar.

 

Coco Khan And I’m Coco Khan.

 

Nish Kumar Have we accidentally fallen into some sort of time machine and wound our way back to Victorian times, Coco?

 

Coco Khan What do you mean? Is it because of that? Oh, it’s because of the crushing child poverty and the and the dumping of people in prison ships.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah, that’s right. Plus, we talk about why labour needs to sort its shit out ahead of a by election Super Thursday.

 

Coco Khan And the SNP’s Mhairi Black will be here to tell us why she’s had enough of Westminster.

 

Nish Kumar You’ve brought in plums for everybody today.

 

Coco Khan Yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

Nish Kumar They’re your plums.

 

Coco Khan They’re my plums from my tree.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah.

 

Coco Khan It’s surprising, isn’t it? I don’t strike people as someone that bears fruit, but I do.

 

Nish Kumar Is that the way you go. That’s not the way you’re going to phrase it. Welcome to Pod Save the UK. Coco has borne fruit.

 

Coco Khan But it’s amazing how quickly they come in and how many come in. So I have thousands of plums.

 

Nish Kumar Because I know about your interest in gardening and you know you’re interested in nature and gardening and all that kind of crap that I couldn’t care about.

 

Coco Khan Now that I have thousands of plums.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah.

 

Coco Khan I’m obviously giving them out.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah, right.

 

Coco Khan I think that I am accruing within my neighborhood, power.

 

Nish Kumar What do you mean? What are you some sort of plum based mafia lord?

 

Coco Khan Oh, babe, honestly, I’m there. Knock knock. Hi. Yeah, it’s me from next door. I just wanted to give you a a pint of plums from my tree. Guarantee you those people, next time your barbecues ruining their washing. They’re not going to say anything. This is how power is accrued. Soft plums, hard power. That’s how this works.

 

Nish Kumar I can’t believe you’ve become a sort of crime lord via the medium of plums in your local area. Well, I thought you were doing. This is something nice. You’ve given me a pint of plums today. Now I’m worried. What favor you going to ask me in a year’s time? You could ask me to kill a man.

 

Coco Khan Maybe

 

Nish Kumar Over some plums you gave me.

 

Coco Khan Well, no, but genuinely, I gave them to you because you’re my friend and you deserve them. But everybody else is a ploy.

 

Nish Kumar This is absolutely staggering days for our production team who just thought they enjoyed some stress, some consequence free plums. But now it turns out you’ve accrued a small private militia.

 

Coco Khan Oh, great. Well, we talked about the hot dog to militia pipeline.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah, sure. Yeah, Yeah.

 

Coco Khan And here we go Pod Save the UK exclusive plums to warlord. It’s coming. You heard it here first. You cannot say in two years the signs weren’t there.

 

Nish Kumar You’re the only person who read the story about the Wagner group in Russia at the right. Watch. This is an example. I’d be like, this is an example to I’d be like, I’ll. I’ll do it by plums.

 

Coco Khan Yeah, yeah.

 

Nish Kumar So while Europe is quite literally on fire, the UK’s turn the clock back to Victorian times with child poverty and prison ships. Hot topics of Conversation. This week sees the Government’s illegal migration bill, which is central to Rishi Sunak’s plan to stop the boats successfully complete its journey through Parliament into the statute books.

 

Coco Khan So the UN’s refugee agency has outright condemned this. It said the bill is in breach of international law. So if you’re listening The Ghost of Christmas Future while we’re on this Victorian tip, right? I think Rishi Sunak needs visiting.

 

Nish Kumar Rishi Sunak has got this unbelievable Brown Scrooge vibes. Rishi Sunak is bruge through and through.

 

Coco Khan Just on the subject of Victorian England. I’ve been thinking about this today. What job would you like if we’re going back to Victorian England? I’m going to go for Button Collector.

 

Nish Kumar Coco, If we’re going back to Victorian England, you and I are only going to have jobs making gin and tonic for the Maharajah and finding them with palm leaves while they sit on a verandah in Delhi.

 

Coco Khan Okay. All right.

 

Nish Kumar Let’s go back to Victorian times. You would to be back.

 

Coco Khan In India very, very.

 

Coco Khan Bad. It’s going to be very bad.

 

Coco Khan That’s that’s the one thing.

 

Nish Kumar That’s the one thing we don’t want to do. That’s literally the one thing we don’t want to do. As much as we complain about the president, we have no interest to go any further back anyway.

 

Coco Khan Meanwhile, the most visible symbol of the government’s policy is a hulking great barge. It’s called the Bibi Stockholm, and it arrived in possession of the Dorset coast. It’s ready to receive the first batch of asylum seekers within the next couple of weeks. I know that Nick and I once made a joke that said to secure the small boats crisis, you need a bigger boat. But we were joking.

 

Coco Khan Someone joked that.

 

Nish Kumar We’re just like the film Jaws and we like the line. We’re going to need a bigger boat. We didn’t anticipate it manifesting itself as a government policy that’s led to us being condemned by the UN.

 

Coco Khan Yes, that’s not the Spielberg ending we wanted.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah, it’s a 222 bedroom vessel and it contains what’s described as basic accommodation with health care provision, catering facilities and 24/7 security at a reported cost of £20,000 a day. It was used previously by Germany and the Netherlands, where it was criticized as an oppressive environment. I don’t know. I mean, it’s I, I think it’s pretty consistent with this government’s policy of there isn’t any money for anything except racism in which there is a ceaseless store of money. Whatever happens, we will find the the cash to finance your small minded prejudice.

 

Coco Khan Yeah. Yeah. Mean it’s again, I know, I know to a certain extent it’s a waste of time trying to find the logic because the point is the cruelty. That is the point. But what they’re float, they’re floating on water. How are these people going to come and go? Like what? Apparently there’ll be transport put onto them. They’ve got curfews or, you know, not formal curfews, but they’re encouraged to be back at a certain time. I just don’t understand the logistics of it. It doesn’t seem very cost effective.

 

Nish Kumar The Independent is run a big story about how an Australian travel firm who’d previously been slammed for its handling of COVID quarantine hotels has actually been handed a £1.6 billion contract covering the Navy’s new asylum ships. And there is opacity over the process that led to this contract being awarded.

 

Coco Khan Well, you know, but we are a show of hope and optimism. And on that note, we do have to doff our caps to port authorities in Liverpool and Edinburgh who just simply refused. You’re not bringing your ship here, mate. And that forced the government to abandon the plan in those areas.

 

Coco Khan So once.

 

Nish Kumar Again, Liverpool and Scotland.

 

Coco Khan Once again.

 

Nish Kumar Liverpool in Scotland delivers in terms of being parts of the United Kingdom that are desperately holding on to the concept of basic decency.

 

Coco Khan But we can’t blame everything on the Tories, though. labour leader Keir Starmer is making a bid for our villain of the week slot. He was renamed Sir Keir Starmer over his refusal to remove a two child cap on some benefits. The good news is there are three by elections to look forward to and Rishi Sunak could become the first Prime minister since Harold Wilson in 1968 to lose three seats on the same day. A hat trick we would like to see.

 

Nish Kumar And two years later, Wilson lost the general election. So, you know, there are precedents being set.

 

Coco Khan Great.

 

Nish Kumar So, look, the big question this week is what’s going on with labour? If Marcus Rashford has taught us anything, it’s that it’s not a good look to be seen to be taking the food out of mouths of hungry kids. And yet, at the start of the week, Keir Starmer kicked off a storm within labour ranks when he told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg that he wouldn’t abolish a two child limit on claiming some benefits.

 

Clip If you have more than two children at the moment, you don’t get benefits without change under a labour government. We’re not changing that. You’re not changing the to benefit child to child policy, to benefits, housing benefits.

 

Nish Kumar Okay. He didn’t give a reason during the interview, but the next day, members of his shadow cabinet said it was because this would constitute an unfunded spending commitment. Now, just to be clear, this isn’t about child benefit itself, which has no limit to the number you can claim for. This is about the cap that restricts child tax credit and universal credit to the first two children in a family which is supposed to encourage parents back into work.

 

Coco Khan So the Child Poverty Action Group estimates that removing the limit, which was brought in by George Osborne, you would think that that would tell you enough about how good this policy actually is. But there we go.

 

Nish Kumar The man who puts the George Osborne into the phrase, please don’t put the words George Osborne an email into Twitter.

 

Coco Khan But anyway, the the estimates of the Child Poverty Action Group said that removing this limit would lift a quarter of a million children out of poverty overnight. They would just not have to worry about what they’re eating and about going to school and their clothes having holes. And that was just seems a bit of a no brainer. Lots of Keir Starmer’s own colleagues have criticized the cap in the past. Just last month, Shadow Work and Pensions secretary Jonathan Ashworth said This is one of the single most heinous elements of the system which is pushing children of families into poverty today.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah, in 2020 Angela Rayner said it was obscene and inhumane and that it had to go. But speaking to former prime minister and recent super villain Tony Blair, I thought the haircut, it looked like he was trying to look like someone from an action film. It really looked like he was like holding John McClane hostages, I think. But anyway, speaking to Blair an event yesterday, Starmer acknowledged that there was a row going on within the party about making tough choices.

 

Coco Khan Tough choices that that lovely phrase set by people for whom the choice does not affect them.

 

Nish Kumar Let’s have a listen.

 

Clip We keep saying collectively as a party, we’ve got to take tough decisions. And in the abstract, everyone says, that’s right, Keir. And then we get a tough decision. We’ve been in one of those last few days saying, Well, don’t like that. Can we just not make that one? I’m sure it’s another tough decision somewhere else that we could make, but we have to take the tough decisions. And this isn’t you know, this isn’t some reflection on some focus group that says, you know, we’d like labour to have an economic straightjacket on. It’s the fundamentals. Liz Truss was very different to others. She proved the thesis that if you make unfunded commitments, then the economy is damaged and working people pay the price.

 

Nish Kumar It’s not been an ideal week given that we’re going into these three pretty significant by elections. For Sir Keir Starmer to be trending on social media and to be used by a couple of different news presenters. Listen, I wonder if you could explain to me the logic behind this, because, look, this will cost £1.3 billion a year, but as you say it, Child Poverty Action Group estimates that it would lift a quarter of a million children out of poverty literally overnight. You know, it is. I don’t really understand the logic of not removing this cap.

 

Coco Khan Yeah, no, absolutely. And I, I had the same thing as you, and I’ve been racking my brains about it. And this is my theory. My theory is they know full well, the leadership knows full well. It doesn’t actually make sense to have this cap. I mean, I was reading an op ed by Starmer recently where he was talking about early intervention and how when he was working as director of Public Prosecutions, he saw, you know, upfront that actually if you intervene in these troubled children’s lives, it prevents them from entering a world of crime. I mean, taking them out of poverty would probably do the same. Taking them out of poverty would also help lower the bill on the NHS. Well, you know, health problems that may arise from it, let alone education outcomes, crime outcomes, all of that sort of stuff. He knows that. I think he knows it. So this is my theory and it’s just my theory. I think he said it knowing that he will U-turn and but it’s just to posture to those swing voters who seemingly the only people that matter and saying to them, look, I am tough and I also am willing to play fast and loose with ultimately quite old stereotypes around black strivers and skydivers and all those images it conjures. Up of single parent mums and their five kids from different blokes or immigrants with their 25 children. You know, to me I think this is a a political strategy which is gross and not the politics that I want.

 

Nish Kumar You know, I’m sure somebody will say, Well, this is you two just being naive. You don’t understand. This is how real politics work. I mean, I don’t know. Are there that many voters that are thinking good? More children in poverty, That’s across like so the labour Party for me, I I’m struggling to wrap my mind around that.

 

Coco Khan It was interesting for me seeing Starmer and Blair together there, because, you know, in some respects what Starmer’s doing here is playing with old tropes that probably Blair would have used, you know, again, strivers versus givers and all these kind of, you know, people who are milking the system. But poverty now has changed. There are loads of people in poverty. There are middle class families who are struggling, who will be affected by things like this. You know, we’re not talking about a small population that can be demonized for political expedience, which was morally wrong anyway. But regardless, I mean, that’s loads and loads of people who are really feeling the pinch. And I think they need to sort out their line on poverty because it’s not this is not really good enough.

 

Nish Kumar The thing that really sticks in my throat about this is that they we’re constantly told that tough decisions have to be taken. Starmer used that phrase again and again and again. Tough decisions have to be making. Tough decisions have to be taken. Tough decisions have to be taken and tough decisions do have to be taken. But what? Annoys me is that those tough decisions always involve cutting spending on welfare, cutting spending on state services. Now that’s always going to disproportionately affect poorer people. We never, ever talk about tough decisions in terms of doing things like placing a tax on extreme wealth. The labour government, the last labour government did take a very tough decision in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. They introduced a rate of tax because they desperately knew that we needed to inject money into the economy because of the sheer size of the banking bailout and the hole that it blew in our public finances. And I’m just frustrated that after 13 years that starts with Cameron and Osborne telling us that tough decisions have to be taken. We’re still accepting that paradigm, that the only tough decisions that can possibly be taken are ones that punish the poorest people and don’t do things like tax extreme wealth, increase corporation tax. Cameron Noble Whilst they were saying that tough decisions needed to be taken in terms of cutting public spending were also lowering corporation tax. We have a system of capital gains tax where it’s taxed at a lower rate than income, right? Passive pots of money that are sat there are taxed at lower rates than income that people work for it, which seems absolutely perverse to me. And they’re always talking about tough decisions, but they’re never talking about tough decisions that might negatively affect incredibly wealthy people. And I am aware that people might say that that’s naive. But I also think maybe that’s the most realist position given what’s happened in the last 13 years, 13 years of underinvestment, real wages for people living in this country have not returned to their pre 2008 levels. Something has to change. We can’t keep talking about tough decisions and only talking about cutting spending. What Starmer is proposing is a 2010 solution to a 2023 problem, and in 2010 that solution didn’t fucking work anyway.

 

Coco Khan So coming up next, we’ll be talking to Mhairi Black, deputy leader of the SNP in Westminster.

 

Nish Kumar [AD]

 

Coco Khan Our special guest this week is Mhairi Black, Scottish National Party MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire, south and deputy leader of the SNP in Westminster. She was famously elected to Parliament in 2015 at the young age of 20 while still a student at Glasgow University. It made her the youngest MP since 1832. After eight years in the job, though, she’s had enough, she’s calling it quits at the next election. Welcome.

 

Nish Kumar Hello.

 

Coco Khan Did we get your name right?

 

Mhairi Black You did indeed. It’s the first time anyone’s ever got it right.

 

Coco Khan Yes. Yes.

 

Nish Kumar I do try and make an effort to find out the specific pronunciation. Only because I had people used to call me Nishe.

 

Mhairi Black Yeah.

 

Nish Kumar Which I mean, my name is like its literally just fish with an N?

 

Coco Khan Yeah.

 

Nish Kumar I’ve never understood how people got it right.

 

Mhairi Black I always tell people you pronounce my name as though you’re proposing to me. Like will you we marry me and they’re like, Oh, will you morray me, moray? Have you ever asked anyone to morray you? Like what?

 

Coco Khan I don’t know. It’s funny with the name thing, because obviously we’re people of color so it happens to us all the time. It’s Coco. C-o-c-o, And then Khan K-h-a-n and I have received emails that are Cock Can.

 

Mhairi Black Wow. Because I think you’ve got a superhero name. Coco Can like this. Coco.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah.

 

Mhairi Black I mean, it really is.

 

Coco Khan Its also popular with small dogs. If I go to any park. If I go to any park, there’s always someone Coco Coco. I can’t even relax.Never invite me to a picnic. I will not come.

 

Nish Kumar Because all the dogs are called Coco.

 

Mhairi Black It’s also why she never takes treats. She’s not sure if they’re edible for humans or not.

 

Coco Khan I do love a belly rub. Mhairi, you’ve joined you’ve come over straight from PMQs. How was it?

 

Nish Kumar This is a first for us. We’ve not had a politician come straight from PMQs to the studio.

 

Mhairi Black It’s a welcome change to come here.

 

Nish Kumar How was it?

 

Mhairi Black Only way I can describe PMQs is its usual shit show self. It’s just. You know, it’s a pantomime.

 

Nish Kumar Are you like somebody now essentially, that’s now handed in their notice. But it’s just. sat there every day flipping the bird to all of their coworkers?

 

Mhairi Black Rage Against the Machine yeah

 

Coco Khan You know what can I ask you? Because I’ve genuinely always wanted to know, what does it smell like in there?

 

Mhairi Black So BO normally is. They all are.

 

Nish Kumar Surely not.

 

Mhairi Black Well the saying she cos the temperature can’t really be regulated in the building and particularly when it’s June, summer and stuff and the dress code is very strapped. Well particularly for men and it’s mostly men that own the place. Yeah. Right. It can get, I mean it’s not their fault a lot of the time. Yeah. And, but you know it contributes to a lot of the, the mustiness.

 

Nish Kumar These are, these are adult men. These like what? It’s a group of teenage boys and they get on like a train and they absolutely stink. You just think God bless them, they’re still learning. Their bodies are changing.

 

Mhairi Black To be fair though because like even thus we can last week we’ve had a late a lot of votes. So I think that was when they were we had 15 votes. But because of the voting system, you’re just walking recorded. So that adds up, excuse me, to maybe about 4 hours, four and a half hours where everybody’s crammed in together so you don’t really get the chance to have a beach.

 

Coco Khan Right. Right.

 

Mhairi Black I mean, it’s like you’re just constantly.

 

Nish Kumar Should we on the is this you’re leaving the house, You’re just going to set up a Dove roll on.

 

Mhairi Black That’s what I’m planning to go into nextis the deodorant market.

 

Coco Khan Would you like a plum? They’re from my tree? You don’t have to eat it now, but do take a plum home with you.

 

Nish Kumar Coco’s grown them on her tree.

 

Coco Khan Yeah, Yeah, They’re organic, obviously, because I think she’s doing it.

 

Mhairi Black Thank you. I won’t eat it now.

 

Coco Khan Don’t eat it now nd I should also just warn you that I. This is a power play. What I’m doing right now.

 

Mhairi Black Does it work?

 

Coco Khan I don’t know. We shall find out.

 

Nish Kumar In five years time. You’re going to get a letter from Coco Khan. Asking you to kill someone who has a dog called Coco. Can we get back to the political interview here?

 

Mhairi Black Sorry. Sorry.

 

Coco Khan Because you’re you’re leaving now. So you get to do that thing that so many politicians can’t, which is be honest.

 

Mhairi Black See will. I feel like I’ve always been honest. I mean, that’s kind of one of the things that has perplexed me about this job is how people trust themselves and not to, you know, try not answer the question. I just think and you know, this at least folk will appreciate that you’ve been upfront about things. I mean. Those maybe those times where I may tone down the language that I use. You know, I would maybe be a bit more ruthless if I was just talking to you in a pub and but know that that’s one thing that I’m actually quite proud of is everything. I’ve never had to or even been asked to see anything that I don’t believe in and which is seemingly quite a rarity in politics.

 

Coco Khan I do find it mad that you joined politics at 20 when I was 21. I mean, I didn’t have my head on straight and I think I was too busy.

 

Mhairi Black Go on

 

Coco Khan Let’s not go into it. It was a long time ago.

 

Nish Kumar Coco Khan at University, the university years.

 

Coco Khan It’s all a blur. Let’s just say that I don’t really fully remember. Redacted. You know that age you decided to enter the world of musty chambers. What? Why?

 

Mhairi Black So it was very much because of the independence referendum. So when it was announced in 2011, 2012, I think I remember I mean, my dad’s thinking if there’s one time to get involved in doing things, it’s now. And so me and him without campaigning, I mean, we were we knocked out panels and it was five S.H. a week for about two years. We were out just knocking on doors and talking to people, holding street stalls, going to town hall meetings. So there was a real politicization in Scotland, you know, and a a new political education happened. And so, of course, we lost the referendum. And after, you know, about two days of mourning and finally. The overwhelming feeling was I haven’t earned all of that energy just to be told to go back in my box and just get all fired up. And we were fortunate in the fact that the general election came about six months after we lost the referendum. So there was still a bit of momentum, but it was such a quick time frame and certainly in electoral terms. And I was just determined to write, Let’s keep going, let’s hold them to account, make sure that they delivered on all these magical promises that they made. And and as time went on, more and more people particularly was on Moon Branch were saying to me, You should go for it. And my initial response was, I’m 20. It won’t be sugar, that’s mental. But the more they argued that Wesley obviously got their one and I don’t have a good argument for why I shouldn’t. Purely because of my age. And so I decided to put my hat in the ring and see she fought again. And here I am.

 

Nish Kumar Did you come from quite a political family? Because, I mean, it’s I understand that the announcement that there’s going to be a referendum on independence must have engaged a lot of people. But it still feels like if that’s something even you keep doing, is that something that you talked about a lot?

 

Mhairi Black Well, in hindsight, we were a political household and the sense that we always talked about things and like my dad always made this argue awesome. I remember one thing when I was ten or something, I hate Thatcher, and I’m going, Why? Everybody hates that, you know? But you can’t just hate people. What? No argue. And like my dad’s totally anti Thatcherite, but that was how he was trying to get us to engage our brains about and actually come up with arguments. And it is funny how I wasn’t. It was it wasn’t until I was in university that I first heard the phrase I don’t talk about politics and religion somewhat. That’s all we talk about. But we weren’t political in the sense of, you know, being party members or going out actively campaigning or knocking on doors. So we were political in our conversations, but not politically active, if that makes sense.

 

Nish Kumar I would just briefly take you back to a full slate. The July 2015, your maiden speech to the House of Commons. We got to watch a clip of it. Now. It’s I’m I’m absolutely fascinated by this because I think if someone showed me a clip when I was of me what I was 20, I would spontaneously combust. So let’s see how you get your speech.

 

Mhairi Black Yes. As we are.

 

Clip Yes, we will have political differences. Yes. And other parliaments. We may be opposing parties, but within this chamber we are not. No matter how much I may wish it, the SNP is not the sole opposition to this government, but not as the labour Party as together with all the parties on these Benches, that we must form an Opposition and in order to be effective we must oppose, not abstain. So I reach a genuine hand of friendship, which I can only hope will be taken. Let us come together. Let us be the opposition. Let us be that signpost of a better society. Ultimately, people are meeting a voice. People didn’t help waste government.

 

Coco Khan So you’re talking to the labour Party there and obviously we’re approaching an election. So if labour were for what? Let’s just imagine they don’t get their majority SNP up for a Coalition.

 

Mhairi Black SNP have always said that we want the particularly to keep any Conservative government are but it’s actually it’s quite sad listening to that again because that hand of friendship has been scaled utterly so many times. But is no, that has always been total resistance from certainly the labour leadership to have anything to do with the SNP. And it’s not for any. Any sort of political basis or on the basis of a policy or anything is purely because they don’t like the SMP. And a large part of it, particularly in 2015, was a sense of entitlement. It was a. You know, you took your seats and they were never yours. Well, it’s. Yeah, that just kind of taps into again, that’s taken Scotland for granted.

 

Coco Khan That person there on the screen was full of hope. Is this person here in our studio full of hope still?

 

Mhairi Black Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And people think of politics as either being this really complex thing that you have to study and you have to, you know, live and breathe it to understand it. And that’s a mess. Politics is everywhere that you look at your wages, it’s the price of food. That’s your house is what jobs are available. It’s the opportunities for your kids. It’s everything. And. I think the more that we can get across the people, Look, life doesn’t have to be like this. These are all choices that are made and not made by people in power. And let’s start looking closer at those people in power to make sure that they’re making the right decisions. And because it was funny, just when I was coming in that I could tell the two guys talking previously. And when you put the hammer on the nail heads, when you seeing how it’s it’s funny how we talk about these tough decisions, but tough decisions always seem to be at the expense of the people who can’t afford that or the people who have suffered disproportionately. Why is it that we never have difficult decisions that millions or billions wouldn’t like? Because surely that’s a better place to be targeting and difficult decisions to make. And so, again, I’m still absolutely full of hope. The world doesn’t change unless people make it happen. That’s all politics is, is people and rooms making decisions. It’s just about trying to get the right people in the rooms and urge them to make the right decisions.

 

Nish Kumar So then, I mean why are you leaving? Do you know what I mean.

 

Mhairi Black Totally. Totally.

 

Nish Kumar When I see that speech? When I sit across the table from you and I see how animated you are, and I see you as a conviction politician. And we always talk as an electorate about how we want more. Politicians aren’t careerist, but a conviction politicians. We want people who believe in something. It then seems to me to be a great loss that you live and I want. What’s what’s happened?

 

Mhairi Black It’s it’s not a political decision, me stepping back. It’s. It’s a personal one as a human being. Yeah. Just in the sense that I have never made a secret about how I feel about Westminster. Not just as a political system and how it’s set up, but having worked on it for almost a decade. I also don’t enjoy it. I think it’s a horrible place to be. And, you know, it’s funny because I quoted Tony Benn in my maiden speech, and I find myself leaving, quoting Tony Benn again, saying, you know, leaving politics to do more politics. That’s and because Westminster isn’t the only place where change can happen, and it’s more often than not, if you want real change to happen in Westminster, the pressure has to come from outside rather than unsafe. And so I do I absolutely still believe and everything that is, you know, that I’m seeing and that I think the same people all in Westminster are doing. But as a human, I’m also conscious that I want to have a life.

 

Coco Khan Yeah.

 

Mhairi Black And there’s the added aspect of what my loved ones have been through.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah.

 

Mhairi Black As.

 

Coco Khan Yeah. I was going to ask you, like, talk us through some of that. Bomb threats and death threats.

 

Mhairi Black Oh, yeah.

 

Coco Khan Just a regular person who has never stepped foot in Westminster to sort of fathom, like, the scale of the toxicity perhaps you could share with our listeners.

 

Mhairi Black Oh, yeah. No, God. Where do I start? It’s. Certainly with my loved ones, the impact it has on them as from worrying about my life and my health and safety all the way down to things as frivolous as not being able to go on an night out without somebody trying to chew my head off about the grannies ages, you know, something like that. And of course, although it’s maybe the 15th time it’s happened to me that night, it’s the first time they bring it up. So you have to remain calm and patient and lesson to folk. But it starts to take its toll, you know, So it ranges from really frivolous stuff to really heavy stuff. And. But within the building itself, it’s just a disproportionate amount of bullies and sociopaths and the one building which is also falling apart. You know, there’s just danger around every corner. It can

 

Nish Kumar So you mean like the sort of crumbling state of the buildings. Yeah. Is that starting to become like does it feel like sort of metaphor for the whole institution?

 

Mhairi Black I have been walking through Westminster and concrete have come crashing down. Oh, wow. You know those mice running about the building? You’re in the cafeteria and you can see the mice scurrying about. And you think that is the place that makes health and safety laws. Yeah, but it can’t even abide by them. It’s just. It’s not.

 

Nish Kumar Bullies and sociopaths like it is.

 

Mhairi Black That’s my new book

 

Coco Khan Can you give us an example? Basically. I’m still trying to figure out how can someone in a different party bully you?

 

Mhairi Black I mean, it can range from good old fashioned intimidation, whether that’s physical or emotional.

 

Coco Khan And oh, my gosh, people physically.

 

Mhairi Black Yeah.

 

Coco Khan What?

 

Mhairi Black Not so much with me cause I’ve been very vocal and loud and don’t mind, you know, calling things out by upset. Not everybody has that element to their personality, but it also a big part of it is pot luck, you know, because I’m conscious that when I see that a lot of the time that stuff hasn’t happened maybe directly to me. I think a large part of that is because of my personality and her attacking myself. But that implies that then people who have been bullied haven’t carried themselves yet, and that’s not the case at all. And so it can range from like not just intimidation, it can range from deliberately being left out of decisions or, you know, being stepped over right the way through to, you know, briefing against your colleagues in the press or whatever, or I’ve seen folk being physically dragged them in lobbies. I’ve seen folk crying multiple times and corridors and but also Israel. Well, as I’ve stepped on a few teams where employees have been speaking completely unacceptable to staff in a certain way and the staff have to take up because you’re the MP and I just think that’s disgraceful.

 

Coco Khan And that’s like a specifically the Conservative Party approach or that is in labour in the SNP even.

 

Mhairi Black No, I would say those elements of it and in every party, I mean it ranges, it does range and I think that the entitlement if I had to. See, I’ve probably seen it more was the more right wing conservative see the things. But so the way that the place is designed as a world unto itself. And I can empathize with how it warps people’s perceptions and that sometimes, you know, folk will do or say something and you think you would never have done that five or six years ago. But it’s that kind of almost indoctrination cause you’re constantly a now. And what’s considered normal in Parliament is totally different than what’s considered normal and outside of in any other.

 

Coco Khan What’s the point when you you were saying they’re like, oh, you know, being left out of decision. Yeah. Which obviously, yeah, of course in any setting would be terrible and a form of bullying and undermining people but also you what someone voted for you how mean. It’s not fair. It’s not fair for the people that gave you their vote to represent them. They, they prohibit you from doing that, but not democracy. I’m angry. Furious. Who is it? I’ll find them I’ll sick all the Coco dogs on them.

 

Mhairi Black Because it also a I can’t remember who it was, but there was an MP who said that if you’re not a millionaire within your first five years of being an MP, you’re doing it wrong.

 

Nish Kumar Wow.

 

Mhairi Black And I am just about to say I don’t have enough money to fund the lawyers that would be required if I started naming names. So I’ve clearly been doing it wrong. For the last eight years.

 

Nish Kumar Well, but we I mean, we know what MP salary we know. We have to know what you know what the Prime Minister earns.

 

Mhairi Black I mean, I know it’s. I can only imagine it’s tthrough, you know, like sitting on boards and making connections and, you know, maybe if you’re on the right WhatsApp group, you know, you might get $1,000,000,000 contract.

 

Nish Kumar Well, I’m conscious that we don’t want to take up your entire afternoon, so we should definitely ask you about where the SNP is at the moment. Yes, it’s been a tough year. Traumatic? Yeah, traumatic. Yeah. What’s I mean. Are you concerned that people are going to think you’re stepping down because of the problems that happened with the S&P and you’re just like, fuck this?

 

Mhairi Black It’s funny because I keep having to reassure people that I will not be outside my house. Like, I promise you, it is not happening. No, I genuinely would just briefly explain.

 

Nish Kumar There was a police head outside Nicola Sturgeon’s house as part of the ongoing investigation into as I by dad says, Yes. So there’s no well, we know there’s no tape because you’re not a millionaire. If you had sat here with a gold chain at a bingo. We’d be like a tick tock, Tik tok, the tents coming.

 

Mhairi Black Yeah. No. I understand that there will be a lot of people who will believe me no matter what I see. But genuinely, I. It was election night 2019. I first thought, I’m not enough again. Really? Because it’s. It’s such a tiring process. I mean, it’s worth it, but it starts to take its toll on on you.

 

Coco Khan Are you worried that all of this is going to impact the independence movement? It can’t be great.

 

Mhairi Black I’m genuinely not. And the reason I say that as well for two reasons, the first one being that even when support for the SNP fluctuates, support for independence is rock solid. It’s going nowhere. So that’s the first thing. But the second point I would say is that independence is so much bigger than any one person or any one political party even. It’s to me it’s a logical movement. It’s a case of a democratic movement. It’s about wanting better accountability. What about, you know, people power over decisions that affect your life, Get in government, you vote for and stuff. And and that’s those arguments have stood the test of time and will continue to stand the test of time so long as Westminster keeps acting as as I am so genuinely. I don’t think so. You’re not worried about going anywhere.

 

Nish Kumar If because I mean the sort of. I’m of always wary as somebody who lives in England commenting about Scottish independence, but there is always a part of me that’s felt, you know. Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. But then the schism of Brexit changed the material conditions of what being in the United Kingdom is. So I find it sometimes when progressive English people get frustrated about Scottish demands for a second referendum, I always find myself saying, But you changed the whole aim of what? Being in the move. The goalposts. You move the goalposts. Definitely.

 

Coco Khan I’ve been in those same pubs as you. Yes, and I know exactly the sort of thought process and it is like we cannot possibly lose Scotland, we cannot lose them. They’re one of us and they’re more left wing and we need them when we need. And if we just get labour and maybe we can a bit. you can seduce them back. But renewing your vows. I’m sorry baby. I’m sorry. Take me back.

 

Nish Kumar You can say that if there’s a labour government that might affect because the Conservative Party, and especially with the broken promises made by the Conservative Party to Scotland after the referendum, has been such a kind of fuel for.

 

Mhairi Black Actually, I would say, labour have the fingerprints all over those broken promises as well because it was better together. It was Tories and labour sharing a platform telling Scotland that we can survive as an independent country, that we would be out of Europe, that we would be such a loss. We have to stay and lead the UK, not leave the UK. And the minute that that side won the vote, it was like the UK right back. I mean, we don’t need to think about you again and next thing you know, this idea of full fiscal autonomy that’s supposed yeah, that’s ideal of as close to federalism as possible. I suppose that’s vote that we would get all of these polls. It’s nonsense, absolute nonsense. And in actual fact what they’ve spent in the last five, six years doing is everything they possibly can to undermine devolution, not just for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Israel and labour, all the ones that have either sat on their hands and let that happen or have actively been in the lobbies with conservatives. And that’s something that it to me is unjustifiable. But it’s funny when I’ve heard this argument a lot from particularly progressives that, you know, we need Scotland, but that argument doesn’t hold. In actual fact, if Scotland became independent and went in the direction that I hope it would, what I think would happen is it would actually spot on the progressives. And I’m going to go, wait a minute, we’ve been told for years that we are subsidizing them. How is it that Scotland’s able to have free prescriptions and free tuition? How come they are able to provide support for more than two children? I tell you, how come they’re able to do all these things? Why can’t we do that? We haven’t. And suddenly I think that would potentially ignite that sort of steam. Political education within England about demanding better rather than just letting particularly the south east dictate the political landscape of the whole of the UK.

 

Nish Kumar We don’t know what’s going to happen with the SNP case. It’s rumbling on. Will you still be involved with the party in some capacity?

 

Mhairi Black I imagine so, yeah, particularly with the general election, not just not just because I believe the SNP, particularly in Westminster, are best placed to represent people in Scotland, but also on a more personal level because. All these folk and my colleagues and I want to still be part of it. And just because I, like any normal person, want to move on to a different role, particularly if I’m not enjoying my current job. It doesn’t mean I stop believing in it or I stop campaigning or I stop and being involved in things. That’s absolutely not the case.

 

Coco Khan I’ll be honest. You know, there’s been periods of my life where I wasn’t sure if, like left wing politics are in Demick in the S&P. You know, at one point they were the tartan Tories, right? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, but it is. Am I right in thinking that it is or it could change.

 

Mhairi Black Yeah. No. Well that’s. Well I wouldn’t be a member. If it wasn’t the case. I think well that’s is actually quite. I’m Jason Israel. How I’ve always said that the political parties that have the most to gain from Scottish independence are labour and Conservatives because the SNP has become prominent for two reasons. One being that they’ve embraced progressive policies and arguably more so than the other mainstream parties in the UK. But it’s also because they’ve. It’s the best electric vehicle to achieve independence, or at least to a sort of get across the level of support for if Scotland becomes independent. I have always said the day after independence, my vote is up for grabs because that’s the way it should be. The SNP to an extent has served its purpose and I imagine would disband probably after a certain period of time, whereas let Scottish labour suddenly have the freedom to actually make policies tailored to Scotland rather than doing what we’ve seen this week, which is Keir Starmer coming out and saying we support the the rape clause and A.R. Scotland going shut. Yeah, we support it too, you know. No, it doesn’t. But you haven’t to say that because his boss in London has set the tone and he has to fall in line. So what would the Scottish label the freedom to actually be for people in Scotland, expect the labour Party to be, but also conservatives? They would be able to say for that Tina toxic Thatcherite link and those memories, because I have no doubt that there are conservative people in Scotland. You know, and it would dilute the Conservative Party to rebrand or, you know, try and galvanize their support. So I truly don’t see downsides to independence and I wish other parties would start to view it the same. And because it’s not like there’s suddenly going to be a still Berlin Wall between the two nations. That’s a fanciful idea. It’s just, if anything, that the two nations will actually be talking to each other as equals, as opposed to the current, say that we have.

 

Nish Kumar Briefly, we should just contextualize that the rape clause is the clause that blocks parents claiming universal credit of child tax credit for more than two children unless they can show that any additional child was conceived to rape, which is horrific. It’s horrific, absolutely horrific.

 

Mhairi Black Barbaric not just morally, but even from from a realistic point of view, because I understand that the thing that frustrates me most, particularly about Tory policy, as if you just see as a sentence, it seems almost sensible and logical, but then not apply it to real life. So see, you’re in a really well-paying job or your husband is on a really well-paying job and he does or he dies. And you’ve had three cuts. Well. Yeah. No, the sub wasn’t conceived through rape, but how am I meant to pay for? Yeah, you know what I mean? It’s real. Life doesn’t work like that. It’s a lot more nuanced. So, yeah, it is a cruel policy that I think both parties should be ashamed of.

 

Coco Khan Mhairi, I’m afraid we have to let you go. We’ve taken up to your time.

 

Nish Kumar No, we. I just want to quickly, like, just two things. One is. Just when someone your age, I think, like retires in inverted commas. I think I certainly know this for me, you know, there’s always that assumption is like what? Daniel Day-Lewis retired from acting the first time. There’s always that assumption that, okay, we are retiring, but we’ll we’ll see you in ten years. Is this. Is that sort of in the back of your mind, you wouldn’t rule out a return to parliment.

 

Mhairi Black Again, I’m not ruling anything out at all. Like I’m being also very honest when I say I have not got a scooby what I’m going to do next. I really don’t have a clue as I keep my mom keep saying to me, this is either the best of the watch the session of time will tell us and.

 

Nish Kumar It’s nice to know the MP’s mom still speaks them like everyone else.

 

Mhairi Black Oh yeah. Oh yeah. They regularly tell me the second I say in my face.

 

Coco Khan You’re pretty beloved. Like if you want it to come back, you could come. You’re not going out in shame. You know what i mean.

 

Mhairi Black Well according to my twitter feed i would disput that. You know, I genuinely have. Like I say, I’m not ruling anything out, but I equally I’m not committing myself to anything at all.

 

Nish Kumar But okay, so you don’t you definitely don’t know what you’re doing next. But what are just three things that you’re looking forward to as soon as you stop being an MP?

 

Mhairi Black Ahhh sleeping. More PlayStation time and I should fling in my loved ones more time with them as well. I will go with that.

 

Nish Kumar I just want to be clear for the record that the loved ones came after PlayStation.

 

Mhairi Black They would expect nothing less. They love me for me.

 

Coco Khan Now we have to really say goodbye.

 

Mhairi Black Thank you very much.

 

Coco Khan Thank you so much for your time.

 

Nish Kumar Thank you for your time.

 

Mhairi Black Thank you.

 

Nish Kumar Okay, The House of Commons will be breaking up for a recess as its summer holiday on Thursday. But when MPs gather in six weeks time, there’ll be three newbies in their midst. Because we’re recording this on the Wednesday and tomorrow the polls will open for three crucial byelections in England that are widely being seen as a dry run for what could happen at the next general election. Just to be clear for our international listeners, of whom I’m told we’re holding on to a bafflingly high number, I sort of just assumed they’d be on episode two. They’d be like, We’re out. But apparently the train wreck of the United Kingdom continues to be interesting to people outside of it as well as inside of it, but just for their benefit. A by election is what happens when a member of Parliament chooses or has to step down between a general election. So there’s three of those happening on Thursday. If this was the states, we probably be calling it Super Thursday, but that does not save one branch for the United Kingdom. And I think it’s also hard to bandy the word super around when one of the was happening in a place called Froome, which doesn’t seem to lend itself to that level of democratic glamor.

 

Coco Khan Oh, you just got yourself booted out of Frome for that.

 

Nish Kumar It’s not a lovely time in Froome. I enjoyed performing at the Cheese and Grape I had a lovely old time. But I’m just saying, it’s not hugely glamorous.

 

Coco Khan Okay. Well, nonetheless, there are three seats up for grabs where three Tory MPs have quit. One because of lies, one because of drugs and one because he didn’t get a peerage. The B-side that we’re all been waiting for Lies, Drugs, Peerage, Rise by election number one is happening in Uxbridge and Rye Slip. The constituency that was once held by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson until he decided to step down. That was after the Commons privileges Committee suspended him for lying to Parliament. The labour Party is hoping to overturn his majority. That was more than 7000, and if they do it, it would be a hugely symbolic victory.

 

Nish Kumar In Summerton and Froome, which I have remembered is actually more glamorous because it’s near Glastonbury. So sometimes people do gigs there. So the Foo Fighters and Paul McCartney recently gig did for I rescind all my comments about Froome. It’s the most glamorous place in England, in Switzerland for him. In Somerset, the stage is set for the famous Lib Dem campaign machine to produce another by election. Upset by overturning a conservative majority of nearly 20,000. The former MP David Warburton resigned last month after allegations of harassment and drug use. He has admitted drug taking after being photographed next to a pile of cocaine, but he has denied any sexual misconduct. And just for clarification, an independent panel found that the parliamentary investigation into him hadn’t been carried out to a sufficient standard and has now been closed. He admitted to drug taking after being photographed next to a pile of cocaine like Al Pacino in Scarface.

 

Coco Khan And finally the constituency of Selby and Ainslie in North Yorkshire. That seat’s vacant after conservative Nigel Adams, who was a Boris Johnson loyalist we say resigned a day after he was snubbed for a peerage. It would usually be considered a safe seat. It was last time commanding a majority of over over 20,000 votes. But even that is unlikely to be enough to save the Conservative Party from this ignominy of a trip of defeats.

 

Nish Kumar I mean, I don’t think it needs saying on this podcast, but we would obviously encourage people to vote. But results from all three will be announced on Friday, and if they do lose all three, it’s likely to hugely pile pressure on Rishi Sunak in a week where his favourability rating has plummeted to -40, according to YouGov. That’s his lowest level since becoming Prime Minister. And look out for us popping up and he fades on Friday afternoon with a special bonus mini episode to chew over the results.

 

Coco Khan So it’s that time again. It’s time to reveal obvious UK hero and villain of the week. Nish you’re playing good cop this time around. So who’s your choice for Hero?

 

Nish Kumar So my Hero of the Week goes to Fight the Tower, which is a campaign group in Brixton in South London, who has scored a rare victory against the never ending wave of gentrification. There’s erased much of the area’s rich cultural history. It’s a huge victory for community campaigning and resistance because local people have won a three year battle to stop a tax and multibillionaire and get ready for this. Get ready for all your boners to soften and your vaginas to dry up. This guy is a multimillionaire slash deejay. Awful. Awful, awful, awful stuff. But this guy, Tyler Williams, was planning on putting up a 20 storey office block called Hondo Tower in the heart of Brixton. It’s a campaign group that formed out of a campaign to save Noor, which is a kind of beloved local shop in the area, and then evolved into a kind of pushback against the building of this tower. It’s testament to the tireless work of these people and a real example of a successful community protest to protect the character of an area. And the process have been so successful that Tyler McWilliams on Wednesday withdrew the planning application just a few days before City Hall was due to make the final decision on the project. It is everything that we want to celebrate in this show. It’s a community action is doing something positive within your local area and it’s a testament to the importance of protest and people power.

 

Coco Khan Oh, absolutely. It’s such a heartwarming story and hopefully a lesson for all cities facing this this situation of of gentrification and just multimillionaires coming in, putting in buildings. You don’t like pushing out residents who’ve been there for a long time, destroying the character, which is why actually my villain of the week is Conservative MP Simon Clarke, because he also saw this story and his response was GROSS, shut up. He tweeted, This is how countries become steadily poorer. That was it. That’s what he said. You try to do some mike job. I mean, what is he talking about? I just feel that like if there are there is another way to bring wealth to your community without absolutely selling it down the river, without destroying it, without ripping out the heart of it.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah. The man clearly knows nothing of Brixton and has no idea of what the impact of this was. But also and I would just say this, Simon Clarke was a very close ally of Liz Truss. He’s not just any Tory MP, he’s a Tory MP who’s enthusiastic supporter of Liz Truss. And I would say if I had in any way been involved with Liz Truss his political career at all, I would shut the fuck up about how to make countries poorer, although actually it’s the one thing she fucking knew how to do. And so if I was Simon Clarke, I would keep my opinions about making countries poorer to myself.

 

Coco Khan Maybe he just meant that genuinely. He’s just tweeting things to help others impoverish their land because he knows all about it.

 

Nish Kumar He’s a man who clearly knows nothing about anything except talking absolute shit. It’s time for a quick dip into the UK mailbag. Rosie Harvey Coggins has got in touch to say, I’m disappointed that we got Rose’s real name and not some absurd online handle handles. But Rosie Harvey Colegate has got in touch to say, I just want to tell you that Episode ten with the Just Stop All interview has inspired me to stand as chair of Litchfield City Council’s new Climate Change and Biodiversity Committee. After all, climate change is a feminist issue. That’s great, and I think we’re understanding why Rosie has given us that full name and not whatever absurd YouTube model that she uploaded on Tuesday. But that’s really great. We are very happy to hear people taking positive action. That’s great news.

 

Coco Khan That’s gorgeous.

 

Nish Kumar And I’ve also got a bit of a telling off from GSK Gregor, who has said the ageism in our last episode was unnecessary. In particular mocking Biden for having no cards. This is what they said. Given Biden is an octogenarian doing the hardest job in the world, I find it reassuring. He’s making an effort to account for his shortfalls by using an aide memoire to curb his tendency for gaffes and errors. Not everyone has Obama’s intelligence and charisma, nor is progressive leadership restricted to the young. Sometimes wisdom experience and a continued willingness to improve is a magic mix, even if it comes with a walking stick. Well, I would say I apologize for any offense that we caused with our remarks. In my defense, all I would say is I think one of the key things we were trying to get across we didn’t do a good enough job is that he had to have notecards because he has to write down topics him and Rishi Sunak can safely talk about without violently disagreeing with each other. I thought that those cards bore an indication of the level of divergence that exists between our Prime Minister and the American president. But you know where everybody’s I’m thrilled when old white people do good things because sometimes they do not. And so I’m very supportive.

 

Coco Khan This apology is going to get another lecture. Why?

 

Nish Kumar I want this message to go out to all old white people listening to this podcast. I think it’s great that you’re doing stuff to ameliorate for some of the other members of your community. Okay. Listen up. I’m a middle aged Asian man. It’s not like we don’t have a.

 

Coco Khan Middle Aged. You have got to drop this. You’re not even 40. This is ridiculous now.

 

Nish Kumar I know, but I’m within within the ballpark of. I’m good for nothing. Dog shit, Prime Minister. So I’m also aware that my community is not covering itself in glory. The middle class British Indian Hindus are not exactly doing a great job. So, you know, I’m what I’m trying to make up for some of the damage done for that asshole.

 

Coco Khan Okay. Well, I’m going to move this on because I feel that we’re going to get into trouble with all ages, all demographics and soon, all ethnicities. Let’s keep it moving. So, in our yeah, we do love an email from someone with a bizarre handle. And we’ve got another one from Archibald Cheese Pants, III. Not to be confused with Archibald Cheese, but the first or the second. And he emails with a question from a curious American. So they say in a country of Lordships and knighthoods, what kind of black magic do you have to work to become a shadow secretary? And how long do you have to hide from the Church of England before they stop trying to burn you as a witch? Seriously, though, ask Archibald what is a shadow secretary?

 

Nish Kumar It’s what’s amazing about doing this show and having people outside of the UK listen to it is that you forget how many strange, strange terms we sort of bandy around without really thinking about it. So the clarification. Mr. James Barnes The third, when whenever we say Shadow secretary and I do apologize for not explain to get both orally, what we mean is that’s the person from the opposition party. That is the sort of direct counterpoint. So the probably the most prominent example is that the Chancellor so that’s from the Conservative Party, which is the ruling party is Jeremy Hunt. And so there is a labour equivalent to that. So there’s an Opposition MP from the Opposition party who is, whose main job is to oppose that specific person’s policies. So Rachel Reeves is the shadow Chancellor. So every single person in the cabinet has a shadow version in the main party of opposition.

 

Coco Khan Yeah, I think you explain that. Well, I was going to talk to her. It’s funny, when you were explaining it, I was going to say to Archibald Chase fans, you know, it’s like netball when you mark each other and I’m like, This man’s not going to know what netball is.

 

Nish Kumar Why are you confusing it further?

 

Coco Khan What is netball? It’s like basketball, but you can’t move backwards. You wear a skirt. It’s confusing in a way though. It’s kind of good to give a kind of sort of sense of terror because that will kind of keep you on your toes, isn’t it, if you have that or the shadow is watching.

 

Nish Kumar Well, look, if you want to get in touch with us, please do. We always love hearing from you. And, you know, we’re also very happy to hear things that you want to complain about on the show. That’s a part of the free and fair debate that this show is trying to cultivate. If you want to get in touch with us, you can get in touch with us with your real name or some sort of absurd Internet name. And you can do that by emailing PSUK at reduced listening dot co dot UK. We would also love to hear your voices, so why not send us a voice note on WhatsApp? Our number is 07514644572. Internationally that’s +447514644572. And yeah, if we do use something that sounds like a weird term, please pull us up on it. Really specifically because I think it’s very good for people in the United Kingdom to realize how weird our system of government sounds. If you need to the show, remember to hit follow on your app and you do get a new episode every week.

 

Coco Khan Just another reminder that the British Podcast Awards has a public vote. It’s called The Listeners Choice. And if you’d like to vote for us, we would really, really like it. Also, I just quite like the idea of, you know, the people’s vote. Yeah, I think that should go to us. I think that would be very nice. And if you agree then go to British podcast awards dot com forward slash voting and again anyone can vote it takes literally seconds so it’s British podcast awards dot com forward slash voting.

 

Nish Kumar Right I’m going to go eat some plums.

 

Coco Khan Pod Save the UK is a Reduced Listening production for Crooked Media.

 

Nish Kumar Thanks to senior producer Musty Aziz and digital producer Alex Bishop. Additional production assistance was from Annie Keates.

 

Coco Khan Video editing was by David Koplovitz and the music is by Vasilis Fotopolous

 

Nish Kumar Thanks to our engineer David Dugahe.

 

Coco Khan The executive producers are Louise Cotton, Dan Jackson, Madeleine Heringer and Michael Martinez.

 

Nish Kumar Watch us on the Pod Save the World YouTube Channel. Follow us on Twitter and picked up where we’re at Pod Save the UK or on Instagram through the Crooked Media channel.

 

Coco Khan And hit subscribe for new shows every Thursday on Spotify, Amazon, Apple or wherever you get your podcasts.