Sparkles with Starmer plus Rob Delaney, NHS champion | Crooked Media
SEE POD SAVE AMERICA, LOVETT OR LEAVE IT & STRICT SCRUTINY LIVE SEE POD SAVE AMERICA, LOVETT OR LEAVE IT & STRICT SCRUTINY LIVE
October 12, 2023
Pod Save the UK
Sparkles with Starmer plus Rob Delaney, NHS champion

In This Episode

Despite being an American, who can’t even vote in this country, Rob Delaney has become an outspoken champion of the NHS. His love for our health service was born from tragedy: losing his young son Henry to cancer. He tells Nish and Coco why we have to fight for the NHS, and compares it to an American system which enriches CEOs and advertising execs. Find out why he thinks Joe Biden is the best president of his lifetime, and what he thinks of Keir Starmer. Plus with a cameo in the new Mission Impossible film, Rob is perfectly placed to answer Nish’s question: what does Tom Cruise smell like?

 

Party Conference season continues, with insights into two very different gatherings: Labour in Liverpool and the Greens in Brighton. Coco describes what she got up to when she went down to the seaside at the invitation of Greens co-leader Carla Denyer – did they manage to woo her to their cause? Plus George Parker of the Financial Times, gives us all the gossip from the Labour get-together – was all that glitters gold? Did Keir Starmer convince as a Prime Minister in waiting?

 

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

 

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

WhatsApp: 07514 644 572 (UK) or + 44 7514 644 572

Insta: https://instagram.com/podsavetheuk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/podsavetheuk

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@podsavetheuk

Facebook: https://facebook.com/podsavetheuk

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/podsavetheworld

 

Guests:

Rob Delaney, comedian, actor and author of ‘A Heart That Works’

George Parker, political editor of The Financial Times

 

Useful links:

Rob’s book: 

https://www.hachette.co.uk/titles/rob-delaney-2/a-heart-that-works/9781399710848/

New podcast from Crooked: https://crooked.com/podcast-series/ruined/

Show sponsor: https://brighttax.com/pstuk

 

Audio credits:

Royal College of Nursing 

Sky News

@robdelaney

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Nish Kumar Hi, this is Pod Save the UK.

 

Coco Khan I’m Coco Khan

 

Nish Kumar And I’m Nish Kumar.

 

Coco Khan And it’s almost 50 years since anyone who wasn’t called Tony Blair won an election as Labour leader. Is this the man to change it?

 

Clip I grew up working class. I’ve been fighting for all my life and I won’t stop now.

 

Nish Kumar As Labour wraps up its conference, we examine whether it’s ready to govern.

 

Coco Khan Our special guest is the comedian, actor and author Rob Delaney.

 

Clip Hey there. I’m at UK with the strike and nurses wouldn’t be anywhere else today. Look at all these wonderful people.

 

Nish Kumar We’ll find out why Rob has been shoulder to shoulder with nurses on the picket line.

 

Coco Khan Plus, what happened when I went to the Green Party conference in Brighton. Hi Nish. You’re welcome. Thanks. Oh, sorry. We’ve really missed you.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah, Coco’s laughing because, listen, I don’t want to give too much of an insight into how we record these, but Coco has just been doing her own impromptu acapella rendition of the theme tune Just for everyone’s benefit in the studio.

 

Coco Khan It would help people understand the cue.

 

Nish Kumar It was absolutely wonderful.

 

Coco Khan I like to do it less with a hammer, more with a POW.

 

Nish Kumar It was a POW. It was a 1970s porn soundtrack guitar. That’s exactly what it was.

 

Coco Khan Well, you know what? That’s the unofficial B-side to all the track is me doing. Nile Rodgers does pop out. Anyway, welcome back. What have you been up to?

 

Nish Kumar I’ve been away for two weeks. I’ve been filming for two weeks.

 

Coco Khan Being a journalist.

 

Nish Kumar I’ve been being a journalist at local newspapers for a Sky TV program called Held the Front Page. And I’ve I worked English language newspaper in Benidorm for a week, which was, let me tell you, an extraordinary experience. English people that live in Spain, I can tell you firsthand, do not enjoy being referred to as immigrants. I can tell you that from first hand experience, they prefer expats. They do not enjoy immigrants.

 

Coco Khan And are you going to tell us, is it very much like what happens in Benidorm stays in Benidorm?

 

Nish Kumar No I mean, I think what happens in Benidorm is going to air on Sky Max in April, so there might be no value me keeping a complete veil of secrecy over it. No, it was. It was. It’s been a very fun couple of weeks.

 

Coco Khan Did you have a moment when you were out watching the news being like, if only I had some sort of platform in which I could call these people bastards?

 

Nish Kumar I almost never think that. I think when you see Rishi Sunak get up and give a speech. You have there’s a part of you that just thinks I’m so glad I don’t have to fight the urge to call this monarchy in a broadcast media. I’m so pleased that I don’t have to do that. You’ve been busy. You went to the Green Party conference?

 

Coco Khan I did, yes.

 

Nish Kumar I was shocked to see a video of you at the Greenparty conference

 

Coco Khan  Why are you shocked? You did it?

 

Nish Kumar Why did I do it?

 

Coco Khan So a few episodes ago, you said that party conferences were Woodstock for dickheads.

 

Nish Kumar A statement I stand by.

 

Coco Khan And then obviously, you were away filming in Benidorm when the Green Party who was a guest on the show, of course, sent me a DM saying why don’t Nish and you come down?

 

Nish Kumar Yeah.

 

Coco Khan And we’ll show you that, you know, this is not Woodstock for Dickheads.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah.

 

Coco Khan It’s like Woodstock for nice people. So why didn’t you guys come on down and obviously you were away so I was like yeah, I’ll come down.

 

Nish Kumar How was it?

 

Coco Khan Look, everybody knows about me. I’m saying this on the socials. Like if you say the word party and invite.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah.

 

Coco Khan And send it to Coco. I’m like Candy Man in that way.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah, yeah. You’ll just appear

 

Coco Khan I mean, it sort of just summons me.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah. Of course

 

Coco Khan So I was always going to be there, you know, after the invite. But I definitely had a feeling when I was walking around being like, What is this? What is happening right now? Who are these people? Why are they here? What do they gain from it? So yeah, there was definitely it was eye opening. Yeah. So we met up on the seafront and then we walked back to the venue and she told me about their plan to quadruple their number of MPs, which is one MP to four MPs at the next general election.

 

Clip The U-turns that both the Conservatives and Labour have been making over the last few weeks and months has only made it more obvious why we need more green politicians in this country. And that’s why, as you saw in our speech, we are majoring on our campaign for for 24 to get four MP elected in the general election next year. We’ve quadrupled our number of local councilors over the last four local elections. And so now our aim is to quadruple our number of MPs, and that’s quite within reach, especially as we’ve seen in Australia and Canada, which have the same first past the post system, which admittedly does make it difficult for the Greens. The Greens have achieved elsewhere and we’re in a similar situation here. We’ve been working hard for years, so we think we can get elected here in Brighton and get the other three of us elected in our target seats in Bristol and Waveney Valley in North Herefordshire. And it’s really like the energy is in. Yes, exactly. Oh, we need it. We need more Green MP to hold whoever’s in government hold their feet to the fire.

 

Coco Khan I also had a really good chat with the Green Party’s deputy, Zach Polansky. He’s definitely not your standard party official. Like we met up and he was in a very chic pinstripe suit with Dr. Martens at the end holding a bottle covered in dogs. And before the interview started, he was like, I hear you like, raving. Shall we go to one? What? What is happening here? And you know, I said to him, Just go on, give us your big pitch. And he did.

 

Clip Right. Traditionally a Labour voter feeling great. I’m actually now undecided. Why should I pick the Greens and not just hope that Labour will eventually do all those things. Other than my. Doc Martens?  Quite seriously, there is no environmental justice without racial, social and economic justice, too. And we’re joining those dots. And I think when you look at the Labour Party, they claim to be progressive, but they’re waving through new oil and gas fields they won’t even lift. A child benefit cap. People change their mind when they get in, right? Well, people are saying this is what they. Like with even a sniff of power. Can you imagine what they’d be like when they’re actually in power? We’ve seen Keir Starmer, let’s be frank. He ran on a ticket that was basically Jeremy Corbyn. He was being progressive, he was being on the left. He had socialist principles and at every possible moment his already U-Turned and even when his own party support things like proportional representation and the trade unions supported proportional representation, he’s just not not having that. I cannot imagine what would happen if I went up in that conference hall and Green Party members voted on something, a McLaren. I know we’re not doing that one. We wouldn’t do that anyway, but two, we would not be leaders for very long. They’ll be turning the Green Party red with blood. I mean, that’s grim. But yes, something like that. I’m famous friends, maybe, But anyway. It’s all right. I can red wedding day. But I think quite seriously, if people want a party of democracy in a party, they will actually stick to its principles that has integrity and hope and is talking crucially about joining the dots between the climate emergency and the cost of living crisis. By the way, we don’t have a cost of living crisis. We’ve got to stop saying that it’s an inequality crisis. If you’re super rich, you are doing perfectly well. You’re still flying around in your private jet mocking those in poverty beneath you. And ultimately, we need to be taxing those people more with a wealth tax. And I think when we join those dots and we talk about the fact that tackling the climate emergency and tackling that inequality are the same solutions, I think that’s something that people can get behind. And I really feel that. I hope you feel it, too. You’re not leaving this chair until I get a Green Party membership full RV.

 

Coco Khan Well. I know you’re asking you’re going to ask me how did I do the did I become a member?

 

Nish Kumar Yeah.

 

Coco Khan No.

 

Nish Kumar Right.

 

Coco Khan But I didn’t want to be put on the spot.

 

Nish Kumar I really didn’t become a member. But did you, Did you? How do you feel about the phrase Woodstock for decades in light of actually having been to a party?

 

Coco Khan Well, I think I mean, you know, I wouldn’t call anyone that. Was there a dickhead? A lot of them are very you know, they care a lot about politics. And they you know, in fairness, like SAP, Polansky particularly did a really good job of of turning me, you know, maybe green I’m not quite there yet, but I mean, all I was I was interested. You piqued my interest. Interesting. Yeah, but you still come back to this thing, which is their ambitious plan. The scale of their plan maximum is four MPs, which is not enough to enact massive seismic change. And I’m really looking for seismic change. It’s hard to get too excited and too in love with it.

 

Nish Kumar Well, look, coming up next, we’ve got dispatches from this week’s big party conference, which was, of course, the Labour Party conference. And we’re going to be hearing from the Financial Times, George Parker, who’s actually there and has all the gossip from Labour’s big get together in Liverpool. But first we have to read this. Coco, this may shock you. We actually have a Tory Lessner as far as we know, we have one Tory Lester. They’ve sent us a lovely email but have remained anonymous, which I think I think probably says a lot about the current iteration of the Conservative Party that even being associated with them is something where you want to just go for John Doe, this email. Hey, I enjoy the podcast a lot, even if I’m a Tory. That said, I want to push back on the idea that there is no such thing as a moderate Tory anymore. While it is frustrating and saddening to see so many people move so far to the right, I don’t think it’s fair to say that there are no moderates left. We could have a whole episode on Penny Mordaunt conference speech, but Caroline Nokes skipped the conference and said elsewhere that she would never serve in the Suella Braverman led government. She and Penny are both known for being socially liberal and there does seem to still be a solid appetite for their views. My hope for the general election is that these moderate voices survive the beating the Tories are surely going to take, and then they can help reset things when the party is finally forced to examine what they’ve been doing. Love the show from an anonymous young Tory. If you haven’t seen Penny Warden’s conference speech, it features, I think, at least 12 uses of the phrase stand up and fight. And it looks like there has been a catastrophic teleprompter error and she has tried to improvise her way out of it but can’t move off the phrase stand up and fight.

 

Coco Khan And honestly, she carried the sword. And it’s gone to her head. I’m telling you, that’s what happened.

 

Nish Kumar Listen, there is a genuine concern that the opposition, the Conservative Party, could become even more of a sort of right wing anti fact death cult. The sections of it already are. It’s very difficult for me to have respect for any wings of the Conservative Party and not just because of my ideological and partizan or blindness, but equally just because of what has happened in the last 13 years. I think that the Conservative Party needs to rebuild total trust as a respectable political organization. Personally, for me. But we’re very happy. You’re listening. We’re very happy you’re listening.

 

Nish Kumar Do consider changing your vibe.

 

[AD]

 

Coco Khan The Labour conference in Liverpool is wrapping up as we record this after last week’s. Well, I mean shit show of a Conservative Party conference. Labour’s get together in Liverpool this week was much more on message.

 

Nish Kumar And what’s likely to be their last conference before a general election. It felt like the Labour leadership was determined to be seen as a government in waiting and a serious party that the voters could trust. Here’s Keir Starmer making his pitch to be Britain’s next prime minister at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool this week.

 

Clip Why Labour? Because we serve your interests. Why Labour? Because we will grow every corner of our country. Why Labour? Because we have a plan to take back our streets. Switch on great British energy. Get the NHS back on its feet. Tear down the barriers to opportunity and get Britain building again. A plan for a Britain built to last. A plan to heal the wounds. A plan to turn the page and say in a cry of defiance to all those who now write our country off. Britain must. Britain can. Britain will get its future back. Thank you.

 

Coco Khan It was a confident speech laying out the ambition of a decade of Labour rule. It was heavy on Tory bashing and a little light on policy. But there was a headline grabbing announcement of a plan to create a wave of new town on urban land and build one and a half million homes. There was also an unexpected touch of sparkle thanks to a protester who threw glitter over the Labour leader as he was about to start speaking, leaving him looking a little bit like he was on his way to a 1970s school disco.

 

Nish Kumar So let’s get all the gossip from Liverpool this week, from the political editor of the Financial Times, George Parker, a veteran of many conference. George, how’s the week in Liverpool been?

 

George Parker Well, I’d say, well, I’m getting to the end of my tether and to be honest, this three three weeks on the road closed in the Lib Dems down Bournemouth, then the Tories of Manchester and now this one in Liverpool. And by the end of three weeks. I know it’s all sounds. Tom’s a tough gig, but you know, there’s a lot of drinking, a lot of eating, a lot of late night parties. And by the time we get on the train, which I’ll be doing in about half an hour’s time, you’re so relieved to be heading back to your own bed.

 

Nish Kumar George, I know you’re pressed for time because you literally have to go and get a train right now, So we’ll try and get through as much stuff as quickly as we can before we come to stump speech or any of the actual content of the conference. I just wanted to ask briefly about how the kind of awful events unfolding in Israel and Gaza have impacted and cast a shadow maybe over the conference, because obviously Labour is trying to present itself as a government in waiting and their foreign policy is obviously going be a huge part of that. So what have you heard and seen so far from the conference on this?

 

George Parker I mean, it was a very somber mood and I think there was an acceptance in the summer camp that this conference was always going to be pushed way down the news agenda. I was at a dinner last night with Chris Mason from the BBC, who very unusually was in a restaurant rather than doing a live report. And it’s a 10:00 news just because, of course, of what’s going on in the Middle East. And there’s an acceptance, of course, that that’s the way it is. It’s just a terrible thing. And you heard lots of expressions of support for Israel in the conference hall, including, of course, from Keir Starmer. This there was so this you know, obviously people are disappointed. This is a big moment for them to get their message across that they haven’t been able to do so. But there’s also a bit of relief that what could have happened here and certainly would have happened I think, is that Jeremy Corbyn was still the leader, as you could have seen quite a lot of problems and splits in the Labour Party about how to respond to the crisis. You know, I’ve been in the I was in the hall for closing the events of the Labour conference and the Corbyn era where people have Palestinian flags and there’s no evidence of anything like that really at all. At this conference. There are a few people who protested in support of Palestine, but there were very, very small minority. There was very much noises off from the. Yeah, You saw Keir Starmer when he was shedding his full threat to show support to Israel, getting a standing ovation in there in the conference hall on Tuesday.

 

Coco Khan So let’s get onto Starmer’s big conference speech then and the alarming moment a protester rushed the stage to democracy.

 

Clip A citizen led. Politics needs an update. We demand the people’s house, ways of the people. We are in crisis.

 

Coco Khan And here’s how he handled it.

 

Clip If he thinks that bothers me, he doesn’t know me. Protest or power. That’s why we changed. Our party called for us. That’s why we chose. Thank you.

 

Nish Kumar So, George, how do you think Starmer coped with that slightly strange start to the speech?

 

George Parker Well, it could always have been scripted by someone in the Labour press office. I did a tweet about this saying that it was obviously a great stunt by someone who dressed up as a protester, went onto the stage, literally sprinkled stardust on the leader that encouraged him to take his jacket off. So he literally rolled up his sleeve. It was almost like. It was like. So as a metaphor, ready protests. I mean, look, I mean, you’re going to be lucky with your protesters, but I think Keir Starmer was a bit with that, but I thought he handled it quite well, actually. I mean, you could see it initially there was a of, you know, surprise and probably, you know, obviously worry about what was about to might be.

 

Coco Khan I’m not going to lie George. When I saw him go up the stage, I was not expecting that the message would be about a people’s chamber was really expecting it was going to be so much about the environment, maybe even the, you know, Israel-Gaza crisis. You know, I think he got lucky with it as well.

 

George Parker But yeah, I mean, it’s the kind of process you might expect to see a Liberal Democrat conference, isn’t it? Yeah. People’s perception about proportional representation is is very odd.

 

Coco Khan He wasn’t introduced as the Prime Minister in waiting. He was introduced as the Labour leader. Do you think that is an indicator that they are not being complacent?

 

George Parker Yes, you’re right that he wasn’t. Introduces the next Prime Minister and they’ve been careful not to do that kind of thing. And they always say if we’re privileged enough to earn the trust of the British people. Yes. But, you know, I think the very strong mood here was I mean, you mentioned that you said that the Tory compromise was a bit of a shit show. I think you know, it it’s one of these conferences which hasn’t aged all that well, you know. What do you take away from that? Tory conference last week, the fact the Prime Minister was on a big U-turn on the big transport policy, which would seem to train longer trainline Greater Manchester, he made the announcement in Manchester and then all the policies that he subsequently subsequently announced were turned out to be illustrative rather than firm promises. So it’s not gone well for the Conservatives that that’s emboldened people at the Labour conference. I think to think, well, if that’s the best they can throw at us, maybe things are going to work out. They obviously had the the by election victory in Scotland, in Rutherglen, which has also raised party morale as well. So I think there’s just a bit of a sense of relief that Rishi Sunak didn’t come up with more last week and they left Liverpool or leaving Liverpool and as we speak, in pretty good spirits. I’d say.

 

Coco Khan And hungover.

 

George Parker Very, very much so.

 

Nish Kumar Let’s talk about the actual speech itself. How do you feel that he did in terms of getting the balance right? Do you think this was a sort of direct appeal to disaffected Tory voters?

 

George Parker Yeah, there was definitely some of that. And I think he said, you know, we’re the party that conserves. It was very much pitched to some, you know, people who want to be reassured that they’re going to be safe. You know, these are difficult times. People who are living quite often quite precarious lives at the moment. And they want to be reassured that change isn’t going to be dangerous. So sending out a reassuring message about conserving things, about economic responsibility. That was part of his message. So stability was a message word he kept on using. I think the thing about Keir Starmer sees, yeah, if you listen to opinion polls and focus groups, people often say they think it’s a bit of a moaner sounding a bit negative about things, you know, whining all the time, that sort of thing. So I think it was quite interesting that he tried to frame it as a message of hope as well as stability. He said, look, what was ruined can be repaired and so on. He was trying to paint paint more of an optimistic message. But as you say, there wasn’t a massive amount of policy either in his speech or elsewhere in the Labour conference. It was much more about sort of setting the tone, I think, of what a Labour government would be like. But there was one bit of policy, which is this thing about changing the planning system to allow the construction of many more homes, which the interesting thing is the kind of thing that right wing conservatives often talk about from moaning about the planning system doesn’t allow houses to be built. But this idea of building one half million homes, building sometimes on the greenbelt, building, new town. So the kind of things that the Tories sometimes talk about, indeed, sort of things that the housebuilding industry has been falling over themselves. So fantastic because it’s so unusual situation for the Labour Party to be.

 

Coco Khan In, because I was I always used to just say idly, you know, I was chatting about politics at the dinner table because I’m a sad person, but I would always say, Oh, whoever the party is that can fix housing, that they’re going to win an election. Like it’s just such a big, glaring, huge problem that affects so many people. Do you think he’s done it? He’s cracked it with this policy?

 

George Parker Well, I sort of it’s a really good question. I mean, you know, people talk about planning reforms and it’s easier said than done, you know, because, say saying that we’re going to build new towns sounds great because you always imagine the new towns that have been built somewhere else. When nasty, nasty turn up in your neighborhood, that’s when the problems arise. You know, you talked about, you know, the we need to have loads more electricity pylons and wires everywhere to, you know, to cope with the green energy transition. Again, that sounds great until you’ve got the pylons in your backyard. And so, you know, the language is good. People, you know, as you say correctly, I mean, housing is a massive, massive problem, huge problem. But for younger voters as well, it obviously can’t get on the housing ladder or can’t get affordable rented property either because of the housing shortage. So delivering that is absolutely crucial, I think, for whoever wins the next election.

 

Nish Kumar There was a lot of opinion polls that suggests the Conservative Party is deeply unpopular, but it suggests that there are still large sections of the country not convinced by storm in the Labour Party. Do you think that this conference has done anything to change that?

 

George Parker Yeah, I think they were. I think Labour operating a bit more ambitious than that for this conference. I don’t think it was just about, you know, getting through unscathed. I think they were trying to present themselves as, you know, a government in waiting. And I think you’d have to say objectively, if you looked at the speeches given by Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, and Keir Starmer, the fact that the hall was absolutely rammed both those speeches. People were being turned away at the door. There was a very different atmosphere at the Conservative conference. Some of the speeches were delivered in a much small hall with lots of empty seats. Got a real sense that the power was shifting from one party to the other. And I think impressions and, you know, the atmosphere is quite important at these kinds of events. And I think probably Keir Starmer will come away thinking, you know, he looks and sounds and feels a bit more like a prime minister than when he arrived four days ago in Liverpool.

 

Coco Khan Okay. Well, listen, thank you so much for joining us, George, and have a safe journey home.

 

George Parker Thank you very much.

 

Nish Kumar There is, of course, still the SNP conference to come and we’ll be chatting more about that next week. Obviously through the chat with George. We touched on the fact that the Labour Party conference is completely reasonably down the news agenda given the appalling events in Israel and Gaza. Obviously I would strongly recommend always that you listen to our sister podcast Pod Save the World, where Ben Rhodes and Tommy Vietor try and make sense of what’s happening. The last two editions of those are particularly strong, and I would also urge our listeners to be very, very wary about information that’s being passed around on social media, particularly on Twitter or if you want to call it eggs, whatever the the that platform has at points in the last decade been an incredibly useful tool for tracking conflict, organizing, protest. You think about the significance of it to the Arab Spring, the Black Lives Matter movement, but clearly what has happened in the kind of post Elon Musk takeover and the stripping of the content moderators for that particular website has left us in a situation where something that was at one point a very valuable news resource, is now constantly churning out misinformation. And I would absolutely urge all of our listeners to exercise extreme caution. And I think that is a policy that should extend to a lot of British newspapers. We need to be exercising extreme caution when taking information from Twitter slash X because it’s simply not a reliable source of news and information at the moment.

 

Coco Khan Yeah, I have seen with my own eyes misinformation fake videos reported on as truth in newspapers. So just please take extra cautions and please seek out verified news sources where you can and double check and triple check.

 

Nish Kumar I have found the cheering of violence from everybody. Nauseating. Yes, civilian death is civilian death. And whether the civilian death is at the hands of Hamas or the Israeli army, civilian death is a tragedy and there is no celebration to be found here. And I still believe it is perfectly possible to find the actions of Hamas absolutely abhorrent, but also strongly believe in liberation for the Palestinian people. I don’t believe that those two things are inconsistent with each other.

 

Coco Khan No, absolutely. This is spiraling out of control very, very, very, very fast. Just getting some sort of sense of of de-escalation is absolutely crucial. And it’s been proven time and time again that people online participating in cheering on war, cheering on death can create escalation. And that actually has real life impact on those people who live in that region. So even though it might seem, you know, you might feel righteous when you retweet a bit of content online, that you don’t even know if it’s verified, by the way. But nonetheless. You retweet it, you feel like you do. Actually, that might not be the case. So just take a breath. Stop. Think I know this is a very an issue that people care about. I care about, you know, So just I guess the only thing we would say again is just please exercise caution.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah. And whatever is going on, there is no excuse for Islamophobia or anti-Semitism of any description.

 

[AD]

 

Nish Kumar A key battleground of the forthcoming election campaign will of course, be the NHS. The last 12 months have seen the health service hit by a series of unprecedented strikes by nurses, junior doctors and consultants. And just in the last week, consultants and junior doctors staged a three day walkout in England in an ongoing overpay in what was the longest ever joint strike in the history of the NHS.

 

Coco Khan The Labour leader Keir Starmer, has in the past urged Labour MP to stay away from picket lines and threatened to sack any shadow ministers who failed to do so. Contrast that with the sight a couple of weeks ago of President Joe Biden joining a protest outside a michigan car plant in solidarity with striking members of the United Auto Workers Union.

 

Nish Kumar There has, however, been another famous American voice on the NHS picket lines over here pay.

 

Clip I love NHS nurses. They took incredible care of my family over the years and what they’re asking for is really quite reasonable. I’m at Great Ormond Street Hospital right now. We can walk a very short distance in many directions in the Bloomsbury neighborhood and there’s just unbelievable, incredible wealth. So the money’s there. So just the greed of this government and the fact that they are. You know, I mean, they weren’t properly taxed, the richest people to fund these modest requests. It’s just crazy, crazy when you know the money’s there. So I’m just here to help them get it.

 

Nish Kumar That’s the actor, comedian, author Rob Delaney supporting the Royal College of Nurses last year. Rob is perhaps best known as the star of Channel four comedy Catastrophe. He’s also been in many Hollywood films recently, popping up in the new Mission Impossible film and will be in the forthcoming Deadpool 3. His book, A Heart That Works, has just been published in paperback and is both brutally intimate and fiercely funny memoir grappling with life and loss. Welcome to Pod Save the UK, Rob.

 

Rob Delaney Thanks for having me, guys.

 

Nish Kumar Thanks very much for joining us.

 

Rob Delaney Yeah, for the people watching this as a as a video podcast and look how much fun I was having. They’re having a great time.

 

Coco Khan Strikes are generally quite fun.

 

Rob Delaney Oh, yeah, they can really be fun.

 

Coco Khan People underestimate that.

 

Rob Delaney And it’s always fun to be surrounded by nurses. The best of us. I’m a big I’m super pro nurse. I’m I’m lukewarm on doctors. They’re fine. But it’s really the nurses that make it all happen. So any time. Even if it was a it was just a nurses luncheon, I would have gone.

 

Nish Kumar How many nurses luncheons have you crashed in the past year, Rob?

 

Rob Delaney Not enough.

 

Coco Khan But you’ve also been, you know, you supported rail workers, screenwriters.

 

Rob Delaney Yeah.

 

Coco Khan Striking. You’re a big believer, right?

 

Rob Delaney Yeah. Well, I mean, you know, income inequality these days, both in the UK and the U.S., is is back at Gilded Age levels. And there’s just there’s enough to go around, you know, because I’ve now existed at a few different strata and in a few different tax brackets. So I’ve had no money and I’ve been lucky to work in this career and then make a lot of money. And I’ve just seen there’s enough to go around, so you can’t hide it from me. Maybe I maybe my sort of success happened too quickly for me to forget what it’s like at the bottom of the ladder. But it’s like, what? What’s going on up here?

 

Nish Kumar You’ve been a very, very vocal supporter of the NHS and a lot the book deals with your son, Henry’s illness and death, and your experience and your family’s experience of being cared for by the NHS. I just read the book this week and it it’s extraordinary and I would absolutely urge everybody to read it. It’s an incredible book. It’s been a year since it first went out in the world in hardback. We’re talking about the paperback edition now. How do you feel about it now? The book’s been sort of out in the world and has been read by people and people have had, I guess, pretty visceral responses to it.

 

Rob Delaney Yeah. So now that it’s been out there for a while, I’m very happy it’s out there because I’ve been contacted now by I don’t know how many bereaved parents and bereaved siblings. And so I think, you know, I’ve realized my story is no better and no worse than any other bereaved parent. But if I tell it truthfully and put it out there, then it can do good. Just like the other bereaved parents have helped me and my wife and my kids. So I’m very glad to have taken something that was and remains very painful and transmuted some of it into something that can help people. So that’s I’m happy about that. I mean, I first ever thought I should write something when I was in Great Ormond Street Hospital with Henry, and after we’d been there for a while on the kids cancer wards, you know, seeing new parents come in who’ve just gotten a cancer diagnosis for their kids. And I would be like, Oh my God, why? Their child just got diagnosed with cancer? What a nightmare. I can’t. And I’d be like showing them how to use the coffee machine or whatever in the parents kitchen. And I’d be like, Wait, no, I’m that that’s me. I’m one of them too, because you can’t believe it. And so the only way we’ve survived this and continue to survive it is by spending time with other mostly people who’ve kids have died and being honest about it and just sort of walking through it together. And so so my book is like one little tile in the big mosaic of people just trying to help each other through this stuff. So it’s an it’s a it’s a perfectly fine tile. It’s it’s structurally sound.

 

Coco Khan It’s a very moving tale. Rob Yeah.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah, it’s great. It’s really extraordinary. Is it, what’s it like doing promo for something like that? Because like, you know, you’ve become used to doing promo for things like standup shows and movies and. Yeah, but what’s it like doing promo for something that you there’s so much of your heart in this book.

 

Rob Delaney It’s very weird, right? Like I know you.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah.

 

Rob Delaney I like you.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah.

 

Rob Delaney Coco, I’m falling in, like with you. So being here feels safe and good, but it can be weird to, like, you know, do a couple of interviews in, like, a hotel suitet and then go to a television studio and then a radio station. So doing the back to back promotion when it came out was a nightmare really awful and I hated it a lot. And I’m glad it’s behind me. I definitely like the thought, Am I going to recover from this? Like I aged, Like people would see me on TV, like friends and would write me and be like, You really look terrible. And, you know, Yeah, yeah. And I’d be like, Yeah, I do. And so, so, so I don’t know. I don’t know. How do you get it out there though? Yeah. Otherwise, you know what I mean? Like I wanted people to read it like, because if I do, you know, if I do Loose Women and then do you know this podcast and then I do an interview with The Guardian or something, then it’s more likely that like a somebody who lives, you know, in a farming community on the outskirts of Yorkshire will get a copy of the book and I live in London. I can walk to a bereaved parents meeting. Yeah, right. And they help me very much. What about people who can’t? So I, I felt like I had to harm myself in the short term to try to get it out there for people who could use it.

 

Nish Kumar There’s a section in the book about social care and about the cuts to social care, and I, if you would not mind, I would love for you to read just this section out because I think it articulates something very powerful and also something hugely politically significant about what cuts to social care does to National Health Service.

 

Rob Delaney Okay. I hope you’ll believe me when I say that the time we spent trying to get Henry home safely was absolutely just as stressful as every horrible detail of his medical care. Hours, days, weeks. Stolen from families who could be playing with their sick or dying child. But instead they must beg for help in front of a room full of people whose government assassinated budgets have trained them to be adversaries of families with sick kids. And I’ll say it again for anyone who missed it above, it’s cheaper for the government for a kid to be at home with a carer rather than occupying a hospital bed on a ward. Not that that was our motive, but come on. Are you conservative or not?

 

Nish Kumar Just walk people through that, Rob. Because the Conservative Party has maintained that it’s increased NHS spending. Now we can get into the specifics of that, which are they’ve decreased the percentage increase year on year, which amounts to a real terms cut to NHS spending. But talk about what social cuts does to the NHS.

 

Rob Delaney Right, So I don’t rely on social care anymore now that Henry’s dead. Do either you guys have anybody from social care come in your house currently?

 

Coco Khan Not really, no. But I am an unpaid carer around being a podcaster, so I know how families step in and how that limits their opportunity to do other things. To do what you do out of love. Of course, I also think maybe would be nice if someone, a professional, could maybe help me.

 

Rob Delaney But then even if you’re thinking like, let’s just say if you’re somebody who just thinks in terms of of pound and dollar signs, you know, I mean, what if we could have you out in the workforce and contributing to the taxes more, you know? So there’s a lot of reasons. But what happens is there are people were aware of this who would like to have health care be private in the UK and what they’ll do because it’s a really tough sell even for a hard line Tory to say, I’m going to cut the NHS, you can want to, but to actually pull it off takes time and effort, so it’s got to be more of a death by a thousand cuts thing, whereas social care is easier to do, right? It’s easier to cut because most people aren’t elderly. Most people don’t have a disabled person at home who’s relying on it. So. But what happens, though, is you cut that, then those people just immediately have some type of an emergency at home, have to go to the A&E, and then they wind up taking a bed on a ward which costs way more money than the negligible execrable rates that they pay home carers who drop in and visit, you know, and so they’ll cut councils budgets for stuff like that. The councils will be instructed and coached in how to privatize those services and stuff. And so what happens is immediately the NHS does get these de facto cuts because you’ve got people occupying beds who don’t need to be, you know, it’s an elderly guy who fell down the stairs and hit his head and got injured because he didn’t have somebody there to be like, You take this pill, you know. PHILLIPS And they’re gone in a minute, you know, And so for that reason, we couldn’t get Henry home for months, despite the fact that the hospital was like, Yep, he’s ready to go home. They couldn’t and wouldn’t discharge him because the community wasn’t a safe enough place for him because they didn’t have carers who were banded or qualified high enough to take care of him. And that qualification wasn’t a nursing degree. It was just like, did they know how to clean and protect a kid’s tracheostomy tube, which is something he had? And I don’t have a medical degree, but I became qualified pretty quickly to do that. It’s it’s not fun, but it doesn’t you know, you don’t have to go to school for it. And so, you know, if they’d wanted him to be home earlier, you know, they could have he could have been home earlier. But people like him and whomever you’re caring for are not deemed, you know, worthy of that. And so then it’s easier it becomes easier in the future to privatize health services more easily.

 

Coco Khan It’s weird as well. I think, you know, just talking about that relationship between families and carers, because I often feel like I mean, I have caring responsibilities, but they’re not full time. I still have a job, I still have a life, you know, But there’s something I have to do that’s fine. And I often think about how my love has been exploited commercially because you’re not going to let someone you love suffer. You want them to live with dignity. You want them to someone to check in. You want them to have all of that stuff. So yeah, they the system exploits your love. I guess they know that, you know, your friends and your loved ones will pick up the pieces so they don’t need to. Does that make sense?

 

Rob Delaney Well, it’s really interesting because then you start to realize that, you know, austerity is a decision that is made and made again each morning when when, you know, certain people in the government wake up and they sign off on it each morning. So it’s a conscious choice to devalue these things. So that’s maddening, of course. It’s just makes good economic sense to just fund the hell out of the NHS because all three of our gorgeous bodies are going to fall apart and rot at some point and have some sort of problem and need help. So just acknowledge that and work through it.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah, I mean, we have to we’ve, we’ve used private care to take care of my grandmother and we’re very fortunate that between a group of us and within our family, we’re able to support that financially. Right. But I think it’s important to recognize that that is good fortune and realizing that if there was, you know, even without one of three families incomes that are going into that, it would be unmanageable. And like with an aging population, we’re kind of laying a time bomb for ourselves.

 

Rob Delaney Oh, big time. And and you shouldn’t have to do that. I mean, like, I know you make an incredible amount of money. I saw the car you drove here. I mean, you know that this podcast pays you an unbelievable amount, but you should still be able to use the NHS and you should still. I’m one of those people who’s not like, Well, if you can afford it, you should. You should go private. No, you shouldn’t. Everybody should be contributing. Everybody should be taking the care that they need out of the system. And and it would be more cost effective, too, if you’re doing that. I mean, when people talk about in America, they’ll be like, well, there’s no one size fits all approach to health care. There absolutely is. You broke your knee. You need your knee fixed. You know what I mean? You have diabetes, you need insulin. You’ll hear things, you know, in a state that’s, you know, in a country that’s 50 states with 50 different health care systems. Insane, right? You’d be like, well, you know, in Illinois, we do a little different than we do in Kentucky. Why so up the big gaping wound in meat ball? You know, that’s crazy. Everybody should use the NHS from the king down to the bottom of the ladder, which is, you know.

 

Coco Khan What we’ve done to improve goodness.

 

Nish Kumar Well, you had some pretty specific experience of using the American healthcare system after a particularly bad car crash that you wrote about extensively in your last book. So you’ve you really interacted with that health care system. And yes, you’ve always been amazing at kind of shaking us as a country out of our complacency about what we have with the NHS. I mean, I think I don’t think it can be stated often enough, but so please do it again. How much worse is it with the American health care system?

 

Rob Delaney Well, let me stay out of the gate that there are great nurses and great doctors in in the U.S. So is there great care to be had? Absolutely. The problem is, are you going to be able to access it? And if you are, are you then going to be hounded by medical debt collectors? Yeah. And or perhaps the most popular and widespread problem is you do have private health insurance. Either it’s you’ve bought it on the open market, which is unbelievably expensive. It would be about 1300 dollars for me to insure my family a month. Wow. Yeah, I’m on a month. This article. And now maybe, maybe you can get that through your job as a benefit, which is another thing, because people get welded to their jobs in America because they’re terrified. So, for example, you know, it would be 21 years ago, almost 22 years ago, I drove a car into a building. My fault I was blackout drunk on account of my alcoholism. And I’ve been sober since. So I got sober and, you know, have contributed enough, I guess, to the tax coffers of both the U.S. and the UK to make my life financially worthwhile to the government only. But I did have private health insurance, for which back then I paid, I think, $120 a month for 21 years ago and paid out of pocket $120 a month. And but when then when I started to use the insurance and generate bills, the company was like, we don’t want to insure you anymore. And they dropped me, which they could do before Barack Obama put on the ultimate sticking plaster policy of the Affordable Care Act, which is going to I mean, if I describe it, you’re going to be like, what? When he made it so that every American person had to buy private insurance and no one could deny them, Right. This was a mandate. Okay. Now, I voted for him aggressively for that policy and campaigned for him because I was like, what? I can be forced to buy private insurance that I won’t be denied because of my own experience. It’s like, I can’t wait. Please let me pay $120 a month for it all. But by that time I had a family. And so you’re paying for insurance, right? You’re paying a monthly premium. Okay. Before you can use it, you have to hit your deductible. So that means maybe you have to pay $5,000 out of pocket before it. Kicks in. Then to walk in the door for any appointment, you have to pay for maybe a $30 co-pay. So that’s just you to walk in the door, $30, and then the insurance doesn’t pay for everything anyway. It only pays for a percentage. And so and all this money, not all of it, if it went directly into your doctors or nurses pockets or for buying a new, you know, MRI machine, then maybe they’d have a leg to stand on. But it doesn’t it goes to like CEOs and advertising people. I mean, you see the ads for these companies that are as slick as anything. You know, during the financial crisis, 2728, there were health insurance companies that loaned money to banks to help bail them out. It’s so the the amount of money being spent in the US that doesn’t go to health care, but rather it goes to these McKinsey friggin MBA consultants scumbags is unbelievable. So that’s what a lot of people want to have happen here, right? So the easiest solution is just turn off the cash spigot to the NHS, you know, and even that would be better. I know it’s more complicated than that, but not by a lot.

 

Coco Khan And so it’s mad hearing you describe that because it basically means that just one bad roll of the dice, you get ill, you crash anything, it’s game over. It doesn’t matter how much you worked, doesn’t matter. You know, even if you had the fortune of having a support network, it could all be gone. And that is that idea of the lack of safety net is something that is I’m really worried is happening here. I mean, NHS aside, but even when they’re talking about like you know, benefit cuts and just just you had the bad luck to have a heart attack and now you have to have and you have to go on to benefits. Oh my gosh, like it’s game over for you. You know, you have to sell your home. I mean, it’s it’s terrifying.

 

Rob Delaney Yeah. People commit suicide due to medical debt in the United States. That, unfortunately, is not a rare occurrence. So you know that that’s what private health care leads to acts like as sure as the sun rises and sets. And I’m against that. You know.

 

Nish Kumar I am really curious to ask you, because you are a have always been a politically activated and engaged person. You’ve been very politically activated, engaged here, even politically activated in the states. And you’ve done lots of fundraising and campaigning for the Democratic Socialists. And it’s how does it feel to look at American politics as an American outside of America right now?

 

Rob Delaney Yeah, So it’s interesting to see how much the corporate media wants another Trump victory, because, for example, I don’t know if you would have paid attention to this, but we had midterm elections last year and they were like, you know, they were like preparing the funeral for the Democratic Party beforehand. And then, woops, yeah, they drastically outperformed the polls, which were all funded by big media companies who were like poor, because the best thing in the world for the Rupert Murdoch, the Paul backers to whoever is in charge of CNN is for half the people to hate the other half. Right. So they really work hard to keep it like that, you know, maybe with a slight tilt towards the right, you know, because it’s just easier if we hate each other, then we’re not going to look up with the boot on our neck, you know? Yeah. And so I am disheartened. But if you see the midterms and then after that, Roe v Wade was struck down by the Supreme Court and women and the men who love women all over the United States are like, hold the phone. And so they have every single special election has gone in in a pro-choice direction. Right. So all these polls now that are like it’s on a knife’s edge and like CNN and The New York Times, they are ripping their hair out to have to focus on negative things with Biden. So to me, that’s really interesting because, like, you know, your average American person is somebody I enjoy and want to spend time with. You know, like like I have like I will happily hang out with like a Republican voter or a Tory voter, you know, who makes under 75,000 a year. Once you click into once you get above that and you vote Tory, then you know you need to be caged or most. No kidding.

 

Nish Kumar Very small. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

Rob Delaney But there are people like nerds like us who are like, I know. Why don’t I spend every free waking second reading every news source and passing them to put together what I think is the truth. You know, normal people, like I was in the newspaper. It must be true, you know? And those people aren’t idiots. They’re just living their lives trying to raise their kids and take care of their grandparents, you know, and all this stuff. And so the average guy on the street or lane or avenue or path, I don’t know if you’re somewhere more rural is a good person, but the people, it’s yeah, it’s the billionaires. If you’re angry at anybody other than a billionaire, you’ve got to ask yourself, you know, okay, let me look at that, you know, because you might be wrong.

 

Coco Khan Well, on the subject of politics and all misdirection, let’s talk about Freddie Gray. As you know, we’ve just had the Labour Party conference. Starmer is generally being touted as the next prime minister, although in fairness to him, he didn’t say that when he walked out. Yeah. How are you feeling about him?

 

Rob Delaney I mean about him personally. I don’t know him. I live like one constituency away from him. I’ve never met him. I mean, so I try not to go on like vibes. I don’t think that’s really important. I try to go by policies and stuff. So with that, I he really only yesterday like started to like, say some things where I was like, oh, it sounds better than the status quo, you know. So I would rather fight against Starmer and his cabinet than the one that we’ve got now. You know, I mean, to date, they’ve been pursuing a strategy that may pay off, right? Historically, though, when people don’t promise anything, they don’t deliver anything. Right. So there’s you know, you could I could be convinced that the way Labour is operating now is a good idea. If once they got into power, they were like, let’s boogie. Right?

 

Coco Khan Yeah yeah

 

Rob Delaney But these people are so cautious and and so technocratic that they don’t inspire confidence. Me, I would love to be proven wrong.

 

Coco Khan I mean, I feel like I’m really trying to, like, look into it like every. So I’m waiting for hidden clues. You Starmer came out to an Ibiza club classic, and I was like, I think that’s a message. Yeah, he’s sending a message to people.

 

Rob Delaney Totally, yeah.

 

Coco Khan But I’m like you. I’m looking for the clues, looking for the wink, as you put it, Nish. You know. But its not here is it?

 

Nish Kumar We sort of discussed in a previous episode that, you know, is this entire campaign conducted on a sort of wink strategy of when we’re in power, but it’s a dangerous game. Yeah.

 

Rob Delaney I mean, who knows? Like, look, okay, here’s the bombshell pull quote, I think, Joe. Biden is the best president of my lifetime. Okay. Now, I campaigned aggressively against him, like as much as I could to get Bernie Sanders the nomination. He didn’t. When I went to vote on the big, long American ballot, I voted for all these little races that I was really excited, like, who’s in charge of schools in California? You know, and they’re so there. People are super passionate. When I was out of the Biden fine, you know, and and now now when I say best American president in my life, it doesn’t mean I like him or think he’s a good person or want to have lunch with them. The bar is low. But he is the first president. And when I say he, I mean him and his cabinet and the people, you know, who are making his decisions, Joe Biden, Biden, Co or whatever it is, because just dude, he has the spigot has been turned in the right direction with redistributive policies going downward. So if that’s the metric you use and I can’t think of a better one, he’s the best, easy, the best. And he’s the first president who has grappled with like he does something Obama didn’t do. Like Obama was like, I think I can work with Mitch McConnell. No, you can’t. You know, and Joe Biden knows that that’s not the case. You know, And he’s like a post Trump president who gets, you know, what’s got to be done to some degree again. BIDEN If you’re listening, no, I don’t want to have lunch with you. You know, I’m not coming to the White House. I don’t think you’re cool, fun, funny. What I mean is, you know, whatever. But he is so so for me, when people are like, oh, I’m just not inspired. He’s old. I’m like, I don’t care. You know, it’s not you’re not voting for the when you vote for who you want to have lunch with. I don’t even know what to say to you. Yeah, you know, and but most people do. But, so anyway, what I’m saying is Starmer could win and do a good job. It could happen. Anything can happen, but it certainly doesn’t smell like it’s going to happen. I mean.

 

Coco Khan Well it’s the you know, this the big tent sort of scenario, right? So like, as long as there’s enough, you know, people allowed in the party, you can say to Starmer when he’s in, can we just try and be a bit more redistributive? Or you can have a little think about, you know, taxing big, big, major tax companies more as long as those people are in the, you know, room for chance. I think there’s a concern when you look at the way the party’s being run. Yeah. That those voices are being pushed out.

 

Rob Delaney Oh, big time. The tent isn’t big enough Labour. It’s not big enough. That’s one thing America has done. Well, you know, when Sanders didn’t get the nomination, they were like, All right, but here’s a massive obviously people are insane about you even if you didn’t win the nomination. You know, so here’s the head of this. Here’s the leadership of this Senate committee and stuff like that. You know, so whereas Labour has been, you know, mercilessly cutting people out of the party, I mean, that’s stupid. So I genuinely want them to win, you know, because again, I would rather be at an NHS protest with them in number ten and having the leadership of Parliament all that. But you know.

 

Nish Kumar That I think is such an I think it’s such an important thing for people to understand, because I do think one of the things that Biden has done well, even when he was campaigning, is that he campaigned as the kind of Broadchurch Democrat president. And the concern with Starmer is that he his he’s more in the kind of quest to appear electable, whatever that means. He is frozen out. A substantial section party is very politically animated.

 

Rob Delaney Can I say something? I think that he isn’t campaigning to us. He’s campaigning to like newspaper and business owners. One thing about the UK that I really don’t like and I really prefer about the United States is that like news organizations and they’re dwindling and becoming fewer and it is becoming more like the UK. But the UK is has some of the most practiced. I mean we’re talking centuries old media companies and conglomerations that are so coordinated and so powerful that, you know, there are a few people who can push a button in the UK and that will determine what the had headline news is the next day and people like, oh okay, you know I mean it’s easy to so there’s a bit of a managed democracy thing happening here that I think is a little worse than the US. Again, proof is in the pudding. I choose to live here for a variety of reasons. I’ve just simply been here by happenstance and I like it and I like the people. And you know, the NHS is amazing. There’s still a better safe social safety net here. Despite some people’s best efforts. There’s no guns. I’m not going to get shot on my way to or I’m not going to. My kids are going to get a shot at school, you know, knock on wood. And so there’s a lot that I love about the UK. But one thing is not that I don’t love is the coordination of the media. And so so he’s obviously, you know, campaigning for like Paul Backer and Rupert Murdoch, you know, rather than us, which is who we should be campaigning for.

 

Nish Kumar But yeah, I think whenever people in the UK talk about, well you know, obviously the leftist media, I’m like.

 

Rob Delaney It’s adorable. I mean, that’s like charm and that’s. I’m going to tickle them under their chin and be like, Somebody is a cutie pie.

 

Coco Khan So, Rob, I’m afraid we’re going to have to let you go relatively soon. So but before we do that, I just want to talk about what you’re up to next.

 

Rob Delaney Okay. Well, so I’m doing a lot of standup. The film that I was doing is on strike. Or rather, you know, the Screen Actors Guild remains on strike. So hopefully that’ll be done soon and then I can resume work on on Deadpool three, because obviously people need to rights. It’s very important for the health of the nation and the world and that they get my performance. I feel bad for people who are not able to be continually, you know, hitting refresh on Rob Delaney content.

 

Nish Kumar What does Tom Cruise smell like?

 

Rob Delaney You know, need I don’t want to say that he had a smell. I spent one week with him in one room, so I think he did the best thing you could do, which is not have a smell, you know, because after a while you might get tired of it.

 

Nish Kumar This is a PSA. You go exclusive. Tom Cruise is entirely odorless.

 

Rob Delaney Yeah, he has no odor. Yeah.

 

Coco Khan Wow.

 

Rob Delaney I mean, there are pheromones, so you’re very charged up, but those don’t have a smell, you know, So you get very riled up around him because he’s very exciting molecularly. And yeah, no, I had a great time on that one.

 

Coco Khan Yeah. I feel like we should put Tom Cruise on a picket line, you know, because he’s like, he’s very good at, like, getting the crowd going.

 

Rob Delaney Oh, God. Yeah. I wonder if he can. Although I got to say no, I’m sure he would be. But it is funny, like when I’ve been doing these rallies of late and you go up, like, I’ll go up and then like Michaelangelo come on up to me. And I’m like a professional talker. Like, you know, I try to talk and make people laugh and stuff, and I’m practiced at talking extemporaneously and stuff. It’s so much scarier to go up and share a bill with Mick Lynch or Eddie Dempsey than it is Chris Rock, because these guys just know how to rile up a crowd. They make look because, you know, like sometimes will do a show and there’s like a warm up comic, you know, And that’s a very specific skill set that I tip my hat to. So these guys make the warm up comedy. They’re like the ultimate warm up. I just can’t. So I’m always very nervous when I do so. So Tom Cruise, I’m sure, would do a great job, but I think he might be like, Whoa, this is harder than I thought.

 

Nish Kumar Yeah. I’m really looking forward to your next tour. Yeah.

 

Rob Delaney It’ll be me opening for him.

 

Nish Kumar Rob, thank you so much for joining us. And once again, I can only underline A Heart That Works is available in paperback and is extraordinary. Absolutely great.

 

Coco Khan Bom bom bom bom bomp.

 

Nish Kumar Coco’s singing all the jingles today.

 

Rob Delaney Oh I love it.

 

Coco Khan I think it’s helpful for everyone to be able to know the end of section.

 

Rob Delaney Yeah.

 

Nish Kumar Thanks for listening to this week’s podcast. You can get in touch with us by emailing PSUK@reducedlistening.co.uk We also love hearing your voices, so do send us a voice note on WhatsApp. Our number is 07514644572. Internationally, that’s +447514644572. We’d love to get your thoughts on what we’ve discussed on this episode, or you can send in a question about British politics or suggest something you’d like us to cover.

 

Coco Khan In a couple of weeks. We’ve got Scotland’s First Minister, Humza Yousaf, joining us. And we’d love to be able to put some of your questions to him. So if you have something to ask him, give us an email at PSUK@ReducedListening.co.uk.

 

Nish Kumar Are you going to sing us out?

 

Coco Khan Do you want me to?

 

Nish Kumar I only want you to do that.

 

Coco Khan Bom bom bom bom bom bomp.

 

Nish Kumar Pod Save the UK is a Reduced Listening production for Crooked Media. Thanks to senior producer Musty Aziz and digital producer Alex Bishop with additional production support from Annie Keates Thorp. Video editing was by Will Darken.

 

Coco Khan Gotta do the synth. Doo doo doo

 

Nish Kumar And the music is by Vasilis Fotopolous. This week, performed by Coco Khan. Thanks to our engineer, David Dugahee, the executive producers are Dan Jackson, Madeleine Heringer and Anushka Sharma with additional support from Ari Schwartz. If you or your podcast has a theme tune and you would like Coco to perform it, please contact us on PSUK@ReducedListening.co.UK.

 

Coco Khan How does that song end? How does this theme tune in? It just fades out, doesn’t it?

 

Nish Kumar It does still come to a resolution, but it does largely fade out.

 

Coco Khan Okay. Should I fade out now? Yeah. Okay, so I’m just going to. I’ll bring it down. I’ll bring it out to the fadeback.

 

Nish Kumar Watch us on the Pod Save the World YouTube channel. Follow us on Twitter, TikTok and Instagram where we’re Pod Save the UK all one word and hit subscribe for new shows on Thursday on Amazon, Spotify or Apple or wherever you get your podcasts.

 

Coco Khan I faded it out.