This week on The Sqweek - David Cameron's #PIGGATE, Car farts get VW into trouble, Monkey takes a selfie and ends up in court, Donald Trump wants jesus to build him a wall, the Writing’s on the wall for Sam Smith, is Bridge a sport? ...And much more!
This has been somewhat of a pilot episode and testing ground, so I’d really appreciate your feedback on what you liked and maybe didn’t. Please do pass on any positive comments as an iTunes review, because positive reviews there really do help a fledgling podcast. It would also be great if you could subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app, and at the DeeJayOne YouTube channel!
Any other feedback is gratefully received via Facebook and Twitter. In future episodes I hope to feature guests, comments, feedback and more of the stories that you suggest, so please do get in touch with any ideas!
This edition of The Sqweek was written, performed and edited by James Hargreaves and is a DeeJayOne production.
Show notes and transcript after the jump...
Taking a look at the week’s news and trying to make sense of it all by finding the funny side of it. I’m your host James Hargreaves and this podcast is brought to you by DeeJayOne.
This week on The Sqweek - Car farts get VW into trouble, Monkey takes a selfie, Donald Trump wants jesus to build him a wall, the Writing’s on the wall for Sam Smith and more.. but first.. this:
This week opened up with something you never expected to hear, probably just as much as I never expected to say it… David Cameron allegedly got noshed off by a pig.
“BLACK MIRROR CLIP”
A clip from Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror there, a fictional series where the Prime Minister was blackmailed into having sex with a pig. This week that seemingly preposterous tale appeared to have some bearing in reality with publication of a book about David Cameron.
Written by former conservative party treasurer Lord Ashcroft, the book entitled ‘Call Me Dave’ features a number of embarrassing stories about the British Prime Minister, including the claim that sparked a million joke tweets and its own trending hashtag: PigGate.
Apparently, in his young and apparently less stupid days our current PM took part in a student initiation ceremony where he - quote - “put a private part of his anatomy into a dead pigs mouth”. Yes, we can all breath a sigh of relief that the poor animal was put out of its misery before the incident took place, although when you think about it that knowledge actually gives very little comfort at all.
Worse for old Dave is that apparently there is a photograph of the incident knocking about somewhere, because - you know - thats the kind of snap you want to keep in your family album. That pic might, thankfully, never surface, but Cameron does seem to have a predilection for our porky friends. A quick search of Google Images uncovers literally dozens of photos of the PM with pigs. Seriously, there are probably more photos of Cameron holding pigs than there are of him kissing babies heads during election campaigns. And in light of Lord Ashcroft’s allegations this week they also take on a sinister kind of feeling. His smile feels even more uncomfortable than usual and the ones where he is actually stroking the pigs are remarkably unsettling. Its like the sickly feeling you now get when you see old pictures of Jimmy Savile with his arms around young girls in the Top of the Pops studios. Yuk.
Newspapers obviously went all out to fill web pages and column inches with anything they could tentatively link to the story, which led to me clicking a link I wish I didn’t simply because now my internet history has the sentence “IS IT ILLEGAL TO HAVE SEX WITH A DEAD PIG?” stuck in it.
Yes, The Independent - and other outlets - ran a number of articles and editorial where they had gotten, and presumably paid for, legal experts to debate whether the alleged sex act was illegal. The Indy’s piece ran to a whopping 888 words, and in case you were wondering the conclusion was ‘probably not’. An outcome that seemingly disappointed the Independent so much that they turned it into an opinion piece about sexual consent. Presumably because their editors believe that animals can consent? One oink for yes, two for no, perhaps? God knows how a dead pig would communicate its consent though…
The Hameron part of the story is just scratching the surface of the allegations though, with other claims in the book including that in his younger years old Dave dabbled with drugs. No shit. I’m not sure anyone would try to get a porcine blow job whilst not being on some kind of substance, would they? In fact Cameron’s university years are seemingly so full of dodgy elite student frat clubs, initiation ceremonies and weird sex acts that producers perhaps buy the rights to this book in order to reboot the Porky’s films.
But I bet poor old Ed Miliband is seething at this all coming out now, after the election. Imagine if the story had been out before his infamous bacon sandwich eating photo? Armed with PigGate knowledge he could have claimed his face was twisting at the thought of where the bacon had come from and perhaps sailed to becoming the new Prime Minister earlier this year. Or maybe not.
Of course Cameron’s spokesperson wouldn’t be drawn on the subject, except to say that they wouldn’t dignify the allegations with a response and claiming that author Lord Ashcroft has admitted to having “Beef” with the Prime Minister. Beef with the PM? Oh, god no.. don’t tell me there is a cow orgy story to come now!
MANCHESTER'S AXIS OF EVIL
An Iranian man handed himself in to police in Manchester this week, demanding to be deported because he found the city to be rude and violent. Reports that the US are rewriting their Axis of Evil to include the North West of England remain unconfirmed.
Tuesday’s BIG news comes from the Royal Courts of Justice where an extremely important case was being heard which could shake the very way we all think and live our entire lives.
Yes, we should finally find out the answer we have been waiting all our lives to know. The Syrian refugee crisis pales into insignificance compared to this big-hitting, life changing news. Indeed, Volkswagen defrauding the whole world with rigged emissions test software built into its cars means nothing next to this important issue of the day.
Because we finally finding out the answer to THE big question - IS BRIDGE A SPORT?
In this important landmark case, the English Bridge Union - yes, there is such a thing, no wonder the government are coming down hard on the unions - are challenging a decision by Sport England to refuse to classify the card game as a sport.
Serious shots have been fired by both sides of this huge debate with the Sport England having said that bridge is, quote: “no more of a sporting activity than reading a book” - I don’t know about you but I can’t wait for Amazon to release the inevitable Kindle Sports Edition. The Bridge Union responded by saying there is actually more physical activity playing bridge, what with all the dealing and playing, than there is in sports such as rifle shooting.
Indeed, there are some perhaps questionable activities that are sanctioned by Sport England, such as Quoits, Rambling, Yoga, Model Aircraft Flying and Lifesaving - which begs a few questions. Firstly, what the heck is quoits and then further how the hell is life saving a sport? Are there life saving competitions and if so are people’s lives purposefully put in danger so they can be saved? Who is the reigning champion? Chuck Norris?
The ruling might have wider implications for us all though. Should bridge be granted classification as a sport it could be made eligible for various grants and lottery funding. Basically, it is argued that money earmarked for getting people fit could be diverted to a bunch of old folk playing cards. Furthermore it is thought that other pastimes could then apply for similar public funding, such as chess and scrabble. We could even be watching bridge and chess tournaments in the Olympics, which is a surefire ratings winner if ever I’ve heard of one.
Additionally, sports can claim tax exemptions so the English Bridge Union are also mounting a legal challenge against HM Revenue and Customs. That’s right, the next big tax dodging scandal could be Auntie Doris and her afternoon tea and bridge group.
Animal rights organisation PETA have gone to court over a monkey selfie. They contend that because the monkey took the photo the animal should own the copyright, rather than the nature photographer who provided the camera. The monkey apparently plans to use the selfie to get dates through the hookup app Tinder, where it would be one of the highest quality and least deceiving photos used.
The Volkswagon emissions scandal continued to make waves throughout the week, despite being so technical and boring that lazy journalists haven’t even given it its own ‘gate’ title yet. Come on - every scandal becomes a ‘gate’, doesn’t it? ‘Emissionsgate’? VWgate? I guess it can’t really be ‘cargate’ because, well, gates for cars are an actual thing. That would be confusing.
But is anyone really surprised? A German car manufacturer who made vehicles for the nazis getting into trouble for lying about dangerous gasses? The holocaust denial jokes write themselves really. Or would, if it wasn't such a serious subject not to really be joked about.
11 Million cars worldwide are said to have been affected, apparently being fitted with a device, which recognised when it was being tested and then switched engine settings to produce fewer emissions. Which when you think about it, is actually really, really clever. Thats the very model of German efficiency and engineering, surely? Its also really, really obviously pre-meditated and there’s no denying knowledge of this for VW.
Fortunate then that Volkswagon chairman Martin Winterkorn’s contract with the firm expired this week. If ever there was a ready made potential scapegoat on hand, this had to be it - and of course, he dutifully announced his resignation. Its like one of those companies that go into ‘pre-pack- bankruptcy’ to get rid of the bad debts and reopens straight away under a slightly different name. Any Leeds United fans listening will know all about that process.
Its also interesting that the issue appears to have been uncovered in the US, a country where the American Car lobbyists could finance a small third-world country, so the authorities have all the incentive they need to go after a foreign importer.
Would the scandal have been uncovered here in the UK? You’d like to think so, however, our government’s own recent study into air pollution - a study that discovered that nitrous oxide emissions levels, one of the key outputs being fiddled with by VW’s defeat device, are likely to double the number of deaths from air pollution - was released on Saturday 12th September. The date might be familiar to political observers, because it was the day Jeremy Corbyn was announced the new leader of the Labour Party.
As The Guardian said: How many government reports are released on a Saturday? Especially a Saturday where everyone is focussed on a big event, like announcing the new Labour party leader, perhaps? A good day to bury news indeed. It will certainly be interesting to see how the UK government do deal with the scandal.
One emissions testing expert told the BBC that in actual road tests for many cars they found levels were four times higher than tests conducted in a laboratory. Hmmm, coincidence? If true, this scandal could spread across the industry and across the world.
VW’s fines in the US alone could see up to $18billion going into the public purse, which would mean that Volkswagon have pretty much given away all of their cars sold into America since 2008 for nothing in the long run. So, at least they are still sticking to the principles of the ‘Peoples Car’ project that they were originally founded upon… by Adolf Hitler.
A study this week revealed that Scottish people have 421 different words for snow. 398 of which assumedly describe various ways to fry and eat it.
TRUMP'S DIPLOMACY WALL
The pope visited America this week, making an historic speech as the first pontiff to address a joint session of congress. That’s right, US politicians are so scared of the airtime that Donald Trump and his ego is getting in his run for president that they flew the actual pope in to remind him that there is actually a higher power than him.
One section of the speech focused on how the US should be compassionate to migrants, especially those from South America — a point of view which could have been directed straight at the billionaire presidential candidate.
A key policy of Trump’s campaign is a plan to build a wall along the Mexican border. Announcing his candidacy for president he pretty much said that Mexican migrants were, quote, ‘not the best’, which perhaps would have been fine if he stopped there, but he then went on to call them rapists, criminals and drug dealers.
Whats more - Trump insists he will get Mexico to pay for this giant wall. How, exactly? Well, he demonstrated how with some role play on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week:
“DONALD TRUMP ROLE PLAY CLIP”
Yup, its that easy. A brilliant insight into the foreign diplomacy skills that Trump would bring to office if elected.
And how much is this wall going to cost the Mexican government?
“5-BILLION - 7-BILLION CLIP”
So, basically in Donald Trump’s imaginary world of politics you can just call up another government, tell them they are building you a wall and get them to cough up several billion dollars for it. Now, I’ve seen ‘Neighbours from hell’ on Channel 5 and that isn’t how most neighbourly disputes are solved usually. There was an episode where one guy was claiming a tree was hanging over into his garden. It took months of arguments, fisticuffs, smashing each other’s windows, playing a Status Quo song non-stop at full blast through the walls, council complaints, legal letters, police arrests and an appearance on the Jeremy Kyle show to get anywhere with that one.
Which actually might be a good way to resolve the issue — lets send Jeremy Kyle across to deal with it. The show can be titled “Your rapist, druggy, criminal kids keep trespassing in my yard,” Trump can demand the Mexican president build him a wall and foot the bill, Jeremy Kyle can patronise everyone by shouting in their faces with his air of judgemental superiority and we can finally get a DNA test to see if it really is Trump’s own hair.
Even better, America then get to keep Jeremy Kyle. Forever.
“JESUS HELPED BUILD THAT CLIP”
SAM SMITH'S DISNEY BOND THEME
Sam Smith has unveiled his Bond theme ‘The Writing’s On The Wall’, which apparently reveals a spoiler for the upcoming Spectre film — the bad guy is actually Jafar from Aladdin. Well, thats what I took from it seeing as Smith seemed to have forgotten he was writing for a Bond film and wrote a Disney theme song instead.
The singer, who inexplicably seems to be performing a duet with himself, admits to have written the song in 20 minutes, presumably on the nearest wall. But, lets face it, despite that apparent contempt for it, its guaranteed to sell by the bucket load.
"SAM SMITH THE WRITING'S ON THE WALL CLIP"
The sound of Sam Smith doing his very best David McAlmont impression there.
And that brings us close to the end of the very first The Sqweek! This has been somewhat of a pilot episode and testing ground, so I’d really appreciate your feedback on what you liked and maybe didn’t. Please do pass on any positive comments as an iTunes review, because positive reviews there really do help a fledgling podcast. It would also be great if you could subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app, and at the DeeJayOne YouTube channel!
Any other feedback is gratefully received via Facebook and Twitter at facebook.com/thesqweek and twitter.com/thesqweek. In future episodes I hope to feature guests, comments, feedback and more of the stories that you suggest, so please do get in touch with any ideas!
Thank you for downloading and listening to The Sqweek, I genuinely hope you have enjoyed it. I’ve been your host James Hargreaves.
This edition of The Sqweek was written, performed and edited by James Hargreaves and is a DeeJayOne production.
THE SQWEEK: Taking a look at the week’s news and trying to make sense of it all by finding the funny side of it.
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