Mark Steyn Club members can enjoy The Mark Steyn Show in whatever form they wish - video, audio or text. For the audio version of this episode of the show, visit this page. The transcript follows below.
Mark Steyn: Hey, welcome to the Mark Steyn Show, on your telly and on your wireless, according to your orientational inclination. As you know, we're very partial to that great line by Ring Lardner from his story, "The Young Immigrunts" about a century ago.
"Shut up, " he explained.
The big shut up is rampant in our society. We try to pierce through it on GB News because in case you hadn't noticed, we've had two years of lockstep, groupthink media, and everything's caput, from the NHS to the baggage carousel at Terminal 3.
For tonight, three topics that interconnect in various malign ways. The record breaking tide of migrants, the uselessness of the police, and the acceptance up and down the land of grooming gangs; ghastly and invasive euphemism. Kelvin MacKenzie, Harvey Proctor, and a victim of the child's sex exploitation now endemic in English towns, Samantha Smith. They're all here, but man cannot live on the woeful state of contemporary Britain alone, so music maestro Mike Batt is here to jolly us up. He started in the pre-lockdown era. When one could go underground, over ground, wombling free without a vaccine passport. But he's managed to survive the age of Zoom call ensembles and he's back with us and we're happy to see him. Plus your views on the passing charivari. You can email us [email protected], or you can tweet us @GB News. That's all coming up after Ray Addison with the latest headlines.
Mark Steyn: This week is a Ginger Growler of a week. You know how that works? First, you go to your packet of Ginger Growlers, that's as illustrated by Garry Lavin, lovely stuff. You open it up, you grab a Ginger Growler and you toss it into the melee and then watch the denizens of the Westminster Village obediently trot after it, like the well-trained poodles they are. Have you seen this report of young girls getting gang raped year-in, year-out in English towns? Oh, sorry, I'd love to read it, but I'm a fully credentialed investigative reporter, so I'm trotting obediently after this week's Ginger Growler. What about COVID vaccines causing a massive drop in sperm counts? Oh, I'll read it when I get back, nothing wrong with my sperm count, it's off the charts every time some new Ginger Growler comes along for me to chase.
Well, the first Growler of the week for July is some bloke nobody had ever heard of until 20 minutes ago. He's a man called Chris Pincher. All together now, Pincher by name, Pincher by nature, as the already tedious joke has it. He's been known for over half a decade to have a penchant for pinching. But Theresa May chose to rehabilitate him, brought him back into government and stuck him in the Privy Council, that's for life. Shame on you Lady May. So a serial Pincher rose to be Deputy Chief Whip until he had to resign for drunkenly groping two men in the Carlton Club on Thursday night.
I have to say that if I had to name a single demographic group anywhere on the planet, I would be least up for copping a feel of entirely on aesthetic grounds, it would be the membership of the Carlton Club. But chacun à son grope. The only element of this story that caught my eye was that it took place in the Carlton Club in Saint James's and thereby embodied almost too perfectly this dismal twilight of British conservatism. There is still a Carlton Club and it still has that magnificent portrait of the third marquess of Salisbury at the foot of the staircase. But these days it is apparently no more than the gents of Piccadilly Circus once were, a conveniently central location for seedy cottagers in a hurry.
The outward forms of British greatness is still with us, the splendid buildings, the great oil paintings, a pretty decent Dover sole in the dining room, but it's just dress-up games now and even then you can't help noticing the furtive paw of some Deputy Assistant Lord Privy Seal creeping up your thigh. We need more than the dress-up games right now, every minute you spend talking about the Ginger Growler of the week is a minute you're not talking about anything that really matters.
We shall have a special later this week on those of your fellow Britons injured and bereaved by the COVID vaccines, because it is an unfolding disaster getting worse by the day, and the pom-pom girls of the groupthink media are still in 2021 propaganda mode. And Sajid Javid. We've still had no response to the questions we submitted, but Mr. Javid is still pushing jabs on anything that moves, notwithstanding the growing body of evidence that every additional jab makes things just a little worse. Then we have open borders and useless police, we'll be talking about both in a few minutes with Kelvin MacKenzie and Harvey Proctor. But they intersect across towns up and down the realm where multiculti squeamishness about Pakistani Muslim....whoops, sorry, I mean Asian rape gangs combines with a holy corrupted police culture to ensure that young English girls can be gang raped and raped again and raped some more over and over for years on end.
Rotherham, Rochdale, Oldham, oh well say the cynics, they're just Northern working class towns, who cares? Oh yeah, Northern working class towns like Oxford, Banbury, Aylesbury all getting a bit leafy now, isn't it? Almost as if in a land without shame, turning a blind eye to child gang rape leads to more child gang rape. And as I always say, let's swap the casting and imagine what would happen if Pakistani Muslim girls were being gang raped on an industrial scale by white working class Englishman. Do you think the media would be discreetly referring to them as "European men?" Would Labour MPs be telling the girls they ought to put up with it in the interests of diversity? Let me know what you think. Our email address is [email protected]
Telford. Not sure whether that counts as Northern like Rochdale, or leafy Southern like Aylesbury. Telford, in fact, is a so-called new town. It's in beautiful Shropshire but in barely half a century of official municipal existence, Telford has managed to acquire more dark secrets than many millennium old cities in England. Samantha Smith is one of many victims of the awful code of silence attending these dreadful acts and she joins me now. Samantha, Telford officially is about half a century old, and the roots of the so-called child sex gangs in that town go back so deep. It's almost as if as soon as Telford was invented and put on a map that this stuff started.
Samantha Smith: Well, I was raised in Telford. I've been in Telford most of my childhood and fair bit of my adult life now. I like to think of it as a microcosm of sociopolitical issues that go on in larger towns and cities like Manchester, like Liverpool, and like Nottingham. Telford is tiny in population, it has a population of about 157,000 which is very small and yet it has the highest recorded rate of child sex crimes in the UK, 18.4 children per 10,000 in Telford against a national rate of 7.9. Telford is largely ignored by the national media because it isn't newsworthy, and the girls that fall victim like myself to grooming, to CSA or CSE are just seeing this.
Mark Steyn: Just explain because we're all familiar these reports get released twice a week now.
Samantha Smith: Yeah.
Mark Steyn: But just explain for people who don't follow them, what CSE and CSA stand for?
Samantha Smith: Well, CSA is child sexual abuse. That encompasses most child sex crimes, so whether it's rape in the family, whether it's sexual assault, whether it's grooming, that's the umbrella term. CSE is group-based raping, exploiting and grooming of children. Let's be clear here, the victims of these crimes aren't young women, aren't prostitutes, aren't madams, they are children and the perpetrators are adult men. In Telford CSE has been rife and continues to be rife in any estate up and down my area. You can go to Sutton Hill or to Woodside or to Brookside and see it in action, people act as though when these reports released, it's the same lines that are prated out. "Oh, these are crimes of the past, lessons have been learned." No. Girls on the ground, like myself, know far too well that these aren't crimes of the past. CSE, CSA, grooming, they're not things that have gone away, they continue to affect predominantly white working class girls in towns and cities like Telford.
Mark Steyn: Well, this again becomes so familiar. But the police are particularly bad in Telford because at the time this came out, they identified, I think over 1,000 girls and uniquely the police in Telford said, "Oh no, that's just media talk, it's way less than that." I would bet if anything, it's way more.
Samantha Smith: Absolutely. It's a cultural problem in areas like Telford. It's not just the police, it's the local council, the Telford council did the exact same thing where they said that there was no need for an official independent inquiry into Telford in particular because there were already inquiries covering it. Everything was under hand and it was all under control, the girls they were being looked after. Absolutely not. Young girls like myself, in areas like Telford, they are being left at the mercy of grooming gangs, at the mercy of men who are waiting to pluck them up from the streets and groom them, exploit them, and rape them, and encourage others to do the same. In Telford, we saw a succession of police, social services and council officers saying that these are a couple of bad apples, this isn't a systemic issue. It absolutely is. The fact that those in positions of power turned a blind eye for so long makes them just as culpable as the men that actually held girls down and raped them.
Mark Steyn: That's a good point, that they are just as culpable because in your situation, the police basically thought it was your own fault and it didn't really matter. It wasn't a real crime worthy of their time.
Samantha Smith: I was sexually abused for nearly a decade by various men. I was abused from the age of five until the age of 14, and then later on by others as well. When I first spoke about it with my social worker, I remember some of the comments that I received. I remember being told if you were physically abused, why were there no bruises? I remember police officers asking, did you consent, was this something that you wanted?
Mark Steyn: Is that a common thing in Telford that a five or six-year-old is supposed to be capable of giving consent to a sexual relationship?
Samantha Smith: I mean, the law is very black and white. In Sections 9-11 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it is illegal to have sex with a child under the age of 16 regardless of consent. It shouldn't be on the victims to prove whether they were abused or not, it should be on the perpetrators to defend their innocence in cases like this, in my opinion.
Mark Steyn: I forget, what is Telford? West Mercia, Shropshire Constabulary?
Samantha Smith: Telford is West Mercia.
Mark Steyn: West Mercia. How many constables and other officers have resigned from West Mercia police over their failures in Telford?
Samantha Smith: Not enough. Not enough. We've seen counsel, cabinet members. There's cabinet members for children and young people resigning around the time that the whole CSE issue in Telford really blew up. I just want to say I wasn't a victim of CSE in particular. I was groomed and I was raped for nearly 10 years by successive men. My experience in Telford is exactly the same when it comes to the response of police, local councils, and social services in the way of victims being in the way that I was raped, I was abused, I was exploited, and then I was made to feel as though I were to blame for the abuse that I suffered. Yes, there are nuances in the law, but it should never fall on the child to prove that they were abused. It should never be the first response of police officers, of social services and of council workers to say, oh, yes, but did that really happen? No child would make that trauma up. What do you have to gain from that?
Mark Steyn: Well, and also if it starts as early as it did in your case, you don't actually have any memories that predate that. It's very difficult for you, I take it, because you didn't have a normal period. Your earliest memories of this stuff happening.
Samantha Smith: Yeah. CSE thrives on a culture of shame, blame, and silence. When children are made to feel that the abuse they suffered is normal, that it's normal for them to be plucked from their homes and transported to kebab shops and takeaways and taxi driver' cars to be raped by various men, and the police, or the DPs or the abortion clinics. When they come asking for the morning after pill, week after week after week, then when they don't ask questions and when they villainize the children as sexually promiscuous or troubled or troublemakers. It perpetuates a cycle of victims being scared to come forward, fear of not being taken seriously, or even worse, criminalized for it.
Mark Steyn: I've had that in so many towns, particularly Rotherham, where the police dismiss them as "white slags," "Paki shaggers," as if someone is in a position to make those choices when they're 9, 10, 12. You've been on a lot of TV and radio, and magazines and newspapers in the UK. What do you make of the media's willingness to look away from the ugly truth of this?
Samantha Smith: I think it's interesting that cases like Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein were all over the papers for months, because it was jet-setting, it was high-stakes. It appealed to this sense of morbidity the public tend to have. They want to know about these ultra-rich, ultra-privileged lifestyles. But go down the street in my hometown and you can see grooming in action. You can see grooming gangs. You can see CSE. You can see children being raped and exploited and picked off the street. I know that the media doesn't like to say this, but the predominant victims, 95 percent of the perpetrators in cases of grooming are men. The majority of victims are young white working-class girls. We do a disservice to victims to suggest that anyone can be a victim of this crime. It can happen to anyone, yes, victims can be boys. Yes, victims can come from nice middle-class families. Yes, victims can be any ethnicity and yes, the perpetrators could be white British man. But that isn't what we're seeing in Rotherham in Rochdale and Telford. We're seeing young, white working-class girls from backgrounds not too dissimilar to my own, being raped, exploited, abused, and then brushed aside by those that are meant to help them.
Mark Steyn: Well, you mentioned Ghislaine and Jeffrey, and that is glamorous and jet-setting, but the media, on the other hand, are happy to obsess over an ageing Radio 1 disc jockey who appeared on Top of the Pops in 1968. You don't even have to be that glamorous. Is it because the hard, crude reality of the multicultural society, where white working-class girls seem to be believed not just by the Pakistani gang members, but often by white coppers, as being unworthy of caring about.
Samantha Smith: Yeah. I think the awful thing when it comes to media coverage and the lack of willingness of those in charge to pay attention to CSE and grooming, is that like you said, they don't deem the victims newsworthy. They don't deem these young children, these little girls, to be worthy of headlines and attention and help and support in the same way that they think that, like you said, an ageing Radio 1disc jockey or a New York socialite is worthy of 27 headlines about her hair cut or what clothes they're wearing. In places like Telford, children have been ignored for so long that they simply stop asking for help. I remember when I first came out and spoke about how I was abused, I remember feeling like a troublemaker, though I was somehow burdening the police, burdening social services by coming forward and speaking about my experience. Because quite simply they thought that girls like me weren't worthy of their time, that is bound to happen anyway, because you sort of girls, that's what you do. You get pregnant at 13, you get into a relationship with an older man. It's just you being promiscuous. It's where you come from. It's lack of education.
Mark Steyn: That's great. That's an amazing thing. The six-year-old was asking for it. She was wearing a too short skirt. Absolutely incredible. Maybe if Jeffrey Epstein had flown his Lolita express to Telford, the media might be persuaded to take a bit more interest in this story. Thank you very much, Samantha, and I'm amazed that you have managed to hold yourself together out of what happened to you from such a young age. We're going to stay on this story and up next we're going to get your thoughts on it. Plus the Metropolitan Police who seem to be as useless as West Mercia Constabulary. They've now been put under special measures and one of their many victims, Harvey Proctor, is here to metaphorically urinate on their reputational grave. And Kelvin MacKenzie and Mike Batt, migrants and melody. Don't worry, they're not going to do a duet together or maybe they will. I don't know, it's that kind of show. Don't go anywhere. We're coming right back.
Mark Steyn: GB News is the people's channel. So here's what the people are saying about the suddenly famous Mr. Pincher. James says: "It's difficult to know without knowing exactly what he's alleged to have done. Crotch grabbing men while at parties after having one too many."
Actually, I don't think they throw those kind of parties at the Carlton Club, do they? I think they're just chaps sitting around hoping to have a snifter of brandy and peace and quiet, and then Mr. Pincher comes a calling. But maybe we will know more of this than we ever wished to.
A Twitter user says, "I think it is the issue that matters, and the other stuff is the distraction."
I don't know quite what the issue is with. Listen, politicians only matter if what they are doing matters. If they can't control migrants, if they can't do anything about the grooming gangs and the rape gangs in somewhere like Telford, then it's basically just a soap opera with rather unprepossessing character, so you'd be better off actually watching Neighbours or Home and Away or Corey, than following the adventures of the deputy assistant under Lord Privy Seal when he goes to the Carlton Club for a drink at the end of the day.
Bob says....Bob's theory is: "Tories would rather talk about this than talk about Brexit losses at a £100 billion a year." It'd be more convincing if you made that a less round number, Bob. "Or debt costing almost the same to maintain."
Look, basically we've spent all the money that's ever going to exist in the United Kingdom until the early 22nd century now. We're way beyond that. Once you've spent as much as was blown through during lockdown, fiscal responsibility doesn't have much purchase on a chap.
Donna says, "Nobody cares about Pincher, but we do care about the government's current tender of two billion pounds worth of PCR tests. We know these tests are utterly bent. So what's this all about?"
The point of the PCR test is to enable third rate television presenters, such as Mr. Jeremy Vine, to give the BAFTA performance for worst acting performance, when he tests positive, and then he, I tested positive for the COVID today and I've got a bit of croakiness, thought I'd actually just got a bit of apricot flapjack from the tube wedged at the back of my throat. But it's, in fact, that turned out to be COVID. That's the only reason why we have these PCR tests, complete waste of time.
The Times today has a story we touched on last week with Parm Sandhu. "The Metropolitan Police has been substantially under recording crimes, including rape, stalking, and violence, compared with the other big police forces, raising concerns about the potential manipulation of statistics."
Oh you don't say it's almost like it's a wholly corrupted institution from top to toe. One man who doesn't need to be told that is former MP Harvey Proctor who wound up losing his job and his home, and living in a garden shed, because of the Metropolitan Police. How do you feel, Harvey, about these special measures? This is Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, which I don't suppose one in a million people knows what they are or what they do. Is this a real serious thing that's befallen the Met?
Harvey Proctor: I think it is. It used to have a reputation worldwide. That has crashed, has been destroyed. Special measures for the Metropolitan Police, not before time. You should have come in years ago. I'm very pleased that someone is supervising the Met. The people who should be supervising and holding the Met to account, the IOPC, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, and to a degree, the Home Office, have faltered over the years in not holding the Metropolitan Police to account. I have tried to hold them to account in matters that I knew about.
Mark Steyn: The last time you are on, you'd actually just sent a letter to the prime minister about your own experience, because some ghastly failed chief constable, or whatever he's called, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, despite his failures at the Met, is to be wafted onward and upward in the British establishment. Did you ever get a response from the P.M. on that?
Harvey Proctor: No. That is not a surprise. I don't think he replies to many letters that he receives. Perhaps he's doing other things.
Mark Steyn: Well, this is something he should be replying on. The police, for example, the highlight of Pride parade from the Met's point of view, this was over the weekend, they showed one constable getting down on his knee to propose to somebody in the middle of Piccadilly, I think, and it's all terribly heartwarming. I'd be willing to put up with it, if they actually, A) solved crimes, which they don't. Even the current figure of six percent is totally fake, it seems, and B) if they didn't just invent crimes as they did in your case and many others.
Harvey Proctor: Well, in my case, they were putting huge numbers of resources into what was called Operation Midland. At the same time, they were starving the Port murder inquiry in the East End of London, where there were four bodies on the streets of London, but denying the police in that area more resources. In my case, 20 police searched my house. On the same day that 20 police officers searched the homes of Field Marshal Lord Bramall, and the homes of Diana Brittan. Her husband had been a former home secretary, and we're all supposedly involved in Operation Midland. I think the time has now come when there is a need for a full public inquiry into the Metropolitan Police force. They are without a police commissioner. The new police commissioner, whoever he is, will need to have a guide plan as to what to do. There isn't a guide plan. You can't rely upon the mayor of London or the Home Office to provide him with one. There needs to be a full public inquiry as to what has gone wrong with the Met this last 10 or 15 years.
Mark Steyn: But I accept that you could have a royal commission.
Harvey Proctor: Royal commissions are very expensive, take too long. I think something a little less than a royal commission, but a full public inquiry. Without that you'll get a new commissioner taking over, and unless he's from the outside, he will just continue to cover up the errors of Hogan-Howe and Dame Cressida Dick. Now you're right. Still, Lord Hogan-Howe is in the line to become the Director General of the National Crime Agency, the equivalent of the FBI in America. Dame Cressida Dick is still in the offering to become a peeress. Both should not happen.
Mark Steyn: Absolutely. Now when you say someone from outside, my worry is that if you put someone from Scotland or Northern Ireland in charge of the Met, that still the club would still, I mean, do you think in the end they might as well bring in some guy in from Canada or New Zealand or whatever?
Harvey Proctor: It has to be somebody of quality and somebody that the people of the country can trust. When Sir Robert Peel, who originated the Metropolitan Police force set it up, he said that the object of policing was that the police must have the trust of the people and the ability to police London. They don't have that now. Trust has been lost. Trust is not gained overnight. It will take quite a considerable amount of change, inner change at the Met, for them to be able to police London in the future.
Mark Steyn: Sir Robert also said, the police are the public and the public are the police. That's not how Cressida Dick or Hogan-Howe thinks of it, is it?
Harvey Proctor: Oh no. They led the police, they protected the Metropolitan Police. They didn't learn from their errors. They covered them up. Lots of errors that they have covered up in the past have still to be uncovered. That's why I think a public inquiry could be helpful, not just to the people of London, but to the new commissioner who's going to take over the control of the Metropolitan Police, whoever he or she is.
Mark Steyn: Well, from your words to the Home Secretary's ear, because I think that's a very strong idea, bringing in an outsider, not corrupted by this terrible failed culture in British policing. But as I said, I don't know how far outside you have to go. Maybe you do have to go all the way to New Zealand. You've been through hell, and you're being very reasonable and moderate in what you're asking. By the way, prime minister, this guy sat in the House of Commons for your party and you owe him the courtesy of a response to his letter. Harvey's book, Credible and True, The Political and Personal Memoir of Harvey Proctor. He is credible and true, and you should read it. Thank you very much, Harvey. Great to see you.
Harvey Proctor: Thank you very much, and welcome to London.
Mark Steyn: Thank you.
The top story at The Spectator today is this: "Tory MPs are in despair over the Chris Pincher scandal." That's Chris at right casting an appreciative eye over the fetching musculature of the dashing young Chief Whip. What Conservatives ought to be in despair over is the total lack of conservatism after 12 years of Conservative Prime Ministers. For the first half decade, David Cameron focused on such core Conservative priorities as, wait a minute, this is a blank piece of paper. Then Cameron got head-faked into the Brexit referendum and when he lost it, bounced off in a big queenie huff to bilk the international yak fest circuit and charged seven figures for one hour speeches about all his accomplishments. I don't know what he does for the remaining 58 minutes.
The next half decade of Tory rule was lost to the deep state's subversion of Brexit. Then we got three quarters of the UK kinda, sorta, mostly out of the EU. The Tories were free to prioritize such bedrock Conservative issues as net-zero, on the rare days the country wasn't totally locked down. But even by the standards of our dysfunctional, useless political class, the failure to do anything about so-called migrants is infuriating. Indeed, the Border Force, the Royal Navy and the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, are now in effect, running this racket in collaboration with the human smugglers.
Kelvin MacKenzie was editor of The Sun in its heyday, back when it kept the Tories reasonably functioning. Kelvin, If the Tories just insist they can't do anything about this, it's just an incredibly demoralizing for the base, isn't it?
Kelvin MacKenzie: I think the significant issue is their failure to do anything about it will be much more damaging than anything that Boris might do in his years in there. This country wants something done. I wouldn't be talking about 20 percent of the country, 30 percent, I would say 70 or 80 percent. The other 30 percent want them in there because they're probably all going to be Socialists, that way you can keep the Tories out. We know why they're in favor. The other 70 percent don't want this, why? You're talking about, last year it was 28,000 people. Now this country, as you may have noticed, Mark, is not doing too well economically at the moment. We have not enough doctors, not enough teachers, and we've just made the whole thing 28,000 times worse by having more and more people who need education, they need housing. Where is this money coming from? It's two and three million quid a week now. What's going to happen? We've had another 10,000 in over the last few months and nobody says anything. Boris doesn't say anything.
Mark Steyn: No. He doesn't want to talk about it.
Kelvin MacKenzie:He doesn't want to talk about it. What he doesn't understand is if he did nothing else but solve that issue, yes, he'd be in for a third term. He would be here forever. It is a massive issue and it's one of those things where if I come on to it, show like yours and I say this stuff, all that happens is you get there left piling, you racist, you ran The Sun, you're that. They are stupid people. I don't know what to do about it.
Mark Steyn: But they call you racist anyway so who cares? I mean, the thing about this is, why doesn't Boris just pull out of the European Court of Human Rights? Why doesn't he say, we have a great legal tradition stretching all the way back to Magna Carta of restraints upon the sovereign. We don't need some nice Azerbaijani or Albanian jurist pontificating on our immigration policy.
Kelvin MacKenzie: He doesn't say it because he fears that were he to say it that the High Court, in revenge by the Lord Chief Justice and his mates, would then say, right, if that's the way you're going to start treating jurists, we are going to allow anybody to appeal against anything you plan to do in relation to the migrants. That is the problem. Basically he's worried about the blackmail effects by our own judges against him, if he acts against the European court.
Mark Steyn: Do judges really have that much of a great reputation? What I don't get is if you are on some rinky-dink island in the middle of the South Atlantic, your final court of appeal is the Privy Council. They, on the whole, are generally restrained. They don't invent new rights or whatever. Why is it that uniquely it's English, Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh, whose citizens have less meaningful say in what goes on in their territory?
Kelvin MacKenzie: Well, that's very interesting. It's probably because those judges come from the liberal left classes. It's like being in the BBC. You could not get promoted within the BBC if you were center right. It's impossible. It's the same within the academic aspect of the jurists who run our country. In America, they have what I think is a pretty good idea, they try and balance their Supreme Court politically. Sometimes it's right, sometimes is left. Who knows? Over here, don't even think about that. It's always center-left. It's always looking on the side of somebody who turns up with a load of tears. It's a very interesting aspect. Why don't we change it? Because the truth about the matter is nobody in our country really has any power to be fair. Even if you have Priti Patel sitting here right now, she'll say exactly the same thing. I come up with my ideas and then somebody goes to court.
Mark Steyn: At some point, you're quite right. I mean, that's the bottom thing. Particularly the people's representatives have no power. You have a situation like the Rwandan thing, where the government of the United Kingdom is in favor of it and the government of Rwanda is in favor of it. But then the Prince of Wales, all his chums seem to dislike it.
Kelvin MacKenzie: Do you know what? That made me throw up that because he describes it as a appalling. The reason he described it as appalling, not because for one minute does he think it's appalling. He described it as appalling because he was going to the Commonwealth Conference in Rwanda and all his chums who are other Commonwealth prime ministers, he wanted to make sure, I want you to know that we have a migrant problem in our country, yes. But we don't want to solve it by dumping the people. Whether he believed it or not, it was just simply politics. It was absolute tosh.
Mark Steyn: Yeah, it was absolute tosh, and his solution then I guess is for the entirety of the Commonwealth, which is a third of the world's population, to move to the outskirts of Highgrove? That's his solution, is it?
Kelvin MacKenzie: It's certainly one of the ways.....[Laughs] Now that is the best idea I've....because that is a huge estate down there. I'll tell you what, if he didn't want to be there, [inaudible] Gatton Park, 3,000 acres. I reckon we could get, what do your think? Perhaps 4,000 or 5,000 of the chums who have come across the Channel.
Mark Steyn: Yeah, absolutely. Just this year's intake on England's southern shore will be moving to a nice bunch of semis, organic semis or whatever you call them, that he's going to put up at Highgrove. You've solved the problem!
Kelvin MacKenzie: Exactly.
Mark Steyn: Thinking outside the box. Thank you very much, Kelvin MacKenzie. Marvelous stuff, and what a brilliant idea. I'd like to see them take that up at the Home Office. Stump the Steyn looms as does Mike Batt, don't touch that dial. We're coming right back.
Mark Steyn: Mike Batt is a singer, composer, lyricist, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, director. Everybody watching has some bit of Mike Batt lodged in his brain from "remember, member, member what a a Womble, Womble, Womble you are to the," what is it? "Hear the Phantom of the Opera." But if you're any kind of writer, you say, never mind my big hit from 2006, 1983, 1947, 1892. Why don't you hear my latest songs? Here it is.
[A few lines from "A Whole New Day" by Ace Hansel, Jr. plays]
Mark Steyn: That's from the album, Croix-Noire, which is French for black cross. Black Cross is a multimedia project that I saw described as, "Neo steampunk." You're going to have to help me out here Mike. What is Neo steampunk?
Mike Batt: I have no idea, but a very nice critic said in a very nice sentence, the rest of which I forget, that it was Neo steampunk. It's kind of not anything, it's one of those things where we made the record that we wanted to make it. I'm afraid it's something I do in my life. Yes, sometimes if I want to be commercially explicit, I can make a record that I'd like it to be a hit. But this particular album, which I've made with new creative partner, Jean-Charles Capelli, French guy. He and I have just made the record that is quite a long story to tell you, so I'll keep it short. But it's got so many different styles in it that Neo steampunk is a good all around. I never heard of it before. It looks fit because it's got ballads, it's just got heavy metal bits on it. It's got weird orchestrations. It's like Bartók having a love child with Frank Zappa.
Mark Steyn: Really?
Mike Batt: Yeah. But I have to tell you that the interesting thing I find about this project, the exhilarating thing for me, is that the singer, the hero of the comic, and I'm going to show you the comic because I brought it with me anyway.
Mark Steyn: Yeah. Hold that up.
Mike Batt: His name is Ace Hansel Jr. Can you see that?
Mark Steyn: Yeah.
Mike Batt: He doesn't exist.
Mark Steyn: That's fantastic. You've got a singer who has no corporeal reality?
Mike Batt: Well, what you just played on TV, which by the way was a TV premier scoop first, did actually show that there is somebody on Earth who is the doppelganger of this guy. He has been deeply involved in the creation of him.
Mark Steyn: Now, this isn't like X-Men 27, where it's an adaptation of 1960s superheroes or anything. You've actually done this multimedia thing where there's a record and there's a comic book, and there's I think there's a game of some in it?
Mike Batt: That's right, this is a computer game. We asked my friend David Quantick, the writer. I said, can you write us a novel for this? Because my friend, who's Ace Hansel Junior, and doesn't exist, but the real life one? He's got such an interesting story book of this Croix-Noire district. It's a French red light district, actually fictitious, but maybe not. All this characters in it. We thought this needs a literary base. We don't have a Tolkien to base it on, we don't have J.K. Rowling to base it on. We want something new. Let's have David Quantick, he's a brilliant novelist as well as being a funny man.
Mark Steyn: You've solved the problem in a way because you've done as it were, a musical adaptation of something that didn't exist?
Mike Batt: Exactly.
Mark Steyn: Yeah, that's brilliant. Let me just ask you, broaden it out to a general question. I saw some rather long think piece in the United States a couple of months ago, which said that music doesn't have as big a purchase on people today as music did in the 1970s, 1940s, 1920s, and that actually something has changed now.
Mike Batt: Well it has. When I met this friend who's become a very good business partner as well, we have a company together. We're like a duo really, but he's half my age and much better looking, so he does the lead vocals and sings but we've co-written the songs. I said to him, "What did you just say? That music doesn't have a purchase?"
Mark Steyn: Yeah.
Mike Batt: I said that to him. I said, "Jean-Charles, you know what? Music doesn't have that purchase anymore. Why don't we get some drama around it? Let's build backwards, let's build upwards. Let's create this alter ego."
Mark Steyn: Yeah.
Mike Batt: Here's somebody doesn't exist, created by somebody who does exist in the image of. There's somebody else in this comic, by the way, Mark, who looks a little bit like somebody you know, on the front there.
Mark Steyn: Oh, yeah, who?
Mike Batt: Well, it's supposed to be me, actually.
Mark Steyn: Let me look at that. Wait here, what was it you said about your partner half your age and twice as good-looking?
Mike Batt: Yeah.
Mark Steyn: That's the version of Mike Batt. He is half his age and twice as good-looking.
Mike Batt: Well, I'm the old colonel. I play the old colonel in the story. But anyway, it's seven comic books.
Mark Steyn: Yeah.
Mike Batt: One released every month called Croix-Noire.
Mark Steyn: Right.
Mike Batt: Available in an all good WHSmith and everything. I sound like a promotion man, don't I?
Mark Steyn: No, you already did. But as I said, I'm amazed at what you have to do now, because when Bono did his terrible Spider-Man musical, Spider-Man was already there. To be able to do this and construct it all from the ground up is amazing. I need to ask you, I forgot to ask you this last time, and I need to do this for one of our Australian viewers, and a great fan of the Wombles. Her line on this, the whole Wombles thing, is that people get it wrong when they say, "The Wombles of Wimbledon, Common are we."
Mike Batt: Yeah common after a coma.
Mark Steyn: Yeah, the Wombles in Wimbledon, Common are we.
Mike Batt: Common are we.
Mark Steyn: It's a savage indictment of the British class system.
Mike Batt: A lot of people claim to have thought that when they first heard it, "The Wombles of Wimbledon, Common are we" Isn't that a more unusual thing to think? Isn't that a more unusual thing for a five-year-old or six-year-old to have presumed it was? I think is a nice convenient thing to go back and say, "You know what? In the old days, I used to think it was that." But how can you get it wrong? Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we. Who cares what it means anyway?
Mark Steyn: When you wrote that, so the ambiguity appeals to you?
Mike Batt: It never, ever. It was about 10 years ago, which is what probably thirty years after I wrote it. I wrote it in 1972, something like that. Only about 10 years ago, this theory came out that The Wombles of Wimbledon, Common are we, was the actual way of understanding it.
Mark Steyn: We'll leave it at that, Mike. Thank you very much, though, for our world premiere. Lots of luck with Croix-Noire. It's a comic book, it's an album, it's a game. We'll see what else they managed to turn it into before they're through.
Just a quick bit of stumping. John Smith says, "Hi, Mark. We love your truthful blend of journalism. Is there any chance the farmers protests in the Netherlands could get an airing, now they've been joined by the fishing industry?"
We're going to get to that with Eva Vlaardingerbroek. We'd like to be authentic here, and she is an authentic Dutch lass.
Twitter user says, "What do you know about Starmer's Durham fine?"
This is one of those things I'm not meant to talk about. I think he's taken out an injunction against the press, and I'm not meant to mention it. I'm not meant to mention that he's appealing it, is that what it is? Forget I mentioned it. As a Canadian, I don't regard myself as bound by the jurisdiction of whatever cockamamie court he took his case to. That is going to do it for us. Dan Wootton is here to macerate your Monday. What do you got, Dan?
Dan Wootton: Well, Mark, how do you feel about working just a little bit longer tonight? Are you up for that?
Mark Steyn: Okay.
Dan Wootton: I thought you are.
Mark Steyn: You slave driver, you.
Dan Wootton: Okay, look. Get in a taxi, head across town because we've got important issues to discuss, don't we tonight, Mark. Your vaccine damage special coming up Wednesday night, and we're going to be previewing it on my show tonight. Finally, I get Mark Steyn, the A-lister, on Dan Wootton Tonight. I'm very excited. If you love Mark, you've got to stay tuned. I think he is going to be here about 10:15. Right, Mark?
Mark Steyn: That's where we're reduced to on GB News. I'm going to be on Dan Wootton show, propping up the whole thing. Don't miss a moment of that.
Stay safe, stay free.
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