CG: Hi my name’s Chris Grayling and my colleague Karen Bradley’s supposed to say ‘Hi, My name’s Karen Bradley’ at this point but she’s still having trouble with the studio door. Push! Karen, push! You’re pulling. PUSH!!! Okay, now sit down…
Hi my name’s Chris Grayling, Northern Ireland Secretary
KB: And my name’s Karen Bradley, Transport Secret…..
CG: No, wait. Don’t worry! They’ll cut that bit out. Let’s go again:
CG: Hi, I’m Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary
KB: And I’m Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for…. why aren’t you wearing trousers?
CG: Is there a whole ministry for that?
KB: No, I’m asking a question.
CG: And what I want to say, because I do want to answer that, Karen, and let’s be clear about this, because whatever’s gone before, I’m not afraid of addressing the issues, taking on tough lines of questioning and making sure things are put right where they have gone ashtray. Astray. That’s the whole point of these podcasts. They’re a very modern way to own the agenda, away from the often biased way mainstream media deals with these issues that affect everyone, not just preservatives. Conservatives. So when you ask that question I want to say and be clear we’ve already devoted large separate sums to make sure that…. what was the question again?
KB: When? If it’s a question related to Northern Ireland I want to say that whatever I said before wasn’t me talking, even if the words appeared to come out of my mouth, for which I apologise, undeservedly. Not just my mouth, all of me. Look, every Secretary of State for Northern Ireland faces a steep learning curve. And if those words were coloured with my frustration to overcome those challenges and barriers and get things right…
CG: You’re not allowed to say that.
KB What, ‘frustration’? ‘Barriers’?
CG: ‘Coloured’. It’s on the list of things Mr Crosby said we’re not allowed to say.
KB: Er, Bing?
CG: I think you’re allowed to say Bing. You’re not allowed to say Brexit. Brexit’s the biggie. The whole idea of this is to get people thinking about something else other than Brexit. That’s what we’re good at, apparently. OK, what else are we not allowed to say? Here’s the list:
(reads:) ‘Brexit, David Davis, Dominic Raab, David Cameron (obviously) People’s Vote, Independent Group. Islamaphobia. Probation service. Meaningful vote. Meaningless bloke. Tragic deaths all that time ago. Backstop. Backstab. Murder of innocent unarmed protestors by Her Majesty’s armed forces all those years ago. Ferries. Trains. Prisons. Third London Airport. Ramsgate. Post Brexit flights into Europe. Competence. Incompetence. Boris Johnson. Clock ticking. Compensation. Run down the clock. Extend article 50. Cost of Brexit runs into billions.’
Actually barriers is on the list, but people will have forgotten you said it by now.
So, ‘Bing’. It’s a bit ‘out there’ Karen but it’s not on the list so fire away. And clearly I mean fire away in a non-Northern Ireland context. In what way did you mean that?
KB: I can’t remember.
CG: Neither can I but we have to leave it there, so Bradley Walsh, thank you for letting us hear your Desert Island Discs.
KB: And the no-trousers thing?
CG: Sometimes it’s possible for what appears to be ministerial oversight to actually originate in errors by civil servants. I’m sure I had them when I left home. Wait, there’s more of that list on the other side of the paper: ‘Amber Rudd, National Emergency, stockpiling food, Rupert Murdoch, fewer police on our streets. Austerity…
CG: And then someone’s scrawled ‘leave trousers at dry cleaners’ at the bottom.
KB: There’s your answer.