The Brendan O'Connor Show on Auti, Radio one with all care pharmacy discover a team that's always here to support you at all care, taking care of communities across Ireland.
Now, of course, there is a Brexit and a lot more going on over in the U.K. That's kind of of interest to us here now. So let's talk to Edwina Currie, former Tory MP and junior health minister. Good morning. Good afternoon, Edwina.
Good afternoon to you, Edwina.
I suppose we start with the most important thing, and that's on most people's minds. The whole Harry and Megan thing is getting messier and messier by the day, isn't it?
Oh, yeah. I mean, I was debating with myself, do I actually spend a couple of hours of my time on Tuesday night or whenever? It's going to be my instinct.
Like much of my generation, it is a generational split. This is that Madam Meghan is a waste of space and may have been the worst thing that ever happened to poor Harry. And do I really want to waste my time, this feeling sorry for herself?
OK, no, look, that that's that's your opinion on it. Strongly expressed. But we certainly we can't let it go unchallenged that Megan is a waste of space. I mean, there's two sides to every story, isn't there?
And I like Edwina, these people, the firm as as as Megan called them, ironically, I think it was Prince Philip christened them the firm.
They're old hands at dealing with them upstarts like Megan, aren't they?
And they are dealing with her. Well, I'm not sure they are. I mean, the best thing to do with Meghan as far as the firm is concerned, and I've heard it called that before now as well, just ignore her. And, you know, they've got other things on their plate. They've got Prince Philip having been in hospital for a number of days, having had to have more surgery and so on. We have a 94 year old queen still firing on all cylinders.
But, you know, you've got to think about who's next. You've got Prince Philip still hugging trees. You know, there's there's a wealth of human interest there already. And then this lady comes in and she was made very welcome.
You know, a million people watch the the royal wedding and we're keen to welcome her and have her as a wonderful, fresh, wonderful new member.
She didn't like she didn't like being number two. Yeah.
She be how she was made very welcome when she didn't like being behind case.
I think she liked being the number two, being number two to anybody's daughter in law. Yeah. I'd say the wasn't going to let anyone come in and and take over her party either. It's OK. It's tough enough. Would you think.
Well, Kate, the future queen, you know, she's she's she's the apprentice at the moment is Kate Middleton. She's doing extremely well. And she gives a lot of support to her husband, who, you know, like Harry. They had a very tough childhood with the family splitting up and with Diana, who was like she was there all that much. You know, she was off with whoever it was.
You know, this is this is a different story. If you join a firm, any kind of firm, including Archie, you can't just expect a swan and be number one. If there's somebody else that is the designated number one, who for all sorts of reasons is going to take precedence over you, then that's what you accept when you join the firm.
And, oh, my God, I see what they do in order to use their talents or number one, and then they just make sure we do. But it's not if we don't compare notes at all. Listen, if you know what to do, if you compare the two hours with Oprah, there was a very short light piece with James Corden last week that that Harry did.
And actually he did a little interview with him for about five minutes on the top of an open top post, funnily enough. And he kind of got it all out of him.
And actually, when you see Harry just talking for himself and it's not being maybe mediated through the kind of Daily Mail online are the, ah, the Telegraph.
And you just see him saying, look, I did what any young lad would do. This stuff was toxic for me. It was doing our heads in. I got over there and got my wife out of there and, you know, got my family away from it. And you kind of thought, yeah, that's reasonable enough.
Oh, I thought James Corden played an absolute blinder.
And we read in the papers that opera operas, people are furious with him because he got in the he got in there first, didn't he? And he realised that actually a man to man with somebody about your own age is likely, especially if you're. Yes, you're on the top of the bus. You're out of a studio. It's relaxed. Corden is an extremely bright, very able young man, as he's shown when he's turned his hand to all sorts of things.
I loved Gordon's interview with Paul McCartney. It was the best thing ever done going around Liverpool. Absolutely. But when you come back to Harry, I think my my real fear, Brendan. This is eventually going to end in great sadness and that at some point, you know, fast-Forward, 20 years, is Harry still going to be in California? You can't see it.
So he's cut himself off. The one thing did you did you think about the card and thing? He seemed a bit lonely out there.
And he was kind of saying as well that because it's been locked down since he since he went there, that he really Harry hasn't really I don't think he's built a life for himself out there, you know, and I don't think it's good for his partner to be to be too reliant on their on their partner and out of their own element.
You know, I think I think that's absolutely right. And it's true of the male or female, but it's actually in current culture, it's quite hard on young blokes, you know, especially California. It's being led so much by women.
You know, Harris is not a vice president yet, but this is a good thing.
I feel for them. I feel for the blokes. There's always time to give.
It's your turn now, Madrina trying to give the women a go and listen.
Things work better, in my humble opinion, when people are treated as individuals, you know, and that I mean, Harry is always going to be walking behind his missus. Fine, OK.
I don't think it is always to find yourself number two in a relationship like that in a state where women are on top, fine.
That it doesn't feel like it's, what's the word, sustainable.
OK, well, as you said at the beginning of all this, this is a generational thing. So we will take your view as being the view generation through a generational filter. I said there was a piece in there in the Telegraph there, Camilla Tamny, as a great piece about all the carry on. Apparently in Buckingham Palace. They referred to Harry as the hostage that was that became his nickname.
Now, listen, anyway, let's move on.
To matters more important, I was thinking about you and watching the richest Eunuch's budget during the week and everything else.
I was thinking, you must not recognise the Tory party that you were part of.
No tax hikes under way. Corporation tax going up very high rates up to 25 percent in the next couple of years. That's not the Tory party you were part of, isn't it?
Well, that's right. I mean, we didn't have five women in the cabinet. That's absolutely right. We certainly didn't have a large number of people in the cabinet whose parents or grandparents were immigrants, including the prime minister. That great I mean, we're much more diverse country now. And the the way that the election went in December twenty nineteen rather reinforced that because we now have far more conservative MPs representing seats in the north of England that were Labour for, well, generations since, you know, democracy properly began.
And these policies are a kind of labour as well, aren't they? I think there's a strong feeling that don't underestimate Rishi Soknacki. Again, he's an extremely bright young man, Harvard educated Stanford. They're all the same. But they the thing is that I think he understands the economics of this and he understands economic history when there's been a huge recession, you know, like the 1930s, for example, or a huge increase in demand for government action, like the Second World War, you borrow, you borrow.
And when and he said this in the budget, while interest rates are so low, the cost of servicing can be met. The worry is, well, interest rates will rise. And that's why he said and it did not go down like a balloon.
It went down extremely well. She dosimetry, you know, tax rates are going to go up. And guess what? We are a progressive government. Progressive tax rates are going to go up, businesses got to pay more. Pension funds are going to pay more. And everybody's cheering.
Hey, how about that? Yeah. Yeah, he was very well received. And you know what? Quietly We received it very well over here as well when we heard that. Well, the corporation tax going up because there would have been a worry that, you know, the UK was going to try and become a kind of a not a rogue state. But, you know, the Singapore of Europe idea, wasn't it, that the corporation taxes would be cautious and you'd become this kind of I won't say Piris, but, you know, independent state there in the middle of Europe, Europe, geographically.
Listen, anyway, on the on the issue of this kind of the Tory party changing and everything, I think back as well to, you know, people like Margaret Thatcher, respected and feared on the world stage and everything. Boris Johnson again this week. And I look I can see his reasons for doing it. And I know all the arguments first. But again, extending the grace period of the Irish Sea border, but undermining and doing at this impression that Britain is not to be trusted on international.
Agreements and treaties and that the British prime minister is not to be trusted. That's very far from the view Britain would have had of itself when you were in politics, isn't this?
Well, you know, if we're if we're looking at Article 16 and being sort of suspended, there is an element of the EU started this first with something much more important than soil on the roots of plant. They started it first with vaccines, which was ridiculous and which is now acknowledged to have been and and which they did.
They pulled back on straightaway as soon as it was pointed out, oh, no, whatever anonymous functionary did it, I'm sure got a good rap in the first straightaway.
It wasn't that wicked. You know, if you're in charge of something, you take responsibility for what happens on your watch.
That's that's mean minded trying to blame somebody.
I think our sort of underlying did apologise insofar as she apologises for anything she did kind of grudging.
But you're welcome to let me tell you, Brendan, you are welcome to if she's telling you what to do and what you can and can't do in Ireland. I think that's that's a great shame.
But coming back to this look, the problem the deal it was done is that Northern Ireland basically becomes part of both the United Kingdom and of the single market. But the problem that then immediately got thrown up was that getting stuff into Northern Ireland, basic stuff like food and plants and so on, suddenly became a huge international issue. And basically, Boris has said this, this is ridiculous. Stuff can go into Northern Ireland that they need.
Yeah, yeah. But look, we could argue about this all day, but I suppose he had agreed to this and it did agreeing to all this did get him out of a pickle at the time. But anyway, look, another thing I wanted to discuss with you and look, you mentioned vaccines there. And we all concede over here that, you know, Boris Johnson, the government, the UK in general, are playing a blinder, really.
And the only thing that matters right now, which is which is vaccines. And you have a road map there and everything for for easing restrictions. It based on dates, not data, as was recommended. But what do you make of it?
Well, it's interesting to see. I mean, one of the difficulties is that the older generation are getting very itchy feet. I get probably said this to you before, but the main the main side effects of being vaccinated is that you yeah, you get smugness and itchy feet and apparently about 80 percent of the over 80 to have been vaccinated, many of whom have been vaccinated twice. Now they need to meet their families. And they're saying, listen, I've been vaccinated, I'm fine.
So there's an element of risk. Doesn't ease the restrictions soon. It'll happen by default. On the other hand, I think we all take on board in this country and people listen very hard to this. They've tuned into all the No.10 press conferences. We when we come out of lockdown, we want that to be the last time we see what's happening, for example, on the Isle of Man, where they're back in lockdown because, you know, somebody on the ferry was infected and went to a rave and suddenly about 100 people infected.
And that is just awful. We want to come out of this finally vaccinated immune and able to carry on with our lives and get on with, you know, building the new country after Brexit and then, you know, heading into a lovely, wonderful, sunlit future. Oh, for heaven's sake, you know.
And are you happy with this? Have you had your vaccine? Oh, yes. I've had my I have my vaccine on the 2nd of February, so I'm now well into a substantial protection against serious illness and against death. So why please God, not heading to hospital, even if I'm in contact with them, might have the sniffles. And I look forward to getting the second dose maybe. And of April, May, I don't mind, you know, and it was the Oxford had to tell the truth.
No. Yes. Yes. We've all had to admit that one too. I think the the French the Germans didn't enjoy admitting that. And it's not like the English press didn't make a meal out of it at all. Oh, no. Listen, gracious, very gracious to me. The truth.
Now, are you starting to get a little bit flexible around the restrictions having been vaccinated?
Don't think so. I mean, I think if you're well known, you've got to be careful. Someone's going to take a photo, you know, and I'm in the middle of election campaigns here because we have county elections on May the 6th. And I've been asked to be a candidate, so I'm kind of walking on eggshells.
So, yes, I remember that eggshells. Yeah.
So, for example, when I go into the small town and Wadebridge and if I'm doing better shopping or walking with the dogs, going to the post office, whatever, I am careful to have my mask. But it's a funny mask. It's got dogs on it and it makes. People smile when they see it, and now I'm careful, you never know what somebody might have, I mean, they might have colour or something else, you know, be careful.
Yeah, you see, we're going to we're going to worry about everything. No, that's the thing. How much of this will we bring with us into the future? OK, well, listen, good luck with everything, Edwina, and marvellous to talk to you as always doing.
Akari, thank you very much.
And listen, there is they're not texting in about Brexit.
They're not texting in about all the other issues we discussed. They're what they're doing, Akari. They're texting in about Harry and Megan. Why does a grown woman need to have a row with their in-laws in public?
One text or ask another?
Trish says, I don't often agree with the Dwina car, but she's dead right about Prince Harry and Meghan. If the firm was so toxic and they left it to get on with their lives, then why are they now broadcasting it on The Oprah Winfrey Show and then possibly younger people?
Rosie and Sandra, I'm surprised you're falling into the trap of believing the English media because Megan didn't toe the line and someone else.
Jeez, Brendon Harry is not the eleven year old boy that followed his mother's coffin. He's a fully grown man, an actual adult. He comes from privilege and money. But somehow it's all Megan's fault.
And by the way, yes, there are Northern Ireland teenagers. I kind of half knew that there is a Northern Ireland, TasRail says, completely different packaging and flavour. Not the real thing and rather bland, to be honest. Redpath, that's that's your opinion on it? I'm sure. Northern Ireland tazers, a really nice someone else says yes, Brendan, there are Northern Ireland. Ardern, Northern Irish. Tasos, look it up on Wikipedia. That's a millennial Bernau.
I think that's a that's a kind of an OK boomer thing. Go look it up in Wikipedia. Grundon OK, let's take a break.
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