The Pirate Code

The Pirate Code – Episode 9. This episode is brought to you live from the decks of The Black Pearl, where Captain Balboa instructs Liz Truss on the facts about the British Ministerial Pirate Code. We pay a visit to the Downing St Media Centre and drop in on the recording of a Nasty Party political broadcast. I pay tribute to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and discuss cultural differences between the UK and Spain. Finally, I ask the question: Is football necessary? Warning – listeners of a sensitive disposition should skip the first half to avoid embarrassing scenes with a pole dancer…

Transcript – Updated 9th Aug 2021

Al Morton here. Just a quick word before we get started with the next episode. Firstly, thank you all so much for listening. If you enjoyed these episodes, and I hope that you do, please consider, consider taking a few moments to subscribe and rate the show on iTunes. It helps new listeners find us and keeps the ball rolling. Right, back to the episode. You are listening to episode nine of the Al Morton podcast. Thank you for joining me.

Let’s get this show on the road. And the first thing I wanted to say was a huge apology for maybe politicizing these podcasts, it would seem that only 1/3 of people of voting age are interested in politics. And of those, the ones that are very interested, are also deeply unhappy. Oh, dear. So to all my unhappy listeners out there, this is going to be a tough one because, honestly, Boris has been at it again. Now I know there’s been a bit of a death in the royal family, and something about football. Oh, please kill me now. These are all subjects close to my heart. And we will be circling back to them later. Sorry. But more importantly, our great leader may have fallen foul of the ministerial code. And I’m not just talking about his poor taste in women or home furnishings. It’s all rather puts me in mind of that scene in Pirates of the Caribbean. You know the one, when Elizabeth Swan played by Liz Truss confronts, the captain of the Black Pearl, Hector Barbossa about his lack of adherence to the pirate code.

Captain Hector Barbossa 2:08

First, your return to government was not part of our negotiations nor agreement. So I must do nothing. Secondly, you must be an actual pirate for the Tory Ministerial Code to apply. And you’re not. And thirdly, the code is more what you would call guidelines, rather than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl Tory cabinet, Liz Truss.

Al Morton 2:43

And really, this whole debacle kicked off over Carrie Symonds ghastly refurbishments of their apartment in number 11. I mean, Who does he think he is Clive of India. And having seen the horrendous finished product? It’s no wonder Johnson didn’t want to pay for it himself.

So Around this time, I usually like to try and answer one or two questions from Twitter. And this week, something that caught my eye was a question from Sir Norman of Propaganda Island. His question is, can you **** someone else in the kitchen of your marital home with integrity? And that is an interesting question, isn’t it? Cardinal Biggles McFerry Face says, “Only if you do it in a limited and specific way”. Streed Greebling says, “Only if her name is Integrity”, Anthony Alexander says, “It’s better to use your” – Oh, how I can’t say that. True Crime Phil says, “I’m separated but still married and live alone in the marital home. So I could but the logistics of the size of the kitchen make me wonder how awkward it would be.” Awkward doesn’t begin to cover it. And then Charlotte Moore says, “Yes, galley kitchens do present a particular problem.” Finally Ragged Rue Sir Philanthropist says, “You can **** anyone anywhere with integrity? copyright. Andrew of Y***”, Oh, you can say that one either. You’re going to get us banned. [Breaking News Media theme]

Anchor Newsman 4:30

This is not the BBC; best before Brexit Corporation. We interrupt this podcast to bring you breaking news. The British Electoral Commission have just announced they are going to investigate allegations that Tory donors financed the purging of the nightmare which is Theresa May’s John Lewis furnishings. We bring you the scene live from the Russian-built media and interrogation suite at No 10 Downing Street.

Inquisitor 4:56

Ahha!!! Nobody expects the British Electoral Commission. Our chief weapons are surprise, a fanatical devotion to Margaret Thatcher, and a seat in the House of Lords. Confess Mr Johnson, or should I call you. Maximus Nautius?

Prime Minister 5:22

Pfwwwar. I don’t know what it is I’m supposed to have done wrong. Was it the late lockdown? Sending COVID infected patients into care homes? The public money I gave to my mates who pretended to be PPE suppliers? Oh, come on. – It can’t be denying poor children school dinners. I gave Marcus Rashford a bloody knighthood wasn’t that enough?

Inquisitor 5:47

That’s all okay with the British public and the Queen, obviously. Although, we’re still waiting to hear back from Prince Andrew.

Prime Minister 5:55

Oh, for goodness sake!

Inquisitor 5:57

You have been accused of having bad taste in interior decoration!

[Sighs] I admit it. I couldn’t get the stain out of that bloody John Lewis sofa. That’s why I had to ask for 85,000 quid to redecorate. Oh, what’s that on the floor? It appears to be a knighthood. It’s got your name on it. You must have dropped it on the way in.

Sir Keir, says that you must still be punished. Poke him with the pointy cushions. Go on, take that.

Prime Minister 6:30

Ah! ahhH! AAAHHH! Oh Crickey!

Inquisitor 6:34

Are you sure you got the stuffing done the pointy end?

Inquisitor 2 6:37

Yes, my lord.

Inquisitor 6:39

Right. Fetch the comfy chair!

Al Morton 6:57

Oh lordy. Falling out with the British Electoral Commission, and not adhering to the ministerial Pirate Code. That could be a serious offence. But apparently, not one that is troubling UK voters too much. I for one would love to see the lot of them keel-hauled, and then made to walk the plank. Or perhaps a more fitting punishment would be for the entire cabinet to be forced to sit through a rerun of the Johnny Depp libel trial. I can’t wait.

And then there’s that ruddy toothless Electoral Commission, with Johnson insisting they hand their report in, on his behaviour. To him personally, for his approval prior to publication. It is yet another abuse of the Conservative Party Pirate Code. Talk about marking your own homework. The Electoral Commission may be toothless, but they could still give him a nasty suck. – Come to think of it – that may be the problem right there. [Latino dance music plays]

Prime Minister 8:10

Oh Jennifer…

Jennifer 8:11

Ohhh, Maximus Naughtius…

Prime Minister 8:22

Where did it all go wrong?

Jennifer 8:23

Oh, oh, oh come to me.

Prime Minister 8:33

Put those Union Flag knickers back on immediately, and Let’s pay a visit to my new pole-dancing club. I mean, the media suite. They say I don’t use it. But as it turns out, it’s been jolly useful. I take it you’ve met the Russian ambassador. If he offers you tea, probably best not to drink it.

Al Morton 9:07

The world-beating Electoral Commission will no doubt find irregularities as they did with the Brexit referendum. However, if that was true, no action was taken because, checks notes. It was only advisory. One has to ask, if that was the case. Why were they wasting their time and our money investigating in the first place?

Commissioning reports and then inventing your own conclusions have become the hallmark of the Johnson government. The longer awaited Russian report, no evidence of Russian subversion there as nobody looked for it. They’re reporting to misconduct in public office; Priti Patel found guilty of bullying – ignored; the whitewashed and discredited report into institutional racism with a conclusion written by number 10; the report into the Grenfell Tower fire, where 72 people lost their lives due to negligence, mostly ignored, with new laws passed to make tenants pay to make their landlords building safer; the report into the government response into the pandemic – postponed indefinitely; the reports by the Human Rights Commission into the appalling conditions asylum seekers are kept in old army barracks – ignored; wasting 2.6 million on a media suite; billions to mates for Testing and Trace; holding out the begging bowl for charitable donations to pay for wallpaper at 840 pounds a roll; asking rich Tory donors to pay for him nanny to wipe his son’s bottom.

When asked whether or not he agreed with the Nolan principles of standards in public office, Johnson replied that of course, he did. He was a man of integrity. Also, it’s alleged that he said, “at least one or two of the Nolan sisters were quite sh**able!

It was the pay cut, in real terms for NHS staff that pushed me personally to the darkest places. I was accused on Twitter of imagining a lot. And I realized that was the reply was intended to be derogatory. It was also true. For example, I found myself wondering what would happen when the Prime Minister went for his photo opportunity COVID jab and found himself facing a Ukrainian health worker.

Prime Minister 11:39

You’re not the nurse they showed me in the briefing photos.

Vlad the NHS Impaler 11:42

No Mr. Johnson. I am the one whose wife Priti Patel had deported last week. They like to call me Vlad – the Impaler. Now roll up your sleeves. I want you to know just how pleased we are with the 1% pay rise. All very generous, Mr Johnson. Oh, do sit still. You’ll only feel a small prick.

Prime Minister 12:08

Oh, oh, Crikey. You’re not thinking of coming anywhere near me with that! AhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHH!!!!!!

Vlad the NHS Impaler 12:15

Whoops. I seem to have broken the needle. Don’t worry, Mr. Johnson. I have a bigger one in my bag. This one was given to me by your ex-wife, Mrs Bunny Hugger.

Al Morton 12:37

In truth, Johnson is now writing an unassailable wave of vaccine nationalism. There are posts on social media. ‘Oh thank you, Boris Johnson for my vaccine. Thank you for saving us from all those pesky immigrants and the tyranical EU’. And thank you for the new university tuition fees”. Who needs a degree anyway? When they won’t be any ruddy jobs left in the UK? And your qualifications will mean nothing in the EU. Oh, for goodness sake. What about the fishing industry? No Norwegian fishing deal. So no fish and chips. I’m afraid is just going to be battered sausage from here on. ‘Oh, please, please, please can we still wrap them in newspaper? Oh, thank you, Boris’.

I truly believe that the prime minister would never say anything so crass as ‘to let the bodies pile high in their 1000s’ whilst arguing against another lockdown. It was probably Meghan Markel, that said it.

Only today, a new proposal was announced for the commissioning of a new 200 million pound royal yacht. Having cut the overseas aid budget, Her Majesty will be able to cruise over to the poor countries drop anchor and then cheer them on with cocktails from the cocktail deck. I suppose it is something for NHS staff to think about while queuing at the food bank, having had to fork out to replace the fire risk cladding on their rented apartments. Still, is not all bad. 1% should be enough to cover their parking charges at the least. Well, every little bit helps doesn’t it.

You are listening to episode nine of the Al Morton podcast.

At the start of the show. I may have mentioned that there would be some discussion about the football thing. So here goes. Nobody loves football more than I. In truth. I’m a Partick Thistle season ticket holder. Although to borrow a Billy Connolly line, I used to listen to the football results as a kid, and for years thought that their actual name was; Partick Thistle nill. ‘It’s a game of two halves Ron’. Anyway, I digress. My youngest son is less schooled in the nuances of the beautiful game. He is a Manchester United fan. Well, we all have our crosses to bear. I saw him dash out of the house last Sunday, wearing the official sponsor’s red shirt, only to return dejected and disappointed. The match had been cancelled due to a demonstration against the owners of the club by the fans who rendered the game unplayable.

[Music + voice of a footballer] “On the head son!”

He follows them on social media and various chat groups and frequently tells me that the owners don’t care about football or the fans. All they care about is the money. Would you believe that the owners, aka the Glazer brothers, aren’t even from Manchester. I thought it a little odd that fans would complain about money being injected into their favourite club. But on reflection, it is a lot more than just hero worship. It is about cultural identity. And for this reason alone, the Glazer brothers ownership in a Brexit Britain, is a ticking time bomb.

Cockney football fan 16:44

[Referee’s whistle sound] “Foreigns’ owning a British club, whatever next!”

Al Morton 16:49

If I’m honest, I think the problem runs much deeper than that. The drive to create a European Super League was a greedy and unseemly attempt at grabbing an even bigger slice of someone else’s cupcake. But worse, it showed the depth of the divide between the working class and the super-rich. This was brought home to me when I heard a Sky sports commentator say; that he doubted if the protests would scarcely register with the club’s owners. The players themselves earned fantastic money, and they do so on the basis that they deliver first-class football consistently. However, I’m reminded that one of our key strikers, Marcus Rashford, also manages to find time to campaign on behalf of poor schoolchildren. First-class performance with integrity. Now there’s a thought.

Meanwhile, back in the Nasty Party headquarters, a crack team of marketing experts prepare to launch a new party political broadcast.

Prime Minister 18:01

[Tapping noise] Is the microphone on?

Personal Secretary 18:06

Yes, Prime Minister. You should just try talking into the bit the sticking out right there, sir.

Prime Minister 18:11

Oh, goodness. What will they think of next? You’ve spoken with the BBC, right?

Personal Secretary 18:17

Yes Sir. They’ve cleared their entire schedule and are working on a four hour documentary of your brilliant vaccine rollout.

Prime Minister 18:25

Oh, jolly, good. Do make sure they mentioned my vaccination rollout. Shouldn’t I be dressing up in something? A white coat perhaps?

Personal Secretary 18:34

I’m afraid not Prime Minister. It’s a radio program.

Prime Minister 18:37

Oh, bloody hell. Does anyone still listen to the radio these days? I suppose I don’t need to put my trousers on in that case.

Personal Secretary 18:46

Maybe you should be wearing a white coat sir. [whispers] One with straps behind the back.

Sound Engineer 18:51

THREE, TWO, ONE, AND… [Patriotic orchestral music]

Prime Minister 18:57

This is a party political broadcast on behalf of the nasty party.

[Spills his coffee] Oh, Jeepers! I spilled my sodding coffee. Would you be kind enough to get me some more dear, and can I just say that you’re looking quite resplendent in that well-fitting dress. A bit long perhaps…

Oh! It’s still running. OK – Jolly good. On with the show.

It is time to put global Britain at the front of global Britain, which is why we had to get Brexit done. The Nasty Party are working tirelessly to make our fellow Europeans living amongst us feel as unwelcome as possible. Obviously, we can’t do anything about these ruddy asylum seekers, coming over here in their dinghies and trying to steal our fruit-picking jobs. Especially now the French are refusing to take them back. But the Pritster along with China’s leader did come up with a rather spiffing idea: It’s not just cash donors that the NHS needs…

Liz Truss has been making some terrific trade deals with countries on the other side of the world. One or two of them I even know the names of. So, we don’t have to buy any more of that foreign muck from our EU neighbours. Who wants Italian pasta with parmesan or fine French wine, and Spanish olive oil? When you can have good old fashioned British bangers and mash, swimming in lard and swilled down with a pint of Wetherspoon’s dishwasher dregs – yummy. Now I know that some of you bunny huggers out there are a bit worried about the climate and the many extra food miles that will be warming up the atmosphere. But fear not. Chris Grayling, soon to be Sir Chris Grayling, (you carping-wannabes take note) and his chums have offered to lend us some of his carbon-neutral containerships, just as soon as we can get them unstuck from the walls of the Suez Canal. So keep your peckers’ up. And don’t forget to pile high those Nasty Party votes in their 1000s and keep me and my rich chums, in posh wallpaper and out of prison. Don’t whatever you do vote for that Count Binface or Captain Hindsight. I happen to have bumped into both of them the other day. And I can tell you, they are a right pair of prize p***s!

Sound Engineer 21:43


Prime Minister 21:45

Pfwaar. I think that went jolly well really, although I think I might have been a bit harsh on Count Binface. He does seem to have some interesting policies though. And as for Captain Hindsight, he does nothing but get on my t*ts at PMQs.

Al Morton 22:08

It would seem that the propaganda of the Nasty Party is starting to bear fruit. But in other news, perhaps I should admit it. I did enjoy the sight of two British warships sailing to France, whilst the headlines of the Daily Mail and the Express proclaimed: “We’re Ready for War!” – Really, forgive me if I seem a little sceptical that we should choose to pick a fight with France – on polling day, and then return our respective warships back to their naval bases after the polls closed. My respect to the supreme bare-faced cheek of whoever it was that managed to get away with that shameless piece of jingoistic nonsense.

At the beginning of the recording, I mentioned that I would touch on the subject of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip. It was all rather sad that a 99-year-old, after a lifetime of serving his country, should die at all. But this pales into insignificance compared to the COVID deaths within the Commonwealth. I felt that the demise of such an important part of the monarchy should warrant at least five or 10 minutes of headline news – which it did in Spain. However, the BBC went into full North-Korean-style meltdown, with wall to wall coverage of all things HRH. After record numbers of complaints and so-called journalists being reduced to interviewing people on the street called Phil, the plug was finally pulled. Another interesting detail of this collective insanity was that more parliamentary time was given over to bloviated MPs tributes, than to debating the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU. Well, I suppose we can always send a gunboat if the EU gives us any gyp.

That ruddy EU! I don’t want some unelected bureaucrat in Brussels telling me what to do. [war-like drumming music] Come on, guys. Give it a break for a minute.

So right about this time, I think I need to change the mood a little bit. So around about this time, one of the things that I like to talk about are the differences between British culture and Spain. I very often hear, ‘oh, the Spanish can’t wait for the British to come back and spend British money on Spanish beaches’. And to a certain degree that may be true, but it’s not the whole story. The latest figures that we got are actually from 2017 2018. And tourism accounted for 11.8% of GDP. It ‘s not really the main industry of Spain, especially when you consider that at least half of that, is domestic tourism. Last year, the town I live in (it’s a little coastal town between Alicante and Valencia) we were in the height of a pandemic. And British people just weren’t able to visit, including my dear old mom. But it was more busy than I ever remember it, because Spanish nationals (because they couldn’t go abroad) decided that they would just go and visit the coast. So I just don’t accept this. ‘They need us more than we need them’. It’s just not true. And I’m going to leave the last word on cultural differences to my great friend Mike Britton, who also put forward some really interesting views about the passing of Prince Phillip. We went on holiday with his partner to Menorca quite a few years ago, really. And we hired a car and in the hire car depo there was this fantastic music playing.

[salsa music playing with heavy bass beat] And Mike looked at me and he said, You know, this is their national identity. This is ‘their’ music, salsa and flamenco and vibrant dancy. And what have we got?

What have we got? – [radio static] And what have we got?

Morris dancing… [Morris music playing]

Farmer 26:40

Arrr the sounds of the English countryside, where you can still get a pint of cloudy cider. I think the dancing looks quite interesting, although I’m not sure about the bloke with the horse’s head. [Salsa music reprieves then fades out]

Al Morton 27:02

It’s time for a guitar story now. Well, a music business story. As well as the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the British pop industry lost a great icon in the form of Les McKeown of the Bay City Rollers. So just in case you’re wondering who they were, they were a Scottish pop rock band in the 1970s. I’ve got to be very careful about looking these things up. because ever since I did that item about Miley Cyrus, I keep getting updates from Google about what she’s up to. And believe me, none of it – you don’t want to know what Miley Cyrus is up to… Right back to the story. They had found a place at the top of British charts for quite a few years, and had gone from playing stadiums and festivals to smaller medium-sized venues. And I do remember working in my capacity as a sound engineer doing a series of gigs with them around the West Country, one of which was in a place called Chippenham Gold Diggers. You can imagine. They may well have passed their zenith, but were a likeable bunch of guys, and still had a hardcore fan base who followed them around everywhere. But they were fans of a certain age, not unlike myself; a bit like the sort of people that you see writing on. – (I don’t know if you know about Reddit) but there’s a whole section called ‘Old People Facebook’. These same people followed the Bay City Rollers, and up until relatively recently, Showaddywaddy and it reminded me of a time when we were setting up the sound equipment for that night’s performance. [guitars and drum soundcheck noises] And some of their fans would arrive early hoping to get autographs or I don’t know what they were hoping for. But this woman, she was stood next to the speakers inspecting them closely. Then she went around the back and then a look of concern crossed her face. Suddenly she spotted me and strode over and said, “Young man, I hope these speakers haven’t got magnets in them, because my husband has got a tin leg!” [Song solo guitar Bye-Bye Rollers music intro fades in and then out.]

So, when I heard that Les McKeown had finally left this earth. I remember this little gig that we did, and his greatest fan whose husband had a tin leg.

Les McKeown singing 29:36

Just gotta tell her anyway…

Al Morton 29:42

Cheers lads. Thanks to you and your fans for a few happy memories.

[Start Credits] But before I go. A huge thank you to the Nasty Party for sharing the music for their latest propaganda broadcast, which featured (and I kid you not) the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, performing …

Inquisitor 30:12

[Strong Russian accent] William Walton -Spitfire Prelude y Fuga, de arkestra.

Al Morton 30:19

Conducted by Alexander Humala. Music was provided by media rights productions with thanks to Techno Ax for the Pirate Code Black Pearl theme. The Downing Street reports music was; Pirates Out for Blood by Miguel Johnson. The Royal yacht theme was; La Calle est’a Caliente performed by Asbach Pacheco. Cumbia del gato, by Collectivo and a special thank you to the Hammersmith Morris men. The podcasting theme is Malats. Serenata Hispañiola, played on this occasion by Al Morton. With much gratitude also to the additional insights and help from Mike Britton. Technical support from Oscar Morton. And finally, the Bay City Rollers tribute music was played by me, Al Morton. I’m sorry I couldn’t play you the original – copyright and all that. Still, Bye-bye Baby, Baby Goodbye…