Josie Long Live from the BBC


Josie Long

Disarmingly eloquent and verbally dexterous Josie Long takes to the stage with her stand-up show about optimism and hopefulness.


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Transcript


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This programme contains some strong language

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APPLAUSE

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Hi, guys! Thank you so much.

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Hi!

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Hello!

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Oh, guys, thank you.

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APPLAUSE CONTINUES

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Thank you so much!

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Hi! Thank you.

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My name's Josie Long. I am so thrilled to be here

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and so thrilled to be doing my show for you. I hope you guys are well.

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I'm chuffed.

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I should say as well, to introduce myself, if you don't know me,

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my name is Josie, I have bad posture, but a good heart,

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I'm 34 years old and that is the prime of life.

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Thank you. It's the sweet spot, and I'm trying to inhabit it

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and trying to live it, but I'm also a woman - I'm so sorry - and...

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LAUGHTER

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Thank you for laughing at that!

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Sometimes people don't, and I think,

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"Fuck, is post-Brexit Britain that bad?"

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But I am a woman - ooh - and I've started to feel

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societal, sexist pressures impinging on my day-to-day.

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The way that I'm trying to ride out any stress that that gives me is,

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I've created a kind of karaoke persona.

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And the karaoke persona is, like,

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"I'm like a fun mum with no kids! Woo!

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"Woo!

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"Woohoo! Woo!

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"Get me a glass of Pinot Grigio! Woo!

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"Get me on the Grig! Get me on the Grig!

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"Get me on the Grig!

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"Get me a glass of that sweet Pinot Grigio."

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I thought it was just a stereotype about women in their mid-30s

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loving Pinot Grigio, and then one day I woke up and I was, like,

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"I know what drink it is I must order.

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"Get me a sweet glass of the sweet, sweet Grig.

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"Get me on the Grig.

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"It's like mineral water, but it makes all your fears go all fuzzy."

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That's my new catchphrase as well - "Get me on the Grig!"

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You guys all say, "Who's on the Grig?"

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and I'm, like, "She's on the Grig!"

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"Grig! Grig! Grig!" I'm like, "Grig again!"

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You go, "Grig!"

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And then we all... You'll pick it up.

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I'm 34 years old. I've realised that I'm not a stadium comedian.

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Once I did this show and someone there was, like, "Yet."

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And I was, like...

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"..That ship has sailed."

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I'm not a stadium comedian and I'm fine with that,

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but the only time I wish I was was with my new catchphrase,

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cos if I was, you would all know in advance, you'd be, like,

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"Oh, is she ready for the Grig?"

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While I was backstage in the stadium, you'd all be chanting,

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like, "Grig! Grig! Grig!"

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And I'd turn to my stylist and my nutritionist and I'd be, like,

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"There's so many Grig-heads in tonight!"

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And I'd come out and you'd be, like, "Is she on the Grig?"

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And I'd be wearing a jacket and I'd be, like, "Am I?"

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Then I'd pull out a sweet glass of the Grig.

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All the 34-year-old women in the crowd would just start weeping,

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instantaneous gratitude, like, "I connect!"

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And I'd be like, "Woo! Get me on the Grig!"

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At the end of the show, I'd be doing my final dance number,

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cos if you're in a stadium, you've got to really make it big,

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and the stadium number, I'd be, like,

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"I've had too much of the Grig,"

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and you'd all be, like, "Where's Grigie?"

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I should say this one - Grigie is my mascot,

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like an animated bottle of Pinot Grigio...

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and I sell it because I'm a stadium comedian

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and I know about making money.

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Then you're, like, holding up Grigie, like, "Where's Grigie?"

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I'm, like, "He's not here!"

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And then at the end of the show, he comes on and pushes me

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into the orchestra pit and everyone's crying and...

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LAUGHTER

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So I'm not a stadium comedian...

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but I am a 34-year-old woman.

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I do love a glass of the Grig and I can't believe it.

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Now I am safely ensconced in my middle-30s, three things change.

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Number one, "Get me on the Grig."

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Grig... You'll pick it up.

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Number two, the second thing that changed for me when I became

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safely ensconced in my middle-30s, I really appreciate architecture.

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LAUGHTER

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Never expected it.

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I'll be, like, "The thing is, I know it was the right thing to do,

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"to break up with him,

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"and I feel so sad about it, I'm just heartbroken.

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"I just think, 'Where am I going to go?'

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"I'm supposed to, have my...

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"Mm.

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"What is this place, Art Deco?

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"Yeah, so I don't know what to do..."

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The third thing that changed for me,

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this happened on the morning of my 34th birthday.

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I woke up, the first thought that entered my head was,

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"Adele is a genius!"

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Adele is a genius.

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And I know the sort of people that might come and see my comedy,

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you think you're too young and too cool for Adele.

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You think you're too young and that Adele is too mainstream.

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Let me tell you something!

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Nobody on this Earth is too cool for Adele,

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none of you are too cool for Adele.

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Adele is a genius and if any of you guys would like to query

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whether or not Adele is talented

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at the thing she has devoted her life to doing,

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you better damn well, fucking well be Serena fucking Williams.

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That is all I'm saying.

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Adele is a genius...

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and she's so earthy.

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She's so young! What's she going to do next?

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I have no idea, but I've got faith in her,

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I've got faith in her for her journey.

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That's a little introduction into me and who I am.

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I'm so excited to be doing this, I'm a little bit nervy.

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I'm sure it will be fine, but the show is kind of about politics,

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but the show is called Something Better,

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and the reason I called it that is for comedy festivals

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where you see loads of shows, so people will be like,

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"Oh, hey, what are you going to see today?"

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"Oh, erm, I'm going to see a middle-aged man bitching and moaning

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"about how much he doesn't like safe spaces

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"and about Generation Snowflake.

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"What are YOU going to see?"

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LAUGHTER

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You guys sussed it out. You're a smart bunch.

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What I wanted this show to be about is, I wanted it to

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be about politics and optimism and hope and about all the people around

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the world and from the past

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that I feel really inspired by and excited by,

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and I started writing it in May 2015 and I was full of excitement...

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LAUGHTER

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And then I put it aside and I started writing it in June 2016...

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I'm going to let you into a secret - I fucked that up.

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I meant to say May 2016, but I feel like the last few years have

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been so awful, everyone's, like, "Yeah, it's terrible, innit?

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"Everything's bad!"

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But I... I wanted to write a show that was about joy

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and enthusiasm about politics, something that was

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something better in itself, like, aspirational, and then...

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SPANISH ACCENT: ..Brexit... happened.

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Oh, God, guys, do you know about Brexit?

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If you don't, don't look it up.

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I don't know if you've been paying attention to the world,

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but it's really been set on fire recently, so I...

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Yeah, Brexit happened. I started saying this...

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SPANISH ACCENT: ..Brexit...

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..cos I feel like it makes it sound more warm and Spanish.

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Brexit happened and the show sort of became about that

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and about grief and I feel really guilty,

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because I already needed the other show first, like,

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I needed the joyful show because for the past six years, seven years now,

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since I've really cared about politics, since the Government

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changed, I feel like I've had so much fight and enmity going on

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in my life, like, nobody warned me beforehand

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what it's like to live under a Government

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that you ideologically oppose, no-one said to me,

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like, what it's like is like being stabbed with a little pin

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every single day of your life

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and no-one appreciates why you're angry the whole time.

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Everyone's, like, "Why are you in a mood? You're fine."

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And I'm, like, "Conservatives are pinching me!"

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LAUGHTER

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"You're fine."

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"No! They sent a cat through the window to pinch me!"

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Thank you, that's my cheeky crucible joke!

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Start at the top with a cheeky crucible joke

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and you can find out who likes it, and then you can take

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their names down and report those people to the relevant authorities.

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It's a double crucible joke. My dream is...

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What I really like is doing jokes that are so niche that the dream is

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they would only disproportionately entertain one person at a time.

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That's my dream. My dream show would be you all laugh once...

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LAUGHTER

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..but it's the best laugh of your lives and you do it alone.

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It's just, like, "You're done! You're done! You'll all get done!

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"Don't you worry about it, you'll all get done!"

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Yeah, so I feel like I've had all of that in my life,

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I've had so much enmity and struggle for seven years

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and I want to put it down and be something better, but then...

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SPANISH ACCENT: ..Brexit happened... Brexit.

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Oh, I should tell you, politically, I am on the left.

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Well done, me.

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The best team. I'm on the left.

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If you can't tell by literally everything about me,

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I am on the left and if you're not...

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you should give it a go.

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There's never been a better time to give it a go. Give it a try.

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See if it's for you. Join the team, it's a great team.

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You're thinking, "Oh, what are the perks of the left?

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"I don't know whether I want to join the left."

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There's loads of perks. Loads of perks.

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Number one, everyone treats you as if you are naive as a little child,

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and, number two, no money!

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Yippee!

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Get me on the Grig!

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It's not part of it, but it helps, it really helps.

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I didn't even mention the best perk.

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The best perk - I leave my washing in the washing machine

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for three days before I hang it out to dry. Yeah.

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And then when people are, like, "What's that smell?"

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I'm, like, "Hemp?"

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They're, like, "It figures."

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And I'm, like, "Thank you! The left, best team!"

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I'm on the left, you know, and the thing is, I love my team.

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It's a problematic team, it's a complicated team, but I love my team

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and I'm proud to be a part of it,

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but I wish that when I had signed up to be on the left, they could

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have made me a little bit more aware of the fine print of the team,

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like, "Oh, it's great that you've signed up to care about

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"other human beings a bit more and you're, like,

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"trying to get involved with politics, that's brilliant.

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"Erm, just while you're signing this, I do need you to know that

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"you are signing up to a lifetime of misery, struggle and defeat. OK?"

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"No! I just signed up for glamorous marches and free dhal at festivals!

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"Nooo!

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"Sorry, can I change teams?" "No."

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Once you start caring, you won't stop caring.

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You'll think you have,

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but you'll just be weeping alone in your mansion.

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"Can I do that?" "No!"

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I don't want to sound cocky with you guys

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cos I know I've just met all you guys, and you seem lovely,

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but I really thought that, with me on the team...

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..we would have won by now.

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I didn't realise we'd keep losing.

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I don't understand why we keep losing.

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I am retweeting so much stuff.

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Every day. I thought we'd be winning

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and I thought I could go back to the sort of shows I used to write

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before I got interested in politics cos they were

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so much more fun. They were, like...

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"I love it when bus drivers talk to each other."

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Just my whimsical way of looking at the world.

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"I wonder what cats are thinking.

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"Maybe they're thinking that, the UN recently said that,

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because of soil erosion, we've probably only got 60 harvests left."

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LAUGHTER

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Or they're thinking, "I don't care who feeds me."

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I don't know.

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I want to go back to that sort of show, like,

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I don't want you thinking at the outset that I'm an angry ranter,

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I'm not an angry person, I'm not, and I don't want to

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spend my life being defined by opposition to some jerks, I don't.

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I want to be something better, I want to be useful to society and,

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weirdly, the day after Brexit,

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I didn't feel as devastated as all of my friends seemed to,

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and I should say at this point, I didn't want Brexit.

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I think it's catastrophic.

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Surprise!

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LAUGHTER

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But the day after Brexit, I didn't feel as bad as all my friends.

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I had all my friends texting me that day

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and I felt able to be useful, and my friends were texting me,

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like, "Oh, God, what are we going to do? This is awful.

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"I feel so devastated, I feel so frightened,"

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and I didn't, and I am an optimist. That's why people were texting me.

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I'm an optimist, I'm proud of being an optimist, I feel blessed

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to be an optimist, but that's what I WOULD say.

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"Stupid optimists! Live in the real world! What's wrong with you?"

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They were texting me all day and I found, the day after,

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I didn't feel despair,

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I felt this incredible, evangelical zeal all around me,

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running through my blood, the like of which I have not felt before or

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since and I felt desperate, I felt so desperate to do something.

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I was texting everyone, like,

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"Listen to me - we are all still here and we keep going

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"and we are all going to keep trying and despair is a luxury."

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I was so pleased with myself for that tweet.

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I was, like, "I've got 100 characters left,

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"don't even need 'em - despair is a luxury."

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But I felt it cos for the first time in my life,

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when everything seemed to be bending and falling apart,

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I felt so keenly and acutely aware of all the privilege that

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I have in our society, the fact that I am young...

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34, young, please!

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27, sort of, please!

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And I'm fit!

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Well, I have better cardio than you would expect

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for somebody of my build.

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Don't look at this, this is insulin resistance. Look at the calves.

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It's a more representational picture.

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I feel immediately self-conscious! I'm, like, "Look at me!"

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and now I'm, like, "Don't look at me, please!"

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Just look at this. Anyone who looks at anything other than this...

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..forbidden.

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I'm young and I'm fit and, also, I felt for the first time,

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skin-crawlingly, sickeningly, fully aware of what it means

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to have white privilege in our society,

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the fact that I could walk around passing as white British

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when friends of mine didn't have that luxury, when they were

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having to put up with more shit than they were already putting up with,

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and I felt sick and desperate to do anything to be useful in

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any possible way, so I spent all day texting, tweeting, everything,

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contacting everyone I know, saying, "Listen, don't despair.

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"Despair is a luxury and we keep going and,

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"no matter what happens, we will keep trying and it's not over yet,

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"and I'm not being naive - I know it's hard, but we'll keep going."

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And that night I went to bed and I thought,

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"I have a purpose in all this and it's going to be all right."

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And I went to sleep and woke up the next morning

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and it hit me what had happened.

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LAUGHTER

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And then I freaked out! I freaked out!

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And what I've learned is that I am very good in a crisis...

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..but I am not excellent in the two weeks following a crisis.

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I also, like, I don't want you to think I'm sneering about Brexit.

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I know there's this whole narrative now about, like,

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"Oh, liberal elite sneering at normal people, liberal elite,"

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and I do think, like, am I really the liberal elite?

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Because I live in a rented basement

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and I always seem to have yoghurt on me.

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I had wished for better of the elite.

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But I don't want you to think I'm sneering, I do

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get that there are lots of different reasons why people vote for Brexit.

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I get that there are parts of this country that have been

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systematically alienated, degraded and deprived for 35 years,

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and then snake oil salesmen show up and they go,

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"Hey, I've got the answer to all your problems

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"and if you don't believe that, why not shake things up a bit?

0:17:020:17:04

"And if you don't believe that,

0:17:040:17:06

"why not kick those wankers back in London right in the teeth?"

0:17:060:17:09

I get why people would vote for that, but what I don't get is...

0:17:090:17:12

why do people not want me to go on a study abroad scheme?

0:17:120:17:16

Why do they want to hurt me?

0:17:180:17:21

I'm only relatively privileged.

0:17:210:17:23

And I earned that privilege through luck.

0:17:240:17:28

It's not fair.

0:17:300:17:32

Why do people want to vote to hurt me and make it harder for me

0:17:320:17:35

to travel easily to the beautiful city of Copenhagen?

0:17:350:17:38

Seriously, guys, Denmark is so great.

0:17:390:17:41

All the men are so tall and emotionally unavailable.

0:17:410:17:44

And there are so many fit dads with prams.

0:17:480:17:51

And that's not creepy cos there's, like, a 50% divorce rate

0:17:530:17:56

so it's always worth a punt.

0:17:560:17:57

LAUGHTER

0:17:570:18:00

That's the creepiest part of the show, but I refuse to retract it.

0:18:040:18:08

It's there, it's true. Also it's got a sculpture museum, I've heard.

0:18:080:18:12

All I've ever wanted to do was study in the beautiful city of Aarhus

0:18:130:18:16

in Denmark and, if I'm honest, I've never researched whether or

0:18:160:18:19

not there's a university there, but it's not worth me trying now!

0:18:190:18:23

I'm so angry about it.

0:18:230:18:24

That's the thing as well - I can't seem to get over my enmity

0:18:240:18:27

and I keep thinking, there's this quote from

0:18:270:18:29

To Kill A Mockingbird that I want to remember and rely on, right?

0:18:290:18:33

You'll know the plot - in it, Atticus Finch is defending a man

0:18:330:18:36

from trumped-up, completely false charges,

0:18:360:18:39

but he's defending him from everyone he knows,

0:18:390:18:42

and what he says is, he turns to his daughter and he says...

0:18:420:18:45

"..Let's kill that mockingbird."

0:18:470:18:49

LAUGHTER

0:18:490:18:51

LAUGHTER CONTINUES

0:18:580:19:01

Not one of you has read that book. Not one of you.

0:19:010:19:04

Not one of you has read that book.

0:19:040:19:05

Not one of you, like, all of you are just, like,

0:19:050:19:07

"Oh, that sounds plausible."

0:19:070:19:09

That's not even what I was setting up, like,

0:19:090:19:11

I was trying to set up something about unity and division

0:19:110:19:13

and then I'm, like, "Let's kill a bird,"

0:19:130:19:15

and you're, like, "Oh, that sounds good."

0:19:150:19:17

That's fucking how Brexit happened, you dickheads! It's not right!

0:19:170:19:20

Obviously that's not a quote in the book!

0:19:200:19:23

The book is about justice and about kindness!

0:19:230:19:25

Not one of you was, like, "Excuse me, that's not right."

0:19:250:19:28

You were all just, like, "Oh."

0:19:280:19:30

I'm so annoyed with you guys!

0:19:310:19:33

That book was on the GCSE syllabus...

0:19:330:19:35

or it was until Michael Gove decided that it wasn't written-by-a-man enough.

0:19:350:19:39

LAUGHTER

0:19:390:19:40

Took it off.

0:19:400:19:42

Took it off, but, luckily, once he finished being

0:19:420:19:44

Education Secretary, he couldn't fuck up the country any more.

0:19:440:19:48

Oh...

0:19:480:19:49

Erm... LAUGHTER

0:19:490:19:50

No, I'm sorry, that's not the real quote.

0:19:500:19:53

If you guessed, it's not the real quote, so I'll do it properly.

0:19:530:19:55

Sorry, I don't want to fuck about. This is the real quote.

0:19:550:19:57

It's kind of beautiful. It's genuinely important,

0:19:570:20:00

cos everything's been so divided

0:20:000:20:01

and it's about trying to come together again.

0:20:010:20:03

What he does is, he turns to his daughter and he says...

0:20:030:20:06

"You must remember, when we're done fighting these people,

0:20:060:20:08

"that they're still our friends and, also, to kill a mockingbird."

0:20:080:20:11

The last bit's not part of it,

0:20:110:20:13

but I feel like if you don't put it on, it'll never end.

0:20:130:20:15

That's the bit that I can't get to, I can't get to this idea of,

0:20:150:20:18

how do we become friends? There are things I don't want to forgive.

0:20:180:20:21

There are people who voted knowingly alongside racists

0:20:210:20:23

and were pleased about it and I don't know how to get over that.

0:20:230:20:26

I want to, but I can't, and I feel like, ever since Brexit,

0:20:260:20:29

I have not been showering myself in glory as a human being.

0:20:290:20:33

This is what I feel like, a near year...

0:20:330:20:35

well, not a year, this is how I feel, like, six months

0:20:350:20:38

of hand-wringing, this is what I feel like it's taught me, right?

0:20:380:20:41

Because I do feel like I am this,

0:20:410:20:43

and this might not be useful in the modern world

0:20:430:20:45

and I feel sad about that, I feel desperate,

0:20:450:20:47

cos, more than ever, I want to make a change to society that is

0:20:470:20:50

positive, I want to be more humane, I want to fight back.

0:20:500:20:53

The worse things seem to be getting, the more frightening things

0:20:530:20:55

seem to be, I believe in what I believe in so much more.

0:20:550:20:58

I feel like I will be a socialist at the end of this no matter what

0:20:580:21:01

because I love it and I care about it,

0:21:010:21:03

and I feel desperate to be useful to society and I want something better.

0:21:030:21:06

The reason I called the show Something Better is not because

0:21:060:21:08

I think I'm something better, it's because I want better for all of us.

0:21:080:21:11

I feel like what is happening at the moment is such a waste,

0:21:110:21:14

it is despicable, and I want better for us and that's the reason

0:21:140:21:16

why, at 34, I became single, because I want love in my life

0:21:160:21:19

and I want a family and I do live in a trailer park with my mum

0:21:190:21:22

and I'm still here to say, "Fuck the free world."

0:21:220:21:25

That last bit is from 8 Mile by Eminem.

0:21:270:21:29

You've got to break up the tension, otherwise it's too earnest,

0:21:330:21:37

but the thing is, other people are better than me already, like,

0:21:370:21:40

I wanted to find people in the past

0:21:400:21:41

and around the world to look up to, but the truth is that in London,

0:21:410:21:44

there are people who have been getting on with stuff

0:21:440:21:47

since before I decided to get involved and will continue to do so

0:21:470:21:50

and they're people who are young enough and bold enough and

0:21:500:21:53

brave enough to see all of this disaster, all of this fear,

0:21:530:21:57

as an opportunity and not as the end of the world and I thought

0:21:570:22:00

I would just explain one activist event that I feel blew my mind

0:22:000:22:05

and changed my perspective, and I thought I'd tell you about a

0:22:050:22:07

book that I'm reading as well, and that's kind of the end of the show.

0:22:070:22:10

So this is what happened.

0:22:100:22:12

Now, on the 6th of September, I was in Denmark.

0:22:120:22:16

Don't hate me because you ain't me.

0:22:160:22:17

Please, it's so great.

0:22:200:22:22

Middle-aged women have specially adapted bicycles there

0:22:220:22:24

so that they can put two dogs in the front of it.

0:22:240:22:27

LAUGHTER

0:22:270:22:28

If I moved there,

0:22:300:22:31

I could go on maternity leave for, like, six years!

0:22:310:22:34

I was in Denmark, but while I was in Denmark, there was

0:22:360:22:39

an action that took place that

0:22:390:22:41

was orchestrated by the UK branch of Black Lives Matter

0:22:410:22:44

and that's an organisation that was set up last year

0:22:440:22:47

and it was righteous and necessary and important,

0:22:470:22:49

but what they did was,

0:22:490:22:51

the people who ran the organisation worked in partnership with

0:22:510:22:54

some green activists, and the green activists were largely white people

0:22:540:22:58

and what happened was,

0:22:580:22:59

the activists who were allied to the Black Lives Matter movement

0:22:590:23:02

stormed the runway at London City Airport and they stopped a plane

0:23:020:23:06

from taking off and the reason they did it was to highlight

0:23:060:23:09

the fact that climate change is an issue

0:23:090:23:10

that disproportionately affects people of colour

0:23:100:23:12

and that air pollution in London is an issue

0:23:120:23:14

that disproportionately affects people of colour,

0:23:140:23:16

and the reason the activists who were affiliated in the movement,

0:23:160:23:19

but not running the movement, did that bit of the action was

0:23:190:23:22

so that the people who ran the movement could then use

0:23:220:23:24

the press in the manner that fitted their campaign best, right?

0:23:240:23:28

And the reason that they did it like that is because the activists

0:23:280:23:31

who were people of colour get treated completely differently

0:23:310:23:34

by police than the white activists,

0:23:340:23:35

and I realised that I spent all last summer hand-wringing, like,

0:23:350:23:38

"Why don't people take me seriously cos I'm on the left?

0:23:380:23:41

"I don't smell of hemp. I don't even know what hemp smells like.

0:23:410:23:45

"I smell of damp."

0:23:450:23:46

LAUGHTER

0:23:460:23:48

"Damp is different to hemp!

0:23:480:23:51

"And I smell of these branded deodorants that my sister

0:23:510:23:55

"brought home from a hairdressing competition. It's complicated."

0:23:550:23:58

But I realised that is like this lovely privilege I have

0:23:590:24:03

as a white British person, that I get called stupid and ridiculed

0:24:030:24:07

in this quite soft way, but when people of colour protest, they

0:24:070:24:09

get called thugs and they get beaten up

0:24:090:24:11

and harassed by the police, right?

0:24:110:24:13

And so these people, by working together, the people who had

0:24:130:24:15

that privilege, could be useful to the people who ran the campaign,

0:24:150:24:18

and the people who were running the campaign took the press,

0:24:180:24:20

and they used it, and they got their message out there,

0:24:200:24:23

and the action was a success cos people watched together, right?

0:24:230:24:25

And I was, like,

0:24:250:24:26

"Wow, I didn't realise how little I am being useful with

0:24:260:24:30

"the privilege that I have,"

0:24:300:24:31

and if you're lucky enough to be in the position that I'm in,

0:24:310:24:34

you have a surplus and it is important, now more than ever,

0:24:340:24:37

to try to be useful to people...

0:24:370:24:40

And this is the bit where I get really, like...

0:24:400:24:42

You know what I'm trying to say. Now... Or you don't.

0:24:420:24:45

LAUGHTER

0:24:450:24:46

I'm so awkward, it's appalling!

0:24:460:24:48

Secondly, what it taught me is that the Daily Mail

0:24:480:24:53

is the stupidest thing in the world and doesn't understand anything...

0:24:530:24:58

because what happened was, the Daily Mail did a big report about

0:24:580:25:01

the action and focused entirely on those activists who had blocked

0:25:010:25:05

the plane and did a big photo spread about them

0:25:050:25:08

and underneath each of the activists,

0:25:080:25:11

they did a little epithet to describe them and, I swear to God,

0:25:110:25:14

it was the most unintentionally funny thing I have ever seen

0:25:140:25:17

in my life, and I'm going to prove it to you by reading them to you.

0:25:170:25:21

So overexcited at the end of this. OK.

0:25:210:25:25

This is the team of them, and this is their nicknames...

0:25:250:25:29

"Self-proclaimed expert on lesbians."

0:25:290:25:32

LAUGHTER

0:25:320:25:33

It's a great start! It's a great start!

0:25:330:25:35

"Climber who lives in a houseboat."

0:25:370:25:40

What I like with all of these is, some of you are thinking,

0:25:420:25:45

"Which one of them is her?"

0:25:450:25:47

And none of them is me.

0:25:470:25:48

"Buddhist Ben, the arms trade critic."

0:25:480:25:51

If that is not the most lefty children's book

0:25:520:25:56

you've ever heard of...

0:25:560:25:57

"The ultimate green activist.

0:26:000:26:03

"Cousin of Ralph Fiennes."

0:26:030:26:05

That's just Britain, innit?

0:26:070:26:09

"The luvvie Corbynista."

0:26:090:26:10

That's not me - but are they single?

0:26:100:26:12

"Organic farmer and scourge of capitalism."

0:26:140:26:17

You can be both, Alex James of Blur!

0:26:170:26:20

LAUGHTER

0:26:200:26:21

But I think of that action all the time

0:26:240:26:26

because I think of people working together for a common goal

0:26:260:26:28

and people realising that the future is there for the taking, and this

0:26:280:26:32

is a thing that I want to recommend to you just at the end of this.

0:26:320:26:35

It's a book by Rebecca Solnit and it's called Hope In The Dark,

0:26:350:26:37

and, I swear to God, it has got me through this past year.

0:26:370:26:40

It's wonderful. And I'm recommending it to you even though

0:26:400:26:43

I haven't finished reading it yet,

0:26:430:26:45

which is a gamble cos I feel like the last page of it could be...

0:26:450:26:49

"..and the true hope in the dark is white supremacy."

0:26:500:26:53

And I'm, like, "No! No!

0:26:530:26:57

"Not you as well, Solnit, not you as well!"

0:26:570:27:01

But she talks about hope

0:27:020:27:03

and she talks about the fact that hope is active, not passive.

0:27:030:27:06

It's not just being blithe and saying, "Everything will be fine, don't worry about it,"

0:27:060:27:09

and it's not being pessimistic either, it's saying, "Yeah, things are shit, but we still have

0:27:090:27:13

"to get on with it," and I thought I'd read you this bit just

0:27:130:27:15

to end my show and I really hope you've enjoyed it and I'm sorry I'm

0:27:150:27:18

so awkward when I'm trying to talk about privilege, but it's difficult.

0:27:180:27:21

I would say it's hardest for me out of everyone in society.

0:27:210:27:24

LAUGHTER

0:27:240:27:25

"Hope locates itself in the premises that we don't know

0:27:270:27:30

"what will happen, and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty

0:27:300:27:32

"is room to act.

0:27:320:27:34

"Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable,

0:27:340:27:36

"an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists.

0:27:360:27:40

"It is the belief that what we do matters, even though

0:27:400:27:43

"how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact,

0:27:430:27:46

"are not things we can know beforehand.

0:27:460:27:48

"And let's get that bird. Stupid bird.

0:27:480:27:51

"I've got a knife. Let's kill it, the stupid bird! He's dead!"

0:27:510:27:54

Erm, listen...

0:27:540:27:56

Guys, you've been such a lovely crowd. I've been a nervous wreck

0:27:560:27:59

and I've really appreciated you being here.

0:27:590:28:01

My name's Josie Long, thank you so much for having me.

0:28:010:28:04

I hope you have a great night, and goodbye.

0:28:040:28:06

APPLAUSE

0:28:060:28:08

Just back from an international sell-out tour, the disarmingly eloquent and verbally dexterous Josie Long takes to the stage with her stand-up show about optimism and hopefulness.