The 9pm Curiously Circular Ham and Potato with John Birmingham

John Birmingham is loomed over by a chicken parmigiana, for reasons which are explained in the podcast. (Photo: Supplied; schnitzel photo and digital imaging: Stilgherrian)

The spring series of The 9pm Edict continues with another visit from author, columnist, and man of words in so many, many dubious contexts, John Birmingham.

We talk about food crimes, JB’s Big Green Egg, Margaret Thatcher, Australian opposition leader Peter Dutton, custard, trickle-down economics, how the world has changed since Peter Dutton became opposition leader, the war in Ukraine, Liz Truss, the history of TV clip shows, iceberg lettuce, and sparkles.

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John Birmingham has been on the podcast many times before.

Thank you, Media Freedom Citizenry

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For this episode it’s thanks.

And of course it’s thanks again to all the generous people who contributed to The 9pm Spring Series 2022 crowdfunding campaign.

CONVERSATION TOPIC: Gay Rainbow Anarchist and Richard Stephens.

THREE TRIGGER WORDS: Peter Sandilands, Peter Viertel, Phillip Merrick, Sheepie, and one person who chooses to remain anonymous.

ONE TRIGGER WORD: Andrew Groom, Bic Smith, Bic Smith (again), Bruce Hardie, Elana Mitchell, Errol Cavit, Frank Filippone, Gavin C, Joanna Forbes, John Lindsay, Jonathan Ferguson, Jonathan Ferguson (again), Joop de Wit, Karl Sinclair, Katrina Szetey, Mark Newton, Matthew Moyle-Croft, Michael Cowley, Miriam Mulcahy, Oliver Townshend, Paul Williams, Peter Blakeley, Peter McCrudden, Ric Hayman, Rohan Pearce, Syl Mobile, and four people who choose to remain anonymous.

PERSONALISED AUDIO MESSAGE: Mark Cohen and Rohan (not that one).

FOOT SOLDIERS FOR MEDIA FREEDOM who gave a SLIGHTLY LESS BASIC TIP: Andrew Kennedy, Benjamin Morgan, Bob Ogden, Garth Kidd, Jamie Morrison, Kimberley Heitman, Matt Arkell, Michael Strasser, Paul McGarry, Peter Blakeley, and two people who choose to remain anonymous.

MEDIA FREEDOM CITIZENS who contributed a BASIC TIP: Bren Carruthers, Elissa Harris, Opheli8, Raena Jackson Armitage, and Ron Lowry.

And another five people chose to have no reward, even though some of them were the most generous of all. Thank you all so much.

Episode Links

As discussed in the podcast, a chicken parmigiana from the Alexandra Hotel, Leura, photographed on 28 September 2022. (Photo: Stilgherrian)
  • Yes Minister is a British political satire sitcom written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn. Comprising three seven-episode series, it was first transmitted on BBC2 from 1980 to 1984. A sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, ran for 16 episodes from 1986 to 1988. All but one of the episodes lasted half an hour, and almost all ended with a variation of the title of the series spoken as the answer to a question posed by Minister (later, Prime Minister) Jim Hacker. Several episodes were adapted for BBC Radio; the series also spawned a 2010 stage play that led to a new television series on Gold in 2013.
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 1979 British seven-part spy drama by the BBC. John Irvin directed and Jonathan Powell produced this adaptation of John le Carré's novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974).
  • Smiley’s People is a 1982 British six-part spy drama by the BBC. Directed by Simon Langton and produced by Jonathan Powell, it is the television adaptation of the 1979 spy novel Smiley's People by John le Carré, and a sequel to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (missing out the second book in the trilogy, The Honourable Schoolboy, which was not filmed for cost reasons). Starring Alec Guinness, Michael Byrne, Anthony Bate and Bernard Hepton, it was first shown in the United Kingdom from 20 September to 25 October 1982, and in the United States beginning on 25 October 1982.
  • The madman theory is a political theory commonly associated with US President Richard Nixon's foreign policy. Nixon and his administration tried to make the leaders of hostile Communist Bloc nations think he was irrational and volatile. According to the theory, those leaders would then avoid provoking the United States, fearing an unpredictable American response.
  • The Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) was the United States' general plan for nuclear war from 1961 to 2003. The SIOP gave the President of the United States a range of targeting options, and described launch procedures and target sets against which nuclear weapons would be launched. The plan integrated the capabilities of the nuclear triad of strategic bombers, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), and sea-based submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). The SIOP was a highly classified document, and was one of the most secret and sensitive issues in U.S. national security policy.
  • [1 October 2022] So far, Western governments and officials have avoided pointing a finger directly, while Russia has blamed the West. European Union states say they believe the damage was caused by sabotage but have stopped short of naming anyone. Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency, said it was "very obvious" who was behind it but did not say who that was.
  • [28 September 2022] “Bad Vlad’s Sad Grab Has Leningrad a Tad Mad.” Russian President Vladimir Putin seems intent on escalating the conflict in Ukraine, as he’s mobilized thousands of civilian conscripts and is on the verge of incorporating separatist parts of the country into Russia following a sham referendum. But will the Russian people stand for these new actions? And what will they mean for the future of the conflict?
  • Have T-34s entered Ukraine? Will Putin deploy the T-34s to Ukraine? Will we finally see the hordes of Vatnik warriors descend the mountains, riding upon Stalin's glorious armoured fist? Short answer no. Long answer, watch the video.
  • View our Big Green Egg 30sec TV commercial and it'll explain everything you need to know to have your EGG delivered to you for FREE!

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Series Credits