Episode 38 – A Trump heavy episode whispered by Tiernan in Travelodge where he stayed in Manchester and tried not to annoy other guests in by talking too loudly. Includes a look at Virgin Care’s NHS takeover and an interview with US comedian, podcaster and political commentator Ben Kissel (@BenKissel) .
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Hello and welcome to episode 38 of the Partly Political Broadcast, I’m Tiernan Douieb, and it’s been officially announced that we are the parallel universe of on another Earth where right now they are watching a dystopian sci-fi film about our 2016 and thinking ‘thank fuck we aren’t so shitty to let that happen!’ while they enjoy eating popcorn with real butter in it in a cinema because their world is so great that they do that.
So if you, like me, aren’t a white supremacist, the news this past week has been pretty bleak. If you are a white supremacist, what do you do with all the pillows from inside the cases? Anyway while I want this show to be about the past week’s politics, I’ve been feeling pretty miserable looking at the news or social media this past week, so I thought to cheer up this week’s show I’d make some happy jingles to keep you all feeling positive about the future:
HEY THERE IT’LL ALL BE OK
WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE ONE DAY ANYWAY
HEY THERE I KNOW THE LAST WEEK BLOWED
BUT IN 5 BILLION YEARS THE SUN WILL EXPLODE
Feel better? No? Oh. Well it’s only been six days since the world’s biggest set up turned out to have the sort of unfunny punchline that makes people retch and complain to OFCOM, and already we have some ideas of what the Trump presidency will be like, and by that I mean it’ll be a combination of half arsed mess and shifted so far right that the White House might be sitting in the Atlantic. Which may actually be a literal possibility in a few years anyway, based on Trump appointing climate change denier Myron Ebell to head up the US environmental protection agency. Ebell thinks that that a plan for the US to reduce carbon emissions is illegal, wants to find the quickest way to reject the Paris agreement and thinks global warming is a hoax because that arctic ice is such a prankster right? I’m sure it’s only time before the last few starving polar bears stack up ice cubes that when they start to melt read ‘YA’LL GOT PUNKED’. The plus of all this is if we’re all wiped out due to Myron’s idiocy, it will be known as the Ebell end. If anyone’s around to record it that is. 2016 is definitely not set to be the warmest year on record due to too much empathy & hospitality is it?
But unsurprisingly this isn’t the worst person to be appointed to a position of power by Trump, as he announced that Stephen Bannon would be his chief strategist and senior counsellor. Bannon is a the executive chairman of Breitbart news a website that could be replaced with a gif of a Nazi motif covered spoon stirring a vat full of far right shit. The website has strong connections with the alt-right, a group of young angry white men who are still upset that their mums once caught them wanking to cartoons and as a result want to emulate the politics of fascism. Bannon was the 400th person in charge of Trump’s presidential campaign, taking the role from August, and he is widely regarded as an anti-Semitic, racist white nationalist, mainly because all evidence shows that he is one. For example he compared planned parenthood to the Holocaust, because providing reproductive health services is exactly like genocide, he accused Obama of importing more hating Muslims’ and said woman who were victims of online harassment should log off and stop screwing up the internet for men because Stephen would like a men only internet with places he can chat to and engage only men, looks at pictures of plates of men and endlessly watch videos of men doing things. So yes, pretty worrying indeed. Chief of Staff for Trump will be Reince Preibus, a man who’s name makes him sound like something you go to the hospital to get lanced and who is, all in all, a fairly standard Republican which no, isn’t a good thing either but compared to Bannon may be. At the time of recording this, no more announcements have been made but it looks like Newt Gingrich will be Secretary of State which is great news for anyone who wants a moon base but not for anyone who likes human rights, and he’s already stated that he’d like to bring back the Un-American Activities Committee. If you’ve heard that name before it’s because it’s the investigative committee that dealt with communist and anti-American propaganda during the McCarthy era, blacklisting and imprisoning people who were supposedly doing things to demean America values. Gingrich says he wants it now to look into Muslim groups and activities, but on the plus side, if it goes back to it’s earliest roots of seeking out Nazi spies and fascism, he may lock up Trump’s Senior Counsellor within weeks. Oh and obviously Mike Pence is in charge of the whole transition because no one’s better at helping everyone smoothly acclimatise to change than someone who’s wanted rights for women and ethnic minorities to stay the same since the 1950’s.
And so far Trump’s team really works with his motto of draining the swamp as he said by getting rid of Washington political elites and replacing them with Washington political elites, Wall street millionaires, and his own children. It’s almost as if he only wanted to drain the swamp in order to use the land to build a luxury elitist hotel on. As well as going back on that campaign promise, Trump has also said he’ll probably keep bits of Obamacare, and that the wall between the US and Mexico that he wants to build might now be part fence, despite him tweeting in August last year that it was a wall not a fence and there’s a big difference. Actually both are similarly pointless and awful Donald, the only difference is you can’t sit on a wall until you wait for mobs on the internet to help decide your policies. There are tons of other worrying comments he’s made on deporting 3 million immigrants, something that isn’t legally possible or physically easy to do, and allowing concealed weapons licenses to apply in all states because what you want in this calm collected atmosphere of increased racist attacks is to allow anyone to drive across America with all of their hand guns. On the plus side, it does mean he’s probably just increasing his own assassination attempts at the same time. Trump has said that facebook and Twitter helped him win, which is a shock to anyone who hasn’t used either of those, and over his campaign he used and quoted fake news stories to gain ground against Hillary. In interviews he defended himself by saying how was he to know they were fake when he saw them online or heard them on the radio. This does make me wonder if there’s some hope if we all just post tons of fake articles with lovely things that immigrants or Mexicans have done for the economy and rednecks, and how guns are poisonous to touch, and it’ll hopefully only be days before he changes his mind. Again.
Right, this is a fairly Trump heavy episode I’m afraid and it’s incredible that we’ve got to a point so despairing that I can say that without laughing or making a joke about how ‘that’s because I’ve just had onion soup’. So a little bit more on the US maelstrom to come from me, plus the interview on today’s show is with American comedian, podcast and political commenter Ben Kissel who’s work I’m a big fan of. He had a lot to say, as you can imagine so it’s a longer show than normal as I didn’t want to cut any out. Also I’ll be looking at Virgin Care’s NHS takeover too. Thanks tons for continuing to listen and to all the new listeners that joined last week, welcome. Hope you didn’t mind the immediate mini episode on the US election results, it just felt necessary to do. It was either that or explode at home and then someone would have to hoover that up. What a time to be alive eh? Well while it all seems a tad pointless in the scheme of things if you would like to review this show on iTunes and haven’t please do, and similarly if you’d like to give me a donation on our Patreon at Patreon.com/parpolbro that’s hugely helpful. I’ll be putting my set from the big gig we did for Help Refugees last week up on there soon for people who donate only. It was a lovely night with amazing acts and we raised a shit ton of money for the important charity, so thanks to everyone who came along. It was nice to have something good that week before I went home, drank whisky and watched everything go on fire. Only other thing to say on this week’s show is, for long time listeners, you may remember a few months back I tried something on here called Partly Big Society. The aim was to find something small every week that you, the listener, all one of you, could help with or do something minor and non-time consuming to help protest about. Well sadly, it never worked with only 2 or 3 of you taking part, which is cool, I know you have shit to do. You aren’t all spending your days procrastinating and playing the Make More game on your phone like I am. It’s so addictive though, and you can tap away and see what it’s like to be an evil capitalist millionaire. I have to say, once you get to the stage where you can get robots, I can see the appeal. Anyway, I’m constantly frustrated by my own lack of doing things to actually help with the current climate of shit, and I wondered if it would be worth bringing Partly Big Society back? Would you be prepared to spend 2 mins of your week doing a fun task if it helps others? Drop me a line @parpolbro on Twitter, the parpolbro facebook group or email@example.com and let me know. Oh and please do keep spreading the word about this show, unless you hate it, in which case my defence of freedom of speech means you can say what you like, but just don’t tell my mum eh?
Right, and now for some things you may have missed:
The UN Committee on the Rights Of Persons with Disabilities has said that the Conservatives cuts to welfare are violating the rights of disabled people. Which feels a bit like they could have followed that up with a report on where bears like to shit, but hey it’s nice that someone official has said what every disabled person in the UK has known since 2010. The 22 page report says the portrayal of people with disabilities by the government as lazy or a burden were hugely damaging and they criticised cuts and caps to welfare. This preceded, by just a few days, the Supreme Court ruling against the government’s Bedroom Tax in favour of two cases, saying that the costs of it discriminated against the claimant’s rights to family life. Sadly 5 cases were ruled in favour of the government including a victim of rape and domestic violence who had a panic room, because that was a social need, not a medical one but her needs could be met by applying for financial support from local authority’s discretionary housing payment scheme which I’m sure is super easy to do right? I mean aside from the fact it’s totally in local council’s jurisdiction, has no appeal methods and funds are limited but hey, if the government made it as easy as avoiding tax then everyone would be doing it right? Hmmm. Anyway the two cases plus the UN report are a double whammy in the Department of Work and Pensions faces and what’s really great is that they responded by releasing the UN report details during the US election so it would generally be ignored and stated that the UN were too narrow in scope, so they wouldn’t be following it’s recommendations any further. I mean, yeah, take that UN, with your narrow wanting a watchdog to monitor the impacts of policies relating to disabled people’s standards of living. Jesus, open your eyes! What will they want next? Systems in place to allow for equal rights for all people or some nonsense? What year is this? 2009?
UK house building is at it’s weakest level for four years meaning that when the Conservatives keep referring to themselves as the party of home ownership, what they mean is they all have several each and there’s none left for anyone else. Construction sector output fell by 1.1% from July to September, which is fine because in those summer months no one wants to live indoors anyway right? Builders reports say Brexit uncertainty affected them, and there is talk that Chancellor Phillip Hammond will cancel public sector investment cuts in his autumn statement that could help. However what won’t help are stricter immigration controls that will affect construction companies and high inflation. I would give my suggestions as to how you could increase house building but it seems listening to constructive criticism has also fallen in the months of July to September.
Oh and in another attempt to move themselves up 2016’s not shit list the House Of Lords have defeated the government’s attempt to delete a really important clause in the children and social work bill that basically said if councils want to save money they could just ignore children’s legal rights that have been created over decades. Because you know, they’re only small right, so no one would notice. Prime Minister Theresa May said in September that she wanted a country that works for everyone but I guess children aren’t allowed to work so sod them if they want rights too eh? I mean children’s rights? Where will it end! What next? Animal rights or something? The removal of the clause would’ve meant that vulnerable children would’ve had different rights depending on where they lived and while 245 voted against it, 213 voted for deleting the clause so I wonder how few rights kids would’ve had in Westminster. Innocent face.
INTERVIEW PART 1
So this week I thought it’d be useful to chat to someone in the US about how the election of reality star and bigoted Satsuma has gone down with people there. Because if you were to just look at the response of politicians in the US they seem to be playing the stay calm and carry on card which while is the sort of meme people only use if they really have absolutely nothing happening in their privileged lives then they feel devastated when they run out of cocoa or the Antiques Roadshow isn’t on, it’s also a dangerous way to normalise what has happened. Meanwhile UK politicians such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who looks like the stuff you find in your jeans pocket after a wash but with a face, has said things like there’s a lot to be positive about Trump’s win, despite saying last December that the other quacking cartoon-like Donald was clearly out of his mind. He said the last bit, I said the cartoon bit and unlike Boris with his lack of conviction, I’d definitely still say it again. With the UK now seeming to look to Nigel Farage for his connections with Trump, despite him being a man who constantly pointed the finger at immigrants for stealing jobs but is now a Brit in the US hoping for employment, the election results clearly do matter to us in the UK too.
So this week’s guest is comedian and podcast supreme Ben Kissel. I’m a big fan of Ben’s US politics podcast Abe Lincoln’s Top Hat which he hosts with Marcus Parks and I found super useful over the last year in the lead up to the election and I’m sure will continue to do so, due to Ben’s frank way of discussing American politics that has brought them listeners across the political spectrum. Ben is, and this is my description, not his, I think Ben might be classed as, based on his views a leftish libertarian and I think his admittance of who he voted for might annoy a few of you, don’t worry it’s not Trump. However I think his opinions are very interesting and informative and yes we are both very aware that as two white men discussing the outcome neither of us will be most affected by anything that happens as a result. I called him via his mobile so sound quality isn’t horrific but at times isn’t the best but I was very pleased Ben took the time to chat with me and I hope you enjoy.
INTERVIEW PART 1
And we’ll be back with Ben in a minute but first just incase you’re still feeling stressed here’s a happy jingle to cheer you up:
HEY THERE NO NEED TO STRESS
WE’RE ALL TRAPPED IN THIS DYSTOPIAN MESS
HEY THERE NO NEED TO CRY
IT’S ONLY SO LONG BEFORE GLOBAL WARMING KILLS THE SKY
Virgin Care has just won a £700m contract to run more than 200 NHS services in Bath and North East Somerset. I mean, I say won, but I doubt Richard Branson had to answer a multiple choice question on with a tie-breaker on how I think the NHS should best be privitised in under 50 characters or less. Virgin Care has been awarded over £1bn of NHS contracts in the last 5 years and some of you may be thinking, well cool. The National Health Service is struggling, why not let a successful businessman man like shaved orangtuan Richard Branson run health and social care services? I mean I’m sure he’ll do a great job, look at his successful ventures with Virgin cola. Oh, oh dear. Or Virgin Megastore! Oh, oh dear. Or his brilliant work making transport affordable and user friendly with Virgin Trains. Oh. Oh dear.
A little bit about Virgin Care firstly. They are obviously, one of Branson’s many cash cows, though compared to the rest of his businesses, they are more of a tiny cash burger. Buying out a majorty steak, geddit? Of Assura Medical in 2010, it has two parts to it’s er, burger, with primary care services and community based NHS ones, and since 2010 it has never ever made a profit. Ever. Yeah, even with contracts for things like primary care at three prisons worth over £58.1m. This is because Virgin Care loses £9-10m in a financial year and therefore making no profit and therefore paying no tax and therefore draining more money that could go to the NHS, therefore in a roundabout way meaning the NHS needs more investment therefore getting them Virgin Care contracts. That shaved orang-utan is sneaky huh? Well especially when you consider the £9-10m loss it makes each year is because it owes money to a holding company. Who owns that holding company? That’s right, the Richy B again. And Virgin Care only have to repay the money they owe when they start to record a profit, but because they owe money to another Virgin business which in turn owes money to another and another and all in all 13 Branson magic money trees, unlucky not for him, and they are all owned by a parent company in the tax haven the Virgin Islands, then they can each avoid paying tax because they’re always owing themselves money. Makes sense? No? Well sum it up like this, it’s shadier than a Richard Branson with a parasol under a palm tree on his own island laughing maniacally because he’s earning money off people being sick or having a shit train ride. Add to evidence that some of their staff
Now on top of this, Virgin Care’s track record of well, care, isn’t great. There is one case study of a woman dying from multiple organ failure and sepsis at the Virgin Care centre in Croydon because she was given triage by a receptionist who has no medical training as she deemed her not seriously ill enough to see a doctor. Sure, I guess it must be more exciting than giving someone a tube to wee in while saying out loud the STI you’ve come in for so the whole waiting room can here, but no one wants someone trained in appointments to also be in charge of ointments. Yes that’s the best I can do with that. Deal with it. It seemed receptionists at this Croydon hospital were deciding who got to see a doctor or not, probably based on who said please when they arrived, all just to save money. Virgin say they have no addressed this but when a healthcare company’s main priority is money saving, not your health you wonder what will get cut next as it may next be medical tape for you, by the person who empties the bins. Its also why Virgin Care cherry pick, virgin pun not intended, for the most profitable treatments. This is partly because the private healthcare centres don’t have the same facilities as big hospitals but mostly it’s because that means money that should go to NHS trusts is instead diverted to them while they only deal with half the patients, and the NHS has to deal with more expensive long term cases throwing them into further debt. So when Virgin Care advertise their services as ‘more than 250 free NHS and social care services with a difference’ the difference is that their services are more worried about their bank operations.
Currently Virgin Care say they run over 230 NHS and social care services for the NHS including GP surgeries, healthcare centres, out of hours care, community services and GP-led walk ins as well as But this latest contract is their biggest yet at £700m and it’s the first time they will be in charge of main adult social work services which is a pretty worrying considering their track record so far which very much seems like Virgin Care are so called because other than themselves, they’ve never looked after anyone properly before.
And now back to Ben
INTERVIEW PART 2
Big thanks to Ben for chatting with me. You can find him on twitter @benkissel and as he says, he has many many podcasts you can check out including Abe Lincoln’s Top Hat, The Last Podcast On The Left, The Round Table Of Gentlemen and his own The Ben Kissel Show. Ben also occasionally does Red Eye a round table discussion on Fox News which I thought I’d tell you after, rather than before our chat, as I assume you’ll now realise he’s probably the voice of reason on those shows. As things unfold I hope to get other US political commentators on the show and as always if you have anyone you’d like me to interview or a subject you’d like me to interview someone on, drop me a line @parpolbro on Twitter, parpolbro on FB or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, due to the US election results, I asked the stupid question of which reality TV star do you think would make a terrible politician? And this of course was a stupid question what with many of you replying ‘All of them’ or pointing out that some terrible politicians have already been reality TV stars like Esther McVey, George Galloway or the man who was mocked for not being able to balance the treasuries books, before we realised he can’t even balance his dance partner, Ed Balls or how Big Brother’s Glyn Wise went for election as Cardiff’s Assembly Minister getting just 7.5% of the vote. So here’s some quick good ones from you lot:
Sarah E Airey /react-text react-text: 271 /react-text Obvious choice would be Lord Sugar – same sort of reasons as Trump (less the bigotry, racism and sexism) – he’s not that great a business man.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 November at 10:45
react-text: 308 Lee Morgan /react-text react-text: 311 /react-text Joey Essex for PM
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 November at 10:51
@F00LEDAGAIN Nov 13
@ParPolBro is there a place for David Dickinson in the orange party?
@flufflogic Nov 13
@ParPolBro Anyone who was ever on TOWIE. Genuinely not-a-joke scared Joey Essex might try and run somewhere.
@RadioSkewen Nov 13
@ParPolBro Glyn Wise. His big brother fame was only enough to convince 7.5% of electorate that he should be AM for cardiff central
Well done everyone and I thought I’d end the question of the week by reading what Paul Jenkins wrote on the Facebook group and the ensuing terrifying comments.
react-text: 422 Remove /react-text
react-text: 428 Paul Jenkins /react-text react-text: 431 /react-text I think we should make it mandatory as part of our political process that you have to have served time on a reality show to be able to stand at all.
We could start with a small parish council and put the judges from Strictly, Bake off, X factor and The Voice in a cold church hall once every Thursday to see how much of a cock up of the local area they can make in ten short weeks.
The most successful at wrecking things goes on to be elected a local MP.
It also packages up nicely as a new show in itself, so is nice cheap telly.
Unlike · Reply · 4 · 12 November at 12:20
react-text: 470 Remove /react-text
react-text: 476 Tiernan Douieb /react-text react-text: 479 /react-text This is fantastic. I’m happy to co-write a pitch if you want? Let’s call it ‘Demo-crazy!’ Or something.
Like · Reply · 4 · 12 November at 14:59
react-text: 510 Remove /react-text
react-text: 516 Paul Jenkins /react-text react-text: 519 /react-text See, this is why you are the full time comedian. I spent ages and only came up with something Jingoistic like ‘Ballot of Britain’. It’s definitely an ITV show though. Piers Morgan definitely would have picked it up if we’d pitched it when we saw him. Missed opportunities….
react-text: 586 Matt Hoss /react-text react-text: 589 /react-text AND it will be proper democracy as we can ask the people at home to vote (on 0900 numbers) for their favourite mp
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 November at 15:03 · Edited
react-text: 48 Lee Morgan /react-text react-text: 51 /react-text It’s all so very “black mirror”
Unlike · Reply · 2 · 12 November at 15:10
react-text: 88 Willard Foxton Todd /react-text react-text: 91 /react-text Re: “democrazy”, Australian tv have done something very like it: react-text: 96 http://www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/shitsvilleexpress.htm /react-text
Shitsville Express | ABC Television (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Well it can’t be worse than what we already have can it? At least people might vote if they could do it by phone, though chances are they’ll go for the shittest or funniest and I can’t imagine that happening can you? WAAAAAAAHHHHH
That is all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast. Thanks again for listening and please do let everyone you know know about this show, do give us a review on iTunes and drop us a quid or two at the Patreon if you can afford to as well. It’s all hugely appreciated. We’ll be back next week unless by that point Trump has been given the nuclear codes, in which case I’ll be in my secret bunker. Where is it? Hah nice try! But there’s only enough space for me which now I’m thinking about it, sounds miserable. I might take my chances with staying outside and getting Hulk powers instead. At least by becoming an overly angry violent bulk with basic language skills I might finally be happy with the US election results.
This week’s show was brought to you by happy times:
HEY THERE NO NEED TO SCREAM
EVEN THOUGH POLITICAL DECENCY IS SWIMMING UPSTREAM
IT’S ONLY TIME BEFORE EVERYTHING IS SOLVED
WHEN IN MILLIONS OF YEARS ANOTHER BETTER SPECIES MIGHT EVOLVE