Episode 138ish – A very very brief episode as Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) has spent the weekend moving flat and is knackered. So this is just an update on the past week’s not very much happenings as we head into a week where things may happen, or not for a year. Contains some tired babble. Normal service will resume next week.
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Hello and welcome to a mini-episode of Partly Political Broadcast, the podcast that wants you to let it explain what’s happening with Brexit, but if you agree will mostly whimper quietly non-stop until it curls up and dies. This is episode 138-ish, I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week as disgraced MP Priti Patel, a woman who always looks like she’s just farted in a lift and proudly blamed it on an elderly lady, tweeted that Labour leader and tired cactus Jeremy Corbyn sides with terrorists and dictators and has now been given the keys to Brexit. Well yes, that’s because it sounds like he has the perfect work experience for dealing with Prime Minister and resting petrified face Theresa May.
As the clock ticks down to April 12th, like the final season of Game of Thrones, all the Brexit strands are tying together. Though unlike GoT, its unlikely to lead to an ending anyone’s satisfied with, sadly none of the characters will be attacked by a dragon and regardless of what happens the white walkers will get most of the media attention and interviews. May announced that after seven hours of cabinet talks she had decided to meet with the opposition leader, proving once again she has nothing in common with most people. She says 7 hours of cabinet talks, we say a normal weekend trip to IKEA. Which to be fair would cause the sort of arguments that lead you to make a drastic decision. May and Corbyn met last week, for cross party talks in the hope of finding a compromise on Brexit, a term that May likely thinks means that she says what she wants, Corbyn says what he wants and then May does what she wants anyway but now it looks like it’s Labour’s fault. It is impossible to understand how they could have any sort of agreement between someone who won’t back down over her idea of Brexit and someone who’s ideal Brexit changes every 5 minutes depending on who’s telling you about it or if they’ve let Barry Gardiner on the TV again. Leader of the house and mother Andrea Leadsom said that the talks had happened through gritted teeth but I guess that is the only way to break the ice between them. Corbyn has said the government won’t leave their red lines, but on the plus side that means they should soon end up at the snake filled Well of Souls before being melted by the Ark of the Covenent. May has apparently offered the Labour leader a Boris proof approach, which supposedly means that if they come to a compromise, it’ll be difficult for any future Eurosceptic leader to change it. Though if it really is meant to deter piping bag pummeled into a suit Boris Johnson then all they need to do is make it so any changes have to be approved by a woman the same age as him and he’ll instantly avoid it.
Leadsom said it was up to Labour to accept May’s deal, which feels a lot like starting a house fire then blaming your neighbours across the road for not putting it out.
In a video released on Sunday with shaky cam and May attempting to be casual by doing a fake chuckle at very unfunny things that she said that now is the time for compromise, but the whole thing had the feel of a TV ad about having an accident at work. You know a really serious one where you thought you could carry a Brexit but it turned out it was far too big for you and know you’re completely paralysed for the forseeable future? And she is, as either she gives in to Labour’s demands for a customs union with the EU and then her own party will hate her even more or she sticks with her shitty plan and everyone hates her. Leadsom said it was up to Labour to accept May’s deal, which feels a lot like starting a house fire then blaming your neighbours across the road for not putting it out.
Many Conservatives are livid that May has decided to negotiate with the opposition, when she’s unable to do it with most of her own party. Two ministers resigned, with mutated lovechild of Robbie Williams and Ian Beale Nigel Adams leaving because May had legitimized Corbyn. Yes you know that man who is legitimately a politician and a leader of the opposition? How dare she legitimize him? What next? Will she refuse to be known as the supreme leader and stop demanding all those that oppose her are stoned to death? Actually, there is every chance she’s got that on a bucket list for her time at Number 10. Then Chris Heaton Harris, a man who always looks like someone’s holding a hair dryer at his eyes, resigned as Brexit minister saying that his own job was now irrelevant, which must be why they then gave it to stupid Lego minifig James Cleverly who’s perfect for that sort of thing.
But after the Commons yet again failed to come up with anything they actually liked, what else can anyone do, apart from all the sensible suggestions of giving it all up, saying sorry and pretending it didn’t happen? After a vote by MPs on more indicative votes ended in 310 votes against 310 votes, amalgamation of half of the Mr Men Speaker Bercow decided to say no to more happening which is very much in line with the spirit of indicative voting, a system that largely only ever seems to indicate how unpopular everything is. Meanwhile the Cooper/Letwin bill to force May to put it to the commons what date Brexit should be extended till, was approved by just one vote, because it makes total sense for MPs to keep saying no to every date in the calendar until Brexit is post-poned to a fictional time of the 12th of Never. Several newspapers blamed the one vote in its favour on Jesus impersonator Fiona Onasanya being able to take part despite being ankle tagged as part of her sentence. Although if anything I think the fact that she can be monitored makes her far safer and more trustworthy than several of the MPs who’ve been reinstated despite sexual harassment allegations. Stick an ankle tag on beestung schoolboy Charlie Elphicke why don’t you, although as we still don’t know entirely what he’s accused of, that may just set off his particular kink. The Cooper/Letwin bill is now being pushed through the Lords, much like many of the Lords often are before they have a nap on the benches, and then if it becomes law, then May will put forward her motion on Tuesday which sounds a lot like she’ll be presenting her poo. Which metaphorically speaking she will be, and its likely she’ll want that poo to be delayed till June 30th which for many will cause discomfort, but overall will yet again delay a rather embarrassing incident for the country.
May is then heading to the EU where they’ll either say ok to end of June, or say no to everything which would be understood by MPs as that’s what they’d do too, and then we’ll be leaving by the end of the week with no deal. Something that Andrea Leadsom said would be not nearly as grim as people think it will. That’s a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one. I’d definitely go to a theme park or zoo that was advertised as ‘not as shit as you’d imagine’. Yeah you thought there’d be no lions, well more fool you because there is one, its just dead and being ravaged by maggots. What do you mean it won’t be not nearly as grim Andrea? Have you not heard the news that in event of a no deal, Brits could be arrested for smuggling pork pies into Europe? What do you mean is that a euphemism? Yes if we crash out and you want to pop a Cornish pasty in your pocket when heading to Spain then there’ll be consequences. Not least that you’ll have to eat Spanish food and indulge in all that amazing culture you’re so obviously allergic to. Oh noes what if next they make you learn at least one or two words in the language so you can’t just point and shout at things? Where will the horror end? The EU could also demand the UK delays article 50 for at another year, meaning that we’d have to have European elections, and nothing will upset those who believe the EU is an undemocratic institution quite like having to vote for people to who will represent them in it. Whitehall are already preparing for this and have told councils they’ll support them, which is a shock as that’ll be the first time in about 9 years they’ve done anything for local government. The Conservative Party have opened up nominations for the EU elections on 23rd of May and again I feel like maybe this is the chance to run it as a celebrity challenge. I want nothing more than Stacey Dooley to be sent to the European parliament every day for a month so that she can try to take patronizing pictures with Belgians and add the tagline OBSESSSSED.
Brexiteer and wobbly brick with eyes Mark Francois has written to the head of the 1922 committee asking for an indicative vote of no confidence in Theresa May saying that hers in an example of hubris, and after hubris comes nemesis. Yes, like Yoda if he ate a lot of pies and had banged his head on something very, very hard. Still nice to know that he wasn’t happy with the original vote result and now demands a second attempt.
In other news footage emerged of soldiers in Kabul using a picture of Jeremy Corbyn for target practice. I’m not saying we should withdraw all our troops from Afghanistan now, but it does seem pointless them being there if their biggest threat is a 69 year old man from Islington. Meanwhile the Jewish Labour Movement have passed a vote of no confidence in Corbyn’s leadership after leaked documents showed that the leader’s office had interfered in complaints about anti-Semitism. Surprisingly Corbyn hasn’t given the defense that he was leader at the time but wasn’t involved. Shadow Attorney General and how come you never see her and Yvette Cooper at the same time hmmm Shami Chakrabarti pleaded for the JLM not to personalize the issue. Sure, great advice. Why personalize it when you can take it as an insult against all Jewish people?
Labour held onto their seat in Newport West, contested after the death of MP Paul Flynn who had held the seat since 1987, which must’ve been exhausting as that’s a long time to cling to furniture. Ruth Jones with her mane of hair like a blonde palace guard won the seat despite a lower turn out and a small swing to the Conservatives, and she is a pro-Remain MP who has won a pro-Leave seat. But as a trade unionist and physiotherapist, if Jones can’t bring the city together, she can at least massage the figures so it looks like she has.
The Guardian discovered that all the very influential pro-hard Brexit facebook ads that appeared to come from Grassroots campaigns, were all actually set up by staff working for Lynton Crosby, former advisor to Boris Johnson and man who looks undeniably like how an alien would look it if tried to wear human skin to fit in. This raises even more questions about the money and motives backing hard Brexit publicity but one things for sure, based on Crosby’s previous job, there’s every chance these fake Grassroots campaigns will end up changing their opinions at least 2-3 times during their existence before losing all popularity.
And the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, you know all those things that totally go together, has unveiled the Online Harms White Paper, or OH, WP which incidentally describes how many people have responded after seeing how vague it is. It is a proposal suggesting an independent regulator should write a code of practice for social media and internet sites, to tackle terrorist content, child sexual abuse, revenge porn, hate crimes and more, but it also covers harmful behavior that doesn’t have a clear definition. Obvs that’s pretty dodgy as it could lead to scary authoritarian censorship. On the other hand, harmful behavior with no clear definition pretty much sums up Brexit so that should be shut down within weeks.