Episode 159 – Two Wrongs Make A Backstop Alternative – Brexit plans, Conservative Conference, Ruth Ibegbuna on The Roots Programme

Released on Tuesday, October 8th, 2019.

Episode 159 – Two Wrongs Make A Backstop Alternative – Brexit plans, Conservative Conference, Ruth Ibegbuna on The Roots Programme

Episode 159 – A shorter episode than usual thanks to the Mini-Douieb who is obviously a government agent out to tear down the voices of the people. Or probably not, that’s just how tired I am. Anyway, there is still a look at the past week’s nonsense, the end of the Conservative Conference and Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) chats to the brilliant Ruth Ibegbuna about The Roots Programme (@ProgrammeRoots)


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Further Reading

Linear liner notes

A shorter episode than usual thanks to the Mini-Douieb who is obviously a government agent out to tear down the voices of the people. Or probably not, that’s just how tired I am. Anyway, there is still a look at the past week’s nonsense, the end of the Conservative Conference and Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) chats to the brilliant Ruth Ibegbuna about The Roots Programme (@ProgrammeRoots)

Links and sources of info from Ruth’s interview:

All the usual ParPolBro stuff:


Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that would tell it like it is but doesn’t quite know how to do a bored scream.

This is episode 159, I’m Tiernan Douieb and how do you solve a problem like wanting to leave the EU but promising there’ll be no physical Irish border? According to Prime Minister and melting sasquatch Boris Johnson, you fulfill your promise by having two physical borders instead! Ingenious idea! How can anyone organize sectarian violence at the dividing line, if they don’t know which one to meet at? I’m not sure why people haven’t operated this policy before. Concerned about that escaped murderer lurking in your area? Its ok, we’ve released another 5 so you won’t waste your time looking everywhere for the one you recognize from the news. Aware that the last thing your garden needs is a hidden landmine? Well don’t fret, we’ve put 500 of the things so your fear of death will be spread out till it’s so thin its almost non-existent. Or maybe I’ve got this wrong and Johnson is planning to add one more to his alternative backstop proposal, working on the comedy rule of three? There’s anger at the first border, confusion at the second, then laughter at the sheer gall of the third? But why stop there? Why not have 45 borders, so that people crossing between NI and the Republic laugh at the 3rd, become annoyed by the 7th, but are in hysterical fits of giggles by number 27?


The full backstop alternative plan is to make Northern Ireland neither like the UK, or the EU, but like a weird in-between land, a trading purgatory if you will, or an entire nation of airport departure lounge but without the duty free. So NI, who’ve stated they wanted the same as the UK, won’t get that, but also won’t get the EU membership benefits either and will now have two whacking great borders round it which Boris is calling a ‘broad landing zone’ something you’d only need if you know there’s a large chance you’re going to miss the runway when you nosedive. When I worked in a job at Camden council some years ago, everyone in the office took it in turns to make the tea for everyone else. I realized early on, that if I made really bad tea that had either stewed far too long or nowhere near enough, they stopped asking me to do it and I would instead, always receive tea while checking the internet on my computer instead of doing my work. This, I fear, is Boris Johnson’s tactic with his attempts a Brexit deal, which isn’t the same as tea because they care about tea so much I think British people would make an effort to ensure it’s done properly despite divisions. I wonder if Boris thinks that if he just keeps bringing them shit idea after shit idea then maybe the EU will just think, oh FFS sake, it’s easier if you go away and we sort it out ourselves or potentially just scrap it, ignore you and ask you not to call again. You can tell this might be the plan, not just because Johnson specializes in being a bullshitter in a china shop, but also because he’s called this plan ‘a genuine attempt to bridge a chasm’. Well we all know how he fares with bridge plans. Honestly, he’s wasted money and time on so many bridges now, I’m amazed his name isn’t Piers.


The European Union say they’ll decide by the end of this week whether a new Brexit deal is possible, because by that point they’ll finally have stopped laughing and sending each other memes about how maybe the best way to ensure no one has to put up with a Boris Johnson ever again is to clone him so there’s two Boris Johnsons. The Prime Minister says a deal will totally happen if the EU are willing, which is a more consensual stance to making relationships than we’re used to from him. Of course, what he actually means is that whatever happens will somehow be the EU’s fault if they say no, which again, does fit with recent allegations. Johnson’s asked the EU to thrash out their objections to his plans, saying they’d hadn’t given specific criticism, but it’s hard to be specific when all of it is shit.

A leaked memo showed that senior government aides have ordered Conservatives to call the EU ‘crazy’ if they reject the multi-border approach, because that’s what the Conservative party is now, a cheap American carpet superstore with deals you’d be crazy to miss but if you don’t miss them you’ve likely taken on a something that was haphazardly put together and extremely prone to fire. Which actually fits with what the UK could become as a leaked document from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has warned that in order to get decent trade deals from the US post Brexit, the UK will have to relax its rules governing animal welfare and pesticide levels. But on the plus side, if there’s also big delays in getting medicines, being 50% extra hormones and 50% RAID spray should destroy everything in our system including germs. And our internal organs.


Maybe that’s the combination they were handing out at the end of the Conservative Conference last week as how else do you explain Home Secretary and Westminster’s Carmalita Spats Priti Patel saying that ‘this daughter of immigrants needs no lectures from the North London Metropolitan Liberal Elite’ which is odd as she was born in Islington, in North London by parents who were born in Harrow, in, yes again, North London. But then maybe she’s just openly admitting that even she doesn’t listen to herself. Some have said that actually North London Metropolitan Liberal Elite is an anti-semitic slur, but I suppose her colleague Chancellor and TV’s Bod Sajid Javid did say the day before that they were the real party of labour. Patel said that the UK would be adopting an Australian points style immigration system, which based on Aussie Rules I think means we get the most if we continue to kick ourselves without any one else’s help. If, as Patel says, it’ll encourage only the brightest and the best to come to the UK for work, does that mean most of the government will be encouraged to leave so we can get some decent foreign workers in instead? It’s so weird that anyone would announce ending the free movement of people once and for all without then adding an evil laugh and pointing a laser at large building or the sun. But maybe that’s because Priti Patel can’t work out if she wants to be a baddie or an anti-hero as she told the conference that to criminals she simply says ‘we’re coming for you’ which really sounds like she just wanted to dress up as Batman for a bit and run around at night. I suppose it could also mean that she’ll be hitting them up to see if they’ll join the party, especially as it’s leader might be joining those deemed as illegal very soon.


Yes Johnson’s leadership speech, was, as predicted, pointless waffle, talking about how we sell Jason Donovan CDs to North Korea, which if that’s true might explain why they’re so hostile to everyone and keep their borders closed, said an Oxfordshire fusion reactor is on the verge of creating commercially viable nuclear fusion reactors, which scientists have said is completely wrong and will take at least 30-40 years, though maybe that explains Johnson’s Get Brexit Done message if he thinks 4 decades is round the corner. He said that the public have more say over I’m A Celebrity than they do the House of Commons which is an odd statement to make when voters choices in both are mainly to ensure someone will have to eat insects eventually in order to survive. But none of that – nor a weird incident involving his aides argued over giving Johnson a coffee saying ‘no disposable cups’ though no one is sure if that’s for the environmental message or that no one trusts Boris not to spill those on himself – detracted from the fact that the Prime Minister may be a big old crim-crim. When interviewed US tech entrepreneur and what if Lucy Davis was soulless, Jennifer Arcuri refused to answer any questions on whether or not her and Johnson were banging when he gave her a shit ton of public cash during his time as London Mayor. When asked if Johnson ever used the pole dancing pole in her living room, she also declined to answer which to be honest, I was super pleased about as no one wants the image of what looks like a flesh bean bag trying to attend to a fire emergency, embedded in their head for life. Whether or not they were together is not the important bit, but more if their relationship meant she inappropriately got money to help her business or if it was just hush money so she won’t release pictures of Johnson trying to do a teddy pike and looking like someone has dangerously undercooked a Kirby shish kebab. Then there’s the Benn act that insists the Prime Minister write to the EU to ask for an Article 50 extension if a deal hasn’t been agreed on by October the 19th, something that Number 10 said the government would abide by, only hours later for Johnson to tweet ‘new deal or no deal – no delay’ as though he’d happily break the law all the while speaking like a rejected Alice In Wonderland character. Various Number 10 sources have suggested the government have found a loophole to avoid being tied to the Benn act but based on all the legal experts saying they definitely haven’t, I’m thinking the PM’s top three ideas include sending a separate follow up letter that simply says ‘NOT!’, blaming the first letter on his evil doppelganger Joris Bohnson and pretending auto-correct changed the words last minute and they actually asked for a tickle fit extension. I mean, I’ve no idea what it is, but Johnson might have got one from Jennifer Arcuri’s house and paid her £100,000 for it. Again we enter another week where everyone is clueless as to what might happen and there is talk that the government will prorogue parliament again, despite being deemed unlawful last time and the Boris apparently daring the Queen to sack him. I don’t think she would, but hopefully she might insist that Philip drive him around for a bit and then he can see what it’s like to crash out against all advice.


In other news, Labour say they won’t back a government of national unity unless Labour leader and personified sigh Jeremy Corbyn leads it, despite his parliamentary party saying they want a referendum before an election which he doesn’t. Meanwhile the Lib Dems who avidly state they don’t want a no deal won’t join a government of national unity if Jeremy Corbyn leads it as they’d prefer a no deal to that. It really says something about how low the possibilities are of pulling a divided country together, when there’d be more cohesion between the same ends of two massive magnets. It has been touted that other leaders of a government of national unity could be Narnia resident Speaker John Bercow because nothing says unity like a man who’s had several accusations of bullying made against him. Its been proposed that Bercow could lead a Cabinet of all Talents which sounds like the world’s most disappointing Harry Potter book and include such MPs as deflated Mr Blobby Ken Clarke and what if Escher did a painting of a nose Vince Cable, potentially with the aim of boring people to a better Brexit.


Meanwhile the Lib Dems have been using profiling on every voter in the country to give them a score and work out specific characteristics. I’d like to check mine as I’m sure it’s a low number with my main strength being eye rolling and telling people who profile me to fuck right off. The party have denied its being used to target ads and say its just to save weary voters from unwelcome canvassing, so I guess it’ll mostly encourage Lib Dems candidates to stay at home a lot during the next election.


Conservative MP and what if Samwise Gamgee was a racist Sir Desmond Swayne wrote a blog boasting about he’d blacked up to dress up as James Brown for a fancy dress party, and said it was fun, insisting that he’d only not do it again because it was hard to wash off. I’m not sure if he’s referring to the make up or the horrific inherent bigotry. The Conservative Party have done absolutely nothing about it even though it’s now been 6 days since he posted the blog with pictures, so in the words of the late great James Brown who Swayne does not deserve to imitate, please please please kick him the fuck out of the party. Ok, I’m he didn’t sing the last bit but I’m sure he would’ve.


Former Prime Minister and current carbonite sculpture Theresa May says she has no regrets over her career and that she ‘had a fantastic time’. Now before you criticize those comments, one definition of fantastic is that it means imaginative or fanciful, remote from reality. So yeah, that’s fair.


And lastly, tonnes of British fruit has gone to waste due to a lack of seasonal workers to harvest it, thanks to Brexit fears. Further proof the government definitely can’t just cherry pick the Brexit they want. Labour MP and someone who I’m certain I’ll one day see fronting a band from 1987 on top of the pops 2 but looking exactly as she does now, Stella Creasy is going to become the first MP to get a locum replacement while she’s on maternity leave. Should make a nice balance for our Prime Minister who according to stories is mostly cum. And former Conservative MP and walking conglomerate charity advert Rory Stewart, is standing down as an MP in order to run for London Mayor. I’m not sure that what London is looking for is a rich, pro-austerity, Eton educated, white middle aged country lad but I do look forward to his campaign mostly consisting of him lurking around in Kew Gardens in a mac like a flasher and getting arrested. Stewart said on C4 News that his favourite pub was not a pub, but pret a manger, which really makes him sound like an idiot as it takes a lot of effort to get pissed in Pret A Manger plus they kick you out if you vom on the hot breakfast section. Still, it’s that sort of weird, totally unconnected insight that means up against the Sadiq Khan and the others its likely Rory Stewart has just given his career a wrap that wasn’t anywhere near as satisfying as he’d have expected for the cost.


Oh and former Conservative MP and the sort of person who would use a professional photo shoot pic for their driving licence Heidi Allen has joined the Lib Dems which is a shock but mostly because I thought she already had done ages ago.





Hey hey ParPolBrods. Thanks for tuning in and I’m not gonna lie, this week’s is a brief old show as I’m on solo parent duty this week and my daughter has just taken nearly three hours to go to sleep and I would scream but it would probably just wake her up again and also deafen all of you, so I won’t. What it does mean is this admin ramble is super short, there’s no sharp gags on any of the Trump stuff, because there’s too much of it and frankly if he trusted Boris and a Ukrainian comedian for advice on his rivals he’s clearly lost it as you’d get better coherent info yelling into a well. Also, nothing on the Extinction Rebellion lot but solidarity and top work from them, hopefully they will just appreciate that I’m saving the energy. And there’s about 5 other things I’ve forgotten this week because my brain has melted, and there’s no middle bit either which was going to be Brexit Fallout but let’s face it, nothing has actually happened again so maybe just listen to a repeat from a few weeks ago. Sorry, sorry, sorry but also not sorry, its entirely mini-Douieb’s fault and feel free to write her hate mail about it as she can’t read and it’ll just make me feel better.


So very quickly, some things. The Live Podcast gig which my daughter won’t be at, so it will run to time, is still happening even if Brexit isn’t that week. Or might be. Or whatever. 29th October at 2Northdown in Kings Cross, there’s a line up and everything, it will be fun, just grab tickets from 2Northdown.com or the link in this pod blurb. Please come. I have fun things planned. Secondly, my brother who’s music I steal for this show The Last Skeptik, has a new track out called Scumbag Anthem and its great, go grab it from music places and his album will be out end of November. Thirdly, I’ve been on a podcast that isn’t this one, gasp and shock, which is the Desert Island Dicks podcast and I talk about the three people I’d least like to be trapped on a desert island with, my choices will be fairly unsurprising if you’re a regular listener to this show. Do check it out.


And lastly, I mentioned it a few weeks ago, but the way in which the podcast platform I am on, Acast, measure podcast listens, has now changed which immediately means, in terms of numbers, several hundred of you have just vanished. I mean, I’m hoping you’re still there physically, and it isn’t like the Leftovers or something. It’s all to do with platforms and times listened and supposedly is good for tackling bots and helping advertisers merdy merdy meh. But what it means for me is that the pittance I earn for the show is even less and all the podcast charts mark it even lower and all that nonsense. So, if you have the time and the want to tell people about this show and get them listening, please do. If you’re a proper champ and fancy giving it a review, please please do that and if you want to help me, I dunno, afford to get childcare in or sound proof my room so I can’t hear her if she won’t sleep or you know, just buy valium, but for me, then please donate to the ko-fi.com/parpolbro or patreon.com/parpolbro.


What there is on this week’s show is an interview with the brilliant Ruth Ibegbuna, who’s started the Roots Programme, an initiative to actually bring people together, as in to get on, not just go all fight club or anything as that wouldn’t be helpful. Normal service on this podcast will resume next week, promise, but till then, have this:





Before June 23rd 2016, it’s safe to say that the only thing that really divided British people was Marmite. Oh, and class, ethnicity, religion and garden hedge disputes but really yeah, it was mostly marmite wasn’t it? But the Brexit result and the ensuing 3 years of nothing happening loudly brought in new divides and largely exacerbated old ones, meaning that your marmite preference pales into significance compared to whether you’re leave or remain, a baby boomer who bought all the homes or a millennial who supposedly bought all the avocados, but let’s face it, if you can’t afford to live anywhere, you may as well enjoy some tasty green snacks. Then there’s elites versus the elites who say they aren’t elites, the people who think they’re British versus the people who are British but aren’t sure they want to be anymore, people who quote tweet versus people who tag the names in of the people you’re subtweeting in a reply to, everyone who likes the Joker movie versus people who’ve had sex, Slytherin verses Gryffindor, all the classic political divides plus the divides within their own parties and more. If the phrase united we stand, divided we fall is true, then right now Britain is doing a mass replication of Radiohead’s video for Just and refusing to stop once the track has ended. But what can be done about it? Well surely a sensible way would be to work on a Brexit solution that actually listens to everyone and finds a middle ground then puts in place a number of funds and projects that bring people together? But with newspapers calling people traitors, politicians still using words like surrender, MPs like concertinaed Fungus The Bogeyman Mark Francois stomping around with a pan on his head, carrying a large stick he found that looks like a gun and screaming that this is a war, and the Prime Minister dismissing the violent murder of Jo Cox with Dickensian disregard, and twitter full of people saying everyone but them is stupid, where do you even begin to heal that rift? Yes, you’re right. Maybe we should have another Olympics. But something needs to happen sooner for everyone’s sake.


Luckily there are people that have taken it into their own hands to make people realise that we have more in common than divides us, excluding marmite obviously. This week I spoke to Ruth Ibegbuna who started up The Roots Programme, an initiative that aims to bring people together from different walks of life and have them, well, talk in order to understand their differences and more importantly, work out their similarities. I love the sound of this project and I was so pleased Ruth was up for a chat to tell me all about it. They’re currently fund raising to get the project further as you’ll hear in our chat but if you can, do check out the gofundme link that I’ll pop later in the show and in all the show notes. A very quick one of these though:




Slightly muffly audio this week because sometimes, phones are shit. Take that Alexander Graham Bell. Bell-end more like, eh? Anyway, I’ve made it as unmuffly as possible and it does get better after the first minute or so and its definitely worth sticking with it as Ruth told me all about what has caused these divides, how to heal them and exactly what they do in the Roots Programme. Oh, and it doesn’t really matter if you don’t like marmite because then it leaves more for me. Here’s Ruth:




And we’ll be back with Ruth in a minute but first, no middle bit this week so just have this advert which will either be something great or terrible government propaganda….





And now back to Ruth…




Thanks so much to Ruth for having time to talk to me. You can find the Roots Programme at rootsprogramme.org where there is a link to the fundraiser under the support tab. They are also on Twitter @programmeroots and the same on Facebook. The other links Ruth recommends will be on the partlypoliticalbroadcast.co.uk website soon too.


Do you know of any positive campaigns or people doing positive things to help scrape us out of this political quagmire? Or someone who can explain something about an issue that’s being largely ignored thanks to all the Brexit shouting? Or an issue that I just haven’t covered on the last 159 episodes of this podcast? Get in touch and let me know. Of course you can do that by the contact page on the website, the @parpolbro twitter account, the Partly Political Broadcast group on Facebook or email me on partlypoliticalbroadcast@gmail.com preferably with a picture of your recommended interviewee written in marmite across your walls, just so I know you’re a true ally.





And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Thanks to you and your ears or whichever orifice you use to listen to this show with, I mean, who am I to judge? And if you do enjoy this show or perhaps just get a thrill from partaking in a whole hour of listening each week that you absolutely loathe then why not recommend the show to someone you love or hate but want revenge on? Send them the website or podcast app links and give them a nudge to subscribe and have a listen. If for some reason you want to go above and beyond the pod listener duty callsheet then please also give the show a shiny review on iTunes or Stitcher or wherever you listen to your episodes on and if you can, do donate a few pennies, or even pounds to the ko-fi.com/parpolbro or patreon.com/parpolbro pages.


Thanks as always to Acast, my brother the Last Skeptik who has yet another new tune out called Scumbag Anthem, so go check that out, and to Kat Day aka @chronicleflask on Twitter for the linear liner notes.


This will be back next week when Johnson unveils his plan to turn all of Ireland in to one giant border that can only be crossed by passing a series of futuristic challenges that don’t exist yet but he remembers from the film The Running Man.




This week’s show was sponsored by British fruit because we may as well use it for something.




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