Staying Positive But Also Not – Lurgy Lockdown, Positive Things, Every Corbyn Description and Dean Burnett on how our brains are handling this

Released on Monday, March 30th, 2020.

Staying Positive But Also Not – Lurgy Lockdown, Positive Things, Every Corbyn Description and Dean Burnett on how our brains are handling this

ITS ONLY ANOTHER EPISODE ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS. A sentence that will be this podcast blurb for the next 3-6…years. Its ok though because despite us all being locked down and isolation nation, there is still politics happening. Even though most of it is just which MP has coronavirus today. So this week’s show is all about our positive PM, self employed non-help, some actually cheery news, sort of, and a traditional ParPolBro tribute to Jeremy Corbyn of every description of him ever used on the show. Plus a chat with the brilliant neuroscientist and comedian Dean Burnett (@garwboy) all about how our brains are handling these strange, strange times.




Donate to the Patreon at

Buy me a coffee at







Sign up to Tiernan’s comedy mailing list here:




Join Tiernan’s comedy mailing list at

Follow us on Twitter @parpolbro, on Facebook at and the fancy webpage at

Music by The Last Skeptik (@thelastskeptik) – to his podcast Thanks For Trying here.

THIS EPISODE IS TAGGED WITH: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Further Reading

Linear liner notes

ITS ONLY ANOTHER EPISODE ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS. A sentence that will be this podcast blurb for the next 3-6…years. Its ok though because despite us all being locked down and isolation nation, there is still politics happening. Even though most of it is just which MP has coronavirus today. So this week’s show is all about our positive PM, self employed non-help, some actually cheery news, sort of, and a traditional ParPolBro tribute to Jeremy Corbyn of every description of him ever used on the show. Plus a chat with the brilliant neuroscientist and comedian Dean Burnett (@garwboy) all about how our brains are handling these strange, strange times.

Links and sources of info from Dean’s interview:

All the usual ParPolBro stuff:


Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that much like the coronavirus, has already gone on much longer than is comfortable but shows no signs of ending for quite some time. I’m Tiernan Douieb and as Chancellor of the Duchy and artists interpretation of what COVID-19 would look like if it were an arsehole Michael Gove says that he wishes he could predict when it would end, it’s nice to hear him finally cotton on to what the public thinks every time he starts talking.


Yes, according to the Deputy Chief Medical Officer it could be 3 to 6 months before the country is back to normal, which makes me wonder just what the coronavirus will do that will erase the last 10 years. According to Prime Minister and visual diagram of the methane cycle Boris Johnson, things will get worse before they get any better, something that should have been not only his election campaign slogan but that of his party’s for quite some time. He’s had to say that not only because death and infection rates continue to increase but also because Johnson is currently self-isolating after being tested positive for COVID-19 symptoms. But still being positive about something is the way to get through it according to Boris, right? I’m sure that by being optimistic about it all, he’ll be all ok in no time.


I’m not saying this is how he caught it, but it was only days before that the Prime Minister was boasting about how the government were putting an arm around every worker, a boast that seems a lot less wise now. Still at least Johnson is used to self-isolation and he can probably cope with hiding indoors and not making any public appearances by pretending its election time again. The Health Secretary and Woody from Toy Story but you know, shit Matt Hancock, is also self-isolating having been told by doctors that he has coronavirus symptoms. That shows just how dramatic the changes caused by the pandemic are, as that must be the first time Hancock has actually successfully listened to advice from medical experts. The PM and Health Secretary aren’t the only ones either, as Chief Medical Officer and only just woken up owl Chris Witty was also tested positive, as was Johnson’s special advisor and stupid moon Dominic Cummings. In unrelated news, an unnamed source said ‘cough cough cough bleaurgh cough’. After spending two years in a bunker and then making everyone who meets him think he’s a prick, I’m sure Cummings will survive self-isolation all ok.


Wait, if everyone’s all locked down with lurgy, just who’s in charge? Well never fear as the Prime Minister is releasing videos from home where despite being ill, he’s still wearing a suit and tie, further proving my conspiracy theory that he’s unable to dress himself and now will be stuck in those clothes for a week. Or maybe he’s aware that without formal wear he looks like a lump of uncooked dough and that might cause issues as people flock to Number 10 in the thousands for their bread supplies. Whatever it is, the Prime Minister has assured us he’s still ok to lead from behind closed doors, even if he can’t work out how to put pajamas on, and he’s of such sound mind that he’s decided to spend £5.8m sending a letter to every household in the UK telling everyone to stay at home. A plan that’s highly flawed in that if postal workers receive it first, they won’t go out and deliver it. What a great idea Boris, sending everyone a physical item from a man whose been infected with the virus, so that it can be physically chucked into your safe space. Why doesn’t he just go round himself, in his week old suit, shouting stay at home through people’s letterboxes before popping his todger through and waving it around? That’s what Churchill would’ve done.


£5.8m on letters a month after they should’ve sent them is fine though isn’t it? There’s money for everything now you know, except protective gear for NHS staff or enough tests for everyone on the front line. But who needs those when you can wrap a letter around your face and put at least one of your hands into the envelope as a makeshift glove? Actually, that’s not entirely true as there is now a national supply distribution response team delivering Personal Protective Equipment, and according to Michael Gove at the press briefing on Sunday, there are now 10,000 coronavirus tests a day being carried out. Except all records show there are actually only 7000, but who knows with this government, maybe there are also 3000 tests that have already happened and so definitely count? Naughty Michael, doesn’t he realise a law has been passed meaning giving fake news about the pandemic is now illegal? It’s not just the test stat, the government are also manipulating the death stats by saying they won’t include ones where the family haven’t yet been informed, which sounds caring but I’m not sure how anyone would look at an overall number and immediately go ‘oh the 7th one today must’ve been my uncle Phil’. This is assuming people look at the stats that closely anyway, and if they all are, chances are there was absolutely no need to spend £5.8m on a letter. The other thing that hasn’t been clarified was just why the government failed to take part in an EU deadline to source life-saving ventilators, something the EU said we could still be included in. Instead initially No.10 said it was because we are no longer and a member and were making our own efforts, you know such as sending a letter round that people can roll into a tube and breath through. But then when that was rightly criticized as putting Brexit over breathing, the story changed to just being ‘oh sorry, we missed the deadline’. Ah whoops, sorry everyone. I’ll have it to you by the morning, just deduct all those extra deaths from my paycheck, eh? Its ok though as the UK have commissioned lots of companies including weapons manufacturer’s BAE systems to make ventilators instead which must make a nice change for them saving lives for once. Other companies in the big ventilator scheme included Boris Johnson’s bezzie mates at JCB, a company that usually help people breathe by just knocking down their walls, and several car companies who are keen to keep people alive so they can kill the planet later.


The government’s advice on construction workers has also confused many, with both Gove and Communities Minister Robert ‘look mum I made a face in my semolina’ Jenrick saying that work on sites could continue as long as it was done safely with social distancing rules in place. I can think of nothing safer than someone up a ladder while the man at the bottom of it stands 2 meters away to keep it secure. Pass me that hammer, becomes a hammer throwing contest. All sounds safe to me. While builders are being told to continue working, parliament has closed for a month-long recess. Though let’s face it, unlike builders if they’d stayed at work it’s unlikely they would’ve done anything constructive. Also now several MPs and the PM have all showed symptoms of coronavirus, it’s probably for the best to take everyone out of that windowless closely packed chamber. The only issue is how many MPs will work from home, when they don’t know just which of their many homes to be at.


For those very uncertain about their job future, the Chancellor and Banzai from the Lion King Rishi Sunak finally remembered that the self-employed exist in his 12th budget, or was it 38th? I don’t know, I lost count at some point last week. Anyway, he’s promising that all self-employed, except for some of them, will be paid 80% of their profits, which is amazing. Though it isn’t till June, which should be fine as everyone earning absolutely zero income will be able to survive on solely on the promise of exposure until then. Sunak said it was hard to come up with a plan that includes everyone though as apparently some self-employed people will be making more money than usual right now. Really? Are funeral directors self-employed? I didn’t think that man with the ‘The End Is Nigh’ sandwich board was still able to work in the lockdown? Who knew!


Meanwhile the NHS are still working incredibly hard for horrifically long hours, with temporary hospitals being set up in London, Birmingham and Manchester. The London one is called The Nightingale, after Florence not Annie I think, as I’m not sure an Old Grey Whistle Test would help those with the virus at all. It’s at the Excel Centre in East London with between 4000-5000 beds, something I hope they keep there for after this pandemic passes as it’ll be a lot easier to cope with all the boring home shows they have there if you can snooze through them. A call for 250,000 NHS volunteers had to be put on hold after 750,000 signed up to help, which is just incredible and heartwarming. They will be transporting equipment or patients, collecting food and other vital jobs and I’m certain when all this is done, they will be rewarded by an expectation that they’ll continue to do that for free for many years after, while the government boasts that it’s increased recruitment in healthcare. There was an overwhelming response to clap for the NHS, a call that I thought sounded harsh as they’re already prone to corona infection so wishing STIs on them too is really mean. But no, it was actually everyone standing on their doorsteps, or out of their windows and applauding the NHS all over the country for their efforts. A wonderful thing to do, though if you voted Conservative in the last election, it’s a tad weird and more like saying ‘yeah you did it despite the odds’. I wonder if to those voters this is just all one big reality show where you vote for the tasks to get harder but are impressed when they make it through, and next election will all vote in their masses for nurses to eat live spiders and doctors to dive into an ice cold pool between patients and collect stars with their teeth.


Who knows what people really think in this new world where we’re all trapped in our own homes, or someone else’s if you really badly timed a one night stand. We are not yet accustomed to our new rules, where coughing on emergency workers is illegal, which is going to make getting a hernia check even more scary. Police have the power to return people to their homes using reasonable force, but on the plus side, that will still be cheaper than getting a cab. Police officers can also ensure parents are doing all they can to stop their kids from breaking the rules, but if they really wanted to help, they’d just look after them for a few hours to make up for all the childcare support we’ve lost. To ease pressure on the police doing such useful jobs as criticizing your parenting, retired officers have been called to return to duty. Something that should only be allowed if they’re paired with a young reckless rookie and say ‘I’m too old for this shit’ at least 8 times a day.


With Johnson self-isolating we now have the Foreign Secretary and condom pulled over a knee Dominic Raab in charge because who better to lead the country in its hour of need than a man who likely thinks Coronavirus is a series of islands somewhere in the big sea, you know the one that is big and wet and has fishes in it. Having Raab and Gove announce everything feels off kilter, like when you’re usual breakfast TV presenters are replaced by that sweaty couple who clearly go dogging and only ask all the least appropriate questions. Raab did the daily brief like a child who’s shocked they’ve been asked to read in front of the class having not prepared anything, and said Britons stranded abroad will be flown home, which sounds great but to be honest if I was somewhere sunny and told I’d be dragged back to Britain where I had to stay indoors, I’d feel a tad cheated. A £75m arrangement is being made to charter flights from the UK to places where no commercial flights are running due to the pandemic something that’s been announced just as Easyjet say they are grounding their fleet for at least two months meaning even more people will be stuck, stranded 50 miles away from the city centre they thought they were going to.


EU trade talks are continuing over video links with Michael Gove leading them, which will allow EU leaders to minimize his face into as small a window as possible to make things more bearable for them. Downing Street have insisted there is no change to their timetable for arranging a trade deal, but they aren’t accounting for how everyday feels like a Sunday and time doesn’t really mean anything anymore, so most of that timetable is irrelevant anyway.


In other news very soon not to be Labour leader anymore and remnants of wet card on a sideboard Jeremy Corbyn has said that the government’s response to coronavirus has proved he was absolutely right about public spending in the 2019 election. That’s not wrong but if only he’d put ‘and we’ll have a big pandemic to justify all of it’ on page 2, then Labour might’ve won. Labour announce their new leader this weekend with it likely being personified sinus problems Keir Starmer, who will apparently appoint woman who always looks like how an alien would disguise itself in a children’s drama Rachel Reeves, as shadow chancellor. Clever plan that, if the Conservatives are winning popularity by supporting people, why not be a true opposition and get in someone who opposes welfare? I fully expect the new version of Labour to really embrace this stance and announce their ideas for less money to the NHS too. The Liberal Democrats are delaying their leadership contest until 2021 in the hope that by then people will be so excited about going outside that they won’t care which wallpaper of a person gets it. And oh you’ve put your thumb over the camera and used flash oh no wait it’s his face Nigel Farage is in talks to be on the next season of Channel 4’s Celebrity Hunted. Seems he’s realized that post Brexit the only way he’ll get new followers is if they’re after him with dogs.


Lastly Prince Charles has recovered from having a virulent dangerous germ that passes from person to person via bodily fluids, but as well as being the brother of Prince Andrew, he’s also got over the coronavirus.





How is there still so much news? No one is doing anything. I’m not saying this is all getting to me but two days ago there was a spider in our bathroom and usually, I’d be popping a glass over that eight legged bastard, getting a bit of paper underneath and flinging it out of the window like it was a bucket of piss in the Victorian times. Instead I had a lengthy conversation with it about how things are for spiders right now and what the outside world is like. Are you worried about what it’ll be like when we can see people again? I’m certain I’ll turn up to a social occasion in my pajamas, with stains all down the front of them, before spending most conversations trying to move their face to the side so I can look at Twitter instead. I’m also unnecessarily fearful of breaking these lockdown rules. I’m going to drive over to my parents tomorrow to drop a few bits of food off as they’re in their 70s and staying in, and I know that’s allowed but having read reports of police charging people for driving around for no reason, I’m so worried I’ll get pulled over. Imagine going to prison for dropping off some food, and having all the big perps all scared of you incase you deliver them some lettuce? Don’t mess with Big T, they’d say, or you’ll wake tomorrow with some brown bread in the wrong slice size because that was all they had, honest. Are you coping all ok though? I’m starting to ease into this life a bit. We’ve begun watching the Tiger King on Netflix, and that’s pretty amazing viewing. Though it’s not the sequel to the Lion King I expected and I now realise why it isn’t on Disney Plus. Oh silliness. All silliness. I’m actually doing ok, I think but we are only in week two and I did accidentally shout ‘oh fuck the park’ when it was discussed as the only option for having a walk to somewhere that we have. We’ll get there, we’ll all get there.


Thank you so much for still listening to this nonsense. Apparently podcast listens are down with this virus, probably due to the lack of commuting or time without children. But for this show they have gone up which is amazing and hello to all you new lot that I have joined. I hope you’re playing this show very loudly to your children at full volume so that they learn things. Ahem. Look, you lot have been so amazing with your donations this past week and I’m shit at saying thank you enough for these things but genuinely, you’ve probably saved my neck when it comes to rent this month which is just incredible and I’m so, so grateful, what with the comedy scene completely dying. It should be ok now that the government has announced I might get money in June if I can survive till then. I can eat shoes right? And it turns out it’ll be an average of profits earned over the last three years, so with my wife on maternity leave last year and getting no profits and me doing Edinburgh Fringe the year before and making no profits, we should be in for a tidy sum of not much. I know they can’t cater it to everyone but they really haven’t catered it to many comedians which is great. Universal Basic Income please, thank you. Oh no but what if it works and everyone wants it to stay? Yeah awful. Anyway, what I meant to say was thank you tons. You are definitely all right you lot. I might even consider you friends but you know, social distancing and all that. If you’d still like to throw me a few quid, these next few weeks, months, god knows, years are the time to do it. Either at the and thanks tons to Farran, Somebody, J, Somebody number 2, Mark, Matt, Yossarian, Ben, Tea and Lord Shoreham for your absolute kindness. Or you can join the where I put absolutely no extra stuff because I don’t have time, but you can still join it out of sheer want to do so. Thanks tons to Moiz and Dave for doing that. Also please still review this thing over at your podcast apps, especially Apple Podcasts and do just tell people about it if it helps you get through these silly times in anyway whatsoever. Also, any other suggestions for what you want to hear while we’re all in lockdown, what type of guests, content, weird screaming noises. Do drop me a line and let me know.


No real admin this week, because I mean, absolutely nothing is happening. But I am doing various streaming things on NextUp Comedy if you check out their website. Also if you do actually need a podcast for your children, I’ve been doing regular short Comedy Club 4 Kids podcasts where myself and another comedian answer questions sent into us by children. They are a lot of fun and containing much talking of farts. Do make your small people listen. If nothing else, they may sit still for 20 minutes while they do. We also need kids to send in questions for comedians to answer, so if they fancy doing that, that’d be appreciated too.

On this week’s show I am speaking to brilliant neuroscientist and comedian Dean Burnett, I give Jeremy Corbyn the traditional ParPolBro tribute and there’s actually some positive news in the middle, sort of. I mean let’s face it, almost anything is positive news right now isn’t it? On Thursday me and my daughter spent 20 minutes watching a little man in a hi-vis go on a small crane and fix a lamppost on our street and honestly, it was the movie highlight of the year so it’s hard to go wrong.





Last year to honor mental health awareness week, the Palace of Westminster lit up in big green lights, as if to say, we can’t be arsed to spend money on mental health issues, so we’ll just show you the colour of it and hope that soothes enough of your anxiety to save us from pennies. Politicians have been great at raising Mental Health awareness but with a social care plan nowhere in sight and incredible long waiting times for people with MH issues to see specialists, making people aware of it just feels like telling people to make sure they notice that fire that’s already started burning their house down, while they loudly announce how sad it is they can’t do anything about it as they drink from a massive vat of water. With all of us in lockdown though, mental health is now a very key issue. Not only do we have the anxiety that we might get coronavirus or pass on coronavirus or turn into coronavirus, there’s worries about when you’ll next be able to buy loo roll, whether you still have a job though if you don’t you can use all those work files for bum wiping needs. There are the effects of a lack of social contact or if you enjoy that, the annoying way everyone keeps facetiming when you want to be left alone to watch Tiger King on Netflix. There are parental worries about if it’s wrong to let children watch 15 hours of TV a day and should that include Tiger King on Netflix, and what on earth you’ll watch once you’ve got through Tiger King on Netflix. It’s safe to say none of us will come out of these strange, strange times unscathed in the head department and for those with mental health issues it might exacerbate current issues even more. But is it ok to feel anxious? Shouldn’t we absolute champions of this sort of stress after years of Brexit, Trump, climate change, wars, refugee crisis and that time Michael Gove did the Wham Rap and we all cringed so hard we dislodged parts of our face?


This week I spoke to the brilliant Dean Burnett who is a neuroscientist, comedian and writer of the bestselling books all about your head and what happens in it, the Happy Brain, the Idiot Brain and Brain Yapping. Dean is very good at knowing exactly what’s occurring in our brains as we remain trapped in doors, our lives flipped upside down all Belair style due to virus times and when you watch episode 3 of Tiger King where it gets even more weird. I promise I’m not trying to get a Netflix sponsorship. Much. Anyway, Dean very happily spoke to me from his garden shed office where he explained all, while we both realized that actually now might be the first time in our stupid freelance lives where we have the advantage. Before we go into this, I am aware that while Dean is great at mental health issues, he also discuss neuroscience and that isn’t the same as having say, a mental health charity or therapist on to discuss what provisions need to be in place after this is all over at a later date, but though this chat would be most useful to all of us, however you’re feeling, right now. So, hope you enjoy and find this useful, as I definitely did.


Here’s Dean:




And we’ll be back with Dean in a minute but first…


As is tradition on this show, when a major party leader leaves their post, I, on this podcast, have to give them a Partly Political send off. Hence why I didn’t do one for Jo Swinson. But Wednesday was the final PMQs for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn before this coming weekend we discover just which one out of service robot, garbage pail kid or cartoon mouse gets to take over the opposition and find out why all the public and media now hates them instead. As Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn succeeded in dragging the political conversation leftwards, but unfortunately did so while alienating Jewish people and losing elections. He outlasted two Conservative Prime Ministers and a leadership challenge from from a man who naturally camouflages against a filing cabinet Owen Smith. Corbyn revitalized grassroots politics and successfully engaged young people, but just sadly not enough for them to actually go out and vote. Sure, he didn’t have it easy at all, at one point being vilified by the press for being both a terrorist and a pacifist at the same time, something that is very hard to do unless you say, throw bath bombs. But let’s also be fair, while few politicians could get the response at Glastonbury Festival that he did, Corbyn failed to communicate things quite so clearly during TV interviews and you have to wonder if they’d just spent the Labour budget on a portable Pyramid Stage if he would’ve held his own a tad better on Marr if he’d yelled his policies at the journalist through a major PA system from half a mile away. But this isn’t a critique of Jezza Corbo, as personally I always thought his policies were the way forward but ultimately he was just a bit shit, which compared to the mountain of shit that is Johnson, was definitely a preferable electoral choice. I guess the public would prefer to smother themselves in turds and just embrace it, rather than have say a sandwich ruined by a speck and waste a day picking it out of their teeth. But regardless of your feelings towards him, Corbyn’s time as el big Labour honcho is up, even if so many of the policies his Labour manifesto promised are being implemented because of a pandemic. I wonder how it feels to have your ideas more successfully communicated by a germ that actively stops people from working together. Hm. Anyway here, as per tradition, is every description of Jeremy Corbyn that I’ve given him over the past 5 years of him being Labour leader, over some appropriate beats. Maybe salute him by not bowing correctly while you listen to it.





fashion inspiration for geography teachers everywhere

somehow manages to be unpopularly popular and popularly unpopular all at once

one man vintage clothing outlet

Jeremy ‘I bet he plays bowls’ Corbyn

Allotment lover who’s lost his plot

J-Corbz aka Jezza Corbster aka Jeremy from the Block

Bernard Cribbins body double

MumbleBore the Wizard

Quentin Blake drawing

Hipster Radagast

2016 Scruffts finalist

Old Man Marley stand-in

man who’s name sounds like someone being excited by rubbish

quarter womble

‘I can’t believe he doesn’t own a narrow boat’

official Japanese mascot for garden centres

bag of giblets attached to a feather duster

a man who plays the game Risk by throwing all the figurines in the bin and popping a potted plant on the board instead

human terrier

captain of the Pequod

former puppeteer of Sooty

Jack White’s current main source of income

what happens if you anthropomorphise a loaf of Soreen

man who I’m sure is just waiting for someone to pass on a rare item they found to so he can give them a clue to help them with their quest

besuited stoat

man who’s password is about 4 paragraphs worth of characters but he insists his computer shouldn’t work for a few

only parliamentary representative from Donaldson’s Dairy

stunt double for Stanley Tucci in Captain America

unfun-sized Papa Smurf

Captain SideEye

Steve Zissou and the Life Erratic

pinto bean with eyes

regular extra for old French children’s books

I have special shoes for gardening

if you bring me 10 rushrooms I’ll reward you with 100 rupees

toothbrush in a suit

Charlie’s Grandpa Joe

Elijah Wood from the future coming back to warn current day Elijah Wood that he will get quite ill

anthropomorphised fatigue

rejected Coen Brothers film extra

exhausted sea urchin

charcoal sketch of an old sheet in the wind

half eaten corn cob

someone made a thumb print in that drying concrete

resembles a face drawn on your big toe peering out of a hole in your sock

bearded twiglet

physical manifestation of the feeling you have when you’re stuck in a long queue

star of Old Jack’s Boat

Velcro gnome

cue tip with glasses

sickly Mike Ehmantraut

animated corduroy elbow patch

personified sigh

face drawn on a nutmeg husk

Gerald Gardner dilute

judgmental scallop

AWOL scribble

kiwi fruit with glasses

cheap knock off Papa Smurf where he’s all red

Pauper Smurf

Miracle Max

King Julien from Madagascar stunt double

school nativity snapchat filter

brillo pad

exhausted shrew

all the wrong choices on a children’s flip book

Womad mascot

personification of an old furniture shop

man entirely composed of bits of tissue you might find in a trouser pocket after they’ve been washed

distressed human fleece

only human ever made entirely of chintz

Steve Zissou on crack

several woodland creatures all standing on top of each other in a suit

sentient eyebrow

winner of Uncle Bulgaria cosplay

fuzzy felt construct

what if Bluto was really ill

anthropomorphized jumble sale

uncollectable funko pop

Barney McGrew stunt double

animated tea towel

children’s drawing of a Schnauzer

suspicious badger

Sidney in Ice Age

grumpy terrier

Earnest Giveaway

mouse who’s shaved around the eyes

Puddle Lane resident

Hide Your Pain Harold

man who looks like he travels round schools to tell them about the importance of harvest

what would happen in Hemingway wrote a novel about an allotment owner that had to fight a giant courgette

main cast of a 70s public information film about safety hazards in libraries

low budget Ian McKellen character

background character from a Shane Meadows film


And now, with the future looking lockdowny, let’s do something a bit more cheery than usual on this podcast. I thought it might be a nice idea to look at some of the good changes the Coronavirus has caused. I know that it is, on the whole, a shit thing. I’m not just going to like it because everyone else isn’t a fan, even though its clearly playing for a cult crowd. But the fact is, in amongst the more grim aspects of it all, this pandemic has caused a few political changes that even if they are temporary, are actually more progressive than anything the government had previously promised. Obviously, they haven’t had a choice about most of it, but hey, at the moment where we’re having to wear riot gear just to fail to buy some eggs, let’s take what we can get. So here is a new regular feature for now called:




Yes Coronaveezy Positeezy. For this week’s installment let’s take a quick look at the railways. Yes, the old choo choos that already had the Northern Rail line temporarily renationalized after Arriva’s contract was ended earlier this year on account of it being particularly shit. Which for British trains is really exceptional. I mean when you’re up against Southern Rail and you still end up being the one the government decide not to renew, you’ve gotta feel like a chump. That’s like winning worst doctor of the year when up against Harold Shipman. Anyway, all Northern Rail got renationalized and Transport Secretary and playdoh horse Grant Shapps said it was temporary but that they knew change was needed. Well coronavirus may have been that change, in a way, as the rail franchise system has been completely suspended for at least a year. All losses by railway companies are now nationalized with operators running day to day services for a small management fee under an ‘emergency measures agreement’. Though why you’d trust many of them with emergency measures when they can’t seem to contemplate the units of time or cost in normal circumstances I don’t know. So look there are caveats to this, in that it’s not yet known if the government are taking responsibility for pension contributions to the industry pension scheme, and all of this is going to cost the government several billion pounds at least which you know, there is the worry that we’ll suddenly be told we all have to help to pay it back through extreme austerity which then has to be all reversed in the next pandemic. But the fact is, for now, British rail services have been renationalized and maybe, just maybe everyone might realise how easy that is and then maybe it’ll stay that way and ticket prices might drop and people will use cars less and everything will be better. All I’m saying is it feels like this could be the first-time trains in Britain are actually on the right track. Yes, that’s the gag I’m going with. Yes, that’s the one I do everytime I talk about trains. Yes yes.


The other coronaveezy positeezy this week is that councils were told last week to house all homeless people, essentially ending homelessness overnight which is amazing. Ok, its not as easy as that as councils aren’t being given any extra funding to do this, though £1.6bn extra has been allocated to local authorities as part of the 3rd or 7th of the Chancellor’s budgets. They happen so often I forget which one it was. That may also not be enough as with an accommodation shortage, councils will have to utilize hotels which includes places like Travelodge who gave everyone, including homeless families accommodates there by authorities, 4 hours and then turfed them all out. Their slogan sleep tight, could now very easily have the first word in that removed. There is also the issue of homeless migrants and refugees who have no access to public funding schemes and may be forgotten by this, which will require changes in the home office before they can get any help. But while this instruction from the government is obviously due to exceptional times, it also shows it can be done if the will is there. Councils are being instructed to set up rough sleeping coordination cells, keeping track of exactly whose homeless and where they’re being sheltered, along with provisions for them and a record of those with alcohol and drug needs something that sounds along the lines of part of Roseanna Haggerty of the US organization Common Ground Community’s solutions towards feasibly ending homelessness. Yes, there’s every chance that once the virus goes, everywhere will go full Travelodge, but it might not be so easy just to make everyone homeless again when the government proved they can accommodate people overnight. I mean it’s not the greatest election slogan to boast that you ended homelessness then got it started again months later because there was no longer a chance they might cough on rich people when asking for change.


Just two things this time as who knows how many weeks we’re gonna need some positive news for, so I’m at least saving private schools closing for next week which I consider good news but I know after these next few months a lot more parents may be angry that they can’t send their kids away for considerable lengths of time.


And now back to Dean…




Thanks tons to Dean for the chat. You can find Dean on Twitter at @garwboy and on his website where you can find links to all his articles and his books The Idiot Brain, The Happy Brain and Brain Yapping. Dean is also taking part in a lot of the cosmicshambles livestreaming shows alongside Robin Ince, Brian Cox, Josie Long and many others, so keep an eye out on their website at for when he’s next appearing on there.


What else do you need while stuck at home? Do you have time to listen to long interviews while juggling children, work, fighting people for toilet roll and watching all the endless content everyone is making in a desperate bid to burn themselves out while still at home? Well if you do, then let me know what sort of stuff would help right now. Is it coronavirus related or anything but? New political ideas, old ones, global stuff, or just someone nice to chat to? Drop me a line @parpolbro on Twitter, the Partly Political Broadcast facebook group, the contact page at or email me at Or you could spend £5.8m sending a letter to every home, in the goodwill gesture that either I read it before putting it in recycling or you can at least aid people with their lack of toilet roll. As always, its probably just best to email isn’t it?





And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Thank you for listening with your ear holes and as you’ve all listened to the end this week, like Team Ende, that’s end in German. Or er, what is it in Norwegian, Team Slutt. Ok maybe not that one. Ok here is your special bit of political gossip. As Jeremy Corbyn steps down as Labour leader this week, did you know that Labour leader from 1980 to 1983 Michael Foot, was taller than his name suggests. No I don’t know exactly how tall, but at least 5 to 6 feet big, so he should have been called Michael Foot Foot Foot Foot Foot Foot or at least Michael Feet. Pretty dishonest stuff. Anyway I hope that’s useful for any of the pub quizzes you won’t be doing. And of course, if you enjoy any of this show and not just the hot hot facts, then please do tell others to give it a whizz, review it on any of them podcast apps what you use that do that, but mainly Apple Podcasts please and donate to the ko-fi or patreon if you can as it’s hella helpful right now.


Big chunky cheerses to Acast for hosting the show, my brother the last skeptik for musical bings and bongs, Kat Day for typing up all the linear liner notes every week and Mushybees for brilliant art doings.


This will be back next week when Dominic Raab, in his short time as acting Prime Minister, has somehow managed to start a war on Wakanda.





This week’s show was sponsored by Safe Builders Inc. If you need construction work done in these uncertain times of social distancing, employ us to only place bricks 2 meters away from each other, and build roofs with massive fuck off gaps in them in order to avoid spreading disease. We are experts at lobbing cements, pneumatic drills and brick hods at each other with only minor fatalities. Safe Builders Inc, for when the last thing you want to build on is an infection rate. Or your property.

Email Tiernan