A not proper episode as Tiernan is having a break, sort of. So some thoughts on the rather bleak last week of pandemic lockdown times including the PM’s recovery, Priti Patel’s special maths and the leaked internal Labour report. Plus some bonus audio from Tiernan’s twitch stream featuring all the podcast descriptions of Michael Gove, Matt Hancock and some stand up, as well as some very old stand-up from the archives. Hope you are all safe and coping ok and a proper episode will be back next week.
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USUAL PODCAST NATTER:
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Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that asks the questions other outlets won’t. Which is pretty easy at the moment as it’s almost anything from ‘why didn’t the government respond to this crisis sooner?’ all the way to ‘why can’t you buy flour anywhere? Does the virus very specifically affect or transmit through flour? Has the Prime Minister needed it to absorb into his doughy matter for survival?’ You know, questions like that. I’m Tiernan Douieb and as a government scientific advisor says that the UK could be the country worst affected by coronavirus in Europe, I just want to say, see, told you so EU. Who needs you for the kind of top table results we can only achieve as a sovereign nation?
I know this is a partly comedy show, but there’s no getting around it, things are pretty bleak right now. At the time of recording this there have been over 11,000 deaths in the UK from COVID19 that we know of. That number includes many health workers, care workers and many other key people who have been at the frontline of tackling this crisis with none of the protective gear or support they need, and doing their best despite 10 years of cuts to the systems and services they work with depleting them of staff, supplies or structures that would’ve eased the strain of coping with this. Yet according to most news outlets that’s not the most important thing we need to know about. Instead it is most important that the Prime Minister, a man who straddles being both tortoise and hare in approach and appearance, Boris Johnson, has been discharged from hospital and will continue his recovery from the coronavirus at his country house in Chequers, because it seems there are no lengths too far when it comes to rich people finding excuses to dodge the lockdown to stay in their holiday home. Johnson has been watching films such as Withnail and I and Lord of The Rings in his recovery, one film about a pompous selfish attention seeking performer & the other about people being corrupted by power. Less relaxing escapism for Johnson and more an alternative to looking in the mirror. It seems while he was in the ICU, the Prime Minister’s aides were told his survival chances were 50/50, a very different story to the one repeatedly given by No.10 spokespeople that Johnson was always in ‘good spirits’. It was said as he went into hospital, oh he’s in good spirits. Then as he was in the ICU. Yes, the PM is in good spirits. During recovery, barely able to walk ‘The Prime Minister is in good spirits.’ Was this a code for how he had been drinking all the hand sanitizer again? Or that he was bathing in the souls of everyone that he’d taken a hospital bed from due to his abject carelessness and gung-ho idiocy from the beginning of this crisis?
But of course, we can’t question these things as its obvious that Johnson only survived because he’s some sort of hero of our times that will rise to the crisis by personally repopulating the country once this is done, like a Genghis Khan of the modern day. If Khan had somehow created an empire through complete inaction and just a reliance that his people were as thick as mince and would believe anything if he said it enough. This theory of course explains why Johnson said in his post hospital twitter video that the NHS is powered by love. There was a pause after he said it as though he had to hold himself back from saying ‘and we all know money can’t buy you love.’ Again, he did all that in a full suit for no discernable reason when on so many occasions he’s been happy for us to see him in his trackies, like a collapsed jumble sale. Yet after leaving intensive care he’s now in a full jacket, shirt and tie like he’s always on the job. Baffling. But then maybe he wasn’t actually wearing any clothes and we’ve all just gaslit ourselves into not seeing it anymore. Johnson thanked the two nurses that watched over him for 48 hours to make sure he kept breathing, including Luis from Portgual, who wouldn’t have qualified to be allowed entry into the UK under the new immigration laws that were unveiled last week. While it would be cruel to almost wish those laws had been brought in earlier for that reason alone, you do wonder if by singling out Luis by name, that was merely a nod to the Home Office of who to deport first when it comes to it as we can’t have anyone left in the country who’s seen the PM in anything other than full suit and good spirits.
But that’s how we’ll fix this right? Named shout outs in a video. Or as Home Secretary and the woman who’s spirit animal is Joffrey Baratheon, Priti Patel gave in her first appearance in months at Saturday’s press briefing, ‘thoughts, prayers and heartfelt condolences’, a comment that we know she didn’t mean as she rarely seems to have any of the former, let alone be capable of the latter. And as for prayers, I’m fairly certain she’s more into appeasing gods via human sacrifice. Hence why, when she was asked to apologise to NHS workers for their lack of personal protective equipment, her only reply was ‘I’m sorry that people feel that way.’ Which sounds callous but coming from Patel that is probably the closest she comes to emotions, feeling sad that others have them, knowing that we could all get through this crisis much quicker if we were dead inside and stopped caring. Business Secretary and British Hank Hill Alok Sharma similarly said in response to pretty much the same question that he too was sorry if people feel they haven’t had the right equipment. I’m sure he genuinely is too. Sharma and Patel are no doubt completely grief stricken at health workers having incorrect feelings about this. They couldn’t be more distressed that those on the front line are unable to understand their lack of access to PPE when they should realise its that they don’t deserve it, because they might not use it properly and ruin it by breathing into it. They are so sorry that these people aren’t just grateful for having bin bags to wear, because if anything they’re denying the waste disposal receptacle of the PPE that they need. It’s as the Health Secretary and hair glued to a crash test dummy Matt Hancock said, everyone needs to treat PPE like the precious resource it is and so maybe instead of using it, maybe all frontline staff should know their place and pop it in a trophy cabinet for everyone to look at while coughing to death?
You have to remember that none of this is the government’s fault at all. They are trying to get PPE to frontline NHS workers, but as Matt Hancock, it’s a Herculean effort, probably because the possibility of it actually happening before the end of the pandemic is the stuff of myths. They are following the science when it comes to testing at airports, which is why they aren’t doing any. They are following the science when it comes to advising people in general to wear masks when outside, which is why they aren’t suggesting anyone does it. Which science are they following you might ask, and are they missing most of it by being at least 2m behind it at all times? Is it the same science that Priti Patel used to determine that the UK have carried out three hundred thousand and thirty-four, nine hundred and seventy-four thousand tests so far? So many tests that it defies actual numbers. Is that why they can’t accurately give the figures the number of health workers who’ve died because it transcends any mathematics we might understand? How would they break it to the public that numpty twelve and flevty thousand and seben have fallen ill so far? Is that why Priti Patel hasn’t attended any select committee meetings for months on end, failing to give evidence to MPs on coronavirus or other security issues, because she operates outside of the time and space dimensions that we understand? Is that why the new immigration policies that she unveiled last week will largely stop any frontline medical staff from coming to the UK for work as they won’t achieve the 70 points needed, because we don’t truly understand how it really works and maybe some of them will have 50 points and four thousand and forty hundred and four and sock at the same time making it ok?
That must be why we just aren’t getting these answers. It’s not the government’s fault you understand, they are trying and if anything, it’s all our fault for going out and doing things when the government didn’t tell us not to for weeks on end. It’s all those people’s faults for going to the big racing events or music concerts or things that they’d paid money for and weren’t cancelled because the government didn’t say they should be so they couldn’t afford not to go ahead. It’s all our fault the coronavirus has spread because we were all selfish and didn’t think of the economy when we went around with our weak immune systems. The poor, poor economy that we will have to think of when this is all over and not be selfish and try and mourn our loved ones when we’ll all be having to work every hour of the day to pay off the £10k extra each MP has got for additional office costs. Yes, it is for their staff and setting up networks because we all know, when you’ve likely caught coronavirus from the Prime Minister dishing it about the only way you’ll get a BT engineer out is for danger money. The Chancellor and Donkey from Shrek’s used hair mousse Rishi Sunak said all the money lent during this time will have to be paid back, you know apart from all the instant cash the Bank Of England has just given the Treasury that they could’ve done during austerity but that would’ve just allowed the public to be reckless and eat properly or pay their bills or something awful like that.
It’s the fault of all the foreign doctors in the UK who are unable to help the NHS due to red tape and immigration policies, because if they really wanted to help they’d have just not come here in the first place and kept their goodwill, caring nature and medical expertise to themselves. It’s the fault of Gwent hospitals A&E department that they are struggling because half their team is off sick with COVID19, because if they’d only worked while holding their breath and not using their hands for every 48-hour shift they did, it’d have been fine. It’s the fault of everyone who can’t get a coronavirus test that they aren’t collapsed pudding Michael Gove or his daughter because if they weren’t so fussy and were either of those two people, they could totally have one. It is not the fault of Housing Secretary and embodiment of Foxtons in one person Robert Jenricks, that he travelled both to his parents home over 40 miles away and then to his country home in Herefordshire that he claims over £100k of expenses for. No you might think that breaks all the lockdown rules, but that’s our fault for not understanding that obviously the main qualification for the housing secretary in this government is to have lots of houses and then check on them at all times.
This is why new Labour Leader and blank canvas of a man Keir Starmer has said now is not the time to ask the government tough questions the way they’ve handled this crisis. See that’s the opposition leadership we’ve been calling for, one who sees that the best way to challenge a government who’ve been too slow to react is to prove you’re even slower to react. Yeah take that Tories! None of this demanding a pay-rise for nurses, no, Starmer has taken on the Conservatives on their own turf of hollow gestures and backed them getting medals. Yes! Champion! Why give them more money to survive on when they can have a lump of metal that will just add to the things, they don’t have correct disinfectant for thanks to low supplies? I mean when even a Conservative MP and man who in every photo appears to be practicing for his EdFringe show poster Robert Halfon is calling for an inquiry into the government’s handling of things once we’re through it all, then the only way to oppose that is not call for any inquiry into anything and assume it’s all fine. It’s this sort of opposition that makes you understand why in further expansion of the shadow ministerial team he gave Shadow Minister for Social care to the woman on your street who lets off fire-works for the NHS on a Thursday while having private healthcare Liz Kendall, a woman most well-known for posing with large military vehicles, so it makes sense to have her back on the team as Labour morally tank. He also appointed roles to Lego figure Wes Streeting and lamprey fish Jess Philips which is a smart move as the only thing they like about the party is themselves, so if they’re featured in it they might actually campaign properly. Just days after these appointments were made an 860 page internal report was leaked, looking into the Labour party handling of cases of anti-Semitism, listing, in great detail occasion after occasion where party staffers delayed cases to make things look worse for then leader and always pine cone Jeremy Corbyn. There are many examples of racism from these staffers and certain MPs towards other party ministers, being disappointed that Labour did well in 2017 despite their efforts and of giving certain stories to former Deputy leader and oh god what happened to Dexter from Dexter’s Lab Tom Watson. The glee many involved seem to express at Labour not doing well makes it seem like they’ve largely misunderstood just who they were meant to be in opposition too. Labour’s lawyers have intervened and stopped this report from getting sent to the Equality and Human Right’s commission as part of their investigation into anti-semitism in the party, because it clashes with the statements of the whistleblowers who’ve already submitted evidence and as we know, in all important legal cases you should only hear one side of the argument and leave it at that. Many commentators have said that this report shows that both sides are awful and they are right, as the centre right staffers were awful for this anti-party bullying attitude and those trying to actually win elections were total bastards for not just giving up and letting trouser press made human Owen Smith turn the party into one for people who willingly paint their homes grey. Stamer has said there will be an investigation into the internal report and then hopefully there’ll be an internal investigation into that and another into that and eventually they will disappear inside themselves and cease to exist entirely. I’m starting to wonder just what Keir Starmer meant by saying he was willing to work with the government. I would ask but I’m guessing now is not the right time.
As Foreign Secretary, acting PM and personification of that feeling you have when there’s an itch deep in your sinuses Dominic Raab said with all the compassion of a broken stove ‘don’t expect changes to the UK lockdown this week, a phrase we will remember in 5 or 6 years time when we’ll laugh about we assumed it would only be 3-4 more weeks at the most. It will likely be removed slowly, with certain restrictions relaxed at first so that Robert Jenricks can get his essential exercise walking around his many homes. The death toll will likely continue to rise, tests won’t happen, services will be under horrific strain. People are already struggling to choose between paying rent or eating, though if don’t pay your rent and the landlord does come round to evict you, you could eat them and no one will come round to check until at least the lockdown is done. All while this happens, remember that we could have taken signs from Italy, and advice from Germany, New Zealand or you know some of those non-white countries that we ignore that have dealt with it really well but know that acknowledging it would puncture supremacist illusions and let’s face it, we’ve lost enough already what with the economy and er…I’m sure there’s something else….nope. No that must be it. We could’ve taken donations of ventilators from the German army but what if that’d have made everyone breathe German and isn’t that where germs come from, hence the name? Maybe we could question just how years of underfunding in not just the NHS, but also social care, policing, housing and the government department that was in charge of public service broadcasting and informing the public to name but a few, has led to everything not being ready for a pandemic when it should have been. Or maybe we could ask how much has been spent on defence instead of healthcare, on selling weapons instead of providing people with financial security and enough food to eat. But we won’t ask those things, because instead we’ll deal with this in the British way, like British people, and largely die then blame foreigners and poor people for it. Herd immunity, because they see us as a herd. You might not agree with that or think that’s what’s happening and if that’s the case, then let me just say, I’m sorry that you feel like that.
Hey you. How are you getting on in this forever time of Sundays? I hope you had a good bank holiday weekend even though it likely felt like the last 4 weeks and was rendered pointless. Unless you’re self-employed then there was a weird comfort knowing that everyone else was also not appreciating the bank holiday just like you for once.
Sorry for a slightly darker intro than usual, but felt it was necessary. It’s ok though as that’s pretty much it for this week’s episode because as I said, I’m taking a kind of break this week in so much as we gave our daughter, sorry agent, a chocolate Easter egg yesterday and now I don’t have any energy left to do anything else till at least June. Which is probably good timing considering. But I thought I should put something out for all of you out there and I do hope you’re doing ok, and if you’re working on the frontlines of this horror show then so much love and respect to you for doing so. Also, I know this might not be necessary as news does indeed change but a few apologies for misinformation I have given on this podcast due to lack of information available at the time. The first was the bit I did on coronavirus a few weeks back, I had no idea the government would handle it this badly and so stupid me said it probably wouldn’t be all that bad. I’m sorry for being reassuring and I hope that my lack of information didn’t contribute to you going round licking strangers when you shouldn’t have or anything like that. Also last week I said Starmer’s new cabinet was interesting and could be ok, since then he’s added more people to it and now I regret that entire bit. Sorry all. As you were.
So normal service will resume next week with a normal length podcast and interviews and all that. Until then do blah blah blah, you know the jam. I was going to get my agent to record a plug this week but post chocolate egg she is too quick to catch for even 30 seconds. So you know please review the show on Apple podcasts, castbox or stitcher as that’d be nice of you, spread word about this noise to anyone who might like an extra time waster for the next few weeks and please do donate to the ko-fi.com/parpolbro or patreon.com/parpolbro because well, I currently have no other income and it turns out I can’t furlough myself as I’m a sole trader even though I’ve never sold any shoes or fish in my life. So yes, any donations gratefully received at the mo and a big thank you to Claire, Richard, James, Somebody and Helen for your ko-fi donations and to Data for joining the Patreon. I’m not sure if that’s the one from Star Trek or not but I’m chuffed either way.
To fill up this episode I was going to put some stand-up which I thought might cheer you up, then I realized that I’ve posted all my recent and decently recorded stuff last summer. Though I should say if you head to nextupcomedy.com/tiernanisgreat and subscribe via that you can watch my last three now a bit out of date stand-up shows if you fancy. Also if you can’t afford to do that at the mo, drop me a line as I’ve been given a code to give a few people three months free access to next up to get them through the lock down which is lovely of them. Let me know. So, instead I did a twitch stream the other week that only a few people watched and it included all my descriptions of Michael Gove, Matt Hancock and a little bit of stand-up too. I’ve stolen the audio from it before it disappears online and hope that it’ll be at least vaguely entertaining for you. Plus I’ve put some really old stand-up from 2011 that, I don’t think has aged very well as it was mostly topical, not very well written and includes words & jokes I wouldn’t feel ok doing now. So, if you aren’t happy with them, please time travel and complain to Tiernan in 2011. I’m sure he’ll understand and change it appropriately. But hey, I thought I’d put it on just for fun. Hope you enjoy and this will be back all properly next week, if we still use weeks by then. It might have to be classed as in four full binge watched series, 14 dog walks, 400 times pretending you’ll sort out that cupboard but don’t and an infinite amount of child wrangling.
Ok, so here’s a few edited bits from my live twitch stream that I did last week. I’ll do another of these at some point this week if I can think of anything to do, so do subscribe at twitch.tv/tiernandouieb if you want to hear that. But for now, here are all my podcast descriptions of Michael Gove, Matt Hancock and a bit of stand-up, occasionally interrupted by stories I was reminded of and me talking to people who’d commented on Twitch which won’t make sense to you now and didn’t to me at the time because I’m old and confused.
OLD STAND UP
And here’s some very old stand-up. I can’t remember what gig this is from or where it was but it was at some point in 2011 after austerity measures were first announced. If you were there and have a better memory than me, please do let me know. I think there’s a couple of gags that still work and I do use at least one word I definitely wouldn’t use now. Sorry about that. So for nostalgic anger, enjoy some very, very old & not great jokes about Cameron, Osborne and when things were shit, but not quite as shit yet.