STAY ALERT! – Going to work but not going to work, new lockdown measures and a chat with Applied Futurist Tom Cheesewright on what might happen next

Released on Tuesday, May 12th, 2020.

STAY ALERT! – Going to work but not going to work, new lockdown measures and a chat with Applied Futurist Tom Cheesewright on what might happen next

STAY ALERT! NEVER SLEEP! STAY ALERT! FILL YOUR EYES WITH COFFEE! What does the government’s new slogan mean? Why isn’t Wales, Scotland or NI doing it? Why does the rest of the world think we’re idiots? So many questions and little to no answers. A look at all the new lockdown rules and a chat with Applied Futurist Tom Cheesewright (@bookofthefuture) about just what might happen next.





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Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that has been getting the R down from the beginning, if R stands for ratings. I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week where I think you’ll find the Prime Minister and dog chewed horse chestnut Boris Johnson has been very clear and anyone who doesn’t understand his message clearly has a radical political agenda of ‘wanting to stay alive.’


On Sunday night, Johnson gave a speech to the nation setting out just what the country needs to do next, in a message so garbled and vague that it can only have been a genius plan to make sure we all stay indoors for weeks to come, trying to decode it. There is a new five tier coronavirus alert system with 5 meaning everyone has died, 4 being about when the Prime Minister finds a fridge to hide in, all the way down to 1 where we pretend none of this happened and the Conservatives unveil their new campaign slogan of ‘spreading change across Britain’ without any sense of awareness at all. We are currently hovering around 3.5 which if it was a review for an Edinburgh Fringe show, usually says we wanted to say 4 but were too embarrassed to say as it will admit defeat. How is the system worked out? Well it’s to do with the rate of infections plus the number of infections, meaning should really be far off the chart, with someone having to put a ladder on top of the slideshow waving a hook to pull it down a notch. With this new simplified colour chart of the kind that will clearly become a morbid toddlers toy in the post pandemic future, there is a new slogan. Gone is stay at home, as apparently that was deemed too effective in making people stay at home and not die. What they were obviously hoping for was that by saying ‘stay at home’ repeatedly, people might realise it was an anagram for ‘ahoy stomata’ and spend their days wandering outside yelling at plantlife. Sadly, the stupid, stupid British public did mostly stay at home, apart from various offshoots who on VE day insisted on celebrating the fallen by trying their best give them some company in the afterlife. There were socially distanced street parties, which to be honest, based on my limited experience sounds like the only way I’d ever take part in one, and even a conga line where hundreds of people formed a queue to dance into hell. Ironic that should they all catch COVID19, so few would be allowed to attend their funeral they’d barely form a queue to dance on their graves. Who knew the VE stood for Viral Exposure.


So, with stay at home gone, we now have Stay Alert. As Johnson says, taking steps to normality requires a finer, more complicated message, so he’s picked one that is threadbare thin and requires some sort codebreaking to work out exactly what it means. Stay Alert. Yes that is the new message from the government who haven’t had the wherewithal to even quarantine people at airports till the end of the month, making it seem less like keeping people with COVID symptoms out, and more protecting tourists from the hotbed of viral rampage they’re heading into. Stay Alert from people who have constantly been at least 2-3 weeks behind the rest of the world, feels a bit like if hate bucket Katie Hopkins had started the #bekind hashtag. What exactly does it mean? Well no one really knows. According to the Boris Johnson, who had combed his hair for the speech meaning either he thought it was important or it was so pointless it wasn’t worth the effort of messing it up, it means people who can’t work from home, should be encouraged to go back to work, making it sound like it’s up to the rest of their families to stand there shouting ‘Steve, please stop building a scaffold in the kitchen, I can’t get to the fridge.’ Encouraging someone to go to work in the middle of a pandemic is like goading your school friend to play on the train tracks seconds after the 7.14 from Southend has decapitated gullible Billy right in front of you. Be encouraged isn’t ‘go to work’ it’s more the suggestion that you can work, which is enough for industries to demand that staff work as it might be safe now. It’s the cowards way of putting the responsibility into someone else’s hands, making me certain that of Johnson ever needed to fire someone, he’d mumble something about they could stop working if they wanted and hope they’d go round saying they’d quit because it was what they wanted to do. So if you can work, you should, but if you can’t work then you shouldn’t, but if you can, don’t take public transport even if that’s the only way to get there, and instead find alternative methods like driving, cycling, hopping, grabbing the legs of a passing bird, teleporting or maybe having a lucid dream about being at work during a daytime nap. Transport Minister and denudation personified Grant Shapps warned over the weekend that transport cannot return to where it started, meaning once you’ve gone somewhere, you’ll never be able to get the bus home.


People must go back to work though because otherwise the economy will die, you know in a way it definitely hasn’t already died and wouldn’t die even more if everyone that contributes to it died from working during a pandemic. What if people don’t work though and then, as warned by Chancellor and star of Pixar’s Ratatouille, yes both the rat and the chef, Rishi Sunak, they become addicted to furloughing? Forget hard drugs or alcohol, it seems the latest craze is wanting to be able to pay your bills and eat while government incompetence means a virus has more freedom of movement than the Shengen Area.   What do you do with addicts? Well that’s right, if you’re the government you remove funding from all support institutions while your ministers boast about how much coke they snort. Similarly, Sunak says he’s planning to wean people off it meaning maybe he’ll reduce furloughing payments until they are able to pay for food using willpower or a support buddy, or perhaps he’ll replace furloughing with a less addictive alternative like being forced to go to the job you don’t have because it can’t exist right now. This must be why he’s known as Dishy Rishi by some idiots because of his Satre-esque wisdom. Satre said ‘life begins on the other side of despair’ & ‘everything has been figured out except how to live’, while Sunak is straight in there with ‘People must be encouraged to work in a world without work.’ Classic stuff.


Addictions to living must be stopped and you have to be encouraged to go back to work, despite a complete lack of safety guidance on how best to do that. What if my colleague is coughing and talking in a weird voice and saying ‘I AM THE CORONA SPAWN, YOU MUST BE ASSIMILATED’? Just get on with your job pal and stop complaining yeah cos the economy and that. Can I see my friends and family? No, it’s too dangerous so you’ll just have to carry on mingling with work colleagues until you leave the office and then any of them you might want to be remotely friendly with has to stand across the road! Oh and maybe you can see one of your parents, you know, the favourite one, no not that one, the other one, if you see them in a park and stand 2 meters away while you yell to ask them how your grandparents are, but they tell you they don’t know as they can only see one of them and the grass was being cut at the time so they didn’t hear anything that was said. Make sure it’s a park not a garden mind, as you can’t meet friends of family in a garden. What if the park has a flower garden? What if someone’s parked in your garden? Doesn’t the Queen own several royal parks, does that make them her gardens, so can she meet someone there? Is childcare allowed? No, but we encourage you to go to work, so why not take your kids with you, I mean it’s safe as long as they aren’t seeing any friends or family while with you on the construction site. Schools should be reopening in June but only for certain pupils, presumably the ones who didn’t tidy their room when told and will now be punished for it.


You can do as much exercise as you like outside now, and you can even drive anywhere you like to do it, which is great as I fancy a stroll in Muscat. You can play tennis and golf or any sports posh people like, so chances are it’s fine to shoot a grouse or chase a homeless person into the road while you’re on horseback. Make sure you don’t cough on them though! What if you live somewhere with no garden, can’t get to work without public transport, have kids, you can’t cycle and don’t belong to a golf club. Then you just have to stay aware that you are the sort of person the government doesn’t like, you’re probably addicted to not being dead and if you really cared about the country you’d try harder to shush and go away.


I mean I’m paraphrasing but that was pretty much what the Prime Minister said, in a speech that was for some reason pre-recorded. When it sounded like it was a poorly improvised just a minute rant where he had to say anything except any sort of plan, you wonder why he couldn’t have done it live? Though maybe they had to CGI in a backdrop, so it made it look like he’d actually turned up to work for once. Or maybe it was so they could edit out every time one of the film crew said, ‘what the fuck is this?’ out loud. Apparently, it was clear according to many Conservative ministers who’ve then proceeded to get very confused about what is actually going on. Foreign Secretary and the world’s most intense outie Dominic Raab said you could meet two relatives in the park, even though the guidelines say no more than two people can meet. Maybe if you’re all standing 2m apart in a line it’s hard to know who’s with who and technically you’re only shouting at one person who’s passing it on to the other, which in my experience can be the best way to talk to siblings. Raab said you should use commons sense to see loved ones outdoors, which means he’ll be unable to see any of his for quite some time. If you ask MP and cauliflower ear but his whole face Andrew Bridgen he seems to think that as long as you maintain social distancing you can meet whoever you like, but he is someone who people naturally avoid so chances are he’s just unaware anything’s changed.

Raab also said everyone could be encouraged to return to work from Wednesday, even though Johnson’s speech was on Sunday and seemed to suggest Monday would be fine. Maybe that’s just how Johnson works, where if he says he’ll be at work on Monday, it probably won’t be till at least Wednesday and that’ll just be a video call from his holiday home. According to housing minister and brick souffle Robert Jenrick, stay alert means stay home, but then why not just use the stay home message? And which of Jenrick’s homes will he stay alert in? Are there some he’ll just be vaguely aware in? And does that mean he’ll continue to be clueless at work?


The government released a 50-page lockdown strategy called ‘Our Plan To Rebuild’ like a child might call their Lego project, which Johnson then announced in the Commons. It was actually Johnson’s first statement in the commons on coronavirus and second on anything at all this year so far but you can’t blame him as to be fair he has been very busy avoiding doing all those thingsOne policy that was not included in his initial speech was advice that you should wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible. Something the PM announced inside parliament, with other MPs in it where no one was wearing face masks. To be fair, it would have been confusing for Johnson if they had, as he’d have just thought the place was full of letterboxes. Though I have to say, I’m quite excited about being able to go to the bank while wearing a mask. Again.



Meanwhile Labour leader and part air conditioning unit Keir Starmer delivered a national statement with all the gusto of an AI test bot reading the small print from a hoover manual you’ve never looked at.  He said that we need a better future to look forward to and that the coronavirus roadmap needs clear direction, even though he shouldn’t be using it unless it’s to go somewhere for essential exercise. There has been praise for the way in which Starmer asked Johnson questions after his address in the commons, because he said them in full sentences while sounding posh. But so far Labour’s main alternative policy announcements are to agree with Rishi Sunak that furloughing can’t go on indefinitely, and maybe there should be a category of semi-furloughed people who can’t work, and to ask that landlords are unable to evict renters for a further three months, rather than improve tenant’s rights or a rent break. It’s very clear the party’s plan is to bring back all those Lib Dem voters who enjoy dealing with a problem by looking past the solution until they can see the problem again but blurry and so it doesn’t seem as bad.


The UK’s death toll from coronavirus is now the highest in Europe. Yeah see? Who needs the EU? We can top the polls all by our sovereign self. Dominic Raab still insists we shouldn’t compare global stats as Britain is better at counting than other places, so says a man who can’t work out the difference between one or two relatives in the park. All 400,000 PPE gowns ordered from Turkey have failed to conform to UK standards, but at least now the NHS staff can seem even more like superheroes, wearing capes that are utterly unnecessary for what they do. One of the scientific advisors who advised on lockdown rules, and Christopher Ecclestone role Professor Neil Ferguson, resigned from his position after it was revealed that a woman he was having an affair with, visited his home during lockdown. To be fair to Ferguson he didn’t leave his home, the woman he was seeing did. So really it was her fault for not carrying an Amazon package with her, or dressing up as Robert Jenrick and saying she was just heading to one of her many properties.


Health Secretary and sorry insole Matt Hancock was criticised after he told Labour MP, working doctor and early drop out Apprentice candidate Rosena Allin Khan to watch her tone, after she asked him to commit to a minimum of 100,000 tests a day. Many said Hancock was being misogynistic and rude but it’s actually because he is part rodent and can only hear things if they are in a reasonably high pitch. The government haven’t reached their testing target of 100,000 since April 31st, which is handy as the Prime Minister has now said it go up to 200,000 a day though that likely means there’ll be one day where they post out 199,999 notes saying ‘IOU a test’ and say that counts.


All of this is just in England of course, as the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish governments have all decided to just keep the stay at home message instead, knowing full well that if they leave theirs not only could they get the virus but an English person might also try to colonise it. For those of you in the hub of exceptionalism, you just have to stay alert. How you do that is up to you. Maybe keep turning 180 with a little jump every few mins while shouting ‘HAIYAAA’ and doing a karate chop and a big kick? Or maybe repeatedly dunking your face into ice cold water and changing your smoke alarm so it goes off when you breathe? Or maybe just dress as a meerkat, and replace your blood with caffeine and amphetamines? There are guidelines on the government website of how to make your own cloth facemask using a t-shirt because they know you can’t afford to buy and they won’t help you do it. It they really wanted to be of use, it should really be followed up with how to make fire, hunt for food, bury your friends, make a Molotov cocktails and start a revolution. It’ll be fine because Raab says you just have to use common sense and Johnson says that the British are an ingenious bunch and will work it out, which roughly translated means, you do it, we’re doing a great job so you fix things and if it goes wrong it’s not our fault. Whatever you do, don’t get so alert that you notice all those fucking massive gaping holes in the government’s plan. That’s a little too alert, ok?


In other news, the missing link between pond scum and the way you retch if someone else retches Nigel Farage got told off by police for breaking lockdown rules and travelling all the way to Dover to report on illegal migrants. Farage there who left his home to travel for work, regardless of laws. I look forward to Farage campaigning against himself at some point soon. And lastly, FunnyBones character Rory Stewart has quit the London Mayor race in order to spend less time with random families.




Hello hello. How are you all doing? I am trying to work out if, because I can’t work from home, I should go to work, ie comedy clubs, knowing full well that audiences won’t be allowed to turn up. Because really that will make a lot of gigs better. I hope you are faring ok with the news of 3 more weeks of lockdown. Its funny isn’t it, as the very logical part of me says ‘yes, I don’t want this virus to spread, and more people to die or even just me to have a horrible cough. No thank you, I’ll happily stay at home’ and a whole other part of me says ‘it is wholly unfair that I can’t just dump my daughter at her grandparents for even an hour so I can sit down for a minute. Honestly, the country can burn’. I do get it, I do get it. One thing I’ve been enjoying is getting deliveries of things. Previous to the pandemic, I only really got letters that were about renewing your car tax or an electricity bill, but now, today, for example, a man delivered some cheese. I’ve always wanted cheese dropped off at my home, and now it can happen and that’s a beautiful thing. Our local supermarket at any point in the day has queues going round the block. They are social distancing but in a way that means the queue blocks the pavement and then people walking along have to go very close to them and then the whole thing becomes pointless. There’s a lot like that in our area, where people are trying but not very well. On Saturday we moved right of the way of an elderly couple and they turned and walked up to us to say thanks. Idiots. But yeah, the supermarket is impossible so we’ve found a local place that does things like drops cheese round and groceries and there’s another that does bread. I know this isn’t a new thing but I’ve never really done online shopping before as I always forget stuff, and then they turn up anyway and go ‘oh we didn’t have any potatoes so instead we’ve brought you this old pirate’s boot that washed up onshore last week’ and they really don’t cook well. Anyway, more cheese delievered please. Maybe just some slices through the letterbox? Plus bread, by the slice through the letterbox too please. I mean if anything you could do a slice, then a cheese then a slice and it’s an instant sandwich. Though that’d just make spam mail worse I guess.


I’m very glad you’re here, even if you’re not, and I don’t know how you have time to listen to this. I don’t have time for any podcasts at all anymore as I always listen to them while travelling and well, I’m not going anywhere, or if I do, it’s with the squidge, as we often call her and apparently it’s not good parenting to never listen to your kid because you have your headphones on chortling to Adam Buxton. Oh well. But I’m obvs pleased you do have time and somehow fit this in, and special thanks this week to Annie, Helen, James, Claire and Stef who have very kindly donated to the ko-fi account which has kindly gone towards cheese this week probably. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t some fancy cheese, I don’t have a job remember, I just need a lot of it in order to get through. So if you can help with my cheese needs, or just you know, staying alive right now, then please do throw a few quids to where you can do a single or if you enjoy this show more than once, a monthly rolling payment. Or you can join the which will hopefully be more worth doing soon. Of course if you can’t that is also tres cool, and if you instead fancy giving this show a nice 5 star review on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, CastBox or any of those, if only for the emails I often get sent from or something that just say ‘You have had no reviews this week’. So brutal. Instagram does that too. ‘No one has liked this post’ alright mate, don’t rub it in.


Not much else to say this week. I’m going to be on Al Kennedy’s excellent Desert Island Discworld podcast at some point this week, talking about the Terry Pratchett book Mort, which while I am a crap Pratchett fan that is one I’ve read loads. I’m also going to be on 5 Live’s Wake Up To Money on Friday morning at the crack of dawn, 5am, talking about how the comedy industry has changed to adapt or not to the pandemic, should you be up that early. It’ll be on iplayer and all that though too. And, er, that’s it really. I’m mainly waiting to see if I get any self-employment allowance this month and if it’ll be enough to buy some cheese with or if I’ll have to fight with mice for some, so fingers crossed as I’ll get battered by those squeaky bastards.


On this week’s show, there is no more weird cheese content, promise and instead there is a chat with excellent futurist Tom Cheesewright, oh no, more cheese content, I lied! Except he’s not a cheese, he’s a clever and very lovely man who I had a very enjoyable chat with. Also a little breakdown of just what the new lockdown rules are, though if you live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland you can either skip that bit or listen to it and laugh heartily as you imagine one day taking a trip to the English wastelands where people used to live.





A few months ago, if you’d asked a number of people what they think the future will look like, they’d have probably said flying cars, robots, living on Mars and the government not having released that report into Russian interference in the election. But now, in the midst of this pandemic, it’s looking more like it’ll just be shouting at your mum across a park, telling your grandkids what flour and airplanes were, fashioning facemask chic and occasionally wondering why the report into Russian interference in the election still isn’t out. It’s fair to say that the now isn’t how we planned it. I mean the film Edge of Tomorrow is set in 2020 and if they’d had foresight, the whole film would’ve had aliens walking around Earth wondering where everyone has gone, while Tom Cruise sat in his pants playing animal crossing and making sourdough starters. But looking beyond all this is necessary, not just for the mental health benefits of realising that one day you’ll be able to push people out of the way at the supermarket again, because, no you don’t have to check every egg you twat, but also to figure out what we do next, how we work, live, survive and just when we can make someone else deal with our kids. How on earth do you begin to work out what is next when it seems very unclear what will happen in the next 5 minutes, let alone, when hearing anything the Prime Minister says, what on earth is happening now? How can you future-proof anything when there’s very little proof of a future for anyone other than germs and people who thrive at being anti-social? And just when will that report into Russian interference in the election actually come out?


This week I spoke to the brilliant Tom Cheesewright who is an applied futurist. It is Tom’s job to advise businesses and well, everyone, on just what might happen next, how to deal with it and somehow, despite everything, be optimistic about the future. Amazingly, even in the midst of a biological shitstorm where people are conga dancing themselves to death and a leadership meltdown, Tom still has the ability to see beyond all that and advise on just how we’ll be alright eventually. Sort of. Talking to Tom was a very positive breath of fresh air and I asked him all about what could happen next, how you might future proof a business now, how society will cope and why you shouldn’t trust a Matt Hancock app. It was a lot of fun speaking to him, so hope you enjoy. Here is Tom:




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




If you listened to the Prime Minister’s speech on Sunday, you might still be worried about whether you should or shouldn’t go to work or if you can but only if you work in a park and you walk there 2 meters away from your dad, while he rides a bike or something. I thought it might be helpful to break down exactly what the very boring 60 page document says about what can now happen, but as I do, bear in mind none of the government scientific advisors were asked to sign off on this, it isn’t like any other country is doing, and they all waited till infection rates were much lower before even starting to remove a lockdown and none of this applies to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland where things are staying the same and if you’re all smart you’ll gang up post-pandemic to take out the last 5 English people left and claim the country as your own. So, with all those caveats and the high chance that by the end of the week everyone in England will have COVID19 and we’ll all have to sit individually in cupboards for two weeks, here is supposedly what will be happening.


Step one kicks in on Wednesday even though the Prime Minister said Monday initially in his speech where no one was sure what he said. So if you can work from home, you’re meant to, but if you can’t and work in construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution, science labs or food productions, you should travel to work. Because nothing makes food sound tasty like added cough covids. If you have symptoms you should still isolate and there are meant to be safety guidelines as to how all these industries will socially distance but they probably won’t arrive until everyone’s back at work because shoot your germs everywhere now, ask questions later and let’s face it, it doesn’t matter as the people that work in those jobs don’t earn that much so they should pit against each other in a battle of immune systems and one lucky one will win the Hunger Games and be allowed to live in the Capitol. No wait, sorry. If you feel unsafe about working and don’t think you should be returning to work, your best bet right now is to join your union if you haven’t already and then contact them. A lot of unions are very publicly advising their members not to return to work right now so can advise on what to do.




You shouldn’t travel to work on public transport, instead everyone’s being encouraged to drive, cycle, walk or I dunno use one of those twattish electric scooters that make it look like you were heavily neglected as a child. The government are apparently going to boost funding to councils to widen pavements, make pop up cycle lanes and close some roads to traffic which will annoy the people who have decided to drive to work quite a lot. All international arrivals by plane will be quarantined for 14 days unless they are from France, Ireland or the government just decides it’s all a bit too difficult. The exemptions are due to special relationships with those countries which means they want them to die with us. Obvs you can’t work if you can’t get there, or if you’re parenting so councils and schools are meant to be encouraging more vulnerable children and kids of key workers to go back to class, and paid childcare is allowed if the nannies and childminders meet the public health principles that absolutely no one will check up on because how could they and look there’s every chance she’s taking the sprogs for tours round a care home because she knows you have asthma and hates that you insist on a zero hours contract. I mean our daughter’s childminder, who is brilliant, looks after two other kids, who will have been with their families, and then she has three kids of her own and her partner and already that means if we sent our daughter back to her that’s a whole spider-web of germ spreading possibility & seems odd when you can’t see family who could also look after your kids, but hey ho, get back to work peons, the banks be sad.


Face masks are the big new thing that will be required in places where social distancing isn’t possible such as transport, shops, work or when you see someone who makes you scowl but you don’t want them to see. It was only a few weeks back during press briefings we were told masks helped spread the virus, then that they didn’t do anything, then that they may do something but no one is sure, then that it’d be unfair for everyone to get one when the NHS doesn’t have enough PPE and now it’s oh yeah, just make one out of your tshirt, here’s a guide. You won’t need a tshirt anymore, because your hair will be so long it’ll cover your torso. People are being urged not to use surgical masks as they will be reserved for NHS, children under two shouldn’t use them and let’s face it, it’ll be impossible trying to make them. People with breathing difficulties are also exempt even if they may get worse breathing difficulties if they catch coronavirus. Prob best to stay indoors really.


You can now meet one person who is not from your immediate household, if you meet them outdoors and at a distance, which means you can say horrible things to them and they can’t get close enough to twat you. Now is the perfect time to get rid of a toxic friendship. You can exercise as much as you like outdoors as long as it isn’t a sport that requires you touching anyone or licking anyone, but basketball is allowed even though it involves dribbling. You can also drive to go somewhere to exercise, but as these rules are only for England its now an offence to travel into Wales or Scotland which I feel would gain you no cred in prison for. What you in for? I murdered 15 people. You? I crossed the Severn bridge because I fancied some welsh cakes. Oh and if you’re vulnerable ie over 70, have a chronic condition or are pregnant, basically you’re advised to stay at home and avoid face to face contact with anyone still. Which makes sense and sounds lonely as, especially when you know someone out there is hanging out with work pals and playing basketball in the park.


So, alongside these policies, higher fines will be imposed on anyone who is caught breaching them. And the government want parliament to set a national example and move towards more physical proceedings in the house of commons, even though if you were to base your work ethics on Boris Johnson’s you’d barely have turned up even before furloughing.


So that’s step one, followed by step two from June 1st if its doable, and will involve some schools going back, though the national education union isn’t happy about the idea, neither are a lot of parents, unless they really want their kids to become epidemiologists. Non-essential retail will hopefully open then too, but not hospitality stuff and def no barbers. So, you can go shopping for some new trousers that match your yeti styles. Some behind closed doors sport will also be able to return which I assume means illegal poker games and cock fighting or something. It’s after June 1st they are suggesting you might be able to have more contact with friends and family, looking specifically at New Zealand’s bubble model, which Belgium are currently trying, where one household can meet with one other household. That’s your bubble that is. Which again, one rule for us, meanwhile all MPs have their Westminster bubble which has loads of people in it. Admittedly, none of them I’d want in my bubble.


Then step three would be from July 4th at the earliest and might include the reopening of pubs, cinemas, places of worship and hairdressers but probably no venue or work that relies on people crowding in. Unless it’s the train that you have to get to work on even though you shouldn’t because you have to work unless you can’t.


So that’s what has been laid down and that may all change if the peak hasn’t curved and everyone’s Vera Lynning on VE Day kicks everything back off again. Countries all round Europe are starting to lift their lockdowns gradually but they had a peak earlier than us and mostly governments who did lockdown properly, lots of testing, had PPE for health workers and a lower death toll. South Korea which basically nailed corona in its face, has had to return to a sort of lockdown closing down clubs and pubs after a second outbreak, where they were able to track the person who spread it. David Hunter, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at Oxford is one of a number of experts who’ve said that without the proper testing, tracing and isolating risks, any sort of lockdown lift and return to work will just cause the virus to spread, meaning we’ll just have to return to a full lockdown all over again. Weirdly, to quite Dominic Raab, best to use common sense, common sense that says hey we have the highest death toll in Europe, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland aren’t lifting restrictions, maybe I shouldn’t go out and start rubbing myself on strangers till at least June. But hey, it’s up to you isn’t it? It’s definitely not your fault if you spread this thing, it’s yours for not entirely understanding the very, very vague messages we’re being given. I’m starting to wonder if this is all just Johnson’s way of ensuring he gets a few more months off before having to return to parliament.



And now back to Tom…




Thanks, so much to Tom for that. You can find Tom on Twitter @bookofthefuture, and his website is which has links to his podcast The Futurist and of course his latest book that we mention ‘Future-proof Your Business’ that you can get in all good online bookshops or ones that will lob a book at you from a distance, maybe by catapult. Do those exist? I would definitely shop at those right now and even when the pandemic finishes. Though I’d never ever get a hardback copy of anything. Anyway, definitely do check out Tom’s book. Also, Tom often says, not in this interview, but in other interviews that he was heavily influenced in his childhood by the 1979 Usborne book of the Future, which I absolutely loved. You can read it online for free, so I’ve popped a link to that in the pod blurb because it’s a joyous bit of overly optimistic escapism.


Of course should you have anyone you think I should interview or subjects that right now you would like me to find someone to talk about, please drop me a line @parpolbro on Twitter, the Partly Political Broadcast facebook group, the contact page at or email me at Or why not follow in the footsteps of melted John Barrowman Elon Musk, and name your child the suggestion but in some sort of batshit code that no one understands, and more importantly can’t be bothered to, and I’ll eye roll so hard I’ll hurt myself and never see it. As always, its probably best to email isn’t it?





And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast, as always, you’ve made it to the end of the show. I mean, I’m guessing you have, unless you listen to these podcasts backwards in which case, hello and welcome! Maybe that is the best way to do it so things become happier? I’m not sure. Anyway, it’s time for the end of show HOT POL GOSS FACT and this week as ‘Stay Alert’ ranks up there with one of the many truly shit political slogans, I thought you might like to know what the very worst one of all time was. No it’s not the Remain campaign’s ‘chillin, meetin, tourin, votin’ which sounds like an AI was trying its best to be the world’s most embarrassing dad. Nor is it the Labour Party’s 1987 one of ‘Britain Will Win With Labour’ misunderstanding that we’re a nation of losers, so no one wants that or we’ll have nothing left to complain about. And no, its not Jo Swinson’s ‘Fuck Squirrels’. No, it’s actually a slogan that never made it to campaign stage, as it was deemed a bit strange at the time but looking back, it’s a shame it never made it. The Conservative Party’s original slogan for the 2010 election was  ‘Vote for me so I can prove to my mum I’m a big boy and I haven’t even wet the bed in 3 days now so…’ which was deemed not a vote winner, so instead David Cameron had to go for ‘Vote for change’. SOME HOT POL GOSS FACTS FOR YOU, right there. All true as well. Uh huh. All true. If you like them kinds of exclusive facts, or they make you so angry you want to do housework you’ve been neglecting, then why not recommend this show to others who may like it, give us a review on your podcast apps and throw me some moolah to the ko-fi or patreon sites.


Yeah thanks very much and that to Acast, The Last Skeptik, Kat Day and Mushybees.


This will be back next week when the government change their message to just ‘You Gotta Be’ and then gets upset when people question if why when you gotta stay together, people still aren’t allowed to see family members.





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