Illegal Mingling – The Rule of 6, Law Breaking Conservatives and immunologist Professor Sheena Cruickshank on COVID-19 vaccine possibilities

Released on Tuesday, September 15th, 2020.

Illegal Mingling – The Rule of 6, Law Breaking Conservatives and immunologist Professor Sheena Cruickshank on COVID-19 vaccine possibilities

Yes its now British to break the law apparently, but also don’t see more than 6 friends you’ll get a criminal record. Which I think makes you a proper patriot. Or something. It’s all very confusing but what we do know is that now its all the EU and Remainers fault that the Prime Minister doesn’t like the Withdrawal Agreement he came up and said was fantastic, and coronavirus infections are rising because irresponsible young people followed all the government’s advice. This week Tiernan chats to immunologist Professor Sheena Cruickshank (@sheencr) about the real possibilities of a COVID-19 vaccine.



Donate to the Patreon at

Buy me a coffee 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

Yes its now British to break the law apparently, but also don’t see more than 6 friends you’ll get a criminal record. Which I think makes you a proper patriot. Or something. It’s all very confusing but what we do know is that now its all the EU and Remainers fault that the Prime Minister doesn’t like the Withdrawal Agreement he came up and said was fantastic, and coronavirus infections are rising because irresponsible young people followed all the government’s advice. This week Tiernan chats to immunologist Professor Sheena Cruickshank (@sheencr) about the real possibilities of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Key links and sources of info from Sheena’s interview:

All the usual ParPolBro stuff:


Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that always obeys the rule of six, especially when it comes to biscuits. I’m Tiernan Douieb and in Britain it is a fact that no one is above the law, but it seems the government have sunk so far past rock bottom that they are now somehow beneath it, hoping to writhe past unnoticed.


On the one hand the Coronavirus regulations have changed now to the rule of six, something that sounds like a US teen film about an ancient fraternity pact that holds no power because its creators changed their mind every two minutes to however it benefitted them. According to documentation released 15 minutes before it was applied – because there’s it’s easier to tell certain family members or friends that you don’t want to see them till next Spring if you don’t think about it – You may not gather in a group of more than six people, apart from for work, school, charitable events, weddings, funerals, playgroups, if several of you are wearing camouflage so no one can see you, if you all shout ‘I don’t know these people’ very loudly throughout or if you daydream and can testify you were on another planet at the time. You can also go to big gatherings as a group of 6 but mingling is illegal, a motion that had it come in decades ago, could have saved me having to listen to a lot of unwanted chat about mortgages, other people’s children or jokes I should use in my sets. The word mingling had never been used in English legal history before, probably because the idea of mixing with other groups sounds like Dante’s 8th circle of hell for most Conservatives. It goes without saying that there is a special exception for grouse hunting which can still be done in groups of 30, because the government like to get everyone involved in fowl play. Of course, this change in coronavirus measures is necessary because after weeks of the government telling everyone to get back to work, COVID-19 said ‘ok I will’ and stepped up to a productivity rate that Germany would be jealous of.  Evidence suggests that schemes such as ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ have driven the new spike in infections, but to be fair to the Chancellor and animated nosebag Rishi Sunak, he never explicitly said just what we’d be helping out by doing it. Yes, we’re at a stage with this bunch where I wouldn’t be surprised if they were out to specifically aid the virus, simply because it was related to human pothole Michael Gove.


But evidence means nothing in this new world, and so of course instead, it’s the young people’s fault for doing exactly what the government have encouraged them to. I mean what were they thinking? We all know young people are rebellious. If they were properly responsible, they’d have been avoiding badly paid work & deals at Nando’s to instead be scrawling ACAB on bridges and getting put in prison for life by aggressive new Home Office policies. Silly young people. With unaffordable homes, no proper work, expensive tuition fees and basically nothing going for them, it is typical that when the Conservatives hear the cry to give the young people something to go on, its blame and a hope that by feeling guilty for killing their grandparents they might stop wanging on about having their futures destroyed. ‘You killed the planet’, yes but who pulled during Rag Week and now Great Auntie Sue is dead hmmm? One Conservative Health Minister, Lord Bethell, or what happens if you emboss a crow, said students shouldn’t pass coronavirus in their bedrooms by having sex in Fresher’s Week. So, it’s clear that if you are a student the only way you’ll be safe is by shagging outside or in the hall. Or toilets. Basically, just act Prime Ministerial for the country.


While it’s up to all of us to obey the law – primarily because it’ll take a countrywide effort to counteract the Prime Minister aka dropped coleslaw on a warm day Boris Johnson, running around hand delivering it like the horseman Pestilence if he rode around on a pool inflatable – on the other hand, see I didn’t forget it – the government have decided it’s just fine for them to break international law, because as the Northern Ireland Secretary and whatever happened to Hans, My Hedgehog Brandon Lewis, told the commons, it’s only in a specific and limited way. While the much done joke is on just how you might break the law in such a way, you know, is it ok to murder if it’s only a handful of people and you only did it with the same blunt spork, really everything the government does is in a specific and limited way. Promising to build 40 new hospitals for example so that actually its only 6 hospitals and only bits of them, prioritising education so that most schools are still completely neglected or as it turns out, getting Brexit done.


You see, the Internal Market Bill – which no, isn’t the name of someone who sells organs illegally, though considering what it might do to the country, that will be one of the most profitable industries – is necessary because the Withdrawal Agreement that Johnson insisted was oven ready, good, great, wonderful, campaigned for the election entirely on the basis of and would definitely mean Brexit would never have to be uttered again, was actually written too quickly for all the details to be sorted out. It is nice to finally hear some Brexiteers admit they didn’t know what they were voting for, but it does lessen the impact somewhat when the person who forced the PM to agree to something he didn’t understand, was the Prime Minister. While in the Commons opening the debate before the vote on moving the Internal Market Bill to the second stage, Johnson announced that ‘No British PM, no government, no parliament could ever accept such an imposition’ even though that is exactly what happened. Either he is finally admitting that he, in every sense, no prime minister, he’s hoping that no one in the world knows how to look things up online or use their memory, or he’s suffering from a very severe dissociative disorder. I’m concerned that we’ll find out in the next few weeks that Johnson’s been attending a Fight Club, coerced by his pal Tyler. And of-course Johnson would tell us all about it. Aside from admitting that he’d never read the Withdrawal Agreement he so adored last year, Johnson insisted this new bill would prevent the EU from blockading food in our own country, and putting tariffs in our own land, something that we need an insurance policy for. I can’t imagine Johnson’s ever had an insurance policy for anything as he’d never accept it was his responsibility and has almost certainly preferred to move house rather than claim for a burglary or just leave the burning wreckage of a car in the middle lane, pointing ‘who on earth did that?’ while jumping into a cab. Former Labour leader, now energy secretary and always sandwich enemy Ed Miliband did the sort of response you wish he’d done a bit more of back in 2010-14 instead of pushing racist mugs, pointed out that the bill doesn’t actually prevent any of the things Johnson just mentioned and the PM couldn’t disagree, but instead looked like he was slowly deflating and hoping someone would scoop him up, pop him in a bucket and show him pictures of old wars until he felt better.


That this bill overrides international treaty obligations, has already caused concern not just from the EU but also representatives of many other countries that we might want trade deals with. I mean infamy still means everyone talks about you right? Though maybe that’s what was meant by the idea of global Britain. A government lawyer resigned last week saying he’d been put in an intolerable position, and I don’t think he just meant having to sit near what if the Muppets were bad and Attorney General Suella Braverman, who’s legal training appears to amass to having once been on a tennis court. Former Prime Ministers old bedsheet John Major and statue to ward away everyone Tony Blair made a joint statement calling the government shameful and embarrassing which packs a punch from someone who had an affair with the only MP who got defeated by egging Edwina Currie and the other who bombed Iraq based on a fever dream. In fact, all former living prime ministers, if you can count Theresa May as still alive, have condemned the government’s decision to wheel back on their own agreement, as have arch Brexiteers such as what if Roy Chubby Brown opened the Ark of the Covenant Michael Howard and former Attorney General and entirely neck Geoffrey Cox. All of them say that Boris is damaging the UK’s reputation, which coming from them does feel a bit like them trashing everything at a house party then being upset that you went too far by taking a piss in the pot plant. Though to be fair the internal market bill is more like setting fire to the party and nicking the pot plant for your friends who gave you extra cash to do it. Johnson told MPs over a zoom call that the bill needed their overwhelming support and it was vital to prevent a foreign or international body from having the power to break up our country, as we all know that’s his job and he’ll be gutted if he doesn’t get to strike that off his tick list alongside building a bridge to the moon, and having at least one of his offspring in every square mile. MPs like Rorschach test Theresa Villiers who insisted that countries break international law on a routine basis, so it’s no biggie. Maybe this is the plan all along, that by violating the rules, we’ll end up on our own Foreign Office trade sanctions list and the government will be able to explain the food shortages by saying well we can’t export to ourselves because we’re terrible people, while at the same time selling arms around the UK. Even the Justice Secretary and Numberblock Robert Buckland isn’t sure if he’d resign unless it was only a breach of law he’d find unacceptable, putting into question his time as a barrister in criminal law where I’m now certain he’d defend clients by going ‘but your honour, they didn’t burgle my house so I’m not bothered.’


Of course, it passed through to the second stage, which is partly due to the Tories always escaping the law up until now so why not get the power rush of doing it again. I’m amazed Gove didn’t celebrate by snorting a line of cocaine off the speaker’s dick. But it was possibly also because MPs were supposedly threatened that they’d be expelled out of the party if they voted against, you know like last time they did that when they were told to vote for the agreement this bill is now counteracting. There is an amendment vote next Monday but if that went through it’d create a statutory basis for ministers to break the law, meaning that it’d be legal for them to be illegal, providing exactly the sort of batshit logic Johnson thrives on. So, to summarise, to make up for a bill that was supposedly rushed through, the Internal Market Bill is being fast tracked through parliament because as we all know, two wrongs make a far right.




So, what are we all meant to think of the law now the government have put it on the same standing as expiration dates on food? Yeah well it smells fine to me, so I’ll still eat it. If everyone’s taking the example from Johnson and pals, it’s no wonder there’s scepticism about the new COVID regulations. Is anyone worried by the threat of what Boris Johnson has announced as COVID marshalls? A job title that sounds like it’s the sort of thing you give a child to do to stop them getting in the way. Yes, you wear this hat and stand there and let me know if you see any germs charging over the horizon. Is this why no one’s seen crayon drawing of Peter Griffin Mark Francois anywhere? He’s been missing roughly around the time there was that totally unrelated bit of news about an unnamed Conservative MP in his 50s who was accused of rape, and he’s even replaced as chair of the European Research Group, which we assume happened with his consent. I reckon its because he’s been training up to become a COVID marshall and it’ll be mere days before we see him stomping around with a big shiny badge, a sombrero and a bright green water pistol shouting ‘stop, you’ve got too many friends’ at people, something he’d never be accused of himself.


COVID marshalls are just one part of the plan, with the NHS track and trace app out on September 24th, so just slightly too late for horse burden Dido Harding to get to all two and a half thousand people who attended Doncaster races just before the rule of six was announced. Still I’m sure the odds are low that anything that makes her money transmits the virus as most people that attend those things are so posh they probably wouldn’t share their air anyway. With the track and trace app, there will also be mass testing for 10m people a day in the government’s landmark Operation Moonshot scheme, so called because any possibility it will work is lunacy and will no doubt happen a handful of times and never again, causing many to believe it was all a hoax in the first place. The scheme will cost £100bn, just less than the entire annual budget for the NHS, but that’s ok because I’m sure the government will spend that money wisely by giving it all to someone who once passed their driving test and has seen a cotton bud before so will totally be qualified to handle it. The tech for this doesn’t actually exist yet but who can be angry about a government willing to dream about possibility when there’s every chance this kit will arrive from a mysterious time traveller from the future at the same time they’ll arrive with the friction free border checking for Northern Ireland. Any. Day. Now. Yeah as if the doctor will ever arrive with current levels of NHS understaffing. There are many complaints that the current nationwide testing system is failing with many applying for tests and being told their closest centre is hundreds of miles away, but I think does mean you can check your eyesight at the same time. Health Secretary and upside down scarab beetle for a face Matt Hancock, who previously told everyone to get a test if they had any doubt about their symptoms, has now blamed the British public for having too many tests because you know, really we should be saving them for a special occasion or Christmas. Hancock insisted we still have the largest testing system imaginable, but that is from someone who couldn’t imagine people would go and get tests when he told them to. I’m betting he also looks at Theresa Villiers and can only see Theresa Villiers instead of two crows boning.


Justice minister Kit Malthouse aka Shit Melthouse, thinks people should snitch on their neighbours if they have gatherings of over 6 people, but I think if he doesn’t want to be accused of double standards, we need a level playing field here. Either us plebs can protest that having a massive rave in the park is integral or that everyone does it, so you know, it’s no big deal. Or Kit and the government need to be really chill when every one of the UK’s neighbours shops us in for being global crims. Maybe all of us will get away with everything if we just say it’s an exemption as its the country’s funeral.


In other news, Tupperware with a face and trade secretary Liz Truss announced that the UK have secured a trade deal with Japan, worth £15.2bn. Though she didn’t say that 80% of that amount will go to Japan, so it’s a bit like announcing that you and a friend raised £200 for your car boot sale, when your pal sold £190 worth of stuff and you found a tenner someone had dropped on the floor. What it does mean though is that we, as a nation, can sell more Stilton cheese to Japan, a country where barely anyone eats cheese. I look forward to Truss’s next major announcement about selling freezers to Greenland. It is a good thing though to show that we might actually get some trade post Brexit, and if it amounts to lots of those tiny Kit Kats I’m in. However, considering everything else this government do, there’s high chance they’ll say it was rushed through, have no idea who wrote it and now need to change it to allow Japanese boats to hunt people from Wales.


Conservatives voted down a Labour amendment to the fire safety bill that would have ensured all the recommendations for the first stage of Grenfell inquiry were put in place. Housing Secretary because everything he does leaves you feeling flat Robert Jenrick has insisted that it’d be irresponsible putting the measures in place till they’ve had a consultation with social housing residents and the housing industry. Because chances are high once Richard Desmond fills that in, Jenrick will realise its cheaper for his pal if they don’t bother with any of them and all future developments are made entirely out of firelighters. The organisers of Festival UK 2022 aka the Festival of Brexit have started their aplications for commissions process, insisting the event will bring people together. It already is to be fair, with most people uniting to say it sounds shit and a waste of £120m of public money.


Rumpty magic wand Jacob Rees Mogg is self-isolating after one of his family members had COVID symptoms, proving even his relatives are more in touch with current trends than he is. I bet he’ll somehow catch smallpox. Labour leader and paintbrush Keir Starmer is also self-isolating for similar reasons, though he can’t say for sure if his family member has COVID or not and won’t know until there’s an inquiry. Starmer has received praise this week for insisting the government get on with Brexit, supposedly refusing to fall into the elephant trap set by the Conservatives so they can label Labour a remain party. I suppose when you’ve already fallen into it for most of the previous year you’re probably keen not to do it all over again and best just to ignore all possible elephants in any rooms you’re in till the next election.


And lastly UKIP has yet another new leader, well a temporary one, that of Stadler and Waldorf’s lovechild Neil Hamilton because either its his turn now, or he’s the only one left in the party. No one’s sure. Either way, I bet he received his new appointment under the table in a brown envelope.





What say you, ParPolBroos? I hope you have all safely chosen with family members or friends are your favourites and have can have access to your presence over others. Of course if you’re in some of the areas that have been full on lockdown for the last month or so, you’re way ahead of the game here and probably already have your top 5 other people to see, with all the others confined to only getting to see you at the pub, work, cinema, school or holiday. It’s odd isn’t it, because obviously, while on the one hand, the COVID rising is terrible, scary and absolutely the worst, but on the other, it could really save us from all those endless unnecessary Winter socialising evenings where people say ‘oh but we must see you before Christmas’ as though they know something you don’t about what might happen to you in the new year. I mean, I did not love lockdown by any means, but I’ve also dreamed about hibernation in the winter, only to emerge in the Spring like a disgruntled bear. I am fully prepared for the challenge of eating so much in the lead up that my body could survive on its fat storage alone. Could this be the first ever human hibernation period? Maybe we’ll all get into it and every winter the world will fall quiet till end of March, well the wintery bits would. Meanwhile all the summery places could get on with stuff then we’ll tag out with them once it’s too nippy for them to go out without a jacket. Who’s in? Yes, that’s right, all of us, for months. I do hope it’s not the case and I hope you are doing ok with the prospect of everything not being ok. I have found that various periods away from the internet really help. Online has become, even more than usual, a colourful argumentative version of the guy with the end is nigh written on his sandwich board only it’s not for the reasons he thinks it will happen, only an idiot who believes the MSM would think that. But yes generally its incredible seeing the screaming online about someone doing a dance they didn’t like because it wasn’t Morris Dancing with Nazi flags or something, is still so at odds with when you walk outside and see most people are just staring into the void wishing their kids didn’t want to on the swings for quite such a long time. I’ve been dangerously reading about all the QAnon conspiracy stuff in the US and people who are so certain that a secret cabal are killing their children, that if Joe Biden gets in in November, they’ll kill themselves and their children to avoid the horrors that may follow. Which is really not a great way to put forward your campaign to save the children, but also just gives me the impression that we really are at the tipping point for a lot of people. Then I remember to go outside and there’s people just getting on with trying not walk in dog poo or whatever and its very calming. I’d definitely recommend the outside if you can. And definitely if we do go back into lockdown I’ve decided I will dodge the socials a bit more and will instead spend my time going outside and if I can’t, screaming in the shower instead or something more productive.

That’s my brain diarrhoea for this week and I hope you skipped past it for your sake or used it as the bit of the podcast where you walk past a particularly noisy road or bleeting sheep and missed it entirely. Don’t rewind, it’s not worth it. Thank you for listening though and thanks for all the lovely messages, tweets and all those sorts of things about the 200th episode last week, it’s so nice to know so many of you still enjoy this show and aren’t just listening out of self-hatred. Thank you also to Helen, James and somebody for the ko-fi donations and of course should you wish to make me financially dependent on this show so that I can never ever give up, then please lob a few pounds to the account, join the or donate at the Acast supporter button for this show.


No points of note or admin this week though I’d like to give a shout out to Natalie at the Royal Free hospital and the Opthamology team there, as while I was getting a pic taken of my stupid diabetic eyes, Natalie kindly popped her head around the divider screen to say she’d listened back to every ep of the show, which made my day, thanks Natalie. I did then have to go have a bit of laser eye surgery which was the opposite of fun and once again, I still don’t have laser eyes so that was a waste.


On this week’s show I am speaking to Professor Sheena Cruickshank, an immunologist, and I ask her for actual info about all the COVIDs rather than whatever we can glean from Chris Whitty’s terrified haunted child face as the Prime Minister stands beside him insisting you can’t catch it in member’s clubs or something. Plus a bit about the rule of six. You can do your own jokes about maths or the joy of sex. You do it. Urgh, why’d you come up with that filth? You disgust me.




It must be galling for the COVID-19 virus to know that no matter how hard it tries, it’ll never spread quicker than disinformation in today’s day and age. Whether that’s from politicians, articles that leave most of the important bits out or just that relative of yours whose both certain that the moon landings were faked because we’re all being lied to, but also you should definitely trust a youtube video of someone you’ve never heard of sitting in their mum’s basement shouting about brain tablets. Combined with coronavirus being a brand new hot for 2020 illness which clever science folk are still in the midst of understanding, it means it can be hard to get your head around exactly where we are with it all. I mean, take immunity. The British government are experts at being seemingly immune to all criticism, facts, accountability, other opinions or the possibility of saying sorry. But when it comes to COVID the messages keep changing. They were very confident that we’d have a vaccine all sorted by the Autumn. Oh no wait it’s Autumn now. Sorry, just in time for Christmas then, so you can pop a dose in a stocking. Ah no, it’ll probably be next year now. Early next year. Like say, summer. Meanwhile Russia seem certain they’ll have one done by next week because nothing instils confidence like getting injected by something knocked up in 2 days in a lab based on a few tests on one of Putin’s political opponents. The reality is, vaccines take time, there is still lots of research to be done on just how and if people can get immunity to the virus and evidence seems to suggest getting it once doesn’t mean you won’t get it again. With infection cases rising again in the UK, it’s important to know that outside of the government’s insisting that you have to eat out to help out but it’s now young people’s fault infections are rising as they listened to the government, just what the actual science is. Especially as it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the government’s notion of following it, is like someone on Twitter who does it just so they can contradict all your tweets with something they’d just made up that they insist is more important.


This week I spoke to Professor Sheena Cruickshank, an immunologist, a professor in biomedical sciences and public engagement at the University of Manchester. Sheena has won several awards for her work and research, and appeared many times on TV, Radio and in the past few months, the Cosmic Shambles broadcasts, so with her skill at helping unscientific people like me to clearly understand immunology, I thought it’d be great to ask her just where we are now in understanding COVID, what the actual timescale of a vaccine might be and if anyone of us will ever be immune to it, or if I’ll just have to go to the shops in a zorb ball from now on. Sheena very kindly explained all while her dog Freddie occasionally interrupted by squeaking a small toy pig. I was going to edit Freddie’s squeaky pig endeavours out, but honestly, it’s just nice hearing at least one creature on planet earth having a nice time for once. Good for you Freddie. Good for you. Anyway, I hope you find this chat with Sheena as useful, and educational as I did. Here’s Sheena:




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




Now look, I know you’re hearing about the ‘Rona from this week’s guest and to be honest the only way I want to hear more about that sort of thing is if something I do on this podcast finally goes viral but there’s no point in doing a Brexit fallout this week if the Internal Market Bill could be all change by the time you hear this. So instead, to make sure you don’t get snitched on by one of Kit Malthouse’s family of rats, then here’s what you can and can’t do as helpfully explained by me, someone who can count to six and has done more than a few times.


As of today, when I’m recording this, or yesterday if its tomorrow, or the beginning of the week if…ok you get what I mean, it is now illegal to gather indoors or outdoors in a group of more than six people in England, or in Scotland & Wales, you can have up to six adults and as many children under 12 that you can gather. Why not dress as the pied piper of Hamlyn and see how many it takes dancing after you before the authorities get upset? No wait, actually that sounds creepy, leave the children alone. Please leave them alone. Any breaches of that rule can result in police or perhaps panto horse suit wearing COVID marshalls giving you an on the spot fine of £100. However, under 18s can’t be fined so if you do get caught, then just blame it on the kids and you should be ok. That’s the bit you do know and with COVID cases ramping up that does make sense and you’ve probably already regretted not being part of a jazz sextet just so you had an easy out for any family or social gathering offers.


But thing is, there are 5 pages of exceptions to these rules, all of which were published just 15 minutes before the policy took effect and some of the wording to the main parts is a bit, well, odd. For a start its now illegal to mingle in the pub, but legal experts say that’s a tad unclear. I mean mingling usually means seeing someone you know and heading over to say hello, but does that mean it’s perfectly legal to wonder round your local telling people you don’t like to fuck off? How much chat is a chat? What if you see a friend, pop over and shout a string of nonsensical words at them? Police will have to use their discretion so maybe if you find yourself excited by unexpectedly seeing pals then make sure your chat is abrupt and boring and you should escape any sort of fee. Though if you do get a fine its non-appealable and by refusing to pay them, you can get a criminal record. Imagine going to prison and having to own up to other inmates that you’re in there because you ran up to tell Claire that you’ve still got her scarf?


There are exceptions where you can have more than 6 people which include work, because as we all know the sphere of capitalist greed will ward off all and any viruses, even if you’re just taking an extended loo break after playing on the internet all morning wishing you were anywhere else. Education is also exempt because we know kids are safe at schools too, apart from all those ones where there have been outbreaks. Obvs there are sensible ones such as if you’re providing care for a vulnerable person and you know, they’re having a house party. For existing arrangements where children don’t live with both their parents or for emergency assistance or for weddings, funerals, religious ceremonies and not kids parties. Those last ones come under the heading of significant event gathering which could make a significant milestone in a person’s life, according to their religion or belief but it doesn’t include birthday parties, even if it’s a big one. Though I suppose you could have a surprise one, and when everyone leaps out, as long as you didn’t mingle with them it might be ok.


People can go hunting or shooting in groups of more than six, but they can’t play informal football or any sports poor people play with friends because that might mean they have fun and as we all know, the only real therapeutic fun that’s allowed is killing anything vulnerable. Organised sports are allowed though, but just to be careful make sure you dress in tweed and carry a shotgun when you’re kicking the ball about. If nothing else, it will intimidate the other team and should lead to an easy victory. Christmas with more than 6 people won’t be allowed if the rules are still in place. Unless of course you dress in tweed and carry a gun. Maybe let a few grouse run wild around the living room and if nothing else, it should entertain the kids for a while and it’ll be one to talk about in future years.


The rules in Wales still allow groups of up to 30 to meet as long as it’s outdoors and social distancing is in place, and obvs Caerphilly county borough is still in full lockdown so can’t do anything. In Scotland the rules are mostly the same as in England apart from kids not counting and only 20 people will be allowed to attend weddings or funerals and that sort of thing, but hey, at least that’ll make the catering cheaper. If these rules of 6 keep on, I doubt many of us will need that many people in attendance after this year anyway. In Northern Ireland there’s no real changes to the current rules which were only 15 people outdoors, and 6 people in private settings.


So obviously, with COVID numbers like they are, you should be careful and stick to these rules, but it is tricky when you know you could just catch it at the office, the classroom or all those funerals you keep sneaking into hoping for free canapes. It’s also not easy to have full faith in this when while Kit Malthouse wants everyone to go full East Germany, but Lord Sumption from the Supreme Court has said people should just use their own judgement and the law is a secondary consideration. Or when you know, the government are quite happy to put us in an international situation where our only hope is that a Middle Eastern country decides they need to invade us in order to instil democracy. Back in June the Prime Minister said the government would proceed on the basis of guidance not criminal laws, and with police numbers still low and the ones that are left probably not keen on spending their time working out who is and isn’t mingling, this will probably, like everything the government has done, just undermine the authority of British law.


All I can say is that I for one will be as careful as always, and even more so when wearing my handwoven cap and stomping around with my fully loaded Winchester making grouse calling noises.


And now back to Sheena….




Thanks to Sheena for her time and you can follow her on Twitter @sheencr and she regularly has articles and pieces in publications such as The Conversation so do check them out. Thanks also to Robin Ince, the brilliant comedian, writer and all round lovely man who put me in touch with Sheena, and she often appears on Robin’s Cosmic Shambles Network that has been putting out a lot of pretty astounding comedy and science content, among others, since the pandemic kicked off. Do check it out at


Sooooo, I’m trying to get a US politics commentator on to talk about that current trashfire of a place, but I am worried that chat will have to be several years long to fit everything in. I’m also trying to get a behavioural psychologist, depending on the next few weeks a Brexit update and selfishly someone to chat about left and right wing comedy too. Sound interesting? If so or if no, then who else shall I talk to? All suggestions are welcomed, even if they aren’t always invited in for a cuppa after. You can do that suggesting @parpolbro on Twitter, the Partly Political Broadcast group on Facebook, the contact page at or email me at Or you could deliver it in a powerful and informative dance piece with the aim of educating all who see it, only for some idiots to instantly complain because they don’t want to learn things or become better people, they just want to dribble at the telly, wrapping themselves in a union flag for comfort and saying something derogatory to the delivery driver that brings them very British pizza. As always, it’s probably just best to email isn’t it?







And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast, and of course right here at the end of all things, sorry the podcast, it is time to embellish your life with a small burst of Parpolbro HotPolGossFact and this week, with the government considering breaking international law just to own the libs, what has been the biggest international relations blunder of all time? Obviously, there are a ton of contenders for this prize, including the Iraq War which was yet another example of pointless destruction by America and Britain based on fever dreams they’d had. Imagine destroying a nation because they might have magical weapons you made up? But the winner of this week’s fact just so you don’t eyeroll your way off the end of the show thinking about time after time that the Western powers have screamed they’re coming to the rescue of people who really didn’t need it, like a younger sibling charging in to save the day by knocking over the tower you’ve spent ages building and then falling into your games console and breaking it. The winner is from much further into the past, aka the Emperor Of Khwarezm in the early 13th century, Ala ad-Din Muhammad II who ruled the Khwarazmian dynasty covering large parts of Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iran until he began executing Mongol traders travelling along the Silk Road and refused to apologise to everyone’s dad Ghenghis Khan. Khan tried to remain diplomatic by sending three ambassadors, who were probably also his kids, to meet the Emperor and he made them wait for weeks to see him, then had their beards set on fire and beheaded the lead one, which is definitely the opposite of hospitable. Ol’ Ghengis was pretty pissed by this and responded by sending 300,000 Mongol horseman and wiping out the entire Khwarezmid Empire in one go. While Johnson may be attempting to emulate Khan by shagging everything that moves, he’d be better off looking at how the Khwarezmid Empire disappeared and taking notes on how unnecessary hostility isn’t always the best defence. Though to be fair the EU wouldn’t be able to send in 300,000 horses as they’d all just get stuck at the Dover port for days on end. That’s this week’s PARPOLBRO HOTPOLGOSSFACT! I hope you enjoyed it or hated it so much its invigorated you to make the world such a better place I won’t have anything to joke about anymore and this whole podcast will be dire observations about sports cap water bottles or how dogs sigh or something. Either way, please recommend it to all who you know, give the show a nice 5 star review on the podcast apps you use and heartily fling some money my way at, the or the Acast supporter button for this show.


Thanks tons to Acast, my bro The Last Skeptik, Kat Day, Katie Coxall and this week, new addition to the team of helping hands, Scott Napier who’s offered to do clever subtitle work for short vid clips of this show. Thank you Scott. Welcome to occasionally having your name shouted at the end of a show when I remember.


This will be back next week when Boris Johnson gets himself arrested for holding up a teller at gunpoint while screaming ‘No Prime Minister would ever rob a bank’ and hoping it’ll work.




This week’s show was sponsored by Everyday Hunts. Wanting to hang out with upwards of 6 pals but flummoxed by COVID rules? Perhaps that kids party needs to happen, or little Boswell will bawl his eyes off? Well with our box containing tweed coloured spray, two soft toy foxhounds and three real massive guns, you can turn any event into a perfectly legal hunting troop. Police won’t be slapping a fine on you as Boswell fires shots at his grouse shaped 5th birthday cake this year and all his friends have to cover their ears and eyes. Why not hit those pints with 29 mates before doing shots too, but actual ones, while drunk and in the park. Our guide book will give you all the best toff shouts such as tally-ho or ‘get the one in the tracksuit’. Everyday Hunts, so you too, can be one of society’s real hunts.

Email Tiernan