Not On A Break – Circuit Break, Greater Manchester, No Deal Again and Dr Natalia Pasternak on tackling COVID pseudoscience in Brazil

Released on Tuesday, October 20th, 2020.

Not On A Break – Circuit Break, Greater Manchester, No Deal Again and Dr Natalia Pasternak on tackling COVID pseudoscience in Brazil

Everybody’s having a COVID break except England. Why are we always the exception to the rule? Well Rishi Sunak says a national lockdown would inflict terrible harm, but he left out that that’s because him, Johnson and their stupid government wouldn’t want to help anyone very much through it. Oh and No Deal is back on the table, along with very little food and what’s there is pumped full of antibiotics or has additives in that make your children try to eat their own faces. The usual despairing jokes, some bits you may have missed last week in the Commons and a chat with Dr Natália Pasternak (@TaschnerNatalia) at the IQC about tackling COVID19 pseudoscience in Brazil, when the President is the idiot pushing it.






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Further Reading

Linear liner notes

Everybody’s having a COVID break except England. Why are we always the exception to the rule? Well Rishi Sunak says a national lockdown would inflict terrible harm, but he left out that that’s because him, Johnson and their stupid government wouldn’t want to help anyone very much through it. Oh and No Deal is back on the table, along with very little food and what’s there is pumped full of antibiotics or has additives in that make your children try to eat their own faces. The usual despairing jokes, some bits you may have missed last week in the Commons and a chat with Dr Natália Pasternak (@TaschnerNatalia) at the IQC about tackling COVID19 pseudoscience in Brazil, when the President is the idiot pushing it.

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

Pseudopod episode hosted by Kat: The Sneakaboo –    

All the usual ParPolBro stuff:




Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that fully approves of a circuit break, or at the very least, turning the lights off when you’re not in the room. I’m Tier 1 Douieb. Sorry Tier 2. I mean Tiernan, and it’s funny isn’t it? Because everyone complains that Conservatives are definitely not progressive, and yet just a few years ago they were berating shirkers and scroungers and now here they are, in 2020, funnelling money into local lockdowns despite evidence they don’t work.


Around the world, restrictions are being put in place because that sodding ‘rona won’t go away. In France nine cities have had enforced curfews of 8pm, which is so early for them that many citizens won’t have enough time to finish lunch. In the Netherlands, coffee shops are facing a two-week closure which means everyone will be on a not high alert. Here in the UK, Northern Ireland are closing the hospitality sector for 4 weeks and school’s half term is being extended to two, meaning for many parents it will feel like a year. Wales are having a two- or three-week fire break, which is either their word for a lockdown or it means everyone in Port Talbot will be able to breathe for a short amount of time. Why it’s a firebreak and not a circuit break I don’t know, but I’m hoping Scotland and Northern Ireland take wind and water break so us here in England might finally get a breather from soiling ourselves for once. First Minister of Wales and man made entirely of cheeks Mark Drakeford said it will be a short, sharp shock to turn back the clock, which sounds like he’s promoting some sort of skin electrotherapy. Which let’s face it, considering how aged the pandemic has made most of us feel, doesn’t sound too bad. Halloween and Bonfire Night gatherings won’t be allowed under restrictions but there’ll be an exception for Remembrance Day, because it’s a great idea during rising infections to wheel out all the most vulnerable to think about everyone they might get to see real soon. Scotland have already imposed a circuit break on the hospitality sector, as if it wasn’t having one already since March, a bit like telling someone recently made unemployed to take a day off. Here in England, Labour leader and what if Spongebob Squarepants was made of reconstituted meat Keir Starmer, broke from his usual tactics of thinking the best opposition is to nod like a dashboard dog or just forget to turn up at all, and instead demanded that to slow the spread of the virus, it was time for a national circuit breaker. Something he’d know about as he’s an expert in how to stop connecting with people.


The Sage group, so called because the government seem to treat it as nothing more than an outside ornamental fixture, also called for a circuit breaker back in September, saying there needed to be an immediate introduction. Something you’d think Prime Minister and how did the cat drag that in, it must be knackered Boris Johnson would be up for, as he loves immediate introductions and usually can’t wait to shake hands with everyone. Even 68% of the public want stricter restrictions and a circuit break, including 65% of Conservative voters, but I suppose will of the people was so 2019. So no, the PM, oh god what did the cat eat to throw that up Michael Gove and why does the cat look so pleased to have licked its own arse and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, all insist there won’t be one. Which probably means there’ll be an announcement at the end of the week that there will. Sunak specifically warned that another lockdown would inflict terrible harm, which as the harm will mostly come from him refusing to support people and businesses, just feels like a threat. Please die that way, so I don’t have to let you die of famine which takes longer and will cost more. It does seem a silly choice when several scientists have said the only tool you could use to avoid a national lockdown, apart from the Prime Minister who’s the biggest tool possible, is an effective track and trace system. Which we don’t have despite it being revealed that a team of 5 management consultants are being paid £25k a day to work on it, which is a lot of money to walk around saying ‘this doesn’t work, and this doesn’t work’ for a few hours a day. The app is now only successfully reaching just 62% of contacts, the lowest since it was launched, and a lot of older people in the highest risk group can’t get it because their phones are an older model. I wonder if phone companies have now run out of potential upgrades and are working with the government to sell new models on the basis of ‘this one will tell you if your friend wants to kill you, oh and a better camera to take your last pic with.’


This is why we have strange heroes of our times, such as the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who in previous times was seen as the default character in a computer game that no one picks because he’s too boring and his main power move is just shouting ‘the Westminster bubble’ at no one in particular. Here in 2020 though, Burnham has had an upgrade and got a right cob on about the government’s Tier 3 plans for the area without financial support. Burnham’s Westminster bubble shouts have never been truer as the government having rarely visited anywhere past Milton Keynes probably think a pint in Manchester only costs one potato and the whole place can thrive on a few bob and occasional visits from a meat van. Burnham told a press conference that Manchester will not be made the canaries in the coalmine for an experimental regional lockdown strategy. He’s right to challenge it, though perhaps with the wrong imagery to win over Tories who hate animal rights and will hear the term ‘coalmine’ and just think it justifies immediate closure. Manchester has been in some form of lockdown since July and it’s made little to no effect on rising infection rates, but Health Secretary and skin wrapped around inexperience Matt Hancock still insists that they are following the science, but maybe he doesn’t realise that science fiction isn’t the same. I’m being mean as perhaps he was following the science when he allegedly breached rules on drinking in the Commons bar past the 10pm curfew, something there is no scientific basis for. But Hancock’s ruined that possibility by refusing to say 30 times whether he did do this, so it’s nice to know he’s consistent on something. Alcohol has since been banned in the commons which will make it even worse knowing that MPs will still vote that badly while sober. For example, Conservative MPs voted for the curfew in the commons despite SAGE saying its massively pointless, and Labour and the SNP abstained. Perhaps they’re supporting science by not providing any action for there to be an equal and opposite one to happen against it?


Working with other local politicians, Tory and Labour, Burnham has told Johnson to do one, which has resulted in a political impasse. Housing Secretary and the original form of Ditto, the transforming Pokeman Robert Jenrick said that Manchester could be offered a financial package, but the worry is then if they offer enough money to save the area, will they have to ask one pointless track and trace management consultant to only work 4 and a half days a week to make up for it? Burnham has said he won’t roll over at the sight of a cheque which will likely confuse the Conservatives and make them give up having lost the use of the only tactic they know. As I record, a meeting between ministers and local leaders has ended without agreement so it could mean, as Johnson threatened last week, that he may personally intervene. Which we all know means the PM will make a shit speech then go on holiday for a few weeks while his team run around headlessly making excuses. He’s just so ridiculously easy to read now isn’t he? I mean just hearing Johnson at his press conference last week, looking any moment like he might fold in on himself and be brushed into a dustpan, the PM said that taking action is the right and responsible thing to do, and so we all automatically know that he won’t do anything at all.


I mean take the ongoing shartfest that is Brexit. No please, please take it and then put it somewhere no one will ever find it. Johnson has once again warned us all to be prepared for a No Deal. You know after saying it would be the easiest deal ever, then prepping for a no deal, then not, then telling us to get ready for Brexit. But oh no, not yet. And now we’ve got an oven ready deal, oh but sadly its shit. So now it’s no deal again. If someone had fake thrown a ball for a dog this many times, they’d have been bitten to shit by now. Sorry it’s not a no deal. It’s an Australia Deal, because as we all know semantics matter and it’s important that we all view this as a situation where like Australia, veritable criminals will ruin large parts of the country making it awful for people who already live there and big sections of it uninhabitable. No.10 says there’s no point in continuing discussions with the EU next week as it seems they won’t agree to all the stuff the UK also agreed to until it changed its mind last minute like a big baby. It’s very likely this is all more brinkmanship from the government, hoping that by passing the deadline date, and pretending to act all ‘well I don’t care, if you don’t give me what I want, I’ll punch myself in the face’ might make the EU concede out of pity. I mean, I think that’s what it is, hence why Michael Gove ruined people’s breakfasts by being on the telly in the morning, which is never fair, and said that for Brexit trade talks, the door is still ajar. Which means it isn’t a door is it you prick? Jesus, I knew that one from the age of 4. What makes me think I’m wrong though are things like Minister for State and Jim Broadbent’s shittest role Lord Agnew accusing businesses of having their heads in the sand and telling them that if they haven’t engaged and understood the new processes by January 1st, that’s their fault. Yeah maybe it is? Why aren’t they ready for regulations that don’t exist yet? Why aren’t more businesses spending all the money they’re losing during the pandemic, on psychics, fortune tellers and time travellers? So maybe there is a genuine wish for a no deal from the government, which we have sensed all along. Perhaps they believe in really knocking somewhere down and breaking it, in order to build it up again in their own image, which based on Johnson, means we’ll all look like shit. This could explain why Johnson has rejected the extension of recently honoured footballer Marcus Rashford’s school meals plan, to make sure children in the worst off families still get meals during school holidays. Why should Johnson back that when after a no deal Brexit and a never-ending pandemic, the problem is everyone will be in a worst off family and there won’t be any food anyway? May as well prep us all for half terms next year involving children having to leave the house at 5am to try and catch rats for breakfast. Which at the very least means parents won’t have to find things for them to do. Maybe this is what the government are saving the circuit breaker for eh? You can’t really riot in just one hour of essential exercise.


Lancashire is now in Tier 3, though the imminent winter flooding that the government haven’t prevented will probably mean many breach rules by being washed into neighbouring constituencies. But the South still unfairly remains relatively free, with only parts of Essex and London in Tier 2, something we haven’t noticed as we try not to be very sociable at the best of times. SAGE are warning that the UK is facing a tough Christmas, which at least might mean the John Lewis ad is finally just a zoom call of someone ordering their loved one a gift of a large bottle of vodka and some Nurofen, before it’s delivered by a coughing zero hours worker who keels over on the front doorstep, to the tune of Easy E’s Merry Muthafuckin Xmas and a Fucked Up New Year, sung by that man who sits outside your local Tesco’s and shouts through a traffic cone. Johnson reportedly told the 1922 committee that the rule of six over Christmas would be a blessing for some, as they wouldn’t have to see their in-laws. Once again, he’s just thinking of himself, a man who has so many of those he’d need to hire an event hall just to contain them.


Speaking of Johnson and his personal life, entrepreneur and proof that its possible for someone to have default irritating face Jennifer Arcuri has admitted she had an affair with the Prime Minister while he London mayor and married to his then wife. This means not only was it likely there was favourable treatment in her being awarded thousands of pounds of public money and her participating in lots of foreign trips with him, but also provides evidence of yet another time in his life where Johnson repeatedly fucked things then hoped he’d get away with it by pretending it never happened. Arcuri said, and look I’m sorry for saying these words out loud, that she was bombarded by his avalanches of passion, which I think means on several occasions he got tangled while trying to take his trousers off and fell headfirst into her, trapping her for several days until help could be called.


In other news, one of the few politicians who’s always grinning but it doesn’t seem sinister Jacinda Arden has won a second term as New Zealand’s Prime Minister, with a landslide victory of 49% of the votes, the best result for the Labour party in 50 years and voters shunning populist policies, so perhaps island mentality isn’t a thing? Ardern said that elections don’t have to be divisive, which I guess they don’t if everyone voting is actually aware that one party are science hating bigots and the others aren’t. Keir Starmer praised the NZ Prime Minister saying that Labour in government can do incredible things, but he can’t really compare himself to a woman who tackled the coronavirus meaning they’ve only had 25 deaths overall, to him, a man who thought the best way to challenge the British government’s lack of evidence based policy was to not bother voting against it. I don’t think Ardern got her win by saying ‘you know what everyone, I’ll lie here very still and hope I don’t get in the way.’





Hey, hey, hey, ParPolBrods. How are you? My area is still only in a Tier 2, which I like to pretend is the sequel to me. 2 Tiernan, 2 Douieb, Electric Douiebaloo or something. Any way what it mainly means is I have a vague notion that I shouldn’t get on public transport unless I really have to, and I’m not allowed to see my parents but I’m not entirely sure unless I look it up. Other than that, nothing feels too different round my way at all. It feels a bit like when you know there’s a big event happening somewhere else in the country that everyone else has gone to and it’s all over telly, but you still need to buy milk and clean the loo so you’re not that fussed. I can’t think what event that’d be. It’s been so long since you know, events. But probably Glastonbury. In the years I haven’t gone to Glastonbury, I’ve often spent that weekend doing very mundane things then occasionally remember, oh yeah, some people are in Glastonbury. Or when I’ve not gone to the Edinburgh Fringe. This tier system is a bit like that. I’ll be dropping my daughter to nursery then suddenly think, oh yeah people in Liverpool can only have a beer if they also have a meal. I know I’ve said this lots before on this show, but it’s still just not how I imagined a pandemic. In some ways that’s definitely comforting. You know, we’re not having to be on the look-out for escaped infected monkeys who might scratch your face off. At the same time, I was never warned by movies that we all might starve to death due to a lack of financial support or worse, watch everything possible on Netflix until there’s nothing left. It’s amazing how reality, in all these situations, can somehow be both more boring and more awful all at once. I often dream of writing a dystopian fiction, because it’s one of my favourite genres, but I’m always hit by the hurdle of thinking about an idea then going ‘oh wait, that’s already happened but in a way that most people are so non-plussed by they wouldn’t even use it as a whataboutery counter point in a tweet.’ Sigh. My weeks are so unexciting now, I don’t know if you have the same. The small highlight last week was being asked to do 5Live to talk about some stupid bullshit study about how people laugh less in middle aged than they do as teenagers. Of course, they do. They have to go to work, don’t get to spend all their time with friends, and are also old, jaded and picky about what makes them laugh. I wish I’d been paid to do that study. Still what happened was what always happens with these interviews, where a producer rings me up, asks me loads of interesting questions and makes a note of my answers. Then an hour later, I go on air, the presenters ask me completely different questions, cut me off lots and don’t laugh at the only joke I manage to squeeze out, before the station’s twitter tweets out the only bit I said that might have been contentious in the wrong context or without any, and then for the rest of the day several people tell me I’m awful. It’s great fun, I’d highly recommend it. Actually, I lie, we took our daughter to the zoo on Saturday, to meet some friends there and that was an actual highlight. You may or may not agree with zoos, that’s a chat for another day, and hey after the past year, I don’t half sympathise with creatures being stuck in cages. But fair play every animal was behind a plexiglass screen so they were way ahead with being COVID safe and I appreciate that.


Big time thank yous this week to ko-fi supporter, Claire, Joe, Jenkins and Helen for ko-fi donations. I assume that ko-fi supporter is the default name they gave one of you if you didn’t enter your name and I’m not just being flippant about a highly unusual and perhaps oddly coincidental name. I suppose there was kofi annan wasn’t there? So it’s possible. But yes thank you for doing that and once again keeping me afloat in these murky waters. If you fancy chucking a tiny coin shaped life saver my way then please do that via the, or acast supporter accounts. Thank you. Acast supporter is the name of the account, not, I don’t think, the sibling of ko-fi supporter.


A few bits and pieces to shout and rave about this week. I’m on a very fun and not at all politics based comedy podcast called Comedy Arcade, hosted by the very fun Vix Leyton. I’m on episode one with two brilliant funny champs Thom Tuck and former guest on this show Esyllt Sears, and we had a ridiculous amount of silly fun recording it a few weeks ago, so do check it out. I believe it is on all the podcast platforms but I’ll pop the Acast link in the pod blurb. I might be on a future episode too, but I wasn’t as good on that one. The other guests were brilliant though so still very worth it. Also long time pod helper Kat Day has hosted an episode of horror fiction podcast The PseudoPod. Its episode 726 called The Sneakaboo, and well worth a listen if you like that sort of spooky stuff. Again, I’ll pop a link in the usual places.


Speaking of Psuedo, er, things, this week’s guest is head of the Braziliian Instituto Questao Di Ciencia, Natalia Pasternak, all about tackling COVID misinformation in a country where the president is the one who’s spreading it. Plus a few things that you may have missed, because I’ll be honest I did because I was at the zoo. How about you? You should’ve come too. Except that would’ve breached the rule of six so actually its best you didn’t. Seriously, you just don’t think these things through. Awful.




Brazil, a country that is known as the coffee pot of the world, which is an odd description for a place where many seem unable to smell what has been brewing for quite some time. The largest country in South America is another place on the globe currently lead by a narcissistic populist who looks like a cross between Emperor Palpatine and a shit game show host, Jair Bolsonaro. While Bolsonaro has many hideous qualities, aside from being pro-torture, misogynistic, homophobic and looking like an evil worm emerging from a shirt, he is also a big fan of completely bullshit medical cures, aka pseudoscience. In a manner not at all dissimilar to his American counterpart, Bolsonaro’s policies to tackle coronavirus have so far included calling it a little flu, addressed anti-lockdown rallies, pushing the herd immunity strategy, avoiding social distancing and then catching COVID19, afterwards taking off his facemask to say he’s all better because of his history as an athlete. Which he was at his military academy, where he earned the name Cavalao which means Big Horse, probably on account of him being a massive nightmare. Bolsonaro also forced the Brazilian Health Ministry to issue guidelines recommending the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus patients. This drug, also touted by Donald Trump, has been proved to have little to no effect on COVID19 and instead may cause a bevvy of side-effects from nausea and dizziness to hair loss, that I suppose at best, may distract you temporarily from all your coronavirus symptoms. Or at worst, just means you’ll not only feel shit but now you might cough your lovely new hairdo off. Brazil has now hit over 5m infections and over 154k deaths from COVID19, and yet Bolsonaro’s popularity has risen to 40% after a handing out of some emergency aid payments. In the same way I suppose someone might temporarily value you giving them a lift after you’d slashed all the tyres on their car. The challenge for everyone who can really see what’s going on though, is how do you tackle misinformation and pseudoscience when the idiot in charge is the one pushing it and people seem to believe him? Have they all been drinking decaffeinated coffee this whole time?


This week I spoke to the brilliant Dr Natalia Pasternak, a microbiologist and head of the Instituto Questao de Ciencia aka the Question of Science Institute, a group that formed to defend the use of evidence based scientific research in public policies and tackle a growing trend of misinformation. The work they are doing is brilliant despite it being a constant battle, and so I asked Natalia all about how the IQC started, how they get information to a public that approves of the president and the strange nonsense practice in Brazil of rectal ozone therapy to cure COVID. Sadly we spoke just before the bizarre tale of Bolsonaro’s deputy in the senate, Chico Rodrigues, being arrested with a wad of banknotes in-between his clenched buttocks. Proof that even though Bolsonaro is meant to be anti-corruption, his allies have money that really stinks. Anyway, Natalia was brilliant to talk to and as you can hear by the occasional typing and other noise in the background, I spoke to her while she was at work so you can hear the IQC in action. Sort of.  As always, I hope you find this enlightening and informative, and at the very least helps you feel pleased that no matter how bad things are in the UK, at least Boris Johnson isn’t shouting about how we should all pipe gas up our rectums to cure COVID. Here’s Natalia:




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




As is often the case, more things have been happening than you or I care to spend time knowing about. I mean I’m assuming you haven’t bothered because lazily, I haven’t bothered. I mean I’ve got other stuff to do, like stare aimlessly into the void praying for sweet release, or you know, eat biscuits. But actually one of the things this week may well affect biscuits in the UK in future so really I should’ve been paying more attention. So this week, a quick run down of some other things, but not all other things, because I’m not that aware and I did have to eat a lot of biscuits.


Food safety and animal welfare are two subjects that are close to my heart and the only time I would ever think preference of one over the other was the time a seagull tried to take my chips and I did a kick at it. It deserved it ok? But last week MPs voted 332 to 279 to reject an amendment to the Agriculture Bill, which would have enshrined the current high food safety and animal welfare practices in law, meaning once we do a Brexit none of those things could change. Except now they can, meaning farmers, food campaigners and in fact a number of Tory MPs who rebelled, are all pretty peed off. The government said it wasn’t necessary to enshrine these standards in law as they’ve said UK food standards would be kept in any post Brexit trade agreements. Hahahahahah they said it so it’ll happen hahahaha pull the other one. Oh, wait I don’t have any left to pull. Oh no now I keep falling over. Fears are that this means in future deals we could get sent all sorts of low standard crap full of additives that make your children run up the walls and you have those weird dreams about that giant duck, while any meat could come from a cow that was cruelly called a twat every day of its life. Or something. I mean actually, it’s a lot worse than that and could also affect labelling standards meaning you’ve got no clue what’s in your pie, it could mean farmers in the UK have to cut prices in order to deal with cheap competition from abroad which will bring them huge losses and there’s every chance the chicken you’re eating will be more full of antibiotics than you can have access to. Not me though, I’m veggie, so it just means I could have shit cheese. You know the really plasticky stuff that when it melts you can use it to remould children’s furniture? Yeah that. I actually really like it but that’s by the by. The National Farmer’s Union are furious, which really doesn’t bode well for the government when they’re a core group that are usually adamantly Conservative voters. Well you reap what you sow, unless you don’t because it’s been replaced by some crops from America that are covered in a pesticide that makes you cough orange goo and dream about that big duck again.


The night after that vote, MPs voted down amendments to the Fisheries Bill that would’ve enshrined in law, yes, yet again, environmental and good standards that mean we won’t just suck all the fish out of the ocean until there aren’t any any more. Though I suppose it is a good way to keep the EU out of our waters if all that’s in them are the Home Office’s scary border boat patrol idiots and a whole ton of floating shit cheese wrappers. The amendments in this case would have banned supertrawlers from marine protected areas. Supertrawlers are not the world’s more boring Marvel film but instead a big ol’ ship that can suck up 250 tonnes of fish in a day, something that EU rules stopped from going into protected areas. The other thing it would have done is to keep fishing quotes in protected areas to sustainable limits according to scientific advice, which means once again the government followed the science just see where it would go and what the opposite direction might be. The government had gone on about ‘gold fishing standards’ by which maybe they meant as in olden times when no one cared about the planet. These rules as they are could ruin the UK fisheries industry that they keep saying they’ll protect, as if stocks deplete, businesses will collapse, and it’ll affect coastal communities quite badly. You have to wonder why the government are demanding full sovereign use of our fishing waters in the Brexit deal when all they want to do is kill everything in them, but maybe it’s because their fragile egos need to know for sure that they are the biggest fish.


Lastly MPs voted through the CHIS bill, Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill, which will, to put it mildly, give government agencies a licence to authorise torture and murder. Like James Bond in a way, if the films were more realistic and he mainly infiltrated workplaces, sexually harassed colleagues and then got away with it because he’s a secret agent. Oh wait, its exactly like James Bond. Sorry. This bill is supposedly to protect operatives from prosecution if they are forced to break the law while undercover, like say, if they had to sell drugs while trying to get into a drugs cartel or something. In reality, the bill contains no limits on the illegal activity they could escape prosecution for, so it’s could save the necks of arseholes like the spy cop who posed as an activist and deceived women into having relationships with him, or the British security services acting in collusion with loyalist paramilitaries that killed Irish lawyer Pat Finucane to name but two cases of many. The government have said of course undercover officers wouldn’t breach the human rights act, you know in the same way the governing party wouldn’t breach international law, or give massive important contracts to their unqualified pals or all these other things that definitely wouldn’t happen as we live in happy, happy, rainbowland of sweets and ponies. I mean, if they aren’t going to do it anyway, why wouldn’t you just stick ‘except if they do a murder, rape or torture’ in big letters on the bill and then you know, you’re safe just incase? It seems the government are certain that we’ll just assume everyone will act in the best interests of humanity in all these situations, even though they, as a prime example, never do. It’d be like me telling you to have faith that your dad won’t make a shit pun about something groanworthy because of course he wouldn’t, after I’ve just said something about how the only intelligence sauce I know is Bar bIQ sauce and you all groaned and hated your lives. Labour whipped their party members to abstain on voting because you know, they don’t want to seem weak on national security and having an authoritarian state in-case it scares off the few voters who’ll never vote for them anyway as they have the Conservatives who do all that much better. But 34 MPs voted against and Starmer saw several resignations from the front bench so they could dodge the whip. It’s such a stupid stance, that I can only think Starmer is undercover in the party to try and ruin them from within. Actually I doubt that as his tactics would involve just doing nothing and really hoping it’d collapse around him.


All those bills will now go to the Lords where unelected bureaucrats will somehow have more humanity than elected officials making life all the more confusing as to how a democracy should be, and then it’ll go back to the Commons where the government majority will ensure we’ll live in a world where we can sit on the dock of the bay, eating plastic cheese, remembering what fish were like, while MI5 agents deal drugs to each other down the beach for kicks.


And now back to Natalia….




Thanks tons to Natalia who was up for navigating time zones so we could chat. You can find her on Twitter @TaschnerNatalia and the Instituto Questao de Ciencia at Though obviously a lot of what Natalia tweets and the IQC website are in Portuguese. I’ve posted a few links to articles in the podcast blurb too. Oh and just before I turned off the recording Natalia told me about a picture of Bolsonaro chasing an emu. Have a quick listen to this:




I’ve popped that pic in the podcast blurb too for your enjoyment. Big thanks as well to several time former podguest and professional skeptic Michael Marshall who recommended Natalia and helped me get in touch with her. You can find Michael on Twitter @MrMMarsh and check out the merseysideskeptics at for lots of podcasts, online events and all sorts on tackling British pseudoscience.


More global politics would be lovely, but also anything that this podcast hasn’t covered before or needs an update on. I know I’ll need a Scottish Indy update soon, probably more Brexit things – YAWN – maybe some more about what the hell we do next and any sort of radical exciting initiatives or campaigns that give us any alternative to our current hellscape would be lovely. Ideas of who might be good to bother would be lovely, so if you have any, do send them through to @parpolbro on Twitter, the Partly Political Broadcast group on Facebook, the contact page at or email me at Or you could put it on an app that cost far too much money considering how little it does, tell everyone in the country to download it and then keep sending alerts to my phone saying that there’s an interviewee suggestion on it but when I click it, nothing happens other than I feel very angry. As always, it’s probably just best to email isn’t it?





And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Which means its once again time for *FANFARE* the ParPolBroHotPolGossFact you unlucky, unlucky people. This week, after speaking to Natalia about pseudoscience in Brazil, I was going to do a fact about which historical political figure had the stupidest death from bad science. It was, imho, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus Of Ephesus who was supposedly eating by dogs after smearing himself in cow manure to try and cure his fluid retention. Yes there are a lot of questions to be asked but I don’t think we should ask any and let it be what it is. But I found that fact looking at the List of unusual deaths of Wikipedia which I’ve popped the link to on the podcast blurb, because damn it’s a fascinating way to waste time. For example, Tory MP in the late 1800s Sir William Payne-Gallwey, died of internal injuries he’d got from falling on a turnip, which is hilarious and shows that the roots of Conservatism have always been dangerous. But the one I was most impressed with was Charondas, a Greek lawyer who issued a law making it illegal and punishable by death to bring weapons to the assembly, and then one day turned up to the assembly forgetting his knife was in his belt so upheld his law by committing suicide. Imagine that level of accountability. Nowadays we have Matt fucking Hancock just refusing 30 times to admit he might have had a drink after 10pm when if he had any courage, he’d be fining himself £10,000 on the spot and then committing suicide. No, I know that’s not what the law is here. I’m just being mean. That’s this week’s PARPOLBROHOTPOLGOSSFACT, sort of. It was sort of three of them that I stole from Wikipedia. But if you enjoyed them then please do warn others that this show may be good for their health and is necessary in all tiers of restrictions, and if you didn’t enjoy it then why not try running around covered in cow pats till a dog eats you? Maybe, if you didn’t like this show, that’d be more your thing? Don’t forget to donate if you can to the ko-fi, patreon, or Acast supporter button, and leave a nice 5 star review on whichever podcast app you use, you know about how you did enjoy the show until the end of the podcast got weirdly threatening.


Merci beaucoup to Acast, my bruv The Last Skeptik, Kat Day, Scott Napier and Katie Coxall.


This will be back next week when Boris Johnson personally intervenes in the restrictions in Greater Manchester, inflicting both a Tier 4 that means people in the same household can’t talk to each other unless it’s in semaphore or Pictionary sketches, but also to try and appease the public, allows them what he calls ‘Happy Mondays’ where you can do what you like on that day of the week. None of it works and Greater Manchester becomes and independent state in January 2021.




This week’s show was sponsored by management consultancy. Have money? Not sure how to spend it? Hire some management consultants and they’ll take your money while occasionally saying ‘don’t do that’ or ‘have you tried using a bar chart?’ Your money will be gone in days and you won’t have felt a thing. Management consultancy, what do those words actually mean?


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