The Worst Is Over Apart From The Worst – Tier We Are Again, Sunak’s Spending Review and Peter Gumbel on his new book ‘Citizens Of Everywhere’

Released on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020.

The Worst Is Over Apart From The Worst – Tier We Are Again, Sunak’s Spending Review and Peter Gumbel on his new book ‘Citizens Of Everywhere’

The lockdown worked and reduced numbers! Hooray! So that’s enough of that, back to a regional system of variable quality as we can’t have COVID go completely now we’ve only just got used to it. Plus Rishi Sunak’s Spending Review which was about the sort of fairness where you’re keen to make sure everyone has an equally terrible time and there’s a chat with writer Peter Gumbel (@PeterGumbel) about his new book ‘Citizens Of Everywhere’.

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Further Reading

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The lockdown worked and reduced numbers! Hooray! So that’s enough of that, back to a regional system of variable quality as we can’t have COVID go completely now we’ve only just got used to it. Plus Rishi Sunak’s Spending Review which was about the sort of fairness where you’re keen to make sure everyone has an equally terrible time and there’s a chat with writer Peter Gumbel (@PeterGumbel) about his new book ‘Citizens Of Everywhere’.

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

All the usual ParPolBro stuff:





Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast because when we’re all forced into tiers, you may as well laugh through them. I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week as Conservative MPs have demanded more evidence for the COVID tier system. Oh, I see, NOW they want evidence for something.


The worst is over, according to Prime Minister and haha they put a pig in a burlap sack dress Boris Johnson, though chances are high he was just quoted as he left the toilet. Data shows that Coronavirus infections have fallen by a third thanks to the lockdown so it’s great news that we’re ending that this week in order to give the virus another chance because not even germs want to be made redundant before Christmas. Judging by the history of when Johnson has assured us things were fixed, or done, or will be over by Christmas, there is every chance that ‘the worst is over’ means there’ll be a Third Wave in the New Year, though like the experiment of the same name, this one will have us all accepting the virus as our new leader without question. God knows it has more conviction and drive than our current one. Its so hard to believe it when phrases like that are uttered by people like Johnson, or indeed the Health Secretary and frightened butterbean Matt Hancock who said in the daily briefing on Monday that the virus is now back under control. He can barely control the security settings on an app, how can Hancock control the virus? Wasn’t Brexit about taking back control and they can’t even agree on how fish work? Hancock announcing that the virus is under control just fills the mind with images of him shouting ‘don’t worry I got this’ as he’s engulfed by a giant shark after he failed in his plan to pay someone in a completely landlocked country to find shark repellent.


The new COVID tier restrictions kick in this week and you might want to know what tier your area is in? According to the official online postcode checker last week, I’m in Tier 404, which does sounds extreme and I blame the man down the road who refuses to wear a mask to Sainsburys. But it turned out it was just the website acting in accordance with the government, crashing and failing within minutes of starting a job. Luckily, there was an easy way to tell. Do you live south of Birmingham? Then chances are you can life your best anti-social life, but any North of that and especially if your mayor has pissed the government right off, then they are keen to let you know that by levelling up, they just meant it’s Tier 3 for the rest of your life. This might seem at odds with the narrative many in the cabinet have been pushing about investing in the North, but actually by making sure people there can’t do anything for even longer, more of them will survive the COVID wars than down south, so long term maybe it is a power hand over. There are exceptions to this though, with Liverpool being the star of the week in Tier 2, apparently due to hard work, which I’m sure the government will reward by making many of them unemployed. Kent is in Tier 3, including Tunbridge Wells which has some of the lowest infection rates in the country. Having been there though, a lot of people in Tunbridge Wells do deserve to be kept indoors. ‘Your tier is not your destiny’ Johnson told the country, ‘every area has the means of escape’, suggesting that the data will show he’s made all this up based on an escape room he did on a stag do once.


There are around 70 Conservative MPs who aren’t that keen on the new rules, including the turtle kid from Robin Hood Steve Baker, and have demanded data and analysis justifying the restrictions before MPs vote on them on Tuesday, an attitude it’d have been nice for him to have when he stalled the Brexit impact report back in 2017. I bet Steve Baker was the sort of kid who’d demand you show him yours while he popped an extra pair of pants on and accused you of being a pervert for asking him to show you his. I’m only joking, no one ever wanted to see Steve’s. The big question was would the backbenchers be able to see the evidence if it was shown to them or would it blur and be instantly replaced in their minds by their own preferences? More importantly if Johnson presented the evidence, would it still be evidence or just something he’s drawn on a beer mat in crayon? And would he understand it himself or just try to eat it? The report was released and appeared to suggest the way tiers were evaluated were the ones they’d previously mentioned with R rate, NHS risk and if they thought the mayor was annoying. Ok not the last one. But it didn’t say what the economic impact could be, and that it will affect mental health. The Covid Recovery Group lead by Baker have said it is rather less substantial than they’d have hoped for, so based on Baker’s record they’ll hurriedly vote it through and hope no one asks questions. Sorry I mean by the time you hear this they might have voted against it. Luckily her majesty’s opposition Labour plan to thwart the government by voting for everything they’re proposing so it’ll definitely pass and that’ll show them or something. The Prime Minister has warned of a new year’s lockdown if regional restrictions don’t work, so hopefully his team doing everything they can to not change anything at all will definitely work this time.

Ok that’s not true, they have changed some things. For example, alcohol in Tier 2 and 3, can only be served if part of a substantial meal which I think means you can still have a pint of Guinness just by itself. The Environment Secretary and angry stupid neighbour in a sitcom George Eustice insisted on the radio that a scotch egg is probably a substantial meal if brought to you by table service, which must be because the sheer embarrassment of having waiting staff bring you a single sausage ovum would really cut down your appetite.


On the same interview rounds, Eustice told the BBC that the Prime Minister was working very hard to reassure everyone that he doesn’t want restrictions in place for any longer than is necessary, which we know isn’t true as a) he’s never worked hard at anything and b) if that was true then the lifting of restrictions over Christmas would be stricter than basically allowing everyone to go out and lick each other for Jesus. From the 23rd of December till the 27th, three households can form a Christmas Bubble which will no doubt be like a snow globe but if you shake it, COVID particles create a scene. Shops are going to be allowed to stay open for 24 hours to give people more time to catch COVID if they have to work during the day and don’t want to miss out on Christmas shopping being even less enjoyable than it usually is. Though I suppose at least you’d always leave with something. SAGE has recommended some tips for a safer Christmas day that include celebrating outdoors, which you can do by telling children the final advent calendar door is the big one at the front of your home and then open it up on Christmas Day and shove them out of it. They suggest no touching, no games or rowdy singing which should mean your uncle will have no reason to come over anyway. Playing quizzes over-board games is also recommended, perhaps because we’ve all seen the damage a heated drive to win at monopoly can have during a pandemic. Chief Medical Officer and Stewie Griffin in the future Chris Whitty said that he’d not encourage anyone to kiss and hug their elderly relative ‘If you want them to survive being hugged again.’ So, there’s some incentive for anyone waiting on inheritance. I see you Prince Charles, I see you.


The Prime Minister tweeted a letter to him from a boy aged 8 called Monti, asking if Santa can deliver presents this year, no doubt the second letter tucked behind the one asking his dad if he’ll come home for Christmas or if he’s spending it with one of his other 15 families. Johnson wrote back saying he’d put a call into the North Pole, presumably to warn Father Christmas that if he tried to cross via the channel he’d be sent back to France. The Prime Minister told Monti that leaving hand sanitiser by the cookies is a good idea and let’s face it, if St Nick drinks that it should kill off most things. Still, it’s a nice thing for Johnson to do and I’m sure just by watching the government’s policies in action, Monti will see that many, many people will still be getting the sack this winter. In Wales they’ve just announced a ban on alcohol sales entirely and pubs to close from 6pm, which I think means daytime drinking at home is now the law. Let’s be fair, that is the Christmas rule anyway but it’s nice to have it in writing.


I suppose you could consider that the government are banking all their hopes on a workable vaccine popping up in time to curb the festive fever spreading, but if that’s the case, why appoint definitive stupid henchmen Nadhim Zawahi as the vaccine rollout minister? Did Johnson misread the job title as rollover? Zawahi is best known for using taxpayer’s money to heat his private riding school, an abuse of the idea that Tories are for a stable economy. Only recently when insisting children didn’t need free school meals in the holidays, Zawahi said kids in poverty needed activities more than food, because if they’re well fed it just hinders their ability to chimney sweep doesn’t it? On appointment to the role, Nadhim Zawahi said it would be a big responsibility and a big operational challenge but on the plus side he’ll be so busy I’m guessing he won’t need to eat for weeks. If Zawahi somehow manages to rollout the vaccine and not just deliver it to the National Honour Society in America, then how to get people to take it when so many are sceptical about injecting themselves with something that they are unsure of? No, sadly it doesn’t work by ingestion or you could make it a horrible colour and pop it in an alcopop bottle and everyone in Britain would want it every 5 minutes in happy hour. Apparently, the big NHS plan is to enlist celebrities to drive take up. I trust the vaccine but if I see one advert with the man who in 30 years everyone will say ‘oh god yes I guess we should’ve known, it was very obvious all along’ David Walliams saying the doctor gave him up one his bum and then the vaccine and he feels great, then I will pray to all the gods I don’t believe in that there are horrific side effects.


Speaking of people the media insist you have to like even though you’re only pleased they are on telly as it means you know where they are and its nowhere near you, the Chancellor and Smitty from Dumbo Rishi Sunak announced his spending review last week, which he said would deliver on the priorities of the British people. I do wonder why its constantly top of our list to insist everything gets worse. The economy is set to be the worst in 300 years, which does fit nicely with us also having a plague, a sort of war with Europe and an Australian immigration system. We are one politician throwing their piss out of the window onto the streets away from this being less of a series of policies and more a large-scale historical enactment. It’s likely finances won’t return to pre-crisis levels till 2022, but its unsure if Sunak meant the coronavirus or the 1720 South Sea Bubble crisis. The big announcements were an increase in government spending on tackling coronavirus by £55bn more on public services next year, so it’s nice to know one of their friends will get a big contract to not meet councils and just send them bits of broken equipment they found in a skip. Sunak said the private sector has suffered wage compression so for fairness the public sector is having a pay freeze. What kind of fairness is that? Someone lost at the coconut shy so for fairness we’ll rig it so no one else can win? For real fairness the private sector should have their wages frozen for 8 years to balance out austerity and the public sector get given loads of contracts for things they’ll ruin for tons of cash. Sunak should just hand over Amazon deliveries to librarians who can actually inform you about the book you’ve bought and BP can be taken over by sewage maintenance because they’re used to dealing with pipes and hazardous shit. The living wage which used to be the minimum wage but then the government decided you could live off a single Scotch Egg, has been increased to still not enough to be a living wage. But then what is a living wage if it’s not forcing you to constantly living in the moment thanks to lack of security for the future? And the overseas aid budget has been cut from 0.7% of GDP to just 0.5%, which does still help the world’s poorest as even more of them will now be disassociated from the UK and have an instant reputation upgrade as a result. Sunak said the country should be judged not by the money we spend, but the causes we advance. So, I guess everyone should know us as the place that sells Saudi Arabia weapons to bomb children in Yemen with. The Festival of Brexit is being given £29m in funding so it can showcase the best of British art, culture and tech, which by 2022 when it happens will just be one person needing two jobs in order to sustain a third in the arts. This spending review, Sunak said, will see the individual, the family and the community become stronger, because breaking rocks as part of a chain gang will really work our muscles. Brexit wasn’t even mentioned once, even though in less than 5 weeks it’ll definitely be a thing that will definitely affect the economy. Did Sunak forget? Or does he think you deal with a bear market like you do an actual bear and just stay very quiet and hope it goes away when it realises there’s no food except a scotch egg? The Chancellor will personally be fine whatever happens, thanks to his wife’s financial interests worth millions of pounds that he’s failed to declare under ministerial interests. Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty has got more money than the Queen, but still hasn’t got her face on any of it so that’s got to hurt. I wonder if she’s just trying to get enough that they give in and pop her on a fiver. The government ethics watchdog is being urged to investigate if this omittance from his registered interests is a breach of ministerial code by Sunak so we can expect them not to do that and the Prime Minister to say Sunak’s wife is only rich unintentionally.


In other news, the Foreign Secretary and Siri show me what it’d be like if Pixar animated a dildo Dominic Raab said that the UK is in the last leg of Brexit negotiations, though its not clear if he meant it’s at the end of the race or we’re about to fall over after exhausting everything we had left. This however should be the last week of talks as long as the areas of fishing and competition are resolved, the two areas only intertwined because the UK government insists on being slippery when it comes to a level playing field.


Scotland’s first minister and extra from a 1980’s advert for gas heating Nicola Sturgeon addressed the SNP conference saying that people should use the Covid crisis as a catalyst for change, though I’m sure mutations in the virus are a big part of the problem. What she meant though was Scottish independence, saying that the case for it is even stronger than before which I agree but mainly because the idea of Home Secretary and hangnail but made human Priti Patel suddenly not being able to travel to Scotland due to border control makes me very happy. The First Minister also announced a one-off thank you payment of £500 to all NHS and adult social care staff, which is just ridiculous as there’s no way that’s as useful as some clapping on a Thursday night. Sure you can buy stuff but as if that’ll be as rewarding as dealing with the man who burned himself setting off fireworks to show off to neighbours how much he loves the NHS before shouting racisy abuse at you for stopping him bleeding to death? Come on Nicola. Scotland has become the first nation in the world to make period products free for those who need them, abolishing period poverty which has been made worse by coronavirus. The scheme won’t be means tested and local councils will absorb the outgoings regardless of how heavy they are which seems appropriate.


Across the pond, tiny eyed snow cone Joe Biden has won the US election again after current President and world’s biggest friction blister Donald Trump’s vote recounts showed Biden winning by even more in Wisconsin. It cost Trump $3m just find out he’s an even bigger loser, which is amazing and by that failure there’s every chance the British government will hire him to provide PPE or find a ferry firm any day now. Trump has admitted the US presidency transition to Biden has to begin, and Biden has named his senior staff, though to him they’re actually all juniors. He has appointed a large number of women in top roles, which is a proper progressive change for the White House where the last four years many of the only women there were to sign NDAs. Biden injured himself on Sunday by twisting his ankle by playing with his dog. But that is what you voted for America, so you have to deal with it. You could have kept Trump who only ever twisted the truth constantly and looked dogged. But hey that’s the bed you’ve made for yourselves and it’s your choice if you don’t want a man who would have paid someone to piss in it.


And lastly Culture Secretary and extra from Postman Pat Oliver Dowden, has criticised the Netflix drama the Crown by saying it should carry a warning to let viewers know that its portrayal of the royal family isn’t entirely factual. Yes Oliver, that is how drama works. Olivia Coleman isn’t actually the Queen, even though her face is in easily as many places. If he’s that worried about inaccurate content then maybe he should write to the Prime Minister and demand that before every single speech he does, there’s a disclaimer to make it clear its largely fiction.





Hey pod warriors. How are you? It is very misty where I am today, and it was very hard not to walk my daughter to nursery entirely on tip toes like a Victorian criminal. Or Jacob Rees Mogg. I should’ve worn a cloak and top hat. I hope you are coping with your tier settings. I am in Tier 2 aka the lack of ideas tier, where it’s like someone’s put a small warning sign a few meters in front of a big hole and decided that’ll be enough to make sure no one falls in it. If you are in Tier 3, my sympathies but hey at least you don’t have to see anyone before Christmas and come on that is a win right? I’m delighted in the lack of plans I have, and my family have all decided not to do presents this year because, well, money, so I don’t have to stress about any present buying which is a joy. Honestly, I think this could catch on. You know a Christmas that’s actually relaxing for once. Who am I kidding? It’ll still include my daughter, sorry agent, trying to pull down the tree, and her current favourite thing is to take all her clothes off and sit on the radiator when it’s on, shouting ‘hot bum’ a lot. Which is very funny but also makes me even more pleased we can’t have visitors. Also I say I’m delighted but it is hard to be actually excited about even more staying in and watching telly. At least we’ll have a tree so I can pretend we’re outside when we’re not. Are you planning to see people at Christmas? Mine parents are likely now immune after getting COVID a few weeks ago, so we can go see them and we’re trying to work out a way to see the in-laws if none of us breathe all day or we all stand in the rain or something. But actually outside. Not just inside with a tree. We probably won’t do that. Tricky isn’t it all of this and I still haven’t worked out how we explain to my daughter, sorry agent, that Father Christmas will have to leave presents at the door and then stand at least 2 meters back when we collect them at 3 in the morning. I think that’s how it’ll work. I have no idea if reindeer are contagious but the red nose suggests it’s a common cold rather than COVID so Rudolph is probably fine.


Thank you lot once again for being here and this week thank you to Tea for donating to the acast supporter page, Ros for upping their patreon donation and Christine for the ko-fi donation. If you have loose change, because I don’t know you have immensely baggy pockets or use a windsock for a purse, then please do fling me enough for a fancy festive coffee that I probably won’t go into a shop to buy at the Acast supporter button on the app, the page or join the Obvs if you can’t do that then please just give the show a lovely 5 star review on your podcast apps and tell others this exists even if they wish it didn’t. Other things this week, I have a weeked of actual gigs coming up assuming they are allowed to happen. I’m at Watford Palace theatre on Dec 12th doing a kids gig in the afternoon and hosting the normal comedy club at night, then the next day I’m doing a kids show at Walthamstow Trades Hall at 11am with the brilliant Howard Read. I’ll pop links in the podcast blurb and you can book a ticket and no doubt get the money straight back as everything shuts down again in a week. Only other thing to say is after this week, I’m planning to do just two more podcasts this year before taking several weeks off, but that will depend on if a Brexit deal appears or you know, general awfulness, in which case I’ll do a short pod to cover that. I’ve no idea if there’ll be a guest for next week’s either because people don’t like replying to emails anymore. We’ll see what happens. Apologies if it’s just me but maybe I’ll put a voice on for some of it to cheer you up.


On this week’s show I am speaking to journalist and writer Peter Gumbal about his new book ‘Citizens of Everywhere’ ruminations on a post-Brexit world. It is, as I’ll explain later, a tad ropey soundwise in places. Please don’t write in and tell me. I already know. If you feel a real need to complain, maybe just yell something out of your window or write something in pen on an item you really treasure and then put it in the bin and feel sad about it. There’s also a teeny look at Sunak’s spending review where the sound is fine but you can write in and complain about it because the Spending Review was awful.




Do you remember back in 2016 when former Prime Minister who had the demeanour of a stalactite who had just realised they were in the wrong check in queue Theresa May, said at the Conservative conference that if you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. She didn’t mean the small community of Nowhere in Oklahoma, as that would’ve been quite nice despite there only being a handful of things to do there, and a high chance you’d be bored in a day or two. What May pretended that statement meant, was a targeting of international companies that avoid tax, but had you been of the canine species, you’d have heard the whistle that said what it actually meant before her policies went on to show the country. From Brexit, to Windrush to this week Priti Patel making agreements with France to stop people who are escaping war from coming to the UK where it seems they’ll be even less welcome. Thing is, as has been pointed out by historians, sociologist, I mean well, anyone who’s not a big racist, immigration has been a vital part of making Britain what it is, from the Huguenots, and of course the better off Hugues, ahem, in the 17th century who introduced fan work without which people couldn’t have written their own stories about Doctor Who, and paper making without which we wouldn’t have all those newspapers today that would no doubt have incited hate towards the Huguenots. More recently there was the aforementioned Windrush generation who came from all over the commonwealth to fill the post-war labour shortage and helped staff the NHS among many other institutions. They were given an instant right to live in the UK, until Theresa May’s government realised how useful they were in building Britain, and that people like that just showed her cabinet up. I’ve never really understood borders or nationalism myself, which used to get my school-work horribly marked down. But having been lucky enough to travel a fair bit, there is nothing more magical than travelling somewhere so far away and seeing for yourself that they’re exactly the same rubbish but lovely human types you are but often with better food. As well as usually a realisation that they have trains that actually run-on time, are a lot more welcoming and the weather’s much nicer and yet for some reason I still come home at the end. I’m a big fan of the overview effect that astronauts get when they look back at the Earth for the first time from space and see how clear it is that we’re all one planet. Borders can’t be seen from space, and neither can people not indicating properly or wearing red trousers, and so the astronauts often return to earth with a new love and understanding for their home. Sadly, it costs a lot of money to send everyone to space, even though I think lots deserve it, and so instead in 2020 we are in a world where many countries, including Brexit embracing, asylum seeker hating Britain where I almost suspect we’re keeping COVID going just so no one can arrive or leave ever again.


This week I spoke to acclaimed journalist and writer Peter Gumbal who earlier this month released his insightful and thoughtful short book ‘Citizens of Everywhere’, looking at the history of his Jewish grandparents fleeing Germany in the late 30’s and being welcomed to England, only for years later him to be receiving German citizenship to escape the constraints of Brexit. Peter spent many years writing for the Wall Street Journal, which led to him working all over the world. His book is the touching human story that has been sorely missed from much of the Brexit debate over the last 4 years, of just how being able to escape persecution and be welcomed elsewhere can be the reason a family line survives and thrives. I had a lovely afternoon reading it last week and it was great to chat to Peter from his home in Paris all about the book, but also his thoughts on why its so hard to sell the idea of immigration when it’s clearly a very good thing. Quick heads up, the sound is variable in this one. I’ve run it through several clever, but ultimately free programs and I think its ok, but there are moments where Peter sounds less clear than other times. Turns out Parisian wifi isn’t that great which is bonkers considering all the bars you get in that city. Hope you enjoy, here is Peter:




We’ll be back with Peter in a minute but first…





It was the spending review last week, which meant Rishi Sunak got to have lots of promotional photos of him pretending to be all everyday person just like you and me, even though in them he was wearing a shirt and tie under the hoodie he’d clearly been told to put on, while he sat in his massive, massive office. I’m fairly certain his entire understanding of how normal folks are is based on pictures suggested in the Instagram search function and absolutely nothing else. I’d almost bet money on his next set of pics being him doing a yoga pose or something he’s cooked before dressing up a cute dog to announce a series of budget cuts that’ll be really rough. Anyway, I don’t need to tell you that last week’s spending review was another awkward 25 minutes of Sunak appearing like that sixth former that thinks the best way to get friends is to pay for their lunch and then maybe they won’t find excuses to leave. What I do need to tell you. I mean I don’t need to, but I have to fill this bit with something right? I mean what I do need to tell you is that I’ve just had a really good mince pie but that’s not very helpful is it? I just needed you to know. What I will tell you is the few things to know about what Sunak done said.


First up is growth, which is more the opposite of growth. Shrinking that’s it. The economy is doing a full-on Benjamin Button and we’re nearly in the being jammed back up its own hole stage. Things weren’t this fucked since everyone was wearing wigs and stockings. I mean the 1700’s, not the last episode of Rupaul’s Drag Race. This is mostly because thanks to ol’ COVID there hasn’t really been an economy this year and there’s not really anything anyone’s been able to do about that despite Rishi’s attempts for people to nosh off and cause more coughs or whatever it was. The Chancellor said it’ll be the end of 2022 before the economy is back to where it was earlier this year, where it was already slowing, as though just waiting to die, we just didn’t know what of at that time and expected it was Brexit. But oh no, surprise a pandemic won by an uncovered nose. There have been warnings that basically things will be shit until at least 2025 and that’s not including Brexit stuff because well, Sunak didn’t include any of that. Though the Bank of England also didn’t explicitly mention it in their predictions earlier in the month either and have just said that a no deal would cost even more than COVID, so I guess they’re waiting to see exactly which historical time we can send the economy back to next.


This is why there’s also been cray cray levels of borrowing, which are the highest in peacetime if you don’t count the war we’re having against this virus amIright? Ah no sorry, it’s not a war is it if we put everyone on the front line with no defence and then invite it when it arrives. Anyway, borrowing is going to be high for ages, and what that probably means is we’ll be blamed for it, told we’ve used up our credit card limits again and then everyone will have to pay it back because it’s our fault that a pangolin had a shit day back in Jan. Speaking of which, that’s why public sector pay is paused, with the exception of nurses who’s pay was already shit enough to make clapping seem patronising, and doctors. Instead to ensure fairness between the public and private sectors, all other public sector workers have to lose money, which they can’t then spend on private sector things which will then mean they take another hit, which Sunak will then punish public sector workers on, which will then mean they spend even less money on private sector goods and so on and so on till the only person in all of the UK with cash is Rishi Sunak’s wife and she buys everything and puts it in a museum like the Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy. National living wage is increasing to £8.91 for over 21s. Which according to the living wage foundation is still under a wage people could live on. The minimum for the whole country should be £9.50 or £10.85 for London because that will buy you maybe one beer. But to bring it up to that Rishi Sunak would be allowing people to live and that would not be fair on everyone who has died. Overall unemployment is predicted to rise to 7.5% which is absolutely loads, but Sunak has promised job creation for 50,000 new nurses and in public sector work up North, so even more people can go from earning nothing to having to leave the house to not earn enough to live.


Meanwhile legacy benefits which are claimed by around 2 million people, many of whom are sick or with disabilities, they are only being raised by 37p a week next April, which is a rise of 0.5% and not enough for anyone to do anything with apart from take it out in coins and flick them at the Chancellor’s face. In comparison, Universal Credit has risen by £20 a week and the state pension went up by 2.5%. Why do people who are sick get so little in comparison? Why isn’t Sunak lowering the wages of everyone who’s not sick or on benefits for fairness? Oh actually, I suppose in way with public sector pay freezes he is. Ok I shouldn’t give him any ideas. Fact is, its shitty. So that’s 2 million people ignored, plus the 3 million excluded from all covid support still. Imagine having 5m people think you’re a dick and you haven’t even released an awful song or done a dance about racism on the telly?


Despite all that departmental spending is going up by 3.8%, which is why this isn’t a return to austerity because austerity punished people and government departments, but this time it’s only people. So that’s nice. The government plan to match EU regional development funding post Brexit and they are increasing the schools budget and health budget. That’s on top of the £55bn coronavirus support, some of which is also going to those areas. That’s a good thing but then as we’ve seen this year, that could just be that all that money is going to a friend of Sunak’s who’s never seen a school or healthcare before and spends all the cash on some fish and someone called Heath. Then there’s the overseas budget cut which has peed off a lot of Conservative MPs as well as the other parties, but this won’t go through without a vote so there’s a chance Sunak will have to backtrack. He says it’ll go back to 0.7% when the fiscal situation allows, so I’m guessing the plan is for around 2040. Still it does fit our current status of global Britain which isn’t about us having a bigger place in the world but just our entire world being here because we can’t afford to go anywhere else.


Lastly there is the supposed ‘levelling up’ fund where there will be £100bn total investment in infrastructure by next year, with a £4bn fund for any local area to bid on for nice local projects you know for local people. Thing is, with so many cuts to local government in the last 10 years, £4bn of funding won’t go very far in many places. Plus, there is always the high chance that the only places that get it will be wherever Robert Jenrick has a pal who he can award it to. An infrastructure bank that the Chancellor said will be in place by next Spring also sounds good, but it’ll need to focus on and properly invest in new technology and net zero projects, whereas it’s hard not to assume it’ll just be a place for Richard Desmond to get coffee while he gets discounts on building flammable cupboards for people to squeeze into.


So that was it. It’s not austerity as austerity means everything is screwed, but with this a lot of things are screwed until 2025 unless you have more money than the Queen. But its ok, because the Chancellor understands, and he’ll prove it to you by doing a dancing challenge while applying make-up and lip syncing to Toploader, while posting the words levelling up 600 times in flashing letters, as you try to work out if a 37p top up is enough data to write all the worst swear words in the comments underneath because if it is, that’s totally worth it.


And now back to Peter…




Thank you lots to Peter for that. His book is called ‘Citizens of Everywhere’ and is more of an essay, or short read, so very much a good way to spend an afternoon. It’s published by Haus Publishing and you can get it at bookshops of various moralities. Peter is on Twitter @petergumbel, his website is and he has also written a number of books about the French education system, as well as many, many articles as a journalist for many publications. Big thank you to Asha at Haus Publishing for arranging our chat.


Who next to get on this show? What other things shall I ask someone about? Let me know @parpolbro on Twitter, the Partly Political Broadcast facebook group, the contact page at or email me at Or you could put Nadhim Zawahi in charge of getting the message to me, meaning it’ll likely never, ever see the light of day and I won’t even be aware it existed. 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 it’s time for the PARPOLBROHOTPOLGOSSFACT! With Oliver Dowden not understanding how television drama works, which TV show has caused the most upset with MPs? It’s probably one of my fave comedy shows ever, Brasseye by Chris Morris, which caused massive outrage with the Paedoggedden episode, receiving the most complaints of a TV show at the time. Then Minister for Child Protection and always oh no she was left too near a radiator Beverly Hughes said it was ‘unspeakably sick’. Even though, you know, she said that. So definitely speakably sick at the least. What’s odd about that is Hughes was upset by a comedy show about the media coverage of paedophilia, but at the same time very happy to serve in a cabinet with real life Goomba Margaret Hodge who, as a councillor, enabled paedophile rings in Islington to happen for years by denying it was happening, saying the children were liars and refusing any police help. But what about those comedy shows eh? Awful things and that’s why comedians should always be judged more harshly than the people that run the country or something. That’s this week’s PARPOLBROHOTPOLGOSSFACT! If you enjoy this show or are very happy to put up with it and you have nothing better to do, then please do tell everyone you’ve ever known to like, subscribe, listen, repeat every word but in a sinister voice and maybe scrawl it repeatedly on the walls where you live and when you’re found I’ll deny all knowledge of telling you do such things and everyone will think you’re obsessed and I’ll get a detaining order made. Sorry, I mean, please spread the word, review the show on your fave podcast apps if you can and if you so fancy, chuck a quid or two at the ko-fi, Patreon or Acast supporters pages.


Huge thanks to Acast, my brother The Last Skeptik, Kat Day and Katie Coxall.


This will be back next week when Boris Johnson announces every constituency that voted against the new restrictions will be in Tier 3 till he stops being miffed at them, before other MPs criticise him for childish behaviour and he Tier 3’s them too, leaving everyone in his constituency of Uxbridge to hold up the entire economy by themselves which puts too much pressure on the Hillingdon sports and leisure complex and they have to close due to undue stress.




This week’s show was sponsored by Rishi’s IG Filter Pack. Are you worried you look too normal in all your profile pictures? Do you wish people saw you and assumed you have the sort of money that means you can’t operate in normal situations? Rishi’s filters will take your normal pictures and change your expression so it looks like you’ve had to shake a poor person’s hand and you can’t stop feeling ill. Having a cup of tea? Rishi’s T style will superimpose a fancy reusable cup that costs more than most people’s homes. Want to show everyone just how much you like pubs? Using these filters anything that looks like a pub will be removed and replaced with your fully kitted out home bar where you’ve poured a pint of what looks like rabies froth because usually your butler does that. Rishi’s Filters, to tell everyone you’re just like them if their wives earned more than the Queen.


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