Both Sides – Lockdown Easing, Indian Variant, Israel/Palestine and Darren McGarvey on class warfare

Released on Tuesday, May 18th, 2021.

Both Sides – Lockdown Easing, Indian Variant, Israel/Palestine and Darren McGarvey on class warfare

I don’t know why I do new episodes of this podcast when I could just get bits of old episodes and copy and paste them each week. Yet again there’s a new COVID variant that is only in the UK because Johnson is an idiot, yet again Israel is bombing Gaza, yet again Michael Fabricant has been one of the worst examples of humanity. All of this stuff yet again, plus a chat with Darren McGarvey aka Loki The Scottish Rapper (@lokiscottishrap) about class, Scottish politics and more.






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I don’t know why I do new episodes of this podcast when I could just get bits of old episodes and copy and paste them each week. Yet again there’s a new COVID variant that is only in the UK because Johnson is an idiot, yet again Israel is bombing Gaza, yet again Michael Fabricant has been one of the worst examples of humanity. All of this stuff yet again, plus a chat with Darren McGarvey aka Loki The Scottish Rapper (@lokiscottishrap) about class, Scottish politics and more.

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

All the usual ParPolBro stuff:









Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that eschews bothsidesism, preferring backsidesisms and commentary that is strictly one dimensional. I’m Tiernan Douieb and as lockdown is eased across Britain, the Prime Minister and political jetsam Boris Johnson warns the Indian variant of the coronavirus could cause serious disruption, scientists are concerned that it’ll be given a position in the cabinet or as a special advisor to the PM before the end of the week.


Is it even worth me doing this podcast anymore when what I could do is copy and paste bits of old episodes and the only giveaway would be the occasional glimpse of hope in my voice which might make you concerned that I was either heavily medicated or had become vehemently right wing and had tons to look forward to? I mean stop me if you’ve heard this before, but also don’t as you’ll pause this week’s podcast mere seconds in, but once again a new variant of the coronavirus, who likes to reinvent itself more often than Lady Gaga on a good week, is having a jolly across the country completely disregarding any advice on not travelling. Once again, the reason this variant is in the country is because India, the country it supposedly mutated in, wasn’t put on the red travel list until far too late because the Prime Minister had some trade deals he fancied trying to do first, seemingly unaware again that the main import that would arrive would be super popular despite no one actually wanting it. Once again, the government insisted that India didn’t need to be put on the red travel list at the same time as adjacent countries Bangladesh and Pakistan, as it wasn’t of concern despite the Indian variant being called the Indian variant and mainly affecting India and not say, being called the Bangladeshi variant, the Pakistani variant or the hey one day I’d like to visit India as it’s on my list but I’ve got to save up first variant. No.10 have defended not banning travel to or from India sooner, saying that the UK has some of the toughest border measures. Which is true, except only for people not germs, and it seems the Home Office feel the virus has more value in the country than someone coming over to work in the NHS. Home Secretary Priti Patel, who only books hotels that can provide an iron maiden, probably sees the particles as more beneficial than ministers in her department as they’ll work to reduce the population for free and at all hours of the day.


Don’t be worried though, because the vaccines should handle this current COVID upgrade according to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, a man whose mirrors in his home have to contain a picture of someone else in-case he catches sight of his face and cringes so hard he gets rigor mortis, as he has confidence that they will. Brilliant. Nothing more reassuring than the confidence of a man who’d happily have palmed off a multi-million-pound contract for medical equipment to any Tory donor that told him they’d once seen Doctors on daytime TV so were fully qualified. To add to the ever-growing list of people who shouldn’t have been given COVID contracts and definitely were, is now former MP and 90’s American sitcom supporting character in a hall of mirrors Brooks Newmark, most famously known for resigning after sending dick pics to an undercover journalist in 2014, so I suppose it makes sense to give him a PPE contract as he knows the dangers of exposing yourself. Newmark had set up a firm with the owner of a dog food company and Hancock personally intervened in the awarding of £180m to them to broker deals for protective equipment during the pandemic likely because they showed him a bit of paper with pedigree on it and he thought that was enough. Hancock says it was perfectly reasonable for him to send an email when the country needed equipment, which it might have been but it sort of depends what was in the email and if the best person to be contacting online is someone whose history suggests he still mostly uses flash player. Contradictorily, because I don’t think there’s any other way the Health Secretary can function, he also insisted there was never a national shortage of PPE in the first place, which would then make any contracts for PPE completely pointless. Or does he just mean he had a ton spare in his garage and was waiting for the right family member or sex pest chum to distribute it for him first?


Hancock has confidence the vaccine will take down the new variant, but that is has also doubled in cases in the last week in all age groups, which sounds like it’s totally under control. Boris Johnson has urged for a dose of heavy caution, something that’s he’s been regularly prescribed for himself but obviously always spat it out or swapped the tablets for mints. Once again, he’s asking that everyone play their part, which is galling from the Prime Minister who reportedly as a teenager didn’t bother to learn his lines when in an Eton school production of Richard II and appears to have continued in the same vein ever since. Much like both times last year, Johnson appears to be making it up as he goes along, and while you can hug people in restaurants from today, drink pints without catching pneumonia and use your phone in the cinema again it is your fault if you catch COVID while doing any of that. It’s definitely taking back control and restoration of freedom as promised, but like how if you were forcefully thrown into a pit with a T-Rex, you wouldn’t feel that empowered if your captors shouted down that its totally up to you if you stay quiet or not. Luckily the government say they are fully committed to learning the lessons at every stage of the pandemic, but the problem is their concept of education means it will only be after a huge cost and an assumption they don’t have to pay attention as their dad’s got a peerage. There will be an independent public enquiry into the handling of the pandemic, but not until 2022 and it will no doubt be chaired by someone who’s only independent because they lost their job as an MP after trying to bum a beefeater or saying that the only way to stop a virus is by wiping out anyone with less than two surnames. Johnson told MPs that the enquiry would place the state’s actions under a microscope because maybe if he says something to do with science now people will think he’s been following it all along? I’m sure in the coming months the Prime Minister will keep insisting that an inquiry will put the past year in a petri dish for examination or will dissect it piece by piece before then accidentally saying it’ll provide a conclusion to the past year’s genetics experiment, then refuse to apologise and the Conservatives will go up in the polls by 10 points.


Once again Israel carries out airstrikes on Gaza and the world’s politicians unite to tell both sides to show restraint. Israel clearly must show restraint from peace otherwise they won’t need to buy any more weapons from the US or UK, and Palestinians need to restrain from dying straight away so all the weapons can be used more than once, that would be great. We have to remember that absolutely both sides are responsible for this conflict as if it wasn’t for the Palestinians existing, the Israeli government wouldn’t have to occupy their land and drop bombs on them so really it is their fault too. Hamas are firing homemade rockets at Israel too, which the state-of-the-art Iron Dome defence system is mostly dealing with and in response Gaza has been hit by endless airstrikes from warplanes bought from the US and UK but everyone has the right to defend themselves except the side you don’t like most or something. To pretend this is an equal battle between two sides is naïve, when the strength of Israel’s attack is as disproportionate as if I keyed your car because I was angry that you wouldn’t let me have any water and you retaliated by killing everyone I’ve ever known and blowing up several hospitals on the way.


192 Palestinians have died since last week, including 58 children and 10 Israeli citizens including 2 kids, and all of that is just horrific as there’s never any valid excuse to kill children, even when they are being really annoying. Israeli forces demolished a press building that was the HQ of Associated Press Gaza and Al-Jazeera, claiming that Hamas were hiding behind it, despite not providing any evidence. Which if that is the excuse that stops it being classed as a war crime then where do the Palestinians go from there? Can’t Hamas hide behind anything? Trees? Large rocks? People with big hats? Paintings with eyes cut out? Israeli Prime Minister and bizarro Mel Brooks Benjamin Netanyahu is currently on trial for multiple corruption charges and had just lost the mandate to form a government after an election in early May saw his party win not enough seats for a majority. The opposition parties were about to form a coalition and unseat him but oh no, now there’s all this violence so it’d inappropriate to do that right now. Still, I’m sure there’s a good and valid reason to bomb schools and it’s just too complex for us to understand and you’re not thinking about all the history and context. Netanyahu has warned that there is no clear end in sight, which could be referring to the attacks on Gaza or just his time as Prime Minister as I guess you can’t have another election if you know, he’s unable to stop ordering airstrikes. What’s he to do right? We all know that lives are cheaper than prison bail fees so you have to be economical. Netanyahu says they are acting now for as long as necessary to restore calm, because nothing brings calm like lots of bombs.


The United Nations Security council have met to discuss the violence but failed to even agree on a joint message of concern but did manage to cough out that both sides must cease fighting, which is a tricky ask as I’m not sure that’s what either considers it as with Palestinians largely aiming for surviving and Israeli forces seemingly just going for target practice. US President and enoki mushroom Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Andrew Blinkin who has the appearance of someone playing themselves on Saturday Night Live have rolled out the same old ‘Israel has the right to defend itself’ chat, while saying that terrorists are targeting Israelis and Israel is merely targeting terrorists, you know, of all ages. There have been big protests around the world, including in Tel Aviv for the Israeli government to stop the airstrikes but like with every time before unless there is international intervention, it’ll once again depressingly be up to just when Netanyahu thinks he can keep his job as enough people have died ‘on both sides’.


Back in the UK, the Queen’s Speech once again included lots of things the government say they’ll do but probably won’t while completely ignoring the social care bill as it includes two words the Conservatives are too embarrassed to admit they don’t understand. Instead, her Maj sat on a gold throne and read out words scrawled on goat carcass, just like you do in a modern democracy, and announced that the government will be getting rid of the 5 year fixed term parliament meaning the Prime Minister can call a snap election anytime he likes, so called because he’ll choose the best moments to benefit his party and further break the country. There will be a skills revolution, which sounds a lot like a TIE group who embarrass students by trying to rap about job prospects but is actually just another way to make sure young people work for free, and a bill ensuring free speech on university campuses, something that is extremely important right now with students, lecturers or visiting guests not having been able to say anything at universities for the past year on account of them being fucking closed. Universities Minister Michelle Donelan who has all the awareness of a bag of potatoes confirmed that the free speech bill would indeed protect Holocaust deniers if they were denied a platform speaking at universities, as long, as she said, they didn’t stray into racism. I suppose this is because the government much prefers racism to be done on purpose with intent. The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism includes Holocaust denial, so now universities will have the difficult choice of breaking that code and being accused of racism or denying some tinfoil hatted bigot a platform and then getting sued for blocking free speech. Potentially there’s some get around here whereby a university could book a Holocaust denier to speak but only inside an anechoic chamber where no sound can escape and therefore winning the day. Housing Minister and eyes poked into a kumquat Robert Jenrick told MPs that there has been a deeply disturbing rise in anti-Semitism in recent years, after a video surfaced of a convey of cars driving round near my way in North London shouting really vile violent abuse at Jewish people. They were luckily apprehended by police though I was surprised all the potholes round here didn’t stop them first. Jenrick warned that the virus of anti-Semitism always masks itself as social justice, so he’ll be super livid when he hears its being used by the Department of Education to promote free speech in universities.


The Conservatives relationship to racism continues to be so close that its surprising Matt Hancock hasn’t yet given it a contract to supply PPE. Just this weekend MP and cyst growing on the underside of a Pekinese dog Michael Fabricant referred on Twitter to Muslim pro-Palestine protesters as primitives, which is rich coming from a man whose entire outlook was outdated by the time the dinosaurs died. The Conservative Party have refused to comment on this, maybe because that would also mean they’d have to confirm Michael Fabricant is real and not a hallucinatory nightmare that they were hoping they could ignore, and it would eventually go away. Or perhaps it’s because racism for Tories only counts if someone else does it?


Take Unite union official and mouse Howard Beckett for example. He tweeted that Home Secretary Priti Patel should be deported and the outrage that occurred caused the Labour party to suspend him and figures across the right to condemn him, before he himself also apologised. It’s tricky because I can see how it might be interpreted as problematic, not least because deporting Patel would mean inflicting her authoritarian nature on another country which simply wouldn’t be fair, and it’d be far more effective sending the entire cabinet deep into space. But Beckett’s tweet came after the brilliant community of Pollokshields in Glasgow stood up to immigration officers attempting a dawn raid to detain two Indian men during Eid Mubarak, with local residents lying down in front of the van and hundreds surrounding it until the men were let go. According to Priti Patel though, these people were a mob which isn’t true as they were all just people standing up for other people, whereas the Home Office are bundling people into vans never to be seen again which seems far more like mafia behaviour to me. Still Beckett’s comment was silly as it allowed everyone to distract from the reality of policies that have seen people detained again and again simply for arriving in the country and pushed into squalid barracks with no running water, and instead say ‘oh look over there, a man’s done a tweet that I can read with the worst intentions. So, he must be the real evil here!’ In reality, we all know that if Priti Patel didn’t know who she was, she’d have tried to deport herself by now. While she’s not been criticising people for showing humanity, Patel has been getting accused of lobbying for a healthcare firm trying to get one of them government contracts Matt Hancock’s friends keep boasting about. The company, run by a friend of the Home Secretary, received a contract for £103m to supply face masks, and if it does come out that Patel sorted it out as a favour to her pal, that will be her third breach of the ministerial code. Well rules are there to be broken right? Apart from the ones around visiting the UK and if you have a form that’s incorrectly filled in, then you’re going to a detention centre, then stuck on a plane straight back home, even if it isn’t your home, without any support or provisions. LOLZ.


Once again speaking of rich people getting away with shit, the Prime Minister was let off an outstanding £535 county court debt from October last year, probably because he wouldn’t have been able to afford it without a Tory donor stepping in to help. It’s shame the court didn’t send bailiffs round though as they could’ve recouped the costs with just a corner ripped off of the gold wallpaper in the number 10 flat. County Court Judgements for the rest of us plebs, can be used for banks and loan companies to decide whether you are reliable enough to lend money to, which must be why the Prime Minister only borrows cash from his friends. Former Prime Minister and sunken arse cake David Cameron reported to two select committees this week about his lobbying failures, and rather than defend his actions just sort of made himself seem an even worse human being if that was possible when the only thing stopping him from being Britain’s worst ever Prime Minister is everyone knowing Johnson still has time in office left. Cameron said that the now collapsed Greensill paid him far more than he got as Prime Minister, which seems weird that they saw what he did at number 10 and thought it was worth spending extra cash so he could cause their downfall too. Maybe it was their version of economical Dignitas? Cameron insisted he wasn’t motivated by money though, when he sent 56 texts to government ministers, but was doing it in the national interest. Really? I don’t think in the midst of a pandemic as the numerous public services still hadn’t recovered from ten years of austerity, the public was thinking, well I hope Davey Cameron can get a new big shed after all this so he can social distance from his other one. If anything, any situation that leads to us having to see his slapped puffball face back on our screens is the last thing anyone wanted.


Once again, another former Prime Minister Tony Blair, a man whose default face is Bilbo Baggins getting to see the ring again, has intervened in the Labour being a mess by saying that the whole party needs total deconstruction and reconstruction to win. Ah yep. That totally worked for Iraq didn’t it Tone? I’m guessing he’s hoping it can be bombed and the US go in and take all the valuable bits. Labour leader and Motorola DynaTAC 8000X Keir Starmer has decided that what the party really needs is a whole new manifesto and economic offer not based on any previous manifestos or clearly the ten pledges he got elected to be leader on. If it’s not based on any previous manifestos, all of which were about providing an alternative political view to the Conservatives, what will it contain? 12 pages of wingdings and a wordsearch for you to find your own meaning to it? One that contains page after page of lots of words like change that ultimately mean nothing in a sentence? Or perhaps it will be a truly transformational and modern manifesto and not be a manifesto at all but one of those annoying fucking motorised scooters or a non-fungible token.


Once again, skin wrapped around a fart Lord David Frost wrote an article telling the EU to stop point scoring and rethink the rules around the Northern Ireland protocol, the protocol that he and the British government designed and said he would sue them for sticking to the rules that he came up with. We can of course assume from this that he’s either an idiot, a liar or has an identical twin that spends their days pretending to be him and putting things in place that will thwart his intentions. The European Commission responding to Frost’s piece like you might an angry child by reminding him this is what they all agreed on and I’m guessing that if that doesn’t work, they’ll have to ply him with ice cream until he forgets about it. Culture Secretary and extra in Postman Pat Oliver Dowden said Northerners must be included in prominent positions on cultural boards to erode the, and I quote, woke values held by a liberal London elite, by which he means he’s upset that some museums are pointing out their artifacts are the results of slavery and colonisation and you know, talking about their history as opposed to being proper British museums and saying ‘yeah those mugs wouldn’t have looked after this gold tomb so we took it before they could ruin it.’ Dowden says he wants a grandparent from Hartlepool or Harwich to feel as represented in their decisions as a millennial in Islington, so I think that means he won’t be listening to them either.


And once again, the DUP has elected an out of touch, homophobic, creationist as their new leader. The hilariously named Edwin Poots, a man constantly in the incorrect aspect ration, said he wants his party to be healing and fit for purpose, but obviously not, you know, evolve.


Global politics there, with more repeats than a Christmas TV schedule. Roll on a new series with less predictable storylines and characters that don’t do things that real people wouldn’t be stupid enough to do.




Honestly, writing this week’s without repeating a single gag from previous shows was very hard. I probably have repeated some stuff as I absolutely can’t remember or be bothered to search though all the scripts for the past 231 episodes, but if politicians can repeat the same phrases as they make the same horrendous fuck ups for the seven billionth time then I think I’m allowed to retell a gag or twelve. Obvs there was some Gaza chat in there because I like to turn off at least half my listeners every episode. It’s amazing how inflammatory the subject is when so many of our stories and folklore and general rhetoric is all about sticking up for the little dude, like David and Goliath or, er, Scott Pilgrim. But when it comes to the Israeli government, and yes, I’m being very clear that’s who I’m criticising, not every Jewish person who ever existed otherwise my Nan would get upset with me and I don’t think she’s remotely responsible for what’s happening in Gaza not least because she supports Palestinians but also because she’s been stuck in her flat for over a year now due to COVID and wouldn’t be able to do much by phone as her hearing is terrible. But yeah, when it comes to the Israeli government, our narrative is the opposite. Its harrowing and upsetting and I’ve seen all the shit excuses online. Oh, but Hamas are terrorists, yep sure and they don’t seem like nice dudes but are you saying the British government should have levelled all of Northern Ireland when the IRA attacked? Actually, MPs like Jonny Mercer would probably have voted for that. Oh, but I haven’t seen you tweet support for the Uighar who are being oppressed in China. Well then that’s your fault for not looking at every single tweet everyone does not mine for not sending each one individually to you as I do it like an alert system so you can check my morals are coherent. Of course if you don’t condemn absolutely every human rights violation in the world in one tweet then you support all the ones you’re not mentioning. That’s definitely the case right? That’s always a cover for someone who doesn’t care about the oppression of anyone trying to make themselves feel better for a psychopathic lack of empathy by pretending you too couldn’t give a shit and potentially keep body parts in your freezer. No, it’s just you buddy. Just you. Oh well why aren’t you condemning Hamas specifically when saying anti-Semitism is bad? Yeah of course, if you don’t specifically mention how shitty Hamas, who are terrorists, are in every single thing you say about Israel then clearly you’re best buds with them and have the pin badge and membership card. Fucks’ sake. It’s all just very useful shouty argument takedowns that make the whole thing so tedious to take about.


I’m just saying that really, what the general consensus should be, as human beings, is for people to stop killing people and when Israel are killing 20x the amount of people in Gaza than rockets have killed Israeli citizens, which is obviously also shit and horrible, then it does fall to them to kill people much less right? It’s also weird that its now the general consensus to either condemn both sides or apologise for supporting Palestinians, as though that definitely means you hate Israeli citizens in that tribal way that all politics has gone. No, of course not. I hate everyone equally so the only way I won’t to care about any of them is through some sort of peaceful solution and then they’d never be on the news and it’d be fine. Sorry, that was quite a rant for the rambley bit but there’s not much else going on in my life apart from battles with my agent, who refused to have a bath the other night because she said it was too watery in there. Yes, it is. I don’t really have the mental capacity to argue with that. Someone online said I should’ve told her that once she was in it, it’d be less watery and more toddlery, so I will try that next time. Last night she had a tantrum because we wouldn’t let her visit her imaginary friend’s house that doesn’t exist. I wish someone would have warned me that a large chunk of parenting is tackling problems that have no solutions. It’s that sort of shit that makes looking at the situation in Gaza seen easy in comparison I tell you.


Right thanks tons this week to Tony and Joe for the ko-fi donations. If you fancy fuelling this show, or well, my life now that the new variant is clearly going to ramp up the day before my first live gig back if you were wondering about the timeline. Then you can chuck us a quid at, join the where I do absolutely zero extra stuff because I’m too busy trying to get a 3 year old to have a bath or at the Acast supporter page. Alternatively, as you might have heard at the top of the show, the kind lot at British Boxers have now given me a 15% off code to flaunt at you all should you fancy buying pants from them, and then I’ll get a wee bit too which is nice. Use the code PARPOLBRO15 at to get that.


The other advert this week was for Nowtflix which is a non-profit video on demand service being set up by comics in the North East, such as the very funny Lee Kyle. He is part of a comedy community who are running their own gigs for the benefit of acts that really need it after the past year, and the local area too. As far as I understand, Nowtflix is going to be a streaming service but also a membership scheme giving money off gigs and other stuff. Basically, it sounds brilliant and the beginnings of a proper community interest comedy group which feels long overdue. So, give that a go at They aren’t even sponsoring this podcast, I’m just giving them a shout as they’re all good funny people.


Oh, and lastly I forgot to give Barry a shout out for helping me get last week’s guest, James Montague. He also leant me James’s book, The Billonaire Club and seems to think I’ll actually send it back once I’ve finished it, which is hilarious. Thanks Barry!


On this week’s show I’ve got a guest I’ve been wanting to chat to for ages, the brilliant Darren McGarvey aka Loki the Scottish Rapper. If you haven’t seen his Class Wars show, its still on iplayer, so get on that. Plus a bit in the middle about Israel/Palestine just incase any of you are still clinging on and listening by then.



Class Warfare might sound like a graphic novel set in a highly competitive school for assassins, but in actuality its what’s been happening in Britain for well, ever. Everything from your education, job and even when you’re likely to croak it still weighs heavily on your financial and societal circumstances. And if you’re in a school for assassins it can really, really lower your life expectancy. Sorry, wrong class warfare again. Over here in Blighty, we have one of the largest inequality gaps in the Western world, between the richest and the poorest in society, with many in work still unable to afford basic living costs while those at the very top earn millions just for knowing Matt Hancock. Though to be fair, that probably does take quite the toll on mental and physical wellbeing. Part of the problem with the class system here, aside from the fact it exists in the first place, is the way in which those at the very top of it get to dictate just how its discussed. Which is largely, not properly at all, not least because there are very few working-class people in Westminster, or in the media, and that’s why currently there is this stupid discourse about appealing to working people and not the metropolitan liberal elite, who to be fair aren’t working people because youth unemployment is also at a high. According to people like Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, what working class people really want rather than, you know, affordable housing, jobs that pay properly, quality of life, is making sure statues are protected, flags are really big and being used as political pawns in a game the Conservatives are exploiting someone on minimum wage to play for them while they go and shoot grouse and launder money. So much of the past 40 years of politics has been dictated by what the main parties say working class people need without ever actually asking them as that would mean mixing with them and talking to them and they couldn’t imagine anything worse. But until inequality and class are discussed in deeper ways than thinking anyone who drinks coffee and uses a laptop is automatically an oligarch who controls all the museums and how everyone in North East England only eats chips and obvs spends their days shouting at the sea in-case of invaders, then little is going to change. And let’s face it, that assassin school is probably only for wealthy kids who can afford the fee and due to lack of equipment, everyone else in state schools would have to bring their own sharpened pencils if they want to duel with anyone.


This week I spoke to Darren McGarvey, aka Loki The Scottish rapper. If you don’t know Darren, well then, we can’t be friends as you clearly don’t want or read good things. Starting out as a rapper who quickly became known for his albums exploring themes of identity, class and nationalism, he also made waves with his book ‘Poverty Safari’ 2018. His writing gave a voice to people from deprived communities all over Britain and the book won the Orwell Prize that year for being, as the judges said ‘exactly the sort of book that George Orwell would have wanted to win.’ Since then, Darren has hosted two TV series for the BBC, Darren McGarvey’s Scotland looking at poverty and inequality and then earlier this year Class Wars, a brilliant and at times very up-front investigation into how social class shapes our lives and identities. I have been wanting to get Darren on the show for a while and was chuffed when he agreed to let me ask him questions about class, but also Scottish politics right now as well as all the shit south of the border too. Hope you enjoy, here is Darren:





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





Israel Palestine…no wait come back. It’s only going to be brief and rather than go over all the stuff that’s been talked about on this podcast before with guests from everything from the history of it all, the annexation of land that Trump allowed, anti-Semitism and how to talk about the state of Israel without being a massive racist and more. That’s all been done on this here podcast and you can go back through the archives for that and also hear all my massively outdated jokes from when times were shit but less shit. Ah nostalgia. So, I just thought for this week’s show, I would list a few things that are useful to know about the current horribly violent situation in Gaza, and I shall make it as balanced as is possible when one of the weighing scales has $20bn of arms on it. That’s weapons, not limbs, I should say as I don’t know how much one human arm costs and I hope to never have to buy one no matter how bad the comedy scene gets.




The past week of horrific fuckery started when Israeli authorities started to evict Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah, a mostly Palestinian neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, and then teargassed a ton of worshippers at the Al-Asqa mosque. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad responded by firing 1500 rockets towards Israel, killing six civilians and injuring 70. Israel then responded with airstrikes in Gaza, killing nearly 200. Obviously, this all started way before last week, or last year, or last decade, or last century. But that’s just this bit and while all of this is arguable, if we just take it from this bit, you still can’t actually take it from this bit. How long have you got? Ok sit down and get comfy. This bit, just this bit this past week, actually started with evictions in East Jerusalem which Israel occupied in 1967 after the Arab-Israeli war which is a whole other bit that lead to that bit, in a move that the UN condemned and still says is illegal. Israel don’t though and neither did former US President and you should really get that seen to, yes all of it Donald Trump. Yes, that classic arbiter of right and wrong. Ever since then Israel has expanded its annexation of the area and Jews born in the area are Israeli citizens but Palestinians are only given conditional residency permits like tenants in a state wide rented accommodations, and live there under part limited self-rule and part Israeli military rule. Hence why Human Rights Watch have officially referred to it as an apartheid state. Back in Jan last year, Trump announced an Israeli-Palestine Peace plan which allowed Israel to incorporate all the settlements in the West Bank which sounded super peaceful for one side and less so for the other. Despite denials from the Israeli government, it seemed like the Israeli state was going to annex any Palestinian properties in the area, which the UN warned would cause huge destabilisation and probably lots of violence and shit, not exact words, and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu dropped the idea for, er, diplomatic reasons in order to open discussions with the United Arab Emirates about a normalisation of relations, as that would increase the standing of Israel with other middle eastern countries and the UAE who basically helped kill lots of people in Yemen in a massive humanitarian crisis. And then Netanyahu said actually the annexing was just suspended for a year but then some evictions of Palestinians from their lifelong homes have been happening since anyway.


While this is happening, Israel was pretty battered by coronavirus before the vaccination program worked, and the economy is still screwed from it. There’s been military battles with Iran and they had their fourth election in two years due to a whole heap of mess about not approving state budgets in time, oh and Netanyahu being on trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases allegedly involving doing favours for gifts or positive news coverage in a way that the Conservatives would be proud of. Tons of citizens protested calling for him to resign but well, he hasn’t and then the election happened and Netanyahu’s party, Likud, still got the majority of seats because what kind of idiots vote for a corrupt party? Oh wait, oh yep sorry, ignore me. They gained 30 seats but 61 is needed for a majority in the Knesset, and so the opposition parties all planned to coalite together to form a new government instead and end the run of the longest serving leader. And then oh shit, violence and the plans for a new coalition seemed to have fallen through, with one of the more right-wing opposition parties talking with Benny about joining with his crew instead. If no one gets it together by June 2nd, the whole thing falls through and the country has to have a 5th election. Yeah, you thought Brexit was stressful.


Meanwhile the Palestinian Legislative Election was meant to take place on April 29th, after lengthy discussions between Hamas who currently hold the majority of seats on the council, and Fatah who’s leader and sad bear Mahmoud Abbas is President. After tons of not getting on, and so much political and violent to and fro that I’m not even going to begin with here, the April date was to allow Palestinian citizens in East Jerusalem a vote to in order to create national unity among Palestinians, and potentially open up conversations with the UN, EU and Israel about a two-state solution but then it got postponed as it wasn’t clear Israel would allow citizens in East Jerusalem to vote and that fucked everything up and would only allow around 6300 citizens to vote rather than the 150,000 who are eligible and now no one knows when they would happen even though all the polls showed Fatah would gain a majority again over Hamas which would have really calmed shit down.


Got it? Good. Now next bit to know is depressingly weapons. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have some of them, though no one knows how many or where they are, and Israeli military won’t share their estimates. But they’ve got mostly ground to ground missiles, that are being made somewhere in the Gaza strip and some experts say Iran has assisted with this but again no one knows for sure. Of the 1500 fired in the last week, about 90% have been destroyed by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system, and some have also fallen short of their target and hit Palestinian areas too. The Palestinians have no real scope for any sort of military strategy as they can’t go anywhere and the last time Israel planned a ground operation to stifle missile fire, 2251 Palestinians, more than half of them civilians, were killed and 67 Israeli soldiers and 6 civilians died which is just bleak AF. On the other side, Israel’s defence budget is over $20bn, more than 5% of their GDP and 14th biggest buyers of weapons in the world. Where do they buy em from? Well, you guessed it, British and mostly American companies. BAE systems over here, Lockheed Martin and Boeing across the pond. Israel buys a lot of combat aircraft, F-35’s, F-15s and F16s which are all planes that shoot and bomb things like you know buildings where the press were or buildings that families live in, they are not the keys at the top of your keyboard though I understand some shortcuts they can do are very worthwhile. The US provides $3.8bn or 20% of Israel’s aid budget and nearly three fifths of US foreign military financing, followed by $1.3bn and $350m to Israel’s neighbours Egypt and Jordan as part of US’s pledge to defend Israel at whatever cost. Israel is required to spend most of that aid money on military equipment from US companies, but the US is not to sell weapons to other middle eastern countries, that are more sophisticated than the ones they sell Israel. The US also funds and improves the Iron Dome defence system, and in fact the US supplies Israel with so many weapons that Israel exports most of them and is now the eight largest arms exporter in the world. That’s weapons. Not people’s arms. We’ve been through this. Israel reportedly has the most powerful military in the Middle East and in the US, the entire Republican party and most of the Democrats back the Jewish state so it’s unlikely to stop regardless of what happens in Gaza. Which is probably really going to limit the possibilities of any two-state solution if the big States aren’t that keen to intervene.


Oh and also, just for context, apartheid is a system of institutionalised segregation and war crimes are violations of the laws of war that give rise to individual criminal responsibility which include intentionally killing civilians, destroying civilian property, and violating the principles of proportionality and military necessity. Just incase you needed to know.


So, there you go, there’s a lot of jigsaw pieces to the puzzle that show it’s not really a puzzle at all, just a lot of money trumping any consideration for human life. A Palestinian Legislative Election may help things, Netanyahu being kicked out of office, or better being arrested for corruption would help things more, America and the UK and Europe too, deciding human lives are better than arms sales would be really useful but that’s really unlikely to happen. So, the best hope is international pressure from people, from elected officials and anyone who thinks what is happening is disproportionate and upsetting. Write to your MPs, support protests and campaigns and a few of those that I’ve shouted them out on here before but check out Medical Aid for Palestine at and donate if you can, there are also groups like Jewish Voice For Peace at and on Twitter @omdimbeyachad the Standing Together campaign, or which is a movement in Israel for peace and social justice and has been organising protests in Tel Aviv against the Israeli government.




And now back to Darren…




How good was that? I was so pleased Darren was up for being on the show. You can of course find his recent TV documentary Class Wars on the iPlayer and it’s such a brilliant watch, I couldn’t recommend it enough. Darren’s book Poverty Safari is very available everywhere and despite being released 3 years ago is still so depressingly relevant and so well written. And you can find Darren himself at @lokiscottishrap on Twitter, lokithescottishrapper on Instagram and his website is where you can find links to his music, writing and everything else he does too.


If you have someone, something, somewhere, out there, if love can see us through…sorry, got carried away. But if there’s an issue I haven’t talked to someone about on this here show, or need to cover again, drop me a line, or a squiggle, or even, which would be better, squiggles that make letter shapes and work together as words, to @parpolbro on Twitter, the Partly Political Broadcast group on Facebook, the contact page at or email me at Or you could just pass it on by hugging but with things as they are, its probably just best to email isn’t it?




And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Always leave them wanting less, that’s what I say. This the big plan you see, just to make each episode of this show more and more unappealing until there’s only a handful of you listeners left and I spend each episode individually insulting all of you until the number is 0. Then I can finally stop doing this podcast, ignore the news forever and just write comedy about ‘oh isn’t bread so bread-like, what’s that all about?’ The dream. The real dream. Of course, I joke. I’m pleased you’re here and as far as I’m concerned there’s too much bread-based comedy in the world already. So why not make sure I have to keep doing this show and ruining my Mondays by encouraging others to indulge in some pod to ear action and having a listen and maybe even a subscribe? You could also review the show on podcast apps with a sweet 5 stars and some nice words, so that I feel guilty that were I to stop I would immediately make your life worse and perhaps even donate some hard cash, or soft if you like to, or via the Acast supporter button so this all feels like a job and I have less of a choice about it unless I fire my boss, which would make living with myself pretty awkward.


Big thank yoooous to Acast, my brother The Last Skeptik, Kat Day and the late, great Katie Coxall.


This will be back next week when Matt Hancock announces that the new variant is absolutely of no concern while it eats him mid-interview.




This week’s show was sponsored by both sides.


Email Tiernan