Just the gags this week. A guest-less mini episode looking at the 7 hours of Dominic Cummings saying what we’ve all known for a year, Boris Johnson not having a clue about anything and getting married, again. And of course Matt bloody Hancock who is so bad at his job he’s even failing to resign. Normal episode service will resume next week.
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Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that has been saying the Cabinet is terrifyingly shit from way before it was cool. I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week as Health Secretary and terrified baked bean Matt Hancock said that he wakes up every morning and thinks ‘what can I do to save lives’, I know that’s not true, or he’d know to mostly stay in bed.
‘It’s completely crackers that Boris Johnson is in power. Lying Matt Hancock should have been fired 15 or 20 times. The government have failed.’ Not my words taken from all the times I’ve said much the same thing on many years of this podcast, as you can tell by the lack of swears and no comments before the mention of the Prime Minister’s name that he looked like a bag of broken custard cremes was dropkicked into a charity shop reject pile. No, they are the words of that’s why you never make stick men three dimensional Dominic Cummings, the former special advisor to Johnson and now it seems, the sidekick in a film who turns against their boss in the last instalment to try and save the day. I know you’re currently thinking of several films that I should have specifically referenced there, but believe me, I’ve tried and all the characters that I could come up with were either cool or had some redeeming qualities so aren’t all appropriate. This was instead a situation where a man who lies, told a select committee about the lies of a government who lies. It was almost like a riddle with the exception that nearly everything that Cummings divulged sounded about right because the government are so shit that even a man who wants to build a moon base and tests his eyesight by driving a large hunk of metal down a motorway with a child in the back, doesn’t want to be associated with them anymore.
The hearing which at 7 hours, took nearly as long as reading one of Cummings twitter threads, started with the former Spad saying that the government had fallen disastrously short of the standards the public has the right to expect of them in a crisis like this. I mean you say that, but pretty much anyone who didn’t vote Conservative expected exactly this. I honestly wish I’d made bets on it, and I’d nearly be rich enough to be offered a PPE contract and dictate government policy. Cummings said sorry to all the families of those who died unnecessarily and apologised for the mistakes that were made and his own mistakes. Yeah, how does that feel? A political figure apologising properly. Weird isn’t it. You’d at least have expected him to say ‘I’m sorry if you feel like someone you know died’ but no, it was an actual one which I don’t think has happened in British politics since former Labour leader and Ferb Fletcher tribute Ed Miliband every other week when his special advisors had convinced him the best way to look tuss enough was to apologise for existing at every given minute. He even apologised for not telling the truth about his lockdown journeys to Durham last year saying he wished he’d never heard of Barnard Castle. Though I’m not sure it’d make much difference if you knew the name of your destination if your route planner is driving without being able to see where you’re going. It was unsettling to hear an admittance of guilt and regret when we least expected it and I had to imagine that Cummings had all fingers crossed under the table as he said it rather than let it give me some glimpse of hope that any honest human empathy and morals had returned to a sector colder that would make Skynet seem cuddly.
From that point Cummings said that he raised the alarm about COVID at the end of Jan 2020 and pushed for a lockdown from March 11th or 12th 2020 to curb infection rates, instead of March 26th when it did happen, because that way he could’ve breached the regulations and got to Barnard Castle a good week or so earlier. He said government had nothing in place to tackle COVID with a senior official on March 13th revealing that they are in huge trouble and absolutely fucked, though it is hard to tell with this government if that was said with concern or pride. Cummings said the meeting with Johnson the next day was like a scene from Independence Day when the aliens arrive, which I can’t work out if he means it’s because the Prime Minister’s lurching lump slowly appeared through the guff cloud in his office, or because it was full of bad faith acting and misplaced patriotism. Apparently, the Prime Minister didn’t think Covid was a serious threat – yes I know, shocker right? – comparing it to chickenpox, which is further proof Johnson never spends more than 2 minutes with his children or he’d know that would still mean 5 days at home and no shaking hands as you’re too busy wearing mittens and trying not to scratch your face off. According to Cummings at one point Johnson even wanted everyone’s fave always about to cry 8-year-old boy Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty to inject him with covid live on TV and I have to say, I’m very sad that didn’t happen. I’d have watched that if it was on pay-per-view as long as they promised to keep him on screen to show all the symptoms too and what happens if you don’t get any treatment at all.
There was no plan for a helpline for those enquiring if they should shield, out of worries that it would be swamped with calls, which you know, would have been awful. This must also be why they didn’t want to have free school meals for kids during the holidays in-case those children ate them, and oh god probably why the NHS needs to be dismantled as it just encourages people to use it. It does explain a lot of Conservative mentality if they don’t like the idea of providing things people need or indeed as maybe that’s patronising to them, whereas having your last dying thought as the virus ravages your body be ‘oh maybe I should have been shielding all along, I’m glad I’ve learned my lesson’ is so much more wholesome and empowering. In another shocking bombshell that you never could have guessed a year after hearing anyone who had any iota of awareness at the time say it lots, was that there was no protective ring around the care sector, and that Hancock lied about that claim. Though to be fair to the Health Secretary he never specified if it was to keep the virus out or trap it inside care homes.
Cummings said that he told the Prime Minister repeatedly that Matt Hancock should have been fired for at least 15 to 20 things including lying and I would also hope that included those terrifying pictures of him attempting to do press ups, but it’s tricky because you could say that about any single member of the cabinet so maybe the Health Secretary was just trying to fit into the club? I mean no better way to impress the boss than by following his practices. It was ‘crackers’ Cummings said that Johnson is PM and that even he had a role in No.10, and I agree even though it’s very unfair to crackers which at least have taste and serve their purpose. It’s also a bit rich to complain about Johnson being PM when you’re the person that got him there. I mean all of this could have been fixed if he’d just told the Tories their campaign slogan in 2019 should have been ‘we shouldn’t be in power because we’re all liars’. Then they’d probably only have a 60 seat majority instead. There was a lot of misplaced comparisons, including Dom saying that everyone blaming everyone and saying it was their responsibility, was like the Spider-Man meme where Spider-Man is pointing at another Spider-Man. But it’s not because at least the real Spider-man has always understood that with great power comes great responsibility. If we thought the past year was bad, there is no government plan for solar flares or anthrax attacks but at least that gives us some hope that there is a chance this awful lot could be removed by a massive satellite crashing into Westminster.
What was disappointing apart from spending 7 hours of my life hearing lots of things I already knew like having to sit through a documentary after the overly long preview at the start tells you everything that happens in it – was the ministers Cummings didn’t mention or criticise. No comment on how shark bait Gavin Williamson doesn’t even seem to be aware what children are, he didn’t think horror reimagining of the looney toons bookworm Michael Gove was responsible for screwing up PPE procurement even though that’s exactly what he was responsible for. And he praised the Chancellor and smug talking sports bag Rishi Sunak rather than damn him for his regular insistences that the best way to tackle the virus would be for everyone to eat at Wagamamas, a chain restaurant where the seating arrangements make you sit next to people you’ve never met before. But apart from it being very obvious who his friends and perhaps future employers are, none of Cummings’ revelations were revelations. We know thousands of people died needlessly, and sadly somehow the Prime Minister survived. We already knew that the cabinet office were terrifyingly shit. And yet there is something reassuring when someone who was in amongst the shitstorm of it all affirms our beliefs that it was indeed a shitstorm. Though it is odd to say that knowing that we’ll likely all die in a solar flare caused anthrax hurricane scenario is reassuring, which yes, I know isn’t a thing, but now we know the level of governmental chaos would somehow make sure it was. What I mean is it’s just mean that it’s good to that actually all of things did and are happening and we aren’t the mad ones here, because so says the man who wants to build a moon base and drove his car to test his eyes with his own child in the back.
So surely now this is the moment the government collapses, Matt Hancock resigns, and the possibility of a coronavirus third wave is halted by actually coherent plans from those who’ve realised their mistakes? That wasn’t even a gag why are you laughing? No, you’re right of course not. I would say this government are Teflon but more people believe the non-stick pan makers to be more harmful to health than the Conservatives. The Health Secretary of course, rejected the criticisms and responded to Cummings comments in parliament by insisting that through the pandemic he had been straight with people, but he didn’t say which people so I’m guessing it was just when telling his friends how much money he could give them to refashion old bin bags. Hancock said he wakes up every morning and thinks what can I do to save lives and then no doubt uses that as the basis to do the exact opposite of whatever is needed. The Prime Minister backed him too and wouldn’t respond to questions about whether or not Hancock had lied to him about care homes because for Johnson, every other comment he makes is a lie and it must now be impossible to work out what the actual truth is anymore. If you looked at a dictionary under pseudologia fantastica there’d be a pic of the PM looking like he’d just fallen out of a tree. If you asked him about it of course he’d deny that it was him or that dictionaries even exist. Michael Gove responded to Cummings claims that the cabinet office was terrifyingly shit by saying, no they aren’t which is either yet another lie or he’s aware that shit has a higher level of consistency and stinks considerably less. Obviously, the press had to report about it, because it was all said by their only source. Even so, 5 days later the former special advisor to the Prime Minister saying that Johnson shouldn’t be anywhere near power isn’t even front page news anymore. It’s been again forgotten amongst the never-ending list of fucking awful things that the government have been allowed to survive through. The report into how the Conservative party handles discrimination allegations was released last week and said that there’s no evidence of institutional racism in the government but comments like Johnson made about women in burkas give the impression of insensitivity. Yes, because it was insensitive. That’s like saying Michael Caine does the best Michael Caine impression. Plus I’m not sure how any report can be deemed a win when its review on whether the party have failed to tackle Islamaphobia was headed up by someone who’s made Islamaphobic comments in the past and fails to recognise Islamaphobic comments, and insists that the government are keen impressionists too which as we all know, are the worst kind of people. After they were let off that, the Prime Minister’s adviser on standards and proof that you should wear sun-cream Lord Geidt cleared his boss of misconduct in getting the No.10 flat refurbished. Instead, he said Johnson wasn’t aware a donor had paid for some of the decorating work and should have been more vigorous in finding out who it was. So, the headlines should be ‘our Prime Minister is such a clueless fucking idiot that he doesn’t even know things have to be paid for’ and the opposition should be endlessly damning his career as a political Windy Miller. The register of Minister’s interests was released 5 months later than it was due to, on the Friday night before Bank Holiday weekend so that no one had time to go through and see things like Gavin Williamson is a patron for the World Owl Trust, which is odd for someone who rarely gives a hoot about anything. The delay in the report means that the details over how the No.10 flat was paid for and when, aren’t included as they are no longer current, which is convenient. Instead it only includes current interests of ministers, or so it says but I can’t see any section on there where it says ‘self-preservation’.
Instead of worrying about any of that, everyone is gawping at pictures of the Prime Minister marrying his ideal Fiona Carrie Symonds, in a secret wedding at Westminster Abbey. It had to be in secret obviously because it would have really ruined the day to have a church full of people laughing whenever they made promises in their vows. Catholics have questions why the Abbey allowed Johnson to marry there when he has been married twice before and the faith doesn’t recognise divorces, but the Church responded by saying that his first two weren’t Catholic weddings, so it classed them as invalid. Yet again it seems the Conservatives are all for erasing history when it suits. Still the Catholic Church are champions at gaslighting and pretending awful things that occurred didn’t, so it was clearly a perfect location for the love turds. Carrie wore a floral headpiece as if to pretend that she’s in some way a child of the earth as opposed to being part of a couple that regularly soil the country. Johnson wore exactly the same suit and tie as he wears for every other occasion he openly lies about commitment. Still considering they were engaged in Feb 2020, it was nice that like the rest of the country they postponed their wedding for a more appropriate time. Like just after a 7 hour hearing that says Johnson let 150,000 die unnecessarily.
So, Cummings hearing with MPs doesn’t matter, in party racism doesn’t matter, failing to declare donations doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that far right authoritarian prime minister of Hungary and toad kaiju Viktor Orban visited No.10 Downing Street on Friday where he defended calling migrants ‘invaders’. No.10 said Johnson brought Orban’s Islamaphobia, as well as his homophobia and links to Russia probably only to see how they compared to his own though. It’s always a good place to start a conversation with common ground. It doesn’t matter that people in places with high infection rates were told not to leave their area by a post on a website that no one knew about and then the government retracted that advice two days later, because its only your own fault if you catch Covid after failing to conduct a full-length investigative treasure hunt to find the advice first. Next time it’ll be printed on a business card nailed to tree in the black forest for 3 minutes on a Wednesday and frankly if you miss it, you deserve everything you get. It doesn’t matter that lead scientists are already asking for the roadmap out of restrictions to be pushed back by two months as it’s looking like we’re in the early stages of a third wave because you know, all good things and that.
None of it matters because no one, not the opposition, not the press, is making it stick. In opinion polls that came out after the hearing, the Conservatives had indeed gone up by 6 points, as though hearing that the cabinet are shit and liars just made English people go ‘great, someone who actually represents us properly.’ Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for that solar flare induced anthrax hurricane, eh?
Yooooo but also, er, that’s it for this week’s podcast. Yep it’s a mini one because well I had an interviewee and they dropped out very last minute, for super valid reasons I should say. And I didn’t really have time to get anyone else in so I thought, fuck it. Its sunny, its half term and around half of you don’t listen in a half term anyway, so maybe this week when there’s not that much to say you can just have the gags. Fair? You might be thinking ‘but there’s loads of stuff to talk about!’ There isn’t though. I mean everything old weird Dom said on Weds was stuff that’s been covered in this podcast over the past year anyway it was just that someone who was, to quote Hamilton the musical, in the room where it happens, said it out loud. So I mean you can go through pretty much everything he said and go yep that definitely happened, that very likely happened and then his bit about cutting off contacts with journalists was probably big horse poo. So there you go. Done. The rest can wait till next week when I also have my first actual live gig on the same night I’d usually record this show so no clue on whether this will be bad as I’ll have spent all the time on my material, or my material will be bad as I’ll have spent the day on this, or both will be bad as is expected. It’s at the Vauxhall Comedy Club, Monday June 7th at 7.30pm if you’d like to come and hosted by the brilliant and very funny Alex Haddow. I’ll be doing all new stuff and probably looking at notes trying to remember what words mean.
So yep, all else to say is thanks to Christine and Linda for donating to ko-fi.com/parpolbro, to Jennifer for joining the patreon.com/parpolbro and of course no one donated to the Acast supporter page because no one has time to find it.
This will be back to its full-length-self next week, promise. Until then I hope this morsel of shouting without actual intelligence from a guest to interrupt my noise was sufficient to carry you through the week. In the meantime, why not spend the extra few mins this episode has given you doing something wholesome like not pushing over a child, or not shouting rude words at a lollipop lady, or better yet, maybe just recommending this here show to people you know and like or even just tolerate, tell them to subscribe and tune in. Maybe should you like this show enough, wallop a donation over the to the Ko-Fi or Acast Supporter site, or even join the Patreon and maybe, possibly just give this show a 5 star review on the podcast apps that happen out there.
Big thanks to you to Acast, my brother the Last Skeptik and Kat Day.
This will be back next week when having now had another child and got married, Johnson realises he’s run out of suitable distractions from stories about him being a massive shitrag panics and announces he’s retiring before backtracking and saying he’s going to university.
This week’s show was sponsored by Cummings Crackers. They sound worse than they taste!