Mercifully Low

Released on Tuesday, October 26th, 2021.

Mercifully Low

A sort of Halloween episode but only because the general state of things is terrifying. No guest this week but many jokes about poo rivers, mercifully low deaths and Johnson wanting to feed people to animals. Plus a wee look at the upcoming Budget that everything has already been leaked to the press about so we thankfully don’t have to watch it.


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Music by The Last Skeptik (@thelastskeptik) – – Subscribe to his podcast Thanks For Trying here.



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Hello and welcome to the P-ARRGH-tly Political Boo-dcast…no sorry that’s enough of that. The Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that is excited about Halloween as it’ll make a real change from the last 19 months for everyone to be wearing masks and feeling a bit scared of things. I’m Fear-nan Boo-yeb, no sorry, sigh Tiernan Douieb and as the government say they aren’t ready to bring in Covid measures Plan B, this does make sense as they’ve still not managed to get round to trying Plan A yet.


What is the scariest Halloween costume for 2021? I’m going for exhausted unhealthy middle-aged man yet again as it still terrifies me every time I look in the mirror. But for everyone else, there’s really quite the choice. Perhaps you dress up as the government’s Covid measures plan B, as the mere mention of it sends members of the cabinet trembling. Nothing could be scarier than the prospect of having to enact policies and measures that once released into the atmosphere may save lives but only at the cost of screaming ‘you fucked up’ at the Conservatives as it does. Covid infection rates now mean it’s more popular than Squid Game, and in fact the Health Secretary and what if Mike Wazowski had another eye but no personality Sajid Javid held a press conference just to tell everyone how bad everything was and how they were going to do nothing about it. Actually, sorry, it’s not that bad as Javid said deaths were only over 100 a day, which he said on a day when they were over 200 but I guess he wasn’t wrong. Anything over 100 is technically still over 100, and he’ll no doubt be able to reassure us that it’s only over 100 if deaths reach the 400,000 a minute. It might scare many of you that he is Health Secretary but with maths abilities like that, imagine how horrified the financial sector was when he worked for them? These only over 100 – which I should say is still the equivalent of all the deaths in the 4 Scream films if you watched them all 2 and a half times. Yes, it is very weird that even with a new one coming out this Halloween, it now just looks like a film about someone being sensible and wearing a mask indoors – these 100 deaths are, according to Javid, mercifully low. Yes those were the words he used, and it is a relief right, that only over 100 people have been dying every single day from Covid, and by over 100 that could be anywhere between 101 and the entire population of the planet. I hope Javid is as open with his enthusiasm for the loss of human life in future tragic circumstances. ‘Luckily that terrorist incident only killed over 100 people, phew eh everyone?’ He’d say in his voice that always sounds like he’s fed his speech into a computer-generated voice program. ‘Imagine if they’d lived and remembered how shit we were? What a relief they’ve all died.’ Better than enacting plan B though right? I mean that’d be the worst. ‘There’s no plans to immediately move to Plan B’ said the Chancellor and not yeti Rishi Sunak, which means they’ll wait until it’s the last possible minute then do it at 3 minutes to midnight and letting some presenter on QVC announce it first in-between showing you how a blender doesn’t work. According to the one report that the government are following and refusing to look at any others, cases should fall in November even without Plan B, probably on account of everyone being dead by then, sorry mercifully dead and Covid having nothing left to infect. These reports also state that if they do drop that’ll only be because there’ll be a massive spike in Spring so it’s all a bit Final Destination in terms of the coronavirus knowing it’ll catch up with you down the road based on those films, we’ll all just get in even more elaborate and weird ways. I hope I catch it after an escaped hawk swoops into a private plane which careers into some scaffolding near where I’m walking and as it plummets the construction worker holding onto it coughs in my direction before splatting to the ground in a mercifully fortunate way.


The problem of course with a Plan B costume is that no one really knows what it looks like apart from maybe wearing a mask and working at home which by going to a Halloween party would indeed ruin that. Also, it wouldn’t scare anyone other than the government and if you have been invited to a party with them it’s probably best not to go as, well it’d be awful and you’d have to hang out with proper ghouls, but also, they still insist they don’t need masks. Which isn’t true as several of them should be always wearing them regardless of the pandemic, just to save our eyes from seeing how many of them resemble barely sentient porridge.  Leader of the House of Commons and MP for Silent Hill Jacob Rees Mogg said yet again that Tory MPs don’t need to wear masks in Parliament because they know each other. I suppose that’s a nice way of saying they all understand it’d be ineffective wearing coverings when they all have two faces. Chancellor Rishi Sunak also said he would wear a mask on the train but in the House of Commons, though the former is likely in-case a ruffian enters first class and there’s a chance he might catch poverty off them or something. Sunak doesn’t really need a mask as Covid is grateful to him for all the work he’s done for it with the eating out and the going back to work, and should he need to, he’ll probably just give it a tax break so it leaves him alone. That is definitely how viruses work by the way. I’m fine with Conservatives making their own choices about their own health. As reports come in that the Palace of Westminster needs billions for repairs or is in danger of fires and flooding, I just hope MPs are insistent they won’t need any extra protections and will still go into work regardless of the dangers.


Everyone else wants to see a Plan B, from scientists, doctors and even the Labour party. Well actually, Shadow Chancellor and Aunt Spiker Rachel Reeves said the government should do more to make Plan A work first, with the sort of baseless hope that a child might have as it pokes a dead bug with a stick and assumes it’ll wake up soon. So once again it’s just up to us to ‘Get Boosted’ as the Health Secretary says, like he’s a drug dealer from a 90’s film written by people who’d never taken drugs. Even though you can’t as it’s still not 6 months since many people’s last jabs and neither are appointments available. There isn’t a single government plan that doesn’t include some sort of confusing puzzle element where you have to work out how to get something that doesn’t exist. If you manage to not fuck up doing things you can’t do, Javid is expecting a normal Christmas though didn’t specify if that’s a new normal Christmas and therefore it’ll be exactly the same as last year but with less food.


Another costume that would strike fear into the hearts of well, again only really MPs, would be dressing up as their voting record. MP for Monmouth and the model for the creepy caretaker mask in every Scooby Doo episode David Davies accused someone on Twitter of hate speech for asking about the way he voted when it came to MPs deciding its fine for water companies to pump untreated sewage into the seas and rivers. Actually, as Health minister and Aardman creation Maria Caulfield made clear, that wasn’t what they voted for and it’s not fair to say so. What they actually voted for was to not do anything about water companies pumping untreated sewage into rivers and seas until September 2022, by which point I guess they won’t have to do anything about it anymore as those bodies of water will have been reclassified by then as large outdoor toilets. Maybe their incentive was to take back British waters, and by filling them with British poo no one else will want anything to do with them. You know in the same way they’re clearly trying to curb immigration by making the whole country so shit and unappealing no one will want to come. 17 popular beaches in Dorset, as well as Southend beach have all had to put out ‘Don’t swim’ warnings, which must’ve appealed to the Justice Secretary and early Michael Myers prototype Dominic Raab as he bloody loves it when a sea is closed. Conservatives MPs are obviously over the moon as shit filled seas mean any refugees desperate for some signs of humanity will be deterred by the smell before Border Control have time to murder them, no one will be going to the seaside during another lockdown, well unless their partner is self-isolating in their only toilet. And the Prime Minister and blob from the film The Blob Boris Johnson gets to emulate his hero Churchill as he announces to no one in particular that we will shite them on the beaches. No wonder David Davies considered it a hate crime to see his voting record, its horrifying and I can only assume he has nightmares about it most days. I kid, he seems like the sort of person who embraces and endless torrent of shit and attempts to pollute the stream. From the 7th January next year the UK is ceasing to recognise or allow the import of mineral water from the EU and European Economic Area in order to, and I kid you not, promote Britain’s clean, healthy and delicious natural mineral waters. Well they do say there are benefits to drinking your own urine don’t they? Though I’m not sure about everyone else’s.


Another popular Halloween costume this year is as a failed COP26 climate conference. The Prime Minister is very concerned that he won’t be able to secure the agreements needed to tackle climate change. That is of course very likely because Britain will be the only country that doesn’t sign them. According to Johnson the conference is to get the world to agree to a net zero target, which it isn’t, it’s to get the worst CO2 emitters to cut how much they be emitting. No wonder it won’t be a success when the PM doesn’t even know what he’s going to be asking them. Johnson’s very idea of how to stop climate change is, as you’ll be unsurprised to hear, very confused. He told a group of school children that recycling plastic doesn’t work because maybe he thinks it’s as effective as recycling plastic slogans, and Johnson suggested that we could feed some human beings to animals to bring nature back, though I’m sure the amount of people he’d want to use as fodder would be mercifully low. This could be why he wants he’s making sure the country has gone to the dogs.


‘Green is good, green is right, green works’ Johnson told the Global Investment Summit last week in what sounds like he isn’t even sure what party he’s leader of. Johnson’s big net zero plan appears to mainly be letting people know the boiler police won’t be taking their boiler away, presumably because the boiler burglars would do that, though it’s very hard to know in this day and age. Then there was some half thought through plans that Rishi Sunak isn’t going to allow to happen. Bill Gates, a man who made billions to make sure no one asks him if he is in fact a giant chicken disguised as a human, agreed to match the UK’s £400m green investment package, which is great but the Chancellor is less keen to borrow funds as what if we’re all in debt when we get swept away by massive sea level rises? Which will now of course, involve us drowning in our own shit, a perfect metaphor for the UK right now.


For Sunak you see, a greener economy means one the colour of money. If you pretend money is like how it is in American cartoons, which is what the Chancellor does as he never needs to actually see any as he’s comfortable knowing it’s all owned by his father in law. Sunak told a newspaper this week that he’s very lucky as he and his wife are supported by their family and are not struggling financially. Again, it is true but in much the same way a spider could say they weren’t very leg deficient or Sajid Javid could say deaths were over 100 and mercifully low. Maybe a good Halloween costume this year would be as someone who’s not struggling, meaning you go as Jeff Bazos, or Scrooge McDuck. Sunak’s wife has more money than The Queen and doesn’t even have to earn it by having paparazzi wonder if she’s dead every two minutes or by sheltering a paedophile. The Chancellor gets to present the budget this week, just in time for Halloween, though he seems to have leaked all of it to the press already, which is never a good sign that you’re any good at saving. The Chancellor says this budget is about investing in public services. Ah good because they’ve been really depleted in resources and funding these last 11 years. Wish I could put a finger on why. So curious. There will be £500m for early years support, including £82m to set up family hubs in 75 new council areas. I suppose if you say it loudly or write it on a big bit of paper it might just make up for all the Sure Start centres that got double that funding per year till the Conservatives cut it all and shut them all down. It’s very much helping early years support in the way that say, Annie Wilkes in the film Misery might. There is going to be funding for a skills revolution, which hopefully Sunak and everyone in the cabinet will go through first so they might actually become good at least something. English city regions are getting £7bn to improve public transport just so Rishi Sunak might have more places he’ll actually put a fucking mask on. It already looks like all the announcements are going to be pretending the amounts allocated will be in anyway helpful to areas that need at least double that level of support but its yet again the government’s insistence to do as little as possible so that they can say they’re not doing nothing. I do hope all the post Budget reports say all figures are over 100 and are mercifully low.


Perhaps the scariest costume you could have for Halloween 2021 is by simply dressing as someone who sees the news that infection rates are through the roof, our rivers are full of shit, our Prime Minister isn’t even aware of what day it is, and every service we need being underfunded and thinks ‘yeah I’ll still vote Conservative.’ Urgh, truly, truly scary.


In other news, the UK has struck a trade deal with our closest neighbour, ahem, New Zealand in which British farming industry is the sacrificial lamb that’s gone to slaughter. Farmers in the UK are likely to have their trade ruined by cheap meat exports that have travelled thousands of miles, and I can’t imagine they’ll let the government get much sleep over that. Even less if there aren’t the sheep to count to help them. On the plus side, this is the only time we’ll see Johnson lose to a Labour party, even if they are on the other side of the world, so right now I’ll take what I can get. The £2.6m Downing Street briefing room that is no longer used for briefings, was used last week to screen the new James Bond film, No Time To Die, which feels very much like it could be a phrase uttered by any of the cabinet in the past week in regards to infection rates. Many critics have said it’s a waste of money to be doing such things but the latest Bond is about a missing scientist so it might be a good example for them to see someone actually following the science.


Housing Secretary Michael Gove was accosted by anti-vaxxer demonstrators. He must have loved it though as he is tired of experts. And finally, UKIP, yes they do still exist, have elected yet another new leader after all their last one was suspended because it seems they do believe in cancel culture. The new leader is in the shape of reanimated corpse Neil Hamilton, best known for receiving cash for questions. Hopefully as head of political relic UKIP no one will want to ask him anything and he won’t make a penny.





Hallo-ween. God I’m sorry. I say this on the show every year but Halloween really has been redundant since about 2010. I mean, it’s never a great celebration anyway when it seems to largely revolve around children knocking on stranger’s doors in some weird one day threat reversal, a selection of weird costume ideas like sexy human resources administration officer, and then bobbing for apples when its so much easier just picking one up and eating it. I’ve never thought you know what, I’d like an apple, I’ll just throw it in a barrel first and waterboard myself to have one of my five a day. It’s stupid. I am of course being a grump on purpose but really what is the point in trying to scare ourselves when for the rest of the year you can just watch the news for exactly the same effect. My daughter wanted to dress up as a zombie for Halloween this year, but has since changed her mind to Frankenstein’s monster, and a pumpkin because as we know, root vegetables are the most scary. I’m trying to subtly hint that she should be dressed as a rolling chart of the rising infection rates but she’s not keen.


Thanks Yellbairn for your nice review of this here podcast on Apple Podcasts. Just a short interview free on this week as I’ve been busy doing a very fun job for the launch of new Scream Street episodes on CBBC, which involved a show and lots of videos for kids online all of which have had loads of views except the last one where I guess they were sick of me. Still if you have children or just need a guide of how to do stand-up that is full of fart jokes and stop motion animation clips, I’ll pop a link in the podcast blurb just incase.


So only thing I did want to ask this week, is some clever comedian types I know do an ad-free version of their podcast for Patreon subscribers as you can get a podcast RSS stream straight from there but you do have to add it to your podcast app yourself using clever things. It’d be super easy for me to do that, so is it something you’d want and would be an incentive to sign up to Yes, I’ll even remove the British Boxers ads and the occasional time I suddenly, for no reason, say ‘we all adora kia-ora’. I hope big Ki-ora pay me for that. Let me know and I might give it a trial this week anyway.


That is sort of it for this week, oh apart from this tiny little look at Budget Happenings:




Don’t get too excited but this week the Chancellor is announcing the Budget. No I said don’t get too excited. Sit down, calm, yes, I know you’ll get to see the little red briefcase that we’ll all wonder what’s inside when it’s definitely just a sandwich and a baggie. Yes, we’ll get the weird staged photo of Rishi Sunak wearing casual wear over his suit because he’s so rich he had it grafted to skin to make sure no one ever thinks he’s poor. And then he’ll be writing on paper that definitely has printed words on it as though to disguise as a robot he actually writes in computer fonts. And yes I know there’ll be loads of pledges that either aren’t very good or are good but won’t actually happen and there’ll be a joke someone else wrote for him that doesn’t understand jokes. I know, I know and actually, talking about it like that you know what? I’m not excited either. Usually, I’d do some sort of incoherent post-budget analysis next week after it’d happened but so much has already been revealed to the press in the vague hope they’ll like it or it’ll be something to report on other than the fact that the national virus of Britain is now Covid. I’m not sure but whatever it is, here’s some of what to expect on Wednesday. So sorry, yes, spoiler alert.

The National Live Wage is going to rise from £8.91 per hour to £9.50 which is a good thing and pretty much what the outside London living wage is accordingly to the Living Wage Foundation. Though they did set that last November before all the price rises, the fact that energy bills are going to cost more than the Sun, tax rises and all the universal credit cuts. It will also only take effect from April next year by which point we’ll probably be paying local racketeers to protect our stall after the inevitable purge. So not quite enough but it’s still good. That’s just for anyone over 23, if you’re under it’ll go to £9.18 to reflect the fact that everywhere in Britain will ask your age and then reduce the prices for you when they find out you’re young enough to still have hope. That’s how it works right? The Chancellor thinks this will balance out the cuts to Universal Credit which it won’t and also ignores people who can’t work or don’t have access to work, something Sunak doesn’t have any comprehension of as someone who doesn’t have to work and still chooses to like a fucking weirdo. There is likely to be a change to public sector pay, but we’ll have to see what that is bearing in mind that Sunak thought it was only fair public sector had a pay freeze while the private sector were being furloughed which is an odd equivalence but he probably thinks you can cash in claps at the bank.


The NHS is to receive £5.9bn to help cut waiting list which is £2.1bn less than it needs a year to survive and cope with all the understaffing. Still though it is enough for the government to say they’ve given it lots of money and it’s still not working so time to sell it all to cheeseboard face Tim Martin who’ll douse all patients with beer until their wounds are disinfected then charge them for it. There’s also going to be £5bn on health research and development but it looks like overall science funding won’t reach Johnson’s promise of £22bn a year. But we should have expected that as he did promise. Who needs science anyway? I mean what has it done for us these last 19 months? Oh. Oh well.


There’s going to be £3bn of funding for what Sunak calls ‘turbo-charging post-16 education’ which sounds like the sort of words he thinks kids use as they go round on their skateboards drinking sunny delight. The amount of places on skills bootcamps will quadruple, more training for T-Level scholarships and a whole load of traineeships so kids can learn that by doing lots and lots of very hard work, they’ll get paid pittance too filling the exploitation gap we now have because of Brexit. £6.9bn of money is going to public transport improvements, though Sunak has since admitted only £1.5bn of that is new which means much like many public transport services, it’s been rerouted last minute which will likely inconvenience someone. There is the new Sure Start style hubs announcement to replace the old one that actually worked and had more funding, £700m for border services which already exist and £850m for world renowned cultural and heritage hotspots, so they can take in even more tourists who have nothing else to see after all the other art died during the pandemic due to lack of support. £435m is going to the Crown Prosecution Service to improve the response to rape and sexual assault cases, which is good but ignores how many courts were shut down, the state of the prison service and a whole heap of other issues with the justice system that means it probably won’t improve those things at all.


That’s what we know so far. What we’ll probably also see are things like a not much on fuel duty to offset any promises at COP26, some gag about how the opposition would destroy the economy worser and various uses of the words ‘levelling up’ before saying ways in which that isn’t happening. It’s tricky because yes, extra funding for the courts, the NHS, post-16 education etc and the rising of the minimum wage is all what we want but as we’ll see again this Wednesday, it’s coming in late after the winter of shortages and high costs, and it’s never quite enough to actually be good. Sunak is the sort of person who if his kids asked him for Lego, he’d probably get them one small brick to share and shout ‘this is what you wanted, you should be grateful’ at them as they cry and try to work out if anything else will stick to it.




And now we face the end mwhahahahahahahah sorry, I mean it’s the end of this week’s tediously Halloween Partly Political Broadcast. Thanks to you for listening and to the creepy ghost child that’s been staring at me while I’ve been recording this and keeps tutting when I make a mistake and have to re-record. That’s not a Halloween thing, she’s always there. And I’m pleased to be honest as it’s expensive to hire a real producer. If this show tickles your funny bone, because you know, you’re a skeleton or something…sigh…then do spread the word to all whom you like and think may enjoy, share it on the socials, write a nice 5 star review on whichever podcast app you use like Apple Podcasts or Amazon Music or one of the others owned by billionaires who are ruining everything and maybe even if you can, donate to the site because I’m not a billionaire and really think I could ruin more things if I just had some help.


FANGS mwhahaha oh god to Acast, sorry ARGH-cast, my brother the Last Skeptik, I mean Ghastly Skeptik, and to Witches Kat Day.


This will be back next week when hopefully the Covid infection rates in parliament will be mercifully low, and by that I mean over 100 a day.




This week’s show was sponsored by Shit Creek & Poo River, a brown water rafting and watersports centre as sponsored by the Conservative Party. Canoe up the fast flowing excrement and hope there’s no splash back! Family piddling sessions also available.

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