There has been frightening rise in cases of Conservative Christmas parties, with the numbers doubling within a week. Luckily Boris Johnson is the man to get someone to investigate in order to make sure they find nothing. Is his time at No.10 over? Only if its because he needs somewhere with more rooms for all the kids he keeps having. This is the last episode before a Christmas break and is all about the past week of shambolic authoritarianism and booster jab plans.
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Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that always works from home, but that is because I get asked to leave if I try to record this in the supermarket. I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week as Health Secretary and sick tarsier Sajid Javid says the government will throw everything at beating Omicron, they could save time by getting the Prime Minister to throw in the towel.
Over the past week the country has seen a truly worrying rise in case numbers emerge. Yes, there seems no end to the restriction breaching parties held by government departments. There ain’t no party like a Conservative party. The initial one at No.10 on December 18th last year was clearly a super spreader event leading to parties across Whitehall and Westminster, refusing to discriminate based on ministerial position. Stories of parties keep emerging, amongst them former Education Secretary and Willow the Wisp cosplay Gavin Williamson threw a reckless party for his staff with wine and canapes, which I find shocking as absolutely none of us thought he was capable of organising a piss up. Then it was revealed that the Department of Work and Pensions drank into the night in basket of old yarn scraps Therese Coffey’s private office, but let’s be fair if you were trapped in there with her as she discussed ways to make poor people work for 24 hours a day, then the only way through would be to drink till you had no memory of it. This is, of course on top of the December 18th party that may or may not have happened, that one No.10 official said was huge as there were at least 40-50 people there. As speaks someone who was clearly unpopular as a teenager and only went to the shit gatherings. Former Special Advisor to the Prime Minister and what if they made disgruntled potato face shape Dominic Cummings tweeted with all the venom of a man who still hasn’t got over how shit his last job was, that there were more parties including on the night he resigned from working for Johnson. Yes, I bet there was Dom and he’s probably just jealous there was a leave party he didn’t get to take part in. Considering his own Barnard Castle antics you’d have thought he’d have turned up anyway.
Then on Saturday night, pictures were leaked of the Prime Minister and what if the Dulux dog smoked 500 a day Boris Johnson sitting between colleagues as he hosted the No.10 Christmas quiz while the rest of the country was in lockdown. Downing Street say the PM briefly took part to thank staff virtually, which sounds right as he does most things virtually such as turning up to work, running the country, having policies or parenting. Did he break the law by breaching Covid restrictions that allowed no household mixing or worse, did he just mock the public who were all stuck at home having to find excuses to avoid shitty zoom quizzes with that one friend who took it far too seriously and made all the questions really hard?
A video was suspiciously leaked to ITV News last week of former ITV employee and when you make a shadow face using your knuckles Allegra Stratton, joking about the Dec 18th Christmas party during a mock press conference. Well, I mean it was a mock press conference, and that’s what they’re for right? It was filmed in the in the £2.6m White House style press briefing room built by a Russian owned company that now isn’t used anymore and was often called a massive waste of money, but I reckon now that one clip has gone across all the news channels it’s definitely earned its worth. I mean for starters, its caused Allegra Stratton to resign from a job that has nothing to do with the one she was in a year ago and for making a joke about a party she may not have been at instead of the Prime Minister or anyone with actual responsibility for the party resigning and what further accountability could we ask for? Unless someone who was walking past the party and who’s distant cousin once worked in local government had made a passing remark and then owned up to it and resigned from their job in a high street shop, probably none.
This was all so devastating for the government that they pulled all representatives from all the news shows the next day, and even the Health Secretary Sajid Javid cancelled his announcement about the booster jabs rollout because it had made him too ‘upset’. Really? Which bit? Knowing that it was made public that Conservatives laugh at the expense of others? Or seeing two people make a joke and then laugh making him realise he’s never had that experience or enjoyed anything and now he feels bereft, once again uncertain if he’s just a replicant created to work in finance. Maybe its because someone said a joke and as we all know, jokes are more dangerous and more galling to the British public than the actual breaching of the rules themselves so respect to Stratton for being brave enough to take the hit and leave a job none of us knew she actually had. Stratton was the official spokesperson for the Cop26 Climate Conference and now she’s gone, who will do that important job for an event that happened two months ago? It’s hard to say, but I’m glad someone is being responsible here. In response the Prime Minister said he was sorry to lose Stratton, probably because he’s running out of other people to use as human shields. Johnson still says the party didn’t happen because hey we’ve all been so drunk we’ve missed events in our own home right? For me it happened when I was 18 after our A-Level results but the Prime Minister probably didn’t have time then as he was too busy burning money in front of homeless people, so he has to fit in that life experience somewhere.
Luckily Allegra Stratton making a joke a year ago about an event that may not have happened, means Johnson has ordered in an investigation to find out if he is telling the truth or not. Cabinet Secretary Simon Case is going to look into all the parties, especially because he has the sort of name you’d make up on the spot if asked who would be looking into it. ‘Er yeah, Simon…Case is investigating? As is erm Phil Detective and er…Linda Probe.’ Case can investigate anything he thinks he should, from the parties, or why No.10 didn’t just give a more realistic excuse that the quiz was actually a Cobra meeting, but the staff have to call it something else like quiz or party or the Prime Minister won’t bother to turn up or look at the answers. Case says he will report back as soon as possible and maybe by the end of the week, because No.10 is quite big and so takes several days to fully whitewash.
How else do you cover up a mess at Downing Street now that gold wallpaper isn’t allowed? The Electoral Commission have decided the Prime Minster broke the law with his refurb too. Well, it’s nice to have themed illegal decorations for your illegal parties right? The EC said the laws around reporting and recording donations were not followed, and fined Johnson £17,800, which probably means he won’t be able to afford to cover the pedal bins in diamond sequins now. With the parties, the criminally bad refurb choices and last weeks coke binging MPs, it’s very much been crime week at Westminster and if you remember, the Conservatives are tough on the causes of crime. So tough that Boris Johnson’s own standards commissioner and sad uncooked sausage Lord Christopher Geidt has thought about quitting his position but won’t. I guess this means he’ll have to wait till a year from now when he’s doing a completely unrelated job.
It’s not just Geidt that is unhappy but not enough to actually do anything about it. Tory MPs are reportedly saying things like Johnson has fucked it, or that he’s lost the dressing room. Though that could be because it wallpapered over with gold leaf bought by a private donor. Conservatives have already been putting their hat into the ring to be the ‘you thought that was bad well hold my beer’ next leader of the party party. Current favourite is Foreign Secretary and proof of sentient gas beings Liz Truss who would be a good way to show the rest of the world that we are a country that has such equal opportunity we’ll let absolutely any idiot have their day. Truss’s current big hits are scoring trade deals worse than the ones we had while in the EU and then pretending they’re not, but I suppose in a way that is giving foreign aid as many countries are now profiting off us in ways they didn’t before. Maybe she would be better than Johnson, if only because any attempts at corrupt deals with friends would probably end up being for far less than he managed which may inadvertently save us cash. Former Health Secretary and gormless face drawn on a cycle helmet Matt Hancock has apparently registered his interest in being the next Prime Minister, which you might think is laughable but much like Johnson, he’s fucked a lot of things up, given contracts to mates, let a lot of people die, breached Covid rules and cheated on his wife so he’s basically a shoe in when it comes to equal experience for the job. Another rumour is that Home Secretary and human chafe Priti Patel is also keen to replace Boris Johnson, though that could just be because she loves the idea of forcefully removing someone from their home. Whether or not any of this is true, it does mean the party are ready to push for no confidence vote in the Prime Minister and allies of former PM and stalagmite Theresa May are preparing to send in letters this week, which should equal all of two of them.
Labour leader and man entirely composed of unnecessary packaging Keir Starmer has been stepping up his opposition too, this week demanding the Prime Minister apologise for breaching the rules. Yes Keir Starmer gets all of his opposition responses from supply teachers who’ve lost control of the classroom. The Labour leader says the Prime Minister may have broken the law but hasn’t called for him to resign just yet as what if he hasn’t the broken the law on this occasion as opposed to all the others and was just morally reprehensible and reckless in a way that’s detrimental to the country? Then Starmer would look like a right ninny, wouldn’t he? So, there’s a lot of pressure, ok some pressure, ok a tiny bit of pressure on Boris Johnson to resign, with all eyes on the by-election in North Shropshire this week where the PM’s name is apparently a hindrance to local Tory campaigners who are just hoping everyone forgets their former MP was massively corrupt and his party tried to let him off the hook for it. According to the bookies, the Liberal Democrats are top runners to take the seat even though they only came third last time so there’s every chance they are just using the party’s own special bar charts. If the Tories do lose it though, which would be a big upset, then calls for Johnson to resign may get louder. Though probably still not loud enough to be heard over all the tunes at the many parties in Downing Street.
Luckily for Boris Johnson, two things happened that may have saved his necks. One is that Baby Johnson number 1087 was born, though there is concern the little girl is his as the Prime Minister never turns up on time and yet this baby was absolutely to the second. This does mean it’s unlikely there’ll be more parties at No.10 this year though as with two small kids it’ll be hard enough to get them to go to sleep without banging tunes downstairs. Johnson might now take some very well-timed parental leave, which is what he usually calls it when he walks out on his partner and kids and fucks off for someone younger. Some people are claiming the baby is made up to save Johnson’s job but let’s be fair, if there’s one thing he can actually successfully produce its children. The other possible saving factor for the Prime Minister is our friend Omicron, as the UK has levelled up to Covid Tier 4, which I think is when you have to wear a mask when hosting illegal Christmas parties and quizzes so no one knows it’s you when the pics leak. Johnson pre-recorded a nationally televised message in which he still managed to fuck up his lines. Speech lines that is. The other ones were snorted quickly between takes to keep him awake and ready for the party later. He is a new dad you know? Cut him some slack. Sorry, gak. The Prime Minister warned that an omicron tidal wave is coming, though he only knows that as he ignored rules and cannonballed into the deep end to cause it.
He set a new booster jab target to give every adult that wants one a chance to book in before the end of the year, and the army will be called in to help. Yes nothing says eccentric dictator who’s lost the plot like sudden announcements that he’s getting the army to administer shots on civilians. Extra sites will be opening up and more volunteers trained but as many are struggling to book appointments on an overburdened NHS site, but it seems the main booster Johnson is hoping for is to his reputation. As of today, people are being told to work from home if they can, something the Prime Minister has of course already breached by visiting a vaccination centre. A vote tomorrow in the Commons will determine if large events need you to show a Covid passport but it’s likely several Conservative MPs will rebel, like MP Marcus Fysh, a man who looks a cross between the old BBC Narnia series and a boil, who says he will vote against them as the UK is not Nazi Germany. Yes, sure. I mean I had forgotten the bit in Schindler’s List where the Nazis demand people show them an app on their phone, otherwise they can’t go into a nightclub and have fun and not get ill. Marcus Fysh did vote for the Nationality and Borders bill last week though which will give the Home Office power to remove British citizenships without warning which is proper fashy. So maybe what Marcus meant was he didn’t want vaccine passports in order to be more like Nazi Germany, where in fact they relaxed vaccine mandates. I look forward to his next TV appearance where he insists he will be voting for conscription because this still isn’t Nazi Germany and needs to hurry up and get there. Incidentally, after the very scary Nationality and Borders Bill passed, the Home Office had a drinks reception to celebrate breaching international law and becoming closer to the sort of villains you’d expect to see Bond try and stop, and it ended up being a Covid spreader event. Feels like proper karma that they’ve all been attacked by foreign invaders.
There is a lot of rage about these new harsh restrictions which are exactly the same as they’ve had in Wales and Scotland for ages and aren’t really that harsh. I say though, is it upset at more restrictions or joy that we now have a new Christmas tradition to enjoy every year? Labour will be voting with the government on Tuesday which will block the Tory rebellion though Starmer says he’s not supporting the government. I think he might feel quite gutted when he finds out how voting works. Starmer did say its to support the NHS and he is also doing his own pre-recorded televised message in response to Johnson’s to say, I dunno really. Is he going to tell you not to get boosted? Or was he just jealous that Johnson got to take up 5 minutes saying absolutely nothing which is very much Starmer’s brand so now he’ll have to do 7 minutes to get his title back? It’s hard to say. My concern is that a new restriction we haven’t been told about is that every night someone else will have to do a pointless televised message telling you to do the same thing.
There has been one death in Briton of someone with Omicron though we don’t yet know if it was from Omicron. Some reports say it’s more mild than Delta, but its still too early to know. It is however spreading faster than invites to government parties which is a big concern. Thankfully half-hearted restrictions, unlikely booster targets and now people unable to book lateral flow tests, should mean we give this new variant a proper go so we can see what its really capable of. Never say the Conservatives don’t support and encourage new developments. The question now is what will last longer? Omicron, or Boris Johnson’s time in No.10? There’s a Q for your next quiz Prime Minister.
And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Thank you for spending yet another year with this weekly collection of despairing jokes and insights into the continuing collapse of democracy. If you’ve enjoyed even 1 minute of the past year’s many episodes then do recommend it to other humans you know and don’t hate, throw a Christmas slash oh look all the comedy has died again pity donation to the patreon.com/parpolbro or ko-fi.com/parpolbro or even just give a kindly 5 star review at Apple podcasts or the like.
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This week’s show was sponsored by
CHRISTMAS RAVE UP – THIS DECEMBER, featuring Boris on the decks dropping the big fibs, Micky Gove busting shapes, special selfie corner by Liz Truss, Raab and Javid playing the same tunes again and again and hoping no one notices, Rishi Sunak doing a money drop strictly into his own bank account and Priti Patel on the door and if your names not Dan or another English name, you’re not coming in. Christmas Rave Up, 10 Downing Street – tickets only £10,000 donation