Lack of Humanity – Ukraine, Brave Sir Gavin and Richard Brown on disability rights and running your own bus

Released on Tuesday, March 8th, 2022.

Lack of Humanity – Ukraine, Brave Sir Gavin and Richard Brown on disability rights and running your own bus

It is lucky that even when something so bad as the invasion of Ukraine happens, we have leaders like Boris Johnson who are doing everything they can and being as generous as possible. So that means he’s told other countries to do stuff and we’ve taken in just 50 Ukrainian refugees. The backseat leader we all deserve. Plus Richard Brown MBE (@_richardcbrown) on disability rights and running your own bus.




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Further Reading

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It is lucky that even when something so bad as the invasion of Ukraine happens, we have leaders like Boris Johnson who are doing everything they can and being as generous as possible. So that means he’s told other countries to do stuff and we’ve taken in just 50 Ukrainian refugees. The backseat leader we all deserve. Plus Richard Brown MBE (@_richardcbrown) on disability rights and running your own bus.


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


All the usual ParPolBro stuff:








Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that isn’t made with any secret oligarch money. Or any money, from anyone and it really shows, doesn’t it? Sigh. I’m Tiernan Douieb and as Prime Minister and poached egg in ill-fitting trousers Boris Johnson says that it is not future historians but the people of Ukraine who will be our judge, I wonder if that’s why him and his government don’t want to save any of them so they can get away with being on the wrong side again.


As it emerged that the UK have been actively turning away Ukrainian refugees in Calais, the French interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, a man who looks like he is forever hearing a witty remark of the highest calibre, accused the Home Secretary and only person that would be repelled from a black hole Priti Patel of having a ‘lack of humanity’. Yes mate, LOLS that’s why she has her job. Catch up. Where have you been? Watching the news the past few weeks has felt like a good chunk of the political and media world have only just emerged from a cryogenic chamber to replace the stand-ins that have been doing their jobs in the meantime. ‘Russia are committing humanitarian crimes’, cry many country’s leaders and it’s like, yeah, what’s new? I could’ve told you that years ago. That’s basically their Twitter bio. Likes ice skating and horrifically illegal chemical attacks in areas the West will largely not give a shit about, swipe right for my oil. Chances are if Russian President and talking water wiggler Vladmir Putin is happy to send two lads on the world’s most unethical visit to Salisbury Cathedral, you probably shouldn’t be all that shocked that Russia’s tactics during an illegal invasion that was already illegal are probably going to be illegal. ‘Boris Johnson put one of Putin’s buddies in the house of Lords and he shouldn’t have done’. Yeah, I mean, where have you been? I know we’re all suffering burnout, but I could’ve told you years ago that Evgeny Lebedev should be nowhere near decisions that affect the country, simply based on how he resembles a haphazard go at a Fuzzy Face magnetic toy.


Perhaps I am being harsh and the issue is that like myself, many of those currently in important positions that should be alerting us about these things, were brought up on a diet of 80’s and 90’s cold war entertainment where every story involved someone who you thought was a goodie but then turned out to be a Russian spy willing to give away secrets or steal an ancient relic. So, when the oligarchs and allies of autocratic regimes are really openly hanging around, telling you who they’re pals with, donating your party money, insisting you run destructive referendums, funding campaigns that encourage people to die and being in pictures with the heads of global media tycoons while everyone wears shoes that should carry health warnings, then it can throw you off. We’ve been taught that is far too obvious and clearly those will be the ones that end up being double agents and helping Bond, whereas that dude who keeps trying to make living conditions better is clearly suspect and needs to be stopped before it turns out he’s planning to block out the sun or gain the powers of an ancient deity. But that is very much the 21st century isn’t it? An absolute insistence that the Emperor must be wearing new clothes because he says he is and he would know. There’s no way he’d just be naked when Facebook wouldn’t let them post the pictures if he was and if you suggest such a thing it must be because you hate the country and not because you’re horrified by having to see his tiny button mushroom penis wave around as he tells you your heating bill will now cost you your soul.


Over the last week, the situation in Ukraine has continued to intensify. Rocket attacks have hit residential areas in several major cities including the capital Kyiv, casualties and fatalities keep increasing and the real figures are considered to be much higher than is reported. The UN suggests there are currently 1.5m Ukrainian refugees which could increase to up to 6.5m, something that the British government has raced to help with by giving asylum to, er, just 50 of them. It’s like turning up to a flooded home with a teaspoon and giving up after 5 minutes declaring yourself the saviour of the people. But those 50 can now stay in the UK for 3 years which is nice, so their chances of getting Covid or having to pay all their savings on heating bills are better than they were before. According to the Foreign Secretary and what happens if you vacuum pack a person Dominic Raab said that we can’t just open our doors to Ukrainian refugees as it will undermine popular support. Which popular support is that Dom? The one from the former Russian bank chief accused of money laundering who gave you £25,000? Actually, in this instance he probably means that support and the solid 30-40% of people who insist on voting Conservative and don’t want anyone coming over here and taking all the jobs we don’t actually have or using any of the public services we also don’t have anymore. It’s not fair for people to flee their awful situation and come and make our one seem less bad as that really takes the shine of voting Tory if you put all that effort in and someone still ruins it by managing to actually enjoy living here.


Home Secretary Priti Patel vehemently denied that her border controls were actively turning people away at Calais, and that the Home Office are considering a new safe route to help refugees from Ukraine. But it’s all in the language you see, as I’m sure Priti Patel considers a lot of things and then realises they’d make people happy so decides against them. And there is every chance the Home Office aren’t turning people away in France, because they’re insisting, they walk away from the border backwards so that they can see the sadness in their eyes and capture it for Patel to feed off later. The Prime Minister said they will be as generous as they possibly can be in helping Ukrainian refugees come to the UK, but again from him, that probably means they’ll only be allowed over if they pay for his wallpaper. Though with all the Russian donors gone Johnson is going to need someone else to buy all his things. The UK are so generous allowing 50 people in and they’ve gone above and beyond that by making sure the Home Office helpline for Ukrainians to contact isn’t free and costs them loads to ask for advice. The epitome of humanity there, showing that even though you’re fleeing war we don’t want to patronise you with special treatment and want you to know that your care is equally as unimportant to us as any British citizens.


Anyone who pretends that they know what will happen between Russia and Ukraine is big fat liar, which is probably why Boris Johnson keeps saying he does. As I record this Russia have agreed a ceasefire to allow citizens to leave the major cities, but only if they then travel into Russia or Belarus, which is very much out of the frying pan and directly into a hungry waiting mouth. Two ceasefire attempts in the city of Mariupol fell through over the weekend, and by fell through I mean weren’t kept by the Russian military so didn’t work. A bit like how the Minsk Agreement didn’t work in 2014 and then the Minsky Agreement 2, More Minsk, More Peacier in 2015 also didn’t work. Again, it’s only a surprise that Putin doesn’t keep his word if you’ve only just arrived here from space and aren’t sure what words are. The Foreign Ministers from Russia and Ukraine are to meet in Turkey on Thursday, and Putin is apparently keen for the fighting to stop but says the invasion won’t stop till Ukraine give in. Which feels like the sort of tactics you’d expect from a school bully. I will only stop punching you when you stop resisting me punching you. I’m amazed he hasn’t said he’ll quit if they hand over their lunch money too. Ukrainian President, comedian and unwell Jeremy Renner Volodymyr Zelenskyy says they won’t stop fighting and instead of forgiveness, there will be a day of judgment for Russian troops which I assume will be a criminal or harsh one rather than how it would be in the UK where the Prime Minister would tut a bit then hire them to build a sports centre at Downing Street for four times the money needed. A whistle-blower thought to be from the Russian security agency FSB has said that the Russian invasion will be a total failure and that the invasion has to be over by June as by then, due to the sanctions, they’ll have no economy left. Still though, Putin does want a return to Bolshevik Soviet times, so I guess people having to push a wheelbarrow of cash to buy some bread definitely emulates part of that. The Russian government have banned Facebook though so I guess they can’t be all bad.


International sanctions have definitely made a difference, but Boris Johnson has said that world leaders need to do more, probably to make up for the complete lack of anything that the UK has done. The rest of the world must see our Prime Minister as a sort of jumped up backseat driver. So far the British government have pushed through fewer sanctions than Switzerland, a country that’s meant to be neutral about these sorts of things, but ministers are tabling amendments to the economic crime bill so they can introduce sanctions quicker. You know, now all the oligarchs who have had time to move their dosh somewhere else. Though a clause in the bill says individuals or their assets will be exempt if doing so is in the best interests of the United Kingdom, but sadly I guess that’s the government’s definition of best interests which usually just means donations to the Conservative Party. Rather than my definition of best interests for the country which would mean heavy investment in making sure every item of clothing Boris Johnson owns is always horrifically itchy and someone is employed to put tacks on every seat he’s about to sit in. Johnson has also cut the budget for the anti-corruption unit that investigate dirty Russian money in London, but I suppose much like with Covid, if you don’t test for it, it’s not there anymore which makes dealing with it a lot easier.


Thing is that the best way to get rid of a good chunk of dirty Russian money would be to stop the Conservative party taking it. Conservative party chairperson Ben Elliot with a face that appears to be in motion even when it’s not, runs a company that provides services for wealthy clients, many of them Russian oligarchs who then donate to the party for lunches and meetings with cabinet ministers. The party says that all their donors are legitimate and support their aims and objectives, which currently appears to be using Russian oil, Brexit and not letting Ukrainians into the country. I suppose the Conservatives have to take that money otherwise goodness knows what influence and bribery they may use it for right? Johnson is being urged to appear in front of a parliamentary committee to explain his connections to media mogual and pal of Putin Evgeny Lebedev after he overrode security concerns to get him a place in the House of Lords. Though to be fair, based on how little the lords manage to achieve without the government just overturning it, there’s every chance by putting Lebedev in there, Johnson’s basically neutralised him. How can Lebedev influence politics if he’s on the backbenches completely fast asleep? Boris Johnson said foreign money launderers would have nowhere to hide, but again it’s an interesting choice of language when he could just mean they don’t have to because he has to send their party invites to somewhere.


The Prime Minister has drawn up a six-point plan, like a pentagon I suppose, to support Ukraine. Which is really ambitious for a man who struggles at the best of times to not be completely pointless. One of the points is just to support Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself which I assume will amount to Johnson every now and then saying ‘go on Zelenskyy’ at the TV, or maybe asking everyone to give those who haven’t died a round of applause. What would actually be a good plan is, well aside from not just letting 50 people in like the UK is some sort of shit nightclub, is to work out how to make the UK less reliant on Russian oil and gas. Currently the invasion of Ukraine and a possible embargo on Russian fuel has risen costs by 10% so maybe the government’s unwillingness to step in and lower energy costs for households was actually part of their campaign to support Ukraine? That’s right, we don’t actually want to help you but by freezing to death, we’re really showing Russia. Cave dwelling sputum Nigel Farage has reared his rubbery head in recent weeks, at first to show support for Putin’s actions in a way that feels like when celebrities you’ve known have been dating for years finally admit to it. Then this week it’s to announce his new campaign for a referendum to stop net zero targets. Some critics have said that its mighty suspicious that Farage wants the UK to have more dependence on oil and gas right now, but I think they’re missing the more obvious picture which is that mutant frog people like him would thrive in a waterlogged and toxically humid planet.


In the midst of all this, the government decided that what the world really needed was a new knight in polyester armour, and who better than original troll face meme Gavin Williamson. Yes, the man who lost his job as defence secretary for breaching national security and then ruined the futures of the nation’s children, has been given a knighthood, a decision even No.10 has said it is hard to justify. Is it? I mean again, a cynic may say its because he was defence secretary at the exact time the FBI were investigating the Trump-Russia connections in London and so may know things that’d be handy to hide away with a ‘sir’. But I think it’s more than that. Gavin Williamson has shown exceptional service to the notion of failure and just imagine the inspiration he’ll give many as they see that this absolute shitshow of an attempt at a human has got an outdated accolade and they’ll think ‘maybe I can achieve anything if I make friends with a truly fucking awful bunch of morally redundant rich arseholes like he did?’ You can do it too kids, you just have to try to meet some of the worst people imaginable.


The UK Policing Bill was forced through last week with all the bits the Lords had tried to remove about making protests illegal if anyone at all finds them annoying. Several Conservative MPs had been praising the anti-war protestors in Russia, then went to the House of Commons and voted to imprison anyone here that did that for up to 10 years. Still, I suppose with all the sanctions they’re sort of having to impose, they’ve got to find ways to make those oligarchs feel at home somehow.


MPs are getting a £2200 pay rise from next month, which will help them deal with all the rising heating costs they voted not to do anything about, so that’s handy. MPs do need more money because if they don’t get that, they’ll have to seek it from donors and look where that’s got us? So, this way, they won’t have to do that and instead will just do it anyway but can take them to nicer places for lunch.


It’s funny because if you were to go back to say, the beginning of 2016 and let someone know that this is what would happen in the future, they’d say ‘yes that’s what I thought would happen. It’s really obvious if you just read things and paid attention. What are you? An idiot?’ And they’d be right.





OH GOD. Hi there. Writing the comedy this week has been the opposite of fun. I was trying to think of a fun final last line there but well, there isn’t one is there? And you should see all the notes I’ve just skipped over this week full of horrors like Nadine Dorrors and wanks like Arron Banks. I hope that was an ok intro rant.


Thanks for listening once again and absolutely loads of you did last week which either means hello new people, or because I somehow loaded the show up twice everyone hit ‘mark as played’ on both versions so it’s just an illusion. Either way, thanks and you’re very welcome here be it new listener or computer action. Of course if you do like this thing and have enough spare cash to pay your heating bills, support refugee charities and then still send me some for coffee, please do that at or join the for a total of zero rewards except that knowledge that you’ve been a good un. This week, as you may have noticed by my awful singing, there is a new advert for British Boxers and again if you buy anything from their lovely ethical range of pants and that, and use the PARPOLBRO15 code, then I get some dosh too. I’m also happy to take donations to never play me singing on here again if that’s preferable.


I’m also popping the Azadi charity fundraiser link in the podcast blurb again if you are able to help Afghani refugees who are also still in need of help because yes, the world is a fuckstorm. So either help out there, or buy one of their tshirts which has been designed by refugee artists all of which are amazing and I’d like all of them. Or maybe just regularly do incantations so that Priti Patel is eaten by a hellmouth. The other link is to a petition to save a care home in Bexhill that is under threat of closure. I’m aware this is happening all over the country and there’s probably a lot of places that need saving but my friend’s nan is in this one so do give it a sign if you can.


Ok, on this week’s show I am stepping away from global conflict upset awfulness, and instead go down a more local politics route about bus services with some stops at disability rights on the way. I’m out of bus puns now and I’m aware I have, in two sentences, completely undermined any credibility to my earlier rant about knowing how comedy works.




You know what they say, you wait for ages for a bus to show up and then it never, ever does because the service has been closed and you have no foreseeable way of travelling outside of your small village. If you’re like me, then it’s hard enough to get on with the day to days while the world seems to be jumping from one global crisis to another. But if you’re not like me and live in a rural part of the country it’s even harder to get on with the day to days when all the local services you need to do them have been taken away. And there’s also that silage farm smell, right? No idea how anyone gets anything done with that reeking…oh sorry. That’s not all of the countryside? Sorry. And then on top of all that, if you are a person with a disability then losing those services mean you can’t really do much at all. And you still have to smell the sileage. It’s just awful. Sorry, I got distracted again. Before the pandemic so many public services in villages and towns across England had been cut due to austerity and reduced local council budgets, that 160 locations were consider as ‘transport deserts’. Which is appalling and also a really rubbish sort of desert to have. I mean you could cross that on a camel, probably easier than before as there’s less chance you’ll get hit by a bus while riding around on one. Since the pandemic, what with those many months everyone was in lockdown, bus services took such a financial hit that many more across the country are set to reach their final stop soon. You might remember though that Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to bus back better with £3bn towards improving bus services, but of course a lot of that money has ended up on diversion with no replacement service in sight. No transport, means no travelling to work, shops, or well anywhere and leaves many, especially with mobility issues, completely stranded in the transport desert with the downside being that if you see a mirage of water, its likely real and due to a lack of flood defence funding too.


This week we stepped back from the global political horrors to focus on more local ones instead. I spoke to Richard Brown, a disability activist who has Ataxia and has spent many years campaigning with Ataxia UK and raising awareness of the condition he and many others have. He is also based in Barton, a suburb in Oxfordshire, that lost its bus service over 7 years ago and Richard, along with several others, founded a volunteer led community bus service called Our Bus, that has been vital to the area. Richard was awarded an MBE last year for Our Bus and his services to people with disabilities. So I thought it’d be good to talk to him about the current state of disability rights when the disabled community were largely hit much harder than any other section of society by the pandemic, but also to ask him about the actually positive story of public ownership and community initiatives that led to Our Bus. I didn’t once ask him about the smell of sileage because I’ve been to Barton and it seemed fine for cow poo whiffs thankfully because that’s the last thing they’d need. Here is Richard:





Global politics aside – local politics




Thanks tons to Richard. You can find his blog at, the OurBus site at and Richard can be found on Twitter at @_richardcbrown. I know I’ve had quite a few podcasts over the last year or so on public ownership, community action and wealth building but honestly it makes me feel a lot better about the state of everything knowing that things can actually be done. You know positive ones I mean. I can do many things and do, but most of them are just me eating crisps and shouting at the news so it’s not the same.


What else do you need to hear about right now and who from? I’m trying to get various people to talk even more about money laundering and Russian influence on the government, all that jazz, but what else? More local politics issues? More global politics things? What about in-between and the politics of the sea? Should I talk to someone about how those porpoises having super hearing means they keep stealing other sea creatures gossip and the issue that means for aquatic data privacy? Ok, maybe not that. But let me know and you can, as always and forever, let me know suggestions at





And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. I am forever gracious for your listening choices and should you ever feel like more people need this in their lives either for joy or the punishment they deserve, then please do tell them this exists and will only cost them time they’ll never get back. If you fancy paying for it though, I will never complain about my coffee addiction being funded and you can help keep me awake at or by joining the completely unrewarded because its about the giving not the receiving right? No wait because then you’d just get given this and not donate. Ok for you, its about the giving. Hmm. I’ll work it out. Also why not do a 5-star review for this show on one of the podcast platforms as apparently it helps despite zero evidence of that in its 6 year life so far. But when has zero evidence stopped anyone?


Thankfulness and other words you find on sickening Facebook posts in garish colours to Acast, my brother The Last Skeptik and Kat Day.


This will be back next week when Boris Johnson announces that he knows exactly how to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that’s for everyone to say ‘I believe in Ukraine’ really loudly while making a wish. He then insists he’s done all he can and goes on holiday paid for by Yuri from Command and Conquer Red Alert.




This week’s show was sponsored by brave Gavin Williamson, the bravest knight around, he will leak security details to anyone about your home and town. Sir Gavin Security, endorsed by the knight himself to ensure that only hard power, will make potential intruders shut up and go away. Especially once we’ve texted them all your financial details so they won’t need to break in to get them. Brave, brave Sir Gavin, is he the one on the horse or the horse?



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