Another week where somehow I’ve had to find new ways of saying the government is lying about loads of things and making life worse for everyone. This week its about terrible comparisons, the Spring statement and Oliver Dowden banging on about hedges. A ‘fun sized’ mini episode again while I recover from dealing with 20 sugared 4 year olds running around a soft play.
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Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that actually can be compared to the invasion of Ukraine, in that no one wanted it but it’s here anyway and the British government don’t seem very compelled to stop it. I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week as Chancellor Rishi Sunak, a man who appears to forever be in the wrong aspect ratio, says he will help with costs where he can. I say, Sunak’s a multi-millionaire so I think that means we can all, like all of us all at once, send all our heating bills directly to him and tell the energy companies to put them in his name and I’m sure he’ll sort them out.
Stories win votes as someone clever once said. No, you google it, I’m not your dad. But the art of political storytelling is to manipulate voters’ emotions with assurances and slogans that policies will make their lives better, the other parties will make their lives worse, we’re definitely not the idiots you think we are and ‘Hey! Look at this big bus! Everyone loves a bus! No, you can’t have one for your area, you can just look at this one and that will have to do.’ The Conservative Party, for many years, have only really had the skill of creating political narratives and maybe also the ability to age more rapidly than that average human but in face alone. And that has, or the first bit at least, in turn, allowed them to keep getting voted in again and again despite not being able to do much else of any use at all except possibly increase cardboard box use-age, keep horses warm and increase jobs for morgue workers. But perhaps the Conservatives story has gone on for too long – I mean obvs – or maybe they cut the continuity team’s jobs years ago for cost saving, because their political storytelling is now and has been for some time confusingly contradicting things that happened before. Sometimes only by mere days or hours, and they haven’t even pretended its to do with cracks in the multiverse or magical spell gone wrong. Though with the latter that could explain why everyone in 2019 had a memory loss as to who they were and voted them in again on the premise that it was time for a change despite them already being in power for 9 years. Still, I suppose it could have been worse and we could have had three Conservative leaders all at once working together – Inflatable tent filled with silage Boris Johnson, the only discovered petrified human Theresa May and early rejected attempt at lab created meat David Cameron. Though of course the idea any of them would teach each other that with great power comes great responsibility is less believable than anything else.
The Tory Spring conference took place this weekend, in Blackpool which is an ideal location for a Prime Minister who were he a theme park ride would be known as the Big Fibber. Though I’m not sure anyone would want to go on a roller coaster that only ever plummeted downwards at faster and faster speeds with zero unexpected twists and a ticket price that cost you far more than advertised. Boris Johnson’s speech was, as you can expect, fucking shit. Oh sorry, I meant to write something clever and witty there. Oh well. The part that everyone has mentioned was his comparison of the Ukrainians fight to survive the onslaught from Russia, as being comparable to Brexit. Many have been outraged at this, even though actually there are things that are comparable about the two situations. Firstly they were both supported by Russian President and faceswap of a plucked starling and a knee Vladimir Putin, secondly the majority British public didn’t understand either of them before they happened and until it was far too late, thirdly Ukraine Brexit had a Leave campaign and Ukraine has a city called Lviv, and lastly and most importantly the British government have managed to make both of them much worse than they needed to. But of course, it is callous and deserved of outrage that the Prime Minister thinks a country holding a democratic vote to leave the European union which has since only really created jobs for what if the Microsoft Paperclip practiced the dark arts Jacob Rees Mogg is somehow the same as a country that wants to join the EU and have been subject to a violent and brutal illegal invasion. It’d be akin to saying that time you had to wait in a queue for 4 hours to leave that festival you had a great time at, is exactly the same as the plight of just released political hostage of 6 years Nazanin Zahari-Ratcliffe because after all you both just wanted to go home. Which is also something Johnson took credit for, claiming that the UK worked intensively to secure both Nazanin and Anoosheh Ashoori’s release. Really? Does it take 6 years to make a bank transfer, because if so, they really want to switch banks to one that uses the internet and no longer sends cheques via donkeys.
Their release came after the British government finally paid a £400m debt to Iran that dated back to the 70s for some tanks they bought from us and then we didn’t send or refund them. Britain, the scam ticket touts of the world. The UK could’ve been paid that money back at any time since then but I guess wasn’t because you know that’s a lot of coins to balance on a donkey and there was just no other way to do it till 2022 thank god for technology. Zahari-Ratcliffe’s detention in Iran was extended after Boris Johnson in 2016 mistakenly said she was teaching people in journalism instead of a charity worker, and he didn’t bother retracting his words which were then used against her in a trial that led to her being condemned for a further 5 years. I’m not sure how Johnson might think that was working intensely in her favour unless he was so aware of how shit he’d make Britain during those years that he thought that was the best way to save her from it. It is unusual that Britain finally decided to pay this debt just as we’re in need of an oil and gas supplier that isn’t Russia, but only a cynic would suggest that was why it was paid now, rather than the real reason which is that Foreign Secretary and rubber chicken Liz Truss had just run out of reasons to post up selfies. As soon as Zahari-Ratcliffe was on the plane home, Truss threw out a statement about how well she did and congratulating the British diplomacy that’s only taken 6 years to kick in, alongside some new snaps of her face which no doubt confused everyone reading the news to then see someone images of who looks like she should be detained.
Maybe the debt wasn’t paid to Iran in exchange for future oil possibilities, as that’s what Boris Johnson went to Saudi Arabia for, insisting that when there, he would keep to his principals. How do you keep to something you don’t have? I wouldn’t promise to stick to my rigorous fitness routine, would I? Then again maybe not having any principles is his principles which indeed he stuck to, although it is very much part of his code to pretend he’s being some sort ethical champion by moving transactions over polluting fossil fuels from one human rights abusing dictatorship to another. Nothing says fuck you to tyranny quite like continuing to support tyranny. The Prime Minister said he would raise issues with human rights during his visit and then they beheaded another three people while he was still in the country. Judging by what he did with Nazanin Zahari-Ratcliffe that means there is every chance he did raise human rights and likely said something along the lines of how losing your head is a great form of weight loss and sealed those poor people’s fate. Its these kinds of actions that make so much of Johnson’s story confusing. As just days later at the Tory Spring conference he warned China not to choose the side of evil, you have to wonder, is that because his friendship group is already full up and doesn’t want to have to send out any more Christmas cards? Is the side of evil Russia? Because if so, as well as all the pals we know Johnson shares with Putin, on the night Russia invaded Ukraine the prime minister was at a fundraiser dinner with another oligarch pal of the Russian President. Should China not side with them as that’d mean there’d be less dinner for Johnson at these events?
What you have to understand is according to Minister for Brexit Opportunities Jacob Rees Mogg, that the actions of the side of evil that I think is the one the Conservative party get all their donations from and are all friends with, shows that the all the partygate stuff was fluff. Yes, unlike Brexit, the Prime Minister several times breaking all the rules he himself made is the exact opposite of Ukraine. Which is funny because Putin has also often broken all the rules he makes himself but, no? That’s different, is it? Oh sorry. Boris Johnson partying and doing nothing while people were dying from Covid is just silly trivial stuff you see, whereas Boris Johnson partying and doing nothing while people are dying in another country from war is very serious and important but not important enough for him to do much about it except tell them not to side with the same people he sides with. The Met police are now interviewing 100 witnessess to the partygate events which doesn’t make it sound much like fluff does it? Although it is the Met so its hard to say as they don’t seem to investigate any proper crimes anymore as it depletes their workforce when they have to arrest themselves. Rees-Mogg says the situation in Ukraine shows the relative unimportance of things like rows about language which must be why in the same interview he complained about woke culture. It is nice to have an admittance from his own mouth that he is as a human being if that is what he is – it’s hard to know – trivial fluff. His colleague and how I imagine you might anthropomorphise an accident Oliver Dowden, Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party, spent his whole speech at the Tory Spring conference banging on about woke culture so I assume by Rees-Mogg’s standards he is also trivial fluff, which is starting to feel unfair to fluff as it least that is soft, and usually contains some decent well-made material. No one can really tell what Dowden was on about as he opened the conference, as it sounded a lot like the ramblings of a man who’d accidentally swallowed some laundry detergent thinking it was a glass of milk and was now trying to talk through the froth. At one point he said the privet hedges of suburbia are the privet hedges of a free people, which must make the maze at Hampton Court confusing for him. If you have to have a hedge to be free, why isn’t in Ukraine planting hedges to help everyone out? Does it mean that hedgehogs are indeed the idols of true liberation from oppression and then what does that make cars? Dowden railed against environmental activists who block roads, but by doing that aren’t they saving hedgehogs and indeed his heroes? So many questions, so few people asking them. I’d love to ask Oliver Dowden why he thinks the Prime Minister is leading the free world, and exactly where to? Is it round, the back where he can sell them some baggies before they carry on doing their job and he goes back to hiding in the shitter? So often rather than actually do anything, the government just claim they are the best at doing things, so you know, no need to prove it as it’d just show everyone else up. We’re always leading or beating or winning, without ever actually taking part and the government seem to be endlessly suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder, which makes me wonder if the true way around this is by surrounding them all with mirrors and letting us get on with things while they fawn at their own reflection? Though of course Michael Gove’s attendance would make others think they were in a hall of mirrors which could cause issues.
I think my respect for the government would grow immensely, you know from 0% to at least 0%, if just one of them were brave enough to admit ever ‘yeah we were shit with that’ or ‘no he said a fucking stupid thing’ but they can’t because without some ludicrous plot development points they have to be either fucking awful people, or fucking stupid people, or fucking awful stupid people. The Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated on them news programs, no I’m not going to say which one. You google it, I’m not your dad. He said that the Prime Minister wasn’t making a direct comparison between those things, he was making general observations about freedom. But if that is true, which it’s not, it’s a shit observation of the kind you’d usually find someone saying because they had to fill an awkward silence or were on all the drugs. It’s like saying a male prisoner finishing their 25-year sentence is the same as the famous comedy actor because they are both a Freeman. Also though, it’s not true, you can watch the footage of him making a direct comparison between those two situations and you can watch it loads and you will only come up with that understanding. Did he see something different when he watched the footage? Maybe he had the monitor down so dark so he could only witness his reflection and keep playing with his quiff while being unable to hear any of the content unless his name was mentioned?
It’s the Spring Statement this week and it doesn’t even seem like Rishi Sunak has a basic awareness of maths let alone ideas that might help with the biggest cost of living crisis in 50 years. The Chancellor reckons his priority is to cut taxes, but he seems to be raising them first so then at some point later he can drop them slightly and hope no one remembers the beginning of the year. Sunak can only ever help people out by making things worse than they are then dialling them back slightly, like if someone took you hostage and everyday hit you in the legs with a hammer and then one day didn’t and assumed you’d think they were a saint whose kindness knows no bounds. The Chancellor says he will help with costs where he can, but currently isn’t reversing the cuts to national insurance or putting in any measures to cut heating bills, he didn’t bother to retrieve £4.3bn in fraudulent covid loads or put in wealth and so we have to assume that there isn’t anywhere he can help with. Why has he got the job then? Does he look at the data for all areas of the economy and think ‘oh fuck, I just don’t understand any of that’ then is only saved by his boss, the prime minister, doing exactly the same before they both get excited about a red briefcase. Maybe Sunak thinks that he is helping people with rising costs because by increasing their chances of dying from malnourishment or freezing temperatures, they then won’t have to pay for anything ever again making it very cheap for them. Of course, death is expensive and funeral costs are high but then as long as their loved ones also die they won’t have to worry about it either. Sunak’s plans for the NHS are to increase the amount they must save per year to £4.75bn which will really help them deal with the annual deficit of £5bn they have. Again though, by helping the NHS completely collapse, then it won’t cost anything right? And no one is going to need it anyway when we’re all dying. There is an indication that Sunak will make cuts to fuel duty, which is perfect for helping us end our reliance on Russian oil and gas and hit our net zero targets. It is quite a skill to be able to have a plethora of options that might help everything and everyone and still decide that what’ll be best is the one that doesn’t do any of that but will, for 5 minutes, generate a headline that makes you look slightly less of a prick. But I suppose that is what being economical is about to Sunak, not wasting time or money on anything that isn’t about himself. Rishi Sunak says he’s can’t fully protect everyone. I mean yeah, who do you think he is? The Chancellor or something?
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that normal people wouldn’t think the prime minister compared Ukraine to Brexit, but how would he know when he’s a potato with eyes? But you know, actual eyes. Not potato ones. What exactly does he or the Conservatives think normal is? Having a memory that would make a goldfish seem like a MENSA champion? Sajid Javid said he would go to work if he tested positive for Covid which doesn’t seem like a normal person thing to do to me. Why would anyone go to work when they were sick, regardless of what it is? No one wants to find out their colleague is sneezing wads of grim across the room and that new graph is actually a carefully landed blob of phlegm. Javid says people should take personal responsibility but if he’s happy to infect everyone in his department that’s not really doing that is it? Unless they are all pricks and absolutely deserve it. In fact if he is up for getting Covid then running rampant around Westminster coughing into the mouths of all the other cabinet ministers, then perhaps that is the most personally responsible thing he could do. Javid finished his interview by warning that Vladmir Putin is a compulsive liar and so the situation in Ukraine is going to get uglier. Which is funny because based on what he thinks about Johnson, you’d assume the Health Secretary loved how much of a normal person Putin must be.
The Conservatives are going to launch a two-year election campaign in May, which seems pointless when like everything else they could just launch it a few weeks before a general election and insist they’ve been running it for years and if you didn’t notice you’re not normal. The campaign is going to focus on saying that Labour is still affiliated with rejected Narnia side character Jeremy Corbyn even though he’s not been party leader for two years and isn’t even in the party anymore. By 2024 I’m sure that line will really have aged well with voters who they hope won’t remember partygate from this year. Labour are the party of cancel culture, unlike the Conservatives who don’t cancel things but make them extinct which is much the same but makes the hunting lobby get aroused so is ok. The other target for the campaign is net zero dogma because what everyone in the country really wants is to die from climate change before we die from no food or heating. That’s not cancelling the planet mind, it’s just helping it to save costs. Perhaps all Labour or indeed the other parties need to do, is really work on their political storytelling and just prefix the election with a small ‘previously on’ trailer and maybe, just maybe they’ll remember that the current bunch are the fucking worst.
Meanwhile, more than 150,000 have signed up to the Homes for Ukraine scheme which is amazing, but there is no central system of matching people to those in need, charities and councils haven’t been contacted or informed of what they need to do and correct safeguarding procedures aren’t in place so it’s likely none of it will work out and the government will just use the information to work out who has compassion and try to find ways to stop them having a vote next time round. The Home Secretary Priti Patel whose list of things to put in Room 101 includes smiling, Spring and the make a wish foundation, says they have to be careful about which refugees they let in because Putin will use Ukrainian women and children to infiltrate Britain. Seems like a lot of effort for him to do that when he’s got Conservative MPs that already live here. Patel and Defence Minister and man who in a film would always be the first to get possessed Ben Wallace were subject to prank video calls from someone pretending to be the Ukrainian Prime Minister but were actually from the Kremlin. I have no idea how convincing they were but I have a feeling both Wallace and Patel would be convinced by anyone who said ‘it’s me, the Ukrainian Prime Minister’ and I doubt they asked any further questions because he had an accent so it seemed right. They did also try to call Culture Secretary and woman perpetually falling out of a cab Nadine Dorries but failed because it turns out there is nothing better for national security than a minister who likely heard her phone buzz and was genuinely unsure if she was in or not. It is a shame they didn’t speak to Dorries as just this week she asked Microsoft when it was going to get rid of its algorithms and I can’t help but feel a short conversation with someone pretending to be the Prime Minister of the Ukraine would have involved her saying ‘but we have a prime minister here already’ 400 times, before he bashed his own brains out on the desk to spare himself from any further conversation and the UK’s security was protected. Still it must be confusing for those cabinet ministers to speak to someone who isn’t what they say they are, and realise it’s a security threat and not someone that’d fit in at No.10 in an instant.
In other news, P&O Ferries have fired 800 of their British staff to replace them with low paid foreign agency workers in a move that does the impossible and makes the time fluke worm man Chris Grayling gave millions to a ferry company that had no ferries almost seem sensible. The company aimed to fire and re-hire, because they have misinterpreted what it means to be cross channel. The Department of transport knew this would happen 24 hours in advance but put nothing in place, possibly because that would’ve meant explaining to certain members of the cabinet what the channel is and how the sea works without the Justice Secretary and living Silence of the Lambs mask Dominic Raab getting confused and Priti Patel immediately trying to arrest any workers leaving the ships incase they were illegals. The new workers will be paid just £1.80 an hour which is somehow legal because the company is owned in Dubai and so with government offering little help the only thing to do is completely boycott the shitty P&O and show them what it really means to be ferry terminal.
While all the British P&O staff lose their jobs, the government have secretly dropped their plans to place limits on MP’s second jobs, which is bullshit as most of them can’t even do their first one properly. The culture media and sport select committee has branded the Festival of Brexit a waste of public money and says it is set for failure. Not sure what they’re upset about to be honest, it sounds like it’ll fit its brief perfectly. Former Prime Minister and constant arsehole David Cameron took to boasting online about how he’s been working in a food bank, something that shouldn’t need to exist if it wasn’t for the years of austerity he inflicted on the country. It’s a bit like Darth Vader offering free counselling to anyone who suffered the loss of a loved one in the destruction of Alderaan. He is now driving a lorry to Poland full of supplies for Ukraine, and while I hope the supplies get there I really hope he gets stuck at a British customs border for at least 2-3 days just for some karma.
Covid hospital numbers are increasing again all around the UK but at least if you’re one of the ones who gets admitted because of it, you won’t have to have your heating on for a few days so you know, maybe that’s how the government are helping? And lastly, just to really cheer you up, both the North and South pole have suffered a massive abnormal heat wave in the last few days, despite them being in opposite seasons. Still, we’ve got to be positive about the imminent destruction of the planet and if those two opposites can work together despite their differences, then there’s hope for the rest of us. Right? Right?
Hey! A very mini episode this week. Nay, fun size, even though as we’re all aware, fun size for smaller sized things is very much Conservative slogan territory, isn’t it? Yes so just that intro bit really because it’s the kids 4th birthday tomorrow – 4! I know. Where has that time gone? Oh in about 4 billion lockdowns that’s where – and we had a party for her yesterday and basically letting 20 4 year olds run around like loons, a proper definition of chaos, has completely ruined me and I have zero brain power left except just enough to eat all the leftover bits of cake and jam sandwiches which I think should last me the week. I’m pretty sure they are all untouched but I also have a feeling by Friday I’ll have a combination of chicken pox, hand foot and mouth and covid all at once, so we’ll see how that goes. It was great fun, a proper party in a council run leisure centre like the old days, and the kid had the best time so all very worth it. Even though as I was writing my list of things to remember to bring along it contained knife, a lighter, and bin bags and I was very worried if I was arrested with that on my phone they’d think I was plotting something awful. I am very pleased we didn’t decide to just insist that birthdays are always like the last two years were which is just three of us sat around a table in lockdown. But that would have been cheaper and meant that I wouldn’t have to eat so many leftover jam sandwiches.
So just a big thanks to Freya, Conal, Loretta and James for the ko-fi donations, you goddamn champs. If any of you would like to donate to what I’ll probably have to use for insulin beyond what my prescription can provide after all those jam sandwiches, then please do that at ko-fi.com/parpolbro or join the patreon.com/parpolbro and you know, all the other usual shit.
Oh and the kids politics show I do with Tatton at Simple Politics is touring again from next month. I’ll be posting things about it very soon, but we’re in Bury St Edmunds at the Theatre Royal on April 14th, the Palace Theatre in Watford on April 23rd and hopefully Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford on the 24th too. Yes, we have rewritten the show loads since we last did it in 2020 and yes its for kids so doesn’t have anywhere near as much swearing as this show. Which yes, is very hard to do.
Right! Back to normal next week hopefully if I can get an interview in. Till then, all I gots to say is….
And that’s it for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. You know the drill but once you’ve stopped boasting about your hardware knowledge or trap music intel, why not tell others about this here podcast and get them to tune in too. And if you can, you could send some of that cash in hand to help me justify the time I waste on this show by donating to the ko-fi or by joining the patreon. Or if none of that works for you, why not try leaving a review of this show on one of the podcast sites that exist in the many folds of the intersphere.
Ya boo thanks to Acast, my brother The Last Skeptik and Kat Day.
This will be back next week when Rishi Sunak announces the best measures to help people with rising costs is to make everyone homeless, so they don’t have any bills to pay anymore. Though there will be ground rent charges because he can’t do everything you know.
This week’s show was sponsored by Dowden’s Freedom Hedges. Does your large front garden for your large house still feel at threat from cancel culture heathens? With Dowden’s Freedom Hedges, he will pop by to install large hedgerows until no one can get near your front door with their woke attitude because it’ll all be fucking hedge. Show them what real freedom is like as to even pop to the shops you have to scratch your eyes out on branches, leaves and an irate squirrel tries to bite your face. Dowden’s Freedom Hedges, a real political thicket.