The Rise of Trashism – Sue Gray Report, Windfall Tax and a chat with Phin Harper at Open City

Released on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022.

The Rise of Trashism – Sue Gray Report, Windfall Tax and a chat with Phin Harper at Open City

The Sue Gray Report is here, but sadly so is Boris Johnson still. What will it take for him to go? Maybe we need to follow in his Ministerial code changing footsteps and change the definition of Prime Minister so it means someone who gets in the sea. Gags on Partygate, the not Windfall Tax and a chat with Phin Harper (@PhinHarper) at Open City (@OpenCityLondon) on the importance of design on society.



Donate to the Patreon at

Buy me a coffee at





Follow us on Twitter @parpolbro, on Facebook at and the fancy webpage at

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

THIS EPISODE IS TAGGED WITH: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Further Reading

Linear liner notes 

The Sue Gray Report is here, but sadly so is Boris Johnson still. What will it take for him to go? Maybe we need to follow in his Ministerial code changing footsteps and change the definition of Prime Minister so it means someone who gets in the sea. Gags on Partygate, the not Windfall Tax and a chat with Phin Harper (@PhinHarper) at Open City (@OpenCityLondon) on the importance of design on society.


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


All the usual ParPolBro stuff:




Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that will be only in imperial measurements so each episode will be at least 46 pig farts and half a distressed sailor’s glottal long. I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week as the Prime Minister and like if someone tried to tumble dry a dead yeti Boris Johnson decides the way to keep favour with the British public after the damning Sue Grey report is just to revive Imperial measurements, I am concerned with the way things are going that he doesn’t mean pointlessly using pounds and ounces but instead Stormtroopers and plans to spend all the UK’s money on building a Death Star.


Is the UK sleepwalking into fascism? That may explain why there is such a narrative against woke culture. Or are we marching towards it? Which would seem a waste when there’ll probably be a lot more marching once in it. Or maybe we’ve been cuddling up with it for a while, pretending it’s a just an exciting fling with something we find entertaining but knowing full well we’ve now got comfortable and will soon have to agree to meet its parents. It is a fully understandable concern, but exactly where we are on the path to being in a dictatorship, with emphasis on the first part of that word, is very hard to pinpoint. On the one hand, which seems firmly in the air doing a salute, there is a Prime Minister who has changed the rules just so he won’t be breaking them. But then on the other hand there’s a can of super tenants and owning the libs by falling asleep in the garden. It is easy to see the signs of cronyism and corruption, disdain for intellectuals, the controlled mass media and hatred of human rights to name but a few of the indicators. But then you have to wonder, could this lot also do the making the trains run on time bit as well, or would they be too busy doing their own lines with very few stops while attempting karaoke? Is it still fascism if alongside the jingoistic nationalism you still have to bring your own booze? Are we, and perhaps this is even scarier than fascism if such a thing exists, hurtling into a new, inept form of authoritarianism, where horrific class-based cruelty occurs alongside people generally ignoring it as the power wielding maniac at the top keeps being sick on his own suit just before interviews? It would of course be right to name this new, even worse form of horror after its creator Boris Johnson a la Johnsonism but I worry he’d just be very excited to have his name put on something which would ruin the point. So, this here in 2022, I announce as the year of the formation of Trashism. I hope it dies really fucking soon.


The Sue Gray Report was released last week and as stated by the civil servant who authored it and woman whose expressions appear to be in a permanent state of being offered a flyer to something she doesn’t want to go to, many events should not have been allowed to happen. Yes Sue, that’s what I’ve been saying since around 2010. The report detailed many examples of lockdown rule breaking party culture that took place while many people were having to wave goodbye to loved ones on zoom, unable to say it because the mute button was still on. As the majority of the country followed the rules set by No.10, the reports state they were drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, which actually isn’t too different to a lot of us except we had to do it at home while in lockdown so at least no one could take pictures. One person at an event in June 2020 was sick, which we assume was from drinking but they may just work at the Home Office, have a shred of humanity about them and have seen what they’d have to do in future weeks. On the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, some staff partied until after 4am, which is pretty disrespectful, unless they were black or Asian in which case totally fair reason to celebrate. Haha, I am kidding, it was at No.10, so of course they weren’t. The Gray report mentions multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff, which is so grim. They have had to clean up that mess or stay on the door for those events before going home and following the rules themselves at home and I wish, I’m aware this easier for me to say then them to do, they’d have just walked out. Or at least just half arsed the job then swept everything under the carpet and insisted they were following the government’s example. Over 37 pages, Sue Gray’s report explains how No.10 was a Bullingdon Club themed venue during the lockdown, and political and official leadership must bear responsibility for its culture, or rather complete lack of. Which with the Prime Minister who he is, felt very much as futile an ask as requesting Jeffrey Dahmer cut down on meat consumption.


Wait for the report we were told and wait we all did. And as you know, good things come to those who wait, except in the UK in 2022 where we’ve even managed to fuck up rewarding patience. Don’t get me wrong, the report was indeed damning, but the results were once again Boris Johnson pretending that he gives a shit before seconds later proving he doesn’t. The Prime Minister said he claimed full responsibility for everything that took place on his watch which is a clever thing to say when we all know he barely pays attention to anything. He said he hadn’t seen the empty bottle filled bins, the altercation between staff members or the person vomiting and so after all the things he didn’t see he probably only has to claim full responsibility for his own fire hazard fringe and then can have the rest of the day off.

The Prime Minister was humbled by the whole experience he said, before then saying it was everyone else’s fault and he wasn’t going to resign. According to Johnson the staff at No.10 worked very hard and very long hours during the pandemic and so deserved to have a party here or there or every single night of the week, unlike say nurses who did the same, but I guess they got some applause, and you can’t have everything right? The Downing Street staff didn’t get applause apart from all the toasts at leaving dos, and probably when they finished doing cringeworthy rap to Mo Money Mo Problems on the karaoke. And besides they couldn’t get applause as that’d mean everyone would have to have known they were having the parties that they definitely deserved to have but also hoped no one would know about as they snuck out of the back entrance of No.10. As Johnson said, think of all the great achievements they managed during the pandemic, such as letting 180,000 people unnecessarily die, or making nurses have to wear bin bags as all the PPE they secured from their pants donor was faulty, or all that money on track and trace that didn’t work, or as former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick pointed out, with his face that looks like it could be placed under a car tyre to stop it going anywhere, they got homeless people off the streets. Yes, but then they put them straight back on the streets as soon as they could and now keep pretending they can’t fix homelessness. Chances are high they also had to take them off the streets near No.10 before Johnson insisted on having several dragged in so he could burn a £50 note in front of them as his party trick. So it was all the fault of the staff who were invited there by the Prime Minister or other senior officials, but they did deserve it and it was awful but also its now time to move on because there’s a war he’s nowhere near. Johnson said he absolutely can’t resign because he has to keep moving forward, as though he’s the victim of perpetual motion which can’t be true as that can only happen in an un-perturbed system and this government is the exact opposite.

Oh, but also the Leader of the Opposition and Hokusai woodblock print of the wave but with an arse cheek wedged under it, Keir Starmer, he’s now being called Sir Beer Korma which is actually quite good and forget about the war, what war? Cos, he had a beer once and that’s worse than anything else in the world. If Boris Johnson’s reasoning was a plot line, it’d have more holes in it than an Emmental cheese that was a victim in a slasher film. His apology could only have been worse if he’d replaced it with his own karaoke version of Shaggy’s ‘It wasn’t me’ which he definitely did at one of those parties with an affected and most certainly racist accent.


Then to show just how humbled Johnson was by it all, he changed the ministerial code so that MPs don’t have to resign if they just do a small breach of it like breaking the law several times. Yeah, don’t hate the player, hate the game, that the player didn’t like so changed it but that is what happens if we have no written constitution. That’s a prime-time classic authoritarian power move right there, but it’d also be silly to pretend Johnson would have followed the code if it’d stayed the same anyway as he hadn’t till now, much like many of his cabinet members hadn’t for quite some time. It’s like if Jeff Bezos had changed tax avoidance rules or Piers Morgan had set out to change the meaning of the word watchable. 25 Tory MPs have publicly called for the Prime Minister to quit since the report was published, which so far makes a grand total of 334 so I’m sure he feels the pressure to go absolutely nowhere. The MPs that support him have been throwing out all the excuses. Transport Secretary and man that pest control services have a special net for Grant Shapps insisted Boris Johnson couldn’t have been partying at any of these events as he was mourning his mum at the time, even though she died a full 12 months later. Then again, having Boris Johnson as your child probably means you’d do all sorts of things to avoid having him visit. Conservative MP for South Norfolk and Steve Pemberton’s worst character Richard Bacon said that NHS staff let their hair down during the pandemic too. Which they didn’t, because it was always too tied up in PPE, while Johnson let his down every day by not brushing it and by being fucking wasted at parties. And much of the cabinet took to social media to say that we just have to move on and let them get on with it. Which is an odd thing to say when they could have been getting on with it for ages if they weren’t always drunk or recovering from hangovers. It’s like when I demand to be left alone so I can finish a script, after I’ve spent most of the day sitting in my pants playing PS5.


Thing is, all it takes for a Conservative MP to back Johnson’s criminality is a promise that at some point they can have a go at ruining education or Northern Ireland and they’ll say whatever they can think of to support him. But you and me public are less easily persuaded, which is why it’s very lucky the Chancellor and Saelt-Marae Star Wars cosplayer Rishi Sunak announced a windfall tax on oil and gas profits just one week after Conservatives voted against the idea. Turns out, it seems like a much better plan when you want everyone to not notice a report that says your boss is a wino. Though sorry, this isn’t a windfall tax, they don’t support doing that. Its an energy profits levy. And this one is very clever in that it has a ton of loopholes to allow North Sea gas and oil companies to actually reduced their taxes by drilling more, while us mugs get slightly more money off an even larger heating bill we still can’t afford. Yes, that’s right, the energy cap will be £2800 per year by October, but thanks to Rishi you can now have an extra £400 on top of the £150 you got before to help with that. Meaning most people will now only have to pay nearly £1000 more in a cost-of-living crisis than before. If you’re on benefits, you will get a bit more money off, which will really not help enough with all your benefits not being raised in line with inflation. If Rishi Sunak heard that there was going to be a tsunami that would flood the entire country, he’d wait till after it hit then announce everyone will be getting just one half inflated arm band each before claiming he’d saved everyone’s lives. If you own more than one home, you will get the extra £400 for each of those, but Sunak has suggested that if you don’t need it, then you could give that amount to charity like he’ll be doing. And he owns so many homes that’s some charity that’ll be getting a lot of cash, or more likely it’ll just go to the private school his kids attend which is registered as a charity because you know, it helps those whose parents neglect them so much they pretend to live in other countries just to not see them. Boris Johnson didn’t say he’d give his extra £400 to charity, claiming that as he lives in No.10 it’s a different situation. Yes, that’s true, it means we pay for his rising heating costs instead. Maybe that’s why everyone attended the parties to save on heating costs? A windfall tax was part of Labour’s manifesto in 2019 and has repeatedly mentioned as a solution to the rising costs, but its only after the Sue Gray report was released that it become viable. So can we hope for even more scandals, like say Johnson will be found to have held a rave in an RAF aerodrome the day after he announced lockdown number 3, until Rishi Sunak is forced to bring in universal basic income? The other meaningless platitude to us all is Johnson’s pledge to revive Imperial measurements for goods again, even though they’ve never been banned, and we all just don’t like using them because most satnavs can’t tell you how many twips to the barleycorn a journey is. Your destination is 3 furlongs to the rood. You can see why Johnson would like to bring them back though because it’s like the measurement form of one of his speeches. Loads of meaningless outdated phrases that describe things that don’t measure up to be anywhere as near as much he says. Who is this policy for? You could say the weirdo nationalists who just want things to be like they were in the good old days when no one could measure anything and everyone got lost. But I reckon it’s for the Prime Minister because right now, most of Britain cannot fathom how he’s escaping a punishment for Partygate, but with the imperial measurement system we will.


Some events weren’t included in Sue Gray’s report, including the supposed ABBA party in the No.10 flat, and evidence has now emerged of texts that were made available to her of another illegal party hosted by Carrie Johnson, aka the Worst Lady, which No.10 have refused to deny. Perhaps Sue Gray decided it didn’t matter as it might just cause Boris Johnson to try to change the definition of party, so it only means an event no one in his family is at. Rumours are there are more than 25 letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister that have reached posh Jaws Sir Graham Brady, but there’s no way to know until parliament returns next week. Maybe even his own party, no not that one, the political one, have decided it is indeed time for Boris Johnson to keep moving forwards, just out of the door of No.10 and into some oncoming traffic. If they have, then you know what, I’ll hold my hand up and say fair play, sometimes they are in tune with the public. Then again they are probably loving this whole Trashism, because the best thing about making this sort of mess is that they can have a go at the people that have to clean it up and suffer zero consequences for it.


This very long weekend of course, is the Platinum Jubilee, where the country celebrates the Queen spending 70 years on the throne, though I think that just sounds like she should eat a lot more fibre. Definitely nothing remotely fashy about having our dear monarch’s face carved into hedges and projected onto every stone at Stonehenge like the Druids really fucked up with a spell, all the while in the midst of a recession we fund a parade, pageant and concert that seem to only have the purpose of meaning there’s as many eyewitnesses around Prince Andrew as possible. Well done her Maj, it can’t be easy living with such immense wealth under a legacy that is prided on the forced colonisation of so many countries that are now rejecting you and your pedo son, but you done did it. Boris Johnson insisted we all rejoice in the Queen’s leadership and devotion but it’s probably that he’s lying to her again and just wanted another excuse for a party with a long enough weekend to deal with the come down. God save the Queen, say I, someone who doesn’t believe in either of those things and so it has as much meaning as me saying ‘Jabberwocky save the Venture Capitalists’.




Hey! Another week of endless bank holidays which is great for you with your jobs like real people but rubbish for me of the self-employed species and generally means I’ve got no work while watching twats dressed in Union Flag clown shows celebrating that one family owns all the land and takes all their cash. Ah Britain, please change. Please. I hope though that you have a good Jubbly weekend, yes that’s what I’m calling it, and half term too if you’re in charge of small people for whom that matters. And because it’s just a three dayer and less time to listen to this, I’ve not got much to tells ya. Obvs some stories from last week that I didn’t mention because just too grim, and some that I just couldn’t work out gags for today. Though worth mentioning that Suella Braverman is a truly horrible human being. I keep watching TV shows where the villain gets some sort of comeuppance at the end and its then so hard to go back to the news where it doesn’t happen. Why oh why is Suella Braverman not being taken out by a Demogorgon? It should’ve happened by now right? Just not fair at all. Yes I am watching the new Stranger Things which I’m loving but the scariest thing in it is how long the episodes are. I do not have the time in my life for 1.40 min long eps. Come on people. Stranger Things, Longer things more like. Eh? Yes that’s why I’m not saying much this week. My brain has only skills for that level of gags.


So just a big thanks to Stephen and Steve this week for the ko-fi donations. And you know, if you want to chuck me money because the Queen is taking my work away. Fact. You think she’d have better things to do, but nope. Anyway you can do that at with a one off chuck of coffee funds or what’s even better is if you head over to the and lob me even £1 a month. If you can’t do that, give the show a nice review on Apple Podcasts or somewhere like that as no one’s done that in aaaaages.


And there is an interview this week, which is exciting and probably won’t be one again next week because there’s only 3 days in this week and no one wants to reply to emails when they could do nothing at all. Yes it’s the Queen’s fault again. Yes I might scowl at a stamp to get my own back.





Sociologists will tell you the five building blocks of society are statuses, roles, groups, organisations and institutions. Which is all very clever and good, but what they’ve forgotten there is the building block of society that is, well, building blocks. It’s very clear in the UK in 2022 that development, planning and housing are big shapers of society too and I don’t just mean because we’re split into those who believe Boris Johnson will one day build a bridge to Northern Ireland and those who think the other group are fucking idiots. Yes, you are all thinking but building and development is shaped by statuses, roles, groups, organisations and institutions and I’d say, well you try writing intros to political subjects for 6 years and see where that gets you. Yes, nowhere, exactly. The same as me. Ahem. As well all the other many, many crises we seem to be amassing in the UK like we’re trying to catch ‘em all, there is a big housing one and alongside that many other ones that tie into it like plot-strands of a TV show you know that sadly there are at least 8 more series of before they have a satisfactory ending. Through clever design areas and homes can be made more environmentally friendly, more inclusive, more accessible and affect how people feel on a day to day basis, and yet the drive in this country is mainly to let overseas developers build huge tower blocks full of flammable flats no one can afford to live in which on reflection is probably for the best safety wise. There’s high speed train lines that won’t go to half they places they promised they would but you know, faster. And er, even more Beatles museums when all people need is love and of course lorry parks to turn the garden of England into a tribute to Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi. Oh and the police are making active decisions about the security of all the new planning decisions meaning that your park can no longer have benches in-case they become places for criminals to gather, forgetting that they’ve already got the extensive garden in number 10. How much could planning and architecture be a fix to many of the political issues in the UK? Do British people get enough of a say in how their area is developed? And does any of this matter when the person in charge of Levelling Up and Housing is still Michael Gove, a man that appears like he was haphazardly constructed using pipe cleaners and discarded custard skin?


This week I spoke to Phinn Harper, Director of Open City and Open House Worldwide. Phin is a critic and curator who specialises in the intersection of architecture and politics, and they recently wrote a brilliant piece in the Guardian about the Secured by Design initiative that allows the police to, well, take away park benches among other things, which is why I asked them on this show. Phin explained all about what Open City does, how artitechture can impact on us all and why it’s really not great to have the police decide how things should be built when their own Scotland Yard isn’t even anywhere near Scotland and so doesn’t even serve its purpose in that sense. Ok they didn’t talk about the Scotland Yard bit but as far as I’m concerned, its up there with Leeds castle being in Kent. Sort it out everyone.


This was such a fascinating chat with Phinn, so I hope you enjoy. Here they are:




Thanks tons to Phinn for that fascinating chat. They can be found @PhinHarper on Twitter or at and Open City are at or if you’re not in the UK, there’s Open City sites all around the world so go have a looksie for yours. As Phinn mentioned, the Open House Festival in London starts on the 8th of September. I have always always meant to go and then been totally rubbish and never actually gone, but I know my cousin does and always says it’s amazing. So be better than me and go along. It is free, allows you to roam around some truly amazing usually not public venues and sites and all details are at open city’s website.


As you may have noticed, I’m not managing to get guests as often as I used to for this show, which isn’t out of choice but more that there seem to be endless bank holidays and everyone has burn out. So if you know someone who could talk to me about an area of politics we need to do knowing about and isn’t too tired for me to throw 30 mins of questions at them in return for well, me maybe getting the link to their website wrong, then please recommend them to moi at





And that’s that for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. If you didn’t enjoy it, I will apologise then change the email address so no one can let me know they don’t like it anymore. I think that’s how it works. If you did enjoy it though, and I do hope you did, then why not tell everyone between here and the moon to also tune in, donate to the ko-fi or Patreon so I can actually afford to do it and give it a swanky 5 star review at any of the podcast dives these things bubble up from.


Yeah, cheers and that to Acast, my brother the Last Skeptik and Kat Day.


This will be back next week when Boris Johnson changes the definition of Boris Johnson to mean someone who is always Prime Minister.




This week’s show was sponsored by Imperial Measurement deliveries. We will only deliver your goods in classic British measurements. You want an inch, we’ll take a mile. Need a chain of sausages? How about a chain of those? Yes, that’s what I said, a chain of a chain. How much is that? What are you? Some sort of forrin traitor? We got roods and roods of goods, and all you have to do is hit the link. No not to our site, we only have our menu carved in a stone off the cobbled road. I meant a link, you know 1/100th of a chain. Imperial Deliveries, you won’t perch how we twip your slug and we mean it!

Email Tiernan