Who wants to be Chancellor today? – All the u-turns, the return of Hunt and a chat with Dr Roham Alvandi about the protests in Iran

Released on Tuesday, October 18th, 2022.

Who wants to be Chancellor today? – All the u-turns, the return of Hunt and a chat with Dr Roham Alvandi about the protests in Iran

Will this podcast still be topical when it lands? Will it last past lunchtime? Jeremy Hunt is back and this time as Chancellor after the last one shorted his own career. All the PM’s budget plans are scrapped and yet somehow she says she’ll continued doing what she promised to even though none of that is left. Will she last the week? Will we? All that and Therese Coffey’s illegal antibiotic dealing business, plus a chat with Dr Roham Alvandi (@DrRohamAlvandi) about the protests in Iran.


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Further Reading

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Will this podcast still be topical when it lands? Will it last past lunchtime? Jeremy Hunt is back and this time as Chancellor after the last one shorted his own career. All the PM’s budget plans are scrapped and yet somehow she says she’ll continued doing what she promised to even though none of that is left. Will she last the week? Will we? All that and Therese Coffey’s illegal antibiotic dealing business, plus a chat with Dr Roham Alvandi (@DrRohamAlvandi) about the protests in Iran.


Key links and sources of info from Dr Roham’s interview:


All the usual ParPolBro stuff:






Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that has been going now for 65 times the amount of days Kwasi Kwarteng was Chancellor for. I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week as the brand-new Chancellor and who gave acid to that green bean Jeremy Hunt reverses almost all of the mini budget tax measures, I think it’s great that we finally have a viable opposition to the UK government. Oh wait. Oh. Oh dear.


Sometimes in times of crisis, it can be reassuring to see a familiar face reappear, to step in and offer some hope that someone, somewhere has it all in hand and maybe we don’t have to wave bye as we disappear into a sinkhole of chaos and piss. Unfortunately for the UK, we don’t have that at all and instead we’ve been landed with formaldehyde mascot Jeremy Hunt again with his crazed beady eyes like he’s permanently hypnagogic, who’s been dug up from the early days of austerity to play a part in the unnecessary sequel. It does feel like the government have realised they’re so incredibly unpopular perhaps they should bring back a character from the early seasons, that people may be nostalgic in hatred for. Or maybe it’s like the finale of Neighbours were all the characters come back to wave goodbye before it’s killed off for good and we’re just days away from shot only in black and white John Major doing a scene with disgraced MP the disgrace Liam Fox about how they remember the old days of the cabinet when shit chancellors would last more than a month. Jeremy Hunt is supposedly the man to bring confidence and stability to the markets and indeed the country as though we’ve all got a mental block on him being the man that hid behind a tree from junior doctors, can’t remember where his wife is from or how many houses he owns, and pushed through the back door privatisation of the NHS like only someone who lurks at rear entrances could do. Of course, what could make us feel confident that the country is now under control quite like embracing cancel culture and using it against themselves. The new new chancellor has stopped everything that was promised in the last month from happening but insists the Prime Minister and anthropomorphised brain freeze Liz Truss is still in charge. You know, just without making any decisions or doing any of the things she said she would definitely do. Is it a bit like how Bernie in weekend at Bernies was still hosting his party, but also definitely dead and merely carted around by other idiots? The UK will pay its way says Hunt, but does that mean we’ll survive this economic crash or that we’ll all just be paying for years for the absolute fuckery of a bunch of thunder cunts that we’ve somehow had in charge? Thank god Jeremy Hunt has only had to reverse a mini budget as we all know that had it been a full size one there’s every chance it’d have got wedged in place like the Ever Given in the Suez Canal, whereas now the government are just freely u-turning so much it’s a shock they haven’t caused a whirlpool or gained their own small moon. The pound did rise after his statement, but then who wouldn’t get some sort of an uplift from knowing Jeremy Hunt had to put loads of work in for something that’ll no doubt be irrelevant in about 5 minutes when someone else gets their go as chancellor for the week?


Is there any point in going back over how we got here when there’s every chance by the end of the week we’ll have another bunch of new faces in charge and then another until the Tory Party is wheeling out anyone who once took a Tory Party leaflet and didn’t use it as toilet paper or who has ever scowled at a baby so fits with basic party principles to have a go at running things just so they don’t have to willingly go extinct in a general election like dinosaurs holding a meteor welcoming party. Do you even remember the last Chancellor? Kwasi Kwarteng with his face somehow entirely made of concentric circles? I know it seems like it was 400 years ago, but he was in charge of the country’s economy just last week. Yes! I know right? It is hard to remember but he was right there, crashing the pound yet again like it had once murdered his parents in an alley and now his life mission is to enact revenge by dressing up as stagflatman. There he was saying ‘I’m not going anywhere’ which was a lie at the time as he was in Washington DC to visit the IMF, but then luckily for them – as god knows he’d probably have stamped on all their indoor plants insisting he was helping them grow – Kwarteng then had to make an early flight back to London. Presumably not in business as he’d have just trashed it. Before he’d even landed the news had broken that he was no longer Chancellor, and Kwarteng released a half-hearted resignation but was definitely shoved out the door letter that basically said, ‘I’m sorry you feel your pound had crashed’. That was it, just 38 days in the job and then fired, and you do have to wonder if all his mates in the city had put bets on him shorting his career. And so, he was replaced by Jeremy Hunt, a man so suited to be chancellor during these trying times as history shows when he’s faced with a crisis he runs away and hides from them for weeks on end.


The Prime Minister took to the podium to do the world’s quickest press conference, where Truss said she was determined to see through what she had promised. But she’s u-turned on all of it so what’s left? That bit where she said she’s ready to hit the nuclear button if necessary? Or maybe when she mistook Derbyshire for Gloucestershire or insisted she wouldn’t recognise Russia’s sovereignty over Russia? Truss said she wanted a country where people can get good jobs, then presumably fuck them up so badly within a month that they have to leave them again. Truss said the corporation tax rise that her leadership rival and background extra for Big Mouth Rishi Sunak had campaigned for, would now go ahead even though she’d campaigned against it. Then on Monday Jeremy Hunt scrapped nearly all of the mini-budget and reduced the energy bill support plan so it ends in April, just after last week Truss criticised Labour for having an energy plan that only lasted 6 months. If anymore rugs are pulled out from under her she’d be an 80s public safety video about a fatal polished floor. Truss isn’t able to do any of the things she said she would, not least because it was all mad shit that would fuck everything up, and so now where does she go, if she’s able to go anywhere without getting lost looking for the exit? She’s got none of her policies and absolutely no personality, so will she just have to retrain in cyber? And more importantly is she now part of the anti-growth coalition too? Or is Jeremy Hunt? Or is Kwarteng? And why won’t it stop growing? And who is growing pies now? Will there be any or are we entering a pieless era altogether and if so, will it mean the demise of the upper crust?


Several Conservative MPs that you haven’t heard of and don’t care about and won’t have jobs soon, have all called for the Prime Minister to go. There are rumours of a secret plot to get rid of her, though its not that secret as its in all the newspapers and chances are its just having a general election but not telling Liz Truss that it’s happening. One source said that serious people in the party were discussing calling on Truss to resign, which can’t be true as there aren’t any of those in the Tory party. Serious people? What the ones who said we had to back Brexit in order to get bendier bananas and that former PM and whatever the opposite of a stress relief toy is Boris Johnson was definitely ambushed by cake. There is some concern about who will replace her as party leader and Prime Minister as though they couldn’t just put some eyes on a mop and it’d do a better job. Some rumours suggest Sunak could be brought in, with what if Loose Women merged with a roadblock Penny Mourdant as his deputy or co-Prime Minister or I guess just someone in the room who could keep explaining why he’s not allowed to live in America anymore and his wife has to pay tax. This idea is like saying ‘well no one likes it and it doesn’t work, but have we tried having two of the things people hate instead?’ Replacing a useless fucking Tory leader whose ruined the country with two useless fucking Tory leaders who’ve ruined the country is not only failing to see the wood for the trees, but chopping down all the trees till they can see the wood more clearly and then wondering why the planet’s dead. The other proposed option is Defence Secretary and man who shares 99.9% of his DNA with a donut, Ben Wallace, who’d make a great prime minister based on the time he was fooled by prank callers into thinking he was talking to the Ukrainian leader, the times he’s lied about his position in the army and his refusal to let anyone poke into his private life like he’s definitely, definitely done lots of wrong things. No wonder he was made defence secretary for two administrations in a row as he’s fairly defensive about pretty much everything. Former culture secretary and rubber chicken with hair Nadine Dorries said that there is only unity candidate, Boris Johnson who has a mandate from party members, presumably she doesn’t mean MPs but all the people he got drunk with at No.10 during the lockdowns. Nothing has been able to happen till head of the 1922 committee and man who looks like he eats bicycle parts for lunch Graham Brady returned from holiday this week and by the state of things he’d be within his right to say flights were delayed and get a few more days at the hotel before having to deal with it. Yet again the entire future of the country is in the hands of people who consistently make all the worst choices about the future of the country. Will Liz Truss by Prime Minister by the end of the week? Or day? Or lunch? She didn’t show up to the Urgent Question about the economy and made Penny Mourdaunt do it instead as the Prime Minister was detained on urgent business. By that they probably mean working out where to have her leaving drinks. Which let’s face it, could happen anywhere as no one is going to attend. Mourdaunt actually said, in the Commons ‘I can confirm the Prime Minister isn’t hiding under her desk’. Well I suppose it’s not hiding if she dropped a pen down there, went to find it and now can’t find her way back out. It’s hard to say how much longer Liz Truss will be PM for, but I’m sure whatever the Conservatives sort out for their fifth attempt to get a Prime Minister who can actually do their job, will be a good one. Fifth time lucky is what they say isn’t it? Fifth time lucky. Like sweaty chops for a face David Cameron said back in the day, the Conservatives don’t reward failure. Except with peerages and stuff like that.


And in the meantime, what do these new, new budget policies mean for you? Well at the moment it means your bills are rising and you don’t get a tax cut and in 6 months they’ll rise more, and rich people are still doing ok, but who knows, it could be different in a week’s time and then the week after that. There’s every chance that by December we’ll be back to some sort of bartering system where people will be swapping potatoes for cows. The country is in the same place it was by the end of August but with a lot more time wasted and evidence that the Conservatives are even more shit than we thought possible. What’s clear is that even Tory MPs are saying the Prime Minister is toast, which is really unfair to toast as it lets people down very rarely and nearly always does the job you want it to. Toast wouldn’t cause as much damage as Liz Truss has within 40 days until someone was really, really gluten intolerant. Or it got stuck in the toaster and burned and set fire to the whole house. Ok, Liz Truss is toast, but the worst kind of house setting on fire, making gluten intolerant people sad toast and as long as she burns down the whole Tory party with her then maybe, just maybe, she’ll be found to have at least one redeeming quality.


In other policies that may not be by the time you hear this, Health Secretary and porg on crack Therese Coffey spent the week clotheslining logic by insisting nurses can leave if they want to as they’ve already had a pay rise. Presumably Coffey would run a restaurant by telling people the food isn’t prepared to standards and tastes like shit, but they can fuck off if they don’t like it as she has provided watered down ketchup. Then she said that poor people are richer than you think, which with debt meaning they have minus nothing only makes sense if you believe all they own is a black hole. Is she cosplaying as an amalgamation of the worst villans from Dickins novels? It’s hard to say but hopefully she’ll go like they do and end up in prison or dying from spontaneous combustion. I suppose the latter is possible as when announcing that pharmacies will be able to prescribe antibiotics to patients rather than GPs, Coffey admitted she shared her prescribed drugs with her friends and family, which is a breach of the 2012 Human Medicine Regulations laws. Though lets be fair, its likely the only way any of her relations or pals could spend any time with her is off their face on drugs.

Liz Truss blocked a £15m energy saving public campaign that could have saved people £300 a year with No.10 saying they blocked it as ‘we’re not a nanny state’. That’s right, just run by people who have nannies. They don’t want to tell you who to save money as that’s patronising, but no you can’t choose a new leader as we have a handful of weirdos who will do that for you incase you mess up and don’t pick an absolute fuckwad.


US President and man who squints because he’s constantly glimpsing the light just before death Joe Biden said Liz Truss’s economic policies before they were all scrapped, were a mistake. That would mean it’d be illegal to get rid of them in 22 states.


Scottish First Minister and talking finger cot Nicola Sturgeon says independence is best for everyone, which must be news to her husband and I feel sad he had to find out that way. At a briefing on what the updated arguments for Scottish independence are, Sturgeon said Scotland would move to its own currency when the time is right. I suggest just after the next announcement from Jeremy Hunt and then it’s likely they’ll be able to use the Scottish pounds to buy all the British ones.


And finally, the Festival of Brexit is being investigated by public spending watchdog, after it cost £120m of public money but visitor numbers were less than 1% of targets. Cost lots of money, hasn’t benefitted anyone and no one liked it? Sounds like it was a perfect representation of Brexit if you ask me. I think to really get their money’s worth, they should try and export it and see what happens.





You know how them city bods should gamble their money? By betting how long each episode of this podcast will last in terms of topicality. An hour after release? Will it be ruined before it even comes out? Ah the joys of a completely unstable catastrophic political system. So yes, sorry if this gets to your ears by the time each and every bit of it doesn’t matter anymore. I did think about going through the new budget decisions announced by Jeremy Hunt then realised it didn’t matter as they’ll probably be different every day this week. What is the point? Who even knows who the Prime Minister will be by the end of the week? Should I maybe just play some hold music next time and you can add your own up to the minute analysis? Or do I have to release a podcast every hour? I hope you are doing ok and you probably are, as unlike me, you’re not keeping a constant eye on the news and feeling like at some point you’ll wake up and I really shouldn’t have eaten that much cheese last night. I didn’t eat cheese last night and let me tell you, I regret every night I don’t. Though maybe that is what Liz Truss does and it could explain a lot if all her policies were thought up after scoffing a ton of black bomber cheddar?


Again, not much to say this week except you know, thanks for listening even though I’m sure this show now feels as helpful as a chocolate teapot. No wait, I hate that phrase. I’d definitely eat a whole chocolate teapot. I wouldn’t put tea in it obvs but by eating it, it’d definitely be useful. A cardboard teapot would be shit. Unless part of an art installation. Ok, I give in. I’m just saying thanks for listening, thanks to James for the ko-fi donation at ko-fi.com/parpolbro, thanks to those of you who are continuing to be part of the absolutely no rewards patreon at patreon.com/parpolbro even during the few weeks where you probably got charged twice the amount due to the pound dropping against the dollar. Apparently, you can switch your patreon to pounds rather than dollars, but let’s be honest, based on how it’s going you’re probably best to switch it to something else entirely. Organs? First borns? I’m not sure. Next week its half term so I’ll just be doing a mini-podcast as my time to write this will be severally limited by my agent, whose current favourite past time is running around with no clothes on singing songs as loudly as possible. Trust me when I say that is not conducive to a good podcast happening.


But till then, I gots a great guest this week with Dr Roham Alvandi on the situation in Iran, because yes, other countries exist too. Even though it is hard to remember when everyday our news is simply about things not happening like reporting on a nationwide existential crisis.





It can hard to remember that other places in the world exist, let alone are going through their own national crisis when ours is such a regular rollercoaster of shitnados. But if you look away from the revolving door of Chancellors, and Liz Truss’s constant expression like she’s just woken up from an accidental sleeping pill overdose, you’ll see that there are a number of global stories right now very worth paying attention to. One is Iran, a country that since 1979 has been run by a government who are much like if the Mail Online sidebar were in power. But without the Islamaphobia. For 40 years the Islamic Republic have placed the country under harsh authoritarian rule, monitoring people, and particularly women and enforcing the restrictions on freedom of speech, strict dress code and embarrassing sweat patches. Oh no sorry, that last one is the Mail Online again. The country was already suffering from staggeringly high inflation, yes, I’m still talking about Iran, heavy international sanctions, yes still Iran, a water crisis and regional tensions, while for years the rest of the world has been highly concerned about the nuclear threat posed by Iran and its funding of many terrorist organisations. To summarise with an understatement, it’s not been very fun times over there for a while. Then a few weeks ago, the Iranian morality police arrested 22 year old Mahsa Amini in Tehran for wearing what they thought was inappropriate clothing, and took her into custody where eyewitnesses say she was subject to police brutality and she fell into a coma and died three days later. A horrific tragedy and one that has echoed around Iran, a catalyst to protests that have seen Iranians rise up against the government. Over 200 protesters have been killed, many more injured and tear gassed, and yet they are refusing to back down in a defiant and inspiring fight for human rights and as I record this a major fire has raged at the notorious Evin prison where Iran’s political prisoners are kept. This is the biggest challenge to the Islamic Republic since it took power in 1979 after the Iranian revolution, so is this the sequel, with a hopefully much happier ending for the country’s citizens? Why has global support taken so long to arrive compared to say Ukraine, or is it just that everyone has realised the last thing they need in amongst fighting the government is for Liz Truss to turn up, get lost in a room and generally make it worse? And could this be the end of the Iranian morality police, till you know, they get a regular column in the Mail on Sunday?


This week I spoke to Dr Roham Alvandi, an Associate professor of International History at the London School of Economics. Roham specialises in the history of the US, the Cold War and most importantly for this interview, of modern Iran. I asked Roham why the death of Mahsa Amini had such an effect on the entire country, if this is a turning point in Iran’s history and just why Britain and much of the rest of the world have been generally crap at noticing what’s happening there. I learned so much more from this interview than weeks of trying to read the titbits of British news about the situation and I’m so pleased Roham had time to chat. I hope you find this as insightful and useful a conversation as I did:




Thanks so much to Roham for having time to chat. You can find Roham on Twitter at @DrRohamAlvandi or at the Department of International History at the London School of Economics where he is an Associate Professor. I have also popped a link in the podcast blurb to the petition for the government to maintain sanctions and introduce a visa ban on people linked to the Iranian regime.




What else do you need to either soothe your panicked mind about the world, or more likely make it worse but you know at least its facts rather than a headline being shouted in your face that is made up of opinions someone imagined after eating too many refresher bars. Let me know who I should interview and what about, and you can do that by dropping me a line at the parpolbro twitter or facebook, or by emailing partlypoliticalbroadcast@gmail.com.





And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Who knows by the time you’ve heard it we’ll probably have an entirely new Prime Minister, cabinet, monarchy and James Bond and they may all be the same person as no one else is left. If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit join our club, but if you like this podcast its more helpful if you just tell other people to give it a listen. If you can afford to, please donate to the ko-fi.com/parpolbro or join the patreon.com/parpolbro for which you get the sweet monthly reward of knowing you’re a nice human. Please also give this podcast a nice 5 star rating an Apple podcasts or similar podcast holes.


Danke schon to Acast, my brother The Last Skeptik and Kat Day.


This will be back next week when Liz Truss will no longer be PM, but due to a complete shortage of people wanting to step up to the cabinet during such crisis, she will be chancellor, health secretary, mail delivery attendant and parliamentary tour guide for school groups. All of which she is fired from by the end of the following week.




This week’s show was sponsored by Therese Coffey’s pharmacy services. What do you need? How much you got? Pop by the garden door once it gets dark and Therese will make sure you get all the pills you need, for the right price. If you’re poor its twice as much as you’re richer than you think. Stay for a chat and get 50% extra free as you’ll have to use it there and then to last the conversation.

Email Tiernan