Or Not Politics – Government policy of not doing anything, Starmer’s self diagnosing and Julia Grace Patterson on the NHS crisis

Released on Tuesday, January 17th, 2023.

Or Not Politics – Government policy of not doing anything, Starmer’s self diagnosing and Julia Grace Patterson on the NHS crisis

The podcast returns to find that, well, nothing has really changed. The NHS is in serious trouble, public sector workers are still having to strike and cost of living is still silly. Luckily Rishi Sunak’s government are doing a resounding nothing about it, and generally hoping it’ll all be fixed by them ignoring it and assuming it’ll eventually go away. Zahawi’s avoided millions, Starmer’s self-diagnosis and a chat with Dr Julia Grace Patterson (@JuJuliaGrace) at Every Doctor (@EveryDoctorUK) on the NHS Crisis.

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Further Reading

Linear liner notes 

The podcast returns to find that, well, nothing has really changed. The NHS is in serious trouble, public sector workers are still having to strike and cost of living is still silly. Luckily Rishi Sunak’s government are doing a resounding nothing about it, and generally hoping it’ll all be fixed by them ignoring it and assuming it’ll eventually go away. Zahawi’s avoided millions, Starmer’s self-diagnosis and a chat with Dr Julia Grace Patterson (@JuJuliaGrace) at Every Doctor (@EveryDoctorUK) on the NHS Crisis.


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


Catch up with Tiernan’s interview all about writing – https://thecomedyloser.com/2022/11/20/055-tiernan-douieb 


All the usual ParPolBro stuff:






Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that doesn’t apologise for the language it uses, but that’s because I haven’t done enough Duolingo yet to feel confident doing it in French as well. I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week as Chairman of the Conservative Party, former chancellor and man who looks like he’s the last sole subscriber to Readers Wives magazine Nadhim Zahawi still insists he wasn’t a beneficiary from the £3m in YouGov investments sent offshore, I think in a way that is true. As by avoiding paying it in tax, absolutely none of it has gone to heat his horses.


We are only halfway through the first month of 2023 and already, fair play to the Conservative government as they have successfully boosted the entire country’s efficiency and helped us all save energy, by removing the need for us to wish anyone a Happy New Year within about 2 minutes of it starting. Think of all the energy we’ll save not having to pronounce those two syllables or pretend to raise a smile, so we can instead save that breath that could well give us the extra 30 seconds of life we need to survive the 9-hour wait for an ambulance. Nothing says starting the year with a blank page quite like not promising to put anything on the page and letting the entire UK know they’ll be floundering for the next 365 days as the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak fulfils his role as the reverse Neo from the Matrix, sees everything in numbers but doing absolutely shit all with any of them. His promises for the year included that they will half inflation, the inflation they supposedly aren’t responsible for when it was going up but now seem to have entire power over as it lowers, which I suppose might be plausible when you remember the government are only skilled in bringing things down. Then the Prime Minister promised better paying jobs and growing the economy, but as neither he nor his ministers have bothered negotiating with any of the striking workers, he clearly just meant all the extra jobs MPs are scooping up. There was also a promise to make NHS waiting lists fall, which they already are as people are collapsing long before they even get seen by a doctor. ‘We will’ said Sunak in his tone that replicates in real life what it’s like talking to a refrigerator on zoom with a dodgy internet connection, ‘we will restore trust in politics through action, or not at all.’ It seems the latter has now become No.10’s entire political strategy.


It does make sense in a way, if the Health Minister whoever he is…wait…hang on…ah yeah, Steven Barclay, the human version of an depression left in a bed after someone died in it…ah no sorry I’ve forgotten him again already… if he doesn’t meet with any of the unions representing NHS staff, then he doesn’t hear any of their concerns and therefore they don’t exist. Barclay refuses to accept the ONS’s findings that last year the UK had the highest death toll outside of a pandemic and so I guess that means, it’s just not true right? In the same way, if you close your eyes, put your fingers in your ears and shout lalalalala very loudly, then you haven’t pissed yourself at the supermarket again as it hasn’t happened if you can’t hear the people pointing and calling security. The Home Secretary Suella Braverman, a woman who the Marquis de Sade would’ve said was a bit OTT, is ditching the key Windrush pledges as that way she doesn’t have to put the effort in to actually do them. She also told a Holocaust survivor at a constituency meeting that she wouldn’t apologise for the language she used to dehumanise refugees because, as you understand, that might mean she’d have to consider consequences of her actions but if she doesn’t then there probably aren’t any. Instead Braverman got the Home Office to insist that campaign group Freedom From Torture remove the video of her defending being a piece of shit, as that way it just won’t have happened which breaches governmental office code but I suppose who cares when Braverman will probably put her head in a bin when someone tries to tell her so she can be absolved from doing anything about it. If new anti-protest laws mean police stop any and everyone, from saying how unhappy they are then surely everyone must be happy as you can’t hear otherwise. New government plans would allow officers to shut down protests before they cause any disruption, which isn’t an affront to democracy because I’m sure a protest is just as effective if no one can hear it and everyone involved is arrested by police. Still I suppose it will keep the police occupied so they’ll be too busy shutting down protests to sexually assault anyone thereby minimising actual disruption. The government also want to roll out anti-strike legislation which will helpfully assist understaffing in institutions by firing anyone who isn’t happy with how they’re being treated and therefore the institutions will entirely collapse and won’t need to be fixed anymore.


There is no better way to cut NHS waiting times quite like letting the entire health service collapse is there? You can’t wait 18 months for an appointment if it’s doesn’t actually exist anymore and nothing will fix your ailments quite like you stopping being selfish and just dying. It’s the only way when there’s clearly no money to meet the pay rise demands of nurses or ambulance drivers who’d like to eat every now and then and have at least 5 minutes off work a week, because you see, it’s all being spent on bonus payments for the army covering the posts of people striking. I’m sure there’s another solution here but I just can’t see it. There would be other cash available but I’m afraid Nadhim Zahawi made sure it would get a better holiday than you’ll ever be able to afford. Zahawi avoided over £3m in tax, which he denied doing and said he’d sue anyone who suggested it, which is the normal behaviour for when you’re not guilty of doing something. Not sure about you, but I often just ride around on a well heated horse yelling ‘I’ve not stolen any cash and if you say I did I’ll ruin you’ and absolutely everyone believes me. Despite that, he’s paying it back and luckily HMRC are being real nice and he can just pay it back rather than go to jail like all those real crooks who pay tax a couple of weeks late or forget to submit a receipt for a sandwich. It makes it even clearer now why former Prime Minister and cake left out in the rain Boris Johnson made Zahawi chancellor for all of 5 minutes, because who knows how to spot tax avoidance better than someone who is an expert at doing it? It’s like how detached bollock Damien Green is now in charge of overseeing the online safety bill, after previously losing his front bench position for using his parliamentary computer to look at porn. Who better to know what hazards children may face online than someone who actively searches them out for a cheeky desk wank? Isn’t it great when a hobby you feel passionate about becomes your job?


It would be wrong to suggest that the Prime Minister has nothing he cares about though despite it seeming like he’d be beaten in a personality test by the horror android M3gan. For a start there was his short-lived insistence that everyone should have to study maths up to the age of 18. But I think the wind behind that diminished when Rishi Sunak realised that’d just mean even more young people who could do the sums and realise the government actually has no clue how the economy works. They’d also quickly be able to do the maths to show there aren’t enough maths teachers to carry out such lessons and schools would need a ton of funding to fix that. I suppose though it could mean the exam questions are a tad more interesting with a new sense of realism about them though. If the government says the NHS has adequate funding but the excess death toll is through the roof, how much blood do the government have on their hands? Sunak is also very keen on scrapping 4000 pieces of legislation, that the government says are EU regulations but they were also UK legislation first, so it’s a bit like excluding a member of your family because they kept their married name after a divorce. It will cost tens of millions of pounds in staffing costs just to review and tear them up and considering that many of them are protections such as minimum holiday leave for workers or limiting sewage it does suggest that the Conservatives can still find loads of cash spare when it’s for making things even worse. Of course, tearing up these laws doesn’t mean they won’t replace them with British versions that are better, but I mean, have you met these guys before? That’d be like hearing Prince Harry is releasing an electro album he made on a Casio keyboard, and assuming the British press haven’t already frothed at the mouths and exploded. Still if no one has any working rights then they won’t be able to not strike about them, and if wildlife is all covered in shit, then there’s no point in protecting it is there? Hooray for or not politics. Sunak’s other keen interest right now is in letting Scotland know it isn’t its own country as it has to be as affected by his shitty decisions as much as everywhere else. The Prime Minister is seeking to block legislation by Scottish parliament that would make it easier for people above the border to legally change their gender. This would be the first time a British prime minister used Westminster power to block a Scottish law, but Sunak said this bill cuts across UK legislation on equalities which is a Westminster policy issue in the same way peaceful calm times is a policy issue for Cocaine Bear because it’s the exact opposite of what it wants. It is interesting how Sunak wants to ensure Scotland knows it’s part of the UK while simultaneously ignoring that Northern Ireland still has no government at all. Maybe Stormont should quickly form an executive just to pass something that aggravates the culture war like suddenly declaring Guinness has to be vegan and I reckon No.10 would suddenly remember it exists in a heartbeat.


It would require an extra seven or eight podcasts just to simply list everything that feels like it’s on the verge of collapse in the UK right now, but needless to say if you want to ensure you’re ok through whatever remainder of time we have to suffer this government, you’re best not to ever get ill, be ill already, need any sort of help, need any sort of food, warmth or light, money, water, shelter, identity, have no kids, have no elderly relatives, have no friends, not want to go anywhere and manage to not be young, old or anywhere in between. Yes, the British government are the government for you, if you’re an ethereal wisp, or Superman. Oh no, wait, Superman believed in truth and justice. Sorry, my bad. Just the wisp then. All the signs of us plummeting even further into an authoritarian state are there, but with the sad realisation that we won’t even get the cool militaristic dance routines as the weather is too shit.


As always, we are very lucky that in the UK we have an effective opposition who can see all the damage the government is doing and offer an alternative bunch of people to do the same damage so at least we can see some different faces saying stupid awful ignorant shit on television instead. Labour leader and the personification of that mild disappointment you feel when you know you’ve stepped in dog shit Keir Starmer has been doing the rounds insisting Britain needs a completely new way of governing, before then also saying there are no funds to pay nurses better and he’ll wait to see what the government says first on Scotland’s gender bill. Wow, can you feel that different way of doing things? It’s like having a satsuma in one hand and a tangerine in the other. Starmer said in a BBC interview that for the NHS to survive it must reform and be effective in using the private sector which is like trying to improve a bicycle’s speed by anchoring it to brick wall. It’s too full of bureaucratic nonsense said the Labour leader, possibly confusing the NHS with his own party and then insisting that if people have issues like internal bleeding and you just need a test there should be a way you don’t have to see a GP. Its comments like that that make me amazed we don’t hear more news stories about MPs being found dead at home after accidentally severing off their own leg and self-diagnosing that it’s probably fine to leave it be. The Tories have deliberately underfunded the NHS for over a decade but according to Labour the real reason it’s in trouble is because people whose organs are bleeding are troubling GPs instead of just googling their symptoms and read the results before they black out. I can’t imagine Keir Starmer has ever successfully self-diagnosed any medical issue he’s had. I bet he just umms and aaaahs about what it could be without ever deciding, before copying a condition someone else has as he thinks that might mean its popular. The majority of the public, according to all the polls, think NHS staff should be paid more and the health service funded. Similarly, public opinion is now regretful of Brexit yet Labour are saying once in power they would enact their Take Back Control Bill, which sounds like a very bleak Cbeebies character, devolving power so no one could blame their government things are still shit. Labour seem to be getting all their tips from the current government and assuming that to really stay in power absolutely everyone has to think you’re the absolute fucking worst.


In other news, like a cauliflower wrapped in pigskin MP Andrew Bridgen has been suspended from the Conservative Party. No not for lying in court under oath, they didn’t care about that. No not for breaching ministerial codes, he just got 5 days suspension for that. This time it’s because he compared on Twitter the Covid vaccine to the Holocaust, you know, as you do. I mean just think of all the similarities, right? One was the mass murder of six million Jewish people and the other saved people from getting a horrific disease, and they both have a C in their names and are misunderstood by conspiracy idiots. Basically twinsies. Bridgen said a consultant cardiologist had said the vaccine was the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust which besides being weird also conveniently ignores a lot of global humanitarian genocides, or that time cricketer Ian Botham accidentally tweeted naked pictures of himself. Bridgen’s tweet caused outrage across the benches where even former Health Secretary and walking mid-life crisis Matt Hancock condemned him for his anti-scientific comments. Yes, don’t let anything take credit for unnecessary covid deaths away from you Matt, good work.


Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing accusations of covering up Partygate evidence as witnesses now say that crucial documents about the illegality of the events were put through the shredder, but I suppose a quick and cheap way to do homemade paper confetti for any event. An investigation by ITV also reveals that staff members were shagging at the party the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, but that is tricky as it means it was definitely a business event. Despite raking in millions in private speaking earnings and dodgy donations, Boris Johnson is still using the government credit card for massive expensive lunches around the world and is looking to be parachuted into a safe seat for the next election which I think is a great idea as that way the Tories will potentially lose one of the few places they’ve might kept if they’d had an MP no one knew much about rather than one we all thought was a massive useless, thieving prick.


And finally plans to clean up Britain’s waterways of sewage and agricultural materials have been pushed back 36 years by the Environmental Agency, presumably with the hope that by the time it rolls around they won’t have to deal with it as they’ll be too old for that shit. In a way, it does mean the country’s rivers will accurately reflect the rest of it, as anyone taking a dip will be up against an absolute torrent of crap and waste.





Hey, yes, the podcast is back. I have had four weeks away from the news and I am now ready to read it once again while also eye rolling hard which does actually make the reading of it very difficult. Also though, I was thinking ‘yeah after 4 weeks off I’ll be full of fresh new ideas of things to say about current issues’ and then realised ‘oh no, it’s still all the same old problems I complained about 600 times already’. They are all exhausting aren’t they? I keep saying out allowed that there has to be a breaking point at some point surely? Then realise I’m not taking any action myself as its too cold and I have to spend at least an hour saying ‘its horrible out there’ while drinking coffee before I can even contemplate doing anything remotely productive. I did have a nice break though and actually spent one whole week of the holidays not doing any work at all which was a real win, and now back into the fray of all this once more with a renewed vigour for wanting another whole week off but where my agent, sorry daughter, is at school so I get to actually rest. That’s the dream. Where’s the party that is promising a bonus Christmas after Christmas but where the kids are in school? I fully appreciate this isn’t good for teachers but also it should happen.


Mega thanks to Emma and Bradley for joining or rejoining the Patreon, that is very much appreciated. I do normally message people with a thanks for doing that but currently it won’t let me log in, so just know the thought was there and it’s the thought that counts right? That’s what I intend to tell the energy company anyway. It’s the thought of paying this extortionate bill that counts right? I’ve got my tax bill due end of this month and I am really contemplating writing ‘well Nadhim Zahawi just paid what he wanted, so I would like to give you 50p, thanks bye’. If you can afford to support this podcast and honestly, I had some thoughts about cutting down how long these episodes are or the amount of time I spend on them and then got some emails about patreon donations and immediately changed my mind – yes I am that shallow – then you too can join the patreon.com/parpolbro for zero rewards except extra afterlife of your choice points, or do one off thingies at ko-fi.com/parpolbro. I was wondering about scrapping one of those and just doing one donation thing. Does anyone care? Am I just giving myself too many things to do? Why isn’t everything easier? I blame the government. And of course if you ain’t got cash then firstly, kudos, for we are the same, but also stick a nice review on Apple podcasts please, thank you.


But back to the thing I complain about all the time, I don’t have as much time for this show so next few weeks may be up and down with some interview free ones. So as always if you’ve got tips on the subjects I should be chatting to people about, do let me know. It seems to be the current same cycle of horrors, so I’m looking for specific political areas to talk to people about or things that aren’t being reported on and are overlooked, or maybe, if it’s possible, anything remotely positive as a goddamn break from this shit. I feel like I should have more interesting things to tell you after a few weeks away but er…nope. Triangle of Sadness is brilliant, I made a really good sandwich and I got older last week but you know officially. Right, now you’re all updated, this week I have got the brilliant Julia Grace Patterson from Every Doctor talking all about the NHS crisis and it’s a good un. But also a bleak one. Nice to be back isn’t it? How on earth did you cope for those four weeks without hearing me get people to talk about all the things you should be despairing about?




If I was to try to describe England’s relationship with the NHS, the only term I could think of is ‘negging’. Sure, we all love it, look at all the times it’s been celebrated with people jumped on beds about it at the Olympics, everyone trying to out clap each other for healthcare workers during the pandemic and even old men walking laps until they could get given a free holiday and die and their family scam people out of money for it. But at the same time, we all insist on having politicians who treat it like they are its arch nemesis and spend their nights cackling on top of a building swearing that they’ll destroy it next time. We tell everyone how proud we are of it, isn’t the world envious of our healthcare service and how it’s always there when we need it and yet when it needs us, we generally pretend not to be in and hope it leaves us alone. Currently, the NHS is in the sort of condition that were it a patient, it’d be rushed into itself to be treated immediately but unfortunately due to the 18-hour waits would keel over in a waiting room while an MP insists it should’ve just self-diagnosed. Buildings are crumbling, staff are leaving, and ambulances have no choice but to deliver a slower than Yodel service where in fact it would be more efficient if they were allowed to kick patients into a tree or recycling bin rather than actually leave them in a safe place. ‘Doctors and nurses’ is no longer a sexy game but one where you’re just very tired and feel sad. Ok, fair, some people may still find that sexy. It is this way due to years of underfunding and neglect from the Conservatives who year after year, insist the NHS is in safe hands which would be great if true and they didn’t keep trying to sell it off to go into other people’s hands like it was an orphan child in a Dickens story about to have the worst time of its life. The public are very aware of this according to all the polls, but political parties much less so. Rishi Sunak is currently saying that the NHS has the funding it needs, and I’m sure it does if you don’t think it needs to do anything other than exist. It’s like how when you get a new phone, and it tells you it has 20+ hours of battery life and in the small print points out how using it in any way at all will reduce that by half. Meanwhile Keir Starmer is insisting it’s all due to bureaucratic nonsense, you know of the kind the Labour party usually thrives on. Both parties keep insisting the NHS is actually crumbling because of doctors or nurses being selfish and wanting to be paid to work or lack of doctors and nurses which is selfish of them to not be there, or patients being selfish and getting ill when they could just not if they tried, or mismanagement by not somehow doing all the things you need to do on half the funding, or its people from abroad being selfish by not wanting to just die while on hols, or it’s because there isn’t enough money but that’s only the fault of the foreigners and people being ill and selfish doctors and not because Nadhim Zahawi hid it all offshore. So, as so many NHS staff are having to take strike action, waiting times keep growing, excess deaths are going up in a way that Matt Hancock is probably horny about and the general advice is just to ‘try not to get sick yeah’, what is the future for the health service when the two main parties seem like they would pop it on Ziffit if they thought they could get 50p and not have to pay for postage?


This week I spoke to Dr Julia Grace Patterson, the chief exec and founder of Every Doctor, a doctor led campaign to support all NHS staff and revive the service. Julia is a tireless campaigner and just days before we spoke she had been in Parliament holding an emergency meeting for MPs to hear from NHS staff directly about what it’s like on the frontline right now. I asked Julia just how bad things are, what the solution actually is when even the current political opposition is suggesting privatisation just with their donors instead, and if ambulances should just pop patients on the porch, take a photo to show they left them there and then ask for a review? No, ok, not the last one obviously. I’m really pleased Julia had time to talk as I think she gives a brilliantly clear, if depressing run down of the current worrying mess that the NHS is in. Here’s Julia:







Thanks so much to Julia for somehow fitting in that recording in amongst all the many brilliant things she’s doing for NHS staff. You can find her on Twitter at @JujuliaGrace and Every Doctor can be found and supported at everydoctor.org.uk. On that site you’ll find links to their socials, ways to buy NHS staff coffee and more, and most importantly right now, the petition that very much needs even more signatures.


What do you need to hear about right now? The world of politics is depressingly repetitive right now so I’m keen to hear if you want deeper dives into current issues, or something else entirely as respite from hearing that Rishi Sunak is unable to yet again understand how humans work. Let me know and you can do such things by dropping me a line on any of the socials or at partlypoliticalbroadcast@gmail.com.





And that’s your lot for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. You know the score. Yes, that’s right, its 1-0 to everyone but me. Sorry, I mean if you like this rant jazz then do recommend to others who also might need a weekly dose of comedy despairing, donate to the ko-fi if you can or join the patreon, and give us a dandy review at Apple podcasts or similar podcast outlet services.


Cheers lots to Acast, my brother The Last Skeptik and Kat Day.


This will be back next week when Keir Starmer announces Labour’s bold new policy promise of whatever Rishi Sunak says but repeated a whole octave lower so you think it’s something else.




This week’s show was sponsored by the Conservative All New Maths Guidance. Featuring such high-end questions such as ‘If Nadhim Zahawi avoided an unknown large sum of tax but only paid £3m of it to HMRC once found out, how long should his jail sentence that he won’t get be?’ and such long complicated equations as ‘if there’s money for tanks to Ukraine, shredding 4000 necessary laws and for Rishi Sunak to fly a private jet to Leeds, how much of a pay rise can nurses get?’ Helping young people realise important mathematical lessons to help them understand the everyday of politics. Two wrongs make a…that’s right, frontbench cabinet minister.

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