A guest-less pod due to well, carelessness which is the in-word this week. Nadhim Zahawi has been extremely careless with his hiring of accountants to advise he avoid tax on £27m of investments and even more careless hiring lawyers to sue anyone who said he did what he did. Still what more could you want from a Conservative chair than the kind of criminal activity that just shows he fits in with everyone else? A jokes only one on Sunak’s seatbelt, Braverman’s trafficker assistance program and the BBC being balanced but only between Tory leaders.
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Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that careless not deliberate. I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week as Prime Minister and grim reboot of Mr Rush from the Mr Men Rishi Sunak got fined for not wearing his seatbelt, of course he thought it wasn’t needed as he’s always surrounded by massive airbags.
Who hasn’t taken the piss at work right? Every job has its perks and I know I definitely took advantage of pinching all the game demos when I worked at Electronics Boutique, or secretly hiding the clothes I knew people would hate when I bought them with staff discount for their Christmas pressies when I worked at Next or using my 5 minute break at Timberland to walk down the road where my friend was a barman, neck two free tequila shots and a mint then go back with the energy to deal with the worst customers I’ve ever met. We’ve all done it. So, it makes total sense that Chairman of the Conservative Party and man who takes all his style tips from evil scientists Nadhim Zahawi would think, when he was chancellor, may as well use my direct hotline to HMRC to skip paying any tax on £27m of profit right? Well, you’re there anyway, right? Two birds with one large stone but not one that has zero morals written on it. It’s the same as if Zahawi worked as a barista, which he wouldn’t do because he’s a massive fucking snob, but if he did and he pocketed packs of those waffles before he left for the day. And then also emptied the till into his pockets and insisted all the other staff had to pay back for the missing amounts and anyone who accused him of wrong-doing would be sued. It might not show the public that your party should be anywhere near government in terms of finance, responsibility, or honesty. But what it does show is that the Conservatives are efficient. In criminality mainly, but still who was it that said British workers are the most idle? Oh yeah also some of the worst Tories, but you just have to look at someone like Zahawi who was single-handedly managing to neglect the nations’ finances as Chancellor, which takes quite some effort, all the while fixing his own at the same time and being lobbied by an oil magnate and you think, well that’s three jobs at once so you definitely can’t say he’s lazy. And didn’t the government promise to cut taxes? Well yes, exactly. Sure, not yours but they didn’t specific whose and so it still counts.
Of course, Zahawi, is ever the humble man which is why he took a job from former Prime Minister and 58 year old uncared for yeast starter Boris Johnson just to sort his own finances out before then turning his back on Johnson and saying he should resign, before then supporting him to run as leader again then pretending he didn’t. And that’s why, now it has emerged that Zahawi has definitely swindled himself some dodgy deal with HMRC for his offshore tax avoidance, he’s insisted it was not deliberate but all just carelessness that he took £27m in investments from YouGov and popped them on a Caribbean Island instead of helping hospitals. Yes, of course and actually now that he’s said that, and we all know that a man who held the most important financially responsible job in the country doesn’t have a fucking clue about how money works, that makes us all feel much better. I hope he seeks some sort of help though as being that careless suggests other issues. I mean I’ve knocked over a glass of water or not paid attention and walked into someone but I’ve never been so careless I hired very expensive accountants to help me avoid millions in tax payments before then paying lawyers to say anyone who said I’d done what I actually did would get sued before then taking a job to help me escape a prison sentence. Crikey, imagine what chaos he could manage with a misplaced skateboard? Its lucky Nadhim Zahawi isn’t anywhere near a precariously stacked pile of books or there’s every chance it’d cause a chain of events culminating in a nuclear war against Azerbaijan or every fourth person in the UK being owned by Shell Oil. Last year former tennis player Boris Becker was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for tax avoidance of £1.4m but what will be much worse for similarly goateed Zahawi is that he will have to deal with the Prime Minister’s ethics advisor very half-heartedly looking at his tax records and probably saying he’ll have to have a fully paid week off and think about what he’s done. That’s a real punishment and one people who get threatened with sanctions for making an error on universal credit or people who accidentally miscalculate and owe £3 on tax and are fined thousands, will be reassured to know that here in Britain, justice does prevail. Not in parliament or even in the police, but you know, somewhere. Probably every few months in a small claims court or something. Look, I’m sure Nadhim Zahawi understands the errors of his ways and would absolutely leave the Conservatives and his job as party chairman or indeed as an MP, but it’s likely that Party Chairman Nadhim Zahawi won’t accept his resignation and so he has no choice. And what with the war in Ukraine, the NHS crisis and something else that’s completely unrelated to this very specific breach of the law like I dunno, Beyonce doing a show in Dubai, the world doesn’t need even more instability caused by one of the people causing instability being held accountable for instability. Will he have resigned by the time you hear this? Its hard to say, but I do know with all this pressure on him, Zahawi will be keen to close the stable door before the horse has bolted, which is mainly to keep all that heat in that the taxpayers have kindly covered.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said that integrity and accountability are really important to him, and there are questions that need answering. Yes, I suppose if Zahawi was suddenly, out of nowhere, to show he had either of those things then he really wouldn’t be suitable for party chair as it’d be like getting a girl guide to do HR for the mafia. That’s why his independent advisor Sir Laurie Magnus, will be investigating and as a former investment banker of the kind that probably helped a lot of funds find their way on Caribbean cruises, I’m sure he’ll be very independent about it. I’m not saying I don’t believe the PM, but he didn’t seem to ask those questions when getting married to a tax avoiding non-dom billionaire so I’m not entirely sure he’ll bother when it’s one of his ministers. According to figures put out by the Enough is Enough campaign this week, £18,500,000,000 is lost in tax every year through avoidance schemes £3,200,000,000 of which is avoided yearly by people like Missy Sunak. So you’d think if the PM was genuinely concerned he might push through legislation to stop this, but then he’d have to find new ways to insist selling off the NHS was necessary and it’d be tricky other than by pretending it had been infested by moths or there wasn’t space for it anymore and he’s having a clear out.
Last week the Prime Minister didn’t even bother wearing a seatbelt while filming a video as he was driven around in his official car. Sadly, it wasn’t a public safety infomertial, or it’d at least have had the satisfying ending of having Sunak’s stilted overly intonated toss halted by an emergency break, the sound of glass smashing and then a haunting animation. It might be a minor crime as crimes go but it symbolises a lot. The Prime Minister doesn’t wear seatbelts because that’d be some sort of modicum of responsibility, when we all know if he was to fly through a windscreen and onto oncoming traffic, he’d use his last breaths to insist gravity was a global problem but he and his government would halve it over the next year. Maybe its because he is so rarely in a car that Rishi Sunak struggled with knowing how to be in one? He’s taken an RAF jet three times in last two weeks to do domestic flights to places where he could easily have got the train, but the PM defended himself by saying it was necessary to make him as effective as possible. I suppose by wasting money and causing more pollution that is, like Zahawi, achieving two of his goals at once. If flying is genuinely the best use of Sunak’s time, could we just stick him on a satellite orbiting the Earth 24/7 and hopefully he’ll actually manage to get something of use done?
Lancashire Police issued Sunak with a fixed penalty notice fine, which means that he broke the law both as Chancellor with partygate and Prime Minister and I suppose it is good that finally the criminal population are being represented properly in parliament. For 300 years no Prime Minister was ever found guilty of breaking the law and two have been in the last 9 months, which I think isn’t to say that previous Prime Ministers weren’t crooks but that they were smarter than the two fucking idiots Sunak and Johnson who managed to get caught. Do I want corrupt criminals in charge of the country? No of course not. Would I at least prefer it if they were clever criminals and proved they were wiley enough to get away with it? Yeah, a little bit. Then at least we could say ‘well they’re evil geniuses’ but as it is we just have to look at the rest of the world and say, ‘yes we are run by the most careless stupid fucking idiots out there and they aren’t even nice or good at drawing as a redeeming quality’. At least Home Secretary and woman who if she stood still for 10 minutes would be hoiked up onto a medieval church to ward off demons Suella Braverman she’s just enabled criminals rather than doing the crimes herself. A large number of children seeking asylum have been kidnapped by trafficking gangs from a Home Office run hotel in Brighton. A truly grim story, but I suppose from Braverman’s point of view, it’ll reduce trafficking from across the channel as she’s just made it easier for them to do it from the UK and nothing will put off people coming over to seek refuge like her making it even more dangerous than those kids staying in a war zone. The Home Office have said its not true that the kids were targeted in the hotel because they can go in and out of it as they please. Oh I see, so this is actually an issue for whichever department tackles crime? Who is that? The home office? Oh I see. The Home Office are also hoping that as part of the online safety bill, it will be illegal for anyone to post videos of small boats crossing the channel in a positive light. Which I mean, that’s going to really fuck up all those charity attempts right? Though at least now any imagery of refugee children managing to make it across the water can be accompanied by text saying ‘they’re on their way to be abducted thanks to Suella Braverman’ which I think the Home Office would prefer lots more.
This is a story that you should see across the BBC’s front page, as was the Zahawi tax avoidance scandal that didn’t appear until several days after everyone else had said it. The BBC say it has its own fact checking guidelines before it can post up a story but it seems more like they’ve hired your aunt on facebook to report for them on things from years ago that she’s only just seen pop up on her feed and is disgusted. Though could the real reason be that the BBC Chairman Richard Sharp, a man who would survive an undead attack because they’d look at his face and assume he was one of them, secured a loan of £800,000 for then Prime Minister Boris Johnson, just before Sharp got the top beeb job. Definitely one way to get a job and if you would like to really make sure that job interview sways your way you should maybe turn up with your chat about working by yourself but also as part of team then sticking nearly a million pounds on the table and looking the other way. The government insist Sharp got the appointment correctly and by the sounds of it and how they seem to have appointed a lot of people, he definitely did. He must’ve really done his homework and looked at how Johnson gave away peerages too. I am of course being mean and by being part of the BBC I’m sure Sharp is completely balanced in all he does and also donated vast sums of money to one of Boris Johnson’s family members too, as well as a top business person affiliated with the Tories and someone who writes for a right wing paper. What did Boris Johnson, who at the time was earning over £157,000 a year, as well as getting all his other donations for gold wallpaper, free holidays, free takeaways, book advances, private speaking fees, his expenses, using government credit cards for fancy lunches as well as – and I’m just guessing here – money people gave him just to go away and leave them alone, what did he need with another £800,000? Then again, I suppose it probably cost a ton of money just to cater for all those parties, didn’t it? Sure, public funding paid for the booze but I’m not sure you can use an official parliament debit card to buy baggies. Walking advert for refloated corpses and Tory MP for Ashfield Lee Anderson still insists you can eat properly on 30p a day, and everyone who uses food banks should learn to budget properly, and it’s clear that by compiling the advice and examples from his party, yes you can avoid such hardship if you just lie to the tax office or give away jobs in exchange for hard cash. I’m sure we’ll find out what that £800,000 was for one day, just probably not, you know, in a BBC documentary. It’s possible of course that Richard Sharp didn’t loan Johnson the £800,000 deliberately but it was a careless mistake and he actually meant to give him 80p for the vending machine but cocked up and anyway, he’s now in charge of overseeing the broadcaster’s finances so just chill yeah.
While the BBC aren’t reporting corruption, it seems MI5 also aren’t investigating it, as a Tory party whistle-blower revealed that the security service repeatedly refused to investigate evidence that a Russian spy was trying to influence Conservative politicians. I suppose maybe it wasn’t worth their while when it’d be a lot quicker to just look online and see when Boris Johnson was last at a Lebedev party. Look right, the country is in financial difficulty and maybe, just maybe extra Russian funding could’ve really helped us out, so those Conservatives were just being considerate? Much like maybe Zahawi putting his funds offshore is just to give a boost to the British financial industry and legal industry that he paid lots to help him do it. Isn’t that the real levelling up? Someone has to help these already wealthy sectors otherwise who else will apart from all the money they already have? The latest allocation of levelling up funding has given more to the richer South East of England than the North East which needs it more. Tory areas are getting more than areas with politicians from other parties and Rishi Sunak’s constituency of Richmond in North Yorkshire is getting a whopping £19m or 2/3rds of a Zahawi dodge, out of the overall £2.1bn package. But isn’t this necessary money to cope with how much Conservatives needlessly piss away? Sure other areas do need more funding but if they haven’t got their own MPs spending it all on photo shoots, hosting arms dealers, heating stables and having to pay legal costs then perhaps their outgoings are much smaller too? I can’t say for sure as I don’t understand finance, which I think means I should get a go at being chancellor any day now.
I’ve always joked that the government have always meant levelling up like in computer games terms, as in everything gets consistently harder with a new boss that’s much worse and trickier to defeat than the last. But actually, I think they do mean it in a positive way, as in taking something that was useless and empowering it. In another time or parallel dimension, Nadhim Zahawi is using his skills to simply catfish people online or sell stolen watches down the market, but under this Conservative government, here he is dodging prison and with several proper responsible jobs that he can’t do. Our Prime Minister can’t even do up his own seatbelt and yet, he’s Prime Minister. Each and every one of the cabinet seems to either be involved in corruption, dangerously neglectful activity and deceit and yet they’ll be in those jobs for at least another year without any fear of losing them when they’d have been fired after a week in another workplace. They are careless people, all levelled up so now unfortunately, they’re being careless with the entire country. If we’d just made sure they’d got nowhere near power and left them alone, the entire Conservative Party would probably have got itself stuck in a fire exit or poisoned themselves with some out-of-date rice. I can’t believe how careless we’ve all been.
In other news, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan who always looks like someone tried to make a low budget parody version of Borgen, told the National Education Union that teachers don’t have to go on strike to get attention. Even though she absolutely didn’t pay them any attention until they said they would do exactly that. Fair play to Keegan though as usually ministers don’t seem to have any understanding of the sectors they are in charge of but with that statement Keegan sounds exactly like a shit supply teacher who lost the class in the first 5 mins of talking to them and will never get them back. The NEU received the biggest ballot result since thresholds came in and there will be three national strike days, with more regional ones too. Kevin Courtney who is joint general secretary said there comes a day when its important to stand up for yourself, which is classic teacher as that’s a great lesson to teach kids. The government insist headteachers keep as many schools open as possible but I think nationwide strikes will teach ministers that unless they actually negotiate, this will keep happening. Then again, they’ve been one to learn from well, anything. Rail minister most named like a hobbit Huw Merriman said that RMT strikes have now cost the UK economy over £1bn, or 3x Zahawi offshore investments, and that it would have been cheaper to settle the dispute months ago. Then again, nothing shows the governmnent’s support for overpaid CEO’s of private rail companies quite like wasting millions and unnecessary delays.
Leader of the opposition and Spongebob Squareface Keir Starmer travelled with Shadow Chancellor and Roald Dahl villain Rachel Reeves to Davos for the World Economic Forum, where lots of billionaires all fly in to spend a week discussing how best to make it look like they’re doing anything other than staying rich. Starmer and Reeves said they were going to show that the UK is open for business to global investors, but I’m not sure they’ll care as they own most of it already.
And lastly, King Charles with his face like a skin mould of a dinosaur’s footprint, says everyone should be encouraged to spend a day volunteering in their local area for the coronation, while he, you know, swans about in a gold carriage. Great, does it count if volunteer to tell the palace to go fuck themselves?
Wotcha ParPolBrods. I hope you are hearing this from somewhere warm as it is colder out there than the soul of the Home Secretary. No I won’t say which one because as someone else takes the job, they have to pledge to lose theirs so I think its just part of the position. Yes, proper nippy, which is a phrase that must’ve come from it being so cold that nipples become certified weapons. I have to record this week’s podcast early in the day again as this evening our energy provider has a ‘hey why don’t you turn off all your electricity for a bit for a fun-points earning game, so no one questions why David Cameron took away all that investment in green energy years ago?’ I mean, that’s not what it’s called as that isn’t as catchy. Still, I will partake, not least because then I might earn a whole 20p off our energy bill and can instead use it to go towards buying a single green pea or something. I went to see my Nan last week, who is 97 and currently embroiled in the hell that is the underfunded social care system. She had a fall and hurt her back meaning she now needs even more care than she had before, but her council won’t put her in a care home until its proven that having carers a few times a day in her own home doesn’t work, meaning she can’t go to the loo for hours on end as there’s no one there to help her. It’s grim to do scientific experiments on people like that, just sort of trying again and again to see what fails before trying something else. Despite that, my Nan is still very switched on and spent ages telling me about remembering flashes of going on a May Day protest aged 2, as her dad was a communist party member and all the kids got to sit in the back of a van. And she told me all about the Young Pioneers holiday camps she went to as a kid and how fun they were, till one year she had to go to a school run holiday camp in Bournemouth and it was so rubbish, she and a mate bunked off to the beach for a day with all their pocket money. Legendary tales and both great to hear and disheartening to know that despite all that political activity all those years ago we’re now in a situation where councils have to work out whether it’s worth paying money to make elderly people have care. But I suppose if they don’t save cash then how will there be enough to cover up for Zahawi making careless mistakes? I guess that is important. I keep thinking he’s too arrogant to go but then I remember that I’m releasing this podcast tomorrow so he’ll definitely go just in time to make this whole episode irrelevant as quickly as possible. That is the rule right?
Sorry, lots of waffle and what I meant to say is that this is a quick ep, as I so thought I had a killer interview lined up about tax avoidance and then it all fell through very last minute, so just the gags. SOZ. Hopefully a normal sized one next week unless you know, carelessness. So in the meantime, thanks to you and you and you and you, thanks to Christine, Conal, Loretta and James for the ko-fi donations. That’s much appreciated and if you can afford to and fancy buying me a coffee you can do so at ko-fi.com/parpolbro or if you really want to, join the completely unrewarding patreon.com/parpolbro.
Only other thing this week is if you don’t listen already, I’d recommend Jon Stewart’s The Problem podcast. I really enjoyed slash was terrified by this week’s on the global rise of the far right. I did then look up the woman he spoke to and it turns out she’s awful so clearly I know nothing. But hey, it was an interesting chat while I was ignorant about it. Last week’s which was a nuanced conversation about vaccines was fascinating and basically I would just like Apple to give me a similar sized budget for podcasts and television. Thanks. I’m now assuming I’ll get a call from Tim Apple just 5 mins after this is released then have to reject it because his company is exploitative but yes I do use an iphone and then get crushed by my own hypocritical living standards.
That’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Hopefully normal sized podcast next week, but in the meantime do let others that might enjoy this noise know it exists, donate to the ko-fi or join the patreon if you can afford to and give the podcast a lovely 5 stars on Apple podcasts or other homes of pod.
Muchos gracias to Acast, my brother The Last Skeptik and Kat Day.
This will be back next week when Nadhin Zahawi carelessly drives a bulldozer into the royal mint and drives off with £400bn in cash by accident, before agreeing to pay back 40p of it. Rishi Sunak says he has full confidence in Zahawi but will ask his independent advisor Danny Ocean to look into it.
This week’s show was sponsored by Sunak’s non-existent Seatbelts. For when you want to drive headfirst into crashes and fully expect everyone else to believe it’s their fault and they have to pay for it.