Decisively Slow – Zahawi’s sacking, Hunt’s 4 E’s and a chat with independent councillor Ashley Baxter

Released on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023.

Decisively Slow – Zahawi’s sacking, Hunt’s 4 E’s and a chat with independent councillor Ashley Baxter

Zahawi’s gone so that only leaves Rishi Sunak having to make decisive decisions about well, pretty much the entire Conservative Party. Dominic Raab seems to have taken up bullying as a full time job, Jeremy Hunt keeps talking about E’s which explains his beady little mad eyes and Boris Johnson really wants people to like him again. Plus a chat with independent councillor Ashley Baxter (@deepingdo) and an important announcement about ParPolBro.


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Further Reading

Linear liner notes 

Zahawi’s gone so that only leaves Rishi Sunak having to make decisive decisions about well, pretty much the entire Conservative Party. Dominic Raab seems to have taken up bullying as a full time job, Jeremy Hunt keeps talking about E’s which explains his beady little mad eyes and Boris Johnson really wants people to like him again. Plus a chat with independent councillor Ashley Baxter (@deepingdo) and an important announcement about ParPolBro.


Key links and sources of info from Ashley Baxter’s interview:


Catch up with Tiernan’s interview all about writing – 


All the usual ParPolBro stuff:






Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that doesn’t focus on declinism as its listenership couldn’t possibly get any smaller. I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week as many complain the Prime Minister and world’s saddest bottle opener Rishi Sunak took too long to sack ‘look someone’s drawn on a knee’ Nadim Zahawi, I think actually it really humanises the PM knowing that like the rest of us he got tax warnings in October and waited till the very end of January to do anything about it.


Last week the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday clock ten seconds closer to midnight and not just because they’re sick of all this shit and thought they’d put the wind up people. I’d definitely do that if I was employed there. Watch the news then think ‘fuck this’, move the dial to 1 second to midnight without saying why and watch as everyone shits themselves to teach them a lesson before then making sure as it hit 12 a cuckoo would pop out laughing hysterically and a banner drop down from above saying ‘JOKE! We’re already living in the worst-case scenario of humanity and have been for years!’. But this move to ever nearer the end of humanity, is apparently down to the real state of things: the increasing of many countries nuclear capabilities, the threats of bio hazards, the climate crisis, that kids are spending £15 on a can of Prime which is like shit Lucozade and that some scientist keeps pissing about with the doomsday clock because they can’t remember how far to pop out the dial for minutes or seconds or the date. What is odd though is that no one mentioned how this closeness to the demise of our species occurred at pretty much the same time as Rishi Sunak’s 100th day in office. Coincidence? Well yes but also probably not because within those 100 days the Prime Minister has presided over a number of incidents that while they may not be the direct cause of human extinction definitely make most of us here in the UK want to curl up and die. ‘Have Sunak’s first 100 days been calm or cringe?’ said the BBC News website bleating out chirpy headlines as the chair no doubt sends daily memos to be nice to his pals or else. Well, they’ve been too catastrophic and depressing to be calm, and too catastrophic and depressing to be cringe. So, I’d say neither but also definitely shit and terrible and the worst.


Sunak and the cabinet rushed off to an away day at Chequers last week to discuss how they turn around his dismal poll ratings, and I can only assume they went there as its easier to say ‘by getting rid of all these worst people in the world as a cabinet and then resigning’ if it’s in a stately home with a load of booze paid for by us taxpaying idiots. I am of course just having wishful thinkings about what the solution should indeed be, but then I’m not too far off as from the ashes of that away day Sunak decided it was finally time to fire chair of the party Zahawi, meaning it was actually the opposite of a teambuilding excursion. The Prime Minister waited until his ethics adviser had investigated Zahawi’s large scale avoiding of tax like it was an unwanted lovechild and he was a former Prime Minister, and the adviser took all of about 5 minutes to go ‘yes, this man is a big old wrong ‘un’. Zahawi breached ministerial code a total of 7 times according to the report, which meant he had to be sacked. Gutting for him, as if he’d only broken it 5 or 6 times for breaching national security he’d probably just have been moved to another department or been given a knighthood. Zahawi, as you can expect, took this with the good grace he is known for and responded with a letter that gave zero apology for unpatriotic criminal acts and instead blamed the media for reporting about it in the first place. Yes it is funny to think that if no one had ever reported that Zahawi found a way to stick his not very hard earned cash anywhere but British coffers, then he might not have done it. That’s how it works right? It’s like the quantum mechanics principle of the observer effect isn’t it? If we all just ignored that for years Zahawi has been skilled at finding many ways to be corrupt then perhaps he’d have been upholding his ministerial positions correctly and his horses would be cold all year round. Zahawi’s letter also praised how he had arrived in the UK fleeing persecution and speaking no English before building a successful business and being elected to government, and he believes in no other country would this be possible. Yes, the true dream, the real story of success and if only all those refugee children arriving in the UK today also had rich parents that could charter their own plane over and then pop them in a private school immediately, then maybe the Home Office wouldn’t lose them so they have to spend their lives as drugs mules and could instead simply enter the murky underworld of tax evasion and lobbying all by themselves. It is possible that now Zahawi has been sacked from the front bench, and that is a fact, that he may well go round threatening to sue anyone who says that’s what happened as he still turns up to work as chair every day. Or perhaps he’ll use this new found time as a backbencher to spend more time with his family…trust fund. Sunak was apparently informed back in October about Zahawi using his time as chancellor to blag himself the best deals but the government is now saying, no, actually he didn’t and he can’t be held accountable for things that happened before he was PM. Yes, that is fair because there was that whole time when Sunak had absolutely zero to do with government apart from be Chancellor in it and then an MP for the party that was in it. And then it definitely wasn’t his fault that then once PM, he put Zahawi back in his cabinet despite clearly everyone knowing he was a tax escapologist extraordinaire. In fact no one should ever hold Rishi Sunak accountable for anything as it’s clear he hasn’t got a fucking clue what’s going on at the best of times, doesn’t know how to use a contactless card, probably has no idea what the date will be tomorrow or what a mongoose is or and we as the public should really expect even less from our country’s leader as it’s just not fair to put so much responsibility on him. The Prime Minister says he acted pretty decisively and I suppose yes, he did, you know, in comparison to loads of other issues he’s just not even bothered with at all. He was decisive about sacking Zahawi in the same way someone who finishes the London Marathon last is still quicker at running it than someone who didn’t take part at all because they’re dead.


Zahawi is still an MP and is still a Conservative MP at that, with Sunak being pressured to remove the whip from him too. But the issue is, if the Prime Minister sets the precedent of expelling all Conservatives who’ve breached ministerial code from the party, then there’ll be absolutely no one left. I mean look over there, yes there. No that’s not an unfinished clone trying to push its face through an artificial womb sac, it’s the Justice Secretary Dominic Raab who now has over 24 allegations of bullying made against him. 24? 24! That’s not just the odd bit of misinterpreting tone or the occasional bad day. That is Raab having bullying as a primary job while cabinet minister, MP and likely the 4000 other jobs he’s got all get a backbench seat next to Zahawi.  24? Is it his real passion? Is Raab going home every night to google new ways to torment people in the way you or I might look up recipes? I bet he’s signed up to all sorts of forums where they share ‘today I shouted in someone’s face while treading on their toes’ and ‘I managed to tie a civil servants shoelaces into the paper shredder and stole their lunch money for my Pret as they tried to escape’. Raab is currently under investigation over these allegations because as we know, Rishi Sunak can’t fire anyone or well, do anything without an investigation despite how obvious the action he should take is. Its highly likely he has to have a full scale investigation to work out what to have for dinner even if its sitting there in front of him with a note on to reheat or get an independent advisor to let him know if he should pop to the loo when he’s so full of piss he can’t move without wincing. As well as the investigation into Raab, there is also the one the privileges committee are conducting on the guy that made corruption in office even popular than before, former Prime Minister and what happens when you leave rice pudding out for too long Boris Johnson and his potential deliberate misleading of Parliament over partygate. Yes I’ve put ‘potential’ there but we all know the only way he’ll be off the hook on this one is either because he’s made members of the committee peers or because they do genuinely believe he’s so stupid he could have been unaware he was at a party while attending it. Will there then be another investigation into Johnson giving his donor, and Rishi Sunak’s former boss Richard ‘I look like I’m permanently baked’ Sharp the BBC Chair job, not long after also awarding the company he has a lot of shares in a whole ton of covid contracts? Johnson said that he’s ‘ding dang sure’ Sharp knew nothing about his personal finances, which is the sort of phrase only an absolute dickhead would say, and also blatantly untrue as Sharp spoke to Johnson’s guarantor about his finances a month before interviewing for the Beeb job. But then there’s every chance Johnson lies to his guarantor too so maybe he’s right. He does strike me as the kind of guy who’ll swindle everyone he knows and at his funeral a lot of people will realise they’re all still owed money. It’s this scrutiny into the Sharp appointment that means Johnson is dancing around trying to get in the limelight again, while Sunak’s poll ratings are low. He’s been insisting Russian President and 2nd hand gelatine mould Vladmir Putin threated him with a missile strike in the run up to the attack on Ukraine but then I guess friends will bantz while drinking together won’t they? Johnson has reportedly received £510,000 in advance for an upcoming book, which his publishers say will be a memoir like no other. Yes because you don’t usually get autobiographies that are completely works of fiction and also an airport trash novel. It’s a lot of money considering he still hasn’t finished his book on Shakespeare he was paid to write but maybe the publishers knew that by handing over that cash they’d end up in charge of the Land Registry or something.


But who in the Conservative Party doesn’t have a cupboard riddled with skeletons, some very likely literally. The Home Secretary and escapee pawn from the chess set in Alice Through the Looking Glass Suella Braverman, who has now been accused of bullying, commited national security breaches, international law breaches, condemned people to inhumane conditions, and enabled a lot of children to get lost. Gnasher from the Beano looks unwell and Environment Secretary Therese Coffey was dealing prescription drugs to her family, anaemic hamster and Business Secretary Grant Shapps has loads of fake identities for online scamming and I’m almost certain goblin from Middle Earth Oliver Dowden has eaten human flesh. Probably. I mean, look at him. It’s only the Health Secretary who’s record is ok and I say that because I just can’t remember who he is in order to look him up. Sam Bickley? Seb Barkles? No, it’s gone again, sorry. It is funny to think that when Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister as voted in –  by means that would only be seen democratic in a country where no one got to have a say at all, so these 4 millionaires chipping in is basically freedom for the people – he promised in his first speech ‘integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level’ and so far, he’s not managed any of those. But then maybe I’m judging it wrong? As a criminal faction, they’ve probably got great integrity and professionalism with accountability to each other that once you’re in the tax dodging bullying club you don’t talk about being in the tax dodging bullying club?


The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt with his eyes like he’d be the first person you’d see if you woke up in a Twilight Zone story, he somehow forget he bought a load of luxury flats he didn’t declare, if you remember that a few years ago? It was, he said at the time, an honest mistake, which like Zahawi’s carelessness, is the sort of thing you say when someone’s caught you out and you’re not very skilled at acting. Hunt set out his vision for long term prosperity in the UK which seemed to mainly be telling everyone to stop being gloomy and start being optimistic, which is a bit like a vet telling a dog it’s about to put down that hey, give us a smile, it might never happen. Hunt set out the 4 E’s, which explains his mad beady eyes and unsubstatiated optimism, as well as his need to massage the damage caused by Brexit. Enterprise, education, employment and everywhere, which is easily the worst sequel to the Oscar nominated film. These are supposedly the keys to economic growth, though you could mistake them just as an incomplete list of the areas the Conservatives are underfunding. Yes, everywhere is one. Just be, I dunno, everywhere which might be possible if the enterprise was one with a warp drive. Though actually everywhere was signal how levelling up should happen everywhere which based on the latest batch of funds means Hunt doesn’t have a clue anywhere else exists outside of Rishi Sunak’s own constituency. The main brunt of the Chancellor’s plan is that Brexit will help us all be risk takers because I suppose that’s how you get when you’ve got nothing left to lose. We will someone become a world leader in green energy, presumably as once the rest of the world sees our new coal mine and rivers full of shit, they’ll employ all their tech to us first like closing a hellmouth to stem a worldwide outbreak of vampires. Hunt said he wanted to turn the UK into the next Silicon Valley, so I’m guessing he means a mostly white male work force that spends its days finding new ways to spread misinformation.


In other news, former Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who I’m certain has seriously looked into getting his own branded tote bag, was assaulted on the London tube. Which is odd as I was certain he’d have ensured he had a protective ring around him. Its been discovered that Hancock has only donated 3% of his fee for appearing on I’m A Celebrity to charity, despite promising before that he would be giving his whole fee. But I guess this is similar to his promises of giving the job his all when in the cabinet and instead spending 97% of his time shagging in a corridor. Hancock might well need the cash too as dressed up root vegetable Andrew Bridgen has threated to sue him for his remarks over Bridgen’s comments comparing the covid vaccine to the Holocaust. Yes this is one of those weird instances were Hancock isn’t the worst person in the situation and yet I do also hope there is a legal way they can both lose horrendously.


Over on the opposition, the Labour party have seized the moment as Sunak fired Zahawi by really sticking to the government by telling everyone about how their own party was terrible. Labour Leader and worried brick Keir Starmer said the ex-leadership under star of Old Jack’s Boat Jeremy Corbyn allowed hate to spread within Labour, so luckily now under Starmer he’s making sure it’ll go round society instead and is only targeted towards refugees and poor people instead. There have been a number of Labour ministers who’ve insisted on saying that their previous manifestos for the 2017 and 2019 elections under Corbyn weren’t costed, which is weird as they were and in fact it was regularly brought up at the time as the Tory’s absolutely wasn’t and they didn’t bother. But then maybe what the current Labour party meant is that none of the policies were specified by which arms dealer was going to lobby them to push it through like all future ones will be. It doesn’t bode well when Labour ministers are hoping to get into government but can’t even research their own manifesto from 4 years ago. I did it in two minutes on google. Then again, maybe, by having zero clue about anything and making it up as they go along, they are again – and wow do I make this joke every week – ready for government by just following in the Conservatives footsteps.


Jacob Rees-Mogg, known for his famous roles in most children’s nightmares, has been given a job on the only channel where the adverts are the intellectual high point, GB News, hosting a show where they will discuss the hot topics of the day, though it doesn’t specify which day so I assume it’ll a December on in 1873. Meanwhile on the other somehow worse channel that is supposedly news but seems more like a youtube channel you’d watch to see people have endless accidents, Talk TV, they’ve given Nadine Dorries her own show, despite her being the kind of moron who could get lost putting on a jumper. Her first guest will be Boris Johnson so it’s hard to know if they’ll lose their broadcasting licence immediately by showing such gratuitous arse licking live. Still there is something nice about knowing exactly where Mogg and Dorries will be at specific times of the week so you can make sure you can definitely avoid them. Considering both channels have fewer viewers than people who voted Rishi Sunak to be PM, I think it’d be lot better for the country if they were given all day broadcasts 7 days a week.





Hey hey ParPolBrods. How goes it? I hope you are having a dandy week. I want you to know that I spent ages trying to think of a joke about Rod Stewart insisting we need a Labour government and I decided to spare you every possible horrific result of strained versions of ‘have I told you lately I won’t vote blue’ or ‘Downtown train strikes.’ Look, none of them worked and just be thankful I’ve avoided it altogether. So not that I number them anymore but this week’s show is episode 299 and I gots an announcement to make:




Next week’s, episode 300 is going to be the last Partly Political Broadcast podcast. No, stop cheering. Stop it, you’re meant to be sad not relieved. FFS. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it for ages and decided a while back I’d make it to that milestones of what will be over seven years of my life, 6000 minutes of gags and material, and however many of interviews and even more of stressing how the hell to describe whatever politician this week. I didn’t work that out as some eps didn’t have any and I couldn’t be bothered to count them. It’s for a number of reasons including the shitty cost of living meaning I just can’t dedicate as much time to this show as I do when I need to be doing work that actually pays me. This takes up at least two days of my week and I need those to either get busy earning or you know, see my family as apparently, I have one. Ridiculous huh? I also feel like I’m struggling to find new ways to say exactly the same things every week now of oh they’re still corrupt and lying, it’s been harder to get guests and thanks to this not being filled with Love Island celebs every week it’s very hard to promote it on my budget of zero funds or time or the amount facebook makes me swear. I just feel, if I can’t do this show properly and take the time over it that I want to, then I shouldn’t do it at all. I also, for my own sanity, really need to watch the news less, go on social media less. I think I need to have a bit of a change with all the things I’m doing. I haven’t done a stand-up gig for adults since last July and I’m really enjoying being more of a writer and writing things for kids that aren’t about how unbelievably bleak everything is so I’m gonna focus on that for a while, while it seems to be working for me. The aim with this podcast originally was to help people laugh about the absolute shitshow of British politics but also interview people who you wouldn’t get to hear on the 2 minute news soundbites who could actually explain things and I hope I’ve managed to do that a bit. But I’m also aware that because of that mantra it never quite got the audience I wished it could’ve and I’m gonna try to think of how else I can be proactive about the shit state of politics.


I am incredibly grateful that you all listen and have listened and of course to all of you who’ve donated over the years which in particular was a big lifesaver during the pandemic and I don’t say that lightly. I’ll be turning off the patreon after next week’s show and any recurring ko-fi payments but you’ll still be able to buy me a coffee at if you fancy, though I may change it to just be in my name. Thanks to all of you who’ve reviewed or just got in touch or recommended guests and a big apologies to Kat Brown who I was planning to talk to about her upcoming book No One Talks About This Stuff, to Patrick Barwise and Peter York who I was planning to interview about their book The War Against The BBC and Nick Ballard at the brilliant Acorn. Go support all of them and buy their books.


I might well bring it back for specials, whenever there is actually an election or you know, if I just get bored which I probably will. So do stay subscribed for a while and see what happens. And of course, there will also be next week’s big 300. There is an interview this week with independent councillor Ashley Baxter which is a great last chat to have on here. So I hope you enjoy and no, stop cheering or you won’t hear it. Stop it!





In the contradictive space that is my own head, I both can never understand why decent people don’t run to be elected politicians but also can’t work out why anyone would put themselves through being an elected politician without having some sort of serious head trauma. Similarly, when I see an independent candidate on a ballot paper I both think well done for standing up outside of the failing party system and we need more people who aren’t affiliated to the corrupt institutions that keep letting us all down. But I also think, ah well, they won’t win will they so there’s no point in voting for them. Which is of course, ridiculous and self-defeating much like the current political choice we seem to have. Don’t get me wrong, there are some independent candidates who have one billboard up on an A road saying weird stuff like if you vote for them, they’ll purge the area of demons, ban shoes and make every shop play the music of Barbara Streisand. But there are also lots and lots of candidates who, much like you or I, or at least me, see how bloated and selfish the main parties are and would like to proactively do something to actually help the area they live in despite knowing they’ll be given very little press or backing in comparison to other candidates who’ve just been parachuted in with the hope they’ll at some point get lobbied by their favourite arms dealer. Currently to be an independent MP in the House of Commons your best bet is to join a party then do something to either breach the rules or fall out with them whilst there. However, on a local level there’s a genuine chance that by standing up for what you actually believe in and having a good amount of local people know who you are, you might get a seat on the council. In 2021, 35 councils in England and Wales ended up with an independent council leader, 69 have an independent councillor on their administration and 307 authorities, or 92 per cent of the total number of councils in England and Wales, have an independent councillor. Is this the era of avoiding party politics to go for politics that are all about avoiding the party and choosing to do your own thing instead? Which is always my preferred choice when it comes to social occasions too. In this seemingly pointless two horse system, getting on a bicycle and taking a different route altogether might well be a valid solution.


For what is likely the final interview on this podcast, I spoke to Ashley Baxter, an independent councillor for Market and Deeping District Council, and someone who I have spoken to for many years thanks to this very show. Ashley has, as you’ll hear, been actually standing up for the people in his area up against a majority Conservative council and after listening to him hopefully you’ll decide that its worth you following in his path. I asked Ashley all about what he has to go up against as an independent councillor, why everyone should run to be an independent candidate in the May elections and if this means he gets his own supply of biscuits that he doesn’t have to share. Ok not the last one, but I should have done and I now regret not doing so. Hope you enjoy this chat apart from all the bits where you hear about money being pointlessly wasted which I hope infuriates you enough to stand yourself. Here is Ashley:




Huge thanks to Ashley for being so open about his job and his work and if you’d like to follow him or ask him questions about how you could run as an independent candidate, then he’s on Twitter @deepingdo or you can find his councillor page via And if you are in the Market and Deeping area make sure you get out in May and vote Ashley back in.





And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast, with just one more to go next week why not not bother spreading the word and just enjoy it all to yourself because hey, you deserve it? But if you do fancy buying me a coffee as a thanks for your enjoyment of this work then throw something at


Big cheerses to Acast, The Last Skeptik and Kat Day.


This will be back for one last go next week when Rishi Sunak hires new party chair Boris Johnson after insisting the cabinet needs a breath of fresh air and integrity, announcing that there is zero way this man will be careless with his taxes as he mostly gets other people to pay them for him.




This week’s show was sponsored by Raab’s guide to bullying. 432 new ways to really antagonise your colleagues family and friends, ranging from low key insisting on incorrect name pronounciation, all the way to using them as case studies for your plans to eradicate human rights or just making them try to explain to you what the English channel is.


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