8 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
It’s Boris vs Dom. The Prime Minister’s former advisor turns on him, having suddenly realised Johnson might not be the most honest politician to ever inhabit Downing Street. Why is this soap opera dominating the headlines? Perhaps because it limits conversation about lobbying, favours for friends and questions about the refurbishment of the Prime Minister’s Downing Street flat... Will the sleaze claims continue? Who else will be dragged into the rows? And will any of it make any difference to the Conservative Party’s performance in May’s elections? Get in touch via twitter.com/paulosbourne, facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod. There’s a full archive at partygamespodcast.com.
9 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
When One Door Closes...
The questions around David Cameron, Greensill Capital and lobbying are all very complex and opaque. So does it matter? It depends on who you think MPs should be working for. In this latest episode, why supply chain finance is a bit like a posh version of Wonga, how can a government find itself so short of cash it needs a middle-man to pay its bills, and has anyone even broken any rules? Could this be the start of another 1990s revival? The return of our old favourite, Tory Sleaze? More at twitter.com/paulosbourne, facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod — and there’s a full archive of all past episodes at partygamespodcast.com
9 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
The UK falls headlong into a month of election campaigning frenzy. Unless you’re not in some way excited by the prospect of elections for the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments, English local councils and Police and Crime Commissioners. This time we focus on London, which chooses its Mayor on May 6th. A ridiculous 20 candidates are standing, and we look at some of the more ridiculous among them, destined to lose their deposits. Plus, why London’s bizarre electoral system means more than a-million votes will never be counted in the final result. You can find out more about that at https://youtu.be/JG3HLBtqtts Get in touch via twitter.com/paulosbourne, facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod. There’s a full archive at partygamespodcast.com
11 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Coronavirus - 12 months on lockdown
A year has passed since Boris Johnson first told us to stay at home, as coronavirus gripped the nation. 12 months on, we’re still in our third lockdown, more than 125-thousand lives have been lost. But the vaccine roll-out’s been a huge success. Does that mean we can forget the failings and mis-steps of the past year? How much praise does the government deserve? One year on, a look back at the key moments so far in the coronavirus pandemic. More at partygamespodcast.com — and you can stay in touch on twitter.com/paulosbourne, facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod
9 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
To Protect and Serve
Public fury greets the heavy-handed police response to a vigil for a murder victim, but the Met Police Commissioner insists she won’t resign, and implies people aren’t qualified to even hold an opinion. If the weekend’s events in Clapham aren’t enough to force Cressida Dick to stand down, what on earth would have to happen? Police say they hate having to enforce tough coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings, but a bill going through the Commons would give them tough new powers to restrict protests beyond the pandemic. More at twitter.com/paulosbourne, facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod — plus there’s a full archive and links to subscribe at partygamespodcast.com
8 minutes | Mar 5, 2021
Honest Rishi’s budget bag of tricks
For decades, the Conservatives have believed that cutting taxes brings in more tax revenue. Rishi Sunak, it turns out, does not believe in that. To try to fill the huge hole created by the pandemic, he’s ramping up business taxes and putting up your tax bill too, all without raising income tax rates. Does that honestly count as being honest? And why is the Government cutting health spending? More at twitter.com/paulosbourne, facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod - plus at partygamespodcast.com you can find the archive and links to subscribe.
9 minutes | Feb 28, 2021
Think back a little under a year to the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. To the videos of doctors, nurses and care workers fashioning protective gowns out of bin bags, the desperate scramble to get PPE to intensive care units buckling under the pressure of a surge of dangerously ill patients. Apparently, it never happened. The Health Secretary, called out by the courts for keeping Covid contracts worth billions of pounds secret, says it doesn’t matter that he broke the law, because it meant he was able to get PPE where it was needed when it was needed. In the latest podcast, we explore this latest example of political gaslighting, rewriting history and passing off falsehoods as truth. Get in touch via twitter.com/paulosbourne, facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod - and at partygamespodcast.com you’ll find links to subscribe and listen back to past episodes.
8 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
The irreversible reversal
Boris Johnson’s roadmap could see us back on the beaches this summer, our hair cut, and queuing up for a nightclub. The Prime Minister set out his plans to ease coronavirus restrictions over 4 months — a list of dates that he insists aren’t set in stone. But by just setting a date, hasn’t he set it in stone? And can the Prime Minister who’s over-promised and under-delivered for the last year finally get the balance right? More at twitter.com/paulosbourne, facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod — plus at partygamespodcast.com you can find an archive and links to subscribe.
7 minutes | Feb 19, 2021
On the other side of the world, facebook has gone to war with Australia’s government, and who wins this battle matters for Britain. The social media giant doesn’t want to pay for news that draws in its users, and it’s cutting off news 17-million Australian facebook users to stop demands to fork over some cash. It’s a reminder of how much power this entirely unaccountable platform now has over our lives. Still, don’t worry, we have a man on the inside, and I’m sure he’s going to swing into action eventually. More on twitter.com/paulosbourne and twitter.com/partygamespod — or you could look us up on facebook. But you shouldn’t.
9 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
The Fakest News
Donald Trump is cleared at his second impeachment trial, even though everyone knows he’s guilty. Years of priming his supporters with lies passed off as fact turned out to be surprisingly powerful. On the other side of the world, China bans the BBC for its annoying habit of reporting the truth about what China is up to. And in the UK, the media watchdog could be getting a new boss, more in tune with Boris Johnson’s government. Could we be heading the same way as China and the US, where the truth depends on who you listen to, and what they’re allowed to say. Keep in touch via twitter.com/paulosbourne, facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod. And there’s a full archive and links to subscribe at partygamespodcast.com
7 minutes | Feb 12, 2021
Matt Hancock is so desperate to go on holiday, he can’t stop telling people he’s booked a break in Cornwall, even as everyone else in the Cabinet is busy saying it’s far too soon to even think about summer. Why is the government once again sending out mixed messages? Meanwhile, anyone concealing their return from a Covid hotspot now risks a prison sentence double the one they’d get for selling firearms. Is that not perhaps just a tiny bit over the top? Get in touch via twitter.com/paulosbourne as well as facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod And at partygamespodcast.com you can find the whole archive, and links to subscribe. Also, have you written a friendly review yet? If not, why not? Sorry, what I meant was, it would awfully kind if you could find the time...
9 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
Why are you so angry?
Less than a year after taking over as Labour leader, anger is growing among some in the party at their apparent lack of progress. Is Sir Keir Starmer the right man for the job, they ask. It depends on what the job is. But internal squabbling hasn’t done Labour much good in the past. How should the opposition go about opposing a government in the middle of a global emergency? And what’s actually wrong with saying you quite like the country you aspire to govern? Plus, why are people so angry about a television channel that hasn’t even started yet? Keep in touch via twitter.com/paulosbourne, facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod — and you can find the archive, and links to subscribe, at partygamespodcast.com
8 minutes | Jan 27, 2021
The UK passes the grim milestone it’s been surging towards — 100,000 coronavirus deaths. Boris Johnson says his government “truly did everything we could”. But is that true? We locked down late, we opened up early, only to lock down again — three times so far. Did the mistakes, the delays, the mis-steps, contribute to this dreadful death toll. And how much higher will it go? And when the promised public inquiry finally happens, what good will it actually do? More at twitter.com/paulosbourne and facebook.com/partygamespod as well as instagram.com/partygamespod — and at partygamespodcast.com you can find a full archive of past episodes and links to subscribe.
8 minutes | Jan 14, 2021
What do you reckon?
As the world (finally) unites in condemnation of Donald Trump and his seditious lunacy, is there a chance to change the way we do politics? Almost certainly not, but it’s nice to dream isn’t it. In the latest podcast, a look at why so many in the UK were so keen to suck up to Trump, and the parallels between the twice-impeached president’s biggest fans, and some of the loudest voices in the Brexit debate. Many have transferred directly to the discussions on coronavirus restrictions — is “reckoning” something as good as knowing it? More at twitter.com/paulosbourne and facebook.com/partygamespod - plus we’re at instagram.com/partygamespod. The full archive, and links to subscribe, can be found at partygamespodcast.com, and the latest blogs and such at paulosbourne.net.
9 minutes | Jan 11, 2021
As the latest lockdown enters its second week, officials warn people aren’t taking it seriously enough, case numbers surge and hospitals are at breaking point. But Matt Hancock has has booked his summer holiday, such is his optimism for the year ahead. It is apparently this optimism that has put him in Boris Johnson’s bad books. It’s not as if the Prime Minister has a history of over-the-top predictions of glory that turn out to be gibberish. As if that’s not enough, we still have more than a week of Donald Trump’s carnival of idiocy to survive. Will he be impeached after inspiring a mob to try to undermine democracy? Or removed from office because he’s a dangerous rabble-rousing racist lunatic? No, of course not. More at twitter.com/paulosbourne as well as facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod — and at partygamespodcast.com you can find links to subscribe, if that’s your thing.
6 minutes | Jan 4, 2021
Lockdown 3: the unwanted sequel
The day after insisting schools are safe, Boris Johnson closes the schools as part of a third England-wide coronavirus lockdown. Are we really supposed to believe the data that pushed him into this only emerged on Monday morning? What does it do to trust in his government? And how long is this lockdown really going to last? Plus, how long will it be before the professional controversialists resume their evidence-free ranting, and pile on the pressure to release the restrictions, perhaps too soon? More at twitter.com/paulosbourne, facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod — plus there’s a full archive and links to subscribe at partygamespodcast.com.
9 minutes | Jan 4, 2021
Boris Johnson says it’s safe to send your children back to primary school. Except where it isn’t. As the Prime Minister warns tighter coronavirus restrictions are almost inevitable, and Labour calls for an immediate lockdown, millions of parents are left wondering what to do. How much has a year of mis-steps, late action and over-confidence dented public trust in the Government’s handling of this crisis. Plus a brief detour to the US, for further proof that Donald Trump remains an unhinged lunatic hell bent on destroying democracy. More at twitter.com/paulosbourne and facebook.com/partygamespod - plus we’re at instagram.com/partygamespod. And at partygamespodcast.com you can find the full archive, plus links to subscribe.
9 minutes | Dec 29, 2020
I haven’t read your Brexit deal, but I’ll vote for it
Boris Johnson, whose government perpetually runs on a down-to-the-wire sense of chaos, gives MPs less time to debate and vote on the Brexit deal than most people take to complete a Christmas jigsaw. Why is anyone surprised this most last-minute of Prime Ministers left the deal, and winning approval for it in Parliament, to the last possible moment? But already some of its shortcomings are showing up — bad news if you’re a footballer or a musician, or a sausage exporter actually. And bad news if you travel to the EU and contract Covid without taking out very good insurance. Still, we’ve taken back control — except we haven’t quite, as you’ll discover in this brief Brexit update. More at twitter.com/paulosbourne and facebook.com/partygamespod — plus we’re at instagram.com/partygamespod as well. And there’s a full archive of all the past episodes at partygamespodcast.com.
29 minutes | Dec 17, 2020
173: Last Christmas
A small Christmas is a safe Christmas, according to Boris Johnson. Surely not the same Boris Johnson who told us to gather in small herds for a festive holiday from coronavirus? We compare the rules with the advice, and wonder who’ll be to blame if Christmas triggers a third wave of infections. Brexit talks go down to the wire, and the prospect of a deal may be fading — or maybe it’s all last-minute brinksmanship. Plus we look back at year held up by “twin pillars of awfulness” — examine how we ended up with entirely the wrong leader for the time, and ponder the lessons from a year like no other. There’s more at twitter.com/paulosbourne and twitter.com/partygamespod — and we’re at facebook.com/partygamespod and instagram.com/partygamespod. The full archive is available at partygamespodcast.com Oh, and Merry Socially Distanced Christmas.
28 minutes | Nov 26, 2020
172: Christmas will break your heart
Boris Johnson turns Santa Claus — he’s had a chat with Covid and it’s agreed to hold off for the festive season. Either that, or he’s decided to risk another wave of infections so he can’t be accused of cancelling Christmas. We unpick a busy week, with the government agreeing the holiday Covid plan, unveiling new tiers in England, and setting out exactly how deep a hole our economy is in. The Chancellor’s warned this is just the beginning, so who should bear the burden of paying back unimaginable debts? And who should be spared? Plus Jeremy Corbyn returns from the political dead to cause more trouble for Labour, and if there is a way out of lockdown, what part of it would you miss? More at twitter.com/paulosbourne and twitter.com/partygamespod. Plus we’re at instagram.com/partygamespod and facebook.com/partygamespod. And at partygamespodcast.com you can find all our past episodes and links to subscribe.