Cummins staying, like it looks like he might, is probably the biggest gift politically for Labour. It will probably lead to more deaths, though, so tonight I wrote to my Tory MP (the only people Bonson Johnson will pay attention to) to register my wish that Cummins goes. *Contains swearing*
Social distancing was observed by about 50% of the people we saw on Dartmoor today. Meanwhile Cummins tests his eyesight by driving miles with his four year old child in the back! The two strands of the COVID-19 story have converged. *Contains swearing*
Well that was a surprise! With no apology, no inquiry and avoiding questions, an insulting and dangerous Johnson praised Cummins' instincts and left it at that! We'll see in the next few days if people start to ignore lockdown. With warm, sunny half term days the instinct of many will be to 'do a Cummins'. *Contains swearing*
The wheels are falling off the cart with revelations tonight that Cummins visited Durham again, after recovering! He went to a castle on Easter Sunday! My thoughts on BoJo's crisis in a 30 minute special episode: listen in installments over the course of a few lifetimes. *Contains swearing*
**BREAKING NEWS** Dom Cummins broke lockdown while he had COVID-19 symptoms. The calls for him to resign are growing. Meanwhile, will we soon be able to look up the local R number as easily as the local weather? That's one of the ideas from Independent SAGE. The real SAGE (the cartoon version, like The Real Ghostbusters) didn't shed much light on whether schools would be safe when they open. *Contains swearing*
At PMQs yesterday Starmer said Labour would table an amendment to the Immigration Bill, calling for the NHS surcharge to be scrapped for NHS and care workers. BoJo defended it, but tonight he's U-turned. A victory! Meanwhile Hattie Mancock is backing away from the track and trace app being ready for June 1st. *Contains swearing*
Blusterbus BoJo Bonson Johnson is back! With a PMQs performance better than last week's, it looks like he's refound his groove for avoidance, lies and time wasting. Starmer and Bonson will probably fall into a pattern of forensics Vs bullshit. *Contains swearing*
We now have 60,000+ excess deaths due to COVID-19 and a schism is opening up between the scientists and the politicians. Theresa Coffey is blaming the scientists, the scientists are blaming the government's decisions. Meanwhile Piers Brosnan goes Gonzo. And where's BoJo? Preparing to baste Starmer at PMQs tomorrow. *Contains swearing*
"Who are we gonna get today?" So goes the call of the eager viewers at home, waiting by their phones to hear the latest premeditated criminal acts from a random Cabinet member in the daily government briefing. But where's BoJo? It's weird that the publicity hungry egomaniac isn't fronting the briefing every day! Is he still shaking off COVID-19? Is he changing nappies? Who knows! *Contains swearing*
A man desperate for a cuddle with his mum designs the future. Keir Starmer loves his mum too, and enabled her to continue looking after rescue donkeys after she lost mobility (cue the Mail on Sunday doing the worst hit job in the history of journalism). The teacher unions demand test, track and isolate before returning to schools, so the government are weirdly trying to convince us that teachers don't care about children! *Contains swearing*
I celebrate Charlie Brooker and AntiViral Wipe crew for a brilliant, unmissable show. We visit Dartmoor and witness an incredible dog, Fido, change our lives forever. Meanwhile Matty Handcock lies about care homes, the R value is rising and the Mail go to the extremes to try to justify an insane idea. A normal day for the decrepit failure of Johnson's government. *Contains swearing*
New Zealand are celebrating their success after going into hard lockdown early. They have recorded only 21 deaths and 96% of the approx. 1,500 cases have recovered. Now they can meet up in groups of 10 and get their haircut. Slightly different from that testiculating walrus BoJo Bonson Johnson. *Contains swearing*
Starmer causes brain swell for every journalist pressured to come up with a play on words that aptly summarises the difference between him and Johnson at PMQs today. He led him to the lake, drowned him there, waited for many hundreds of thousands of years while the cadaver became fossilized, then he smashed that fossil into little bits, ground it up and drank it. *Contains swearing*
Today's ONS figures show the overall number of deaths from COVID-19 in care homes is larger than the COVID-19 deaths in hospitals. Meanwhile care homes were pressured to take back COVID-19 patients from hospitals or lose PPE funding! How is that not criminal? No wonder newspapers around the world are reporting the UK government's basketcase response. *Contains swearing*
So the new ruse in Westminster is that Whitty and Vallance didn't agree to the new strategy because they are not experts in communication! It's not as if there's 32,000+ confirmed (55,000+ estimated) deaths. What happened to the guiding principle of medicine, first do no harm? Paterson gets a cushy deal for the company that pays him £100,000 a year and England slips further into the mire. *Contains swearing*
Having expected a roadmap close to the Ireland plan, we get obscurity and vague slogans. How can everything Bonson Johnson touches turn to shit? I express my frustrations, helped by a snippet of brilliance from John Gielgud! *Contains swearing*
I tell the story of how we broke into a forest and were caught by the cops! I preview BoJo Bonson Johnson's roadmap announcement tomorrow night and report on a freaky encounter with a Dartmoor pony! *Contains swearing*
The Welsh government make slight adjustments to their lockdown, teeing up BoJo for Sunday to do similar, and probably go a bit further. I talk about meeting up with friends while shouting from our parked car, a lovely day on Dartmoor, Trump's surreal visit to a factory and the Vera Lynn banger. *Contains swearing*
I have edited together all the hundreds of times I've said 'Y'know' into a rhythm of machine gun furiousness that will almost certainly permanently scar you! Only kidding! I do a passable Brian Blessed impression, predict BoJo Bonson Johnson's roadmap and question whether some of the high standards of the British newspaper industry have slipped. *Contains swearing*
Sir Kier Starmer makes a lovely string of sausages from the BoJo mincemeat he harvested at PMQs. ***LISTEN VIA ANCHOR*** to hear Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela to celebrate Tony Allen's life and commemorate his death. R.I.P. *Contains swearing*
The UK overtakes Italy as the country with the highest number of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in Europe. Only the US have more confirmed deaths. The ONS figures, and those from Scotland and Northern Ireland brings the number to 32,313. The FT Economic Editor, Chris Giles is estimating 53,800 deaths up to today, extrapolating from ONS and other official data. *Contains swearing*
We celebrate 50 episodes with a megamix of the best of the last 7 weeks of podcasts! Featuring Giant Doctor, my medical emergency, a chronology of the UK government's many mistakes, Abraham Lincoln, Noel's starling story, Phil's joke, Vicky and Martha describing a river, Tom, Catherine, Kerrie, Joanna, Augusto at the piano and Emily welcoming the summer. Thank you, loyal listener, for choosing to spend some of your time with us all! Here's to the next 50! X *Contains swearing*
With the UK death toll about to take over Italy's, I compare tests in both countries. Meanwhile there's a stench at No.10: Marc Warner, the brother of Ben Warner - data analyst for Vote Leave and now BoJo's data lad, who attends SAGE meetings with Dom Cummins - has landed the lucrative NHSX contract over Apple & Google collaborating to make the COVID-19 tracker app!
Emily gives an update on life in Tokyo where the government have extended the lockdown by a month. Meanwhile I'm impressed by Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's roadmap out of lockdown and I compare him to the scoundrels representing the UK government. *Contains swearing*
Matty Hancock spins his way to claiming over 120,000 tests, but it's not true. No surprise there. They tested 73,000 people yesterday! Also, I name and shame the bozo who sold PPE assigned for NHS workers, record the sound of a river and do a pretty good Lincoln impression! *Contains swearing*
I am really sorry to all you Potterheads out there for misremembering the Voldemort anagram. I hope Harry Potter himself appearing as a guest in tonight's episode makes up for my error. Meanwhile I talk care home advice and statistics. *Contains swearing*
Nicola Sturgeon is now advising everyone in Scotland to wear a face covering when going out of the house. My friend Joanna returns to the podcast to share her thoughts. Meanwhile Gove continues to be a source of ridicule, Panorama exposes the UK government's failings over PPE and the ONS figures start to reflect the catastrophe in care homes. *Contains swearing*
Although Bojo is back at his desk the politicians and scientists continue to bluff their way out of answering simple questions. Catherine, my friend in Tipperary, looks at the Irish government's response to COVID-19 and talks about her family's experiences.
Today we mark the tragic milestone of over 20,000 COVID-19 deaths IN UK hospitals, but with the deaths in care homes and people dying at home added the actual figure is estimated to be over 45,000. My friend Augusto talks about taking piano lessons remotely. I visit Dartmoor. *Contains swearing*
We are 40! Another bloomin' marvelous example of leadership for the US and UK. Trump wants us to inject disinfectant! Cummins is on the board of scientists advising the government! Meanwhile, I go to Dartmoor, see horses, record birdsong and talk about dogs. Have a happy weekend and safe weekend! *Contains swearing*
We venture out to Dartmoor for more birdsong and a gallop with the horses. Meanwhile in Scotland Nicola Sturgeon tells the Scots there's to be a grown up conversation about the new new normal. *Contains swearing*
A friend (and podcast contributer) responds to my brother's callout in the most delightful way. Meanwhile, the Financial Times have extrapolated the statistics from UK hospital deaths and the ONS; they calculate that over 41,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the UK. Tests and the rest focus Kier Starmer in his first PMQs. All in all, a good old jolly holiday with Mary (Poppins) then. *Contains swearing*
We went to Dartmoor! Amazing sunshine, beautiful day and nobody around! Hear the exciting outside broadcast - including birdsong! Meanwhile, I talk ONS and a pharmacy run by idiots, and my brother Phil uses this podcast to ask you for resources for his three children with additional needs. *Contains swearing*
I'm hooked on Costello, the virologist critical of the UK government response. My younger brother Phil gives his thoughts on lockdown. I wonder who will win the Noble Prize for Medicine - will it be Sarah Gilbert, the Oxford based virologist who is 80% certain of a vaccine by September. *Contains swearing*
I tell you about my super power of recognising people called Mark via a supernatural energy that cuts through the hubbub and tells me directly that they are a Mark. I'm now developing a unified theory of Toms. I also talk about the Sunday Times article laying out the many failures of the UK government in response to COVID-19. *Contains swearing*
Noel in New York sends his third journal reading. It is poetic and profound; New York continues to be the epicenter of the global COVID-19 outbreak and Noel quotes very worrying statistics. Have a safe weekend.
The UK is behind on testing. The UK public give money to the NHS via a very old walking man. The Met Police show Londoners how to misbehave by staging a ridiculous PR stunt on a bridge, endangering hundreds of lives. Another day in a weird world.
Great news that the R (the number of people infected by a COVID-19 carrier) is now below 1, meaning if we stay like this the virus will not spread. Also Sadiq Khan is lobbying for masks to be worn. And we clapped for the key workers tonight!
The world tips into Armando Ianniucci's head. Matty Hancock responds to the millions working in care homes asking for a living wage, tests and PPE by launching a badge! Boris the sitcom is scrapped after the pilot episode. My friend Joanna sends her thoughts from bonnie Scotland. And Billy Connolly, the King of All Scots, slags off Bojo Bonson Johnson.
More tales from Erinslake as Phin the Scarhealer and Zoppo the Fluke journey into the Wise Woods...er, sorry, no - just the usual death statistics and anti-government rants on your favourite COVID-19 knockabout comedy podcast.
I mark a sad day as the number of deaths in hospitals from COVID-19 reaches 10,000+, and the number is being suppressed. Matt Hancock is still a terrible liar. I want a journalist to ask this question to the government: if the NHS has capacity, why are people dying at home?
I talk about the Queen harbouring her son, Prince Andrew the paedophile. I trace an odd feeling I've had all day to the future car crash of Boris Johnson and his band of incompetent fuckwits messing up the distribution of a vaccine. A cheery Passover and Easter to you all!
Emily, a friend who lives in the outskirts of Tokyo, sends her thoughts on the Japanese government's state of emergency. Japan currently have 99 recorded deaths from COVID-19 but a spike in confirmed cases in the last week has led to the government's announcement. But will it make any difference? Also, I look at the Office of National Statistics data and question the true number of people in the UK who have died from COVID-19.
With 938 deaths from COVID-19 in UK hospitals reported over the last 24 hours, I talk about the UK government's response. Why did the scientists get it so wrong? Why didn't they continue to contact trace? Are people taking the lockdown seriously? As you can imagine, it's a laugh riot.
I talk about the irritating habit of describing people with illnesses (like Boris Johnson) as fighters. It implies that all those dying from COVID-19 didn't fight enough, or didn't want to live as much as those that survive.
On Sunday The Queen will spew forth her message of community and togetherness from her heavily-guarded castle in Windsor. I find a scrap of optimisim in the gloom with the news that NHS Nightingale isn't yet needed, because London hospitals still have capacity, and I prepare myself for glimpsing at sunshine through the window this weekend.
I talk about a podcast featuring a palliative care professional who campaigns to ease people's fear of death, and praise a brilliant documentary about the rumours of a curse connected to William Friedkin's 1973 masterpiece The Exorcist.
I try to explain a new report by the School of Tropical Medicine. Basically, it's good news and read the thing yourselves. We go outside for a short drive to a local field, where I'm fretting about every moving thing!
I speculate wildly about Gary Davies, question whether Michael Gove is the person to lead us out of this unprecedented crisis, get eaten by a wolf, lose my legs and give you the perfect reason to hang up on the livefeed of my funeral.
I talk about how the world might look 10 years after the COVID-19 crisis. Major, urgent global change had happened in 8 weeks, so never again will anyone believe those who say we can't make the changes necessary over 8 years to combat the worst impacts of the climate catastrophe. Tom, an old friend, reports from rural Shropshire where COVID-19 has only recently changed people's routines.
We go outside to play and get some sun. I am vigilant to the possibility that the errant neighbours may infect us. I write a sign telling people to get away from our house. My medical emergency takes the weekend off. Catherine reads a poem, the perfect way to spend a few minutes to relax.
I have a medical emergency that means we have to break the self-isolation to go to the medical centre. We have in-car reporting from the medical centre car park! I tell the story of my middle of the night encounter with Giant Doctor.
Following the UK government's dramatic advice to wait until the weekend for people like me, with long term health conditions to social distance, I decided not to go to work at a large secondary school and make today Day 1.