TALKING POLITICS

TALKING POLITICS

United Kingdom

Corbyn! Trump! Brexit! Politics has never been more unpredictable, more alarming or more interesting. TALKING POLITICS is the podcast that will try to make sense of it all. Each Thursday, in Cambridge, David Runciman will talk to his regular panel along with novelists, comedians, historians, philosophers - and even a few politicians - and ask them what they think is going on... Democracy is feeling the strain everywhere. What might happen next? How bad could it get? As each thing happens, TALKING POLITICS will be on it. It’s the political conversation everyone is having: please join us.

Episodes

Tim O'Reilly and the WTF Economy  

We speak to Silicon Valley publisher, entrepreneur and guru Tim O'Reilly about what technology means for the future of politics and society. A short conversation about the biggest questions: How do we get from a world of jobs to a world of meaningful work? How can politics keep up with technological innovation? How can we re-set our basic social arrangements without a war? Recorded at the Computer Labs in Cambridge.

The Who, The What, The How  

We recorded this week in the aftermath of the Manchester terror attack, with the election campaign temporarily suspended. We take a step back to review some of the broad themes of the campaign so far and talk about how the main parties have been presenting themselves and what they are trying to achieve. We reflect on the importance of leadership style - what makes Theresa May different from Tony Blair? - and we ask why so little of the election has been about Brexit. With Helen Thompson, Glen Rangwala and Chris Brooke.

Trump vs. Comey  

We take stock of the latest developments in Washington as the heat intensifies on Trump and the leaking war continues. What do the new revelations tell us about Trump's fitness to be president? What do they tell us about the power struggles inside the administration? We also take a step back to ask about the risks of any showdown between an elected president and the secret state. Might Trump's fate set a precedent for any outsider who takes on the political establishment? Do the Democrats need to be careful what they wish for? Plus, in the week the UK parties start publishing their election manifestos, we ask: what's a manifesto worth anyway? With Helen Thompson, Aaron Rapport and Chris Bickerton.

The Meaning of UKIP  

After UKIP’s dreadful performance in the local elections we ask about the historic legacy of Nigel Farage’s party. How big was its role in taking the UK out of the EU? Will UKIP turn out to be the gateway drug for turning Labour supporters into Conservatives? How do its fortunes compare with the Front National in France? Plus we catch up on the latest development across the Channel and discuss the prospects for Macron’s presidency. Can he find a solution to the perennial problem that hangs over French politics: Germany? With Helen Thompson, Hugo Drochon, Chris Bickerton and Chris Brooke.

Michael Gove  

We catch up with Michael Gove, one of the leaders of the Brexit campaign, to ask how he feels about the future of Europe now. What difference will a Macron presidency make? Will Theresa May have more of a mandate than any other European leader when it comes to the Brexit negotiations? And how does he feel today about his notorious remark that 'the people of this country have had enough of experts'?

Thomas Piketty  

We're joined by internationally best-selling economist Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, to talk about the French elections and what inequality is doing to democratic politics. Recorded a few days before the 2nd round of the French presidential vote, we discuss Macron vs. Le Pen, the failure of mainstream social democracy, and why Brexit was such a gamble. We also talk about what needs to be done to reform the EU. With Hugo Drochon.

The Tory Machine  

What makes the Conservatives so good at winning elections - the most successful party in modern political history? Is it money? Leadership? Luck? We talk with Helen Thompson, Chris Brooke and Aaron Rapport about Tory successes and failures and we explore some of the inbuilt quirks of the UK electoral system. Plus we answer some questions posed to us by listeners: How is Mayism different from Milibandism? And what hopes for a progressive alliance?

Scotland and the Union  

This week we focus on what the general election in Scotland might mean for the rest of the UK. Does a Tory revival in Scotland spell the end of Indyref 2? Does Labour's collapse chime with what's going on in the rest of Europe? Plus we explore whether a thumping majority for Mrs May would strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations. In the first in a series of historical comparisons, we also ask whether this election has echoes of what happened when Ted Heath called a snap poll in 1974. Is Tony Blair now the Enoch Powell of British politics? You heard it here first.

Pankaj Mishra  

In a Talking Politics EXTRA, we speak to Indian novelist and historian Pankaj Mishra about his new book The Age of Anger. He explains the deep historical roots that underpin the rise of populism and he explores what connects Modi and Trump. He also tells us why the British general election might be just a sideshow. Recorded at the Cambridge Literary Festival.

Elections!  

Here we go again! The day after Mrs May makes her announcement, we talk about what a UK election means, whatever happened to the fixed-term parliament act and what the real choices will be on June 8. Plus we're joined by historian Robert Tombs to discuss the upcoming French presidential election, and Ayse Zarakol shares her thoughts on this weekend's referendum in Turkey. Is Erdogan the winner or the loser? Elections everywhere - so much to talk about! With Helen Thompson and Chris Bickerton.

John Lanchester  

David and Helen talk to novelist and LRB essayist John Lanchester about banks, money and power. Why have so few bankers gone to jail since the financial crisis? Can the Euro survive? Should we be more frightened of unaccountable power in Wall Street or in Silicon Valley? Plus John updates us on how he's getting on with his Amazon Echo: it's scarier than you think. In collaboration with the London Review of Books.

Power in the Digital Age  

This week we're bringing you some of the ideas and voices from an event held in Cambridge to discuss power in the world of Facebook and Google. Where does Mark Zuckerberg end and Facebook begin? How are autocratic regimes taking advantage of the latest technology? Why is online shopping like the Truman Show? We talk with the people doing the most interesting research into how smart machines are changing the very basis of politics. It's scary, but it's also really interesting.

Richard Dearlove  

In the week following the worst terrorist attack in Britain for more than a decade, we talk to the former Head of MI6 (the British Secret Intelligence Service) about terror, security and Trump. Richard Dearlove tells us how he sees the future of NATO and of Europe, and where he thinks the next big threats are coming from. Plus he tells us why he is pro-Brexit and why the Trump administration is not all bad. A lively exchange of views, with Aaron Rapport.

Chris Clark/Germany and India  

**Recorded + edited before the events of 22/3/17 in London** We're joined by best-selling historian Chris Clark - author of The Sleepwalkers - to talk about German politics past and present. How spooked is the German political establishment by Trump and Brexit? How big is the threat to Angela Merkel from a resurgent SPD? And how can Germany square its growing power with the legacy of its history? With Helen Thompson and Chris Bickerton. Plus Maha Rafi Atal updates us on the latest developments in India, where Modi's populism appears to be more popular than ever.

Patience Wheatcroft/Brexit  

In the week Brexit clears its first big parliamentary hurdle, we talk to prominent Remainer and Tory rebel Patience Wheatcroft about the view from the Lords and what it's like to be on the receiving end of the wrath of the Brexiteers. Plus we're joined by Helen and the two Chrises to talk about IndyRef2 and whether Project Fear could possibly work second time round. Is the UK finished? We try to decide.

Election Season  

We catch up with elections taking place here, there and everywhere: last week's vote for the Northern Ireland assembly, next week's general election in the Netherlands, the continuing drama of the French presidential race. Do these votes have anything in common and what might it be? Are we seeing the inexorable rise of populism or is the tide starting to turn? And how did a thrown shoe change the course of recent political history? Plus we ask what, if anything, the Trump presidency is doing for European harmony. With Barry Colfer, Chris Bickerton, Maha Rafi Atal and Aaron Rapport.

Dani Rodrik  

We're joined by one of the world's leading economists Dani Rodrik to talk about globalisation, Trump and Brexit. Who are the real winners and losers from the integration of the global economy? What chance has Trump got of making good on his economic promises? How much are economists to blame for the mess we're in? Dani talks with David, Helen Thompson and Finbarr Livesey about the dangers of circling the wagons and the tough choices we all have to face.

Mary Beard  

Ahead of her LRB lecture at the British Museum, we talk to Mary Beard about women in power. Why are powerful women so often called phonies? What can we learn about women and power from the ancient world? We discuss what's wrong with the idea of glass ceilings and what Hillary Clinton's treatment at the hands of Trump and his supporters really says about political misogyny. Plus Mary tells us what she thinks has gone wrong with the Labour party. On that note, we also have Helen and Chris Brooke looking ahead to this week's by-elections: who has most to lose, Corbyn or UKIP?

Rory Bremner/France  

Is Trump beyond parody? We talk to Rory Bremner about what it's like trying to do political comedy when politics seems to have lost its moorings. Plus Rory gives us his Trump (which we think it better than Baldwin's). We also catch up with the latest twists and turns in the French presidential election. Is Macron now the favourite? Can Fillon recover? And have we reach peak Putin panic, or is it only just beginning? With Helen, Chris Bickerton and Hugo Drochon.

Is Democracy Failing?  

This week we take a step back to ask whether what's happening in the US is a symptom of a wider problem: the failure of democracy. We talk Turkey with Ayse Zarakol, who explains just how bad things have got there over the past year. Is America going to follow Turkey's lead towards authoritarianism? If not, which institutions are going to rescue it? Plus we discuss what Trump's strategy really is in his confrontation with the courts and we talk Calexit. With Helen Thompson, Aaron Rapport and Maha Rafi Atal.

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