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

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.

Mrs May Goes to Washington  

After another tumultuous week, we talk about Britain's place in the world under a Trump presidency. How much leverage does Theresa May have in Washington? What might a Trump administration want in return? And what does 'global Britain' really mean post-Brexit? Plus we're joined by Glen Rangwala to discuss the implications of Trump's arrival in the White House for US policy towards the Middle East. With Helen Thompson, Aaron Rapport and Chris Brooke.

Jill Lepore  

We speak with New Yorker writer and historian Jill Lepore about Trump, the Tea Party and the constitution. She tells us how they go together, and how they don't. This conversation was recorded on the day of Trump's inauguration and we also have some voices and sounds from the event in Washington. Plus we try to make sense of what the Supreme Court verdict about Article 50 means for the sovereignty of the UK parliament, and what it means for Ireland and Scotland.

Inaugurals  

As we gear up for Trump taking the oath of office, we talk about our favourite inaugural addresses from the past. That includes the classics - Lincoln, FDR - but also some hidden gems. Who thinks Adams in 1797 was speaking direct to us today? Who gets moved by Nixon in 1969 describing the world seen from space? Who argues LBJ in 1965 is the most underrated of all? Hear that and more as we try to tell a story of America through the things its presidents said when they took on the job.

What Next for Labour?  

After the attempt to relaunch project Corbyn, we talk about what the future holds for the Labour Party. Is it on life support? Does it know where it stands on Brexit and the free movement of people? And how does its predicament compare to other centre-left parties around Europe and across the Atlantic? Including a special detour into Canada. With Helen, Maha, Finbarr and Chris (Bickerton). Next week: back over the border as we gear up for the inauguration of President Trump.

Cyberpolitics  

Technology guru and Observer columnist John Naughton joins David and Aaron to talk about the knotty relationship between tech and politics. Does the online world have a right-wing bias? Why are Silicon Valley billionaires frightened of Trump? And just what have the Russians been playing at? Plus Aaron takes us through the latest twists and turns as the outgoing Obama administration and the incoming Trump administration squabble over America's place in the world.

What we're reading  

We say goodbye to 2016 with some individual thoughts from regular Talking Politics contributors: a chance to hear what we're reading and what we think we might be talking about next year. Also a chance to find out who we all are - without interruption!

Talking Politics/New Statesman PART 1  

We're joined by Helen Lewis and Stephen Bush from the New Statesman podcast, to chew over the ups and downs of 2016. How do they feel as journalists about a year when the political news has been so startling so often? Who are the winners and losers from the 'fake news' agenda? Who do their readers trust to tell them the truth? Plus we look ahead to 2017 to ask what will happen when the economy catches up with the winners of 2016. And we ask Helen and Stephen for their good news stories from the past year. To hear part II of our conversation, please go to http://www.newstatesman.com/podcast

Trump's Cabinet  

We try to make sense of what Trump's Cabinet appointments tell us about a Trump Presidency. What will oil baron Rex Tillerson do as Secretary of State? What will fast food tycoon Andrew Pudzer do at Labor? Rick Perry has been put in charge of one of the agencies - Energy - that he previously promised to eliminate (and then forgot). So we ask: is this about what Trump wants to undo, not what he wants to do? Plus we talk Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia and (very briefly) Theresa May's trousers. At the end, Maha, Aaron and Finbarr give us some good news after all the doom and gloom of 2016.

Italy: What's Next?  

After the resounding No vote in the Italian referendum and the resignation of Matteo Renzi we talk about what comes next. Is this vote part of the populist backlash that brought us Brexit and Trump, or is it something different? What does it mean for the future of the Euro and the EU? And is it possible to be a populist and a technocrat? Plus, we discuss the meaning of 'Viva Trump, Viva Putin, Viva Le Pen'. With Chris Bickerton and Mariana Mazzucato.

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