We take the wider European view this week, catching up with the latest developments in Italy and France. A year on from the Italian elections, who is up and who is down in the coalition between the League and Five Star? What is China up to in Italy? Has Macron really got his mojo back? Plus we ask the big question: between chaos at Westminster, riots in Paris and rabble-rousing in Rome, whose democracy is in the biggest trouble? With Lucia Rubinelli and Chris Bickerton.
At the start of another momentous week, David catches up with Helen to explore some of the long term implications of the Brexit crisis. Is lasting damage being done to constitutional government in the UK? Can the Brexiteers still have their cake and eat it? And is the story of Theresa May ultimately a tragic one? You can also hear Helen and David this week on the 538 politics podcast → ttps://53eig.ht/2FaPkJz
*Recorded before John Bercow’s ruling on Monday afternoon
We try to cut through the Brexit fog and see what's really out there, from new deals to no deal. Plus we ask some bigger questions: What is the true role of lawyers in politics? Does the EU want regime change? And how will future historians explain this extraordinary period? With Helen Thompson, Chris Bickerton and Kenneth Armstrong.
We discuss the challenge posed by the Independent Group and by Tom Watson inside Labour to conventional two party-politics in Britain. Can the system hold together? If not, what might replace it? And where are the new ideas going to come from? Plus we talk about what the ERG wants on the Tory side: is it simply Boris? With Helen Thompson and Mike Kenny.
We weigh up where we've reached with Brexit, now that the big choices can't be avoided for much longer. Is a second referendum any more likely than it was a week ago? What terms will the EU demand for an extension of article 50? And can May finally prevail? With Helen Thompson and Chris Bickerton.
A break from Brexit this week: we talk to the novelist Richard T. Kelly, author of Crusaders and The Knives, about what makes great political fiction. We discuss the research needed to make a political novel authentic, how to get inside the head of a politician and we ask whether May or Trump would make good fictional heroes. Plus we pick some of our favourite political novels, with literary critic Kasia Boddy.
Don't worry: more Brexit soon!