In the middle of the epic prorogation battle at the Supreme Court, we ask what's at stake: for the government, for Brexit, for the constitution and for democracy. Is this a case of legal precedent, common law practice or higher constitutional principle? Is the UK constitution becoming more European in the act of leaving the EU? And what are the things lawyers on neither side can say? Plus we ask how Jo Swinson's case for revoking article 50 is going and we discuss whether we could really have a 2nd referendum without another general election. A packed episode! With Catherine Barnard, Helen Thompson and Chris Bickerton.
David and Helen try to make sense of where we've got to, though things are moving fast (*episode recorded before the Scottish court judgment*). Can parliament force Johnson's hand in the Brexit negotiations if he is still PM? Will Labour hold together now that it's become a second referendum party? Could the revocation of article 50 become a real prospect? Next week, on to the Supreme Court. We also pay tribute to our dear friend and colleague Finbarr Livesey, who very sadly died last week.
Helen Thompson and Adam Tooze take us beyond Brexit to look at the global situation and the bigger threats we face. Italy, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Russia, Trump vs. the Fed, the US vs. China, Hong Kong, the dollar, the euro, climate change, oil: an amazingly wide-ranging conversation that somehow manages to connect it all up.
With British politics in disarray, we try to sort out what's a stake - legally, constitutionally and electorally. Can Johnson refuse to do what parliament demands? Can Corbyn get the election he wants? What is Dominic Cummings playing at? And how much is the Fixed-term Parliaments Act to blame for the mess? Plus we explore the likely choices ahead for voters and politicians and we ask the big question lying behind all the drama: is this a question of politics or is it a matter of law? With Helen Thompson and Kenneth Armstrong.
We talk to political philosopher Clare Chambers about marriage as a political institution. How does it reflect the power of the state? How does it alter power relations between individuals? Should everyone be allowed to get married or should we move away from marriage altogether? A fresh, radical look at something we often take for granted.
David gives another in his series of talks about democracy. This one draws on the theme of his new book Where Power Stops: The Making and Unmaking of Presidents and Prime Ministers. From Lyndon Johnson to
Boris Johnson, does power reveal the true character of politicians or do politicians reveal the true character of power? What sets the limits to what presidents and prime minsters can do? And how do we find them?