David and Helen take a step back to unpick the tortuous history of how we got to the Brexit referendum in the first place. Does the justification Cameron offers in his new memoirs stack up? What was he trying to achieve? And why did we end up with an in/out vote when the political risks were so great? A conversation linked to David's review of Cameron's book in the current 40th anniversary issue of the LRB. https://www.lrb.co.uk
An extra episode in our climate season: we talk to Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Advisor to the British government, about what's now known about the scale of the threat and the urgency of the need for action. What has happened since the Paris agreement? What is the Chinese government most afraid of? What is the meaning of Extinction Rebellion? And is it time to start talking about refreezing the poles to repair the damage already done?
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!
This week marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most influential lectures ever given on politics: Max Weber's 'Politics as a Vocation', first delivered in Munich on 28 January 1919. David and Helen talk with Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair's former chief of staff, about some of its lessons for the age of Brexit. Where have all the good leaders gone? Is the party system to blame? Are we suffering from an excess of conviction or a lack of conviction? And who will be responsible if we see a return to violence? Recorded before a live audience at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.Read More
This week David and Helen try to make sense of everything that's going on: not just the Brexit drama, but its links to Macron's fate in France and Merkel's fate in Germany. How will history see this moment? Does Theresa May have any cards left to play? Plus David responds to some of the feedback from last week's episode about votes for children. Recorded on Weds morning before the result of the confidence vote, with a short update.
This week we talk to former Foreign Secretary David Miliband about his new book Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of our Time. He explains what the refugee crisis tells us about the state of world politics and why it is both so essential and so hard to tackle it. We also talk about climate change, Brexit, the failures of the Blair government and the fate of social democracy in the new 'age of extremes'. David Miliband is currently Chair and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC).