160 | David King on Climate Repair

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?

147 | Endgame?

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.

146 | Best Political Novels

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!

141 | The Problem with Political Leaders

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.

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138 | What Now?

After the crushing defeat for Theresa May's deal in the Commons, we try to work out where we go from here.  How and when can Article 50 be extended?  What would it mean for parliament to take control of the process?  Do we need another general election?  Can this government survive?  It's all connected and we search for the path through the maze.  With Helen Thompson, Chris Bickerton and Kenneth Armstrong.

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114 | Labour's Fault Lines

Summer's over: politics is back!  This week we return to the mystery inside the enigma that is Brexit to ask where Labour now stands.  What is the big divide in the Labour movement: Is it MPs vs leader? Members vs voters?  Young vs old?  And what could a second referendum achieve anyway?  Plus we try to make sense of the fraught fight over the definition of anti-Semitism.  With Helen Thompson, Chris Bickerton and Waseem Yaqoob.