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.
David talks to the hosts of the Reasons to be Cheerful podcast about why they are so darned perky about politics. We discuss whether the political surprises are likely to keep coming and Ed and Geoff pick their favourite ideas from the ones they've covered on the show. Plus we ask Ed the question we asked his brother David a few months back: if there are so many good progressive ideas out there, why didn't the Blair government act on more of them? He gives a slightly different answer. Recorded in Geoff's loft.
After some Tory politicians have started asking for details of what lecturers are saying about Brexit, we're joined this week by regular panellist Chris Bickerton to talk about what it's like being a pro-Brexit academic in an anti-Brexit university. Plus we catch up with Helen Thompson and Chris Brooke on where they think the Brexit negotiations have reached and what chance they see of a successful outcome. We also revisit Catalonia to discuss the latest developments there. Is Madrid winning, and what might that mean for the EU?
As the face-off between Madrid and Barcelona continues, we explore how this happened and where it might end. Marc Weller, chair of the independent commission on Catalan independence, explains the legal background and historian Brendan Simms sets out what is at stake for European politics. Could this be the crisis that brings the whole thing crashing down? With Helen Thompson and Chris Brooke.
As the summer winds down, David and Helen talk about what the coming political year might have in store. Is talk of a new UK political party just hot air? What does Angela Merkel’s likely success in the German elections mean for European politics? Will Trump’s presidency ever lose its power to shock? Plus, we discuss who else might be on our political radars in twelve months time.
We gear up for summer with a conversation about cricket, politics and life. Zafar Ansari studied at Cambridge, played cricket for England and now, at the age of 25, has retired from professional sport to take up other challenges. We talk to Zafar about what prompted his decision and what his cricket career taught him about things other than cricket. He tells us about the politics of the dressing room and the role of race and class in sport. He also tells us what it was like to discover Trump had won the presidency while he was playing a test match for England in India.