We talk to lawyer and constitutional expert Alison Young about the current pressures on the UK constitution, from Brexit to devolution to political polarisation. Is parliamentary sovereignty still the linchpin of the system? What changed with the arrival of the Supreme Court? Can the constitution survive in its current form?
We talk to public policy expert Dennis Grube about the changing character of the civil service, from Victorian mandarins and Yes, Minister to the current battles over Brexit in the age of Twitter. Senior civil servants increasingly find themselves in the public eye, expected to communicate their views. Has this politicised the advice they give?
Boris Johnson is off to see the Queen to become her 14th (!) British Prime Minister, but where might he be taking the country this autumn? We try to work through the various Brexit scenarios, from a renegotiated Withdrawal Agreement to a crash no-deal exit. Can the backstop be issue? Plus we explore whether an early election or a second referendum can really provide a way out of the mess. Something's got to give - what will it be? With Helen Thompson, Catherine Barnard and Chris Bickerton.
Barring an act of God, Boris Johnson is going to be the next leader of the Conservative Party. We're exploring what that means in two parts. Today, Helen and David talk about the domestic implications. Can Johnson avoid an election? Can he hold on to the seats he needs while winning others he doesn't have? Will he unite or divide his party? Will Labour be able to stop him either way? Plus we talk about what's at stake for the Tories in Johnson's relationship with Trump. Next week: Europe and Brexit.
What is happening in Hong Kong? We talk to a professor of Chinese history and a Hong Kong journalist about the recent wave of protests there and try to discover what is really at stake on all sides. Who are the protestors? What are their core demands? Can these be met? And what will happen if they aren't? Plus we explore the parallels with other protest movements around the world and look at the possible knock-on effects, from Beijing to Taiwan. With Hans van de Ven and Angus Hui.
What does it mean when Facebook says it wants its own currency? We explore the power, the potential and the pitfalls of Libra. How does Facebook plan to make money out of making money? Can anyone stop it? And does this represent a fundamental shift in the model of surveillance capitalism? Plus we consider some of the rivals it faces: Bitcoin, WeChat and the good old dollar.
Finally, this week we pay tribute to our dear friend and regular Talking Politics contributor Aaron Rapport (1980-2019) with some memories of his many appearances on the podcast.