173 | Waiting for Boris

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.

171 | Libra

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.

170 | Outlasting Trump

We talk with Gary Gerstle about the big issues roiling US politics with likely aftereffects that will long outlast Trump's presidency. First up: the fight over the census. What's a stake in the citizenship question? How has American politics been shaped by people-counting in the past? And what is the Supreme Court likely to
decide? Plus we look at constitutional reform, the environment and impeachment. These are the battles that could have consequences for decades to come. With Helen Thompson.

169 | The Party Splits! (In 1846!)

The current crisis for the Conservatives is often described as the worst since the party split over the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846.  So we talk to historian Boyd Hilton about what really happened back then and what it meant for British politics.  Why were the Corn Laws so divisive?  How did public opinion impact on the politicians?  Did Peel betray his party or did he do what needed to be done?  And what are the real lessons for Brexit and for the Conservative Party today?  With Helen Thompson. 

168 | Who is Boris Johnson?

We try to work out what the current favourite to be next Tory  leader actually stands for.  Can his time as Mayor of London tell us what kind of PM he might be?  Will his journalistic past come back to haunt him?  Does he have a political philosophy beyond 'doing Brexit'?  Plus we discuss whether the Johnson-Trump comparisons really stand up. With Helen Thompson and Chris Brooke.

167 | Constitutional Breakdown

We ask whether the UK constitution is cracking up - and if so, where's the breakpoint going to come?  Is Brexit at the heart of the current crisis or does it go deeper than that?  What's the role of the Supreme Court?  And the Queen?  Could the Bank of England play a part? And where does Scotland fit in?  We try to piece it all together with Helen Thompson, Chris Bickerton and Kenneth Armstrong.