169 | 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.

168 | 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.

158 | Paul Mason on the Human Future

We talk to Paul Mason about his new book Clear Bright Future - a radical defence of the human being in the age of digital transformation and a call to political action.  The book covers a lot of ground and so do we: Trump and Nietzsche, machine learning and network effects, climate change and neoliberalism, secular humanism and Christian Enlightenment.  But no Brexit!  A conversation about the biggest political choices we face and the deep philosophical questions that lie behind them.  With Helen Thompson.

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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