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43 minutes | Jan 26, 2023
Rolling in it: the return of Tory sleaze
Katy Balls, The Spectator’s political editor, writes about the return of Tory sleaze. She’s joined by Jill Rutter, a senior fellow at the Institute for Government, to discuss the problems piling up for Rishi Sunak and the Tories. (00:50) Also this week, security expert Mark Galeotti writes about why Europe has been reluctant to give Ukraine tanks. Journalist Owen Matthews and Ben Hodges, former commanding general of the United States Army (Europe), join the podcast. (18:44) And finally, Gus Carter, The Spectator’s deputy features editor, writes in this week’s magazine about bison being reintroduced into the UK. He joins the podcast with the environmentalist Stanley Johnson. (33:40) Hosted by William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
39 minutes | Jan 19, 2023
Gender wars: the Union's new battle line
On the podcast this week: In his cover piece for the magazine Iain Macwhirter writes in the aftermath of the government’s decision to block the Scottish Gender Recognition Reform Bill from gaining Royal Assent. He joins the podcast with Observer columnist Sonia Sodha to discuss the Union’s new battle line (01:03). Also this week: why are our prisons still in lockdown? Charlie Taylor, HM’s Chief Inspector of Prisons writes about some of his recent observations visiting institutions around the country. He says that control measures are failing both inmates and the taxpayer. He is joined by journalist David James Smith to examine this post-Covid inertia in UK prisons (16:48). And finally: In The Spectator this week opera singer and comedian Melinda Hughes says that BBC Radio 3 is failing classical music fans by copying the likes of Classic FM and Scala Radio. She is joined by Sir Nicholas Kenyon, former controller of Radio 3 and the Telegraph’s opera critic, to debate whether the station is dumbing down (27:01). Hosted by William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
41 minutes | Jan 12, 2023
Who's afraid of Keir Starmer?
This week: Who's afraid of Keir Starmer? In his cover piece for the magazine, The Spectator's Editor Fraser Nelson says that without a Labour demon to point at the Tories stand little chance in the next election. He joins the podcast alongside journalist Paul Mason, to discuss why Keir Starmer is so hard to vilify (01:10). Also this week: In the magazine, The Spectator's newsletter editor Hannah Tomes exposes the social media campaign targeting young women, such as herself, to freeze and donate their eggs. She joins the podcast alongside Sophia Money-Coutts, host of the Freezing Time podcast, to consider whether it is right to market this as an altruistic undertaking (16:58). And finally: This week saw Prince Harry's bombshell memoir Spare hit the shelves. Novelist and critic Philip Hensher writes a scathing review for the magazine and is joined by Kara Kennedy, staff writer at the Spectator World, to go through the best – or perhaps the worst – details in the book (26:39). Hosted by William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
43 minutes | Jan 5, 2023
Six more years: how long can Biden go on?
On the podcast this week: The Spectator’s deputy editor Freddy Gray writes the cover piece looking ahead to the possibility of another 6 years of President Biden. He is joined by Amie Parnes, senior staff writer at The Hill and co-author of Lucky: How Joe Biden barley won the presidency, to discuss whether anyone can stop Biden running in 2024 (01:00). Also this week: In the magazine Fr Patrick Burke writes a moving tribute to Pope Benedict XVI. He joins the podcast to discuss Benedict’s intellectual legacy and what the Church gained from his theological work (16:05). We are also very lucky to have a special recording from Melanie McDonagh who dials in from St Peter’s Square to give her reflections on the late Pope’s funeral (29:43). And finally: In her article for The Spectator this week Tanith Carey, author of Never Kiss a Man in a Canoe: Words of Wisdom from the Golden Age of Agony Aunts, writes in celebration of the high-handed and unflinching advice of Victorian agony aunts. She is joined by The Spectator’s own agony aunt Mary Killen – aka Dear Mary – to consider whether today’s agony aunts are going soft (33:32). Hosted by William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
65 minutes | Dec 15, 2022
Welcome to the special Christmas episode of The Edition! Up first: What a year in politics it has been. 2022 has seen five education secretaries, four chancellors, three prime ministers and two monarchs. But there is only one political team that can make sense of it all. The Spectator's editor Fraser Nelson, deputy political editor Katy Balls and assistant editor Isabel Hardman discuss what has surely been one of the most dramatic years in British political history (01:13). Then: Christmas is a time to spare a thought for our neighbours. While in the UK we have our own hardships, families in Ukraine are facing a Christmas under siege. The Spectator's Svitlana Morenets joins the podcast alongside author Andrey Kurkov, dialling in from Lazarivka near Kiev to discuss traditions in Ukraine (16:29). Next: We have a special Christmas treat for our listeners. For our festive triple issue of the magazine, historian Tom Holland interviews the author Robert Harris about everything from eco-radicals and interpreting history, to why the monarchy is so essential. They have kindly allowed us to hear some their conversation (25:58). Also this week: In his piece for The Spectator's Christmas issue, travel writer Sean Thomas reflects on a recent cruise around the Antarctic peninsula, a trip which gave him a new answer to the question which perpetually plagues him: what is the best place you have ever been? He is joined by explorer Felicity Aston who in 2012 became the first person to ski solo across Antarctica (40:59). And finally: Pantomime dames are as synonymous with Christmas as mince pies and a Spectator Christmas issue, but what makes a truly great dame? This is the question that Robert Gore-Langton asks in our festive magazine. He is joined by pantomime legend Christopher Biggins and Martin Vander Weyer, The Spectator’s business editor and amateur pantomime dame (51:52). Throughout the podcast you will also hear from some of our favourite answers to our Christmas poll: what gives you hope? Including Robert Tombs (15:19), Mary Beard (24:58), Susan Hill (39:15) and Peter Hitchens (50:58). Hosted by William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
47 minutes | Dec 8, 2022
War of the Windsors
This week: For his cover piece in The Spectator Freddy Gray asks who will win in the battle between the Waleses and the Sussexes. He is joined by historian Amanda Foreman to discuss the fallout Harry and Meghan's new Netflix documentary (01:00). Also this week: Should the House of Lords be reformed or even abolished? This is the question James Heale considers in the magazine. He is joined by Baroness Fox of Buckley to unpack Gordon Brown's recommendation to do away with the second chamber of Parliament (13:14). And finally: In the books section of The Spectator Chloë Ashby reviews Con/Artist, the memoir of notorious art forger Tony Tetro. She is joined by Tony and investigative journalist Giampiero Ambrossi, who co-authored to book (31:53). Hosted by William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
31 minutes | Dec 1, 2022
The new vandals
This week: In his cover piece Douglas Murray writes that museums are turning against their own collections. He is joined by the historian Robert Tombs to discuss whether a culture of self-flagellation is harming British museums (00:56). Also this week: For the magazine The Spectator’s assistant editor Cindy Yu writes that the tune is changing in China. She is joined by Professor Kerry Brown, director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College London to consider what the recent protests could mean for the Chinese Communist Party (13:24). And finally: Nicholas Lezard writes in The Spectator about how to beat London's expanding Ultra Low Emissions Zone. He is joined by journalist Tanya Gold to investigate an elegant loophole in the plans (24:56). Hosted by William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
38 minutes | Nov 24, 2022
The red line: Biden and Xi's secret Ukraine talks
On this week's podcast: Could China be the key to peace in Ukraine? In his cover piece for the magazine this week Owen Matthews reveals the covert but decisive role China is playing in the Ukraine war. He is joined by The Spectator's Cindy Yu, to discuss what Xi's motivations are (00:53). Also this week: Harriet Sergeant writes that the Iran is at war with its own children as it cracks down on young protesters. She is joined by Ali Ansari, founding director if the Institute for Iranian Studies, to consider the fragility of the Iranian regime (14:32). And finally: Julie Bindel says in the magazine this week that after recent controversy the Society of Authors is no longer fit for purpose. She is joined by historian, author, and former chair of the society Tom Holland, to debate whether it's time to replace the institution (23:56). Hosted by William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
40 minutes | Nov 17, 2022
The squeeze: how long will the pain last?
This week: How long will the pain last? The Spectator's economics editor Kate Andrews asks this in her cover piece this week, reflecting on Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt's autumn statement. She joins the podcast with Professor David Miles, economy expert at the Office for Budget Responsibility, to discuss the new age of austerity (00:58). Also on the podcast: After Donald Trump announced that he will be running for office in 2024, Freddy Gray writes in the magazine about the never ending Trump campaign. He speaks to Joe Walsh, 2020 Republican presidential candidate, about whether Trump could win the nomination (18:42). And finally: In the arts lead in The Spectator Mathew Lyons celebrates the bleak brilliance of the Peanuts comic strip. He is joined by Christian Adams, political cartoonist at the Evening Standard and long-time fan of the strip (29:02). Hosted by William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
37 minutes | Nov 10, 2022
On the podcast: In his cover piece for the magazine, The Spectator's deputy editor Freddy Gray says the only clear winner from the US midterms is paranoia. He is joined by The Spectator's economics editor Kate Andrews to discuss whether the American political system is broken (00:52). Also this week: Isabel Hardman writes that Ed Miliband is the power behind Kier Starmer's Labour. She is joined by former Labour advisor Lord Stewart Wood of Anfield, to consider whether Starmer is wise to lend his ear to the former Leader of the Opposition (12:48). And finally: King Charles III is known for his love of classical music, and Damian Thompson writes in this week's arts lead that he is the most musical monarch since Queen Victoria. He is joined by editor of Gramophone magazine Martin Cullingford, to examine the great royal tradition of musicality (25:32). Presented by William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
36 minutes | Nov 3, 2022
At sea: can Sunak navigate the migrant crisis?
On this week's podcast: Can Rishi Sunak steady the ship? Patrick O'Flynn argues in his cover piece for The Spectator that the asylum system is broken. He is joined by Sunder Katwala, director of the think tank British Future, to consider what potential solutions are open to the Prime Minister to solve the small boats crisis (00:52). Also this week: Should we give Elon Musk a break? In the aftermath of his sensational purchase of Twitter, Mary Wakefield writes in defence of the tech billionaire. She is joined by James Ball, global editor of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, to ask what his plans are for the social media platform (14:27). And finally: Ysenda Maxtone Graham writes in the magazine this week about the joy of hating the Qatar World Cup. She is joined by Spectator columnist Rod Liddle to lament why we may have to get used to tournaments like this one. (24:47). Hosted by William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
37 minutes | Oct 27, 2022
Is Rishi ready?
On this week's podcast: We have a new prime minister, but is Rishi Sunak ready to take on the numerous problems that James Forsyth outlines in his cover piece for The Spectator this week? James is joined by writer and pollster Matt Goodwin to debate whether the Conservatives can turn it around in time for 2024 (00:50). Also this week: Is the future of feminism conservative? Louise Perry writes for the magazine this week that there has been a rightward shift in feminist thought, spearheaded by mothers coalescing online. She is joined by Victoria Smith, author of Hags: The Demonisation of Middle-Aged Women (15:30). And finally: The Spectator's diary editor James Heale and the Sun's political editor Harry Cole, are the authors of the new book Out of the Blue: The Unexpected Rise and Rapid Fall of Liz Truss. Now immortalised as a Twitter meme, they discuss the agony of rewrites and trying to keep pace with Truss's doomed premiership (28:09). Hosted by William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
41 minutes | Oct 20, 2022
The lady vanishes
On this week's podcast: After the markets saw off Kwarteng, Trussonomics and now Truss herself, James Forsyth writes in The Spectator that the markets will be driving British politics for the foreseeable future. He is joined by Britain economics editor at the Economist Soumaya Keynes to discuss the institutions now dictating government policy (00:56). Also this week: Looking ahead to the American midterms next month, are we heading for a 'red wave'? Freddy Gray says in his piece for the magazine that the Democrats could be in for a shellacking come November. He is joined by Washington editor at Spectator World, Amber Athey (13:41). And finally: Should the Parthenon Marbles be returned to Athens? In The Spectator this week, Noel Malcolm says this age-old question is far from simple. He is joined by Lord Vaizey, chair of the new advisory board The Parthenon Project, to consider whether we can really justify keeping the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum (21:00). Hosted by William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
39 minutes | Oct 13, 2022
Kremlin crack-up: who's out to get Putin?
This week: In his cover piece for the magazine Owen Matthews writes about the power struggle at the heart of Russia. He is joined by Jade McGlynn, specialist in Russian Studies at the Monterey Initiative, to discuss whether Putin might be running out of time (01:00). Also on the podcast: Has America’s pot policy gone to pot? In The Spectator this week Mike Adams says that US cannabis legislation has been a total failure, a view contested by Katya Kowalski, Head of Operations at drug policy think tank Voltface. They both join The Edition podcast to debate the way forward for cannabis legalisation (16:26). And finally: Should we pity privileged men? For our magazine Damian Reilly writes about The Privileged Man, the support group for men that have it all. He is joined by co-founder of the community Esmond Baring to consider why everyone should be encouraged to speak up about their struggles (30:44). Hosted by Lara Prendergast and William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
37 minutes | Oct 6, 2022
Crash course: how the Truss revolution came off the road
On this week's podcast: As Liz Truss returns from Conservative Party Conference with her wings clipped, has she failed in her revolutionary aims for the party? James Forsyth discusses this in the cover piece for The Spectator, and is joined by former cabinet minister and New Labour architect Peter Mandelson to discuss (01:08). Also this week: Is it time that the West got tough with Putin? Mark Galeotti writes in this week's magazine about the likely scenarios should Putin make good on his thermonuclear threats. He is joined by Elisabeth Braw, fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, to consider how the West should respond (13:14). And finally: Anthony Whitehead writes about the 'arrogance' of the Tyre Extinguisher movement in The Spectator this week, a new environmental activist organisation letting down the tyres on SUVs all around the world. He speaks to Tusk, one such 'extinguisher' about the motivations and aims of these activists (25:07). Hosted by Lara Prendergast and William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
41 minutes | Sep 29, 2022
On this week's podcast: For the cover of the magazine Kate Andrews assesses the politics of panic, and the fallout of last week's so-called fiscal event. She is joined by Robert Colvile, director of the Centre for Policy Studies think tank to discuss where the Conservatives go from here (00:57). Also this week: Does the future belong to Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland? This is the claim that Jenny McCartney makes in this week's Spectator. We speak with journalist Melanie McDonagh and politician Mairia Cahill about what this could mean for Irish reunification (15:58). And finally: Are red kites magnificent or a menace? Paul Sargeanton says in his article for The Spectator that red kites should have never been reintroduced back into the UK. His claim is contested by naturalist and author of The Red Kites Year, Ian Carter (28:19). Hosted by Lara Prendergast and William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
41 minutes | Sep 22, 2022
Cornered: what will Putin do now?
In this week’s episode: For the cover of the magazine, Paul Wood asks whether Putin could actually push the nuclear button in order to save himself? He is joined by The Spectator’s assistant online editor Lisa Haseldine, to discuss (01:03). Also this week: Why is there violence on the streets of Leicester? Douglas Murray writes about this in his column this week and we speak to journalist Sunny Hundal and research analyst Dr Rakib Ehsan about what’s caused the disorder (13:44). And finally: Is three – or more – a crowd? Mary Wakefield discusses the poly-problems or polyamory in her column in The Spectator and is joined by comedian Elf Lyons, who has written about her experience of polyamory before (26:46). Hosted by Lara Prendergast and William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
33 minutes | Sep 15, 2022
Queen Elizabeth II: 1926-2022
On this week’s podcast: We reflect on the life and the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. For The Spectator, A.N. Wilson writes that Queen Elizabeth was a constant in a country that has changed so much, and he is joined on the Edition podcast by Graham Viney author of Last Hurrah: The 1947 Tour of Southern Africa and the End of Empire (00:59). Also this week: Michael Hall takes us inside the Royal Collection and discusses the Queen’s relationship with art. He is joined by Susan Ryder, who was commissioned to paint her portrait in 1997 (13:28). And finally: Scott Methven recalls his time as piper to the sovereign with Anne Denholm, a former personal harpist to the now King Charles III (22:58). Hosted by Lara Prendergast and William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
35 minutes | Sep 8, 2022
Buckle up: The Liz Truss era begins
In this week’s episode: As the Liz Truss era begins, we assess the bumpy road that lies ahead of her. James Forsyth and Rachel Wolf, co-author of the 2019 conservative manifesto, join the Edition podcast (01:04). Also this week: From generation rent to generation buy: has Help to Buy been a success or a failure? Emma Hollender speaks with economist – and ‘Trussketeer’ – Dr Gerard Lyons (12:29). And finally: is metal detecting becoming fashionable? Nigel Richardson discusses this in his piece in The Spectator this week and is joined by Julian Evan-Hart, editor of Treasure Hunting magazine (25:17). Hosted by Lara Prendergast and William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
36 minutes | Sep 1, 2022
Drama queens: the return of Harry and Meghan
In this week's episode: We look ahead to Harry and Meghan’s UK tour next week, how will they be received? Freddy Gray and Tanya Gold join the Edition podcast to discuss (01:01). Also this week: In the Spectator magazine, our Economics Editor Kate Andrews sat down with the three economists, or 'Trussketeers', that are informing the would-be PM’s economic plan. She joins us along with Julian Jessop, one such economist that has been advising Liz Truss (13:51). And finally: can successful writers be friends with less successful ones? Cosmo Landesman asks this question in the magazine this week and is joined by the author Ian Rankin (27:07). Hosted by Lara Prendergast and William Moore. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
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