Created with Sketch.
Three Old Hacks
50 minutes | 20 days ago
The Quality of Leadership
Political leadership ain’t what it used to be. That’s the theme of this week’s Three Old Hacks,We all think the summers were warmer (demonstrably not!) and life was rosier when we were young, but the Three Old Hacks put forward a pretty strong case that politicians in Britain are not of the same calibre as those who have gone before them.Boris Johnson says we are facing the biggest challenge since the Second World War with the pandemic, but where is the Recovery Plan to get us out of the hole it has dumped us in? Where’s the Beveridge report and the Bretton Woods of the 2020s?Sports journalist Mihir Bose, Economics editor of the Sunday Times David Smith and political commentator Nigel Dudley also miss the characters of their early days learning their craft together as professional journalists.Remember George Brown, who served as Foreign Secretary in the Labour Government of the 1960s? And the exchange with the Bishop of Lima? ‘No I won’t dance with you. This is not a waltz but the Peruvian national anthem and you sir are drunk!’ or words to that effect.Listen to this week’s podcast from the Three Old Hacks.
50 minutes | a month ago
The inauguration of a new president
This week they discuss the inauguration of President Biden. Being of a certain age themselves, they take heart from the empowerment of a 78 year old man. They are but spring chickens by comparison. Nonetheless their experience reaches down the years and they fish anecdotes and facts out of their collective memory to discuss the media and politics as it concerns America.Biden's campaign was 'pitch perfect' says David and he is sure he is already thinking about the Mid-Terms, being a shrewd political operator with fifty years' experience. He knows he needs to court Trump supporters if he is to have any change of a meaningful and effective presidency.His presidency has to be capable of being summed up in a short soundbite containing no more than two clear thoughts, says Nigel. "The country was broken and I fixed it" maybe.Is it true either in the US or in Britain that one party always leaves the economy in a mess while the other always puts it back in good shape before being voted out of power? asks Mihir.And what was the speech that Biden nicked from Neil Kinnock? Nigel sat through many a Labour Party Conference speech by "the Welsh windbag" and remembers being surprised to hear a purple passage being recycled by an American senator.The power of political editors ... giving a byline to some young hopeful when you don't want your name on a story ... it's all in this week's podcast by the Three Old Hacks.
47 minutes | 2 months ago
Assault on the US Capitol
Five people died in the assault on the US Capitol. Trump has been banned from Twitter for inciting his supporters. The Democratic Party is moving to impeach him for a second time. The Three Old Hacks consider the implications of this extraordinary event and how it was covered, as it happened live on TV, by the media.Adept at reporting in war zones across the globe, was the American media caught flat footed when it came to reporting a crisis in their own capital? Were the media complicit in enabling Trump to become the demagogue he’s become? How were the Capitol police so easily overwhelmed?Mihir recalls being in the US Congress back in 2000 when Al Gore the defeated vice President presided over a smooth transition of power to his victorious rival George Bush. David and Nigel recall the times the House of Commons has been invaded and how the British police dealt with it.Was it a protest or was it an attempted coup?
52 minutes | 2 months ago
Nelson Mandela and what real loss of freedom means
Mihir Bose describes having coffee with Nelson Mandela in his Soweto house, how the great man had to see cricket sitting behind a cage during apartheid and what real loss of freedom means. Far removed from the ridiculous talk of Britain having been enslaved by the EU. He argues the problem is that this country has never got over losing the empire and asks David Smith and Nigel Dudley whether they would have wanted Britain still to have an empire on which the sun never set. Both Dudley and Smith say they feel no nostalgia for the empire. Dudley says he finds talk by Brexiters of preserving British sovereignty nonsensical. Smith recalls being brought up on films where Kenneth Moore singlehandedly destroyed the Nazis and why the story of Britain in Europe, such as what the EU did to preserve peace in Europe when communism collapsed, was never properly told. One reason for this was Boris Johnson spinning fantasy talks about Europe when working as a journalist in Brussels and the three Old Hacks recall their own personal stories of Boris the journalist. The Three Old Hacks then walk down memory lane to talk about the days before computers when they could dictate copy to copy takers and how this lost world of journalism was not always as glorious as sometimes portrayed.
48 minutes | 3 months ago
Economists’ attack on BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg “grotesquely malign”
A group of economists have taken issue with the BBC’s Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg’s attempt to explain the national budget deficit. She likened the country’s current financial state to that of a domestic household being in debt, which they say is not a good or helpful comparison. Instead of dropping her a quiet email, they’ve complained formally to the BBC’s Director General, thus ensuring that the row goes ballistic as it is whipped up by the BBC’s competitors in the press.Nigel Dudley, political commentator and long term leader writer for several national papers, says it is “grotesquely malign” of them to do so, in fact “totally despicable”.David Smith, Economics Editor of the Sunday Times, agrees that the analogy is not a good one, but he agrees with Nigel that the economists, who are all centre-left and believe the current level of budget deficit does not warrant a return to austerity measures, are using the BBC as a whipping boy to get their own agenda on the front pages.Nigel and David Smith discuss this with Mihir Bose, former BBC Sports Editor. They also talk about the growing clamour by Scots for independence and how they define themselves (British? English? European?) Somewhere along the way they get on to Peter Sellers and whether the Welsh are responsible for the Indian accent.
54 minutes | 4 months ago
The Smell of the Crowd
In the second episode of Three Old Hacks Mihir Bose, David Smith and Nigel Dudley discuss how professional sport is faring without a live audience - the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd - as the old joke goes. 'Better maybe' is their conclusion. More goals anyway.They look at how well or otherwise journalists have covered the pandemic. Their great friend Hugh Pym, the BBC Health Editor, with whom they often played cricket, has just won the Prestigious Charles Wheeler Award for Broadcast Journalism. So which of their other colleagues have done the best job of bettering our understanding of the virus and all that it entails. They discuss the online press briefings at Number 10 which have replaced real live press conferences, and evaluate how that has changed journalism. Will it ever go back to the cut and thrust of a real press event with the press pack picking up on each other's questions, pressing politicians for answers? And as the stop-start trade talks with the EU continue, or not, they chew over the Brexit debate and to what extent journalists are culpable for the country having made a momentous decision based on convincing arguments made by journalists that they themselves did not believe. Somehow the Bosman ruling and the 'bisexuality of acting' (a concept expounded by theatre critic Michael Billingdon) get into the discussion.Not sure we'd say they'd 'put the world to rights' exactly, but they give it a good go.Get in contact with the podcast by emailing email@example.com, we’d love to hear from you!
46 minutes | 5 months ago
Lockdown Life and Whatever Happened to British Journalism?
In their first episode Mihir Bose, David Smith and Nigel Dudley discuss how journalism has changed since they first became journalists in the 1980s and how the experience of the pandemic has affected all our lives. Will the British ever go back to hugging or are we done with it after months of not touching? Have the British lost their fabled sense of humour by not coming up with a nickname for the pandemic? Are we less equipped to deal with hardship than previous generations?Join this podcast for the wit and wisdom of ‘three old hacks’.Get in contact with the podcast by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear from you!
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2020