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Owen Jones, journalist, author of Chavs and The Establishment, or "that left-wing idiot off the telly", is fed up with the establishment media. After all, it punches down, not up, blames minorities for all the problems in society, and, let's face it, often just parrots the government line. So this podcast is offering something different: speaking truth to power, giving the marginalised a voice, offering hope - and having a laugh along the way. From Michael Sheen to Judith Butler, Prof. Devi ...
 
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The word neoliberalism is often used more as an insult than a description of a set of beliefs. And people can be rather hazy about the beliefs it refers to – although the mix generally includes free markets, privatisation and globalisation and high levels of inequality. In his book The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order: America and the World in…
 
George Monbiot is one of Britain's most eloquent, intelligent and wise writers, a relentless defender of social justice and a fighter against the climate emergency and the human-made threat to our only planet, Earth. We talk about his epic new book Regenesis: Feeding the World Without Devouring the Planet - from the truth about soil ecology, to whe…
 
Human fertility rates are declining fast and in twenty years or so the global population will go down fast – not just in affluent countries but in the world as a whole. While many may welcome that outcome, Professor John Aitken who has just written The Infertility Trap: Why Life Choices Impact Your Fertility and Why We Must Act Now (Cambridge UP, 2…
 
The Israeli state not only killed iconic Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqla - the police force then attacked her funeral procession. Much of the world is shocked - but governments continue to arm and back the Israeli state, disregarding the conclusions of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B'Tselem that it is guilty of Apartheid. Is …
 
Noam Chomsky is one of the world's pre-eminent intellectuals, and an icon of dissent going back literally generations. I speak to him about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and what anti-war activists should be saying. What does he think about the role of NATO? Should the left supporting arming Ukraine on the basis this is a naked war of aggression? W…
 
As the culture wars intensify, it seems that all sources of neutral authority get challenged and that includes opinion polls. Accusations about bias and unreliability fly around and yet everyone seriously engaged in the political process studies polls closely because they think they contain important truths. So are polls becoming more reliable beca…
 
The Tories took a battering in the local elections, losing even more seats than they feared, including nearly collapsing as a political force in London, as well as suffering a drubbing across the South. Has a cost-of-living crisis and a scandal-ridden Conservative government defined by deceit and corruption finally collided with electoral reality? …
 
What are the rights and wrongs of toppling statues? Sometimes everyone agrees it’s a good idea. After the second world war, for example, the defeat of fascism meant that all over Europe Hitler statues were toppled and destroyed. After the collapse of communism some statues of Stalin actually survived. Just a couple of years ago Black Lives Matter p…
 
First the Mail on Sunday launched a crude misogynistic attack on Angela Rayner; then Tory MP Neil Parish was caught watching pornography in the House of Commons. What does this say about misogyny in politics - and how should we discuss misogyny and pornography? We’re joined by Shaista Aziz - Labour councillor and campaigner against male violence ag…
 
Nish Kumar is a brilliant comedian and an all-round lovely guy, and we have a lot to chat about: his experiences working at the BBC, whether there's any truth to 'cancel culture', how monsters who've caused so much damage ended up being turned into national sweethearts, whether comedy has been dumbed down and become less fearless, and confronting r…
 
Race is the subject of passionate and increasingly angry debate. But amidst all the talk of unconscious bias it’s an area into which many fear to tread. In this podcast Professor McWhorter of Colombia University outlines his sometimes controversial views on these issues and explains why he wants to debate them in public. His latest book is Woke Rac…
 
Boris Johnson's whole career has been about defying the laws of political gravity, often aided and abetted by a supine media. But as both him and his government are convulsed by scandal - and the country is gripped by a cost of living crisis - has his luck finally run out? We are joined by two brilliant commentators: LBC's Iain Dale and the New Sta…
 
With an epic showdown between the far-right's Marine Le Pen and neoliberal Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential election - is this really a done deal? How has the far right come closer to winning power in a Western European nation than at any time since 1945? What will those who voted for the left-wing insurgent Jean-Luc M…
 
The events of January 6th 2021 are contested in the US. For some supporters of Donald Trump it was, and remains, a case of a legitimate protest against a rigged election. For opponents of Mr. Trump, it was an attempt to bully Congress through physical intimidation into refusing to validate the correct election result. That so many Americans believe…
 
As the French people are now forced to choose between the neo-liberal Emmanual Macron and the far-right Marine Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election, we talk to the fascinating young French intellectual Edouard Louis - about what this means for France, for the left, and what hope there is in a bleak political landscape. Support th…
 
In 2015, Professor Angus Deaton of Princeton University and his wife Professor Anne Case published a paper highlighting the rising mortality rate among middle-aged white non-Hispanic Americans. They described "deaths of despair" which were often related to drug and alcohol poisoning and suicide. They followed up with a widely read book: Deaths of D…
 
On both sides of the Atlantic, the war on trans people is escalating - from Republican legislation in the United States, to an increasingly feverish moral panic in the UK. What can be done, including by cis allies - and what are the stakes? Joining us are three brilliant trans activists from both the UK and US: Arden Hart, Felix F. Fern and Arthur …
 
The accusation “you’re deluded” is often used as something of a cheap shot intended to silence an opponent in debate. But what is the nature of a delusion and how can we assess rationality and irrationality? In this podcast, Owen Bennett-Jones talks to Professor Lisa Bortolotti who studies the philosophy of psychology and psychiatry at Birmingham U…
 
Much of the world were relieved when Donald Trump was defeated back in 2020 - but as Joe Biden's administration plunges new depths of unpopularity, how much of a mess is it in? Whose fault is the stalling of the domestic agenda? How serious are his gaffes on Russia's invasion of Ukraine? What hope of a progressive fightback - not least as midterms …
 
In this podcast Owen Bennett-Jones discusses the future of rational decision making with Professor Olivier Sibony who after 25 years with McKinsey & Company in France, is now at HEC Paris and the Saïd Business School in Oxford University. In 2021 he co-wrote the book Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment (Little, Brown Spark, 2021) with Cass R. Sunstein …
 
Rishi Sunak's ill-deserved popularity has finally crashed. His positive approval ratings were entirely fuelled by furlough in the Covid era - but now policies which are hammering working people who have suffered the longest squeeze in wages since the Napoleonic era have come to bite. Just how bad are his economic policies - and what is the alternat…
 
In her book Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century (Oxford UP, 2022), Cambridge academic Helen Thompson gets beyond the ephemeral and analyses instead the role of more fundamental drivers of events – including the energy markets and the international monetary system. That’s one way in which her book is distinctive. It’s also a very broad book. Wh…
 
As P&O sack 800 staff - many by video message, others marched off ships like criminals - and reportedly replace them with Eastern European workers on £2.60 an hour, what does this say about Britain's woefully unjust economic model - and how do we fight back? We are joined by Mick Lynch - general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) u…
 
Africa is often portrayed in terms of dictators, starvation, corruption, tribalism, war, disease, poverty and crime. In this podcast Professor James A. Robinson of the University of Chicago who is co-author (with Daron Acemoglu of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (Currency, 2013) explains why those stereotypes are oft…
 
At least 1,200 Ukrainians are believed to have died in Mariupol alone - killed by Putin's brutal invasion of the country - while thousands of Russian soldiers may be dead. As Russia becomes bogged down in Ukraine, the war is becoming increasingly violent - and a horrific siege of Kyiv may be imminent. Rumours abound too that Putin may resort to che…
 
At the end of 2013, a letter apparently setting out an Islamist extremist plot take over schools was set to Birmingham City Council: it prompted a massive national scandal, official inquiries and changes to the law. One small problem: it was fake. The viral hit Trojan Horse Affair podcast - presented by Serial's Brian Reed and Hamza Syed - brillian…
 
What makes a living body conscious? What is consciousness and are there different types of it? These questions have been studied by Professor Eva Jablonka from the Cohn Institute for the History of Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University. Much of her early work was on epigenetic inheritance which poses questions such as whether learn…
 
As Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine continues with catastrophic human consequences - just how bad can things get? What sort of atrocities could Putin's regime inflict to subjugate the nation, including conquering its cities, not least Kyiv? And with siren voices in the West calling for a No Fly Zone - which would entail war with a nuclear armed…
 
This isn't just any strike: it's a story of modern Britain, of workers suffering a cost of living crisis but with no major political party willing to champion them. These Coventry bin drivers are striking against a Labour council, and the Unite union is threatening to pull the plug on their funding for a cash-strapped Labour over the dispute. With …
 
Many people, at some stage of their life, worry about sleep: are they getting enough of it? Or even, too much? Derk-Jan Dijk is Professor of Sleep and Physiology at University of Surrey. His current research interests include the contribution of sleep to brain function in healthy ageing and dementia; the role of circadian rhythms in sleep regulatio…
 
As Russia launches a war of aggression against Ukraine - has it backfired? There are signs the invasion may not be going to plan as Ukrainians courageously put up resistance, while anti-war sentiment has been expressed in surprising sections of Russian society. What are Putin's prospects, what happens next - and how is it all likely to end? We're j…
 
How did Steve Bannon come to believe the strange things he believes? The influential, former Trump aid, began as a Democrat-supporting Naval officer with an interest in Buddhism and transcendental meditation. He is now an anti-globalist, sympathizer of “Traditionalists” who look forward to a cataclysmic moment which will lead to a golden age of eli…
 
As Jeffrey Epstein's associate Jean-Luc Brunel is found hanged in a prison cell - after being accused of rape and supplying underage girls to the late US financier - we discuss the latest in this scandal. What does Prince Andrew's settlement with Virginia Giuffre really mean? What about the victim blaming against Virginia and other survivors? With …
 
Afghanistan is now in the midst of the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Why? The US froze billions of pounds worth of its assets, and is now moving to steal half of it and give it to 9/11 victims' families. The country is languishing under punitive Western sanctions. The result: Afghanistan faces mass starvation. We are joined by Afghan lecturer …
 
This whole saga is completely infuriating. Kate Clanchy is an author who piled on a reviewer who called out racist and bigoted passages in her book; Clanchy denied she'd written them (actually, she had, except she'd written "Ashkenazi nose" rather than "Jewish nose", which is if anything worse), and called on everyone to report the review. What hap…
 
Oh good grief. Nadine Dorries - who is actually a Cabinet minister, with actual power - keeps being wheeled out to TV studios to defend the indefensible, with catastrophic consequences. If you didn't laugh, you'd cry - but what on earth does this tell us about the behaviour of the people running the country, who apparently have no shame at all? Ple…
 
he Equalities and Human Rights Commission is supposed to be Britain's official equalities watchdog, but after u-turning on trans rights - after a series of Tory appointments and its former chair warning it was under political pressure to back the government agenda - it's been engulfed in scandal. Investigative work by journalist Ben Hunte has uncov…
 
Despite overwhelming evidence of No. 10 parties, the Met refused to investigate them for weeks - until a last minute u-turn at just the right moment to sabotage the Sue Gray report. But is this behaviour really out of the ordinary for the Met? We're joined by Kevin Maxwell - a former Met police officer who detailed being abused for his race and sex…
 
Is this finally the end of Boris Johnson? As his polling collapses, Sue Gray's report looms and Tory MPs plot, could this be the week when the Prime Minister's hubris meets its nemesis? More broadly, what next for the Tories - and what of the politicians and pundits who made him Tory leader know exactly what and who he was? We're joined by Adam Bie…
 
As Boris Johnson's government is convulsed by scandal and crisis, could this be not just the end of him - but the end of the Conservative party, too? That's what Peter Oborne - a longstanding Conservative supporter - thinks is entirely possible. Please subscribe - and help us take on the Tory media here: https://patreon.com/owenjones84 Support this…
 
Has any government been so convulsed by such a catastrophically damaging scandal since World War II? As continued revelations about rampant partying in No. 10 envelop Boris Johnson, is it finally all over for him? Will he bring the Tories down with him - or will a leadership change allow them reboot? Is Labour triumphalism justified? We're joined b…
 
As Boris Johnson’s premiership is consumed in crisis after his repeated lies about multiple parties in No. 10, is it all over for him? Will he drag the Tories down with him? Are there even worse scandals? Will what comes next be even worse? Can’t imagine what that would look like? (We can). We are joined by Jolyon Maugham to explain how his Good La…
 
As the dictatorship of Kazakhstan violently cracks down on protesters, what's really going on? What's the role of inequality and poverty - and the broken promises of the free market? Just what is the nature of the governing tyranny - and with Russian intervention, what does this mean for global politics? Kazakh voices have been far too erased from …
 
Megastar actor Emma Watson has been falsely smeared as an anti-Semite by former Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon after posting a pro-Palestine message on Instagram. Here is a striking example of anti-Palestinian racism: of how even expressing mild sympathy with the plight of the Palestinians is portrayed as a grotesque act of hatred. This is just …
 
Look what you made us do. With your support, we chased the Tories - literally. We gave a voice to otherwise marginalised working class people and minorities. We fought racism and bigotry. We had the best experts on COVID. We gave a platform to hopeful alternatives. Now we want to do far more. We don’t have billionaires funding us - we rely on you f…
 
Nearly half a century after Salvador Allende's democratically socialist government was overthrown by Augusto Pinochet, the people of Chile decisively voted for leftist Gabriel Boric over far right extremist José Antonio Kast. Is the Latin American 'pink tide' back with a vengeance, what does this mean for Chile, the Continent and beyond - and what …
 
Nearly two years after COVID-19 was identified, and a year after mass vaccination began, Britain could be on the brink of another lockdown. How did we get here? How serious is Omicron? Is it intrinsically milder, will our antibodies keep it mild, will it cause less severe illness, hospitalisation and death - and what does the evidence from abroad t…
 
Boris Johnson's government is in potentially terminal trouble as it is overwhelmed by lies and fury over parties in No. 10 while the country was in lockdown. Meanwhile, the country once again faces renewed COVID crisis as Omicron surges across the country. How bad are things for the Tories, has Keir Starmer's time really come - and how much of a me…
 
As Boris Johnson is plunged into crisis over the multiple secret parties that happened in 10 Downing Street that he and his government are lying about, is it over for the Prime Minister? Joining us are Novara's Ash Sarkar and Jo Goodman from COVID Bereaved Families, who lost her dad to a virus the government allowed to let rip with catastrophic con…
 
As a Tory Cabinet minister tells the Times newspaper that the Omicron crisis puts the government in a "Remarkable position" and "should put us in a good place for the new year", we look carefully at the facts - what do we know, how bad is it, and how do we avoid another lockdown? We are joined by Prof. Deenan Pillay from University College London. …
 
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