Coffee House The Spectator Podcasts

The View from 22 — 12 April 2012

12 April 2012

8:36 AM

12 April 2012

8:36 AM

Today, we are releasing the inaugural episode of the Specator podcast:
The View from 22. We hope that CoffeeHousers who have the podcast habit — and even some who don’t — will sign up to what will be a weekly discussion from the Spectator family and

In our first episode, Neil O’Brien (of Policy Exchange) discusses his cover story about how London is now so different from
the rest of the country that it can be seen to have left the UK. James Forsyth talks about the rise of anti-politics, and why Labour is worrying that its disaster at the Bradford by-election has
set a template for what’s to come. Fraser Nelson talks about the ongoing generation wars — the fallout from our Daniel Knowles vs Carole Sarler feature is still continuing.


You can listen below with the embedded player or — best of all — subscribe through iTunes. As our first,
it’s a little rough, but we’d love to hear what you think, good or bad.

UPDATE: Paul Danon asked the relevance of 22 in the title. The Spectator’s home is at 22 Old Queen Street in Westminster.

The View from 22 – 12 April 2012. Length 22:20
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Show comments
  • Robin

    Disturbed by Freddie Gray on Corbyn. Fine to run alternative views such as this, but not from a Deputy Ed of the Spectator. If I wanted to read editorial commissions from a deputy editor with these kinds of naive, ideological and “principled” left-wing views views I’d have bought the New Statesman. I know nothing about Gray, but he sounds in his early 20’s and definitely childless. If he had a son or daughter killed in Paris three weeks ago – or even had a child who goes to rock concerts, he could not write such offensive, cliche’d drivel. 70 years ago people would have handed him a white feather in the street. Appeasement never got anyone anywhere. Freddie, mate, you need to grow up or join the NS.

  • Ta VM

    Thank you Mr Carpark, I’ve just spent the last hour reading about Wittgenstein and have ordered Tractatus and Philosophical Investigations which I intend to devour in the way that those who come to learning belatedly do.

    Would that the magazine itself were still capable of stimulating such mental exertions.

  • Archibald

    My bit about Fraser’s debate suggestion many moons ago – this is basically how I see it, perhaps with a couple more back-n-forths. I’m sure those on here would be up for this sort of thing. And that’s enough from me, I’m sure you will agree.

  • Archibald

    Sebastian – I listened.
    I like the idea, but it all feels a bit superficial to me, you’re not on a subject long enough to properly analyze it. There is a massive gap in the market here, as quite frankly nobody gives anything time on radio or TV these days, surely I am not the only one crying out for it. For example, Fraser makes the statement about familiarity breeding contempt with regards the chat on so called anti-politics, but noone is asking the question why that is. And ‘that’, as a great man once wrote, ‘IS the question’. As Rhoda says, the answers – or attempts at answers – so often lie below your own blogs.
    I would suggest pick one topic a week and do it in great depth; otherwise you’re not enhancing the magazine, so why would I listen? Clearly you’re wanting to tie in with the current magazine each week to help sell it, so I guess you could do it with a key article in that, but you often dip into the archives on this website and relate to current news, you could do that with older articles and relate the discussion back to current times. Either way, if you had one of the mag’s big hitters (a) talking about why they have decided/did decide to write an article for some background context, then (b) reading their article as if it were a talk, then (c) panel discussion, I think it would be better than just touching on the subjects that I will be reading about in the magazine anyway.

  • Archibald

    Good news Sebastian, cheers. It would also be good to have some properly challenging articles on here. I have gone on about tackling the far right as per Fraser’s now quite old article but actually doing that, rather than just saying it’s the best way to deal with them, would be a first for British politics in the mainstream. Many moons ago Fraser also challenged someone to a debate – I think on education, that NUT head, Blower I think – where he proposed a set number of responses. Perhaps you could take that forward for your ‘another voice’ series, as it’s rarely a different voice. So you’d have, effectively, a debate in written form, with two diametrically opposed views. That should help stop some of those on here who have been left unattended by their carers from referencing old TV programs and suggesting Fraser likes his bread buttered on both sides, as it were. Also, if I were you, I’d sign up a good old boy of the Tory right to give your many disloyal followers on here who are more than capable of a good argument something to agree with for a change. There’s plenty out there who I’m sure would leap at the chance.

  • Frank P

    Anybody that is unfortunate enough to have been named Sebastian is destined to be a Payne in the arse.

    He’s not the accidental issue of the notorious Cynthia and one of clients from the Bishopric of Bognor Regis, is he?

  • Wilhelm 1

    I have just googled a photo of Sebastian Payne and he IS 12 years old.

  • Sebastian Payne

    Archibald: Yes we are keen to get our debates out too. Watch this space

  • Andy Carpark

    Fraser at the prospect of a Spectator junket … flicks hair, flutters hands, kicks up hind leg coltishly.

    Fraser realising it is being paid for by the subscribers … leers, gyrates pelvis in simulation of an unnatural act.

  • Wilhelm 1

    Fraser on Sebastian Payne ” Seems like a nice boy ! ”

    Fraser on the House of Commons ” Look at the muck in here.”

    Fraser on Nethergate, cheeks sucked in, mouth puckered, staring into camera for several seconds then quickly looking away; to feign shock or disgust.

  • Jez

    Ha Ha Ha!

    ‘Shut that door!’

  • Wilhelm 1

    Andy Carpark

    Come to think of it Fraser does sound like a Scots version of Larry Grayson.

  • Archibald

    Will you ever make your debates available as podcasts? I’d listen to them.

    Proper debate such as that is what’s currently missing from this site. Something that people have been saying to you for quite some time. You don’t listen, but keep asking for our views, then ignore them. That’s ‘The View from Here’.

  • rosie

    I haven’t bothered to work out how to listen to this podcast, so I’m in the position of the average BBC/ Channel 4/ Sky listener: absorbing wall to wall condemnation from the commentary, but without having first heard or read the original remarks which sparked the outrage, and judging for myself.

    It’s amusing to see hacks getting a taste of their own medicine. But will they notice themselves?

  • Andy Carpark

    Wilhelm 1 – His voice reminds me of Stanley Baxter dressed up like Grayson Perry, which amounts to much the same. A few of us decided to borrow Matthew Norman’s description of David Miliband for Nelson: ‘a mincing paean to metrosexual narcissism’.

  • It doesn’t add up…

    It is easy to skip over tosh in written pieces by scanning them very rapidly. It is a complete pain to deal with podcasts and video clips, which I why I almost never play them. They last far too long by comparison with the speed at which I can read.

  • justathought

    I can see the value of adding the audio option which allows access to a greater number of people. Personally I prefer online publication because ‘in theory’ the coverage should offer more up to date analysis and comment than the print press. In any event I read most online sites more often than not for the insightful and informed comments posted .

  • Wilhelm 1

    ” London is different because of wealth and education and er um diverse. ”

    ” Diverse ” ? I love that euphemism. 100,000 children in London come mainly from African and muslim families, a real Tower of Babel. Good that you didn’t mention the Race Riots.

    Sebastian Payne sounds like a 12 year old, shouldn’t he be in school ? it’s always nice to hear Fraser Nelson though, who’s voice is like across between Kirsty Squawk, a strangulated cat and someone’s fingernails scratching the entire length of a window pane.

  • Jez

    Some other points;

    Telecommuting- you are talking about 2 percent of the population this applies to- e.g. you and your friends.

    You’ve obviously never been to Preston. I was working there last week and the Uni is impressive- many of the other parts are maybe borderline ‘not so impressive’ to say the least.

    The government and big business are focussing on major economical zones with Liverpool being one of those.

    The success for Respect in Bradford was a completely unique phenomenon called ‘Islamist bloc voting’. You need to get used to that.

    The Scottish have had enough of people like this panel (e.g. the English political elite).


    Rampaging elephants very skilfully dodged by the panel- again. An utter failure by the people that hold on so tight to the monopoly of information in this country to show even a basic grasp of national issues away from boardroom or Twittered graphs, official statistics or allied politically spun party lines.

    Cheers for the education lads!

  • Jez

    There are exceptional similarities of major parts of London and the rest of the country as indicated by the election of George Galloway last week.

    An insight into the mindset regards the complete replacement on the indigenous population by ‘radically diverse’ groups of pupils and positives in the face of this phenomenon, positive clichés used such as ‘it’s a little like the United Nations’. The tragic panic by many parents in adjacent borough’s that would (if they were not to fight so hard) have their children dropped into the multicultural meatgrinder is met with a ‘Hey ho, it’s all a positive- and unique to our London’. I wonder if it’d be a ‘Hey ho’ attitude if it were the panel’s children futures on the line for them personally?

    The elitist attitude toward the rest of the country by the panel is also a very, very telling. Do we live in caves out here? The reason why there are higher wages in the South is because the cost of living is higher. In Dundee the cost of living is far lower that Aberdeen due to the Oil industry- because Vince Cable is a cynical politician proves little in this argument.

    This is going to be a great shock to the panel here; The instances that are being used as evidence of the uniqueness of London regards the rest of the UK is actually happening across the Country. Leeds feels it has more cultural sophistication than Scunthorpe, York is nicer than Burnley, it is cheaper in Hull to live than in central Manchester. white flight (or fighting to keep your kids in a good area and school) isn’t a ‘London thing’… ‘Hey ho’ or not.

    Degrees probably mean nothing now to employers in most industries- especially the pointless ones maybe given away in Inner City London. The old degrees for the working classes were called ‘apprenticeships’- now the working class kids get a degree in surfing sciences etc.

    There is only one thing that glaring out of this and that is the complete detachment of reality the panel has to what the hell is happening.

  • Wilhelm 1

    The address of the Spectator is Old Queen Street.

    How apt, since hacks all behave like gossipy old queens ” what did Ed Balls say to Douglas Alexander about Ed Milliband while he was chatting to Diane Abbot in the corridor ? ” kind of piffle, this supercilious tittle tattle passes off as investigative journalism.

  • normanc

    I’m a great fan of podcasts but I think this will be difficult to make a success of. My podcasts tend to be niches that aren’t saturated already in the media.

    The current commuting list is:
    Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe (science)
    Midlife Gamer (games)
    Giant Bomb (games)
    Android Central (tech)
    Sick and Wrong (err..sick and wrong)
    This is only a Test (tech)

    If I want news or a discussion on politics I can turn on radio 4 or 5, or any of the feeds from those, or watch the 6 o’clock news, 1 o’clock news, BBC 24, etc, etc.

    What I would be interested in seeing podcasted are the ‘Spectator Debates’ you host from time to time but run of the mill ‘weekly news’ discussion I can’t see myself following – you need to do something to make it stand out, what that is I have no idea.

    Thanks anyway for the effort and I’ll keep it in my feed and give it a couple of months anyway.

  • Bellevue

    I agree with Rhoda.

  • Wilhelm 1

    ” Neil O’Brien discusses how London is now so different from the rest of the country.”

    Does Fraser Nelson and rest of the media tarts of the London metropolitan cocktail part set not read the comments underneath the articles ?

  • Andy Carpark

    RK – As the great man more or less said, ‘You’ll never get through to a solipsist’. But don’t let us stop you trying to get through to young Forsyth. This site would be a dull sort of place without your always punctiform attempts.

  • bojimbo

    Podcast : a bunck of hacks holding forth .

  • whatawaste

    Rhoda, Peter of M

    Is this part of a going trend? BBC’s Scotland blog has long stopped any comments ever since SNP won the last MSP elections. If too many people agitate for UKIP will all other MSM blogs close down? If so will it be vomuntary or will it be outright state censorship? We should be told.

  • Rhoda Klapp

    See, Carpark quotes Wittgenstein. You don’t see that above the line.

  • Andy Carpark

    Re bubble journalists:

    ‘Someone who, dreaming, says “I am dreaming”, even if he speaks audibly in doing so, is no more right than if he said in his dream “it is raining”, while it was in fact raining. Even if his dream were actually connected with the noise of the rain. ‘

    Wittgenstein, On Certainty (para 676).

  • Dave B

    @Paul Danan

    The Spectator
    22 Old Queen Street
    SW1H 9HP

  • Peter From Maidstone

    I must agree with Rhoda. The posts here are rarely worth reading, it is only the comments that make the site worthwhile.

  • Rhoda Klapp

    You really don’t get it, do you? As we have seen even James F has been made to realise that the model used by the political class and media no longer works for most of the public. I frequently address James directly in these comments, but it is clear that he does not care to read here, or he would have seen the disaffection coming for years. So should the rest of the Spect hacks. The only reason to come here is to read the comments. You propose output with your own opinions, demonstrably detached from reality, and no comments. I cannot see any reason to sign up except to gauge the extent of the detachment inside the bubble.

  • Paul Danon

    Some readers will need to have the “22” explained. Better still, give the feature an explicit title.

  • The Old Man

    A podcast? How far behind the curve are you guys?

  • Nicholas

    Four members of the yoof media elite inside the bubble discuss the view from inside the bubble. But the biggest problem is the poor English diction and babbling that made most of it unintelligible, like eavesdropping on a conversation in an undergraduate wine bar.

    Never mind, at least they all have degrees.