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Coffee House The Spectator Podcasts

The View from 22 — Hunger strikes, a psychedelic return and Paul Ryan

16 August 2012

9:21 AM

16 August 2012

9:21 AM

Are we about to see revolutions on the streets thanks to crop prices? John R. Bradley argues in this week’s cover feature that crop price rises this year are going to lead to insurrection across the world. In the latest View from 22 podcast, Clarissa Tan discusses which places the price hikes will affect the most:

‘Places like Egypt that a lot of wheat and grain, including most of the Middle East. I think places where they are a lot of tension; the poorer nations like Yemen come to mind. But we can’t discount countries we might not think are poverty stricken – places like China or Russia, which have agreed not to export any of their grain but keep it its own population.’

Andrew M. Brown also joins to discuss the revival of psychedelic drugs in the field of psychiatry. He speaks of the alternating views of how these drugs can be used and abused, in particular reference to a recent episode of Mad Men:

‘There is the respectable hippie view of psychedelic medicines — which is what the Mad Men episode reflected — that it can give you special insights. They are taking LSD as a mystical religious experience. There’s a lot of interest different tribal and ancient cultures who take plants and fungi to get into an altered state for a spiritual religious purpose.

There’s then the hedonistic view, which these drugs are taken at raves and so on. There was a movement in the 70s and 80s called the ‘free festivals’, folk festivals in places in Glastonbury and Stonehenge. That was the more hedonistic thing. You do meet the more ‘respectable hippie’ and they would be sniffy and quite snobbish about just taking these things for fun. They much more think there is some purpose to it.’

Finally Freddy Gray and Fraser Nelson discuss what Paul Ryan’s selection as Vice Presidential candidate means for Mitt Romney’s campaign. Do they think it will raise Romney’s chances of beating Obama, or was picking Ryan a mistake? Listen with the embedded player below to hear their predictions for the November elections . You can also have the latest podcast delivered straight to your machine by subscribing through iTunes. As ever, we’d love to hear what you think, good or bad.

The View from 22 — 16 August 2012. Length 23:13
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