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Coffee House The Spectator Podcast

The Spectator Podcast: The Islamist worldview

25 May 2017

1:40 PM

25 May 2017

1:40 PM

On this week’s episode, we reflect on the tragic events in Manchester and what can be done to prevent similar attacks in the future. We also look at the emergence of political courts in America, Russia, France and beyond, and tip which constituencies to have a flutter on in next month’s election.

First, we took a moment to consider the terrorist attack that struck Manchester on Monday evening. With scores dead and injured, including children as young as 8, what can be done to stop another atrocity like this taking place? Douglas Murray says, in this week’s Spectator cover piece, that we have long understood the Islamist worldview, but failed to tackle its ideology. He joins the podcast along with Haras Rafiq, CEO of the counter-extremism organisation Qulliam.

Listen below for a preview of their discussion:


Next, we turned our attention to the re-emergence of political courts. Much has been made of Donald Trump surrounding himself with both his family and highly influential, unelected advisors, but the Trumps are not alone in this strategy: Putin, Macron, and even Prime Minister May, have given enormous power over to courtiers and consorts. The historian Philip Mansel, writes on the subject in this week’s magazine, and he joins the podcast along with Ben Judah, who has taken an up-close look at both the Trump and Macron camps.

As Philip writes:

“Why are courts returning now? The recent erosion of ideologies and political parties has allowed the re-emergence of what was, until the 20th century, the dominant form of power. Courts — that is, dynasties with their personal households and servants — were everywhere: central, international, multi-dimensional and enduring. They created or transformed countries, capitals, constitutions, capitalism, cultures and armies. Dynasties helped to create modern states, as well as the first caliphate.”

And Ben says the situation in Russia is even more mysterious:

“One of the things that does deeply unnerve the Russian people, if you get close to them, is the absence of a familial court around Vladimir Putin. And the mystery of what exactly, or where exactly, his daughters are, of who exactly they’re married to, are they even present in the country, of what exactly happened in his relationship with his previous wife – often you’re asked about that as you travel through sort of Siberia or the heartland regions.”

Finally, with the general election just a couple of weeks away, bookies are taking a lot of money from punters gambling on marginal seats. Freddy Gray brought us his tips in the Speculator column in Spectator Money, and he joined the podcast along with Matthew Shaddick, head of political betting at Ladbrokes. And Matthew tells the podcast that he’s noticed some interesting betting patterns on the next Prime Minister:

“The amazing thing for me is that I expected there’d be lots of people having 10 and 20 pounds on Labour to get a majority and Corbyn to be the next Prime Minister – that’s just the way of the world when you’ve got a very unbalanced market with a huge favourite – I wasn’t really expecting people to be turning up with thousands of pounds on this. So we’re facing an enormous liability if we get a surprising result and Labour win most seats, or, even worse, a majority – from our betting point of view anyway!”

The Spectator Podcast will be appearing in its regular Thursday slot throughout the election campaign, but we’ll also be providing you with daily editions of Coffee House Shots, our political podcast, so do subscribe on iTunes to get our take on the latest twists and turns as soon as they happen.



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