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The Spectator Podcast: Rebooting the Maybot

15 June 2017

4:08 PM

15 June 2017

4:08 PM

On this week’s episode, we examine the fallout from last week’s shock election result, and ask what’s next for both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. And, to give you a brief respite from all the politics, we also speak to one of the world’s greatest living pianists.

First up: In this week’s magazine, James Forsyth describes the repercussions of the hung parliament within the Conservative party, and the attempt being made to ‘reboot the Maybot’. But can the Prime Minister be patched back to health? Or is she so defective that she’s set to be junked? James joins the podcast, along with Andrew Rawnsley, Chief Political Commentator of The Observer.

As James writes:

“The Tories have decided to keep Theresa May who, in turn, has agreed to the departure of her two chiefs of staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy. She knows, as her cabinet knows, that she has just committed the greatest unforced error in modern political history. In normal circumstances, she would be gone. But the Conservative party is in shock, petrified of another election and fearful that Jeremy Corbyn could become prime minister. Instead of deposing May straight away, they are going to try to reprogram her: to make her a different kind of politician.”

And Andrew has strong words on the subject of Brexit – listen below for a preview:


Next: After Donald Trump’s surprise victory in last year’s US Presidential election, ought we to have seen Corbyn coming? That’s the question Freddy Gray asks in this week’s magazine, because, when you look at it, there are rather a lot of similarities between populist movements on the right and the left. To discuss this, Freddy was joined by Matt Zarb-Cousin, former spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn, and James Bloodworth, author of The Myth of Meritocracy.

As Freddy writes:

“Corbyn, 68, and Trump, 70, are both anti-establishment insurgents who have been married three times. They both like dictators and dislike Nato. They both have embarrassing pasts which should disqualify them from high office. When they were elected to lead their parties, Trump and Corbyn were both dismissed as jokes. Their emergence was seen as a sign that their parties had gone mad — but it turned out the electorate was just as mad, and the laughing stopped. Both men then got lucky: they stood against seemingly invincible women who took victory for granted and turned voters against them with their arrogance.”

Finally: from child prodigy to one of the most revered pianists of his generation, Evgeny Kissin has had a fascinating life. Now in his 40s, he’s finally coming to terms with his Jewish identity, which he writes about in a new memoir, and he joined Damian Thompson to discuss this.

As Damian writes in his profile of Kissin in the magazine this week:

“No one close to Kissin will have been surprised that details of his romantic life are entirely missing from his Memoirs and Reflections, just published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson. The book is a mere 190 pages long and that includes a ‘select discography’ from which key recordings have been omitted — for example, the Mozart D minor concerto K466 that Kissin directed from the keyboard with the Kremerata Baltica in 2010. It’s the most gloriously full-bodied performance — powerful, delicate, with legato arches that could hold up a Bruckner symphony. To anyone who thinks Kissin did his best work as a wunderkind, I’d say: listen to this.”

 



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