On this week’s episode we look at the sexual reformation, Donald Trump’s ties with Russia and dining with Modigliani.
First: in the wake of Michael Fallon’s resignation from the Cabinet last night, Westminster is awash with rumours of sexual wrongdoing. But while it’s good that victims of abuse are able to speak out, is something sinister happening beyond the current hysteria? That’s the question Lara Prendergast asks in her Spectator cover piece this week. She is joined on the podcast by Katy Balls and Douglas Murray, who also writes in the magazine on how sexual freedom has turned into sexual fear. He says:
A new generation is being encouraged to redraw the lines of acceptability in a way that goes too far. What once was gauche has now become unacceptable. And from unacceptable it is being made sackable and then elided with the criminal. That is a long way to go in a very short time.
Next: is the net closing in on Donald Trump? This week, the president’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was indicted as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the US election. So could this ultimately bring the Trump presidency crashing down? No one expects that this week’s indictments will be the last in the Russia investigation, says Paul Wood on this week’s Spectator podcast, in which he is joined by Freddy Gray. In the magazine, Paul writes:
‘Speculation is rife in Washington that Trump will try to fire Mueller, a night of the long knives to eclipse the one in Watergate. That, or start a war with North Korea.’
And finally: what’s it like to dine in the very room where a great artist once plied their trade? Jenny Coad did just that in Paris: eating a meal in a top-floor flat which was once the domain of Amedeo Modigliani. The artist was famed for his louche lifestyle — drink, drugs, women — as well as his serene portraits with empty eyes. And eating where Modigliani lived and died was the sort of mythical restaurant experience one can only dream of, says Jenny in this week’s Spectator. Stephen Bayley joins her on the podcast to discuss artists and their eating habits.