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The Spectator Podcast: The New Arrival

26 April 2018

2:11 PM

26 April 2018

2:11 PM

In this week’s podcast, we discuss Meghan and the monarchy – is Meghan Markle good news for the Establishment? And what are we to make of her anyway? We also discuss the potential for Tory rebellion on the customs union, and ask, does economic research back up higher government spending?

As the royal baby is born earlier this week, all eyes are on the monarchy. But he’s not the only new arrival to the family in recent times – Meghan Markle will be formally joining the monarchy in less than a month’s time. So what are we to make of the new Princess? For this week’s cover, Jenny McCartney thanks God that Meghan is not a spoilt, entitled Chelsea Sloane, and Julie Burchill writes that Meghan is a modern ‘adventuress’. We’re joined by Jan Moir, Daily Mail columnist and Sophia Money-Coutts, Features Director for Tatler Magazine. Jan doesn’t mind Meghan, but wishes she would stop gushing and hugging:

‘I’m sorry, it’s just not how we do things in this country. The royal family don’t go around hugging random commoners…’


Theresa May is stuck between a rock and a hard place on the customs union. The EU has rejected the government’s plans for the Irish border, an amendment to stay in the customs union has been tabled by a cross-Party Remainer posse, and Brexiteers are worried that the PM may back down on the promise to leave the customs union. James Forsyth writes in this week’s political column that the stakes are high for her. To discuss, Tim Shipman, the Sunday Times’ Political Editor and Ken Clarke, Conservative MP join the podcast. Ken’s not convinced that the customs union row will topple the May leadership:

‘The idea that this will shake the government to its foundations, that Theresa will resign… Nonsense. Never heard such rubbish in my life.’

Have we been doing capitalism wrong? Liam Halligan, economist and columnist for the Sunday Telegraph interviewed Mariana Mazzucato, an UCL professor who says that we have. He writes about her research and conclusions in the magazine this week – she argues that the state is an unsung innovative hero, and that public spending should be more than 42% of GDP. Liam joins us with Michael Jacobs, director of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, and who co-edited a book with Mariana called Rethinking Capitalism. Though Liam didn’t always agree with her, she certainly won him over:

‘I hope that her very interesting messages about how to make the state smarter don’t get lost because people are scared away by the fact that she wants a bigger state.’

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