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The Spectator Podcast: Red London

5 April 2018

5:40 PM

5 April 2018

5:40 PM


In this week’s episode, we talk about red London – just how badly will the Tories do in the upcoming local elections, and why do people love Sadiq Khan? We also talk about the end of Macron’s political honeymoon, and the death of the Grand Tour.

As national headlines are dominated by Jeremy Corbyn, local Labour candidates are preparing for a sweeping victory through London’s upcoming local elections. Will Heaven, the Spectator’s Managing Editor, writes in this week’s cover that ‘the Tories are braced for disaster’. Why is London turning red? Joining him is Andrew Gilligan, senior correspondent at the Sunday Times, who writes in this week’s magazine that Sadiq Khan doesn’t deserve his popularity; and finally with us this week is Pippa Crerar, Deputy Political Editor at the Guardian. On Tory concern of local losses, Will tells us:

‘The Tories in London are worried enough about it that they’ve had meetings over the last year where they’ve discussed breaking away from the national leadership, which I think is quite telling in itself.’


As Emmanuel Macron approaches a year in office, his political honeymoon is coming to an end. Gavin Mortimer, author and historian, writes in this week’s magazine that Macron faces domestic challenges from all fronts, not least starting with the recent railway strikes. He is joined by Luke Baker, Reuters Bureau Chief in Paris. Gavin says:

‘I actually think he’s relishing this fight – he wants this fight. It’s a battle he believes he will win. And he knows too that his credibility and his reputation are on the line.’

And last, are you thinking of going away this summer? Well, forget about the usual destinations – the Victorian romance of a European Grand Tour is dead, writes Harry Mount in this week’s magazine, killed by the sheer number of tourists. But if you’re willing to step off the beaten track, you will be pleasantly surprised. Harry is the editor of The Oldie magazine, and author of Odyssey: Ancient Greece in the Footsteps of Odysseus. He is joined by Laura Freeman, culture contributor to the Spectator and author of The Reading Cure: How Books Restored my Appetite. Harry tells us:

‘In Santa Trinita Church later in the afternoon when the rest of Florence was packed, I had the Ghirlandaio frescoes in the Sassetti Chapel to myself. I loved them so much I went back a couple of hours later and it was still empty. So I’m saying we’ve killed off the Grand Tour places – let’s go on a not-so-Grand-Tour. Only a few paces away, you’ll find empty beauties.’

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