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The Spectator Podcast: The Italian Job

17 May 2018

3:03 PM

17 May 2018

3:03 PM


In this week’s episode, we talk about Italy’s new coalition – what will the Five Star and Lega partnership mean for Italy and for Europe (00:35)? Journalist Peter Oborne and politician Stephen Crabb also get in a fiery debate about whether Conservative Friends of Israel are a little too friendly (12:00). And, on a slightly different note, we get a dominatrix to explain why powerful men loved to be spanked…(26:30)

Italy is forming a government. In the March elections no single party received more than 40% of the vote, leaving the most successful party – the Five Star Movement – forming a strange coalition with the party Lega. The two are not natural allies, with Five Star drawing most of its support from the left and Lega a member of the Coalition of the Right. But as Nicholas Farrell writes in this week’s cover, stranger things have happened, and Fredrik Erixon writes that Macron is already preparing to change tack to deal with the new coalition. Fredrik, who is the Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy, joins the podcast, together with Ferdinando Giugliani, Bloomberg and Repubblica journalist in Rome. On the impact of the new coalition on the EU, Fredrik tells us:

‘The coalition formed by the two populist parties in Italy will lead to a lot more friction in virtually every key debate about Europe’s future.’


As Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary, Palestinians have been protesting along the Gaza border. In reaction, Israel has clamped down with force, but its use of live ammunition has meant that at least sixty protestors have been killed. In this week’s issue, Peter Oborne asks why the parliamentary group, CFI – Conservative Friends of Israel – has not criticised the Israeli state’s actions. Peter joins the podcast, together with Stephen Crabb, CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman. Peter likened the clampdown to Bloody Sunday:

‘We shot dead 30 Irish. It led to a massive investigation, a Saville inquiry. This is 60 unarmed people killed in Gaza. Should we have a Saville inquiry?’

Last, why do powerful men like to be spanked? In the last few weeks, several successful city men have got into trouble after their niche desire came to light. Writer George McCoy, who runs a comparison website for adult services, argues that it’s not just an English vice – in fact, the industry is thriving across Britain, with popular sex dungeons spreading from Glasgow to London, and everywhere in between. George joins the podcast, together with Mistress Kaz, a dominatrix in the industry.

‘Certainly most of the people I’ve met in this country who work in the adult industry are only too happy that Brexit is about to happen. But that’s mainly because they feel they’ll be able to rid themselves of the competition from the many Eastern European ladies.’

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