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The Spectator Podcast: Next up, Nato

14 June 2018

11:47 AM

14 June 2018

11:47 AM


In the last few days, world order seems to have been turned on its head as Trump antagonised his western allies at the G7 Summit, and then shook the hand of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. We ask, how will Trump treat his allies in the July Nato summit? We also talk to Peter Hitchens and Paul Mason about Marxism in the modern day – are there any left in Britain? And last, what is it like to be homeless in London?

Over the weekend, the G7 Summit ended in a worse way than anyone could have predicted. As soon as he left, Trump tweeted harsh criticism of Justin Trudeau, and bashed Germany’s commitment to Nato. Fraser Nelson writes in this week’s cover story that Trump isn’t actually wrong – Germany is relying on US funding for military might – its own military is decaying, and it spends just 1.2 per cent of its GDP on contributions to Nato. In fact, only four of the 28 member states actually pay the agreed 2 per cent of GDP. So what will Trump do to his allies in the run up to the July Nato Summit? Is the alliance the next target on Trump’s world fixing radar? Joining us on the podcast is Judy Dempsey, editor of Strategic Europe and senior fellow of Carnegie Europe, and Doug Bandow, senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Doug voices what many US politicians believe about Nato:

‘There is a huge burden on the United States, and the Europeans, in my opinion, take that for granted.’


It’s been two hundred years since Karl Marx was born, and we’re still obsessed by his theories. But does anyone really still believe in it? In his youth, Peter Hitchens was a member of the International Socialists, and this week writes for the Spectator that Marxism is alive and well in modern day Britain, just in a different form. Peter joins the podcast, along with Paul Mason, freelance journalist and contributor to the New Statesman. Peter argues that Marxist ideals have made it into the mainstream:

‘Comprehensive education, or getting women out into factories… These are now policies of the British Conservative Party, but they were the policies of the Germany Democratic Republic.’

Homelessness is on the rise, but with its many soup kitchens and overnight shelters, could London be the place that looks after the homeless the best? C.A.R. Hills thinks so, and in this week’s issue, we hear from him about his life spent popping in and out of soup kitchens. He opens up a window into a different life to the one that most of us live. Joining the podcast is Dominic Williamson, an Executive Director at St Mungo’s, and Solomon Smith, Director of Brixton soup kitchen. Solomon tells us it’s a lonely life:

‘A lot of the guys when they come into the soup kitchen, they don’t even want to eat food. They want conversation. And their conversation is amazing.’

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