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The Spectator Podcast: return of Ukip

26 July 2018

4:53 PM

26 July 2018

4:53 PM


It’s safe to say that Brexit negotiations haven’t gone smoothly. The Tories are down in the latest polls, but Ukip is up. Are we witnessing the beginning of Ukip’s return? Meanwhile, Australians are stuck between a rock and a hard place as China and America continue to bicker; and Cosmo Landesman complains about modern parenting.

You don’t have to be following Brexit very closely to know that it’s not quite going to plan. May has lost the main Brexiteers in her Cabinet, and Jacob Rees Mogg is leading a Leavers revolt from the backbenches. If you voted for a hard Brexit, you would understandably be worried. Is this what explains a recent increase in Ukip’s popularity in the polls? In this week’s cover article, academic and Ukip expert Matthew Goodwin writes that the party is making a comeback. Matthew joins the podcast, together with Joe Twyman, pollster and Director of Deltapoll. Matthew has noticed that the Tory electorate have become more pro-hard Brexit and more anti-immigrant, but the party hasn’t noticed:

‘It amazes me how out of touch Conservative MPs are… with how much their electorate has changed over the last 3 years.’


Australia is facing a crossroads moment. For years it has been under the protective wing of America, but in recent decades, China, its main trading partner, has started to stand on its own two feet and, some say, aggressively push into its backyard. Meanwhile, Trump has started a trade war with China and President Xi hasn’t flinched away from retaliation. Where does this leave Australia? That’s the question that Tom Switzer, veteran broadcaster and the executive director for the Centre for Independent Studies asks in this week’s magazine. Tom joins me now, together with Merriden Varrall, Director of the East Asia Program at the Lowy Institute. Tom tells us about the conflict in opinion about China in Australia – on the one hand, it is Australia’s largest trading partner, on the other:

‘Australians are uneasy about China’s rise… it doesn’t share our values and remains a Communist dictatorship.’

So, school’s out for the summer, but one person who’s not happy about this is Cosmo Landesman. It seems that his part of London has been flooded – no, invaded– by little tots and their parents. What’s more, they’re always awfully behaved. It’s nice to let your kids express themselves and all, Cosmo writes, but what’s the deal with letting them run wild? Cosmo joins the podcast to air his grievances today, together with Henry Jeffreys, writer and father to a six year old. Henry absolutely sympathises…

‘The problem is the grown-ups not the children…they need to discipline the children. We need to ‘take back control’ of these adult spaces!’

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