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The Spectator Podcast: technology and romance, neurodiversity, and the mystery of the raided horses

9 February 2019

12:44 PM

9 February 2019

12:44 PM

Why is dating not as fun as it used to be? Statistics show that we are having less sex, birth rates are plummeting and surveys indicate our lives are too fast-paced and stressful. In this week’s SpectatorZoe Strimpel, laments that modern dating has misplaced the excitement of meeting someone you connect with – that instant spark – with endless pre-arranged Tinder dates.

Zoe joins us for this week’s podcast with Doctor Cath Mercer, a lead scientist with one of the UK’s largest surveys of sexual and romantic lifestyles. They discuss how apps and internet porn have sucked the joy from dating, and advise  how to cut through the noise and meet people you connect with.

We also talk to Melissa Kite about the mystery of the raided horses, and how she uncovered the surprising extent of the RSPCA’s legal powers.


When a field of horses she drives past everyday were taken, in an apparent RSPCA raid, Melissa decided to track them down. In the podcast she describes what she found about possible abuses of power within the animal welfare system – and questions whether it is power that needs to be curbed.

Finally Jonathan Mitchell wrote last month about the dangers of neurodiversity: a movement that believes conditions like autism and Asperger’s are just a different type of brain wiring, rather than a medical diagnosis.

Jonathan speaks about living with autism, and how the neurodiversity movement does not consider the experiences of those with more severe conditions, like himself. Joining him is Matt Tunstill, who has Aspergers and believes neurological conditions should be seen as a medical issue, and Laura James, an advocate of neurodiversity.


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