Skip to Content

Coffee House The Spectator Podcasts

The Spectator Podcast: the surrealism of Brexit, three years on

15 March 2019

3:56 PM

15 March 2019

3:56 PM

In Salvador Dalí’s Persistence of Memory, several clocks are melting away in a surreal desert scene where a distorted horse-like creature fades into the sand, below a ledge where a pocket watch crawls with ants. The bizarre painting is rather reminds one of the surrealism of the Brexit process, especially after this week. The government has gone into full meltdown mode – it lost yet again on May’s Brexit deal (though this time by a smaller margin, only by 149 MPs); ended up whipping against itself on a motion rejecting no deal, where 13 government ministers defied the whip; and just about wrested control of Brexit from the Commons on a vote on Thursday night. Meanwhile, we are two weeks away from 29 March. Few believe we will leave on that date, yet no deal or extension has been confirmed. It all feels rather surreal – three years on from the referendum, is this really how Brexit has turned out?

On the podcast, Katy Balls discusses what happens next with James Forsyth and Peter Foster, The Telegraph‘s Europe Editor. James writes in this week’s cover piece that May will bring her vote back for a third try, where it could finally pass, third time lucky. Katy looks at the imminence of a general election, whereas Peter warns that Westminster shouldn’t take the idea of a Brexit extension so for granted.


We also take a look at the anti-Semitism problem that is facing the American left. Muslim congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib have been outspoken in their criticisms of Israel, and veering into outright anti-Semitism (among other comments, Omar accused Israel of having ‘hypnotised’ the world; and Tlaib follows an Instagram account that compared Jews to ‘rats’). In this issue’s political column, Freddy Gray asks: is this real prejudice, right-wing spin or hysteria? Freddy joins the podcast to discuss with Kate Andrews, American commentator on what this new development means, especially for the presidentials in 2020.

And last, why is tarot making a comeback? Lara Prendergast gets her cards read by Jennifer Cownie, whose tarot reading duo with her best friend Fiona Lensvelt travels the country to interview literary subjects using tarot. So who is the argumentative man that Lara will face?


Show comments
Close