While Friday may mean the end of the working week for most of us, for many in France, it means the start of a long weekend out in the streets clad in a gilet jaune. As Emmanuel Macron pushes for a tough stance against the UK in Brexit negotiations in Brussels, domestic problems continue to mount unabated.
Jonathan Miller writes in this week’s cover piece that, despite initial optimism about the golden boy of global liberalism, Macron’s only major achievement so far has been to unite his country in opposition to him. He is joined on the podcast by Sophie Pedder, Paris Bureau Chief for the Economist, and author of Revolution Française, a biography of Macron. They discuss political polarisation in France, the impact of labour reforms, and whether or not Macron is really listening to the French public.
Also, Melissa Kite wants to know: why can’t our politicians get a grip? You can’t open a paper or turn on the radio these days without hearing one of our elected representatives telling us how hard it is to do their job. So, she asks, whatever happened to the stoic resolve of the British political class, and do they really expect us to sympathise with them? Joining her is former parliamentarian Stewart Jackson. They discuss whether or not politicians have brought this all on themselves, and what it’s really like to work in the ‘lyceum of lies’ (Stewart’s words).
Finally, is the overabundance of good programmes on demand leaving you feel anxious and overburdened? If so, you have a thing or two in common with the Daily Mail’s Mark Palmer, who tells us this week how addictive TV is becoming an epidemic. He is joined by TV critic Emma Bullimore to discuss the good and the bad of the new golden of age of television, and they also share a few recommendations with listeners.