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Coffee House The Spectator Podcast

The Spectator Podcast: what awaits the next prime minister?

7 June 2019

5:33 PM

7 June 2019

5:33 PM

As Theresa May hands over the keys to Downing Street, what burning injustices will she also hand over to her successor? Isabel Hardman writes in this week’s cover piece that there’s nothing funny about the question – there is a series of hard decisions on domestic crises that the May government has put off for three years. From social care, to housing, to energy, HS2, and rising crime rates – the real question for the Tory leadership contenders isn’t who has the balls to deliver Brexit, but who has the strength of character to sift through that scary in-tray. To understand just how serious the situation is, as well as who – if anyone – might solve them, Isabel is joined by Alex Morton from the Centre for Policy Studies, who used to work in the No 10 Policy Unit, as well as Hugh Pyms, Health Editor for the BBC, on the podcast.


Did you see this scene from anti-Trump protest earlier this week?

Lionel Shriver writes in this week’s issue that we’re now in a world of impotent hyperbole – where – too often – Brexiteers are imperialists, Trump supporters are Nazi scum, so much so that the words have lost their meaning. So is she on to something? Or does political discourse – especially in an increasingly polarised world – require forceful language? Isabel is joined by TalkRadio host Julia Hartley-Brewer, who was accused of defending fascism when she was no-platformed last week, and Jonathan Lis, Deputy Director of campaign group British Influence, who says Trump is a ‘fascist child’.

Last, we take a dive into the books section of the issue. When reading Alma’s obituary, musician Tom Lehrer called it the ‘juiciest, spiciest, raciest’ he’d ever come across. She’s said to have been lovers with most of the top creative men in Europe at the time. But how much is myth, and how much is true in this story of Alma Mahler? Cate Haste has written a biography on Alma called Passionate Spirit, which is reviewed in this week’s issue, and she joins the podcast to tell us about this femme fatale.


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