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The Spectator Podcast: how long can the Remain alliance last?

12 September 2019

5:55 PM

12 September 2019

5:55 PM

A general election is looming. With no working majority, Boris Johnson found himself cornered last week by an unlikely alliance bent on stopping a no-deal Brexit. The alliance share a common enemy for now, but how long can this coalition last? For one, there’s no love lost between Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson; and the SNP are gunning for a clean sweep in Scotland, with the odds looking good. With an election in sight, the Remain alliance may find their differences are too deep to bear.

In this week’s cover piece, Katy Balls looks at the likely challenges that will test the alliance’s unity. Will they form an electoral pact? Could Swinson accept Corbyn as a caretaker prime minister? Would the Liberal Democrats prop up a minority Labour government? She is joined by Polly Mackenzie, chief executive of Demos and former advisor to Nick Clegg, to discuss what’s next.


Also in the issue, Madeleine Kearns writes about her first-hand exposure to ‘study drugs’ in the US. They’re the pills of choice for many on American campuses; amphetamines such as Adderall and Modafinil that boost cognition and mental stamina. But are there long-term risks, and what does this say about our society that students are turning to drugs for studying? Madeleine discusses her experience with Isabel Hardman and Dr. Barbara Sahakian, Professor of Clinical Neurophysiology at the University of Cambridge.

Finally, Boris Johnson may be a well-known classicist, but does he act like his Ancient Greek hero Pericles – or is he behaving more like the ruthless conquerer Augustus, sacking his rebellious MPs and shutting down parliament? Our Ancient and Modern columnist Peter Jones takes a stab at this question in this week’s issue. On the podcast, Cindy Yu is joined by Harry Mount, editor of The Oldie, and Daisy Dunn, classicist and author, to discuss Boris the classicist.


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