In recent weeks there’s been a flurry of stories about apparent chaos inside Whitehall, with ministers, civil servants and special advisors seemingly at war with each other. Just what on earth is going on? Former civil servant Neil Schofield-Hughes joins me for a spot of Downing Street kreminology.
Neil Schofield-Hughes is a retired civil servant and policy consultant. Formerly a Labour Party member, now a Lib Dem. He is the author of The Theory and Practice of Corbynism. You can find him on Twitter here, and he blogs here.
Ece Temelkuran is a Turkish novelist and political commentator. We discuss her non-fiction book How To Lose a Country: The 7 Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship.
She describes how the Erdogan government started by undermining concepts of truth, logic or even any sense of shame, before going on to attack judicial and political institutions. What she says may alarm you about the current direction of the UK and US.
Amelia Womack is the deputy leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, and Green Parliamentary candidate for Newport West. We caught up in a Newport cafe to chat about the climate emergency, a Green New Deal, Brexit, electoral reform and Piers Morgan’s small sausage.
As the UK left the European Union on the night of January 31st, I attended a peace vigil in Cardiff to mark the occasion. While there I spoke with pro-European campaigners about what they’ll be doing post-Brexit.
Helen Wales – deputy chair, Wales for Europe; chair, Cardiff for Europe
Sally Stephenson – former Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate; co-founder, Vale of Glamorgan for Europe
Jonathan Bird – campaigner, Cardiff for Europe
Features excerpt from a speech by Jo Stevens MP (Labour, Cardiff Central).
A short episode reviewing the Grassroots for Europe conference, which brought together campaigners to talk about what the Remain movement should do after Brexit Day.
The conference wasn’t perfect. There was a distinct lack of diversity, and at times felt a little too focused on EU flag-waving. That said, it did also represent a sincere attempt to define what those who opposed Brexit should do now that it’s finally happening. Fight for citizens’ rights, hold the government to account on promises that will surely be broken, and uphold internationalist values.
This week’s guest is Cardiff for Europe chair, Wales for Europe deputy chair and living exemplar of nominative determinism, Helen Wales. What will Remainers do after Brexit Day? And what lies ahead for Wales in particular?
In 2018 Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest with Toy by Netta, which meant that Eurovision 2019 was held in Tel Aviv. This sparked controversy, with campaigners demanding a boycott of the contest due to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
Icelandic “anticapitalist BDSM techno performance art” band Hatari initially supported the boycott calls. Then they changed their minds, entering and winning Iceland’s Eurovision selection with antifascism anthem Hatrið Mun Sigra (Hate Will Prevail).
They scored Iceland’s best result in 10 years. Along the way they issued a bizarre wrestling challenge to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and sparked uproar by holding up Palestine flags at the grand final.
In this episode I’m joined by Drífa Þöll Arnardóttir. We discuss the rise of what must be one of the most unlikely acts ever to appear on the Eurovision stage. Along the way, we ask what the role is of artists in relation to countries that abuse human rights. Is it to boycott them, as the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement has demanded of Israel? Or is it to reach out, and collaborate with fellow artists and campaigners?
From 2014 to 2019 the Eurovision Song Contest became an inadvertent proxy for the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Tensions over the Russian annexation of Crimea and the civil war in Donbass played out both on and offstage.
In this episode I’m joined by Russian Eurovision fan Kamilla Safiyllina (find her on Twitter @KamillaLovesESC). It’s a tale that’s about war and nationalism, but also about a man in a giant hamster wheel, a Crimean ethnoballad and a woman pretending to ejaculate with a fire extinguisher.
On the day after the election, we met up to discuss what the landslide Tory victory means for Remainers. Brexit now seems inevitable, but are there other battles still worth fighting? Who should replace Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson as their respective party leaders? What does this mean for Scottish independence, and if Scotland goes, should Wales follow suit?
Guesting on the show are:
Sally Stephenson, co-founder of Vale of Glamorgan for Europe, and Lib Dem candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan.
David Hughes, barrister, Cardiff for Europe campaigner, and a former Conservative Party member who endorsed his local Labour candidate because of Brexit.