Nigel Farage seeks independence from China

It is funny to think that 10 months ago as we faced the most serious pandemic for decades, the West fell out about what its name should be. Exemplifying our misplaced energies, headlines were briefly dominated by whether terms like ‘Chinese virus’ or ‘Wuhan virus’ were racist.

Almost a year later ‘Covid-19’ or more simply ‘the coronavirus’ are the accepted terms, while the more cumbersome ‘SARS-CoV-2’ for the virus has fallen away. But controversy over how we deal with China looks less likely to disappear, as Nigel Farage has latched onto the country as his next big project.

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The weirdening of Gibraltarian sovereignty

Amid the fuss over Northern Ireland’s new political position in a halfway house between the United Kingdom and the European Union, less attention has been given to other British territories affected by Brexit. Among them is that peculiar peninsula at the south of Spain: Gibraltar.

As anyone with access to Wikipedia will tell you, Britain nicked the territory off Spain through the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. The British wanted it because of its commanding position at the western entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, which has proved useful in protecting trade and waging war in the centuries since.

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Podcast Ep. 174: Centrist Dad Awards

Rounding off a year that everyone agrees was thoroughly enjoyable, we present to you the inaugural Right Dishonourable awards. Join us to discuss the greatest blunderer, biggest political opportunist, most cancel-worthy, biggest loser, most dishonourable person, and our hopes for the future.

Thanks to all our listeners for tuning in over the past year. We look forward to rebooting next month to do this all over again.

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The Lib Dems are now pure protest

It is no secret that the Liberal Democrats have historically benefited as the ‘none of the above’ option, countering the Conservatives in some marginals and Labour in others. Even more than Labour it has been the natural party of opposition in the last century.

In some cases the orange team has even acted against consensus between the two main parties. The classic example was Charles Kennedy’s opposition to the Iraq War, which both the governing Labour party and most Conservative MPs backed.

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Season’s goodwill for those who didn’t make it

I have always felt that Elizabeth Day’s podcast betrays its own premise. How To Fail promises a celebration of things “that haven’t gone right”, with guests exploring “what their failures taught them about how to succeed better”, to quote the show’s own blurb. Arguably it only does one of these things.

Rather than lauding failure for its own sake, the podcast uses it as a foil for success. The guest list only includes people who succeeded in life overall, whatever temporary setbacks. Their only real failure is that they can’t fail properly.

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