Podcast Ep. 143: Half-Arsedly Manual Cut-Price Neoliberalism

This week we discuss Boris Johnson’s epic fail at the Supreme Court prorogation hearing, Labour’s epic fail to depose of its deputy leader Tom Watson as it rolled out an array of k-razy socialist policies, and Jazza’s discomfort about how middle class climate change protests are.

Joining us are our varying levels of private school guilt.

Trudeau’s style of hypocrisy might be for the better

A girl I knew once logged onto Facebook the morning after a party to untag herself from pictures of her getting friendly with someone who was not her boyfriend.

That kind of paranoia sticks in the memory. It is thus striking that Justin Trudeau, presumably the first Canadian prime minister to get caught in a blackface scandal, says he did not remember dressing up as Aladdin. Assuming he was being honest, clearly it was no big deal.

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Exposing celebrities’ private lives may be inevitable in a free press

Two stories emerged this week regarding the private lives of elite sportsmen: rugby player Gareth Thomas and cricketer Ben Stokes.

Thomas felt obliged to reveal his HIV status after a journalist from an unnamed tabloid threatened to out him. Worse, that reporter approached his parents for comment on the matter before they were aware of the diagnosis, depriving Thomas of choosing how to conduct that delicate conservation.

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Sam Smith’s pronoun request is not some impending tyranny

Sam Smith’s decision to come out as non-binary has provoked predictable backlash from pundits – particularly rightwingers.

The pop singer announced they were changing their pronouns to they or their via Instagram late last week. “After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out,” Smith said. “I understand there will be many mistakes and mis-gendering, but all I ask is you please, please try.”

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The flexitarian diet is a model for moral progress

Our politicised age is one of black and white thinking, deeply felt tribals loyalties, and hunting traitors who denounce the faith. As with previous eras of sectarian strife, there is a fixation on purity of actions, speech, and even conscience.

This does not sound like something that can be solved by taking inspiration from a faddish diet with a cumbersome portmanteau name. But flexitarianism may be the model we need to pursue moral progress sustainably.

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