Podcast Ep. 144: The Rory Stewart Comeback Tour

This week we discuss the “tone” in the House of Commons after its return from the prorogation that did not happen; Boris Johnson’s latest Brexit wheeze; noted walker Rory Stewart’s decision to run as an independent London mayoral candidate; and US presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren’s spat with Facebook king Mark Zuckerberg over tech monopolies.

Joining us is Jazza’s lack of conflicting interests.

Image based on Rory Stewart at the London Illegal Wildlife Conference 2018 by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Moderate language puts limits on political criticism

Following the rancour in our newly recalled Parliament (or our never prorogued Parliament, if you believe the Supreme Court), the call for “moderation” in political language has been revived, particularly among those who previously accused the prime minister of launching a “coup” against them.

That dig notwithstanding, it is generally worth being generous to your political opponents. This includes not impugning their motives without cause, assuming they want the best for the country (albeit a different best from yours), and trying to characterise their argument accurately. 

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Universities’ influence on jobs remains a huge obstacle to social mobility

The British have an unhealthy obsession with schooling. At a time of vague if well-nurtured class boundaries there remains an easily understood boundary between the privately and publicly educated.

Followers of British politics will know that Jeremy Corbyn’s advisor Seumas Milne is a Wykehamist, meaning a former pupil of Winchester College. This information is not useful, or even particularly telling, but you pick it up in passing from the press, and people feel it matters.

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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.

Image based on Tom Watson and Jeremy Corbyn at the 2016 Labour Party Conference by Rwendland

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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