Podcast Ep. 105: Lib Dems Moot Mussolini Statue For Rome

Lib Dem moots Mussolini statue

Italy’s electoral shake-up, Jo Swinson’s plan to put the Milk Snatcher in rock, and the appointment of shitposter Munroe Bergdorf as Labour’s LGBT advisor are the three topics this week.

Joining us is Jimmy’s untouchable knowledge of who the current prime minister is.

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Podcast Ep. 104: Government Unveils Post-Brexit Armed Forces

Britain unveils post Brexit army

The 327th anti-Brexit party Renew, special counsel Robert Mueller’s Cold War-style indictments of Russian officials, and calls by old people to press-gang the young into military service are the three topics this week.

Joining us are our subconscious appetites for military misadventure.

Image based on King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, May 2015 by Captain Roger Fenton

Why does anyone care about Renew?

There’s something a bit stinky about Renew, ‘the UK’s most credible new political party’ according to press release that heralded the party’s launch earlier this week.

It’s not surprising that another new party has emerged. In the febrile atmosphere of Brexit, now is a healthy time for new parties – 50-odd were created last year and more than 20 have emerged this year before we’ve even left February.

What is odd that anybody cares.

Beyond a press conference, a functional website and a vague centrist ethos, it’s unclear what Renew has that many of the other small outfits don’t. From the outside, it is bizarre that a party led by an accountant, a start-up consultant, a comms advisor and a fintech executive with limited experience in politics has gained any traction.

From its website the party has 19 declared candidates. According to the Core interview with principal James Clarke, it is crowdfunded, and has a few larger donors. Given that it is deliberately drawing candidates who have never been in politics before – much as French president Emmanuel Macron did before he was elected – it presumably has few local roots in any of the constituencies it will fight for.

Equally, many of the arguments are remoaner boilerplate. None of the spokespeople can countenance that the EU is an unloved institution in Britain, with all attributing the leave vote to inequality, or anger at the financial crash, or anything but the idea that the British do not want to be governed from Brussels. Nor do they have a convincing argument for why the referendum should be ignored.

What gives? The only reason I can think of is that they have connections in the media that allowed them to wrangle some early coverage. And while it’s possible it could take off, there’s no reason to think it will.