94 episodes

CapX editor John Ashmore interviews the most interesting people in politics

The CapX Podcast CapX

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    • 4.1 • 28 Ratings

CapX editor John Ashmore interviews the most interesting people in politics

    The Aristocracy of Talent

    The Aristocracy of Talent

    Meritocracy is the creed of our age. An idea that has great success in crossing traditional boundaries: not just Thatcher, Reagan and Boris Johnson, but Clinton, Blair and Xi Jinping have sung the praises of a society where anyone can rise based on their own talent and effort. 


    But just as meritocracy has risen to be the dominant idea of our age, it's faced an onslaught of criticism, from the traditional left who saw it as a betrayal of principles of equality and solidarity, contemporary social justice activists who regard it as just another instrument of white power, and conservatives who fear it undermines the bonds of community and tradition.


    Most interesting though are the trenchant critiques from some of those at the heart of the meritocratic system, like the Yale Law professor who calls it a "sham"- an excuse for the wealthy to game the system and pass on their privilege to the younger generation.


    These are some of the questions that preoccupy Adrian Wooldridge, the political editor of The Economist, in his latest book, the Aristocracy of Talent. This episode of the CapX Podcast is a recording of a CapX Live interview with Adrian last week where we discussed the history of the meritocratic idea from Plato to the present day, how supposedly meritocratic societies have been corrupted and laid low by old-fashioned cronyism, and how we can go about correcting that.
     
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    • 57 min
    Is Britain racist?

    Is Britain racist?

    Is Britain a racist society?


    After a year where prejudice, privilege and protest have never been far from the headlines, it's a question that continues to provoke the fiercest debates – not least after the recent publication of the Government's recent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.


    For the latest instalment of The CapX Podcast, editor John Ashmore spoke to Dr Rakib Ehsan, an independent researcher and author who covers ethnicity and cultural issues in the UK. Rakib is a regular contributor to the site and one of his pieces, on social outcomes for white working class children, is quoted at length in the Commission's report.


    In a wide-ranging interview, we discussed the nature of discrimination in Britain, whether we are importing a US-style culture war, the importance of family structure for people's life chances and the acute difficulties now faced by Keir Starmer's Labour Party in negotiating between its metropolitan base and its socially conservative former heartlands.
     
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    • 40 min
    The Future of Capitalism with Sir Paul Collier

    The Future of Capitalism with Sir Paul Collier

    Deep rifts are tearing societies apart and shredding old political allegiances: across the Western world, regions are rebelling against cities, the working class against the elites and the young against the old. For far too many, contemporary capitalism simply isn't delivering the goods.
     
    For Sir Paul Collier, one of the world's leading development economists, the response to this profound crisis is as much ethical as technical. His proposals for a capitalism based on both prosperity and morality have appeal beyond the traditional left-right divide – and he has a pragmatic plan to put them into action. He joined CapX and an online audience for a fascinating conversation that ranged from 19th century Bradford, to his own experiences growing up in post-war Sheffield to the morality of modern media influencers.
     
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    • 1 hr
    Meet the '109ers'

    Meet the '109ers'

    Right now All the Government’s efforts are focussed on coronavirus, but what about the fundamental mandate it was elected on?


    As the vaccine roll-out continues apace, backbench MPs could be forgiven for raising their eyes to the horizon and starting to think about their prospects for re-election in 2024. By far the biggest Conservative cohort in parliament is the so-called 109 group of MPs newly elected in 2019.


    These guys are the cavalry, who stormed the red wall with promises of delivering Brexit and levelling up those parts of the country that had been overlooked by Labour for generations. They’re fiercely loyal to Boris Johnson while recognising that their jobs depend on sticking up for their voters – many of whom aren’t traditional Tories.


    CapX spoke to four of them – Dehenna Davison, MP for Bishop Auckland, James Sunderland, MP for Bracknell, Virginia Crosbie, MP for Ynys Môn and Alexander Stafford, MP for Rother valley – to find out how they feel about the future now that Britain has left the EU with a trade deal and the pandemic has derailed the economy.
     
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    • 51 min
    The heroes and villains of 2020

    The heroes and villains of 2020

    For our final CapX Pocast of the year, it’s time to take a look back at this absolute car-crash of a year.


    Rather than the usual tête-à-tête, we decided to make this a bit more of a panel show format, with each of our guests choosing their hero, villain, moment, policy and idea of the year, before rounding off with some reflections on what’s ahead in 2021.
     
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    • 51 min
    Extreme economies with Richard Davies

    Extreme economies with Richard Davies

    Not many economists have trekked through lawless jungles, visited shops and restaurants world’s most entrepreneurial refugee camp or hung out with inmates in a Louisiana mega jail.


    For his book, Extreme Economies, Richard Davies went to some of the most desperate places on the planet, but found incredible stories of human resilience. People with nothing had created businesses and currencies from scratch - proving that even in dire circumstances, the free market finds a way.


    In this episode of the podcast we discuss what a world ravaged by the global pandemic can learn from disaster zones, displaced societies and failed states.


    Visit www.extremeeconomies.com/signed and enter the code CapX to get a signed copy of Richard's book for the special price of £7.
     
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    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

GriefWell ,

Lacks polish, but has potential

Good guests and smart, interesting conversations.

Like a lot of podcasts in their early days, it lacks polish. Sound quality needs improving. Host needs to be clearer in introducing his guests and stating what will be discussed. It feels like he's sitting down with his chums for a chat and glass of wine, but given that the conversations are of a very good standard, that's okay.

Rather than starting and finishing the conversation so abruptly, I'd like it if they began and ended with clear introductions and conclusions. Give it a sense of purpose and direction.

Given that the quality of guests seems like it will be strong for those interested in politics, I'd suggest subscribing despite these teething issues.

MrGareth ,

Cracking content

Time and again content that isn’t just following the popular crowd, CapX are producing some absolute corkers and I’m really enjoying it.

Rusty Loon ,

Good but...

...a bit low fi for starters. Volume quite low often – hard to hear when listening on headphones on busy roads. Wiseman is bright but not a great speaker – a lot of ums, ahs and ‘sort of’s. But some good thought provoking content nonetheless.

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