169 episodes

The Spectator's flagship podcast featuring discussions and debates on the best features from the week's edition. Presented by Lara Prendergast and William Moore.

The Edition The Spectator

    • News

The Spectator's flagship podcast featuring discussions and debates on the best features from the week's edition. Presented by Lara Prendergast and William Moore.

    Hospital pass: The NHS is on life support

    Hospital pass: The NHS is on life support

    In this week’s episode: Is the current NHS crisis a bug or a feature?




    In the Spectator’s cover story this week, our economics editor Kate Andrews writes about the state of the NHS and why even though reform is so clearly needed it's nearly politically impossible to try to do so. She joins the podcast with Isabel Hardman who is currently writing a book on the history of the NHS. (00:53)







    Also this week: How is the nation feeling about the Omicron variant?




    The news of the Omicron variant has not only worried the public about what may become of their Christmas plans, but the government has also reacted by bringing in new travel restrictions and mask mandates. Two of our columnists Lionel Shriver and Rod Liddle have both given their views on the latest pandemic precautions in week’s magazine and on the podcast they continue those conversations. (16:25)

      




    And finally: Now it’s December can we open the Baileys?




    Now it’s December, Christmas celebrations can begin. Our own Hannah Tomes has written about one of her favourite festive delights. Baileys. She joins the podcast along with another Irish cream connoisseur, Lara Prendergast, and the Spectator’s Deputy Editor Freddy Gray who heard we were drinking Baileys and couldn’t resist.  (33:02)







    Hosted by Lara Prendergast




    Produced by Sam Holmes







    Subscribe to The Spectator today and get a £20 Amazon gift voucher:


    www.spectator.co.uk/voucher 



    Listen to Isabel's podcast on the NHS post Covid, Aftershock:
    https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast/The-NHS-edition

    • 40 min
    The Covid revolts: Europe’s new wave of unrest

    The Covid revolts: Europe’s new wave of unrest

    In this week’s episode: Just who is protesting new Covid rules in Europe? 




    In The Spectator this week we have three articles that cover the riots and protests all over Europe about new covid policies. Two of them report the scene on the ground in different countries. Lionel Barber and Nick Farrell write respectively about the situations in Holland and Italy and talk on the podcast about why this is happening now and how much more it could escalate. (00:45)







    Also this week: Is China having its own hand and the #MeToo moment?




    A spotlight has been shined on China in recent days, due to the troubling series of events surrounding the Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai. Who after making claims of being pressured into a sexual relationship with a CCP official, disappeared for days, as all mentions of her claims were wiped from social media. Cindy Yu writes about this story in this week’s Spectator and talks on the podcast about the history of China’s mistress culture. (14:17)

      




    And finally: What does it take to be a Hamleys elf? 




    Christmas is coming and if there are children in your life begging for this season's hottest toy, you might find yourself at Hamleys, the world’s oldest toys store, and as you enter you may well be greeted by a festive elf. But what’s it like being one of these red and green-clad friends of Father Christmas? Our podcast producer Sam Holmes writes in The Spectator this week about his experience as an elf when he was 19. Sam is joined on the podcast by Mark Campbell, the current Lego man at Hamleys and Sam’s old boss from his elf days. (21:00)







    Hosted by Lara Prendergast




    Produced by Sam Holmes







    Subscribe to The Spectator today and get a £20 Amazon gift voucher:


    www.spectator.co.uk/voucher 




    Listen to Lara’s food-based interview show, Table Talk:


    https://www.spectator.co.uk/tabletalk 

    • 32 min
    Toil and trouble: Europe faces a new form of warfare

    Toil and trouble: Europe faces a new form of warfare

    In this week’s episode: Are migrants the new munitions? 




    In our cover story this week, our political editor James Forsyth looks at the growing troubles in Eastern Europe and how this small part of the world stage could end up splintering the scaffolding of global peace. He is joined on the podcast by Mary Dejevsky, a columnist for the Independent. (00:42)






    Also this week: Will the monarchy survive past Elizabeth II?




    The royal family is not in a good way, with the Queen missing multiple appearances due to ill health, a prince under investigation, and the continuing cold war between William and Harry, will the monarchy survive past Elizabeth II? That’s the question Freddy Gray asks in this week’s Spectator. He joins the podcast along with Patrick Jephson a former private secretary to Princess Diana, who also covers the royals in this week’s issue. (17:21)

      



    And finally: Why is the mullet making a comeback? 




    Mullets. A hairstyle made popular in the 70s, but more recently the butt of many a joke is making something of a fashionable comeback. Hannah Moore writes about the return of the mullet in this week’s Spectator. She joins talks on the podcast with Mike Lawson of Beardbrand who has also noticed this retro return. (29:09)







    Hosted by Lara Prendergast




    Produced by Sam Holmes







    Subscribe to The Spectator today and get a £20 Amazon gift voucher:


    www.spectator.co.uk/voucher 




    Listen to Lara’s food-based interview show, Table Talk:


    https://www.spectator.co.uk/tabletalk 

    • 37 min
    Court of Chaos: Boris’s style of government isn’t working for him — or his country

    Court of Chaos: Boris’s style of government isn’t working for him — or his country

    In this week’s episode: Who is advising the PM? 


    In our cover story this week, our editor Fraser Nelson takes a deep dive into No. 10 politics and finds a court of chaos inside. With a large parliamentary majority, an extremely young team and the departure of Domonic Cummings is there anyone left in the Conservative party who can stand up to the Prime Minister? Fraser talks on the podcast with former Conservative party chairman, Kenneth Baker on the reign of King Boris. (00:45)







    Also this week: Should the West be prepared to defend Taiwan?


    Tensions over the island of Taiwan are rising at an alarming rate. In The Spectator this week Alessio Patalano, professor of war and strategy at King’s College, and Elbridge Colby, author of Strategy of Denial, both write about what the West can do to defend Taiwan’s autonomy. On the podcast, Alessio and Elbridge talk further about the future of this disputed territory. (17:09)

      




    And finally: How do you join the world of underground chess? 


    One of the world’s oldest games is making something of a comeback, with underground chess clubs starting up all over the world. Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, CEO of UK music, writes about this phenomenon in this week’s Spectator. He joins the podcast along with Nick Moar, The Spectator’s social media editor and chess enthusiast to discuss their favourite pastime. Nick and James are also joined by the grandmaster himself, Malcolm Pein who wanted in on the fun. (30:56)





    Hosted by Lara Prendergast


    Produced by Sam Holmes







    Subscribe to The Spectator today and get a £20 Amazon gift voucher:


    www.spectator.co.uk/voucher 




    Listen to Lara’s food-based interview show, Table Talk:


    https://www.spectator.co.uk/tabletalk 

    • 43 min
    Superbad: Joe Biden’s plummeting presidency

    Superbad: Joe Biden’s plummeting presidency

    In this week’s episode: Has the Biden Presidency stalled or crashed?




    In our cover story this week, Freddy Gray assesses the state of the Biden presidency. With steadily lowering approval ratings, a disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal, and this week’s failure of the Democrats to hold on to the Virginia Governorship, how much trouble is the US’s oldest inaugurated president in? Freddy talks to Lara along with Emily Tamkin, the US editor of the New Statesman and co-host of the World Review Podcast. 

    (00:49)


    Also this week: Should we welcome or fear the Metaverse?




    Kit Wilson writes in The Spectator this week about Facebook’s new venture into the Metaverse, a concept that most of us probably hadn’t heard of until last week. To layout the roadmap for what our journey into this new digital reality might look like, Kit joins the podcast along with Tom Renner, a software engineer for NavVis.

    (12:55)

       

    And finally: Is the idea of ‘buy now pay later’ financially precarious for young people?




    Gus Carter has been exploring the new Swedish-born app that is blowing up with the youth: Klarna. On its face, it seems to just be a modern replacement for a credit card with some gifts thrown in, but could this ‘buy now pay later’ model have some unexpected consequences for its users? Gus talks about his findings along with the author of the blog Young Money Iona Bain. 

    (27:33)



    Hosted by Lara Prendergast

     
    Produced by Sam Holmes







    Subscribe to The Spectator today and get a £20 Amazon gift voucher:


    www.spectator.co.uk/voucher 




    Listen to Lara’s food-based interview show, Table Talk:


    https://www.spectator.co.uk/tabletalk 

    • 40 min
    Cop out: Boris’s battle to save the climate summit

    Cop out: Boris’s battle to save the climate summit

    In this week’s episode: Can Cop26 deliver on its grand promises?
    In our cover story this week, Fraser Nelson assesses the state of the upcoming Cop26 summit in Glasgow and questions their very effectiveness in dealing with climate change in a world of global players with very different priorities. He is joined on the podcast by reporter Jess Shankleman, who is covering Cop26 for Bloomberg. (00:48)

    ‘This one’s in Glasgow, but you’d best think of it as the Edinburgh Festival for environmentalism. Lots of fun, lots of debates, lots of protests, lots of street action, but not really any much of concrete substance.’ – Fraser Nelson
     

    Also this week: Is it moral to bribe your child to go to church?
    Theo Hobson is paying his daughter to go to church and get confirmed. But how holy is this practice? Theo's idea is judged on the podcast by a holy trinity of priests: Steve Morris, Daniel French, and Nicholas Cranfield. (13:28)

     ‘I’d be very worried if there was a suggestion that they as younger people are being prevailed upon to answer the right questions and say ‘actually Dad I do now believe!’ Simply for the exchange of some filthy lucre.’ – Rev. Nicholas Cranfield

     
    And finally: What are the ups and downs of book clubs?
    Author Elisa Segrave was cancelled from a book club event after an email of hers apparently ‘hurt’ some members. This inspired her analysis of the book club concept for this week’s Spectator. Along with Simon Savidge the founder of Savidge Reads, she talks about her and her friends' bumpy relationship with book clubs. (25:10)

    ‘I was always really excited for what that next choice would be because it was like a mystery until that final moment or final glass of wine.’ – Simon Savidge


    Hosted by Lara Prendergast

    Produced by Sam Holmes

    • 32 min

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