42 episodes

Welcome to The A Level Politics Show, where amazing things happen. We will go through as many political topics as possible to give you as much help as we can with your A Level Politics revision. We will focus on UK politics and US politics, and also look at political ideologies, including liberalism, socialism, conservatism and feminism. While this show is geared towards A Level Politics students, we hope to appeal to anyone who is interested in current affairs, and who would like to find out more about how politics actually works. We hope you enjoy the show!

The A Level Politics Show Nick de Souza

    • Politics

Welcome to The A Level Politics Show, where amazing things happen. We will go through as many political topics as possible to give you as much help as we can with your A Level Politics revision. We will focus on UK politics and US politics, and also look at political ideologies, including liberalism, socialism, conservatism and feminism. While this show is geared towards A Level Politics students, we hope to appeal to anyone who is interested in current affairs, and who would like to find out more about how politics actually works. We hope you enjoy the show!

    How powerful is the UK Supreme Court?

    How powerful is the UK Supreme Court?

    I am delighted to welcome back Matthew Phillips to the show, whose phone line manages to behave up to the second segment, yet appears to self isolate for the grand finale. For the sake of debate, I take the side that the court is too powerful, but I agree with my esteemed colleague that the UK judiciary is only as powerful as Parliament lets it be. The creation of the UKSC did bestow upon top judges newfound prestige... but little else in the way of power. Oh, and well done Nayan Patel, whose imagery of the man standing up to the tanks in Tiananmen Square is ably reenacted with Lego. You are the winner of the Lego political landmark/event creation contest. Thus, the icon for this episode is adorned with your winning entry. Well done!

    • 26 min
    Is Parliament still sovereign?

    Is Parliament still sovereign?

    In this episode, we consider the theory of where power lies, both legally and formally, and the political reality of where decisions are actually taken. The Covid-19 outbreak has understandably seen crisis management centralised in the hands of the prime minister and the cabinet. Yet don’t discount Parliament just yet. The fact is that sovereignty has multiple locations. It is a moveable feast. We hope you like the new icon - a Lego White House built by my own fair hands (aided with instructions from the Lego company itself). If, during this time of home learning, you would like to build a political landmark out of Lego (or any material for that matter) do send me a picture by tweeting @nickdesouza. The best pic gets to be The A Level Politics Show icon for a week. Whoop whoop!

    • 28 min
    Is Cabinet government dead?

    Is Cabinet government dead?

    Boris Johnson has insisted upon loyalty. His right hand man, Dominic Cummings, is whipping ministerial advisers into line. This situation is a far cry from the era of hung parliaments, when the cabinet re-emerged as a force to be reckoned with. Yet cabinet government is not dead, it is merely sleeping. It shall awake when circumstances are conducive. The experience of Thatcher, that most domineering of PMs, should serve as a warning sign to those who choose to ignore their cabinet. After all, her own cabinet effectively signed off her on downfall.

    • 17 min
    Congressional oversight

    Congressional oversight

    The founding fathers gave many powers to Congress in a bid to overcome tyranny. Yet many of these checks are either underused or abused for political gain. Furthermore, the increase in partisanship has stymied attempts to properly investigate the executive branch, as Trump’s recent impeachment acquittal demonstrates. Granted, a divided government is likely to make better work of scrutinising presidential actions, but more often than not united government, along with other circumstances, are likely to give the advantage to the occupant in the White House.

    • 21 min
    Parliamentary Scrutiny

    Parliamentary Scrutiny

    The House of Commons and House of Lords both have a range of tools with which to hold government to account, most notably the various forms of questioning that takes place on the floors of both chambers and the valuable committee work takes place off from them. Yet the House of Lords is hindered by its lack of legitimacy and the restrictions placed upon it, and with the restoration of a large majority in the House of Commons, the advantage now rests with the executive.

    • 33 min
    Is the US Supreme Court a political rather than a judicial institution?

    Is the US Supreme Court a political rather than a judicial institution?

    The appointment process for a Supreme Court justice starts with politicians and ends with politicians. The power of judicial review and the inability to overturn them, unless through the unlikelihood of a constitutional amendment, means that the nation’s top court is never far from controversy. Yet the limits it faces, not least from those filling its bench, means the Supreme Court is rooted in a judicial response to the cases it hears. However, it’s impact, intended or otherwise, will always be political.

    • 29 min

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