35 episodes

POLITICO’s weekly political series hosted by Jack Blanchard lifts the curtain on how Westminster really works, offering in-depth insight into the political issues which typically only get broad-brush treatment in the wider media.
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POLITICO's Westminster Insider Jack Blanchard

    • News
    • 5.0 • 13 Ratings

POLITICO’s weekly political series hosted by Jack Blanchard lifts the curtain on how Westminster really works, offering in-depth insight into the political issues which typically only get broad-brush treatment in the wider media.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    The year ahead in 53 minutes

    The year ahead in 53 minutes

    As another eventful year in U.K. politics draws to a close, Jack Blanchard is joined by 10 special guests to predict the big stories we'll be talking about in 2022.
    Conservative Home's Editor Paul Goodman considers what the year ahead may have in store for Boris Johnson, while the New Statesman's Political Editor Stephen Bush reads the runes for a newly-emboldened Keir Starmer.
    Resolution Foundation boss Torsten Bell warns of economic problems looming in the spring of 2022, while FT columnist and author Anjana Ahuja predicts how the next stages of the pandemic will play out. Polling expert Robert Hayward and Irish Times columnist Newton Emerson look ahead to the May local elections in Great Britain and Northern Ireland respectively, while POLITICO journalists Rym Momtaz and Ryan Lizza preview the French presidential election in May and the U.S. mid-terms in November.
    Finally, Professor Rana Mitter of Oxford University previews the Chinese Communist Party's 20th party congress, while the Guardian's David Conn considers the political storm raging around the 2022 men's football World Cup in Qatar.

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    • 53 min
    From opium wars to cyberattacks: 200 years of UK-China friction

    From opium wars to cyberattacks: 200 years of UK-China friction

    As Hong Kong goes to the polls for a highly controversial election, Jack Blanchard is joined by politicians, historians and diplomats to reflect on 200 years of U.K.-China relations.
    Tory peer Chris Patten, the last U.K. governor of Hong Kong, explains the optimism he felt when the city was handed back to China in 1997 — and his anger at Beijing's recent clampdown. Pro-Beijing Hong Kong legislator Regina Ip gives the opposing view, claiming China has every right to quash pro-democracy movements if deemed illegal.
    Professor Rana Mitter of Oxford University and Professor Steve Tsang of SOAS explain the historical forces that have shaped U.K.-China relations since the early 19th century. While former U.K. diplomat Peter Ricketts sets out how British policy toward China has evolved over recent decades, and Commons foreign affairs committee chairman Tom Tugendhat explains why his backbench grouping of Tory MPs has been piling pressure on the U.K. government to take a harder line.

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    • 55 min
    Two years on: What the hell happened in the 2019 general election?

    Two years on: What the hell happened in the 2019 general election?

    In a special anniversary episode, Jack Blanchard looks back at the seminal general election of December 2019, with help from experts and insiders from all the main campaign teams.
    Tory campaign chief Isaac Levido reveals the secrets behind Boris Johnson's slick election-winning machine, including the all-important "Get Brexit Done" slogan. Jeremy Corbyn's policy supremo Andrew Fisher rues the unforced errors and the impossible circumstances which led the Labour Party to its worst defeat in years. The Brexit Party's Gawain Towler and Lib Dem peer Dorothy Thornhill reveal the wildly contrasting fortunes of the minor parties in 2019. And political scientist Professor Rob Ford of Manchester University explains the findings of his team's major new study of the election — and why Boris Johnson's landslide victory could easily have been far bigger.

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    • 1 hr 9 min
    Meet Mayor Sadiq Khan: Boxing, knives and curryhouses on the streets of south London

    Meet Mayor Sadiq Khan: Boxing, knives and curryhouses on the streets of south London

    This week Jack Blanchard ventures out of the studio to meet Mayor Sadiq Khan on the streets of south London.
    Khan takes us back to his old stomping ground of Tooting as he recalls his childhood, one of eight kids in a working-class family of Pakistani origin. Khan visits his old secondary school, where he learned how to study — and how to fight — and then the Islamic Centre where he prays today. They discuss his favorite movies, his favorite sports stars, and the racism he experienced as a young man. And they visit one of his favorite curryhouses for chai masala, pakoras and an in-depth conversation about how cities like London will need to change in a post-pandemic world.

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    • 45 min
    The next pandemic

    The next pandemic

    Westminster — like much of the world — was caught napping by the deadly new coronavirus which emerged from China in 2019. This week Jack Blanchard speaks to experts from around the world to consider what we can do now to better prepare for the next pandemic, and avoid a similar catastrophe next time round.
    Professor Julia Gog of Cambridge University explains how different types of virus spread in different ways, and the sorts of intervention we might need in response. Former U.K. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt warns of the dangers of Whitehall groupthink, while Dr Jason Wang of Stanford University sets out the lessons we can learn from east Asian countries like Taiwan and South Korea. Richard Hatchett of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) explains how vaccine deployment and distribution can be sped up, while Professor Kevin Esvelt of MIT and Nicole Stephenson of Metabiota stress the best approach of all is to tackle emerging threats at source.

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    • 52 min
    How British towns got left behind

    How British towns got left behind

    This week Jack explores whether Britain's provincial towns — like the town he grew up in and many places he has lived since — have been "left behind" as the economy has evolved over recent years.
    Wigan MP and Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy explains why she famously put towns at the heart of her political philosophy, and how she believes places like Wigan can be transformed in the decades to come. Mansfield MP and local council leader Ben Bradley considers the shifting political forces that helped make him Mansfield's first ever Conservative MP in 2017.
    FT journalist Sebastian Payne discusses his eye-opening road trip through numerous small and medium-sized towns in the north of England last year which resulted in his book, "Broken Heartlands."
    Academics Professor Henry Overman and Professor Will Jennings mull the demographic and economic changes which have created such disparities between different urban areas, and what we might do to address them. And the Centre for Cities think-tank's Paul Swinney warns Britain's largest metropolitan areas must not be neglected amid the increasing government focus on smaller towns.

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    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

MancInVanc ,

Insightful look at Westminster, but with a different focus to the norm

If you were a fan of Jack’s newsletters, or missed them entirely, you’re likely to enjoy his foray into the world of podcasting.

The pilot forayed from Ancient Rome to Renaissance Marseille, while S1E1 was very much on home territory, but each left the listener with a better understanding of the political landscape and 21st century journalism, as well as some fascinating tidbits - like the etymology of the word ‘quarantine’ - all aided and abetted by top-tier guests.

I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the series.

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