30 episodes

Ayesha Hazarika and Sam Freedman present The Power Test, the weekly political podcast for everyone crying out for a new government and a new start, exploring how Labour should win and change Britain for the better.
Follow @ThePowerTest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThePowerTest
Follow @AyeshaHazarika: https://twitter.com/ayeshahazarika
Follow @SamFreedman: https://twitter.com/Samfr
Subscribe to The Power Test substack for all the latest developments: https://thepowertest.substack.com/
For more information head to thepowertest.co.uk.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

The Power Test Podot

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    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Ayesha Hazarika and Sam Freedman present The Power Test, the weekly political podcast for everyone crying out for a new government and a new start, exploring how Labour should win and change Britain for the better.
Follow @ThePowerTest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThePowerTest
Follow @AyeshaHazarika: https://twitter.com/ayeshahazarika
Follow @SamFreedman: https://twitter.com/Samfr
Subscribe to The Power Test substack for all the latest developments: https://thepowertest.substack.com/
For more information head to thepowertest.co.uk.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    The State of the Unions

    The State of the Unions

    With Labour under pressure from trade unions to remain committed to its 'New Deal for Working People', this week Ayesha Hazarika and Sam Freedman look at the party's relationship with the unions and the future ahead.
    They're joined by the General Secretary of the Prospect trade union, Mike Clancy, to look at Labour’s relationship with the union movement and how any future government can build a productive relationship to reshape the economy and support its growth mission.
    They also look at Natalie Elphicke's defection to Labour and the delicate balance Keir Starmer faces in holding together his broad church. In the Quickfire round, Mike nominates Barbara Castle to the Fantasy Cabinet and suggests that Labour should be less shy about facing the impact that Brexit has had on the British economy and society more generally.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 41 min
    Squeezed Middle: detangling the local elections

    Squeezed Middle: detangling the local elections

    In the aftermath of last week's local elections, Sam Freedman and Ayesha Hazarika, together with author and Political Science Professor Rob Ford, look at what the results might mean for a future Labour government on this week's episode of The Power Test podcast.
    Under the surface of a very good set of elections for the party, and another very bad few days for the Tories, Ford, who was part of the BBC's elections analysis team, suggests however there are a few trends that may give an early warning to some of the challenges the party may face in power. In particular, the willingness of the left to be "much less partisan and back other options" such as the Green Party which now has a "serious and credible base in local government - having quadrupled the number of councillors they have in the last five years".
    Sam warns that the party may therefore find itself squeezed in the middle - between a more centrist leadership trying to play to Red Wall voters, and others at the same time trying to defend from a rising left flank.
    "If I'm a Labour MP in Hastings or Stroud or places like that where the Greens are coming on very strong and I'm in a Labour government that is being tough on benefits because that's what the newspapers want us to do, and not spending money, I'm going to start getting nervous pretty quickly that I'm going to lose my voter base."

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    • 39 min
    A Very Scottish Drama

    A Very Scottish Drama

    In a week of drama in Scottish politics, Ayesha Hazarika and Sam Freedman are joined for this week’s episode of The Power Test by former Labour leader in Scotland, Kezia Dugdale.
    They discuss where Scottish politics goes next following the shock resignation of Humza Yousaf, whether the SNP's attack lines on independence have been blunted, and whether Anas Sarwar, the current leader of Scottish Labour, can take advantage of an increasingly rosy electoral picture.
    For more, please visit ThePowerTest.co.uk

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 38 min
    The Case for Defence

    The Case for Defence

    This week, Ayesha Hazarika and Sam Freedman are joined by none other than Sam’s dad, Sir Lawrence Freedman, to discuss future foreign and defence policy under a Labour Government.
    How will Labour confront the range of security threats that the UK faces across the world? Sir Lawrence Freedman, renowned academic, historian and author on foreign policy and international relations, reflects on the grave challenges a Starmer Government will face in a dangerous world. From the 'Special Relationship' and how a Trump re-election might ignite the necessity for nuclear independence, to analysing the sustained threats post by Putin and Russia, and Xi and China, this is a wide-ranging but essential discussion.
    Visit THEPOWERTEST.CO.UK to find out more and support the show.
    Tune into The Debrief, live on Twitter/X this coming Monday.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 35 min
    Power behind the scenes

    Power behind the scenes

    Is Labour capable of reversing the curse facing centre-left governments around the world? Josh Simons, Director of the highly influential think tank Labour Together says the party must be ready to confront the challenge of thinking about how it can govern and win a second term.
    Josh joins Ayesha Hazarika and Sam Freedman to speak about how Labour is preparing for government and whether the party really has a plan to win the decade in power it wants and needs.
    Visit THEPOWERTEST.CO.UK to find out more and support the show.
    Tune into The Debrief, live on Twitter/X every Sunday at 7pm.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 37 min
    Binfire of the Localities: a look at the local elections

    Binfire of the Localities: a look at the local elections

    On this week's episode of The Power Test, we're looking at all things local elections - including bins! - New Statesman Britain Editor Anoosh Chakelian joins Sam and Ayesha on the pod and discussed how these will have an impact on Labour and whether it can deliver real change in government.
    Episode notes:
    The Tories are trying to make headway by putting the blame on Labour-run councils themselves, but while voters seem to be seeing through the attacks, the question remains as to whether Labour is really prepared for the true state of its likely inheritance.
    “We know councils are under a huge amount of pressure at the moment and this is a source of real pain for people - who are seeing services cut, council tax bills rising and places like Birmingham going bankrupt, with others teetering on the brink” says Ayesha.
    “Eight councils have gone bankrupt since 2010, and this should be a story of how the Conservatives have failed local government. But, Tory rhetoric is trying to blame Labour-run councils themselves” added Chakelian.
    “A lot of major councils are run by a Labour administration, and so there is a reputational risk which Labour needs a retort to, but it doesn't because it doesn't really seem to have a plan of how it would save local councils from going bankrupt when they get into government.”
    If Labour does well in the elections, the party will also face increased scrutiny over what its approach will be like more generally in government - presenting risks for the party.
    Chakelian says the party “needs an answer” - and that “there’s all sorts of things that they can do without making big spending commitments, like council tax reform and changes to business rates.” “Sorting out adult social care is also key, but that would require some sending commitments.”
    When asked her key tests for Labour, Anoosh said that having a plan on local government financing was key - but also whether the party could hold firm on their commitments over planning.
    “I would like to see if their planning commitments will actually come off. Starmer has said he will ignore local opposition to developments. But can he really do that if they win as many MPs as the polls tell us they will. They’re going to have lots of MPs representing places with nice lovely green spaces and are they really going to want the first thing their government to do is sign off a load of building projects?”
    Sam added, “Then you’ll have the National Trust kicking off their campaign, and the RSPB and all of them get involved. It’s pretty hard to fight that lobby. So yea, I’m with you - I hope they commit to that. But, it will be a big test for the first couple of years.”

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    • 34 min

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