Politics

86: Westminster's Useless Idiot

With a military response to the apparent chemical attack in Syria looking increasingly inevitable, we consider the role of Britain’s chief diplomat — Boris Johnson. Having blundered over Salisbury, how will he cope with this international crisis?

Jeremy Corbyn’s bad month continues, as Tony Blair returns to Belfast with Bill Clinton, 20 years after sealing the Good Friday Agreement.

We look at the prospects for a new centrist party (spoiler: not great), and find out which party’s chosen a candidate for the local elections who’s on the record as rather passionately disliking the community he now seeks to represent.

85: Wilfully Blind

Jeremy Corbyn manages to blunder into yet another anti-Semitism row. We explore why the Labour leader seems incapable of confronting this toxic issue.

He found it far easier to deal with Owen Smith, but with three-quarters of Labour members apparently backing a second EU referendum, was sacking him the right move?

With a year left until Brexit, is it finally time for its most fervent opponents to admit the referendum result can't be undone?

And we find out about the political party that wants to end crime by making children write out 100 lines.

84: Spies, lies and copper coins

Britain talks tough with Russia after the nerve agent attack in Salisbury. In the latest podcast, Paul Osbourne and Robert Meakin assess Theresa May’s response, and Jeremy Corbyn’s curious reluctance to “poke the Russian bear”.

Is John Bercow a bully? As the Commons Speaker faces new allegations, we look at what needs to happen to make Parliament a better place to work.

Plus we hear from one of the founders of new political party Renew, set up on a promise to stop Brexit at all costs — but is it a bit over-the-top to call Britain the next global conflict zone?

Plus Downing Street slaps down the penny-pinching Chancellor over his suggestion of scrapping the 1 and 2-pence coins — we wonder if wasn’t perhaps a rather good idea.

All that, plus we have a new theme tune — let us know what you think at twitter.com/partygamespod or facebook.com/partygamespod

83: Big speeches, big questions

It’s the week of the Big Brexit Speeches. But as Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn set out rival visions of life outside the EU, neither appears to have any answer to the question of the Irish border.

Paul Osbourne and Robert Meakin pick holes in both plans, and try to identify the single most stupid thing anyone’s said about Brexit this week.

Plus a new poll suggests a Labour landslide in London’s local elections later this year, as Mr Corbyn luxuriates in the warm glow of a grovelling apology from a Conservative MP.

And we pause to admire the comedy stylings of Theresa “Chuckles” May, Britain’s newest, and worst, stand-up comedian.

82: Lost on the Road to Brexit

We’re firmly on the Road to Brexit. You thought we already were? Paul Osbourne and Robert Meakin certainly did — but this week apparently marked the start of the Government’s “big vision” on post-Brexit Britain.

We might be on the Brexit bus — but it’s not at all clear which direction we’re going in. 

Could that spell the end for Theresa May’s leadership? If it did, it would trigger another leadership contest, and make rank-and-file Conservative Party members enormously important.

This week, Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary, University of London, tells us about his research into Tory party members, what they think, and what they want.

Plus the stunning revelation that Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t a big fan of Margaret Thatcher, the perils of one-handed tweeting, and your chance to buy our time as we pimp our podcast.