Politics

90: Snap out of it

Remember Brenda from Bristol? The woman who reacted to the 2017 snap election by crying “I can’t stand this.” We channel her in the latest podcast, as speculation mounts of yet another snap poll before the end of this year. It’s all tied into rumours of a coup against Theresa May.

But who would take over? Some Tories are pinning their hopes on Ruth Davidson — but does she even want the job?

As if that’s not enough the Republic of Ireland’s abortion referendum’s given Theresa May another headache, this time over the very restrictive abortion rules in Northern Ireland, and her friends in the DUP.

Plus, we (finally) say goodbye to Ken Livingstone, Caroline Lucas stands down as Green leader, again, and we’ve an update on the ludicrous attempts of politicians to engage with young people.

You’ll also find out which one of Paul Osbourne and Robert Meakin is “only doing this podcast because I’m not the third Pet Shop Boy”

89: You're (not) fired

Has any senior minister ever been so openly defiant of their boss, and not been sacked? We ask how Boris Johnson’s managed to cling on as Foreign Secretary, and wonder when Theresa May will bow to the inevitable and fire him.

Meanwhile, the Tories try to engage with the young folk on instagram, with varying levels of success. We assess their tech-savvy, and wonder who on earth ever talks about a “doggo”.

Plus another Labour MP departs the Commons, as the party’s big outdoor festival heads towards apparent failure.

And could Nigel Farage really be about to join the DUP? 

88: Dead Heat

The breathless excitement of the local elections. Millions of votes, thousands of candidates, almost no changes.

We analyse the results, and ask if Labour’s showing any signs of being close to winning power.

Will the Lib Dems build from this year’s gains? And why did a leading UKIP figure compare the party to the plague?

Plus the continuing fall-out from Amber Rudd’s resignation — we ask if voters are partly to blame for politicians’ struggle with immigration.

87: I want to be elected

A special podcast looking ahead to next week’s local elections. London is the focus, with Labour hoping to make big gains there. We report from one Labour target — the Tory flagship of Wandsworth.

Journalist Martin Hoscik explains why he thinks the Conservatives are struggling so much in London, and Robert Meakin joins Paul Osbourne to discuss the races to keep an eye on.

Plus we head to Cheltenham to find out why anyone would even want to be a local councillor. Victoria Atherstone has bit the bullet, and is running for the first time. She explains why, what it’s like to spend your evenings knocking on doors, and how far she wants to go.

On election night, Paul will be on BBC Radio London looking over the results in the capital - and we’ll assess the results in the next podcast. 

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.