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Inside Politics

How big tech traps consumers and shafts creators

The world’s most powerful media and technology companies use their market power to lock their customers into a relationship they can’t escape, while immiserating the creative people whose work the customers are paying for.


Companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Spotify, Clear Channel, Live Nation and Ticketmaster have generated enormous revenues for their shareholders while slashing the incomes of writers, journalists and musicians.


But it doesn’t have to be this way, say Cory Doctorow and Rebecca Giblin, who argue, as they explain in their new book, Chokepoint Capitalism, that it’s time to fight back against the power of big tech and big media.

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  • Northern Ireland has weathered Jeffery Donaldson's shock departure - for now

    01:08:34
    Alex Kane, Lisa Whitten, Freya McClements and Pat Leahy joined Hugh Linehan in Northern Ireland for a live show at the MAC in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter. The panel discussed the shocking departure of Jeffrey Donaldson from the pinnacle of NI politics, how the political system has responded since, and what it all means for the future of unionism and the power-sharing institutions. They also discuss the importance of the "neither" voters, the price of reunification and the economic benefits of Northern Ireland's post-Brexit position.
  • McDonald hits a nerve as Harris takes the reins

    39:15
    Jennifer Bray and Pat Leahy join Hugh to talk about Simon Harris's appointment as Taoiseach and the details of his minimal Cabinet reshuffle. Did he go far enough to satisfy Fine Gaelers, or voters looking for change? They also talk about the new Taoiseach's speech delivery and Mary Lou McDonald's forceful criticism of his track record. But first they discuss the news that the reconstituted Government's first act will be to recognise the statehood of Palestine.
  • Can Simon Harris build any kind of policy departure before this government ends?

    40:56
    Ahead of Simon Harris’s first Fine Gael Ard Fheis as party leader, Cormac McQuinn and Jack Horgan-Jones join Hugh Linehan to discuss the potential quick wins and policy departures Harris can look to implement when his expected tenure as taoiseach begins next Tuesday. And while we were denied the excitement of hustings and voting, there is still much speculation as to the potential make-up of Simon Harris’s Cabinet. How does he find the balance between merit and geography? And will some Fine Gael party departees have their arms twisted to stay?Also on the podcast: the other recent earthquake in Irish politics was the unexpected resignation of DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson, following his charging for historical sexual offences. Just a few short weeks after the Assembly was reconstituted, the revelation has been received with a certain level of calm by the political establishment, with interim DUP leader Gavin Robinson coming from the more moderate tradition within the party. But could the deal struck for power-sharing be tested in the months ahead? And will the looming Westminster election give rise to turmoil within a deeply divided DUP party?
  • David Rieff on Ukraine, Gaza, populism and the death of art

    43:37
    On today’s Inside Politics podcast, Hugh is joined by David Rieff. David is the author of many books, including In Praise of Forgetting. He reported on war in Bosnia in the 1990s, and has written on everything from the political and ethical complexities of humanitarian aid and international intervention in sub-Saharan Africa to political developments in Central and south America. He also has a Substack newsletter in which he reflects on the progress of the current culture wars and their implications for intellectual life. He currently spends half his time in Kyiv where he is observing and reflecting on the ongoing war against Russian aggression.  He talks to Hugh about the idea of a just war and its relevance to the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, the remilitarisation of Europe and the decline of Pax Americana, as well as the rise of anti-establishment populism and why he believes contemporary trends in technology, capitalism and politics will inevitably lead to the end of high culture and the triumph of kitsch.
  • Fintan O'Toole: What does Simon Harris stand for?

    56:43
    What sort of a politician is Simon Harris? What can we learn from his record? And what sort of a Taoiseach is he going to be? Columnist Fintan O'Toole joins Hugh Linehan and Jennifer Bray to dig into the presumptive taoiseach's record and the state of the Fine Gael party.
  • Simon Harris takes the reins of a party in trouble

    47:10
    Hugh is joined by Pat Leahy and Harry McGee to talk about the swift emergence of Simon Harris as Fine Gael leader and taoiseach-in-waiting. They look back at his career to date and identify a potential strategy to lead Fine Gael out of its current predicament. But first, more on the unexpected resignation of Leo Varadkar.
  • Why did Leo Varadkar choose this moment to go?

    35:26
    Pat Leahy, Jennifer Bray and Jack Horgan-Jones join Hugh Linehan to discuss today's unexpected announcement by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that he is stepping down.
  • 'Rishi Sunak can't do politics' - British broadcaster Iain Dale on why he may not vote Tory for the first time ever

    39:22
    British political pundit, broadcaster and podcaster Ian Dale joins Hugh to discuss the upcoming UK general election and the state of British politics. A Conservative supporter, Iain explains why he may not be able to vote for the party for the first time in his life. Iain and his co-host, the former Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, are bringing their politics podcast For the Many to Dublin for a live show on Sunday, March 24th. Find out more here.
  • Gaza overshadows St Patrick's Day trips

    39:49
    Jennifer Bray and Cormac McQuinn join Hugh Linehan to discuss the week in politics, including the annual migration of Ministers to foreign lands for St Patrick's Day. But with the crisis in Gaza on many Irish voters' minds, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has a balancing act in how he raises the issue with President Joe Biden. Also on the agenda: More fallout from the recent referendums, and how housing asylum seekers will be an issue in local election campaigns.