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UK Election Week One

In this episode of Mid-Atlantic, Roifield Brown, broadcasting from sunny Birmingham, is joined by a distinguished panel of political analysts to dissect the latest political turmoil in the US and UK. Representing London is Dave Smith, Logan Phillips joins from Washington, D.C., and Corey Bernard contributes from Manchester, England.


UK Election Season Kickoff:

  • The episode focuses on the first week of the UK election season, announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.


Rishi Sunak's Rocky Start:

  • Dave Smith describes Sunak's initial week on the campaign trail as disastrous.
  • Missteps include awkward public appearances, such as standing in the rain, posing by the Titanic, and a mishap in a supermarket.


Labour Party's Cautious Strategy:

  • The panel discusses Labour's cautious approach, characterized by avoiding bold statements and focusing on not making mistakes.
  • The shadow chancellor's reluctance to identify as a socialist and the deselection of left-wing MPs are highlighted.


Polling Analysis:

  • Logan Phillips provides an analysis of UK polling data, showing Labour's consistent lead over the Conservatives since late 2021.
  • Current polls suggest a significant Labour majority if the election were held today.


General Election Expectations:

  • Corey Bernard predicts a boring election season, with both major parties being unexciting and overly cautious.
  • The panel debates whether the British public desires stability and boring politics after years of tumultuous events like Brexit and COVID-19.


National Service Proposal:

  • The controversial proposal by the Tories for national service is discussed, with Corey Bernard labeling it a gimmick aimed at older voters.
  • The proposal is seen as an attempt to stem voter loss to the reform party.


Nigel Farage's Media Presence:

  • The panel questions why Nigel Farage continues to receive significant media attention despite not running in the election.


Labour's Internal Dynamics:

  • Keir Starmer's leadership and his approach to managing the left-wing faction within Labour are scrutinised.
  • The potential consequences of Starmer's strategy on the party's unity and election prospects are debated.


Minor Parties' Influence:

  • The potential impact of minor parties like the Greens and SNP on the election is discussed.
  • The possibility of Labour losing seats in London due to their stance on Gaza and other issues is considered.


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    47:59
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  • Manifestos and Mudslinging, UK Election Pledges and US Politics

    45:23
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  • The Global Peace Index 2024

    44:29
    In this episode of Mid Atlantic, host Roifield Brown takes on the heavy subject of global peace—or the lack thereof—in 2024. The discussion opens with a grim statistic: conflict-related deaths in the first four months of the year have reached 47,000, potentially setting a record since the Rwandan genocide. Brown is joined by Thomas Morgan, who discusses the findings of the 18th Global Peace Index (GPI). Morgan explains the GPI's purpose and methodology, noting a general decline in global peacefulness over the past 16 years.Morgan outlines the three domains of the GPI—safety and security, ongoing conflict, and militarisation—highlighting the technological changes and geopolitical shifts contributing to increased conflicts. He emphasises the rise of asymmetric warfare and the increased involvement of non-state actors. The discussion also touches on specific conflicts in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Gaza, Myanmar, and Haiti, illustrating the complex, multifaceted nature of modern conflicts.Brown and Morgan also discuss the contrasting paths of El Salvador and Haiti regarding gang violence and governance, noting the former's controversial yet effective short-term strategies. They explore the balance between reducing violence and maintaining civil liberties, with Morgan asserting that long-term peace is typically achieved through democratic means rather than authoritarian measures.Finally, the episode provides a detailed look at the top and bottom countries in the GPI, with Iceland, Ireland, Austria, New Zealand, and Singapore being the most peaceful, and Yemen, Sudan, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Ukraine being the least. The UK and US are examined for their rankings and inherent issues, including violent crime and geopolitical involvement.Relevant Quotes"The overall trend of peacefulness is a negative one. We've seen a deterioration in the level of global peacefulness over the past 16 years." – Thomas Morgan"The rise of asymmetric warfare and new technologies like drones makes it easier for smaller states and insurgent groups to be involved in conflict." – Thomas Morgan"Conflicts now tend to fizzle out or become frozen, rather than ending decisively as they did in the past." – Thomas Morgan"El Salvador's approach to reducing violence through mass incarceration has been effective short-term, but the challenge is ensuring sustained peace." – Thomas Morgan"It's possible to achieve a certain amount of peace through authoritarian measures, but long-term peace is more likely in full democracies with respect for civil rights." – Thomas MorganFurther ReadingGlobal Peace Index 2024For those interested in deeper insights, head over to Vision of Humanity and explore the comprehensive reports that Thomas Morgan mentioned. If you enjoy this podcast, consider supporting it on roifield.Substack.com or leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.