Red Box Politics Podcast
What Is Starmer Waiting For?
Matt Chorley and Times Red Box Editor Patrick Maguire have been hitting up their contacts books, speaking to some of the Labour leader's closest colleagues, who are getting increasingly jittery about whether he is the man for the job.
PLUS Libby Purves and Rachel Sylvester on early years learning and dealing with criticism.
Friday, June 2, 2023
How (Not) to Write a Manifesto
Patrick Maguire is in for Matt, looking at Labour's 1983 manifesto - 'the longest suicide note in history' - 40 years on, with historian Phil Tinline. He also finds out how to write a modern manifesto with two people with first-hand experience, Ayesha Hazarika and Robert Colvile.PLUS: Timandra Harkness and Jimmy McLoughlin discuss Boris Johnson's WhatsApps, whether MPs who are under police investigation should be barred from Parliament, and whether AI is an existential threat.
Thursday, June 1, 2023
Down Under Take Over
Whether it's a love of Kylie, cricket or beer, Australia and Britain have plenty in common when it comes to popular culture - and politics, with a new wave of strategists from down under stirring things up in Westminster.Patrick Maguire in for Matt Chorley speaks to Senator James McGrath, who worked on Boris Johnson's mayoral campaign, John McTernan, who worked for Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and Kathy Lette, Australian-British author and comedy writer.Plus: Columnists Manveen Rana and Matthew Parris discuss Boris Johnson's WhatsApps, a campaign against the 'death tax', free speech tsars and why Spain doesn't want to go to the polls in the middle of the summer.
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Running The Numbers For Thatcher
It was the leadership contest that finally ended Margaret Thatcher's premiership - even though she won in the first round. The year was 1990, when the veteran prime minister took on her challenger Michael Heseltine but failed to deliver the knockout blow.Patrick Maguire in for Matt Chorley speaks to Conservative peer and pollster Lord Hayward, who marked the books for the first ballot and knew how widespread disenchantment with the Iron Lady had become.Plus: Columnists Alice Thomson and Robert Crampton discuss a warning from one of the "godfathers" of AI, whether police should attend mental health cases, and why khaki is the new black - and what it's got to do with President Zelensky.
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Should Johnson's WhatsApps Stay Secret?
While Matt is away, Patrick Maguire is joined by columnists Daniel Finkelstein and Miranda Green to discuss whether the government should hand Boris Johnson's private messages to the Covid inquiry, whether the PM's country house Chequers could be turned into Camp David, and whether Labour can sell plans to borrow billions to the voters at the next election.Plus: Patrick's been to meet Great British Bake Off star Dame Prue Leith to discuss her campaign to legalise assisted dying following the death of her brother.
Monday, May 29, 2023
How Call of Duty Became Britain's Post-Brexit Battleground
Matt is away for the bank holiday, but in the meantime we have another guest episode from the team at Stories of Our Times - one remarkable story, told in depth, each day.Microsoft has found itself in a bitter war of words with both its gaming rival Sony and the UK authorities over a multi-billion dollar takeover bid of games developer Activision Blizzard. After the UK’s competition watchdog blocked the deal, what does it say for Britain’s post-Brexit business strategy?Jenny Kleeman speaks to Times Technology Business Editor Katie Prescott.
Friday, May 26, 2023
Sex, Lies And Boris Johnson
Cleo Watson has gone from being deputy chief of staff for Boris Johnson to writing a satirical 'bonkbuster' set in and around Westminster, Downing Street and Chequers.Matt talks to her about life inside Number 10, partygate, working for Barack Obama and Dominic Cummings - and we get Mariella Frostrup to read out some of the novel's raciest moments.Plus: Columnists James Marriott and Gaby Hinsliff talk about sending more northerners to the House of Lords, Boris Johnson's new house in the country, and Britain's favourite railway station.
Thursday, May 25, 2023
Focus Group: I Haven't Heard Of Him
Undecided voters from across England make up this month's Times Radio Focus Group. They give their verdict on record levels of net migration, and their damning assessment of Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer (provided they'd even heard of the Labour leader).Matt is joined by James Johnson of J.L. Partners to analyse their answers.Plus Manveen Rana and Matthew Bell discuss Labour talking tough on immigration, the Times investigation into online fraud, and whether the Chelsea Flower Show is a festival of smugness.
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
PMQs Unpacked: You Owe Me Dinner
Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer battle it out over migration, inflation and apprenticeships. Matt, Tim Shipman and Lara Spirit pause and unpack the exchanges, and Tim makes a bet on Boris Johnson's name cropping up. Plus: Columnists Alice Thomson and Robert Crampton discuss whether students are getting a raw deal, Robert's trip to Iraq with the late author Martin Amis, and why Alice has started keeping bees.
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
What Is The Point of the Points-Based System
After more than a decade of Conservative promises, targets and legislation to cut the rate of net migration, official figures are expected to show it has more than doubled from pre-Brexit levels. Matt discusses the impact of migration with guests including Madeleine Sumption, David Goodhart and James Kirkup.Plus: Columnists Daniel Finkelstein and Henry Zeffman discuss whether Dominic Raab says stupid things, Rishi Sunak's headache over what to do about Suella Braverman and the latest 'anti-woke' faction in the Tory party.