In this week’s issue, Owen Matthews discusses Vladimir Putin’s endgame in Syria. He says Russia’s bombing of Aleppo this week was intended to send a clear message: that the Russian President is in charge. But Owen says Putin’s strategy is his riskiest yet. What does it mean for the hopes of peace in war-ravaged Syria? And could it be a good thing after all if Putin’s intervention does bring an end to the conflict? On this week’s podcast, Isabel Hardman is joined by Owen Matthews in Istanbul and Robert Service, Emeritus Professor of Russian history at St Antony’s College, Oxford.
The Spectator’s Political Editor James Forsyth says Conservatives used to think an EU referendum headache would be a ‘good problem’, because it would have meant they had won the election. With that ‘good problem’ now here as David Cameron trashes out a deal in Brussels – before dealing with the reaction back home- is it all turning into a bit of a mess? Joining James to discuss is Charles Grant, from the Centre for European Reform.
And James Bartholomew writing in the Spectator says we’ve got it all wrong about left-wingers. He says they’ve actually got it pretty tough. James argues that those on the right should be offering left-wingers kindness and sympathy – because they have to do without a whole range of pleasures, including golf, bridge and drinking fine wines. Joining James to debate whether we should ‘hug a leftie’ is Rod Liddle.
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