'What I've done is look at long-term data and statistics - everything from poverty, malnutrition, literacy to fatalities of war, the risk of dying in a natural disaster, the risk of being subjected to a dictatorship - and everything is improving. And people have a hard time believing that because they are hearing all of these other messages and often people prefer those anecdotes and shocking stories to actual data'
'People pick up The Spectator precisely to read the stories that other publications don't come up with. This might not be the biggest selling issue of the whole year but I actually think it will be one of the most important themes that we've covered. I think this is the single biggest issue of our times - it will shape our lives more than anything we read about. And it's important to tell our kids they are incredibly lucky to be living through these times'
'After 1996 there was a feeling that everything in British sport was absolutely dreadful. And it all changed after that with John Major's invention of the national lottery, of which a fifth of the proceeds were to go to sport. And money makes a lot of difference but you've got to spend it well. And UK Sport decided the strategy was not to worry about the pursuit of things like the pursuit of excellence - it was the pursuit of medals'
'It's very odd because the arts establishment usually consider themselves radical and revolutionary and this was a revolutionary act - one of the most revolutionary things the British have done for hundreds of years and they don't seem to understand this or capitalise on this, which shows up their lack of imagination which is very sad'
If you enjoyed the podcast, why not try the magazine? Reward yourself this weekend and pick up a copy of the most provocative magazine in Britain. Podcast listeners can get 12 issues for just £12 by visiting spectator.co.uk/12