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The Spectator Podcast: The May manifesto

On this week’s episode, we discuss Theresa May’s lurch to the left, the NHS’s looming crisis, and how Americans should talk about Trump.

First up: Theresa May has launched the Conservative party’s manifesto this week, but whilst much has been made of the slow death of the Labour party, the Tories appear to have borrowed rather liberally from Ed Miliband’s 2015 offering. This is what Fraser Nelson says in his cover piece, claiming that the Conservatives have become ‘the party of Brexit’ rather than of low taxation. He joins the podcast along with David Goodhart, who writes this week on how Theresa May is finding a new middle way.

As Fraser writes:

“The Ed Stone, the much-mocked slab of limestone on to which Ed Miliband inscribed his agenda, was smashed up soon after the election. He ought not to have been so bashful. Within months, several of his ideas — a national infrastructure commission, grandparents sharing parental leave, that national living wage — had been adopted by Conservatives. The idea of taxing employers to fund apprenticeships was discussed before the Labour manifesto but didn’t make it in because Miliband thought it a step too far. It is now Tory policy.”

David, meanwhile, sees potential in this strategy:

“The Tory modernisers were wrong to think that the most fashionable ideas were the best prescription for the future. There is no appetite for returning to 1950s paternalism, but there is a desire to balance liberal Anywhere preferences with some real choice and greater respect for tradition. Moreover, people yearn not be judged solely on merit, but to be recognised as members of a national political community.”

Next, we turn our attention to an NHS in crisis. Much has made made of budget cuts, work days and junior doctor strikes, but few have been willing to go as far as Max Pemberton, who writes

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