In this week’s podcast, ITV's political editor Robert Peston joins The Spectator's deputy political editor Katy Balls to talk over this week’s cover story, on the maelstrom of mayhem surrounding Boris Johnson. (1:29) With the recent exit of Johnson’s oldest advisor, Lord Udny-Lister, from Downing Street, the rumbling row over what Boris did or didn’t say in earshot of Cabinet staff, chatty rats and John Lewis - all in all, it hasn’t been a vintage week for Boris Johnson.
‘Prime Ministers don’t often pick up the phone to newspaper editors to denigrate a former official - in fact, I can’t remember any incidence of that in British political history’ - Robert Peston
We then talk to Professor Noel Sharkey, from the University of Sheffield whose article in this week’s issue maps out a frightening future in which AI and cybernetics could be conduits for a new era of military conflict. (10:22) Sharkey warns of the possibility of malevolent foreign forces wreaking havoc on everything from national infrastructure to web-connected sex toys. He’s joined by Colonel Richard Kemp CBE, a veteran British Army officer, to debate the potential risks.
‘My biggest concern is not the use of informational attacks but operational attacks…’ - Professor Noel Sharkey
Finally, in a week when India has seen its healthcare system virtually buckle under the strain of a spiralling Covid infection rate, we ask Dr Rajib Dasgupta, Chairman of the Centre of Social Medicine & Community Health in New Delhi for his take on the current wave of infections. (19:4) We also meet Dr Dipshikha Ghosh, a Calcutta doctor who has been working with critically-ill Covid patients since last March. She joins us immediately after another arduous shift at the Apollo Gleneagles hospital.
‘This is the most difficult thing we have ever had to do - reassuring patients, knowing that they don’t have any hope of recovery.' - Dr Dipshikha Ghosh
Presented by Lara Prendergast.
Produced by Arsalan Mohammad.