The Edition

The reckoning: it’s payback time for voters

39 min listen

This week: the reckoning. Our cover piece brings together the political turmoil facing the West this week: Rishi Sunak, Emmanuel Macron, and Joe Biden all face tough tests with their voters. But what’s driving this instability? The Spectator’s economics editor Kate Andrews argues it is less to do with left and right, and more a problem of incumbency, but how did this situation arise? Kate joined the podcast to discuss her argument, alongside former Cambridge Professor, John Keiger, who writes in the magazine about the consequences that France’s election could have on geopolitics (2:32). 

Next: what role does faith play in politics? Senior editor at the religious journal First Things Dan Hitchens explores Keir Starmer’s atheism in the magazine this week, but to what extent does it matter? What impact could it have on his politics? As the UK has an established Church, what implications could there be for our constitution? Dan joined the podcast, along with Father Marcus Walker of Great St Bart’s, to discuss whether politicians can in fact ‘do god’ (17:45).

And finally: how do we interpret sexuality within Shakespeare’s works? Author and professor of creative writing Philip Hensher reviews a new book by Will Tosh in the magazine this week, which examines same-sex attraction within his works. But what can they tell us about the environment at the time, and about the man himself? Philip joined us to discuss alongside Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Oxford (28:34).

Hosted by William Moore and Lara Prendergast.

Produced by Patrick Gibbons and Oscar Edmondson.

Join The Spectator next week for a special live recording of Coffee House Shots  as Fraser Nelson, Katy Balls and Kate Andrews make sense of the UK’s election aftermath. Taking place on Thursday 11th July at 7pm in Westminster, tickets are £35, or £25 for subscribers. Book online at


Want to join the debate?

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers by getting your first 3 months for just £3.

Already a subscriber? Log in