Donald trump

Freddy Gray, Kate Andrews & Lloyd Evans

20 min listen

This week Freddy Gray takes a trip to Planet Biden and imagines what would happen if little green men invaded earth and found a big orange one back in the White House (01:15), Kate Andrews finds herself appalled by the so-called ‘advice’ routinely handed out to women that can be at best, judgemental, and at its worst, slightly bullying (12:51), and Lloyd Evans spills the beans on searching for love on his recent blind date, courtesy of the Guardian (07:13). Produced and presented by Linden Kemkaran

Emergency on Planet Biden

‘If aliens attacked Earth, do you think we would be safer under Joe Biden or Donald Trump?’ That’s a question in a new poll of American voters, and 43 per cent of respondents opted for Trump, 32 per cent for Biden, while 25 per cent sagaciously picked ‘Don’t know’. It’s fun to imagine President Donald in charge against the extra-terrestrials. ‘Zogblark the Magnificent is a good friend of mine,’ Trump would shout from the White House lawn, as the helicopter blades of Marine One clattered away behind. ‘He’s said some very nice things about me. Believe me. Things you wouldn’t believe… But we can’t have him exerting the supreme authority

Portrait of the week: Scottish drug deaths, more strikes and the Lucy Letby verdict

Home The number of drug deaths in Scotland fell to 1,051 in 2022, the lowest since 2017, but still the worst record per head in Europe. Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, who in March had pledged ‘to stop the boats once and for all’, said that ‘there is not one simple solution and it can’t be solved overnight’. On a sunny Monday, 661 migrants landed in Britain in 16 small boats; one man, on making landfall, made the Albanian eagle gesture popular among football supporters. England was defeated 1-0 by Spain in the final of the women’s football World Cup; the Spanish Prime Minister said that Spanish FA president Luis

Freddy Gray

Trumpvision: He’s making America watch again

It was hardly a surprise when Donald Trump said last weekend that he would not be participating in the televised Republican candidate debates. ‘New CBS POLL, just out, has me leading the field by “legendary” numbers,’ he declared on his very own Truth Social platform. ‘The public knows who I am & what a successful presidency I had… I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES.’ In other words, I am winning so I do what I want. Trump’s arrogance puts many people off. It’s also compelling because he has a point. On the right of American politics – and, to a large extent, on the left and centre too

Douglas Murray

Why everyone thinks they could be President

Who is Perry Johnson? It is a question not many American voters can answer. He has a grand total of 16,000 followers on Twitter and recently pulled in precisely zero votes in a poll in Des Moines, Iowa. He describes himself as a ‘self-made businessman, problem-solver and quality expert from Michigan’. Nevertheless, this slightly cadaverous-looking businessman has joined the running to be the Republican party’s candidate for president. There have been so many upsets in American politics of late that almost everybody thinks they have a chance Does he stand a chance? Nope. The main way through he has found so far is by buying up advertisements on the right-wing

Portrait of the Week: The Crooked House fire, Liz Truss’s honours and a Commonwealth Games flop

Home The first of about 500 asylum seekers were taken to live on the Bibby Stockholm barge on the Isle of Portland, north of the prison and linked to the mainland by one road. The arrival of 339 migrants by small boat across the Channel at the weekend brought the year’s total to 15,071. The government declared it would increase enforcement action against lawyers who ‘coach illegal migrants to lie’ in making claims. Fines were to be tripled for employers and landlords who allow illegal migrants to work for them (up to £45,000 per illegal worker for a first breach) or rent their properties, the Home Secretary announced. The 18th-century

Is there any defence against the tidal wave of online disinformation?

Whether you’re left, right or just somewhere vaguely in between, wherever you’re coming from you may well have a sense that things are somehow not quite right, that the country is headed in the wrong direction, that our various problems and crises seem to be multiplying. You may well have concluded that this is because our institutions have been taken over by an out-of-touch elite who run the government, the judiciary, the media and goodness knows what else, and that the only way to discover the real truth is to do your own research, which involves scrolling through the internet because you no longer trust the ‘mainstream media’. Pizzagate, in

Trump’s indictment and the trouble with the law

The latest charges against Donald Trump will do nothing to deter his many supporters within the Republican party. On the contrary, his indictment by a grand jury set up by special counsel Jack Smith plays into the former president’s narrative of victimhood and makes it even more likely that he will be chosen as a candidate. And that, curiously, is exactly what many senior Democrats want. To his electoral opponents, Trump seems reliably toxic – millions of Americans will turn out to vote against him.  It is a depressing development when legal processes are used as a political tool Even if he is convicted of the latest four charges –

Portrait of the Week: Trump’s indictment, Costa’s PR fail and Niger’s new leader

Home Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, announced the granting of 100 new North Sea oil and gas licences. In Aberdeen he confirmed funding for two new carbon capture projects. Thangam Debbonaire, the shadow leader of the House, said: ‘We are not going to grant any more. It is not OK. The world is on fire.’ Sir Bob Neill, the chairman of the Commons justice committee, called for a change in rules that deduct the cost of board and lodging in jail from compensation of those unjustly imprisoned. He was responding to the case of Andrew Malkinson, 57, cleared after 17 years in prison of a rape he did not commit.

Freddy Gray, Mary Wakefield, Gareth Roberts and Rachel Johnson

28 min listen

This week (01.13) Freddy Gray, on why Ron De Santis is no longer ‘de future’ in the race for the Presidency, (09.50) Mary Wakefield recounts the train journey from hell,(16.10) we hear from Gareth Roberts about the screenwriters and actors striking over AI potentially taking their jobs and (22.24) Rachel Johnson shares her diary of SAS adventures and mishaps in New Zealand. Produced and presented by Linden Kemkaran

What’s gone wrong for Ron DeSantis?

It’s widely acknowledged that, as governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis has been a success. As a presidential candidate, however, he has been a disaster – at least, so far. Last weekend, amid reports that his bid for the White House was floundering, DeSantis sacked a dozen of his staff and scaled back his travel plans. He may have raised some $20 million between April and June, but some of the biggest Republican donors, who flocked towards him at the end of last year, are starting to turn away. His campaign is now concerned about funds running out. ‘The question comes down to: do you want boring Trump? And the answer

Zelensky was right to feel cheated by Nato

Gitanas Nauseda stood outside his palace and checked his watch. The Lithuanian President’s guests – the leaders of the other 30 Nato countries, VIPs from Europe and Asia, Volodymyr Zelensky – were an hour late for dinner. Nauseda idled on the red carpet with his wife, and the couple stared at the setting sky. An adviser muttered down his phone and shook his head. The President shrugged. Nato had just issued a statement saying that Ukraine would become a member of the bloc ‘when allies agree and conditions are met’. The alliance needed to see ‘democratic and security sector reforms’. Zelensky tweeted that the statement was ‘absurd’. He had come

Who lifted the ban on trans women taking part in Miss Universe?

Mx Universe A transgender woman was named ‘Miss Netherlands’, and will now compete in the Miss Universe contest. British TV viewers might be surprised to learn there are still such things as beauty pageants, given they disappeared from the main TV channels in the 1980s. They might be even more surprised to learn who was responsible for lifting the ban on transgender women taking part in Miss Universe. – The decision was made in 2012 by Donald Trump, who then owned the franchise for the competition, after a Canadian trans woman, Jenna Talackova, had been banned from taking part and her cause had been taken up by the Gay and Lesbian

What, if anything, have dictators over the centuries had in common?

Big Caesars and Little Caesars is an entertaining jumble with no obvious beginning, middle, end, or indeed argument. But there is an intriguing book buried underneath it which asks more or less this: where does Boris Johnson stand in the historical procession of would-be strongmen or, as Ferdinand Mount calls them, ‘Caesars’? How successful was Johnson’s attempt – overshadowed by the Brexit noise, his personal scandals and his Bertie Wooster act – to turn Britain into a more authoritarian state? Even when Caesars are kicked out, they weaken a country’s institutions Mount, now 84, comes at this from a long Tory past that in recent years he has seemed to

Is Gary Neville following in the footsteps of Thatcher – or Trump?

A video loop on the homepage of Gary Neville’s new website shows the ex-Man Utd captain turned businessman, broadcaster and now BBC Dragon’s Den star in various action poses. The clip changes at such speed it’s hard to keep up without becoming nauseous. And that’s the problem with Gary the dynamic middle-aged wannabe politician-tycoon: he makes everyone feel a bit sick. Neville is in the football stand cheering on his team, decked out in an expensive suit fielding questions from an adoring audience and zooming around Manchester in his car. He’s like a luxury watch model but the looks aren’t quite there.  ‘Relentless’ is Neville’s slogan and the name of his

Can Trump’s opponents prove him wrong on Ukraine?

Boris Johnson, Britain’s most sought-after Churchill impersonator, visited Texas on Monday to urge a group of rich right-wing Americans to never, never, never give in to Vladimir Putin. ‘I just urge you all to stick with it,’ Agent Bojo told a private lunch of conservative politicians and donors in Dallas. ‘You are backing the right horse. Ukraine is going to win.’ Johnson wasn’t paid to speak at the lunch, though it’s worth noting that he only stopped over in Texas on the way to the SCALE Fintech conference in Las Vegas, where he is expected to receive a six-figure sum for talking about the future of innovation alongside Saudi Arabia’s

Portrait of the week: Coronation protests, new powers for pharmacists and Labour gains ground

Home The day after the coronation, 20,000 attended a concert in Windsor Castle, including the King and Queen. ‘As my grandmother said when she was crowned, coronations are a declaration of our hopes for the future,’ said the Prince of Wales in a speech to the crowd. ‘And I know she’s up there, fondly keeping an eye on us. She would be a proud mother.’ His brother, the Duke of Sussex, had witnessed the coronation from the third row, and left for his family in America immediately after. On television, 20.4 million had seen the King crowned. The Metropolitan Police arrested 64 people, 13 to ‘prevent a breach of the

Life’s survivors: The Angel of Rome and Other Stories, by Jess Walter, reviewed

Anyone who has read Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins will want to turn straight to ‘The Angel of Rome’, the title story in this second collection by the versatile American author. Like the novel that elevated Walter from an underrated writer of police procedurals and thrillers to one capable of bestsellers, ‘The Angel of Rome’ is set in Italy and features a filmset and glamorous actors. Both are also partly based on real life. In Beautiful Ruins, Walter plays with what happened during the filming of the 1963 epic Cleopatra. Here he bases the story on an episode in the life of Edoardo Ballerini, an actor who read Beautiful Ruins. Walter,

Is progressivism winning in America?

36 min listen

Galen Druke, host of the FiveThirtyEight podcast, joins Freddy Gray on this episode to talk about what to take away from Chicago’s election this week, how well the Biden team is handling the progressive wing of the Democratic party, and whether the Democrats would prefer to face up against Ron or Don as the Republican nominee. Produced by Natasha Feroze, Saby Kulkarni and Cindy Yu.

In defence of Melania Trump

Where is Melania? This was the question on many people’s lips after the former First Lady was absent from the after-party at the Mar-a-Lago estate on Tuesday night following her husband’s quick trip to New York City. Trolls took to social media to ridicule Mrs Trump for ‘not standing by her man’ during his indictment; some even cracked jokes that she was moving on to pastures new with freshly single Rupert Murdoch. Wherever she was, I hope she was happy. In fact, I hope she was positively beaming while horizontal at a spa getting a deep-tissue massage with martinis flowing and charging it all to her husband’s credit card. For