The Covid farce

38 min listen

This week: The Covid Inquiry has reached its more dramatic stage this week with the likes of Domic Cummings, Lee Cain and Martin Reynolds giving evidence. But in his cover piece for the magazine Carl Heneghan, professor of evidence-based medicine at the University of Oxford and director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, says that the Hallett Inquiry is asking all the wrong questions, and is preoccupied with who said what on WhatsApp. He joins the podcast alongside Tom Whipple, science editor at the Times to go through this week’s revelations. (01:43).  Also this week: will Israel succeed in its stated aims? In the magazine this week Hugh Lovatt, senior policy fellow

Peter Oborne, Kate Andrews and Jonathan Maitland

18 min listen

On this week’s Spectator Out Loud, Peter Oborne reads his letter from Jerusalem (00:55), Kate Andrews talks about why Rishi Sunak has made her take up smoking (07:20), and Jonathan Maitland explains his growing obsession with Martin Bashir (12:15). Presented by Cindy Yu. Produced by Cindy Yu and Natasha Feroze.

How is Joe Biden handling the Israel-Palestine crisis?

27 min listen

This week Freddy speaks to Dennis Ross, former Middle East coordinator under President Clinton and current Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. They discuss Biden’s visit to Israel this week, how his policy towards the Middle East borrows from Trump and Obama, and how we can discern between the public posturing and private desires of Middle Eastern states. 

‘The mask has slipped’ – Tuvia Gering on China, Israel and Hamas

43 min listen

When China brokered a historic detente between Saudi Arabia and Iran earlier this year, it seemed that a new phase in world history – and certainly in Chinese foreign policy – had opened up. Instead of the US being a policeman of the world, it was the rising power, China, that was stepping into that role. Whereas Chinese foreign policy had previously only really cared about promoting trade and silencing dissidents, it seemed that perhaps, now, Beijing was taking a more leadership role in global diplomacy and security issues. And yet the events of the last week and China’s response to them have shown that perhaps the country isn’t ready

Paul Wood, James Heale and Robin Ashenden

23 min listen

This week Paul Wood delves into the complex background of the Middle East and asks if Iran might have been behind the Hamas attacks on Israel, and what might come next (01:11), James Heale ponders the great Tory tax debate by asking what is the point of the Tories if they don’t lower taxes (13:04) and Robin Ashenden on how he plans to introduce his half Russian daughter to the delights of red buses, Beefeaters and a proper full English (18:36). Produced and presented by Linden Kemkaran

Who cares what Ben & Jerry’s think about Israel-Palestine?

When you think of the Israel-Palestine conflict, ice cream doesn’t usually come up. But that may be about to change. Ben & Jerry’s has finally broken its silence, announcing yesterday that it will ‘end sales of our ice cream in the occupied Palestinian territory’. Perhaps in the years ahead we’ll come to see this depriving Israeli settlers of Caramel Chew Chew and Truffle Kerfuffle as some kind of tipping point. We won’t, of course, because that’s ridiculous. As is a Vermont-based over-priced ice-cream brand weighing in on far-flung conflicts. But that seems to be where we’re at now – with corporate America in general and with Ben & Jerry’s in

Walls went up after the Berlin Wall came down

In her 2017 travelogue Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, the writer and poet Kapka Kassabova meets Emel, a loquacious Turkish civil servant who tells her that ‘the only good thing about a border is that you can cross it’. These words speak to an inherent contradiction. Borders stand as overt manifestations of national power. They represent what seems most fixed and immutable about the state. But in reality, what they do more than anything else is invite transgression. This idea that borders are not quite what we perceive them to be is the thematic ballast for Klaus Dodds’s impressive and timely Border Wars. And it is a