Michael Simmons

Michael Simmons

Michael Simmons is The Spectator's Data Editor

Did Covid expose a ‘failure of imagination’?

11 min listen

This week it is the scientists’ turn to appear before the Covid Inquiry with Sir Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer and Sir Patrick Vallance. James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and The Spectator’s data editor, Michael Simmons to discuss the findings this week. 

Michael Simmons, Christopher Howse and Melissa Kite

19 min listen

This week, Michael Simmons looks at the dodgy graph thats justified the second lockdown (00:55), Christopher Howse examines what happened to received pronunciation (05:56), and Melissa Kite wonders whether Surrey’s busybodies have followed her and her boyfriend to Cork (14:47). Presented and produced by Max Jeffery.

What can we hope to learn from the Covid inquiry?

16 min listen

This week there have been some interesting developments in the public Covid-19 inquiry where scientists and mathematical modellers have been giving testimony on how prepared the government was to tackle the pandemic and how they used expert advise.  Within the sessions, WhatsApp messages revealed that Dame Angela McLean – who at the time was chief

Degrees of failure: is university still worth it?

33 min listen

This week:  The cover of The Spectator magazine looks at whether after years of Covid-based disruption, rising cost and lecturer strikes, university students are getting what they paid for. The Spectator’s data editor Michael Simmons writes a sidebar in which he rails against some of the changes that are happening to university freshers’ week and joins the podcast alongside

Will Rishi hit his inflation target?

5 min listen

Today we had the – seemingly – good news that the headline rate of inflation for July has come down to 6.8%. This is in line with Bank of England targets which suggest that Rishi could be set to meet his pledge to halve inflation. Is this cause for celebration in Number 10? Or should we

If Rishi halves inflation, will you feel richer?

14 min listen

Rishi Sunak is likely to hit his target of halving inflation by the end of the year, according to the latest Bank of England forecasts. But is that enough to make people feel better off, and will the Tories reap any political benefits for doing it? Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and Michael Simmons.

Coffee House Scots: can Humza save the SNP after treasurer’s arrest?

10 min listen

The arrest of the SNP’s treasurer Colin Beattie in relation to the probe into the party’s finances has overshadowed Humza Yousaf’s relaunch speech scheduled for today. Beattie has been taken into custody two weeks after Peter Murrell, the SNP’s chief executive, was questioned by police regarding loans made in June 2021. Can Yousaf distance himself

Is Labour using Dominic Cummings’s tactics?

10 min listen

Today Keir Starmer has doubled down on Labour Party adverts attacking the Conservative’s record on crime, and which seemingly accuse Rishi Sunak of not caring about child sex abuse. But is everyone in the party willing to play hardball? Or have the adverts highlighted divisions between senior Labour MPs?  Also on the podcast, after Peter

Coffee House Scots: Humza wins – what’s next?

11 min listen

Humza Yousaf has been announced as the new leader of the SNP after a narrow victory over second placed Kate Forbes. What will this mean for the cause of Scottish independence? Katy Balls speaks to Michael Simmons, Stephen Daisley and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson.

Ghost children: the pupils who never came back after lockdown

33 min listen

This week: In her cover piece for The Spectator, Harriet Sergeant asks what’s happened pupil absence which has increased since the pandemic. She is joined by The Spectator’s data editor Michael Simmons to account for the staggering number of children who were failed by the government’s Covid response (01:08). Also this week: Owen Matthews, The Spectator’s Russia correspondent, looks at

Should the SNP be worried about falling membership?

12 min listen

The SNP has confirmed that its membership has fallen to 72,000 – a loss of over 30,000 since 2021. This has prompted an open letter from leadership candidates Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, calling for transparency when it comes to membership numbers. Why are so many leaving?  Also on the podcast, Humza Yousaf has committed

Kate Andrews, Anthony Whitehead and Michael Simmons

16 min listen

This week: Kate Andrews laments how Truss is hurting the free-market cause (00:51), Anthony Whitehead explains the ‘arrogance’ of the latest environmental activist movement the Tyre Extinguishers (06:42) and Michael Simmons reads his notes on barcodes (12:54). Produced and presented by Oscar Edmondson.

Zelensky’s choice

31 min listen

This week Lara Prendergast and William Moore talk to James Forsyth and the academic, Dr Alexander Clarkson about Zelensky’s possible path to peace (00:42). Followed by Owen Matthews, The Spectator’s Russia correspondent on Turkey’s power over Nato expansion (13:28). Finally, a chat between two bowls fanatics, Michael Simmons, The Spectator’s data journalist and Andrew Gibson

Michael Simmons, C.J. Farrington and Aidan Hartley

16 min listen

On this week’s episode, we’ll hear from Michael Simmons on some of the most ridiculous Covid fines. (00:52) After, C.J. Farrington on the light and darkness of Russian culture. (04:10) And, to finish, Aidan Hartley on the return of the buffalo. (11:07) Produced and Presented by Sam Holmes Entries for this year’s Innovator Awards, sponsored

Katy Balls, Michael Bryant and Michael Simmons

20 min listen

On this week’s episode, we’ll hear from Katy Balls on the changing face of No.10. (00:49) Next, Michael Bryant on the history of War Crimes. (06:16) And finally, Michael Simmons on Nicola Sturgeon’s secret state. (11:08) Produced and presented by Sam Holmes Subscribe to The Spectator today and get a £20 Amazon gift voucher.

Michael Simmons

Is Macron in for a surprise?

14 min listen

Ahead of the first round of France’s presidential elections on Sunday, Katy Balls asks whether Emmanuel Macron will be able to justify his apparent distance from the campaign trail. Taking part in the discussion with Katy Balls are Spectator contributor Jonathan Miller, Georgina Wright, from Institute Montaigne, and The Spectator‘s data journalist Michael Simmons.

Christmas Special

90 min listen

Welcome to the special Christmas episode of The Edition! In this episode, we look at five major topics that dominated the news this year and the pages of The Spectator. First up a review of the year in politics with our resident Coffee House Shots’ team James Forsyth, Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. We discuss