Oliver Basciano

Oliver Basciano, Mary Wakefield and Fiona Mountford

20 min listen

This week on Spectator Out Loud, Oliver Basciano warns that we should brace ourselves for a coup in Brazil (00:53). Then, is three – or more – a crowd? Mary Wakefield discuses this in her Spectator column (08:41), before Fiona Mountford tells us about the sad demise of church pews (14:55). Produced and presented by Oscar Edmondson.

Brace yourself for a coup in Brazil

‘Jail, death or victory.’ These are the three alternatives Brazil’s incumbent leader says await him. It is an unusual rallying call for an election campaign, but this is Jair Bolsonaro, the ‘Trump of the Tropics’, and he may well be right. Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 when his initial rival, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva,

TikTok intifada: what’s the role of new media in old conflicts?

34 min listen

In this week’s podcast, we talk to James Ball, author of this week’s cover story on the ‘TikTok Intifada’ about the themes he uncovers in his analysis of the impact of social media on the conflict in the Middle East. The conversation with James continues with our next guest, Professor Gabriel Weinmann of Haifa University

The Turner Prize shortlist is an embarrassment

In 2019 I was asked to be on the jury for the Turner Prize. I was pretty happy about this. As an art critic, to be asked to judge one of the biggest art prizes feels like something of a professional endorsement. I even rang my mum to tell her. ‘But don’t tell anyone yet!’

The death of the Southbank Centre

The one thing everyone agrees is that the Southbank Centre is in deep trouble. In May, the institution made an unusually public plea for government help. Management predicted the best-case scenario was ending the financial year with a £5 million loss, having exhausted all reserves, used the £4 million received from the furlough scheme and