Not Enough Champagne

Come for the political analysis, stay for the bad jokes and wrong predictions. Not Enough Champagne is run by Steve Haynes, who in a previous life was a Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats, and Cory Hazlehurst, a Labour activist who has written about politics for the New Statesman. We try to work out what the hell is going on with British Politics and take a step back to shed new light on issues most news outlets don't talk about.
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Not Enough Champagne





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Dec 17, 2016

It's the finale of Not Enough Champagne's second season. In it, Steve, Cory and guest Danielle talk about populism in 2016 and 2017. We talk about the differing appeals of Jeremy Corbyn, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Finally we a look forward to next year. Will Marine Le Pen become President of France? Will Alternative fur Deutschland take seats in next year's German elections? Listen to find out.

Like James Bond, Not Enough Champagne will return. In January, we will begin our new season all about Personal Responsibility. Before that, check out our past episodes wherever you get your podcasts.

Dec 8, 2016

The first of our end of year review shows. Steve, Cory and special guest Danielle look back on the year that was 2016. We discuss whether David Cameron was the worst Prime Minister Britain has had since 1945, Labour's existential crisis and whether there'll be an early election. Oh yeah, and Brexit.


Dec 4, 2016

In our final episode about Taking Back Control before our end of year review shows, we talk localism.

Steve talks about why bringing control to local authorities is the best way forward for politics in Britain. With special guest Brigid Jones, we talk about the problems localism faces in the UK and put forward a couple of solutions.

We also guarantee that this is the political podcast with the most chat about wheelie bins you will listen to this year.

Tune in next week for the first part of our reviews of 2016.

Nov 27, 2016

Settle down in your comfy chair and pour yourself a cup of cocoa as Cory, Steve and special guest Brigid Jones reminisce about their experiences on the campaign trail.

What barriers exist for ordinary people entering local and national politics? Is there a way to dismantle them and make politicians more representative of the electorate?

We also talk about the demonisation of MPs. This is not a new thing, but has the growth of the internet and social media made the issue worse?

In the week that Jo Cox's killer was found guilty of her murder, we also talk about whether hatred of politicians will continue to be channelled into violence. 

Nov 20, 2016

A week after Donald Trump's victory, we discuss how his transition is going and the cabinet appointments which we know about.

We also discuss the Realignment of the left and the possibilities of a progressive alliance.

Visit for more articles and podcasts. If you enjoy our podcasts please subscribe to us on Itunes, and follow us on Twitter @paperbackrioter and @centreradical.

Nov 13, 2016

Cory, Steve and special guest Brigid Jones try to make the best of things and take a sideways, comic look at Donald Trump's election win. Who else is to blame for Trump's victory, apart from Cory for predicting a Clinton win? Did misogyny or James Comey play a bigger role in Clinton's defeat? And are we now going to all die in a nuclear war?

Nov 6, 2016

The idea that we're living in a post-truth era is nonsense. Politicians have always lied. Instead, we're in a golden era of bullshit. We discuss the spread of bullshit in 2016 - Brexit, Trump and the deficit - and how best to counter it. 


Jonathan Swift's essay on the art of political bullshit can be read here.

The two blogs on political bullshit by Jonathan Hopkin and Ben Rosamund can be read here and here.

A book we mention in this episode is Peter Oborne's The Rise of Political Lying.

We're back next week with a look back at the American Election. Hold on to your hats!


Oct 30, 2016

In this Halloween special, we discuss the politics of fear. Why did Project Fear work so well in the campaign against Scottish Independence, but did not work in the EU Referendum?


The article by Ipsos Mori's Gideon Skinner in the Daily Telegraph which we discuss can be found here.

James Forsyth's two articles on Project Fear in the EU Referendum can be found here and here.

Some Yougov polling which we also discuss in the podcast can be found here.

If you enjoyed this episode, please do subscribe to us on Itunes and tell whoever you can, however you can about this podcast.

We're back next week looking at political bullshit. See you then.

Oct 12, 2016

Our second series of Not Enough Champagne is based around the theme of Taking Back Control. In this episode, we discuss how ordinary people could take back control of political parties.

Voters are now more educated than ever before. They identify less and less with political parties, and join single-issue groups rather than vote. Political parties are seen as controlled by a narrow elite and only interest in people's votes, not their views.

How true is this narrative? What solutions are there to try and engage political parties with ordinary voters? That's the subject of this week's show.


The Electoral Reform Society's consultative report on the future of political parties can be found here.

Sam Power's essay on party funding can be found in the truly excellent More Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box, published by Biteback.


Oct 12, 2016

In this episode we discuss the concept of electability. The evidence suggests that being "electable" is a meaningless concept which changes over time. Does having no hair matter more than having no policy positions? Can candidates with extreme views ever get elected? And why is it that it's only losers that say they're more electable? 


You can read about politicians with beards here, about bald politicians here and here, and about the effect of alphabetical ordering of candidates here and here.

The excellent Vox articles on the electability of Cruz, Trump and Sanders can be found here and here.

Three more excellent articles on electability from an American perspective can be found herehere and here.

The whole idea for this podcast is stolen from a tweet from the anthropologist David Graeber.

Please subscribe to us at Itunes and rate us as that helps more people discover the show. You can follow Cory at @paperbackrioter and Steve at @centreradical. 

Oct 9, 2016

In this episode, Steve and Cory discuss how we can take back control as consumers. Does the art we consume make statements about the kind of society we would like to see? As the film Birth of a Nation appears in the US, we discuss the past of director Nate Parker and ask whether or not you can separate the art from the artist. We also discuss the ethics of consumer boycotts and cheap food.

Please rate and subscribe our podcast on ITunes if you enjoyed this one as it helps more people to discover the show.

Oct 2, 2016

In this episode we summarise the Brexit postmortems from some of the key thinktanks such as the Resolution Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and British Futures. These found three key factors decided the Referendum in favour of Leave: Education, Living Standards and Immigration. 

We discuss all three factors, look at some policy solutions proposed to these issues (is introducing Grammar Schools really going to help tackle Educational Inequality?) and argue that Britain really isn't as divided on Immigration as the referendum result would suggest.


The Resolution Foundation report can be found here.

Lord Ashcroft's exit poll, where we got the data for our Introduction questions, can be found here.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation report can be found here.

British Future's report on Brexit and immigration can be found here.

Please subscribe and rate us on Itunes as that really helps people discover the show. You can follow Cory on Twitter @paperbackrioter and Steve is @centreradical.

Sep 25, 2016

Welcome back to the second series of Not Enough Champagne. In this first episode, we reflect on the latest Labour leadership contest. Given Jeremy Corbyn's standing among his supporters, would he have been able to defeat God in a leadership contest? Was he helped by the campaign of Owen "Bantersaurus Rex" Smith? Will we have to go through this interminable process again next summer, or can the party pull together?

Cory and Steve discuss all these questions and touch on the issue of allowing party members more say in policy. 

If you like Not Enough Champagne, please subscribe on Itunes (or wherever you get your podcasts from) and rate us as that helps more people discover the show.

You can follow Cory on Twitter @paperbackrioter and Steve is @centreradical.

Sep 18, 2016

Remember when saying you had "binders full of women" or that 47% of the American electorate saw themselves as victims seemed like the most insane thing a Republican nominee for President would say?

Cory, Steve and special guest Danielle talk about the 2012 American Presidential Election, armed only with a sketchy knowledge of US politics and copious amounts of alcohol. Expect much love for Gary Johnson from Steve, and lots of talk about rubbish voting systems.

Not Enough Champagne returns for its second season next week, talking about Jeremy Corbyn's certain victory in the Labour Leadership Contest. You can find a teaser trailer for Season 2 at the end of this episode.

Sep 2, 2016

There is no regular episode this week, so here is an archive interview with Lewis Baston about his report on George Galloway's victory in the 2012 Bradford by-election.

You can read Lewis's report here.

Listen to the end of the episode for the first peek at our season 2 trailer.

You can follow Cory on Twitter here and listen to our past episodes on Itunes or our website.

Aug 26, 2016

There's no regular podcast this week, so instead here's one from the archives. This is an interview Cory conducted with former MP Chris Mullin. It's from November 2012 and coincides with the 30th anniversary of the publication of A Very British Coup, a novel about what might happen if a far-left government book power. We discuss the novel, the work of select committees, and Chris's diaries.

If you liked this please share it on Facebook and Twitter, and listen to our past episodes on Itunes.

You can follow Cory on Twitter here and Chris Mullin on Twitter here.

Aug 21, 2016

The OECD predicts sluggish growth, rising inequality and climate change from now until 2060. The solutions? Privatising university education, a more flexible Labour Market and mass migration, all of which seems politically unpalatable. If that wasn't enough, there's terrorism and Trump to contend with as well. Steve tries to convince Cory that it's too early to panic just yet.

This is the last of the first series of Not Enough Champagne. If you liked this, please listen to our back catalogue on Itunes and share our podcast on Facebook and Twitter. We'll be posting occasional archive episodes for the rest of the summer. Then we will return after the Labour Leadership elections with a new series, with a theme of "Taking Back Control".


The OECD report "Policy Challenges for the Next 50 Years" can be seen here.

An interesting take on the OECD report which influenced this episode is Postcapitalism by Paul Mason.

Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight website which Steve mentioned can be found here.

Aug 12, 2016

With everything that someone has thought or done now available on social media, do we risk creating a generation of political automatons? Steve and Cory debate this with reference to recent cases such as Boris Johnson, Naz Shah and John O'Farrell. Are politicians entitled to private lives, or once you've committed to public office is anything fair game?

Not Enough Champagne is a podcast about people, politics and pragmatism. If you like this episode please subscribe to us on ITunes and share it on Facebook and Twitter.


You can read about the world reacting to Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary here.

You can read about the Naz Shah incident we referred to here.

John O'Farrell wrote this about his Eastleigh experience explaining why he would not run for office again.

Aug 7, 2016

Did Facebook win the 2015 election for the Conservatives? Steve analyses the social media strategies of Labour, the Tories and Lib Dems and we discuss the effectiveness of each one.

We then talk about the downsides of social media. Cory discusses academic research about Twitter being an echochamber, and we mention the abuse of MPs online. Could an unintended consequence of social media algorithms be to kill democracy?

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to us on ITunes and share us on Facebook and Twitter.

Not Enough Champagne is a podcast about people, politics and pragmatism.


An article from the Atlantic mentioning Twitter and the Black Lives Matter campaign can be found here.

The academic paper Cory discusses on Twitter polarisation and the echo chamber can be found here.


Jul 31, 2016

In this episode, we discuss the different types of Prime Minister. Are most merely careerists who "want to keep the show on the road"? We also talk about the difference between the popular perception of Prime Ministers and how historians might remember them. Finally we discuss how the duties of a Prime Minister have changed, and whether Clement Attlee could become Prime Minister today.

Also, since Steve and Cory last met up and recorded a bunch of episodes, Britain got a new Prime Minister. We look to the future and discuss what kind of Prime Minister Theresa May might be.


Who Governs Britain? by Anthony King and The Prime Minister by Peter Hennessy are both very interesting takes on the Prime Ministers which we discuss on the podcast.

Not Enough Champagne is a podcast about people, politics and pragmatism.

Jul 24, 2016

When student fees were raised to 9000 a year, many predicted doom. Poor students would get put off applying to university and inequality would rise.

The thing is, that doesn't seem to have happened. We discuss the evidence which suggests the impact of raising university fees has actually improved the lot of poorer students and narrowed inequality. That might not be the full story.

We discuss whether degrees are public or private goods and the effect of this new regime on academics and universities.

Useful links

The Sutton Trust report on access to university in England and Scotland can be read here.

An article on Higher Education in Germany after they raised tuition fees can be read here.

A report on the impact tuition fees has had on university admissions can be read here.

A discussion of the academic evidence of the impact of tuition fees can be read here.

Jul 17, 2016

In this episode, Steve and Cory discuss the populist, anti-establishment movements popping up across the world. Although we touch on movements across Europe such as Syrizia, Podemos and the Five Star Movement, most attention is given to the Tea Party in America and Momentum in the UK.

Are these movements just interested in talking to themselves in social media rather than building a wider movement?

What are the problems of having such a populist movement in a First Past the Post system where you have to reach out to people who might not agree with you?

Also, what have these movements actually achieved?

Especially this week, where we have seen Labour continue to tear itself apart, we discuss the importance of compromise, organisation and moderation to achieve your aims.

Additional Links

Geek Heresy, the website referred to by Steve, can be found here.

Rule and Ruin, the book referred to by Cory, can be found here.

You can read a little more about the Five Star Movement here.

There is an excellent article about the problems facing social democratic parties here.


Jul 14, 2016

For someone who has become Prime Minister because she was seen as a safe pair of hands, Theresa May has made an incredibly bold start to her Premiership.

May has become Prime Minister in large part because she has not done or said anything very interesting this year. In the referendum campaign, she was conspicuous by her absence. In the leadership campaign, May just sat at home whilst her opponents spontaneously combusted. The anti-Francis Urqhart, in other words. 

That has all changed now. What to make of these hectic two days? We've seen new departments of state created, others abolished entirely, and political careers rise from the dead. Theresa May made a victory speech outside Downing Street which in a different universe could have been given by Ed Miliband a year ago, but for one crucial aspect. More on that later.

The speech suggested that May, correctly, knows that the referendum result was about more than the European Union. As Steve has suggested on this podcast, in many ways Brexit was a vote against the status quo. Consequently, there could be some very interesting reforms in the next few years. The main policy commitment given in the only leadership campaign speech Theresa May gave was to put workers on company boards. If Jeremy Corbyn had suggested it, the Tory press would have said it was the mad idea of a dangerous communist. (Of course, Corbyn didn't suggest it, because he doesn't have any policies.) It'll be interesting to see whether this policy makes it to law, because it could be a jolly good idea.

Politically, then, Theresa May is able to come in and plant her tanks firmly on the centre ground Labour is retreating from. Especially now Philip Hammond appears to be signalling an end to Osborne's insane idea of committing to a budget surplus by 2020. The Labour Party would be quaking in its boots, were it not currently tearing itself apart.

I said that Theresa May's speech could have been given by Ed Miliband, but for one crucial aspect. That aspect is the aftermath of Brexit. Here, she has made the Brexit campaigners clean up their own mess. All the key foreign policy posts in the cabinet - Brexit, International Trade, Development and of course BoJo himself - are taken by Leave campaigners. 

It means that Brexit will happen. I have speculated on previous podcasts whether Brexit could be kicked into the long grass. The reshuffle shows that that was possibly just wishful thinking. David Davies has indicated that although the triggering of Article 50 will be delayed, it will probably happen later in the year. Let's wait for concrete plans to be put forward before we speculate on that.

Leaving foreign affairs to the Brexiters could also turn out to be a masterful piece of party management. I am in two minds as to whether appointing Boris Johnson Foreign Secretary is a stroke of genius, or an example of being too clever-by-half out of the Michael Gove/George Osborne playbook. Leaving Boris on the back benches to plot against May was perhaps too risky an option, especially with many big beasts such as Osborne and Gove already sacked. Where better for him then jetting around embassies, trying to explain his poetry? As my partner in propaganda pithily summarised:

Ceremonial position where he can bombastically wave flag & be a showman.Only role he can do without screwing it up

I would certainly much rather Boris at the Foreign Office, where the main stuff has gone to the PM and the Brexit ministers anyway, then at Health or Education. 

And yet. Look at the reaction from across the world. Look at the poor journalists dredging up every single offensive thing Boris has every said about a foreigner. Surely there was a better candidate amongst the 330 Tory MPs for Foreign Secretary? I think I'd choose Rory Stewart, but that's probably why I'll never be Prime Minister.

This is a very bold cabinet and I am genuinely intrigued as to whether the sweeping reforms promised by May will amount to anything. Whether they do probably needs some careful party management from a rookie chief whip. The Tories have a majority of six, and there are nine sacked or resigned former Cabinet Ministers with a grudge. Over the past couple of weeks the Tories have shown a ruthless thirst for government by uniting quickly round Theresa May to get her into Downing Street. If they continue to display that ruthlessness in government, Labour could be destroyed.

Jul 10, 2016

What counts as political success? If you measure political success as getting policies enacted, then the Monster Raving Loony Party would be seen as being more influential on British Politics than the Greens. Obviously, this would be nonsense.

In this episode of Not Enough Champagne, Steve and Cory discuss the Overton Window. How do you change the political agenda so that you can put more of your ideas into practice? And can Jeremy Corbyn shift the Overton Window? We discuss all this and more.

Useful links:

You can read more about The Overton Window here and here.

Jul 3, 2016

In this episode, Steve Haynes and Cory Hazlehurst discuss the fallout from the Brexit Referendum result. Will Britain actually leave the EU? How will it happen?

We also discuss the leadership battles in both parties. Was Boris stabbed in the back, or both the back and the front? Can anyone stop Theresa May? And can Cory talk about Jeremy Corbyn without swearing?

We answer all these questions and more.


David Allen Green, the legal blogger who we praise, can be followed on Twitter here.

The Telegraph article Cory was referring to about Michael Gove and Boris Johnson can be found here.

The video footage of Jeremy Corbyn Steve talks about can be found here.

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