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