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The Book Club: Peter Turchin
In this week's Book Club podcast I talk to Peter Turchin about his new book End Times: Elites, Counter-Elites and the Path of Political Disintegration. He proposes a scientific theory of history, mapping the underlying forces that have led to the collapse of states from the ancient world to the present day, and warns of very turbulent times ahead indeed.
Chinese Whispers: why China won't invade Taiwan
In much of the conversation surrounding China and Taiwan, the question of invasion seems to be a ‘when’ not an ‘if’. But is an invasion really so inevitable?
No one knows for sure, of course, but there are good reasons to think that speculations of a war have been overblown.
For one, the economic links between Taiwan and China mean that their respective interests are not so zero sum. For another, China may well be causing serious damage to itself through an invasion.
Former diplomat Charles Parton has written for the Council on Geostrategy on why Xi Jinping would not take the risk of invading, and he joins the podcast. Also on the episode is Professor William Kirby at Harvard University, who explains the complicated trade links between China and Taiwan.
Ultimately, you must decide for yourselves whether you think an invasion will happen, but I hope that this episode at least presents a different side to the conversation.
Spectator Out Loud: Lionel Shriver, Ian Williams & Matthew Dennison
This week: Lionel Shriver argues that we should rise up in our road rage (00:52), Ian Williams discusses the crackdown on China’s stand-up comics (09:42) and Matthew Dennison explains why we shouldn’t cancel Beatrix Potter (16:33).
Produced by Seb Charleton & Natasha Feroze
Women With Balls: Penny Junor
Penny Junor is a journalist, biographer and author of several books. She began writing at the Evening Standard. Soon into her career, Penny was given an opportunity to write a book about Princess Diana which led to several more books about the Royals – The Firm: The Troubled House of Windsor and Charles: Victim or Villain?
Aside from that, Penny has penned books on key political figures including John Major and Margaret Thatcher. On the podcast, Penny talks about her decision to leave university in second year to get married and become a journalist, she shares how her perspective on the Royal family changed throughout her career and she talks about some writing plans for the future.
The Week in 60 Minutes: Sunak the socialist & Douglas Murray on the Schofield saga
James Heale is joined by Kate Andrews and Sebastian Payne to discuss Rishi Sunak’s radical shift to the left. Also on the show, Quentin Letts on the navel gazing civil service; Esperanza Aguirre on the Spanish snap election; Douglas Murray on why we shouldn’t talk about Philip Schofield and Harry Pearson on British folk sport.
00:00 Welcome from James Heale
02:11 Has Sunak become a socialist? With Kate Andrews and Sebastian Payne
16:09 Does the civil service have a victimhood complex? With Quentin Letts
22:37 Why has the Spanish PM called a snap election? With Esperanza Aguirre
32:11 Why are Brits obsessed with salacious stories? With Douglas Murray
44:55 Which folk sports still exist? With Harry Pearson
Produced by Natasha Feroze