From the University of Cambridge comes ELECTION, a weekly politics podcast; asking the questions that no one else is in the run-up to the British General Election with the most interesting people inside and outside the political arena. Here below are the eighth, ninth and tenth podcasts.
#8 – Robert Tombs on Britishness, Britain’s place in Europe & the NHS
What makes our politics uniquely ‘British’? Why is there no EnglishIndependence Party? How did the NHS become a sacred cow? And will Britannia ever rule the waves again? David puts these questions to Professor Robert Tombs – historian and author of a new epic history of England – to discover the impact of culture and foreign affairs on British political life. The team also review David Cameronand Ed Miliband’s favourite books, the pros and cons of the fixed-term Parliament, the neglected but extraordinary Nigerian election, and what to expect between now and polling day.
#9 – Simon Szreter on conspiracy theories, trust in politics & solutions
It is said that trust in politics is at an all-time low. Our politicians are seen as out of touch and out to fill their own pockets. But when does mistrust become something more profound? This week we discuss this phenomenon in its most extreme form: conspiracy theories. What conspiracy theories do the British public believe? How commonplace are they, and how have they spread? Are people really so wrong to believe that the world is run by a secret elite? We interview a team of Cambridge researchers for answers. Then David turns to Professor Simon Szreter – social historian and founder of ‘History & Policy’ – to discuss how academics are trying to find ways of restoring the public’s faith in politics, and bridge the gap between the politicians’ narrow view of the world and how the voters see it. The team also discuss the television debates, politicians’ use (and abuse) of facts and figures, Tony Blair, and UKIP’s strategy for electoral success.
#10 – Barbara Sahakian on political psychology, society & mental health
Are our brains hardwired to be left-wing or right-wing? How did mental health become a hot political issue? What advice can brain scientists give politicians to help get their message across? This week David interviews Professor Barbara Sahakian – the renowned neuropsychologist who has worked with the UK government on questions of mental health and well-being – to discover the lessons of new scientific research for our politics. The team then discuss the Labour and Conservative manifestos and the inner tensions they reveal within the parties, and what their pledges really mean in an age of coalitions and compromise. And, in the week when Hilary Clinton declared her presidential candidacy, we debate the time spans of political campaigns in the U.K. and the U.S., and the different ways the two countries do politics.