Tue, 26 November 2019
As Boris Johnson flew up to Scotland to launch the Scottish Tory manifesto has the SNP pulled off a master stroke by announcing its ground breaking, in UK terms, extension of paternity leave?
Labour has also been forcing the issue on WASPI women but is it too late to the party and can it be trusted on matters of equality given the record of Labour controlled Glasgow City Council?
It's been a busy old week for the party leaders facing both the public and political commentators. We focus on last night's Andrew Neil interview with Nicola Sturgeon and that Question Time leaders' special.
This takes us quite naturally into Dr Philippa Whitford's QT appearance in Bolton and Lesley turning down an opportunity to appear on a national current affairs panel in London.
Richard Leonard was on the Call Kaye Show yesterday and got a grilling on the,apparent, rift between Scottish and UK Labour on nuclear disarmament. He also laid out Labour's 2021 date for a potential indyref2 but does its 50% of the electorate voting Yes show that its running scared?
The Orthodox Chief Rabbi of the UK stepped firmly into the political arena today with his pronouncements on the fitness of Jeremy Corbyn to be PM. This followed closely on the Pope's statement on nuclear weapons and the Scottish Catholic bishops' letter to parishioners on matters they should consider when casting their votes. Just how involved should religious leaders become in politics?
Along the way we also discuss, Oor Wullie,Sibelius, the incredible disappearing Jacob Rees-Mogg, and the power of song.
Tue, 19 November 2019
As the General Election campaigns pick up pace we take a,somewhat sceptical, look at how Labour's policies are being ignored,particularly on the BBC, in favour of highlighting party in fighting.
Lesley focuses on Labour's plan for public sector broadband and wonders if it could be a game changer.
Inevitably this leads us on to the electoral debates, not just the exclusion of all parties other than Labour and the Tories, but ITN's stance if they'd lost court case taken out by the SNP and Lib Dems .
In case you think we've gone soft we do get stuck into Corbyn and Scottish Labour's 1979 " SNP ushering in Thatcher" claims.
Unfortunately we can't escape that Prince Andrew interview and we have our say on the sorry,sordid affair.
Lesley is once again in demand for informed commentary on BBC Scotland's "Campaign". But only if she's willing to howk her way through to Pacific Quay when there's a studio just across the Tay,in Dundee. She wonders if this symptomatic of the BBC's exclusion of the diverse voices of Scotland.
Along the way we also discuss the National Lottery, spam, and Catholic rap.
Tue, 12 November 2019
After some merry badinage regarding Jo Swinson's strangled vowels and ever shifting accent, we get down to serious business.
The BBC has come under fire over Wreathgate, we discuss just what might have happened and the "robust" defence of the BBC position by Rob Burley. Lesley wonders if you can get away with anything, if your accent is posh enough.
Coverage of this debacle seemed to have crowded out the non publication of the report on Russian interference in UK politics.That is until Hillary Clinton's intervention this morning.And if anyone should know about Russian interference in the democratic process, it's Hillary.
Electoral pacts, standing aside, and tactical voting have grabbed election headlines this week and we examine the implications of all three across both Scotland and England.Lesley also takes the opportunity to criticise not only our archaic First Past the Post voting system but also Holyrood's version of PR.
The latest Spanish elections saw the Socialists emerge as the largest party but with no overall majority. But this second election in just seven months has seen the emergence of Vox, an avowed fascist party, as the third largest in the Spanish lower house.
It was the centenary of the birth of the great Hamish Henderson on Sunday and,as I try and give some sense of his importance as poet, folklorist, and radical intellectual,Lesley shares some very personal memories.
Tue, 5 November 2019
A European Arrest Warrant for Clara Ponsati,on charges of sedition, was issued by Spain just before we recorded today's podcast.We give our initial reactions to the shocking news.
Lesley was at the National's Yes rally in George Square last Saturday and she reveals who she thought was the most impressive speaker. The BBC has responded to criticism of its coverage, to be honest we're sceptical, to say the least, to its reply.
This leads, neatly I reckon, to the exclusion of the SNP from the televised election debates. Lesley has some interesting thoughts, not just on this, but the whole framing of political debate on our screens.
The Scottish Greens have decided to field at least 20 candidates in the General Election. I question why, and consider what impact this might have on marginal,SNP held, constituencies. We compare and contrast this with Sinn Fein's decision not to stand in three Northern Irish seats and electoral pacts in England and Wales.
Our last "big bit" is on Lesley's analysis of Boris Johnson's attempts to position himself as a "One Nation Tory" .Will it work in Leave voting traditional Labour areas?
Along the way we also look at Jacob Rees Mogg's statements on Grenfell, and the government cover up on Russian interference in UK politics.