These Times

These Times

By UnHerd

UnHerd political editor Tom McTague and Cambridge professor Helen Thompson team up to investigate the history of today’s politics — and what it means for our future. Each week they will explore the great forces, ideas and events that led us to where we are, whether in Britain, the United States, Europe or beyond. It’s a politics podcast for those who want a deeper, historical understanding of the news, to understand what has really shaped our world and why. We hope you enjoy! Don’t forget to rate, like and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts — and, of course, to get in touch with all your questions and comments so we can respond in future episodes.


Email us at thesetimes@unherd.com or tweet us at @thesetimespod


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


Episodes

Europe’s Reckoning with Ukraine

In this week's episode, Tom Mctague and Helen Thompson look back at Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, and explore why it has been so difficult for the United States and the European Union to protect Ukraine's independence... Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
20/02/24·1h 2m

The War for Ukraine: How History Came Roaring Back

In the wake of Putin's fast and loose interview with Tucker Carlson, Tom and Helen turn to the history of Ukrainian independence, and ask what it means for the future of Ukraine, Europe and NATO... Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
13/02/24·58m 26s

Biden Resumes America’s Forever War in Iraq

In the wake of recent US/UK led bombings of Iraq and Syria, Tom McTague and Helen Thompson ask why America continues to embroil itself in the Iraq quagmire, and whether further escalation lies on the horizon... Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
06/02/24·1h 1m

Trump, the Borderlands, and a Global Crisis

In this week's episode, Tom and Helen turn to the current border crisis unfolding in Texas, and explore how a set of global and domestic crises, from the drug cartels in Mexico, to the situation in Ukraine, might play into Trump's hands come the end of the year... Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
30/01/24·59m 6s

Iran Lashes Out, with Ali Ansari

In this week's episode, Tom and Helen talk to Ali Ansari, director of Iranian Studies at St Andrews University, about the history of Iranian power - from the 1979 Islamic revolution, to the most recent exchange of airstrikes with Pakistan. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
23/01/24·1h 2m

The War for Taiwan

With the new anti-Chinese President elected in Taiwan, Tom and Helen turn to the most important body of water in the world: the Western Pacific, and explore what's at stake there. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
16/01/24·56m 35s

The War for the Red Sea

This week, Helen and Tom explore the geopolitical history of the Red Sea, from the erection of the Suez Canal, to the waring Houthi Rebels patrolling the waters, and what it all tells us about where power lies in the world today. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
09/01/24·53m 13s

New Year, New World

Tom McTague and HelenH Helen Thompson look back at the major events that took place in 2023, from Ukraine's stalled counter-offensive and the Israel Hamas War, and ask what they mean for the year ahead... Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
03/01/24·1h 4m

Europe’s Lost World: The Radetzky March and The Leopard

For this Christmas Special, Tom and Helen discuss two of their all time favourite novels that share the same themes of empire, nationalism and loss - Joseph Roth's The Radetzky March (1932) and Giuseppe Tommasi, The Lampedusa's The Leopard (1958). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
26/12/23·51m 14s

Europe’s Civilisational Turn?

This week, Tom and Helen sit down with Hans Kundnani to discuss the domestic politics of European countries and the reshaping of Europe's collective future. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
19/12/23·36m 31s

Ukraine's Dark Winter Ahead

Tom and Helen sit down with Shashank Joshi to ask why supporting Ukraine has been so politically difficult in many Western countries, and what are the consequences for Ukraine, the EU, NATO, and the geopolitical conflicts around the Middle East? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
12/12/23·51m 22s

Europe's Bet on Net Zero

As world leaders meet in Dubai for COP 28, Tom and Helen turn to one of the most important political issues of our age - Net Zero, and ask where Europe's ambition to be the first carbon dioxide free continent comes from, and whether it can succeed? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
05/12/23·47m 53s

Can British Growth Ever Recover?

In this week's episode, Tom McTague and Helen Thompson dissect the sorry state of Britain's economy with policy-expert Torsten Bell - and ask whether darker days do indeed lie ahead, or whether there's still cause for hope... Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
28/11/23·53m 40s

David Cameron's Failed Foreign Policy

On the day that David Cameron is sworn into the House of Lords, Tom and Helen explore the history of his foreign policy, and look ahead at what kind of Foreign Secretary he might make... Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
21/11/23·58m 10s

Decision 2024: What’s at stake for Israel, Ukraine, and the world next year

In this episode Tom and Helen sit down to discuss the next U.S election and what's at stake for Israel, Ukraine, and the world. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
14/11/23·53m 48s

Britain's Israel-Palestine Dilemma

In this episode, Tom and Helen discuss the history of Britain's relationship with the Israel-Palestine question; from Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, to Starmer's recent opposition to calls for ceasefire. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
07/11/23·56m 3s

Israel Invades: The Gazan Trap, with Shashank Joshi

In this episode, Tom and Helen chat to the The Economist's defence editor, Shashank Joshi, about the logistical challenges of a ground-war, what Israel seek to gain by invading Gaza, and the dangers that lie ahead. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
31/10/23·51m 44s

Israel vs Iran: The Deadliest Foes

In this week's episode, Tom and Helen explore the long and fraught history of Iranian-Israeli relations, and ask how Israel vs Iran became the most dangerous prospect in the Middle-East Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
23/10/23·57m 14s

The Israel-Hamas War

In this week's episode Tom and Helen discuss the history of Israel and the geopolitical fault-lines running through the Middle East Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
16/10/23·59m 34s

Jamie Carragher: My History of Liverpool

In this episode, Tom travels to Liverpool to meet on of the city's favourite sons: Jamie Carragher. They talk about Liverpool's sectarian past, Brexit, Keir Starmer and the phenomenon of secret Tory footballers... Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
10/10/23·55m 9s

Keir Starmer's Europe Problem

During the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, Tom and Helen explore Labour's uneasy relationship with the Europe question - and the potential challenges it poses for Keir Starmer going forward. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
09/10/23·57m 1s

Rishi Sunak's Challenge

With the Conservative Conference currently taking place in Manchester, Tom and Helen discuss the upcoming challenges facing the Prime Minister. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02/10/23·54m 47s

2. YOUR QUESTIONS: Charles De Gaulle, Brexit and Britain's History within the European Community

In another Q&A episode, Tom and Helen turn to your questions on Brexit and Britain's relationship with the wider European Community. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
27/09/23·26m 38s

The Race for the Arctic

Helen and Tom chat to one of the world's great geopolitical thinkers, Pippa Malmgren, about how the big player's on the world stage are jostling for position in earth's northernmost point. Does the race for the Arctic represent a new cold war? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
25/09/23·58m 35s

1. YOUR QUESTIONS: Will Northern Ireland ever truly be British; Blair’s missed opportunity; missing England; most surprising general elections.

Tom and Helen answer the your questions on British politics. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
20/09/23·26m 1s

How George Osborne’s All-In Bet On China Went Wrong

In the wake of revelations about Chinese spy activity in Westminster, Tom and Helen explore the recent history of British-Chinese relations, from Hong Kong, to espionage. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
18/09/23·58m 3s

Rory Stewart's Divided Soul: An Interview with the Man Who Still Wants to be PM

In this special episode, Tom McTague sits down with Rory Stewart to chat about populism and spycraft, John le Carré and Lawrence of Arabia, and his prospective route to Number 10. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
13/09/23·1h 5m

How Worried Should We Be About Saudi Arabia?

In this episode, Tom and Helen explore Saudi Arabia - a place at once futuristic and authoritarian. From Aramco Oil to Cristiano Ronaldo, we discuss the ways in which the Kingdom in the Middle East is trying to take over the world, and how worried we should be.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
11/09/23·58m 53s

Africa's Coup Belt

In this episode, Tom and Helen explore the African Coup's, from Gabon to Niger, and discuss what the turmoil across the Sahel reveals about today's world. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
04/09/23·51m 4s

The Strange Legacy of Tony Blair

In this episode, we turn to Britain's abiding political presence - Tony Blair. From his early beginnings in British politics, to The Tony Blair Institute, Tom and Helen ask whether we are entering a new era of Blairdom?If you would like to ask Tom and Helen a question about politics, history or whatever else which they will endeavour to answer on next week's podcast, please email us at thesetimes@unherd.com or dm us on Twitter @thesetimespod. Looking forward to hearing from you!  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
28/08/23·1h

Thatcher’s Legacy: An Interview with Charles Moore

In this episode, Tom sits down with former editor of The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator, and Margaret Thatcher's biographer to talk about the romance of Ms. Thatcher, and her influential legacy on modern British politics. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
23/08/23·48m 22s

From Bruges to Brexit

In this week's episode, Tom and Helen journey back 35 years to explore the forces surrounding Margaret Thatcher's speech in Bruges and how it set the future of British politics in motion. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
21/08/23·49m 47s

The 1970s Strike Back with Dominic Sandbrook

In this episode, Tom and Helen sit down with Dominic Sandbrook to discuss the 1970s - from energy shocks to Stars Wars' new age spirituality and bin-bags lining the streets during the winter of discontent, Tom, Helen and Dom ask whether we are entering a neo-1970s, and what that might mean for Britain's future... Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
14/08/23·57m 46s

Special Report: Inside Tony Blair Inc.

In this special episode, Tom is interviewed by UnHerd's editor Freddie Sayers to explore Tom's new report into the inner workings of the Tony Blair Institute. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
09/08/23·38m 25s

American Power in the Age of Biden

In this week's episode, Tom and Helen discuss the politics of US foreign policy, from Vietnam to Ukraine and what that reveals about the future. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
07/08/23·48m 35s

The Times of Joe Biden

In this week’s episode Tom and Helen discuss the US president’s long (and controversial) political record and ask what it reveals about the state of the nation today — and the country’s future.Follow us on Twitter @TheseTimesPod to join the conversation. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
31/07/23·1h

Cancelled by Keir: An Interview with Jamie Driscoll

Meet Jamie Driscoll, the incumbent mayor blocked from standing to be Labour's candidate for the new north-east super mayoralty, now crowdfunding to stand as an independent left-winger. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
26/07/23·56m 24s

Europe's Right Turn?

After the elections in Spain, and a shock announcement in Germany, Tom and Helen discuss the underlying causes of Europe’s tilt to the right. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
24/07/23·52m 38s

Keir's Blairite Ultra: An interview with Pat McFadden

In this episode, Tom McTague chats to Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Pat McFadden—the man tasked with making Starmer’s sums add up—on the lessons of Labour’s history, from Kinnock to Blair to Starmer. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
19/07/23·35m 7s

Inside NATO's Summit

In this episode, Tom and Helen discuss how last week's meeting in Vilnius revealed fault lines in the organisation which can be traced all the way back to its founding.If you enjoyed this episode, please like, subscribe and leave a review. You can also find us on Twitter @TheseTimesPod, to join the conversation! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
17/07/23·57m 21s

Come on Arlene: An Interview with Arlene Foster

Come on Arlene: An interview with Arlene Foster. In this episode, we discuss the history of Northern Ireland through the lens of Arlene Foster's own turbulent life, covering everything from the IRA’s attempted assassination of her father to her own downfall as leader — and everything in between. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
12/07/23·1h 10m

France on fire

This week, Tom and Helen are joined by John Lichfield — one of Britain’s most respected journalists based in France — to talk about the history of street violence in the country and what that means for the future. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
10/07/23·55m 52s

Chaos in Russia

After last week’s march on Moscow, Tom and Helen discuss the Wagner group and the history of wars not going to plan and destabilising the political regime at home — from Ireland to Algeria, Vietnam to Iraq. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
03/07/23·44m 53s

What would Thatcher do?

An interview with Charles Powell, Mrs Thatcher’s long time foreign policy adviser, covering everything from the war in Ukraine, the risks of humiliating Putin, chaos in Russia and the future of Britain in Europe. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
28/06/23·1h 1m

The Politics of Inflation

With inflation remaining stubbornly high and interest rates at their highest in 15 years, this week’s episode looks at the causes and political repercussions of today’s crisis as well as the parallels with previous governments — from Harold Wilson to Ted Heath, James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
26/06/23·47m 43s

Britain's Place in the New World Order - Part 2

Tom and Helen discuss Britain's changing role overseas in the second instalment of our series on 'The New World Order'. They discuss Boris Johnson's AUKUS deal, David Cameron's involvement in the middle east and where Brexit has left Britain on the international stage. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
21/06/23·26m 41s

A New World Order? - Part 1

This week Tom and Helen debate whether America's global supremacy is coming to an end, replaced by a new multipolar world — and, if so, what that means for the world. From Russia's invasion of Georgia in 2008 to the great financial crisis, from Obama's "pivot to Asia" to the presidencies of Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Tom and Helen explore this new age. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
19/06/23·48m 45s

Is Boris Johnson History?

In this episode, Tom and Helen discuss the tumultuous history of Boris Johnson and ask whether the ups and downs of his political career owe more to his unique character (warts and all) or the much deeper forces at play far beyond his control. The answer to this question will go a long way to determining his future in British politics. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
12/06/23·54m 1s

How "Made in China 2025" Changed the World

In 2015, Xi Jinping unveiled his central policy objective: to transform China into the world’s most powerful advanced economy which would no longer be dependent on Western technology. In the eight years that have passed since, the world has transformed — from the election of Donald Trump in 2016 to Joe Biden’s protectionist “inflation reduction act” last year and the European Union’s panicked response in between. In this episode, Tom and Helen trace the origins of the Sino-American stand-off and map out the implications for the rest of the world. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
05/06/23·53m 55s

The History of Immigration

Official figures released last week showed net migration into the UK had topped 600,000, a new record. But the politics of migration has a long history — from the Napoleonic wars, to Windrush, Enoch Powell and Brexit. In this week’s episode, Tom and Helen discuss this history and what it tells us about Britain today.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
29/05/23·53m 5s

When Labour Wins

With Keir Starmer seemingly on course for victory at the next election, Tom and Helen look back at the only other Labour leaders to have won a majority: Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson and Tony Blair. What was it about these three leaders (and the age in which they served) which allowed them to triumph — and what does that tell us about Labour’s chances today? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
22/05/23·52m 43s

National Conservatism: New or Old?

With the Tories struggling in the polls and the first “National Conservative” convention meeting in the UK this week, Tom and Helen take a look at the history of the Conservative Party and what it really means to be a conservative today. Tom and Helen debate who founded the Conservative Party, what it seeks to conserve and where its future lies. Take a deep dive into a party and an idea which has shaped Britain and much of the world beyond.Twitter: @tommctague @HelenHet20 @TheseTimesPodPlease don't forget to subscribe and tell all your friends about These Times. If you have any feedback or questions for a future episode, email Tom and Helen at thesetimes@unherd.comThese Times, from UnHerd. The history of today’s politics with Tom McTague and Helen ThompsonEach week Tom and Helen explore the great forces and ideas that led us to where we are right now. It’s a politics podcast for those who want a deeper, historical understanding of the news, to understand what has really shaped our world and why. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
15/05/23·54m 53s

Axis of Evil: An Interview with David Frum

In this one-off special, Tom McTague interviews the conservative commentator, activist and former White House speechwriter David Frum — the man who coined George Bush’s famous “axis of evil.” Helen was away when David was in London. In the interview Tom and David discuss the war in Ukraine and lessons from Iraq, George Bush’s haunted retirement and the need for more “tragic thinking” when confronting the world’s problems.Twitter: @tommctague @HelenHet20 @TheseTimesPodPlease don't forget to subscribe and tell all your friends about These Times. If you have any feedback or questions for a future episode, email Tom and Helen at thesetimes@unherd.comThese Times, from UnHerd. The history of today’s politics with Tom McTague and Helen ThompsonEach week Tom and Helen explore the great forces and ideas that led us to where we are right now. It’s a politics podcast for those who want a deeper, historical understanding of the news, to understand what has really shaped our world and why. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
10/05/23·52m 52s

Ukraine and the world order

This week, Tom and Helen discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine and to what extent it has changed the world order. Tom and Helen look at the security situation in Europe, the growing power of Turkey, and India — and, of course, how it all fits into the emerging battle for supremacy between the United States and China. Twitter:  @tommctague @HelenHet20 @TheseTimesPodPlease don't forget to subscribe and tell all your friends about These Times. If you have any feedback or questions for a future episode, email Tom and Helen at thesetimes@unherd.comThese Times, from UnHerd. The history of today’s politics with Tom McTague and Helen ThompsonEach week Tom and Helen explore the great forces and ideas that led us to where we are right now. It’s a politics podcast for those who want a deeper, historical understanding of the news, to understand what has really shaped our world and why. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
08/05/23·40m 24s

Coronation and The Union - Part 2

In the second of our two-part opening special on the Coronation of King Charles III, Tom and Helen discuss what the ceremony reveals about the state of the Union at home, the political fudge at its heart and how historical disputes about religion remain key in understanding how it still functions.Twitter: @tommctague@HelenHet20@TheseTimesPodPlease don't forget to subscribe and tell all your friends about These Times. If you have any feedback or questions for a future episode, email Tom and Helen at thesetimes@unherd.comThese Times, from UnHerd. The history of today’s politics with Tom McTague and Helen ThompsonEach week Tom and Helen explore the great forces and ideas that led us to where we are right now. It’s a politics podcast for those who want a deeper, historical understanding of the news, to understand what has really shaped our world and why. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
03/05/23·37m 27s

Coronation and power - Part 1

The Coronation of King Charles III marks a momentous day not only in the life of the new monarch, but also for the British monarchy and the country as a whole. In this very first episode of These Times, Tom McTague and Helen Thompson discuss what this year’s ceremony reveals about Britain’s place in the world and how much has changed since previous coronations.Twitter: @tommctague@HelenHet20@TheseTimesPod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
01/05/23·41m 5s

These Times from UnHerd - Coming Soon

UnHerd political editor Tom McTague and Cambridge professor Helen Thompson team up to investigate the history of today’s politics — and what it means for our future. Each week they will explore the great forces, ideas and events that led us to where we are, whether in Britain, the United States, Europe or beyond. It’s a politics podcast for those who want a deeper, historical understanding of the news, to understand what has really shaped our world and why. We hope you enjoy! Don’t forget to rate, like and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts — and, of course, to get in touch with all your questions and comments so we can respond in future episodes.Email us at thesetimes@unherd.com or tweet us at @thesetimespod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
30/04/23·52s
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