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It's Bloody Complicated - A Compass Podcast

News & Politics Podcasts

Hear from the widest range of voices in the progressive movement. Every week, host Neal Lawson, speaks with progressive thinkers, writers and politicians from the UK and beyond about current affairs and how to build the Good Society. Visit compassonline.org.uk to learn more about Compass.

Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

Hear from the widest range of voices in the progressive movement. Every week, host Neal Lawson, speaks with progressive thinkers, writers and politicians from the UK and beyond about current affairs and how to build the Good Society. Visit compassonline.org.uk to learn more about Compass.

Language:

English


Episodes
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General Election Special | ep. 107

6/12/2024
On this special general Election issue of Its Bloody Complicated we are delighted to be joined by Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty. We’ve admired Aditya’s writing and reporting for years and have been keen to get him on. Aditya doesn’t just critique what’s wrong in terms of the economy, society and politics – he actively goes out and finds places and examples where things are being done better – finding places for hope. But it was his article last week on the threat poised by Nigel Farage that accelerated our desire to hear from him – in it Aditya graphically illustrated how Farage and Reform UK set the tone of debate, now primarily on the issue of immigration, and then watch first the Tories then labour following their direction. Farage may or may not win the seat of Clacton but he is already winning the general election debate. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:00:57:37

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Local Elections w/ Ben Walker and Alison Lowe | ep. 106

5/20/2024
On Tuesday, 14th May we were joined by Ben Walker and Alison Lowe to analyse the campaigns and the results of the 2024 local elections, and reflect where we are coming up to a general election. Ben Walker is a senior data journalist at the New Statesman and writes extensively about elections and UK public opinion. He is the co-founder of poll aggregator Britain Elects, and since 2023 is also a Cheshire West and Chester Councillor. Alison Lowe OBE is the West Yorkshire Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime. She has been involved with local government for almost 30 years as a Labour councillor and as the Deputy Lord Mayor of Leeds in 2003-4. She is a well known campaigner on equal rights, and worked in the Third Sector for 30+ years, most recently as Chief Executive of Touchstone, a mental health charity specialising in working with people from different cultural backgrounds across West Yorkshire. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:02:23

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AI and Democracy | ep 105

4/29/2024
Over the last few years, the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to transform our society has become increasingly apparent. This comes with incredible opportunities – AI could help deepen our democracy and enable our politics to get closer to citizens to represent them more effectively – but is also fraught with risk. How can we take advantage of these opportunities while preventing AI from further destabilising our democracy with deepfakes and disinformation? To discuss all of this and more, we were joined by: Bhargav Srinivasa DesikanLaura Giesen Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:00:59:34

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The Trade Union campaign for PR w/ Lynn Henderson and Nancy Platts | ep. 104

4/15/2024
It was a watershed moment in October 2022 when the Labour Party conference overwhelmingly voted to include in its manifesto a commitment to change the voting system to proportional representation after the next election. Just the year before, despite mass support in the membership, the motion failed because the affiliated Trade Unions opposed the motion. To discuss this historic shift, what the changing the voting systems means to the trade union movement, and where next, we’re excited to be joined by Lynn Henderson and Nancy Platts. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:00:46

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The role and opportunities for a democratic movement in Scotland | ep. 103

4/2/2024
Support for Scottish independence is still strong but the SNP are clearly in a weaker position, institutionally, reputationally, and ideologically. They have become mired in scandal, their hegemonic grip on politics north of the border looks to be loosening, and yet the constitutional questions about who governs Scotland and how remain relevant and live. Labour’s position has clearly strengthened – albeit without ever addressing key questions of democratic renewal and constitutional change. With a UK general election less than a year away, especially while it looks like Labour could win power and form a majority, the context for the democratic left, the future of the UK and Scotland are changing – and with it how and how much the UK is bound together changes. What progressive and democratic reforms are feasible and desirable in this new context and how can the progressive democratic left work together are essential questions on either side of the independence case. To talk this through with us, Neal and Lena were joined by: Gerry HassanEsther RobertonSupport the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:02:25

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Citizens' Assemblies | ep. 102

3/18/2024
Citizens’ assemblies represent an alternative way of doing politics: a randomly selected group of citizens are convened to reason collectively, to consider evidence and to have discussions which should arrive at complex, nuanced decisions for the long term. As such, they’ve been called ‘democracy under good conditions’. They have been credited with tackling some of the toughest political and ethical questions – such as abortion, AI, hate crime and nuclear power –generating balanced and often surprising solutions. Citizens’ assemblies aren’t some kind of wacky democratic experiment – they’re a tried-and-tested tool in our democratic arsenal. That’s why it’s no surprise that the Labour Party, if it wins the next election, is reportedly open to introducing citizens’ assemblies for some of the biggest, most complex concerns of our time – housebuilding, House of Lords reform and devolution. To discuss this, we were joined by: Jamie Kelsey FryJames Robertson, Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:04:28

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Small Parties, Big Ideas | ep. 101

3/4/2024
First Past the Post might block smaller parties from gaining representation at Westminster, but on this episode of It’s Bloody Complicated, we discussed how in spite of this they can still wield substantial influence and contribute meaningfully to our national political discourse. We were joined by: Gina MillerCatherine Mayer Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:02:08

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Radical Pragmatism | ep. 100

2/19/2024
Progressives face a dilemma; we want a change of government but know the country needs a big change of direction. In an essay published for the journal Renewal, Neal has set out the case for what he calls a Radical Pragmatic Left, i.e., a Left that recognises both the need to reconnect with voters and defeat the Tories but critically has a plan to transform the country within the context of the Poly crisis world we face. The need for such a Left is made more urgent by the looming threat of the populist Right if any new incoming government fails too much, too soon. To discuss the essay and its implications Frances was joined by Neal and Alan Finlayson, Professor of Political and Social Theory at The University of East Anglia and Chair of the Board of Renewal. As part of his work Alan has developed particular expertise in the theoretical and practical study of political rhetoric. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:02:51

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Fighting fracking, factionalism, and Jeremy Hunt | ep. 99

1/29/2024
In 2017, South West Surrey Compass organised and slashed Jeremy Hunt’s majority taking it from the 7th safest Tory-held seat to the 121st. In 2019, they took control of a local council. In 2023, they sued the government. In the beginning of a an election year, we brought old Compass friends Paul Follows and Steve Williams onto It’s Bloody Complicated to talk about their journey, lessons, and plans for cooperation in South West Surrey. For the past 8 years, they have been a leading light for progressive cooperation. They have illustrated time and time again that coalitions and cooperative politics isn’t lowest common denominator politics – it’s our future. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:01:41

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New Media | ep.98

1/15/2024
The mainstream press in Britain has been in a state of managed decline for much of the 21st century. Once massive news outlets have suffered massive staff reductions as they have struggled to adapt to a digital age. But over the last few years, green shoots of growth have emerged. From the national level with publications like Byline Times and Novara Media to the regional level with the Manchester Mill, Sheffield Tribune, Bristol Cable and more, new media outlets are daring to do things differently and challenging the industry orthodoxy. But all the while, outlets on the Right such as GB News are also going from strength to strength. What opportunities – and challenges – might arise from this new media landscape? And will it help or hinder our fight for a new democracy? To discuss all of this and more, we were joined by: Hardeep MatharuPriyanka RavalSupport the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:01:36

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The Big Fat Podcast of the Year 2023 with Ayesha Hazarika and Andrew Grice | ep. 97

12/18/2023
As another year comes to a close, we were excited to welcome Ayesha Hazarika and Andrew Grice to It’s Bloody Complicated to round up another year in politics. Ayesha HazarikaAndrew Grice2023 was a year of strikes and protests, record-breaking global temperatures, a coronation, 2 cabinet and 1 shadow cabinet reshuffles, and horrific conflict. What’s on the report cards for our progressive parties? What can we expect from 2024 with a general election (probably) on the horizon – and what are the prospects for genuine system change, including proportional representation? We digested the year that was, alongside some mince pies. Members joined us live at 6pm on Tuesday 12th December with Ayesha and Andy. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:03:05

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Land Ownership and the Commons | ep. 96

12/4/2023
According to the Right to Roam campaign, 92% of the UK’s countryside and 97% of its rivers are not available to the vast majority of the public. For Episode 96 of It’s Bloody Complicated, we’ll be discussing land ownership and the Commons, and why democratising and sharing control of our land, rivers and seas could slash inequality and help calm political instability in this country. We were joined by : Guy StandingPlunder of the CommonsPam Warhurst, the founder and chairIncredible EdibleOn the podcast, we discussed why our relationship to land is such a pressing issue, what a new progressive settlement for the Commons might look like and how we can get there. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:01:48

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In Conversation with Areeba Hamid, co-Director of Greenpeace UK

11/20/2023
Climate chaos is looming. The question of how to protect and preserve our planet for future generations is a conversation that’s not just timely, but absolutely essential. That’s why, for Episode 95 of It’s Bloody Complicated, we were joined by Areeba Hamid, co-Director of Greenpeace. When she took up the role last October, Areeba became the first woman of colour and first migrant to lead Greenpeace and, along with Will McCallum, the first to share the top job. From grassroots activism to global campaigns, Areeba shared insights into the transformative power of environmental advocacy and explored the challenges Greenpeace has faced in the fight against climate change. We explored the complexities of environmental conservation, the role of Greenpeace alongside newer organisations like XR and JSO, and why we must renew our democracy to achieve climate justice. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:00:58:37

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In Conversation: Clare Short | ep. 94

10/30/2023
After Labour came to power in 1997, Clare Short served as the UK’s first cabinet-level Secretary of State for International Development, a post she would go on to hold for six years. In this role, she secured large increases in the British government’s overseas aid budget and persuaded then-chancellor Gordon Brown to write off the debts to Britain of Africa’s poorest countries. A famously independent-minded politician, she stood down from her role over the Iraq war in 2003 and later resigned the Labour whip in 2006. She then served the remainder of her term as an independent before standing down as an MP in 2010. She joined us on It’s Bloody Complicated to discuss the legacy of New Labour, the future of the UK’s role in international development and how the current political moment compares to 1997. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:00:52:57

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Live from Labour Conference 2023 | ep. 92

10/13/2023
Labour faces a huge challenge at the next election: first to win power, then to use it to change our country for the better. The polls suggest it will clear the first hurdle, but what of the second? The challenges our county faces have never been greater. We need a bold and reforming progressive government to rebuild our crumbling public services, restore trust in our democracy and tackle the climate crisis head-on. We brought you a live episode of It’s Bloody Complicated from Labour Conference 2023 to ask: is Labour up to the challenge? We were joined by journalist and broadcaster Steve Richards, the New Statesman’s Zoe Grunewald, and The Guardian's Zoe Williams to talk about the key headline announcements, reflected on the mood on the conference floor and discussed whether Labour is ready for power. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:00:58:45

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New Zealand: The Route to PR | ep. 91

10/2/2023
In 1993, New Zealanders voted to replace First Past the Post with a proportional voting system. 30 years on, we discussed how this all-important electoral overhaul came about with two special guests: Max RashbrookeDanna GlendiningWe discussed the challenges and difficulties of changing the voting system, how a transition to PR has transformed politics in New Zealand and what democracy campaigners in the UK can learn about the road to electoral reform. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:02:37

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The Threat of the Far Right | ep. 90

9/18/2023
On this episode, we brought together an expert panel to discuss the threat of the far-right to democracy and how progressives are fighting for change. Nick LowlesHannah RoseLuke CooperAuthoritarian Contagion: The Global Threat to Democracy.With the far right marching steadily into the mainstream in Europe and elsewhere, the endurance of progressive forces and their capacity to win will depend on their ability to build deep and enduring alliances with their political neighbours. We delved into why now is such a vital moment for this political discussion, what’s at stake and why progressives need to go big to combat the tide of far right extremism sweeping Europe and the globe. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:02:21

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In Conversation with Oliver Burkeman | ep. 90

7/30/2023
The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. If you live to be 80, you’ll have had about 4,000 weeks. But, to Oliver Burkeman, that’s no reason for despair. Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals was a smash hit from author and journalist Oliver Burkeman. On 25th July, he’ll join us on It’s Bloody Complicated to talk time, reality, the delusions we hold about productivity, and how to focus on the ‘gloriously possible’ in a time of spiralling global crises. Oliver is the author of The Antidote: Happiness for People who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking and Help! How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done. He wrote a long-running column for the Guardian, This Column Will Change Your Life, and has a devoted following for his writing on productivity, mortality and the power of limits. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:03:51

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In Conversation: Daniel Chandler | ep. 89

7/17/2023
What would a Fair Society actually look like? What are the feasible policy building blocks that could help us get there? In Daniel Chandler’s book Free and Equal he makes the case for a new progressive liberalism grounded in the ideas of the philosopher John Rawls – complete with democratic reform of the voting system for the House of Commons, a universal basic income, and the abolition of private schools. Listen back to this episode of It’s Bloody Complicated as we ask Daniel about these ideas and more. This episode was recorded with an audience of our members on July 11th. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:01:02:11

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In Conversation: Dr Julia Grace Patterson | ep. 88

7/3/2023
Ahead of the 75th anniversary of the NHS this year, Julia Grace Patterson is publishing a new book, Critical: Why the NHS is being betrayed and how we can fight for it. After years of austerity, a global pandemic, and the looming threats of privatisation, the NHS is bad shape. She writes, “The NHS is an institution. But it’s also a political football, kicked back and forth between politicians for the past 75 years. It’s a burden to some and a potent vote-winner for others. It’s a construct, framed in the media. It’s a set of ideas and a logo. It’s a workplace for many and the birthplace of almost all of us. It’s become a valued part of our society, it is extraordinarily special – and it’s being destroyed”. On this episode of It’s Bloody Complicated we dug into her journey as a campaigner and what she’s planning heading into the next election. Julia is a relentless and extremely effective campaigner and advocate for NHS staff and patients. She is the Founder and Chief Executive of EveryDoctor, a doctor-led campaign organisation fighting for a better NHS. A doctor who qualified from UCL Medical School in 2010, she took a break from her speciality training to set up EveryDoctor, and has now given up her GMC licence to practice, in order to devote herself fully to advocating for NHS staff and patients. She remains a doctor on the GMC register. This episode was recorded live on 27th June, 6pm. Support the Show. Enjoyed the podcast and want to be a live audience member at our next episode? Want to have the chance in raising questions to the panelist? Support our work and be a part of the Compass community. Become a member! You can find us on Twitter at @CompassOffice.

Duration:00:56:36