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The Why? Curve

News & Politics Podcasts

Each week Phil Dobbie and Roger Hearing get to grips with one issue that impacts our lives. It could be economic, social, technological or geopolitical. Whatever the subject, they'll talk to the experts who can give help explain what's really going on. And Phil and Roger back it up with their own research and opinions. It's half an hour to get across one of the key issues of the time, and they promise, it'll never be boring. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Each week Phil Dobbie and Roger Hearing get to grips with one issue that impacts our lives. It could be economic, social, technological or geopolitical. Whatever the subject, they'll talk to the experts who can give help explain what's really going on. And Phil and Roger back it up with their own research and opinions. It's half an hour to get across one of the key issues of the time, and they promise, it'll never be boring. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

Each week Phil Dobbie and Roger Hearing get to grips with one issue that impacts our lives. It could be economic, social, technological or geopolitical. Whatever the subject, they'll talk to the experts who can give help explain what's really going on. And Phil and Roger back it up with their own research and opinions. It's half an hour to get across one of the key issues of the time, and they promise, it'll never be boring. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Twitter:

@phildobbie

Language:

English


Episodes

Fiscal event or economic suicide?

9/28/2022
Last week Kwasi Kwarteng delivered his ‘fiscal event’, unsupported by any analysis from the Office for Budget Responsibility. He said we wouldn’t apologise for focusing on economic growth. He’s also refused to apologise for the market response, which has seen the pound sink to a record low and the Bank of England forced to step in and buy-up bonds to stop the collapse of many pension funds, suffering from rapidly rising longer-end gilt yields. Even if the approach was to work, is there any...

Duration:00:46:28

Hard Labour

9/22/2022
A weak Tory prime minister, a dire economic crisis, a government seemingly set on making the rich richer while an election looms - an open goal for Labour surely? What could possibly go wrong? But the mood among the party faithful as they meet in conference in Liverpool is anything but confident. Corbynism may be buried, but Keir Starmer lacks charisma, his team are not exactly household names, and can YOU name a single Labour policy? Phil and Roger talk to David Kogan, Labour historian and...

Duration:00:40:35

Welcome to Cold War 2

9/15/2022
The Cold War was supposed to be over twenty years ago, but are China and Russia now a new bloc of autocracy, posed against western democracies in competition for global dominance? And do they have a point - are states where electors don’t have to be appeased every four or five years, better able to plan and make difficult decisions? Do Brexit and the presidency of Donald Trump show up the weak points of liberal democracy? On this week’s episode Phil and Roger raise all this with Dr Natasha...

Duration:00:33:25

"Well I didn't vote for her!"

9/8/2022
Is our democracy broken? We have a new prime minister - but who elected her? When a few Conservative party members have the choice of who holds the top job in the country, has something gone wrong with the system? When the last holder of that job (also chosen by the Tory membership) leaves with the appointment of his choice of his friends and supporters to the House of Lords, does it smell a bit of cronyism? This week Phil and Roger ask Robert Hazell, professor of government and the...

Duration:00:42:25

The Last Days Of The BBC?

9/1/2022
Is the national broadcaster moving towards some kind of closedown? With the likely next prime minister challenging the BBC’s accuracy, and one of its most prominent former presenters questioning its impartiality, while the frozen licence fee and inflation mean it can do less and less, is there a better model of public service broadcasting? A century after its foundation, should the corporation cede the field to the newcomers - Netflix and Disney? Patrick Barwise, emeritus professor of...

Duration:00:41:42

Net Zero Chance?

8/25/2022
The world knows we’ve got to break our addiction to fossil fuels, and we need to move to a future where we no long pollute our atmosphere. But how quickly can we reach this utopian future? How far are current worries about being able to afford to heat our homes going to delay Net Zero? Can we still enjoy the benefits of a growing economy without destroying the planet? Can we reach it quickly enough? Will we ever reach it? Phil Dobbie and Roger Hearing put all that to Professor Richard Black...

Duration:00:40:35

Sleepwalking into a crisis

8/18/2022
UK inflation is now in double digits. We got there faster than expected and the Bank of England is likely to keep raising interest rates because they believe that’s the only way to contain prices. Not long ago the same bankers were arguing that there was no need for a change in their monetary policy because the problem was a transitory lack of supply. That’s still the case, of course, so why do they think hiking rates will make much difference now? This week Phil and Roger talk through the...

Duration:00:29:27

Levelling-Up Or Levelling Over?

8/11/2022
As prices rise everywhere, and poverty looms for many, whatever happened to the levelling-up that was supposed to equalise the more-deprived parts of Britain with the wealthy southeast? Almost 3 years after Boris Johnson won a stonking majority, winning-over former Labour seats in the “Red Wall”, have those areas seen any improvement in health, transport, skills-training and opportunities? There IS a plan - a white paper launched in February - but, with one of the candidates to be the next...

Duration:00:41:26

Putin's Foot on the Gas

8/4/2022
Winter is coming, and Europe is looking at a chilly one. Germans are told – take a cold shower or turn down the thermostat and use 15% less gas. And the European Commission is looking at EU-wide measures to deal with what could be a major crisis. It’s all because Russia is tightening the valves on the gas pipeline into the EU. Moscow says it’s technical problems but few doubt it’s pushback for the sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine invasion. Germany is especially reliant on Russian...

Duration:00:34:49

Fears of Flying

7/28/2022
When did flying become such a grim experience? Endless queues. Cancelled flights. Airport chaos. And stacked like sardines when you do eventually get aboard. With Heathrow capping the number of daily passengers and tickets shooting up in price, plus the harm to the environment, is it time to disembark from flying? At the same time, with huge waits at Dover and Folkestone to get across the Channel by train or boat, do holidaymakers really have a choice? Phil and Roger put all this to...

Duration:00:36:03

Taxing times for Tory leadership

7/21/2022
The Tory party leadership challenge is down to two players – Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. Sunak wants to keep taxes where they are, preaching fiscal conservatism, and fearing releasing more money into people’s pockets will only add to inflation, which is already at 9.4 percent. Truss wants to help people navigate the cost-of-living crisis, by reversing the recent hikes in national insurance. So which approach is right in the current economic climate? It’s a question Phil and Roger put to Simon...

Duration:00:32:33

Lies, Damn Lies and Politicians

7/14/2022
Who are the least trusted people in society? Journalists? Car-sellers? Bankers? Nope. Politicians are top of the list. And you only have to look at the headlines to see why: Partygate here, Donald Trump’s false election fraud claims in the US, the claims of WMD before the Iraq war in 2003, and of course the original “gate” – Watergate. But surely politicians have ALWAYS lied? Isn’t it just what happens when you have to persuade people to vote for you? Or have Trump and Johnson taken us into...

Duration:00:40:39

He/She or Them? The Gen on Gender

7/7/2022
The most toxic issue of our times – why have trans rights become such a bitter question in politics, sport, and even bathrooms? Some feminists say allowing those born biologically male to identify and be treated as female risks rolling back hard-won rights for women. Trans activists say it is a matter of human rights, and another aspect of the battle for recognition and acceptance already largely won by gay men, bisexuals, and lesbians. It’s a debate that has descended into name-calling,...

Duration:00:38:22

Putin Gives NATO Back It’s Mojo

6/30/2022
No longer “brain-dead”? NATO leaders have been meeting in Madrid at one of the most important - and dangerous - points in the alliance’s 70-year history. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has given NATO a new purpose, and new members, after it seemed to lose its way in the post-Cold War era. But can NATO stay united? What if Vladimir Putin offers a ceasefire that lets him keep his conquests? Will NATO members give Ukraine enough of the right weapons to hold the line against Moscow’s aggression?...

Duration:00:37:24

Britain hits the buffers!

6/23/2022
The largest rail strike in 30 years is crippling the train network, causing disruption for millions as tens of thousands of staff walk out, demanding more money and better conditions. But is this a wider issue than a simple industrial dispute? After all, even in normal times we rarely stop moaning about late-running and ticket prices, and comparisons with trains in Germany and France leave us looking as if we’ve been backed into a siding. Today Phil and Roger hear from Christian Wolmar,...

Duration:00:37:48

The recession we have to have

6/16/2022
Today the Bank of England lifted interest rates again, for the fifth time in a row. Earlier this week interest rates in the US were raised by 0.75%, with much to follow. The reason for the hikes? It’s because inflation is shooting up, largely because of supply chain problems resulting from the war in Ukraine and COVID lockdowns in China. We’re also seeing a shortage of people to fill jobs, giving more people the opportunity to push for higher wages. How will raising interest rates fix those...

Duration:00:32:19

Three Big Questions on the Rwanda Solution

6/9/2022
The first batch of asylum seekers to be sent to Rwanda are due to fly out next Tuesday. There are likely to be delays, possibly indefinitely, as lawyers challenge the legality of the government’s plans to send those who arrive by boat offshore to Rwanda, with no right to claim asylum in the UK. In this first edition of ‘The Why? Curve’ Roger Hearing says the question of legality is one issue – there’s also the question of whether it’s ethical, and whether it’ll work. Phil Dobbie says the...

Duration:00:33:03

The Why Curve is coming

5/27/2022
We're ready to kick off on 9th June and every Thursday thereafter. So check your favourite podcast app to subscribe. If we're not there yet, we will be soon. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Duration:00:02:41