Andrew Elliott

Formal Language and Woke Culture

In a week dominated by reports in the media of parliament using inflammatory language, and the announcement that Sam Smith wants people to use new preferred pronouns, we discuss whether our natural language is becoming more like a formal one.

What are the differences between a formal and natural language? What’s the importance of context in our speech and communication?

Do our MPs go too far with words like “surrender” and “betrayal”?

We make predictions of where this may all end, and if we are seeing the turning point against woke culture.

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Dr Kristian Niemietz Interview: Socialism, Capitalism and Liberalism

We are joined by the Head of Political Economy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Dr Kristian Niemietz, for a conversation on the phenomenon of modern support for socialism, whether apologists for capitalism help their cause, and whether we’ll see a new classical liberal revolution in our lifetimes.

You can find Kristian on Twitter as @K_Niemietz

And you can buy his latest book, Socialism: The Failed Idea That Never Dies here on Amazon.

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The Problems With The Centre Ground

Is centrism really the answer to any political question?

Is the centre ground really the safe area furthest from the two dominant authoritarian ideologies of the 20th century, or merely a cherry picked, statist mix of the two; dressed up to sound reasonable and measured?

From critiquing Rory Stewart’s centrist “bow” to whether or not people have abandoned ideologies, we discuss if political centrism is really that benign and perhaps the modern, accepted forms of statism can be countered without being branded an extremist.

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The Left Right Game 2

After Andrew surprised Nic a few episodes ago with The Left Right Game, Nic has been thinking and planning a way of getting his own back, and taking the game a step further.

In this edition, we look at whether certain organisations and people are more “Left” or “Right” wing (or a bit of both), rather than just looking at government policies, like we did the first time.

Will you agree with our determinations? How right wing or left wing are you based on our definitions? Does it change how you think about the political spectrum?

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Proroguing Parliament: What does it really mean for Brexit?

As predicted, Boris Johnson has decided to end the current parliamentary session (the longest in modern times), and trigger a new Queen’s Speech. Remainists are naturally going crazy, and talking of constitutional outrage.

But what does it actually mean for Brexit on 31 October? Is there time for fast-tracked, Bercow-enabled law that would either revoke Article 50, extend the deadline, or somehow prevent a “no deal”? What about passing a law that would stop prorogation itself? Is there even time left now in the parliamentary session?

We discuss all this and the finer details of the Fixed Term Parliament Act, and whether Boris has pulled a blinder.

Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/14/enacted

House of Commons Library Briefing Paper on Prorogation – https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8589

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Bit of a chat: driving whisky, ruining Monopoly and the Chuka Umunna Award

In this edition, we have a longer chat than usual, but try to get in all the smaller topics that we feel were too short to be podcasts in their own right, or that we just want to rant about.

We discuss gaming culture, and whether the terminology is creeping into political life, how Andrew feels like we’ve been brainwashed into thinking the game Monopoly is really capitalism, and Nic names the first recipient of the Chuka Umunna Award.

And over a whisky or two, we talk about how Brexity the new Boris Johnson cabinet can be, and whether the Tories are missing a trick with making everything about Corbyn.

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Negative Rights And Moral Relativism

This week, we’re interested in rights. Specifically, the difference between negative & positive rights and what they mean.

We also discuss the difference between moral absolutism & relativism and how the left use the difficulties in defining boundaries for nefarious means when they talk about the greater good.

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Should May, Not Boris, Prorogue Parliament?

How could the Remainer establishment blunt Boris Johnson’s threat of proroguing parliament to force through Brexit?

Maybe, just maybe, there is a way of playing politics that blunts Boris’s endgame ambitions for no-deal.
In short, what if Theresa May prorogued parliament now, before Boris gets a chance to?

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The Left Right Game

This week, I surprise Nic with a new jape: The Left Right Game!

I had the idea to state a number of different, collectivist policies and Nic had to tell me whether they were left or right wing, with evidence of course, to test my theory that many people associate all forms of statism with the left. Did Nic fall into my trap?

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Does Capitalism Need A Reboot… Into Valueism?

This week we talk about capitalism in an unapologetic way. We talk not about the ethics, but the morality of capitalism. Something we feel isn’t talked about enough these days, if ever.

We consider what capitalism means, we try to define it in a moral, meaningful way, before finally asking ourselves if it needs a new term altogether. One not created by its enemies. Valueism?

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