Every fortnight, ConservativeHome will compile a handful of podcast recommendations – content that has been published in the weeks preceding – for its readers. Although these will mainly focus on podcasts for conservative listeners, we will try to include other options – should they be particularly interesting. Sometimes this feature will contain other types of media.

Title: UnHerd Live
Host: Sally Chatterton
Episode: Where does feminism go next?

Duration: 1:08:49 hours 
Published: February 3

What’s it about?

In this fascinating event, Sally Chatterton, Editor of UnHerd, chairs a discussion between Julie Bindel, Hadley Freeman and Mary Harrington on the future of feminism. Each have unique takes on where the movement is going wrong, and right (but mostly wrong), with the discussions spanning a huge number of areas, from gender identity, to sex work, to surrogacy and motherhood.

Some teaser quotes:
  • Bindel: “Feminism is vibrant, and it is moving forward, because women have had enough. We’ve always had enough, but we’ve particularly had enough now.”
  • Harrington on growing anti-natalism: “Somehow it’s as though a collective decision has been taken by at least some of the generation or so younger than me, that ‘let’s just draw a line under this; we’re not going to do this any more’; a sort of collective human death wish”.
  • Freeman: “There’s so much ageism that I see now among younger women, which I find quite shocking and also incredibly Freudian. The disdain that I see expressed about, for example, Mumsnet, I think largely cause it’s got the word ‘mum’ in it. And this disgust that I see from young women when women talk about things like breastfeeding and childbirth.”

A brave discussion, full of thought-provoking commentary.

Title: Chopper’s Politics
Host: Christopher Hope
Episode: Just what is ‘levelling up’?

Duration: 41:59 minutes
Published: February 5

What’s it about?

In this interview, Christopher Hope sits down with Neil O’Brien, Minister in the Levelling Up department and co-author of the Government’s white paper on Levelling Up, to talk about – guess what? – all things levelling up. The MP for Harborough, Oadby & Wigston takes listeners through the process of putting together one of this government’s most important visions. Towards the end of the podcast, Hope speaks to Sebastian Payne of the FT about what the white paper means for Johnsonism, and Lisa Nandy, Shadow Secretary for Levelling Up, offers her thoughts on the topic.

Some teaser quotes (from O’Brien):
  • “It’s quite often written up as a kind of North-South thing, and it is true that lots of the North is poorer and in need of levelling up, but it’s absolutely the case that we recognise that within even affluent regions like the South East, there are places that are poor”.
  • On whether there could be a bid for the Olympics again, and where it would take place: “It wouldn’t be London… It would probably have to be spread across a number of places.”
  • “We can have two economic models. We can have the Blair model, which is just pile everything into London, let’s all move to the greater South East, and Lord knows how we’ll cope. Or we can try and have more balanced growth across the country, get some of these great cities and towns that have such potential, but have shrunk, going again.”

Essential listening for anyone who wants to understand Levelling Up in depth.

Title: The New Culture Forum
Host: Peter Whittle
Episode: How England Could Have Europe’s Worst Free Speech Protection. + Lockdown Sceptics’ Vindication.

Duration: 54:35 minutes
Published: February 6

What’s it about?

In this podcast, Peter Whittle interviews Toby Young, founder of The Daily Sceptic and the Free Speech Union, the latter of which has just celebrated its second anniversary, to discuss a vast range of topics – from whether the UK was right to lockdown, to Boris Johnson’s leadership, to the extent to which free speech is under attack in England and Scotland. As the title indicates, Young is not optimistic about our current trajectory.

Some teaser quotes:
  • “[T]here was so little intellectual curiosity about the origins of the virus. And anyone speculating that it might have been leaked from the virology institute in Wuhan was, for a long time, smeared as a conspiracy theorist trafficking in misinformation, and that kind of smear was enough to shut down debate about it for more than a year”.
  • “The fact that [Johnson] himself broke the rules makes it much harder for him to insist everyone else obey them again. You can’t imagine a political leader across the West for whom it would be politically more difficult to impose another lockdown”.
  • “We keep winning battles at the Free Speech Union; 75 per cent of the cases we take on, we win. But we’re losing the war.”

A lively exchange covering the most important subjects of the day.