In This Episode
Pod Save the UK is on a mission: to free the royals, and the country, from the madness of monarchy. Has King Charles’s coronation sent the UK into a frenzy of royal fervour, a bored stupor or a republican rage? Nish Kumar and Coco Khan work out how to ditch the Windsors and replace them with something better. Professor Amelia Hadfield, head of politics at Surrey University, has spotted some pitfalls for Pod Save the UK’s revolutionaries. Labour MP, Clive Lewis, joins the pod. His opinions on monarchy have got him into trouble with his own party. But who wants to be the killjoys spoiling everyone’s street party? Coco has a plan: rave for the republic.
Pod Save the UK is a Reduced Listening production for Crooked Media.
Audio clip credits:
Nish Kumar Hello and welcome to the very first episode of Pod Save the UK. I’m Nish Kumar.
Coco Khan And I’m Coco Khan.
Nish Kumar And we’re talking politics.
Coco Khan Finding out what’s going on, what’s going wrong.
Nish Kumar And asking, surely Britain can do better than this?
Coco Khan What qualifies us? I’m a journalist. He’s a comedian. But like everyone, we’ve got skin in the game.
Nish Kumar Politics is not a spectator sport. We’ve got a vote. We’ve got free speech. So let’s use it.
Coco Khan And we have been arguing about politics for many, many years now. How do we know? Yeah.
Nish Kumar Some would say for too long. So with a variety of special guests with big brains and big ideas, we’re finally getting the chance to step up and try and fix UK politics.
Coco Khan Yeah. So cool. No pressure.
Nish Kumar Very relaxed.
Coco Khan So, Nick, what does the UK need saving from this week?
Nish Kumar Well, it needs saving from the £100 million coronation of King Charles the third, and it needs saving from politicians spouting racist rhetoric.
Coco Khan Okay, so it being our first episode, introducing ourselves to the people in our transparent, no bullshit way. Let’s put the cards on the table.
Nish Kumar All right. Done Done
Coco Khan Okay. You first. Okay.
Nish Kumar I’ll put my cards. What? Most aggressive blackjack dealer in Vegas. You first. You all go. I’ll put my cards on the table and say I. I think people who know my work are pretty clear on my politics, but I think possibly it’s even more unimaginative than the worst caricature of me could imagine. Like I am. I am 100% Labor voter. I don’t know that I’ve ever been fully happy about it, but I have a 100% Labor voter. I have a spotless track record. I think that. But what I’m trying to do is set it in context of where I come from, because people in the press have often written about me like I’m the sort of rabid left wing maniac. You have to understand, my family’s from Kerala in India, which has consistently elected Marxist representation. So in the context of my family history, I am basically David Cameron. Like in the context of my family history where people have like, stood for election as communist employees, you know, as long as I’m not sort of living in the trees with a maoist militia. I’m basically a neo liberal shell. I’m trying to set people in context. If you think I’m too left wing, it could be a lot worse.
Coco Khan I mean, it’s funny hearing you talk about it because in practice I’m the same. I’m also a lifelong Labor voter. But, you know, I don’t really like that label. I really like to I like to spice it up at local election anyway, you know?
Nish Kumar I do like the label. I’m close minded. I’m happy to.
Coco Khan You had that moment in the booth. You’re like, Oh, hey, Green. I don’t know. Maybe it’s different. Who, me?
Nish Kumar I think I might be the most closed minded, modern Britain.
Coco Khan Lib Dems You up?
Nish Kumar I would never take sides of the Lib Dems anyway.
Coco Khan But the thing about being a lifelong Labor voter. I don’t know about you. I’m exhausted, mate. Yeah, I’m drained. Yeah. The rollercoaster. All they get me. They love me. I’ve been betrayed. It’s too much. I have trust issues. Now I know why they call it the Labor Party. Because it’s hard work. And you know what? You know, all I keep thinking about, it’s like, what do I really want from a party? What do I want? Politics. And I just want a system that you can just forget about, like it’s working. We don’t need to think they’re going to do what they said they were going to do. They’re going to do it Well, great. I can focus on the football, on on family, on nature. I just don’t need to. You know, if you go to the doctor and you say, oh, you right, doc, really filthy, my kidneys real bad. And then you will obviously be like you’ve had a few too big nights out, like something’s going wrong.
Nish Kumar To give you a little something.
Coco Khan You shouldn’t feel these organs In the body of Britain, the organ of politics is failing. World is walking around. I’m feeling Westminster real bad today. Oh, my Westminster is real. And I just think it just we want it to be functioning and gone.
Nish Kumar But I mean, I think that’s 13 years of conservative rule, 13 years of underinvestment, 13 years of mismanaging the economy, 13 years of not enough money for schools and hospitals. I mean, I think as much as any problems with the Labor Party, I’ve got about 50 times the amount with the Conservative Party, like after more than a decade of this nonsense, I think the country desperately needs a change.
Coco Khan So what you’re saying is we’re here, Pod save, go stone Britain. Yeah, that’s what we’re doing this week, right?
Nish Kumar Okay. Down to business. What’s the first thing that you need saving from this week?
Coco Khan For me, doubtless the monarchy. I You can’t move for the coronation at the moment. It’s only Wednesday. What’s going to happen by Saturday? Look, I don’t want to be joyless. You know, I love camp things. And I mean. Oh, so camp. Operation Golden Orb. The operation code names. I’m not meant to tell you what it is, but it’s so camp. They’re like, it’s a golden orb. That’s what it is. Sounds like an Austin Powers movie, but I’ve been thinking about genuinely thinking about whether I want to participate in it. And it did list. I did a pro and a con.
Nish Kumar Okay. Yeah. The current practical of.
Coco Khan The Economist was very low, but the main thing was about the one rule for them, one rule for us. I just think that is very, very toxic. They have exempted themselves from over a hundred laws, mainly to protect their wealth and their power to let them get away with stuff that we can’t even find out what they’re getting away with because they keep it all very behind closed doors. The Queen. Hit money to avoid paying taxes. The queen, she doesn’t need to do that. I mean, the king is quite literally a billionaire landlord. I mean, as brands go. So, yeah, I think I’m finding it hard to to participate. Anish, I know you love the monarchy.
Nish Kumar You know, I.
Coco Khan Mean, the coronation keep breaking away.
Nish Kumar Yeah. I mean, first of all, congratulations on finding a worse food than coronation chicken. I mean, in a way, they’ve done themselves proud.
Coco Khan She has got broad beans in it. What? That’s nuts for quiche.
Nish Kumar I mean, the whole thing looks like diarrhea in pastry, but it’s what I would say about the monarchy is I sort of have issues with them historically. I think if you were a person whose family comes from a previously colonized country, you will always have mixed feelings about the royal family. But if I’m being completely honest, for a lot of my life and as somebody who is interested in politics, I’ve sort of felt them to be kind of irrelevant. But I think in the last few years, the events and the actions of members of the royal family have chipped away at my apathy. Look, I think the disclosures that have been published in The Guardian very recently about the amounts of money that the royal family has been hoarding and the active efforts to ensure that we can’t find out how much money they actually have is a real problem. And listen, let’s not be around the bush here. There is the whole Prince Andrew question now that is going to chip away at your faith that this institution that it has still lined up behind a man who let’s be absolutely clear about this, is at best paedo adjacent. Prince Andrew is at best pedo adjacent. And so we’re now the best case scenario is, well, he’s mates with international sex offenders. That’s the best case scenario. So I think with all of this, it’s I’ve sort of been pushed more in the direction of Republicanism.
Coco Khan I think I know what you mean like that. The fact that they’re always talked about as being oh, they’re just harmless. It’s just decoration. They just like very, very, very expensive bunting. Like, that is part of the power, that is the lack of transparency and accountability. And that is kind of a problem. And we expect more from from the public servants. Yeah.
Nish Kumar Also, can I just also add on top of all of this, it doesn’t seem fun to be in the royal family. It seems really, really depressing. We all read Harry’s book, by which I mean we all listened to extracts from the audio book that we were sent on Twitter by people under the caption Oh my God, I can’t believe he put this in a book. Why did that one stop him? But it doesn’t sound like a particularly joyful existence. The royal family at this point sounds like SeaWorld. And I sort of wonder whether it’s time to free Shamu, because we’ve got this institution in this family that we kind of keep in a gilded cage. And their lives are incredibly sad. We’ve sort of bred them. So they you know, they’re all like those dogs that can’t breathe properly and we leave them in this.
Coco Khan Kind of way. Prince Andrew can’t swim. Oh, my God. So making sense now? Yeah, it’s.
Nish Kumar Impossible.
Coco Khan The bright side, too, is how does a polluted sweat breath out?
Nish Kumar We don’t know. These are the questions that we need to answer. We need more transparency from the royal family. But they. We keep them in these gilded cages. The worst thing about it is we absorb so much content about how sad they all are. This six series of a Netflix show where the premise is essentially sat in it and we all sit there watching it. We go, If only there’s something we could do. Maybe it’s time to let them roam free.
Coco Khan I mean, I don’t know, I sound really bitter, but I mean, how far can you be when you and all your closest aristocratic friends own nearly half of the land in Britain? But okay, I don’t know. COLMAN What do the public think, Nish?
Nish Kumar Well, look, the public polling around all of this, it paints a kind of picture of potentially declining support for the monarchy. But at the same time, the broad feeling still is sort of apathy. A poll in The Guardian said 45% of respondents said it should be abolished was not important or not very important. So it doesn’t mean that 45% favor abolition. They just think that either it should be abolished or it’s just not particularly important to them. On the other hand, a poll for Panorama, the BBC show Panorama, showed 58% people preferred the monarchy to an elected head of state, which was only supported by 26%. The most important divide is age Over 65 are most likely to be supportive of the monarchy at 78%. 18 to 24 year olds was the least likely, and only 32% of them backed the monarchy.
Coco Khan You know what my mum saw last monarchy.
Nish Kumar My mum doesn’t. Yeah. I think in common with a lot of South Asian women. My mum loves Diana.
Coco Khan I remember when Diana died, I was a child and I was watching Nickelodeon and they had like a rolling black banner at the bottom being like, Kids, wake your parents up, wake up. And I went up and I know Diana died and she was genuinely, really, really moved when I say my mum. The monarchy. I think she just likes that they’re a very big family where they have quite prescriptive roles around hierarchy and authority, which is basically an Asian family. My mum, like she relates to that very, very much. But I’m not surprised to hear that the young ones don’t.
Nish Kumar Okay, so let’s go bold and say that we are going to do away with the monarchy. But how? What would a roadmap to a republic look like? What’s the process? And also, what country would we end up being left with? Would it make the UK fairer, make it more equitable? So we’re actually going to ask an expert, someone who actually knows some things about things. We’ve got Professor Amelia Hatfield, who’s the head of politics at Surrey University and a friend of Pod Save the UK. Hi, Amelia.
Amelia Hatfield Hello Nish. It’s great to be here. Hi Coco.
Coco Khan Hi. Well, you’ve done all the hard work for us, which we love. And you’ve mapped out a road to the Republic. But first thing is, on this podcast, we like to be honest about who we are. Where do you stand?
Amelia Hatfield Good. Honesty is always the best policy, especially in politics. I don’t think I’m ideologically aligned with that with one key position. I’d like to sort of lay out the framework, if I can, on the basis of political science, a bit of history and sort of getting a sense of maybe the current zeitgeist. Can I use that word? How are you feeling right now in terms. You know, we’re knee deep in golden orbs. He pointed this out just earlier.
Coco Khan Sounds great.
Amelia Hatfield Okay, so Coronation Fever. But just to reset, what has to happen to to get Republicanism front and center as a political reality here in the United Kingdom? Well, first of all, it’s going to be a shift of attitudes, isn’t it? It’s going to be a clear change in terms of how people are thinking. And I mean, shift. I don’t just mean a nudge. We’ve already seen one change, obviously, from the late queen to the present king. We’ve got a couple more coming, I would have thought in the next 40 or 50 years, depending on how long people live. Charles, William, William to George. And then there’s this overarching key functional question whether an inherited or an unelected individual should continue here in the United Kingdom as the official head of state. So that’s that’s the first thing that has to happen. People’s mindsets need to shift. But then you need you need an opening gambit. I think you have to have a suggestion as to what that reality is going to look like. You have to make a small change that leads to a bigger one. And a good example I can give you is Australia that announced the king will not appear on their $5 banknote, a reminder that U.S. dollars this is important and that was accepted. So that’s a small change. That’s a small, but I think quite, quite a significant one. And then getting that change picked up by a small political group. So single issue parties are incredibly important. They can pick up a one idea, one key idea, They can run with it and then they can nudge again. They nudge larger parties. They nudge them hard to think about it, consider it, And then before you know it, a given idea has sort of morphed and sort of emerged firmly into the national narrative. And don’t forget, that’s exactly how Brexit took form and how Brexit ultimately was carried through to its political conclusion. And I’m sorry to say this, but it’s certainly in this country politically, you would probably need a referendum on using the R word to ensure that the government.
Nish Kumar And that’s the last thing we want to hear.
Amelia Hatfield I’m so sorry.
Nish Kumar If you told people that you were giving them an R where they didn’t want they pray for rectal fire over referendum.
Amelia Hatfield I think all of us would Nish, to be honest. Um, other things that might change people’s mindsets. And we can certainly talk about this. Scandal, scandals, obviously fun to read, but they provoke strong social disapproval. That can be a litmus test to changes.
Nish Kumar And we’ve had a doozy of one. Yeah. Say what you will about Prince Andrew. The guy delivered a scandal.
Amelia Hatfield He certainly did. He certainly did. The question is, is it just individual behavior? Are we just upset with him or can it dislodge the core structure of the monarchy itself? Can it actually shove out the crown in parliament? If it’s that big, then you are looking at a complete and fundamental uncoupling, if you like, of the kind of system, governmental system that we have here in the United Kingdom. And that’s that’s a big step forward. I guess another question is where where would these suggestions come from ideologically? Would they necessarily come from the right or would they come from the left?
Coco Khan There has been this growing anti-monarchy feeling from the right. Actually, we think the notion of a republic is owned by kind of like the left of center. But actually, as there is more of a pressure for public savvy people to speak out on certain issues, for example, like the environment, you find this kind of populist right energy where they don’t like that. And actually that’s a very from demographic who would quite happily.
Nish Kumar So we’re basically saying, like Charles, this kind of pro-environmental stance, which is the one thing a lot of people on the left like about the royal family could be and catalyst for conservative groups to start calling for an abolition of the monarchy.
Amelia Hatfield I think it depends what particular way in which you see the monarchy. I mean, the Labor government’s not been sort of historically anti monarchical, so there’s not sort of any assumptions that you get a you get a political ideological box and you instantly put things into it.
Nish Kumar Clement Attlee actually said the problem with Britain isn’t the monarchy, it’s capitalism, right?
Amelia Hatfield That’s precisely right.
Nish Kumar Somebody’s been a wicked quest.
Amelia Hatfield Somebody has impressively been on which he quote. What is you saying by that? Yeah, I think my suggested is it shows a number of things. You don’t have to be ideologically predisposed, you know, pro or con monarchy. I think at least looking at the. Fundamental problems in terms of equity and power distribution in this country and thought probably it’s the structures of capitalism. And I think the question is, you know, does the monarchy help support that or actually is it eroding it? So there are questions there. So we were talking a little bit about attitudes and a sense of public disapproval. What is wrong with the system? This is a key question. In what way does the monarchy work and what way does it fundamentally not serve the national interest? So you have to have public unhappiness, disapproval over something fundamentally not going right, twinned with a political party capable of taking that sentiment through politically, you know, through to its logical conclusion. So it’s not enough to bang on about, you know, aristocratic privilege or feudal privilege or I don’t like the way the coronation is being put together or even not paying taxes. That’s okay. But you need far more than that. You need to demonstrate you I Republicans, how and why the monarchy fails to serve the public interest. How has it tripped off? And more especially, I think how has the Crown and Parliament and Britain’s overall constitutional monarchy more broadly? Why is it unsuitable? Why is it an unsuitable form of governance for a liberal democracy like the United Kingdom?
Nish Kumar What would the question on the referendum form be? I presume it wouldn’t be. Do you want rid of the cousin fuckers? Like, what would what would the actual question be?
Amelia Hatfield That would be a tremendously attractive referendum question. Obviously, I don’t know if it gets quite to the heart of the point. I think obviously one of the problems with the Brexit question in terms of the referendum was perhaps it was it was just too black and white to say to really yes or no, let it be. Let’s get the wording right. Well, again, it’s are you getting rid of an elected head of state? Are you simply looking for a stripped down, slimmed down monarchy? Are you getting rid of the monarchy as a whole? You could retain a little bit of the crown in parliament. So there’s a spectrum, I think, of how far you want to go. Are we just reforming or are we pressing the reset button completely?
Coco Khan It is interesting to think about what it could look like. Just returning to your thought about Ali and how actually the real problem with capitalism, like if you could decouple the monarch from that astronomical wealth. But then I have seen every Disney movie, and that’s about a prince or princess that is thrust into poverty. And we’ve all been raised to think that is terribly wrong and they should get their crown back.
Nish Kumar Yeah, it’d be like enchanted where Charles and William have to go through a manhole and they end up in New York.
Coco Khan But I did want to ask you about the unintended consequences of pursuing it, maybe not even necessarily a republic, just reforming, just, you know, entrenching some responsibilities more clearly. And yes, having a conversation about taxation, as all public servants should have.
Amelia Hatfield Absolutely. So if we simply assume that we’re just going to decouple for it for the minute, we’re going to just reduce entirely the crown in parliament and we’re going to have a very different kind of set up. Perhaps you’re sort of bog standard for public. I think that would work very well on T-shirts, by the way. I probably said, let’s go for that. Let’s go for that. I think one of the unintended consequences is probably where does that power go? Yeah, power shifts. It rarely vanishes. It usually finds a vacuum. So it’s a concentrated power built up, possibly within parliament, but more likely where power likes to go. And that’s the executive or the prime minister. So absent the crown in Parliament, you could be looking at the lack of checks and balances, if I can put it like that, because the Crown to some extent works as a kind of a passive but rather necessary absorber, sort of a modifier. So there’s a very big question as to what that sort of post abolitionist power base is going to look like. How do you remake that? And if I can just maybe tack one more on, that’s that’s of course, undermining much of the soft power that tends typically to be inherent in monarchs all over the world. That is especially the case here in Britain. Now, the late queen, actually, I think, to my mind, wielded this soft power with with pretty good precision, laser like precision. And in some cases, Charles has the opportunity to do the same. I’ve seen a little bit of this, and I think it’s much needed. Actually. Politics is is is not a lovely place. Obviously, the podcast is and we will bring beautiful renaissance thinking to it naturally. But politics is it’s not great. It’s very shrill, it’s increasingly partizan and sadly it’s very, very ineffective. So a skilled monarch, I think as the head of state, I would have thought as a sort of vital conduit, as as a as somebody who can channel the national interest. But much more importantly, we’re facing terribly intractable global problems that all states are confronting. And why or why not add skill there, if we can? What’s it what.
Nish Kumar What does that soft power look like? I mean, one of the ways that soft power kind of manifests itself potentially on a domestic level is the sort of binding of the four nations. Is there a sense that the monarchy is maybe kind of holding the United Kingdom together to some extent?
Amelia Hatfield Absolutely not. And I think that’s a really good point. I think there’s sort of sort of sinews, if you like, constitutional crown and power sinews that are pulled together. And at this point, I think to to cut them loose in addition to some of the forces we’ve seen in the last couple of. Years might actually really push the United Kingdom over into further and possibly unanticipated revolutionary areas. And it’s it’s fine in terms of having, you know, devolution as a political outcome. But to do it without the soft power that sort of binds them together means you’re looking at a very different identity.
Coco Khan Okay. So. The Republic. Utopia maybe isn’t going to happen in my lifetime, although actually I was going to ask you on your timeline. So I’m going to be raving for the Republic at, what, 80, 85? 90? How long would it take to do this? Single issue party. Get the public interest.
Amelia Hatfield It could be, as you know, as long as it took 2 to 2 shift, you know, very difficult, intractable issues like apartheid that took generations or it could be incredibly quick, like Brexit, which was stunningly quick, I think, in political terms to have the kind of input, input and output it could. I’d say two generations and.
Nish Kumar I guess with Brexit you telegram something, a decision that was though it built from the end of the Second World War, you really turned around something from 1975. With this you’re really turning around something, an issue that sort of not really been examined in the UK since the British, since Oliver Cromwell.
Amelia Hatfield Perhaps it’s Cromwell part two, though. Perhaps what it is, actually it’s looking at something where we’ve always had a legacy to some extent, I think of quiet somewhat PC, you know, Republicanism saying it’s just not the right time, this isn’t the right way, this isn’t the right form of government. It’s not serving our national interests. So it has it has peaked interest.
Coco Khan I like the idea of like Cromwell to Oliver, to Cromwell, who like I like the idea of the sequel. But I mean, he made a compelling case
Amelia Hatfield The second term. And we see.
Nish Kumar Now we talk about sequels. Yeah, yeah. We’re all just it’s Charles the third. We’re on Tokyo Drift. It’s obvious to you your files the various a lot of these Charles three Tokyo Drift.
Coco Khan That was obviously the worst one for a start but mean like you made a really compelling case. But I honestly, if the monarchy didn’t exist, you wouldn’t invent it, would you? Like, you wouldn’t be like, let’s get a family who earn astronomic sums and their main thing will be to waft.
Amelia Hatfield I think the most invented thing itself is always tradition. So I can’t think of anything that’s more fabulously invented than the monarchy.
Nish Kumar That’s. That’s, that’s, that’s clever. That’s a good that’s lost. Something useful said on this podcast.
Coco Khan Okay. Republicanism might not get it. So let’s talk about reform that is certainly within our grasping distance and certainly doable within our lifetime. The things that concern me the most about the monarchy are accountability and transparency. I’m particularly frustrated about offshore accounts. I’m going to talk about tax loopholes, so strikes me as the least patriotic thing you can actually ever do is to not give fairly to your own nation, particularly when you rule it.
Amelia Hatfield I think it’s two fold. It’s a wealth problem in terms of equitable distribution, but also I think it’s a commons problem. It’s the opacity, it’s the it’s the complexity of royal finances. So I totally agree that there should be reform. I think the apparatus of secrecy, if you like, that surrounds the Crown in this respect is not helpful. I think they themselves will probably admit to that. So I think what we need is a call for more accountable spending and to make sure that the kind of spending we see actually does filter through much more truly and much more authentically, if you like, into the nation itself. So we need a better understanding of state versus crown spending and budgets.
Coco Khan But how would you perceive that happening? Would you see that happening? Because as voters, we vote it through all we expecting the royals to just give up some of their powers out of the kindness of their hearts?
Amelia Hatfield I mean, that is that is one way. I think the other ways that I would look at it is to make sure that they have what they need to be able to serve the public. So the only people who receive money from the state, from our state are going to be those who understate undertake public duties. We want to see those duties. We want to see those in in a in a manifestly genuine way that actually supports us as a nation. And also, let’s remember that those decisions that have to be taken, they’re actually not within the remit of the royal family at all. Decisions about funding, about taxation, including loopholes, are decided by the government, not by the royal family. So let’s push the government to make those decisions.
Coco Khan Okay, So since we’re here doing a brainstorm, it’s a safe space. What are three suggestions that we can give King Charlie to his mates? Oh, very nice. Three. So what are we looking at? Right For the Republic King Charlie? So that we go, so guy that he’s velvet curtains.
Nish Kumar King Charlie. Sounds like he’s bringing he’s not just bringing his records to the debate.
Coco Khan You just don’t like this line of humor, honestly, because you’re going to get in trouble. He seems to stop it, actually. Stop it. And let me have some thoughts about they’ve got no time, isn’t it?
Nish Kumar Well, yes. I mean, I just think in terms of I mean, I think that there are things that the crown can do with the short term. I mean, I did think that, you know, Lord Trevelyan demanding King Charles apologized for historic links to the slave trade. I don’t think that that is unreasonable. I also think that we were saved by the fact that they’re not using the Queen mother’s crown from the slightly odd spectacle of Rishi Sunak, a man himself of Indian descent, being the prime minister during a coronation when the region was wearing a hat with the diamond taken from his country. It will be a shock to people, especially if you studied. British history in Britain that the British weren’t just cool legends in India who came back with good memories and the word veranda, but they did a chunk of the capital. David Was it that so could they start by either giving back the cold water over to India? To be fair, India is currently doing pretty well at the moment. Or we flog the COVID or diamonds to start paying. You know, doctors of nurses.
Coco Khan All the doctors are Indian anyway.
Nish Kumar Yes.
Coco Khan That is reparations. Sell the diamonds the doctors sold, teach. You can have that for free, King. You got that one for free, you know.
Amelia Hatfield And I’ll place it’s on us.
Coco Khan They charge my monarch’s right? Yes, Yes.
Amelia Hatfield Very nice. And Jules.
Nish Kumar Amelia, thank you very much. Thank you for your insight and for, as ever, humoring my insistence on comparing paying things to the Fast and Furious franchise.
Amelia Hatfield Absolute pleasure. Thank you very much.
Coco Khan [AD]
Nish Kumar Okay. Well, somebody who has taken a much more unambiguous stance on the royal family is Clive Lewis, the Labor MP for Norwich South. Former shadow minister and leadership candidate. Clive is a Republican and he also thinks the public opinion can shift even more on this. Hello Clive, welcome to parts of the UK. Thank you.
Clive Lewis Thank you guys. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’ve been listening to it really intently.
Nish Kumar So Clive, in terms of I mean, the long term goal for a lot of organizations is for Britain to become a republic In terms of the short term, the campaign that you’re specifically involved in at the moment is around exemptions. Can you just talk us through the specifics of that?
Clive Lewis Yes. So, you know, look, we understand not everyone’s going to be in the game for a full blown republic or even in the near future. But I think a lot of people increasingly understand that reform of the monarchy is pretty critical. I think the kind of one of the low pieces of hanging fruit for any kind of reform is about stopping the royal family from the exemptions to laws and taxes that they currently have. So we know that since 1967, around about 160 different pieces of legislation the royal family have been exempted from, and they’ve also been exempted from a large number of taxes. And these are things which we all pay and we all have to be abide by the law. And I think if you kind of break that, it’s either a universal constant or it isn’t. So the campaign we’ve got is a petition calling on government, calling on the monarchy to basically be stopped from being exempted on those taxes and those laws because it feels fundamentally un-British and wrong for that to happen. And that’s what the campaign is about.
Nish Kumar Talk to us a little bit about your feelings as a Republican, because, I mean, I would say that you don’t strike me as particularly conventional Republican, largely because you’re a member of parliament and there’s not a huge amount of Republican sentiment coming out of the House of Commons.
Clive Lewis I think I think even makes it even stranger. I mean, obviously, there are lots of people in the military who do have. Yeah. And I’m very much no, I think I think look, what happened a couple of weeks ago, The Guardian asked me to write another article about the royal family, about monarchy, and they sent me the challenge about how do you reform?
Coco Khan Hmm.
Clive Lewis And I thought that that was a really good way of coming to this, because I think there is a public appetite for reform of the monarchy. It was on the front page of the Daily Mail. I know the and other publications are interested. I think it’s a sense that with what’s happening in the Commonwealth, with countries, you know, choosing to opt out and become Republican, I think there’s a fear that with the at the end of the Queen’s reign that King Charles may not be able to hold it all together. So I think there’s this kind of belief that we have to have a kind of razzmatazz. So there’s water ceremony for the coronation, and then we can talk about some kind of modest reform to bring this into the 21st century. So I think reform is on the cards. Obviously, I would like to go a lot further. I’d like to have a democratically elected head of state. And I think there’s lots of people in this country that probably agree with that. But I think there’s an argument to be made for that. But there’s also an argument be made for reform, which is probably where we’ll end up, given this country loves to make some kind of compromise on this issue. I imagine that’s where we’ll be. For me, I think the issue about the royal family is the fact that it’s symbolic. Symbols matter in politics. A lot of people say this doesn’t matter. It’s just pomp and ceremony and fluff. But it does matter because if you can have a royal family that can exempt itself from the law, you can be born into this position. You can avoid paying taxes. In fact, you can change the law to exempt you from paying taxes that we all have to pay. Then that sends a message out there to the country that this is acceptable and the people who are in the best position to then kind of benefit from that are the super rich, the wealthy, and may not be able to kind of circumvent the law or they do make a good attempt at doing that. They can then say, well, you know what? It’s probably okay if we send our money offshore, if we don’t pay our taxes, if we’re able to lobby and get our way and be more powerful within our society. So it is important, it is symbolic. And I think the fact that you can have a billionaire hereditary head of state at the same time as 3 million of his subjects and their children in abject poverty, I think that tells you a lot about the state of the country. And I don’t think it’s symbolism that the vast majority of the people in this country would feel comfortable where if they sat down and thought about it. Any prolonged period.
Coco Khan Clive, can I ask you, have you always been a Republican or have you sort of come around? Has something happened to bring you to this position?
Clive Lewis I didn’t really have an opinion. I had to be one of those who probably didn’t really care that much. I thought it was symbolic. You know, it’s part of the British state. That’s what it is. But I think over the last year after over the last kind of six, seven years, being in parliament, being in politics, look. At the vast disparities of wealth, realizing that part of it actually doesn’t really have any power, despite all the kind of arguments of taking back control. I say in a parliament that doesn’t have any real sovereignty when they talk about parliamentary sovereignty, what they actually mean is the Prime Minister has sovereignty and that sovereignty is given to the Prime Minister via the monarch. We don’t, as parliamentarians, don’t actually have real power. And once you begin to realize that, you begin to realize it isn’t just symbolic, although that’s very important, it’s also practical and you begin to untie them take and it’s like the emperor’s clothes. Once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it. I guess the other thing is having a young daughter, you know, I kind of I, I tell my daughter she’s five, but she can do anything in the world that there’s nothing that she can’t put her mind to that she can achieve. Now, I know that that’s true. And it’s also a lie at the same time, because of structural sexism, racism, but also the royal family tells everyone that tells me that actually some people are more equal than others. And I’m afraid that that is the reality of the society and the economy that we live in. And for me, I want to be able I want my daughter. I don’t want her to be a subject. I want her to be able to be one day if she wants the head of state of this country, if this country wanted her to be. And that’s not possible. So there’s a limit to what she can achieve. And if we’re all born equal or created equal, and we should all be able to rise through our democracy into the position that we’re best able to contribute something to, then then that makes the monarchy a lie, really, and a lie to that notion.
Coco Khan So if the monarchy is at total odds with equality, why isn’t the party of equality the Labor Party, doing more on this?
Clive Lewis Very good question. I think, you know, if you talk about this, especially during the death of the queen, there was a sense that this was off limits. You weren’t allowed to talk or there was real peer pressure, real social pressure in terms of the kind of, you know, massive bombardment that we saw from the BBC, from the political British establishment basically saying, sit down, shut up. It’s a change of monarch. You’re going to like it and the need to be quiet.
Coco Khan You’ve got to hold off, didn’t you, Clive? I think if memory serves, I think he still spoke up anyway and got really drunk.
Clive Lewis I did. And I had to think long and hard about it because obviously in my body you can get in trouble for kind of speaking out on things that you’re not meant to. But I kind of thought, What’s the point of me if you know, what’s the point of having elected representatives that they’re meant to represent in a democracy the view of millions of people, and there are millions of Republicans in this country or millions of people that want to see some kind of reform of our of our political institutions. And I felt that they had to say something because if I didn’t, who weren’t? So I did. I said something. I got some I got some of the kind of predictable backlash. But I also got a lot of people saying, thank goodness that someone has said this. Now, a lot of people out there do believe this. So I think one of the reasons why the Labor Party is probably struggling with this is because it’s struggling on lots of things which we call a part of the culture war. The culture war, from my perspective, starts originates with the rise of empire and a small elite of people who wanted to package up a notion of what it was to be British and what that meant. And that was sent out across the empire. And it still impacts on people across the world today. And they’ve wanted to hold on to that notion. It’s a very elitist notion of what it means, a very narrow notion of what it means to be British and what British culture is and what’s happened in the postwar periods with the decline of empire, with the rise of popular culture and mass media. They’ve been on the defensive for decades, and the royal family had kind of a redoubt buttress. And that’s why it’s so important to them. And the reason the culture wars are becoming so aggressive is that it’s a rearguard action. This is what they’re concerned about. But society is changing and they’re going to lose control of it. And what the monarchy represents is part of that culture war, where the monarchy represents the traditions and the values that they espouse and want to hold onto and want to impose on the rest of us. Now, the reason the Labor Party is struggling with that is because under first past the post there are a small number of swing marginals where they decided from the focus groups that going down that path and challenging those issues isn’t going to play well with that demographic. Politicians don’t tend to move on their own and say, You know what? We think reform is necessary to improve the situation. We’re going to do this. What tends to happen is that the public come up and say, We demand change, and then you find it’s easier for elected representatives to kind of move into that space and and and enact that change.
Nish Kumar So in terms of demanding change, Clive, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you’re probably not going to be at a street party putting up bunting on Saturday. What are your plans for the car?
Clive Lewis And I don’t think I’d end up a street party, hopefully, but I’ve got a little five year old and she’s been asked to go to school this Friday, dressed up as a as a as a king or a queen by her school. What do I do? This is she loves voting carriages. She loves princesses. She loves Cinderella. She loves though this is for her. It’s like, my gosh, I’m going to go to school as a king or queen. I haven’t told you she’s going to go. Is King Charles the first with a head on it? I think.
Coco Khan But don’t you think, Clive, like that’s one of the issues about and listen, I’m a Republican, but like we we can come across as killjoys sometimes. That is a genuine issue that we have. Like, why can’t we have a bit of fun? So here’s a proposal for you, Clive. Rave for the Republic, what do you think? Yeah.
Clive Lewis Yeah. But probably get busted by the police. But I mean yeah. Rave for the Republic. No I think Rave for the Republic is fantastic. When you are a Republican you normally find yourself on the back foot arguing for something to end against something. And I think one of the things that we need to do is that we need to understand what it is about the monarchy that attracts people to it. And there is something about the pomp. So it’s about making us feel good about ourselves. It’s about meant to be about what is best about this country, what is no good about this country, what it is to be British and all the values that we espouse and really appreciate. I don’t think that the monarchy, but I think we can construct something which takes those those notions, those feelings, those emotions, those symbols, and create something which genuinely reflects and represents the things that we hold dear.
Nish Kumar There will be a lot. People are protesting or we believe there will be a lot of people out protesting potentially on Saturday. Are you concerned about the fast track legislation? The laws include 12 month prison sentences for protesters who block roads, an unlimited fine for people who lock onto others or objects or buildings, and also giving the police powers to stop and search protesters that they suspect are aiming to cause the sort of slightly nebulous Lee described disruption.
Clive Lewis It feels intimidatory, if not more than that. But I think, yes, it’s sending a massive signal that the state will use the full power, the full power available to it to suppress those who want to peacefully demonstrate against on against the king and the coronation. And I think that’s something we’ve seen during the mourning period of the queen and the and the burial of the queen and the queen lying in state. We know there were many people who were dragged away. We know that the police were arresting people for holding blank placards. You know, either we’re a democracy. I mean, we the left, often get shouted down for cancel culture. But it’s really the masters of cancel culture are the establishment and the right of politics, in my opinion. And actually, as Democrats, what we’re saying is surely we have the right to be able to protest, to be able to speak our minds. We should be able to have this discussion, this debate, to talk about what our democracy looks like, who our head of state is, without being intimidated by the state, without being arrested unnecessarily and without people shouting it down, shutting it down. Well, telling us to leave the country, as I’ve been told do on numerous times. There is a crisis of democracies, not just in this country. It’s across Western democracies. It’s not getting better. The climate crisis, the rise of authoritarianism, you know, perma crises that we’re now seeing, the drought now are two ways forward. More repression like this government believes is the way forward, or we deepen democracy and make it stronger. I’m for the latter, and I think many people who will be out protesting this weekend would also probably agree with that as well.
Nish Kumar I think if Rishi Sunak would say it, he would say, Clive, you had me. More repression. Thank you so much for joining us and have a wonderful time for no specific reason. This weekend I’m going to be spending Saturday trying to make sure I time a shit for the exact moment of the proclamation. When we come back, we’ll be talking about two topics that go hand in hand the Conservative Party and the consistent use of racist language.
Coco Khan Let’s get you taken care.
Nish Kumar Okay. So apart from the coronation this week, the other major news story is that it’s local election time. So the day after, we, of course, are recording this on a Wednesday and on Thursday, voters across England are going to be heading to polling stations to decide who’ll be in charge of local services in more than 200 areas and to elect four new mines in Bedford, Leicester, Mansfield and Middlesbrough.
Coco Khan So if you’re listening to this on Thursday, you’ve got until 10 p.m. to vote. You can stop listening to us for a second. Just get out there, go and get into that polling booth and do your duty and don’t forget your photo I.D.
Nish Kumar Don’t forget your photo I.D..
Coco Khan We are going to be watching very closely to see what effect these new rules around voter ID has on turnout. There have been some accusations that the government is using it as a way to effectively suppress some voters, particularly disenfranchizing already marginal groups. So we’ll be keeping an eye on that as we proceed.
Nish Kumar Yeah, a story that caught my eye around the elections this week is that research from Hope not hate to an anti-racist group revealed that five conservative councilors who were standing have previously been suspended over allegations of racism and Islamophobia, including one who suggested banning mosques.
Coco Khan Well, he obviously doesn’t know how religion works. I don’t know if you hear, but like you can actually pray at home. I don’t think anyone’s explained that to me. I actually don’t. Just don’t bother explaining, isn’t it? It’s pointless.
Nish Kumar It’s. I don’t think unfortunately, I don’t think it’s a huge surprise that we’re seeing this kind of rhetoric coming from local conservative politicians when their front line leadership are saying things like this.
Clip Put simply, excessive uncontrolled migration threatens to cannibalize the compassion that marks out the British people. And those crossing tend to have completely different lifestyles and values to those in the UK. Can you confirm that this will that this bill will indeed get rid of foreign rapists and murderers? People who are coming here illegally are breaking our laws. They are criminals and they don’t have a right to be here that is at odds with our values of upholding the rule of law.
Nish Kumar Okay. So you heard there from Robert JENRICK, Lee Anderson, SUELLA Braverman, all using some frankly shocking language to talk about the government’s illegal migration bill, which is, of course, the centerpiece of their campaign to stop the boats. They try to discourage migrants from making channel crossings to claim asylum. And I thought that I think the quote from Robert Jenrick, which is the first person you heard there who’s the immigration minister, echoed Paul’s rivers of blood speech. I think the suggestion that there are cultures that are incompatible with British values is very. Very serious and is essentially sort of dog whistle racism.
Coco Khan Oh, totally. It’s monstering, isn’t it? It’s total us versus them. It’s othering whole swathes of people from vastly different backgrounds. And it has like real life ramifications. I don’t think it’s that I think we’re exaggerating when we say all how life has been shaped around this rhetoric. And it’s really, really dangerous.
Nish Kumar Yeah. I mean, and it is essentially throwing some chum towards the kind of sharks on the very far right of British politics.
Coco Khan Well, best case scenario, they don’t fully understand what the real world impact is. Worst cases. So they don’t really care. I mean, I come from that’s why I have this slightly threatening accent wherever I think I sound. I don’t.
Nish Kumar Think everything you say sounds threatening.
Coco Khan Right. I don’t think I think.
Nish Kumar I’d like to say I’m not a Daily Mail reader.
Coco Khan But I mean, so I was born in Barking and I went to school in Dagenham. For any of our listeners who don’t know, that area is a London borough. It’s called Barking and Dagenham. It’s very working class and it was once known as the race hate capital of Britain because it has always had this underlying problem with the far right. I mean, when I was growing up, it was literally your choices are the Labor Party or the Bee and those are your choices. And the thing is, is like a lot of these politicians, they they will try and say, oh, well, we’re just speaking hard truths. But I don’t think they actually realize that when those that language, it filters down to people who are like, you know, impoverished, who struggling and actually every day out on the street, they don’t read it as just like these are just words. They genuinely see it as a as a really big war, really. And, you know, I always say about the BNP, you can’t have a chat with someone from the BNP, You know, they don’t have a chat. They want to beat you to a pulp. Yes. I think what they want to do.
Nish Kumar Sees me raise this first point. Oh, you seem to have smashed me in the face.
Coco Khan Yeah. Okay, Good, sir. Well, what do you think about this? It doesn’t really quite work. And I think that I mean, aside from the fact that growing up in that environment really taught me that politics is life and death. And really, I think we need to think about when we hear all these politicians talking, it is life or death for some people. Those people on those boats face death. Yeah, wherever they have come from. So I think that that has been lost. But just the impact, just the impact on the average person is profound. And I genuinely really fear for the state of things.
Nish Kumar And I mean, some of the rhetoric. Just to briefly take a kind of sidebar away from the migration debate, which covers the need to get back to but just briefly to say some of the rhetoric, it’s not even just that they’re not spreading hard truths, they’re actively spreading misinformation in an attempt to appease this core voters. So whether Providence comments about British Pakistani men being responsible for the majority of grooming gangs is actually contradicted by her own office’s data. The Home Office data shows that that’s not the case. So it isn’t just that they’re not speaking hard truths, they’re actually actively propagating falsehoods that are deeply racist. And it’s not just it’s obviously not just us, the wet leftists of the podcast community that don’t think that they’ve got grief from their own party, The conservatives that have been speaking out about.
Coco Khan Yeah, Baroness Farce, he’s been talking about it for ages. She really is a one woman show. Sometimes I feel sorry for how she gets up, keeps going. I’m going to get some motivational tips and Baroness for you to get up each morning. I actually got an email from Raymond Christie’s office. He was emailing a range of journalists to kind of share his distress at what has been going on and what Providence has been saying. A quote in that email said, Though the Home Secretary is emboldening the far right by pointing the finger at that group.
Nish Kumar And I mean, this is not insignificant. I mean, he’s the MP for Gillingham and Rainham and he was a former Tory leadership candidate as well. It’s pretty serious stuff. And I mean, there is Jonathan Gullet, who I wouldn’t necessarily have associated it to with anti-racist the platform, to be fair to him, even he had this to say.
Clip I don’t feel comfortable with the mentioning of the values. I don’t think that was appropriate, nor was it right. I think the Home secretary does have a point around the criminality. And if I explain what I mean by that, it is perfectly plausible and reasonable to suggest that people who are coming from Albania who, you know, can get a flight for £28, but choosing to four and a half thousand to be smuggled illegally into the United Kingdom are effectively coming to avoid checks at the border, to avoid having to present themselves to our border force. And we it is very clear that the Vietnamese cannabis gangs that were once very prevalent across this country have been taken over by Albanian gangs. So I think it’s perfectly right to say that there is, of course, criminality within this. We know that the people have entered the country, sadly, who have been linked with terrorism in other parts of the country and inside the world as well. So ultimately, I think that there is a point to be made, but I don’t think that the values and the broad stroke that was brushed to everyone was right or reasonable.
Nish Kumar Yeah, I mean, they have even managed to sort of upset gullies.
Coco Khan I mean, they just picked every nightmare like. Tory, not a terrorist. Yeah. Cannabis. Foreign. Every single day. Bingo. Tory Nightmare. Bingo.
Nish Kumar But look, there is a kind of the depressing thing about all of this is that it does feel like this is part of a political game. And once again, real people, which I think we can’t overstate this, but these people on these boats, these are human beings. It was sort of casually dehumanizing. There’s an extent to which is Rishi Sunak trying to throw some sort of some chum to the kind of hardest right of the party. The poll from March the ninth found that illegal migration had become the second biggest concern among people who voted conservative at the last election, ranking below cost of living and above cutting NHS surgery waiting lists. And I think that Rishi Sunak and the Tories are potentially in danger of going down the road that the US Republicans have gone down, which is allowing their manifesto to be dictated by their own supporters, not necessarily thinking about how this to translate into the public.
Coco Khan Fine, it might play well with some people, but for the actual people out on the street, we have friendships, colleagues who are from different heritage. Some of them might be migrants themselves, like this is toxic for how we live our everyday lives. And I just I wonder as well, you know, we’ve been talking a lot about the coronation and this role of the role of patriotism and being proud of your country. Like, who do we want to be as Britain? You know, Gordon Brown wrote a piece quite recently where he talked about Britain being a leader in human rights across the world. You know, some would argue, well, maybe not quite leader, but nonetheless, a pretty good record that was meant to be really proud of. And we’re just chucking it all away. Even the language that we use, you know, if you say illegal people have a very sort of visceral reaction, whereas if you say refugees, we can see from polling data, people actually care quite a lot. We’re quite a compassionate nature, you know, talking about cannibalizing compassion. Well, they’re cannibalizing our compassion as well.
Nish Kumar Just before we leave this subject. The only thing I want to ask you about is that as much as this has been a constant in the last I don’t know how long it’s been in politics in this country, but certainly post-financial crisis in the last kind of 13, 14 years, we’ve seen a casual demonization of migrants at the same time as massive cuts made to public spending. And we’ve seen politicians repeatedly say that recently public services are struggling because of the strain put on them by illegal immigrants and asylum seekers as a cover for that. Now, the only key difference here is. Rishi Sunak and Suella Brafman at the front of this policy. And I wanted to know how you felt, because I think I know how I feel about it. It’s not positive that it’s now British Indians who are fronting some of these incredibly unpleasant policies.
Coco Khan Did you see that Indians are now the second largest group on the boats, by the way.
Nish Kumar It’s I mean, it’s extraordinary. It’s not just the fact that I feel that these two, amongst others, are throwing other ethnic minorities under the bus. They’re now throwing their own community of bugs into the sea. Into the sea. You know, how do you feel about that?
Coco Khan I mean, look, there is no upside with any of this. But as you know, for a long time, I’ve been harboring some resentment about this notion of representation and about how it’s going to save the world. I think it’s a convenient way to think about things. I think it doesn’t it’s shallow. It’s sticking plaster, as some might say. And in a way, perhaps this could signal the end of it, because if there are, you know, the first person of color, Prime Minister, I don’t know. I don’t feel any more represented. I don’t think that’s necessarily something that is a historical landmark to be proud of. I mean.
Nish Kumar I, I do think representation and symbols matter. And I think that’s my problem with it is that if you look at people like Priti Patel, Suella Brafman and Rishi Sunak, I think it’s the symbolism is significant. And I think the symbolism is what I find so profoundly troubling about those three. For example, I think what they symbolize is that you can get ahead in British politics as an ethnic minority as long as you are willing to throw other marginalized communities and potentially your community under the bus. You know, I consistently am told and I’m asked every interview I give about how I feel about the high profile British Asians. But I think the symbolism is so troubling when you have a British Asian home secretary who is herself propagating racist mistruths about the British Asian community.
Coco Khan It’s kind of racist that you even have to answer that question. The foundation of lefty politics is this idea of like solidarity and shared community. And for a long time, conservatism wasn’t just about the hyper individual. That’s kind of a neoliberal thing. Yeah, So maybe, you know, as long as representation is coming from that side of the camp, we we can’t expect it to do anything for any of us. I don’t know. But the thing is, maybe we expect more from our ethnic minority politicians. Maybe that in itself is racist.
Nish Kumar Nah It’s still them.
Nish Kumar Well, that’s nearly it for our first ever episode of Pod Save the UK. But before we go, we’d like to thank all of you who have already been in touch to wish us luck since we launched these social channels. We do want you to be a big part of POD, save the UK and tell us what the UK needs saving from. So do tweet us at POD Save the UK. Chad Eric Burns has been in touch and given us his wish list. He wants the UK saving from Brexit. Racism itself, old white man and the conservative propensity to career towards fascism. That’s a very spicy list.
Coco Khan Yeah. I mean, we’re definitely going to do our best, Chad. We’re working on it. And every week we’re going to be handing out two shiny awards. We are all about the good vibes here at, let’s say, the U.K. One of them is very, very desirable. The other one is maybe not so much so niche. Why don’t you kick things off by naming your piece UK Villain of the Week?
Nish Kumar Well, it appears UK villain of the week is the I guess, the villain of quite a few weeks in the last couple of years. It’s Liz Truss, who is currently disputing part of a £12,000 bill that’s been sent to her by the Cabinet Office relating to her use of the grace and favor Evening House when she was foreign secretary. This is even before she was Prime Minister. This is back when she was foreign secretary. The bill includes covering missing items, including the thing that saves the court like the papers. I’s is bathrobes.
Coco Khan Alright?
Nish Kumar 12 rounds with a bottle. I mean, I’m assuming the bathrobes are the smallest item on the bill because otherwise cheap you go to nice.
Coco Khan But, you know, I sometimes take a bath when I’m feeling really bad about something I did.
Nish Kumar Well, this was before she was prime minister. So, I mean, I don’t even know what she’d done before. But last summer, when she was in the middle of fighting, the conservative leadership, cut by a case where she sued and she sort of disputed the grounds that it covers use of evening facilities and catering while she was there, working with officials, saying it was she’s once again falling back on the age old conservative excuse of it was a work event. But you know what I would say? I would say if you, Liz Truss, and you blew a £30 billion hole in the public finances and since leaving office, you’ve earned £65,000 from one speaking engagement cover the 12th grant.
Coco Khan You know, I as you know, I think people do have the right to party. I believe the Beastie Boys said that best. But one thing I can’t abide is a cheapskate. You know, I mean, if you could to have a party pay for the party and own it. Yes, it was 12 brand. It was the hen weekend and and weekends. Me and my other political leaders doing Jaegerbombs
Nish Kumar But Coco, let’s not enter the salad no less. Ended up as UK Hero of the Week.
Coco Khan Yes. So I’ve got the best job. I absolutely love it when I get to come across stories of just, I don’t know, just regular people doing more than the politicians seem to be doing. And so this week’s Shoutout goes to Poppy Murray. She is the creator of a campaign called the B Lads Campaign. So in the aftermath of Sarah Everard, understandably, we were looking more at street harassment and ultimately violence on the street against women. And she directed a campaign at men to say, hey, look, you can be part of the change. And so she came up with some advice and that advice is one. B Be visible. E ease the tension by making a phone call. This is all stuff men could be doing if they spot a woman being harassed on the street. L look away. Don’t stare a be an active bystander d distance yourself or suggest walking your friends home and altogether that is be a lad a proper lad. The campaign has gone far and wide. Football teams are looking at adopting it. Even local policing forces are. It’s grassroots activism and it’s going smashing so big up to Poppy Murray.
Nish Kumar Okay. It might be ridiculously optimistic to think that we can save the UK, but we’ll be back to give it a go again next week. If you want to get in touch with us, please do. Tweet us at POD, save the UK or email us at P.S. UK at Reduced Listening dot co dot UK. If you can’t wait till next week, try our bonus episode which is already on the feed. Where we meet the founding fathers of Crooked Media, the presenters of Pod Save America. And it is well worth your time if for no other reason other than to see Coca con explained to three very confused Americans. The phrase chat shit get banged. We’ll see you next week.
Coco Khan Pod save the UK is a reduced listing production for Crooked Media thanks to senior producer Musty Aziz and digital producer Alex Bishop.
Nish Kumar The executive producers are Louise Cotton, Dan Jackson and me, Nish Kumar.
Coco Khan The music you’re hearing that’s by Vasilis Foutopolos and our funky show art was designed by Bernarda Serna.
Nish Kumar Our studio engineer was David Duggale. Video titles by Aaron Mcknight and video editing by David Koplovitz.
Coco Khan From Reduced Listening are executive producer is Jody Waldman with production support from Sarah Kenny and Annie Cates.
Nish Kumar Thought that music got a loop. David We could be here a while. This might go full Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars from Crooked Media, our executive producers, Michael Martinez, our development executive producers are Ashamus Murphy Mitchell and Sandy Girard. And Ari Schwartz is our development producer.
Coco Khan Thanks to Julia Beech, Ashley Simon, Adia Hill and Amelia Montooth at Crooked for all their work, a marketing and social media.
Nish Kumar Production, support from Leo Duran, Kyle Seglin, Matt DeGroot and Madeleine Heringer at Crooked Media.
Coco Khan And many thanks to podcast discoveries Matt Deegan, Josh Devaney, Matt Hill and Tom Ninan for their marketing support and PR support from Becca Newson and Imogen Turner of Carver PR. I’m bound to have forgotten someone, but they are now kicking this out the studio.
Nish Kumar Get in touch with an idea of what you think the UK needs saving from.
Coco Khan Send us a WhatsApp message or even a voice note. We might play it out loud if we like it. The number is 07514644572. Thats again 07514644572.
Nish Kumar Watch us on the Pod Save The World YouTube follow us on Twitter and TikTok -Pod Save the UK and hit Subscribe for new shows every Thursday wherever you get your podcasts.