The Progressive Britain podcast

Alison McGovern has an unpopular opinion: she thinks that the beliefs and ideas of the centre left are as important and relevant now as they’ve ever been. Whether it’s Brexit, Trump, Syria, automation, the gig economy or the housing crisis, progressive values have so much to offer.

With Richard Angell and Conor Pope, she’s here to do something about it.

Every few days, Alison will be joined by a series of expert guests around the country – not just think tankers and Labour politicians, but people on the front line of local campaigns, to work out what we do next. We’re not here to review the news and discuss what’s happened this week. We want to solve tomorrow’s problems as much as today’s.

The centre left in this country has a voice. It’s The Progressive Britain Podcast. Subscribe now via iTunesacastPlayerFM and Soundcloud to be part of the conversation.


15. A progressive Britain? How the centre-left is winning

More people in the UK say they share the values of the Labour party than the Tories. What does that mean for the kind of platform Labour should stand on, what should it mean for our electoral expectations and, most importantly, what does that mean for the country? Plus: is Mrs Brown’s Boys tearing the nation apart? Conor Pope discusses all that with Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Fabian Society deputy general secretary Olivia Bailey.

Further reading:

Mrs Brown’s Britain

Olivia Bailey and Andrew Harrop on the next electoral mountain for Labour

Labour is winning the battle of ideas

Extra: Episode Fourteen Review

Richard Angell and Conor Pope discuss the latest crisis in the NHS, the shambolic Tory reshuffle and the single market – as well as responding to listeners’ comments and revealing which unpopular Conservative minister used to be a Labour party member…

Further reading:

Five ways to get a face-to-face meeting with your MP on Brexit

After this reshuffle, it’s clear Theresa May can’t detoxify the Tories

Why talk of a ‘winter crisis’ in the NHS is misleading

14. Year of the Brexit

Chuka Umunna joins Alison McGovern, Richard Angela and Conor Pope to discuss how 2018 will decide the outcome of Brexit, and what progressives at home can do to change it. The panel also debate whether Donald Trump will be impeached, the likelihood of an alien invasion, and old school soul.

Five things people can do on Brexit:

– Go to see your MP during one of their surgeries

– Email your MP

– Sign-up to the Open Britain and Labour for the Single Market campaigns

– Join Progress and campaign with us

– Write a stinging Brexit rebuke on the Progress website. Send a 200-word pitch to Conor Pope:

Further reading:

Chuka Umunna and Kate Osamor present new year music show on Mi-Soul 

War, terror and aliens: what Britain expects from 2018

Report on understanding the Leave vote (pdf)

Special Extra: Episode Thirteen Review

Andrew Adonis joins Stephanie Lloyd and Conor Pope to discuss the past few weeks in British politics, including his explosive resignation, the government’s ideological mishandling of the railways, Brexit, and Clement Attlee’s birthday.

Further reading:

Lord Adonis is the political heavyweight Labour needs to stop Brexit

The New Yorker’s praise for Clement Attlee, a model for our times

“Brexit is a populist and nationalist spasm” – Lord Adonis’ resignation letter in full

Tony Blair: 2018 is the year the fate of Brexit will be decided

13. 2018 Preview: What’s going to happen?

A 2018 election? Theresa May still in No 10? Who will win Love Island? Richard Angell, Stephanie Lloyd, and Conor Pope consult the spirits of election campaigns yet to come for their predictions for the year ahead.

Extra: Progressive Review of the Year Special

Who are the progressives of the year? Alison McGovern, Richard Angell, Stephanie Lloyd and Conor Pope discuss the progressives who got things done in 2017 – but can you beat them in the surprise end of year quiz?

Further reading:

Charlotte Norton on Stella Creasy and abortion rights in Northern Ireland

Ealing Council bans anti-choice demos outside abortion clinics

The women of LabourToo write on the need to cultivate the courage to listen

How Liverpool is integrating health and social care

Robert Philpot on how Doug Jones could be the turning point for the Republicans

Felicity Slater on whether Macron can deliver the change France desires

Forget the lizards, Marlon Solomon says David Icke is dangerous

The Jewish Labour Movement’s Ella Rose writes on breaking through the bagel belt 

Seema Malhotra on the promise of Britain


12. Boxing Day Special

Ayesha Hazarika joins Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Conor Pope to pull crackers, drink prosecco, argue over the best Christmas songs of all time and discuss the political high points of 2017. May include Neil Kinnock impressions.

Further listening:

Fairytale of New York by the Pogues 

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love 

O Come All Ye Faithful

Extra: Episode 11 review

Dropping Beveridge not bombs – what did readers make of using policy documents as war propaganda? How can we regain trust in the north? And if Barry White was a centre-left Labour party member, it might sound a little something like this… Richard Angell and Conor Pope are back to respond to listeners’ comments.

Further reading:

Nicholas Timmins biography of the welfare state

Chris Renwick’s book on the beginning of the welfare state

Paul Williams and Phil Wilson on the triple whammy about to hit the north-east

11. The Beveridge anniversary: still relevant?

The 75th anniversary of the publication of the Beveridge report, which laid the foundations for the welfare state, has just passed. On its first release, it was met with the kind of acclaim rarely given to policy documents, but how does it stand up to the challenges of 2018? Are the ‘five giants’ still relevant? Welfare expert Nicholas Timmins sits down with Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Conor Pope to discuss.

Further reading:

Nicholas Timmins writes on the Beveridge anniversary for Progress

Read all of the essays about society’s ‘giant evils’ from the December issue of Progress

Buy Nicholas Timmins updated version of The Five Giants: A Biography of the Welfare State

Extra: Episode 10 review

The government’s Brexit defeat, a referendum in Northern Ireland, cuts to early years, and Estonia’s world leading sector – Richard Angell and Conor Pope look back over the week in politics.

Further reading:

Labour’s plan for Northern Ireland vote on gay marriage

Spending on early years cut by £650m

Former Estonia PM Toomas Hendrik Ilves receives World Leader in Cybersecurity Award

How the Tory rebellion could push May towards a softer Brexit

10. Brexit talks: a Christmas fudge?

Theresa May looked to have pulled it out of the bag when an initial Brexit deal was announced with the EU last week. But is all as it seems? Eloise Todd and Alison McGovern tell Progressive Britain listeners that not it is not as much of a step forward as some believe. Richard Angell talks to Manchester mayor Andy Burnham about his plans for a crowdsourced digital Manchester, while as a new Star Wars film comes out, Conor Pope asks: what links Nye Bevan to Return of the Jedi?

Further reading:

Eloise Todd explains how to stop a no-deal Brexit

Richard Angell visits Andy Burnham’s digital summit

Conor Pope visits Luke Skywalker’s house

Left Foot Forward reveals exclusive polling showing people want MPs to have a proper say on a final Brexit deal

Heidi Alexander on how the general election changed the nature of the Brexit debate

Robert Philpot on last week’s Brexit developments

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Episode 9 review

Peter Kellner’s essay has started a debate about productivity – are the statistics or the facts on the ground to blame? Richard Angell and Stephanie Lloyd take in your feedback and we learn who the last chancellor to drink alcohol at the despatch box was.

Further reading

Peter Kellner’s essay: Productivity is fine. Let’s count and tax it better

December 2017 Progress magazine

Listener Toby Dickinson shares his ‘banker podcast’: The Bombshell

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

9. Productivity: nothing to fear?

Is productivity really a problem for thew British economy – or is it simply the way we look at it that is the issue? Peter Kellner thinks so, and Richard Angell interviews him on his new essay for Progress magazine, while Alison McGovern, Stephanie Lloyd and Conor Pope discuss podcasts for popstars, feminists, football fans and wrestlers.

Further reading:

Peter Kellner’s long read on why productivity isn’t the issue

Other recommended podcast from the Progressive Britain podcast team:

Alison recommends The Anfield Wrap, the Economist and Financial Times’ podcasts

Stephanie recommends Late Night Women’s Hour and Table Manners

Conor recommends the Totally Football League Show and the (family friendly) Steve Austin Show

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Episode 8 Review

Conor Pope and Richard Angell discuss how the real picture of George Osborne’s legacy as chancellor can only be seen further down the line, the infiltration of the Progressive Britain podcast into the UK’s university system, and Cypriot first division football.

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

8. Wealth inequality: shaking those assets

Inequality is not just caused through how much people earn, but how much wealth they own besides. Tackling that is a cause close to Liz Kendall’s heart. She joins Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Conor Pope on the Progressive Britain podcast to discuss what can be done about it.

Further reading:

Who gains? The Tories’ capital gains tax cut reveals their true colours, writes Liz Kendall MP

Co-invest in people’s futures Tackling the causes of poverty can help to address asset inequality, argues chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Julia Unwin

Equality in ownership Housebuilding and taxes must come centre stage, writes professor of public policy and director of the Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath Nick Pearce

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Episode 7 Review

Budget fallout! Richard Angell and Conor Pope look at Philip Hammond’s plans, and reveal the winner of the Progressive Britain reality TV contest.

Further reading:

Alison McGovern’s five tests for the budget

Emma Burnell says that the housing crisis is caused by the Tories’ blind faith in a broken market

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Budget 2017 special – Alison McGovern’s 10 things to watch

Alison McGovern gives you everything you need to know ahead of this week’s budget, from growth to child poverty, to the spectre of Brexit, in this special extra episode of the Progressive Britain podcast.

Tired of listening? You can find out what Alison’s 10 things to watch in the budget are the old-fashioned way, by reading it here.

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

7. Budget week: what to expect

Will Philip Hammond’s budget set out a course for post-Brexit Britain? What is the golden rule for a good budget? And was it free owls that got the Japanese economy out of its 1990s rut? Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Conor Pope are joined by Labour in the City’s Allen Simpson to talk economics and reality TV.

Further reading:

Alison McGovern has 10 things to watch out for in this week’s budget.

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Episode 6 Review

Why is Labour not further ahead in the polls – and why is it so high in the polls? Can the party change its tuition fees stance? Can robots beat Dejan Lovren? Who is the Barry White of the centre-left? Richard Angell and Conor Pope answer listeners’ questions, and warn of the impending Bolsover-Huddersfield war.

Further reading:

Katy Balls on how Theresa May is still trusted on the economy.

Passers-by ‘afraid’ to speak to homeless.

Can idea from Finland cut UK’s homelessness problem?

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

6. Homelessness: the no-housing crisis

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham speaks to Richard Angell about his plans to tackle rough sleeping, while Alison McGovern tells Conor Pope why we shouldn’t be worried about robots taking our jobs.

Further reading:

Alison McGovern on technology and the Turing test

Andy Burnham’s homelessness fund

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Episode Five Review

Can May go on? Where were you when Trump won? Who is the special guest on next week’s show? And what is the big Bolsover v Huddersfield debate that is raging among our listeners all about? Conor Pope is joined by Stephanie Lloyd to discuss the week and dish out some prizes.

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

5. Revolution: The march of the millennials

Young people have dumbfounded election experts by coming out to vote and backing Labour in enormous numbers in this year’s general election. But are they really radicals? And does this new movement mean the voting age should be reduced? Joining Conor Pope and Richard Angell to discuss is Open Labour’s Jade Azim.

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Subscribe to the podcast here.

Further reading:

Extra: Episode Four Review

Can listening to this podcast help you with your degree? And what does Hollywood moviestar Chris Pratt make of the British centre-left? Richard Angell and Conor Pope go through listeners’ feedback, and choose the winner of this week’s political pub quiz question.

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Subscribe to the podcast here and send us a screenshot to win a special Hugh Gaitskell badge.

4. Harassment: the unreported scandal

Sexism has become front page news. Revelations of systemic abuse and harassment in all walks of life have put the subject in the spotlight. Politicians from all parties and all levels are expected to be implicated – but the issue, and what drives it, is nothing new. What can be done to help solve it? How pervasive is the problem, and how does it manifest itself?

Alison McGovern MP and Conor Pope are joined by Thangam Debbonaire MP and Rachael Saunders to discuss the way forward.

Further reading:

Extra: Episode Three Review

Good news for progressives from around the world, Tory absenteeism in Parliament and moving the Commons to Chester: it’s the Progressive Britain review show. Richard Angell and Conor Pope go through this week’s listeners’ feedback, and choose the winner of the tickets to James Graham’s play Labour of Love.

Subscribe to the podcast here and send us a screenshot to win a special Hugh Gaitskell badge. Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

3. Possible or desirable: is Article 50 revocable?

Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Conor Pope are joined by Labour peer Roger Liddle to find out whether Article 50 can be revoked – and whether it should – as well at working out what to do with Westminster.

You can watch Roger’s viral anti-Brexit speech here.

Subscribe to the podcast here and leave us a review for the chance to win two tickets to see Labour of Love in the West End. Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Episode Two Review

New Zealand, new centrist parties and yet more student politics: Richard Angell and Conor Pope go through this week’s listeners’ feedback, and choose the winner of Hillary Clinton’s memoir.

Subscribe to the podcast here and send us a screenshot to win a special Hugh Gaitskell badge. Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

2. Universal discredit: can they get it right?

Alison McGovern MP, Richard Angell and Conor Pope are joined by Catherine McKinnell MP and David Finch to discuss whether Universal Credit can be salvaged, and how WhatsApp has changed politics.

Enter the competition to win a copy of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election memoir at: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Subscribe to the podcast here and send us a screenshot to win a special Hugh Gaitskell badge.

Extra: Episode One Review

Covering Brexit, student politics and even Hugh Gaitskell, Richard Angell and Conor Pope go through listeners’ correspondence and reveal the winner of the ‘centrist dad‘ T-shirt.

Get your ‘fight, fight, fight again’ badge by sending a picture of you subscribed to the podcast to: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

1. The single market: could we stay?

Alison McGovern MP, Richard Angell and Conor Pope discuss the practicalities of retaining single market membership post-Brexit, and their own ‘Theresa May moments’.

Enter the competition to win the hottest new moderate merchandise at: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Further reading:

The Progressive Britain Podcast: Trailer

Where does the centre-left belong in the modern world? Alison McGovern MP – soon to be joined by Richard Angell and Conor Pope – introduces the Progressive Britain Podcast.


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