The Rest Is Politics

News #222Politics #79

Two men who’ve been at the heart of the political world - former Downing Street Director of Communications and Strategy Alastair Campbell and cabinet minister Rory Stewart - join forces from across the political divide. The Rest Is Politics lifts the lid on the secrets of Westminster, offering an insider’s view on politics at home and abroad, while bringing back the lost art of disagreeing agreeably.October Election Tour - buy

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Recent Reviews
  • Hadassah Irit
    Great Insight when the Sexism Isn’t Blinding
    You’re getting a 4-star review to balance Rory’s sexism (3-stars) with Alastair’s feminism (5-stars). The latest was Rory’s reaction to Rachel Reeves’s Mais lecture. Why does Rishi Sunak’s simplistic party conference speech with its decidedly small-bore goals get Rory’s respect while RR’s nuanced speech does not? Why, when he does such a great job of providing context on the podcast, does Rory object to RR’s contextualizing her proposals? I had resisted complaints about the podcast’s being sexist but, starting with Rory’s comments about Elizabeth Rubin, now it seems I cannot unsee the sexism. Why write a review? Because I really get a lot from your podcasts and am hoping that you can cure this problem. Alastair, can you do a little mentoring behind the scenes?! And Rory, please move past feeling defensive, to take this opportunity to walk 6,000 miles in a woman’s shoes.
  • Archibald_D
    Be honest, Rory. No mistakes - really?
    As an American, I enjoy this podcast due to my interest in international politics, as well as for the balance it provides for my own political viewpoints. However, @Rory, don’t downplay the SOTU and Joe Biden’s lack of mistakes. Specifically, his gaffe of calling a young, aspiring American woman named Laken Riley killed by an illegal Venezuelan, Lincoln Riley. Be honest with the global listeners whether you like Biden’s opposition or not. Lincoln Riley is the football coach at USC. She should not have been murdered by the aforementioned illegal, and deserves to be spoken of properly.
  • Me-ness
    Rory, thank you
    Thank you for going on Sam Harris’s podcast twice. You are an absolutely delightful and thoughtful, provoking guest. I hope you get a chance to come on there again to talk about the subjects you were hoping to get to cover a little bit of that you spoke about early on the second episode. where are you and Sam disagreed? I find it to be refreshing to hear two people willing to talk about their disagreements in such a civil way. But I’d love to hear where you two could talk about other topics that you also agree on
  • yetanothereviewer
    Rory dear heart
    There’s nothing more annoying and disingenuous than giggling during a sober debate. Save the giggles for the humorous bits.
  • Dragonwings121
    Great Podcast if you want a break from the American news. It’s also nice hearing world news like in the days past.
  • Peony4440
    The courts in the US are NOT political!!!
    The courts in the US are NOT political!!! If judges or prosecutors try to prosecute for political reasons, they can’t. They to not have the power to prosecute. Only grand juries can indict someone. The grand juries in the US, and all juries in the US, are composed of randomly selected American citizens. Trump is being prosecuted because he raped someone and broke many other laws for long periods of time. And worst of all, he conspired to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power. I can’t explain all about are justice system here, but I could not let a huge mistake/misinformation on you part go by. Sincerely, Claudia Blair in Maryland, USA. NIH official, retired
  • Zman2510
    Lost the plot
    Listener since day 1, had to unsubscribe. I can’t in good conscience listen to the Hamas-loving, Qatar-apologist nonsense coming from this podcast any longer. To call for an unconditional ceasefire from Israel with no mention of the dismantling of Hamas is the height of privilege and antisemitism. I’m guessing I won’t be the only Jew alienated by this show and its social media posts calling for a ceasefire.
  • W.AlanRose
    Losing its luster, unfortunately.
    Started great, now it has begun to succumb to just being a pod for generating revenue. These chaps are very well off, should not be adding offers in their descriptions and now ads before and in the middle of shows. Oh they are so concerned about creating a more positive world, just gotta line the ‘ol pockets first mate! Cheerio! But seriously guys, either scrap the pod or stop the graft, it’s beneath you. That time could be better spent trying to provide more content to affect real positive change.
  • SprawlMaven
    Refreshing, informative civility
    As an American, the civility is a relief from sensationalism— it is a breath of fresh air
  • Khabita
    The Rest of the World
    I’m an American who has fallen in love this podcast. No matter where you hail from, TRIP is worth a listen. The hosts are intelligent, they know their stuff, and they are able to disagree without resorting to insulting one another. I get a little lost when they start talking about GB politics, but a quick Google usually can get me filled in.
  • Vanzanten
    Palestine Israel episode
    This was an extremely interesting podcast as are all of your podcasts. The Palestinian ambassador to the UK was a bit disingenuous, though in his history, as he left out the part that the region called Palestine ( which was never actually a state) was part of Trans-Jordan, which was part of the Ottoman Empire, which sided with the Germans in the First World War, and therefore on the losing side. After the war the British were assigned control of that region in a mandate because the Ottoman Empire came to an end. “The Mandate for Palestine was a League of Nations mandate for British administration of the territories of Palestine and Transjordan, both of which had been conceded by the Ottoman Empire following the end of World War I in 1918. The mandate was assigned to Britain by the San Remo conference in April 1920, after France's concession in the 1918 Clemenceau–Lloyd George Agreement of the previously-agreed "international administration" of Palestine under the Sykes–Picot Agreement. Transjordan was added to the mandate after the Arab Kingdom in Damascus was toppled by the French in the Franco-Syrian War. “ So the region called Palestine was not exactly a British colony. If we are to have a sane discussion of this insane situation, everyone on both sides must be rigorous with the truth and not leave out the parts they don’t like. These historical facts may not make much of a difference to the current situation, but when speaking on a public platform, like your podcast, not telling the whole truth devalues the argument.
  • Doug Holm
    This has instantly become my favorite podcast. It is a UK-focused political discussion that includes shrewd international commentary. Stewart’s brief summary of the Israel-Palestine conflict is an excellent primer for anyone. Alastair’s occasional dabbling in theater and books he has read is my favorite. They include just the right amount of humor and side comments, but the main topic always remains the focus. This is a civil and astute dialogue from men of substance.
  • Mukkuroni
    Has completely gone down the plug hole
    Used to like this but as time has gone on, Rory’s pompous bloviating has become unbearable. Campbell is a dead-ender with nothing in the least bit interesting to say.
  • AlistairCandlin
    Top centrism!
    Just discovered this in the last few weeks and it’s definitely one of my favourite podcasts. You’ve got some kind of gold with the pairing of Campbell and Stewart, which is rare. Hope you hang on to it and keep this going for a long time. From AC’s near namesake, Alistair Candlin, UK expat, and long term South Korea resident. Addition, Sep 16, 2023. Just bought Rory’s new book, Politics On the Edge, on Audible, after listening to the extract, here. Maybe one of the great political memoirs? Sounds great from the intro. anyway, so I hope so
  • SkaterLamp
    Mustafa Says Not My Problem
    Wonderful podcast. Mustafa is wonderfully naive.
  • gwebb730
    Good show, but . . .
    I like the show, but I expected an excellent and polite discussion of political issues where the differing viewpoints were explained with sufficient detail so that the audience could weigh the merits of the arguments and evidence presented. Both presenters agree on a lot of the issues and fail to explain the views of the other side, which means the smaller, less intrusive government viewpoint is often not presented or disparaged. Both presenters have a bigger government, bureaucratic view and imply that government knows what’s best for citizens. Government responses to COVID-19 are an excellent example of the failures of government. And there are many, many more. I like both Rory and Alistair, but their “centrist” views are merely bigger government views. I gave them a good rating, but this podcast is not for me. Best wishes to you both!
  • Zzzzzzleepppppp
    Supreme Court in the United States
    If you are going to talk about the Supreme Court, you also need to talk about the Federalist Society run by Leonard Leo. This man got dark money, 1.6 billion dollars to push republican white Christian Judges. This is a coup run by the top 1% of white Americans. Mitch McConnell stole one judge from President Obama, when he refused to even start a confirmation hearing of one Merrick Garland. Also read the news about how Justices Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch are being bribed by very rich people who buy them houses, properties and take the justices on expensive trips and they refuse to recuse themselves and rules for these people who have business in the court. Also the case about the Colorado website designer refusing to give gay couples her serves was completely MADE UP. SCOTUS ruled on a fake case. This court in completely corrupt, therefore the court must be expanded. Thank you. Do your research.
  • Frankie Teacher
    Great analysis of international politics from a nonUS perspective
    I stumbled on to this podcast and listened first thinking it was a quant English podcast wining about what England could of done if it was still great. (I’m a American with a little attitude). They offer a refreshing viewpoints on politics and international situations that are refreshing and civilized which is rare today. When a new podcast drops it is always the first one I listen to.
  • Rsemeemoo
    Prime Minister of Tomorrow
    Alastair, It will happen, a newly elected prime minister holding an earmarked copy of “But what Can I do”, will pay tribute, hopefully while you are alive.
  • mplsexistance
    Perhaps not.
    Defensive, unapologetic meditations on Iraq war transatlantic groupthink. But sensitively and emotionally expressed. Like politicians.
  • Thegreatprocrastinator
    Iraq dissection
    Thank you for your deeply personal and extraordinary dissection of your experiences around the Iraq war. The 2 sessions were candid, thoughtful, littered with robust challenge and comprise the most outstanding account of the ordeal I have come across. Your podcast is the solution to the often problematic media portrayal of the world around us and I enjoy it immensely. Particularly when you disagree, albeit agreeably!
  • SouthJerseyJames
    US Listener
    I absolutely love this podcast. It provides an amazing insight into the state of global and UK politics and Alastair and Rory are the best of the best to lead this podcast. Their perspective on US politics is refreshing. If you listen you will not be disappointed!
  • BakingNinja
    From the USA, with ❤️
    I enjoy your conversations & recommend to all because this podcast can broaden and deepen one’s understanding of the world. I’ve found conversations around the rise of the hard/far right in the UK provides insights to what’s happening in the US, for example. Also you help me be aware of what’s happening in Europe generally as well as UK/European views and support of Ukraine. Above all, the fact that you are able to tackle complex and controversial issues with civility- not afraid of a challenge or to explain your thinking - is very refreshing. Thanks, I’ll keep listening!
  • ShayKay2022
    Politics + serious IQs & manners
    Outstanding discourse.
  • Constant Reader Jr.
    Breaking point
    Rory’s genuinely idiotic tweet about Trevor Noah - reflexive, mindless, deliberately misunderstanding - was the breaking point for me. The basic premise of the pod is that the hosts basically agree, but have different party loyalties. But your enjoyment of the show depends on believing in Stewart’s sincerity, and his tweet revealed the mindless, reflexively dishonest cultural warrior behind the thin humanitarian facade.
  • Hey_linder
    So good!
    I can’t believe how much I look forward to this pod. Of course, the play by play with the current political situation is riveting! I enjoy the broader conversations and the dynamic between these guys.
  • theguywhohasagoodopinion
    Consistently excellent
    As always thoughtful and insightful. So rare in political discourse. And a mention for my team, Celtic, too!
  • SheilaAstro
    What a pleasure, let’s hope it’s contagious!
    Political conversation rich on humanity, insight and humor. Let’s help raise the bar on political discourse with this podcast and start a trend!
  • LKD311
    Love it but wish audio quality was better
    I love this podcast but surprised the audio isn’t better and it’s not done from a studio?
  • Sskomo97
    Genuinely Brilliant
    Alastair and Rory offer great insights and do a good job of teasing out the important issues of today’s politics.
  • Your nickname is Basra
    A voice of sanity in a politics that has become truly delusional.
  • Mszoop
    Wonderful Witty Interchange
    As an American, I wanted a break from our awful politics and had a mild interest in UK goings on. I found this terrific podcast and became a loyal listener. I was familiar with both men and found they make a great duo. I’m learning a lot and having a laugh now and then. As a plus, they both have voices that are very easy to listen to, not a minor asset to me. Rory and Alastair, thank you guys!
  • Slanebrain
    YES!!!!!!!! Encore!!!!!!!
    Balanced, frank, entertaining, informative stylish, unvarnished and presented by people who were ‘in the room’ and had their fingers on the pulse.
  • Enobg
    Great stuff
    This is an amazing podcast and everything is so well reasoned out. This medium of everything equal to get to different points is just so wonderful!!!! I honestly miss this type of discourse.
  • padlock23
    2 Narcissists Massaging Each-other’s Egos
    My god, spare me any more. I tuned in with the hope of hearing two political experts eviscerating Johnson and instead sat through a nauseating tennis match of cringe-inducing complimentary vollies. This was followed by sickening pitches for why THEY would make great prime ministers, culminating in Campbell triumphantly regaling how ABBA’s press officer was delighted he came to their concert before revealing that he is bi-lingual by singing Thank You For The Music in German. Buttock-clenchingly traumatic to sit through. This pair of egomaniacs have much more in common with BoJo than they realise 🤮🤮🤮🤮
  • hillmacmagill
    Great discussions
    Even from across the pond I appreciate the thoughtful discussion of UK issues.
  • hermes in Houston
    Top all the way!
    Thoughtful and an exercise in holding the moral high ground.
  • Fleur1066
    Politics for people who want to be informed
    So refreshing to hear 2 people from opposing parties arguing intelligently from such well informed positions. Interesting to hear Rory’s perspective as a former minister and MP, and Alastair’s as a very high level political adviser. Their mutual loathing for Boris Johnson and Brexit brought them together but I’m enjoying listening to their take on so many other issues, particularly international ones, and feeling better informed because of it. More please!
  • Kjbishop2
    One of my weekly ‘to go’ podcasts - look forward to every episode. Grew up in the UK but been in the US for 20 years… so very interesting to hear some backstories to news I remember from years past as well as context on current UK political events.
  • VvVvvvvvvvAaaaaaaaaBbbbbbbbb
    Deep Discussion & Great Perspective
    These two have great chemistry & incredible sharp minds. As an American I enjoy hearing different/outside perspectives on current events/issues that are effecting western democracies & the globe. As a plus, you can even expect a good laugh at least once a episode. I am truly grateful for the show.
  • MAK Jardine-Ponting
    I don’t normally like political podcasts
    This is a great podcast It uses the week or the month’s controversy to diagnose what the core problems are in British society and politics - my only suggestion is to have a temperamentally similar guest on (one who isn’t looking to score cheap political points or a party hack) but can challenge your presumptions - For example - RS doesn’t pretend to be anything he’s not but he came across a bit like a combination of Alan Clark and a Trump apologist when suggesting that Sunak ought not to be held to an ethical standard in the ministerial code merely because what his family did was legal and he was paying such a high price merely to be Chancellor of the Exchequer! ——-> if that is the strandard then British politics is doomed because core norms of the British constitution ARE NOT JUSTICIABLE - Stewart needs to revisit his Geoffrey Marshall (1986) If this is the case do we have to put the ministerial code into statute and have sanctions for it to be enforceable? —->What about the prerogative powers could a future monarch with a zeal for participating in public life do something like the issue with appointing Douglas-Hume or the fact Prince Charles and Chatteris were actively involving themselves in who should form the Australian government in 1975 (Whitlam / Kerr affair) - i.e it may be legal but no court could look at the issue because the crown’s prerogative is that it is not legally but conventionally bound to call the single largest party But the issue Alistair would have to address is whether new labour and the Iraq war didn’t make the exact same problem - I am great admirer of Tony Blair’s astonishing domestic legislative agenda but once there were no WMD found isn’t it the exact same thing to say wait till Chilcot before we can determine if we resign. Mr Blair said there was an imminent threat - it’s now clear there was not - and even if he believed there was , should he not have resigned for misleading the house irrespective of whether it was a good faith claim if there was not sufficient evidence for it. .
  • BoozleBam932
    Overall great, but…
    I was really enjoying the episodes until the most recent one, when Alastair in particular made light of how Emmanuel Macron was “hot for teacher” w/r/t his now-wife and made no mention of the fact that his wife was in a position of authority over him for years, while he was a minor, and may well have violated French law in the course of pursuing/encouraging him. As someone with ties to the topic, I found this cavalier approach deeply problematic, and if the genders were reversed, I have no doubt that the conversation would have been very different. This kind of attitude is what makes it so difficult for male survivors of grooming and assault to come forward, especially when the perpetrators are female. Please reevaluate your approach to this topic and do better. The rest of the shows have been well-made and very interesting.
  • Cvmaddux
    In-depth and fascinating back and forth from two very sharp minds.
  • Ave L
    Always top notch
    Sanity and calm insight in a world of madness.
  • Avid Reader3217
    More bagpipes, please!
    Alistair, beautiful playong, and a great song. You two keep up the good work. I love all of your insight nitty gritty deep dives. But please…add more bagpipes!
  • Boston Brit
    Eton in politics
    It’s not a case of how many old Etonian’s there are in government. The question is: how many Oxbridge Graduates there are in Government and in the senior ranks of the Civil Service? Answer loads!
    Ditto please make more and longer!
    A refreshing and thoughtful discussion with 2 very bright and experienced political insiders. The number of insights letting us in to the world behind the curtain is fascinating. Thank you!
  • guiguihuihiuhuo
    Make more please
    Very interesting and entertaining. I am from the US and this podcast offers a very refreshing perspective on events past and present. Disagreeing agreeably ??? Wow. Please export that idea over here. Good luck and look forward to more.
  • Claire A Voyant 727
    Rest is History fans (and everyone else) will love this show
    Long time fan of the Rest is History, this is a wonderful new addition to my daily dose of current affairs but mixed with an impressive understanding of the historical context of top news stories.
  • aaron-houston
    smart and pragmatic
    smart and pragmatic discussion....we need more aggressivly moderate politics
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