Toby Young talks to Jonathan Kay about the Conservatives’ victory in the UK General Election in which Labour suffered its worst defeat since 1935. Toby wrote about the election recently in Quillette.
Veteran political journalist Steve Richards talks to Toby Young about the U.K.’s forthcoming General Election, becoming a stage performer late in life, and his recent book about recent British Prime Ministers. This podcast was recorded in front of a live studio audience at the Battle of Ideas on 2nd November 2019.
Carl Gardner, a former government lawyer, talks to Toby Young about Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament, whether it’s constitutionally legitimate, and what the political ramifications are.
Toby Young reads Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man, his profile of Boris Johnson, Britain’s new Prime Minister. The piece was published in Quillette on 23rd July.
Jonathan Kay talks to Quillette‘s associate editor Toby Young about Boris Johnson, Britain’s new Prime Minister whom Toby first met 36 years ago when they were students together at Oxford. Toby recently wrote a profile of Boris for Quillette.
I first set eyes on Boris Johnson in the autumn of 1983 when we went up to Oxford at the same time. I knew who he was since my uncle Christopher was an ex-boyfriend of his mother’s and he had told me to keep an eye out for him, but I still wasn’t prepared for the sight (and sound) of him at the dispatch box of the Oxford Union. This was the world famous debating society where ambitious undergraduates honed their public-speaking skills before embarking on careers in politics or journalism, and Boris was proposing the motion. With his huge mop of blond hair, his tie askew and his shirt escaping from his trousers, he looked like an overgrown schoolboy. Yet with his imposing physical build, his thick neck and his broad, Germanic forehead, there was also something of Nietzsche’s Übermensch about him. You could imagine him in lederhosen, wandering through the Black Forest with an axe over his shoulder, looking for ogres to kill. This same combination—a state of advanced dishevelment and a sense …
Religious freedom is one of the core principles of any modern liberal society. As a secularist, I defend the right of religious people to send their children to faith schools, have their children circumcised, or wear the burqa. This does not mean I approve of any of these practices; they should be permissible but not protected from criticism. We should be free to ridicule, lampoon, chastise, critique, etc. every aspect of religious belief that we tolerate. This is, more or less, what the U.K.’s former Conservative Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson wrote in his now infamous newspaper column in the Telegraph last week. Yet all hell has broken loose. It was greeted by near-hysterical outrage and shrill denunciations of Johnson’s alleged dog whistle racism; reports of civil war in the Tory Party over the matter; the now ubiquitous demands for an apology for causing offence (or else), which was backed in this instance by the Prime Minister. Boris’s is now the subject of an internal Party inquiry. It’s worth untangling this sorry tale as a snap-shot …