Author: Allison Seigler
On the latest episode of the Crooked Media podcast Pod Save the World, called “The Great British Breakdown,” British member of Parliament (MP) David Lammy talks about Brexit, political parallels between Britain and the U.S, and challenges that the American and British left-wing parties must address. While Tommy Vietor is the usual host, Ben Rhodes hosts this episode and conducts the interview with Lammy. Lammy has been a MP since 2000. He addresses the relatively low diversity of Parliament; today, there are 10 black MPs and 51 total non-white MPs, out of the 650 total members of the House of Commons. Lammy represents a district in north London with a majority black constituency. His seat has always been a seat for the Labour party, which is the largest left-wing party in the UK, parallel to the Democrats in America.
Lammy, as well as many British citizens, are worried that the UK will leave the EU with no plan or deal and will have to suffer all of the negative consequences of leaving. He complains that the campaign for the Brexit vote was not honest. He feels like many politicians claimed that Britain could leave the EU without facing any economic losses or complicated deals with the EU. It is obvious now, he says, that neither of these are true. Talks with the EU are failing, and if no deal is reached, economic consequences for the UK could be devastating. Lammy is calling for another Brexit referendum, hoping that voters will understand the true implications of leaving the EU this time around.
Lammy goes on to compare politics in the US and UK. He mentions how the US voted for Trump around the same time the UK voted for Brexit. He talks about a move toward conservatism by the general public and the rise of far-right views. He believes part of the reason the UK voted for Brexit was an overall dissatisfaction with the current government. He thinks people will be happier with a government that provides more money to social services and supports people in need. He believes that both the Labour party and the Democrats need to resolve their identity crisis quickly if they want to be ready to take power from conservatives when the opportunity arises. He thinks that progressive parties should openly embrace socialism. He also emphasizes the importance of US politics to global affairs and how what the US does and says has huge impacts on many different countries.
This episode covers a lot of ground on Brexit, the Labour party, and British and American politics. If you are interested in British politics and Brexit, and don’t mind a heavy liberal bias, this episode does a good job of giving a general overview of the current state of Brexit. I like this episode and the podcast Pod Save the World in general because I think the host does a good job covering a lot of different global topics and providing insight into world politics today, something that is important but doesn’t appear in the news as much as domestic affairs. While I think Lammy’s ideas about socialism are too extreme for American politics, his comments about Brexit and the trends in American and British politics are very helpful in outlining a typical liberal viewpoint on the issues of British politics today.