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House of Comments

An occasional political and topical discussion programme hosted by Emma Burnell.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Out of the Ordinary - Interview with Marc Stears

This one off episode is a discussion between Emma Burnell and Marc Stears. Previously a speechwriter for Ed Miliband, Marc now runs the Sydney Policy Lab.  The discussion focuses on Marc's book Out of the Ordinary which shows how a previous generation of socialist thinkers were inspired by the wonder of the everyday and how we could be again.


9 Oct 2021

Rank #1

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Planet on Fire - Interview with Mathew Lawrence and Laurie Laybourn-Langton

Emma Burnell interviews Mathew Lawrence and Laurie Laybourn-Langton - authors of new book Planet on Fire: A Manifesto for the age of environmental breakdown. Buy the book here. Mat and Laurie's Dazed article is here: Tickets for Emma's first play - No Cure for Love - are available here.


8 Jul 2021

Rank #2

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"Extreme common sense" Interview with Cllr Matthew Brown on the 'Preston Model'

Emma Burnell talks to Preston Council Leader Cllr Matthew Brown about the 'Preston model' of community wealth building. An approach he describes as "extreme common sense". We discuss how the model works, how to get community buy-in and how transferable it is to other places. Paint Your Town Red: How Preston took back control and your town can too by Matthew Brown and Rhian E Jones


3 Jun 2021

Rank #3

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Beyond the Red Wall - Interview with Deborah Mattinson

In this episode Emma Burnell interviews pollster and focus group guru Deborah Mattinson about her latest book Beyond the Red Wall.  The book looks at the kinds of voters that Labour lost from what were once its heartlands - what their passions, angers and expectations are.  Deborah's book is available here: https://www.bitebackpublishing.com/books/beyond-the-red-wall


23 Nov 2020

Rank #4

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The Local Trust and the Virus

In this episode, Emma Burnell speaks to Margaret Bolton from the Local Trust about how their Big Local projects are adapting to the 'new normal'. She also highlights their big idea of a Community Wealth Fund.


2 May 2020

Rank #5

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Warring Fictions

In this episode, Emma talks to Chris Clarke, author of Warring Fictions - left populism and its defining myths.


13 Apr 2020

Rank #6

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Uncharted - With author Margaret Heffernan

In this fascinating episode Emma Burnell talks to author Margaret Heffernan about her book Uncharted - How to Map the Future together, The book looks at the prediction business and how to really plan for an unpredictable future. The book is available here https://www.simonandschuster.co.uk/books/Uncharted/Margaret-Heffernan/9781471179785 and examples of Emma's journalism can be found here https://www.politicalhuman.com/journalism


8 Apr 2020

Rank #7

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A Left for Itself - Interview with David Swift

In this special episode, Emma Burnell interviews David Swift, author of A Left For Itself: Left wing hobbyists and performative radicialism.  You can find the book here: https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/zer0-books/our-books/left-for-itself


28 Oct 2019

Rank #8

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Foot Soldiers - Interview with Professor Tim Bale

Emma Burnell and Professor Tim Bale meet over a (noisy) coffee to discuss his book Footsoldiers - about who joins a political party and why.


10 Oct 2019

Rank #9

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Contemporary Left Antisemitism

In this one-off special, Emma Burnell talks to David Hirsh, Sociology lecturer at Goldsmiths University and author of Contemporary Left Antisemitism. They discuss how antisemitism has been mainstreamed within some areas of the left and how it is an essential part of anti-democratic thinking. The book can be found here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Contemporary-Left-Antisemitism-David-Hirsh/dp/1138235318


22 Aug 2019

Rank #10