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Ayes to the Left

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Government
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Brexit, Theresa May's fragile hold on power, the return of the Labour left under Jeremy Corbyn, and Donald Trump as President make this a fascinating time in politics. But the reality for many people in the UK is a rise in the cost of living, cuts to public services and uncertainty over the future. The Mirror Politics team analyse the goings on in Westminster and beyond, and let you know how the plans made by people in power will really affect you. We speak to the key players and give you our perspective on the political scene. Subscribing will automatically get you all the upcoming episodes and don't forget to follow Mirror Politics on Twitter (https://twitter.com/mirrorpolitics) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mirrorpolitics) for the latest politics news.

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Brexit, Theresa May's fragile hold on power, the return of the Labour left under Jeremy Corbyn, and Donald Trump as President make this a fascinating time in politics. But the reality for many people in the UK is a rise in the cost of living, cuts to public services and uncertainty over the future. The Mirror Politics team analyse the goings on in Westminster and beyond, and let you know how the plans made by people in power will really affect you. We speak to the key players and give you our perspective on the political scene. Subscribing will automatically get you all the upcoming episodes and don't forget to follow Mirror Politics on Twitter (https://twitter.com/mirrorpolitics) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mirrorpolitics) for the latest politics news.

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Cover image of Ayes to the Left

Ayes to the Left

Latest release on Nov 14, 2019

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 4 days ago

Rank #1: The new working class

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There are millions of voters out there who have been ignored, abandoned and misunderstood.
But they could hold the key to winning the next general election. 
They are, according to Claire Ainsley, the new working class.
This new demographic is different to the traditional working class. 
They are people on low to middle incomes, working in insecure and low paid jobs such as catering and retail and more likely to rent than own their homes.
This new working class is multi-ethnic and geographically diverse. What they have in common is their needs have been overlooked by politicians.
In the latest Ayes to the Left podcast Ainsley, who works for the Joseph Rountree Foundation, talks to the Mirror’s Head of Politics Jason Beattie on why politicians of all parties need to reach out to the new working class.
She says they are driven by strong values - family, fairness, hard work and decency - but they have been left behind by successive governments.
And she sets out the policies which would make a real difference to the lives of millions of people in Britain. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

May 02 2018

31mins

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Rank #2: Big Issue founder Lord Bird on Corbyn, "failure" politicians and the homelessness crisis

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Lord John Bird says he got into the House of Lords by “lying, cheating and stealing”.
In this week’s Ayes To The Left podcast, the Big Issue founder revealed how he learned the skills to build his hugely successful career in prison.
In a frank and funny chat with the Mirror’s Mikey Smith and Dan Bloom, the avuncular crossbench peer talked about homelessness, poverty, Thatcher, Blair and whether he wants to see Jeremy Corbyn in Number 10. 
And he revealed whether he still thinks all politicians are “failures.” For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Sep 13 2018

34mins

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Rank #3: 8: The young campaigner determined to stop Brexit

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Can Brexit be stopped?Femi Oluwole thinks so. He’s set up the campaign, Our Future, Our Choice, to make the case for a second referendum.

The 27-year-old argues that young people are being robbed of the chance to dictate their own future.

He says that by 2021 the majority of the UK population will be remain.

This is because leave voters, who were older, are dying out and being replaced by younger voters, the majority of whom are in favour of staying in the EU.

“Within four or five years of the referendum we will have population that wants to Remain.

“Pursuing Brexit knowing it’s against the will of the people who will be living with Brexit is a democratic failure” he says.

Femi says the only answer is another referendum on the terms of the deal.

And it has to be done in the next 12 months or Britain would only be able to return to the EU on worst terms.

Talking to the Mirror's Jason Beattie, he explains why he started Our Future, Our Voice, how he is reaching out to areas which voted to leave and why the 2016 referendum was a failure by both camps.

He also gives a very simple explanation of the single market. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Feb 21 2018

48mins

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Rank #4: UKIP's king of dark arts lifts the lid on 14 years with Nigel Farage

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David Cameron once branded them "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists".
Now UKIP face being something much worse - irrelevant.
Where next for Nigel Farage's flailing anti-EU party just three years after it won 4million votes - helping push the Leave campaign to victory?
Mirror reporters Dan Bloom and Mikey Smith took a party legend to London's Fruit Cake Patisserie to find out.
Gawain Towler spent 14 years as UKIP's tweed-clad press chief after cleaning toilets in a Knightsbridge club, working on the cheat phone line for video game Worms and "modelling" for Italian Vogue in Paris.
As UKIP's official spokesman, he often found himself defending the indefensible - all in the polite chirpy manner of a Victorian gent.
So we chatted about the party's scandals, its plummeting popularity - and where it goes next. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 22 2018

42mins

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Rank #5: 11: Now we've all been short changed

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Philip Hammond delivered his Spring Statement and it lasted a measly 26 minutes.The Chancellor claimed the economy had turned a corner and growth was back on track.

But do his claims stand up to scrutiny?

In this week's Ayes to the Left podcast the Mirror's Kevin Maguire, Jason Beattie and Nicola Bartlett deliver their verdict on the Chancellor's statement.

They look at what is really happening to the economy and explain how Hammond's gloss could not disguise the fact the UK is now lagging behind other major countries.

And they discuss why the Tories are still wedded to austerity despite Britain's creaking public services crying out for extra funding.

Was this a strategic blunder by the Chancellor when the Conservatives are facing a hammering in May's local elections?

The Mirror team also talk about why Brexit barely featured in the statement.

And they wonder if the decision to phase out 1p and 2p coins could have been the biggest blunder of the day. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Mar 13 2018

23mins

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Rank #6: Corbyn builds a powerful case for change

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Jeremy Corbyn used his conference speech to sell his radical agenda to voters.
The Labour leader made a persuasive case that his plans for renationalisation, handing power to workers and reshaping the economy were “common sense.”
In this week's Ayes to the Left podcast the Mirror's Kevin Maguire, Jason Beattie and Nicola Bartlett give their verdict on Corbyn's big speech in Liverpool.
The discuss why his policies are starting to chime with the public and what more he needs to do seal an election victory.
They also review Labour's week which was dominated by Brexit. Is the party in the right place now on the issue or are there further rows still to come?
And they look ahead, with unrestrained glee, to next week's Conservative Party conference in Birmingham. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Sep 26 2018

25mins

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Rank #7: 10: We are ready to take on the Establishment

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In America they call it the Deep State. In the UK we know it as the Establishment - the few thousand people who work in Whitehall, big business, the media and lobbying who shape how the country is run.

They come from the same background, went to the same universities and have the same outlook. 

In the latest Ayes to the Left podcast Labour’s Jon Trickett tells how the system is rigged against outsiders.

He says those at the top of the country come from the same gilded circle and have no idea of the lives of people outside that orbit.

The Shadow Cabinet Office minister, who is responsible for drawing up Labour’s plans for power, says a Jeremy Corbyn government is ready to take on the Establishment.

And he speaks of his own experience of being an outsider in a world dominated by people with a sense of entitlement. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Mar 07 2018

27mins

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Rank #8: The collapse of the centre left

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Across Europe the centre left is in trouble. Of the 28 EU states only six have a left-wing government and most of those are minority administrations.
In the last elections the workers party in Holland came eighth.In the French elections the socialist party's Benoit Hamon came fifth with 6% of the vote.
It is a similar story in Germany, the Czech Republic, Greece and Italy. 
Centre left parties which were in power for much for the second half of the 20th century are now locked in a battle for survival.
In the latest Ayes to the Left podcast Jason Beattie talks to Labour MP Liam Byrne and Stewart Wood, a former adviser to Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband, on why support for mainstream social democratic parties has collapsed.
They discuss how Jeremy Corbyn has bucked the trend and whether his brand of socialism offers a way forward.
And they talk about how the left needs to respond to the tide of populism and anti-immigration sentiment sweeping across Europe and America.
Is there hope for moderate social democratic parties? Listen and find out. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 28 2018

26mins

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Rank #9: 12: The dark side of the Deep State

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Who really runs the country? Our politicians? Big business? The civil service?In this week's Ayes to the Left we look at the influence corporations, the military and the Establishment have on public life.

America calls it the Deep State - the shady network of politicians, lobbyists, the Pentagon and multinational firms which shape US policy.

We discuss whether such a nexus exists in Britain and, if so, what sway it has on our Government.

Listen to the Mirror's Mikey Smith and Jason Beattie explore why the Deep State has taken hold in Donald Trump's America.

They question whether it is a conspiracy theory whipped up by the Alt Right or something more sinister.

Have major defence corporations influenced decisions on military acton? 

Is the US system rigged in favour of a wealthy few who use their money and power to protect their interests?

Listen and find out. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Mar 21 2018

27mins

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Rank #10: Where the hell are we with Brexit now?

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It has been an extraordinary few days of high drama, plotting and political turmoil.
Theresa May was left fighting to save her career after the double resignation of Boris Johnson and David Davis.
Her Brexit plans are now in doubt and she has been placed on warning by mutinous Tory MPs that they could still try to topple her.
In this week’s Ayes to the Left podcast we examine one of the most turbulent weeks in recent political history.
Jason Beattie talks to Prof Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe about the implications of Johnson’s departure and where it leaves Brexit.
He explains how the chaos in Britain is viewed from Brussels and whether it will help or hinder the Brexit negotiations.
And he discusses how Theresa May will almost certainly have to make further concessions to get her deal through. But could the EU also concede some ground?
Anand also highlights the dangers which could still see the UK crash out without a deal. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jul 10 2018

41mins

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Rank #11: A model citizen

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Few will have heard of Neil Jameson but he is one of the most influential people in British.
Neil is the founder and executive director of the community-based organisation Citizens UK
And its campaigns have been instrumental in improving the lives of millions of people.
It has championed the living wage, pushed for action against loan sharks and pay-day lenders and helped persuade the Government to give an amnesty to illegal migrants.
In the latest Ayes to the Left podcast Neil talks to Jason Beattie about how he founded Citizens UK and how it is has grown from a small group in East London into a national organisation representing thousands of people.
He tells how it has helped build and strengthen communities by bringing people from different faiths and backgrounds together.
And he explains how mainstream political parties can learn from grassroots, non-partisan organisations such as Citizens UK. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 01 2018

53mins

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Rank #12: 14: Theresa May pays the price for the Windrush fiasco

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We have seen the best and worst of politics this week. There has been the Home Office shambles on Windrush and the searing debate in the Commons on anti-Semitism. 

The issues may be cause to despair but amid the gloom we have seen Parliament at its best: MPs speaking from the heart, holding power to account and engaging in honest debate. 

In this week’s Ayes to the Left podcast Jason Beattie, Nicola Bartlett and Dan Bloom pick through a difficult few days for both Labour and the Conservatives. 

They examine why Theresa May and Amber Rudd got caught out by the Windrush fiasco, the government’s botched response and what are the political consequences. 

They don’t hold back in apportioning the blame: how the Conservatives have used immigration for base political advantage since coming to power in 2010. 

The Mirror’s political team also review the anti-Semitism debate which saw powerful speeches from Luciana Berger, Ruth Smeeth and others. 

Has Jeremy Corbyn done enough to tackle the problem in the Labour Party? 

And could it damage Labour at next month’s local elections? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Apr 18 2018

41mins

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Rank #13: How to save the high street

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In the last year an estimated 50,000 retail jobs have gone. 
Major stores have closed while others such as House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer are slashing branches.
Unless the decline can be reversed there are fears our high streets could become ghost towns of boarded up shops and derelict malls.
In this week’s Ayes to the Left podcast we discuss why our town centres are fighting for their lives and what can be done to save them.
Mirror’s business editor Graham Hiscott and reporter Oliver Milne talk to Jason Beattie about the threat posed by the online giants, the hollowing out of our public spaces and the need to reform business rates.
But it is not all doom and gloom. 
Oliver tells how a small Belgium town has been transformed by an innovative mayor who has encouraged pop up shops, brought families back to the centre and used art to brighten the landscape.
The high street can be saved. It just needs government help and a bit of enterprise and imagination. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jul 04 2018

35mins

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Rank #14: Inequality is bad for your mental health

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After the 2008 financial crash Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett published one of the defining books on austerity.
The Spirit Level showed how countries with the greatest inequality have higher rates of violence, imprisonment, drug use and obesity.
Now they have published a sister book, the Inner Level, which reveals how unequal societies also have higher rates of mental illness.
In the latest Ayes to the Left podcast they discuss their findings with the Mirror’s Head of Politics Jason Beattie.
They explain how inequality leads to a fracturing of communities, increases loneliness and leaves people with less time to care for friends, relatives and the disabled.
A society where your status is judged by how much you earn causes higher levels of stress and anxiety, they have found.
And they argue that only by capping executive pay, giving workers a greater say in running companies and beefing up trade unions can tackle the problem. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 07 2018

38mins

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Rank #15: The march of the robots

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Advances in AI and robotics will dramatically change our lives over the next few decades.
Greater automation will affect not just how we work but if we work at all.
And the use of artificial intelligence is revolutionising how companies hire and fire, monitor staff performance and make commercial decisions.
Few will be exempt from these changes.
Whether it is driverless cars, facial recognition or shops without checkout assistants the world around us is changing fast.
In the latest Ayes to the Left podcast Labour’s Tom Watson tells the Mirror’s Jason Beattie that unless the government acts then millions of people could lose their jobs.
He also discusses the need for greater regulation to protect people from surveillance and how big data has become a precious commodity in the hands of few global companies.
Far from being pessimistic, Watson says we cannot be Luddites about the changes taking place and points to how AI has benefits for medical research and healthcare.
But he warns it will require a major investment in skills and education to ensure nobody is left behind by the revolution taking place. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

May 25 2018

31mins

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Rank #16: Talk of the towns: the key battleground of the next election

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Towns used to be great places to live with a strong sense of community, thriving high streets, lots of green spaces and good local amenities.
But while our cities are booming, the towns have become left behind. 
Too often our towns have ageing populations, a lack of jobs and opportunities and boarded up shops.
And there is growing anger that political parties don’t understand their residents’ needs, ambitions and frustrations.
In this week’s Ayes to the Left podcast Labour MP Lisa Nandy and Ros Wynne-Jones talk to Jason Beattie about the neglect of our towns and why they hold the key to winning the next general election.
While Labour is piling up votes in the major cities it is losing ground in towns such as Basildon, Nuneaton, Bolton and Wigan.
Lisa says this presents a real challenge for her party.
“Whoever starts to address the issues people are raising in our towns wont just win the next general election it will win the one after that.
“It’s a warning for Labour that the vote which has come out for us in 100 years is not guaranteed,” she says.
We discuss what Labour needs to do, how towns can be turned around and why politicians ignored the warning call from the EU referendum. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

May 16 2018

42mins

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Rank #17: Are workers getting a fair deal?

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This Saturday will see tens of thousands of people march through London to demand a new deal for workers.
The TUC rally has been organised to highlight how millions of people are stuck in low-paid, insecure and part-time jobs.
Ahead of the gathering the TUC’s Frances O’Grady talks to Jason Beattie and Mark Ellis about why they called the march, what they hope it will achieve and why the Government needs to act.
She explains how work is no longer the way out of poverty. 
The changing nature of work, with more people having to do agency jobs or zero hours contracts, has created a generation who are struggling to pay the bills, provide for their family and get on the housing ladder.
Frances also talks about why the Government must give all public sector workers a pay rise, not just NHS staff.
And she discusses the challenges facing the trade union movement in attracting new members, especially young workers on temporary contracts. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

May 09 2018

27mins

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Rank #18: Careers, confidences and conferences

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There were rows, rallies, parties and career-ending speeches.
This year’s conference season saw Labour leave Liverpool on a high, the Conservatives suffer the blues in Birmingham and the Lib Dems struggle to be heard in Brighton.
In the latest Ayes to the Left podcast the Mirror’s Kevin Maguire, Nicola Bartlett and Jason Beattie give their verdict on this year’s conferences.
They discuss Theresa May’s speech, how the Boris Johnson bubble has burst and the Conservative angst over the threat posed by Jeremy Corbyn.
They also name which politicians had a good conference and which return to Westminster with their tale between their legs. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Oct 04 2018

27mins

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Rank #19: 4: Carrying the can for Carillion

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The collapse of construction giant Carillion dominated Prime Minister’s questions.Jeremy Corbyn has described the demise of the firm as a “watershed moment” and called for Theresa May to end the “costly racket” of contracting out.

In this week’s Ayes to the Left podcast the Mirror’s Kevin Maguire, Jason Beattie and Nicola Bartlett discuss the political implications of Carillion going into liquidation.

They talk about the flaws of privatisation, how corporate giants are awarded lucrative state contracts and why the taxpayers end up paying the bill.

The Mirror’s political experts also give their verdicts on the performances of Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May at PMQs.  

The Labour leader spoke with real passion but did he put the Prime Minister under pressure? 

Listen also to a discussion on Tory MP Ben Bradley who said the unemployed should have vasectomies. 

Did he deserve to be raked over the coals for views he expressed before becoming an MP? 

Finally, they talk about the elections to Labour’s national executive committee of three Corbyn supporters and what it means for relations in the party. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jan 17 2018

28mins

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Rank #20: Jeremy Corbyn special: Labour leader talks to Ayes to the Left about his remarkable year

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Jeremy Corbyn began the year with a question mark over his future, leading a divided party and his poll ratings in free fall.There then followed a remarkable turnaround in his fortunes as he took the fight to Theresa May in the general election, confounded his critics and received a hero’s welcome at Glastonbury.In an Ayes to the Left podcast special, the Labour leader looks back on 2017 and discusses when he first realised he had smashed the political mould.

Mr Corbyn also talks about his ambitions for 2018 and what more Labour needs to do to seal victory.
Talking to the Mirror’s Alison Phillips and Jason Beattie he also discusses Brexit and whether he has any sympathy for Theresa May.
There is also a strong rebuke for Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris Climate accord and an appeal to world leaders to do more to alleviate the refugee crisis.
The Labour leader also talks about his plans for Christmas and tells a joke which is so bad it could be included in a cracker. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Dec 21 2017

26mins

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