Season 2

Here are all the episodes of our current series, all on the theme of Taking Back Control. There will be a new episode out every Sunday.

Episode #25: 2017. What can possibly go wrong?

It's the finale of Not Enough Champagne's second season. In it, Steve, Cory and guest Danielle talk about populism in 2016 and 2017. We talk about the differing appeals of Jeremy Corbyn, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Finally we a look forward to next year. Will Marine Le Pen become President of France? Will Alternative fur Deutschland take seats in next year's German elections? Listen to find out.

Episode #24: 2016, eh? Bloody hell

The first of our end of year review shows. Steve, Cory and special guest Danielle look back on the year that was 2016. We discuss whether David Cameron was the worst Prime Minister Britain has had since 1945, Labour's existential crisis and whether there'll be an early election. Oh yeah, and Brexit.

Episode #23: Will a Midlands Powerhouse work?

In our final episode about Taking Back Control before our end of year review shows, we talk localism.

Steve talks about why bringing control to local authorities is the best way forward for politics in Britain. With special guest Brigid Jones, we talk about the problems localism faces in the UK and put forward a couple of solutions.

We also guarantee that this is the political podcast with the most chat about wheelie bins you will listen to this year.

Tune in next week for the first part of our reviews of 2016.

Episode #22: Politicians are people too

Settle down in your comfy chair and pour yourself a cup of cocoa as Cory, Steve and special guest Brigid Jones reminisce about their experiences on the campaign trail.

What barriers exist for ordinary people entering local and national politics? Is there a way to dismantle them and make politicians more representative of the electorate?

We also talk about the demonisation of MPs. This is not a new thing, but has the growth of the internet and social media made the issue worse?

In the week that Jo Cox's killer was found guilty of her murder, we also talk about whether hatred of politicans will continue to be channelled into violence.


Michael Thrasher's article on local councillors being "Male, pale and stale" can be found in the excellent Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box, published by Biteback.

Owen Jones's interviews with MPs on the barriers to ordinary people entering politics can be read in The Establishment.

Episode #21: Mourning in America


Episode #20: US Election 2016 - The Death of Satire?


Along with special guest Brigid Jones, we try to make the best of things and take a sideways, comic look at Donald Trump's election win. Who else is to blame for Trump's victory, apart from Cory for predicting a Clinton win? Did misogyny or James Comey play a bigger role in Clinton's defeat? And are we now going to all die in a nuclear war?


You can read the Glenn Beck editorial that Cory discussed here.

One Guardian article interviewing folks from Youngstown, Ohio can be read here.

The article from inside the Trump campaign can be read here.

Episode 19: Are we living in a golden age of political bullshit?

The idea that we're living in a post-truth era is nonsense. Politicians have always lied. Instead, we're in a golden era of bullshit. We discuss the spread of bullshit in 2016 - Brexit, Trump and the deficit - and how best to counter it. 


Jonathan Swift's essay on the art of political bullshit can be read here.

The two blogs on political bullshit by Jonathan Hopkin and Ben Rosamund can be read here and here.

A book we mention in this episode is Peter Oborne's The Rise of Political Lying.

Episode 18: Halloween Special – Why did Project Fear fail?

In this Halloween special, we discuss the politics of fear. Why did Project Fear work so well in the campaign against Scottish Independence, but did not work in the EU Referendum?


The article by Ipsos Mori's Gideon Skinner in the Daily Telegraph which we discuss can be found here.

James Forsyth's two articles on Project Fear in the EU Referendum can be found here and here.

Some Yougov polling which we also discuss in the podcast can be found here.

Episode 17: All Tomorrow's Parties

Our second series of Not Enough Champagne is based around the theme of Taking Back Control. In this episode, we discuss how ordinary people could take back control of political parties.

Voters are now more educated than ever before. They identify less and less with political parties, and join single-issue groups rather than vote. Political parties are seen as controlled by a narrow elite and only interest in people's votes, not their views.

How true is this narrative? What solutions are there to try and engage political parties with ordinary voters? That's the subject of this week's show.


The Electoral Reform Society's consultative report on the future of political parties can be found here.

Sam Power's essay on party funding can be found in the truly excellent More Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box, published by Biteback.

Episode 16: Are Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump electable?

In this episode we discuss the concept of electability. The evidence suggests that being "electable" is a meaningless concept which changes over time. Does having no hair matter more than having no policy positions? Can candidates with extreme views ever get elected? And why is it that it's only losers that say they're more electable? 


You can read about politicians with beards here, about bald politicians here and here, and about the effect of alphabetical ordering of candidates here and here.

The excellent Vox articles on the electability of Cruz, Trump and Sanders can be found here and here.

Three more excellent articles on electability from an American perspective can be found herehere and here.

The whole idea for this podcast is stolen from a tweet from the anthropologist David Graeber.

Episode 15: Taking Back Control with your Wallet

In this episode, Steve and Cory discuss how we can take back control as consumers. Does the art we consume make statements about the kind of society we would like to see? As the film Birth of a Nation appears in the US, we discuss the past of director Nate Parker and ask whether or not you can separate the art from the artist. We also discuss the ethics of consumer boycotts and cheap food.

Episode 14: The 3 Key Factors behind the Brexit Vote

In this episode we summarise the Brexit postmortems from some of the key thinktanks such as the Resolution Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and British Futures. These found three key factors decided the Referendum in favour of Leave: Education, Living Standards and Immigration. 

We discuss all three factors, look at some policy solutions proposed to these issues (is introducing Grammar Schools really going to help tackle Educational Inequality?) and argue that Britain really isn't as divided on Immigration as the referendum result would suggest.


The Resolution Foundation report can be found here.

Lord Ashcroft's exit poll, where we got the data for our Introduction questions, can be found here.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation report can be found here.

British Future's report on Brexit and immigration can be found here.

Episode 13: Would Jeremy Corbyn have beaten God in the Labour Leadership election?

Welcome back to the second series of Not Enough Champagne. In this first episode, we reflect on the latest Labour leadership contest. Given Jeremy Corbyn's standing among his supporters, would he have been able to defeat God in a leadership contest? Was he helped by the campaign of Owen "Bantersaurus Rex" Smith? Will we have to go through this interminable process again next summer, or can the party pull together?

Cory and Steve discuss all these questions and touch on the issue of allowing party members more say in policy.