December 16, 2020
After two years on air that’s a wrap for the IPA’s Looking Forward Podcast, as least as a weekly panel show. The biggest issues over the journey have been Trump and the populist insurrection on the centre-right, and of course coronavirus and how populations and Governments have responded.
CoHosts Scott Hargreaves and Chris Berg reflect on what they said and what they learned along the way, as they consider what’s next for the Centre-Right in America and Australia in particular. Will it be the continuing isolation of the libertarians, or will neofusionism take hold; adapting William F. Buckley’s broad church approach to a new era? If it was only the Cold War that held the original coalition together; to what can we look now?
Also mentioned is real economics versus the rubbish taught in (most) Universities, the disappointing nature of Australian business leaders and “Chairman’s Lounge Syndrome”, policy making in a risk-averse age, the overreliance on experts, the uses of a conservative disposition as a rational response to societal threats, and why we should (nevertheless) be optimistic about tech and society’s capacity to adapt and innovate.
In a final Books and Culture segment the hosts review their favourite picks and reflect on what these picks showed about the value society derives from the explosion of streaming services, the impact of great books, and also the corrosion of our creative culture and the extinguishment of the hero as evidenced by Barry, The Boys, and the proliferation of shows with assassins as the lead character.
The host send thanks to their listeners and urge those that aren’t already to join the IPA (ipa.org.au)
December 10, 2020
Will history’s verdict be that Trump trashed the legacy of Reagan - as some of his supporters delightedly claim - or that there are stronger continuities between the two, sharing records of lower taxes, regulatory reform and a strong military, all built on votes from mainstream Americans. Where has the Trump insurrection left the Republican Party, and what are the lessons for the Liberals in Australia? By disputing the election and frustrating the handover, will Trump drive people away or is he just positioning to be a de facto Leader of the Opposition for the next four years. If he is, what hopes for those like Marco Rubio who want to complete the demographic reversal of the two major parties, let alone “Restorationists” like Nikki Haley who want to walk the Republicans back from the attitude of permanent revolution. If Conservative Populism rules in Australia too, does that just mean Liberal politicians will jettison all philosophy and ideas and praise their own pragmatism whilst doing nothing that is not in their own self-interest? In the Books and Culture segment, Andrew Bushnell pays a deserved tribute to the great Chuck Yeager, dead at 97, and his portrayal in 1983’s The Right Stuff. Chris Berg’s children drive him to watch and praise Disney Plus’ consciously lightweight The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and Scott Hargreaves describes the epic battles of Tories and Whig in the Long Eighteenth Century in a two minute summary whilst reviewing Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World by Leo Damrosch Links: The Republican Identity Crisis After Trump (New Yorker) https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/11/02/the-republican-identity-crisis-after-trump
December 3, 2020
All through the western world Museum Directors have set themselves the task of “decolonising” their collections and exhibits, but what could this become and what does it mean anyway? Do they know, or are they just going woke to protect their own jobs? Is it about appropriately recognising indigenous cultures, or something more?
Regular co-hosts Scott Hargreaves and Chris Berg are joined by the IPA’s Bella d’Abrera to look at the latest ructions at the British Museum and also museums and libraries closer to home, as they look for answers.
The Panel also looks at the fast-fading opportunity in NSW to finally dispense with the national cross-curriculum priorities crowding out and rendering incoherent what is taught K-10 across Auststralia.
Plus in the usual Books and Culture segment, they look at Norsemen, the Norwegian but English language program Berg describes as Game of Thrones meets The Office, the strangely interestingly documentary on the British/Canadian/Indian/American War of 1812, and the gobsmackingly good turns by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant in The Undoing.