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Welcome to the Mile End Institute podcast. We bring together politicians, commentators, academics, students, and members of the public to discuss and debate the major challenges facing us in a fast-moving and ever-changing world. If you are interested in finding out more about what we do, and how you can get involved, please see our website and sign up to our mailing list: qmul.ac.uk/mei
 
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show series
 
For Paul Finnegan it all goes back to his hometown of Galway City, “a small city but I refuse to call it a town” he says and a “crucible of many great things,” notwithstanding its reputation for being “where ambition goes to die.” But Paul explains why, despite his love for “The City of Tribes,” he traded “one great city for another'' and moved fro…
 
Ed Brophy is a former chief of staff to finance minister Paschal Donohoe and to Labour’s Joan Burton when she was Tánaiste. Recently he stepped away from politics after ten years in the corridors of power. He talks to Hugh and Pat about the crises Ireland faced during his time as a government advisor, the challenges of governing under the watchful …
 
Author and academic Noam Chomksy talks to Hugh about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the morality of Ireland’s tax regime and whether the human race can avoid the twin catastrophes of global warming and nuclear war. With thanks to the Institute of International and European Affairs for facilitating this interview. See acast.com/privacy for priv…
 
In this episode of the Mile End Institute Podcast, Tim Bale was joined by Adrian Wooldridge and Emma Barrett to discuss Adrian's book, ‘The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World’. They explore the historical origins of meritocracy and discuss how such a revolutionary concept, that had transformational effects on societies, ha…
 
How much of our history would remain buried if not for a few intrepid explorers of the past? In this episode we explore little known Irish diaspora stories buried in cemeteries over 1,300 miles apart in Colorado and Georgia. Drawing on his research of an abandoned cemetery high in the Rocky Mountains, historian Prof. Jim Walsh tells the tale of the…
 
The Government’s 10-year National Development Plan announced this week has been greeted with scepticism in some quarters and criticised by the opposition as more of a wish-list than a to-do list. The ambitious plan sets out to meet the needs of a growing population up to 2030. Can its goals be achieved? Hugh talks to The Irish Times political edito…
 
Pat Leahy, Jennifer Bray and Jack Horgan-Jones from the Irish Times politics team join Hugh to discuss the major considerations for the government ahead of Budget day on October 12th. They also look at the divisive politics of the public service pandemic bonus and the latest on the Mica redress scheme. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out …
 
Natalie Nugent O’Shea takes us from St. Paul, Minnesota, around the world with Riverdance, to Dublin to start a family, and then back home to St. Paul where she’d co-found a home for Irish arts and culture in the Midwest, the Celtic Junction Arts Center. She tells us of her arm’s-length relationship to Ireland until moonlighting as a lighting desig…
 
Berlin correspondent Derek Scally joins Hugh for a deep dive into the most interesting German federal election in decades, which takes place on Sunday. How did Angela Merkel's centre-right CDU, now under the leadership of Armin Laschet, blow its lead in the election race? And who are the other leaders and parties in contention? See acast.com/privac…
 
After a turbulent summer break for the coalition, the country’s political parties hunkered down for their respective think-in meetings over the last two weeks, before the return of the Dáil. Pat Leahy and Jack Horgan-Jones of The Irish Times political team report back to Hugh on the dominant narratives to emerge from the Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and …
 
WASSUP? Season III of Irish Stew is WASSUP! We launch with an episode on the Irish ad man responsible for the memorable Budweiser commercial that had people around the world shouting WASSUP--Vinny Warren. Vinny takes you from his native Galway to London, New York, Boston and finally Chicago, relates why his time as a bartender would later prove so …
 
Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin’s latest book, Defects: Living with the legacy of the Celtic Tiger, tells the stories of some of the thousands of people living in dangerous homes with serious fire safety and structural defects in different parts of Ireland. The book also explains how decades of light touch building regulation and the de…
 
Hugh is joined by Pat Leahy, Jennifer Bray and Cormac McQuinn from the Irish Times politics team to discuss the Government's roadmap for the easing of pandemic restrictions, as revealed by Taoiseach Micheál Martin yesterday. They also look ahead to Minister Daragh O'Brien's much vaunted 'Housing for All' plan, the hurdles the Government is likely t…
 
Patrick Radden Keefe is an American writer and investigative journalist. His new book, Empire of Pain is a detailed history of the Sackler dynasty and their role in the American opioid epidemic. Known for their dedication to cultural philanthropy, the family built their wealth on pharmaceuticals, starting with tranquillisers like Librium and Valium…
 
As one of the world's most respected newspaper editors, Lionel Barber spent over a decade at the helm of The Financial Times. His tenure coincided with some of the biggest events to shape the early part of the 21st century including the rise of China, Brexit, the tech boom and the crisis of western liberal democracy. Barber has documented his time …
 
Jack Horgan-Jones and Jennifer Bray join Hugh to assess the damage done by the recent Zappone controversy. Now that the dust has settled, what will it mean for Coveney, Varadkar and the future of the government. The team also discuss the easing of Covid restrictions and the recent UN Climate Change report, which signals a ‘code red’ for humanity. S…
 
Suzanne Lynch arrived in the US to take up her new role as Irish Times Washington correspondent ten days after Donald Trump's inauguration. As she prepares to leave the US capital this week for a new role in Brussels, she talks to Hugh about what it was like to report on the most extraordinary presidency in US history. See acast.com/privacy for pri…
 
Emer Rocke gives an insider’s perspective on the lives of those most global of Irish citizens, the people of Ireland’s diplomatic corps. The Deputy Ambassador of Ireland to the United States at time of the interview, now Director of U.S. and Canadian Relations, Emer discusses the rewards and challenges of the diplomatic life, how Ireland punches ab…
 
In the final episode of the series, Clive Gabay (QMUL), was joined by Camilla Schofield (UEA), and Bill Schwarz (QMUL), to discuss the edited collection of essays, Global white nationalism: From apartheid to Trump. They discuss how white nationalism has long been a global phenomenon in reaction to the forces of civil rights, anti-colonial movements…
 
This week, London Editor Denis Staunton engaged in a brief, yet courteous Twitter exchange with former Downing Street advisor Dominic Cummings. Here he tells Hugh the details behind their interaction and about Cummings’ latest musings on Brexit and the Northern Ireland protocol. But first, Hugh is joined by Jennifer Bray and Jack Horgan-Jones to di…
 
This week, MEI Deputy Director, Lyndney Jenkins, was joined by Alana Harris (KCL) and David Geiringer (QMUL) to discuss his book, 'The Pope and the Pill: Sex, Catholicism, and Women in Post-war England'. They consider the importance of oral history in shedding light on the often-hidden lives and experiences of Catholic women in post-war England, a …
 
Janet Behan carries on the family tradition of creativity in both her acting and writing. The London-born daughter of Dublin-born playwright Brian Behan & Celia Behan, great niece of the songwriter Peadar Kearney (author of Amhrán na bhFiann, the Irish National Anthem), and niece of the writers Dominic Behan and Brendan Behan. On this serving of Th…
 
The ability to properly get to grips with numbers has never been more vital, not least in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this episode, Tim Bale is joined by Tom Chivers and Sonia Sodha to discuss the importance of understanding the numbers we're presented with in the news and in our own lives. They discuss what journalists - and the sourc…
 
The 2020 election marked the end of an era in Irish politics, with Sinn Féin winning the most votes for the first time ever and the previously dominant parties reduced to a fraction of their former strengths. In today’s episode Hugh is joined by Pat Leahy and UCC’s Dr Theresa Reidy to look back at the last general election and how it broke the moul…
 
Labour’s Ivana Bacik looked on course to top the poll in the Dublin Bay South byelection since tally figures on Friday morning put her on 30%. She went on to top the first count more than 1,000 votes ahead of Fine Gael’s James Geoghegan. Bacik’s win gives her party its first moment of electoral good news in a decade and leaves the government partie…
 
The Government is coming under increasing pressure from all angles, as it wrestles with the toughest decisions for months on how to manage the pandemic. The hospitality sector desperately wants indoor dining to resume on July 19th, but there is growing concern among public health advisers at the prospect of a surge in cases driven by the Delta vari…
 
Cauvery Madhavan adds Indian spices to this serving of Irish Stew as we trace her journey from Chennai, India to Sligo, Ireland, to County Kildare, and travel back with her to India to explore Irish stories there through her epic novel The Tainted. We talk of race and color in India and Ireland, the Anglo-Indians who were often more Irish than Angl…
 
On Thursday July 8th, voters in Dublin Bay South will cast their votes in a byelection, triggered by the resignation of former Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy. What might the results tell us about the wider political picture here in Ireland and will this be an early indicator for the next general election? To take a look back through some pivotal byelec…
 
In this episode, Co-Director, Colm Murphy is joined by Marc Stears (University of Sydney) and Emily Robinson (University of Sussex) to discuss Marc’s recent book ‘Out of The Ordinary: How Everyday Life Inspired a Nation and How It Can Again'. They consider whether contemporary politics can learn from ordinary people, as it did in the 1920s to 1950s…
 
The DUP will have its third leader in the space of two months when Jeffrey Donaldson is officially appointed on Saturday. Can he lead the party out of crisis? Pat Leahy talks to editor of the Slugger O’Toole website, Mick Fealty, about the challenges he faces. But first, Pat is joined by Jennifer Bray and Jack Horgan-Jones to discuss the threat pos…
 
A legal advocate for immigration in America, Irish-born, Chicago-based Fiona McEntee is a recognizable media-friendly face and voice in the U.S. immigration conversation through interviews by MSNBC, BBC, CNN, The New York Times, Politico, The Chicago Tribune…and now Irish Stew. She is the founding and managing attorney of McEntee Law Group which re…
 
This week MEI Deputy Director, Karl Pike, and Madeleine Davis (QMUL) were joined by the Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham, Jon Cruddas, to discuss his new book, The Dignity of Labour. Jon offers his perspective on what he sees as intersecting crises that are consuming society and politics: the crisis of social democracy, the rise of authoritarian …
 
21 years on from her book Northern Protestants: An Unsettled People, Susan McKay revisits the lives of that community in her new book Northern Protestants: On Shifting Ground. She talks to Hugh about the strong forces now acting on northern Protestants, Unionists and Loyalists. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.…
 
Five months on from the final report of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation, controversy still surrounds the methodology used by the three inquiry members, the treatment of witness statements and the conclusions reached regarding the culpability of church and state. Members of the commission have not replied to calls to appear bef…
 
This feature-length episode launches the final part of the trilogy, 'Irish Political Prisoners from 1848 to 2000', by QMUL’s Professor Seán McConville. In conversation with Dr Maggie Scull (Syracuse University London) and Dr Martyn Frampton (QMUL), Seán discusses his latest book, 'Irish Political Prisoners 1960-2000, Braiding Rage and Sorrow'. The …
 
Dublin born Paddy McGrath represented his native country at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. For many, that pinnacle achievement would represent an end point to the pursuit of glory in an athletic career. Most, who chase perfection in the hammer throwing circle, leave the sport for more lucrative endeavors. While Paddy hung up his hammer glove some 20 …
 
Historian Niall Ferguson’s new book 'Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe' offers a sweeping compendium of the many appalling catastrophes that have befallen mankind, and how we have dealt with their aftermath. He talks to Hugh about his book, Covid and the possibility of a war between China and the US. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out in…
 
This week, Tim Bale was joined by Antony Mullen (Director, The Thatcher Network) and Emily Stacey (Associate Lecturer, Oxford Brookes University) to discuss the social and cultural legacies of Margaret Thatcher. They consider how ‘Thatcherism’ manifests itself today and the ideological impact it has had not only on the Conservative Party, but acros…
 
Today the team take a look at what role Sinn Féin will play in forming the next government. Although there is a widespread assumption in political circles and elsewhere that Mary Lou McDonald’s party will take the majority, will their path to power be that straightforward? And if there is a Sinn Féin led government, what will it look like and how w…
 
Fin Dwyer has always been interested in history. He grew up in Castlecomer, Kilkenny surrounded by the vestiges of the past and so when he went to college, he pursued this passion, graduating with a master's degree in archaeology. However, the best laid plans often go awry, the freshly minted graduate started out in his chosen field only to have hi…
 
In this episode, MEI Director Patrick Diamond examines the public policy challenges that will be faced by the Mayor of London during his second term of office. He is joined by guests Tony Travers (Director, LSE London), Claire Harding (Research Director, Centre for London), and Jason Strelitz (Director of Public Health, Newham), who in turn discuss…
 
In this episode, the MEI’s Karl Pike and Farah Hussain were joined by Ben Jackson, Associate Professor of Modern History at University College Oxford. They discuss the history of Scottish nationalist political thought in the 20th century, how it has been affected by political turbulence in the UK more broadly, and the prospects for an independent S…
 
British broadcaster and writer James O’Brien has built a loyal listenership on his LBC radio programme, dissecting the opinions of callers live on air every day. In his 2018 book, How To Be Right... in a World gone Wrong, he set out his opinions on Islam, Brexit, political correctness, LGBT issues, feminism, Trump and other flash points. Now his la…
 
The political focus has shifted from the pandemic to the housing crisis, with Taoiseach Micheal Martin this week declaring it the Government’s “number one priority”. Jack Horgan Jones and Pat Leahy join Hugh to discuss the political decisions and policy failures that have led to the crisis and the resulting generational divide.But first, not escapi…
 
Denis Staunton talks to Hugh about the results of last Friday's local and regional elections in England, Scotland and Wales. The results have thrown up many stories, including how Labour's leader Keir Starmer contrived to turn a setback into a leadership crisis, and how pro-independence politicians increase their dominance of the Scottish parliamen…
 
With the republication of his epic novel Banished Children of Eve, the Bard of Hastings-on-Hudson Peter Quinn joins us for a sometimes serious, occasionally irreverent, always insightful look into the global Irish identity from the Irish American perspective. We follow the immigrant’s evolution from the “Paddy” of the famine Irish who washed up on …
 
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