It’s a Battle of Team James v Team Toby as we open up this week’s episode with Toby’s participation in the The Battle of Ideas Festival in London this past weekend.

We cover Rotten Tomatoes disabling the ‘Audience Score’ button for the new Disney+/National Geographic documentary Fauci, Toby’s encounter with fellow journalist Lynn Barber, the introduction of vaccine passports in Wales following a botched vote in the Senedd, and the New York Times’ correction regarding the number of kids in the US who’ve been hospitalised with Covid. Oh, yeah, Toby’s been nominated for the 2021 Contrarian Prize.

James and Toby spend more time on the road than Hope and Crosby but unfortunately it’s not together.

This week we’re all about James’s return to grey old England after his glorious week in Croatia and Toby’s trip to Scotland (in which he fails, spectacularly, to shoot a deer). After the personal preliminaries we touch on the redaction of the emails from Sir Patrick Vallance (the UK’s version of Anthony Fauci) about the Wuhan lab leak, and a discussion of who is more like Jimmy Saville – Toby or James (Hint: Neither one.)

A midweek release for this episode as James has been on the “last holiday” with his family and comes to us from Croatia and the shores of the Adriatic.

The big story this week is Britain’s fuel “crisis” and the PM’s decision to “bring in the army.” The blame, of course, is directed at Brexiteers, justified or not.

The announced easing of travel restrictions between the US and citizens of the UK get us going – but our producer, “Evil Brian,” isn’t sweating it because James will still need the double-jab to show up at his front door.

On the international front they cover (or stumble through) the Canadian Parliamentary election, the AUKUS security deal, and whether James is contaminating Toby’s “brand” by making people think he’s an anti-vaxxer.

Excuse the nationalistic pride, but James and Toby celebrate Emma Raducanu’s triumph in the U.S. Open Women’s Final but bemoan the way it was immediately politicised. But that gives way to the despair of this government’s Covid policy with passports and vaccines for healthy children.

In Culture Corner Toby watches THE Suicide Squad while James recommends Lovesick on Netflix (which was called Scrotal Recall during its first season run on Channel 4) and the Sussex clan gets bad news on the Emmy front.

We start the week in County Durham where James travels to see Kynren, the outdoor show that’s “a romp through 2,000 years of English history from the masks of the Roman invaders to the masks of Arthurian legend to the masks of Queen Victoria. Did we say that they were all wearing masks?

Then it’s on to the more serious: the Government’s incomprehensible decision to press on with its vaccine passport plans and the horror of vaccinating healthy 12-15 year-olds in the teeth of their parents’ opposition.

This week in Covid news, Michael Gove, the Minister for the Cabinet Office was recorded dancing in an Aberdeen nightclub over the weekend while the PM’s office barrels ahead in implementing its medical passport scheme, a 17-year old girl from Newport, South Wales takes heat over her Twitter postings and Mary Bousted of the National Education Union fires a shot across the bow for a possible teacher’s walkout.

The debacle in Afghanistan then takes center stage and our duo debate about what it all means. Is this the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end for Western Civilization? Will it all come crashing down with the murder of Geronimo the Alpaca?

We have a full, full plate this week. We talk about Trump’s speech in Alabama, how the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan has also deteriorated the “special relationship,” the non-stop death spiral of freedom in Australia in the name of zero-Covid (They shoot dogs, don’t they?) and the new rainbow “anti-hate” cop cars in the UK.

In Culture Corner, Toby returns to the cinema by taking his family to see Free Guy (20th Century Studios) with Ryan Reynolds and then goes really old school with a Preston Sturges flick from 1941, Sullivan’s Travels with Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake.

Toby is on the road doing his “footie reporter” thing and after a quick tour of the north country, he and James widen their scope to  take in the draconian measures elsewhere in the Commonwealth, namely that of Dan Andrews, the Premier of Victoria and Jacinda Ardern, the PM of New Zealand.

Of course they turn their sights to the unfolding disaster that is the fall of Afghanistan back into the hands of Taliban.

We’re offering up your money’s worth this week with a full hour of podcast excellence to be had.

Toby and James open the show with a discussion of efficiently managing their time between work, family and devotion to “kicky-ball” teams like QPR, (Toby’s substack can be found here) and Team GB’s strong showing in this year’s Tokyo Games keeps us in a sporting mood as James aims for Paris 2024. Will we be well past Covid lockdowns by then?

We cram a good 65-minute show into a half hour this week and not through editing. James explains that conundrum at the top of the program.

What’s left is Covid face-licking (no, really), Lord Digby Jones in a Twitter throw down with BBC presenter Alex Scott and Toby’s moment of athletic glory.

Much to the consternation of Team Delingpole and Team Toby, our intrepid duo are back in the saddle and riding again. Like meat and potatoes, or salt and tomatoes or the Lone Ranger and Tonto, somethings just go better together.

That means there’s a lot of catching up to do – from Toby’s interrupted holiday in Wales to the results of “Freedom Day 2021.” We go over the doomsday predictions of Professor Neil Ferguson, Toby’s Spectator article on footballers taking the knee and his visit to Loftus Road to watch his Queens Park Rangers take on Manchester United in a preseason friendly.

Disappointing results on the pitch Sunday night as England fell to Italy on penalty kicks. Among the faithful in attendance was one Toby Young who was hangin’ with the WAGS. We get a firsthand report from Wembley.

And then we, uh… tackle the “Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey” at the Redbridge Library. (Well, those are words we never expected to type…) and the PM says we’re definitely on our way out of lockdown on the 19th. Toby wonders if, when it comes to the vaccine, does James have his price?

Another week and another “freedom date,” this time it’s July 19th, and by this time next week it might as well be the 12th of Never.

England is going gaga over the success of Team England in the Euros (the Semi-final vs Denmark is Wednesday July 7) but our intrepid duo can’t seem to get as excited as everyone else, although Toby is following the progress of Emma Raducanu, the rising star of British tennis at Wimbledon.

We start off the week with pure thievery – Toby goes to Central London and gets his phone pinched, which meant that he missed Saturday’s march. Not that it really mattered since James had such a good time he doesn’t remember too much of it himself.

Then it’s off to the news of the week dominated, of course, by the resignation of Matt Hancock as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Hancock was caught snogging an aide inside the Ministry, was forgiven by the PM and then quit anyway. Was the whole thing a pantomime or a car crash?

Monday June 21st was supposed to be “Freedom Day” in the UK as the Covid-19 restrictions were to finally go away. Yeah, right.

James and Toby reflect on the PM’s delay and look forward to a weekend of conflicting protests next Saturday as lockdown sceptics, BLM and Extinction Rebellion all plan to take to London’s streets.

The PM has announced that Covid restrictions will not end on June 21 as planned and may continue for up to four more weeks. “At a certain stage, we are going to have to learn to live with the virus and to manage it as best we can,” the prime minister said.

James, of course, doesn’t think restrictions will ever end.

What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is goin’ on around here?!? After the obligatory acknowledgement of the latest royal progeny, our intrepid duo have a take at the three biggest stories in sport this past week. First up is Ollie Robinson, a bowler (for you Yanks, that’s the “pitcher” for a cricket team) whose debut for England on the international scene was overshadowed by the resurfacing of some social media postings made almost a decade ago when he was a teenager.

They also offer their take on the booing football fans are giving the players for their continued “taking a knee against racism” and the story of Henry Slade, a Rugby Union player who’s become the first high-profile athlete to refuse to take one of the Covid-19 vaccinations. (Slade is a Type 1 diabetic.)

Fresh from their smash reunion tour this weekend, James and Toby recap the weekend’s anti-lockdown march that wound from Parliament Square to Toby’s doorstep.

We then parse the testimony of the PM’s former “top man,” Dominic Cummings, before the House’s Health and Science select committees last week and who came out of it better. Do you want a Prime Minister or a Monarch (and by “monarch” we’re not talking about the one we’ve already got.)

This week, in an interview with Dax Shepard, Prince Harry created a stir in his new neighborhood by labeling America’s First Amendment as “bonkers.” It was but a small comment in a larger discussion of a Royal in therapy and James and Toby tackle both head on.

Other topics deftly addressed in this episode include Laura Dodsworth’s new book  A State of Fear: How the UK Government Weaponised Fear During the Covid-19 Pandemic (an excerpt of which can be read at Lockdown Sceptics),  Heather Mac Donald’s piece on colourblind casting at Juilliard, and how former NY Times science writer Nicholas Wade has brought the Wuhan Lab leak theory into the mainstream.