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In 1935 Cole Porter penned a tune called “Just One of Those Things” about a love affair “too hot not to cool down.” And so it goes.
What started out as a podcast critiquing Game Of Thrones relaunched as London Calling on Nov. 6, 2015. We’ve been around for five Prime Ministers, three US Presidents, two Monarchs, Brexit and a worldwide pandemic. Our intrepid duo has broadcast from 11 different countries from three different continents with barely a week off. And now we’re taking a break.
Everyone is a little miserable this week, fueled by the rainy summer England has had this year.
Or maybe because we’re all getting a little bit older. James “celebrated” #58 this past weekend and Toby isn’t looking forward to #60 due this October.
Toby tells James about having lunch with Sean Langan, who’s just back from the Donbas where he’s been making a documentary about the Ukrainian war seen through the eyes of Russian conscripts.
This week James and Toby open the discussion with James’ recent gig in Dorset and the division in towns like Bridport and Totnes between the woke and the awake, particularly over traffic calming measures like LTNs, Ulez schemes and 15-minute cities.
They go on to talk about Yuval Harari’s calling for ‘conspiracy theorists’ to be banned from the internet and Toby ask James to respond to Harari’s claim that many conspiracy theories, particularly those that blame the world’s problems on an elite cabal of billionaires and their acolytes, have an antisemitic component and that leads to a bigger argument about whether James’s conspiracy theory about the ‘death jabs,’ Paul McCartney and ‘manufactured’ bands.
It’s hot in the Mediterranean and James and Toby discuss the recent forest fires in Greece and whether climate change or arsonists are to blame. This triggers an argument (From these two? Really?) about whether there are enough honest journalists left to expose such wrongdoing and that, in turn, leads to a heated discussion about whether the journalist Ross Clark is a genuine climate contrarian because concedes that the world has got a little bit warmer in the past 150 years.
We then segue into a discussion of their holidays this year, both those they’ve already had and those they are planning, with James saying he may go to Amsterdam which leads to agreement that cannabis should probably not be legalised.
“The best laid plans of mice and men,” said Rabbie Burns, “often go awry.” And so it is as Toby tells James about how his travel plans have gone over the past fortnight, even though he’s in Majorca with his wife and four children.
Better to be on holiday in Spain than to be in England with a hacked Twitter account. James’ Twitter profile (and his followers) have been hijacked by a crypto currency scammer.
Toby is in Ibiza and James is in a funk as the diet he’s on fails to really kick in and that leads to a discussion on DNA, genetically altered mosquitos, Bill Gates, lost friends and cocaine. Yep, it’s quite the journey.
On a serious note the lads take on the immigration crisis taking place all across Europe and especially the riots that have rocked France.
After the usual chit-chat about the week gone by, Toby and James have a substantive talk about the limits of free speech and what constitutes “crossing the line.” It’s all spurred on by the revelation last week that former UKIP party boss – and now GBNews personality – Nigel Farage has been “de-banked.”
In Culture Corner the spotlight falls on the new Idris Elba series, Hijack (AppleTV+) and Toby recalls the life an Englishman in America on the Fourth of July.
This week Toby tells James about his event-filled diary last week, the climax of which was bumping into Boris Johnson at a party and explaining to him why Tobes was so disappointed by his decision to tell us all to stay in our homes three years ago; a close second was attending a one-day conference on Friday chaired by the American journalist Michael Shellenberger about how to fight back against the censorship-industrial complex.
Then it’s on to the implosion of the Titan submersible. One of the lads thinks the news drip may have been a ‘psy op’ (Not saying who…) We also cover the “failed coup” in Russia led by the Wagner Group and whether it was all a cunning ploy so Putin could place Prigozhin and his forces North of Kiev without raising Ukrainian alarm bells.
James began the week attending a “speed awareness” course, having been nicked going a wee bit too fast on the way to an appointment. Early on in the programme James thinks that he has finally… FINALLY… brought Toby over to Team James, only to have his hopes dashed later in the show.
Yes, mummy and daddy have a bit a tiff this week that temporarily devolves into a cable news panel show, but we do our best to get it back on the rails so we can bring you the ever popular Culture Corner. Toby touts a new web site designed to help you discover if a show is more politics than entertainment and then offers his own advice on The Covenant, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Paramount+), and Extraction 2 (Netflix), while James gives a thumbs up to Tour de France: Unchained (Netflix).
Less than three years ago they were flying high and now they’ve been subjected to major setbacks. And, no, we’re not talking about our intrepid duo. In the last week former President Donald Trump has been put under federal indictment, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been run out of Parliament and former Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been placed under arrest.
Rumors have circulated that this episode sees our hosts coming together in agreement over several major issues instead of the knock-down-drag-’em-out fight predicted over the weekend. You’ll just have to listen in.
We begin this week with James and Toby debating a truly burning issue – Is it better to live in the city or live in the country? After some time in the country this past week, Toby isn’t sure the Youngs would last very long living the Delipngpole life.
In the news we talk about independent journalists detained for questioning by counterterror police, TheTelegraph story about stifling lockdown dissent, and the Philip Schofield affair. (For our American listeners think a grayer and gayer version of Matt Lauer.)
Usually Culture Corner comes at the end of the programme but this week it sorts of flows through the entire show. We talk the bank holiday in the UK (It’s Memorial Day in the USA), grocery stores, eye glass frames and proper English pronunciations. Somehow James and Toby come around to Ron DiSantis announcing for President plus the Target and Bud Light boycotts but that just leads us to John Carpenter movies and pictures about the war in Vietnam.
In Culture Corner proper, James turns against Silo and Toby says stay as far away as possible from FUBAR (Netflix) as it lives up to the name.
This week’s episode begins on a sceptical note, namely the lads talking about the live recording of Toby’s “other” podcast (The Weekly Sceptic) at the Emmanuel Centre on Saturday evening. When James organised a live recording of The Delingpod at the same venue, he sold out the 900-seat auditorium, but Tobes only managed to fill the 250-seater. The first question during the Q&A was from a fan who asked how much longer the London Calling can continue, given how acrimonious some of the exchanges between the hosts are getting and how they often seem to be talking past each other.
After we’ve got that out the way, they just about have time to pay tribute to two of their favourite writers, Martin Amis and Jeremy Clarke, who both died at the weekend.
Everybody dance now! We’re gonna make you sweat as Toby and James bust a few moves and take to the dance floor. After the terpsichorean trip down memory lane they talk Donald Trump’s CNN town hall and, closer to home, Rev. Calvin Robinson’s GBNews monologue on Ukraine (available here) and author Ian Rons’ criticism of it in the pages of The Daily Sceptic. That leads to a wider discussion about journalistic ethics.
This week in Culture Corner, James endorses Silo (AppleTV+) and Sanctuary (Netflix), Toby offers up The Diplomat (Netflix). We also get an answer to last week’s “genre” question. And we wrap things up with a discussion about the reviews surrounding Queen Cleopatra on Rotten Tomatoes.
Oh, to be in England now that Spring is here! When republicans and royalists are in full bloom! James and Toby clash on the official coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. Another chapter in our long Island story or just a distraction? Say, who’s in charge around here.
We wrap up James’ trip abroad (ewwww, leaches!) and mourn, lament and bury the Queen’s Park Rangers season.
What better way to observe May Day than to discuss another US bank failure? But before we get to the collapse of First Republic (Is this another case of “Get Woke, Go Broke” and what does it means for the future of ESG and “Stakeholder Capitalism?”), we talk about James’ adventures in the Far East, including a trip to a Muslim Thai restaurant in Malaysia where he had the best cup of tea he’s ever had.
Toby recounts his own adventures in the Far North – no, not that one – we’re talking about Stoke-on-Trent, where he went on Saturday to see QPR’s final away game of the current football season. Speaking of football, what’s the real motivation behind Ryan Reynolds’ and Rob McElhenney’s purchase of Wrexham Football Club?
Two thirds of the earth is covered in water, the rest is covered by London Calling. But this week we’ve left London behind as James and Toby find themselves on opposite sides of the world – Toby in Canada, James in Hong Kong – and whether jet lag gets worse as you get older.
James says Hong Kong may not be a democracy any longer, but then, neither is the UK, while Toby tells him how much he’s enjoying being in Canada, not least because there are plenty of conservatives in rural areas who have no time for their Prime Minister.
This week James has a good walk in Shropshire spoiled by the “bird-blending, bat-chomping eco-crucifixes” and Toby debates animal “rights” around the dinner table because of the deaths of three horses at this past weekend’s Grand National. (“Save the Sheep!”)
That leads us to the name change of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the scandal at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the shocking suicide of a 19-year old Greenpeace activist from Walthamstow who became inconsolable by the prospect of climate change.
This week James and Toby contemplate the spiritual – from the game of “sermon bingo” James and his family played when they went to church this Sunday (betting on which progressive talking points the vicar would include in the service) to Justin Welby’s pledge to set aside £100 million for the Church of England’s reparations fund and that leads to the question as to why the Anglican Church was been captured by the woke cult (James thinks it’s the work of the devil).
Speaking of reparations, we also talk about the recent story about the founder of The Guardian and his links to the slave trade and the paper’s subsequent attempt to deflect attention from this story by exposing the Royal Family’s links to the slave trade.