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Politics chat with the latest goings on at Holyrood and Westminster through the eyes of BBC Scotland journalists. Ready by 5pm Thursday.


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Beginning To Look a Bit Like Christmas

Christmas is approaching, and the UK has taken a four nation approach to the festivities, but what were the political motivations behind the move to allow restricted gatherings, and does it make sense while we're still in the middle of a pandemic? The team sits down to discuss the thinking inside the UK and Scottish Governments, and some of the regulations they're asking people to abide by.
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Devolution or Devolution?

Boris Johnson is facing the heat after reportedly calling Scottish devolution a disaster, causing anger from Labour and the SNP, as well as creating a potential headache for the Scottish Conservatives ahead of the 2021 Holyrood elections. But just how successful has devolution been? As political parties become more polarised, and even the pronunciation of the word itself called into question by the team, can there be a grown-up discussion on devolution in the UK?
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A Vaccine Against Bad News

As the new Covid-19 vaccine is announced, the team discuss the political implications with BBC Scotland health correspondent Lisa Summers. Will it really be the silver bullet that can end the cycle of lockdowns in the UK, and what sort of impact will the rollout have on the 2021 Holyrood elections in Scotland? Lisa also explains the other tools in the Government's kit to reduce the number of coronavirus cases, and how they might be put to work to help us get home for Christmas.
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Unionist Head Scratching

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg joins the team to chat about how Whitehall views the apparent rise in support for Scottish independence, the discussions going on inside Number 10 about what they can do to counter it, and the concern of Unionists about the potential impact of continuing to rule out a referendum if the SNP wins a majority at next year's Holyrood election.
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Tension Over Furlough Extension

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the furlough scheme is to be extended to March, but why now? The scheme will cover the whole UK as England enters a four week lockdown, but the Governments of Scotland and Wales have been critical, saying it should have been extended sooner. Will this new spate of spending help the economy and jobs over winter, or is it coming too late?
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Tiers for Fears

Scotland's new five-tier system is unveiled and former Labour leader Corbyn is suspended as the team tackle another busy news day. Will the Scottish Government's new restrictions manage to crack down on Covid-19 cases before Christmas? Meanwhile, in Westminster, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has suspended Jeremy Corbyn from the party over his reaction to a highly critical report on anti-Semitism. How will it impact the party, and will the report's shockwaves hit the Scottish Labour party too?
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Toodleoo The Noo

BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor shares anecdotes and analysis from his career ahead of his retirement from his role of nearly 30 years. He shares his beginnings as a political journalist, stand out moments from covering Scottish politics, and how he sees the future of Holyrood and Scotland in a more divided political landscape.
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What John Curtice thinks

Professor Sir John Curtice joins the team to talk Independence polls and local lockdowns. Will the SNP sustain their polling lead across winter? How will the fight with Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham impact on Boris Johnson's government? The team also talk about Professor Curtice's career, why he's not interested in Instagram, and if England could see a rise in the 'F-Word': Federalism.
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The Salmond Inquiry

Is the Salmond inquiry leading to splits within the SNP and the Scottish Government? As the Holyrood committee investigating the Scottish government's handling of complaints against Alex Salmond continues, the team explains and discusses the rifts between the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her former mentor, the previous FM Alex Salmond. What could the fallout be, and will public spats over the inquiry harm trust in the current Scottish Government?
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How to Cover the 2020 US Election

NPR White House Correspondent Tamara Keith joins the team to talk the 2020 US Election, as we ask: How do you cover the race during a pandemic? Tamara shares her thoughts on Trump's spell with Coronavirus, polling, disinformation online, and how political journalism can be impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.
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Last Orders

Pubs are facing another round of restrictions in Scotland, but will it slow the virus, and can the industry survive another blow? The team try to unpick some of the more confusing local restrictions starting ahead of the weekend, the praise and criticism the First Minister has faced, and wonder if these rules could be enforced in the rest of the UK too.
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Civil Liberties & Covid

As the Coronavirus Act 2020 is extended - should emergency powers be under more scrutiny in Parliament? Those critical of the laws say Parliament should have more chance to debate and amend the rules, with some warning we risk our civil liberties. The Government argues it needs to react fast to reduce the Covid-19 infection rate. The team discuss this row boiling up in Westminster and Holyrood.
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Six Months or More?

Naked Scientist Dr Chris Smith joins the pod as new Covid-19 restrictions are announced, to last 6 months or perhaps even longer - but will it help us handle a second wave, or should we be making more drastic policy decisions? Phil Sim and Rajdeep Sandhu answer your questions and get Dr Smith's expert opinion as a virologist. How long does he think we may live with the pandemic?
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Money, Politics, and Power

Is our democracy for sale? Peter Geoghegan joins the team to talk dirty money in politics, and how it it's utilised in a dark digital world to potentially influence elections. Lynsey Bews and Philip Sim ask him what we can do about it, how tech giants play a role, and how we can use the upcoming US election to learn lessons.
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Withdrawal Disagreement

Financial Times journalist Sebastian Payne joins the team to discuss how a new bill on Brexit might break the law. The FT got a scoop revealing the UK's top lawyer was resigning over the so-called Internal Markets Act. Why might this breach international law, what does it mean for Devolution, and are we now heading for a No-Deal Brexit?
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Trouble At The Top

As Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard faces calls to quit, the team talk about party leadership and the complex process of picking a new leader. We discuss Douglas Ross taking over the Scottish Tories and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon publishing the draft Indyref2 bill. Where does all this leave the parties ahead of the 2021 Holyrood elections?
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How Diverse is Holyrood?

Will the next generation of MSPs be more diverse? Maryam Ahmed & Alys Mumford join to discuss what needs to change for more women, ethnic minority, and LGBT+ candidates to stand.
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The Fragile Union?

Joining us from all four nations of the UK, the team talks about the state of the Union, what's changed during the pandemic, and the possible impact of a looming Brexit.
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Learning Lessons

The team returns as Education Secretary John Swinney faces continued exams controversy, including a no confidence vote - but will this affect the SNP's success in the polls?
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BONUS: Jackson Carlaw Resigns

Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw has resigned, so where does this leave the party? Phil Sim, Lynsey Bews, and Nick Eardley return for a bonus episode to discuss.
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Just a Phase?

School is back, and Spanish holidays may be scuppered. The team returns to talk lockdown, and what changes are happening in Scotland.
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Will Spending Save the Economy?

What do Chancellor Rishi Sunak's new schemes mean for Scotland? The team returns to discuss whether his plans will help soften the economic blow caused by Covid-19.
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Is Lockdown Over?

The sun shines as lockdown lifts, but are the decisions being made politically motivated? On the last weekly episode this summer, the team talk school u-turns and rule confusion.
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School's Out For Summer?

Emma Seith joins the team to talk Scottish back-to-school planning and why it's divisive, including funding issues, debates around the science, and the two metre rule.
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The Cost of Coronavirus (ft. Kate Forbes MSP)

As the Covid-19 crisis hits jobs and livelihoods, how can we save the Scottish economy? The Government's finance secretary Kate Forbes MSP joins the team to share her ideas.
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Black Lives Matter & Scotland

Writer Claire Heuchan and musician Ransom FA have a frank talk on being Black & Scottish, sharing their experience as protests against George Floyd's death in the US continue.
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BAME communities and Covid-19 (ft. Ashitha Nagesh)

Why are BAME Brits being so hard hit in the pandemic? Ashitha Nagesh joins to discuss, talking about the recent Public Health England report, and the current protests.
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A Little Lift

The team chat about Scotland's plan to start lifting lockdown restrictions a little bit, as well as Dominic Cummings' trip to Durham, and Phil considering taking up horse riding.
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On Track to Leaving Lockdown? (ft. Mark Daly)

BBC journalist Mark Daly joins the team to talk about the UK's track and trace plans, as well as his recent documentary looking into Scotland's Coronavirus strategy so far.
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Pandemic Politics

Is this the week Covid-19 got political? The team asks if this is a test for devolution, and if joint strategies across the four nations are falling apart.
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The Psychology of Lockdown (ft. Prof Stephen Reicher)

How do you convince a whole country to stay at home? Psychology Professor Steve Reicher describes what politicians need to do if we are to trust them.
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Put to the Test (ft. Dr Chris Smith)

Dr Chris Smith of The Naked Scientists joins the team to talk Covid-19 testing, and the UK Government's aim to test 100,000 people per day by the start of May.
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The New Normal?

The team returns to talk all things Coronavirus and how it's changed politics so far, as the First Minister shares the initial framework for how Scotland may leave lockdown.
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Pandemic Planning

As the coronavirus pandemic grows, the team chats about how Governments are responding, including the budget boost announced for tackling the healthcare and economic issues.
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Biden versus Bernie (ft. Prof Christopher Carman)

The team (figuratively) cross the Atlantic with US political expert Chris Carman to discuss the Democratic primaries, and why it was a Super Tuesday for some, less so for others.
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Edinburgh Central Showdown (ft. Marco Biagi)

Is the Edinburgh Central candidacy a local fight, or a battle for the future of the SNP? Former MSP Marco Biagi joins the team to chat about his old constituency.
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Can young people save the World? (Ft. Ross Greer)

Scotland's youngest ever MSP Ross Greer chats about youth in politics and climate change, as the team ask whether young idealism can make a difference, or even save the world.
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Bearer of SpAd News

Jim Connolly joins the pod to talk about Governmental control as Chancellor Javid resigns from his post on reshuffle day, following reports he'd been asked to sack his advisers.
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Mackay Quits (ft. Chris Musson)

Political Editor Chris Musson joins the team to talk about his scoop on Derek Mackay, as the Finance Secretary quits due to the allegations he messaged a 16 year old online.
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On the eve of Brexit day, the team debates musical Parliaments and flag arguments, as well as exactly what will happen on January 31st as the clock hits 11pm and we leave the EU.
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BONUS: Journey to Westminster with Amy Callaghan MP

SNP MP Amy Callaghan shares her path to Westminster, from cancer diagnosis to Parliament, and the shock unseating of Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson in East Dunbartonshire.
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Assembling a Better Scotland?

Ian Davidson and Anne Nisbet from the Citizens' Assembly of Scotland join the show as the project reaches the halfway point with the first meeting of 2020.
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The Generation Game

The PM has formally rejected IndyRef2, but is he generating generation generalisations? The team discuss what "once in a generation" means, as well as Stormont returning.
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New Year, New Politics?

Will the year start with a roar or a squeak? The team finds out if they have 2020 vision as they chat about what's happening this year in Scottish and UK politics.
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Brexit, NHS, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Brexit dominated the Queen's Speech, but what else is the PM wishing for this Christmas? In the last episode of the year, the team talks about politics in 2020.
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Fresh Mandate

The election is over, but the battle for who has a mandate (and for what) has just begun. The team digest the result of the General Election which saw the Tories and SNP win big.
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The Art of The Question

How do you craft a knockout political question? Sarah Smith joins the team to discuss interviewing and debates on the last Podlitical before polling day.
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Gone Loopy

With one week left until the UK votes, the team chat about the past month of campaigning - and discuss one particular saying by former Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
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Stuck In The Middle

Pledges for the young and the old, but are politicians forgetting about the middle? Jojo Sutherland and Stewart Weir join the team to chat parenthood and politics this election.
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The team discuss how to get over the general election hump, why you should always take your polls with a large helping of salt and what the political parties' prospects look like.
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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