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Top 6 Political Podcasts to ease you into Autumn

Laura MacLaughlin

Autumn is upon us and the nights (and mornings) are drawing in. As it gets colder, and darker, and windier, getting going in the morning is becoming that wee bit trickier every day. I don’t know about you, but frankly nothing makes my commute go quicker than an exciting, policy-focused, gossip-fuelled podcast from some of Team ND’s favourite political personalities. Here are our Top 6 political podcasts which will have you bouncing out the door:

The Scottish Politics Podcast

Daily Record Political Editor, Davie Clegg, is joined every Thursday after FMQs by a veritable variety of MSPs. The podcast is great for pulling together two guests from opposing ends of the political spectrum in a nicely balanced gossipy and informal format.

Episode to get you started: Kezia Dugdale and Jenny Gilruth: On their relationship, Jeremy Corbyn, independence, Brexit and the Edinburgh derby.

Politics Galore! A Scottish Politics Podcast

Staying (firmly) at Holyrood, Politics Galore! is hosted by Edinburgh-based policy wonks Andrew Jackson and David McColgan. Its topics are many and varied – from the intricate detail of committee-happenings, to broader issues like polling, lobbying and independence. This podcast is the iTunes* equivalent of earwigging on the table next to you at a party conference bar. Which we love. (*other podcast providers are available).

Start with: Episode 17: A deep dive into the value of the Scottish Parliament through the prism of the Pow of Inchaffray Drainage Commission (Scotland) Bill Committee. Strangely compelling. Very funny.

Times Red Box

Extending our view further south – the Times Red Box podcast is an office favourite – with an excellent mix of political gossip and big-picture overviews of the UK and (sometimes) international politics. Hosted Matt Chorley, supported by other Times writers and columnists, this wee nugget covers the biggest issues of the week every Tuesday.

Our fave: There is a cracking two-parter with former advisors Ayesha Hazarika and Tom Hamilton and Times sketchwriters on the secrets of PMQs.

Reasons to be Cheerful

This is our obvious one (we’re allowed one). There are some in the ND towers who are living in a dreamy Miliverse making memes about the Big Man in their spare time. It is dorky and funny, and, well, cheerful. Ed Miliband co-hosts with broadcaster Geoff Lloyd. They record it in Geoff’s loft, attracting about 70,000 listeners a week.

Where to begin?: They’re all good – but you could start with FREE MONEY FOR ALL? The Universal Basic Income. It’s Ed’s favourite too.

The Political Party

Another familiar face from the Fringe Festival circuit – Matt Forde is a pretty big celeb in the podcast world (lol) and with good reason! His podcast is funny, irreverent and insightful. It is a monthly overview recorded at The Other Place where Forde is joined by an impressive range of guests - pretty much anyone in politics you’ve ever heard of has done the show. And it is good.

Try: The first ever guests – George Galloway and Nigel Farage – certainly make for lively listening.

New Statesman

The New Statesman runs a couple of regular podcasts, but obviously we love the politics one, hosted by Helen Lewis and Stephen Bush. The magazine is a bit of a pack leader on the podcast front and it’s not hard to see why – it’s clever without being irritating and topical without sticking too tightly to the Westminster Bubble.

Our top pick: You should definitely listen to the 9 June post-snap election results special. It is glorious post-all-nighter hysteria.

And finally – one to look out for: BBC Scotland has launched its very own politics podcast. Podlitical launches today and will be recorded every Thursday afternoon – why not start with the first episode? The team will hear from Jeremy Corbyn ahead of the Labour conference.

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