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Freddie Sayers from online magazine UnHerd seeks out top scientists, writers, politicians and thinkers for in-depth interviews to try and help us work out what’s really going on. What started as an inquiry into the pandemic has broadened into a fascinating look at free speech, science, meaning and the ideas shaping our world. Due to popular demand here is a podcast version of our YouTube — available to watch, for free here or by searching ‘LockdownTV’. Enjoy! And don't forget to rate, like a ...
 
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show series
 
Paul Kingsnorth sees the vaccine wars as symptomatic of a bigger division between two fundamentally different world views: he calls them “thesis” and “antithesis.” When it comes to Covid, “thesis” is the establishment viewpoint: that lockdowns are needed to contain the virus, masks work, vaccines are safe, and people who question them are wronghead…
 
Freddie visits the Austrian capital Vienna on the day that the world's first lockdown for the unvaccinated was introduced, looking for answers. How do ordinary people feel about a third of their population being put in partial house arrest? How does it feel for the people stuck at home? And how did a liberal democracy come to this in 2021? For more…
 
Florence Read talks to Asra Nomani. Education policy rarely tips the electoral scales. But following Glenn Youngkin's shock win in the Virginia governor's race, where education was the top priority for 35% of his supporters, focus has turned towards the American curriculum as a new political battleground. A group of parents, or 'Mama and Papa Bears…
 
As we approach Winter, murmurs of another lockdown have slowly been entering the national conversation. Just yesterday Health Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted that it was a “national mission” to get jabbed so that we “can get through Winter and enjoy Christmas” while Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Vam-Tam last week threatened Plan B if people a…
 
Kathleen Stock chats to UnHerd's Julie Bindel. Kathleen Stock was forced to resign from Sussex University after an aggressive campaign of targeted harassment over her gender critical views. The campaign to push Prof Stock out of Sussex began when she self-published a number blog posts critical of extreme transgender ideology. She was concerned that…
 
As the COP26 summit meets over the next couple of weeks in Glasgow, we can all expect to be bombarded with disaster scenarios, replete with stories about our species’ imminent demise. Over the last couple of days, we have had Boris Johnson warning that it is “one minute to midnight” and Prince Charles claiming that this is “literally our last chanc…
 
Do we live in a rational world? For all the advances humanity has made over the years and centuries, it is difficult to escape the feeling that we live in irrational times. Or so leading psychologist Steven Pinker argues in his new book ‘Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters’. From cancel culture to online conspiracy theories…
 
Earlier today, a YouTube channel with 167,000 subscribers and over 40 million view vanished. It was not a fringe channel that platforms cranks, conspiracists and extremists, but one of the UK’s leading Left-wing political website, which according to the outlet is ‘among the top 50 most watched news and politics channels in the UK’. The channel was …
 
Freddie Sayers speaks to Bernard-Henri Lévy. Few have made the case for liberal interventionism more consistently than Bernard-Henri Lévy. Despite setbacks in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, the French public intellectual’s worldview has remained largely unchanged. But with the Taliban now in control of Afghanistan — and signs of resistance dwindling …
 
Are Conservatives doomed? Following a General Election that resulted in an 80-seat majority for the Conservative Party after 11 years of uninterrupted rule, this might seem like a rather strange question to ask. But firstly, there may be long term challenges to the Tory coalition. By 2030, typically Left-leaning groups that tend to vote Labour — th…
 
Over the last year, two big Netflix series have featured women in Orthodox Jewish communities. ‘Unorthodox’ told the fictional story of a young woman from a Hasidic community in Brooklyn, outside New York, who escapes to Europe to join her mother and pursue a career in music. ‘My Orthodox Life’, tracks a real life fashion entrepreneur who begins he…
 
Of all the celebrities that have been created during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, Swedish State Epidemiologist is perhaps the most surprising. A softly-spoken official within the Swedish Health Agency, he has quietly been going about his work monitoring infectious diseases for years. But his decision, when Covid hit, to stick to his long-es…
 
Fighting — or even participating in — a culture war is a dangerous business. It is especially so when that war is being fought behind enemy lines. So when Bari Weiss was hired by The New York Times as an opinion editor after Donald Trump’s election victory in 2016, it was a risky move. A self-described classical liberal, Weiss was hired to bring mo…
 
Despite its humble-sounding name, ‘Nudge’ may well be the most significant economic book of the the past thirty years. It has informed the thinking and policymaking of governments around the world, from David Cameron’s special ‘nudge unit’ in No. 10 to the WHO’s recently formed behavioural insight team, focusing on vaccines and masks. Devised by No…
 
Professor Jay Bhattacharya is one of the famous voices to have emerged out of the pandemic. A vocal critic of lockdowns, his name became synonymous with the controversial Great Barrington Declaration, which called for an “alternative approach to the pandemic” that would entail no lockdowns. Along with co-signatories Sunetra Gupta and Martin Kulldfo…
 
Clarissa Ward is the Chief International Correspondent at CNN – used to reporting from the front lines of conflict zones and global events. But in the past few days she found herself, more unusually, at the centre of a culture war. In a clip from one of her broadcasts, some Taliban fighters on a Kabul street were chanting ‘Death to America’ but she…
 
David Shor is not afraid to say the unsayable. As a Democrat party strategist, this trait has at times got him into trouble; last year, he was fired from his job at a progressive think tank for tweeting out a study that showed that nonviolent demonstrations were more effective than riots at pushing voter behaviour in a Leftward direction in 1968. B…
 
Do we currently enjoy free speech in the arts? In recent years the worlds of publishing, fine art, and music, have been engulfed in controversies over speech and manners. Several high-profile artists have been cancelled — removed from their positions for failing to go along with prevailing political orthodoxies. At a live UnHerd members event this …
 
Few people can claim to have as close access to “Trumpworld” — the circle of advisors around ex-President Trump — as Jason Miller. In fact, he spoke to Trump himself just yesterday. Originally the chief campaign spokesman for the 2016 campaign, Miller was drafted back for the final months of the re-election campaign, in June 2020. He co-presented a…
 
Chances are, if you’ve ever been on the internet, you’ve visited Wikipedia. It is the world’s fifth largest website, pulling in an estimated 6.1 billion followers per month and serves as a cheat sheet for almost any topic in the world. So great is the online encyclopaedia’s influence is so great that it is the biggest and “most read reference work …
 
The concept of scientism, the quasi-religious belief in science and scientists, has risen in prominence over the past year. It has been a theme in many UnHerd interviews, ranging from Matthew Crawford, who detailed the ways in which science has evolved from a mode of inquiry into a source of authority, to Richard Dawkins, who dismissed scientism as…
 
SPI-M (the “Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling) is the government committee in charge of producing forecasts for the future direction of the pandemic in different circumstances. It was their report in early June, combining mathematical models from Imperial, Warwick and LSHTM, than persuaded Boris Johnson to delay the planned re-openin…
 
Is Britain a racist country? This is a question that sharply divides most Brits, but for one Government minister, the answer is an emphatic ‘no’. In an interview with UnHerd’s LockdownTV, Kemi Badenoch, exchequer secretary for the treasury and an Equalities Minister, tells Freddie Sayers that Britain is the “best place in the world to be black” and…
 
It is difficult to capture just how transformative an impact lockdown has had on us as individuals and as a society. For 15 months, we have been unable to gather in large groups, walk into a shop without a mask or even go to your local pub without having to scan a code from your phone. On a societal level, it is the first time in living memory that…
 
It all started with an Instagram post. Over the weekend, the Royal Academy thanked those “for bringing an item in the RA shop by an artist [Jess de Wahls] expressing transphobic views to our attention.” The item in question? A collection of floral embroidered patches that can be attached to clothing. Her crime? Writing a blog in 2019 in which she s…
 
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