On this week's New Statesman podcast

The future of the Lib Dems, social mobility, techno with Pirate Party and Edmund Burke.

The latest episode of the New Statesman podcast is now available to download, featuring:

  • George Eaton and Rafael Behr discussing the future of the Liberal Democrats.
  • Sophie Elmhirst speaking to Professor Danny Dorling about social mobility.
  • Laure Penny telling Helen Lewis about her trip to Iceland and dancing with the Pirate Party on election night.
  • And Jonathan Derbyshire talking Burke, Zelda Fitzgerald, Iran and the Bible as science with Philip Maughan.

You can download the podcast, listen online or check out all the podcasts so far on iTunes.

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Karen Bradley as Culture Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

The most politically charged of the culture minister's responsibilities is overseeing the BBC, and to anyone who works for - or simply loves - the national broadcaster, Karen Bradley has one big point in her favour. She is not John Whittingdale. Her predecessor as culture secretary was notorious for his belief that the BBC was a wasteful, over-mighty organisation which needed to be curbed. And he would have had ample opportunity to do this: the BBC's Charter is due for renewal next year, and the licence fee is only fixed until 2017. 

In her previous job at the Home Office, Karen Bradley gained a reputation as a calm, low-key minister. It now seems likely that the charter renewal will be accomplished with fewer frothing editorials about "BBC bias" and more attention to the challenges facing the organisation as viewing patterns fragment and increasing numbers of viewers move online.

Of the rest of the job, the tourism part just got easier: with the pound so weak, it will be easier to attract visitors to Britain from abroad. And as for press regulation, there is no word strong enough to describe how long the grass is into which it has been kicked.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.