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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Poem: "When the Americans came"

“Do you have vampires around here?”

When the Americans came,

they didn’t take to our gardens:

the apple orchard smelling of wild garlic,

foxgloves growing among the runner beans.


“Do you have vampires around here?”

a visitor from Carolina asked me.

It was a shambles, Wilfred knew that,

nodding wisely as though apologising


for the ill manners of King George,

the clematis purple in the thatched roofing.

But come the softe sonne,

there are oxlips in Fry’s woods,


forget-me-nots in the shallow stream,

lettuce and spring onions for a salad.

It’s certain that fine women eat

A crazy salad with their meat*


I tried to tell them. But they weren’t women,

and didn’t care to listen to a boy.

They preferred the red rosehips

we used for making wine.


Danced outside the village church

round the maypole Jack Parnham made.

Now they’re gone,

the wild garlic has returned.


* W B Yeats, “A Prayer for My Daughter”


William Bedford is a novelist, children’s author and poet. His eighth collection of verse, The Bread Horse, is published by Red Squirrel Press.

This article first appeared in the 20 October 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Brothers in blood