Shorts
Podcast

Why are Millennials so miserable?

In this Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles diagnose a generational dissatisfaction.

A taxing time for the super rich

In this Short, Charlotte Pickles and Peter Franklin talk about the renewed interest in taxing the super rich. Given the already high levels of tax avoidance, is there any point in increasing their tax rates?  

The myth of meritocracy

In this Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles talk about American aristocracy and why modern meritocracy is anything but fair.    

The problem with experts

Charlotte Pickles and Peter Franklin unpack a paradox: the more we know, the more biased we become. Read the article they discuss: ‘When eggheads are bigger idiots than meatheads‘

How politics is poisoning the truth

UnHerd columnist Graeme Archer joins Charlotte Pickles and Peter Franklin to discuss how identity politics and the rush to judgement is poisoning debate. Read the two articles behind the Short: ‘How politics is poisoning the truth’, about the Covington Boys affair ‘This age of semiotics is breaking us’, about how political appearances are not always […]

The second coming of the SDP

Giles Fraser joins Charlotte Pickles and Peter Franklin to discuss the UK’s broken political system, and whether SDP 2.0 might be the party for the politically homeless. Read the articles they discuss: Could Brexit fix our broken politics? A party for the politically homeless   

How political correctness corrupts the Right

In this UnPacked Short, Charlotte Pickles and Peter Franklin are joined by UnHerd’s US Flyover Editor, Henry Olsen, to discuss the four ways in which the Right has the wrong response to the Left’s political correctness. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here

Is Donald Trump the Wizard of Oz?

In this UnPacked Short, Charlotte Pickles and Peter Franklin are joined by UnHerd’s US Editor Henry Olsen to discuss how The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a populist tale with relevance today. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here  

The West is one crash from chaos

10 years on from the financial crisis, all but four countries in the OECD have higher debt to GDP ratios than they had in 2008. In this UnHerd Short, Charlotte Pickles and Peter Franklin are joined by UnHerd’s US-based flyover editor Henry Olsen, who explains that what we should really be worried about is what […]

Why populism is a lonely business

If populism was about economic insecurity, wouldn’t young people be casting protest votes en masse? Instead, when it comes to Right-wing populist parties at least, the older you are the more likely you are to support them. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles explore the reasons why this might be, and wonder […]

How street cred could harm your social cred

China’s much-discussed Social Credit System takes information on everything from jaywalking, to looking after your parents, to buying alcohol, in order to score your trustworthiness as a citizen. In this UnPacked Short, Charlotte Pickles and Peter Franklin discuss who is most likely to lose out under the system, and how it risks creating a permanent […]

Is the City of London too big?

Is London’s financial sector too big? That’s the argument made in a book by former Economist contributor Nicholas Shaxson. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss how size is not the issue, it’s the type of activity the City undertakes that should concern us. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here

How the American Right can recapture the moderate majority

You’d be forgiven for thinking that American politics is incredibly polarised at the moment. But the truth is that most people are actually somewhere in the middle. Research suggests two-thirds of Americans comprise an ‘exhausted majority’, unsympathetic to both the ultra-progressive Left and the conservative Right. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss […]

What Elizabeth Warren tell us about identity politics

In a bid to silence Donald Trump and other critics, Massachussetts senator Elizabeth Warren recently released a DNA test she claimed proved her Native American ancestry. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles explore the latest flashpoint in the American culture wars, and ask whether this potential presidential candidate should focus on unity […]

Will China repeat the mistakes of the USSR?

21st century China used more concrete in three years than the USA in the entire 20th century. Can this astonishing rate of economic development be sustained? In this UnPacked Short, Charlotte Pickles and Peter Franklin ask whether China will crash and burn like the Soviet Union, or whether its embrace of capitalism can keep it going. […]

What Facebook tells us about geography

Has our digital age made geography irrelevant? In this UnPacked Short, Charlotte Pickles and Peter Franklin discuss how rather than breaking down geographical barriers, our Facebook connections are reinforcing them. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

The vested interests the Tories should take on

As part of our series, ‘What’s killing conservatism’, Peter Franklin took aim at the ‘Ten vested interests the Tories failed to tackle’. In this UnHerd Short, Charlotte Pickles and Peter Franklin pick their top 3 targets, and ask why over the last 8 years the Government has failed to pick a fight. If there are other […]

Coercive federalism has doomed the EU

The idea that nationalism and liberalism are enemies ignores the history of Europe. In this week’s UnPacked Short, Charlotte Pickles and Peter Franklin discuss how the EU learned the wrong lessons from the fall of Yugoslavia. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here  

Would you like a digital surrogate?

In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the idea of ‘digital surrogates’, basic but convincing simulations of human personalities… But do we want to keep Trump tweeting for eternity? Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

The absurdity of legalising drugs

Last week, former Lord Chancellor Charles Falconer wrote a mea culpa for UnHerd: ‘Why I regret my war on drugs’. In it, he claimed the prohibition of drugs has been a failure, and proposed legalising and regulating all drugs. In this UnHerd Short, Charlotte Pickles and Peter Franklin question the logic and practicality of drug […]

The vacuum at the heart of British politics

There is a market for a new political party in British politics, but contrary to the views of the liberal elite, the public appetite is not centrist. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the vacuum at the heart of our representative democracy, and ask, in what party could Frank Field find […]

UnPacked Shorts: Why does the Left hate Tolkien?

JRR Tolkien is reviled by some on the Left as reactionary, even fascist, but that misinterprets his work. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the real meaning of Tolkien’s Rings trilogy. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here.  

UnPacked Shorts: Is it time for a negative land value tax?

A Land Value Tax is often touted as a way of clawing back from landowners some of the value generated by public investment. But what about in areas in which entire streets have been left to become derelict, and land values have plummeted? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss whether a […]

UnPacked Shorts: How the robots of the underworld could turn your life upside down

Cities across the globe are increasingly running out of room to expand – which explains why people are looking underground for more space. And with advancing digging technology, the potential is huge. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles ask, is the future of the global city underground? Read the UnPacked behind the […]

UnPacked Shorts: How the robots of the underworld could turn your life upside down

Cities across the globe are increasingly running out of room to expand – which explains why people are looking underground for more space. And with advancing digging technology, the potential is huge. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles ask, is the future of the global city underground? Read the UnPacked behind the […]

UnPacked Shorts: How (some) economists finally caught up with financial reality

Ten years after the financial crash, some economists have finally figured out why they missed it coming. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss these new revelations, and ask: what are the real world implications of too much ivory tower thinking? Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts: How low-paying businesses trap workers

What can we do about wage stagnation? For a start, ban the use of non-compete and no-poaching clauses. In This UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss how these restrictive contractual agreements now impact millions of low paid workers, reducing competition and suppressing wages. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts: The battle for Britain’s countryside – the other Brexit debate

Brexit will give Britain a chance to rethink its agricultural policy for the first time in decades, so what should we do? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles ask, is it time to stop subsiding hill farmers and allow our countryside to reforest? Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts: Is a driverless future all hype?

Driverless car technology faces substantial technical, commercial and political hurdles. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles ask: is a driverless future all hype? Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts: Is a driverless future all hype?

Driverless car technology faces substantial technical, commercial and political hurdles. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles ask: is a driverless future all hype? Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Short: Is there anyone else out there?

How likely is it that life is unique to Earth? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the odds of humans being the only intelligent life in the universe. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here.

UnPacked Short: Is there anyone else out there?

How likely is it that life is unique to Earth? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the odds of humans being the only intelligent life in the universe. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here.

UnPacked Short: The False Promise Of The Vertical City

Towering skyscrapers are emblematic of our dynamic, global cities – they’re also an architectural disaster. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the fundamental flaws in the idea of the vertical city. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here.

UnPacked Short: When communities take on the tech lords and win

Can we curb our addition to smart phones? One pioneering school is helping liberate pupils and parents from social media mania. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the ultimate mimetic product and whether community institutions can help check the power of the tech giants. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here.

UnPacked Short: The Amish – America’s most sophisticated users of technology

Before adopting any new technology, America’s Amish minority decide as a community whether it is something that will cause more harm than good. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles ask if this way of life is healthier for communities and whether we should flow the Amish lead? Read the UnPacked behind the […]

UnPacked Shorts: Do you have to be rich to give up your smartphone?

Is disconnecting the new status symbol? In this Unpacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss Simon Cowell’s recent decision to stop using his smartphone and ask, is this really something the rest of us can afford to do? Read the UnPacked behind the Short here.

UnPacked Shorts – June 23rd: An anniversary for George Osborne to celebrate!

June the 23rd is not only the anniversary of the Brexit vote, but the date four years ago that George Osbourne gave his first Northern Powerhouse speech. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the Northern Powerhouse and ask if devolution of powers to the North really can help revive it. Read […]

UnPacked Shorts – Is Europe on the brink of a new Thirty Years’ War?

It might be 400 since the Thirty Years War, but it is a subject that Angela Merkel is currently much interested in. Could Europe be heading for another period of serious unrest? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the parallels between the build up to the Thirty Years War and the […]

UnPacked Shorts – How Thatcher’s heirs can revive popular capitalism

“The problem with Thatcherism is that eventually you run out of other people assets”. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss whether Thatcher’s dream of “popular capitalism” can be revived by government creating new assets. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – How to introduce a Land Value Tax

In the UK, the top 10% own 45% of the nations wealth, while the bottom 50% owns less than 10% – is it time to tax wealth? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the merits of taxing land, and how best to introduce a Land Value Tax that’s fair and accurate. […]

UnPacked Shorts – Could the Chinese Communist Party win votes in the West?

The Communist Party of China is establishing cells abroad – is the idea of them fielding candidates in the West that farfetched? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the likelihood of such a move and whether it would be good or bad for democracy. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here.

UnPacked Shorts – Should the rich be allowed to destroy their own wealth?

Would you buy gold dusted chicken wings? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin is joined by Charlotte Pickles to debate whether the rich should be allowed to destroy their own wealth – and the two don’t entirely agree. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – ‘Unconscious bias training’ doesn’t work

In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the role of ‘unconscious bias’ in hiring practices – and why training won’t solve the problem. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.  

UnPacked Shorts: Free speech, blasphemy and structural discrimination

In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss structural discrimination, how it applies to religion and why the progressive Left are selective in calling it out. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – The most influential religion you’ve never heard of

Will a digital supreme being allow us to transcend our human limitations? Many in Silicon Valley and beyond believe so. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the growing secular religion of “singularitarianism”. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here.

UnPacked Shorts – the racist, classist undertones of “gammongate”

In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss “gammongate”, and whether the pejorative term – being used by the Left to describe pink-faced, Brexit-voting men – is in fact racist, ageist and classist. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here.

UnPacked shorts – Why trade deals are murder

Trade deals are about trade, right? Wrong. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss how there are often ulterior motives to such deals, which can lead to populism. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here.

UnPacked Shorts – Why rationing air travel is the same thing as taxing people out of the skies

According to a new report, the impact of tourism on global warming is worse than we thought. So is it time to start rationing air travel? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles look at ways to reduce globe-trotting habits and consider the risks of pricing poor people out of the air. Read […]

Is there anything that Jordan Peterson can’t disrupt?

Canadian Professor, psychologist and intellectual, Jordan Peterson, has become a controversial figure in today’s culture wars. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss how his critics are misrepresenting his views. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – Vanilla liberalism is past its sell-by date

The Labour Party hit a wall in the local elections, and utterly failed to meet expectations. So what next? Do they need to move closer to the centre? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles use an ice cream analogy to discuss whether the centre really is still the place to be electorally. […]

UnPacked Shorts – The globalisation trilemma

If you could only ever have two of the following, which would you choose: fuller economic integration, democratic representation, or the nation-state? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin is joined by Charlotte Pickles to discuss the globalisation trilemma that brought about shocks such as Brexit and Trump. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here.

UnPacked Shorts – Human clones are closer than you think

22 years ago, scientists successfully cloned Dolly the sheep, and talk turned to the possibility of cloning humans. The latest scientific breakthrough has taken us a good few steps closer to that. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the (diminishing) practical barriers to cloning humans, and whether we should even try. […]

UnPacked Shorts – forget London, make Coventry great again

Does anything good ever happen in flyover country? Of course it does, we just don’t hear about it. In this UnPacked short, Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss the “Birmingham Boom” and why it is so often ignored.

UnPacked Shorts – how men subvert the long hours work culture

If family life is the main driver of the gender pay–gap, shouldn’t work culture be more family friendly? In this UnPacked short, Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Sally Chatterton discuss how women are penalised in their career progression by antiquated working practices, while family–minded men simply subvert the “rules”. Read the UnPacked behind the short […]

UnPacked Shorts – “Sneckdowns” and desire lines: a parable for the big data age

Have you ever heard of a “desire line” or a “sneckdown”? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Sally Chatterton discuss what these are, what we learn from them, and how big data could soon be doing what they do on a much larger scale. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – U OK Hun(gary)?

Does Orban’s general election victory show Hungary turning its back on democracy? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Sally Chatterton discuss the election outcome and what it means for Hungary’s future.

UnHerd Short – Depressed house prices are trapping people in dying communities

As part of our Home Truths series, Henry Olsen speaks to Joe Gyourko, Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, about why low house prices stop people moving to more economically dynamic communities.

UnPacked Shorts – Russia and China get cosy over energy supplies

Should the prospect of Russia pivoting towards China alarm us? Peter Franklin doesn’t think so. In this UnPacked Short, Peter is joined by Charlotte Pickles and Sally Chatterton to discuss the ‘Power of Siberia’ gas pipeline that is currently being built between the two powers, and its implications for the wider world. Read the UnPacked […]

UnPacked Short – What cost a cashless society?

What would the world be like without cash? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Sally Chatterton consider the pros and cons of a life without ready money, and wonder if it could happen sooner than you think. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.  

UnPacked Shorts – Would you bank with Google?

Would you bank with Facebook or Google? Well you may soon have the chance. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Seb Giraud dicuss “TechFin”, when finance is provided by technology companies. What will it mean when the tech giants who know everything about us are also managing our finances? Read the UnPacked […]

UnPacked Shorts – Could a land value tax save Silicon Valley?

In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Seb Giraud discuss how high rents are driving businesses out of Silicon Valley and whether a land value tax might be the solution. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – Singapore is worth emulating, but not for the reasons you think

In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Seb Giraud discuss Singapore’s turbo capitalism, and ask if it’s really the shinning beacon free market fundamentalists think it is. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – China’s surveillance state

In this UnPacked Short Peter Franklin and Charlotte Pickles discuss two of UnHerd’s top topics, technology and China. China is building a surveillance state – applying facial recognition to everything from toilets to borders. Will the People’s Republic soon be exporting that tech to the West? Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – China’s class ridden society

In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Sally Chatterton discuss how being born in rural China gives you fewer rights than if you were born in urban China. With millions migrating internally to China’s cities, could this entrenched discrimination threaten China’s stability? Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – Is a race to Mars worth it?

In this UnPacked Short, Charlotte Pickles quizzes Peter Franklin and Nigel Cameron on the new space race. Is it really worth trying to land on Mars? Peter and Nigel disagree… Read the UnPacked behind the short here.  

UnPacked Shorts – Thirty-somethings need home ownership options – and fast

Are we too obsessed with owning our own homes? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin, Sally Chatterton and Charlotte Pickles discuss getting on the property ladder. Should this an be aim for everyone? And if so, how can we create more housing options before it is too late? Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – Italy versus the EU establishment: now who’s being irresponsible?

The recent election in Italy went largely ignored by the mainstream media, but why? In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Sally Chatterton discuss what the result means for the EU, and why the rest of the media paid no attention. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Short: Screen addiction killed the bookworm

In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Katie Harrison weigh up whether the increased availability of articles online has left them unable to read whole books. Have screens killed off books – or are books just too long? Read the UnPacked behind the short here.  

UnPacked Shorts – How Dr Internet got smarter than the real thing

In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Katie Harrison discuss how AI doctors are catching up with human ones and the implications of automated medical diagnosis. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – Can a global city build enough new homes?

In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin is joined by Katie Harrison and Charlotte Pickles to discuss Tokyo and how it is possible for a global city to keep building new housing. Read the UnPacked behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – Fake news isn’t new

The threat of fake news is not fake but nor is it new. In this UnPacked short, the panel discusses the age-old origins of media interference and how the more recent move of non-Western news networks into Western media markets has triggered a fresh bout of hysteria. Read the UnPacked behind the Short here.

UnPacked Shorts – Has the Left lost its voter base?

With the much-diminished SPD’s decision on coalition with Merkel in Germany due this weekend, and after an annus horribilis for the European Left last year, the UnPacked panel looks at why and how the Left has destroyed its voter base, both in Europe and across the Atlantic. Featuring Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and UnHerd flyover […]

UnPacked Shorts – Excessive bureaucracy hits the poor hardest

In America, access to selective colleges can involve multiple bureaucratic hurdles; for the disadvantaged young, that can mean the difference between a higher education and dropping out of the system altogether. In this UnPacked Short, Peter Franklin, Sally Chatterton and Charlotte Pickles discuss how onerous public sector bureaucracy can become an insurmountable barrier for the […]

UnPacked Short – are Corbynistas on to something with “accelerationism”?

Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Sally Chatterton discuss “accelerationsim”, Labour factions and the future of work. To find out what accelerationism is, and how it relates to “fully automated luxury communism”, listen to this 9 minute UnPacked Short. Read the Unpacked behind the short here. Read Ian Birrell’s piece on the opioid crisis, mentioned in […]

UnPacked shorts – Liberals are over-represented in politics, just look at the political compass

If you draw a political compass – where the horizontal line runs from economically statist to economically laissez faire, and the intersecting vertical line runs down from uber traditionalism to super radicalism – in which quadrant do you think most people cluster? Listen to this UnPacked Short and find out. Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and […]

UnPacked Shorts – Could automation lead to labour shortages?

The “Make America Great Again” baseball cap is in fact a trucker hat… Trump knew exactly what he was doing when he chose it – in most American States trucking is the most common profession. And yet there’s now a shortage in truckers. In this UnPacked short, Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Sally Chatterton discuss […]

UnPacked Shorts – Are classroom seating plans oppressive?

In this UnPacked short, Peter Franklin, Charlotte Pickles and Sally Chatterton discuss whether classroom seating plans are oppressive in their hierarchy, or whether this post-modernist worldview is just a different form of oppression?

UnPacked Shorts – Amazon Healthcare, hero or villain?

In this UnPacked short, Peter Franklin is joined by Charlotte Pickles and Sally Chatterton to discuss whether Amazon’s steps into healthcare are a force for good or evil. Read the UnPacked text behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – The burden on young families

In this UnPacked Short, Charlotte Pickles, Peter Franklin and Sally Chatterton discuss the rising cost of childcare and how it links to the loss of community. Read the UnPacked text behind the short here. And read Victoria Bateman’s piece on how economic models have failed to value care, discussed in this Short.

UnPacked Shorts – America, a failed state?

In this UnPacked Short, Charlotte Pickles, Peter Franklin and Sally Chatterton discuss the social destruction sweeping America, seen in the terrifyingly regular school shootings and the devastating opioid epidemic. Read the UnPacked text behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – Geoengineering

In this UnPacked short, Charlotte Pickles questions Peter Franklin and Nigel Cameron about geoengineering – can it help solve climate change, or is it a sticking plaster with the potential to do more harm than good? Seems Peter and Nigel don’t agree… Read the UnPacked text behind the short here.

UnPacked Shorts – Beer and automation

In this UnPacked short, Peter Franklin is joined by Charlotte Pickles and Nigel Cameron to discuss how beer can solve the problem of automation. Read the UnPacked text behind the short here.