Welcome to my blog/podcast website.

I host and produce The Sobremesa Podcast, which is all about modern day Spanish politics, history and society.

It is now available on Google, Spotify and Apple

I often write about politics, culture, mental health and ideology.

For the latest podcast episodes or blog posts look below (they are a bit mixed up!)

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You can also follow me on Twitter

  • #4MAYO Madrid Elections: an after-thought
    With a 75% participation rate, the PP and Isabel Ayuso take 65 seats in the Madrid Comunidad elections, four short of a majority. She will need an abstention from Vox to become president, and is also likely to negotiate a confidence on supply agreement with them. Ayuso has eaten Cuidudanos alive and kept Vox at bay, whilst also gaining more seats than all the left together. This is certainly a boost for the PP at a time when the national party is struggling because of a squeeze to its right from Vox and ongoing corruption cases. That said, Pablo Casado’sContinue reading “#4MAYO Madrid Elections: an after-thought”
  • #4M Madrid Elections 2021 with Caroline Gray and Eoghan Gilmartin
    With the communidad elections less than a week away Caroline Gray and Eoghan Gilmartin both join me to discuss the political earthquake that led to the elections and why this election is about more than just the capital. Eoghan Gilmartin is a political journalist covering Spanish politics. He is a regular contributor to Jacobin Magazine and has written from many other publications such as Novara Media and Open Democracy. Caroline Gray is Lecturer in Politics and Spanish. She specialises in the politics of Spain and wider Europe, focusing on territorial politics and party systems. She is the author of Territorial PoliticsContinue reading “#4M Madrid Elections 2021 with Caroline Gray and Eoghan Gilmartin”
  • European Super League with Tommy Hay
    This week, the European Super League launched but it hasn’t gone smoothly. In the UK all 6 big teams were forced to pull out by their fans, the media and even Boris Johnson. Here in Spain the reaction has been very different. Tommy Hay joins me to discuss the issues behind this league and the Spanish reaction to it. Tommy Hay is a football commentator here in Spain. He is the presenter of Speaking Football on Vaughan radio, co-host of the Get Spanish Football News podcast, and he also appears on the show Aprende inglés para futbolistas on Radio MARCAContinue reading “European Super League with Tommy Hay”
  • The Treatment of Sexual Minorities in the Late-Francoist Period with Sonia Cuesta Maniar
    Sonia Cuesta Maniar joins me to discuss the treatment of sexual minorities by the Spanish state during the late period of the Francoist dictatorship. Sonia Cuesta Maniar is a doctoral research student at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the relationship between Francoist repressive practices and accelerating socio-political change in the 1960s and 1970s Spain. More broadly, she is interested in the history of memory, violence, and repression. The Sobremesa Podcast is all about modern day Spanish politics, history and society. It is now available on Google, Spotify and Apple For the latest… sign up here
  • Gender Violence with Dr Deborah Madden
    Feminism is huge movement in Spain, but why? Gender violence is a polemical topic in Spain. Dr Deborah Madden joins me to discuss how, in recent years, there have been several high-profile cases of rape that have brought about needed reforms to the Spanish law. This, along with a number of femicides in the country, has brought gender violence into the public domain. We also discuss how the feminist movement has reacted to these events and how it is not the first time that women have shared their stories of gender violence. Dr Deborah Madden is a Leverhulme Postdoctoral ResearcherContinue reading “Gender Violence with Dr Deborah Madden”
  • Spanish Feminism with Elia Romera Figueroa
    In recent years feminism has boomed in countries such as Argentina and Mexico. Likewise, in Europe the movement has been most active in the south, mainly in Italy and Spain. Since 2018, when the first massively followed International Women Strike took place, the movement hasn´t stop growing, and its effects are beginning to be felt. What are some of today’s discussions in Spanish feminism? and where was Spanish feminism before 2018? I am joined by researcher Elia Romera-Figueroa to discuss the history of Spanish feminism, past and present debates within the movement and where it is going. Happy International Womens’Continue reading “Spanish Feminism with Elia Romera Figueroa”
  • Spanish Start Ups with Joe Haslam
    The Spanish government recently announced 11 billion euros for small, medium sized companies in the hard-hit tourism sector. Will it be enough? And what is the direction for the Spanish economy? In the longer term, Spain has seen the need to reform its economy as the current model, heavily reliant on tourism, is unreliable. Many in the country also want self employment red tape cut and costs reduced. Joe Haslam joins me to explain the long term cultural and systematic problems Spain faces in reforming itself into a country of start ups. We also discuss ‘Spain Entrepreneurial Nation’ the newContinue reading “Spanish Start Ups with Joe Haslam”
  • Basque Nationalism: The Origins of Basque Nationalism and Anti-colonialist Rhetoric with Maria Reyes Baztán
    Nationalism has made a comeback in the 21st century and Spain is not exempt. Often people mistake Spain for a large country, when in fact it is a large block of several regional identities. Famously, the Catalan independence movement has highlighted this fact and also caused a rise in the national Spanish identity. However this is not a new phenomenon. Spain’s regional identities have challenged Spanish nationalists desired unity since at least the 19th century Whilst the regional identities often get along well together, this has not always been the case. During Franco’s era, regional identities were suppressed, and followingContinue reading “Basque Nationalism: The Origins of Basque Nationalism and Anti-colonialist Rhetoric with Maria Reyes Baztán”
  • Catalan Politics 101 with Andrew Dowling
    On Sunday the 14th February 2021, Catalonia will go to the polls, this time to elect a regional government. This is the second regional election since the October 2017 independence referendum. The first in December 2017 was called by then Spanish President Mariano Rajoy, in that election the biggest party Cuidudanos won the most seats but could not form an administration. A regional government was formed by independence forces JuntsxCats/ERC/CUP. Quimm Torra was elected as regional president. In the April 2019 general election, Torra went against Spanish election rules. After many long judicial battles, Torra was dismissed as regional premierContinue reading “Catalan Politics 101 with Andrew Dowling”
  • The Rise of Vox and Spanish Nationalism
    Here is the second part of my interview with Vicente Rubio-Pueyo. Here we talk the rise in very visible raising of Spanish nationalism and how this also went alongside the rise of far right party Vox. To read Vicente’s report check out the link below:
  • Spanish municipalism with Vicente Rubio-Pueyo
    Vicente Rubio-Pueyo is a Spanish academic based in New York and member of Minim, a municipalism observatory. https://minim-municipalism.org/ He sat down with me to discuss modern day Spanish municipalism and the effect it has had on politics and the cities it governed. For further details on how the municipalism started in Spain, listen to my interview on 15M The second part of my interview, about the rise of Vox and nationalism, with Vincente will be out later this week. The Sobremesa Podcast is all about modern day Spanish politics, history and society. It is now available on Google, Spotify and Apple For the latest… signContinue reading “Spanish municipalism with Vicente Rubio-Pueyo”
  • Nigel Farage is a bigger threat to the left than the Tories. Here’s why.
    Nigel Farage is a bigger threat to the left than the Tories. Here’s why.
  • Territorial Politics in Spain with Caroline Gray
    When you first move to Spain you soon realise there are more than two national parties. Since the financial crash in 2008, regional politics have become a big matter (once again) in Spanish politics. The current coalition government has made them a key part of their program. How did this come about? For one thing, it is not new. In this episode of the Sobremesa podcast I interview Caroline Gray. Here we talk about the territorial politics of both the left and right in Spain since the financial crisis. I hope, for some of you, that it will help navigateContinue reading “Territorial Politics in Spain with Caroline Gray”
  • 15-M, Ten Years On: In conversation with Cristina Flesher Fominaya on her recent book Democracy Reloaded: Inside Spain’s Political Laboratory from 15-M to Podemos
    Events in America last week only remind us that democracy is fragile. Whilst the 90’s and the early 2000’s might seem like the ‘norm’, it was actually a bit of a red herring. We should try to remember that democracy has always been fragile and prone to crisis and threat. To use the worn-out Winston Churchill quote, “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Here we need to distinguish between a threat to democracy and a crisis, without using any words that have lost their meaning in recent years such as ’fascism’ and ‘coup’. TheContinue reading “15-M, Ten Years On: In conversation with Cristina Flesher Fominaya on her recent book Democracy Reloaded: Inside Spain’s Political Laboratory from 15-M to Podemos”
  • Keir Starmer: Labour Aristocracy
    Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer: “I don’t think there is a case for re-joining the EU…that is not realistic” Originally tweeted by BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) on January 10, 2021. On Sunday 10th January, Keir Starmer turned his back on a large group of people that voted for him in the leadership elections. Remain-backing Labour members all over the country will be upset by the news that Labour will not be campaigning for the UK to re-join the EU or for the return of freedom of movement. Whilst I agree with Starmer that it is unrealistic to push these two issuesContinue reading “Keir Starmer: Labour Aristocracy”
  • Shove your ‘Hot Take’
    Is anybody else tired? I certainly am. Following the threat to democracy, the ‘coup’, the backlash of populism (and any other over inflated name you want to give it) in the United States on Wednesday, all I have seen online so far are personal hot takes. These have mainly been poor interpretations of what was clearly a bunch of losers, to steal an insult from Trump, being allowed to storm the Capitol building by the police. However, with endless comparisons with Black Lives Matter (we know the US state apparatus is racist, although it is a good point to make),Continue reading “Shove your ‘Hot Take’”
  • Brexit Special: One Remainer, One Leaver. Both Live in Spain
    In this one-off special episode, I discuss brexit with two Brits that live in Spain. One voted leave and the other voted remain. Here is why. Richard Thompson lives in Sant Joan in Mallorca. He is a business owner and local town councillor with Assemblea per Sant Joan. We talk about voting remain and the stereotypes of Brits in Spain. Timothy Appleton has lived in Madrid for 15 years. He is a lecturer in the Camilo José Cela University, editor of the magazine #lacanemancipa and author of the book “Escupir en la iglesia: un sí de izquierdas al Brexit”, (“SpittingContinue reading “Brexit Special: One Remainer, One Leaver. Both Live in Spain”
  • What is a ‘Good Immigrant’?
    Today Pablo Iglesias welcomed the decision to give James Rhodes, a British Pianist and activist, Spanish nationality. With Rhodes only having been in the country for four years, he would be six short of getting the passport if it had not been gifted to him. Whilst respecting his activist work (which I do), some feel that this special treatment is unfair when compared to other migrants. However, opening up the conversation around immigration is welcome. The method however is questionable. Giving a reward for being a good immigrant leads to a discussion about what is a good or bad immigrant.Continue reading “What is a ‘Good Immigrant’?”
  • Cultural Marxism, Covid-19 and a Broken Ideology
    On the 17th December, Liz Truss, the Secretary of State for International Trade, who is also minister for Women and Equality, gave a speech announcing the government’s new approach toward equality. As part of this announcement, the Secretary claimed that recent governments had concentrated on ‘empty gestures’ such as anti-racism and gender equality whilst ignoring class and regional inequalities. She says that this fresh approach will be based on conservative values and not identity politics. As part of their plan to combat inequality, the government has come up with several proposals on how to do this. The main one beingContinue reading “Cultural Marxism, Covid-19 and a Broken Ideology”
  • After The Fall: An Interview with Tobias Buck
    Here I got to interview author and former Financial Times Spain correspondent Tobias Buck. After The Fall: Crisis, Recovery and the Making of a New Spain is Tobias’ book documenting the country’s political, societal and economic response to the 2008 financial crisis and the territorial crisis that followed. You can get a copy here and in all good bookshops. We also talk about corruption, austerity, Rajoy, Podemos and Catalonia. He goes into how it was writing the book and expands on various elements included in it. At the end of the episode, I also talk about my plans for theContinue reading “After The Fall: An Interview with Tobias Buck”
  • The History of Anarchism in Spain with Danny and Jim from the ABC Podcast
    In this two-part episode, I spoke with Danny and Jim from the Anarchist Book Club Podcast. We go all the way from the meaning of anarchism and its founding in Spain to its current state today. I learnt loads talking with both the guys. Please make sure you take a listen to their podcast, The Anarchist Book Club, and if you want to know more you can buy their books. The Sobremesa Podcast is all about modern day Spanish politics, culture and society. It is now available on Google, Spotify and Apple Or you can sign up here for updates from this website
  • Spain’s new budget with EOGHAN GILMARTIN and TOMMY GREENE
    “Spain’s Left Is Winning the Battle for Welfare — But Not the War on Neoliberalism” This is the name of Eoghan and Tommy’s new article available at jacobin.com. Here we discuss their take on Spain’s first budget since Rajoy. We discuss where Podemos is making gains and where the PSOE and EU are too. I hope you find this interesting take on the budget helpful. Please head on over and read their article for the full story. The Sobremesa Podcast is all about modern day Spanish politics, culture and society. (With some added history for good measure) It is now availableContinue reading “Spain’s new budget with EOGHAN GILMARTIN and TOMMY GREENE”
  • A New Image of Spain?: a Podcast Crossover with Paul Burge from When in Spain
    CROSSOVER TIME!! The Sobremesa Podcast has teamed up with the When in Spain podcast. Paul Burge has been running his podcast for the last 2 years and covers a whole range of things related to Spain. From pueblos to Hemmingway, it is all in there. Here I interviewed Paul about tourism and the image of Spain, both from the outside and the image of the country that Spaniards have. If you want to hear Paul interview me about the EU covid-fund and the future of Spanish politics, head on over to the When in Spain podcast to hear it. WhenContinue reading “A New Image of Spain?: a Podcast Crossover with Paul Burge from When in Spain”
  • Left Populism in Spain and the USA with Jorge Tamames
    In this episode of the Sobremesa podcast, I chat with journalist and political researcher Jorge Tamames about the history and current state of populism in the USA and Spain. Jorge’s book ‘For The People: Left Populism in Spain and the US’ concentrates on left wing populism in both countries. Here he explains the conditions that led to the rise in Podemos and Bernie Sanders, and their differences. Later, we discuss Podemos inside the government, republicanism, right-wing populism and what covid-19 might mean for populism in the future. His book is available on the Lawrence and Wishard website The Sobremesa PodcastContinue reading “Left Populism in Spain and the USA with Jorge Tamames”
  • The History of the Housing Crisis and the birth of the PAH movement with Sophie Gonick
    This week the Sobremesa Podcast talks with Sophie Gonick from New York University about her up and coming book: Dispossession and Dissent. We talk about how she documented the birth of the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH) (Platform for People Affected by Mortgages), and she also explains the housing crisis that went with it. We later talk about housing policy and why council houses in Spain aren’t really a thing. The Sobremesa Podcast is now available on Google, Spotify and Apple
  • Doctor, Doctor give me some news… 19/10/2020
    In this episode of the Sobremesa Podcast, I talk to an old friend about an ongoing problem. Doctors in Spain are threatening to strike from the 28th of October over a new law passed by the government. This law is to help increase the number of staff. So, what is the problem? Find out here Please like and subscribe to the Sobremesa Podcast for the latest in Spanish current affairs, culture, history and society. New Episodes every Monday. The Sobremesa Podcast is now available on Google, Spotify and Apple You can also sign up to alert from this website from here…
  • An Interview with Giles Tremlett: The International Brigades. Fascism, Freedom, and the Spanish Civil War.
    An Interview with Giles Tremlett: The International Brigades. Fascism, Freedom, and the Spanish Civil War.