How Westminster fell in love with Australian politics

New host Sascha O’Sullivan explores Westminster’s obsession with all things Australia — and considers the lessons British politics might learn from down under.

From the U.K. Tory party’s succession of Aussie campaign chiefs  to the varying attempts to deploy Australian-style immigration policies, Westminster has held an enduring fascination with its rougher political cousins down under. 

Sascha speaks to former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who has long enjoyed links with the U.K. Tory party and who was the first premier to vow to “stop the boats.”

Rohan Watt, a Queensland native who worked in Liz Truss’s No. 10 Downing Street, explains how Australian advisers have long been surfing the coattails of legendary campaign guru Lynton Crosby, and how their blunt style of communication has made them mainstays in British politics. 

Australian-British journalist Latika Bourke considers the brutal campaign tactics sometimes deployed down under, while foreign policy expert Sophia Gaston explains how the recently-signed AUKUS security pact will reinforce relations between the two countries.

Comms guru John McTernan, who worked for both Tony Blair in Downing Street and Australian PM Julia Gillard in Canberra, explains why Australia can offer a helpful election playbook for British politicos to follow — but why Westminster should be wary of stealing their ideas wholesale. 

And Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson tells how she recently undertook a fact-finding trip to Australia to gather advice on childcare policy from the Aussie Labor Party — as well as tips on how to help U.K. Labour win an election.