101. Iain Dale; Communist Russia, Italian Coach Trips, the SAS in Beirut and the Decline of Social Discourse - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 101
July 28 , 2020

101. Iain Dale; Communist Russia, Italian Coach Trips, the SAS in Beirut and the Decline of Social Discourse

A school trip to Communist Russia left LBC’s Iain Dale hooked on travel. He’s since learned fluent German, been chased to the Austrian border by a Hungarian prostitute, been guarded at gun-point in Lebanon, done things he doesn’t feel he can tell us in a Miami Hotel and, as one of the UK’s foremost political commentators, feels Washington DC is almost an ancestral home. A sharply humorous insight into the world we live, angry tweeters, anonymous trolls, the importance of languages and why we can’t just all get along.

 

On this episode we cover:

 

His new book Why Can’t We All Just Get Along; Shout Less, Listen More

The decline of social discourse

Online anonymity leading to unnecessary aggression

Angry tweeters and anxiety

Unfollowing Owen Jones due to the abuse he gets

Lisa wanting to give Owen Jones a cuddle

The need to understand people who have differing point of views

The people being frustrated with politicians

The virtual disappearance of deference

Twitter being addictive but sometimes a nasty place

Online abuse upsetting even the toughest of skinned

The need to have a decent debate from both sides of an argument

Being The Big Travel Podcast’s most organised ever guest

Growing up on a farm

Only having one family holiday as a child

His husband hating holidays!

Coming back 3 days early from Cape Cod

Being on the same flight as was later involved in 9/11

How the homebodies have done better out of lockdown

Not going out for over 100 days due to shielding!

His side-line selling political mugs

Being like a convent school girl released after lockdown!

Lisa drinking out of a talkSPORT mug

Lisa and Ian Collins on talkSPORT

The teacher who took the school to communist Russia  

The overnight train to Moscow

Almost preferring Russia under communism

The ‘sliding doors’ trips to Germany that completely changing his outlook

Being the first person in his family to go university

Does university give you an edge in critical thinking?

The University of Easy Access

His farming parents backing his non-farming ambitions

Being ‘totally useless at sciences’

The book Travellers in the Third Reich being an excellent account of Germany in between the wars

How learning languages changes the mind-set

The optimum age to learn a new language

Arabic, Mandarin, Spanish all should be taught in schools

An unlikely 1980 Cosmos coach trip to Italy

Venice, Florence, Rome, Capris

Being 6ft 2 meaning

Doing the For The Many podcast with Jacqui Smith

Being surrounded by gun toting Lebanese soldiers in Beirut

The rather frightening entry to Lebanon with the SAS

Being the first British person in Beirut since John McCarthy visited

Don’t go anywhere without the SAS

Dom Joly talking about Lebanon on The Big Travel Podcast

A road trip to Vienna

Stumbling into communist Hungary

Heading to Budapest before the first McDonalds got there

Being cashed out of town by a Hungarian prostitute

Lisa’s strange night of avant garde jazz in Budapest

Going to both Azerbaijan and Armenia when they hate each other

Tourism police in Cuba

Outrageous antics at a gay hotel in the Florida Keys

Apparently gay man can have right-wing views – who knew!

Being hapless in airports

Getting to airports 5 hours (!) before the flight

His nieces calling him Uncle Herod

Feeling Washington DC is almost an ancestral home

Attending Trump’s inauguration

Staying in the best hotel in Uganda…

…while David Cameron (then Prime Minister) stayed in a shack

Being a Tory candidate in 2004

People in Cromer in Norfolk staring at a black man

Lisa’s terribly embarrassing story on the night of the Brexit night vote (tempting to edit it out but I left it in!)

Cliff Richard’s Miss You Nights in crocodile country in the deep Australian outback, hundreds of miles from anywhere