Downstream – Novara Media Podcasts-logo

Downstream – Novara Media Podcasts


Novara Media is an independent media organisation addressing the issues - from a crisis of capitalism to racism and climate change - that are set to define the 21st century.


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Novara Media is an independent media organisation addressing the issues - from a crisis of capitalism to racism and climate change - that are set to define the 21st century.




Downstream: The History of Israel’s War on Palestine w/ Rashid Khalidi

To really understand what’s going in Israel, you need to get your history straight. Rashid Khalidi is one of the foremost historians of the Middle East and the author of several books on the region’s history, including The Hundred Years’ War On Palestine. On the day of the ceasefire in Gaza, he guides Ash through […]


Downstream: Does the Labour Party Care About Palestine? w/ Zarah Sultana

Zarah Sultana is one of the youngest MPs in Parliament and has faced intense hostility from the right of the Labour Party since Keir Starmer’s ascent to leader. The MP for Coventry South sat down with Ash Sarkar to talk about the reality of being a Muslim woman in the Labour Party, her interactions with […]


Downstream: The Future of Money w/ Brett Scott

We’re heading towards a cashless society. With the dominion of Visa and Mastercard showing no sign of shrinking, it’s becoming increasingly necessary to scrutinise what this shift towards virtual money really means. Brett Scott is an author and former banker who is deeply committed to evaluating the dangers of removing cash as a payment system. […]


Downstream: We Must Get Ready For An Emergency w/ Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek is perhaps the most famous living Marxist philosopher. This year he will publish three books on topics ranging from the nature of freedom to his deeply pessimistic view of the future. Slavoj sat down with Aaron for a typically provocative, freewheeling and humorous conversation spanning ideas from Stalinism to Zionism to Eurocentrism. He […]


Downstream: How Protest Movements Fall Apart w/ Vincent Bevins

The 2010s were a time of mass protest, from the Arab Spring uprisings to Occupy Wall Street, Euromaidan and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement. Many of these movements shared a ‘horizontalist’ or leaderless approach, and most of them ended in failure. Why? American journalist Vincent Bevins talks to Ash about the pitfalls of protest and what […]


Downstream: Philosophy’s Biggest Pessimist w/ John Gray

John Gray’s writing on political philosophy is not easily pigeonholed. Over the last half century he has explored ideas that span the whole political spectrum, and pissed off just about everybody with his central thesis that growth and progress are not inevitable. In his latest book, The New Leviathans, his attention turns to the changing […]


Downstream: The Left Is Traumatised w/ Gary Younge

From his early career following Nelson Mandela on the campaign trail to his stint as US correspondent for the Guardian, Gary Younge has long been one of the most thoughtful and compassionate voices on the British left. He joins Ash Sarkar to discuss his eventful career in journalism, his experiences of reporting in Soviet Russia, […]


Downstream: Europe Is Over w/ Yanis Varoufakis

In his new book, ‘Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism’, Yanis Varoufakis explores how giant tech firms, both in the US and China are expanding their control over the planet. His analysis is that, whilst material resources certainly matter, the real battle ground is over digital real estate. Aaron sat down with Yanis to talk about how […]


Downstream: Into The Mirror World w/ Naomi Klein

When we were in lockdown, conspiracy theorists went on the march. The emergence of anti-vaccine scaremongering coupled with virulent antisemitism was disconcerting for all of us. But it was even more nuts for renowned journalist and author Naomi Klein, who noticed that she was being constantly getting mixed up with another author: Naomi Wolf. Klein […]


Downstream: Big Pharma’s Secrets w/ Nick Dearden

Nick Dearden has been an economic justice campaigner for over 20 years, and his attention was on the pharmaceutical industry when Covid-19 hit. But as the world began to sing the praises of pharmaceutical companies, Nick saw an unprecedented PR coup. Giant corporations capitalised on the crisis, tightening their stranglehold over the health of the […]


Downstream: Empire, Austerity and Why Corbyn Was Right About Iraq w/ Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart has led a colourful life: diplomat in Indonesia, governor in post-invasion Iraq, founder of an NGO and a Member of Parliament. He’s also run for London Mayor and leader of the Conservative Party. But his latest occupation is podcaster, hosting ‘The Rest is Politics’ with Alastair Campbell. Rory sat down with Ash Sarkar […]


Downstream: Here’s How Power Really Works w/ Grace Blakeley

Most people know that the game is rigged. Those who set the rules – win the game. Grace Blakeley has made a career of studying the rules, exposing the exploitative ways in which powerful institutions govern our lives and figuring out ways in which we can beat the banker and resist the game itself. Grace […]


Downstream: Oligarchs Are Ruining This Country w/ Sam Bright

Who exactly is the ruling class? The conspicuous top hat and tailed Bullingdon Club still exert dominance, but their era is waning. There are new folks in town. They can’t beat the obscene wealth of petrostate oligarchs, so they’ve joined them in ransacking the country. Ash is joined by Sam Bright, author of Bullingdon Club […]


Downstream: A History of Sex Scandals w/ Steven Methven

The media and the public seem to be fixated on sex scandals this year, from household names in the headlines to salacious rumours spread on social media. But haven’t we always been intrigued by the private lives of those in power? Ash Sarkar is joined by Novara Live researcher Steven Methven to delve into the […]


Downstream: Social Mobility Is A Lie w/ Dan Evans

Has the left misunderstood the state of our nation? Sociologist and trade unionist Dan Evans thinks so. He talks to Aaron about the unexpected power of the petty bourgeoisie – the insecure class between the working class and the bourgeoisie – and how its Thatcherite values of home ownership and entrepreneurialism have reshaped British politics in the last […]


Downstream: Going Undercover With Extremists w/ Julia Ebner

Since 2016 we’ve seen mainstream politics take a turn for the weird, epitomised by the surprise success of populist projects like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. Since then, fringe views have continued to muscle into the middle ground, with conspiracy theories and far-right talking points trickling into political discourse. Julia Ebner has been […]


Downstream: What Have We Got Wrong About Antiracism? w/ Arun Kundnani

After the summer of 2020, the liberal consensus was that in order to tackle racism, white people would have to look inside themselves and ‘do the work’. In 2023, this idea has spread from well-meaning allies on Twitter to the HR departments of corporate behemoths – all while the institutions that consolidate and expand systemic […]


Downstream: Is It Time for a Universal Basic Income? w/ Will Stronge

Most people’s lives are defined by the exchange of labour for a wage. But what if the state gave us all a regular wage, with zero strings attached, to spend as we wish? That’s the core idea behind universal basic income, or UBI. With England’s first UBI pilot programme now underway, Aaron talks to Will […]


Downstream: Leaving London’s Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Community w/ Izzy Posen

Izzy Posen grew up in London’s Hasidic Jewish community in Stamford Hill, receiving the bare minimum of secular education in a school that still practiced corporal punishment. Even with the strictures of this insular community, he developed an acute curiosity about the world, resulting in him teaching himself English and eventually leaving the community to […]


Downstream: Can The Green Party Transform British Politics? w/ Zack Polanski

The Green Party of England and Wales has made extraordinary gains in the last two decades, especially in the last round of local elections. As well as its one MP – Caroline Lucas – the Greens are also the biggest party on several councils and have a majority on Mid Suffolk District Council. Aaron is […]