Nov 18, 2021 • 46M

Danny Finkelstein on moderation, proportion & political psychology

Daniel Ross
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Interviews with the experts, entertainers and academics in the weird, wonderful and creative world of behavioural science.
Episode details

Fellow BSers,

Welcome to another episode of 'A Load of BS: The Behavioural Science Podcast' with me Daniel Ross. From Lineker last week down the middle to Finkelstein centre right, I'm ringing the changes for this midweek game to welcome writer, Times newspaper commentator and Conservative Party moderniser, moderate, maven and former advisor to William Hague, George Osborne and David Cameron - the Baron of Pinner, Danny Finkelstein.

Prior to his work helping to transition the Conservatives between Major key, very minor key and then David Cameron, Danny was Director of the think tank the Social Market Foundation. He was also the Chairman of the Policy Exchange, an independent charity seeking free market and ‘localist’ solutions to public policy questions.

And to give you a titbit away from the LinkedIn theocracy, Danny is an obsessive Beatles fan. Indeed, his study desk and bookshelf are split between Holocaust tomes, reflecting, in part, research for a book on his family which he's currently in the process of writing, and Paul McCartney lyric sheets.

Danny was named political commentator of the year at the Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Last year, he published 'Everything in Moderation', a compilation of his Times essays over the last 20 years which reflect, indeed, his sense for moderation, proportion and social psychology.

You can find all my podcasts on all the usual platforms: do subscribe on Apple, Spotify and others, and give me a 5 star review! And let me know what you think of it all on Twitter @danielsjross.

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Today, Danny and I discuss:

  • Perspective and empathy

  • Why a sense of proportion matters

  • Why politics matters

  • Bourgeois stability and big ideas

  • Robert Cialdini's 'click, click, run'

  • COVID, Brexit and self-interest

  • Economic growth as the driver of polarisation vs. congeniality

  • Journalism's role in policing our systems

Books referenced by Danny:

It's my huge pleasure to share with you my conversation with Danny Finkelstein.

Next time talking A Load of BS with me:

Next time, I'll be in conversation with psychologist, technologist and businessman Nir Eyal. Nir is the Habits and Distractions man having written two award winning books on what makes habit forming products and how to overcome the endless distractions in our lives.

I hope you agree 'A Load of BS' is one distraction worth keeping. Be well and till next time!