390. The Rick Thompson Report: Hard Brexit / U.S. Election

This is a conversation with my dad about recent news, including a Brexit update, the US presidential election, Obama’s plans to send people to Mars and back and more…

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A reminder about the anecdote competition: Listen & vote here teacherluke.co.uk/2016/10/07/387-lep-anecdote-competition-entries-please-listen-vote/

I know this isn’t for everyone, but check out the anecdotes which have been sent to me. You might be pleasantly surprised. There are some great little stories in there and a lot of people are really showing off their good English. I’m very proud of everyone who got involved.

You can get all the competition entries on your phone like a podcast with this RSS feed: audioboom.com/users/1917559/boos.rss

Just enter that link into the search function in your podcast app and you’ll find it (including the iTunes store)

Then listen to the entries when you’re out and about. You could mark the entries you like by favouriting them (most podcast apps allow you to add a star to the episodes you like) then vote later.

I want to say a massive thank you to all the LEPsters in the comment section of my website recently, particularly all the amazing feedback they’ve been writing in response to the competition entries. I’m really impressed. Some LEPsters, particularly Olga, have written individual feedback for every single competition entry there. Generally the response has been absolutely brilliant and I urge you to get involved too.

I know it’s difficult to listen to all the entries because there are so many, but check them out and you’ll see that there are some really entertaining stories there. The other night I walked home from a restaurant for about an hour, just listening to the competition entries. I was going to take the metro but I decided to walk all the way because I wanted to keep listening. I’m really pleased that so many people got involved and told their stories, even if it was difficult.

Give yourself a big pat on the back if you sent me an entry, or if you have voted or left feedback. Some of you are feeling a bit embarrassed because you don’t like the sound of your own voices or you’re comparing yourselves to people you think are better, but never mind all that – everyone did really well so congratulations.

The voting in round 1 ends on 21 October, so you have another week left.

The Rick Thompson Report

Now, let’s move onto this episode, which is called The Rick Thompson Report. Yesterday I spoke to my dad on FaceTime and asked him to give us a report on some recent news. We ended up talking about a few things, including a Brexit update, some stuff about Barack Obama’s plans to send a manned mission to Mars and my dad’s thoughts on the US Presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I know some of you have been keen to find out what my dad has to say on that particular subject after I talked about it in the last two episodes of this podcast.

Because we’re talking about politics in this episode, I am sure that some of you will disagree with what you’re going to hear, which is fine, but if you’re planning on writing comments expressing your disagreement then I just encourage you to try to articulate those thoughts properly, explaining your reasons and developing your points, rather than just writing some angry knee-jerk reaction.

That’s if you disagree. If you agree with us, then of course you can write about that too.

Generally, I hope you respond in some way. You’ll hear us comment on some global events, and it’s quite interesting to me how we all seem to have different versions of those events depending on which media outlet we are exposed to. For example, the narrative about global events in the UK media is probably quite different to the narrative in the Russian media or the Chinese media. We are all subject to media bias, but let’s try to focus on the simple truths and facts at the heart of any story. That’s easier said than done, but I guess a starting point is to realise that things aren’t always the way they are portrayed in the media in any country. There’s always a certain amount of bias.

Anyway, that’s enough of an introduction. Now, I’ll let you listen to the Rick Thompson Report, with Rick Thompson.


So that’s our conversation, I hope you found it interesting. As I said before, I look forward to reading your comments if you have any.

Don’t forget to get listen and vote in round 1 of the anecdote competition.

I got a message about why I don’t get many comments from Chinese listeners – apparently it’s because so many web services are blocked in China, and that included Disqus – my comments system, but my website is visible. So the Chinese listeners can listen to the podcast but can’t comment on the website unless they’re using proxy servers or something. So, China I just want to say hello and I wonder what you’re thinking. I’m assuming that you like the podcast because you’re my #1 country. Anyway, hello China, and hello everyone else too.

Thanks for listening and I’ll speak to you again soon. Bye!

  • Ptholome

    Hi people the Orion team has put a copy of this episode on Luke’s Archive

    The Orion Team

  • Banderovets from Chernihiv

    Let me express opinion from Ukraine. I am living in North of Ukraine, so in the past I preferred to have a vacancies every year in Crimea.
    I am working in food industry so in have lots of business connection
    And my relative is Ukrainian officer who serve in Crimea at annexation and almost married on local girl. So I had friends business and almost relative connections with people from Crimea. And I have independing point of view on the events which was during propaganda and military base capturing.

    Russia always wants to have a Crimea despite of all words and agreements about Ukraine and Russia (just remember Tusla case). It was years and years of propaganda in Crimea and during annexation it was just crazy: “Ukrainian are Nazi and Hitlerites” “they eating children” “they wanted to forbid to you to talk on Russian”.
    A lots of shits in the media, exterior advertising, social media.
    Also Ukraine is poor country, so salary level is low but food and services is cheaper. In Russian salary level is higher but also food more expensive so “you’ll receive much bigger salary”
    So part of people 100% trusted propaganda another told “we’ll choose russia and then will see” and another part do not accept annexation.
    But people’s wants is not the reason. Russia do not asked people it was jast a justification, fig leaf which cover the lie. It do not ask the people in the past and will not ask in future. Even though they wants back who cares?

    Now Russia carry on war in Donets region and also produce a lot of lie about russian innocents and weapon, tanks and drones which separatists making by himself )).

    Why do Russia doing it?
    may opinion is because it wants more land, more cannon fodder, and more gas (before war Ukraine started to process the Crimea shelf and russia captured floating units, and Ukraine was preparing to process deep fields in Donetsk region) and wants sweet feeling of being empire and emperor

  • Sebastian

    Hi Luke, I hope you’re all right. I’ve got a question: What’s your Dad’s accent from or what kind is it? Is it Posh? Any scoop on it? Thanks.

  • Nikolay Shikalenko

    Hello Mr. Thompson, hello Luke! It is very interesting to hear you both discussing about politics!
    I’m from Russia and it is OK to express your opinion about the circumstances around our country and the Crimea joining. I totally agree with you, Mr. Thompson. Luke, to be honest, I was a bit shocked when you started to interrupt your father, I’m sure he’s mature enough to undestand all responsebility of judging goverments.
    And I’m really interesting to hear Mr. Thompson opinion about our country and our leaders from you. Maybe when next time you tke part in your son’s podcast you’ll express your opinion!

  • Gábor Gazdag

    Hey Luke,

    after the brexit you said the British people are
    believed to be the dumbest.. now this “illustrious” position has been
    caught by the Americans in my opinion :D :D :(

  • Елена Конюхова

    Hi Luke and LEPsters,

    I was listening to the podcast without any intention to comment about it. I have just looked through other people’s posts, and I have something to say.

    My friends and I visited the Crimea just after the territory had been annexed to Russia as the most the world stated. I’m not going to talk about politics, it’s not my cup of tea, but I only want to say a couple of words about what we saw there. The air terminal of the main city was really miserable. We saw trams, buses and other public transport that I could hardly have expected to see in the real life. I remember we thought they might had been operating since the Soviet Union period. And the whole impression about everything was like that. It could only mean that the Ukrainian government hadn’t do much for that part of the country since the collapse of the USSR.

    Also, we asked the local people of different ages and social position what they were thinking about the Russian annexation. All of them told us they were waiting when it would happen.

    I can only think that everything is so complicated in our world, so it is very difficult to judge things objectively.

    Also, I agree with the opinion that politics can divide friends and even families, which is very sad. I know about that from my own experience.

    Let it be my practice of participating in the comment section. When you share your thoughts or feelings with people, you have a chance to be understood, not only disapproved, I hope so.

    Luke, thanks for all your great episodes and lessons of English. For me, they’re really invaluable.

    • Nick

      Hello, Елена! I absolutely agree with you. I think you know that the Crimea wanted to stay with Russia right after ruining of the Soviet Union in 1991 when Ukraine and Russia became different countries. That’s why I think the Ukrainian government didn’t want to develop the peninsula. And also may be because almost all the population of the Crimea are russians and this land was never considered as Ukrainian territory.

      • Елена Конюхова

        Hi Nick, thanks for your opinion.

      • It was great to read your comment because you have actually been there and made observations with your own eyes. So, thank you very much for taking the time to write here.

      • Елена Конюхова

        Luke, thank you very much for your kind words.
        Actually, I was not sure whether I should write this.
        Sincerely, Elena from Russia.

      • I think if anyone should be writing comments about this subject it’s you, because you have first-hand experience of this situation.
        Anyone else writing comments will probably be influenced by their attitudes about the subject, or by the subtle media-spin from news reports wherever they are in the world.
        Nobody has truly objective views, especially if you base your opinions on what other people have told you.
        But trying to describe what you saw with your own eyes, while doing your best to avoid interpreting that information or adding any bias – that’s often the most reliable source of information we can get. It might not be perfect because nobody is truly objective, but it’s pretty good.
        It’s the spirit of proper journalistic reporting.
        So, I think your comment was valuable and I’m glad you wrote it.

      • Елена Конюхова

        Thank you very much!
        It’ll motivate me to participate in other discussions in future.

      • Ptholome

        Well done Elena. I miss you.:)

      • Елена Конюхова

        Thank you Antonio. I really appreciate that.

      • Michael Ng

        Hi Елена, I agree with you. You talked to the local people in Crimea. You know more about the actual situation.
        You know most of the people(including me) are influenced by the Western Media. Sometimes, the Western Media has bias.
        Michael from Hong Kong.