300 episodes

Programme examining the ideas and forces which shape public policy in Britain and abroad, presented by distinguished writers, journalists and academics.

Analysis BBC

    • Government
    • 4.5 • 53 Ratings

Programme examining the ideas and forces which shape public policy in Britain and abroad, presented by distinguished writers, journalists and academics.

    Cancelling Colston

    Cancelling Colston

    In June 2020 the statue of slaver trader Edward Colston was toppled and thrown into the harbour in Bristol – one of the most visible moments of the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK. The statue now lies on its side in a museum, a testament to the dramatic re-evaluation of Bristol’s painful history at the centre of the transatlantic slave trade. Over the last year schools and buildings bearing Colston's name have been renamed. Colston has been cancelled.

    But what about the system of wealth, power and race that he represented?

    Bristol journalist Neil Maggs speaks to the people in Bristol dealing with Colston’s legacy. Current members of the Society of Merchant Venturers, a powerful charitable organisation which promoted Colston’s reputation as a philanthropist, have suddenly been thrust into the spotlight. School leaders are rolling out unconscious bias training. Elsewhere community leaders and politicians are navigating the potential for a backlash against terms such as white privilege as the national conversation on race continues.

    Producer: Lucy Proctor
    Editor: Jasper Corbett

    • 27 min
    Science in the Time of Cancel Culture

    Science in the Time of Cancel Culture

    In an age of social media ’cancel culture’ might be defined as an orchestrated campaign which seeks to silence or end the careers of people whose thoughts or opinions deviate from a new set of political norms. So if this threat exists for anyone expressing an opinion online in 2021, what’s it like for scientists working in academia and publishing findings which might be deemed controversial?

    In this edition of Analysis, Michael Muthukrishna, Associate Professor of Economic Psychology at the London School of Economics, assesses the impact of modern social justice movements on scientific research and development.

    Speaking to a range of experts, some who have found themselves in the firing line of current public discourse, and others who question the severity of this phenomenon and its political motives, Michael asks: if fear of personal or professional harm is strengthening conformism or eviscerating robust intellectual debate, can open-mindedness on controversial issues really exist in the scientific community? Or is rigorous public assessment of scientific findings helping to achieve better, more equitable and socially just outcomes?

    With contributions from:

    Emily M Bender, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Washington
    Pedro Domingos, Professor of Computer Science at University of Washington
    Caroline Criado Perez, writer and campaigner
    Brandeis Marshall, data scientist, Professor of Computer Science at Spelman College
    Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University
    David Reich, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School

    Producer Craig Templeton Smith
    Editor Jasper Corbett

    • 28 min
    Stalemate: Israel and the Palestinians after Gaza

    Stalemate: Israel and the Palestinians after Gaza

    After another round of violence, a two state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict appears farther away than ever. Edward Stourton examines the future.

    Guests include:
    Ahmad Samih Khalidi - Senior Associate Member at St Antony's College, Oxford
    Anshel Pfeffer - Senior Correspondent, Haaretz
    Dore Gold - former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations & President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
    Jake Walles - former US Consul General in Jerusalem
    Salem Barahmeh - Executive Director of the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy
    Sawsan Zaher - Deputy General Director, Adalah
    Shlomo Ben-Ami - former Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs & Vice President of the Toledo International Center for Peace.


    Producer Luke Radcliff
    Editor Jasper Corbett

    • 28 min
    A Hundred Glorious Years?

    A Hundred Glorious Years?

    The first, modest Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took place in late July 1921. Of the twelve original members, only Mao Zedong and one of his closest aides survived to take part in the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. The others were killed by political opponents, lost factional struggles or took up other creeds. And the CCP's history has been punctuated by in-fighting, purges, jailings, defections and sudden deaths.

    The Party itself sees things differently. Only it was able to push China into the future, the CCP claims, after earlier abortive attempts to modernise the country - and to secure the global eminence that it now enjoys. Its narrative also insists on the CCP's seamless triumph over obstacles placed in its path by malevolent foreign powers and reactionary domestic forces.

    A hundred years on from the CCP's foundation, the eminent China-watcher Isabel Hilton assesses the importance of the Party's centenary and asks why control of its view of its history is so important. She shows which events and ideological shifts the CCP prefers not to highlight or to ignore altogether. She considers why so much of the Party's history swings between periods of repression and liberalisation. And she explores how Xi Jinping, its current leader, is using the centenary. What will preoccupy the CCP in the years ahead?

    Producer Simon Coates
    Editor Jasper Corbett

    • 28 min
    A New Unionism?

    A New Unionism?

    Unionism in Northern Ireland is facing a highly uncertain future. Its divided party politics make the headlines. But beyond that, post-Brexit border rules and talk of a possible vote on Irish reunification is causing much anxiety. Even more profoundly, changes in the province’s population and attitudes among different generations are weakening traditional loyalties. Pessimists fear all this could be seriously destabilising. Others argue that a new kind of unionism, focused on the practical benefits of links to Britain, can revive the cause. Chris Bowlby listens in to a debate with major implications for the UK as a whole.

    Producer: Jim Frank
    Editor: Jasper Corbett

    • 28 min
    Funny Money

    Funny Money

    What is the money in your pocket really worth?

    Come to think of it now we’re virtually cashless, do you even keep money in your pocket?

    Maybe you’re worried about the growth of government debt during the pandemic you now store your wealth in commodities such as gold or silver? Or maybe you’re a fan of another asset class: bitcoin. Are cryptocurrencies the future of money or a giant bubble waiting to burst?

    Why are governments and companies such as Facebook so interested in developing their own digital currencies?

    Fifty years on from the ‘Nixon Shock’, when President Richard Nixon changed global currencies forever by taking the US off the gold standard, the BBC’s Ben Chu is on a mission to find out what money means to us today.

    Where does its value come from in this increasingly online world? Are we witnessing a revolution in the transfer of value into the metaverse? And how should make sense of this funny money business?

    Guests include:

    Historian Niall Ferguson

    Economist and academic Stephanie Kelton

    Investor Daniel Maegaard

    Investment strategist Raoul Pal

    Financial commentator Peter Schiff

    Economist Pavlina Tcherneva

    Producer Craig Templeton Smith
    Editor Jasper Corbett

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
53 Ratings

53 Ratings

Janezone ,

Love your show

Wish there were more. I've listened to them all.

Vox Populei ,

A mixed bag.

7 out of 10 episodes on this are terrible. Shame on you malcontents! Shame! Shame!

However,

3 out of 10 episodes are really quite startlingly good. Bravo chaps!

Prior to 2010 the BBC used to produce good, honest, often even beautiful shows. Blackadder comes to mind as a gem. But starting in the 2000's, the BBC has lost its shiny "Received Pronunciation" oomphf.

Now it's so downtrodden, pro-regulation, paranoid in tone, and anti-aspirational that it's increasingly unwatchable, and unlistenable.

Actually, I must say, that this really is one of the better modern produces of the BBC and still, so many episodes are just paranoid drivel, and so many are not quintessentially British.

It used to be very British to talk about sad things in an upbeat way.

The BBC is now speaking like the Bitter Britain that bores Boris and not the Britain I love with every bit of my boozy beard, BRIGHT BUSHY-TAILED, curious Britain!

Very sad! I mourn for you trusty, dusty ol' BBC which I loved so much. Here's to hoping the beloved brilliant chaps at the BBC who are not indoctrinated in modern journalist politics bring you back!

Top Podcasts In Government

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by BBC