283 episodes

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

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    • Government

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

    Do voters need therapy?

    Do voters need therapy?

    In a poll last year, two thirds of people suggested that Britain’s exit from the EU was negatively affecting the nation’s mental health. But is that really about customs unions and widget regulations, or is it a more a product of how we think about politics? James Tilley, a professor of politics at Oxford, finds out how our distorted ways of thinking create emotional reactions to politics and how those emotions affect what we do politically.

    • 29 min
    The Early Years Miracle?

    The Early Years Miracle?

    The government spends billions on free early years education. The theory goes that this is good for children, their parents and society as a whole. But does the evidence stack up? Despite the policy's lofty intentions, Professor Alison Wolf discovers that the results aren’t at all what anyone expected.

    Contributors include:

    Steven Barnett - National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University
    Christine Farquharson - Institute for Fiscal Studies
    Liz Roberts - Nursery World Magazine
    Torsten Bell - Resolution Foundation
    Lynne Burnham - Mothers at Home Matter
    Neil Leitch - Early Years Alliance

    Presenter: Professor Alison Wolf
    Producer: Beth Sagar Fenton
    Editor: Jasper Corbett

    With thanks to N Family Club

    • 28 min
    The NHS, AI and Our Data

    The NHS, AI and Our Data

    The NHS has a unique resource - data. David Edmonds asks whether a combination of data and Artificial Intelligence will transform the future of the NHS. The programme features among others Sir John Bell, who leads the government’s life-sciences industrial strategy and Matthew Gould chief executive of NHSx, the unit set up to lead the NHS's digital transformation. As the NHS tries to make use of its data, the programme raises the danger that data may be flogged off to the private sector at bargain basement prices.

    Producer Sheila Cook
    Editor Jasper Corbett

    • 28 min
    Get woke or go broke?

    Get woke or go broke?

    When you buy your trainers, do you want to make a political statement? Businesses want to attract consumers by advertising their commitment to liberal causes like diversity and tackling climate change. It is a phenomenon known as woke capitalism. But is it a welcome sign that multinationals are becoming socially responsible? Or is it just the latest trick by business to persuade us to part with our cash, and a smokescreen to disguise the reluctance of many companies to pay their fair share of taxes? The Economist's Philip Coggan asks whether it's a case of getting woke or going broke.

    Contributors:
    Dr Eliane Glaser - author of Get Real: How to See Through the Hype, Spin and Lies in Modern Life
    Dan Mobley - Corporate Relations Director, Diageo
    Saker Nusseibeh - Chief Executive at Hermes Investment
    Anand Giridharadas - author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World
    Kris Brown - president of Brady United, a gun violence prevention organisation
    Abas Mirzaei - Professor of Marketing at Macquarie Business School
    Doug Stewart - Chief Executive of Green Energy UK


    Producer: Ben Carter
    Editor: Jasper Corbett

    • 28 min
    NATO at 70

    NATO at 70

    NATO’s military strength and unswerving trans-Atlantic solidarity enabled it to contain and ultimately defeat the Soviet Union. But with Vladimir Putin’s Russia resurgent, and eager to restore some of its past glory, people speak of a new “Cold War”. But this one is very different from the first. It is being fought out on the internet; through propaganda; and by shadowy, deniable operations. It is not the kind of struggle that plays to the Alliance’s traditional strengths. Worse still, NATO – currently marking its seventieth anniversary - is more divided than ever; its member states having very different priorities. President Trump has added additional strains, raising a question-mark over Washington’s fundamental commitment to its European partners. So can NATO hold together and adapt to the new challenges it faces or will it sink into a less relevant old age?

    Producer: Stuart Hughes
    Editor: Jasper Corbett

    • 28 min
    The uses and misuses of history in politics

    The uses and misuses of history in politics

    Barely a day passes when an MP doesn’t reach for an historical analogy to help explain contemporary events. But to what extent do the Battle of Agincourt and World War II really help us better understand what’s happening now? Edward Stourton asks if there is a danger that some politicians might have misunderstood some of the best known moments in Britain’s history?

    Guests:
    Professor David Abulafia (Emeritus, University of Cambridge)
    Professor Anne Curry (Emeritus, University of Southampton)
    Professor Neil Gregor (University of Southampton)
    Professor Ruth Harris (University of Oxford)
    Professor Andrew Knapp (Emeritus, University of Reading)
    Professor Andrew Roberts (Visiting, King’s College London)
    Professor Robert Tombs (University of Cambridge)


    Producer: Ben Cooper
    Editor: Jasper Corbett

    • 28 min

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