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That monsterous regiment

December 28, 2008

Radio 4 is one of the greatest institutions ever created by a Broadcasting Company. It has over the years created a stream of high quality documentaries, magazine programmes and entertainment that communicate to broad audiences without compromising intellectual integrity. It ranges between the thoughtful consideration of everything from science to history and literature provided by Melvyn Bragg, to satirical humour and that cultural icon of the British, namely The Archers. ABC in Australia (not the US company of the same name) , inheriting from a common base has achieved something similar with probably the best range of podcasts I know; on philosophy, the mind and science as well as the omnipresence exemplar of humanism Phil Adams. If I have one criticism of Radio 4 (and the BBC in general) is that their policy on podcasts represents protectionism in comparison with their Australian sibling.

Why this eulogy? Well one of the best examples of Radio 4 is the daily magazine Women’s Hour the title of which is a misnomer as it has a large male following (including yours truly). Its lead presenter is Jenni Murray who also wrote an excellent article in today’s Observer on the general folly of allowing the worlds financial institutions to be run on the testosterone drive needs of bonuses and growth at all costs. Now there is a danger of sexual stereotyping going into reverse here; nurture wins out over nature and (says he with tongue firmly in check but with a hint of seriousness), who brought up the current generation of macho financial leaders? That danger aside this article is worth reading and a visit to some of the podcasts referenced above is recommended.

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