How to cure the small town blues
Analysis
by BBC Radio 4
2d ago
Middlesbrough, in the north-east, is one of the most deprived towns in England. Once a steel and shipbuilding powerhouse, its fortunes changed when those industries closed down. Today, the town that Gladstone described as “an infant Hercules” faces a precarious future. David Baker, who grew up in Middlesbrough in the 1970s, returns to his hometown to ask what can be done to revive its fortunes and what Middlesbrough can teach us about regenerating small, postindustrial towns elsewhere in the UK. Presenter: David Baker Producer: Dan Hardoon Editor: Clare Fordham ..read more
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What is 'British culture'?
Analysis
by BBC Radio 4
2w ago
'What is "British Culture?” I was born in the UK and have lived here for 40 years, and yet, as a British Asian person, I am constantly told “we are not integrating”. Not integrating into what culture exactly?' Bushra Shaikh runs a charity, is a business-owner and is also a writer and commentator. When she posted this question on social media, two million people viewed it, she received thousands of replies, but no clear definition of British Culture. Some respondents mentioned the food, while others defined it by quoting literature or history. But those answers were often just lists; of meals ..read more
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Has the family had its day?
Analysis
by BBC Radio 4
3w ago
British politicians love to invoke the family, from John Major's "Back to Basics" campaign, to New Labour's "hardworking families" - and now a prominent strain of the Conservative right says parents sticking together for the sake of the children is "the only possible basis for a safe and successful society". By turning family values into a political football, are they in denial about the way society has developed this century? For decades, single-person households have been the fastest-growing demographic and younger generations are re-defining romantic commitments and their purpose. Is the er ..read more
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What's the future of nudge?
Analysis
by BBC Radio 4
3M ago
The term nudge has become a byword for the application of behavioural science in public policy, changing how governments the world over create policies designed to encourage, or nudge, people to make choices that better benefit themselves and society as a whole. Over the last fifteen years much has been learned about what works, as well as what doesn’t, when it comes to this way of supporting us in making decisions about our health, our money and how we lead our lives. Magda Osman is Principal Research Associate at the Cambridge Judge Business School, The University of Cambridge, and Visiting ..read more
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Can the UK afford a mental health crisis?
Analysis
by BBC Radio 4
4M ago
A record 2.6 million people are off work due to long-term sickness, with mental health conditions the biggest single contributor. The problem is particularly acute among younger people, who are disproportionately likely to cite poor mental health as their reason for not working. Other surveys suggest that poor mental health and burnout are among the top reasons for young people to quit their job. But should young people develop more resilience and “soldier on”, as older generations may have done, or is being more open about mental health a good thing? And how well are employers adapting to the ..read more
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France: a constitutional crisis in the making
Analysis
by BBC Radio 4
4M ago
The USA, the UK and France, which have led the democratic world, are all suffering problems with their constitutions. But the problem is most acute in France, where President Macron has lost his parliamentary majority, and forced his pension reforms through by decree. But worse is to come; Macron can only serve as President until 2027 and will leave a vacuum at the heart of French politics when he steps down. And unlike Charles de Gaulle, he doesn’t seem likely to leave an enduring movement or an obvious successor. He hoovered up centrist support when he swept to power, and his main rivals now ..read more
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What on earth is the national interest?
Analysis
by BBC Radio 4
4M ago
Should we be sceptical when politicians claim to act in "the national interest"? The phrase is frequently trotted out to elevate policy and actions as unimpeachably serving us all. But what does it actually mean? So far the Oxford English Dictionary has steered clear of pinning down this "slippery" term. Mark Damazer digs up its historical roots and talks to politicians, prime-ministerial speechwriters and policymakers to define a term that can obscure as much as it elucidates. Is its use just cynical high grounding or does it speak of a sincere effort to disentangle policy from personal or pa ..read more
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What makes a good school?
Analysis
by BBC Radio 4
4M ago
How should we evaluate schools? Is it about delivering a wide range of subjects, or extra activities and pastoral care that make a “good” school? Who gets to decide what is a good school and what does that mean to different people? Many people are influenced by the four Ofsted grades and Ofsted reports so what does research tell us about how consistent those judgements are? Would you choose a school with a good local reputation but a lower inspection grade. The programme talks to Sonia Exley, an associate professor at the London School of Economics, Professor Christian Bokhove at the Universit ..read more
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How can we grow the UK economy?
Analysis
by BBC Radio 4
5M ago
The cost of living crisis followed a decade in which people’s wages and incomes barely grew. The idea that each generation does at least as well as the one before, has for the moment ended. We’ll only start getting better off again if we can get the economy growing – as it used to in the decades preceding the financial crisis. So, what levers can governments pull to get growth back into the system? Why don't governments do the things that nearly every expert thinks might work? Should we be looking to governments at all? Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies explores the challenges f ..read more
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How far should reparative justice go?
Analysis
by BBC Radio 4
7M ago
Amid mounting claims for reparations for slavery and colonialism, historian Zoe Strimpel asks how far reparative justice should go. Should we limit reparations to the living survivors of state atrocities, such as the Holocaust, or should we re-write the rulebook to include the ancestors of victims who suffered historical injustices centuries ago? Alongside testimony from a Holocaust survivor and interviews with lawyers, historians and reparations advocates, Zoe hears about the long shadow cast by slavery - lumbering Caribbean states and societies with a legacy that they are still struggling wi ..read more
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