Tag Archives: today programme

Why it’s time to follow Jo’s lead in tackling sexist behaviour

When John Humphrys and Jon Sopel mocked the whole BBC gender pay gap controversy in the wake of Carrie Gracie’s resignation last month, they weren’t really held to account. There was no great show of remorse from them. The BBC could have taken them off air for a couple of days to underline that they were unimpressed with their behaviour. They and their sense of entitlement were pretty much left untouched.

Until today.

Jo Swinson was interviewed by John Humphrys about the new procedures to tackle sexual harassment and bullying in Parliament. At the end of the interview, this happened:

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Belinda Brooks-Gordon on Today talking about making sex work safer

Belinda BG at BBCDr Belinda Brooks-Gordon, who led on the development of our policy on sex work, was on the Today programme this morning debating whether managed zones for sex workers are effective. She cited huge amounts of evidence which suggests that they are. The retired police officer was pretty aggressive in the way he made his points and was really patronising to Belinda who has done so much academic research in this field.

The police officer said that we should be looking to eliminate rather than enable sex work. Belinda cited how this makes life much more difficult and dangerous for sex workers with actual examples. The occupant of the blue Police Box would have given a much more sensible answer, I’m sure.

You can listen to the debate here at about 2:31 in.

Belinda referred to a paper she had given at the British Psychological Society about the effects of the then Government’s action to crack down on sex work. You can read that paper by clicking here

You can read a letter signed by Belinda and other academics,arguing against the so-called Nordic Model, which

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Nick Clegg compares Investigatory Powers Bill powers to Russia

On the Today programme, Nick Clegg compared the “dragnet” approach of Theresa May’s Investigatory Powers Bill to the way things happen in Russia.

During the Coalition years, Nick had stopped the Conservatives from introducing a “snooper’s charter.” It’s worth remembering that he was going to let it through until a conference call with some angry bloggers who understood the technology, and the intervention of people like Julian Huppert, made him think twice. But once he’s changed his mind, he was good to his word and held May off for 3 years.

The Guardian quotes him as saying this morning:

He said: “Why there is this great congregation of concern from all wings of political opinion is because what the home office is in essence proposing is that in order to be able to surveil and analyse something they are saying they want to collect everything on everyone. That is a dragnet approach which I have always felt is disproportionate.”

He dismissed the analogy of the needle in the haystack – the argument that the security agencies need to embark on the bulk collection of data in order to be able to find crucial nuggets of details about terrorists.

He told Today: “I know the needle-haystack argument and it is a comforting analogy. But the reality is a little different. Why, for instance, is there no other European or Commonwealth country that I know that pursues this dragnet approach?

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Review: Miriam edits the Today programme

I never did get up at 6am to listen to the Today Programme. A horrendous night meant I was just getting to sleep at that time. Thankfully, there’s iPlayer in the World so I could catch up later. It’s well worth listening to which you can do  here.

The main themes were the sort of place Britain is and the opportunities it offers to people from other countries and the need for girls to have positive female role models and about women and leadership. Interviewees included Theresa May, Jamie Oliver, footballer Vincent Kampany, Tamara Rocco, principal dancer at the English National Ballet, Richard Branson, James Blunt and Nadiyah Hussein winner of the Great British Bake Off. There was also a really interesting section discussing why some young women feel the need to go to Syria.

I’ve done some more detail below, but I do think it was a varied programme. She was maybe more subtle than I would have been about some aspects of the way women are portrayed in the media, but we do need more talking about these kinds of issues so it was refreshing to see her present her thoughts in this way.

The British dream

Miriam argued British people don’t necessarily see the “British dream” in the same way as people from other countries. She defines it as the freedom to be yourself and realise your ambitions. She asks 3 prominent immigrants to reflect on their experiences in this country.

Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange Xavier Rolet said that other European cities tend to be built on national players. London is different because people come from all over the world and can reach prominent positions. He argues that “innovation is fuelled by diversity and seldom results from narrow thinking.”

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Miriam Gonzalez Durantez to interview Theresa May on Today programme tomorrow

Miriam González Durántez by Cabinet OfficeIt’s great to see Radio 4 continuing with their holiday tradition of having guest editors for the programme.

Tomorrow it’s Miriam Gonzalez Durantez in the hot seat. Miriam has done brilliant work with her Inspiring Women campaign, taking women professionals into schools to talk to girls about their careers. During the election, she campaigned tirelessly for our key seat women candidates.

There is much to love in her line-up for tomorrow. For a start, she’s talking to the amazing Great British Bake Off winner Nadiyah Hussein. What we will need the popcorn for, though, is when she interviews Theresa May. I can’t imagine the Home Secretary getting an easy ride on Europe, immigration and civil liberties. I will probably have a nap when she interviews Manchester City footballer Vincent Kompany, though.

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Malcolm Bruce: Lib Dems can stop spending sprees or right wing frolics

Sir Malcolm Bruce was on the Today programme this morning, making a robust case for voting Liberal Democrat, showing what we can bring to a coalition – stable government, with Liberal Democrat policies being implemented.

We can anchor UK to centre ground, not go off on a spending spree before we balance the books or go off on a right wing frolic where we punish people quite unnecessarily with cuts to service and benefits in order to fund tax cuts for the rich

We can break both Tories and Labour and hold the centre ground.

He said that coalition was a much more …

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Well, that’s one way to wake up in the morning: “Can you come on the Today Programme in 5 minutes”

This morning I was in bed at that stage when you start to get that vague inclination that there is a world beyond the cosy warmth and snuggliness of the duvet but can still pretend it isn’t really happening.

When my phone started ringing, I had to come to rather faster than I’d planned. It was a producer from the Today Programme on Radio 4 asking if I’d talk to Jim Naughtie about the election results and Nick Clegg’s leadership pretty much there and then. Now, when I’ve done these things before, I’ve always got up early, mugged up on what’s …

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Sir Menzies Campbell: “We will not allow Nigel Farage to set our moral compass”

On the Today programme this morning, Liberal Democrat MP for North East Fife Sir Menzies Campbell debated the decision by the Government to give sanctuary to some of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees with Conservative MP Brooks Newmark who was less enthusiastic, it’s fair to say, about the idea.

Of course it’s a question of humanity and we should not allow the argument about immigration to stand in the way of our responsibility and we should not allow Mr Nigel Farage to set our moral compass in this matter.

Newmark said that if Britain was giving more money than other EU countries, we shouldn’t feel obligated to take in refugees as well.  You could hear the exasperation with such an insular, uncompassionate attitude in Sir Menzies’ voice:

These are not mutually exclusive. The fact that Britain has given £600 million is something of which we can legitimately be proud. We’ve also been part of the political effort going on at the moment in Geneva to try and find a political settlement out of this terrible morass. But none of that, however praiseworthy it is, can be regarded as being inconsistent with exercising the kind of humanity which legitimately might be expected of a permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations.

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Caron Lindsay defends Jo Swinson’s right to stand

Jo Swinson GlasgowThe government has been introducing a lots of “rights to” of late. Communities have rights to bid and to build. Individual have rights to buy and to personal budgets. After the last 48 hours of media coverage, it may be that we need to bring in a “right to stand.”

The story runs like this. Jo Swinson arrives for Prime Ministers Questions at a point when the house is already crammed out. She stands for a while and she’s happy with that. The political editor of the Spectator, James Forsyth however was horrified and tweeted.

Quite remarkable that no MP has offered Jo Swinson, who is seven months pregnant, a seat. Really shocking lack of manners and decency

The Daily Mail then took up the case. Caron Lindsay took that newspaper to task last night, concluding:

I find the Mail’s attitude to women much more offensive and harmful to society than anything that happened in the House of Commons yesterday.

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“We’re doing good things which I believe will last” – Nick Clegg on Today

Nick Clegg joined James Naughtie yesterday in the Today studio, for the programme’s first of a series of interviews with the party leaders before the elections on 3 May.

Clegg talked about the budget, the compromises of coalition and Lib Dem electoral prospects, among other things.

You can listen to the interview in full over on the Today website here, or read a transcript of the interview below.

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