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BBC Radio 4 - Analysis

Analysis

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

Analysis

  • The Future of Welfare
    The furlough scheme, introduced in response to Covid-19, has raised a question: should Britain’s social insurance be a bit more German? Germany has what’s known as an earnings-related contributory system – individuals pay quite a lot in, and if they lose their job, they receive quite a lot out - around 60% of their previous salary, for at least a year. Critics of the German system say it’s costly and puts too little emphasis on redistribution. But advocates claim it commands far wider support than the British system. So does the pandemic and the calls it has provoked for a fresh look at the shape and scope of our welfare state provide an opportunity? Should Britain move towards a system that is more like Germany’s? Presenter Ben Chu Producer David Edmonds Editor Jasper Corbett

  • The Rise and Fall of the Bond Market Traders
    In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher famously said that 'You can’t buck the markets' and Governments back then feared that, if they borrowed too much, they'd pay a terrible price in the markets in terms of higher borrowing costs. But now governments around the world are borrowing record amounts but paying record-low rates. In this programme Philip Coggan examines how the markets were tamed. Philip talks to Don Kohn, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, economist and author Eric Lonergan, Andrew Balls, Chief Investment Officer at Pimco and economist and author Stephanie Kelton. Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Jasper Corbett

  • Trouble on the backbenches? Tory Leaders and their MPs
    Despite winning a large majority at the last election, Prime Minister Johnson’s relationship with his party is an uneasy one. Just a few months after achieving its long term aim of leaving the EU, the Conservative Party seems ill at ease with itself and the sound of tribal Tory strife can be seen and heard. Is this just the way it’s always been: a cultural and historical norm for Tory leaders and their backbenchers? Or is there something else going on? In this edition of Analysis, Professor Rosie Campbell assesses Boris Johnson’s relationship with his own party and asks why Conservative backbenchers can be such a thorn in the flesh of their leaders. Will this Prime Minister go the same way, or can he buck the trend? Presenter: Rosie Campbell Producer: Jim Frank Editor: Jasper Corbett

  • Planning for the Worst
    How ready are we for the next pandemic, cyber attack, volcanic eruption, or solar storm? Our world, ever more interconnected and dependent on technology, is vulnerable to a head-spinning array of disasters. Emergency preparedness is supposed to help protect us and the UK has been pioneering in its approach. But does it actually work? In this edition of Analysis, Simon Maybin interrogates official predictions past and present, hearing from the advisers and the advised. Are we any good at anticipating catastrophic events? Should we have been better prepared for the one we’ve been living through? And - now that coronavirus has shown us the worst really can happen - what else should we be worrying about? Presenter/producer: Simon Maybin Editor: Jasper Corbett

  • Is the Internet Broken?
    The internet is a cornerstone of our society. It is vital to our economy, to our global communications, and to many of our personal and professional lives. But have the processes that govern how the internet works kept pace with its rapid evolution? James Ball, author of 'The System - Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us', examines whether the infrastructure of the internet is up to scratch. If it's not, then what does that mean for us? Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Jasper Corbett