A Point of View

              A Point of View

              Weekly reflections on topical issues from a range of contributors including historian Lisa Jardine, novelist Sarah Dunant and writer Alain de Botton.

              • Updated:
                Weekly
              • Episodes available:
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              Recent episodes (10)

              • David Cannadine: Presidents as Monarchs: 15 May 15

                Fri, 15 May 15

                Duration:
                11 mins

                David Cannadine says when Barack Obama's critics accuse him of acting like a king they're forgetting the origins of the office of President. "From the outset, the American presidency was vested with what might be termed monarchical authority, which meant that it really was a form of elective kingship." Producer: Sheila Cook

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              • PJ O'Rourke: Election View: 08 May 15

                Fri, 8 May 15

                Duration:
                10 mins

                The American writer PJ O'Rourke gives his view of the UK election. "In the once solidly red-rosette glens and braes and lochs and heather the Scottish National Party snatched the sporran, ripped the kilt off and walked away in the ghillie brogues of Labour" Producer: Sheila Cook

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              • David Cannadine: Leaders Old and Young 01 May 15

                Fri, 1 May 15

                Duration:
                10 mins

                David Cannadine reflects on the merits of youth and age in our political leaders and finds the current set taking their parties into next week's election strikingly young.

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              • David Cannadine: Commemorative Style 24 Apr 15

                Fri, 24 Apr 15

                Duration:
                11 mins

                David Cannadine compares the enthusiasm for national commemorations in Britain with the more understated syle in the United States.

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              • Howard Jacobsen - Ideology Versus Art 17 Apr 15

                Fri, 17 Apr 15

                Duration:
                10 mins

                Howard Jacobson explains why he prefers art to ideology, especially at election time, and always has. "I consider myself fortunate enough to have been brought up in a state of dogma-free grace."

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              • Howard Jacobson: Life's A Selfie: 10 April 15

                Fri, 10 Apr 15

                Duration:
                10 mins

                Howard Jacobson explains why he dislikes the narcissism of the selfie. "It's always possible that there's some Rembrandt of the selfie out there, using his 'phone to investigate the ravages of age, the incursions of melancholy, and even the psychology of self-obession itself, but commonly the selfie performs a less self-critical function, putting the self at the centre of everything we see, marking the landscape with our faces, as though the only possible interest of the outside world is that we're in it." Producer: Sheila Cook

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              • Howard Jacobson: 03 April 15

                Fri, 3 Apr 15

                Duration:
                10 mins

                Howard Jacobson thinks the current curious male fashion focus on the ankle region or "mankle" shows men are suffering from a self-image crisis. Producer: Sheila Cook

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              • Tom Shakespeare: The Price of Independence: 27 March 15

                Fri, 27 Mar 15

                Duration:
                10 mins

                Tom Shakespeare says that disabled people's right to independent living is under threat as a result of the imminent winding up of the Independent Living Fund. "I hope that whichever parties are in government after May will have a rethink about social care. The ILF may...have been an anomaly, but one of the glories of living in Britain is that we have a high tolerance of historical anomalies." Producer: Sheila Cook

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              • Tom Shakespeare: Trial By Select Committee: 20 March 15

                Fri, 20 Mar 15

                Duration:
                10 mins

                Tom Shakespeare thinks our reformed Select Committees have revitalised Parliament but he warns against the temptation to play to the gallery and to cross examine unfairly. "Their main business is the worthy task of holding the government and the civil service to account, even if it's more fun holding unpopular public figures' feet to the fire." Producer: Sheila Cook

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              • Tom Shakespeare: Cognitive Decline: 13 March 15

                Fri, 13 Mar 15

                Duration:
                11 mins

                Tom Shakespeare says increasing wisdom in middle age is at least some compensation for declining cognitive powers. "Wisdom is not the amount you know, it's how you see and how you interpret what you see." Producer: Sheila Cook

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