Today, 04/02/2013 Live

4 Feb 2013 Last updated at 13:29

Monday 4 February

This morning: A police officer says he and his colleagues stole the identities of dead children and used fake passports to work undercover, some Conservative back benchers are rebelling against David Cameron over gay marriage, and could a skeleton found under a car park be Richard III?
  • 4 Feb 2013 08:52:55


    Joe Bensley, a teacher at Kingsford Community School in Newham, east London, and one of his students Shannon Wright, discuss whether too few schools are offering Mandarin at GCSE.

    LISTEN to the discussion:
    William Wong
    If millions of Chinese students are mastering English, no reason why our young people could not master Mandarin. #r4today #MandarininSchools
    @BBCr4today There seems to be a fear of all modern languages, judging by take-up rates.
  • 4 Feb 2013 08:51:01


    This morning, archaeologists from the University of Leicester will reveal the results of DNA tests on the remains of what they believe to be Richard III. Adam Long, a founding member of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, reflects on how this news will affect our understanding of history.

    Jami Rogers
    Oh good grief! They've got Adam Long of the Reduced Shakespeare Company on @BBCr4today reducing Richard III. Pretty amusing.
    Pippa Crerar
    "Richard spent his winter of discontent/ buried beneath three feet of cement" - brilliant potted history of Richard III on @BBCr4today
  • 4 Feb 2013 08:36:06


    Sir Peter Fahy, the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, gives his view on news that one of Britain's most senior ethnic minority police officers, Dal Babu, has accused chief constables of not understanding the need to recruit more black and Asian police men and women.

    LISTEN to the interview:
    BBC Radio 4 Today
    "I think there are still departments where you won’t see black or Asian faces… firearms is one example," says Chief Superintendent Dal Babu
  • 4 Feb 2013 08:43:18


    Our business correspondent Simon Jack asks: Is the penny a waste of time and money?
     Pupils at my granddaughter's secondary school throw away pennies (& 2p pieces) because they consider them worthless. She, however, goes round picking them up & has a huge bottleful of the discarded coins! Lis Perkins, Anglesey
    Roy Henderson
    @BBCr4today Yes, get rid of the 1p coins, but please let's have larger 5p coins. Always dropping them and losing them from my pockets!
    Stephen Bentley
    @BBCr4today @EvanHD ...get rid of all copper coins. Inflationary argument doesn't hold water any more.
     In Switzerland, cash transactions are rounded down to the nearest 5c, i.e. rounding costs are borne by the retailers. David Patrick, Edinburgh
  • 4 Feb 2013 07:58:08


    Julie Bailey, founder of Cure the NHS, explains that a report out on Wednesday into care at Mid Stafforshire Trust is expected to expose failings which led to what a previous independent inquiry described as "appalling" standards of care.

    BBC Radio 4 Today
    Julie Bailey, whose mother died at Mid-Staffordshire hospital: "They destroyed a strong woman, she was in a very dangerous place"
  • 4 Feb 2013 07:44:32


    Baroness Susan Kramer, a Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson, and Greg Clark, financial secretary to the Treasury, discuss the announcement George Osborne is set to make today that banks will be broken-up if they fail to follow new rules to ring-fence risky investment operations from high street operations.

    LISTEN to the interview:

    Listening to discussion regarding the difficulty of bringing the banks to heel, one might assume there is an embargo on spelling out the root cause of problems in the financial sector generally - de-regulation. Gordon Petherbridge North Bucks

  • 4 Feb 2013 07:41:20


    Britain's largest police force stole the identities of an estimated 80 dead children and issued fake passports in their names for use by undercover police officers.

    LISTEN to the interview with Lord MacDonald - a former director of public prosecutions:
    BBC Radio 4 Today
    "I cannot comprehend why anyone would want to adopt an identity, rather than create one," says former undercover policeman Peter Bleksley
  • 4 Feb 2013 07:37:45


    Richard Dowden, director of the Royal African Society, examines whether Somalia should be a template for handling the threat from Islamist terrorist groups across North Africa.

    Good to get that brief history of Somalia from the excellent Richard Dowden of the RAS. But he and you forgot to mention the fact that two large parts of the former Somalia have been governed in a more normal way for most of the past 20 years. The former British bit, Somaliland, declared itself independent at the outset, more than 20 years ago. Nobody recognises it but is has an elected government, universities, schools, police force, hospitals and much more things operating normally. Puntland to the north also functions as a normal (ish) state. Why are these never, and I mean never, mentioned  whenever Somalia is talked about on Today? I have been to all three entities, by the way, but that was about ten years ago. What I write was true then and it remains so today. Graham Mytton

  • 4 Feb 2013 07:31:34


    John Ashdown-Hill, historian and author of The Last Days of Richard III, and Sarah Gristwood, historian and author, discuss news that archaeologists from the University of Leicester have revealed the results of DNA tests on the skeleton discovered last September during a search for the burial place of Richard III in the city centre.

    LISTEN to the discussion:
    BBC Radio 4 Today
    #richardIII "We have hair of his brother Edward IV - but it was too degraded and we couldn’t get a DNA sequence,” says John Ashdown Hill
  • 4 Feb 2013 07:27:38


    Sir Peter Bottomley, Conservative MP for Worthing West, explains that the Commons will vote on a government proposal to legalise same-sex marriage. The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson gives his analysis.

    LISTEN to the interview and Nick Robinson's analysis:
    BBC Radio 4 Today
    The BBC's Nick Robinson: "A whole part of his party have decided that David Cameron is a loser". Have your say via #r4today
    BBC Radio 4 Today
    #cameron "There’s been a lot of hysterical nonsense about leadership challenges," adds @bbcnickrobinson
    Bryan Johnston
    @BBCr4today No matter who is the Prime Minister there will always be jealousy & an overwhelming desire to rubbish him. #r4today
    @BBCr4today Most of country know that PM and whole Govt are losers, unfortunately we cannot rid ourselves of them until 2015 #R4today
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