28/01/2011 Recession fears | Islamophobia | Posh and Posher

This week it was announced that Britain’s gross domestic product shrank by 0.5% in the final quarter of 2010. Is it fair to blame the snow? We ask Andrew Lilico of the consultants Europe Economics whether Labour's new shadow finance minister Ed Balls is right in blaming the fall in Britain's GDP on the coalition government's public spending cuts, and what the coming months may hold for the economy.

Last week the Conservative Party Chairman Baroness Warsi, who is a Muslim, claimed that what she termed 'islamophobia' had become socially respectable at British dinner parties. She compared the way people talk of Islam today with the casual anti-semitism that was the social norm in Britain in the 1920s. And Lady Warsi went further - saying that it was wrong to talk about 'moderate' and 'extremist' Muslims. To discuss this, we were joined by Timothy Winter, an Islamic Studies scholar from Cambridge University, who is also known by his Islamic name Abdal Hakim Murad and Douglas Murray, the director of the think-tank, the Centre for Social Cohesion.

And is it true that privileged privately-educated schoolboys now dominate the higher echelons of British politics? Andrew Neil explored this subject in a BBC TV programme this week called 'Posh and Posher'. He joined us along with Harry Mount of the Daily Telegraph, himself a cousin of the Prime Minister David Cameron, to discuss whether the education system in Britain is to blame.

All that in Politics UK, presented by Dennis Sewell.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Sat 29 Jan 2011 04:32 GMT

BBC World Service Archive

BBC World Service Archive

This programme was restored as part of the World Service archive project