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Western Intervention, Rampart, Moral Compass, Aida

Presented by Philip Dodd. With a discussion on Western nations' military intervention, David D'Arcy on the new film Rampart, Britain's moral compass, and a new production of Aida.

The newspaper journalist Marie Colvin, who died yesterday in the besieged city of Homs, was reporting on the plight of the civilian population right up until her death. She wrote that the people of Homs were desperate - and perplexed - asking, 'why has the world forgotten us'? On Night Waves Philip Dodd asks the question - what does it take to tip Western nations towards intervention? Is there a set of key criteria that must be met - and are we nearly there with Syria - or has there been a profound and irreversible cultural shift away from the humanitarian wars of the 1990s, towards wars of national security only.

The new Woody Harrelson film, Rampart, charts the downward spiral of Officer Dave Brown, Vietnam veteran and Rampart Precinct Los Angeles policeman. The city on show here isn't the sumptuous or nostalgic LA of Chinatown or LA Confidential, but the concrete hell of the LA that a lot of people never see. Film critic David D'Arcy reviews what some are saying is a career best performance of Harrelson.

Recent government figures suggest that Britain has become the 'whiplash capital of Europe' with more spurious motoring injury claims than anywhere else on the continent. What has happened to our moral compass that so many of us dishonestly claim what we can get from insurance companies whether we are injured or not? Is this a change that has been exacerbated by recession, people looking out for themselves in hard times? Is it a malaise that connects the riots that spread across the country last summer with an individual filling out an insurance form, and is there historical precedent for a widespread moral breakdown during an economic downturn?

Andrew Dickson will be live at the Royal Albert Hall in London, to give his verdict on tonight's opening performance of Aida. This new production from Raymond Gubbay sees one of the UK's iconic buildings transformed into Ancient Egypt.

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45 minutes

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