Thanks to podcasting I’m able to catch Radio 4’s Any Questions every week. It offers articulate and well-informed discussion. More often than not a panellist will surprise in what they have to say. Of course it’s more than a little party political – but the politics usually comes with intelligence and style.
All of which is in stark contrast to television’s Question Time…
Last week’s Any Questions covered the topical subject of same-sex marriage. I particularly liked (former Labour cabinet minister) Alan Milburn’s take. He looked back over the last 30-40 years of gay rights, and described every step of the way as deeply controversial – at the time. He went on to list making homosexuality legal, equalising the age of consent, and allowing gay couples to adopt – in such terms. Alan referred to critics of same-sex marriage – who have recently been praising civil partnerships – reminding us that their introduction had been deeply divisive, deeply controversial.
In each case, when we look back, we wonder what all the fuss was about. He predicted the same for same-sex marriage.
Finally Alan spoke of ‘a proud tradition of respecting diversity and encouraging fairness’.