Audio 

In the Moral Maze with art and the transgressive artist

On BBC RAdio’s The Moral Maze this week, Claire Fox, Matthew Taylor, Anne McElvoy and I discussed art and the artist. Can their moral worth be separated? Our peg was “Leaving Neverland”, a two-part TV documentary which detailed child sex abuse claims against the singer Michael Jackson (whether Jackson’s music can be termed “art” is debatable, but anyway). The renewed allegations have prompted a debate about whether we should stop listening to his music. Some believe a boycott takes an important moral stand against the late singer’s alleged crimes. To…

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Audio 

Two podcasts: with The Trumpet and the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies

I have done two recent podcasts. The first was with The Trumpet, the media outlet of the Philadelphia Church of God, which kindly interviewed me about my memoir, Guardian Angel, and my novel, The Legacy. You can listen to the podcast here. The second was with Cliff May of the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies in which we discussed the recent moves by the Irish parliament, the Dail, to institute an Israel boycott, and what this tells us about Ireland and its attitude towards the Jewish people. You can listen…

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curriculum Audio 

Decolonising the curriculum in the moral maze

A report commissioned by the Office for Students has recommended that universities should “decolonise” the curriculum to end the dominance of western values and beliefs, which “position anything non-European and not white as inferior.” The “decolonisers’” argument is that a “white” curriculum marginalises minority writers and alienates minority students, contributing to their low representation and attainment in higher education. Some university departments have been reassessing their reading lists accordingly. Critics warn, however, that this promotes tokenism, presenting the works of black or female thinkers as being of equal worth merely…

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Giles Audio 

How Giles Fraser got under my skin

Giles Fraser is a turbulent priest. The left-wing rector of a church in south London, he is also my fellow panellist on BBC Radio’s Moral Maze where, to general astonishment, he and I often make common cause against the brutal utilitarians of both left and right. We have also had some spectacular bust-ups on air, particularly over Israel and Palestinian terrorism. Despite these and other differences of opinion between us, we have a warm and cordial relationship. Unlike so many on the left, Giles is devoid of bitterness or rancour…

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curriculum Audio 

The moral maze of the British constitution

BBC Radio’s Moral Maze, on which I am a regular panellist, started its new run last night with a discussion about the moral duty of MPs. With the Brexit crisis setting government against parliament and parliament against the people, we asked whether the principal duty of MPs was to their constituents or to their conscience, and whether sovereignty lay with parliament or the people. Is the British constitution currently working as it should, or are MPs trying to subvert it – and is it ever going to be the same…

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Audio 

Maze of competitive sport

Please listen to me here on BBC Radio’s The Moral Maze discussing with my co-panellists Giles Fraser, Matthew Taylor and Michael Portillo, in the wake of damning criticisms of champion cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky, the grey lines over obtaining competitive advantage in sport.

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Audio Videos 

What should be done with captured British jihadis?

Two men raised in Britain who went to fight with Isis in Syria have been captured by the Americans who want them to be returned to the UK to stand trial. But the British government doesn’t want them back. What should be done with British jihadis who go to fight in foreign theatres of war? Should they be killed where they are fighting or put on trial – and if the latter, where? I debated this issue on LBC with the human rights expert Philippe Sands QC. You can watch and listen to part of our…

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Audio Britain 

British Jews, right and left

I was interviewed for an interesting and thoughtful BBC Radio Four programme about the changing political allegiances of British Jews, presented by Jo Coburn. It contains some poignant personal reminiscences, fascinating historical and political nuggets and no small anguish at how this tiny community’s ingrained nervousness as the target of bigotry has now soared once again to a high level. You can listen to the programme here.

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curriculum Audio 

Can robots ever be moral?

On BBC Radio’s Moral Maze, my colleagues Michael Portillo, Matthew Taylor, Mona Siddiqui and I went head to head with our guests and each other over artificial intelligence. Can robots become capable of moral reasoning? Can machines ever replicate human beings? What is the essential difference between mankind and machines? You can listen to the broadcast here.

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