Thursday 10 April 2014

The Indissoluble Union of 'Thinking Allowed' Participants

Toppled statue of Laurie Taylor

I was thinking aloud a while back about Radio 4 staple Thinking Allowed and the strange way it manages to by-pass the attention of bloggers about BBC bias, even though it has some of the most obvious left-wing biases of any BBC programme. 

I put that down to the fact that most right-leaning bloggers (like me) just don't listen to Thinking Allowed very often, knowing that it's not for us. 

It's a sociology programme after all, and sociology has a strong in-built left-wing bias. We know that. We accept it. We shrug our shoulders. We move on. 

Yet there is sits in the Radio 4 schedule, year in and year out. And there's no counter-balancing -ology-based programme from the Right to balance it. 

This week's edition was an absolute classic - a debate about capitalism, hosted by genial ex-(ex?)-Trotskyist Laurie Taylor, entitled The End of Capitalism; Reforming Capitalism.

It featured David Harvey, Stupendously Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at York University, a Marxist geographer, arguing the Marxist case for abolishing capitalism, and - pitted against him - Colin Crouch, Professor Immemorial in Sociology at the University of Warwick, arguing for the reform of capitalism. Instead of abolishing it, Prof Crouch wants to radically re-shape capitalism and turn us into a full-blown social democracy. [To which, like Bartleby, the scrivener, in Herman Melville's wondrously strange story story, I'd say: "I would prefer not to".]

It was a debate then between the far-Left and the fairly-hard-Left, hosted by someone clearly comfortable positioning himself somewhere between them on the fairly-far-Left. 

Classic Thinking Allowed. 

Genial Uncle Laurie is Genial Uncle Laurie, of course, and we don't even expect him to make the effort to pose questions from a position outside of this narrow left-wing way of thinking, do we? Laurie will be Laurie, after all, and sociologists will be sociologists, and Radio 4's Thinking Allowed will be Radio 4's Thinking Allowed

So when Genial Uncle Laurie fails to make an effort to pose questions from a position outside of their/his narrow way of thinking, we think (do we not?) 'Oh well, that's just Laurie Taylor being Laurie Taylor!', shrug, and move on.

That right-wing, pro-capitalist thinking is entirely absent - not allowed -  is just one of those things, isn't it?

Isn't it?

1 comment:

  1. Not always.
    I hardly listen to Taylors Wednesday afternoon blatherings, what with the York Uni students doing sports or drugs...but have commented near enough any time he gives us the old Poly lecherer crap he learned at Laskis slipper rack way back.
    Superannuated night school failure is Laurie-but the family do rather well out of his "in" at the BBC.
    Like Libby and Rosen-they seem to survive all the cuts or reviews...sacred voodoo dollies of Marxist musings, all three of them( Libbys politics aren`t my problem, just how boring and affected her doily of a show is!).
    You`re right Taylor is a sinister old lefty, who regurgitates Marxism Today editions from 1969-and we pay him to do so.
    Like Andrew Marr and David Blunkett-phantom fathers of the Good rebellion...but arid, seed sown, no harvest...poor Laurie likes to think that "The History Man" was written about him...but that genius Malcolm Bradbury never even noticed the twinkletoes Trot.
    "You`re so vain" indeed!
    But are the Guardian ready for these truths?...not now Arthur huh?


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.