Sunday 21 June 2015

Greek Radio 4 listener v German plutocrat

I must give credit to today's Broadcasting House for its fascinating opening discussion of the Greek situation between a Greek and a German.

My initial instinct was to distrust it. 

Why? Because Paddy O'Connell's framing of the discussion made it clear that this was a discussion between a female retired Greek pharmacist and the male former head of the German Stock Exchange - i.e. the Greek equivalent of a typical powerless Radio 4 listener (applause!) versus an influential German former top capitalist (boo!).

However, the discussion - a 'non'-meeting of minds - was quite fascinating. 

The Greek lady (who backs Syriza) spelled out why most Greeks feel the way she feels and Herr Fischer.......who seems to be the BBC's German capitalist of choice, given how often I've seen and heard him in recent months on Newsnight and Radio 4.......proved, as ever, a highly sympathetic but forthright defender of German 'prudence'/critic of Greek 'profligacy'. 

The elephant in the room, however, was the question of whether membership of the Eurozone - and, more broadly, of the EU - has proved to be Greece's saviour (as used to be thought) or Greece's ruin (as might now be thought). 

Neither guest seemed to consider that a question that needed exploring. And neither, for that matter, did Paddy.

Still, it was a very illuminating discussion nonetheless, and I have to say that I didn't notice any bias from Paddy O'Connell in his questioning here.

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