Sunday 28 November 2021

And is if to prove David Blunkett right...

Lord Blunkett's claim that BBC Radio 4 is “playing into the hands of its critics by becoming almost the caricature its opponents think it is” certainly rings true with regards to Radio 4's Sunday

Today's programme (a) discussed the West's culpability regarding vaccine inequality in Africa [sample question from presenter Emily Buchanan to a South African bishop:  “Do you have any message for leaders here about the fact that there is this inequality in availability and people here in Europe are having their third jab?”], (b) dealt with the migrant crisis by avoiding the word 'migrant', (c)  told “a refugee story with a happy ending”' about Afghan girl footballers arriving in the UK [from Pakistan], (d) talked about domestic abuse in connection to faith whilst being vague about specifics, (e) looked at the problems faced by deaf people in churches, and (f) returned to the migrant crisis by talking of “Britain's obligations” towards unattended children and the shortage of Muslim foster parents, before ending by (g) interviewing the former Archbishop of York John Sentamu in the context of him being “the first person of African descent to head Christian Aid” [i.e. the 'identity' angle]. 

P.S. Here are two social media reactions to one moment in the closing interview: 
(1) There seemed to be note of alarm or panic in voice of Emily Buchanan as Archbishop Sentamu threatened to go off script suggesting asylum seekers might actually be grateful for receiving sanctuary.  
(2) I note the presenter moved rapidly on when he suggested Muslim asylum seekers should not prioritise maintaining their Islamic faith but should instead be first concerned about just being safe in whatever foster home, Christian or otherwise, they found themselves placed in.

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