25 January 2017
Mary Queen of Scots and Brexit Premium
In Our Time
BBC radio 4
There is a newspaper article waiting to be written about how the producers of In Our Time arrive at their weekly topic. Does someone simply raise their hand and declare that the moment is ripe for a learned chat about, as it may be, Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morality, or parasitism, or does the selection process involve some abstruse conceptual code at which listeners can only guess?
Perhaps, in the end, the answer is that this grand old Radio 4 flagship is less exercised by any direct link with what is going on in the world outside than with the much subtler idea of resonance. Certainly by the close of Melvyn Bragg’s think tank about Mary Queen of Scots (19 January), this listener was convinced that the story of a Tudor-era princess with affiliations to no fewer than three thrones in a Europe set politically aflame chimed all too ominously with the current state of Brexit Britain.
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