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Read this: 04/12/2020 Radio 4 Feedback

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04/12/2020 Radio 4 Feedback…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello conspiracy theories of flooding the internet and some involved this corporation.

Why is the BBC persisting is fantasy of the white Helmets everyone knows of these guys were funded by the UK to discredit Assad in Syria in her Radio 4 series about the Syrian aid organisation that helmets made a producer and presenter Chloe hadjimatheou examine those allegations and in feedback.

She tells me about the difficulty of unraveling the confusion story of the life and death of white Helmets James Le Mesurier was always have narratives that play and everybody wants to control the story of a war every side wants to but now with the internet.

It has propelled it onto a different level and the public are quite often confused quite rightly and radio for you and yours is 50 consumer complaints changed over the years one of the biggest things we go.

NRM boxing time around was the supermarkets and how that was working it could have been the exact same thing you were here in the years ago.

I'll be putting your questions to you and yours new editor Pete Wilson and this week in our out of your comfort zone feature can poetry convey the experience of obsessive-compulsive disorder imposed as an angel the OCD angel say from the OCD speaking to her and it said I wish you safe, but I never wished you well and that really rang true true find out later in feedback.

James Le Mesurier a former British soldier who helped organise the match loaded white Helmets in Syria was found dead year ago apparently after a fall from his balcony was he didn't commit suicide was there any truth to allegations of fraud in the organisation and to suggestions that footage of the white Helmets rescuing victims of Syrian and Russian Bond was fate those were some of the questions which producer and presenter Chloe had tried to resolve in a Radio 4 and podcast series made a it let her into a confusing world of conspiracy theories viciously contested facts had a great deal of online abuse so why did you want to pursue the story when James Le Mesurier in Istanbul the news covered the story I knew very little about the subject when I started digging into what had happened to James Le Mesurier I realise that there was this whole other level.

Fought with guns and bombs and stories the Syrian Wars the most documented in history with watched horrifying videos of cities and dusty children being pulled from collapsed buildings and James's work had kind of ended up on a plane when it was being discussed at the United Nations the Syrian and Russian government's were drawn into this there were huge geopolitics that played behind there's very human very personal story, this is the story of James Le Mesurier who became entangled in the Syrian war, how that cost him his life and help turn truth on its head, am I realise that the story itself because of that was telling us and touching on some of the biggest themes of our time.

What can you know about? What's happening in a wall? How can you know whether what you

On the news on the internet is true, how is information used as a weapon in a war so you decided to go ahead make the story it develops during the year did try to do two things at once which I would have found as a for McGregor make a very difficult did you make this primer is broadcast or primary for Radio 4 for quite a long time? I mean it's a listen to Radio 4 Radio 4 but at some point I realised that to tell the story I needed more space and so as I was writing the scripts with the podcast you have the freedom to make them what they deserved.

I haven't just hacked away at what were the podcast versions ivory structured them and offered them up as 15 shorter versions of the podcast you get 10 with 1 Extra episode 11 episode 15 episodes episodes for radio for present problems we had an email from one of our listeners about this from Helen Porter

Quite frustrated with the format of Chloe's program lots of repetition each 14-minute programme had at least two to three minutes of repetition at the beginning the story was dragged out over 3 weeks and I just lost interest in the subject in my opinion this program would have been better as a one-off play the Helen problem there which was each podcast do you have to enable people to catch up if they haven't listened to the one before and that means inevitably perhaps a couple of minutes are repetitious for those heard the previous podcast actually only about at Topps a minute.

We didn't actually go into what had happened in the story previously each time what we did do with a short sequence which explained the very kind of background the very wide brief that was the story the top line of the story if you want to find out what happened to James Le Mesurier you have to wait until the end.

Sleep at 7:30 laudatory emails as well is one from Greg waggett.

I'm not generally one of the BBC's greatest fans, but I must unequivocally commend Chloe Hedger mateos podcast to the light level three sessions detective work and she encourage have been demonstrably outstanding and seeking out international black propagandists and conspiracy theorists including using the British establishment and the Syrian and Russian government's she was taking considerable personal risks and exceptional story exceptionally told what's this very moment able to go to because of cobit to go to all the locations in the Middle East and son but you have been trolled I'm in the moment.

You start to get into this territory the trolling start doesn't it? That's exactly right anybody who's touched on this subject the way in which the whole thing operates is that once you present a challenge to the narrative of the Syrian and Russian government's about the war.

Begin to try and discredit you and the people who support them begin to try and discredit you and that has happened a little surprising because it comes out to me throughout it was proper scepticism how to properly examination in case of James Le Mesurier who had been a member of the obviously British Army and son property sceptical about those sources and pursue them but what you're saying is it doesn't matter people have determined the view before they listen to the programs.

That's absolutely right.

I mean I've got to say with this subject when I first approached it and I heard the allegations being made.

I thought oh my god.

It's so true.

I know when a Pulitzer Prize and uncover the greatest hoax.

That's been perpetrated against the Western public this century and it just seemed incredible so I approached with an absolute mind where we have had some criticism here for example is an email from Janet's I have been listening to Mehdi about the white helmet and finding it very subjective.

And frankly rather fishy president Assad is obviously one of the world's worst but chips Ltd doesn't sound hugely reliable or nice.

I there seems to me that conclusions have been made in advance and arguments reports made to fit for me this just invalidates Both Sides Now about the argument from Janet that you had a conclusion and then found it effectively found the evidence to support the conclusion.

I mean when you started off.

Did you believe that James dementia? Had committed suicide.

Did you leave but he might have been working for Western intelligence.

I have to say I thought there was a good chance.

He was working for West intelligence people who knew him and who were friends of his thought he might have been murdered it all seemed rather suspicious to me and I thought there might be something fishy going on with the white Helmets I had heard somewhere that they weren't quite everything that they were supposed to be but I can't remember what I've heard.

And I went through all kinds of rabbit holes and any solicitors actually hear the series don't hear that I found I came across original things that I thought was suspicious that I put to the white Helmets but I thought we're are there and fishy I certainly don't think that James Le Mesurier is beyond criticism in the series either.

I tried very hard to paint a picture of a real man who had flaws just like any human another criticism so here's Kevin Darcy why does the BBC persist in his fantasy of the white Helmets everyone knows of these guys were funded by the UK to discredit outside and Syria many of their clip sorting car out and most of the footage was staged their found a committed suicide after embezzling funds.

There was a time when the BBC tell the truth no matter how unpleasant Saturday this is no longer true.

I think it's a sad day for UK citizens when they have to watch Russia Today to find out the partial truths once you acquire a reputation for fake news then no one ever.

Please what you broadcast of course Mr Johnson's entitled to his beautifully made a number of factual statement, so that we have to clear up and many of the clips of the white Helmets were shot in Cairo and most the footage was staged is that true? That's just not true.

There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the footage was shot in Cairo you wouldn't be able to stage those things in Cairo I have to say it doesn't have the kind of film industry where you would the manufacture the bomb sites and the devastation that is shown in the videos of the white Helmets is absolutely impossible, but I also says that the founder talking of the white Helmets and James to measure as you make clear wasn't the phone now, but that's committed suicide after being funny.

How about this claim then? Did he embezzled films will there was an investigation a very serious investigation by one of the largest well-respected audit companies in the world Grant Thornton they spent six months.

Forensically going through the finances at Mayday rescue and no embezzlement whatsoever that it was done by external parties who had no skin in the game.

There was nothing in it for them to find James the memory the guilty or innocent, but it's too when the Russians became significant between bargain 2015 you think that was the moment when an Innocence everybody was saying take sides and in a whichever side you just get propaganda propaganda when the Russian state became involved in the Wall around 2015 that was when it is some coincided with the white Helmets videos starting to gain public notoriety Netflix start producing a documentary about them and their videos were showing the bombing of civilians the bombings of hospitals the bombing of schools that for the Russians was.

Very strong allegation to get the most videos were allegations against them and so the response was to try and discredit the videos and discredit the people who were producing the videos.

Thank you very much and Chloe's series Mayday is now available on BBC sounds.

Please do tell us your thoughts about that interview or anything else to do with BBC Radio this is how you get in touch you can send an email to feedback at or write a letter to the address is feedback PO Box 6234 London se1p 4ax you can follow activity on Twitter by using at BBC R4 feedback or you can leave a phone message on 03345 standard landline charges apply, but it could cost more on some mobile network always.

On our website will it regrow asking to BBC Radio listeners to step out of their comfort zones and listen program that would normally be on their radar this week.

We have Mel Cox from Solihull in the West Midlands and draw out from London now melior top 3 programmes if you were stranded on an island, just so we can get a sense of your taste.

I enjoy Gardeners Question Time pick of the week and Adam Buxton and rambling series which I did was yes was on her book of the week.

What about you draw? What are your top three? I would say the Moral Maze any questions and Crossing continents well in line with this series we asked you to listen to something unlike any of those programs was thought pattern pattern thought broadcast on Radio 4 available on BBC sounds.

How do you describe the programme explain what it's about so the female presenter?

Has had OCD obsessive compulsive disorder since being a teenager and she is explaining in this program.

How that's affected her life and writing as a poet and her views on motherhood as well and the crucial thing in this was she was trying in the end to produce poems and involved in the writing poems about OCD did you find that very interesting approach to the I did I loved her poems actually just explain OCD to somebody who might not be familiar and the effects it has on somebody explained it brilliantly I thought in a poetic form.

I am the mechanical facehugger my clothes that in your ears.

I have many claws to in your eyes now.

Keep dead still you and listen if you write about OCD you will bring the worst up and make yourself ill if you were at on me, I may not be here to be.

You anymore if you do not let me protect you you will die without me inside you will be empty and what about you? Would you like that idea that it wasn't just a program bad condition it was about the artistic response to that condition absolutely.

I thought it was a an incredible program and quite brave as well and surprised me.

How poetry seem to be the tool for understanding the process behind OCD not just the experience have all the time for their because I must say when I looked it thought pattern pattern thought I don't understand what the problem was about was that your Google yeah.

It was a bit confusing wasn't the title I think that the process of OCD isn't it's your thoughts affect your behaviours or pattern and then your behaviours affect your thought is a condition circle.

I think they're trying to say on it, but yeah, it wasn't immediately obvious definite.

From the crucial as person one of these programs is do you have to feel draw that the presenter is not just rehearsing or Reading electric they've done before but it's really opening honestly you the listener.

Did you get that feeling in this case so absolutely I thought it was incredibly brave some of the Frank discussion of the condition and of the experience to write these poems is really not easy when the thoughts interfere with our process military swim with face with people with this sort of condition Frank your programs about it would turn away with depression be like to make people listen to be more sympathetic and understanding to a very real and distressing condition.

I would say 100% I think to be honest.

We've all got a bit of OCD and it's so I think there'd be a lot of recognising knobs going on it was incredibly honest you know her views on how it's affected areas and mother and her says about you know dropping the baby on a

When she's in a restaurant, that's all she could think about when she was out with her friends and the baby dying in different circumstances.

Yeah, it's really insightful and I think it would definitely improve people empathy towards people with OCD of something that you understand yourself.

Yes, I did I did I actually suffer from depression myself and I have to say even though I am interested in this field.

I had not quite a good understanding.

I think of all before listening to it my my opinion was one of a lot of people and it was very interesting to look at the things I teased that sit at the core of this which I recognise you know not all of them but certainly some of them from my own bad days were the results of the program or what was produced during the primaries poetry in the program could be good and the

Sympathetic you didn't tell him in the poetry was good in the end.

Did you like the picture that resulted from I absolutely loved the poetry? I thought it was brilliant and the bit I really what was brilliant was how they linked it to the covid crisis because that is an OCD person's nightmare isn't the Coven the washing of the hands anxiety inducing panic buying Germany says it's just absolutely nightmare for somebody who's anxious was similarly timely yes very much.

So I mean is the programme was progressing.

I feel myself lost forever covid-19 soon as she got to that you could see how the entireties just ramp up.

So it was absolutely fascinating to your house.

She interpreted with ask questions.

We always put in these discussions is what you had become well where you draw? No it was very much within my field of interest.

Something I need Society choose if I saw it on the schedule, but I'm glad that I did and I'm glad that I listened to it and now would you recommend it? You weren't out of your comfort zone? No not at all.

I agree that the title wouldn't have spoken to me.

I wouldn't have really understood it was about but if it had mentioned OCD is an area of interested in any way and I thought it was brilliant powerful and the words will stay with me to be honest Royal Mail and drawer.

Thank you very much.

Let us know if you would like to be put out of your comfort zone.

You and yours Radio 4 News and discussion programme on consumer affairs is 50 this year at is launch.

It was billed as the Citizens Advice Bureau of the air and response to the rise in consumer activism at the window saying I didn't use this as I want to trade it in for a single to st.

Pancras the clock at regard as if I come from another planet and the result of this is I will never book a return again half a century later the program continues to Taco major consumer problems and Carry investigations such as it's recent enquiry into a German property company dolphin trust when millions of pounds of investors pension savings have not been Returned and I'm delighted to be joining new editor Wilson is only been in situ since April people that you and yours is the Citizens Advice Bureau of the icing that still a pretty good description to be.

What we can look at as a team is trying to make sure that anybody who's not really being heard can actually be her through have you changed strata change the format since that you joined in April because one of our listeners have noticed one or two things.

I think that is not so much changing it is more trying to get a little bit more relaxed.

What were trying to get to know the team is basically getting the Lister more involved making them more relaxed about it making them the centre point of what we do.

So you want to try and get to the point that you've got somebody who's directly affected maybe bipolar.

Just talking to the person who makes a policy decision well one of the listener suits noticed that changes claim there and she's question the format of the calling on recent you and yours seems a little different book calls where there are several listeners on the line talking to each other comparing notes rather than individual calls that form at work sometimes, but individual calls have a

Sometimes more poignant appeal and I very much hope that this is not a new blanket across-the-board calling format for all programs at the BBC is it a new format will apply across the BBC and you will continue to apply across all of your phone.

No, it's not I'm glad right.

We have changed a little bit as far as call you and yours goes especially I think during lockdown what we figured out was a lot of people just want to knock gently to talk and with that came kind of import of information advice and how to get through different things and that's why on occasions you'll find a couple of calls lined up, so they talk together you know if one person is finding it difficult thing and we've got somebody's gone through something that's been quite similar will try and get it so that they can talk to each other each other and support each other but by the same token if it is clearly a story were somebody's giving us a first-person account something that happened to them.

We're not going to put that one it wouldn't be interrupted.

We have got such a good presenter and Winifred that we can play that one by ear as we go along and figure out.

What's the best way and what's the best way to treat those cold as well? We had a lot of compliments and hear what couple of people have to Brewery hip pain.

I'm writing to compliment that you and yours programme broadcast on Thursday 26th from what I heard of it.

It was devoted to one issue.

It sounded like the presenters in this she work with really went burrowing through the web that was dolphin.

I'd like some more please Caroline you and yours.

I often find it very good listening Shirley Ballas famous and in-depth investigations always fascinated me this week's programme about the dolphin building Investments was excellent they seem to be fair.

She's not for programmes to do this in-depth investigations.

I do think they're so important.

We need so many more of these investigations and bringing people to account exposing their hurry practices.

I'm in Euro differential pressure like anybody else to think in the BBC at the moment you think you'll be doing more than him then because you've got a husband your resources for investigations more careful.

There's no plans for pressure to do anymore phonons are there Fernando Fernando pressures you know investigations original investigations are expensive as you know so much easier to let somebody investigation and then you pick up of if it like we do the investigations and we make sure that we try and get those done.

We concentrate on those when they're really important, but there's no idea that we're going to try and take away from one of the if you like normal programs that we do and replace it with the phone in Just Cause we want to do an investigation that be no financial pressure on that one at all.

Are you finding the social media the audience is more more but they're the front line.

If you like the information gathered is for you.

Yeah, it has been such a long time not just Twitter and that side of things even done some more basic emails are in.

Is so we get all kinds of requests problems highlights from a rodent and that's the great thing about what we do because it is directly responding to what they want news.

They've got and how we can try and take those on what a couple of weeks ago.

Where do Justin Rowlatt the BBC chief environment correspondent response from this and feel strongly that the environment should be at the front and centre of all BBC journalism and cabbage and a curry to 1 Lisson arches can sign to the science pages.

This is what listener Katie Martin has to say about your immune yours just looked on to Radio 4 you and yours a section discussing holidays particularly foreign holidays.

I'm shocked that not a mention is made of people's responsibility not continue taking unnecessary foreign holidays postcode in light of the urgency of climate destruction that we are in Radio 4 really has a responsibility to encourage p.

Question their habits and not actively promote overseas travel or at the very least you always make reference to climate change when they do discuss taking that last point.

Do you think it's always make time change when you're disgusting holiday travel.

I think it's really difficult to try and take the line on this one.

We don't tell people how to spend the money.

That's not what were supposed to do and you're turning around and saying you shouldn't be going on a foreign holiday.

May not be what we do what we end up doing is looking at as I said it in what case is talking about here? We ended up with people who couldn't get the date that already paid for that holiday, so therefore we looked at the issues of how do you get the refund? Is it alright to get a voucher that you can use a different time what process do you have to go through on that are the companies being fair and how the offering that system and I think it would be wrong for us to turn around and then say by the way should you be going on that holiday or not? We can give people.

Researching advice on different green issues for example.

We look at Transport we look at electric cars.

We've done a lot of items electric cars.

We followed the process of what's the range electric car.

Can you manage to plug in somewhere to get that recharged but will not telling anybody to go and buy that car would just giving you the information on the way to the the listener can make that decision as to what they wanted well listeners.

Would want me to congratulate you on 50 years of you and yours and hope that you continue add another 50 but for a long time.

I'm not sure I'll see all 50 but the team of the greys around but thank you for joining us good luck with the program in 2-hours to just over 2 hours time.

Thank you.

My thanks to Pete Wilson editor of you and yours.

That's it next week.

I'll be talking to the Radio 4 Queen abdicating her throne.

Yes Jane Garvey will be joining us as she reaches the end of her tenure at woman's are she really wanted to be a bus.

What would wrong she got fired from her first job in advertising as well do let us have your questions for the Liverpudlian Legend until next week keep safe and help keep other people safe to good.

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