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Read this: 19/08/2022 Radio 4 Feedback

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19/08/2022 Radio 4 Feedback…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts, I'll screams and Airwaves were full of horrifying scenes of the chaos of the airport in Afghanistan where people were fleeing for their lives, but what's been going on since then? It is good that the BBC is reporting and holding the government to account on it slow and absent support for people in Afghanistan however, where has the BBC been for the past 6 months? I'll be putting that point and others to the BBC south Asian respondent yoghurt and asking how difficult it is to find out what's really going on in Afghanistan today also in feedback.

We speak to someone who knows Afghanistan very well indeed since he walked from one side of it to the other and now is broadcasting for the BBC I'm listening to Rory Stewart on Radio 4 and wondering again.

How former politicians always get

To make sure I'll be talking to the former politician and soldier now and Academic about his Radio 4 Series the long history of argument and whether polite reason is a thing of the past and out of your comfort zone listeners.

Give their thought someone of Radio 4 longest running programs.

What was the 13 and a half program that got an offer log into those 13 minutes, but did he and his wife enjoy what they packed into it and will they be back from all find out later in feedback?

One year on from the west rapid and some would say mistaken withdrawal from Afghanistan the condition of women in that country is gone from bad to disastrous the Taliban has issued a streamer borders restricting their freedom boring them from most government jobs from Secondary Education and from travelling more than 45 miles without a male guardian the morning is in freefall you Emma said that there could be near universal poverty in the country by next year due partly to the ending a foreign aid so how well has the BBC covered the current crisis in Afghanistan and how possible is it to find out what Afghan is really think well, I'm delighted to be joined by the BBC South Asia correspondent yoga Taylor may be able to how difficult is it for the BBC to broadcast and report from within Afghanistan it's a complicated answer.

We are being able to go back to Afghanistan

And even travel around in many of the provinces in the country and we don't sort of half Taliban minders or people who constantly with us watching what we're doing.

We do have to get fishing boats from the foreign affairs ministry as well as the Ministry of Information and Culture in various provinces, but the reason I said It's Complicated answer is because it depends on what show your reporting on so if you are doing a story on humanitarian issues for example the crisis of Hunger the economic crisis in the country you find that there is any sort of roadblock to doing that however there are topics that they are very sensitive about for example the issue of reprisal killings where unit there is instead reprisal killings have been going on the UN has also documented 260 cases starting essentially that they if they think your report in will further their foreign policy aims.

Do it if they think it might result in something highly critical it is much more difficult for you to get access access.

It's also in the recent past we've had the case offer John little work for foreign policy Lynne O'Donnell who was forced she says to tweet out an apology on one of the articles because she was facing the of being detained by the toilet button and once she tweeted that apology out the allowed her to leave the country.

We have seen similar instances happen without the journalist as well some been denied accreditation because of a previous story the government did not like we've had instances where Jonas who left the country after report has come out and you didn't like details in that they've said either apologise or informal your kind of told any face to spread of detention you have been in there and have reported and I'll speaking now.

And critically about that listening Noreen Collins has this to us.

We were watching your Giza on the 6:00 news just last night.

She was walking to the streets as she was report and all you could see around to a man.

Just staring a she moved along.

They was hate watching a woman speak freely does she find it intimidating and they ever tried to approach her or stop f and speak to the camera.

She is a fantastic correspondent if you're scared when you're walking in the streets and reporting.

No, I wouldn't say I feel scared when I'm walking in the streets and reporting but there is a dead comes to being a foreign female journalist in Afghanistan that an Afghan female journalist would not have the access that we've had even Taliban leaders for example all the fact that are in the street and under $100 by men and not as such feel threatened that is the privilege of being a foreign female journalist operating in Afghanistan Afghan women wouldn't feel the same thing I would.

I feel the same way you go to when we talk about wind education.

We do look at it from what we might call a little brother Western liberal perspective, but listen appalling Jenkins has this to me? I am outraged by the taleban ban on girls education, but what is the view of most afghans men and women is it possible to find out where we do people every time we go even in rural areas and I don't think anyone has actually said to us out right that they wouldn't want their daughters to go to school however.

It is true that there is opposition some section so you just have to look at the history of Ghana Stan and you not just sort of in the past 20 years but in the last 40 or 60 years and you know that the push and pull or the conflict in Afghanistan very much scented women and girls can and cannot do this conflict between the more liberal side of it in the conservative side of it.

I don't think it's possible actually to find out what percentage of Advanced and beliefs.

It should be educated but refined definitely when we even when we go to villagers and we ask people.

Would you like your goes to be educated most of the time the answer is yes, and we've asked this to you.

I've gone women as well and you not put this to them.

So you know the questions asked it's only the more sort of the section of society that believes in it and they said no if you look at the history of Gardens done.

We had women in Parliament in the 70s women drafting a constitution.

So just say that this is off gun culture that goes shouldn't be educated.

This is what we believed in that absolutely follows and listens Stephen pennells has this to ask do afghans feel abandoned and betrayed by the west does that carry over into their vision of you as an employee of Western institutions to there is a section of a goodnestone.

You know we have been areas weather feel like they were being occupied by foreign forces and they feel like they've got freedom now.

They've got freedom from war there are people whose homes were destroyed in bombing that.

Read out troops there are people with met on the ground whose families were killed in that kind of fighting so they certainly a section of understand which believe that it was for an occupation which is ended.

There is a section worked with many of these allies who sent me feel bad now.

We've been speaking to some people actually worked directly with the British and the US military who worked with other parts of the UK and US government in Afghanistan and did not been evacuated feel under threat and they do feel abandoned and the element is that the foreign funding that came into of Ghana standby of constant government that propped up the country that propped up the countries have guessed system that suddenly stopped on the 15th of August pushing it into an economic collapse pushing it into the situation of Hunger that we we are seem pretty much everywhere across.

So there are people who you know who feel abandoned from that perspective is concerned that the volume if you like all the scalar report is not what it should be.

That is from Fareham it is good that the BBC is reporting and holding the government to account on it slow and absent support for people in Afghanistan however, where has the BBC been for the past 6 months in January were being warned of an imminent humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan but as soon as the war in Ukraine developed almost all reporting on Afghanistan ceased of course you're not responsible for the Editors BBC bulletins put in and out in this country, but could we clarify about the famine how serious is that thread has famine arrived but we found in our reporting and we've been consistently reporting this in the past six months.

I mean of course when the war in Ukraine start said there was a lot of coverage on that was predominantly perhaps what people so for me being 142, but I've been in Afghanistan at least twice since then and of course now and we've produced every single time.

That is one of the key issues with looked at that.

There is a staggering crisis of Hunger the UN says it's about two-thirds of the population is going hungry.

We just to give you a kiss on the ground.

We went to a province where we went to the maternity wards of the hospital we asked every person who was admitted everybody loves we spoke to we ask them what have you been eating and the overwhelmingly overwhelming League was eating one meal a day which is either rice or bread and the other times of the day we drink tea.

That's it.

That's it.

That's it.

You know where expecting babies are thanks to yoga TaylorMade the BBC's South Asia correspondent and please do let us know your thoughts about that interview quotes about anything else to do with BBC Radio and podcasts.

This is how you can get in touch you can send an email to feedback at

Or write a letter the address feedback PO Box 672 34, London se1p 4ax can follow our activity on Twitter by using at BBC R4 feedback or you can call us and leave a message on 0344 444 5449 charges apply, but it could cost more on some mobile networks all those details are on our website now.

You did get in touch with us over into last week with Alison Hendrix the BBC's commissioning editor for drama and Fiction on Radio 4 listen had asked why the BBC had bothered to remake the drama when the Machine Stops by E M Forster when a perfectly good production from 20-years ago was still available one of the reasons with simple gave was the ironically it costs as nearly as much to repeat something.

20-years ago as it does to make a new version so we might as well give you people the job Stephen Harris Suffolk in last week's feedback Allison indoor Defender dirty season 2 remake the Machine Stops just 20 years after the last production as much to repeat a program as it does to him make one this makes no sense what the answer is because of the rights payments which have to be paid in order to repeat the play These go to those who own the copyright the actors and the music this can according to the BBC almost had up to the cost of starting from scratch with the new production now asking to BBC Radio listeners to step out of their comfort zones and listen to a program that wouldn't normally be on their radar husband and wife Sarah Bloxham and Tim Jones live in Kingston on Thames

Sarah is originally from Iowa in the United States Sarah to get a sense of this before we hear your views.

What would be your top 3 programmes if you were stranded on that mythical desert island definitely have to have the Unbelievable Truth and in our time.

Do they overlapped and more or less but I'd also up for the minute and probably p.m.

Programme these days.

We asked you to listen to an episode of Farming Today which is on every weekday morning at 5:45 with the best of program brought together on Saturday morning now Sarah you're ready for listener, but I assume that 5:45.

Are you will be asleep would have the right to resist a surprise to you.

What do you think of the program? It wasn't interesting for maths and nice and talk to some of this was particularly British

Are overlapping I have to say there were a couple of items that would be very interesting to my father the farm and field theft parts that were quite interesting to me because that's something that he has experience with Little Downham and primal literally in the heart of the Fenn it's it's big Country a big Skies big fields and I'm with Armadale passing in his truck to do what they are checking up on you to see I have a going out drinks going alright and just keep an eye on them in case it being tampered with and fuel with combining the moment.

What about you? Are you awake at 5 in the morning and are you sorry that you weren't up at 5:45.

I mean did you really love things from this that you wish yes, because it seems to me in the current economic context roll a lot more interested in issues like supply chains and white eggs suddenly cost a lot more than why then we used to be until that extent it had quite a lot that I found pretty interesting.

What was the 13 and a half minute program it got an awful.

Today's 30-minutes Sarah dusan tadic actually would appeal to more people if they knew it was there.

I think it's definitely word.

I think it would benefit from being replaying perhaps in the evening in the afternoon at some catching from the different listen to that Radio 4 missing a trick here with keeping all these programs at 5:45.

I think there's a slight difference between the countryside per se and which is more technically gate to agriculture they're not there's a big overlap between these two things that are not identical but I think I would have trouble in saying that I was particularly affected patients through the countryside as opposed to the more economic stuff in farming today in 50 minutes is too short it take for example the item on tenant farmers.

Did you think that just got going and then stopped very early, but it was interesting that was cut down from longer program and I think that it was enough of a teaser at a store that I would be interested in.

Back to hear the longer version actually because it did seem like a complicated issue of it could benefit from more coverage.

What's the Brighton in Sussex I'm where's the James Wright and James this has been your phone for hello the we've been here now for 1/2 years, but your tenant rent this land and this farmyard and the landlord's going to do something else with it and you no hard feelings about it the real problem for us is that we've invested a lot in the business.

We want to grow you know we want to move to a larger Farm that deals with tenant farmers in more detail show Will Smith on on your farm next Sunday again quite early in the morning, but not quite as early as what about presenter Caz Graham what you want on a show like this.

I think is someone who you feel.

Understands what they're talking about.

Do you think she did Tim yes? I thought she absolutely nailed the right mixture sort of Christmas and friendly missed it, but I've been looking for a presenter on program has somebody who knows all about farming Sarah do you think she was a Thursday and she didn't like things together quite well and did seem to know what you are talking about.

Yes, we ask this one weather listen again to this program.

Will I should ask him two forms one is Sarah would you set the clock for 5:45 to listen to this program? That's probably more likely is pops asking too much well.

Would you however if you were it on BBC sounds? Would you go and listen to it occasionally having her this program.

I think I think I could look through and covered in when there's something that takes my interest quite easy to listen to a 15-minute program.

I would be more inclined to listen to it.

If I was walking past another switch the radio on but it will be stretching your point to say it would be one of my Radio 4 programmes and choice.

Thank you very much.

Thank you.

Thank you and you can catch up with Farming Today and the episode of on your farm we refer to on BBC sounds.

now how we lost the art of arguing Blackley with each other and in doing so lost the possibility of better understanding the views of those with whom we disagree is rational debates being drowned by the hyperbole and extremism of the digital world the former politician Explorer author soldier and diplomat Rory Stewart says we need to re-discover how to argue truthfully well, and how old should have listened to the explore this in his recent Radio 4 Series the long history of argument here's a clip and from 1989 to 2014 the whole graph of public opinion was a Belcher with the votes in the centre and then it collapsed like a sort of unstable souffle into are you sure where the votes were on the left and the right this was the time the emergence of bolsonaro Brazil and India the brexit referendum of course the election of Donald Trump

Stuart Jones me now Rory have I missed any of your former careers out in my introduction know you've been very very generous to my phone Chris thank you before we going to see what you're trying to do and the rest of our audience.

We do have a question from a Nicky wondered how you got the gig in the first place.

I'm listening to Rory Stewart on Radio 4 and wondering again former politicians always get commission to make shows I mean is that the real plan mess about in the House of Commons for a bit and then get to the real goal was that the plan that might help political career was building up to this side made BBC documentaries before I was supposed to tonight.

I've made one that Lawrence Radio 1 about the history of Afghanistan won on the borders the basic answer to the question is I loved doing occasional broadcasting before it became a politician and it's a privilege to be able to do a little bit now again and this is close to your

Obviously is the long history of argument.

How long did mould in your eye at your brain thinking I really want to explore this on here for a very long time.

I actually taught at Harvard University I thought which is a very pompous way of saying I sat with young students and we looked at the ancient Greeks and some of their techniques for speaking and arguing and it really deep and my thoughts about this my worries about this when I became an MP and was frankly really shocked and disappointed by what was happening in the House of Commons chamber, and I think people probably catch you watch Parliament TV pick this up, but essentially when on a world where many many MPs have any match the Debate looking at their phones clearing their emails people reading rather stayed written speeches and very opportunity for back and forth or persuasion not listening somebody may be speaking but they're not look absolutely and

The question is what's the point of the speaking because when you and I engaging hopefully there's a chance that you can persuade me and vice versa but in the House of Commons that isn't happening and given that Parliament itself is a French word for talking shop it raises a big question about what a parliament is without a debating chamber appreciated.

You're serious here's a taste of what they have to say Hillary Morton from hats what a pleasure to listen to Rory Stewart's well-informed balanced and measure treatment of this fascinating topic made such a refreshing change from the adversarial this documents that take up so much are time currently Robert on Twitter listening to this a second time in fairness.

I'm trying to do my day job at the same time, but it might have to wait until lunch and then this evening for the rest more class and brilliance from Rory Stewart James on Twitter this is brilliant from Rory Stewart

Count as mine disillusionment the role of debate and argument is being lost we need some optimism that democracy can still work well and this provides a little bit of that worries me to disagree with any of that prayers, but I wonder whether it's surprising because it isn't there dangers on Radio 4 you're preaching to the converted who you are listening to Radio 4 because on the they want to hear other points of view.

I think that's true, but of course I was the constituency MP and like all members of Parliament every party that means a lot of time talking to very different people on doorsteps and it is striking it seems to me that almost everybody is Britain of believes in speaking and arguing facts as I've not all but I think everybody I think it's fundamental to what we are as an animal that human species is an argumentative species.

We have very unique gift of speech and

Fascinating about speech and dialogue because we not only understand others in the world through speaking we understand ourselves.

It's a sort of mirroring capacity, so I don't think it's just a Radio 4 think I think it's something that everybody enjoys and makes the basis of all our most fundamental relationships and maybe they enjoy it, but it hasn't the digital Revolution fundamentally change the small number of characters that can be used in Twitter some said that delivers to my company is to encourage people to be extreme and pervert reaction means that argument is now impossible in the digital sphere definitely true that social media has caused huge problems that these algorithms the the way in which these programs has set out that could be Twitter that could be Facebook seems to encourage the Most Extreme and hostile arguments that I feel it myself when I send out her to eat if it's across tweet I can almost guarantee.

Maybe from twenty 30000 likes if I send out a mild comment about his an interesting article that I read the Guardian I'll be lucky to hit 200.

So I think there's definitely nothing is the Rihanna doing a Alastair Campbell who was Tony Blair's press vice and ion are doing a podcast for the rest of politics and we think it's probably the most popular podcast there is a surprise.

What is that? Will I think surprising? Thank you, and it is surprising and I think it's suggest there is appetite For People disagreeing gravely we come very different political parties with a different ages social backgrounds, but people and enjoy that sense of friction and another floor sound of said in your programs is it can't argue if you can't agree on as it were basic facts from which to argue and we not seem to have a situation where people can deny basic facts.

Live and get away with it because the attention span is so short so if you have politicians were prepared to lie and if they're not in a way found out or because of this digital world again.

It's difficult to begin the sort of arguments that you want to have because there has to be a fundamental agreement on some facts in order to go forward that's right and my optimism is based on the sense that in the end.

We get used to these new media.

It was probably true when printing was invented.

It was a pre radical revolutionary force and snow-covered something for printing coincides with all these water religion and I think television had a summer and Pat Radio 2 when I first tried so I'm hoping we will learn to use social media in a new way and that there is a way through this I think humans are capable of sensing in their everyday lives all of us.

That the Ronson plants and that people's tolerance for people selling fairy tales will in the end fade, but you're right word very dangerous moment anywhere in an age of populism and I think population of you say is also there an age of post-truth.

That's managed of people just a certain a story and for some reason our culture not really having the energy to see your programs make a very powerful argument for argument, but it remains that in the end, can you persuade enough people to want to under to want as it were to change their minds and the moment the audience is out.

I think you're but I think this comes down to truth and there's a reason why our entire culture our entire species needs truth reality is what everything is founded on and we'll find our way back to treating me and thank you very much.

Very much indeed.

That was Rory Stewart and his the long history of arguments in £3 is available on BBC sounds and that's it for this week apologies for the absence of our promised interview with the is China editor Stephen McDonnell that we plan to remedy that in our next edition next week will also be our final program for this run and after 23 years my last as present feedback the BBC has decided that the next series will have a new presenter.

So if you have any questions you would like me to answer in next week's program to let me know until then goodbye.

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