Between the Iron Lady and the Wedding Cake: conflict in Belle Époque Paris

Between 1789 and 1871 Paris went through five kings, two Bonapartist empires, two republics, several revolutions and a Commune. Each had been an attempt to accommodate or neutralise one of two visions of France. The oldest was traditional and conventional; it mourned the ancien régime, and preferred the safety of autocracy over the chaos of democracy and God over science. The younger was progressive and eager for change, building on the ideas of the Enlightenment and the revolutionary ideals of 1789. We are taken through slums, cafés, law courts, theatres, brothels, strikes and demonstrations For Mike Rapport, ‘the friction between change and tradition is perhaps the defining characteristic of the modern

Melissa Kite, Nigel Biggar and Matt Ridley

24 min listen

This week Melissa Kite mourns the Warwickshire countryside of her childhood, ripped up and torn apart for HS2, and describes how people like her parents have been treated by the doomed project (01:15), Nigel Biggar attempts to explain the thinking behind those who insist on calling Britain a racist country, even though the evidence says otherwise (06:38) and Matt Ridley enters a fool’s paradise where he warns against being so open-minded, that you risk your brain falling out (13:01). Produced and presented by Linden Kemkaran.

Why Jews don’t count to the ‘anti-racists’

Suppose you explain to someone spouting racist, sexist, or otherwise discriminatory ideas that they are prejudiced. You may begin by giving them the benefit of the doubt. You tell them you are sure they do not realise how badly they are behaving. You assume they are decent people at heart who have merely made a mistake they will be more than happy to rectify once you set it out. Then you attempt to enlighten them. You tell them why they are prejudiced and why their prejudices lead to hatred and death. You tell them repeatedly, again and again, until your arguments become so familiar you can mouth them in your