The week before Christmas saw The World Tonight maintaining its usual left-liberal bias, with Wednesday's programme being particularly noteworthy.
It discussed university funding with Professor Les Ebdon of the University of Bedfordshire - the man who, earlier this year, caused controversy by calling for potential students from poorer backgrounds to be allowed into university with lower grades than their 'less disadvantaged' peers (i.e. a social engineer). The disruption caused by snow in Britain was compared with Germany, and for a point of view on this Robin Lustig turned naturally to a 'progressive' journalist, Jurgen Kronig of the left-leaning broadsheet Die Zeit. We then had a report from Kevin Connolly on homelessness in Obama's Washington, whose academic 'talking head' was Isabel V. Sawhill of the Brookings Institute, a liberal-minded former official in the Clinton Administration.
Tuesday's programme ended with a report from Emma Jane Kirby on President Sarkozy's calls for a debate on French indentity, following the booing of the French national anthem by immigrants at a football match. There was a spokesman from what Emma Jane called "his right-wing party" (shouldn't that be 'centre-right'?) but he was sandwiched between two critics of the president's strategy - both keen multiculturalists, one a leftie professor, the other (given the last word) from a racial equality group, who stressed that 'equality' was the most important thing (and that's the thought with which the report ended). The whole piece was completely skewed against Sarkozy, who was accused of pandering to the far-right - directly by the leftie academic, and almost as directly by Emma Jane herself. Zut alor!
Christmas Eve saw a special on international drugs policy. Beginning with the former Social Democrat Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who thinks the war on drugs has failed, Robin went on to hold a discussion between Jorge Castaneda, introduced as a "former Mexican foreign minister" (for the PRI, under the last of the left-wing nationalists to lead that now-long-out-of-power party, Jose Lopez Portillo - the president who nationalised the banking system); Keith Humphreys, senior advisor on drugs control to President Obama (who had a few nibbles at the Bush administration); and Professor Neil McKeganey of Glasgow University, who formerly advised the Home Office.
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