29 June - 2 July 2015
Copyright restrictions prevent us from making these programmes available as audio on demand or podcasts.
Monday 29 June: Frances O'Grady: British Union Leader
Not since Margaret Thatcher vowed to break the power of organised Labour has Britain's trade union movement faced a bigger threat. The new Government wants to make it harder to take industrial action. Hardtalk speaks to Frances O'Grady, whose organisation - the TUC - is the collective voice of the unions, says it will become all but impossible to strike. Maybe the threat to union power is more fundamental. Across Europe, in most countries the number of workers joining unions is in decline. To many of those most in need of support in the work place, have the unions become irrelevant?
Tuesday 30 June: Inside Interpol
Interpol is the world's biggest and most powerful international policing organisation. Spanning almost every existing country - with the notable exception of North Korea - it carries out vital work in combatting worldwide organised crime. Increasingly important in our globalised era, but lacking in accountability and surrounded with an aura of mystery, it has to cope with new scrutiny. Its imposing headquarters in Lyon, France, is home to more than 700 staff, who combine intelligence from 190 countries in an effort to make the world a safer place. So what exactly is Interpol? How does it function? In this age of accountability and transparency, how long can it withstand demands for change? Jake Wallis Simons investigates.
Wednesday 1 July: This is Me Totally Sausage
German comedian and broadcaster Henning Wehn explores the fast-growing use of ELF – English as a lingua franca. Around the world there are an estimated 800 million non-native speakers of English and the number is growing all the time. From Japanese estate agents to French web entrepreneurs, non-native English speakers are baffled by the way the English communicate using humour, obscure idioms based on cricket or rugby, and the understated codes of class and status.
Thursday 2 July: Estonia’s Russian Problem
Neal Razzell reports from the Estonian city of Narva, which is in NATO but almost entirely Russian. Could this be the west’s weak spot? Here, the Estonian government says, Moscow is trying to destabilise it by exploiting local grievances – just as NATO says it did in Ukraine. So Estonia is mounting an urgent campaign to win hearts and minds among its Russian population. Ethnic Russians account for a quarter of all Estonians, and most say their economic prospects are best served by living in the west. But many are also profoundly ambivalent about their identity, culturally and linguistically at odds with the majority, and asking questions about what it means to be an Estonian.