Letter: Reithian riposte

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown disagrees profoundly with the views articulated by Anthony Giddens in this year's Reith lectures ("Will no one challenge this god?", 6 May). That is her prerogative - and indeed much of what he said about globalisation was designed to provoke further discussion and debate.

However she is wrong to suggest that the BBC chose him to deliver the lectures because we endorse what she pithily calls "the soft mattress of consensus politics" or because the BBC wants "to be near the political magic circle." He was chosen because of his outstanding academic record, the likelihood that his lectures would be noteworthy - and that they would enliven the debate about globalisation within the UK and elsewhere.

Her criticism of Professor Giddens focuses on the unequal impact of globalisation. Her view is that Third World countries are getting poorer and American influence is rising unchecked. These points were strongly expressed by members of the live audience during the five programmes - nowhere more so than in Delhi.


Head of Political Programmes


London W12