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Tony Blair

The week in radio: Culture-clash comedy can still raise a smile

Regular Radio 4 listeners will already know The Reunion, the programme that has been picking at old scabs and offering moist-eyed snapshots of times gone by since 2006. It's about revisiting crowning glories and ghastly calamities of old, with the wonderful, and sometimes awful, benefit of hindsight. Like Desert Island Discs, it has a distinct format: a group of people are brought together to recall a shared moment in their lifetimes. Unlike DID, however, there is more scope for sadness, for joy, or for sheer, red-faced fury.

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Pierre Mauroy: Socialist leader of France in the '80s

When Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were establishing the global mood music of the monetarist, greed-is-good 1980s, Pierre Mauroy sought to make France dance to a different tune. As the first Socialist Prime Minister of the Fifth Republic (1981-84) and first prime minister of the François Mitterrand era, Mauroy pursued a policy of nationalisation, taxation of the rich, increased minimum wages, retirement at 60 and a 39-hour working week.