Fit For Purpose

Episodes

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01The Unions20140528

01The Unions20140528

John Harris and Anne McElvoy host a new series of debates on institutions under pressure. The series begins with the current state of the trade unions. What are they for ? How do they work ? Could we make them better ?

Union membership has fallen sharply in recent years, so John Harris of the Guardian and Anne McElvoy of the Economist gather key insiders and members of the public to rethink the state of the unions. With Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC; Alan Johnson MP, Britain's most famous former postman and one time General Secretary of the Unions of Communication Workers; David Skelton of Renewal, which aims to broaden the appeal of the Conservative Party; and Guy Standing, author of A Precariat's Charter.

"I would introduce a power that would allow a worker in a backstreet fish processing factory in Hull who wanted to join a union to ring up just one number... at the moment it is very difficult for a worker in that situation to know how to begin to join up." Alan Johnson MP

Recorded in front of an audience at the London Review Bookshop.

The producer is Miles Warde.

01The Unions2014052820140531

John Harris and Anne McElvoy host a new series of debates on institutions under pressure. The series begins with the current state of the trade unions. What are they for ? How do they work ? Could we make them better ?

Union membership has fallen sharply in recent years, so John Harris of the Guardian and Anne McElvoy of the Economist gather key insiders and members of the public to rethink the state of the unions. With Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC; Alan Johnson MP, Britain's most famous former postman and one time General Secretary of the Unions of Communication Workers; David Skelton of Renewal, which aims to broaden the appeal of the Conservative Party; and Guy Standing, author of A Precariat's Charter.

"I would introduce a power that would allow a worker in a backstreet fish processing factory in Hull who wanted to join a union to ring up just one number... at the moment it is very difficult for a worker in that situation to know how to begin to join up." Alan Johnson MP

Recorded in front of an audience at the London Review Bookshop.

The producer is Miles Warde.

02Nato2014060420140607

Anne McElvoy and John Harris debate the future of Nato with an expert panel.

Anne McElvoy and John Harris host a new series of debates looking at institutions under pressure. This week they examine NATO.

Created in 1949 to face down the Soviet Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was forced to reinvent itself at the end of the Cold War. It fired its first shots in the skies above Bosnia, intervened in Kosovo and Libya and found itself creaking under the pressure of the Afghan campaign.

Will the Ukraine crisis reinvigorate the alliance or will it exacerbate the divide between those members who see NATO as a global policeman and those who view it as a vital check on Russia's ambitions?

Anne and John debate NATO's future in front of an audience at the Royal United Services Institute in Whitehall. They're joined by RUSI's Professor Michael Clarke, Professor Mary Kaldor of the London School of Economics, Paul Ingram of the British American Security Information Council, NATO's Oana Lungescu and the former First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord West.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.