I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around,
and don't let anybody tell you different

-Kurt Vonnegut

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Understanding Switzerland

While looking for something completely different, I found this on BBC Radio 4's Listen Again page:

"What's so special about the Swiss?" (RealPlayer) - a 30-minute probe into Swiss identity and political culture. BBC journalist Paul Henley attempts to understand issues such as direct democracy, bank secrecy, and Schwingen. Remarkably, he succeeds quite well, guided by interesting comments by such diverse figures as Bertrand Piccard, Adolf Ogi (about Kandersteg - what else), Jean Ziegler (slightly over the top, as usual, but highly interesting and, in the end, very close to the truth), Antonella Notari (the ICRC spokesperson in Geneva; her analysis was absolutely spot-on) and, of coures, Christoph Blocher (the only interviewee who chose to answer in German).

If I understand correctly, this will only be online until next Friday. As one would expect, the programme is not without some minor flaws; still, whether you're an Usländer wondering what really is so special about the Swiss, or a Swiss wondering what the BBC might tell its listeners about Switzerland, it's well worth listening to.



Anonymous said...

Good idea, but there is one problem: RealPlayer is a bad bad program...

Judge Jonathan said...

Yeah, but at least it's Real.

eMeidi said...

I'm really interested in that story - but unfortunately it's August by now and the audio file is long gone.

Has someone recorded it?

Thanks for any help

Judge Jonathan said...

I think they keep the audio files online for only a week.

Best thing to do would is probably to email BBC. Though perhaps Chris has recorded it (he did blog it, as well - link). Ask him.