The Reith Lectures – Niall Ferguson

I have just been listening to the 4th and final of the BBC Reith Lectures presented by Niall Ferguson. Despite his conceit and reputation as a media tart, I like Prof Ferguson. I have read a couple of his books, Empire and The Ascent of Money both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. In my view he is a bright man with sound ideas

Ferguson was born in Glasgow and educated at the Glasgow Academy.

The subject of the Lectures this year was The Rule of Law And Its Enemies

I am not sure if you can still find the first 2, but the 3rd and 4th are available and worth listening to, especially the last which is presented up in Edinburgh. Ferguson advocates more individual involvement in all aspects of daily life including social activities and private education, especially education and less government interference. His audience seems to entirely comprise Glaswegian left-wing academics and trades unionists; add to that the BBC’s Sue Lawley and he appears to be in a minority of one. But I find it difficult not to agree with almost everything he says and it leaves me depressed that there are so many who would oppose his views.

Have a listen if you can. I think Mr Mackie in particular would enjoy them.

10 thoughts on “The Reith Lectures – Niall Ferguson”

  1. Only if someone will weed my veg for me to make the time.. There’s a job for you sipu, keep you gainfully employed for the next millennia or so!

  2. CO, it is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time. I am sure that you could listen to the radio while you weed, cook, drive, perform open heart surgery etc.

  3. The NSW reckons Prof.Brian Cox is far more dishy. Deep down I really think she wants to ‘mother’ him, but don’t anyone dare tell her I said that!


  4. Just off to leek/leak in the garden, must plant out, late already. Interestingly here solar flares are really buggering up radio reception. All I can get are mealy mouthed Canadians.
    Definitely a case of silence is golden!!
    Cheers for now.

  5. Hi Sipu.

    Very interesting series of lectures and Ferguson is an articulate and interesting speaker. I listened to most of them, but only the first fifteen minutes of the one this morning.

    I would really like to read the transcripts, if and when, they are available, or listen to them again. Rather a lot to absorb, but absolutely agree with the message this morning.

    It’s just that I was very impressed with the first one, but then I began to get the impression that some of his arguments and theories were a bit too slick, hence my desire to read them rather than listen.

  6. Sipu, good evening

    For a Weegie, he’s not that bad, to be fair.

    I’ve only heard the first one so far but have all four podcasts saved. I don’t know if the podcasts are available internationally but here’s the link in case they are.

    Like Ara, I thought that the first one was very impressive and I am looking forward to listening to the others.

    Sad news about Mark Boucher. He was a great player and it is a shame that he has been denied the 150 caps by such a cruel accident.

  7. Sipu (breath for effect) “….But I find it difficult not to agree with almost everything he says and it leaves me depressed that there are so many who would oppose his views.”

    He must be practically perfect then! 🙂

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