Monday, 15 July 2013

On gaffes

Here's a radio gaffe from November 2012 featuring Britain's Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sachs. 

He's just delivered his Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4's Today programme and is asked by the presenter Evan Davies about the escalating conflict in the Gaza Strip. Sachs doesn't realise he's still live on air. Then he does, and changes tack. Listen here 

Sachs is a distinguished public figure and a very honourable man, although his breathily intimate 'round midnight' broadcasting voice has never much appealed to me. I'd like him to expand the unguarded comment he makes into an extended analysis, rather than rehearsing the usual default-setting homilies that make up Thought for the Day. The contrast between what he says publicly and what he thinks privately is, of course, revealing, and (to be fair) he is admirably unflustered when he realises that he's been caught out. The opposite is unimaginable - that a politician (say) having delivered some concrete statement about the conflict in Iraq then makes an unguarded and heartfelt remark about the real value of prayer.

I wish this happened more often. It's always useful to know what our religious and political leaders really think.

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