I still grieve the loss of Hindsight on Radio National. It was a 50 minute podcast on historical issues that had enough time to tease out a question, and it had good historians as contributors. However, as part of Radio National’s quest for younger, flightier audiences, 50 minutes was obviously deemed to be too long, and Hindsight’s stunted sibling Rear Vision survived where Hindsight was axed.
Nonetheless, even in its truncated 30 minute form, Rear Vision an interesting podcast.
So, two Rear Vision podcasts that accompanied me on the bus while the railway works are taking place this week:
- Church and State in Australia which first aired on 15 October 2017, in the midst of the marriage equality survey. It features Roy Williams who wrote Post God Nation and Michael Hogan from the University of Sydney. Michael Hogan points out that under the Australian constitution, the states (but not the Commonwealth) still have powers to impose religious observance, not that they would exert them and they would be constrained by other laws passed since. Roy Williams makes the interesting observation that the Church and State were most in synergy during the first twenty years of the twentieth century, when the social legislation governing temperance, gambling and prostitution laws were passed. Michael Hogan talks about the toxic effects of Ne Temere, the edict issued at the beginning of the 20th century by the Vatican which invalidated marriages between Protestants and Catholics. The podcast concludes with Chris Soper, one of the authors of The Challenge of Pluralism; Church and State in Six Democracies, who compares the State/Church relationship in Australia with US, UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
- A Brief History of a National Obsession, which aired on 20 August 2017, examines home ownership in Australia from a historical perspective. The program features a number of economists, urban designers and policy specialists, but it also features one of my favorite historians, Graeme Davison, who makes some really insightful contributions. He is best known for The Rise and Fall of Marvellous Melbourne, Car Wars and he has a recent book City Dreamers, the Urban Imagination in Australia which I have here on the shelf and must read one day. (He also wrote his memoir Lost Relations which I reviewed here). The topic is approached chronologically, leading up to about the last 20 years.