How long would you like your Reaction podcast?


I thought I would send an email rather than leave a review.

This is just my view, and it may be that others see things very differently. The Reaction podcast is too long at one hour. I liked the Kim Darroch episode because it was only 20 mins.

The problem with an hour is that the contributors seem to talk because they have the time, which does not mean that there is more imparted. Indeed, it is often a repeat of what is on site. Other podcasts half hour to 45 mins can be OK so long as they stick to points and bring something new to the discussion.

Some of the Reaction points are good, but there is a tendency to waffle near the end and wander a bit on topics rather than driving the key points.

People don’t just download a single podcast – usually a series. I have about 10-15 that I listen to regularly, often while driving (travelling generally) or, particularly the short ones, to take a break from writing or doing something on the desk.

A one hour that doesn’t say enough is a waste of that time. If you have a loyal podcast following, then I am an outlier.

Reaction’s website content is great by the way.

David Hoey.


I completely disagree with your listener who suggested that the Reaction podcast should only be half an hour. One hour is fine.

The whole point of podcasts is to go at a leisurely pace and go into depth. If I want sound bites I will listen to BBC Radio 4. I love to hear properly what you are reading and thinking about.

My only comment is that I would prefer it to come out on Monday because so many other podcasts come out at the end of the week.

Patrick Shaw-Stewart (listening in San Diego, right now)

Response from the editor, Iain Martin: We decided to trial a half hour podcast last week. Opinion seems divided, with some listeners preferring an hour. We’ll conduct a more detailed survey of listeners and readers in September. And we may move to having several podcasts of different formats on a range of subjects each week.

Boris Johnson’s big gamble


The recent article on Boris Johnson (Boris has made a terrific start, 29th July) was very accurate. While no one can predict the detailed comings and goings over the next few months you are surely right that by early November we will either have left the EU or, should the government fall, be governed by a very fragile pro EU coalition.

Even in the latter event, Boris’s strategy of uniting the Leave forces makes sense since any such coalition will be harried mercilessly by the Leave party even if Boris no longer leads it. In the medium and longer term it seems a reasonable bet for the UK that Leave will eventually triumph.

David Gow


There has been a lot of speculation recently that Boris is going to hold an early general election. As though the country does not have enough problems, we are going to add a divisive election to the mix.

The consensus among many Tory commentators seems to be that if he does this then Boris can split the Remain vote and win a majority by getting all the Leavers on his side.

They seem quite blasé about the strong possibility that the Liberal Democrats are going to do very well and take a lot of Tory seats across the UK. Here in Scotland the Tories are particularly vulnerable to a backlash by centrist voters who have had enough of the mess caused by the Tories in London. I think the Tories are in for a big shock.

Clare Colquhoun

Cheap housing for sale (location suboptimal)


With reference to the article “Where in the world is the cheapest housing” (August 5th), I cannot advise you about the world but I suspect there are few houses for sale in Britain that are ready for occupation cheaper than this one:

Barrow Island, next to Barrow-in-Furness is only minutes from Walney Island with its nature reserve and wild Irish Sea coastline. What could be better?

Michael Ross