Oh so glocal

Peter Florence has become made Hay Festival the epitome of the word glocal. He has taken the universal nature of words and sent them around the world from the most local of places, this small market town nestling against the English border. Today could hardly have been more glocal – the threat to the world environment discussed all morning, the restructuring of of Brecon and Radnorshire’s local schools all evening.

And in the middle, the senior scriptwriter for The Archers, Joanna Toye. I’m allergic to The Archers. I have been ever since the age of five when my mother insisted I got into my bath by the time the music started so she could listen to it with a large whisky and water. Now, of course, I see the point, at least of the whisky. Back then The Archers was the mouthpiece of the Ministry of Ag and Fish, a vehicle for government information. Using radio soaps as a way to inform communities isolated and poor is a strategy the UN  still uses, highly successfully, in Africa and Afghanistan.

Glocality again and the impact of fiction. ‘There’s a world out there,’ said Joanna Toye, ‘and we’re sitting in a script meeting for hours discussing who should be the judge of the Ambridge Flower Shower.’ Even Ambridge, it seems, like the schools in Powys, is not immune from cuts. The writers are now only allowed to cast 39 actors per week instead of 42.