The Westminster Hour (summary)

Andrew Rawnsley reports from behind the scenes at Westminster.

Including at 10.45pm (Rptd Wed 8.45pm): The Brandreth Rules for Ministers.

2/2

Congratulations.

You've made it.

You're a minister.

In the second of these programmes, Gyles Brandreth, a onetime minister himself, reports on the triumphs and disasters of ministerial life and explains the rules for moving onward and upward.

How to get the best out of the civil service, how to keep on top of the red boxes, how to stay on good terms with your colleagues, and how to impress the only person who really matters, the Prime Minister.

And then, when it all comes to an end, as it inevitably will, how to make as dignified an exit as possible.

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Episodes

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Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm

:

How to beat Jeremy Paxman

Jeremy Paxman is regarded as Britain's toughest television interviewer.

Politicians know that a bad interview with Paxman can destroy their credibility.

But are there ways an interviewee can fight back against a man prepared to ask the same question 14 times? Steve Hewlett picks apart the Paxman interviewing technique and talks to the politicians who have survived a Paxo stuffing.

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm

:

How to beat Jeremy Paxman

Jeremy Paxman is regarded as Britain's toughest television interviewer.

Politicians know that a bad interview with Paxman can destroy their credibility.

But are there ways an interviewee can fight back against a man prepared to ask the same question 14 times? Steve Hewlett picks apart the Paxman interviewing technique and talks to the politicians who have survived a Paxo stuffing.

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm

:

The Lloyd George Papers

Using the wealth of private letters and documents stored at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, this programme provides a rare insight into the personal and political life of one of the 20th Century's greatest political figures - David Lloyd George.

Presented by Trevor Fishlock.

2/2.

Covering the First World War, becoming Prime Minister, Lloyd George's rift with his brother, his affair with Frances Stevenson and his withdrawal from politics.

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm

:

The Lloyd George Papers

Using the wealth of private letters and documents stored at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, this programme provides a rare insight into the personal and political life of one of the 20th Century's greatest political figures - David Lloyd George.

Presented by Trevor Fishlock.

1/2.

Covering Lloyd George's early life, marriage, becoming an MP, opposition to the Boer War, relationship with Wales, entering the Cabinet and the People's Budget.

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm

:

The Gentleman Usher

A look at the unusual post of The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.

In a rare interview, the previous holder of the post, Sir Edward Jones, recalls the tights, the trappings and the trials, as he kept the House of Lords in order.

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm:

The Greeks, For Better or Worse

Paul Cartledge, Professor of Greek History at the University of Cambridge, reflects on the similarities and differences between democracy today and in ancient Greece.

2/2.

Becoming a Citizen

How hard was it to become and to remain a citizen in ancient Athens? Do we get the balance right today between what is expected of a citizen and what a citizen is entitled to expect?

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm:

The Greeks, For Better or Worse

Paul Cartledge, Professor of Greek History at the University of Cambridge, reflects on the similarities and differences between democracy today and in ancient Greece.

2/2.

Becoming a Citizen

How hard was it to become and to remain a citizen in ancient Athens? Do we get the balance right today between what is expected of a citizen and what a citizen is entitled to expect?

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm:

The Greeks, For Better or Worse

Paul Cartledge, Professor of Greek History at the University of Cambridge, reflects on the similarities and differences between democracy today and in ancient Greece.

1/2.

Vote 'Em Out Or Chuck 'Em Out

Was the ancient system of ostracism better than today's representative democracy? How would contemporary politicians feel if the electorate could banish them for a decade?

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.40pm:

How to Write a Political Diary

Gyles Brandreth lays down more rules on how to achieve success and avoid failure - this time in the art of writing a political diary.

The former MP and Minister is a dedicated and distinguished diarist himself: his volume Breaking the Code is a dramatic, vivid and amusing portrayal of the ups and downs of the Major government.

He travels through the rich pastures of the political diary.

3/3.

Risks and Pitfalls

As a diarist you can become an onlooker rather than a participant in events, and keeping a diary can be a hindrance to high office - very few diarists make it to the very top.

Plus there is a danger that you will do or say things simply for the sake of the diary.

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm

:

1/2.

The SDP Diaspora

How refugees from a defunct political party of the 1980s ended up at the top of all three major parties a decade later.

Presented by Mark D'Arcy.

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm:

How to Write a Political Diary

Gyles Brandreth lays down more rules on how to achieve success and avoid failure - this time in the art of writing a political diary.

The former MP and Minister is a dedicated and distinguished diarist himself: his volume Breaking the Code is a dramatic, vivid and amusing portrayal of the ups and downs of the Major government.

He travels through the rich pastures of the political diary.

2/3.

The Rules

Alan Clark said there were four rules for diaries, the four 'I's - Immediate, Indiscreet, Intimate and Indecipherable.

Gyles looks at those rules.

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm:

How to Write a Political Diary

Gyles Brandreth lays down more rules on how to achieve success and avoid failure - this time in the art of writing a political diary.

The former MP and Minister is a dedicated and distinguished diarist himself: his volume Breaking the Code is a dramatic, vivid and amusing portrayal of the ups and downs of the Major government.

He travels through the rich pastures of the political diary.

1/3.

The Lessons of History

Brandreth looks at the qualities of the great political diarists - from Pepys to Tony Benn, from Chips Channon to Harold Nicholson, from Barbara Castle to Richard Crossman and the rest.

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm:

2/2.

The SDP Diaspora

How refugees from a defunct political party of the 1980s ended up as key advisors in Tony Blair's government.

Presented by Mark D'Arcy.

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm

:

1/2.

The SDP Diaspora

How refugees from a defunct political party of the 1980s ended up at the top of all three major parties a decade later.

Presented by Mark D'Arcy.

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm

:

The Party's Over

Shaun Ley on short-lived political parties.

3/3.

Troskyite Militant Tendency

Troskyite Militant Tendency operated as a party within the Labour Party until its members were dramatically expelled in the 1980s.

Shaun Ley hears from former Labour leader Lord Kinnock, Baroness Boothroyd, Derek Hatton and Peter Taaffe.

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm

:

The Party's Over

Shaun Ley on short-lived political parties.

2/3.

Vanguard

At the height of the Northern Ireland conflict in the 1970s, Vanguard rallied Unionists against direct rule from Westminster and opposed power-sharing.

It split when its leader, William Craig, called for a coalition with the nationalist SDLP.

Contributors include former Vanguard member David Trimble, who later became Northern Ireland First Minister.

Andrew Rawnsley previews the week in politics.

Includes at 10.45pm

: The Party's Over

1/3.

Shaun explains why New Labour isn't anything new.

The first man to use the title was Oswald Mosley, just before he left the Labour Party to found The New Party in 1931.

Mosley is now remembered as the demagogue who led Britain's pre-war fascists.

In fact, he'd begun his career as a Conservative MP in 1918, and by 1930 was a rising star of the Labour government.

But his conviction that unemployment could only be tackled by government intervention led to his resignation.

His journey out of the mainstream began with the foundation of the New Party, a movement which attracted intellectual heavyweights and renowned sportsmen.

Its birth coincided with the most traumatic period in Labour Party history, as the cabinet split on the question of unemployment, and the Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald broke with his party to form an alliance with Liberals and Conservatives.

For a time, it looked as though Mosley would seize the moment.

His love of hedonism, however, may have cost him his best chance of changing British politics.

The failure of the New Party would condemn him to a life on the margins, and lead to him becoming one of the most reviled figures in British political history.

Shaun Ley hears from contemporaries of Mosley and historians who tell the inside story of The New Party, recall Mosley's extraordinary charisma and personality, and discuss what a Mosley premiership might have been like.

Andrew Rawnsley reports from behind the scenes at Westminster.

Including at 10.45pm

:

Mr Ambassador

2/2.

In the second essay on his job as Europe's Ambassador to the United States, the former Irish Taoiseach John Bruton talks about relations between America and the EU, which he regards as 'the most important economic relationship in world history'.

Andrew Rawnsley reports from behind the scenes at Westminster.

Including at 10.45pm

:

Mr Ambassador

1/2.

John Bruton, the former Taoiseach of Ireland, describes what it's like to represent 25 countries as Europe's Ambassador to the US - a job he refers to as 'more telephone than megaphone'.

Andrew Rawnsley reports from behind the scenes at Westminster.

Including at 10.45pm

:

Movies with a Message

3/3.

In the final part of his series about political films, the Oscar winning film producer David Puttnam looks at Ken Loach's film Hidden Agenda which presents a disturbing picture of the UK in the 1970s and 1980s.

Andrew Rawnsley reports from behind the scenes at Westminster.

Including at 10.45pm

:

Movies with a Message

2/3.

In a series about political films, the Oscar-winning film producer David Puttnam looks at I'm All Right, Jack, the movie starring Peter Sellers as the bolshie shop steward, which reflected the nation's anxieties about growing industrial conflict in the late 1950s.

Andrew Rawnsley reports from behind the scenes at Westminster.

Including at 10.45pm

:

Movies with a Message

1/3.

In a series about political films, the Oscar winning film producer David Puttnam looks at the inspirational public information film Diary for Timothy made by the renowned film maker Humphrey Jennings at the end of the Second World War.

Andrew Rawnsley reports from behind the scenes at Westminster.

Including at 10.45pm

:

Politically Charged

2/3.

In a series about politically controversial legal cases, Clive Anderson looks at the dramatic case of the Shrewsbury Pickets, jailed in 1973 for conspiracy to organise violent picketing - one of whom was the now famous actor Ricky Tomlinson.

Andrew Rawnsley reports from behind the scenes at Westminster.

Including at 10.45pm

:

Politically Charged

1/3.

In a new series about politically controversial legal cases, Clive Anderson looks at the dramatic 1972 trial of Peter Hain for disrupting all-white South African sporting tours.

Hain, now a cabinet minister, talks about his commitment to direct action.

Andrew Rawnsley reports from behind the scenes at Westminster.

Including at 10.45pm

:

Politically Charged

1/3.

In a new series about politically controversial legal cases, Clive Anderson looks at the dramatic 1972 trial of Peter Hain for disrupting all-white South African sporting tours.

Hain, now a cabinet minister, talks about his commitment to direct action.

Andrew Rawnsley reports from behind the scenes at Westminster.

Including at 10.45pm (Rptd Wed 8.45pm): The Brandreth Rules for Ministers.

2/2

Congratulations.

You've made it.

You're a minister.

In the second of these programmes, Gyles Brandreth, a onetime minister himself, reports on the triumphs and disasters of ministerial life and explains the rules for moving onward and upward.

How to get the best out of the civil service, how to keep on top of the red boxes, how to stay on good terms with your colleagues, and how to impress the only person who really matters, the Prime Minister.

And then, when it all comes to an end, as it inevitably will, how to make as dignified an exit as possible.