In 2010 I made Dramatising New Labour, a documentary for Radio Four's Archive on 4 strand. It got some good reviews. Really, it did. The documentary was about how New Labour has been depicted on the screen and flowed from research contributing to this book and especially this article.
This was the first time I'd ever done such a thing and as I am about to start work on another radio documentary I thought it might be interesting to reflect on the experience and write progress reports on the new project. Increasingly academic are expected to make an 'impact' in what some call (dread
Journalist-turned-Labour MP Gloria de Piero has just concluded some research into why so many people these days appear to hate MPs. Having been elected in 2010 she was not yet used to the feelings of intense hostility to which many more established members of the Commons will have become immune. Her essential findings are that ordinary people feel that MPs are a 'Them' operating in a world very different to the one inhabited by 'Us'. On that basis she reportedly wants her party to reconnect with the people by, among other things, having beer and sandwich evenings and opening its doors to different kinds of candidates.
I wish Gloria the best of luck; but I wonder if she will succeed.
Christmas, 2013 that is.
If you want to 'pre-order' (dread phrase: why not just 'order' it?) my forthcoming book then I certainly won't stop you and you can do it here.
Be warned though, it will take some time arriving as I am due to submit the final manuscript to Bloomsbury in January, er possibly February.
The cover is, by the way, provisional: any suggestions for alternatives??
The second season of BBC2's The Hour has ended. Set around a late 1950s current affairs television programme based in Lime Grove, the series evokes the glamour of Mad Men more than the reality of working for the BBC at this time: none of the protagonists looks anything like portly Panorama presenter Richard Dimbleby.
What the series inevitably does not give its c. 1.5 million viewers is, then, an authentic insight into the period: instead it presents a picture of the 1950s observed through a bottle-thick twenty-first century
Apparently, it does not.
For the last few years the Political Studies Association – which its website claims ‘exists to develop and promote the study of politics’ – holds an Annual Awards ceremony to which it invites what passes in the political world for the glitterati - a politeratti?
The object, I think, is to raise the profile of the Association, and so the study of politics, by getting the event reported in the media by those journalists invited along for that very purpose. This year the event
In June I spoke at a conference on The Making of a Monarchy for the Modern World, one held in Kensington Palace, home of the young Princess Victoria; I actually delivered my paper in the bedroom she shared with her mother. Not at all weird, that! The organisers recorded my talk, so if you can bear my voice, here it is although you might be better off reading this History and Policy post which summarises my argument.
Then, in November, I delivered, the second Republic John Campbell Annual Lecture on the same
On 27th November I participated in Radio 4’s The State of Welfare. This marked the 70th anniversary of the publication of the Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Social Insurance and Allied Services – better known as the Beveridge Report, after its chair and inspiration William Beveridge (pictured above), something that is generally regarded as laying the foundations of the post-war welfare state.
The State of Welfare took up most of Radio 4’s morning schedule and I helped kick if off along with Jose Harris, by providing some context for the Report itself. For December 1942 was a very peculiar
There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle over Armando Iannucci’s acceptance of an OBE. Alastair Campbell has accused Iannucci of hypocrisy because, despite his situation comedy The Thick of It mocking the Establishment, he has happily received an honour from the same source.
As I have spent some time analysing The Thick of It, for my forthcoming study of politics and fiction, I thought I'd make a contribution to this debate for Ballots and Bullets.