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Talking Straight

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 27 August 2011

Why can't politicians speak their minds? Instead of giving honest interviews, all too often politicians end up regurgitating the same soundbite over and over. What would be the consequences of greater openness? To what extent are the voters and the media responsible for driving this behaviour? Would the public prefer politicians to be more open? While voters often warm to a maverick, would they ever elect a government of mavericks? How do politicians themselves feel about having to be evasive? And has coalition government changed the rules of the game? Tim Samuels looks at what happens when politicians do speak their minds. He talks to voters, journalists, experts and politicians about whether it would be desirable for this aspect of our political culture to change, and whether it could ever happen?

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    Ask the public about the honesty of MPs and the typical knee-jerk response is that you cannot believe a word a politician says. But what if that politician is strapped to a polygraph?

    Read Tim Samuels' article on the BBC news website


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    Week in Westminster

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