Politics UK Programme Archive
Oct to Dec 2009
Spending cuts, pay freezes and tax increases - can such a package of pain from government ministers halve Britain's ballooning borrowing requirement? Or is it too little, too late? Is happiness perhaps the answer - should politicians concentrate on increasing people's well-being? Why has class war erupted in Westminster? And what is the attraction of politics to the writers of fiction? Presented by Norman Smith

 Politics UK first broadcast on the 11th December 2009

This week the Australian opposition leader was deposed by his party because he supported government plans for carbon trading. In Britain growing reservations have been expressed by Conservatives about their leader David Cameron?s commitment to measures designed to combat global warming. On politics UK this week we examine the re-emergence of climate scepticsm with leading scientist Professor Mike Hulme, and the former Tory Chancellor Nigel Lawson, founder of a think tank devoted to the subject. If he wins the general election, David Cameron has also promised that policing in England and Wales will be entrusted for the first time to elected commissioners. We?ll be debating the pros and cons with a supporter of the idea, the Spectator magazine?s political editor James Foesyth, and an opponment, Rob Garnham, chairman of the Association of Police Authorities. And how close are the Scottish National Party to achieving their dream of an independent Scotland? This week the SNP government in Edinburgh published plans for a referendum on the subject. Political scientist Professor James Mitchell is an expert on Scottish politics, and he?ll bring us up to date. Presented by Dennis Sewell.

 Politics UK first broadcast on the 4th December 2009

Britain?s equality commission has suggested a question on sexual preferences should be included in the national census. A useful aid to policy-makers, or an unwarranted intrusion?
Hospital accident and emergency units treated over 800 thousand people last year for sickness and injuries related to alcohol. We ask if raising the price of drink is the answer.
And whatever happened to dream of casting a vote by computer or text? We find out from the organiser of Britain?s annual conference on e-democracy. That's on Politics UK this week with Susan Hulme.

 Politics UK first broadcast on the 27th November 2009

This week the British Government unveiled the final package of laws ministers want to pass before the next election, in what's known as the Queen's Speech. Will the measures help reform public services? Or did the announcements amount to a launch of the ruling Labour Party's manifesto? The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, said it should be possible to begin handing over provinces in Afghanistan to Afghan troops and authorites from next year. Is this evidence that the Government is preparing an exit strategy? A survey suggests nearly a third of people are not yet convinced global warming is caused by human activity. What can politicians do to persuade them? Presented by Norman Smith.

 Politics UK first broadcast on the 20th November 2009.

Is the war in Afghanistan actually winnable? Will ten new nuclear power plants in Britain save us from global warming or put the world in peril? And is it wrong to joke about wounded soldiers? Presented by Susan Hulme.

 Politics UK first broadcast on the 13th November 2009

On Politics UK this week we ask whether the Kelly report into MPs expenses can save the reputation of the House of Commons, and we'll be discussing the way the party leaders have handled the crisis.

David Cameron's Conservative party is digesting a new policy on Europe after their leader was forced to abandon a promised referendum on the Lisbon treaty. We'll hear why some in his party have doubts about his new plans to protect British sovereignty from further encroachments by the EU's institutions.

Ballot papers were sent out this week in Wales where Labour party members are electing a new leader. Labour used to dominate politics in the principality ?but have recently suffered a steep decline in support. We'll find out why.

And we'll hear why one British local authority is planning to run services like refuse collection and street cleaning, on the lines of a low-cost airline. The North London borough of Barnet has been dubbed "easy-council", after its leader suggested residents could choose the level of service they wanted, and pay for extras. Presented by Norman Smith.

 Politics UK first broadcast on the 6th November 2009

With the Lisbon treaty all but signed, the British government is heavily canvassing support for Tony Blair to take the newly created post of president of the European council. But there's intense opposition, not least from Britain's conservatives, who've launched their own bid to derail the former prime minister's bandwagon. British schoolchildren are taught that slavery in this country was abolished over 200 years ago- well not quite. The House of Lords has been told an estimated one thousand people are still being kept, quite legally, in servitude. Surrender this week for the government over proposed cuts to Britain's territorial army. A Tory MP and serving TA major explains the fuss. And we meet two members of Britain's Youth parliament as they prepare for their first historic debate in the Commons. Presented by Ben Wright.

 Politics UK first broadcast on the 30th October 2009

The leader of the far right British National Party appeared on one of the BBC's flagship political programmes amid a huge amount of controversy and protest. How did the programme go? Will it help the BNP to gain support? British MPs may be banned from employing their relatives to run their offices. Is this latest idea to clean up politics a step too far? Why are many activists in the main opposition Conservative party up in arms because their leader says he is considering imposing all-women shortlists? And do celebrities make good politicians? All that in Politics UK, presented by Dennis Sewell.

 Politics UK first Broadcast on the 23rd October 2009

The scandal surrounding the expense claims of British politicians comes back to haunt them as they return to Parliament after the summer break. Will the story ever end? The Prime Minister Gordon Brown's experiment to bring outside experts into Government has all but failed. Why is the British system so limiting: what do other countries do? And it's 25 years since the Brighton Bombing, the most serious terrorist attack on the British cabinet in modern times. Do the security precautions that have surrounded top politicians ever since get in the way of democracy? Politics UK is presented by Edward Stourton.

 Politics UK first broadcast on the 17th October 2009

Politicians are always asking how new technology can help them campaign. Have they found the perfect tool with social media? Or is it actually the best way for journalists and the public to hold politicians to account? In our final special debate from the UK political party conferences, Politics UK brings together journalists, politicians and social media experts to grapple with that issue and answer audience questions.

Peter Horrocks is Director of the BBC World Service; Jeremy Hunt is the MP for South West Surrey and the Shadow Culture Secretary; Douglas Murray is Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion; Benoit Thieulin is a social media expert. Presented by Robin Lustig

 Politics UK first broadcast on the 10th October 2009

Democracy activists are always looking for new ways to get under the skin of repressive regimes. Are social media their latest weapon? Or can they actually help those regimes? In the second of our special debates from the UK political party conferences, Politics UK brings together journalists, politicians and social media experts to grapple with that issue and answer audience questions. Presented by Lyse Doucet.

 Politics UK first broadcast on the 3rd October 2009

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