'Let's be honest about the NHS'

  • 25 June 2018
  • From the section Health
Nick Robinson

Three years ago, Nick Robinson was diagnosed with cancer. The operation that successfully removed the tumour in his lung damaged his vocal cords. On Tuesday, he will present a debate about the future of the NHS at it approaches its 70th anniversary.

We can all delight in the fact NHS care is generally safer than in other systems - although the events at Gosport hospital are a reminder of the need not to be complacent - that it generally treats people with care and courtesy, is relatively cheap to run and gives the same level of care to rich and poor alike.

What, though, about those "healthcare outcomes" that put us "near the bottom" of the league table?

What, for example, about the illness I had - cancer?

Cancer survival rates here are significantly lower than in other countries. This is true not just of lung cancer but of other big cancer killers - in the bowel, in the colon, the pancreas and the prostate.

Read full article 'Let's be honest about the NHS'

Full text of Nick Robinson's Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture

Steve Hewlett
Image caption Steve Hewlett 1958-2017

Full text of the lecture as delivered at the Royal Television Society on 28 September 2017:

I am honoured to be asked to deliver this, the first annual Steve Hewlett memorial lecture.

Read full article Full text of Nick Robinson's Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture

Is 'guerrilla war' being waged on news broadcasters?

The words "fake news" typed on a vintage typewriter Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption How should the mainstream media tell the news in an increasingly fragmented world?

How should the BBC and other broadcasters respond to the changing media landscape including "guerrilla" attacks on social media? In an inaugural lecture to mark the contribution of the late Steve Hewlett to journalism, his friend and colleague Nick Robinson discusses the issue. Steve Hewlett, a BBC Radio 4 presenter and former Panorama editor, died this year from cancer. This is an edited version of that lecture.

News is too important to be reduced to a three-letter word.

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Nick Robinson: The dilemma of Remain voters

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Media captionSeven Remain voters discuss the choice they face in the UK general election on Radio 4's Today programme

In three weeks' time we will discover whether that referendum vote has dissolved the glue that bound voters to the party they have supported in the past.

That is what I have set out to examine in my Election Takeaways - a chat over a bite to eat with different groups of voters to discover what is on their minds and how they are going about deciding who, if anyone, to vote for.

Read full article Nick Robinson: The dilemma of Remain voters

Nick Robinson: How will Leave voters vote?

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Media captionLeave voters explain to Today's Nick Robinson who they would like to see lead Britain out of Europe

When the campaigning is over, the leaders' buses have been parked and the votes counted, one question is sure to be asked: "What on earth did they mean by that?!"

Politicians, pollsters and pundits like me spend our lives trying to delve into the psyche of those curious folk who, unlike us, are not overgrown election trainspotters who spend hours studying politicians' speeches, analysing their manifestos and nerdily swapping election trivia.

Read full article Nick Robinson: How will Leave voters vote?

First meeting of BBC 'Survivors' Club'

  • 27 February 2016
  • From the section UK
Frank Gardner, Andrew Marr, George Alagiah and Nick Robinson Image copyright @FrankRGardner
Image caption Clockwise (L to R): Frank Gardner, Andrew Marr, George Alagiah and Nick Robinson

It began as a throwaway line in a diary column I wrote to mark my traumatic return to full-time work at the BBC.

Traumatic because my debut on BBC Radio 4's Today programme was memorable largely for the scratchy sound of a voice struggling to cope with the demands I was making of it, after it was damaged in an otherwise highly successful operation to remove a tumour.

Read full article First meeting of BBC 'Survivors' Club'

EU referendum: The view from Swindon

A boxing training class at Lydiard Millicent Village Hall

How does being in the EU affect me? What difference would it make to me and my life if we left?

Let's be honest, few of us have ever had to give much, if any, thought to these questions. The fact we are members of a club of 28 nations is something most people take as a given - like the weather. However, now they are beginning to be asked as people to ponder how to vote in the EU referendum.

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Three key EU referendum questions

Nick Robinson

I don't know enough to decide. That is the cry you hear again and again if you ask people how they'll vote in the referendum on the UK's membership of the EU. Even political trainspotters like me would be hard-pressed to spell out exactly what remaining in the EU or leaving it would mean.

That's why we are all on a shared journey in which we should not look to "experts" to deliver us the "facts".

Read full article Three key EU referendum questions

Osborne aims for 'new settlement'

George Osborne Image copyright PA

It was indeed a "big" Budget - just as the chancellor said it would be.

It was delivered by a politician with "big ambitions".

Read full article Osborne aims for 'new settlement'