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Harriet Harman's acting leadership, Gender, River swimming

An assessment of how Harriet Harman is performing as acting leader of the Labour Party, and how she is handling the pressure of the leadership elections. Presented by Jenni Murray.

How is Harriet Harman performing as acting leader of the Labour party? We assess how she is handling the pressure of holding the party together in the face of tensions over the leadership elections. Gender and how we define it are discussed by a performer and a psychologist. Nothing to wear? How social media could be contributing to a throw-away fashion culture. The joys of swimming in the Thames.

Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Anne Peacock.

Available now

58 minutes


  • Harriet Harman: is she feeling the strain?

    Duration: 11:46

  • The Changing Face of Gender

    Duration: 09:13

  • Thames Swimmers

    Duration: 12:37

  • Fashion and Social Media

    Duration: 08:10

Harriet Harman: is she feeling the strain?

Labour’s acting leader Harriet Harman is facing increasing pressure in the wake of claims that the system of electing a new party leader is liable to widespread infiltration. This week she outlined measures open to local branches to check out new applications and prevent bogus voters in September’s leadership election. In recent weeks she was criticised for her party’s response to the government’s planned welfare changes, prompting a rebellion by 48 back benchers. How well is she standing up to what’s proving to be a testing time for the party and does she risk her term as interim leader being overshadowed by the rise of ‘Corbynism’? Labour MP Seema Malhotra and Guardian journalist Anne Perkins join Jenni to discuss.

Thames Swimmers

Thames Swimmers
In her latest book, Downstream, the writer, Caitlin Davies, explores the history of swimming in the River Thames and celebrates the stories of the pioneering female swimmers who have undertaken long distance swims in the river.  In the book, Caitlin traces the 215 mile course of the River, from its source in Gloucestershire to the Thames Estuary – and she does a few swims herself. Two women who swim in the Thames today are Katia Vastiau and Kate Bradley. Louise Adamson packed her swimsuit and headed for the riverbank near Abingdon to join them and Caitlin for a swim.
Downstream by Caitlin Davies is published by Aurum Press

The Changing Face of Gender

What is the difference between sex and gender? Is gender a social construct? How can the arts help people discover their gender? Jenni speaks with critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Ezra Furman and chartered psychologist Dr Lyndsey Moon about their discovery of gender and the ways in which views of the subject of gender are changing.

Fashion and Social Media

A recent survey shows that a third of women now consider clothes to be ‘old’ after wearing them fewer than three times. The research, carried out on behalf of the charity Barnardo’s to encourage donations to their shops, also reveals that 1 in 7 women say that social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram make them feel this way, because being pictured more than once in the same outfit means they feel bored with it. So is social media changing the way in which young women consume fashion and are fashion retailers using social media to get the inside story on what young trendsetters are wearing? Jenni is joined by fashion bloggers Sasha Wilkins of Liberty London Girl and Camille Charriere, who runs the Camille Over The Rainbow site and by Remy Millar, who works as Sasha’s Editorial Assistant.


Role Contributor
Presenter Jenni Murray
Producer Anne Peacock


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