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Free Thinking Festival: Harriet Harman - Politics Fast and Slow

Harriet Harman, first elected a Labour MP in 1982, talks to Philip Dodd about championing women’s rights and sustaining a political career in a fast-changing political world.

Harriet Harman, who has just written her autobiography A Woman’s Work, was first elected a Labour MP in 1982 and has served as the acting leader of her party twice in her career. She talks to Free Thinking presenter Philip Dodd about championing women’s rights and sustaining a political career in a fast-changing political landscape.

In his final year of office, President Obama talked about how difficult it is today to keep the public focused on the long term when the short term response has taken over. “The 24-hour news cycle”, he said,” is just so lightning fast and the attention span I think is so short that sometimes it's difficult to keep everybody focused on the long term.”

Are UK politicians now better at campaigning than producing policies that look to the future?

Recorded as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival in front of an audience at Sage Gateshead.

Producer: Luke Mulhall

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43 minutes

Podcast