The Long View

The Long View

United Kingdom

Jonathan Freedland presents the series in which stories from the past are compared with current events.


The EU Referendum and the English Reformation  

The Long View of Brexit, comparing it with the English Reformation. Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch is the lead historian explaining that Henry VIII broke away from the Ecclesiastical control of Rome with the help of his 'fixer' Thomas Cromwell. However, Cromwell's ambitions were driven by his Protestantism whereas Henry was interested in securing his legacy and not making substantial changes to the national religion. In the event it wasn't Henry but his second daughter Elizabeth who enshrined Protestantism in English law, with a number of particularly English twists, not least the maintaining of the Cathedral system with its Choirs and Choral tradition that she loved. Very soon there were people complaining that she hadn't pushed far enough with her reforms... and it became clear that rather than break with Europe, the Reformers were keen on a united European religion in the form of Protestantism. Meanwhile, in the longer term the country was split so profoundly that it's echoes were still being felt when the Civil War broke out over a century later. Guests included Pro Brexit MP Crispin Blunt, Pro Brexit Economist Ruth Lea, moderate remainer and briefly Brexit fixer Oliver Letwin MP and Prof David Runciman of Cambridge University. The readings are given by Anton Lesser. Producer: Tom Alban.

Pioneering Women  

As Hillary Clinton becomes the official Democrat candidate for US President, with aim of becoming the first woman to take that role, Jonathan Freedland takes the long view of pioneering women politicians, examining how Nancy Astor became the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons - in a constituency previously represented by her husband. Astor faced intense press scrutiny, and a presumption that she should focus on issues such as child welfare - but she also enjoyed the renown of the Astor name. With historians Jacqui Turner and Gary Gerstle, political commentator Kate Andrews, Christiane Amanpour from CNN, Melanie Unwin, deputy curator of the Parliamentary Art Collection and Mari Takayanagi, archivist at Parliament. The reader is Kathy Clugston.

Military Drones and the 'Robo-planes' of the 1940s  

Military drones today and the Nazi V1 and V2 weapons. With Jonathan Freedland

Celebrity Football Managers  

As pre-season training gets underway and transfer business goes on a-pace Jonathan Freedland takes the Long View of celebrity Football management. The new season will see the clash of several of the world's greatest managers lead by Jose Mourinho of Manchester United and Pep Guardiola of Manchester City. It was a similar story in Manchester back in the mid 1960s. Matt Busby had been at United since the war building championship winning teams and a formidable reputation. City were languishing in the second division. But with the arrival of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison, City found a combination to challenge their Manchester rivals. And it really was a case of the Managers being the all important figures. When England won the world cup in 1966 it was Joe Mercer who'd just lead City to the old 2nd Division championship who was part of the BBC Television World Cup panel, endearing himself to the nation by referring to Pele as Peely. Jonathan is joined by a former City player Paul Hince, Dr Colin Shindler, a screenwriter, academic and fanatic City fan, Sarah Collins who covers the city's sport for BBC local radio and Paul Gilroy of the League Managers Association. They discuss the then and now and the curious way in which - in these two eras - it was the Managers who were in the limelight. Much has changed, not least in terms of global reach, money and the international flavour of the Premiership, but at heart it's the same - the men on the pitch will be playing, and did play, in the shadow of the Celebrity Managers. Producer: Tom Alban.

Donald Trump and the Politics of Celebrity  

Jonathan Freedland focuses on the rise of Donald Trump through the prism of the past, by examining the careers of three high-profile 20th century Americans who became rich, famous and entered the political arena. Jonathan's guests include Professor Anthony J. Badger, former Paul Mellon Professor of American History at Cambridge University; James P. Rubin, who was the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs under President Bill Clinton; Robert Singh, who is Professor of Politics at Birkbeck, University of London and a specialist in US government and politics and the politics of American foreign policy; Kate Andrews, Head of Communications and Research Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute; she is also a spokesperson for Republicans Overseas UK. Producer Julia Johnson.

Online Dating and the Lonely Hearts Ad  

With the annual surge in online dating at the start of the New Year, Jonathan Freedland takes the Long View of internet dating by looking at a social network from 1898 devised to bring strangers together in marriage or companionship. The 'Round About', set up by newspaper editor and philanthropist WT Stead, encouraged subscribers to submit a profile and a photo and an album of users would be sent out monthly to other subscribers. Potential suitors could then correspond via the "Conductor" at the Central Office of the publication. The Lonely Hearts Classified Ad was born and took off in popularity at a time when the middle classes in London, living increasingly in suburbia, found it difficult to make romantic acquaintances. It was, however, not without controversy as allegations of moral corruption flew about when it was suspected that illicit liaisons were being sought through the adverts. Producer Neil McCarthy.

Slave Labour and Consumer Power  

Jonathan Freedland examines current debates about ethical shopping and production, in the light of early 19th century campaigns to boycott goods which involved slave labour. Producer Clare Walker.

John Thurloe, Cromwell's postmaster, and the interception of mail  

Jonathan Freedland finds out how today's concerns about the privacy of our communications, and debates about encryption, have intriguing precedents in the 17th century. Producer Clare Walker.

Today's crisis in dairy farming and the wheat crisis of the 1930s  

Jonathan Freedland takes the long view of history looking at the past behind the present. On a farm in Cambridgeshire he compares the current Dairy Crisis with the 1930's Wheat Crisis. Freedland, accompanied by an agricultural historian, rural affairs correspondent, farmer and an actor whose line about "Accrington Stanley" immortalized the Milk Board, compares both crises. Then as now a global glut in supply led to plummeting prices and failing farms in Britain, smaller farms suffered and farmers were forced to diversify. But what lessons can the dairy industry learn from how the wheat crisis was handled in the 1930's? Answers solicited down on the farm. Producers Neil McCarthy and Kate Lamble.

Vietnamese refugees in 1979  

Jonathan Freedland compares Britain's response to refugees from Vietnam in the 1970s with our reaction to refugees from Syria today. Thousands of Vietnamese refugees came to the UK from 1979, were placed in camps and then dispersed around the country. Jonathan and his guests ask how well Britain met the needs of those Vietnamese refugees, how they and their children adapted to life in the UK and what their experience tells us about today's refugee crisis. Producer Julia Johnson.

The Long View of Popularising Exploration  

Jonathan Freedland and guests use a story from the past to throw light on and inform debate about an event currently in the news.

The Living Wage  

Jonathan Freedland examines current debates about the "living wage" in the light of a publication by woollen manufacturer, Sir Mark Oldroyd in 1894. As Liberal MP and the owner of a number of mills in Dewsbury in Yorkshire, he delivered a lecture to the Dewsbury Pioneers Industrial Society called "A Living Wage". It said: "A living wage must be sufficient to maintain the worker in the highest state of industrial efficiency, with decent surroundings and sufficient leisure". Jonathan is joined by Dr Stephen Davies from the Institute of Economic Affairs, Dr Sheila Blackburn from the University of Liverpool, Margaret Watson, former editor of Dewsbury Reporter, Father Simon Cuff, a leader with Citizens UK and actor Barrie Rutter.

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