Friday, 1 May 2015

Take Me to Your Leader

Election debates. Leadership interviews. Question Time Special. Party Election Broadcasts. It won't have escaped your notice that (in the UK) there's a General Election happening next week.

The political spectrum is much more fragmented these days and the parties are undoubtedly planning for coalition deals and agreements - even if they publicly deny this.

Cast your mind back to the mid-80s, at the height of Thatcherite Britain, and it was still a two-party system. But thoughts of a possible coalition government were on the minds of the Liberals and the (now defunct) Social Democrats who had formed the SDP-Liberal Alliance.

These four interviews feature the main party leaders (for the majority of the decade). Three come from a series of conversations with Michael Charlton, best known for Panorama, that were broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at a time when the station still carried current affairs amongst the classical music and drama (see Six Continents).

From 10 December 1985 this is Labour leader Neil Kinnock:

From 3 December 1985 this is Liberal Party leader David Steel:

From 26 November 1985 this is SDP leader David Owen:

And finally from an edition of The World this Weekend on 31 May 1987 is PM Margaret Thatcher talking to Gordon Clough.

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