Several key figures in the UK hold what are known as the Great Offices of State. Cameron, Osborne, May and Hague all occupy these great positions of power in the UK today. For GOVP2 or any course on the Governing of Modern Britain it is essential that you know about the secretive world that is these great offices. Whilst there is a wealth of information on the Prime Minister's Office little light is shed on the Treasury, Foreign Office or the Home Office. Thankfully the BBC has the provided a gold mine of information on these offices!
This scene from Yes, Prime Minister is an absolute beauty - working on so many levels.
With all that’s going on at the minute, I hope these clips brings some light relief…read more...»
With the Conservative Party Conference underway this week, I thought I’d post a little reminder of the speech made by the current Foreign Secretary to conference when he was a teenager.read more...»
Someone once said that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it certainly rhymes.
Talking to a colleague the other day, she suggested this could be a YouTube feature.
To start with then we have Black Wednesday. In the 1992 election the Tories pledged that membership of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) was at the heart of economic policy. For instance their manifesto of that year stated: “Membership of the ERM is now central to our counter-inflation discipline.” Several months later, the Chancellor Norman Lamont announced that Britain would cease to be part of it. From then on, all the way through to the 1997 election, Labour were well ahead in the polls. That the economy was powering ahead mattered little to the British electorate. Essentially the Conservative government never recovered its reputation for sound economic management until Labour then wrecked any credibility they had after the 2008 financial crisis.
What is interesting (and I am disappointed I couldn’t find a clip on YouTube of the individual standing behind Lamont on the day it was announced that interest rates would soar) is the identity of a young man acting as a special adviser to the Chancellor. Who was it? Where could he possibly be now? See if the picture below the BBC 6 o’clock news on Black Wednesday gives you any clue…read more...»
Can you do better than Rory?
With party conference season in full swing I thought of a good teaching and learning exercise on political parties after watching Rory Weal’s speech in Liverpool yesterday. It is essentially a combination of student tasks that I would do on party ideologies at AS anyway, with what candidates in mock elections would be doing in school. But this year we have a standard to beat. Personally I thought Rory delivered a great speech and clearly does not merit most of the flak that he has received from the kind of obviously unhinged people who post comments on YouTube.
If you have yet to see the speech, here is the BBC clip.read more...»
This is not intended to be an exhaustive journey through Barack Obama’s career, but instead to end the series on Politics via YouTube by bringing blog readers access to a step by step tour of some key points in the story of an individual with the kind of charisma and oratorical skill that comes around perhaps only once in several generations.
I have tried wherever possible to link to versions with the best combination of audio visual quality.
Put some time aside, and enjoy…read more...»
Having covered a fair amount of UK highlights, I thought I’d link to some top clips I use in US politics teaching.
These are all pre-Obama. I’m working on bringing video material on the current POTUS together for a future posting.
Happy viewing!read more...»
Intra school cooperation at its best as the Bradford Grammar Politics Department offered up these examples to the Social Science Faculty as part of my quest for more ideas on introducing British Politics via YouTube.read more...»
Gordo’s famous smile didn’t quite make it
Any ideas as to what should complete the 10?
Here are my 9 so far…read more...»
I don’t know how many blog users access the site for PSHE related stuff, but here are details of something I did with my 3rd form today.
I try to make the subjects topical to what is going on at the the time and the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was pretty obvious.
With access to a projector, most questions on the worksheet can be covered.read more...»
Just over 20 days left to catch More 4’s excellent behind the scenes documentary on Britain’s Supreme Court.
A great doc on Reagan is still avaliable on iplayer. The second half is strong on the strategies employed by Reagan as President in an attempt to fulfil the expectations that American people have of the POTUS.
Are politicians getting posher? This week Andrew Neil investigates whether Britain’s political class is once agaim dominated by those coming from privileged backgrounds. Here he is on the One show.
BBC blurb: “David Cameron and Nick Clegg seem made for each other: Eton and Oxford meets Westminster School and Cambridge. But does the return of public school boys to the top of our politics say something worrying about the decline of social mobility in Britain?
Andrew Neil goes on a journey from the Scottish council house he grew up in to the corridors of power to ask if we will ever again see a prime minister emerge from an ordinary background like his.
In this provocative film Andrew seeks to find out why politicians from all parties appear to be drawn from an ever smaller social pool - and why it matters to us all.”
A Times article on Clegg and Cameron.
Wednesday, 21:00 on BBC Two (England, Northern Ireland, Wales only)
Reapportionment and redistricting takes place after each decennial census. Figures for the 2010 census are due to be released shortly, and this USA Today video gives a short and helpful explanation of the reapportionment process.
You may have thought that George W Bush’s comments, following publication of his autobiography Decision Points, about being called a racist by Kanye West being the low point of his presidency would be the last we would hear of the New Orleans saga with regards to race. Not so. There is an ongoing trial of five officers into their involvement in the killing of a suspected looter.
If you operate a Politics Society and show films, documentaries that are not directly related to the syllabus you are studying, but are of genuine interest to students, or if you like watching a documentary of an evening at home, here is a pointer to a trio coming up on the beeb soon.read more...»
When conducting research for my previous posting I came across this. It seems that I can’t include three youtube clips in one posting, and it is a shame not to share this if you haven’t already seen it.
Down the left hand side of this page, often newsmax ask you to vote on whether Sarah Palin would get your vote in 2012. She is the theme of this posting.
I’ve come across a link to a host of documentaries that can be accessed online.
Advance notice of a couple of Vietnam related documentaries this week as part of the excellent Storyville series. Vietnam is a war that has left deep scars on the American psyche and heavily shaped US foreign policy through to the 9/11 era. Monday 15 February, BBC4 10pm.
The demon sheep ad produced as part of the Republican Senate primary campaign in California is being widely hailed as a pythonesque absurd spoof, but is actually a sign of poor political taste…read more...»
The first in a three part series on the great departments of state kicked off on BBC4 last night. You can catch this one on the Home Office for the next 21 days on iplayer here. It really was a fascinating insight into the internal politics of Whitehall.
Next week’s is on the Foreign Office, it should be equally fascinating. Michael Cockerill is a great documentary maker.
I’m sure teachers of American Politics won’t need reminding about the virtues of watching the Daily Show, but students may need a gentle reminder.
The episode broadcast in the UK last night contained a hilarious analysis of Sarah Palin’s major speech at the Tea Party conference in Nashville. Palin is a phenomenon and never quite manages to steer herself away from unintended controversy. If you’re not sure what I’m on about watch a replay from the Channel 4 website. Of course, Jon Stewart is presenting from a left wing perspective and I share many of his personal biases, so it may not be to everyone’s taste!!
There’s a useful two page spread on Obama’s presidency one year on in today’s Independent—here is the link to the web version.
The BBC devotes a special section to the one year anniversary.
And see how you get on with the one year quiz!!!
I’m definitely going to use all the abundant material for students to do a webquest presentation on his first year. A nice way to start Unit 4C having just completed the 3C exam. Andy Lawrence has posted details of a similar exercise on Cameron the t2u Pol teachers forum.
More interesting stuff on Obama for teaching and learning. A great article on Obama and race here. Younge is a corking journalist who has written two very readable books on the US, which are suggested reading for students of America. He has also made a documentary for the World Service entitled “Opposing Obama”, first airing scheduled for the 1st of Feb. List of times is here.
Obama and me on BBC Two might not offer great academic insight, but may give you a slice of insight into modern America.
Want to get a flavour of the degree of partisanship in modern American politics?
Say the Observer:
“Glenn Beck is a TV host, bestselling author and the most influential voice on the rightwing Fox channel. Now, even some Republicans worry that the extreme and maverick views of Beck and his supporters will make their party unelectable. Is the TV tail wagging the political dog?”
Read the rest of the article and listen to this classic five minute radio rant by the man himself. It takes a little time to load up, but it is hilarious. And just a little bit scary!read more...»
The BBC has launched a new online service that should make tracking politics on film easier.
There’s also a very useful section on the various governing institutions, what powers they have, and so forth.
I also came across a section on the online archives on Mrs Thatcher. Lots of clips and Panorama interviews that I once stored on VHS tapes.
The Thick of It returns this weekend with an eight week run on BBC Two and I for one cannot wait! The foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker has a new Secretary of State to deal with. Fans of In The Loop and earlier series of the Thick of It can now organise their Sunday nights until Christmas! Here is a preview article from the Independent.
Hillary Clinton is the Secretary of State!read more...»
What do a couple of the most powerful men in the world get up to at international summits?read more...»
William Hague doesnt want to answer questions about the “elephant in the room” - the tax status of Lord Ashcroft, the financier bankrolling the Conservative election campaign. That’s despite Jeremy Paxman asking him a few times…read more...»
A must-watch video shows Conservative MP facing the media and his constituents after a meeting of party members….read more...»
A classic example of how a well-orchestrated pressure group campaign can result in a dramatic change of government policy.read more...»
How one of this blogger’s favourite TV shows may help with revision
From the trailer this looks like a compelling production, so it’s recommended viewing for all Politics students.
26 Feb 2009, 21:00 on BBC Two
From the BBC press office:read more...»
On YouTuberead more...»
Race relations in the US Politics is probably the most interesting topic as far as my current crop of students are concerned. What better time to consider whether pursuit of the American Dream is a realistic proposition for African Americans than now. The inauguration of the first ever black President suggests that equality is possible, but a couple of the YouTube clips I use when considering the issue of race in America here suggest that race remains the main dividing line issue in the USA.read more...»
A heads up for Saturday’s Independent which comes with a free DVD of the original Frost v Nixon interview. This coincides with the release of the Ron Howard film ‘Frost/Nixon’ which is due for general release on Friday. I managed to catch it when in the US recently and it really is superb - a Politics class night out to the cinema?
Also in today’s paper, with Bush’s departure and Obama’s inauguration just days away, is the start of a seven part series on the lives of the presidents. Another reason to go out and get a copy. If you want to access the info online, the web link is here.
I wonder if you have been watching this TV miniseries on Channel 4. The next show is on Saturday 10 January at 5.15 pm.
It really is quite excellent and essential viewing for students of American Politicsread more...»
There was an excellent documentary at the weekend on the possibly declining influence of the religious right. You can access for the next 29 days on Channel 4’s catch up site
I can’t find any way to download it permanently, so if there are any technophiles out there who know how…!
I have also included the first part here from YouTuberead more...»
It may have escaped your attention that Saturday was not only the 45th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, but also the 18th anniversary resignation of Mrs Thatcher as PM.
Perhaps an opportune time to consider the importance of each historic figure.
There is almost unlimited information out there on the web on both, but my contribution is the link to a clip of Oliver Stone’s film on JFK’s shooting. I think it is some of the best politics on film.read more...»
It is unlikely that news that Rahm Emanuel has been chosen as Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff has escaped the attention of blog readers.read more...»
I can’t seem to find the victory speech by Obama in Grant Park in full on YouTube, but this is the link to the BBC version:
Saturday More 4 at 7.05pm The story of Barack Obama and John McCain
As America prepares to go to the polls this Tuesday in what many consider to one of the most historical presidential elections in decades, Jon Snow narrates The Choice , a one-off documentary special which presents the story of Barack Obama and John McCain, and asks what do these two very unlikely presidential contenders say about the state of America at this crux moment in time?
Then at 11:20 pm on the same channel, Dispatches: Jon Snow’s American Journey
As Obama and McCain’s gladiatorial showdown enters its final week, Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow goes in search of the new America. Starting at the border with Mexico, Snow takes a road trip up the Pacific highway linking San Diego to Seattle, travelling though areas of great affluence, deprivation, innovation and tradition to find out about the new Americans, new economy and new directions that are shaping the next America.
On Channel 4 at 9.05 pm: Recount
Austin Powers director Jay Roach investigates the Florida voting scandal of 2000. Made-for-TV drama starring Kevin Spacey, Denis Leary, Laura Dern and Tom Wilkinson
If only some UK political interviews could be finished in a swift, no-nonsense way like this…read more...»
What the papers said about the first contest between McCain and Obamaread more...»
Sunday 9.00 pm BBC4 is showing ‘How to Be a Good President: Time Shift’. The blurb from their website states:
‘In a whistle-stop tour through the history of the US presidency, journalist and author Jonathan Freedland asks what qualities make a great president and what we can learn from the likes of Theodore Roosevelt, JFK or even Richard Nixon about what it takes to make a mark in the White House.
Freedland is helped by distinguished contributors including James Naughtie, Shirley Williams, Douglas Hurd, Simon Hoggart and Bonnie Greer, who give frank assessments of some of America’s greatest presidents.’
A hat tip to Jack Barnes on this one.
A clip from the BBC of Nixon campaigning in 1972
Conservative politician John Redwood has been tipped as a successor to the current Shadow Chancellor George Osborne. Were Redwood to get the role, you can expect plenty of media replays of this famous rendition of the Welsh national anthem.read more...»
The wonderful thing about YouTube is that you can relive some memorable political moments. Browsing tonight, I came across this classic. You could pause the video and ask your students - what happened next?read more...»
Jeremy Paxman has established a fearsome reputation for grilling politicians. This collections of clips shows Paxman at his interrogative best…read more...»