John Harris

Journalist & Author

Politics Weekly podcast: Michael White’s political year

This was the year that the government hoped would see economic growth return. The initial public goodwill enjoyed by the new coalition government would be built upon and Britain would gradually accept that cuts to some services were necessary. The private sector was waiting to step in to employ those laid off by the state and a “big society” would be willing to lend a hand. It didn’t quite pan out like that.

The economic recovery faltered as a new recession grew ever more likely. Unemployment in Britain grew steadily. Citizens, students and trade unionists protested in their thousands. Major cities witnessed mass riots. In the Middle East, the revolutions of the Arab spring tested the new government’s foreign policy. As did complex negotiations with Europe.

Against this backdrop parliament has been an often sombre place in 2011. Michael White has been in the press gallery for much of it. He’s witnessed the weekly battles between Ed Miliband and David Cameron. He saw the government struggle to contain a rebellion over Britain’s relationship with the European Union. And he witnessed the best of the chamber in a principled and learned debate over the military action in Libya.

Michael hears from MPs about their abiding memories of the 2011 (including Bernard Jenkin, Liam Byrne, Claire Perry and Ed Balls) and looks back on how the major events were covered in Politics Weekly. With John Harris, Severin Carrell, Rupert Neate, Larry Elliott and Allegra Stratton.

The podcast returns in 2012: click here to subscribe via iTunes.

Leave your thoughts and your own highlights of the political year below.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 at 2:45 pm and is filed under Guardian RSS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. « The West Midlands Euro road trip – video | The scale of the challenge is shocking us into action | John Harris »
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