Jonathan Freedland presents the series in which stories from the past are compared with current events.
Dominic Cummings and Civil Service Reform
Jonathan Freedland takes the Long View of Civil Service reform. With the PM’s Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings promising a ‘hard rain’ on the Service, Jonathan follows the story of Charles Trevelyan, the ‘stormy reformer’ of the 1850’s, who reshaped the Civil Service and made many enemies along the way.
Featuring Lord Butler, former head of the Civil Service and Dead Ringers star, Jon Culshaw. Historian Catherine Haddon from the Institute for Government and Sebastian Payne Whitehall journalist at the Financial Times.
Producer Neil McCarthy
Presidential Elections & Racial Turmoil
Jonathan Freedland takes the long view of presidential elections fought against a backdrop of racial turmoil, comparing 2020 with 1968, the year when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.
In 1968, Richard Nixon adopted a 'law and order' strategy to win over the so-called 'silent majority' in the face of escalating unrest. Donald Trump has adopted the same language in 2020 following outrage provoked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The law and order approach worked for Nixon in 1968 - will it work for President Trump this November?
Readings are performed by Clarke Peters who stars in the latest Spike Lee film, Da 5 Bloods and who played detective Lester Freamon in the hit TV show The Wire.
Jonathan is also joined by Dr Peniel Joseph, who holds a joint professorship at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the History Department at The University of Texas at Austin; Asma Khalid, political correspondent for NPR and co-host of The NPR Politics Podcast; and Corrin Rankin, founder of the Legacy Republican Alliance.
Producer: Laurence Grissell
Racism in sports crowds
The racist chanting and gestures of several members of the crowd at a recent England international match in Bulgaria was a stark reminder that Racism in sports crowds is still an issue that hasn't been driven from stadiums around the world. There have also been recent episodes in British domestic football, particularly in the Manchester derby in which one man in the crowd was given a lifetime ban for what the club believes was clear racist gestures towards two Man Utd players. But there was an ugly situation back in 1810 during a Boxing bout between Tom Cribb, the champion of England, and his African American former slave rival Tom Molyneux. In fact a number of the crowd which numbered thousands turned to violence against Molyneux when he appeared to have gained the upper hand in what was the most important sporting event in the country at the time. An invasion of the ring resulted in an injury to Molyneux's hand which made victory all but impossible.
What Molyneux did about it and how the Boxing authorities tried to quell the racial tensions is the story told by Historian Peter Radford, with contributions from Troy Townsend of the anti-racism movement Kick It Out and the former Manchester United and England player Paul Parker who has watched attitudes appear to change over his playing career only to see the ugliness return in the form of online abuse of players.
Producer: Tom Alban
Impeaching a President
With the fast-developing saga of the investigations gathering pace towards a possible impeachment of President Donald Trump, Jonathan Freedland and his guests explore the process of removing a US president from office and compare today’s events to those surrounding the first ever presidential impeachment 150 years ago.
Producer: Simon Elmes
Huawei and Siemens
Jonathan Freedland takes the Long View of suspected state espionage through technology companies.
He compares investigations into spy activity in Britain by Siemens employees for Nazi Germany in the run up to World War II and the allegations about Huawei’s 5G equipment containing 'back doors' that could be used by Chinese state intelligence.
Following the historical story from the National Portrait Gallery Archive, to the former tech corridor of the Great West Road and ending at the Churchill War Rooms Jonathan is joined by historian Rob Hutton, Chris Cook editor at Tortoise Media , Elisabeth Braw of the Royal United Services Institute, Chair of UK5G Ros Singleton and actor Greg Jones.
Producer Neil McCarthy
Extinction Rebellion and the Bonfire of the Vanities
Jonathan Freedland and his guests compare the Bonfire of the Vanities in fifteenth century Florence with Extinction Rebellion's Autumn Uprising.
Girolamo Savonarola was a Dominican Friar whose apocalyptic sermons inspired his followers, the Piagnoni or 'wailers' to take over Florence's streets and squares, challenging the authorities and condemning the consumption of sinful luxuries, such as mirrors, cosmetics and musical instruments.
Today's Extinction Rebellion activists have also staged city-centre protests, demanding radical action to reduce carbon emissions and the consumption of modern luxuries such as fast fashion and air travel.
Joining Jonathan to discuss past and present are Evelyn Welch, Professor of Renaissance Studies at King's College London, Tim Stanley of The Telegraph and William Skeaping of Extinction Rebellion.
Producer: Julia Johnson