The Number 10 Podcast chronicles the life and times of British Prime Ministers and important political events that have lead us to where we are now.
With regular fortnightly historical episodes, group discussions, topical debates and interviews; you need look no further for your regular political fix, or to learn something new.
Ireland: 100 years on from Partition (with Ivan Gibbons)
In this episode, released on the 100 year anniversary of Irish partition, we talk with Ivan Gibbons about the statesmen involved in the decision and whether it was a success. We talk about the implications of partition that are still being felt to this day.
Throughout the twentieth century, partition would become the most contested and fought-over issue in Irish politics. But the history of how Ireland came to be divided and why at the time it was seen as the only workable solution, at least by the British, is much less understood. Our view is now clouded by the complex history and struggles of the century that followed, but Partition takes us back to the first decades of the 1900s. Gibbons tells us how the idea of dividing Ireland came about, how it gained acceptance and popular support, about its complex and controversial implementation, and the turmoil of the years that followed.
IVAN GIBBONS is a lecturer in Modern Irish and British history specialising in the relationship between the British Labour Party and Ireland. He was lecturer and MA and BA Programme Director in Irish Studies at St Mary’s University.
Book link: https://www.hauspublishing.com/history-and-biography/partition-how-and-why-ireland-was-divided-by-ivan-gibbons/
Want to learn more about partition before we reach it? The Hammersmith Irish Cultural Centre has released a number of great lectures that you can watch here: https://irishculturalcentre.co.uk/digital-lecture-series-2021/
Image: (Original Caption) 5/11/1916 – Dublin, Ireland: Easter Rebellion – Photo shows British troops armed with machine guns and rifles behind a moveable barricade composed of household furniture and which could easily be pushed foreward, in a street in the central section of Dublin. (Bettmann/Getty Images)
Europe, Brexit and the Future (with James Elles)
In this episode we speak with James Elles (former British MEP) about the changing relationship between Britain and Europe, as well as the steps that led to Brexit in a really fascinating conversation with a politician who has been involved in European and International politics since the 1970s.
JAMES ELLES was a British Conservative Member of the European Parliament from 1984 to 2014. He is the Co-founder of the European Internet Forum; the Founder and Chairman of the Transatlantic Policy Network; and the Honorary President of the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System.
Apologies as there are some sound quality issues; I’ve tried to scrub as many out as possible.
James’s book: https://www.hauspublishing.com/haus-curiosities/fiction-fact-and-future-by-james-elles/ Ideas Network 2030: http://ideasnetwork2030.com/ ESPAS: https://knowledge4policy.ec.europa.eu/organisation/espas-european-strategy-policy-analysis-system_en TPN: https://www.tpnonline.org/ European Internet Forum: https://www.internetforum.eu/
Spotlight: John Locke
“Men being, as has been said, by nature, all free, equal and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent.”
A quote there from our spotlighted special episode on a very special philosopher, the father of Liberalism, John Locke. He is arguably one of the most important modern philosophers influencing modern psychology, liberal ideology, British constitutional monarchy and even the United States Declaration of Independence.
Image is a painting by Godfrey Kneller, titled Portrait of John Locke (currently in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersberg, Russia).
Why would you want to be Prime Minister? (with Mark Garnett)
This week we talk to Mark Garnett, senior lecturer at Lancaster University in Politics, about the changing role of the Prime Minister and his new book “The British Prime Minister in an Age of Upheaval”. We talk about the motivations of individuals (duty and public service or ego and money?), the role of devolution and what the role of PM will look like in the future.
In this timely book, Mark Garnett provides a bracing reassessment of the role of the British Prime Minister, from Margaret Thatcher’s controversial tenure to Boris Johnson’s attempt to confront a pandemic with a ministerial team created to face the very different challenge of Brexit. Taking a thematic approach, Garnett explores the impact of major political developments and personalities on key aspects of prime ministerial functions as party leader, Cabinet-maker, chief diplomat and electoral talisman.
Much of the controversy over the position of Prime Minister, he concludes, arises from a confusion between the occupant’s inescapable political prominence and his or her – often limited – ability to achieve positive policy outcomes. With both David Cameron and Theresa May forced to resign since 2016, the book questions whether the nature of the job has become a deterrent for politicians who are motivated by a desire to serve the British public, opening the way for individuals with much less laudable motivations.
Available in all good book stores that are only a brick or a click away. Link to buy here:
E11- Elections in the 1700s
This week we look at elections and how they were conducted in the 1700s and pretty much all the way up to the Great Reform Act in 1832 (as well as other subsequent legislation).
We talk about pocket boroughs, rotten boroughs, pot wallopers and all your favourite 17th century electoral slang, as we deep dive into what you would have needed in order to gain the vote or more importantly, be elected to Parliament.
Image credit to the wonderful William Hogarth, who painted “The Polling” and it is from “The Humours of an Election” series of 1755.
E10- Tackers, Jacobites & Sacheverell
We continue today talking about Queen Anne, after talking in great detail about the Act of Union of 1707 that created the kingdom of Great Britain. We move back a little bit to talk about some other important areas of Anne’s life and rule.
Note: I realize after recording that I’ve pronounced Sacheverell’s name wrong; personally I think I’ve added flair, but I’ll let you decide.
Featured image: Portrait of Henry Sacheverell by Thomas Gibson.
Link to the picture mentioned at the end: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1868-0808-3439
Interesting, Intellectual & Entertaining!
Informative, yet extremely easy to listen to. Chris hits the mark in every way with this podcast, and I greatly look forward to what more is to come!
Promising, but very patchy
The analysis on some episodes are unhelpfully biased.
Fresh, independent and historical. Great for beginners to this important area of our political history and for more seasoned political historians, young and old.