44 min

What Does Jeremy Think‪?‬ TALKING POLITICS

    • News

This week we talk to Suzanne Heywood about her memoir of her late husband, Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood - the man who helped to run Britain for more than two decades, working with four different prime ministers. From Black Wednesday to Brexit, from the Blair/Brown battles to the surprising successes of the Coalition, Jeremy Heywood had a unique position at the heart of British politics. We discuss what he did, what he learned and what he wished had turned out differently. 


Talking Points:


The book starts with the ERM crisis.
- This was the start of a story that arguably runs through Brexit.
- Jeremy told David Cameron that he would need to address immigration with Europe, but he knew that this would be difficult.


Blair had a huge parliamentary majority; this meant he could do many of the things that Jeremy wanted to see done.
- Jeremy was positive about how much had been achieved, particularly in public services.
- Progress was more difficult under Brown. The financial crisis created enormous strain.
- Jeremy and Gordon Brown worked very closely together on the financial crisis.


During political transitions, all the ‘in-flight’ initiatives pause. Any one of them may or may not land as you previously expected.
- As a civil servant, you also have to be able to switch your personal loyalties.
- The change in style between governments can be significant. New administrations come in with a new language, a new tone.
- Civil servants have to keep the show on the road, and also adapt.


At what point do civil servants have to swallow their personal objections and get on with things? 
- Ministers represent the electorate; civil servants support ministers in delivering on their promises.
- Civil servants can push and make certain arguments, but once a decision is made, they have to move forward with implementation.


Jeremy’s real genius was in relationships.
- He inspired people; they wanted to do their best for him.


Mentioned in this Episode:
- What Does Jeremy Think? Suzanne Heywood


Further Learning: 
- The Talking Politics Guide to … Being a Civil Servant
- ‘Remembering Jeremy Heywood,’ in The Guardian
- Bronwen Maddox reviews Suzanne’s book for the FT
- From our archives… The Next Referendum? 


And as ever, recommended reading curated by our friends at the LRB can be found here: lrb.co.uk/talking
 
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Become a member at https://plus.acast.com/s/talkingpolitics.

This week we talk to Suzanne Heywood about her memoir of her late husband, Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood - the man who helped to run Britain for more than two decades, working with four different prime ministers. From Black Wednesday to Brexit, from the Blair/Brown battles to the surprising successes of the Coalition, Jeremy Heywood had a unique position at the heart of British politics. We discuss what he did, what he learned and what he wished had turned out differently. 


Talking Points:


The book starts with the ERM crisis.
- This was the start of a story that arguably runs through Brexit.
- Jeremy told David Cameron that he would need to address immigration with Europe, but he knew that this would be difficult.


Blair had a huge parliamentary majority; this meant he could do many of the things that Jeremy wanted to see done.
- Jeremy was positive about how much had been achieved, particularly in public services.
- Progress was more difficult under Brown. The financial crisis created enormous strain.
- Jeremy and Gordon Brown worked very closely together on the financial crisis.


During political transitions, all the ‘in-flight’ initiatives pause. Any one of them may or may not land as you previously expected.
- As a civil servant, you also have to be able to switch your personal loyalties.
- The change in style between governments can be significant. New administrations come in with a new language, a new tone.
- Civil servants have to keep the show on the road, and also adapt.


At what point do civil servants have to swallow their personal objections and get on with things? 
- Ministers represent the electorate; civil servants support ministers in delivering on their promises.
- Civil servants can push and make certain arguments, but once a decision is made, they have to move forward with implementation.


Jeremy’s real genius was in relationships.
- He inspired people; they wanted to do their best for him.


Mentioned in this Episode:
- What Does Jeremy Think? Suzanne Heywood


Further Learning: 
- The Talking Politics Guide to … Being a Civil Servant
- ‘Remembering Jeremy Heywood,’ in The Guardian
- Bronwen Maddox reviews Suzanne’s book for the FT
- From our archives… The Next Referendum? 


And as ever, recommended reading curated by our friends at the LRB can be found here: lrb.co.uk/talking
 
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Become a member at https://plus.acast.com/s/talkingpolitics.

44 min

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