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Listen to Nick Robinson, the BBC political correspondent, on David Lloyd George

April 3, 2009 2:40 PM
LG walking

David Lloyd George, radical, reformer, war leader and world statesman

Nick Robinson, the chief political editor of the BBC, has recorded a 15 minute programme about David Lloyd George in the series 'The Prime Ministers' for Radio 4. You can still hear it on BBC iPlayer - where it will be available for the next four days by following the link:


The programme has excerpts of interviews with Neil Kinnock, Roy Hattersley (who is writing a biography of Lloyd George), Gordon Brown, Margaret MacMillan (the historian and great-granddaughter of LG), Ffion Hague (author of the recent book about Lloyd George and his women, who talks about Frances Stevenson) and with Nick Clegg who suggests that LG famously failed to remember that peacetime politics is not, cannot and should not be the same as wartime politics.

The programme is a fascinating entree into the great successes LG brought to British politics, not just his great wartime role but his radicalism in helping to create a welfare society, his contribution to democratic and constitutional reform - the 1918 general election was the first at which women could vote, his People's Budget paved the way for the clash with the House of Lords which ensured the primacy of the elected chamber and his reform of Cabinet government during the war provided a more efficient and lasting model. It also touches on his failures, particularly the sale of honours and his colourful love life but also his political failure in relying on the Conservatives in his peacetime coalition and so losing touch with the radical roots which had conveyed him into Parliament.

Don't miss it.