The relationship between those who wield power and those whose job it is to tell us what they are doing has always been fraught with tension. Politicians now expect to be on camera and facing aggressive questions from the moment they open their front door to the moment they return home at night. Everything they say and do is instantly broadcast and dissected on 24-hour news channels, blogs, and Twitter. It was not always this way.
Live from Downing Street takes us on an absorbing journey through the hard-fought battles for the right to tell the public about the decisions taken on their behalf. Parliament once imprisoned those who dared to report what MPs had said. Broadcasters used to be banned by law from debating anything newsworthy and even from covering elections. Since that censorship ended, the two sides have clashed repeatedly. We follow the fluctuations of the power struggle from Walpole to modern times, dwelling in fascinating detail on those who fought back - Churchill, Wilson, Thatcher, and Blair.
At the same time we learn of the emergence of the equally charismatic key players from radio and television: the Dimblebys, Day, Frost, Walden, Paxman, and Humphrys. Nick Robinson provides a colourful and personal examination of what life is like as the BBC’s Political Editor – a role described in a report for the White House as "the most important job in British political journalism".
Peppered with informative but witty anecdotes, his account reveals his own considered view of the controversial issue of impartial reporting. Live from Downing Street is a gripping story written by someone uniquely placed to add his own perceptive insights and observations.
©2012 Nick Robinson (P)2012 Random House AudioGo 2012
Was pleasantly surprised that it included a sort of mini-history of the BBC and news journalism, which makes this book much more interesting than simply a potted-history of 10 Downing Street's reporting.
The incredible stuffiness and inability to realise the value of, first radio, then television. The fact that it took the Queen to put down a firm fott with regard to the planning of her coronation
the interesting conversations and quick, witty exchanges
President Bush 43 telling Nick to cover his Bald spot'
Nick, mistakenly thinking he was out of earshot muttered, I didn't know you cared
Bush . I don't
Do stop asking this daft question. It took nearly a week of careful listening. Then I started it all over again and found stuff I had missed the first time
Fascinating. I even twittered him admiringly
"Live from Downing Street"
I am a great fan of political memoirs but often find them very plodding over detailed as the author goes from childhood to the last gasp of his subject. Nick Robinson account of political life during his time is detailed, fresh and witty. He manages to portray an intimate knowledge of his subject without subjecting his readers to endless detail which does not enhance the picture or enjoyment of the book.A five star read from an author who knows his subject well.
"Interesting Book, Appalling Accents"
Great content. Well narrated too apart from possibly the worst attempt at almost every kind of accent you care to mention. Still worth listening to, just brace yourself.
"A VERY EASY LISTEN"
The is a very enjoyable, well written and very well read political potboiler. Whilst not exactly ground breaking, it is nevertheless a well compiled review of the author's career and the political leaders that populate it. Although it didn't tell me too much that I hadn't read about in various places, it certainly held my attention and I enjoyed enough to give it 4 stars.
A fascinating book. I think what you will take away is a good appreciation of how the BBC works with its constituents (the licence payers) and its titular (assumed by the titulator) 'boss', the government of its day. I was sorry to hear this book end.
"Insightful and interesting"
One of the best
The Journey by Tony Blair
Power in the raw...
I understand why Nick could not narrate this book whilst he still works for the BBC, but it would have been great to have heard the book through his voice.
"Good, but not one of the best in the genre!"
I don't think the extensive history of political journalism fitted very well. A little would have been appropriate, but there was so much that, together with the chapters on more modern times, it felt like two separate books!
I would say, its a good listen for the section an individual might prefer (I skipped several chapters and I rarely do that), but I'd suggest they read/listen to Andrew Rawnsley's excellent 'The End of the Party' in preference if they haven't read it already! Also Andrew Marr does the history better.
It was narrated well, but the advantage to the audio book are not about the narrator!
"A good insight into the Blair/Brown years"
A good insight into the Blair brown years, but I found the history of political journalism quite boring. Still an interesting book all in all.
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