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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 17:45 GMT 18:45 UK
Brian Walden on political rivalries
Ernest Bevin
Ernest Bevin

There is no friendship at the top, David Lloyd George once remarked.

And the truth is that personal feuding between politicians who are supposed to be on the same side can be a vital motivating force in politics and is rarely anything less than fascinating.

In a series for The Westminster Hour in March and April 2002, the Labour MP-turned-broadcaster Brian Walden profiled the key figures in four rivalries which had a significant impact on British politics.

In the first part of 'Not while I'm alive, he ain't', Walden looked at the conflict between two giants of Attlee's postwar government - Ernest Bevin and Herbert Morrison - and explained the title of the series. Peter Mandelson, Morrison's grandson, is interviewed, along with the late Barbara Castle and Denis Healey.

Click here to listen to Walden on Bevin and Morrison

Click here to go to a transcript


Part Two: Walden reports on the conflict between Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson and the man who wanted his job, the mercurial cabinet minister George Brown. Castle, Healey, SDP founder Bill Rodgers and Brown's brother Ron provide their insights.

Click here to listen to Walden on Wilson and Brown

Click here to go to a transcript


Part Three: Into the eighties and the story of the two Davids at the top of the Alliance, which promised in vain to break the mould of British politics. David Owen took over the leadership of the new Social Democratic Party from Roy Jenkins, while David Steel told his Liberal activists to go back to their constituencies and prepare for government. Interviewees: Richard Holme, John Pardoe, John Cartwright, Alec McGivan.

Click here to listen to Walden on Steel and Owen

Click here to go to a transcript


Part Four: Brian Walden on how the relationship between Margaret Thatcher and her once-favoured Chancellor, Nigel Lawson, disintegrated until Lawson walked out on her. Interviewees: Norman Lamont, Sir Charles Powell, Andrew Tyrie, Sir Alan Walters.

Click here to listen to Walden on Thatcher and Lawson

Click here to go to a transcript



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