• News Feeds
Page last updated at 10:30 GMT, Friday, 30 December 2011
Today: Friday 30th December

Guest edited by the former House of Commons speaker, Baroness (Betty) Boothroyd, featuring a look at Scottish independence, House of Lords reform, post-apartheid South Africa and her garden's pest problem. Presenting this morning is Sarah Montague and James Naughtie.

The business news with Lesley Curwen.

The Labour Party says there has been a "shocking" increase in the cost of care provided by local councils. They have carried out a survey of what different councils charge and found huge differences depending on where you live. Liz Kendall is the shadow minister for care and older people.

Files released today at the national archives, 30 years on, show how the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher and her home secretary Willie Whitelaw considered arming the police to deal with the riots of 1981. The civil disturbances were the worst for 60 years. The Today programme's Sanchia Berg has been looking at the files.

The business news with Lesley Curwen.

Our guest editor Baroness Boothroyd wanted the Today programme to explore the debate about the future of the United Kingdom and specifically the potential impact of Scottish independence. Admiral Lord West, former First Sea Lord and former Labour security minister, raises questions of defence which he believes are not being properly considered in the public debate.

The sport news with Rob Bonnet.

Today's guest editor Baroness Boothroyd was speaker of the House of Commons for eight years. As a result she has an in-depth knowledge of how parliament works. She is worried about the government's proposals for a mainly elected House of Lords. Her concerns are shared by Vernon Bogdanor, Research Professor at the Institute for Contemporary History at Kings College London, so we asked him to detail his case against change. Also on the programme is Mark Harper, Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform.

The paper review.

Our guest editor today Baroness Boothroyd is a big fan of musical theatre. Despite the troubled economy, figures out next year from the Society of London Theatres, which represents 52 theatres, are likely to show that box office takings in 2011 were more than half a billion pounds. Our arts correspondent Rebecca Jones reports.

Thought for the day with the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

The government files from the 1981 summer riots are being released this week. It conveys the ministers reaction to the riots of that year in south London and Liverpool. Lord Heseltine, the environment secretary of the day, was given the job of revitalising Liverpool with the help of £100 million in public money. 0810
Today's guest editor Baroness Boothroyd made history as the first, and to date, only female speaker in the House of Commons. She believes that people should rise according to their merits and not as a result of positive discrimination. However, she abhors the idea that talented women are held back by a glass ceiling that, though cracked, is still well and truly in place. Evan Davis met with Lucy Neville Rolfe, executive director and a member of the board of Tesco, Lorraine Heggessey, the first female controller of BBC1, and Rachel Lomax, former deputy governor of the Bank of England.

Lord Howe, chancellor in 1981, presents his view on this morning's Lords reform debate and Lord Heseltine's comments regarding the 1981 riots in Liverpool. Newly-released records show that he apparently argued against spending public money on what he called the "stony ground" of Merseyside. But Lord Howe 9669313

Our guest editor today Baroness Boothroyd has a love/hate relationship with her garden, in Cambridgeshire. The trouble is that she is the victim of various intruders such as moles, voles, rabbits and stray deer. So the BBC's James Naughtie tried to help, with a pest control expert who is used to dealing with everything that the neighbourhood can throw up.

The sport news with Rob Bonnet.

Today's guest editor Betty Boothroyd was an anti-apartheid campaigner in her youth and watched South Africa's emergence from apartheid with great joy. She welcomed Nelson Mandela to Westminster Hall in 1996 as South Africa's first democratically elected leader. However Baroness Boothroyd wonders whether South Africa's dreams of a better, fairer future for all South Africans have soured since those jubilant days. Three prominent South Africans: the Nobel Prize winning author Nadine Gordimer, Jay Naidoo, a minister in Nelson Mandela's administration and Moeletsi Mbeki of the South African Institute of International Affairs, discuss South Africa's recent history.

The business news with Lesley Curwen.

Despite undergoing open-heart surgery two years ago, our guest editor Baroness Boothroyd is, at the age of 82, "in fine fettle" - something that those who meet her often comment on. But why is that? Is she reaping the rewards of a healthy lifestyle? Baroness Boothroyd wanted some answers and so she commissioned our science correspondent Tom Feilden to find out.

Our guest editor Baroness Boothroyd wanted the Today programme to explore the debate about the future of the United Kingdom and specifically the potential impact of Scottish independence. Angus Robertson, SNP Westminster Leader, Defence Spokesperson and Campaign Director for the SNP's Referendum Campaign talks about the party's attitudes about, and aims for, defence.

Our guest editor Baroness Boothroyd asked to cover the proposal to reform the House of Lords. She is worried about the government's plan to replace the existing House of Lords where everyone is appointed with one where the majority of members are elected. To debate this is Lord Adonis, a former Labour transport secretary who is now a director of the Institute for Government and Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty.

Baroness Boothroyd reflects on her experience as guest editor.



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific