The Battles That Won Our Freedoms

Episodes

TitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
1 Freedom from Absolute Monarchy20190107

In this first episode, Phil Tinline asks historian Professor David Carpenter to explain how Magna Carta challenged King John's tyranny in 1215 - and asks exiled Saudi human rights activist Ghanem Almasarir what he makes of the story, given his own experience of perhaps the nearest thing the world today has to an absolute monarchy.

Producer: Phil Tinline

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

10 Freedom of Information20190118

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks Professor David Vincent to trace the history of the struggle against Britain's culture of secrecy, culminating in a series of causes celebres in the 1980s, particularly the sensational acquittal of senior civil servant, Clive Ponting. Ponting was charged with leaking sensitive information about the sinking, during the Falklands War, of the Argentinian warship the General Belgrano. His defence was that he had leaked the information to an MP in the public interest, and despite questions about whether this was a tenable defence, the jury found him not guilty. Professor Heather Brooke recalls how she used the Freedom of Information Act - eventually passed in 2000 but not active until 2005 - during her years of campaigning to expose the MPs' expenses scandal. And she reflects on how free information is in Britain compared to America.

Producer: Phil Tinline

How the British public won the right to know more of the truth about the conduct of power.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

2 Freedom from Unlawful Detention20190108

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain, and how this looks from 2018.

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith about his use of the law of 'habeas corpus' on behalf of a British prisoner in Guantanamo Bay - and asks historian Dr Rachel Hammersley to explain how this attempt to stop unlawful detention emerged from the power struggle between Parliament and King in the 17th century, before finding its way to America.

Producer: Phil Tinline

The story of the struggle for 'habeas corpus' in an England on the verge of Civil War.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

3 Freedom of Religion20190109

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks Professor Justin Champion how the idea of religious toleration emerged from the struggles of post-Civil War England, going from being a horrifyingly radical idea in the 1670s to becoming law in 1689 - at least for Protestants.

And Phil questions Dr Richard Scott, author of 'Christians in the Firing Line', about his experience as a Christian doctor in Britain today - and how it relates to the innovations of the 17th century.

Producer: Phil Tinline

How post-Civil War England produced a radical idea - Toleration - and its role today.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

4 Freedom of the Press20190110

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks Dr Robin Eagles to explain how the 18th century journalist, politician and libertine went to prison for criticizing the King. And how, undaunted by gaol, exile and a duelling injury, Wilkes fought back - and managed to get the government to concede the right of the press to write about, and criticize, Parliament.

And Phil asks Milton Keynes journalist Sally Murrer what she makes of Wilkes' battles, given her own experience. In 2007 Sally was bugged, arrested and charged with aiding and abetting misconduct in public office in relation to her conversations with a source in the police. More than a year passed before the evidence was finally ruled inadmissible, with the judge citing her right to freedom of expression.

Producer: Phil Tinline

How a libertine called John Wilkes fought for the right to criticize the powerful, and won

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

5 Freedom of Association20190111

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks Professor Jon Lawrence to explain how Victorian working men struggled to form unions with real power - and why they trusted judges more that governments. Bike courier Max Dewhurst, Vice President of the recently-formed Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, talks about their efforts to unionise the 'gig economy' - and reflects on how the foundational struggles of the mid-19th century compare with the situation today.

Producer: Phil Tinline

The struggle of Victorian working men to form trade unions with real negotiating power.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

6 The Abolition of Atlantic Chattel Slavery20190114

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks Dr Christienna Fryar about the slave rebellion in Jamaica in 1831, led by the enslaved Baptist preacher Samuel Sharpe, and how it contributed to Britain's abolition of slavery. And Dr Fryar and Kimberly McIntosh of the Runnymede Trust reflect on the long-term legacy of slavery, and how free black people are in Britain today.

Producer: Phil Tinline

The Jamaican slave rebellion that contributed to Britain's abolition of slavery.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

7 Catholic Emancipation20190115

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks Professor Marianne Elliott to tell the story of Daniel O'Connell's long struggle in the early 19th century to free Catholics from old laws which stopped them becoming going to university or participating fully in British public life, culminating in the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829. Siobhain McDonagh MP reflects on what O'Connell's battle means to her, and explains why she campaigned to lift a restriction left over from the 1820s that remained in law throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Producer: Phil Tinline

The long struggle to free pre-Victorian Catholics from laws barring them from public life.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

8 The Married Women's Property Act20190116

Dr Sharon Thompson tells the story of the struggle of Victorian women, led by a largely forgotten figure called Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, to win wives a crucial freedom: the right to own their property, keep their own earnings, and to be counted under the law as citizens in their own right.

Energy trader Julie Arnold finds out how the 1882 law that resulted from this struggle shaped the result of her 2017 divorce case.

And Dr Thompson also explores how the struggle for separate property rights helped to pave the way for women winning the vote in the early 20th century.

Producer: Phil Tinline

The struggle to win married women's right to own property and be counted as full citizens.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

9 Gay Rights20190117

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks Professor Frank Mort about the journalist Peter Wildeblood's prosecution for homosexual offences in 1954, Wildeblood's risky decision to be open about his homosexuality - and how this intersected with the work of the committee appointed by Churchill's last government to explore the possibility of changing the law. Stonewall founder Lisa Power recalls how it was only after male homosexual acts were partly decriminalised in 1967 that the movement for gay liberation took off. And how, after the failure to stop Section 28, the late 1980s saw the birth of a new approach - which began a mainstream political struggle to win the freedoms of today.

Producer: Phil Tinline

The decriminalisation of homosexuality, and the struggle for equal rights that followed.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

Catholic Emancipation20190115

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks Professor Marianne Elliott to tell the story of Daniel O'Connell's long struggle in the early 19th century to free Catholics from old laws which stopped them becoming going to university or participating fully in British public life, culminating in the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829. Siobhain McDonagh MP reflects on what O'Connell's battle means to her, and explains why she campaigned to lift a restriction left over from the 1820s that remained in law throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Producer: Phil Tinline

The long struggle to free pre-Victorian Catholics from laws barring them from public life.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

Freedom from Absolute Monarchy20190107

In this first episode, Phil Tinline asks historian Professor David Carpenter to explain how Magna Carta challenged King John's tyranny in 1215 - and asks exiled Saudi human rights activist Ghanem Almasarir what he makes of the story, given his own experience of perhaps the nearest thing the world today has to an absolute monarchy.

Producer: Phil Tinline

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

Freedom from Unlawful Detention20190108

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain, and how this looks from 2018.

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith about his use of the law of 'habeas corpus' on behalf of a British prisoner in Guantanamo Bay - and asks historian Dr Rachel Hammarsley to explain how this attempt to stop unlawful detention emerged from the power struggle between Parliament and King in the 17th century, before finding its way to America.

Producer: Phil Tinline

The story of the struggle for 'habeas corpus' in an England on the verge of Civil War.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

Freedom of Association20190111

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks Professor Jon Lawrence to explain how Victorian working men struggled to form unions with real power - and why they trusted judges more that governments. Bike courier Max Dewhurst, Vice President of the recently-formed Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, talks about their efforts to unionise the 'gig economy' - and reflects on how the foundational struggles of the mid-19th century compare with the situation today.

Producer: Phil Tinline

The struggle of Victorian working men to form trade unions with real negotiating power.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

Freedom of Religion20190109

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks Professor Justin Champion how the idea of religious toleration emerged from the struggles of post-Civil War England, going from being a horrifyingly radical idea in the 1670s to becoming law in 1689 - at least for Protestants.

And Phil questions Dr Richard Scott, author of 'Christians in the Firing Line', about his experience as a Christian doctor in Britain today - and how it relates to the innovations of the 17th century.

Producer: Phil Tinline

How post-Civil War England produced a radical idea - Toleration - and its role today.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

Freedom of the Press20190110

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks Dr Robin Eagles to explain how the 18th century journalist, politician and libertine went to prison for criticizing the King. And how, undaunted by gaol, exile and a duelling injury, Wilkes fought back - and managed to get the government to concede the right of the press to write about, and criticize, Parliament.

And Phil asks Milton Keynes journalist Sally Murrer what she makes of Wilkes' battles, given her own experience. In 2007 Sally was bugged, arrested and charged with aiding and abetting misconduct in public office in relation to her conversations with a source in the police. More than a year passed before the evidence was finally ruled inadmissible, with the judge citing her right to freedom of expression.

Producer: Phil Tinline

How a libertine called John Wilkes fought for the right to criticize the powerful, and won

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

From Magna Carta to Victorian Trade Unions20190111

Phil Tinline asks historians to trace the story of struggles for liberty in Britain, and invites people still involved in those struggles today to give their take on the history.

In this Omnibus edition of the first half of the series, we follow the story from the 13th century to the 19th century, through battles against absolute monarchy and unlawful detention, and for freedom of religion, and of the press, and of association.

And Phil asks a Saudi exile, a lawyer, a Christian doctor, a journalist and a trade union activist what they make of these early struggles for freedom - and what light it sheds on their experiences today.

Producer: Phil Tinline

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

The Abolition of Atlantic Chattel Slavery20190114

In this episode, Phil Tinline asks Dr Christienna Fryar about the slave rebellion in Jamaica in 1831, led by the enslaved Baptist preacher Samuel Sharpe, and how it contributed to Britain's abolition of slavery. And Dr Fryar and Kimberly McIntosh of the Runnymede Trust reflect on the long-term legacy of slavery, and how free black people are in Britain today.

Producer: Phil Tinline

The Jamaican slave rebellion that contributed to Britain's abolition of slavery.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

The Married Women's Property Act20190116

Dr Sharon Thompson tells the story of the struggle of Victorian women, led by a largely forgotten figure called Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, to win wives a crucial freedom: the right to own their property, keep their own earnings, and to be counted under the law as citizens in their own right.

Energy trader Julie Arnold finds out how the 1882 law that resulted from this struggle shaped the result of her 2017 divorce case.

And Dr Thompson also explores how the struggle for separate property rights helped to pave the way for women winning the vote in the early 20th century.

Producer: Phil Tinline

The struggle to win married women's right to own property and be counted as full citizens.

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

Week One Omnibus - From Magna Carta to Victorian Trade Unions20190111

Phil Tinline asks historians to trace the story of struggles for liberty in Britain, and invites people still involved in those struggles today to give their take on the history.

In this Omnibus edition of the first half of the series, we follow the story from the 13th century to the 19th century, through battles against absolute monarchy and unlawful detention, and for freedom of religion, and of the press, and of association.

And Phil asks a Saudi exile, a lawyer, a Christian doctor, a journalist and a trade union activist what they make of these early struggles for freedom - and what light it sheds on their experiences today.

Producer: Phil Tinline

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.

Week Two Omnibus - From the Abolition of Atlantic Slavery to the Freedom of Information Act20190118

Phil Tinline asks historians to trace the story of struggles for liberty in Britain, and invites people still involved in those struggles today to give their take on the history.

In this Omnibus edition of the second half of the series, we follow the story from the fight to abolish Atlantic chattel slavery, through 19th century campaigns for Catholic Emancipation and married women's right to own property, to the 20th century and the struggle for gay rights, and freedom of information.

And Phil asks an anti-racism campaigner, a Catholic MP, a woman who won a landmark divorce case, a gay rights activist and an investigative journalist what they make of these earlier struggles for freedom - and what light it sheds on their experiences today.

Producer: Phil Tinline

A new series exploring the long history of struggles for liberty in Britain.