Alex Riley takes two young rookies into the workplace. Charlotte and Henrietta are passionate about politics and they enter the corridors of power to meet MPs.
Browse content similar to Politics. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Do you want to help people and make the world a better place?
Are you good at persuading people to agree with you?
And could you make really big decisions?
Then maybe you should consider a career in politics.
VOICEOVER: We're about to meet two rookies with massive aspirations.
We'll go behind closed doors to meet
some of the most important people in the country.
Hi, I've come to say hello to Charlotte and Henrietta.
To find out what MPs and other political big hitters actually do.
But have our rookies got what it takes?
Let's find out as we go All Over The Workplace!
Politics is a tricky business.
The winning elections, writing speeches,
thinking of new laws and taking huge decisions
like what to spend our taxes on
and how to respond to conflicts all over the world.
You'd have to be confident and committed to take that lot on.
Hi, I'm Charlotte and I want to be an MP.
-I first got interested in politics a few years ago
when I started wondering how the world works.
My friends aren't interested in politics at all.
They think it's really boring and they try and ignore me
when I talk about it.
Hi, I'm Henrietta.
I'm 10 and I'm from Worcester.
When I'm older, I want to be a parliamentary researcher.
I get my point across by arguing politely, sometimes.
I think it's important that young people get involved in politics
because it's their future
and also they need a chance to have their own say.
The rookies have travelled from their home towns to meet
Alex in Bristol, where they will set out on their political pathways.
Charlotte, to do the job you want to do,
-you actually have to get elected first.
-Yeah, I want to be an MP.
Now, Henrietta, what do you want to do?
-I want to be a parliamentary researcher.
Politics is a very demanding business.
What skills do you think you've got, Charlotte,
that would make you good in that area?
Well, I'm good at public speaking
and I've got lots of interesting ideas about politics.
I like writing speeches and finding things out.
Sounds like ideal skills. But here's what your parents think.
At home, Henrietta will talk for England.
As soon as she comes home from school
until she goes to bed at night, it's nonstop.
Charlotte can find compromise quite difficult
because she's got lots of strong views.
Sometimes, she is listening to her own opinion instead of
other people's opinions, so she'll need to take that on board.
Well, apparently you, Charlotte,
you find it very difficult to compromise. Is that fair?
Well, I do like to argue but I can compromise.
OK, we'll see about that, then. And what about you, Henrietta?
Apparently, you never stop talking long enough to hear
-somebody else's opinion.
-Well, I have to get my voice across.
-And I don't talk as much as some people.
Well, plenty to work on, I think there, really.
Now it's time for your first assignment. Come with me.
Politics exists anywhere that human beings gather
and has been with us for thousands of years.
It's the art of persuading people that your way of running things
is the best way.
Not everyone has the patience, though.
King Charles I wasn't really into politics.
In fact, he found Parliament a huge pain in the neck.
So he banned it in 1625.
Things backfired a bit for Charles, though,
as people started a rebellion and overthrew him
and then he had an even bigger pain in the neck
because they cut his head off.
Politics was back with a bang.
This is Charlotte Leslie. She's an MP.
As well as her passion for politics,
she loves sport and she helps run a boxing charity.
Have you got any top tips for our rookie politicians?
Firstly is be yourself.
You can't be anything if you're not yourself and no-one else is you.
So, always remember that.
Second is believe in something and know why you believe in it.
And thirdly, some people won't want you to believe in
what you believe in because it'll make life difficult for them.
So, don't give up.
VOICEOVER: Charlotte's top tips are...
..being unique can be a real plus.
..this will help that something matter to you.
..you'll always be challenged but stick to your beliefs.
I've got a constituency surgery and I want you to help me find out
what my constituents' questions are and what their issues are.
-Are you up for it? BOTH:
VOICEOVER: Charlotte regularly holds cafe politics events
for constituents to air their concerns.
Today, we're talking transport.
-And I'm Henrietta.
-Would anyone like to start?
I think a lot of the congestion in the city
is caused by the school run.
How can we encourage parents to get their kids to walk to school?
We could use a Parents Education Day.
-That's a very good idea.
Does anyone know what's happening in Bristol about the 20mph zones?
In my experience, the 20-mile an hour
have caused new problems with pedestrians
because they're on pedestrian crossings.
Cars just speeding past when it says the pedestrians can cross.
Do you think that a good idea can be made into a bad idea
-if it's not done well?
Thank you everyone for coming and sharing your brilliant ideas.
Yeah, they were really good. Thank you.
-Thank you very much.
I really enjoyed going to the MPs surgery
and it was really interesting listening to people's ideas
about transport in Bristol.
Today, I learned a bit about compromising because
some people's ideas, I was like, "Oh, yeah, I don't think of that."
Charlotte, you did absolutely brilliantly.
I was amazed at how fluent and how well you explained things.
Henrietta, you really put people at their ease
and they felt very, very able to talk to you.
VOICEOVER: Next up on their political trail,
the rookies travel north to Edinburgh with Alex.
OK, have you got any idea what we might be doing in Edinburgh?
-Maybe the Scottish Parliament?
Very good, yes, we're going to the Scottish Parliament
and we're going to meet the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
This is Holyrood, the home of the Scottish Parliament.
In the late 1990s, the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
all separately voted in favour of devolution,
a process of transferring some powers
from the UK government of Westminster across the UK's nations.
The rookies are here to meet Nicola Sturgeon,
who's the First Minister of Scotland.
In other words, she is the head of the Scottish government.
Do you find your parliamentary researchers helpful
-or do you find them just annoying?
Probably, if I'm being honest, a bit of both sometimes.
All politicians need to have good people helping them
and supporting them and doing research
and I couldn't do my job without lots and lots of help.
But it's like any job, sometimes you wish they'd go away as well.
Don't tell them I said that, OK? It's our secret.
First Minister, what are your three top tips for a career in politics?
Well, number one, know what you believe in.
It's not an ordinary job. You need to do it for a purpose.
Number two, do your homework. Do your research and know your facts.
And number three, remember that it's all about people,
it's all about delivering for people
and trying to make the world a better place.
VOICEOVER: Nicola's top tips are...
..and know what you want to achieve.
..research is critical in politics.
..and the issues which affect them.
I assume you've been in lots of interviews in your career.
But do you always try and answer the question?
I always try to answer the question.
When I watch politicians on the television
obviously trying to avoid answering a question,
I get really annoyed at that.
So I've always thought I don't want that to be me.
So I do my best to answer the questions.
I hope I've tried to answer your questions.
VOICEOVER: Next on their campaign trail,
Charlotte and Henrietta head to London.
OK, rookies. Have you got any idea where we're going to be going next?
-Um, probably there.
What a brilliant guess! Yes, we're going to the Houses Of Parliament!
We're at the Palace Of Westminster.
This is where UK parliamentary decisions are made.
Parliament has convened here for over 750 years.
The rookies are entering the House of Commons.
The house consists of 650 MPs...
..who have each been elected to represent constituencies
throughout the UK.
When in full flow, the House of Commons can get rather heated,
so they need someone to calm things down and keep order.
This is that very man, John Bercow.
Or when he's in the House of Commons, he's known as Mr Speaker
and he's got his own special seat in the middle of the chamber.
As Speaker, I am a bit like the referee of a football match.
I have to keep order, encourage people to take part in debates
and I have to try to keep to a minimum the number of people
who have to be excluded altogether as a result of bad behaviour.
Order! You really are a very over-excitable individual.
You need to write out 1,000 times
"I will behave myself at Prime Minister's Questions."
Mr Speaker, can you give our two rookies your three top tips
for someone who wants to be an MP or perhaps a political researcher?
First of all, be persistent.
What I mean by that is you will keep going until you succeed.
My second top tip is to communicate well.
That will put you in a very good position.
And my third top tip is view every day as a challenge
when you want to try to achieve as much as you can.
VOICEOVER: Mr Speaker's top tips are..
..and strive for success.
..very important in politics.
..cram in as much hard work as you can.
I want you to prepare a speech on should people be fined
if they don't vote?
Do you want to tell us what your choice is?
-Have you decided?
-You're against. Right, OK.
Now that means, Henrietta, that you have to prepare a two-minute speech
as to why people should be fined.
VOICEOVER: Sometimes, MPs have to debate
in support of constituency views, even if they personally disagree.
So this is a worthwhile exercise for the rookies.
It's off to the Commons Library to research.
The Commons Library is where political researchers come
to source material to assist the MPs in writing important speeches.
Assisted by library staff like Claire Catherall.
Claire has put together some relevant material
from the library to assist our rookies with their speeches.
Well, Claire. Thank you very much for producing
all this research material for us.
Can we take this away now
so that our rookies can write their speeches?
You absolutely can.
If you want to be in politics, you've got to have a thick skin.
Er, you've got to have a lot of perseverance.
You've got to realise that you don't always win everything.
Research begins and the rookies are against the clock.
They're getting a true taste of the pressure
involved in political research.
If people have the right to vote,
should they have the right to not vote?
Less than half of 18-24-year-olds didn't vote in 2015,
which really is bad.
Order! Order! The Honourable Lady now has the floor.
Today, I'm going to tell you about why voting should be compulsory
and people should be fined if they don't vote.
Firstly, women died - yes, died - for the vote.
We need to respect them and be thankful to be legible to vote.
If you don't vote when it is compulsory, it should show
on job interviews that you're lazy and this will encourage you to vote.
It will give children at a school a chance to debate,
which they don't get to do often, as I know.
Overall, voting should be made compulsory
as it changes the way we live.
Thank you for listening.
Henrietta, thank you.
Charlotte, we look forward to hearing from you.
Today, I will be putting forth my reasons
why people shouldn't be fined if they don't vote.
If people have the right to vote,
why shouldn't they be given the right to not vote?
People shouldn't be fined for not voting.
They should be educated on why they should vote.
Considering that technology is advancing hugely,
we need to make voting easier.
In the last election, only 66.2% of people voted.
We could increase this rapidly if we try
and educate people by spreading the word about politics.
Thank you for listening.
Henrietta, I thought you were absolutely brilliant.
I thought you spoke very confidently
and put forward your arguments in a very calm and reasoned manner.
If I had one little tip for you, it would be to look up from your notes
and engage the audience a bit more.
Charlotte, I thought you were very confident and very passionate.
You were very engaging and you looked up from your notes
and made eye contact with the audience.
Charlotte, you did very well indeed.
You have got a great air of confidence
and punchiness about your delivery.
Henrietta, you did very well, you spoke very fluently.
You're certainly on track to do very well
if you choose a political career and I wish you well.
Mr Speaker talked to us about always trying to make your point clear
but actually giving other people the chance to speak as well.
When I watch him, I expect him to be quite scary and intimidating.
But actually, he's really kind and funny.
VOICEOVER: Time for a spot of sightseeing. Well, come on.
You couldn't make a show about politics
without visiting that famous front door.
Number 10 Downing Street,
the official residence of the Prime Minister.
Just imagine that the general election's happened
and we are now the Prime Minister.
-Yes, yes, hello.
While we're here, shall we have a knock on the..?
-Shall we see if...?
-We're not allowed.
-We're not allowed!
-Hello, can we come in?
-Good afternoon, do come in.
-Oh, thank you.
-Welcome to Downing Street.
Would you like to come with me and have a look around?
-What we call the White Room.
-Can we sit in the chairs?
And pretend to be heads of state? Go on.
So, interesting. Handshake.
Trade deal, I think, is very good news.
Very good news for Britain and for all concerned, yes.
-Oh, my God!
Hi, I've come to say hello to Charlotte and Henrietta.
-Hi, there. Now, which one is which?
-Hi, nice to see you.
-Hi, Charlotte, how are you doing?
-Now which one wants to be the MP?
-Brilliant, and you want to be a political researcher?
And I want to hear all about that.
So, tell me when did you first think, "I want to be an MP"?
It was when I started wondering about how the world works.
-So politics is the way we change the world, that's the key.
So you want to get involved, absolutely.
So, political researcher. Where does that all come from?
I started wanting to get into politics
-at the Scottish independence elections.
Could you give us your three top tips
for becoming the Prime Minister?
Well, first thing is to get involved in politics.
Whatever issues you care about the most, get involved.
Top tip number two is do something else as well.
Sometimes, it all ends in disaster. If you lose an election.
Most important one of all, I think, is go with what's in here.
And in politics, what matters most of all is being true to yourself
about what you believe about what needs to change in the world.
VOICEOVER: David Cameron's top tips...
..throw yourself into politics.
..politics is tough so be prepared for those challenging situations.
..if you truly believe in your argument, it helps sell it.
What did you think about the Commons?
-Were you in there for Question Time?
-We were in there for a little bit.
-Talking to Mr Speaker.
Well, they probably didn't want you to see Question Time
because, basically, the behaviour at your school is almost certainly
better than the behaviour at Prime Minister's Question Time.
-I doubt that!
-VOICEOVER: 'I wouldn't be too sure, Charlotte.'
-I don't know what they're paying him, Mr Speaker.
-But I haven't finished.
In response to that question...
the Prime Minister has finished and he can take it from me
-that he's finished.
In our defence, we work very hard as MPs and I think
Prime Minister's Questions is the time when everyone kind of lets...
-Lets their hair down a bit and gets a bit carried away.
I suppose if you made that excuse at school,
it wouldn't really work very well, wouldn't it?
What's it like being Prime Minister? Is it hard?
The thing to remember is
you have a huge team of people trying to help you.
So you've got all the people who work here at Number Ten,
you've got the Cabinet all doing the different jobs.
I think sometimes too much focus is on the Prime Minister
because it is a team.
-Lovely to meet you.
-Good luck with the career.
-Thank you very much.
-Keep at it. I ought to...
Sorry, the other one is you've got to work hard.
That should have been tip number one!
I'm Jon Snow and I'm the main presenter of Channel 4 News.
My three top tips.
Number one, try to be honest.
Number two, keep a sense of humour.
Number three, if you really want to do something badly enough,
you really will do it.
Set your heart on what you want to do and then you will do it.
VOICEOVER: Best known for his former role,
Alastair Campbell was Prime Minister Tony Blair's
Director Of Communications And Strategy.
He's advised many politicians in Britain and abroad
so he's the perfect mentor to guide the rookies
through their next assignment.
-Nice to see you. Firm handshake, that's good! Very firm.
What's your handshake like? Firm. Both firm!
So, what would be your three top tips, then, for politicians
who want to come across well to the media?
First thing is to understand they're there for you,
not the other way around.
So you decide what you're going to get out of any interview you do.
Second thing, authenticity.
Be yourself, there's no point thinking you can be somebody else.
And I think the most important thing for a specific interview
is actually, you decide...
..what you're going to say and you don't let them push you off it.
VOICEOVER: Alastair's top tips are...
..at the end of the day, it's you who's being interviewed.
..essentially, be yourself.
..make sure you know what you want to say.
Andrew Neil is one of the toughest BBC interviewers
and he's on the Daily Politics.
So, you two, tomorrow, are going to be grilled by Andrew Neil, OK?
Why are you looking like that? Why are you not confident?
-You make him sound terrifying.
-The word grilled, just...
Kind of sets me on edge.
Well, it's not that he's terrifying but he's good at his job.
-He's going to interview you about whether you think...
..fatty sugary foods should be banned in school canteens.
Good interviews, you need a killer line.
We want to find the bit where one of you says,
"Don't patronise me, Mr Neil."
Oh, I'll say that.
I'm Laura Kuenssberg and I'm the BBC's political editor.
And my three top tips would be - work hard, be nice
and ask lots and lots of questions.
And if I'm allowed a fourth, don't take no for an answer.
As you are sitting there talking to Andrew Neil,
your purpose is to persuade the person watching to agree with you.
-Do you care about this subject?
-Do you really care about it?
That has got to be clear.
How do you make it clear that you care about something?
-Put in lots of passion in it.
-And lots of emphasis.
-This SHOULD be banned. It NEEDS to be banned.
-Children are getting ill.
What evidence do you have for that?
-It's been scientifically proven that unhealthy food...
-By doctors, nurses.
-Do you know these doctors?
My mum works in the NHS.
But why should WE take your mum's opinion more than these companies
that provide jobs, that give people food and drinks that they want?
VOICEOVER: The rookies are realising,
after a grilling from Alastair,
that statements have to be backed up by facts.
So, would you ban these foods?
If you encourage to ban it at school,
-they're going to bring home those habits.
-OK, big point, big point.
-This is about changing people's habits.
The way that Andrew Neil will come at you,
he will be very much in favour of people being able to decide
for themselves what they want to eat and drink
and they shouldn't be forced not to do something by the government.
So, you could actually turn it on him.
And turn it around.
"Andrew, this is exactly the same argument that people used
"to stop the compulsory wearing of seat belts."
But seat belts save lives and so does this.
-Seat belts save lives and so will this, exactly.
VOICEOVER: Briefing in the bag,
the clock is counting down to the rookies' moment
on the Daily Politics show.
Andrew Neil is in position
and ready to give our aspiring politicians a hard time.
Morning, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics.
There's just enough time for a final few words of advice.
So you know what you're going to say?
-You know what your key facts are?
-A little bit.
Give me one fact each that you're determined to get across. Facts.
Obesity costs the NHS £6 billion a year and diabetes £10 billion.
-So you make the point with the fact, you support her.
-We've got some of the dates of the seat belts.
-What was the date again?
-Don't look at your book.
-January 31st of 1983.
Right, you're not going to forget that, are you? It's in there.
Right, do you remember what we talked about having the killer line?
-OK, what is it?
-"With respect, don't patronise me, Mr Neil.
-"I've done my research."
And joining me now on the Daily Politics
are Charlotte and Henrietta.
We're going to talk about banning sugary drinks
and unhealthy foods in schools.
Now you're both in favour of it. Why, Henrietta?
Sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks should be banned from schools
because the obesity and diabetes level are rising drastically
and we need to stop this.
-All right, what do you think?
-Children are getting ill.
They're not concentrating on their school work,
which is why government spends billions on children's education.
Do you think children listen to what teachers
tell them to eat or not to eat?
Well, I think if they're educated properly and told properly,
then they will because, you know, children sometimes
are considered as the naughty ones but actually, they can be good.
Do you know what I mean by the Nanny State?
The government telling you what to do.
Isn't this just another example of the government
trying to tell you what to do?
-Mr Neil, do you remember on January 31, 1983
when seatbelts were made compulsory?
Compulsory, you had to wear them.
It wasn't a popular idea, people didn't like it.
But do you know how many lives it saved a year?
-I think you're going to tell me.
300 lives per year because the government did something.
What do you say to that?
If it's saving lives and it's helping the NHS,
I think we should be told what to do.
When I was your age...
..and someone told me not to do something,
that usually meant I tried to do it.
Maybe you weren't educated properly enough about health and wellbeing.
Well, many people have said that.
Now you two clearly feel quite strongly about this
and you've obviously thought it through as well
but why should adults listen to what 10-year-olds say?
Don't patronise me, Mr Neil. With respect.
-We've done our research.
You think you're going to win this argument?
I'm pretty confident.
Is your school going to go for a ban, do you think? Trial it?
-Everyone who I've spoken to has agreed.
-OK. Charlotte, Henrietta.
Thanks for being on the Daily Politics.
-How much does obesity cost the National Health Service?
OK, and did anybody watching that interview know that now?
-Key fact, you said... You didn't actually get...
But you got your point over, you got your point over
-but you didn't supplement it.
I, yeah... I don't know.
You did really well with your first answer.
-Bang on the money, straightaway.
-You were very good at pushing him back in his place.
Yeah, I thought you were a good team, actually.
Meeting Alastair Campbell was really fun and he gave me
lots of great advice.
I was really surprised how Alastair Campbell told us
how much politicians always try and skive off their weak spot
and get back to the point so they can answer the questions properly.
Meeting Andrew Neil, I was quite surprised
because he is actually really kind and happy.
Just when he's on the politics show,
he makes things all sound a bit more, ooh, terrifying!
I know he's really good at interviewing people
and he usually gets the ugly truth out of politicians.
Charlotte, you did really well
and one of the best things was actually an important general point
about people in politics, you came over really well on the telly.
The energy, the passion, it was all there.
Henrietta, you were excellent. You had really good demeanour.
You looked relaxed, you looked totally unfazed.
He threw a couple of wobblies at you but you were absolutely fine,
so well done.
VOICEOVER: Our rookies have packed in a lot of politics.
They've hosted a transport discussion in Bristol,
debated with passion in front of Mr Speaker
and had the shock of their lives at Number 10,
and held their own under the TV studio lights.
But have they got what it takes to pursue political careers?
Politics is about what the people think
and the people here thought you were amazing.
I think both of you will be well equipped to be
politicians in the future if that's your choice.
You have both got what it takes to work in politics now,
never mind the future.
-Do you still want to be an MP?
-Yeah! Even more now.
-And what about you?
Do you still want to be a parliamentary researcher?
No, not really. I want to be an MP, Speaker or Prime Minister.
OK! Quite an ambition.
Well, I look forward to seeing you in the future
fighting for your local communities as an MP.
Ever fancied being a politician? Well, rookies Charlotte and Henrietta are passionate about politics. They join Alex Riley to find out what really happens behind what we see on the news. They enter the corridors of power and meet MPs, spin doctors, television interviewers, Scotland's first minister and the prime minister to discover what life as an MP is all about. However, will Charlotte and Henrietta still want to change the world through politics after they've been all over the workplace?