What great potential the inside story from inside the ministerial cars holds! Though with a bit of thought, it was never going to be quite full of fascination. From the stiff and starched opening we knew this was, after all, a long Radio 4 package from Whitelhall.
This was evidenced by how the drone of a car interior seemed a sparkling tie to the real world. Yes on second thoughts, this isn’t going to be the most sound-rich programme. Thankfully it had some good talkers though.
The programme was swimming in Britain’s omnipresent class system, and those speakers were tightly framed by the reporter chap. “It sounds like they push the limits of the law….” Thank heavens Catweezel knows his place.
With that tone set, it was to be expected that the Brighton Bombing would feature strongly, followed by Thatcher’s leaving office.
Hearing a driver set the record straight that the system used to be efficient and busy, towards the end of the programme, was interesting as by this stage the listener has been drawn completely into the political realm, rather than storytelling or even original character.
The story excerpted for the trails turned out to the highlight – and was as much about cycling as driving. The politician in person being Lord Halesham, with the great line from the driver “I obviously let him win of course”. Listen to that part of the programme, here
from 23 and a half minutes in. Otherwise, The Wheels of Power is… fine.