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Robert Halfon On No Triumph, No Tragedy

July 15, 2015

Radio 4, 9am.


In the first programme of this new series Peter meets the newly appointed Cabinet Minister Robert Halfon, who could be found sitting by the roadside holding up signs during the General Election campaign. His spastic displegia makes it too exhausting to canvass door to door and he says his crutches led to a hard fight at the original constituency selection level: “I had to convince people that I wasn’t going to keel over on the doorstep!” Robert was appointed to the Cabinet on 11th May 2015 and became Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.

Peter White asks the questions others might be too embarrassed or politically correct to ask and in further programmes in this series he will be talking to one of Britain’s most popular columnists, Melanie Reid, who was left paralysed in 2010 after a horse riding accident/ He also meets Giles Duley, a former fashion photographer who was injured after becoming what he describes as an anti-war photographer. He stepped on an improvised explosive device in 2011 in Afghanistan while embedded with American soldiers and lost both legs and an arm, but still continues his trade. Indeed, he returned to Afghanistan not long after his rehabilitation and is now documenting the effects of war across the world.

The last series received a terrific response from listeners and critics: hundreds of letters and calls generated by the achievements and attitudes of blind musician Raul Midon, Paralympic Gold medallist Sophie Christiansen and the former Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Chris Woodhead. Chris has never ducked an issue in his life, and he’s not ducking the ultimate one: how to face death. Diagnosed with the progressive condition of Motor neurone Disease in 2006, he was blunt with listeners about his right to die – when, how and where he chooses.

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