Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson is a British Labour Party politician who served as Home Secretary from June 2009 to May 2010. Before that he filled a wide variety of cabinet positions in both the Blair and Brown governments, including Health Secretary and Education Secretary. Until 20 January 2011 he was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Johnson was the Member of Parliament for Hull West and Hessle until his retirement from politics in 2017. His first book, This Boy, won the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Orwell Prize in 2013. His second, Please Mister Postman, won the National Book Award for Autobiography of the Year in 2014. His third, The Long and Winding Road, was published in 2016 and won the Parliamentary Book Award for Best Memoir.

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  1. 76. THIS BOY AND THE GIFT OF A RADIO: GROWING UP IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES
    76. THIS BOY AND THE GIFT OF A RADIO: GROWING UP IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES

    Alan Johnson's childhood was not so much difficult as unusual - particularly for a man who was destined to become Home Secretary. Not in respect of the poverty, which was shared with many living in Britain's post-war slums, but in its transition from being part of a two-parent family to having a single mother and then to no parents at all... And, likewise, Justin Webb's childhood was far from ordinary. Between his mother's undiagnosed psychological problems, and his stepfather’s untreated ones, life at home was dysfunctional at best. But beyond the personal, this discussion will reveal the national background of growing up in the 1960s and 1970s – strikes, inflation and IRA bombings. A time in which attitudes towards mental illness, parenting and masculinity were worlds apart from the attitudes we have today.

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