Articles on UK politics

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It doesn’t matter who won the Commons vote: these are the losers. Freedom House via Creative Commons

It’s the Syrian people that matter, not British politics

As a policy analyst, I am naturally interested in the dynamics of domestic politics, the role of specific actors, institutions and communities. So I understand why so much talk in Britain yesterday and…
Reform of the ALP has been raised by several key figures such as former leader Mark Latham, and implemented in some form by current prime minister Kevin Rudd. AAP/Alan Porritt

Arguments against party reform: heeding lessons from 1832

In his recent Quarterly Essay, Mark Latham compared Labor parliamentary representation to the rotten boroughs of the 18th century. Though union membership has fallen away, suggested Latham, union officials…
Old Labour: Those on stage rattle your jewellery, the rest of you wave your flat caps. PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Labour, the unions and the breaking of the British working class

Foundation essay: This essay on the Labour Party and its relationship with the working class and the trade union movement in Britain is part of a series of articles marking the launch of The Conversation…
1066 and all that: Britain’s early relationship with her European neighbours has long been fraught with difficulty. The Bayeux Tapestry

The princess and the pea (or why Britain and Europe make awkward bedfellows)

Foundation essay: This essay on Britain’s relationship with Europe by Ivor Gaber, professor of political journalism at City University, London and the University of Bedfordshire, is part of a series of…
You want a receipt for that, guv? Stephen Byers famously described himself as a ‘cab for hire’ Nyall and Maryanne via Creative Commons

Learn to love lobbying - it’s part of the ugliness of democracy

I had better declare an interest: it’s that sort of week. I co-edit a journal called Interest Groups and Advocacy. This is of no interest to HMRC, but the journal’s name merits examination in the context…
The new currency of an independent Scotland? Christian Cable

Deep-fried independence debate is backdrop to Farage furore

He came, he saw, he was chased into a pub. Nigel Farage plunged into the multi-polar world of Scottish politics yesterday. And took a hiding. Farage appears to have been surprised that his brand of populism…
Life’s a gas: Nigel Farage enjoying UKIP’s success in the local council elections. Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The not-so-secret agenda of UKIP voters

On the surface, the recent surge in support for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) suggests an urgent need to reform Britain’s relations with the European Union. But polls tell a different story. The best…
I’ve seen the future Nick, and it’s behind us. Stefan Wermuth

For Cameron and Clegg the cost of compromise is high

Compromise. It’s one of those Jekyll and Hyde verbs. Used actively, it’s a good thing - you want something; I want something different; we talk it over; we come to an arrangement; we compromise. Used passively…
On the noes: more than 100 Tory MPs voted for an amendment to the Queen’s Speech last night in a huge rebuff to the PM on Europe. PA Wire

Cameron in crisis as Tories’ glass jaw exposed again by huge Commons rebellion

When more than 100 Conservative MPs vote for an amendment to their own government’s Queen’s Speech, it is more than a rebellion - it is historically unprecedented. And despite David Cameron’s insistence…
Under leader Nigel Farage, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) were the success story of the recent UK local council elections: but who exactly are they? EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

Explainer: UK Independence Party

In the recent United Kingdom local council elections, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) won 147 seats, an increase of 139 seats, garnering more than one million votes (around 23%) across 35 local governments…
British PM Margaret Thatcher meets with her Australian counterpart Malcolm Fraser in 1979 - what was her lasting effect on politics here? AAP/National Archives

Both left and right: Thatcher’s undeniable influence on Australian politics

Margaret Thatcher’s years as British prime minister from 1979 to 1990 coincided with an era of political upheaval in Australia. The exhaustion of Malcolm Fraser’s “Menziesian” liberalism was followed by…
Instituting policies of ‘class warfare’ was a key criticism of late British PM Margaret Thatcher (right) as well as of her Chilean contemporary Augusto Pinochet, pictured here with his wife. EPA/Ian Jones

Thatcher, Pinochet and the legacy of class warfare

In Australia, Martin Ferguson has recently condemned the “class war rhetoric” of the Labor party, but on Monday morning (UK time) one of the world’s greatest class warriors passed away. Margaret Thatcher…
Late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher leaves a lasting legacy through her ‘Thatcherism’ policies she instituted during her premiership. EPA/Gerry Penny

The death of Margaret Thatcher, and the legacy of ‘Thatcherism’

On the eve of her resignation as British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher pondered her options. In a little over 36 hours time it seemed likely the parliamentary Conservative party would again refuse…

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