Articles on UK politics

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Putting the jackboot into Assad. Freedom House

Hailing Hitler: why Godwin’s law never gets old

Where would we be without Godwin’s Law? This law, formulated for the internet, dictates that as a discussion progresses, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1. And, as…
Lift, 1, 2, 3… hold 1, 2, 3. Matt Dunham/AP

Should cagey Osborne flex his electoral pectorals?

Who lives at Number Ten Downing Street? The answer is of course… George Osborne. While his official residence may be next door at Number Eleven, it is he and not David Cameron who lives in the flat above…
Nick Clegg has more Facebook “likes” than David Cameron. David Cheskin/PA Wire

Five reasons to be miserable for the Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are in trouble. The party appears to be engaged in a very public form of hari-kiri, accelerating its own political meltdown. The heady days of 23% polling and Cleggmania in 2010 seem…
He talks, they listen. Stefan Rousseau/PA

Ed Miliband’s leadership rests on personality politics

The Labour Party has started bringing forward policies for 2015, and not a moment too soon. The time for policy reviews, which really were more like a synopsis of contemporary social theory than reviews…
Lord Rennard is fighting against claims. Cathal McNaughton/PA

Sexual harassment claims not a new problem for the Lib Dems

A few years ago I conducted a feminist analysis of the Liberal Democrats as my PhD thesis. During the research, people (both inside and outside of the party) would often say my project was “a bit niche…
Visionary at work? John Stillwell/PA

Ed Miliband banking speech is incomplete, but encouraging

Ed Miliband’s heavily-trailed speech on banking reform was no political game-changer; however, it broadened and deepened his One Nation theme and set out specific policy proposals to help restore Labour’s…
Forget Blackadder, these are the guys Gove should be worrying about. Ian West/PA

Young Brits think WWI was futile, but don’t blame Blackadder

As Britain starts four years of commemorating the centenary of the First World War, Blackadder Goes Forth, first broadcast on BBC1 in 1989, has, bizarrely, taken centre stage. To rather less fanfare than…
Shadows of things to come (or so they hope…) Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The Queen, the pound and the EU: Salmond’s Scotland plan

Just two days after the latest polls showed the “Yes” vote for Scottish independence gaining on the pro-unionists, the Scottish government’s White Paper, Scotland’s Future: Your Guide to an Independent…
Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Alexander Nikiforov

Time for Britain to rethink its place in the Commonwealth

It is difficult to do justice to the mood of despair that has been haunting the corridors of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s headquarters in Marlborough House in recent months. The decision to hold the…
Couldn’t happen here … or could it? Brian Mills

Budget 2015 could see a government shutdown in the UK

March 2015 could see a Washington-style impasse in the UK parliament over the government’s final budget proposals. The advent of coalition government, fixed terms in office, and a general resurgence of…
When I said help young people, James, I didn’t mean… Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Revolutionary code for bringing order to court of the tsars

For more than 15 years, policy “tsars” have been a growing, unrecognised and largely hidden source of influence on UK government ministers’ decisions. Our research revealed for the first time that more…
Extending the trend. Stefan Rousseau/PA

Osborne workfare plan aims for jobs that don’t exist

George Osborne’s Help to Work scheme, announced in his keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference, gives three options to the long-term unemployed – work placements, daily job centre visits, or…
Green shoots, or cash? Lewis Whyld/PA

Green Conservatism shriveled after banks went to the wall

As Conservatives head to Manchester for their annual party conference this weekend, it seems a very long time since David Cameron, then newly-elected party leader, urged the electorate to “Vote Blue, Go…
Who are you calling red? Chris Ison/PA Wire

Miliband pitches for a new centre ground in politics

In his Labour Party conference speech, Ed Miliband planted himself firmly on the left. His big themes of confiscating land from greedy developers, controlling energy prices and imposing a higher minimum…
Did I tell you the one about the cyclist I rescued? Stefan Rousseau/PA

Ed Miliband’s speech a lesson in split personality politics

Ed Miliband suffers from a split personality. When discussed in the abstract – in polls, on the street or in newspapers - the image conjured up is of a policy wonk who, like many politicians, is far from…
Godfrey’s law: any attempt to take UKIP seriously will be brought down by idiotic comments. Stefan Rousseau/PA

UKIP fairytale spoiled again by bumbling Bloom

This weekend’s UKIP party conference – its 20th – was phenomenal and fantastic. Obviously, I’m using those words in their original senses of “it happened” and “it resembled something from a child’s story…
Oh, Come all ye faithful: Nick Clegg speaking to conference. David Cheskin/PA

Lib Dem conference: cracks remain despite show of unity

Three years after the Clegg-Cameron wedding in the rose garden at Number 10, the Lib Dem Conference this week in Glasgow has showed signs of the strain. Much as Clegg attempted to rally the troops by claiming…

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