Region Archives: England

Mr Cameron, The Tories & ‘compassionate’ conservatism: compelled to justify neoliberal politics at #ge2015?

As the 2015 British general election campaign gathers momentum, the prospect of a hung parliament looms large. Concerning Scotland, the 2014 Scottish Referendum may have produced a result that was to the satisfaction of supporters of the ‘no’ campaign, but the Scottish National Party’s subsequent rise as an extremely decisive contender in national-level politics could more…

UKIP appeals to disaffected lower middle class…

I’m not sure this is such a surprise, but the British election study has looked at UKIP’s support in Britain and discovered that it doesn’t have such an appeal to the working class as many thought: “The idea that many Ukip voters are working class and that they therefore pose a threat to Labour’s support more…

The past is another country

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. —LP Hartley A recent post about the ‘Curragh Incident’ (here) surprised me by the number and content of the replies. It was a short piece about a single event, though one that seems to have made the British government realise that they could not more…

Six Degrees of UKIP – the link between university qualifications and voting intention

Degrees v UKIP

According to the analysts at firstpasthepost.net, who have analysed bookmaker’s odds for each seat in the upcoming General Election, there are seventeen constituencies where UKIP have a 25% or greater chance of winning election to the House of Commons. These include the two seats that they are defending; Clacton, and Rochester and Strood. Also on more…

Rod LIddle’s howler on the under punching of Irish Cricket…

So, perhaps we should spare a thought for poor Rod Liddle. It shows what can happen [Erm, not you Brian! – Ed] when a former BBC producer loses the benefit of his hard working programme researchers. Here’s Rod writing on the eve of Ireland’s victory over the West Indies last week… Go back another three more…

Stephen Fry and Blasphemy

I was on the BBC Nolan Show this morning opposite Peter Lynas of the Northern Ireland Evangelical Alliance. The exchange is on AudioBoom (see below).  The discussion was about Stephen Fry’s interview by Gay Byrne on RTE – part of which was re-broadcast at the start of the discussion (and is featured in the AudioBoom). more…

Vegetarianism Stalinism Part 3: Natalie Bennett and Thought Crimes

Mick noted the GB Green Party leader Natalie Bennett’s interview with Andrew Neil last week below. Much of the attention was focused on the Basic Income as Mick has noted. Also interesting was Ms. Bennett’s idea of replacing the Armed Forces with a Civil Defence Force whilst at the same time turning the British Defence more…

The Election Debates and the Northern Ireland ‘Difference’

Nick Robinson: inclusion of NI politicians in the election debates a step too far?  Pic: Tom Page

Northern Ireland is politically different from the rest of the UK, according to the BBC’s Nick Robinson. That’s why, he argued this morning on the Today Programme, broadcasters are confused by the Prime Minister’s insistence that if the Scots/Welsh Nats are including in the proposed television election debates, Northern Irish parties should be included too. more…

Testament of Youth (QFT 16-29 January) – powerful on-screen adaptation of Vera Brittain’s extraordinary WW1 memoir

testament of youth roland vera

Most war films focus on the lives of those who join up, concentrating on the action at the front. Yet many more people are left behind at home than enter the military. Testament Of Youth quite brilliantly captures the life of Vera Brittain (played by Alicia Vikander), an intelligent and boundary-pushing young woman who in more…

Is the TUV a major party? Consultations from Ofcom & BBC Trust open on which parties should be offered Election Broadcasts

Ofcom logo

Ofcom has launched a consultation around this year’s list of “major parties” that will be offered at least two Party Election Broadcasts on non-BBC TV and radio channels (ITV, STV, UTV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Classic FM, Talksport and Absolute Radio) ahead of May’s General Election (and the English local government elections the same day). more…

New powers for Scotland threaten constitutional crisis for the UK

David Cameron’s claim that the Smith report will create “a stronger Union “ rings hollow when  set against  his insistence that the case for  English votes on English laws is “ unanswerable,”  If it means that English MPs should have a veto on any measure they don’t like that a future  Labour government proposes, it will more…

Despite the rise and rise of UKIP it remains a little confused on the matter of Northern Ireland

The more cynical political analyst might conclude there were two Monster raving loony parties standing in the Rochester and Strood byelection this week that resulted in the return to Westminster of Mark Reckless, UKIP’s second MP and a former Conservative. Standing on a ticket that was principally anti-immigration and anti-Europe – and Reckless got into more…

UKIP’s latest successes could yet damage it

Slowly the dust is beginning to settle on UKIP’s latest by-election victory. This one could be analysed as more or less important than the last one dependent on a number of factors. Rochester and Strood was a considerably less attractive target seat for UKIP than Clacton on Sea. It has much less of the older, more…

“vices and follies of the powerful are much less despised than the poverty and weakness of the innocent.”

This is soooo good, I’m just going to post a big chunk of it below. It’s Chris Dillow nailing a key problem with the UK media’s obsession with bringing celebrity to the big politics table… He cites an experiment (pdf) by James Andreoni and Justin Rao involving a constructed roleplay scenario involving a ‘dictator': There more…

Federalism – Wherefore The Union?

I have long been of the view that a federal UK would be the eventual outworking of devolution.  Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has been calling for a constitutional convention for the last few years. Scottish Conservative Murdo Fraser outlined his thoughts on Slugger earlier this year. Why Murdo Fraser is right to promote UK more…

Photo of the day – (LEGO) men at work

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I visited Durham Cathedral yesterday. While the Cathedral is very grand and imposing, I was more interested in the LEGO recreation they are building. They are building a model of the Cathedral in LEGO as a fundraiser. You buy a LEGO brick for £1 and you can even add it yourself. The model will be more…