Region Archives: England

Labour’s defeat: the future is rarely as bleak as it seems

One of the advantages of reaching middle age is that, provided one has a good memory, one can see lots of things happening again. I have never been interested in betting: partly a good Calvinist upbringing but also the fact that aged 9 or 10 on a Sunday School outing I put money into gaming more…

After #GE2015… UKIP “We are legion…”

UKIP

One way to think of UKIP is as a bunch of Elizabethan freebooting privateers, who are now revelling  after having sailed into northern and Midland ports and lain waste to Labour‘s formerly secure golden hoard of working class voters. As Gerry Lynch spotted on election night, the figure which gives you a real indication of what has happened to UK more…

Anatomy of an English Defence League demonstration

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  While out on a jog this morning I received a text from my wife, “There’s some crazy racist demonstration at the Blackhorse Road station”. That’s right, I remembered, the English Defence League is in town. I had received a flyer earlier in the week asking residents of the area to attend a counter-protest organised more…

All the right votes in all the right places – how the Tory electoral strategy triumphed

Lib Dem Falls

The General Election of 2015 has been the worst for opinion pollsters since their calamitous evening in 1992. Whilst almost all pollsters and commentators had expected a hung parliament, with weeks of constitutional crisis, deadlock, and possible three party coalitions, in the event the Conservative Party won an absolute majority. As was widely predicted, Labour more…

GE2015: The Autopsy

When there’s something puzzling or suspicious or unnatural about a death, there’s an autopsy. Sometimes it’s obvious what happened, sometimes it takes time and tests to discover the truth; just very occasionally it’s not possible to determine with certainty the sequence of events. Before 10 pm on Thursday night, we were all wrong; and immediately more…

Look over there…a view of the UK election from Ireland

I have never made a secret of the fact that I am no expert on politics outside of Ireland.  I watch elections in other countries in a disinterested fashion.  The systems are strange and I find it gives you an insight into just how bizarre politics can look when you are not involved.  The UK more…

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…