Archive | March, 2011

Anarchists: ‘unemployable layabout scum’?

The TUC March for the Alternative in London resulted in a story that’s all too familiar. You’ve heard it a hundred times: a minority of anarchists spoiling an otherwise peaceful, law-abiding march attended by up to half a million families, teachers, football supporters and students. At least that’s how much of the media reported what […]

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Ladies first?

Kay Burley is one of the top presenters on Sky News. That means she is a person of influence. If you get Sky News. Ms Burley has just published a novel about politics called Ladies First. She has her detractors so I doubt the novel will be read in its own terms. Some people think […]

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Libya and the ‘necessary laws of nations’

Many people like to think that they are living through unique times, with new problems and challenges. Yet they are often merely playing out issues identified centuries ago – as is the case with the current Libyan crisis. The United Nations Security Council voted on 18th March to authorise member states, ‘acting in cooperation with […]

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Confused by AV?

For those confused by the many arguments being bandied around over the merits or otherwise of the Alternative Vote, the Political Studies Association have just released a short, and relatively easy to understand, briefing document on the pros and cons of the Alternative Vote. It’s written by Alan Renwick, of the University of Reading, with […]

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The Libyan no-fly zone: for and against

How coherent are the arguments provoked by the no-fly zone over Libya? I teach ‘Air Power and Modern Conflict’ to MA students studying International Relations at Nottingham. This critically evaluates the utility of air power and asks whether expectations of its effect are exaggerated and if the belief that it can lead to ‘quick and […]

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Whatever happened to the crisis of neoliberalism?

As the fiscal fallout from the global financial crisis continues to reverberate around the world, politicians are once more falling back on market-based remedies. In Britain, the government has ramped up the marketisation of higher education, cutting university budgets and allowing them to charge up to £9,000 for a degree. The NHS, a product of […]

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Top of the Pops #2

Less than a month after its champagne launch, Ballots & Bullets has created an ever-growing back catalogue of tip top analysis and comment, all of which is informed by internationally ranked research. So for you pop pickers who want to do some catching up, here’s some of our greatest hits … French theory, Tunisian practice. […]

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Libya’s hidden victims?

In 2007 the US ABC network offered a ‘sincere apology’  to the Philippine medical community.  The apology followed a comment made in the TV series Desperate Housewives by the character Susan Meyer. Reluctant to accept the diagnosis of an early menopause, Meyer demanded that her doctor’s qualifications be checked to ‘make sure that they’re not […]

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Conservative military manoeuvres

The vote of John Baron, the Conservative MP for Basildon and Billericay, against military action in Libya was an unusual thing. As we noted in an earlier post, it is relatively rare to see Conservative backbench rebellions against military action. But not unprecedented. In 2003, in addition to the massive revolt of 139 Labour MPs […]

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How 2 turn 139 into 1, in 8

Eight years ago, in March 2003, some 139 government MPs voted against the decision to invade Iraq, along with dozens of abstentions.  It was the largest backbench rebellion on any issue, by any party, since modern British party politics began.  Last night, just one government MP (the Conservative, John Baron) voted against military action against […]

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