Archive | June, 2011

Other ‘polite alternatives’ to the BNP

On June 1 2011, we contributed a post about the extent to which the British National Party, UK Independence Party and the Conservatives were ‘fishing in the same pond’ of voters for their electoral support. We did so on the basis of a 2009 survey, in which respondents were not only asked which party they […]

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Cameron versus Clausewitz

David Cameron responded to the concerns of his defence chiefs about the capacities of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force while fighting a war in Afghanistan and intervening in Libya by telling them: ‘You do the fighting, I’ll do the talking’. Is this an appropriate division of labour at time of war? And if […]

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Extremism: what we can learn from Sweden

I’m writing this on my return flight from Stockholm, where we held the last workshop in our Chatham House project on Understanding and Dealing with the Spread of Populist Extremism. The project explores the rise of populist extremist parties across Europe, and considers how various actors – from mainstream parties to the media – might […]

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Yes, ex-Prime Minister

The Independent’s Steve Richards recently highlighted the existence of an ‘informal alliance’ between David Cameron and Tony Blair. Richards suggested that this ‘alliance’ is based on a policy agenda embraced by many of those who worked closest with Blair in government as well as some of Cameron’s most trusted Cabinet colleagues. I reflected on the […]

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Cameron: cave canem!

Towards the end of his lecture at Nottingham University on 9 June 2011, Martin Wolff from the Financial Times argued that one of the most surprising facts of the current economic crisis is the silence of the Left. This is currently true, to some extent. The Left however may soon prove to be the dog […]

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The life (and death?) of the ‘property-owning democracy’?

A recent report from the Halifax on prospective first-time buyers has led a number of commentators to speculate about whether we might be witnessing the beginning of the end for the property-owning democracy. Often understood as an invention of the Thatcher governments of the 1980s, the idea of the property-owning democracy in fact has a […]

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New leaders please!

Today’s newspapers don’t make pleasant reading for Ed Miliband.  The Telegraph claims he has been given two years to prove himself. The Mail puts the figure at 15 months. The Sun gives him just a year. Miliband is not the only leader to find himself under pressure: there is also discussion at Westminster about Nick Clegg’s political future, and […]

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Ed Miliband: five things we know

According to political journalists Ed Miliband is in a crisis. In the political equivalent of a cop movie cliche he has until the next Labour conference to fix things – or else. Labour has no direction, its poll ratings are poor and all because Miliband’s leadership credentials have got lost in the post. Labour elected […]

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The Politics of the Female Face

Islamic women wearing the veil are often assumed to be either down-trodden or illiberal. Such assumptions have become framed in a discourse of ‘othering’ which denies these women’s histories, experiences and agency. This discourse plays an increasingly worrying role in Europe in augmenting divisions between communities, races and women. It becomes urgent therefore to disrupt […]

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Tony Blair: five things we know

Whenever Tony Blair returns to Britain and is interviewed by journalists the blogosphere and Twitter explode with fury, vengeance and vituperation: it’s like Middlesbrough on a Friday night. The former Prime Minister has recently come back to the UK to publicise the publication of the paperback version of his autobiography. This is a fascinating document […]

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