Fourth past the post: what 2015 could mean for electoral reform

Credit: Ben Waters

With the general election now six weeks away, the political landscape of the United Kingdom could hardly seem more fractured. Divided between the establishment parties and the surging forces of UKIP, Green and SNP, it is seeming increasingly unlikely that the electorate will provide a clear winner on May 7th. This chaotic state of affairs… Continue Reading ➤

Playing politics: Do the numbers stack up?

Spot the George: Has the Budget merely become an exercise in political theatre?

As we approach the General Election in May, there will inevitably be a steady flurry of manifesto pledges and pre-election bribes from all of the major political parties. Just recently, Labour announced plans to cut tax relief for the wealthiest pensioners in order to fund a slash in university tuition fees by one-third. Add this… Continue Reading ➤

How John Key could win the election for David Cameron

The "smiling assassin" John Key meets then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Last month, buried deep in The Times (page eight or so), was a statement of audacious significance concerning a comparatively insignificant leader. Journalist Tim Montgomerie, covering a meeting between Prime Minister David Cameron and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, claimed that Key was the conservative leader who “is arguably Mr Cameron’s closest… Continue Reading ➤

Can Tony Benn’s ideas still find a receptive audience?

Tony Benn at the Cambridge Union in 2012

Amidst complaints of growing disconnection from the public, Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats face the prospect of fighting a general election where voters will turn to the smaller ‘outsider’ parties in record numbers. Overshadowed by the already existing and bigger problem of low voter turnout, popular discourse is increasingly turning to the question… Continue Reading ➤

The Politics of the Politics of European Austerity

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in May 2014. Has the advent of the latter's European investment plan indicated a shift in the balance of power in Europe away from German austerity?

The situation in Greece is at breaking point. Local councils have no money and Orthodox churches are having to feed people that authorities cannot cope with. Meanwhile in Athens, the newly elected Syriza party are in a standoff with the European Central Bank as they try to restructure their debt. They promised Greek voters they would… Continue Reading ➤

Press ethics and the general election – a losing battle?

Here we go. It’s the 6th of May. One day until the General Election and even as I write this article tucked away in a dark corner of a library there is simply no getting away from it. The topic is everywhere, slipping into casual conversations, overheard in the streets, in coffee shops, it’s on… Continue Reading ➤

All-Women Shortlists: Operationalising Utopia?

All-women shortlists do not tackle the deeper causes of the lack of female representation in Parliament.

“All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds” (Voltaire) With just months to go before the next general election, the debate over all-women shortlists continues to divide politicians as well as the electorate. Harriet Harman, the highest-ranking woman in the Labour Shadow Cabinet, stated in 2014: “If you’re against all-women shortlists,… Continue Reading ➤

A Transport Revolution? Don’t Bet on It

Take-off from London Heathrow (Source: Benson Kua)

“The biggest road building program since the Romans”, the “most extensive overhaul of our railways since the Victorians” and “modern aviation fit for the modern world”. Sound familiar? These are just some of the bold claims politicians have pedalled over the years about the need to modernise transport infrastructure in the UK. Unsurprisingly, the reality… Continue Reading ➤

Vote for Me! Nigel Farage’s Predilection for Personality over Policy

Final Farage

Hidden among the festivities in the run-up to Christmas was Rozanne Duncan’s expulsion from the United Kingdom Independence Party. Cause for cheer should not be in short supply. The dismissal of the Thanet District Council member came in the wake of highly racist comments caught by a BBC exposé which is due to be aired… Continue Reading ➤