• The End of the 20th Century?

    Professor Jo Crotty Following the death of her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth, and former General Secretary of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, just a week before, it feels as if the 20th century has finally come to an end. Like me, people may have been prompted by the former to watch (or in my case […]

  • So what Happens Now? Another Suitcase?

    Paula Keaveney The ambitious Conservative MP with leadership ambitions (and most do have these whatever they say) has to take a series of decisions quickly. Are they ready to fight a leadership contest? Can they get enough support to stand a chance? Is this the right time for them or are they best waiting for […]

  • Double Defeat: is this (finally) the end of Boris Johnson?

    Paula Keaveney In Devon you put the jam on last – scone, then cream, then a big dollop of strawberry.  So last week’s by-election win in Tiverton and Honiton was the jam on top for the Liberal Democrats. The victory in what has been a safe Conservative seat since it was created will send shivers […]

  • The War Against ‘Dis-information’: Romania Reacts to the Conflict in Ukraine

    Dr Cristian Ciobanu & Dr Duncan Light The war in Ukraine came as a big shock for Romanians who (like many Europeans) found the idea of a ‘traditional’ war involving tanks and bombs as unimaginable. In recent years, scepticism among Romanians about membership of the EU and NATO had been on the rise, but with […]

  • Crossing the Dnieper: The UK political response to Ukraine

    Paula Keaveney “I have never forgotten the sheer courage and determination of pro-democracy activists whom I met on the streets of Lviv in 1989 as they risked their lives to throw off the shackles and chains of the Soviet Union.” (Lord Alton, HL Deb 25 February 2022) The last few days have seen debates in […]

  • When is a Party not a Party?…and how should The Party respond?

    Paula Keaveney “The piglet has wriggled free many times before; but he is cornered in a cul-de-sac and the butchers are whetting their knives.” If you want to get a sense of mood among Conservatives, the Conservative Home website – the source of this porcine image – is the place to go.  Johnson’s butchers are […]

  • Keir Relief?

    Paula Keaveney ©UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor After a massive build up and an election night involving a partial re-count, we have a result. Can Keir Starmer breathe again? The Labour victory in the Batley and Spen by-election (winning by 323), a close result after a tense and at time acrimonious contest, is qualified good […]

  • Poll Position

    Paula Keaveney When I worked for the BBC in Lancashire I remember one local election night when control of the council rested on the result of just one ward in Skelmersdale.  It was an anxious wait for the party leaders and showed how knife-edge some elections can be. We could see a lot more of […]

  • Keir Exposure – Constructive Opposition a Year on?

    Covid-19 Anniversary Blog 22/04/2020.. London, United Kingdom. First virtual PMQs and Ministerial statement on Coronavirus, with First Secretary of State Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP and the Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer MP. Picture by  Jessica Taylor © UK Parliament “It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear”, writes US Political Consultant […]

  • Who chooses – finding candidates for public office

    This May sees a huge set of elections.  It will be the biggest national test of party popularity since the General Election.  Postponed local and mayoral elections from last year combine with scheduled contests to give us a psephologist’s dream. Yet a row in Liverpool over who will be on the ballot paper for Labour […]

  • Biden, Trump and the Lessons of the Past

    In recent weeks media commentators have dubbed the 2020 U.S. election ‘historic’. It’s understandable. The campaign was fought in the midst of a global pandemic. By election day over 9.5 million Americans had contracted COVID-19 and more than 235,000 had died. The contrasting responses of the candidates towards the epidemic, and their competing visions of […]

  • And the winner is…

    We may not know yet who will win the Presidential Election but, as Edge Hill programme leader for Politics Paula Keaveney, argues, some people have “won” already. I am constantly amazed by the speed with which US commentators switch from the results of an election to the question of who will run next.  Sometimes there […]

  • Some Thoughts on the Crisis of National Identity

    Even in a small national state like our own, it would be more accurate to talk about identities rather than posit the notion of a single all-encompassing identity. This multiplicity of identities is formed by an interaction of class, region and culture. George Orwell’s comment that one rarely hears an educated accent north of Watford […]

  • Where is the Balance – Democracy in the Lockdown

    The arrival of CORVID 19 has changed our annual routines.  Every Spring we know to put the clocks forward, to expect events like the Grand National and the Cup Final and to expect the steady tramp of the political campaigners’ tread.  Because for politicians, May is polling day.  There is always an election somewhere in […]