Saturday, 10 June 2017

The DUP for English readers

I never thought that an abstruse knowledge of Troubles-era Northern Ireland political trivia would be of any practical use - but it seems that I was wrong.

Since Thursday night, the English voters seem to have discovered a few things about the DUP - in particular, that they are opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage.  These policies are enough to put them outside the political mainstream and to justify raising the question of whether they are suitable partners for Theresa May as she seeks to pull together a new parliamentary majority.  But there is more to the DUP than its social conservatism.  English readers might want to know a bit more about the small regional party that has suddenly found itself holding the balance of power in the Commons.  These guys are quite unusual in a number of ways.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

The first Race Relations Act

This is a post about the parliamentary debates on the UK's first Race Relations Act, which was enacted in 1965.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Tom Bower, Broken Vows

Oh shit, oh shit.  Whatever why I'm so so missing Tony.  Because he is so charming and his clothes are so good.  He has such a good body and he had his really, really good legs Butt... and he is slim tall and good skin.  Pierce blue eyes which I love.  Love his eyes.
Such was the verdict of Wendi Deng on the Rt. Hon. Anthony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007.  Bower quotes these ill-chosen words from a haul of emails from News Corporation's servers.  His own verdict on the former premier is rather less flattering.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Blood of Emmett Till, Timothy B. Tyson

This is an account of one of the most notorious hate crimes in American history: the murder of Emmett Till.  It was written by Timothy Tyson, an academic and writer whose own roots lie in the lands of the old Confederacy.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Why did people vote Leave?

This post is largely intended to underline how much we don't know about the Brexit vote.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Revolt on the Right, Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin

Published in 2014, this award-winning book was the first sustained attempt to assess and explain the evidence for the rise of the UK Independence Party.  Ford and Goodwin are two of the country's leading experts on the political right wing.  They draw on statistical data, face-to-face interviews and published writings to trace the rise of UKIP and identify who is supporting the party and why.  The book can be somewhat dry, with a great deal of graphs and statistics, but some clear and important messages emerge from the authors' research.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

The Great Deception, Christopher Booker and Richard North

This is an unusual book.  It is part scholarly inquiry, part cheap polemic.  Its subject is the history of the European Union; and it is explicitly revisionist in nature.  Booker and North present themselves as pioneers who are unearthing a story which has been untold or misrepresented.  As the title indicates, it is a story characterised by conspiracy, concealment and deceit.  The authors write of their work - making no concessions to false modesty - that "there is almost no episode of the European Union's history which does not emerge looking radically different from the version which has been generally presented".  An impressive claim; but is it true?