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Category Archives: Current Affairs

Who’s in charge here?

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There is much to give concern in the world of European politics these days. From Greece to the UK, the Mediterranean to Finland (even Austria), you don’t have to look far to find examples of ‘how it’s all going belly up’ (to quote one of my colleagues). It would be simple to take the counsel of […]

The perception gap: Calais, Greece and Brussels in the British imagination

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Even this is not going to cut it… Earlier this morning – a bit before 8am, in fact – a family friend turned up at our house, ‘for breakfast’. This turned out to be a misunderstanding of what we had thought was a jocular exchange of texts last night and certainly was not one the […]

The view from Chisinau: Cameron’s fantastic(al) luxury of choice

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This week I’m in Moldova, for a workshop of our TEMPUS project INOTLES. You’ve probably not been to Moldova, but Chisinau is a very pleasant city around which to walk, albeit one in which the local UNDP office looks like one of the more important buildings. To be here – in a country that has possibly the lowest GDP […]

The coming referendum

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So here we are, about a month into the new government. How’s it shaping up with the EU referendum thing? For me, four things stick out so far. Firstly, David Cameron has conformed to type in his approach to the matter. Assuming that he was a surprised as the next man (that next man being Ed […]

The Brexit referendum: some underlying dynamics

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On Tuesday I went to one of my alma maters, LSE’s European Institute, to listen to a panel on Britain’s EU policy. As well as storifying it, I’ve also been thinking about the discussion and particularly three of the things mentioned by Simon Hix, one of the panellists. “Never underestimate the EU’s ability to find a way to muddle through” […]

The UKIP Leopard

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As part of my wide range of consumption of reading, I chanced upon an article that talked about di Lampedusa’s The Leopard, and its famous assertion that “everything needs to change, so everything can stay the same.” It wasn’t talking about UKIP, but it might well have been. On Monday, I was writing about Nigel Farage’s […]

Nigel ‘Jesus’ Farage

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“…and on the third day, he rose again.” Last week was both a triumph and a disappointment for UKIP. On the one hand, they secured almost 4 million votes in the General Election, a performance almost unsurpassed for a third party in the UK. On the other, the inequities of the electoral system meant that […]

Does anyone care about the UK and the EU?

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Somehow, finally, it’s the last week of campaigning for the general election. In previous weeks/months, I written about how the British debate has failed to pick up and explore in any detail what the UK’s relationship with the EU might/should be. Today I’m swinging the focus around to the rest of the EU. The prompt […]

How you see things is how they are: UKIP in the public’s eye

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A couple of interesting polls this week help to illustrate UKIP’s situation at the moment. The first, a YouGov poll on media bias, repeats a survey from last year about how voters see media coverage of the different parties. As last time, UKIP is seen as having a much more negative bias against it than do […]

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