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Category Archives: Current Affairs

The endlessly vanishing European issue

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There are many paradoxes in British politics, but the one that has most struck me in recent weeks has been the one about Europe. On the one hand, we are repeatedly told that the EU – and Britain’s role therein – is a crucial matter of public interest and public concern, and that it is […]

UKIP: 100 days, redux

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Part of me would like to talk about Rafael Behr’s excellent piece yesterday on how an EU referendum would play in the longer-term: it’s a very summary of why a popular vote probably won’t solve anything, either way. However, I find myself returning to UKIP, and the Channel 4 programme shown at the start of the week. […]

UKIP’s diversification strategy

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One of the recurring issues with UKIP’s development has been the double-edged sword that is Nigel Farage. On the one hand, Farage is an exemplary politician, in terms of his connection with people and his ruthlessness in pursuing his agenda within the party. On the other, he is but one man, and readers will be […]

UKIP’s 100 ideas

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On Tuesday’s 100-days-to-go mark for the general election, UKIP published a list of ‘100 great reasons‘ to vote for them. Quite aside from the framing issues here – they’re not described as policies, for example – it’s also interesting to see where the party’s emphasis lies. With this in mind, I’ve made a small breakdown in […]

The European Malaise

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January is always a maudlin month: short days, poor weather and the delights of the break behind one. But this January is shaping up to be particular unpleasant for Europe. From the looming Greek elections to the pegida demonstrations in Germany, eurozone deflation and the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France. From all of these things […]

UKIP’s Euro-Party decision

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This morning’s paper carried a story that first broke on Newsnight about UKIP’s decision to form a European party, the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe. Much of the coverage has made a point of highlighting the reversal of position by the party since 2011, when there was an extensive internal consultation and vote by members. Certainly, to read […]

Hunkering down for the General Election

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Of all the decisions of the Coalition, the agreement on a fixed-term Parliament has perhaps been one of the most consequential, even as it is one of the least remarked upon, certainly outside of academic circles. In previous Parliaments, we would have had a general election already – probably in 2014, but maybe already in […]

Selling UKIP, selling euroscepticism

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Away from the continuing convolutions of David Cameron over immigration policy, there is the more mundane world of day-to-day euroscepticism in the UK. This often passes unremarked,for it is low-level stuff: a conversation here, an online comment there, an allusion somewhere else. Nothing much when taken as individual actions, but a substantial thing when pulled together. This […]

Two speeches on Europe, half an idea

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“The Pope’s totally with me on this one” It’s that time of year when people apparently decide they need to talk about ‘Europe’: this week we’ve seen two good examples of why this might not be such a good idea. The first, made by former British agriculture minister, Owen Paterson, to the eurosceptic lobby Business for […]

Does UKIP have the brains, bodies and legs to prosper?

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As appears to be usual in these matters, as soon as I am away from my blogging, there’s a whole cavalcade of eurosceptic-ness that appears. Thus I’ve missed out on explaining the joys of the additional UK contribution to the EU’s budget - short version: it’s complicated, but not that complicated - and much of the run-up to today’s […]

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