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How do eurosceptics position themselves: winning the argument or fighting the system?

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The past week has been something of a trip to the past for me. For many years, watching eurosceptics and anti-EU groups was characterised by endless cries that they were fighting ‘the system’, outcasts who had seen the truth and railed against almost impossible odds. That idea of righteousness that underpins such a worldview is one that I […]

When is now for eurosceptics?

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At the end of last week, the Commission announced it was supporting the opening of accession negotiations with Albania, a decision that the December European Council will be asked to approve. This comes on the back of a 4 year process since Albania lodged its application, including a series of very stringent and involved demands by […]

The dangers of obfuscation on ‘Europe’

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Yesterday saw the UK’s Supreme Court hand down its ruling on R v. Secretary of State for Justice and McGeoch v. Lord President of the Council. These cases related to two prisoners on life sentences for murder challenging the denial of their right to vote.  Unlike the Hirst case of 2005, which first established that the UK’s blanket ban on prisoner voting […]

Two birds on a perch…: The UKIP MEP ballot

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This week saw the release of UKIP’s list of candidates for the 2014 European elections. For a party widely expected to top the poll next year, this is an important stage in their management of that election. It was also an important event, because the party had made a conscious effort to change its mechanism for selecting candidates this […]

The closing space for pro-EU arguments

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A couple of pieces this week have brought me to consider how difficult the non-sceptic side of the EU debate has become in theUK. My rather awkward choice of ‘non-sceptic’ is used advisedly, following Jon Worth’s line about the pointlessness of being ‘pro-European’. As I have discussed before, there is no one euroscepticism, but rather […]

The third age of European integration?

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Returning from UACES, and eager not to get lost in the big pile of emails that awaits me, I spent some time thinking about how to integrate all of the things that I’d been hearing over the past few days. While my focus had been mainly on euroscepticism, I also listened to sessions on the […]

Winter Games Start Early in Russia

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A chill wind is blowing through Russia’s relations with the USA (again), with references aplenty to Cold War thinking. Listen to most mainstream media coverage (and Twitter) and you would think that President Obama’s decision today to cancel his one to one with President Putin was all about Russia’s decision to offer Snowden asylum. That […]

Bloom in Bongo-Bongo Land: how did he get to be there?

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By sheer coincidence, I was in a position to talk to some UKIP activists yesterday, as the Godfrey Bloom ‘bongo-bongo’ story developed.  I mention this, because a consistent issue for the party (and others) is the charge of media bias (or here, for (lots) more). ‘Let’s get it straight from the horse’s mouth’, was my thinking […]

Can UKIP keep it up?

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The summertime is a cruel one for politicians: everyone is focused on their holidays, rather than social justice or market liberalisation. The main political institutions are on a break and the media starts to develop an interest in esoterica. Even the politicians themselves feel that a pause is in order. However, for some that is […]

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