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We’re in it together: the tangled web of EU politics

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One of the recurring themes in talks I give about the EU is the notion of entanglement: the idea that ‘Europe’ is not some distant agency, doing things to us, but rather IS us (at least in part) and that we are caught up in it, whatever we feel about it. A couple of stories […]

A Death in the Family: In memory of John Pinder

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I found out about John Pinder’s passing by chance, talking with a colleague about something else. In a way, it was fitting, for my interactions with John have been largely down to chances that I have been very glad I’ve taken. John was my supervisor for my dissertation at the College of Europe back in the mid-1990s, […]

The EU’s narrative arc

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Narrative arcs seem to be figuring in my life quite a lot at the moment. On the one hand, I’ve just started watching House of Cards and can already see the arc of Frank Underwood’s trajectory being sketched out: the initial pique, the considered revenge, the rise and – I presume – the ultimate hubris. Partly I […]

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 […]

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