This is the most democratic government since universal suffrage

Norman Geras has a go at Deborah Orr, for saying that the Government has a thin democratic mandate. He’s right. Accusations about legitimacy are an outgrowth of the majoritarian mindset our politics creates – the idea that Strong Governments win outright and then do what the hell they like for five years. The Government is […]

Scotland: Law v. Politics

This row over the Scottish referendum is going to be fascinating. From a wonkish perspective, I almost hope that they don’t settle it before it goes to court. It’s a classic “law vs. politics” clash, as you can tell from the fact that the UK Government are going on about what is legally required, while […]

He hath commanded his covenant for ever

I’m not sure I like the idea of putting the military covenant – the “deal” with the armed forces that they fight for us and we treat them right in return – on a statutory footing, as David Cameron is about to propose. This isn’t from any desire to do down our armed forces, but because […]

It’s a very different election in Scotland

David Cameron didn’t win last night’s final TV debate for Scottish viewers. In fact if Nick Clegg had announced a new compulsory programme of bestiality in primary schools and Gordon Brown had broken down in tears and lay in the corner shaking the consensus of opinion at workplace coffee machines this morning would be “But […]

Will voter apathy undermine Cameron’s “big society”?

Amid claims that Conservative strategists have doubts about the resonance of their “big society” theme Henry Irving – PhD student & post grad tutor at Leeds University – finds historical precedents that will both cheer and worry them: “Like his call for a ‘bonfire’ of quangos and depiction of Britain facing a choice between two […]

Avoiding the issue

Image via Wikipedia One horrror movie staple is the monstrous beast that revives unexpectedly when you think the hero has killed it. Another is the monstrous beast unleashing a hideous scream as it disappears into oblivion. Time will tell whether the wails of the media and the two main parties over the last few days […]

Domestic Issues raised in the first Leaders’ Debate

There is no doubt that last night political history was made with the first live television debate between the leaders of the three main parties. Questions were put to them on domestic issues covering education, health, crime and the recovery from an audience hand picked to reflect British society. So was the debate focused on […]