Unit 2

This category contains 28 posts

Freedom of Speech

As a liberal democracy Britain has long had the tradition of a free press. This article suggests that current coalition policies directly threaten this. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9696389/Call-a-truce-before-centuries-of-free-speech-are-brought-to-an-end.html Advertisements

The reshuffle

David Cameron conducted his first major reshuffle last week and the details of who is in or out; promoted or demoted dominates the Sunday papers. The Guardian’s Andrew Rawnsley suggests that Cameron has provided a masterclass in how NOT to reshuffle a cabinet. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/09/andrew-rawnsley-cameron-cabinet-reshuffle There have been quite a few grumblings this week that the … Continue reading

The Cabinet Reshuffle

David Cameron reshuffled his Cabinet this afternoon. With several high profile scalps and demotions this is arguably the biggest assertion of the PM’s power over government thus far. Needless to say the online editions of the broadsheets and magazines have already produced enormous amounts of copy on this story. Here are some of my favourites … Continue reading

Human Rights: What are they and where do they come from?

Human Rights and the extent to which the UK constitution and courts are able to preserve them are key topics in Unit 2. This video (from the LSE blog) is a lecture given by Prof. Connor Gearty on the concept of Human Rights. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/2012/06/22/dna-human-rights-gearty/  

Conservative Euroscepticism

This piece from Tim Bale examines the recent relationship between the Conservative Party and Europe and suggests that an ‘in-out’ referendum on membership could occur in the future. This speculative story links to Unit 1 material on referendums and parties as well as Unit 2 questions on the constitution. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/2012/06/11/britain-eu-exit-bale/#more-24326

Holding the PM to Account

The BSkyB, Murdoch, Hunt, phone- hacking saga provided some wonderful Unit 2 examples this week. Any question on ‘how effecitvely is the PM held to account’, ‘how effective is Parliament in holding the PM to account’, ‘how powerful is the PM’ or indeed questions concerning the power or accountability of Ministers would benefit from this anecdote. 1) On … Continue reading

Tory Backbenchers Threaten House of Lords Reform

This story is a god- send to AS politics pupils- if ever there was a multipurpose example this is it… For many Liberal Democrats constitutional reform was the pay back for getting into a political bed populated with ‘nasty’ Tories back in 2010, we all know that electoral reform didn’t go well for the Liberals … Continue reading

‘Carry on Qatada’

In a headline shameless borrowed from the Independent. The saga about the deportation of Qatada lumbers on. This has important implications to civil liberties in the UK it also raises important questions about national sovereignty. It’s certainly one to keep an eye on over the coming days. Here is a good piece from the Guardian … Continue reading

Bradford West By- Election

Over the Easter break George Galloway made a return to Parliament. The former Labour Party MP and leader of the Respect Party was elected as MP in Bradford West. (You need to update your stats on the make up of Parliament- its not just Caroline Lucas representing a minor party in England now!) By- Elections … Continue reading

President Dave?

While everything went wrong at home David Cameron has been clocking up some air miles in recent weeks with a trip to the USA and his current tour to Asia. The trips themselves provide good examples for the idea that a ‘Presidential PM’ behaves as a statesman- going to Japan to drum up investment in … Continue reading

Cameron’s Authority

David Cameron has had a rather difficult few weeks- the Health and Social Care Act 2012 is a woefully unpopular piece of legislation, Osborne’s budget has been criticised- most recently over the cap on tax relief for charitable donations (a policy that appears to be diametrically opposed to everything the Big Society seems to stand … Continue reading

Clegg on Lords Reform

This piece on Lord’s reform is generally quite interesting, it does however also include a brilliant soundbite, according to Nick Clegg, the retention of an appointments system for the upper chamber “puts Britain in the same league as Jordan, Belize and Burkina Faso”. Well worth remembering for an essay on constitutional reform or the House of Lords in Unit … Continue reading

House of Lords Reform

Just a quick summary of the coalitions plans for House of Lords refrom in this Parliamentary session- excellent if you are sitting Unit 2 in the summer and need to think about Constitutional or Parliamentary reform but also for Unit 1 when the House of Lords is a key aspect of the UK’s democratic deficit. … Continue reading

It’s all in the wording

Referendums are viewed by some a twenty first century incarnation of direct democracy that will halt the participation crisis, by others they are the tool of dictators. What most people on either side of the argument agree on is that the wording of the question is imperative to achieving a fair and democratic result. This … Continue reading

Conservative Party Factions

In Unit 1 you are required to know about divisions within as well as between the parties. There has been a lot of attention on the Labour party of late, with people examining the pros and cons of Blue, Red, Purple and Black Labour. There has been less said about the formal groupings within the Tories. … Continue reading

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