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Politics

The Celebration of Difference

The European Union is currently experiencing a number of challenges to its existence, challenges that were always present but have been compounded and magnified since the global economic recession.  It is a truism that political crises follow economic ones, a sequence of events especially evident at the supranational level of European governance. Storm clouds may […]

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Politics Saving Face

Overstepping the Mark

A previous post, the location of shame, made the case against those who view the relational world as either a sub-set of social class or irrelevant to understanding class as a mechanism of social reproduction. Rather than arguing that emotions such as shame are the effect of class positioning, it was argued that the capacity […]

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Knowing Your Place Politics

You and the Old School Tie

When together, images of David Cameron and George Osborne (British Prime Minister and Chancellor respectively) trigger in many minds the power of the ‘old school tie’ – the old boys’ network where the saying ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ rings loud and true. They represent a sense of confidence, assuredness and […]

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Politics Saving Face

Attack Dogs

In an article in today’s English Guardian entitled Best frenemies, David Runciman explores the disturbing hold of British newspapers over politicians (in particular the Rupert Murdoch-owned papers). Often commented upon, the influence of this section of the press on government and political decision making is viewed by many as a corruptive force, one that appeals […]

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Politics The Family

The Worst Betrayal

In politics, personality does matter, but not for the usual reasons described. Many believe personality politics is the style to policy’s substance, a minor but necessary sideshow in the realpolitiking of modern governance. But this assumption neglects to take seriously the public’s concern over personality; i.e., with the substance of the person who wishes to lead […]

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Politics

Outside, Looking In?

Jeremy Paxman, the sometime scourge of feeble-minded politicians, host of University Challenge and pillar of the British media establishment, states in an interview published today that “I’ve always felt myself to be an outsider”. Really? Jeremy Paxman, ex-student of Malvern/Cambridge? One of the most recognisable faces/voices in Britain? A man with powerful connections and influence […]

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Politics

The World: Not Gone Mad

Theresa May’s recent attack on the Human Rights Act was either an example of political cynicism or political stupidity. She may even have managed to find the exact space where the two converge. This space is a dangerous but necessary one for a politician to occupy. Communicative acts between politician and public are fragile and easily […]