Electoral law is being undermined and this is a risk for democracy

An important sign that a democracy is less than healthy must surely be when people cease to follow the rules which sustain it. Today has revealed yet more evidence that the Leave campaigns in the 2016 UK referendum broke electoral law. It is crucial to democratic elections that they observe the law, that there is no undue influence exerted at any stage, and that money is correctly spent. The risk … Read more

Britain is experiencing deadlock politics

To the outsider, watching Prime Minister May struggle to make constructive proposals and secure agreement on its exit from the EU, it must seem as though the UK has suddenly gone mad. This is certainly what my neighbours here in South-West France think! That would however misunderstand the complexities that the UK – and all the other 27 members of the EU – are faced with. The current difficulties the … Read more

Brexit risks – Bad things happen when good people do nothing

The Brexit risks multiply. As Theresa May and her team consider their options for Brexit, and lawyers prepare their arguments for next week’s Supreme Court hearing on Parliamentary sovereignty and the Brexit trigger, the clock ticks closer to the moment when Article 50 will be set in motion and the count-down on Brexit will start. More and more observers agree that we are faced with an enormous and unprecedented political … Read more

The murder of Jo Cox is a wake-up call for our political culture

The MP Jo Cox was by all accounts one who was very kind, devoted and compassionate, the epitome of the conscientious MP that is a model of an elected public servant. And she happened to support Remain. Yet on Thursday she was murdered while going about her constituency business. The main suspect seems to have had far-right leanings, although this has yet to be proved. This tells us something very … Read more

The strange death of the post-war British political order

When major change happens it can be hard to see what’s really happening. All is flux and uncertainty. In the British 2015 general election fundamental change is happening before our eyes and yet we can’t see what it is. We persist in thinking in terms of the old model of the political order when it has already gone and things have shifted beyond what we can conceive. It will take … Read more

A UK political system in crisis

Today UK politics is confronted by the challenge of the breakdown of the two-party system and is struggling to come up with behaviours to deal with the new reality. A UK political system predicated on the First Past The Post electoral system and the long-term historical dominance by two main nationwide parties is arguably ill-equipped to respond to a multi-party situation, made more complex by a trend towards nationalist parties … Read more