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17 May 2004
The development of the European Union has been a quiet, understated exercise in compromise which Britons might be expected to appreciate if they were permitted the political head space to reflect upon it.
3 May 2004
David Blunkett and Tony Blair
think that identity cards are a good thing. And opinion pollsters tells us
that maybe 80 per cent of adult Britons think so too. But is this good enough
reason for a policy for which the practical benefits seem remarkably thin?
26 April 2004
In agreeing to hold a referendum
on Europe, Tony Blair has set himself the ambitious task of re-writing powerful
British myths about themselves and their neighbours.
1 March 2004
The government wants a national
standard for the availability of medical interventions such as IVF, but it
also wants local people to have a greater say in the provision of services
in their area. This paradox will not resolve itself for so long as national
politics remains the only show in town.
16 February 2004
The failure of the Prime
Minister to support his own government's worked-out policy on immigration
by workers from the E.U. accession countries of eastern Europe illustrates
the credibility gap he has opened up with an increasingly unconvinced electorate.
Pandering to the right wing press on the issue will not paper over the cracks.
12 January 2004
When laws are broken by responsible people in
their millions, enforcement is not the answer. It's time for the government
to look for a more constructive approach.
1 December 2003
Tory leader Michael Howard
sounded more liberal than the government on asylum last week. So perhaps it's
time to acknowledge that the public attitudes on this issue are more complicated
than they look.
11 August 2003
By toughening up on asylum-seekers,
the government is turning complicated human issues into a numbers game that
it cannot win. Spare a thought for the innocent victims caught in the fall
Real people don't vote
23 June 2003
The connection between elections
and reality was always tenuous, but never more so than it is today. Non-voters
are not nihilists, but honest citizens increasingly unwilling to collude in
When perception is the problem
12 May 2003When it comes to votes, public perception matters more than statistical reality. This makes politicians say (and do) foolish things. In the end we all pay for it.
5 May 2003The results of the local elections in England raise questions for all three main parties. But really it all comes down to one big question: What is a political party for?
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