Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, May 09, 2014

Political irony

What is the most successful party in the UK? SNP? Labour? Lib Dem? Tory? How about UKIP?

British View of Europe Faces a Test
Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, recently unveiled a campaign poster he hopes will help his anti-European message win the European elections later this month…

[P]olls… [suggest] that UKIP, which wants Britain to leave the European Union, could beat both Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party in elections for the European Parliament.

UKIP campaign poster
European elections tend to have a low turnout and little impact on domestic politics here. But with a possible referendum on European Union membership in 2017… this year’s result matters…

How did it come to this?

A popular answer is that as an island and former empire, Britain has always had fewer physical and psychological links to the Continent…

But as Timothy Garton Ash, professor of European studies at the University of Oxford, points out, you don’t have to go back very far to find a pro-European Britain — and a pro-European Conservative Party.

Winston Churchill spoke of a “European dream” as early as 1948. It was a Conservative government that eventually took Britain into the European Union…

In the three decades since then, Britain has become only more European. Britons take advantage of Europe’s low-cost airlines and high-speed trains. Many study, work, marry and retire across European borders…

The irony, says Ulrich Beck, a German sociologist affiliated with the London School of Economics, is that as Britain has become more Europeanized, it has also become more euroskeptic…

But the arguments Mrs. Thatcher once put forward for staying inside the Union are even more relevant in the 21st century, Mr. Garton Ash said: A united Europe brings economic benefits and greater political say on the world stage from climate change to Russian aggression…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

Just The Facts! is a concise guide to concepts, terminology, and examples that will appear on May's exam.










What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, the original version and v2.0 are available to help curriculum planning.











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