Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, July 08, 2016

The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. -Duke of Wellington (allegedly)

Is this topic about cleavages or about leadership or both? We should note that many contemporary leaders in Labour (like Tony Blari) attended Oxford. (Not Jeremy Corbyn who went to University of North London.)

British Politics Gives a Sense of Government by Old School Chums
By opposing Mr. Cameron over Brexit, Mr. Gove, the government’s justice secretary, betrayed not just his boss and the leader of the Conservative Party, but also an old friend… That is surely sad for them, but it also illustrates the peculiarities of a system whose dysfunction… has been caused in part by the extreme incestuousness and myopia of Britain’s governing elite…
Former friends: wives of David Cameron and Michael Gove
Looking at the backgrounds of the leading personalities in the Brexit drama, it is hard not to conclude that Britain has been led into crisis in large part by a bunch of old chums who spent the last year holed up in a political hall of mirrors, plotting with and scheming against one another…

The top four figures in the debate — Mr. Cameron; Mr. Gove; Boris Johnson, the pro-Brexit former mayor of London; and George Osborne, the anti-Brexit chancellor of the Exchequer — all went to Oxford. Both Mr. Gove and Mr. Johnson were presidents of the Oxford Union. Mr. Johnson, Mr. Cameron and Mr. Osborne all belonged to the upper-crust, drink-until-you-spew Bullingdon Club. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Cameron were both educated at Eton. The Goves and the Osbornes take vacations together…
Former friends: Cameron and Gove
“You really get the impression that the government is being run by a clique at public school,” said the novelist and political commentator Robert Harris. “They live in the same area of West London, they all socialize together, they were at one another’s weddings, and they are godparents to one another’s children. There’s a sense of a gilded circle who have played student-union politics with the country, in the service of their own ambition.”

Theresa May, the home secretary and a front-runner in the race to be party leader, is not part of that coterie. She is seen as an independent operator who is loath to make boys’-club-style closed-door deals. Appearing to be an actual grown-up, in contrast to the squabbling, backstabbing men now in power, has helped position Ms. May as a welcome antidote to the current disarray. Although, to be fair, she also went to Oxford…

The top players in both the Tory and Labour Parties tend to go to parties and dinners with the journalists who cover them, and do their best to court the influential owners of their newspapers, too. In the London government-journalistic complex…

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Two pages summarizing the course requirements to help you review and study for the final and for the big exam in May. . It contains a description of comparative methods, a list of commonly used theories, a list of vital concepts, thumbnail descriptions of the AP6, and a description of the AP exam format. $2.00. Order HERE.

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