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THEME Government, power and politics

British Union of Fascists Riots

British Union of Fascists

The British Union of Fascists rose to power under Oswald Mosley in the 1930’s, the riots that ensued in the streets of the East End have something to teach us about the rise of far right politics in today’s political climate.

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Tariff Reform League

Tariff reform league

The Tariff Reform League was the 1903 dream of Joseph Chamberlain, he rejected free trade, what can we learn from this in the build up to Brexit? Was he misguided in his political view or did he have a point of view worth re-examining in light of the upcoming trade negotiations?

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Appeasement as Pragmatic Policy

Appeasement Policy, why did it have any credibility in Neville Chamberlain’s eyes? Could he really believe Hitler wanted peace and when it did unravel was he really surprised and ill-prepared? Would Churchill have handled this period any better and with the position Britain found itself in at that particular point could Churchill really have fared any better by outright confrontation before 3rd Sept 1939?

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Neville Chamberlain Prime Minister

Neville Chamberlain made an error of judgement it is offten argued in seeking a path of appeasement and in particular by seeking to sacrifice other smaller countries in negotiations with Hitler i order to seek to avoid entangling Britain in a further costly war both in human and economic terms that it was currently ill-equipped to fight whilst still recovering from WW1 and the difficult period between the wars that had been book-ended by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and the Depression of the early 1930s. In this series we ask questions of wider Britain and its easy criticism of Chamberlain, who was damned for a short period of a career that had largely bee dedicated to public service. But was he individually to blame or part of a wider political history of Britain which wrongly and rashly seeks to attribute blame to a single man, even the Prime Minister. The outcome of war with Hitler may not have changed irrespective of Chamberlain’s actions but would we have been better prepared and avoided some of the early errors in WW2 when Britain as a nation was so ill-prepared for war?

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Parliament Act 1911

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Constitutional Crisis 1909-1911

The Barons finally give way to democracy and yield their right of veto against democratically approved laws voted on and approved in the House of Commons. An Act of Parliament settles a bitter dispute from the 1909 Peoples Budget and a vital principle that had taken hundreds of years to establish.

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Arthur James Balfour Prime Minister 1902-1905

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series British Prime Ministers

Arthur James Balfour was a Prime Minister cut from the old aristocratic mould, an intelligent man who perhaps lacked emotional intelligence to match. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, nephew of Lord Salisbury, his mother’s brother. He would serve in coalition during WWI alongside Lloyd George more than strange bed-fellows. It was then that his now infamous Balfour Declaration would be declared and continues to cited as the root cause of the troubles between the Arab and Zionist causes in Palestine. and modern Israel. Unsuccessful Prime Ministers can be even more important it would seem than those that succeed and the failures may also be greatest when they are no longer in the top job.

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Constitutional Crisis People’s Budget 1909

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Reform
This entry is part 2 of 13 in the series Reformers and Radicals
This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Reforming Women

What would cause a king to contemplate the end of the Monarchy and that his son might be the last King? When his Barons, the Lords would rise-up and revolt against the rule of democracy and seek to reinvent the will of the people via its commons from being fulfilled. Lloyd George and Winston Churchill would be the advocates for the poor and common man. Asquith would seek to calm the rage and the King would plead with the Lords to let the Bill pass but it would take two General Elections and never again would this unwritten convention be relied upon without statute to support it.

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Corn Laws Economic History and Big Data

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Poor Law through the Ages
This entry is part 7 of 13 in the series Reformers and Radicals

Learn a little and want to know more then this video by Cambridge University Expert D’Mariss Coffman can help. Find out how this humble grain and cereal returns lead to the “birth of political economy” and the start of Big Data as evidence for economic outcomes. Lecture given as part of the excellent Gresham College series.

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Winston Churchills Legacy a balanced perspective

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Winston Churchill polymath

How can you get a balanced view and perspective about this British Prime Minister and what his real legacy is on this (2015) the 50th Anniversary of Winston Churchill’s state funeral. The historians and politician’s literature never mind Winston’s own writings are huge. He never did a single TV interview Professor Vernon Bogdanor does us all proud with this excellent video lecture, in his roles as Emeritus Professor of Law and Visiting Professor of Political History at the excellent Gresham College find a little time and get an excellent balanced view and appraisal of the legacy left to us all by Winston Churchill.

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