Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Monthly Archives: November 2014

The gender balance gap between the European Parliament and national parliaments – updated

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In the December 2014 issue of “European Union Politics” there is a  paper by Fortin-Rittberger & Rittberger* titled “Do electoral rules matter? Explaining national differences in women’s representation in the European Parliament“ (an earlier version in open access here). Looking mainly at data from 2009 (and 2004), the key question of their paper is, in my summary: Why […]

Two speeches on Europe, half an idea

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“The Pope’s totally with me on this one” It’s that time of year when people apparently decide they need to talk about ‘Europe’: this week we’ve seen two good examples of why this might not be such a good idea. The first, made by former British agriculture minister, Owen Paterson, to the eurosceptic lobby Business for […]

Climate change – a tale of economic growth

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The photo of Australians sticking their heads in the sand to protest against Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s lack of commitment to climate change came just a few days after the US and China agreed to reduce their emissions and start tackling climate change. The USA has promised to reduce its emissions by 26%-28% below its […]

How to kill a premium brand

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Remember when they wanted to change the recipe of Coca Cola? Very bad idea. If there’s one golden rule in marketing, it’s not to mess around with well-established household brands. You may surprise the customer with brand extensions – diet coke, cherry coke, coke zero – but you never ever alienate him from the core […]

Home truths for the Home Secretary

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Was the Home Secretary, Theresa May, right to make this statement on today’s Andrew Marr Show on BBC TV? ‘We’ve changed in relation to peoples access to benefits so people can’t come here and start claiming benefits immediately.’ What Theresa May didn’t say is that it’s never been the case that EU migrants can come to the […]

Does UKIP have the brains, bodies and legs to prosper?

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As appears to be usual in these matters, as soon as I am away from my blogging, there’s a whole cavalcade of eurosceptic-ness that appears. Thus I’ve missed out on explaining the joys of the additional UK contribution to the EU’s budget - short version: it’s complicated, but not that complicated - and much of the run-up to today’s […]

Politicians abandon English for Ukipish

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At this week’s by-election in Rochester and Strood the language of politics has once again turned to fear of immigration.  But is it right to blame immigrants who are not the cause of our problems?  Why have leading politicians allowed Ukip to dominate the agenda, rather than saying, “We reject your scapegoating”? Instead, it seems […]