Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Making sense of it all

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Yesterday, the European Parliament had one of its regular discussions about Brexit, following the meeting between Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker in Luxembourg. As before, the Parliament passed a resolution to the effect that a deal was desirable, a no-deal was very bad, and citizens’ rights must be protected in every case. Rather than discuss […]

A general election is more democratic than a referendum

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LibDem leader, Jo Swinson, has promised that if her party wins the general election, they will revoke Aritcle 50 and cancel Brexit. Some people are crying that would be undemocratic, as it would mean undoing the referendum result of 2016. Some are even claiming that it would represent an insult to the 17.4 million who […]

Cameron, May, Johnson: Where they went wrong

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The three Tory Prime Ministers of this millennium – David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson – could have been the solvers of Brexit if only they had been wiser, magnanimous and acted in the national interest. ▪ WISER – by realising that an advisory referendum, with such a narrow win for Leave, did not mean having […]

Brexit. What is it? Nobody really knows

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Everybody’s talking about it. We have to do it, don’t we? We should have done it three years ago. Why is it taking so long? Just get on with it! The ‘it’ in Brexit has never been defined. Nobody really knows what it means. But people keep saying we have to do it. After all, […]

Tories are revolting

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The Conservatives used to be the party of Europe. Their greatest war leader, Winston Churchill, was a passionate proponent of the “union of Europe as a whole” as the way to create lasting peace on our continent. Although he didn’t at first envisage the UK joining this union – because we already had our Empire […]

What would it take for a decision on Brexit to be made?

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Part of me is surprised that it took until now for me to get overtaken by events. A monastery, recently Yesterday morning I was recording a podcast outside the monastery where the Treaty of Lisbon was signed in 2007, but by the time I could get to sufficiently useful wifi, Parliament had moved on enough […]

80 years ago: The start of World War Two

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It was 80 years ago – on 1 September 1939 – that the Second World War started, when the German Nazi army launched a ferocious and unprovoked invasion of Poland. In the face of this unjustified aggression by Germany’s ‘Third Reich’, the United Kingdom and France could only resolve to declare war on Germany three […]

Analysing Crisis Parliamentary Discourse in Greece: Who Should We Blame?

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In a period of economic and political crisis, political rhetoric varies and blame shifting increases (Boin, Hart and McConnell, 2009).  By looking at the ‘crisis’ period in Greece (2009-2015) and the parliamentary bailout debates we argue that when it comes to ‘who should we blame’, the discourse moves towards the form of ‘historical blame shifting’, which does not only focus on blaming the external enemy but mainly blaming previous governments for colliding with the external enemy (Ladi and Tsagkroni, 2019).

Another Brexit autumn

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The fitful progress of Brexit produces natural rhythms of activity. The summer lull, followed by the autumn rush/panic. Hard to believe that less than a year ago we were having the Salzburg summit and wondering whether any text of a Withdrawal Agreement could be produced at all. Simple times. And now we get to look […]

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