A time traveller arriving from July 2019, interested in seeing how politics has moved on, and what progress had been made with Brexit, might be forgiven, at first blush, for thinking nothing at all had changed. ‘Britain close to abandoning hope of Brexit trade deal’, declared the Daily Telegraph this week. Déjà vu all over again.
Boris Johnson’s first year - Professor Tim Bale
23 July 2020
As a classicist, Boris Johnson hardly needs reminding that hubris can lead to nemesis. But hubris must have been hard to avoid. After all, his first six months as Britain’s eighteenth Conservative prime minister were, frankly, little short of miraculous.
When the time comes to write the history of Boris Johnson’s premiership, historians will not be short of material.
What would “taking back control” mean for immigration? That central question would determine how far the government would make its own choices about immigration in Boris Johnson’s first year as prime minister.
COVID-19 and Captivity - Gabriel Lawson
15 July 2020
Gabriel Lawson writes about prisoners-of-war dealing with isolation and its absence.
As progressives in the United States are fond of saying, “The New Deal was a great idea. It is time we tried it”. For its modern critics, the New Deal, as implemented, was not ambitious and transformative enough. A true New Deal would have conceded a lot less to capitalist interests, better protected the environment, and more aggressively addressed racial and gender disparities (rather than exacerbating them).
According to research published this week, it is underlying socio and cultural (as opposed to economic) values that keep the Conservative Party and its electoral coalition together and give it the best chance of connecting with the voters it will need to win again in 2024.
By Professor Norman Fenton, Dr. Magda Osman, Professor Martin Neil, and Dr. Scott McLachlan.
After COVID19 - Lord Peter Hennessy
24 June 2020
Lord Peter Hennessy asks what we might learn from the experience of another hinge moment: 1945, when an exhausted but victorious Britain launched a new social contract.
While Cummings’s vision for reforming government looks even more questionable in the light of the pandemic, it is not sufficient simply to attack ideas of reform, writes Patrick Diamond. He explains what system of government Britain needs in order to be better able to solve problems in the future.
The largest mass migrations in South Asia since the time of partition are taking place in India during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indians are on the move in every direction from the major urban centres, criss-crossing the nation on their way homeward to towns and villages across the country.
The anti-Brexit movement: failing to Remain (united)
16 June 2020
With the UK in lockdown and Covid-19 still on the rampage, it is easy to lose sight of the looming deadline for Britain and the EU to avoid a no-deal Brexit. Talks between Brussels and London have stalled and no progress on the key issues has been made.
Coronavirus plunged the world into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Many governments are trying to revitalise their economies by gradually lifting lockdown measures, including the UK.
The Mile End Institute is situated within the School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR) at Queen Mary University of London. This piece affirms the School’s solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and provides resources recommended by the School’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee.
Professor Sophie Harman has contributed to new polling analysis which reveals the pressure on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) women during the coronavirus lockdown.
Supporters of populist parties are often portrayed as politically naïve or misinformed, but to what extent does this image reflect reality? Drawing on a new study, Stijn van Kessel, Javier Sajuria and Steven M. Van Hauwaert present evidence that populist party supporters are not less informed than supporters of other parties. However, supporters of right-wing populist parties had a greater tendency to give incorrect answers to political knowledge questions, suggesting there are key differences between the characteristics of left-wing and right-wing populist voters.
By the Establishment, I do not only mean the centres of official power—though they are certainly part of it—but rather the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power is exercised. The exercise of power in the United Kingdom (more specifically, in England) cannot be understood unless it is recognized that it is exercised socially.
Patrick Diamond writes that the Cummings coronavirus row has wider implications for the machinery of British government. These revolve around the status of political advisers and the future of Cummings’s state reform visions.
It Could Happen Here - Professor Sophie Harman
27 May 2020
It couldn’t happen here. A one-off event, at first as big as the 2008 financial crisis, and then equal to if not bigger than the end of the Second World War. Unique in its reach, impact, and cause. Locking down populations, shifting work, school, and childcare patterns, and reorienting whole health, social, political and economic systems to manage a health crisis all seemingly without precedent.
Jewish nationalists defending ‘Christian Europe’ and attacking ‘evil globalism’? For Benjamin Netanyahu and conspiratorial son Yair, the illiberal Islamophobic ethnonationalism of Europe’s radical right is just too enticing.
Leading the opposition is an extraordinarily difficult job. In fact, it’s at least four different jobs at the same time, each of which needs different skills.
It’s an ill wind, they say, that blows nobody any good. And the coronavirus crisis is no exception. It’s too early to tell how – or how much – it will change UK politics in the long term. But we can at least make some educated guesses about the short- to medium-term opportunities and threats it presents to the Conservative government and to its Labour opposition.
Experts from the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary University of London have contributed to new research published today which reveals the stark reality of the coronavirus pandemic for parents and keyworkers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a new problem in our constitutional arrangements. How would we replace a prime minister during a national emergency?
'Expelliarmus, Jeeves!' - Dr Robert Saunders
30 April 2020
If you need a break from Covid-19, here is some light relief.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Harry Potter met Jeeves and Wooster? Or if Aunt Agatha dated Lord Voldemort? Our co-director, Robert Saunders, has the answers, in 'Expelliarmus, Jeeves!'
Patrick Diamond dissects the UK’s response to the COVID-19 crisis so far and how it has been determined by a number of underlying weaknesses within its policy-making systems – among other things, the British Government’s reluctant attitude towards policy learning and borrowing.
Coronavirus: A Policy Melting Pot by Griffin Shiel
8 April 2020
From a cursory glance at the UK Government’s Coronavirus Action Plan, it would be easy to assume that the virus is almost exclusively an issue for the Department of Health and Social Care. It’s safe to say Professor Chris Whitty (Chief Medical Officer), Dr Jenny Harries (Deputy Chief Medical Officer) and Matt Hancock (Health Secretary) have had more air time than even they could have imagined.
This article was originally published by The Conversation on 31 March 2020.
A comparison of how British and Israeli leaders are handling the Coronavirus crisis.
This article was originally published by The Times of Israel on 31 March 2020.
by John Kenny, Nick Or, Andra Roescu, Will Jennings (University of Southampton) and Peter K. Enns (Cornell University and Roper Center for Public Opinion Research)
At this moment of crisis the UK needs a constructive opposition, not a compliant one.
This article was originally published by NewStatesman on 25 March 2020.
COVID-19 and the Transition Period by Professor Tim Bale
20 March 2020
This article was originally published by the UK in a Changing Europe on 19 March 2020.
Gawain Towler served as Director of Communications for the Brexit Party and was previously Head of Press for UKIP. In a special In Conversation event co-hosted by Queen Mary University of London’s Mile End Institute and The UK in a Changing Europe, he reflected on a 16-year political journey towards Brexit.
Brexit shows how a tiny party can have big consequences
3 December 2019
Nigel Farage’s pro-Brexit parties forced the much bigger Conservative Party to live up to its rhetoric.
The nature of ‘Corbynomics’ – and four key questions it faces
3 December 2019
Nick Garland and Colm Murphy share their thoughts following a Mile End Institute panel on 'Corbynomics'.
Professor Tim Bale has noted how British Jews are "clearly very worried about Jeremy Corbyn and the direction of the Labour Party". In an article written by Thomas K. Grose for U.S. News
Professor Hennessy said that Boris Johnson had “acted with immense insensitivity as well as illegality in advising the Queen to approve an order in council proroguing parliament”.
Labour conference: Jeremy Corbyn battles it out with members over Brexit
23 September 2019
Tim Bale, Professor of Politics from Queen Mary University of London has written an opinion piece for The Conversation about Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party and their stance on Brexit. He argues that Corbyn – supposedly a very different leader of the Labour Party and one who promised to be guided by its members – will probably get away with ignoring them when it comes to Brexit.
Dr Robert Saunders, Senior Lecturer in Modern British History, shared his views on the suspension of Parliament on Twitter.
In conversation with Chris Skidmore MP
8 July 2019
Speaking at the Mile End Institute, Chris Skidmore, the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, shared his vision for higher education after Brexit.
There is evidence that post-referendum ‘entryism’ has helped drive the Conservatives into ultra-Brexiteer territory.
Robert Saunders, a historian at Queen Mary University of London spoke to The Economist about the British Constitution.
Are referendums the future of British democracy?
26 February 2019
The 2016 Brexit referendum is having a profound impact on how the UK is governed yet for other countries referendums are a regular aspect of the political process. Queen Mary’s Mile End Institute hosted a panel discussion on 25 February to explore this topic.
The latest survey shows that the House of Commons has become even more polarised on Brexit. Tim Bale, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary, believes this will make the Prime Minister’s job even more difficult.
The survey of political party members, led by Professor Tim Bale from Queen Mary University of London, has shed new light on grassroots views on Brexit.