Tag Archives: Politics

Why did Rome Fall? – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 38 Part 3

Ruins of Ancient RomeAt the end of Volume 3 of Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and Gibbon is in a reflective mood. It feels very much like he is intending on finishing his story here with the end of the Roman Empire in the West as a legal entity.  In fact I think that is exactly what his intentions were.  This is how he puts it. Continue reading

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Reasons To Vote UKIP – From An Historical Perspective

UKIPGeorge Bernard Shaw once said something along the lines that it is possible for a small and determined group of people to change the world.  And that in fact, this was the only thing that ever did change the world.  He was right, but that doesn’t take away from the courage and energy it requires to start a political party from scratch in a system that punishes third parties let alone non-existent ones. Continue reading

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Reasons To Vote Liberal Democrat – From An Historical Perspective

Liberal_Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have a heritage that comes from the nineteenth century Liberal Party, with its great legacy of reform and from the Labour Party, via the Social Democrat party.  They probably don’t get a lot of credit from current voters for the 1831 Great Reform Act, but its is not a bad thing to have a link to historical achievements of such a great magnitude. Continue reading

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Reasons To Vote SNP – From An Historical Perspective

Scottish_National_Party

I won’t be voting SNP for the very good reason that I am not Scottish and don’t live in Scotland.  For the same reason, I was tempted to leave the SNP out of this series.  But if the SNP win a lot of seats in Scotland and no other party gets a majority in the Commons, it is not inconceivable that the SNP would be the kingmakers.  So how do I feel about that? Continue reading

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Reasons to Vote Labour – From An Historical Perspective

Labour_Party

No party in Britain has a more romantic history than the Labour Party.  It is a thread in British society that goes back to the Diggers and the Levellers of the Civil War, continues through the struggles of the Trade Unionists and the Chartists and in which the founding of a socialist party to represent working people is the culmination of centuries of idealism.  It is a story that no PR man could invent and which only the hardest of hearts could not find some sympathy with. Continue reading

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Reasons to Vote Green – From An Historical Perspective

green party

The ice cap at the North Pole melted, and you were worrying about the budget deficit?  Sea levels rose around the world and you were bothered about bankers’ bonuses?  The world’s food supply failed to keep up with population growth and you were focused on immigration controls?  How are future generations going to look back on our obsessions.  Will our current pre-occupations seem as irrelevant to them as the medieval disputes over simony or transubstantiation? Continue reading

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Reasons To Vote Conservative – Historical Perspective

conservative partyThe Conservative Party’s origins go back ultimately to the royalists of the English Civil War – though the descent is not a linear one.  They have also acquired DNA from the Liberals with and without capital Ls and from intellectual influences like Edmund Burke.  They have always been about supporting the establishment, but have often done it in some highly creative and unexpected ways.  In particular they managed to play a large part in the creation of a mass democracy at the end of the nineteenth century and went on to become a mass party with a huge membership during the twentieth.  One might have thought that they were deliberately doing it to prove Marxist notions of class interest wrong.  But the strongest vein in the Conservative Party has always been pragmatism, and that is usually the best explanation for whatever it is the Tories happen to be up to. Continue reading

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Prince Andrew – What Do You Expect with HIS Family Background?

Prince_Andrew

Things get pretty mixed up over the course of 1600 years, but there is a smidge of the blood of Alfred the Great in the veins of Prince Andrew.  In fact he has some kind of relationship to most of the occupants of the English throne.  And while some of them are admirable human beings, the plain fact is that there are some monsters in there too.  They really don’t constitute a great advert for family values in the round.  Some of them took mistresses in a raffish and charming way, like say Charles II. Others would stop at nothing to get what they wanted.  Henry VIII even started a new religion so he could marry who he chose, and later was quite prepared to cut former wives heads off to avoid all the bother of a divorce.  George II managed to devote almost his entire energies during his reign to his mistresses. Continue reading

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The Nazis Were Socialists, Not Right Wingers

An unusual viewpoint expressed in a Youtube video making the rather remarkable assertion that the Nazis were socialists.

If you can’t be troubled to watch it – it is only 5 minutes or so but boy are they long minutes – here is a quick resumé of the gist of the argument.   Fascism and Nazism both came out of socialism, and simply reconciled the idea of socialism to that of nationalism.  Nazism was similar in many ways to communism, which is defined as being the extreme left.  In particular you had a cult of the personality of the leader, collectivist solutions to problems including welfare systems and a large degree of state intervention and were very authoritarian. Continue reading

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The UK General Election in 1983

1983 General Election

I didn’t vote in the 1979 election because of some reason or other that I no longer remember.  I wasn’t too fussed by the outcome of it, though I think I would have voted Labour had I managed to get to the polling booth.  I was vaguely disappointed that the Conservatives had got in, while being quite pleased that we had a woman prime minister. Continue reading

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