The Centre Holds: European Union Election

Summary  There is no populist right anti-EU surge. Voting participation increased. The old centre-right and centre-left in the European Parliament declined but the centre holds with a  stronger role for Greens and Liberals. The European Union is not anti-democratic and does not impose its will on member states. Its decision-making is complex, but that is … Continue reading The Centre Holds: European Union Election

Latest thoughts on Brexit: Its Decay, Italy (and Ireland), Cars, and Giving up British Citizenship

The slow decay of Brexit: a Rule-Taking Country I don’t mean that the UK will stay in the EU. I fully expect it to formally depart next year. If the poor performance of the UK economy compared with the Eurozone continues, I also expect the UK to rejoin in a few decades, when the growth … Continue reading Latest thoughts on Brexit: Its Decay, Italy (and Ireland), Cars, and Giving up British Citizenship

Assessing Elections in Poland and Argentina in the Context of Populism and Liberalism in Europe and South America I (liberalism in the classical sense of course).

Election results I’ve seen today from weekend elections in Argentina and Poland and the more general thoughts they have inspired. Rather longer than I anticipated so posted in two parts, though not separated in time given that I am articulating immediate reactions. The Polish parliamentary election has been bad news for those who share the perspective of … Continue reading Assessing Elections in Poland and Argentina in the Context of Populism and Liberalism in Europe and South America I (liberalism in the classical sense of course).

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation, 20. Concluding Remarks

This series (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16i, 16.ii, 17, 18, 19) has explored a number of ways in which those who support a very sovereign United Kingdom completely separate from the European Union, and even other European institutions like the European Court for Human Rights, … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation, 20. Concluding Remarks

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XIX, Charters and Constitutions

The last post discussed the historical role of law. This post finally delivers the promise to discuss constitutions and charters. The sovereigntist Eurosceptic position in Britain standardly includes an elevation of Magna Carta into the greatest document ever in human liberty or, in more moderate versions of this position, certainly the greatest since it was … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XIX, Charters and Constitutions

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XVIII: Laws, Juridification and the Administrative State

The last post focused on the distinction between civil and common law, with regard to Britain’s position as a common law country in contrast with the civil law tradition of the rest of Europe. The promise at the end was to move onto laws, charters, and constitutions in this post. However, I have found it … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XVIII: Laws, Juridification and the Administrative State

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XVI, Britain’s Significant Others: France and Germany (2)

Continuing from here. The French, or at least the dominant part of its elites, together with a more ambiguous but largely assenting public opinion, sees the chance to maintain a large European role and an accompanying global role through the EU, using the EU to maintain the importance of French as an administrative language and … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XVI, Britain’s Significant Others: France and Germany (2)

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XVI, Britain’s Significant Others: France and Germany (1)

Moving on from the narrative of British history concluded in the last post, some thoughts about the way that Britain has existed as a European nation in comparison with other nations, mostly Germany and France. Britain has been defining itself in comparison with these two, in more or less friendly ways since Germany emerged as … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XVI, Britain’s Significant Others: France and Germany (1)

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XIII, Revolution and the Dutch Model in the mid 17th Century

The last post went up to the reign of James I in the early seventeenth century known as Jacobean England/Britain, because Jacobus is the Latin form of James. James I was also James VI of Scotland, unifying the two crowns in his person. He wished to created a unified British state, but this was not … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XIII, Revolution and the Dutch Model in the mid 17th Century

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XII, 16th Century England in relation to the Dutch Revolt, Germany & Spain

The idea of a very sovereign and separate England, which does not really fit with the highly French oriented Middle Ages as discussed in the last post, may look a bit more plausible after 1485 when the Tudor dynasty came to power, ending the Wars of the Roses between different Plantagenet claimants to the throne. … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XII, 16th Century England in relation to the Dutch Revolt, Germany & Spain

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XI, Norman, Angevin and Plantagenet England

The last post was on Anglo-Saxon England, which came to an end in 1066, soon after the death of Edward the Confessor. Harold Godwinson, King of England, was faced with two major enemies on his accession in 1066: Harold Sigurdsson, usually known as Harold Hardrada, King of Norway, and William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XI, Norman, Angevin and Plantagenet England

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation, VIII. Germany’s post WWII contribution to market liberalism

World War Two was largely won by the United States and the British Empire in alliance with the USSR. The idea of Britain’s place in the world being defined by its relationship with the US, a relationship in which the US is inevitably the leading partner, and is a very popular – even defining – … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation, VIII. Germany’s post WWII contribution to market liberalism

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation, VII.

This post continues from the last post‘s assessment of early twentieth century British military and foreign policy in Europe, in a series of criticisms of sovereigntist-Eurosceptic assumptions of Britain’s separateness and superiority in relation to mainland continental Europe, and is rather long because bad decisions of the 1930s had consequences in World War Two, making … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation, VII.

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation, VI. From the 1832 Reform Act to World War One

In this post, a look at comparative growth of democracy in Europe along with Britain’s role in World War One and subsequent European diplomacy. Britain made some progress towards extending voting rights beyond a very tiny minority in the Reform Act of 1832, which was also a law to make constituency distribution relate to the … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation, VI. From the 1832 Reform Act to World War One