Brexit is a political challenge on an unprecedented scale. The process of exiting the European Union impacts every government department, and requires a level of co-ordination that UK governments have rarely managed to achieve. Here, the University of Manchester’s Dave Richards and the University of York’s Martin Smith survey the size of the challenge facing […]
One night in May [Part 2] – The strange resurrection of the British political tradition?
Professor Dave Richards and Professor Martin Smith analyse what the general election result means for the British political system. The 2015 general election was supposed to produce one type of policy earthquake, but may have produced another. The assumption by nearly everyone until 10.01 pm on May 7 was that we would see the further […]
One Night in May [Part 1] – Whatever Happened to the Strange Death of Tory England?
In 2005, the political journalist Geoffrey Wheatcroft wrote a critique of the Conservative Party, The Strange Death of Tory England. Here Dave Richards and Martin Smith explore this failed prophesy and examine the implications of GE2015 on the main parties. When Wheatcroft wrote his book the Conservative Party was yet to come to terms with […]
Against Ad Hocery: UK Devolution and the Need for Consultation, Consensus and Consideration
Last month the Political and Constitutional Reforms Committee published a report on the future of devolution, in the wake of the Scottish Referendum. Here Dave Richards and Martin Smith pick the report apart and look at the implications for devolution in the UK. The newly published report on the Future of Devolution after the Scottish […]
After the ‘No’: Constitutional Reform must not be by the Elites for the Elites
The constitutional debate unleashed by the Scottish Independence Referendum has revealed many of the contradictions and problems of the British political system. The result effectively undermines the notion of the Westminster model and the underlying principle of Parliamentary (in realty Executive) Sovereignty. The Westminster model is based on an idea of indivisible sovereignty, accompanied by […]
Breaking the Rules and Paying the Price: the lessons of Tony Benn, Cabinet Minister
Tony Benn found that without the help of officials, having radical ideas as a minister didn’t get him very far. On the day the veteran MP is laid to rest, Dave Richards and Martin Smith reflect on their interviews with Benn, his Cabinet colleagues and officials. Obituaries of Tony Benn considered his roles as campaigner, […]
Wanted: a Haldane fit for the 21st century
Relationships between civil servants and ministers have become increasingly antagonistic, write Professors David Richards and Martin Smith. With incoherent reforms to the policy process and confusion over where accountability lies, there is a pressing need for reform – and for someone to lead it. The current imbroglio surrounding the Universal Credit scheme appears to […]