Category Archives: Politics

30Apr/22

Angela Rayner, porn in parliament and a depressing week for British politics

Lindsey Blumell, City, University of London

There are more women in the UK parliament and government than ever before – making up about one third of the total 650 members. Yet, there are still cases like The Mail on Sunday running the headline “Stone the crows! Tories accuse Rayner of Basic Instinct ploy to distract Boris”. An unnamed source had told the outlet that Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, crosses and uncrosses her legs to “distract” the prime minister during parliamentary sessions. In case anyone was in doubt about the reference, the article was accompanied by the famous image of Sharon Stone from the film.
Sexualising a female politician may seem like low hanging fruit but it’s common in political discourse. Female politicians in many countries are put in a double bind: appear stereotypically feminine and you’ll be reduced to your looks, appear stereotypically masculine and you’ll be labelled a shrew. It’s typical for women in traditionally male dominated spaces to be sexualised as a way to undermine their legitimacy.

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12Apr/22

French election: as Marine Le Pen makes it to second round, the left-wing vote is what troubles president Emmanuel Macron

Paul Smith, University of Nottingham

After the first round of the 2017 presidential election in France, economist Thomas Piketty suggested that while there were four candidates on very close scores at the head of the field (Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen, François Fillon and Jean-Luc Mélenchon), in reality France was divided into three political camps: a socialist and more-or-less eurosceptic left, a pro-European and liberal centre and right, and a nationalist far right. The results of the first round for this year’s presidential election suggest he was right.

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08Apr/22

British voters want lying politicians to face consequences – new study

Alan Renwick, UCL

Does the British public care about the integrity and honesty of its politicians? The answer to this question may profoundly shape domestic politics in the weeks ahead. The Metropolitan police are in the process of issuing fines to government officials who broke lockdown restrictions in 2020 and 2021, and the prime minister may be one of the recipients of these fines. Civil servant Sue Gray, meanwhile, is preparing to release the full version of her report on the rule breaking. If she concludes that failures of leadership fed a culture of impunity at No 10, there are bound to be voices calling for Boris Johnson’s resignation.

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27Mar/22

Five ways the monarchy has benefited from colonialism and slavery

Laura Clancy, Lancaster University

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour of the Caribbean for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee has been criticised over the royals’ connection to colonialism and slavery.

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22Jan/22

Héctor G. Aguililla’s new book “Misión y Escape durante la Guerra Fría” is a poignant memoir that covers some of the untold events of the Cold War

Recent release “Misión y Escape durante la Guerra Fría” from Page Publishing author Héctor G. Aguililla is a rich and amusing narrative of a Cuban ex diplomat’s official and covert activities that took place in the Cold War. Continue reading