Since coming to power, first as leader of the Conservative Party in the UK, and a day later as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has tirelessly reconfirmed to the commitment that the UK will leave the European Union (EU) on the 31st of October 2019. His mantra – “Come What May” – has explicitly included the option of a no-deal Brexit. He has assembled a cabinet of Brexiteers, and has announced substantial funding for the preparation of a disorderly departure of the UK from the EU.
High in a tower on London’s Southbank, a secret collective gathered on a grassy corner to plot insurrection – or at least, ban packaging and overturn the sugar tax. On the 29 of May, a three-day show at the Tate Modern saw PolIR @ CCCU team up again with young artists from Astor College, Dover, to try and change how we look at politics. Through a series of pop-up protests, artistic interventions and workshops the public were invited to create their own reality; given the platform to escape the trappings of Brexit and byelections and come together to talk and produce a new form of politics.
The results from last week’s European elections –elections which the UK was not supposed to take part in – are in. Having secured 29 seats, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party was the clear victor, albeit gains for the Liberal Democrats, Greens, and the SNP were also cause for celebration. The Labour and Conservative parties recorded dismal results, while Change UK failed to secure its anticipated electoral breakthrough. Analysis is ongoing about what these results really mean. Were these results an overwhelming sign that the UK should leave the EU whatever the cost? Or, does the combined support for parties such as the Liberal Democrats, Greens, Plaid and the SNP show the growing appetite for a second referendum?
The 9th of May is celebrated across the European Union (EU) as “Europe Day” – a day to celebrate European unity, peace and the coming together of former enemies to form what is today the largest Single Market in the world, and a unique political system, with its own directly elected Parliament, a common currency and deep-rooted integration and interconnections between its members.
Spanish politics has featured highly in media headlines over the last few years from the breakthrough of parties such as Podemos and Ciudadanos (Citizens), the failed unilateral declaration of independence by the Catalan government in 2017, to the cascade of corruption accusations and charges that ultimately precipitated the collapse of the conservative PP government in June 2018. The latest general election, however, did not register any signs of voter fatigue. Turnout was over 75%, well above the average recorded in general elections since the Spanish transition to democracy.
From David Bates – Professor in Contemporary Political Thought at CCCU
From Sarah Lieberman – Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations.
From Maw Stafford (PhD Candidate in Politics)
As we edge closer to ‘Brexit Day,’ Dr Laura Cashman (Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Canterbury Christ Church University) writes about how a feminist analysis can help us to look at the issues from an alternative point of view, where the personal is always political.
From Dr Susan Kenyon, Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching at Canterbury Christ Church University. She has studied transport and travel behaviour since 1998 and has published extensively in the area of transport, accessibility and social exclusion. Dr Kenyon worked at a number of UK Universities and at Transport for London, before working at CCCU. You can find her University profile here.