Here are some predictions that I make with a fair degree of certainty. An indifferent British electorate will shrug its collective shoulders and award Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party the second highest vote total in this May’s European elections. Buoyed by this win, Farage will force his way onto the stage for the party leader debates in 2015. And in the subsequent general election, for the first time in history, four parties will each take more than 10% of the vote nationwide. After trialling an alternative arrangement between 2010 and 2015, the era of big-party government will be over. Continue reading “Nick, Nigel, and the Neapolity: The Fragmented Future of British Party Politics”→
Following an earlier, somewhat rantier post on this blog when the news originally broke, I’ve written a more academically-oriented piece on British political parties’ cyber-revisionism with Mor Rubenstein, a current MSc student here at the OII. This was published yesterday on the LSE Politics and Policy blog, and you can read it here. Mor’s undergraduate work on political parties on Facebook provided a useful counterpoint to party websites, and unearthed some deep ironies regarding the (dis)integration between the two platforms and some of the unintended consequences.
(The eagle-eyed may notice that the ‘Fahrenheit 401’ hook in the original post became ‘Fahrenheit 404’ – a less phonaesthetically evocative contrast with Bradbury’s 451 but more accurate, technically speaking…)
Quite understandably, book burning has a bad reputation. It is a scout badge for history’s nastiest antagonists – Nazis, Stalinists and the Taleban have indulged in it – and biblioclasm also provides the central motif for Ray Bradbury’s dystopian masterpiece Fahrenheit 451 (the temperature at which book paper burns), in which perversely named ‘firemen’ are tasked with obliterating burning outlawed books and occasionally the bookish. Continue reading “Fahrenheit 401: Digital Deletion Is Incompatible with Democracy”→