Author: A Contributor

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How effective an electoral system is FPTP

An electoral system is a system in which voters transfer their votes into seats or positions. There are five main electoral systems which are used in the United Kingdom; first past the post (FPTP); supplementary vote (SV); single transferable vote (STV); additional member system (AMS) and closed party list. It is the First Past the […]

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Labours welfare policies

It has become an unspoken known that the 2015 general election would rely purely on which party had the strongest economic policy. However, Labour at its party conference in Brighton has tried to turn the tables and turn the clamour for power into a debate on childcare and living standards. De ja vu perhaps? Reminiscent […]

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Global tax rules ‘need updating’

The Chancellor George Osborne has told the BBC that “concrete steps” to change tax rules would be seen at the G8 summit. Speaking from Enniskillen, he said leaders could “rewrite the international rules” that allow companies to shift profits away from UK and other territories to minimise tax payments. listen to ‘Global tax rules 'need […]

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Key roles; Barroso, Schulz and Council of Ministers presidency

The specification says you need to know the following about key posts in the EU. The significance and influence of key posts and post-holders within the EU, including: the President of the Commission, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy, the President of the European Council, the President of the Council of Ministers […]

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Policy evaluation 6: Enlargement

The specification says you need to know the following about enlargement. How and why the EU has enlarged: the perceived benefits and criticisms of past enlargement, and the extent to which the new member states have remained transitional states or been fully integrated. This should include a study of the future of EU enlargement and […]

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Policy evaluation 5: Common Foreign Security Policy

The specification says you need to know the following about CFSP. In particular, candidates need to be aware of developments in Common Foreign and Security Policy – why this has become desirable within the EU; the steps that have been taken towards achieving this and the extent to which such steps are perceived as being […]

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Neo-functionalism, Intergovernmentalism, Supranationalism and Subsidiarity

You could easily get asked a 15 marker on any of these concepts, the specification says the following about what you need to know: Various theories of integration and the associated benefits and drawbacks of such theories on their own and in comparison to other theories. These include neo-functionalism, intergovernmentalism, supranationalism, ‘pooled’ sovereignty, federalism, multi-level […]

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Is the UK still the ‘awkward partner’ in Europe

Although under Blair there seemed to be some movement towards a closer relationship with Europe, taking Britain into the Social Chapter, taking a lead in the proposed constitution and engaging in discussions with the Europeans, there were still ‘red lines’ drawn by Brown regarding tax and other policies. Brown established the 5 criteria that had […]

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Policy evaluation 4: Monetary Union

The specification says you need to know the following on Monetary Union Monetary Union: why monetary union has become an aim of the EU, and the extent to which this has been embraced by member states; the steps taken towards achieving monetary union; the perceived benefits and drawbacks of monetary union; the extent to which […]

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Policy evaluation 1: Single Market

The specification says the following about what you need to know on the Single Market The Single Market: the extent to which this concept has been embraced by member states; the steps taken towards achieving a Single Market; the perceived benefits and drawbacks of the Single Market; the impact it has had on labour markets […]

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How do the majors parties differ on EU policy?

Historically, the Conservatives were pro-EU taking us in, in 1973 and Labour was anti-EU under Foot seeing it as a ‘Capitalist club’. Since then, the tables have turned as the EU helped topple Thatcher and Major and unify Labour. However the differences between the party have typically been seen through rhetoric as opposed to action. […]

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Pensions explained

Context: -People are living longer, increased government spending on pensions is seen as untenable for the future considering the current economic climate. The coalition argue that they will save £3.5bn a year for every year that the retirement age is raised. -1 in 5 retiring in 2013 will be living below the poverty line. Coalition: […]

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Banking reform

Banks contribute 9.4% to the UK’s economy and 3.6% to the UK job market in 2011. Because of this reliance, the sector is increasingly difficult to reform. Banks resist reform and there is fear that if reform doesn’t happen internationally then it can make domestic banks less competitive. This teamed with a historic ‘hands off’ […]

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Coalition environment policy overview (15 mark plans)

Nuclear -The coalition agreement reached a compromise on Nuclear power that there would be no new power stations subsidised by taxpayers however the government has spent £68bn dealing with old nuclear reactors -Coalition had planned for 8 new plants to open over its tenure in government however energy companies such as EDF are looking for […]

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Education overview

Overview and analysis of the Coalitions education policy. 1. Academies More than 1 in 4 of England’s state school students attend an academy school now. There are now 2886 academies compared to just 203 before the Academies Act 2010. Academies give individual schools more power by bypassing the LEA. The coalition argues this gives more […]

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Economic Policy differences and similarities – Labour and Coalition

1. Tax – Difference Labour argues that the Coalitions economic plans are hitting the ‘poorest, hardest’. The Conservatives have lowered the top rate tax to 45% and staged a decrease in corporation tax which is to be 20% by 2015. The corporation tax cut will cost the Chancellor 400m in 2015-16 and so he is […]

News update

Mon 29th -Iain Duncan Smith suggested wealthy pensioners should voluntarily hand back their universal benefit payments -The commons public accounts committee said the Chancellors £310bn plan to boost economic growth through infrastructure projects was unrealistic about how much private capital there was and said that taxpayers could end up shouldering the cost. This follows IMF […]

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Short 15 mark policy plans

Homes -New government backed mortgage guarantee – effectively the tax payer underwrites the risk of up to 20% of mortgage values -Budget 2013 declared changes where you can now buy a home up to £600,000 with only a 5% deposit – the treasury says this will support building 190,000 new homes but it also risks […]

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Economic gloom

Upon entering office, Osborne said he wanted the UK’s AAA credit rating to act as a ‘benchmark’ for his performance as Chancellor.  Compared to Osborne, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander at the time described the credit rating as ‘not the be all and end all’. Moody’s downgrade of the UK’s credit rating to […]

News from the week

Headlines from this week EU -Cameron enacted collective responsibility on proposed EU referendum meaning all ministers would be required to campaign to stay in the EU during the referendum – problem people – Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson -Cameron’s speech has provoked Austrian’s far right to call for an EU referendum -Brussles has demanded […]

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Opinions on the UK economy this week

In the past few weeks a lot of opinions and perspectives on the state of Britain’s economy have been revealed. See the important bits from the important people/institutions: FSA Chief Lord Turner: FSA Chief Lord Turner has called for new ideas to kickstart the economy. Turner warned that quantitative easing, the electronic printing of money […]

Pick of the Papers, Sunday 16th September

1) Welfare bill won’t work, key advisers tell Iain Duncan Smith (The Guardian) (Welfare) Committee condemns ‘unfair’ plans for part-time workers amid growing controversy over universal credit 2) Michael Gove to replace GCSEs with O-level style qualifications (The Guardian) (Education) Education secretary’s major reform of the examination system for school-leavers scheduled for introduction in September […]

Pick of the papers, Sunday 9th September

1. The prime minister’s masterclass in how not to conduct a reshuffle (Observer) (PM&Cabinet) David Cameron failed most of the 10 tests on whether recasting a government has any serious point, says Andrew Rawnsley 2. Whitehall dares to whisper: we’re out of recession (Mail on Sunday) (Economy) A look at some key economic policies that are soon to emerge […]

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The reshuffle and its policy implications

Pre-reshuffle Cameron promised to ‘cut through the dither’ that he said was holding Britain back. Following May, Osborne and now Hunt all being booed at the Paralympics, the cutting of ditherers is debatable however the policy implications are clear. A nice overview of the changes and cabinet as it stands can be found here from […]

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Economy set to contract

The Confederation of Business Industry is an organisation that promotes the interests of its members from around 200,000 British businesses. Membership includes some 80% of FTSE 100 companies, some of the top companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. The CBI has cut its GDP growth 2012 forecast from a previous estimate of 0.6% to […]

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Pick of the papers, Sunday 2nd September

1. UK economy is healing, says Chancellor George Osborne – Telegraph – Economy George Osborne believes the UK economy is ‘healing’ but warned that more must be done to ensure a return to growth 2.Cameron roars back: I’m no mouse as he launches battle plan to revive ailing economy – The Mail on Sunday  An interview with the […]

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How important is turnout and the role of the media?

Low turnout is quickly becoming one of the biggest problems facing British democracy, especially as, in light of the local elections, Labour’s share of the vote only went up by 1% most probably due to the extremely low local election turnout of 32%, the lowest since 2000. These low turnout figures go a small but still apparent […]

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What the local election results mean

For the Tories ‘A tough night’ was what Conservative chairman Sayeeda Warsi predicted for her party, and so it proved true as the party  faced a mass rejection from voters across the country as they lost 403 council seats, 12 council majorities and 2 London assembly seats. With articles questioning Cameron’s competency floating around, these […]

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“A Boris for every city” – Mayoral system rejected across the country

Along with a series of local election defeats the coalition’s localism agenda took a battering during their round of referendums. With people in Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bradford, Coventry, Sheffield, Leeds, Wakefield and Newcastle voting against the idea in local referendums, only Bristol voters bucked the trend and provided the Prime Minister with some comfort.