Author Archives: Paul Stocker

Opinion: Politicians should keep out of history debates

Michael GoveMichael Gove’s intervention into the complex historical debate over the First World War was as bizarre as it was ignorant. Gove attacked ‘left wing historians’ for promoting the Blackadder (a satirical sitcom, not, unless I am mistaken, a documentary) viewpoint that thousands of young Brits were consigned to an early grave by an out of touch elite. The issue with Gove’s comments weren’t his interpretation of history, which is certainly arguable, but the idea that history and commemoration should be used to score political points.

It is the diversity of opinions and interpretations within historical scholarship which makes it such an interesting and enriching subject. One does not have to be a Marxist politically to appreciate the contribution Marxist historians have made to historical study, rather, these historians make up a small part of a multiplicity of opinions based on rigorous historical research.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 77 Comments

Opinion: Tories’ anti immigration rhetoric represents opportunity for Liberal Democrats

As the day when Britain opens its doors to indefatigable hoards of Eastern European immigrants arrives, yet more desperation can be witnessed from grassroots Tory activists running scared of UKIP. 90 local Conservative activists have pleaded with David Cameron to extend controls on immigrants arriving from Bulgaria or Romania until 2018. Quite laughably, the group claim that this would be fully within EU law. This comes on the same day in which the Government announced further restrictions on migrants’ access to the NHS – an initiative designed to combat ‘health tourism’ and accordingly, completely at odds with any …

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 75 Comments

Opinion: Ukip’s not-so-respectable European allies

Recently, Nigel Farage rejected the overtures and offer of alliance from the French Far Right party, Front Nationale, led by Marine Le Pen, stating “Whatever Marine Le Penn is trying to do with Le Front National, anti-Semitism, is still deeply embedded in that party, and for that principle political reason, we are not going to work with them now, or at any point in the future”. The alliance also included the Dutch Freedom Party, led by blonde bombshell, Geert Wilders – famous for his anti-Islam tirades.

This attempt by Farage to place Ukip in the ‘respectable’ wing of European politics …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 19 Comments

Opinion: Demonstrations in Ukraine demonstrates the importance of European unity

Within the confines of our islands, during the protracted debates over Britain’s relationship with the EU, it is perfectly easy to forget what is patently obvious to the majority of continental Europe – European unity matters. As Ian Traynor at the Guardian has pointed out, the mass demonstrations in Ukraine show that the EU still offers hope to many on the peripheries of the continent. Indeed, it is probably extremely difficult for Nigel Farage or indeed any British Eurosceptic to understand the waving of the EU flag as an act promoting national self-determination …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 10 Comments

Opinion: Pro-Europeans should not fear an EU Referendum

James Wharton’s EU referendum bill finally passed through the Commons on Friday. Whilst this is seen as a significant victory for the Conservative Party and indeed all Eurosceptics, there is still some way to go before a 2017 EU referendum is enshrined in law. The bill must now get through the Lords, and even Wharton seemed unconvinced that it would pass, at least not without significant amendment. However, the Tory MP for Stockton South warned the Lords, ominously stating “For an unelected House to deny the British people a say on a bill which has been passed by the …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 27 Comments
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