Tag Archives: 1832 great reform act

Forgotten Liberal heroes: Earl Grey

Nick Robinson has returned to the radio for a second series of his short portraits of British Prime Ministers and in the list this time is Earl (Charles) Grey, one of the figures I’ve previously highlighted as a forgotten Liberal hero.

Robinson’s piece is history as light entertainment – so it starts off with the connection between Grey and the tea that we now know as Earl Grey and then moves on to his high profile affair before getting stuck into the more serious aspects of his record. But as a quick canter through his life in a style that …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 5 Comments

PODCAST: How do the government’s political reforms measure up to the Great Reform Act?

Soon after becoming Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg promised “the most significant programmes of reform by a British government since the 19th century…. the biggest shake-up of our democracy since 1832.” But how do the Coalition government’s constitutional changes actually compare to the changes brought in by the Great Reform Bill of 1832?

That question was addressed by a meeting organised by the Liberal Democrat History Group earlier this year, with speakers our own Dr Mark Pack (who studied nineteenth century elections and electoral reform for his PhD) and the History of Parliament Trust’s Dr Philip Salmon. Here now for those …

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Posted in Podcasts | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

The technical details of electoral reform matter: Philip Salmon on electoral reform

The central thesis of Philip Salmon’s Electoral Reform at Work: Local Politics and National Parties 1832-1841 is that the details of the 1832 Great Reform Act matter because they had large and significant effects on the development of national politics and the embryonic modern party system.

Salmon investigates and illustrates how usually over-looked provisions, such as the introduction of electoral registers, encouraged the formation of semi-permanent political organisations at a local level with resulting frequent party conflict over electoral registration as people tried to get their supporters on the register and their opponents knocked off it.

Though in the Houses of …

Posted in Books | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

How the legacy of hereditary political power still shapes our political systems

The Australian Parliament building in Canberra is a gem of democratic political architecture. Australia’s capital city was facing the need to expand and replace its existing Parliament building. But where to put the new one? The old one had deliberately been placed at the foot of the hill in Canberra, so that politicians would not be looking down on the public. Now the only suitable free space left was on top of that hill. The solution was clever: chop the top off the hill, build the new Parliament and then stick the top of the hill back on top of …

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A power revolution: Nick Clegg’s “New Politics” speech in full

Revolutionary Nick Clegg graffiti

Today Nick Clegg made a speech setting out the Government’s plans for political reform, at the City & Islington College Centre for Business, Arts and Technology.

As Iain wrote this morning, the media are viewing Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats as revolutionaries, and drawing parallels with the Reform Act 1832.

Nick’s speech expands on three more R’s: repealing infringements on freedom, reforming politics and redistributing power.

Here it is in full:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 25 Comments

Thinking of buying a certain book?

The party has a tie-up deal with Amazon which means that if you are buying a book (such as a certain book from a certain journalist on The Times, which of course no-one is reading), the party earns commission – without you having to pay anything extra. Any of the links in this posting will earn that commission, or you can use the Amazon link at the bottom of all the pages on www.libdems.org.uk

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