Tag Archives: robert waller

Predicting the future: we didn’t turn Japanese

Shortly after the Conservative Party won its fourth general election in a row in 1992, a symposium met to consider the question of whether Britain – formerly a country with regularly rotating government between the two main parties – was turning into a political version of Japan, where the same party had been in power for nearly forty years.

Even between the event occurring and the publication of a book based on it, Turning Japanese? Britain with a Permanent Party of Government (eds. Helen Margretts and Gareth Smyth), political events in both countries had taken a dramatic turn. In Japan the LDP lost power, starting a period of much greater political fluidity with even subsequent LDP Prime Ministers struggling to restore their party’s previous dominance. Meanwhile in Britain the collapse of the Conservative Party’s economic policies following Britain’s enforced exit from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) quickly made the government appear very vulnerable, even if debates in Labour continued on whether, as John Smith preferred, one more heave was all that was needed or whether, as Tony Blair insisted on after John Smith’s death, a more radical reshaping of the party was required to win the next election.

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

Book review: Total Politics Guide to the 2010 General Election

One of the first publications from Iain Dale’s new Biteback publishing imprint dedicated to political books, The Total Politics Guide to the 2010 General Election (Eds, Greg Callus and Iain Dale) weighs in at just under 300 pages divided into two (unequal) sections: the first is a series of 14 articles examining different aspects of the coming election; the second non-half comprises over 200 pages of regional and constuency profiles. As you might guess, this is a for-geeks-only book. But, then, if you’re reading this review that label probably applies.

Posted in Books and General Election | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments
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