Constructions of self and other in parliamentary debate
Lee Jarvis and Tim Legrand
, critics of proscription or its application tend to reproduce rather than contest this binary relationship, by appealing for the UK to be truer to its own self-identity.
Important to note here is that the content and tenor of political debate in this context has remained stable and unvarying across the eighteen years or so of our empirical focus despite some notable fluctuations in this period, which has included: five political administrations – the Labour governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the Coalition government headed by the Conservative Prime Minster
, and how they function performatively as a shared rehearsal of proscription’s importance.
Chapter 5 turns to the ways parliamentarians ask questions of the executive within these debates.
Our emphasis here is on the significance of the very visible presentation of scrutiny or contestation, arguing this is both heavily circumscribed, and productive for the (re)production of the UK’ s liberal democratic self-identity.
Chapter 6 focuses on identity constructions relating to self and other within these debates, including via specific metaphors and tropes.
define and solidify Australian national
identity have always been contested and unstable, how they have been
linked with tangible conflicts over land, injustice and power, and
how they have been closely intertwined with anxieties about (and
discourses of) insecurity. It then goes on to challenge these
approaches on two levels: normatively, it argues that such a
sovereignty. This involves, as we have seen, (re-)forging a vision of British identity, declaiming its enemies, and, in the process, conferring a permanent existence on the very entities this power is intended to make impermanent. Proscription and its antecedents have been used to such ends for centuries, having changed very little, if at all. For these reasons, proscription might be seen not so much as an unavoidable necessity, but an ancient and treasured privilege of British parliamentary sovereignty.
In the preceding pages, we have focused our attention primarily
legitimate, appropriate and necessary tool in the state’s (extensive) counter-terrorism armoury, and why do we not see more contestation around its usage? 8 Second, what, in turn, is made possible through the process of proscription itself? What work is done by this power within broader politics, performances and discourses; such as performances and discourses of identity, political authority and national security?
In order to engage with these questions, we focus our attention upon the debates that take place within the United Kingdom’s two Houses of Parliaments each
1066 which Freeman incorporated into his own Norman Conquest . As we will see, the earliest English understanding of 1066 was shaped by the idea of an original Anglo-Saxon freedom that had been destroyed by William the Conqueror. This myth of the ‘Norman Yoke’ first appeared in the fourteenth century and was vital during the Reformation (1532–34) and English Civil Wars (1642–51), when polemical writers used the past to contest contemporary religious and political changes. Following the Glorious Revolution (1688) a second distinct tradition emerged, as ‘Whig
identity and political sovereignty, in the process. Parliamentary questions, put otherwise, are an important part of the dynamic through which proscription becomes meaningful: offering attempts and appeals for greater clarification of this power’s working and consequences. And, as such, paying attention to such questions offers insight into the politics of security, which emerges, in this context at least, as more complex and nuanced than assumed in prominent constructivist models thereof. To this end, this chapter not only provides a detailed empirical description of
Taken together, the preceding chapters explore three prominent dimensions of parliamentary proscription debates within the United Kingdom. First, Chapter 4 set out competing constructions of proscription’s significance, limitations and dangers. Second, in Chapter 5 , were a diversity of questions posed (often repeatedly) by contributors to these debates. And, third, in Chapter 6 we turned to the broader contribution of these discussions to identity claims about the national self and various (defined and undefined) terrorist others. In so doing, we argued
‘History is past politics, politics is present history’
European stability. Further, it is only when Freeman’s narratives on Western and Eastern history are juxtaposed that the centrality of Christianity to his view of European identity emerges and is bolstered by contrast with the Judeo-Islamic Orient. Freeman’s account of progress and decline in Europe finds a counterpart in his view of the East, which serves at once to empower the Western ‘self’ while producing anxiety that contact with the ‘other’ posed a threat to Euro-Christendom.
The pursuit of a profession
As there has been no detailed biography of Freeman since
strength and identity by setting itself off against the Orient as a sort of surrogate and even underground self’, so the hegemony of the West over the East was established, and so European imperial power gained its rationale. 30 In short, Orientalism became a ‘style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient’. 31
Before applying the above thesis to Freeman’s Saracens , it is important to address Said’s assertion that concern with Islam declined in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as a result of secularisation and racialised thinking