Integrity issues have become an important item on the British political agenda since the 1990s when ‘sleaze’ prompted John Major to set up the Committee on Standards in Public Life. The book analyses the range of ethical problems which confront the political system and the efforts to address them. It addresses the tightening of standards in response to misconduct in Parliament, in central and local government and in the devolved systems. It also addresses perennial ethical questions such as lobbying and party funding which continue to trouble the United Kingdom as they do other major democracies. The chief purpose of the book is to understand the regulatory dilemmas which face policy-makers as they struggle to produce new machinery and codes to tackle the risk of misconduct. Thus we examine, for example, the choice between self-regulation and independent regulation, decisions about the amount of transparency required of office-holders, and how to achieve proportionality in the balance between perceived problems and regulatory burdens. We also attempt to assess the impact of more than two decades of ethical engineering on the office holders and the public.
The notion of consumerism in health is often seen as controversial. Many regard consumerism, with an emphasis on individual choice, markets, and profit, as antithetical to the universalist, collectivist, free-at-the-point-of-use National Health Service. Yet there were many different understandings of consumerism in British healthcare during the 1980s. This chapter examines how consumerist ideas were manifested in public health policy and practice, and especially the impact that they had on health education and health promotion. Consumerism represented a double-edged sword for health educators. Behaviours linked to consumerism, and especially the consumption of certain products, such as tobacco and alcohol, were linked to significant public health problems. Curbing such behaviours by encouraging people towards practices of ‘sensible’ consumption offered a potential way to address to these issues. Consumption was thus both a problem and a solution. With this in mind, the chapter analyses two health education campaigns from the 1980s, one to promote ‘sensible’ drinking and the other designed to deter children from smoking. Both used consumerist tropes, especially the notion of choice. Looking at how this language of choice was received by the public indicates that consumerist approaches were not hegemonic. Indeed, if health was a choice, it is clear that the public could choose not to choose it.
Vaccinating Britain investigates the relationship between the British public and vaccination policy since 1945. It is the first book to examine British vaccination policy across the post-war period and covers a range of vaccines, providing valuable context and insight for those interested in historical or present-day public health policy debates. Drawing on government documents, newspapers, internet archives and medical texts it shows how the modern vaccination system became established and how the public played a key role in its formation. British parents came to accept vaccination as a safe, effective and cost-efficient preventative measure. But occasional crises showed that faith in the system was tied to contemporary concerns about the medical profession, the power of the state and attitudes to individual vaccines. Thus, at times the British public demanded more comprehensive vaccination coverage from the welfare state; at others they eschewed specific vaccines that they thought were dangerous or unnecessary. Moreover, they did not always act uniformly, with “the public” capable of expressing contradictory demands that were often at odds with official policy. This case study of Britain’s vaccination system provides insight into the relationship between the British public and the welfare state, as well as contributing to the historiography of public health and medicine.
This book argues that the current problems over Britain’s membership of the
European Union are largely as a result of the absence of quality debates during
the 1959–84 period. The situation today is also attributed to members of the
political elite subordinating the question of Britain’s future in Europe to
short-term, pragmatic, party management or career considerations. A particular
and original interpretation of Britain and Europe is advanced, aided by recently
discovered evidence. This includes the methods used by the Conservative
government to ensure it won the vote following the 1971 parliamentary debate on
Britain’s proposed entry into the EEC. It also delves into the motives of the
sixty-nine rebel Labour MPs that voted against their own party on EEC
membership, and how the British public were largely misled by political leaders
in respect of the true aims of the European project. This is a study of a
seminal period in Britain’s relationship with Europe. Starting from the British
government’s early attempts at EEC membership, and concluding with the year both
major political parties accepted Britain’s place in Europe, this book examines
decision-making in Britain. As such, it contributes to a greater understanding
of British politics. It answers a number of key questions and casts light on the
current toxic dilemma on the issue of Europe.
The press was an important forum for debate over the future of India and was used by significant groups within the political elite to advance their agendas. This book is the first analysis of the dynamics of British press reporting of India and the attempts made by the British Government to manipulate press coverage as part of a strategy of imperial control. It focuses on a period which represented a critical transitional phase in the history of the Raj, witnessing the impact of the First World War. The book discusses major constitutional reform initiatives, the tragedy of the Amritsar massacre, and the launching of Gandhi's mass movement. Reforms, crises and controversies of the first two decades of the twentieth century ensured that Indian affairs were brought prominently before the British public. The distance and difficulty of transmission had traditionally regulated news of the Indian empire. The Empire Press Union (EPU) worked to facilitate access to official and parliamentary news for overseas journalists and lobbied vigorously to reduce press costs. Reuters was the main telegraph news agency within India. The early twentieth century saw an increased interchange of news and information between Fleet Street and the Indian press. The Minto-Morley partnership was sensitive to the London press and its possible influence, both within domestic politics and indirectly through its impact on Indian politics and Indian-run newspapers. The Times gave sustained support, with Dawson corresponding regularly with the Viceroy on 'the great subject of constitutional Reform'.
The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) remains something of a forgotten army of the Irish revolutionary period. There has also been a tendency for historians of opposition to Home Rule to view the UVF as little more than a supporting cast to the Unionists stars: Sir Edward Carson and Andrew Bonar Law. In traditional Unionist accounts of the Third Home Rule crisis, militancy was a measured and controlled response by Ulster Unionists to the actions of the Liberal government. The book considers the social composition and political ideology of the UVF. The command structures of the UVF and the force's military efficiency are discussed next. Many of the early manifestations of Ulster Unionist militancy occurred outside the formal structures of the Orange Order and Unionist Clubs. The earliest forms of armed Unionism during the 1910-1914 period took a similar form and, indeed, this neo-feudalism was to survive in the UVF proper between 1913 and 1914. The command of the UVF, while theoretically a standard military hierarchy, was in reality anything but that. The military efficiency units differed significantly over time and region. Unionist propaganda was aimed at four different audiences: Ulster Unionists themselves, British public opinion, the Liberal government and Nationalist Ireland. The book then covers the related issues of finance, arms and equipment. The contribution of the UVF to the 36th (Ulster) Division is then dealt with. Finally, it considers the brief revival of the UVF in 1920 and its amalgamation into the Ulster Special Constabulary.
intertwined with proselytizing the economic benefits EU membership brought Britain, it is noteworthy that Blair and Brown felt the need to retell post-Second World War European history to their British audiences. This chapter will start by considering how Blair and Brown sold the EU to the Britishpublic in economic terms. The second section will explain how they tried to win the argument about the potential loss to Britain’s European and global influence that would come about through the ‘supreme folly’ of cutting Britain off from Europe. The third section covers the
Military families, British public opinion and withdrawal from Northern Ireland
‘A real stirring in the nation’: military families,
Britishpublic opinion and withdrawal from
On 6 February 1971, Gunner Curtis became the first ‘British’ soldier to
be killed in action in Northern Ireland for almost fifty years. His motherin-law said, ‘My daughter believes the troops should be pulled out and
the mobs left to fight it out amongst themselves.’ On 24 September
1971 the Daily Mail published an opinion poll that suggested that a
59 per cent majority of Britishpublic opinion favoured the withdrawal
of British troops
Schoolboy literature and the creation of a colonial chivalric code
of the United States. The school story was a literary
phenomenon of the Anglo-Saxon world. Much of the boys’ literature
of the latter half of the nineteenth and the early part of the twentieth
centuries was implicitly – or more usually explicitly –
devoted to the Britishpublic school 4 or its equivalent elsewhere. The genre
coexisted certainly with adventure stories by the score from the pens of
campaign tradition are hard to find.
The media and campaign organisations provide the two most broadcast
representations of Africa within Britishpublic spaces. It is striking, then, that
they should contrast in this specific way: one centrally and anxiously focused
the african presence
on sovereignty and intervention, the other generally not foregrounding sovereignty at all. There are a number of reasons for this contrast which bring us
towards a key aspect of the Africa campaign tradition, one which has been
immanent throughout the foregoing chapters.