This book seeks to review the state of political issues early in the twenty-first century, when New Labour is in its second term of office. As part of the updating process it became necessary to choose which political issues are important. The book includes the main issues which appear in current Advanced Level Politics syllabuses. In the case of Edexcel, which offers a specific political issues option in its A2 specification, all the specified issues have been included. The book deals with the process of constitutional and political change which are issues in themselves. It also includes material on constitutional reform (incorporating the recent development of human rights in Britain), and devolution. The book includes the global recession and other recent political developments and looks at the important issues in British politics since 1945. It examines the key issues of British politics today: economic policy, the Welfare State, law and order, environment policy, Northern Ireland, issues concerning women, European integration and the European Union, and the impact of the European Union on Britain. The book also deals with the European Union and Britain's relationship to it. Finally, it must be emphasised that Britain's relationship to the European Union is in itself a political issue which has fundamentally changed the party system.
In times of national security, scholars and activists who hail from the
communities under suspicion attempt to draw readers and listeners to the
complexity of the world we inhabit. For those who campaigned against the SUS law
in the 1980s, when young Black men were being routinely stopped in the streets,
the wave of counter-terrorism legislation and policy that exists today will be
very familiar. Similarly, recent discussions about the impact of drill music in
the culture of young Black men has drawn questions around the ways in which they
should be securitised, with senior police calling for the use of terrorism
legislation against them. In this environment, when those who study and have
lived alongside the communities who are at the scrutiny of the state raise
questions about the government, military and police policy, they are often shut
down as terrorist-sympathisers, or apologists for gang culture. In such
environments, there is an expectation on scholars and activists to condemn what
society at large fears. This volume is about how that expectation has emerged
alongside the normalisation of racism, and how these writers choose to subvert
the expectations raised on them, as part of their commitment to anti-racism.
cultural terms, an
essential ‘common sense’ understanding of the nation as white remains and is
still reflected in the politics of migration today.
The ‘hostile environment’ policy introduced by the Home
Secretary, Theresa May, under the coalition government, which came into effect in 2012, was
not specifically aimed at people of colour. It had a disproportionate impact on people of
colour, however, as revealed by the Windrush scandal, because by the racial logic of the
white nation, it was disproportionately people of
, representing some of the harshest immigration policies in Britain's history, solidified through the 2014 and 2016 UK Immigration Acts. Collectively, hostile environmentpolicies suggest that jobs, benefits and services are the sole preserve of British subjects, where British subjects are constructed as white. In this chapter, the border is erected between migrant parents and their children's education.
Britain's state schools are a local government entitlement for most residents; some families are also entitled to free school meals. Migrant parents whose
searched at airports.44 This encounter with the border is a
racialising process as a result of which people are made disproportionately vulnerable to harm. People who do not have
a right of entry to Britain are forced to undertake treacherous, often fatal journeys.45 The absence of a right of stay can
mean homelessness, lack of access to healthcare, confinement to a camp or detention centre and deportation. People
in these conditions are at risk of being subjected to physical and mental violence and death.46 As the hostile environmentpolicy demonstrates
its welfare state, and the attendant construction of racialized populations as underserving of access to it, have become pronounced through the politics of austerity, the 2016 Leave Campaign that preceded Brexit and the hostile environmentpolicies that have emerged out of the 2014 and 2016 Immigration Acts. Arising out of all of these sites is a notion that it is simply not fair for migrants to come to Britain and access the benefits, services and jobs that ought to be the sole preserve of British subjects, who here are constructed as white (Shilliam 2018 ). In
in my mind but experiences that had shaped my everyday life. At the same time, it was giving me the language
to analyse the political landscape around me – it was the
period of Theresa May’s term as home secretary where she
introduced her hostile environmentpolicy2 and where we
saw a rise in deportations and harsher measures on people
of colour across the country. Suddenly, my place in Britain
didn’t seem so certain, as ‘Go Home’ vans were sent around
communities in London boroughs.3
This was the time that my rose-tinted lens of modern-day
Britain was shattered
lives of many women, particularly those who are poor and/or black or minority ethnic. Here two policy areas were critical: May’s determination to deliver Cameron’s election promise to reduce immigration, and the imposition of austerity measures.
By 2012, the first of these produced May’s notorious ‘hostile environment’ policy, which became enshrined in the Immigration Acts of 2014 and 2016. Designed to deter and remove illegal immigrants, the policy often effectively means ‘deport first, appeal later’, and landlords, banks and NHS workers are required to check on
The establishment of environmental policy as a European policy domain
implies that the improvement of the state of the environment is
also among the goals of the Community (Rehbinder and Stewart
1985, 20ff.; Holzinger 1994, 67; Krämer 2000).
The explicit orientation to these objectives is not only evident
in the introduction to the First Environmental Action Programme
from 1973.4 In justifying its environmental policy activities, the
Commission also retrospectively points out that this aspect –
along with economic and environmentpolicy motives – was of
great significance: ‘In 1972 it had become clear that we had to act
responses to your research; your interpretation of evidence or data may not be the same as a policymaker’s.
Remember that no one interaction with a policymaker will be the same, nor will experiences necessarily be built on or communication consistent.
Case study 8.2 Science for EnvironmentPolicy
Science for EnvironmentPolicy (SfEP) is a free news and information service which is tailored to help policymakers keep up to date with the latest environmental research. Ruth Larbey, Editor of SfEP, sums up the service as having two