Wednesday, April 28, 2010

UK Elections - recommended podcasts

With the elections coming up in Great Britain on May 6th, there are several ways to go following it in podcast and getting good background information. Always good is The Economist (feed) which does weekly updates. A week is a long time in politics, especially during the election season.

Australia's Rear Vision had a special: UK Elections 2010. As usual with Rear Vision, it puts the current situation in a historical perspective. It goes back to the early 1970's when Labour reign came to an end. Labour failed on economics and the conservatives took over with Thatcher. Labout only could take over after having reformed itself to a centrist party under Blair. In 2010, Labour seems to be losing, but the Conservatives have a hard time to capitalize on that.

I would like to recommend diving deeper into the history of the UK in modernity and take up Berkeley's History 151c - The Peculiar Modernity of Britain (feed). Professor James Vernon is a very captivating lecturer with good British Humour thrown into the academic mix. His grand theme on Britian's peculiar modernity, is that the kingdom developed into a liberalist democracy full of paradoxes. (History 151c syllabus) Tomorrow will be the last lecture 'Thatcher and Blair: the return of liberalism'.

I love the way Vernon typifies the austere character of the socialists (and liberals) and the savoir vivre of the conservatives, which explains why the conservatives appeal to the masses (for being fun) when in fact, we might assume that the socialists have the mass's interest served in their politics. The liberals go back and forth between socialists and conservatives and occasionally have a feeble life on their own. Yet, the just might take on a significant role in 2010 as the Liberal Democrats.

Quick update: There is also a lecture at the LSE podcast about women voters in this election.

More of The Economist:
Avi Shlaim on Israel and Palestine,
A crisis of authority in Iran,
Comfort with Obama,
Democracy in America - podcast review,
Issues of Race.

More Rear Vision:
Two podcast issues on the history of Haiti
History of Yemen,
A history of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

More History 151c:
The Great War in podcasts,
The Indian Rebellion,
Friday Portion for Anne is a Man.
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