Brexit continues to ravage through British politics in the run up to the supposed Brexit date and one of the biggest recent stories is the emergence of the new 'independent group of MP's. These MP's are entirely disillusioned by their parties stances - mostly on Brexit. Most of them are Labour MP's who are fed up with Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. Some are deeply opposed to his alleged reluctance to deal with anti Semitism in the party. In political terms it means that it is another clear sign that the traditional party allegiances and broad church parties are being deeply divided by Brexit in a way no other issue has ever divided them. This perhaps mirrors the country as a whole
It is quite a seismic shift in UK Politics which tends to be very party controlled - this small (and growing group) have also become the 4th largest 'party' in the UK. In a Parliament in which government teeters on a knife edge of support that is quite significant.
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO A LEVEL POLITICS STUDENTS?
This is a very good example of party discipline being undermined ; The powers of MP's / backbenchers; The change of party control in the Commons ; The limitations to the power of the whip.
In another sign of the deep divisions ripping through British Politics at the moment, Environment Minister George Eustice has resigned from the Government due to the proposed delay to Brexit, suggested by Theresa May this week. Eustice is a well known Brexiteer and believes that the Prime Minister, by taking a no deal off the table, has removed any form of bargaining chip for Britain in what he believes should be the final run up to Brexit.
HOW CAN WE USE THIS IN A LEVEL POLITICS?
His resignation is a good example to Politics students of Cabinet splits and Collective Responsibility - as he felt he could not support the Government policy and therefore had to resign.
This article is a good example for House of Lords (as Baroness Lawrence is a Peer / and Select Committee as this took place at an evidence gathering session on the Home Affairs Select Committee
Baroness Lawrence is the mother of Stephen Lawrence who was brutally murdered in London over a decade ago. She is a fighter for justice and uses her role in the House of Lords to fight for this. Read the article and see her views on Knife crime and how to tackle it.
Following years of wrangling and a very public and damaging public shutdown over funding for one of Trumps controversial election promises - His Border wall - President Trump has threatened a new tactic. He has threatened to try to by almost by pass Congress by using one of his Presidential powers - to use Emergency powers - Whether this is even constitutional or not we will have to wait and see. Certainly the Wall is continuing to divide US politics.
Recent high profile talks to come to some form of North South political alliance with the SDLP and Fianna Fail in the Republic of Ireland, have brought with them considerable difficulty and threatened further cracks in an already fragile edifice of what has appeared to be a party in terminal decline. The links between the once mainstream and dominant voice of nationalism in the north - the SDLP and the Republic of Ireland's most successful political party have been ongoing for years rather than months. It has been given added impetus by the impending threat of Brexit.
However, despite being passed by a comfortable majority by its membership it has led to open and public divisions in the party with Claire Hanna, standing down from her role as Brexit spokesperson in protest at the move. Pay very close attention to this story as it will be a vital component to any essay or question on the SDLP or northern nationalism.
Read the excellent CCEA e-Guide on the House of Lords and answer the questions above. This is full of the detail you need for A grade answers.
Parliament has been buzzing like never before with amendments being tabled regarding Brexit.
These are clear examples of MP's trying to influence and put their own stamp on the torturous Brexit debate. While many will not be passed, many are in fact gaining cross party support and have directly influenced the debate and progress of Brexit.
This is ESSENTIAL for illustrating the powers of MP's Backbenchers and their ability to really influence the political process - given the right circumstance.
The SDLP and Fianna Fail have announced a Joint policy agenda which looks to be a tentative step towards a much anticipated link up. The SDLP have always coveted Sinn Fein's claim to be the largest party in Ireland. They have always wanted to claim those all Ireland links which resonate with nationalist voters. Fianna Fail on the other hand are one of the most successful political parties in western Europe and they perhaps sense the danger Sinn Fein poses. They also sense the havoc brexit could pose and perhaps some level of opportunity for links with the north.
This is ESSENTIAL understanding for your Northern Ireland Politics course and esepcially with regards to the parties.
Guest Post: Hannah Toner
Californian Senator Kamala Harris has announced her intention to run for the Presidency.
Born to immigrant Jamaican and Indian parents, Kamala Harris started off her political career back in 2004, as she served two terms as District Attorney of San Francisco (2004-2011), before being elected as Attorney General of California (2011-2017), the first woman of colour to do so. In 2017, she was eventually sworn in as California's Junior US Senator.
As described by BBCs Northern American reporter Anthony Zurcher, "Kamala Harris is the kind of Democrat who could stick around and prevail in what is sure to be a gruelling nomination battle." She has a tough reputation as a solid attorney but she has an even tougher stance on the failings of Donald Trump as President. Kamala Harris is probably best noted for her tough questioning of Justice Brett Kavanaugh about his views on abortion and the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian interference which attracted attention from Democrats and pushed her into primacy for a potential Presidential candidate.
Mr John Wishart -