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British politics links

Supplementary materials: Alabamian | British | Discontinued Materials | US | International & Comparative | Politics on YouTube
Presidential TV ad spots | Non-presidential TV ad spots

By Jeremy Lewis. revised  5 Jan. 2016 with links to Yes, Prime Minister


British Politics Links|UK election '10 | P.M. Tony Blair |Blair, spoofs |Gordon Brown |
Labour Party, UK|Conservative Party, UK | Scottish Nat't Party, UK|
Churchill and Chamberlain | Enoch Powell
Monty Python sketches | British commercial ads | British military videos | British Politics Tour
BBC Video: comedy drama series, Yes, Prime Minister



British Politics Links [PSC 321]
YouTube videos of PM's Question Time

British election 6 May 2010: BBC | BBC Vote/Seat calculator |
How does the UK election system work, and how big a vote margin would it take for the Conservatives to "win"?
Which regions favor each party?
Which recent election was the fairest?
Should seats be proportionate to votes at all?
Parties' sites: Cons | Lab | Lib Dems | Plaid | Scot Nats | UKIP | BNP| Greens
Party profiles (BBC): Cons | Lab | Lib Dems | Plaid | Scot Nats | UKIP | BNP | Greens
Manifestoes: Cons | Lab | Lib Dems | Plaid | Scot Nats | UKIP | BNP | Greens
election announcement for 6 May 2010 (BBC) | Remembering 1974 hung Parliament (BBC video)
What chance is there of a hung Parliament -- and would it cause a crisis?
Jo Coburn explains PM choice in hung Parliament (BBC video)
First televised election debate in UK: party leaders, 15 April 2010
Cleggomania from First British TV debate: Huffington Post | CNN column
Election Briefing: Lecture notes | Marginal seats, 538 blog | Schott, NY Times
Parties and Press:
Tony Blair, news coverage and official materials
** DowningSt, "PM congratulates Sarkozy on French election win" (official, speech to camera, finding common goals, 7 May 2007)
UKLabourParty, "Tony Blair to step down as leader of the Labour Party" (goodbye speech in constituency, 18 mins.)
Tony Blair, spoofs and comedy
* rx2008, "Should I stay or should I go?" (lip synched)
* cjweeks, "Bush Blair Endless Love" (lip synched)
** BBC via spinalinjury, "Tony Blair Meets Catherine Tate - Comic Relief" (BBC comedysketch from red nose day)
comedyconn, "Bush and Blair Play The Weakest Link" seemingly from BBC Four,
lewykrew, "george bush and tony blair- gay bar" (not as well lip synched)
gianmarini, "George Bush and Tony Blair do "you're beautiful"" (very limited animation, to James Blunt's song, probably worth only a few seconds)
molchmaster, "George W. Bush loves Tony Blair" (failed to load)
bloggerheads, "Goodbye, Tony Blair" (animation to song, in tradition of JibJab)
BBC via rachael14, "David Tennant and Catherine Tate sketch" (BBC: Scottish teacher rejected by schoolgirl for teaching English)
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Gordon Brown
UKLabourParty, "Labour's Gordon Brown speaks to the National Policy Forum" (standup speech to conference, 34 mins)
UKLabourParty, "Gordon Brown - Leader of the Labour Party" (standup acceptance speech to party conference, 34 mins)
UKLabourParty, "Gordon Brown speaks to the Young Labour husting in Oxford" (standup acceptance speech to party conference, 16 mins)
Labour Party, UK
UKLabourParty, "Harriet Harman - Labour's Deputy Leader" (standup acceptance speech to party conference '07, 12 mins)
UKLabourParty, "Labour's YouTube husting" (party leadership candidates '07 answering questions from YouTube users, 25 mins)
UKLabourParty, "Deputy Candidates debate: the Democrats Presidential nominees" (party leadership candidates '07 answering questions from YouTube users, 25 mins)
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Conservative Party, UK
** Conservative Party, via salaris, "Conservative Party Election Broadcast" (by David Cameron, in front of bridge, 2006, before local elections, emphasizes environmentalism)
** BBC, via tizz66, "Not The 9 O'Clock News - Conservative Conference" (Rowan Atkinson's spoof speech, 2006, trying not to be intolerant of immigrants or criminals, only 3 mins)
* Conservative Party UK via cadam021, "Conservative Party (UK) 2004 Election Spot" (May '04, claims Blair has not fulfilled his promises, promotes Michael Howard)
* Conservative Party UK via cadam021, "Conservative Party (UK) 2004 Election Spot" (May '04, shows ordinary people shoosing Cons for various reasons.)
Conservative Party UK via damienmulley, "UK Conservative Fake Ad from Channel4" (understated, new age style, teachers in riot gear, No Go area in town) "Channel4 had fake ads created in the run-up to the UK elections in 2005. Song is "As you fall" by the band "Bent"."

Scottish Nationalist Party, UK
News, via wolfy11232, "EuroNews - Victory for Scottish nationalists", "Voters in Scotland have made the Scottish National Party the country's biggest Parliamentary party. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party had held that position for 50 years prior to Thursday's elections.  The SNP wants a referendum on independence from the UK, but ... Coalition talks may be tough: 65 seats are needed to govern, leaving the SNP 18 short. ... The Labour Party also lost seats in England and, to a lesser extent, Wales...." (2007)
BBC News via PeterDow, "Scottish Elections - Royalist fascist Salmond" Peter Dow on phone-in, from BBC morning extra.  Alex Salmond, Nat MP, reveals was expelled from Commons for interrupting budget speech.
FreeScotlandNow, "Scottish Elections May 2007 - Expect lies!" "The elections to the Scottish Parliament in May 2007 will give the opportunity to vote for Scottish independence but we can expect the usual blatant propoganda and lies from London Labour and Tony Blair. This video explodes some myths." (Nationalist Protest, slideshow of images of politicians and captions, set to music, 5 mins).
pax681, "10 Good Reasons! for Scottish Independence" (Nationalist Protest, slideshow of images of politicians and captions, set to music, 5 mins).
FreeScotlandNow, "Scottish Independence Guide presents Think About It..."  (Nationalist Protest, slideshow of images of politicians and captions, set to music, 5 mins).
* Craig Ferguson (comedy), via CBS, "Memories of 70s Scottish Porn" (Craig Ferguson (TVcomedy); relax, the point is that Scotland is too conservative a culture to actually have porn.)

Churchill and Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain, British Declaration Of War - Radio Broadcast - 3 Sept 1939 (3')

Winston Churchill's wartime speeches to the House of Commons, and radio addresses, on Youtube

[Note they were delivered to the Commons or to radio originally in 1939-45, then re-recorded in Decca studios in 1949.  The originals, although suffering from hiss and pops, were delivered in livelier fashion.]
A miracle of deliverance ... we shall fight them on the beaches ... (after Dunkirk, 10')
Their Finest Hour
Churchill's famous speech delivered on June 18th 1940:
"What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."
Compilation of BBC radio recordings of original wartime speeches, [livelier than 1949 re-recordings in studio]
1 (8')  | 2 | 3 | 4
Iron Curtain speech at Westminster College in Fulton, MO (1')

Immigration control: an eloquent, hugely popular --  yet evil speech?  Parliamentary rhetorical argument on a controversial topic, dubbed an "evil speech" (The Times).
Enoch Powell, Rivers of Blood Speech, to West Midlands Conservative Centre, 1968, against the Race Relations Act, 23'
Denys Blakeway, Rivers of Blood, retrospective documentary, Part 1, BBC, 2008. | Highlights (From Michael Graham, "Enoch Was Right" comment appended)
Powell, a brilliant Cambridge linguist, a WW2 war hero in intelligence; an MP from the West Midlands ["Black country", though not a reference to race], was a popular debater on TV, a maverick, nationalist, Conservative minister who wanted to withdraw the UK from Empire once India was given Independence, and welcomed Indian health professionals - and yet argued for curtailing immigration.  (He was sacked as shadow minister and never again held high office.) In 1970 he called on voters, in a narrow election, to vote against his own Conservative party and PM Ted Heath - and a minority Labour government was elected. Later, he returned as a Unionist MP for Ulster.
- WIll "the black man have the whip hand over the white man"?
- There will be 3.5 M commonwealth immigrants, 5-7 M by 2000 (at 4')
- "Like the Roman [poet Virgil], I seem to see 'the River Tiber foaming with much blood'." (at 22'30")
[warning, may be followed by modern comments that some find offensive]
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British Humour
Monty Python sketches
Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks
Airline Pilots sketch, Monty Python, 3'
Monty Python's self defense against fruit
Monty Python's Wish to Report a Burglary -- need for bureaucrats to listen to clients
Office sketch: John Cleese and Eric Idle as 2 office clerks watching their colleagues falling out of a window, 1'28"
Office sketch: watching colleagues fall past window
Fish License sketch
Monty Python: International Hairdressers' Everest
Hell's Grannies (follows 'full frontal')
Kamikaze Scotsmen and No Time to Lose
Hungarian Phrasebook and Courtroom Scene
Italian language lesson, Monty Python, 2'20"
Traditional Bavarian Restaurant
Four yorkshiremen
Fish slapping dance
Interview for Management Training Course
Upper class sitting room, 'Woody' conversation
Spanish Inquisition
Dead Parrott
Cheese Shop sketch
YouTube videos on British Life and Popular Culture: Top of Page
British commercial ads
T-Mobile dance advert at Liverpool St. Station, Jan 2009.
Making of dance ad
Cadbury's Dairy Milk ad, dancing eyebrows


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British Politics Trip Itinerary & Attractions, May '06 | Trip Itinerary '04 | Course Poster | House of Commons Study Tour Links
Our House of Commons tour was again graciously hosted by Sandra Gidley, MP for Romsey, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for women and the elderly -- and the only pharmacist in the House.  In Jan. '04 she also secured us Question Time tickets and held a seminar in the committee rooms.
Gidley's official web pages (SandraGidley.org)
Proxy Gidleywatch blog about Sandra Gidley
Gidley's own blog in response to Gidleywatch: RomseyRedHeadBlog
Gidley's profile at They Work for You
Constituency & (marginal seat) electoral record at Guardian (& see Legalize cannabis vote)
Liberal Democrats party website
Andrew Turner, MP (Con- Isle of Wight); graciously offered to speak to us on the afternoon of Mon 10 May, '06.  involved in education and research for the Conservative Party, elected 2001.  City councillor for 17 years, taking an especial interest in housing and highways. Former Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party; and Shadow Minister for Charities.  (Also classmate of Dr. Lewis's at Keble College, Oxford.)
His official web site at http://www.islandmp.org/
Conservatives' profile at http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=people.person.page&personID=4847
Profile at They Work for You
Tony Wright, MP, author (Lab.- Cannock Chase). | Biogaphy | Publications. Dr. Wright, a former university lecturer, and active author, also kindly conducted a seminar with us in the committee rooms of the House of Commons in Jan. '04.
Tony Wright's profile at They Work For You | speech on reform of Honours system, March '06
Tony Wright's electoral record at the Guardian (& see Loony party vote)
House of Commons Constituency Locator.
British political scientists, guest speakers on British study tour, 2006: Top of Page

Terrorism in UK links

Documentary Films (some inserted, only where equipment and time permit)
CNN, Christiane Amanpour, The War Within ["Londonistan"]
PBS, The Bomb Squad (London)]
The Troubles in Northern Ireland [PPT, large] [HTML slides]
How has conflict been rooted in Irish society via religion, ethnicity and colonialism?
How did Ireland achieve independence and partition?
Why did the troubles in N. Ireland flare up in 1969 after 50 years of relative peace?
What responses to terrorism are permissible in a democracy?
Should a democracy negotiate with terrorists where it cannot defeat them?
How did the Good Friday peace agreement seek to control the conflict?
What are the prospects for a functioning local democracy in N. Ireland /Ulster?
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BBC Video: comedy drama series, Yes, Prime Minister:
The Grand Design. (Nuclear-free defense strategy)
- How does PM Jim Hacker absorb and develop policy ideas?

- How does Sir Humphrey react to Hacker's innovations?
Yes, Prime Minister, nuclear deterrence strategy scene from The Grand Design (BBC TV, 3').
Longer version including national service as a solution (5')
- What are the paradoxes of nuclear strategy?
- What are the advantages of increasing conventional forces, and the merits of conscription?

The Ministerial Broadcast

- How should a politician appear on television?
- How far should a politician cater to the needs of television?
The Smoke Screen (the plan to abolish smoking)
- How does a policy innovation upset a lobby?
- What is the role of the civil service in reacting to innovative ideas?

Satire on realism and idealism in the EEC: Yes, Minister explains the EEC (BBC TV, 4')


Yes Prime Minister, Leading questions scene about opinion polling (BBC TV, 2')
Yes Prime Minister on the Arabs and Israel (BBC TV, 2')
Yes Prime Minister S02E04 - A Conflict of Interest (BBC TV, 30')

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