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About Anthony Painter

Anthony led Policy Network's 'populism, extremism and the mainstream' project. He wrote Barack Obama: The Movement for Change and Left Without a Future? Social Justice in anxious times, published by I.B.Tauris. He blogs at

Articles by Anthony Painter

This week’s front page editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

UKIP is the formation of a new political elite – nothing more

UKIP are no radical insurgents nor are they a threat to the established order - they are trying to preserve the Britain of the 1950s. They are entirely embedded within elite politics.

To Scotland, vote with an open heart and a clear head

Good luck on Thursday Scotland. Vote with an open heart and a clear head. Dismiss exaggerated risks and understand the real ones, and we'll see you as you emerge from the polling booth.

Can “One Nation” survive clarification?

Against a backdrop of enduring fiscal restraint and limited state resources, the One Nation vision poses a number of problems for how state-market-civil society interactions are envisaged and mediated. Labour must avoid the shortcomings of 'Big Society' thinking.

The debate on Englishness can no longer be avoided

An increasingly assertive English nationalism; the prospect of an independent Scotland; the economic crisis.... the English question is ready to explode. Evasion tactics are deeply embedded, but even these are about to fail.

England needs an independence conversation

The English no longer know who they are. The Scottish do. Labour must learn from the Scots in rediscovering an optimistic Englishness that embraces the future with confidence

To protect the Union, England and the centre-left must start fighting now

Following the SNP's unexpected triumph, full or fiscal independence for Scotland are suddenly real possibilities. Salmond has five years to call a referendum, and the result is critical for the whole UK. Both the Conservatives and Labour will fight to protect the Union, but the centre-left has more to lose

Under AV, Nick Clegg's position is the future of British politics

The Alternative Vote will not deliver more pluralism in British politics. Political competition will still converge around a median, it's just that the position of the median will change to something like Orange-book liberalism. Choose AV, and British politics will converge around Nick Clegg's position AV, like FPTP, is incompatible with Britain's pluralist society AV is not a distant but pluralist relative of FPTP. They are twins
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