Entries by Penelope J Corfield

MONTHLY BLOG 68, REFERENDA VIEWED LONG

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2016) Referenda seek to answer big questions with big answers: let the people speak. But they also constrain voters. They are called upon to choose between simple either/or alternatives. In practice, however, referenda are not always easy to answer. There are plenty of cases when […]

OBITUARY: LILIAN (LILY) ROSE HARRISON, NÉE PARKER, MBE (1924-2015)

from Battersea Labour Party Annual Report (2015), pp. 23-4 Lily Harrison had a strong, feisty, ‘giving’ personality, with an intense civic commitment to the Shaftesbury Estate community in particular and to Battersea in general. In another generation, when opportunities for working-class women were greater, she would have taken a front-seat role. But she did more […]

MONTHLY BLOG 64, WHY IS IT TAKING SO LONG TO NORMALISE THE ROLE OF WOMEN AT THE TOP IN POLITICS?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2016) Women can certainly make it to the top of the political greasy pole. Indira Gandhi (India), Margaret Thatcher (UK), Angela Merkel (Germany) and Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar) are just four among several eminent examples, in very different political systems. Nonetheless, such women are […]

MONTHLY BLOG 63, THE VALUE OF VOTING – AND WHY THE PRACTICE SHOULD NOT BE MOCKED

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2016) Many more voters than previously realised cast their votes in local and national elections in eighteenth-century England.1  They were thereby creating – sometimes riotously and casually, but generally decorously and seriously – a culture of constitutionalism. It amounted to an emergent proto-democracy. It was […]

MONTHLY BLOG 62, IS THE PAST DEAD OR ALIVE? AND THE SNARES OF SUCH BINARY QUESTIONS.

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2016) Is the past dead or alive? Posing such a binary question insists upon choice; but the options constitute a false dichotomy. Nonetheless, the death of the past is often proclaimed. This BLOG examines the arguments for and against; and highlights the snares of binary […]

MONTHLY BLOG 61, DOES THE STUDY OF HISTORY ‘PROGRESS’? AND HOW DOES PLURILOGUE HELP?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2016) Does the study of History ‘progress’? That verb is cited cautiously in inverted commas, because we are all wary of over-simplified claims for historical Progress which can be deceptive, even cruelly so. But the study of History is a highly pluralistic discipline. It’s undertaken […]