Auteur Nigel Fletcher is the co-founder and research director of the Centre for Opposition Studies, and a political historian at K...
Pas encore paru. Cet article sera disponible le 22.12.2023
Nigel Fletcher is the co-founder and research director of the Centre for Opposition Studies, and a political historian at King's College London. His research interests include contemporary British political history, the UK constitution and institutions of government.
This book provides a comprehensive analysis of a peculiar but now firmly established British institution the Official Opposition tracking its development since 1935.
Despite its inherent importance to the conduct of politics and government, the Official Opposition as an institution remains poorly understood. The concept of Loyal Opposition has become so entrenched in the Westminster parliamentary model that it is now taken for granted that the principal challengers to the government of the day are given significant official recognition by the state. Political dissent has become institutionalised and legitimised.
Using previously unpublished archive material and candid interviews with former Leaders of the Opposition and their staff, the book examines the constraints and dilemmas facing the Official Opposition. Detailing the way successive opposition leaders have organised their staff and Shadow Cabinets, it highlights the practical difficulties they face in holding the government to account and preparing for government. The study concludes by arguing that the role of the Official Opposition is vital but ill-defined, that the inadequacy of its resources has impacted on its effectiveness, and that there are potentially serious challenges to it as a model.
The book will be of key interest to scholars of British politics, British history, parliamentary and legislative studies, and government and democracy more generally.
Introduction 1. Concepts of Opposition 2. Official Recognition: Parliamentary Procedure and Government Contacts 3. Official Recognition and the Growth of Institutional Support 4. People and Places: The Organisation of the Institution 5. Working the Night Shift: Approaches to Opposition 6. Conclusions