A Glossary of UK Government and Politics

A Glossary of UK Government and Politics

A Glossary of UK Government and Politics

A Glossary of UK Government and Politics

Excerpt

This book, as its title implies, is a glossary and not a dictionary. It aims to present not only basic definitions and factual details, but also – where appropriate – outline arguments. This is especially true of the lengthier entries dealing with some issues of current controversy. However, it is not and cannot be, given the confines of space, an encyclopaedic study. The intention here is to help the readership by providing a useful explanation of the key personnel, concepts, institutions, issues and events of postwar UK politics – and in suitable cases to point them in the direction of other interesting lines of enquiry.

The mere listing of the contents of such a companion guide illustrates how difficult the task of selecting items for inclusion has been. The aim is to offer information on British government and politics in the post-1945 era, with the emphasis more on the period from 1979 onwards. This is an exacting task and inevitably there will be omissions which disturb some readers. Their omission may reflect an error on my part, for which I apologise in advance. Or their absence may reflect the need to be selective – highly selective – as to what can be included in a work of this length. It is intended that the book can be a handy guide, easily accessible and manageable. Some glossaries are considerably longer and more detailed. They have their value, but their bulk in terms of size and content can detract from their utility as a quick-reference publication.

The selectivity to which I refer is most evident in regard to personalities. My initial listing of people in public life with a . . .

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