This week has been particularly hectic – meetings from morning to night, which explains why I have not been particularly prolific with posts. However, I thought I would do a post or two on some of the meetings.
On Wednesday evening, I attended the launch of the Opposition Studies Forum, a research group designed – as the name suggests – to study the nature of political opposition. Founded by Nigel Fletcher (currently researching a doctorate on the subject), it has Michael Howard and Lord Kinnock as co-presidents. I am on the advisory board.
Though opposition is fundamental to our political life, it is remarkable how little it has been studied. It is also far more complex than is often realised. I recently penned the conclusion to a special issue of The Journal of Legislative Studies on opposition in parliamentary democracies. There are different types of opposition: there is the official Opposition and there are opposition parties; there is also opposition within parties. However, as David Cameron noted in his foreword to the launch programme: ‘Those who hold an opposition post tend of course to have one thing in common: they don’t want to hold it for much longer’.
The Forum plans meetings and a journal in order to illuminate and explain the role played by opposition in the politics of the United Kingdom and other democratic systems. Further information is available on the group’s website.