As you should know from reading the Politics section of the school website you are going to be studying UK and US politics. This is therefore the time to get ‘hooked’ on UK and US politics. You can do this by committing to reading a QUALITY newspaper every day (Times, Guardian or Telegraph) or watching Channel 4 News every night. This doesn’t mean you have to subscribe all of the newspapers will allow you a certain amount of access online and the Guardian doesn’t even have a paywall!
If you’re felling intellectually ambitious the New Statesman and Economist have special rates for students or, alternatively, they will deliver updates free of charge to your email. Read as much as you can!

Activity over several weeks

As a result of your reading you should be able to make notes around the following for discussion in September:

  • Criticism of the Conservative Government regarding it’s handling of the Coronavirus crisis.
  • The impact of Boris Johnson’s illness and handling of the crisis? Do we really have ‘collective government’ or does decision making rest around one man?
  • Are Conservative MPs who are not members of the government (known as back benchers) supporting their government or are they beginning to question/criticise their own government?
  • The new leader of the Opposition. Who is he? Is he making good start? Watch Prime Minister’s Question Time on Wednesday at 12 O’ Clock. Is he making a good start at questioning the Government? What do the commentators in the newspapers think of his performance?
  • How is the Scottish Government differing in its response to the crisis?

US Politics

  • How well is the US President, Donald Trump, handling the crisis? Give examples ....bleach??
  • Why doesn’t the American President himself have total control over the handling of the crisis?

Compile a glossary of the following terms

  • Democracy
  • Direct Democracy
  • Representative Democracy
  • Parliamentary Democracy
  • Collective Cabinet Responsibility
  • Accountability
  • Scrutiny
  • Participation
  • Representation
  • Legislature
  • Executive
  • Legitimacy

Additional work

If you are feeling ambitious and want to do some background reading on the course, try to borrow or buy ‘Who governs Britain?’ by Anthony King. This will form a good background to many aspects of the course. 

Please do as much as you can to get interested in Politics rather than write copious notes. You won’t understand that much , that’s why you’ve chosen to do the course! We look forward to seeing you in September.