Chapter 1

Taking in the Political Universe

In This Chapter

arrow Differentiating between local and national politics

arrow Building a very British democracy

arrow Legislating within the parliament

arrow Gauging the strength of the democracy

arrow Scrutinising politicians and the media

arrow Defining Britain’s place in the world

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.

– Plato, Greek philosopher

Plato’s quote highlights one – very cynical – way of looking at the wacky (and not so wacky) world of politics. But whatever your view of politics (or, for that matter, politicians), one thing’s for sure: the laws made by politicians have a direct impact on your life.

In this chapter I take a speed-of-light trip around the political universe, through the town hall, the newspaper rooms, Buckingham Palace and the UK Houses of Parliament, to the outer reaches of big international ...

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