Day: April 19, 2018

The importance of royal pardons in Restoration England.

The History of Parliament

The UK is celebrating the centenary of the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which allowed some women to vote for the first time. This has enlivened a debate relating to the posthumous pardon of Suffragettes convicted of offences during the campaign for ‘Votes for Women’. The History of Parliament’s Director and editor of the Commons 1640-1660 section, Dr Stephen Roberts explains the significance of the royal pardon in Restoration England…

Posthumous pardoning has recently become a powerful and emotive element in public discussion. Classes of people thought to have suffered injustice at the hands of the state have attracted champions who have argued that their offences should be effaced from the record as unjust or morally monstrous. Two examples are the British soldiers of 1914-18, shot for acts which at the time were considered to have amounted to cowardice or desertion; and the

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The Conservative Party and British Indians, 1975-1990

The History of Parliament

Today’s blog is from our 2017 undergraduate dissertation competition winner, Jilna Shah of Cambridge University for her thesis on the Conservative Party and British Indians in the long 1980s. Jilna was presented her prize by Chair of Trustees Gordon Marsden and Director of the History of Parliament, Dr Stephen Roberts during our annual lecture in January, ‘The Second Reform Act of 1867: Party interest or the road to democracy?’. We will be running our dissertation competition again in 2018, details will be posted on Twitter and our website shortly…

The long 1980s deserves to be seen as a watershed in the history of the Conservative Party and its relationship with Britain’s ethnic minorities. Contemporary commentators, such as Stuart Hall, Ambalavener Sivanandan, and Paul Gilroy argued for as much at the time, highlighting a new racism that punctuated crises of unemployment, crime, and immigration and led to ethnically-narrower conceptions of…

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Dunce School: Electricity Generation 101 for the Wind & Sun Worshipper


It takes a special brand of ignorance to still believe that the world can run on sunshine and breezes. Whether you blame a breakdown in the education system or a Trotskyite takeover of the mainstream media, the results are the same: there’s a stubborn rump who continue to turn fantasy into ‘fact’; who are incapable of distinguishing the former from the latter; and who are by far the most rabid and shrill when it comes to the topic of the generation of electricity.

Our good friends logic and reason were sacrificed on the altar of ideology, a generation ago.

Defending those critical attributes of an ordered and civil society is what STT is all about. Of course, the wind and sun cult hate us for that.

You can’t blame them; when you have a child-like belief in something you deeply love (think Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny, talking unicorns) and…

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‘Chappaquiddick,’ the movie: Muddled character study

Media Myth Alert

Chappaquiddick, the docudrama revisiting Senator Ted Kennedy’s misconduct following a late-night automobile accident in July 1969 that killed his 28-year-old female passenger, was released over the weekend to larger-than-expected audiences and not-bad reviews.

The film’s release also was accompanied by a bit of carping from a Kennedy apologist who characterized Chappaquiddick as a distortion, as bad history.

Such complaints are fair enough, when accurate. Plenty of American history has been distorted by the cinema.

The movie version of All the President’s Men, for example, fueled the media myth that the dogged reporting by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein exposed the crimes that brought down Richard Nixon’s presidency in 1974.

More recently, Steven Spielberg’s The Post mythologized the presumed courage of the publisher of the newspaper — the Washington Postthat trailed the New York Times in reporting on the Pentagon Papers, the government’s classified history of U.S…

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To Count A King: The Royal Family’s 1911 Census Return


Until I went looking, I wasn’t sure whether British kings and queens and their families had to participate in censuses or not. It turns out that they do. Just like everyone else, the law obliges them to reveal their location, age and marital status to the state – along with a number of other pieces of information – once every ten years.

The census return completed at Buckingham Palace in April 1911 is a fascinating document, which shines light on a number of previously-unknown aspects of early-twentieth-century royal life, including the identities of most of the Royal Family’s then very large retinue of staff.

King George V and Queen Mary had been on the throne for less than a year on census day, Sunday 2 April 1911. King George V and Queen Mary had been on the throne for less than a year on census day, Sunday 2 April 1911.

The return runs to five pages and is reproduced in full below. You may browse it at your leisure, but the things that particularly struck me were:

– the fact that the King and Queen…

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Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ morals

Why Evolution Is True

Here’s the new Jesus and Mo strip, called “say”. The accusation is quite familiar to many of us; not only are we, as secularists, not supposed to have any “grounding” for our morality, but are also said to be arrogant and evincing morally superiority.

Well, if “morally superior” means that we think about how to behave and the consequences of different behaviors and standards, then we are morally superior to those who take their morals directly from scripture or revelations.

Fortunately, many believers (Islam is an exception compared to other Abrahamic faiths) derive most of their morality from secular considerations, something that Plato proved thousands of years ago. His discussion, the Euthyphro argument, is one of the great contributions of philosophy to social thinking. And although Plato framed it in terms of the question “is piety something the gods love because of its quality, or is piety…

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Infographic: 100 Vehicles from Star Wars

Michael Sandberg's Data Visualization Blog

Source: Gringer, Bonnie, 100 Vehicle From Star Wars, TitleMax,

The First Step into a Larger World

It can be kind of dizzying to think that one’s man idea of a spaceship called the “Millennium Falcon” shaped somewhat like a wonky hamburger he once had would evolve into a huge encyclopedia of all Star Wars vehicles. We’ve only included 100 here, but there are many hundreds included throughout the Expanded Universe. There are whole books dedicated to exploring the insides of Star Wars imperial vehicles alone. (And, yes, fans do get really passionate about it.) There are entire video games based solely around the concept of getting and flying ground vehicles like pod-racers. What’s even more overwhelming is that with every new film and TV show, there are more added to this seemingly endless lexicon.

George Lucas opened a can of creativity.

No Such Thing as Luck

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Unequal marriage markets for Black and White women

Family Inequality

Joanna Pepin and I have posted a new paper titled, “Unequal marriage markets: Sex ratios and first marriage among Black and White women.” In the paper, we find that the marriage markets of Black and White women are very different, with Black women living in metropolitan areas that have many fewer single men than White women do. And, in a regression model with other important predictors of marriage, this unmarried sex ratio is strongly associated with the odds of marrying.

We count this as evidence on the side of “structure” over “culture” in the debates over the decline in marriage. Here’s the main result, showing Black and White women in 172 metro areas (scaled for size), and the difference in sex ratios (the horizontal spread), the difference in marriage rates (the vertical spread), and the statistical effect of sex ratios on marriage (the slopes).


In a nutshell: As…

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Many economists failed ethics pop quiz on feathering own nest, credentialism and rent seeking