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How to Be In Opposition Paperback – 14 Mar 2011

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback Publishing (14 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907278087
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907278082
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nigel Fletcher is the founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Opposition Studies, and is currently researching a PhD thesis at Kings College London. Born in Portsmouth, he graduated from Queen Mary, University of London, and was awarded the Professor Lord Smith Prize for his dissertation on the role of the opposition. He worked as a researcher at the London Assembly before joining the Conservative Research Department, where he was Special Adviser on Education between 2004 and 2008. In this role he served successive Shadow Education Secretaries, including David Cameron, David Willetts and Michael Gove. During this time he was also elected as a Councillor in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, where he was Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Conservative spokesman for Culture until 2014. He lives in Eltham, South East London.

Product Description


An excellent study of the central importance, but the often humiliating practicalities, of opposition. Compulsory reading for Miliband's office. --Neil Stewart, Progress Online

About the Author

Nigel Fletcher is the founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Opposition Studies.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
`Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition' is the full title for the largest non-government party in Parliament and has been around long enough for the oddity of its phrasing to be easily overlooked. But "Her Majesty's"? And "Loyal"? They come from the idea that, however much those in power may wish the opposition to firmly stay out of power, there is a recognition that an effective Parliamentary democracy requires an effective opposition. "Loyal" too reflects the willingness of those who have lost an election to accept the result. Calmly leaving office, or accepting another period in opposition, may be a long established part of the British political tradition but a glance at the political tumult in other countries after elections is a reminder of how important and welcome a part it is too.

Despite all this, the art of opposition is little studied in Britain, something that the recently formed Centre for Opposition Studies is trying to remedy and How to be in opposition is their first book. Bringing together the knowledge of eight contributors, it acts as a guide to many of the basics of opposition.

Because there has been no comparable previous publication, it spends much time detailing some of the procedural and historical details of oppositions. That makes the book an extremely useful reference source, albeit at the cost of being lighter on the more strategic questions.

It is often said that `oppositions do not win elections, governments lose them'. That frequency does not however mean it is a view that is uncontroversial, as is shown by the post-May 2010 debates over whether the Conservative Party's failure to win an overall majority was because it had failed to do what was necessary to win.
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