Author Archives: matthewashton

About matthewashton

I'm a Politics Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University. I specialise in the fields of American, British and media politics.

Great mistakes in politics (No42) Rick Perry’s Oops moment

For all the talk of the 2012 US Presidential election being about ‘social media’, it actually demonstrated that live TV debates still mattered. Throughout the campaign the debates probably shaped the public’s perception of the candidates more than any amount … Continue reading

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Great political TV series (No11) The Caesars

If you asked the average British person to name a TV series about the Roman Empire full of sex, violence and political scheming, I’m fairly sure they’d pick I Claudius (or possibly Rome depending on how old they were). It’s … Continue reading

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Great political movies (No59) Argo

F Scott Fitzgerald once said there were no second acts in American lives, but Ben Affleck seems determined to prove him wrong. Originally part of the indie scene in the 1990s he quickly became a Hollywood leading actor. Thanks to … Continue reading

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Great political movies (No58) Holy Flying Circus

What are the limits of free speech? How tolerant should we be of unpopular ideas? To what extent should we be allowed to offend other people? These are some of the big questions that mankind has been wrestling with since … Continue reading

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Great mistakes in politics (No41) The Australian Immigration Restriction Act of 1901

Lots of countries both past and present have struggled with the issue of immigration. While a few have taken a relatively laissez-faire attitude, others have tied themselves in knots attempting to keep people out. This has been justified for a … Continue reading

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Great political movies (No57) Silent Waters (Khamosh Pani)

Here’s a question; how many female film directors can you name? I’m guessing about a dozen or so. Because the glass ceiling is still very much in place in Hollywood, most tend to work in the art house sector. Unfortunately … Continue reading

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Great political documentaries (No27) Chicago Ten

The 1968 Democratic Party Convention in Chicago is notorious for a lot of reasons, all of them deserved. The war in Vietnam had spun out of control and an increasingly beleaguered Lyndon Baines Johnson had decided not to run again … Continue reading

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Great political movies (No56) Too big to fail

Whenever a big event happens in American politics these days it’s almost a guarantee that sooner or later HBO will turn it into a movie. They’d already done the 2000 election in Recount, and Too big to fail was their … Continue reading

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Great political documentaries (No26) Page One – Inside the New York Times

It’s no secret that print media has been in trouble for some time. Newspaper sales are declining, and more and more people are getting their information for free from the internet. As a result mainstream news outlets have been cutting … Continue reading

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Great political movies (No55) The Round-Up (Szegénylegények)

Most Hungarian films are still largely unknown outside of art house circles; which is a shame as there have been some excellent ones over the years. Especially interesting are those made during the Soviet era in the 60s and 70s. … Continue reading

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