Alan Sked

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Alan Sked
Leader of New Deal[1]
Incumbent
Assumed office
2013
Preceded by New position
Leader of UKIP
In office
1993–1997
Preceded by New position
Succeeded by Craig Mackinlay
Personal details
Born 1947
United Kingdom
Political party New Deal
Other political
affiliations
UK Independence, Anti-Federalist League

Alan Sked (born 1947) is Professor of International History at the London School of Economics, and is politically active, opposing Britain's membership of the European Union; he several times stood as a candidate in parliamentary elections, and founded the party now named UK Independence Party (UKIP).

He studied History at Glasgow, then Merton College, Oxford. His doctoral supervisor at Oxford was A. J. P. Taylor, who was a major influence on Sked. In particular, Sked's writings on the Habsburg Monarchy owe much to Taylor, although their interpretations are very different. In addition to writing on Habsburg history, he has written texts on British political and European history. His books have been translated into German, Italian, Czech, Portuguese, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. At LSE he teaches courses on U.S. and modern intellectual history, and on the history of sex, race and slavery.

Political career[edit]

He once stood as a Liberal candidate, but later rejected the party's pro-European Union (EU) stance. He served for ten years (1980–1990) as Convenor of European Studies, a postgraduate MA programme at LSE, where he examined many theses on the EU and served as joint Chairman of LSE's European Research Seminar. He came to believe that the EU was corrupt and anti-democratic, and a liability to the British economy. He was a founding member of the Bruges Group until 1991, when he was expelled by its executive committee. This was because in November 1991 he had founded the Anti-Federalist League (AFL),[2] an anti-EU political party that ran candidates in the 1992 general election.

In 1993 Sked stood in two parliamentary by-elections, one at Newbury, where he shared a platform with Enoch Powell, who spoke in his support, and soon after at Christchurch. On both occasions he came fourth after the major parties (there were 19 candidates at Newbury). Encouraged by these results the AFL changed its name that September to the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). Sked, however, resigned the leadership shortly after the 1997 general election, citing party factionalism and the growing influence of radical, far-right opinion in the party's ranks, saying that it was "doomed to remain on the political fringes".[3] He also opposed its plan to take up places in the European Parliament if seats should be won there, wanting all party efforts to be concentrated on the UK Parliament.

Shortly before each subsequent national election (1999, 2001 and 2004) he published articles accusing UKIP of extremism and incompetence. A few days before the 2004 election to the European Parliament, in which UKIP increased their representation from three to twelve seats, he criticised his former party in a national newspaper, saying, "they are racist and have been infected by the far-right."[2] He also went on record as saying, "UKIP is even less liberal than the British National Party (BNP). Certainly, there is a symbiosis between elements of the parties,"[3] and, "UKIP's MEPs are a standing joke at Strasbourg, where their attendance record, even by the standards of most MEPs, is relatively poor and where, according to independent research by the European Studies centre at the London School of Economics, the three often vote in different ways on the same issue."[{{{2}}}] Sked expressed his opinions in a short article, "Reflections of a Eurosceptic", in 2007.[4]

In 2003, just before the Iraq War, he wrote that opposition to the militaristic foreign policy of George W. Bush within Europe was not born of principle, but rather stemmed "largely from jealousy of the United States" and a purported knowledge that European countries, united or otherwise, "have no military, diplomatic, moral, or economic resources with which to challenge the United States".[5]

In September 2013 he founded New Deal, a political party described as "a new left-of-centre anti–EU party which he hopes will challenge Labour", and appeared on the BBC TV Daily Politics show to discuss it.[6][7] He said that he intended to stand against Labour leader Ed Miliband in the 2015 UK General Election.

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • Sked, A. & Cook, C. (eds.) (1976) Crisis and Controversy: Essays in Honour of A.J.P. Taylor. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-18635-4.
  • Sked, A. & Cook, C. (1979) "Post-war Britain: A political history"
  • Sked, A. (1979) The Survival of the Habsburg Empire: Radetzky, the imperial army and the class war, 1848. London: Longmans. ISBN 0-582-50711-1.
  • Sked, A. (1987) Britain's decline: problems and perspectives. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-15084-6.
  • Sked, A. & Cook, C. (1993) Post-war Britain: a political history (1945–1992). (4th ed.) Harmondsworth: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-017912-7.
  • Sked, A. (2001) The Decline and Fall of the Habsburg Empire, 1815–1918. (2nd ed.) London: Longman. ISBN 0-582-35666-0.
  • Sked, A. (2007), Metternich and Austria: An Evaluation. (London: Palgrave MacMillan) ISBN 1-4039-9114-6
  • Sked, A (2011) Radetzky. Imperial Victor and Military Genius, London I.B. Tauris.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ https://pefonline.electoralcommission.org.uk/Search/ViewRegistrations/Profile.aspx
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Scottish election: UK Independence Party profile". BBC News. 13 April 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  4. ^ The 1975 Referendum on Europe', Vol. I: 'Reflections of the Participants', Mark Baimbridge (ed), Exeter, 2007: article "Reflections of a Eurosceptic", Alan Sked, pp. 140–147 (imprint-academic.com)
  5. ^ Sked 2003.
  6. ^ "UKIP founder Alan Sked launches New Deal party". BBC News. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Malik, Shiv (8 September 2013). "Ukip founder creates new leftwing anti-EU party". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  1. Sked, Reflections of a Eurosceptic, p. 144.
  2. Generally assumed at the time.
  3. Sked, Reflections of a Eurosceptic, p. 146.
  4. ^ The People (6 June 2004).
  5. ^ Sunday Telegraph (30 May 2004).

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
New Office
Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party
1993–1997
Succeeded by
Craig Mackinlay