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Labour Party Philosophy Politics

Is Morality Relevant to Politics?

Chris Clarke and Neal Lawson debate Labour Party ‘populist myths’ in the latest edition of Prospect magazine. These are based on ideas in Clarke’s book ‘The Dark Knight and the Puppet Master’ and include the ‘Dark Knight myth’ of morality in politics where the left are good and its opponents evil. Clarke also introduces a […]

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Labour Party Politics

John Gray on ‘Progressivism’ and Why Labour Lost

I admire John Gray and his somewhat cynical writing on political philosophy. Having heard him speak and briefly spoken to him he is evidently a man of erudition and humanity. But when he writes on ‘Progressivism’ and Labour’s election defeat in his January New Statesman essay ‘Why the left keeps losing’ something seems to have […]

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Coronavirus Healthcare News Politics

Coronavirus Update 26/03/2020

Whilst both the UK and the US can be said to have been slow in initiating forceful measures to deal with the Coronavirus epidemics in their countries, the UK government under Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now, albeit not always with the necessary clarity, announced shutdowns of most social-mixing in Britain. Only ‘essential workers’ – […]

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Coronavirus Healthcare News Politics

The Mathematics of the Coronavirus

Epidemics and Exponential Growth Some of the most important information about the Coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic is to be found not from medical knowledge or in the lab but from basic mathematics. The key to understanding this behaviour is in the mathematics of exponential growth. What does this mean? There are two ways in which regular […]

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Labour Party Politics

Should Labour Represent the Working Class?

The media, social and otherwise is now rife with analyses (my own included) of why Labour lost the 2019 election so badly, and what the Party should do about it. A common theme revolves around the loss of ‘traditional working class’ seats in the English North and Midlands, and how Labour has moved away from […]

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Brexit Labour Party News Politics

Labour Must Not Reverse on Policy

So there we have it. The polls were right, and produced the electoral results that could have been anticipated from them. To the extent that is a surprise it is only because of the unexpected result of the 2017 election and the rarely-fulfilled dream of some substantial tactical voting. Of course Scotland is a rather […]

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Philosophy Politics Religion

Two Cheers for Liberalism

Reaction to modern liberal society has apparently been treated as akin to ‘the Inquisition and Islamic State, Francisco Franco and Ayatollah Khomeini, Vichyism and Leninism’. If you make that claim and end by stating ‘[W]e do well to remind our fellow citizens [that] Man [sic] is made for more than this world, and his [sic] […]

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Brexit Electoral Reform News Politics

A Second Brexit Referendum?

In my last piece on Brexit I somewhat underplayed the role of a second referendum – suggesting that it would only probably come into play after a further general election, probably one that Labour won. Things have moved on from then in that the negotiations have coalesced into a deal with which, rather remarkably, neither […]

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News Politics

Trump in Scotland – Let’s Protest for Mary

Donald Trump is coming to Scotland. He claims a special link to this country due to his Lewiswoman mother, Mary Anne Macleod. How should we respond to his visit – is it really an unacceptable violation of our liberal democratic culture for this American President to visit the UK and Scotland in particular? Is it […]

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Brexit News Politics

Brexit Endgames

Today Theresa May’s Cabinet are meeting at Chequers (the UK Prime Minister’s out-of-town residence) in an attempt to thrash out a final Brexit negotiating position with the European Union. As they do so, the biggest threat to Brexit seems not to be a realisation of its purposelessness, although that will surely come soon enough, but […]