Coronavirus Healthcare News Politics

The COVID Inquiry and the Transfer to Care Homes Case

Introduction As the official COVID-19 inquiry gets under way we see some of the core issues resurfacing: Boris Johnson’s dilettante approach to government; the profiteering VIP lane; and Matt Hancock’s purported ‘protective ring around care homes’ that nevertheless failed to prevent tens of thousands of deaths among residents.[1] The latter is perhaps the one issue […]

Economics Equality Labour Party Politics

The Economics of Starmerism

What do we know about Labour’s economic approach under Keir Starmer? In his Fabian Society pamphlet ‘The Road Ahead’, and in his Labour Conference speech we are beginning to get some clues to the Economics of Starmerism. So can he rise above the prevailing ‘mediamacro’ economic fallacies so dear to the mainstream media and the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Coronavirus Healthcare News

Coronavirus Update 20/03/2020

Current Trends in the UK and the US More or less as I was posting my previous piece, the UK government was publicly rolling back on the idea that the aim of ‘herd immunity’ was the optimal strategy in the face of the Coronavirus epidemic. At the same time it published the scenario modelling of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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] […]

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 […]

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 […]