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Electoral Reform Labour Party News Politics

Irrelevant Alternatives and PR

There was little discussion of our electoral system as part of the UK Labour leadership debate. Yet proportional representation has never seemed more clearly essential to avoid the permanent triumph of self-interest politics. Something quite extraordinary happened between the 2010 and 2015 elections that has been extraordinarily little remarked upon. The outcome in terms of […]

Categories
Labour Party News Politics

Why I voted for Jeremy Corbyn as UK Labour leader

I do not, as far as that is a meaningful concept in today’s fragmented politics, consider myself to be of the ‘hard left’. And I am certainly no ‘entryist’, having been a member of the UK Labour party since 1997. In the end, however, I didn’t have too much difficulty deciding to vote for Jeremy […]

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Labour Party News Politics

Why Power is not Enough for Labour

There’s a flavour of ‘What have the Romans ever done for us?’ in the Corbyn-led debate over the Blairite legacy. As someone who campaigned enthusiastically for Labour in 1997 and now feels a somewhat detached member of the party, I think I can articulate why -despite the many achievements of the Blair and Brown governments […]

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Economics Inequality Politics

Independence is Nominal

Independence is Nominal – long-gestated thoughts given birth to in response to Brian Barder’s blog post on the lack of post Scottish referendum preparedness and the need for the UK coalition government to resign if there is a ‘Yes’ vote. Here I am, up in Scotland and strangely detached from the debate. (For comparison I […]

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Business and Society Economics Equality Philosophy Politics

Modern Thinking: Atomism and Communication

‘Modern Thinking: Atomism and Communication’ – Although written four years ago for an essay competition, I still think this piece encapsulates as well as anything my approach to economics, politics and social institutions. Bertrand Russell, the great British mathematician and philosopher, believed that to be ‘modern-minded’ was to make the error of thinking with the […]

Categories
Politics Press Regulation

The (Press) Barons Bite Back

We knew the press barons (and they are literally barons, in some cases – as we shall see) didn’t like the proposed arrangements for organising press regulation agreed last month between the three main political parties. This arrangement was in the form of a Royal Charter (an arcane form of legislation introduced not by the […]

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Economics News Politics

Thatcher and Labour: The Real Lesson

As Kawan Patel suggested on LabourList a few days ago, New Labour was founded on the idea that while Margaret Thatcher might not have ‘saved the nation’ as her Conservative supporters claim, there were things she ‘got right’. I believe that this focus on the specifics of the Thatcherite legacy, such as privatisation and reductions […]

Categories
Business and Society Politics

Better Press Regulation should be Liberating

This article is on 3 pages, and you can go to the next page you want by clicking on the relevant  number at the bottom of each page. The report of the Leveson inquiry into the Culture, Practice and Ethics of the Press is expected to be delivered next week. I am publishing here a fuller version […]

Categories
Inequality Politics

Welfare Myths and Welfare Facts

I am publishing here a paper on ‘Welfare Myths and Welfare Facts’ (pdf 65kb). This is a summary, but please read the complete paper. The belief, held by nearly one third of the population according to polling figures, that at least half of welfare claimants are either fraudulent or are refusing suitable work when offered, […]

Categories
Business and Society Equality Inequality Politics

Equality of Voice and ‘Devo-localism’

  That’s where the real constitutional debate needs to be – around a radical constitutional option that puts Scotland back into the hands of its people: devo-local, if you like. Trevor Davies, The Scotsman 10/5/2012  [Politicians] see themselves as propping up something which is tottering rather than letting citizens build anew something that is soundly […]