If politics is theatre, one of the defining features of the form is the presence of the on-stage critics – the media, or more specifically, the big name opinion leaders. They would like to imagine themselves as a Greek chorus commenting on the drama, but if they are, they’re a Greek chorus composed of unreliable…Read More The failure of the on-stage critic
So, there is an election coming and apparently it might be decided in Keighley, my home constituency. This is likely to be the third event to occur in the area, after the Tour de France went through in 2014 and Keighley Cougars RLFC won the 1995 second division championship, so I thought I’d devote a…Read More Come, muse, let us sing of Keighley
Why is the Sun so lame these days? Here’s a case study. Overnight everyone was expecting a deluge of incitement to pour forth on the Supreme Court, but when the mountains had finished travailing we got this: This is a mad choice of lead, and a reference to the catchphrase of a TV comedian who…Read More How did the Sun get so weak?
So we’re having a moment about John Boyd: The really interesting thing about the Dom Cummings appointment is that we now have someone in charge of No10 who is a devotee of Col. John Boyd, whose central thesis was to confuse your enemy and do the opposite of what they expect (1/4). — Damian McBride…Read More Round and Round the OODA Loop: Folk Boyd and the Brexiters
Reading this New Statesman piece about the deselection of MPs Graham Stringer, Frank Field, and Kate Hoey, it struck me that there is a much better way to understand most things about the Labour Party than you are usually offered. Here goes. The most important thing Labour people are disagreeing about is which of two…Read More Why Field & Co. must be deselected.
While we’re talking fraud, this NYT piece on people who sell YouTube views is fascinating and enlightening. YouTube counts how many people watch videos, puts the number next to them, and uses this to account for advertising money and decide which videos to promote. It’s therefore worthwhile to program a computer to click on your…Read More The Inversion: or why everything sucks.
This is the third post in a series. The others are here and here. A really important lesson to take away from the book is about Crow’s relationship with the media. There are several points to remember here. The first one is the importance of realistic expectations. Crow never imagined that the commentariat or the…Read More Looking back on Bob Crow, 3: Media, and a final thought
So what about that Office for Students and the twat, then? I promised Paul Bernal off the twitter a blog post, and here it is. The thing is, it wasn’t just the ‘social media vetting’ that was the problem with Toby Young. Anyone with an ounce of knowledge about him knew he was wholly inappropriate…Read More Everyone Hates the Phone Company: The Purpose of the Office for Students
Thinking about the imposition of interpretations, something that keeps coming back to me is the difference between the relatively few, but influential, people who actually supported the distinctive content of Blairism and the much bigger subset of Labour people who saw it as a set of pragmatic concessions, which might be rolled back if that…Read More The Great Disinhibition
Something I’ve been thinking about lately is the relationship between the Leave/Remain split and the Labour Party’s spectrum from left-of-centre through soft left to hard left. There is a great German word that comes in handy here: Deutungshoheit, or “interpretative superiority”. Something – some inchoate and contingent historical event – happens, and then politicians struggle…Read More Why Corbyn is the only effective Remainer