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
This, rather good, post from Simon Wren-Lewis brings up what has become a trope – the distinction between people who are “pro-market” and those who are “merely pro-business”. The idea is that some people believe that economic problems are best solved through the market mechanism, while some other people pretend to believe this but actually…Read More Pro-market, pro-business, or just pro-wealth?
Chris Dillow asks why politicians seem to be so hopeless today. I tend to think of this as a consequence of the great divergence, the gapping-out of inequality across the developed economies since the 1980s. Why? Consider this guy. That’s right – an eccentric billionaire, giving away fivers! This used to be a stock cartoon-strip…Read More The theory of the eccentric billionaire, and why politicians got so awful
So I read Tim “Not the Doctor” Shipman’s All Out War instabook on the referendum campaign and after. Shipman argues strongly for the continued importance of the old 90s Tory Eurosceptics in the whole thing – this is partly a consequence of his method, writing down stuff MPs tell him, but I think also a…Read More #AllOutWar: One, We’re Agin It
This BBC Scotland story about a swimming pool in Helensburgh should probably have got much more play than it did. Perhaps it was something about the framing? It’s a pity, because the central thrust of it is really important to the future of the polity. Back in the autumn of 2015, when journalists rejoiced in…Read More The barbarians were here all along: a post about technical details of local government finance