There have been a hell of a lot of opinions put forward about modern China – from the Blairite vision of a superpower of economic liberalism with lots of CCTV, integrated fully in the system, to cold-warrior visions of a monolithic neo-USSR, anarchist hopes of a convergence of mass-group incidents into revolution, tankie fantasies of…Read More 10 years of the Jamie Doctrine: not a symposium of the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House
The jarring combination of absolutely pristine spring weather and a national emergency reminded me of something the other day. Viridian foliage, crystalline skies, working from the back steps in glorious sunshine, a massive financial crisis, no aeroplanes – of course, I’d been here before. It’s eerily like the weeks following the Eyjafjallajokull eruption back in…Read More Still under that volcano.
What to do while you’re living under two nations, in isolation? What about….blogging? We’re about at the time in the media life-cycle when you should expect takes arguing that panic-buying is actually good to appear, and indeed I see someone’s trying to rebrand it as “resilience buying”. Never mind. A lot of people think it’s…Read More Keynes and the Case of the Disappearing Bogrolls
Here are some really outstanding comments on our campaign in 2019. James Meadway writes in Novara about the manifesto and economic policy. Andrew Fisher in the Guardian about mobilization. Simon Fletcher in the Daily Mirror about general issues. Matt Zarb-Cousin on online advertising. They have in common that they all worked on the 2017 campaign…Read More A question – Election introspection 3
One impression I often had was of a gulf between the political activity on the ground and that in the media, almost as if the two contests were happening in different countries – the pays réel and the pays virtuel – or even that the contest was one between the canvassers and the opinionators. Maybe…Read More Four waves of mobilization – Election introspection, 2
Everyone wants to share what came up on The Doorstep. I am quite suspicious of doorstep insights; I can’t think of any campaign when I had the kind of synoptic, oversailing insight people tend to claim. The experience isn’t like that. This time out I campaigned in four different constituencies, and instead of a sense…Read More Everyone’s doing it so why can’t I? Election introspection, 1
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
Is there any point trying to make consumers save the world? One of the most important debates of our time is whether we should approach climate change as a primarily individualistic or collective problem. Individualistic approaches include things like cap-and-trade at the consumer level, carbon taxes imposed on the final consumer (like VAT), shouting at…Read More Coal, the Manski bounds, and the correct choice of Milibands
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?