They’re trying to build a (private) prison

I have to admit, Tory or not,¬† I kind of liked Ken Clarke up until today. Not for the cigars or the jazz, but because in the aftermath of the general election he seemed to be the only member of the Cabinet who really talked sense. Granted there isn’t much competition, but pretty much everything […]

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A Message to Critical UK Uncut Activists

Much of what I wanted to say about the fallout from the mass arrests at Fortnum and Mason has already been said in the letter from SolFed to UK Uncut, but in the face of recriminations of the black bloc by many liberal supporters of UK Uncut I thought I would add a voice. Learning […]

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Last Saturday and the limits of left pluralism

One of the most encouraging political developments of recent years has been the growth of pluralism on the left; different parties and groups slowly learning to collaborate with one another without merging or losing their identity. This is the ‘campsite’ model beloved of Neal Lawson and Compass, consciously modelling itself as a more open, less […]

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EMA to be replaced with Victorian style charity

Begging your A Level teacher for an extension on your coursework can be an uncomfortable experience. Begging your teachers for a tenner so that you can afford the bus to school is probably somewhat more degrading. Tonight the education secretary, Michael Gove, announced the replacement for the EMA. The scheme will cost 180 million, a […]

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This is why liberals are losing the debate on immigration

Mathew Bell’s interview with Lord Tebbit, in yesterday’s Independent on Sunday, predictably touched upon immigration. “When he steps off the train into London” the interview asks, “doesn’t he see an exciting and creative powerhouse, fuelled in part by the injection of foreign blood and money?” No, he says, he worries that Londoners are being pushed […]

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Tracey Emin fails at joined up thinking.

There are some supporters that the anti-cuts movement could do without. Back in 2009 Tracey Emin threatened to quit the UK over the 50% tax rate. “The French have lower tax rates and they appreciate arts and culture” she wailed. “At least in France”, she told us, “their politicians have always understood the importance of […]

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New powers to take down websites: concerns on due process kicked to one side

Last December I reported on proposals to give police new powers to take down websites. Nominet – the umbrella body that manages¬†all domain names ending in .uk (ie .co.uk and .org.uk) – has, at police request, been reconsidering the terms under which it blocks websites. Under new proposals, a “request from an identified UK Law […]

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I’m sure it’s just a coincidence

BBC headlines today: A better-funded, better-staffed NHS coinciding with more people being happy with the care it provides? My god. It’s almost like there’s some kind of ‘causal relationship’ between how well you fund and staff a public organisation and the quality of service which it offers. But I’m sure that’s just crazy talk.

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Brian True-May is not Racist, Midsomer Murders Promotes a Positive Image of Ethnic Minorities

Last week Brian True-May was suspended as producer of everyone’s favourite rural English take on Nightmare on Elm Street, Midsomer Murders, for some slightly non-pc comments. “We just don’t have ethnic minorities involved,” True-May said. “Because it wouldn’t be the English village with them… We’re the last bastion of Englishness and I want to keep […]

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Another Harsh Jail Term for Student Protester

It’s strange what gets picked up and what doesn’t by the mainstream media. Anyhow, one thing that most certainly wasn’t picked up this week was the massively harsh and unreasonable jailing of someone who was on the student protests at the end of last year. The press release reads as follows (I’ve edited out the […]

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