Alan Simpson's Blog

When the war is over

When I was a child there was a low wall not far from my nan’s house. It was lined with the nobbled ‘knuckles’ of what had once been an iron-railing fence. Her explanation of why this was all that remained was very matter of fact. “It went as part of the war effort” she told us.

Labour’s ‘Maginot Line’ Moment

It was one of the biggest infrastructure projects in human history. For much of the 1930’s, and at a cost of 3.3bn francs, France built itself a 900-mile network of tunnels, underground bunkers…

Slowing the Flow: Facing the drift into climate crisis

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.” (Greek proverb) Britain has 5.5 million men, and 6.5 million women, who are of pensionable age.

‘More Time for Politics’ – a never ending tribute

It is 4 years since the death of my friend and mentor, Tony Benn. I could argue that he turns up in every article I write, but that’s a poor substitute for the daily conversations into which he poured tea and optimism in equally copious quantities.

Dance me to the end of love – an economics for tomorrow.

It was a message to warm the heart; a daughter thanking the care worker who took the time to dance with her dementia-suffering dad at the end of each home visit.

Rage, a wage, and the machine

In a thought-provoking Guardian article – ‘As robots take our jobs, we need something else’ – George Monbiot argued that the the future for humanity lies in voluntary work…

Politics and the Vassal State: a game of two halves

You know a government is in trouble when it’s MPs start attacking each other with metaphors and acronyms. Gone are the days when MPs jousted with swords;

Vote Tory or the Turtle Gets It

Even for a government not noted for honesty or compassion, the Conservative’s ‘25 year Plan for the Natural Environment’ has to be the most duplicitous ever.

While Rome Burns…

How Clean Imperialism is cashing in on confusion What a sad place parliament is at the moment. Lust, mistrust and the abuse of power have stripped parliament of the confidence it needs

Unclean, no Growth, no Plan

Secretary of State, Greg Clark MP, launched the government’s ‘Clean Growth Plan. claiming that “…Britain continues to lead the world in efforts to tackle climate change.”

Corbyn and the Winds of Change – politics of the new centre ground

Hurricane Corbyn must be the only good news story in a season of storms. In Germany, the SPD may not have deserved to win,

Into the Emptiness

Until someone ‘helpfully’ leaked the Labour election manifesto, the biggest issue of our time had barely got a look in.

The Politics of Atonement: a One Planet Budget

We are rapidly approaching one of the big, Post-Paris, tests of this parliament. The danger is that all the major parties will fail it.

Who’d Kill the Co-ops?

There’s a storm brewing, and it’s a good one. In a not-so-subtle pincer movement the Treasury and the FCA…

Air pollution: Every pram for itself?

The University of Surrey has just published some research on urban air pollution. It urges parents to use pram covers to protect babies…