Alan Simpson's Blog

Politics in crisis – a different economics

At the end of 2016 there were 345,000 electric buses in operation worldwide. China had 343,500 of them. By September 2018, the USA had over 1 million plug-in cars.

Politics in Crisis – avoiding the Dog’s Brexit

It can’t come as a surprise that Labour has been thrown into a spin after the bruising it took in the Euro elections. The campaign was a disaster, the message unconvincing and the politics deeply confusing.

Climate Jesus versus the Pharisees

As political Parties dust themselves down after the drubbing of local government elections, the good news is that all the answers are to be found in bigger, rather than smaller, issues. Climate, not Brexit, is the key.

For the times, they are a-changin’

If I wore a hat I would tip it to Extinction Rebellion. Their occupation of key parts of central London amounts to far more than a protest rally.

Where the wasteland ends

Ugly scenes outside parliament have made the place look and feel like the Siege of Troy. But around the country bigger issues already fill the landscape.

The Ship That Turned Away

Sometimes the starkest warnings come from events that don’t take place. In this case, the warning came from Honda’s decision to turn back a ship destined for the UK.

Brexit’s never-ending nonsense

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Whatever happens, Brexit is going to dominate parliamentary politics for at least another year, maybe more.

Brexit and Bereavement – beyond the politics of despair

As an MP I met lots of constituents who had just lost someone close. Bereavement and grief took many forms. Some wanted a shoulder to lean on.

Beware of Fascists

When Tory Minister, Chris Grayling, warns that if MPs block or weaken Brexit it would provoke a surge in neo-Nazi, extremist groups in Britain, he misses the central point. This is exactly what Brexit has already done.

Far from the shallow now

Brazil opts out of hosting the next Climate Conference as President Bolsonaro prepares prepares to ditch the Paris Agreement (Greenpeace) G20 nations are still putting over £100bn of subsidies into fossil fuel industry

Selfie Centered – The Politics of Disrespect and Division

“What we have on our hands is a species problem. None of us is exempt… People – communities, castes, races and even countries – carry their tragic histories and their misfortunes around like trophies, or like stock, to be bought and sold on the open market.” (Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, pp 194/5,…

Stuck in the Muddle With EU

The script isn’t Tarantino. Theresa May is hardly Mrs Blonde. But Britain’s Brexit debate is becoming a painful form of national torture that could have been plucked straight from Reservoir Dogs.

For the Many … and the One

If there are seminal moments in politics, Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at the 2018 Labour Conference will go down as one of then. This was when the planet took centre stage.

Embracing the Unthinkable

It wasn’t the 130 forest fires raging across the USA that got to me, nor the UK’s moorland fires, the torrential storms hitting Belfast with 2 months rain in 2 hours, the lightning strikes that took out …

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.