Alan Simpson's Blog

It’s where you place the blame

Politics beyond Brexit Brexit is a constitutional crisis. Climate is an existential one. It’s important to get that clear before diving into my childhood affection for Peanuts cartoons. One of my all time favourites involved Charlie Brown (the doggedly persistent but incompetent organiser of an ever-failing kids baseball team) coming off the park after another…

Ecology and Equity – The Economics of Sustainable Inclusion

  As Labour prepares for the next General Election it will come under diverging pressures on how to address both the glaring wealth inequalities and the risk of climate breakdown. Some of the avenues that look like solutions would actually make things worse. This short paper explores some of the pitfalls Labour needs to avoid.…

A Plague on all our Houses

Buyers beware: this may become more of a rant than a reflection. Last Wednesday’s Prime Ministers Questions may be more of a turning point than people think. It was a day when people queued up to kick buckets out of Jeremy Corbyn. On reflection, though, Corbyn may be the only one to emerge with any…

Two flew over the cuckoo’s nest

The nation may be mesmerised by the last stages of the Tory Leadership race, but the whole spectacle comes much closer to insanity than vanity.

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,…