Blog

Let them eat what?

Governments fall more often from let-downs than lock-downs. That’s why Marcus Rashford’s ‘end child food-poverty’ campaign has thrown British politics into a tiz. Who would have thought a young, black footballer would provide the leadership politics seems to lack. Although Rashford consistently says “This is not about politics: it is about humanity,” everyone understands the…

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Beware a Covid Coalition

Britain’s ‘4 week national lockdown’ will not halt the rate at which Tory pandemic planning falls apart. Privately, there are calls for a ‘Grand Coalition’, a Government of National Unity to save the country. For Labour (and Britain) it would be the Kiss of the Spider Woman; something to be avoided as much as Covid…

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The Prisoner

Are we the new Number 6? Don’t be under any illusions. This article offers no sanctuary for the advocates of ‘herd immunity’. As an answer to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s a price too high. A colossal increase in death rates, and overwhelming the NHS, does not even bear thinking about. All the same, the growing…

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The Politics of Uncertainty

The government’s educational omnishambles is stealing all the headlines at the moment. It pushes political incompetence to new limits. But behind the debacle lies a bigger crime. Boris Johnson is killing parliamentary democracy faster than the pandemic is killing people. And though Labour is immeasurably more virtuous, the Party struggles to lay a glove on…

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Robin Hood Dies: the legend lives on

Robin Hood Dies: the legend lives on As news hits the press about the imminent demise of Nottingham’s Robin Hood Energy company (RHE), I took a look at the plinth in front of St Mary’s church in the middle of Nottingham. The plinth offers a mythical version of Robin Hood’s demise; slowly being ‘bled’ to…

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A crisis like no other

Tipping or turning: the choice is still ours We are in a bad place; a really bad place. The IMF predicts that the Covid pandemic will shrink the global economy by 5% this year, with a cumulative loss of around $9 trillion. Britain’s Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) records a ‘lockdown’ economic collapse of over…

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Who’s Lives Matter

(Freedom and Democracy) Across the world, sports men and women have been ‘taking the knee’ in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. What troubles me is the prospect of this becoming a trivialised gesture, wrapped up in processes that change nothing. Stripped of specific, disruptive, demands it could slip intothe trough of gesture politics.…

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Energy and Equity

The images of motorway tailbacks, even before Britain’s lockdown period officially loosened, brought two things home to me. The first was that, without clear leadership, crises always take you perilously close to collective insanity. I’m sure none of the families who decided it was a good moment to nip off to the coast (or the…

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Green New Deal – time for an ecological reboot?

Labour’s Green New Deal faces a torrid credibility test. The world, post-Covid, will be nothing like the one preceding it. There will be no ‘V’ shaped economic recovery. Britain will struggle to avoid further economic decline. No one will be queueing up to shop their way out the current crisis. Large numbers of consumption-based jobs…

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The Great Unravelling: Part 4

The Portal: another world is possible “A sense of cosmic specialness is no guarantee of good stewardship.”  David Wallace-Wells “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to…

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