Two Clock Country

There is a long used aphorism, that a person with one clock always knows the time, but a person with two clocks is never sure. As 2016 slithers into the past it leaves behind two democracies, the US and the UK, with the democratic equivalent of the two clock problem. It was Churchill who observed that democracy is the […]

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You Kippers

Imagine if you will a super-national organisation dedicated to peace. It’s population is over half a billion, and it has the largest GDP on Earth (some 16.6 trillion US dollars). It is a fiercely progressive place, with universal suffrage, laws to foster equality for women, protection for children, rights for homosexuals, and none – absolutely […]

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Danny Boyle’s Neverland

Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony for the London 2012 olympics was a triumph. An absolute triumph. I would normally hesitate to lavish such uncritical praise in public, but the potential to get this wrong was so strong, such a whirlpool of possible failure, that to steer such a certain and confident course deserves nothing less than […]

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Whose Games is it Anyway?

I used to be excited about the London Olympics. It was a measured, rational excitement (I don’t do giddy), but I was definitely looking forward to them. I was also happy to argue with those that said that they would be a waste of money, or doomed to fail, but in the last few months […]

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The Poor Elite

So the government is shocked and surprised that Universities want to use the new fees system to recover all the money they lost through the HE funding cuts. Most V-Cs seem to think that a charge of 7.5k to 8k would allow them to balance the books again, and many of the UKs stronger Unis […]

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How To Vote

So later this year the UK will go to the polls for a referendum on changing our voting system. It will be the first national referendum since 1975. It will also be a massive waste of time and money. Now if we were proposing changing the voting system to something with real constitutional bite – […]

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In Defence of the Academy

Given that we are no longer to spend public money on higher education the new deal for students is progressive and better than their current financial arrangements – but goodness that misses the point! The thing that we all seem to have forgotten is that there is no given and that the privatisation of higher […]

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Hanged

A weird night for UK politics. The people have spoken, and they said “Erm…” Not only have we ended up with a hung parliament, but it is so precariously balanced that no obvious power bloc has enough votes to stake a convincing claim to government (BBC estimates 320 vs 315 seats, with 326 needed for […]

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