Managerialism vs Innovation – “Does management’s pursuit of efficiency crowd out innovation?” asks Chris Dillow, wondering if creating small productivity gains through managerialist efficiency is driving out bigger gains that can be made through innovation.
On politics and the ‘common’ – Alex Marsh on the changing style of political rhetoric and what it shows about our political culture.
A world without work – How might we adapt to an automated future?
I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery. – People really don’t understand the past, part 94.
London 2025 – How the city is becoming just another meaningless point for the globetrotting hyper rich, content to live from the spoils of corruption elsewhere.

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The Quarter Quell: April-June 2015

Being the most popular posts on this blog for the last three months. Be warned, some of these links seemed incredibly relevant at the time, but the post-election landscape now makes them quaint relics of an earlier more innocent time.

8) On Milifandom and politics fandom in general – “Most political parties are just organised fandoms for a political ideology or slice of political history, it’;s just that they’ve been around so long people treat them as something different and respectable.”
7) Hampstead and Kilburn: Election not postponed – For a few hours at the start of the campaign, it looked like one interesting seat might have its election delayed. Then someone checked the actual law.
6) Who is (or was) Balustrade Lanyard? – The man. The balustrade. The flag. The lanyard. The legend.
5) Thoughts on the Lib Dems: Past, present and (hopefully) future – A couple of days after the election, I finally got my thoughts on the future of the party in order enough to set them down.
4) NUS invents a Liberal Democrat MP – We never did find out who Ian Cunningham MP might have been.
3) 2015 General Election Day 34: Who can answer the Balustrade Lanyard question? – The only one of my daily general election posts to make it into this list, demonstrating just what happens when you put two words everyone’s Googling into the headline capture the zeitgeist.
2) Colchester 2015 General Election result – They googled, they saw, and the result stayed the same.
1) 2015 Colchester local election results – They Googled even more, they saw, and the results still stayed the same.

Thanks to all the many visitors over the past few months, and please keep coming. I only need to keep posting regularly for a couple more weeks and I’ll have been back blogging for a whole year!

Labour should forget ‘Saint’ David Miliband – he fluffed his chance – A very good assessment by Steven Fielding of just why David Miliband wasn’t and isn’t the solution to all Labour’s problems.
Should we aim for budget surpluses? – Simon Wren-Lewis looks at the evidence and suggest “it is hard to justify aiming for budget surpluses within the next five years.”
What if the UK paid off all its government debt? – Probably not what you’d expect, if you’re still the sort of person who thinks Government debt is anything like personal debt.
A pound here, a pound there – David Runciman on the history of legalised gambling in the UK (from last year, so a couple of out of date references, but still interesting).
Thoughts on whipping and collective responsibility – An interesting take on the issue of whipping in political groups from former Brighton Green leader Jason Kitcat.

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farronforleaderI thought it would be useful to bring together all the blog posts written in support of Tim Farron’s leadership campaign into a single post. I’ve gathered these from Tim’s site, the Lib Dem Blogs aggregator and others I’ve seen links to. If you’ve written a post supporting Tim and it’s not linked here then please let me know about it, either in the comments or on Twitter, and I’ll add you to the list.

One of the earliest blogs to back Tim was Jack Davies. In his post, Why it’s #time4tim to be the Liberal Democrats’ next leader, he talks about how Tim supported him in his efforts to become a Parliamentary candidate, and how Tim’s standing up for liberal values has inspired him.
Another early Tim backer was Richard Morris. His post, Why I’m supporting Tim Farron to be the next Leader of the Liberal Democrats talks about how he shares Tim’s views, how Tim’s not a conventional politician and how he can unite the membership.
Some bloke called Nick Barlow also wrote a couple of posts backing Tim here and here. They’re probably worth a read.
Stephen Tall notes that he hasn’t had a good record in predicting leaders, but in his post on why he’s supporting Tim, he says that Tim is a ‘gut-instinct liberal’ and ‘exactly what the party needs right now’.
Jennie Rigg gives us a list of reasons why she’s supporting Tim, all of which are great including ‘I have seen him change and learn; every time I have seen this happen he has been consistently, instinctively Liberal about how he applies new information.’
Chris Whiting gives us a bit of anticipation about who he’s going to be endorsing, but his presence in this list probably gives away that he endorses Tim for leader as ‘the best choice we have of rejuvenating the Liberal Democrats’.
Will Wilshere began the campaign as a Norman Lamb supporter, but he’s since switched to supporting Tim because of Tim’s ability to inspire campaigners and his views on foreign policy.
Sean Ash gives us 1906 reasons to support Tim Farron. Luckily, that’s not a very very long list of reasons but a link between Tim and the great Liberal general election victory of 1906.
Rich Clare is supporting Tim because we need a lion in the party leadership who can ‘explain complex issues in simple language, somebody who doesn’t sound like all the other voices in Westminster.’
Paul Walter writes that he’s supporting Tim because he’s a ‘lode star of liberalism’ who can ‘re-establish our identity as liberals’.
Stephen Glenn is proud to be supporting Tim as leader because he’s ‘the general to lead us into the sound of gunfire’.
Hannah on The Liberal Queen blog believes that Tim is the right man to lead the Liberal Democrats because he ‘will stand up for Liberal values and will help the Liberal Democrats rise again.’
Cllr Tony Robertson of Sefton Focus blog is supporting Tim.
The LibDemFightback blog has made Tim their choice for leader because of his record of rebellion during the coalition.
Joe Young urges a vote for hope and change in his endorsement, saying that Tim is ‘the best bits of what it is to be liberal all tied up in one package.’
David Shaw’s post, Looking into a Liberal’s soul, looks at Tim from the perspective of another Liberal who’s also a Christian.
Simon Foster’s Get Tim comes from someone who first campaigned with Tim at Newcastle University and says we now ‘need a liberal radical who will lead the rebuilding of our party.’
Simon Banks has backed Tim in a guest post on this blog, saying that Tim is “passionate in his love of liberty and Liberalism and his hatred of injustice and oppression. He can communicate this passion, excite and motivate.”
Also on this blog, Tony Hutson has shared in a comment the endorsement he wrote for Tim on the party’s CIX chatroom. He believes that Tim is “someone who instinctively ‘gets’ the campaigning base of the party.”
Veteran blogger and long-serving AM Peter Black uses his blog to tell us he’s backing Tim because he’s the best placed to repeat what Charles Kennedy did for the party and “has the best chance of changing the narrative quickly.”
Jenni Hollis says that if the party is to rebuild with ‘Operation Phoenix’ we need Tim as leader because he’s “the popular, media savvy, liberal man with a plan.”
Paul Hindley says Tim can deliver ‘values, vision and liberalism’ and knows “that in order to enact change you need to create a movement.”
James King says it’s time for Tim, saying that he can offer the party both “a reason for existence, and a means of getting that through to voters.”
Mark Valladares has chosen to back Tim, saying he has the boldness, integrity and passion we need in a leader.
New member and blogger Sam Willey is backing Tim after seeing him in action at the Newcastle hustings.
Ryan is another new member convinced that Tim is the best choice for leader after seeing him at a hustings – in Bristol this time. He thinks that “Tim has a natural gift on how he engages with people and inspires them to get involved.”
Jonathan Harrison gives a series of reasons for backing Tim, including his passion, his dignity, his ability to organise the grassroots and his commitment to radical policy for the party.
David Warren thinks we have two excellent candidates in the race, but he’s backing Tim because he’s “the better campaigner and therefore the best person to lead us in rebuilding this party”.
An early backer that I missed including in this update is Tom King. He wrote a long post at the start of the campaign looking at what kind of leader the Liberal Democrats need, concluding that Tim was his choice because he’s capable of “taking control of the party and helping us to create a new identity for ourselves.”
Gareth Epps makes his case for why Tim has to be the next Lib Dem leader on a number of points and concludes that “in the position we are in it just has to be Tim.”
Another guest post on this blog comes from Nigel Quinton, who explains why he believes Tim should be our next leader because of his energy, positivity and effectiveness.
Jonathan Calder of Liberal England, and famous for his role as Lord Bonkers’ amanuensis, has announced that he’ll be voting for Tim.
Keith Watts says now is the time we need a charismatic Liberal Democrat leader, and the person for that role is Tim Farron.
Dan Falchikov has also voted for Tim, but has words of warning that if the party wants to recover this is only the start of it.
Dipa Vaya set up some of the early Facebook groups for Tim. She’s now taken to the world of blogging to tell us more about why she’s backing him because he’ll given an energising and empowering rebuild for the party.
Neil Monnery has a long post on his decision in the election, but comes down to voting for Tim because we “need the person who’ll get the best out of the resources they have and put the party in the best position to grow and recover.”
I’d missed Ed Goncalves’ backing of Tim early in the campaign, so apologies he’s so late to the list. “I’m supporting him because his vision speaks to me. Because I believe he speaks for me, and for people like me. And because I strongly believe he is unequivocally the right leader at the right time.”
Chris Whiting has chosen to back Tim for many reasons, including because of the way “charisma and passion shines through in his speeches.”
Joanne Ferguson is a new member backing Tim because he has the ability to inspire people outside of the party, like Charles Kennedy did.
In a guest post here, Grace Goodlad explains her reasons for supporting Tim, saying it’s time for the party to have a fresh start with him as leader.
Another guest post endorsing Tim here came from several dozen Liberal Youth members who are impressed by the way his experience helps him connect with students and young members.
I’d missed Caron Lindsay’s endorsement of Tim, even though she’s not sure how to deal with a leader younger than her but she gives a detailed list of reasons for backing Tim.

That’s all the blog endorsements I could find so far, but if I’ve missed you out, please let me know and I’ll add you to the list. Also, if you want to write about why you’re supporting Tim but don’t have a blog or anything of your own then please get in touch with me, and I’m sure we can sort out a guest post for you here – and if any other bloggers are happy to take guest posts, let me know!

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Worth Reading 176: The Gliese with a planet

30 years on: What really happened at the Battle of the Beanfield? – A fascinating account of policy brutality against a group of travellers in the 1980s.
Charles Kennedy – a lovely man, a talented politician, a great friend with a shared enemy – A very touching reminiscence on his friend’s death from Alistair Campbell.
Taking the Power in the Northern Powerhouse – Loz Kaye on the massive democratic deficits in the government’s devolution proposals.
On Fantasy Island: British politics, English judges and the European Convention on Human Rights – Excellet long piece from Conor Gearty on ‘the fantasies that underpin English public law’ and how misunderstanding is driving a flawed impression of the HRA and ECHR.
Debunking the Rare Published Climate Denier Paper – Monckton edition – The Dake Page points out the problems with a new paper that supposedly overturns existing climate science (spoiler: it doesn’t) but also provides a useful guide for establishing the veracity of claims made in supposedly scientific publications

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Worth Reading 175: The end of Abraham

The medieval ‘New England’: a forgotten Anglo-Saxon colony on the north-eastern Black Sea coast – A fascinating piece of history: did post-Norman Conquest exiles from England end up establishing a Nova Anglia in the Crimea that lasted for at least two centuries?
Lib Dem runners up: Just how bad things are – In case you’d forgotten just how deep the hole is.
The case against Directly-Elected Executive Mayors – How the Government’s plans for devolution are undermining local democracy.
Clapping, as a cure for impotence – Philip Cowley on the SNP’s new role in Westminster.
Politicians, markets and the Which? magazine strata – Alex Marsh on politicians misunderstanding markets: “To fail to recognise that markets are social structures, and that the state has a fundamental role in shaping a successful market economy, is an analytical disaster.”

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Worth Reading 174: Gavaskar’s first World Cup innings

The Inside Story Of “The Crystal Maze”, The Most Epic Game Show Ever Made – Another of BuzzFeed’s looks behind the scenes at a classic TV show.
Pro-growth, anti-business – Being good for the economy and being good for business are not the same thing, argues Chris Dillow.
If David Miliband had won… – An interesting bit of counterfactual history to ponder on.
Marketing the Liberal Democrats should mean setting us free – Ewan Hoyle has some good points on how to approach the future of the party without messages being set down from on high.
If Michael Gove Listens To Daniel Hannan’s Honeyed Polemic On Human Rights He Really Will Get Into A Muddle – Barrister Blogger carefully dissects a pair of arguments to abolish the HRA, and shows they’re completely wrong.

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