Should we hide in a bunker where we’re always right, or try and do things differently?

Sometimes, I wonder just how the various forms of the Right have become so dominant in our politics, and then sometimes I have days like yesterday that explain perfectly why they manage it. It’s not that they have the best ideas or anything…

Dear Liberal Reform, declaring something is ‘a solution’ doesn’t make it one

Jimmy Carr has a joke about being stopped on the street by someone asking him ‘can you spare two minutes for cancer research?’ ‘Sure,’ he replies, ‘but I don’t think we’ll get much done.’ I suspect members of the Liberal Reform pressure group…

Northern Ireland: Did the centre hold?

Obviously, the big story from last week’s Northern Ireland election was the dramatic drop in support for the Unionist parties which led to them losing their minority in the Assembly (and its predecessors) for the first time ever. Rather than add to the…

Northern Ireland elections and the political centre

(Like my post the other day, and as I expect posts here to be frequently from now on, this is me thinking aloud about issues that circle around my PhD thesis so thoughts, comments and corrections are welcome) It’s electoral systems geek Christmas…

Some thoughts on anti-politics and populism

A while ago, I wrote a couple of posts on why people saying ‘let’s take the politics out of this’ are invariably actually saying ‘let’s all agree with me’ and how such tactics are often used to benefit those who already hold the…

As one tripoint goes, another is (re)born

News of the Copeland by-election in December prompted me to discover Britain’s three-party constituency tripoints, where three constituencies each held by a different party meet. Back then, it formed part of a tripoint with Lib Dem-held Westmorland and Lonsdale, and Tory-held Penrith and…

So Nick, how goes the PhD?

Very well, and thank you for asking, interrogative construct of a title. What? You want some more detail than that? OK then… I’m now about 4 1/2 months into doing a PhD. During that time, I’ve been doing a hell of a lot…

Top posts of 2016

It’s not been the busiest of blogging years for me, but there have still been a few posts here. Which were the most popular? Most popular overall was actually from 2014: Why do people join political parties (and why don’t they do it…

My best prediction for 2016 was not predicting anything

Back in January, I explained why I wasn’t going to try and predict what happened politically in 2016 because things were just so chaotic as to make predictions pointless: My only prediction is that all your predictions will be wrong. Of course, my…

Three party constituency tri-points

Following the forthcoming resignation of Jamie Reed from the Commons, there’ll be a by-election coming soon in the Copeland constituency. As someone who regularly visits the Lake District I was curious about what the full boundaries of the constituency were, both to scope…