» alex marsh ¦ What You Can Get Away With

The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal – I’m shocked – shocked! – to discover that pharmaceutical companies are blocking drug law reform.
The future of Scotland – “Might SNP leader Alex Salmond bring in a swingeing castle tax?” The fears of Scotland’s aristocracy, brought to you in an article by someone with the surname Money-Coutts. We can close down satire now, reality has beaten it.
Orange and red – Jamie K of Blood and Treasure wonders how you’d explain the Orange Order to a Chinese visitor.
Are school vouchers good public policy? – Dan Carr looks at the question I raised in this post.
Present and future conditional – Alex Marsh on the spread of conditionality in public services and benefits.

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Too much democracy? Time for 21st century democracy. – An introduction by Martin Smith and Dave Richards to some of the themes of their book Institutional Crisis in 21st Century Britain, which I’m working through at the moment.
Forget quotas for women MPs – time to limit the number of men – Rainbow Murray flips the debate on representation.
Making policy for the policy invariant – How do you make policy if the people don’t care what the results of that policy are?
Public Statement on the Readmittance of Lord Rennard to the Liberal Democrats – Jennie Rigg says exactly what I would say.
Do political parties make any difference? – Alex Marsh with details of some new academic research that’s relevant to my interests, and also contains some information on the party’s stance on immigration that’ll be of interest to activists.

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Have slipped in collecting links for a while, but here’s the latest smorgasbord from around the web.

Andrew Neil – these are your climate errors on BBC Sunday Politics – Once again, Andrew Neil lies about science to bolster his own beliefs and mislead viewers.
Free to schmooze – Interesting post by Alex Marsh on the aims of libertarians within the Liberal Democrats
State of the parties – Jason O’Mahony on the current state of Irish political parties. Includes the great description “(he) resembles a man plummeting to Earth strapped to an anvil, who’s getting angry with people for not appreciating the magnificent workmanship that went into fashioning the anvil.”
The need for “grown up” policy – Alex Marsh again, this time on the Social Liberal Forum website, writing about the people who claim Liberal Democrats need to ‘grow up’ in our policy making processes.
An Open Apology to All of My Weight Loss Clients – a former weight loss consultant apologises for the damage bad nutritional advice has caused.

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An open letter to the British judicial system – From a cyclist, pointing out the ridiculously small sentences handed out to motorists who’ve killed or injured cyclists.
My reply to Nick Clegg’s civil liberties email today – Jo Shaw writes at Liberal Democrats against Secret Courts, asking Nick Clegg to live up to what he says and block the Government’s plans. (And if you’re a Lib Dem who hasn’t signed the petition against secret courts yet, why not?)
Nick Clegg needs to get crunchy again – Jonathan Calder has one of the best takes I’ve seen on Clegg’s recent ‘centre ground’ speech.
The gathering storm – Alex Marsh with a warning about future rises in homelessness.
UKIP are true libertarians – I’m still planning a post on libertarians and the Liberal Democrats at some point, but in the meantime, this is a good piece from Ed Rooksby in the Guardian, pointing out how UKIP are a great example of where the inherent selfishness of right-libertarianism takes you.

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In which I write the piece on thinktanks Dsquared promised – Alex Harrowell offers an interesting perspective on where think tanks fit into the political and economic ecosystem.
Most Citizens of the Star Wars Galaxy are Probably Totally Illiterate – Very interesting theory and the wider point about literacy in other fictional universes is worth noting.
The Utopia of “Everyman” Toryism – A Very Public Sociologist on how Toryism has destroyed its own base.
Fool me once… – “The pattern is clear. Conservatives get the Liberal Democrats to sign up to something unpalatable and in return promise to deliver something favoured by the Liberal Democrats at a later date. The Liberal Democrats in Government dutifully act as lobby fodder for the Conservative agenda on welfare reform, NHS reform, whatever, whatever – frequently going against the wishes of their own party membership. Then when the time comes to reciprocate the Tories welch on the deal.”
‘Slut dropping’ and ‘Pimps and Hoes’ – the sexual politics of freshers’ week – Things have changed a lot since I was at university, and not in a good way.

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So what… [fill in blank here] – Fleet Street Fox compares the media coverage of two stories involving fifteen year old girls.
The Wormhole Water Wheel – I’m simultaneously amused and scared by the idea of Lawrence Miles inventing a perpetual motion machine.
Clegg’s Cornish pasty conference speech – Very good critique by Dan Falchikov. “Clegg’s view is still there are votes to be gained by being ‘a party of government’ – despite the idea being tested to destruction by the last two and half years of coalition.”
Village changes mind – Jamie Kenny is short but to the point on Ed Miliband’s speech.
Membership renewal, or not – Alex Marsh on why he’s decided to remain in the Liberal Democrats and fight against any rightward shift.

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