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 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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Worth Reading 173: Special Containment Procedures

The Overall Benefit Cap – a little time bomb under UK buy-to-let housing – Not only is the benefit cap a terrible idea for the people subjected to it, Daniel Davies shows that it has the unintended side effect of causing terrible ripple effects through the rest of UK housing provision.
The Seven Hurdles for Repeal of the Human Rights Act – David Allen Green goes through the hurdles that need to be surmounted before Tories would be able to push through their plan. It’s almost like they didn’t think this through before promising it.
There was an alternative: three things the Lib Dems could have done differently – James Graham on the alternative decisions the party could have made during the last five years.
The awful truth about climate change no one wants to admit – “The obvious truth about global warming is this: barring miracles, humanity is in for some awful shit.”
Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck – Scott Santens on a looming threat to the structure of the US economy as we know it.

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Worth Reading 172: Rocky Mountain Rangers

Who are the Left? – With demonisation of ‘the Left’ ready to take on again, here’s a handy guide to working out which type of Leftie you are.
What Kind of Leader Do the Lib Dems need? – Tom King looks over the history of Nick Clegg’s leadership before revealing his choice for the future.
Norman Baker looks back over his political career and says farewell after losing his seat last week.
British bill of all kinds of wrong – Alex Marsh on the Tory attitude to human rights. “How many lives in the UK will be improved by the Government’s crass, populist approach to human rights? Very likely none. How many lives globally have already been, indirectly, negatively affected by its stance? Quite possibly thousands.”
The new “skew” of the electoral system in 2015 – Single Member Plurality (or First Past The Post, though no one ever knows where the post is) is a really bad and unrepresentative electoral system, that people study to work out just how unrepresentative it is. Who’d have guessed?

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Worth Reading 133: the last Discovery

Why Vote Liberal Democrat? – Alex Marsh has read Jeremy Browne’s latest book. It’s fair to say he’s not impressed.
How long would it take us to put people on the moon? – Andrew Ducker asks a question I’ve wondered about before, but unlike me, he gets answers.
The Status Quo Is Not a Neutral Position: Fiction and Politics – ” I expect these folks who think pure genre fiction is free from politics think we should just write about a post-racial capitalist utopia, where men are men and women are women. Because writing such a thing is not a statement of politics or morals or values, but of cold, objective fact.”
Politics – why can’t we admit mistakes? – Paul Bernal asks, though I don’t think anyone’s yet found the answer, or an alternative.
Why have the Conservatives not published their “Bill of Rights” proposals? – “The Conservatives do not really want to know what you think about abolishing the Human Right Act and they do not want you to have access to their plans, independent of any media outlet; the Conservatives instead care more about what the Press thinks and what the Press will tell you to think.”

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Worth Reading 132: The end of Tiberius Gracchus

Human Rights, Devolution, And The Constrained Authority Of The Westminster Parliament – Because the Human Rights Act is ingrained into the UK’s devolution settlement, Westminster can’t just simply dispose of it. It’s almost like David Cameron is making promises he knows he can’t keep.
How IDS’ plan will starve and stigmatise people on benefits – Always remember that what they’re willing to do to the lowest in society, they’d do to everyone else if they could get away with it.
The Only Political Speech You’ll Ever Need To Read – “You know, the dingle dangle scarecrow didn’t want much. Just to shake his hands like this. And shake his feet like that. But who will speak for him? Not our opponents, I’m afraid. They’ve shown this week that they’re far more interested in standing up for the big Wicker Men than they are for the humble dingle dangle scarecrow.”
A quick post on human rights – Alex Marsh rounds up much of the commentary on the Tory proposals.
The budget and the bogus hairdressers – The Yorkshire Ranter looks at the link between unemployment and budget deficits.

And today’s bonus: this map of every rail route there’s been in the UK is fascinating.

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Worth Reading 108: All the names

The memory of my daughter Amy Houston has been dishonoured – The Human Rights Act isn’t why her killer wasn’t deported, it’s the fault of the Home Office not using the powers they have.
Don’t make fun of renowned Dan Brown – Humorous columnist Michael Deacon has used the digits on the end of his hands to compose a humorous column about renowned author Dan Brown, which renowned newspaper the Telegraph has transferred into a pattern of ones and zeroes using arcane knowledge created by occult-influenced genius Berners-Lee that allows it to be displayed on its digital website for everyone in the world to read. Thus, many more people can read the humorous column composed by humorous columnist Michael Deacon.
Boris’ Bus Is A Criminal Waste Of Money – According to Tim Fenton, the ‘New Bus For London’ will cost £500m more over its lifetime than a regular alternative.
Fixing A&E – Flip Chart Fairy Tales on why ‘sacking middle managers’ doesn’t always bring cost savings.
Lies, damned lies and Iain Duncan Smith – Finally, Nick Cohen looks at a politician lacking evidence for the outlandish claims he makes.

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