Let’s see if I can get back to doing these regularly…
Human rights hostages – Isabella Sankey, Liberty’s Director of Policy on the quite chilling effect of the reshuffle on human rights.
The real scandal behind the sausage cartel – David Boyle on the importance of breaking up monopolies. This connects to the issues I talk about in my fourth Russell and liberalism post.
An Occasional Guide To Modern Politics: The Young Sellout – ‘There’s nothing, NOTHING more mortifying than watching a 15 year old come out with stuff like “what young people want is fiscal rectitude and a cut in Capital Gains Tax.”’
Why Metadata Matters – Explained by the Electronic Freedom Foundation.
The rise of data and the death of politics – How algorithmic regulation replaces politics with data management.
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.
So, how would Dáil Éireann deal with a post-apocalyptic scenario? – Jason O’Mahony asks the question for the Irish political system, and I’m sure someone can fill in the blanks for the British one.
A slice of London so exclusive even the owners are visitors – A look at who lives in some of the most expensive property in London, and how often they actually use it.
Entrenching inequality – Stumbling & Mumbling on a report that shows “Inequality undermines the confidence of the disadvantaged and boosts the condence of the advantaged.”
You cannot run a public service like a business, and here’s why – Are businesses and public services fundamentally different? (via)
Iceland’s ‘crowd-sourced’ constitution is dead – An explanation from an Icelander of what’s really happened there, which isn’t the same as some of the more excitable commentary from outside.
There’s either been not enough or too many things being written on the internet recently, but here’s some of the more recent ones I’d recommend taking a look at.
The Shame of Selling Yourself – Stuart Millard on the hard tasks faced by a self-promoting self-published author.
Beware the New Fascism. You might not even recognise it. – A warning from Jason O’Mahony
David Howarth responds on secret courts – Probably needs a better title (like ‘David Howarth calmly and methodically demolishes the government’s arguments on secret courts’ for instance) but a reminder of what we lost when he chose to leave Parliament. Yes, I know we got Julian Huppert instead, but why can’t we have both of them?
The press is throwing a toddler’s tantrum over Leveson – Alex Andreou on how the press is living up to its bad reputation as it campaigns against Leveson proposals
The Rape of James Bond – Author Sophia McDougall on the use of rape in fiction and whether that use is realistic (obviously, trigger warnings for rape and sexual assault)
The Problem With Liberal Democrats In Government – That sound you hear? Jennie Rigg hitting a nail perfectly on the head.
Let’s end this Christmas Psalms Race – Jim Jepps has some entirely reasonable suggestions for keeping Christmas entirely within December.
Welcome to Pyongyang – Simon Titley discusses Liberal Democrat internal democracy on Liberator’s blog.
The rise of UKIP: what does it all mean? – Analysis from Dr Rob Ford on Political Betting.
Is politics impossible for ordinary people? – “Can an ordinary person sustain the disdain bordering on hatred directed at politicians (of all parties) mixed with the irrational and overly emotional expectations of modern voters?”
North Korea, Ireland, UKIP, revolutions and the end of the world. Enjoy.
Don’t be fooled: UKIP is not a libertarian party – Alex Massie in the Spectator points out what should be obvious, but ‘libertarian’ has been so abused, people sadly think they are.
Stand Still for the Apocalypse – Chris Hedges on the latest World Bank report on global warming, which is predicting all sorts of nightmares for the rest of the century.
It really is that bad: A powerful speech on North Korea – “One challenge I always have when I speak about North Korea is I run out of adjectives for how bad things are.” What’s happening in North Korea, and how we’re letting it go on. (Watch the video too)
On social change – Chris Dillow asks if we’re going through a revolution right now
10 things that are different about British and Irish politics – An interesting illumination by Jason O’Mahony. “Whereas hardly any Irish TDs rebelled over paying billions to bank bond holders, they did break ranks over dog breeding and the inspection of septic tanks.”
It seems the internet wrote many good things while I was away on holiday:
Dudes, Relax: The Rise Of Women Does Not Mean the Fall of Men – Jezebel’s Lindy West dissects a piece of male whining.
How To Get Doping Out Of Sports – A very frank piece from Jonathan Vaughters, boss of the Garmin cycling team, on his own doping experience and what needs to be done to end it.
Democracy Creates Assholes – Another honest opinion from Jason O’Mahony.
Rape: Or why I am now a feminist – George Potter writes down a lot of the thoughts that were in my head for the last week or so but couldn’t get written down as I was away from a keyboard.
A piece of advice to my fellow men (warning – potentially triggering) – ‘The ONLY way you should ever end a sentence that starts “It’s not rape if…” is with “all parties involved consent.”’
With my usual timeliness, containing Jubilee-related posts:
It’s time to demolish the myth about Tony Blair – Owen Jones on Blair’s real legacy
The real meaning of the Jubilee – “Marks and Spencer have taken flag-worship to such absurd, vomit-inducing levels, I can only assume an invasion of Waitrose is imminent.”
SpaceX Space Cadets Predictably Crowing Mars, Bitches! – I’m very glad I discovered Dale Carrico’s Amor Mundi. Sample: “Because SpaceX is described as a “commercial venture” all the usual Libertopian and Ayn Raelian types who throng futurological precincts have decided to pretend that becoming a government contractor engaging in a taxpayer funded exploitation of already existing mostly decades-old technology which itself already existed only because of the splendid efforts once upon a time of a For Real government space program which still made possible the launch to a state-consortium funded and maintained International Space Station represents “Going Galt” in space.”
6 things that are damaging Western democracy – Jason O’Mahony hits the spot again
The questions that must be answered over the unpaid stewards – And why do I get the feeling that we’ll be seeing similar questions asked when the Olympics roll around?
Chateau Sucker – Fascinating article from New York magazine about fraud amongst high-end wine connoiseurs. (via)
Angela’s Choice – Jason O’Mahony posits that the history of the next fifty years will be determined by what Angela Merkel decides Germany’s path through the Euro crisis will be.
Colchester’s Tipping Point – A perspective on town centre regeneration and the cultural sector in this town from Marc De’Ath
The corruption at the heart of our political system – Sometimes we all need to be reminded that our system is a long, long, way from being clean.
No, I will not “grow a pair” – Steven Baxter in the New Statesmen on the pressure to be a ‘man’s man’.
None of these links were placed here by small grey aliens from Zeta Reticuli. That must be true, the Men In Black told me so.
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen – Flying Rodent imagines an Orwellian version of the Scottish Premier League.
Facebook Social Readers Are All Collapsing – Oh, please let them go away. Clicking on an interesting-looking link only to discover a screen demanding you sign up to share your reading habits before you’re allowed to read it is bloody annoying.
Walking is political – An extract from Will Self’s inaugural lecture as Professor of Contemporary Thought at Brunel University.
How Germany’s Pirate Party is hacking politics – Some silly errors in this (seemingly thinking the 15 seats won in Berlin were elected by FPTP, not list seats under AMS) but still interesting, and a good explanation of the Liquid Feedback system, which interests me (and I may blog about in more detail later).
Do normal people go into politics anymore? – Another interesting post from Jason O’Mahony on the difference between the political classes and the rest of the world.