Politics

A Gandhi for the West?

I watched Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi this week. I remember being taken to it by my parents back in 1982. There was an intermission half way through as the reels were changed. I was 10 years old and as the film opened with his assassination, then jumped back in time, I remember being blown away by the

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Stop Making Fun of Trump

Perhaps the only good thing to have come out of a Trump presidency is the dark humour, and I must confess – much of it has been brilliant. Seeing the wonderful placards (WE SHALL OVERCOMB) hearing the chants (TINKLE TINKLE LITTLE CZAR, PUTIN PUT YOU WHERE YOU ARE) and watching the SNL skits has raised

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The Only Way to Have a Free Press is to Pay For It

One of the things that’s been on my mind in the wake of recent political events is the vital importance to liberal democracy of a genuinely independent and critical free press. It strikes me that if we want a free press, we’re really do need to be willing to pay for it. In Raoul Martinez’s Creating

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Inaugurate Something… and Make Trump Irrelevant Again

  My suggestion for marking Trump’s inauguration would be to inaugurate some amazing thing, some small seed of action that’ll build bridges and tear down prejudice. At the moment, the three most troubling words I know are ‘God,’ ‘bless,’ and ‘America,’ and every time I hear them in sequence part of my brain freezes. Can anyone tell

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‘Free’ Markets

“So it appears that #Brexit means closing our borders to people, but opening them to the free movement of capital.” Precisely this. Capitalism loves the free movement of everything except the poor. Money must be free to move. The cheap labour that creates it must not. This, apparently, is what we mean by a ‘free market.’ I

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Next Up, Capitalism Is Killing Us

Lead stories on the radio this morning:  How a third of fathers want a less stressful job so they can actually spend time with their kids.  Eight people in the world have more wealth than the poorest 50% The UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence rejects a life-extending cancer drug for use on NHS because

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Before Post-Truth, There Was Post-Production

What can we possibly trust in an online world with near-perfect CGI? When a 21 year old Carrie Fisher turns round at the end of a film made when she was in her 60s and talks about hope, and an aging Trump turns and arches his back on a hotel bed in St Petersburg, what

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Are Your Beliefs My Problem? | Liberal Belief in the Transcendent

I spent a fantastic New Year down in Devon with a great group of people – open fires, good walks, food, drink… and opportunities for ‘deliberate’ conversation too. In one such session, pretty late one night, a bunch of us had been thinking about ‘life in a post-truth era.’ It was fascinating stuff, but just

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Mutiny | Withdrawal of Labour in the Age of Zero Hours

I’m no firebrand when it comes to trades union activity (though I am a lead rep in the education union I am a part of) but when a Tory government starts rattling sabres and threatening even more draconian legislation to outlaw strikes, it has me worried. Last night I finally got round to watching The

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