How should politics be reformed?: Part 1

The crisis currently facing politics in the UK is massive. Citizens feel detached from the political process and trust in politicians is rock-bottom. It’s been widely noted that this is a perfect opportunity to reform the rotten system. I only want to briefly cover the main ideas for reform, so I will use The Guardian’s […]

Five disturbing things about democracy

Here it is: that post I’ve been sitting on for upwards of a year. Before I start, I am going to make a few introductory notes about what I do and don’t mean when I call democracy disturbing. I find that all too often debates about this subject are clouded by dogma, which leads to […]

A pathetic situation

It’s a funny time in politics. I have written a couple of times in the past about why I would consider abstaining, or sympathise with those that do. That provoked some interesting discussion. My degree was in Economics and Politics, and I found that the more I learned about politics, the more jaded with the […]

The Conservative dimension

As for other aspects of the Glasgow East result, the collapse of the Lib Dems in particular can be put down to the fact that the two main parties are broadly centre-left. So Lib Dem voters will have been especially more willing to lend their vote to one of the main parties. Conservatives will be […]

The SNP dimension

To the extent that the SNP’s current electoral popularity is due to pro-SNP (rather than anti-Labour) effects, it must be remembered that there is much more than independence at play. Does an SNP success in an election mean that Scotland has suddenly converted to the cause of independence? Of course not. Firstly, support for independence […]

Final thoughts on Glasgow East

Well, I say “final thoughts”, but really I mean “first and only thoughts” because this is the first time I’ve actually managed to find the time and motivation to write about tomorrow’s Glasgow East by-election. It’s difficult to know what I am hoping for. The party I am most sympathetic towards — the Lib Dems […]

The snooty views of Christopher Harvie

Oh dear. SNP MSP Christopher Harvie has found himself in a spot of bother for comments he has made about Lockerbie and the Scottish yoof. On getting to Lockerbie, I discovered that the place is a dump – it was Tescotown. It should really have a certain attraction of a rather sombre kind as a […]

Electoral reform: a different answer

A few weeks ago I attended a talk by Eric Maskin, who this year was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory. Eric Maskin seems to be quite an interesting person. He lives in a house that was once occupied by Albert Einstein. I imagine that […]

Ming has lost it

(It being my vote.) And he isn’t even wanting electoral reform to be a condition. Who the hell am I going to vote for now? Update: Or not.

The greatest argument against representative democracy

No, it’s not a five minute chat with an average member of the public. It’s a cursory glance at the blog of your representatives. Scottish bloggers continue, even after all these weeks, to stare at Councillor Terry Kelly’s blog with astonishment. If anybody wants to know what I mean when I say parts of Scotland […]