Over the last few months I have been in many conversations about the problems we have with democracy in this country, in that it is not democratic. Often people have said to me that they have lost faith in democracy and that it would be better to have a benign dictator, someone who is mild … Continue reading A Benign Dictator
The art of forecasting is falling out of favour. Its usefulness as a prediction of the future has come under severe pressure. This is especially true in the world of political forecasting and for one reason, forecasts in this sense are invariably wrong. They have now become synonymous with the other meaning of the word, … Continue reading Forget forecasts
Pants on fire
In politics these days, the truth is a very fluid concept. Time and time again, leading politicians have been shown to say things that are wrong. This is understandable as we live in a highly dynamic world where no one can be expected to get everything right. What is unacceptable however, is when these ‘facts’ … Continue reading Pants on fire
Why voting should not be mandatory
Voter turnout in this country is not great. At the 2019 general election 67% of the people that are eligible actually put their mark on a ballot paper. So what happened to the other third? Why did they not vote and what can be done about it? One way of solving the problem would be … Continue reading Why voting should not be mandatory
The existential threat of nationalism
I have been listening to ‘The End of the World with Josh Clark’ a podcast on iHeartRadio. It was recommended to me by my eldest daughter and while I am fairly new to podcasts, I am enjoying the experience, even if the series is very disturbing. I won’t spoil it for you but each episode … Continue reading The existential threat of nationalism
Should constituency boundaries be left to politicians to decide? Surely not, however well intentioned they are, there will always be a temptation to manipulate them in an attempt to divert votes in favour of their own party or away from the opposition. Instead it should be left to mathematics and geography with the politicians only … Continue reading Constituency boundaries
While we were lolling about, waiting for the baby to wake up no doubt, my eldest daughter said to me: ‘Dad, if you could have any job in the world, what would it be?’ It didn't have to be a job that exists and there are no conditions that are preventing me from getting it. … Continue reading Political forensics
Running the country
Where is this year going? Way back on Jan 7 Jeremy Corbyn (remember him?) asked in the House of Commons ‘where is the Prime Minister?’ In reply, Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary since 2019, replied ‘The Prime Minister is busy running the country’. If only that were true. It is another of those myths which … Continue reading Running the country
First past which post?
Our voting system is often referred to as first past the post (FPTP). It is supposed to ensure that a single candidate emerges from each constituency and lead to stable governments. We can imagine an election like a horse race, where each candidate starts off with no votes to a finishing post somewhere in the … Continue reading First past which post?
Before you vote
By this time next week there will only be a few hours left to put your cross on the ballot paper in what might turn out to be the most decisive general election in a generation. All of the hustings will be over and the national coverage will be focused on guessing which party will … Continue reading Before you vote