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Posts under ‘Politics & campaigns’

This is not a party political site and not very partisan in any way. My emphasis has tended to be on the quality of debate and campaigning, and especially on the need to appreciate represtentative democracy (government through elected representatives whose own views matter), and to be sceptical of the claims of vox pop, “the people”, social media, Crowd Wisdom, and “direct action”.

Auto-liberal politics #4 Join up, join up!

Posted by RDN under Politics & campaigns on 16 July 2016. No comments.

I am not the ideal person to enjoin the under-40s to join a political party, whichever one they sort-of fancy. I haven’t ever joined the Conservatives though for at least 30 years I have known it was the right thing to do, for me at least. Still, here goes…. More »

“Mob-minorities”, democracy and Parliament

Posted by RDN under Handling protest / Politics & campaigns on 10 July 2016. One comment.

The British have been learning a lot about the different sorts of votes and voting that go on in a democracy. The oddest thing that has happened is the emergence into power of a small number of political activists. Both Conservative and Labour political parties – are, just now, at the mercy of their quite peculiar members. So are the vast majority of voters and politicians. More »

Brexit and migration

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Politics & campaigns on 27 June 2016. No comments.

There is a nasty – or tasty – little secret about migration, tax, and welfare which I have never heard mentioned in mainstream debate, but it needs to be. That is: single, young migrants in employment are probably an economic benefit, taking one thing with another, but when they go on to make families, most of them are almost certainly not. In short, freedom of movement for work is mostly good; freedom of settlement or citizenship, not so much.  More »

Brexit and Scotland

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Politics & campaigns on 27 June 2016. No comments.

The EU referendum has had very odd implications for Scotland. I was no fan of Scottish independence, but I can’t say the break-up of the UK struck me as very worrying from an English, let alone an English Tory, point of view. Now though, one can easily see a rational Scot of any political stripe thinking that if it came to leaving the EU or the UK, maybe it’s the UK that Scots need less. More »

Unexpected upsides of Brexit

Posted by RDN under Politics & campaigns on 27 June 2016. 2 comments.

I didn’t have the courage to vote for it, but Brexit will probably have marvellous upsides, and especially after a bumpy patch. Here are three “factions” who will probably have to re-adjust their thinking, in a good way, because of Brexit. More »

The Referendum meta-debate

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / Politics & campaigns on 22 June 2016. No comments.

The EU Referendum debate is widely thought to have been information-light and anger-heavy. This is true enough, but in ways which might surprise. Here is a sketch of how the argument might be analysed. I am afraid it is a little personal, at least in the first para or two. More »

Jo Cox’s legacy to democracy

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / Politics & campaigns on 18 June 2016. No comments.

Amongst all the things which Jo Cox achieved and represented in life, in death she may produce a further great service. It would be a fitting memorial or tribute to this remarkable person that we start to reverse the cynicism with which the electorate, media and entertainment industry regard politicians. More »

The End is Nigh (not, probably): BBC TBQ

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Mind & body / Politics & campaigns / RDN's media outings on 12 June 2016. 2 comments.

The BBC’s The Big Questions asked a panel of “experts”, and its audience, whether “the end is nigh”. I responded that it almost certainly is not. Indeed, I said, things are going rather well and humans don’t need huge reforms of their psyche – but many long for better politics and economics to come their way.

More »

RDN on BBC shows: Syrian refugees

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Mind & body / Politics & campaigns / RDN's media outings on 26 February 2016. No comments.

I was asked onto BBC1’s The Big Questions (7 February 2016, Episode 5, Series 9); on BBC Radio Scotland’s Call Kaye phone-in (25 February 2016); and BBC Radio Scotland Good Morning Scotland (27 February 2016) to discuss whether Britain’s stance on Syrian refugees was morally acceptable (TBQ) and whether one had a moral responsibility toward helping them (Call Kaye) or both (Good Morning Scotland). More »

EU obligations to Med-migrants

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / Politics & campaigns / RDN's media outings on 14 May 2015. No comments.

I have had a couple of recent outings on BBC Radio Scotland’s Call Kaye phone-in show, on the UK’s obligations – and Scotland’s in particular – toward the “Med-migrants”. My line, I am almost sorry to say, was that we will probably need to be cruel to be kind…. More »

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