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Archive for 'UK Politics'

Responses to Pastor James McConnell

Pastor McConnell has recently hit the headlines following his bigoted remarks about British Muslims. Although it’s important to defend the right to criticise all ideas freely, and not allow religion special privileges, it is difficult to see how one could easily deal fairly with the followers of an ideology one thinks metaphysically evil:
Islam is heathen, [...]

Gove and GCSE English literature

Michael Gove’s reported call for a renewed emphasis on literature written in the British Isles seems a bit parochial.  In response to new guidelines many American texts are being dropped from syllabuses.
The John Steinbeck novella Of Mice and Men, and other American classics including Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible and the Harper Lee novel To [...]

Election 2014: How was it for you?

Although coverage has focused on the UKIP surge, the results aren’t all bad for Labour.
After a grim start to the evening for the party, with Graham Stringer declaring that Miliband lacks “an immediate appeal to the electorate” and describing his error over his shopping bill as “unforgivably unprofessional”, Labour spirits are starting to lift. Alongside [...]

Candidate vetting: UKIP style

SWNS reports:
A UKIP candidate has sparked outrage by reportedly claiming that Jews deliberately murdered each other in the Holocaust as part of a masterplan to create Israel.
The extreme views were posted in Mrs Anna-Marie Crampton’s name on a conspiracy theory website called ‘Secrets of The Fed’.
Crampton, 57, is allegedly quoted as saying: “Holocaust means a [...]

Reducing the voter base, UKIP style

I’d missed this story from earlier in the week – Magnus Nielsen, a UKIP PPC, has suggested that it would be a good idea to limit the franchise.
“I sometimes think the people who fought for the vote in 1832 and 1888 and so forth, trying to extend the franchise were probably doing the wrong [...]

Timothy Snyder: A vote for UKIP is a vote for Putin

In a must-read piece at The New Republic, Timothy Snyder points out a similarity between the Putin regime and the Stalin regime at the time of the Nazi-Soviet pact:
The embrace of anti-fascism as a rhetorical strategy is quite different from opposing actual fascists.
Putin now presents himself as the leader of the far right in Europe, [...]

UKIP and free speech

This story picks up on some of the themes in another recent post about UKIP – in particular their supposed insistence on  the importance of freedom of speech.  Michael Abberton received a police visit in response to a UKIP complaint (more on what that means exactly later) about a critical tweet.
The police explained that I [...]

Anne Marie Waters and UKIP: a match made in heaven?

Anne Marie Waters is to stand as a UKIP candidate in Basildon.  Neither she nor her new party are exactly favourites of mine – although both perhaps come in for a certain amount of misplaced, or disproportionate, abuse.  I was inclined to agree with Andy Newman’s criticism of a video AMW had made (which no [...]

From the Dusty Shoebox In the Bottom Drawer: In-house Proposal for Establishing Recall of MPs in Letters to the Telegraph, 29 February 2008

Sanctions against MPs
Sir – At a time when trust in politicians continues to be diminished, there is an urgent need to look again at the sanctions available when an MP has been found to have behaved improperly.
The Commons Standards and Privileges Committee is able to suspend an MP, but many members of the public feel [...]

We’re in this apart: Maria Miller and benefits claimants

Here’s a précis of some key facts in the expenses scandal surrounding Culture Secretary Maria Miller.
It is charged that she designated what looked an awful lot like her first home as her second home, claimed taxpayer support for its upkeep, and made an enormous profit on its sale. The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner concluded she had [...]