The leaders’ debates do not enhance our democracy, they degrade it

Everyone seems to be leaping on the leader’s debates bandwagon. It rolls past me every single day.   “Cameron is a coward!”   “The public wants these debates!”   “This is about democracy!”   They call out to me. “Ben, join us, jump on the bandwagon.” To which my only reply is, “no sorry, not me, […]

CAGE’s Strange Morality

The identification of Isis’s poster boy as the vainglorious murderer Mohammed Emwazi has been attended by a flurry of armchair psychology. It’s been suggested, variously, that Western foreign policy is to blame for creating this furious, alienated young man and that his treatment at the hands of MI5 may be the reason the British graduate […]

Why your MP should only be working for you

It is widely accepted by most members of the general public that MPs are not to be trusted. In a recent Ipsos Mori poll only 8% of recipients thought MPs put the needs of the constituents first. Whether this is true or not; I could not comment, however I believe most people would agree that […]

Isis and Religious Apologetics

A problem persists in the discussion and analysis surrounding Isis: the refusal of many to concede that theirs is a plausible – though clearly medieval and relatively poorly subscribed – reading of Islam. Barack Obama has insisted that Isis is “not Islamic”; while David Cameron has observed that the militants “are monsters, not Muslims”. It […]

English Nationalism and Electoral Reform could propel UKIP into Real Power

Lots has been written of the last few years about the possibility of UKIP’s rise resurrecting debates over electoral reform most thought died after the abysmal defeat of reformers in the 2011 Alternative Vote referendum. There are even suggestions that they could be the catalyst for a reform to our current First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system where […]

France, Belgium, Denmark: a few thoughts

Since the Paris shootings at the offices of Charlie Hebdo there has been much talk of provocation. In some cases, European Muslims have been recast as the true victims of the tensions between secular, liberal democracy and their own religious certitude and probity. Causing deep offence, or worse, being discriminatory or racist, is discussed in […]

The UK’s Indian Ocean Territory in the Spotlight… Again

The British Indian Ocean Territory, otherwise known as the Chagos Islands or the Chagos Archipelagos was in the spotlight today, as it featured on the front cover of The Independent. Most people will know of the Chagos Islands because of the presence of a US military base on one of the islands, Diego Garcia. This […]

First World (Vegetarian) Problems

A few months ago, this carnivore turned veggie, in an effort to subdue the guilty feeling growing in her heart. Life has been interesting since then – living in quite a conservative town means there are no cosmopolitan, veggie/vegan restaurants close at hand. Vegetarians are scarce in Dorset, and it almost feels like living as […]

Eric’s Pickle

Since the murders in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo offices and a kosher supermarket, thousands of soldiers have been deployed in France and the British secret services are braced for a similar incident in the UK. In this febrile climate, Eric Pickles recently composed a mild but timely missive – sent to all British mosques […]

Who will win the Election in May?

  Introduction: Hung Parliament We are now less than 5 months away from the general election and Ed Miliband is looking more likely to gain more seats without a majority, but not entirely down to his own making. Some commentators are already hinting towards the inevitability of consecutive hung parliaments.​ The Big Issue Ed Miliband has […]