Defending democracy in (yet another) age of anxiety The current vexations about democracy and its prospects are as familiar as the values of democracy itself. Throughout its modern history democracy has, it has been claimed, threatened political order or generated bad governance. It has acted as an ideological smokescreen; it has been in terminal decline […]Read More Dangerous Democracy
This week, Jeremy Corbyn delivered a keynote speech to showcase Labour’s emerging electoral manifesto on industrial policy. Titled Build it in Britain, it sets out an industrial strategy based in three key policy directives: large-scale public investment in infrastructure, a revived and fit-for-purpose education and training programme, and a redirecting of subsidies towards job-creating and […]Read More Two cheers for Build it in Britain
A defence of offence In my first year of university, I saw the stand-up comedian Jerry Sadowitz. He started his routine as follows: ‘Nelson Mandela: cunt!’. This immediately generated shouting and heckling to which he replied ‘don’t drink on an empty head’ before finishing the line as best he could against the noise ‘he [Mandela] […]Read More Offence
On Monday 26th March, the Labour Party launched its new policy paper on international development: A World for the Many not the Few. The paper aims to set out a radical and revitalised development strategy for the British government, based in five priority aims: a fairer global economy; a global movement for public services; a […]Read More A World for the Many not the Few? Modesty, policy, and the dangers of the global-liberal consensus.
The notion of a pension fund deficit is slippery. Currently, the USS pension scheme is not in deficit: in 2017, assets generated £2bn income and paid out £1.8bn to existing pensioners. This on the basis of a massive £60bn asset base. But, evaluations of the fund’s financial sustainability do not make a simple balance of […]Read More Rage against the machine
Once upon a time, there were two universities: The University of Excellence, and Knowledge University. Each one sat on a hill on different sides of the city.Read More A tale of two (univer)cities
Black Panther is an OK film. It’s not as good as Thor Ragnarok. Thor’s plotline is a bit more stable; the characters are more distinct; the script is a little more deft with the usual Marvel mixture of peril and humour. But, that’s not the point is it? Or is it?Read More Spoilers Throughout: Constructing the agonies of Black Panther