A profound political gap underlies the Brexit storm and the right-wing shift

For some time there has been a profound political gap between the excitement of the UK politically engaged and the indifference or rejection “out there” beyond the Westminster bubble. For those willing to take a closer look, the attitude of the latter towards the Brexit crisis, and its origins, goes a long way to explain why the crisis is evolving as it is now. This detachment from, and in some … Read more

The Vote Leave Brextremist faction takes power but can they pull it off?

The formation of the Vote Leave Johnson government was stunning in its audacity. Suddenly the politics of stalemate have been replaced by that of a terrifying, focused action. This was a hard right wing No Deal government preparing the decks for action, clear and determined on their goal, a No Deal Brexit. Whatever doubts one may have of Johnson’s leadership capabilities, his competence in government and his ability to manage … Read more

Boris Johnson in power at last prepares for No Deal Brexit

Battle has been joined. The Boris Johnson war cabinet has been assembled and the “Do or die” government is announcing its policy. The new Prime Minister has sacked most opponents and brought in a cabinet of hard Brexiters. He made a policy pitch for One Nation Toryism from No 10 yesterday but like Theresa May, that may or may not happen. The focus looks likely to be to achieve Brexit … Read more

The Labour Party is split when unity is needed against an aggressive Right

There are plenty of signs in the wind that we may have a General Election not far off and yet the Labour Party seem to be in a mess, riven by accusations of anti-semitism and bunker-mentality denials by its leadership clique. It seems stuck in intra-party conflict at the very point when one might imagine unity is needed against a very militant right wing that poses a major threat, on … Read more

Boris Johnson and the economics of Leave: the whiff of an election

Preoccupied as many people are with the approaching crunch point over Brexit, they may not be so aware of the powerful whiff of an approaching general election and the potential voting-winning economic and tax-and-spend policies of the hard right behind Boris Johnson. While stuffed full of curious contradictions, and amidst masses of scepticism from soon-to-be-ex Chancellor Hammond, there is an interesting sense in BJ’s Borisomics of a mix of tax … Read more

Remain need to form an Anti-Brexit alliance to fight the election

While the Tories are busy being inwardly-focused and dreaming of the easily-won Brexit paradise as promised by Boris Johnson, the Remain side need to be thinking of the likely next General Election. The million dollar question must be whether they can form an Anti-Brexit alliance. The lesson of the last few years should be that the old two party voting pattern has broken down, or is at least on its … Read more

The Tories are choosing an election winner to leave the EU

To clear the decks was a term in naval warfare, when objects were removed or tied down before battle. It looks like the Tories are clearing the decks for electoral warfare to fix Brexit through a General Election. There is probably now no other way forward and the crunch point for a final decision is fast arriving. There is an eerie unease, like we’re all waiting as the Tory leadership … Read more

Political disinformation has become dangerous and unacceptable

Further evidence has been emerging in the last few days of an undermining of democratic processes in the UK and elsewhere as the UK Select Committee , the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, reported on political disinformation and “fake news”. This report underlines previous posts in this blog on what can be described as potentially illegal or at best ethically questionable activities to influence voting. The charge sheet keeps … Read more

Electoral law is being undermined and this is a risk for democracy

An important sign that a democracy is less than healthy must surely be when people cease to follow the rules which sustain it. Today has revealed yet more evidence that the Leave campaigns in the 2016 UK referendum broke electoral law. It is crucial to democratic elections that they observe the law, that there is no undue influence exerted at any stage, and that money is correctly spent. The risk … Read more

Data manipulation and the murky world of political advertising

Recent investigative journalism has shone a bright light on the murky world of digital data mining and political advertising. A US-UK company, Cambridge Analytica, with an off-shoot the Canadian firm Aggregate IQ, have been found to have mined huge quantities of personal profiles on Facebook and turned the data into a means for highly personal and psychologically targeted political advertising that some consider could have helped swing elections in marginal … Read more

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