The strange death of the post-war British political order

When major change happens it can be hard to see what’s really happening. All is flux and uncertainty. In the British 2015 general election fundamental change is happening before our eyes and yet we can’t see what it is. We persist in thinking in terms of the old model of the political order when it has already gone and things have shifted beyond what we can conceive. It will take … Read more

The great Scottish Nationalist wipe-out is a paradigm shift

The massive poll leads for the Scottish National Party (SNP) reported recently offers to change everything politically north of the border post the 2015 general election. It will be the great Scottish Nationalist wipe-out of their opponents which has been predicted since the 1970’s and now possible due to the dynamics of the 2014 independence referendum and the consequences of the 2008 financial crash. The SNP probably rightly senses that … Read more

UK Constitution under pressure (2): to remain in the EU or leave?

One of the most profound changes to the UK Constitution and system of government has been membership of the EU, and yet today many politicians are urging us to leave. Were this happen, it would be a further profound change and, many argue, a reduction in Britain’s influence in Europe and in the world. Proponents of Brexit however argue that Britain would, once freed of the bureaucratic and restrictive over-government … Read more

A hung Parliament after the 2015 election is a scary prospect

The likelihood of a hung parliament as a result of the 2015 UK election is causing a lot of uncertainty but worse than that the balance of forces is for once very unpredictable, and this in a country that “does not love coalitions”. The related forces of the rise of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in Scotland and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in England, as shown in opinion … Read more

Does Parliament need a facelift or a new body politic?

It is ironic that the Palace of Westminster building is badly decayed and a major refurbishment is required at the very time that there is such a backlash against Westminster politics in general. It is as though the need for members to temporarily vacate the building could be just the time to consider a more major revamp of the UK’s most hallowed of institutions. Firstly, the structure of the early … Read more

The UK Constitution under severe pressure: (1) Devolution

Underlying a lot of the difficulties being faced in the upcoming 2015 election are unresolved problems to do with the UK constitution and system of government, the most pressing of which are the issue of devolution of power to the nations of the UK and regions, as set against the potential for the UK to fall apart, and also the UK’s relationship with the EU. However there are other issues … Read more

Are our MP’s too open to powerful vested interests?

Catching MPs with their hands in the till might be becoming a bit of a pastime for circulation-hungry newspaper editors, except that in exposing Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind for discussing consultancy work with a fictitious Chinese company in a sting operation, perhaps what’s really happened is that the Daily Telegraph have again drawn attention to something most MPs do to supplement their income. It has however become a sore … Read more

Is surveillance a threat to human rights in the UK?

The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta is 2015 and it provides a useful time to reflect on the balance between human rights and state power, especially in the light of the Snowden revelations of state surveillance through the internet, mobile phones and other technology. How strong are our rights as compared with the needs of the state to maintain security and public safety and its other responsibilities? Are democracies succeeding … Read more

How the Ukraine conflict requires mature statesmanship

The collapse in relations between the West and Russia over the Ukraine conflict reads like a textbook example of how nation states get sucked into a conflict which creates its own dynamic from which neither side seem able to extricate themselves. It makes a fascinating case study were it not also that the consequences of a false step would be lethal. It is ironic that this is happening in the … Read more

Is press freedom at risk from commercial interests?

Readers of The Daily Telegraph will have awoken this morning to find that their chief political journalist Peter Oborne has resigned in protest at what he regards as editorial subservience to commercial interest and to the owners, the Barclay Brothers, over under-reporting of the Swiss HSBC scandal. He says that there was a concern that the paper would lose vital advertising revenue and thus journalistic freedom, the truth and press … Read more