pw201 + politics   192

'My ties to England have loosened': John le Carré on Britain, Boris and Brexit | Books | The Guardian
"At 87, le Carré is publishing his 25th novel. He talks to John Banville about our ‘dismal statesmanship’ and what he learned from his time as a spy"
spies  intelligence  MI5  MI6  le-carre  politics 
october 2019 by pw201
How Liberals Fell In Love With The West Wing | Current Affairs
"Aaron Sorkin’s political drama shows everything wrong with the Democratic worldview…"
tv  westwing  politics  bartlet 
may 2019 by pw201
There’s a lot wrong with this viral list about the Lisbon Treaty - Full Fact
A large number of our readers have asked us to factcheck a list of claims about the Lisbon Treaty, or “what will actually happen if we stay in the EU”, which has gone viral on social media.

The list has appeared in numerous versions across different platforms since mid-December. The text at the beginning and end is often different, but the central list of claims is virtually identical across most of the versions we’ve seen.

Much of it is wrong. The list is a mixture of false claims, and claims that have some truth but could be misleading given the context.
brexit  politics  lisbon  propaganda  eu  europe 
march 2019 by pw201
Stumbling and Mumbling: The right's triumph; the left's complicity
"If I’d told you just four years ago that I was a Remainer, you wouldn’t have known what I was talking about. The fact that we now speak about little else reveals an under-appreciated fact about politics – that power consists not merely in getting your own way when conflict arises, but in shaping the agenda.

Back in 2015 less than 10% (pdf) of people thought relations with the EU were the important political issue – far fewer than cited the NHS, economy or crime. And yet a handful of cranks have succeeded in making Brexit (a word almost unheard in 2015) dominate politics to the exclusion of all else."
politics  brexit 
january 2019 by pw201
Parliament is now at war with government - and it's winning
"The content of Theresa May's defeats over the last couple of days isn't particularly meaningful, but the fact they happened at all suggests that parliament's guerrilla war against the government has started. And it seems to be winning."
constitution  brexit  politics  parliament 
january 2019 by pw201
These Are the Bad Times – Hmm Daily
"Our public conversation misses the fundamental point. The warnings and the rebuttals to the warnings have revolved around the drastic, epochal historical questions: Is this what it was like with the Nazis? Are we becoming the Third Reich? Is that where we’re headed?

What that line of debate overlooks is that going only halfway Nazi would be more than bad enough. Going a quarter of the way Nazi would be. "
politics  trump  nazi  doom 
november 2018 by pw201
In Britain, Austerity Is Changing Everything - The New York Times
"Whatever the operative thinking, austerity’s manifestations are palpable and omnipresent. It has refashioned British society, making it less like the rest of Western Europe, with its generous social safety nets and egalitarian ethos, and more like the United States, where millions lack health care and job loss can set off a precipitous plunge in fortunes."
money  poverty  austerity  politics 
june 2018 by pw201
Don’t mistake the British public’s leftie economic views for liberalism
About half of us still support the death penalty, and about half of us think equality for women has achieved enough progress.
Politics  survey  opinion  poll  feminism 
february 2018 by pw201
Thin Pinstriped Line: The business of Remembering
Veteran and civil servant "Sir Humphrey" on poppies: "I have grown increasingly concerned at the manner in which manufactured outrage focuses on any organisation or individual that challenges the Poppy status quo, by not wearing one. If you are wearing one only because everyone else is wearing one, then perhaps it is time to ask whether the Poppy has become a victim of its own success.

As we move into the world where we are over a century on from the events of WW1, perhaps the time has come to ask if it is time to evolve the service of Remembrance, and perhaps do it differently. I do feel that the need to remember is always appropriate, but that the means by which a simple silence has become a business and outrage outlet to sell papers is increasingly distasteful. "
war  remembrance  poppy  politics  media 
november 2017 by pw201
A very British dream | Richard Seymour on Patreon
"Problem number one for the Conservatives is that they no longer have any idea how to administer capitalism. No viable long-term growth strategy avails. They can't address the financial sector without hurting their allies in the City. They can't address the crisis of productivity and investment without more state intervention than they're willing to accept. They can't address the housing crisis or the precarious debt-driven economy without harming the interests of home owners. They can't build new support in the rustbelts on an anti-immigrant basis, without sacrificing affluent swing voters and particularly ethnic minority voters in big cities and marginals."
Politics  conservatives  may  brexit 
october 2017 by pw201
The Google Memo: What Does the Research Say About Gender Differences? |
"1. Gender differences in math/science ability, achievement, and performance are small or nil...
2. Gender differences in interest and enjoyment of math, coding, and highly “systemizing” activities are large. ...
3. Culture and context matter, in complicated ways. Some gender differences have decreased over time as women have achieved greater equality, showing that these differences are responsive to changes in culture and environment. But the cross-national findings sometimes show “paradoxical” effects: progress toward gender equality in rights and opportunities sometimes leads to larger gender differences in some traits and career choices. Nonetheless, it seems that actions taken today by parents, teachers, politicians, and designers of tech products may increase the likelihood that girls will grow up to pursue careers in tech, and this is true whether or not biology plays a role in producing any particular population difference."
feminism  google  diversity  psychology  gender  politics 
august 2017 by pw201
Steve Dutch: Conservative Cranks and Liberal Meta-Cranks
What are the differences between cranks on both sides? Conservative ones are generally stupid, liberal ones are clever rationalisers.
politics  cranks  conservative  liberal 
august 2017 by pw201
The Book of Jeremy Corbyn - The New Yorker
"And they hearkened unto the word of Jeremy, and believed. For they said unto themselves, Lo, he bringeth unto us the desire of our hearts. He cometh by bicycle, with a helmet upon his head. And he eateth neither flesh nor fowl, according to the Scriptures. For man cannot live by bread alone, but hummus is quite another matter."
satire  politics  bible  jeremy-corbyn  funny 
june 2017 by pw201
Maybe the Internet Isn’t Tearing Us Apart After All | WIRED
People don't actually just stick to sites which match their political views, and their Facebook acquaintances don't always share their politics.
facebook  society  politics  internet 
may 2017 by pw201
Ur-Fascism | by Umberto Eco | The New York Review of Books
What are the common features of anything worth calling Fascism?
history  politics  fascism  italy  world-war-II 
november 2016 by pw201
Who Will Command The Robot Armies?
Funny and worrying talk. Pinboard is always good for "Internet of shit" stories, but has a wider point here.
robots  facebook  twitter  amazon  work  po  politics  surveillance  technology  automation  iot 
november 2016 by pw201
The President and the bomb | Restricted Data
The US military won't stop a president from using nuclear weapons, the system is designed to make sure they can do so, not to prevent them.
politics  military  nuclear  president 
november 2016 by pw201
Why the economy can't explain Trump or Brexit - OpenLearn - Open University
Authoritarian social attitudes and the rate of change of minority population in an area are better predictors of Trump/Brexit voting than poverty.
trump  brexit  psychology  authoritarianism  politics 
november 2016 by pw201
Why Stop Funding Hate deserves answers - Creative Review
"The Stop Funding Hate campaign is gaining traction and giving brands difficult decisions to make." If you want something you can do, this is something you can do.
daily-mail  newspapers  hate  daily-express  politics 
november 2016 by pw201
I want my country back
Laurie Penny, you magnificent bastard: "When all you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like David Cameron’s face."
brexit  Politics  referendum  eu 
june 2016 by pw201
Worrying Signs
Recording post-referendum incidents of racism. Not all leavers are racist, but all th racists voted leave, and now they think they've won.
eu  referendum  Politics  racism  brexit 
june 2016 by pw201
There are liars and then there’s Boris Johnson and Michael Gove | Nick Cohen | Opinion | The Guardian
'The Brexit figureheads had no plan besides exploiting populist fears and dismissing experts who rubbished their thinking.'
brexit  eu  Politics  referendum 
june 2016 by pw201
Fintan O’Toole: Brexit fantasy is about to come crashing down
"Brexit is not so much a peasants’ revolt as a deeply strange peasants’ – and – landlords’ revolt.
It is a Downton Abbey fantasy of toffs and servants all mucking in together. But when the toffs, as the slogan goes, “take back control”, the underlings will quickly discover that a fantasy is exactly what it is.
The disaffected working- class voter in Sunderland, rightly angry about being economically marginalised and politically disenfranchised, will wait in vain for the magical billions that are supposedly going to be repatriated from Brussels to drop from the clear blue skies of a free England."
britain  eu  brexit  referendum  politics 
june 2016 by pw201
Ian Clark on Twitter: "Interesting comment on FB. Think it might be spot on."
An argument that Cameron has passed on a poisoned chalice to his successor, which is why Boris looks so glum: nobody will ever push the Article 50 button, because it's political suicide, but not doing so is also political suicide.
brexit  politics  referendum  europe  cameron 
june 2016 by pw201
On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs | Strike! Magazine
Whatever happened to our promised leisure time, and why do so many people get paid to do nothing useful?
capitalism  politics  work  jobs  economics 
october 2015 by pw201
policyskeptic: What really went wrong at Addenbrooke’s
A botched IT project is responsible for the fall in the quality of Cambridge's famous teaching hospital, by the looks of it.
addenbrookes  hospital  health  management  politics  IT  cambridge 
september 2015 by pw201
Ken MacLeod – Socialism and transhumanism
"The challenge for humanists and liberals in the face of a transhuman future is daunting: to replace the socialist project — or to revive it. Without something like it to underpin a sense of common human identity and common human interest, people will divide on the basis of other identities. Many on the left, of course, have found in identity politics a replacement for the universalism of their past. But identity can also be seized on by the far right. It can feed a resentful indifference to the plight of others that comes from having one’s own plight disregarded."
socialism  politics  transhumanism  ken-macleod  identity-politics  humanism 
may 2015 by pw201
For American pundits, China isn’t a country. It’s a fantasyland. - The Washington Post
"Whenever I want to be cheered up about the future of my adopted country, I turn to American pundits. The air here might be deadly, the water undrinkable, the Internet patchy and the culture strangled, but I can always be reassured that China is beating America at something, whether it’s clean energy, high-speed rail, education or even the military. Over the past decade, American audiences have become accustomed to lectures about China, like a schoolboy whose mother compares him with an overachieving classmate."
china  america  politics 
may 2015 by pw201
Losing their religion: The hidden crisis of faith among Britain’s young Muslims | Global | The Guardian
The experiences of ex-Muslims in the UK, who face ostracism and maybe even violence, as well as finding it hard to find help because of worries about Islamophobia. Sulaiman, who is featured in the article, is a former colleague of mine. "Shams believes that this kind of gesture and the NUS decision last month to lobby alongside Cage, the militant Islamic prisoners pressure group, undermines the position of dissenting Muslims. “What it does is to say to reformists and secularists, you’re not really Muslims.”"
ex-muslim  islam  apostasy  politics  multiculturalism  uk  islamophobia 
may 2015 by pw201
Ground Control | George Monbiot
"No progressive party can survive the corporate press, corrupt party funding systems and conservative fear machines by fighting these forces on their own terms. The left can build only from the ground up; reshaping itself through the revitalisation of communities, working with local people to help fill the gaps in social provision left by an uncaring elite. Successful progressive movements must now be citizen’s advice bureau, housing association, scout troop, trade union, credit union, bingo hall, food bank, careworker, football club and evangelical church, rolled into one. Focus groups and spin doctors no longer deliver."
monbiot  george-monbiot  politics  left  progressive  latin-america 
may 2015 by pw201
The British press has lost it – POLITICO
Even the broadsheets don't bother to hide the fact that they're rooting for the Tories because their oligarch owners told them to (except the Graun, of course). No one in my liberal bubble actually reads print newspapers, they just share links to the Graun's "Comment is Dumb" section on Facebook. Still, I might not be typical, so it's all a bit worrying.
press  newspapers  journalism  politics  britain  election 
may 2015 by pw201
A fixed-term hung Parliament? | British Government and the Constitution
Prof Adam Tomkins explains the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. Points out that, while a defeat which is not a motion of no confidence does not allow an early election, nothing compels a Prime Minister to stay in office: Labour could hold the threat of Milliband's resignation (and the Tories being invited to form a government) over the SNP in order to pass a budget, for example.
constitution  government  politics  election  confidence 
may 2015 by pw201
Whig Party | Britain's original progressive political party is back
Crikey. It's like a Neal Stephenson novel: "The Whigs are returning to British politics. We are going into the 2015 General Election to provide a fresh choice to the British people, and to show that everyone can get involved in politics. Our campaign will be positive and optimistic, both online and in the streets. The Whigs are back. Come and join the party."
whig  politics  election  history  uk  general-election 
may 2015 by pw201
David Simon on Baltimore’s Anguish | The Marshall Project
David Simon ("The Wire", "Homicide") blames the drug war for the breakdown of trust between the police and the community following the abandonment of constitutional protections. Points out that the police force is largely black. Petyr Baelish really did cook the crime stats, too.
baltimore  the-wire  david-simon  drugs  police  politics 
may 2015 by pw201
The austerity delusion | Paul Krugman | Business | The Guardian
"It has been astonishing, from a US perspective, to witness the limpness of Labour’s response to the austerity push. Britain’s opposition has been amazingly willing to accept claims that budget deficits are the biggest economic issue facing the nation, and has made hardly any effort to challenge the extremely dubious proposition that fiscal policy under Blair and Brown was deeply irresponsible – or even the nonsensical proposition that this supposed fiscal irresponsibility caused the crisis of 2008-2009."
austerity  economics  deficit  debt  paul-krugman  politics  labour 
april 2015 by pw201
Armando Iannucci: It’s time for a very British revolution
"I call it Rump Politics, because it is so clearly marked by an admission that it is for the few." "In the last election, the three main parties succeeded so magnificently in drawing a curtain of silence around their future plans for government, that the dominating policies of the past five years have all been ones that simply were not discussed in the election campaign or mentioned in the party manifestos. These policies were: £9,000 university tuition fees, the bedroom tax, the total reorganisation of the NHS and 40 per cent cuts in local government. Put together, it’s a stark programme. Not an iota of it was mentioned during the 2010 campaign. This time round, both the main TV debates were conducted before the parties published their manifestos. No wonder they felt like talks about nothing. Is it any wonder that people feel disconnected from Westminster?"
politics  election  rump  labour  conservatives  armando-iannucci 
april 2015 by pw201
The economists’ manifesto -
The FT asks a random selection of economists what they'd do if they were PM. A whole lot more sensible than the politicians' one.
economics  politics  FT  finance 
april 2015 by pw201
Britain Uncovered survey results: the attitudes and beliefs of Britons in 2015 | Society | The Guardian
The Graun surveyed about 1000 people and weighted the results according to the UK's demographics. Among other things, the bit about religion was interesting to me: their survey said "A majority of Britons (82%) do not actively practise a religion and a clear majority of the population (61%) agree with that “These days religion is a negative influence in the world rather than a force for good.” Unsurprisingly, those who associate with a religion are less likely to hold this view."
survey  britain  secularism  religion  belief  attitudes  politics  guardian 
april 2015 by pw201
Kenan Malik argues that multi-cultural policies amount to dealing with people as a bloc lead by self-appointed (or government appointed) leaders. Yet French assimilationism hasn't fared better: Malik blames measures taken against alienness (burqua bans) and an inability to acknowledge that racism still exists even though the goal is assimilation.
multiculturalism  kenan-malik  culture  politics  racism  immigration  europe 
march 2015 by pw201
The Utopian · Paris, 2015
“Down with Putin. Down with the Patriarch. Down with the Pope. Down with the self-styled progressives who have abandoned the liberatory spirit of 1968 in favor of the regulatory spirit of identitarianism.”
left  politics  identity-politics  liberalism  free-speech 
january 2015 by pw201
Trading with tyranny. The price of snuggling up to Saudi Arabia
"Britain and many other countries are already paying a substantial price for Saudi Arabia's efforts (over many years) to spread its pernicious Wahhabi ideology far and wide. A more robust stance against that now will mean less need to spend money on security and defence measures in the future."
saudi-arabia  islam  wahhabi  politics 
january 2015 by pw201
Kenan Malik: "The expressions of solidarity with those slain in the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices are impressive. They are also too late. Had journalists and artists and political activists taken a more robust view on free speech over the past 20 years then we may never have come to this."
charliehebdo  freedom  politics  satire  journalism  free  speech  liberalism  charlie-hebdo 
january 2015 by pw201
The Blame for the Charlie Hebdo Murders - The New Yorker
"Because the ideology is the product of a major world religion, a lot of painstaking pretzel logic goes into trying to explain what the violence does, or doesn’t, have to do with Islam. Some well-meaning people tiptoe around the Islamic connection, claiming that the carnage has nothing to do with faith, or that Islam is a religion of peace, or that, at most, the violence represents a “distortion” of a great religion. (After suicide bombings in Baghdad, I grew used to hearing Iraqis say, “No Muslim would do this.”) Others want to lay the blame entirely on the theological content of Islam, as if other religions are more inherently peaceful—a notion belied by history as well as scripture. A religion is not just a set of texts but the living beliefs and practices of its adherents."
charliehebdo  journalism  terror  religion  politics  islam 
january 2015 by pw201
“Everything is problematic” | The McGill Daily
"Perhaps the most deeply held tenet of a certain version of anti-oppressive politics – which is by no means the only version – is that members of an oppressed group are infallible in what they say about the oppression faced by that group. ... Let me give an example. A gay person is typically much better acquainted with homophobia than a straight person. Moreover, a gay person has a much greater stake in what society does about homophobia, so their view on the matter is more important. However, there is nothing about the experience of being gay in itself that enlightens a gay person about the ethics of sexual orientation. To take a dead simple case, you don’t have to hear it from a gay person to know that homosexuality is ethically just fine."
politics  feminism  activism  culture  rationality  problematic 
december 2014 by pw201
Between the Hammer and the Anvil: On Countering The Ukip Cri-de-Colon
Author shares my frustration that Labour apparently has no balls: "Every unchallenged Question Time assertion that people aren't allowed to talk about the topics that they are themselves talking about on national television at that very moment. Every word from the party's self-appointed detectors of the legitimate feelings of thick-headed bellends. All of it has been leading to precisely this point, at which politicians explicitly talking about sending them back are seen as engaging in respectable conjecture, and posting a picture on the internet is a sackable offence."
ukip  politics  immigration  racism  labour 
november 2014 by pw201
Not two UKIPs, three UKIPs. | The Yorkshire Ranter
"So, basically, we have a ramshackle coalition of the grumpy. The biggest single group in it would like to vent intestinal gas, and wants its NHS and its BBC and its institutions in general. The second-biggest group either wants to sell all of those, or doesn’t care as long as they get to be an MEP. The smallest group is either obsessed by the EU, or else by Alan Clark diary fantasies, and has the most seniority in the party’s organisation, but also the least professionalism."
ukip  politics  election 
may 2014 by pw201
13 reasons why I am taking the Daily Mail to the Press Complaints Commission | British InfluenceBritish Influence
The Heil lied about Romanian immigration to the UK. This isn't that surprising, but it's nice to see someone do the research to prove it.
dailymail  fail  journalism  lies  uk  romania  immigration  politics 
january 2014 by pw201 RevK's rants: Censoring the Internet
Chap who runs an ISP goes to dinner with some MPs and discusses filtering.
politics  uk  porn  filtering  censorship  isp  internet 
october 2013 by pw201
Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation
"I am an independent Q.C. and not part of the government machine. I am tasked with reviewing the operation of the United Kingdom’s anti-terrorism laws. Where I am critical, I recommend change. My reports and recommendations are submitted to ministers and laid before Parliament." Interesting blog posts and reports on the police use of their anti-terrorism powers.
law  politics  terrorism  police 
august 2013 by pw201
Feds Threaten To Arrest Lavabit Founder For Shutting Down His Service | Techdirt
If you shut down your email service rather than giving the US government a back door, they'll threaten to arrest you.
law  politics  nsa  email  encryption  privacy  lavabit 
august 2013 by pw201
Glenn Greenwald's partner detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours
"David Miranda, partner of Guardian interviewer of whistleblower Edward Snowden, questioned under Terrorism Act." This is why we don't permit laws which allow people to be held for long periods without charge, even if the laws are ostensibly about fighting "terrorism". There's no way that the UK authorities can seriously think Miranda is a terrorist. Via Metafilter, where they're speculating that the US and UK are spooked because they don't know what Snowden has actually got.
law  politics  terrorism  nsa  spying  heathrow  privacy  edward-snowden  glenn-greenwald  gchq 
august 2013 by pw201
The Ecuadorian Library — Geek Empire — Medium
SF author Bruce Sterling on Assange, Manning and Snowden, and the surveillance geeks at the NSA: "Citizens and rights have nothing to do with elite, covert technologies! The targets of surveillance are oblivious dorks, they’re not even newbies! Even US Senators are decorative objects for the NSA. An American Senator knows as much about PRISM and XKeyScore as a troll-doll on the dashboard knows about internal combustion." Via Mefi
politics  bradley-manning  nsa  russia  spying  bruce-sterling  xkeyscore  julian-assange  edward-snowden  wikileaks  internet  prism 
august 2013 by pw201
BBC News - Leaked letter shows ISPs and government at war
Dave wants a scheme were people uncheck a box to get pr0n described as "default on" filtering, allowing him to claim victory without the ISPs changing what they're doing.
politics  pornograpy  porn  censorship  internet  david-cameron 
july 2013 by pw201
Like Worms in the Belly of Some Great Beast: Family Values and Crusader Kings II | Ruthless Culture
Civ-type strategy video games encourage the player to see through the eyes of the self-perpetuating bureaucracy. Mentions the Iron Law of Oligarchy. Via Gareth Rees.
games  politics  hobbes  oligarchy  civilisation  society  charles-stross 
may 2013 by pw201
Obama’s Address to United Nations -
"Mr. Obama appeared to relish the larger canvas of the United Nations and his subject, freedom of speech and why in the United States, even making “a crude and disgusting video” is a right of all citizens." Interesting: some of this is heading off Romney's criticism, but it's good to see, anyway.
UN  united-nations  islam  politics  freedom  speech  obama 
september 2012 by pw201
On the Freedom to Offend an Imaginary God : Sam Harris
"Here is where the line must be drawn and defended without apology: We are free to burn the Qur’an or any other book, and to criticize Muhammad or any other human being. Let no one forget it." "The freedom to think out loud on certain topics, without fear of being hounded into hiding or killed, has already been lost. And the only forces on earth that can recover it are strong, secular governments that will face down charges of blasphemy with scorn. "
sam-harris  islam  mohammed  koran  politics  free  speech  religion 
september 2012 by pw201
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