A Broken Shame-Machine: the Shameful State of Political Shamelessness

Source: Gage Skidmore, from Wikimedia Commons

I can remember, years ago, possibly inspired by an early incantation of the long-running Steve Bell cartoon which depicted David Cameron as a condom, rather naively asking my father why politicians were not embarrassed, as most of us might be, to be so universally hated. He reminded me that the politicians who filled Westminster generally… Continue Reading ➤

Venezuela at Boiling Point

Source: Wikimedia Commons

What is Occurring in Venezuela? That Venezuela is a nation in crisis is not breaking news. Inflation rates reached 830,000% in 2019 (IMF), whilst an entire nation was left without medicines, basic food items or even toilet paper on the supermarket shelves. Of the 2.3 million Venezuelans who are living outside the country, 1.6 millon… Continue Reading ➤

Theresa May’s domestic abuse bill fails to put the safety of victims first or account for the huge gaps in funding which are putting the refuges in crisis

rosie article

“I think of the exhausted others who, as welfare become workfare and life constricted into an impossible bargain had to choose between abusive partners and living in their cars or the unsafe living rooms of people who might and did hurt their children, who had the optionless-option of continued personal abuse or the impersonal abuse… Continue Reading ➤

Gilets Jaunes: More Than Esprit Français

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The endurance and energy of the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (yellow jackets) movement has been a surprise even in a country familiar with street protests. The demonstrations have continued for the fifth week in a row, or ‘Act Five’ as it has been called. With a turnout of around 66,000 on Saturday 16th December, the numbers were… Continue Reading ➤

In conversation with Chris Giles, Economics Editor for the Financial Times: Britain, Brexit and the Budget

May

Following the announcement on Wednesday evening that Mrs. May had finally agreed a draft withdrawal deal, the attention of the nation has been on the response of the Cabinet. Thursday saw the resignation of a number of senior ministers, including the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Dominic Raab, who claimed that he… Continue Reading ➤

Ele Não: The International Media’s Complicity in the Rise of Populism in Brazil and Beyond

Jair Bolsonaro Source: Wikimedia Commons

Brazilian Elections: Front Page News on an Unprecedented Scale This Sunday, Brazilians will go to the polls for the second time to elect their next president, but the result is already all but decided. Right-wing populist and retired army officer Jair Bolsonaro, coming off a landslide (and almost outright) victory in the first round, is… Continue Reading ➤

Transcontinental Turkey: Where is it heading?

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Relations between Turkey and the West are undeniably fraught. The post-war paradigm of relations has shifted. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule has brought him into conflict with Western leaders, the debacle of Pastor Brunson indicating a new crisis point with the US, and the jailing of journalists bringing complaints from Germany. These shifting… Continue Reading ➤

A “Bavarian Revolution”?

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“The election [on Sunday 14th of October]”, writes the Süddeutsche Zeitung, “was a typical Bavarian revolution. Fireworks, a lot of smoke [and] dreams in Schwabing [a central Munich district in which the Greens obtained 34% of the votes] which, throughout the night, felt like they could become true. The morning after, the Alps are still… Continue Reading ➤

How the US midterms will unfold, Part 1: The House of Representatives

Protest outside Trump Tower; Democrats hope an energised voter base will deliver them control of the House.               

Source: Wikimedia Commons

On November 6th, Americans will go to the polls to pick their representatives for both houses of Congress. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for election, and 35 of the Senate’s 100 seats. Half-way through Donald Trump’s first term, this is the United States’ first chance since the 2016 election to… Continue Reading ➤

Four lessons from Wittgenstein on Trump

The Trump Blimp in Parliament Square
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Lesson 1 – Politics is not science In Remarks on Frazer’s Golden Bough, Wittgenstein critiques anthropologist James George Frazer’s argument that the ritual practices (magic) of ‘primitive cultures’ are an early and ineffective form of ‘modern science’. Instead, Wittgenstein argues that societies use magic for an entirely different purpose to science – they do fundamentally… Continue Reading ➤