What are Political Parties for?

What are political parties for? You may have your own ideas about that. However, the official answer is that they came into existence alongside mass democracy, to identify and support candidates in elections, to mobilise voters to vote for them and to formulate policies around which candidates and voters can coalesce. If so, they are […]

How to go about Brexit

I have never met Mr Davis, the new Minister for Brexit, nor is it remotely likely that he or his Department should want, let alone ask, for my help. However, in these uncertain times, it is my patriotic duty to offer it anyway. DRAFT From: The Right Hon David Davis PC MP MBA MsC, Secretary […]

European Parliament: Why it Must Change

Do you know who your MEP is? That is a trick question. You will have between three and ten MPs depending on where you live. MEPs are elected by party list on a proportional representation basis, for enormous constituencies – there are twelve, jumbo EU constituencies in the UK, as compared with 650 for our […]

European Referendum: a Simple Way Through

Letter published in the Shepton Mallet Journal on 25th May 2016 Dear Sir, A way through the referendum debate I suspect your readers are fed up with all the arguments about Europe (both in your Opinion column and elsewhere). Can I offer a simple, non-party-political, statistics-free way through? Everybody agrees that, in or out of […]

Talkin’ ’bout my Generation

For years, I never went to Glasto. Then one year my children decided I was old enough and now I go on Sundays. I love it. Where else can 50,000 people in a muddy field sing happy birthday to the Dalai Lama, as we did last year? There is of course a generation thing. In […]

Mr Assange’s Doubtful Victory

Julian Assange appeared on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy on 5th February 2016 to proclaim ‘a victory that cannot be denied’. If so, was the Opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention about his case a victory for Wikileaks (of which Mr Assange is the co-founder and prime mover) and its noble […]

Of Wars and Peaces

Did you enjoy the latest BBC adaptation of War and Peace? I have been thinking about War and Peace a lot – so much, that I have had a dream about it. I dreamed I was in the pub down the road. It was crowded and I was trying to get a drink. Standing next […]