‘Evolution not Revolution’

Party politics is dead. Long live party politics. With parliament dissolved and only a week to go until the election, the UK is in political limbo. Take a good look. This is the last time politics will operate this way. This isn’t because everything is broken or we’re witnessing end times, but because we’re living in a rapidly evolving era of great change. Also notice how things are absolutely ticking by, the same as they always do, because the more things change the more they seem to hark back to what they were before. Evolution can be funny like that. Voters have more choice than ever, yet paradoxically, less choice, as party lines blur. Future generations may hold our present system, as a relic of how government was based not on a spiritual or ethical foundation, but on resistance and division. One obstacle in the way of political evolution is parliament itself, agreed by those on the in ...

‘If a man is not Socialist at 20 he has no heart. If he is not Conservative at 40 he has no brain’

By Monday, December 30, 2013 0 Permalink

A couple of months ago, an old friend and I decided to watch the entire House of Cards trilogy (the British version aired in the early '90s not the recent Kevin Spacey US version). We laughed at how dated it seemed and admired the brilliance that was Ian Richardson. I feigned mock horror at how it had shaped my  impressionable childhood mind about politics and was certainly part of the reason I ever became interested at all. The truth is, yes technology and attitudes have changed, and the way we work  is very different, the early '90s might as well be 60 years ago in that respect. But the Machiavellian machinations and base morals are all still as prevalent as ever, just hidden a whole lot better. Or perhaps the public have become immune. At least one knew with Francis Urquhart, who is possibly one of the most alluringly wicked TV characters of all ...

‘Let The Battle Commence’

By Wednesday, July 17, 2013 0 Permalink

On Monday evening I was lucky enough to be at the launch of an interesting new manifesto for the EU. Better off in a Better Europe. Not only are they advocating Britain stays in the EU, but also that Britain should be leading Europe. Strong words indeed! The event was attended by a diverse selection of Pro Europeans from Green, Labour, Tory and Lib Dem persuasion. Political hacks, business leaders, a few mere mortals like me, some French, some Greek, some Russian  - a fairly broad spectrum. And even some of my own personal heroes. Kenneth Clarke, and Lord Mandelson gave rousing impromptu speeches declaring the need for Britain to take control and influence the EU. Bizarrely, but also I think quite reasonably, there were a few recognisable sceptics in the form of UKIP members and Conservative Sceptic MEPs. I had some lively debate with them over the relative merits of Europe and they seemed shocked ...

‘The Mutti Returns’

By Saturday, May 25, 2013 0 Permalink

Or will she? Mutti is the affectionate term some Germans refer to Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Sorry to borrow from that awful Thatcher line but it was too obvious to resist! Though her other moniker of 'Iron Chancellor' sets up a harsh and unfair comparison with Bismarck. I prefer Mutti. Seeking her third term, with the election only four months away it seems that Frau Merkel is on quite the charm offensive in Germany. But as usual, the British media who will whoop with delight and salivate over the US elections barely utter anything on the topic. Considering Germany's role in the world now I would say their election was pretty important. At a recent Pro European event I got chatting to a highly articulate woman from the German Council on Foreign Relations and was fascinated to hear how Merkel is treated in her home country. Amidst the blatant hostility and frankly racist abuse she receives ...