Tag: Politics

I’ve a lot of respect for anyone who steps up to run for election with a manifesto that, they genuinely hope, will improve the lot of their constituents. But aside from my obvious partisan reasons, I don’t think I could ever vote for a Pirate Party candidate in these forthcoming national and local elections. I suspect I’m like the majority of people in that I really get put off by politicians saying “don’t vote for Party X or you’ll let Party Y in”, as though they’ve nothing more compelling to offer voters than “we’re not that lot”. Ultimately I would always want people to vote for the party they most support, give or take some tactical voting if they prefer. So if the Pirates are your bag then get involved with them. But the Pirates are an unashamed single issue party. Their manifesto lays out a radical agenda for copyright,…

How can we tell a simple, persuasive story about Green housing policy? Tom Hill sent me this challenging article about the US Democrats’ recent failure to turn solid facts into folksy stories, reminiscent of George Lakoff’s past work on their failure to frame issues correctly (read this and this). I’ve been doing some work recently on the Green story about the recession, and what the Mayor of London should do in response. A big part of this is the Green story on housing, since the housing bubble is both a structural weakness in our economy and a negative consequence for the majority of people for whom it is far too expensive. Jenny Jones has recently published a great report explaining the downside of the story, and we’re working together on a follow-up describing a range of rather complex solutions. So how can we tell our positive story on housing in…

Moving to the centre isn’t usually my cup of political tea, but in a peace process it seems pretty fundamental. Of course, when you have two fairly fundamentalist sides opposing each other, this is pretty unlikely! Reading Ken Livingstone’s interview with de-facto Hamas leader, Khaled Meshal (pictured), I couldn’t but hope that there are private moves to soften their attitude. Meshal’s reconstruction of past events, and his narrative of European colonialism and racism, is enlightening and instructive. But he has to move past this, past his anger at dispossession, and past Hamas’ refusal to admit Israel’s right to exist. It’s all very well playing the underdog, saying that Israel needs to make 10 groundbreaking moves to the centre before he makes even one. But it won’t exactly broker peace, or do much to help the Palestinian people! It reminds me of an excellent South African apartheid episode of the Radio…