'Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it'. So said Winston Churchill. The same might also be said of politics. "The Rules of the Game" takes a wry look at 65 'laws' by which any smart political observer ought to regulate their conduct if they plan to get ahead and stay there. Such laws as 'Don't Get Mad - Except On Purpose', 'You Can't Beat A Plan With No Plan' and 'Moral Outrage Is The Most Powerful Motivating Force In Politics' whilst previously unwritten, are essential to the progress of any political operator. As obsessed with political history as so many politicians, journalists or students might be, it is remarkable how many times the same problems arise, the same issues are debated and the same (sometimes career-ending) mistakes are made. Written in a wry, amusing and non-partisan style and with up to date references to recent political events including Smeargate, US healthcare reform and the debate on climate change, "The Rules of the Game" is an indispensable guide to politics - wherever you live and at whatever level the game is played.
Friday, 12 February 2010
Monday, 18 January 2010
Thursday, 10 December 2009
My friends, it's nearly Christmas but we're not there yet. So in the meantime let the people at Minnesotans for Global Warming tell you about the 12 Days of Global Warming.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
However, given the lack of detailed coverage by the mainstream media (credit where credit is due, Fox News and the BBC have both covered it), I though this quick quiz will help you all work out what's been going on:
So you think you know climate science? - the quiz
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
So what has her journey been, the route she travelled to reach her Green destination? In her own words ("Why I turned from red to Green", The Guardian, Wednesday 18th November 2009):
The communist states of the 20th century did for socialism. I was a dynastic communist – my parents were British Bolsheviks, they were good citizens, and became better when Khrushchev gave permission to criticise Stalinism. All that crashed with the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. They could not relinquish the Soviet Union, and thereafter our family rows were on the terrain of Russia. The worst insult my father could hurl was: "You're just a social democrat!"
I remained a communist until 1989, when it was all over. I was part of the anti-Stalinist, Euro-communist wing. We were clever, caused trouble, caught the imagination, but we lost. Or maybe we failed.
But it was feminism that clarified the unsustainability of state communism. Macho, manic productionism relies on force, it valorises conquest of nature and other humans. It marginalises the means of reproduction – how societies sustain themselves, breathe, give birth, grow and rest, clean up; how people take care, give pleasure and co-operate. Barbara Taylor's revelatory book, Eve and the New Jerusalem, published on the crest of women's liberation, told the story of industrialisation and socialist politics, utopianism and the co-operative movement. And it tells the story of these radical movements' defeat – by working men organised in their own interests as men.
The sexism – and destructiveness – of modernity was not evolutionary, it was a bitter political struggle. The outcome: men's movements masquerading as egalitarian and socialist.
Green ideology represents the reconciliation of production and reproduction – that is what yields sustainability.
Well, at least she's honest about it.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Thomas Jefferson - (1743-1826)
US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source: First Inaugural Address - March 4 1891
Monday, 16 November 2009
Not the sort of thing you expect to see when you're settling down with your popcorn and barrel of Coke at the cinema, but a welcome addition to political discourse in an election season nonetheless. Perhaps this is a sign that mainstream Euroscepticism is finally being accepted as a reasonable and moderate stance? Even the pro-Euro BBC is willing to discuss Divorcing Europe now!