Possibilities

Towards Federalism? Part Two

Scotland is pretty big, isn't it

Part One Part Three A Federal England The most profound line in “Withnail & I” comes when Withnail brandishes the keys to his uncle’s country house and declares ‘free for those who can afford it, very expensive for those who can’t.’ It’s a line which, of course, reveals much about British life and the invisible network that holds together the class system:…

Towards Federalism? Part One

Part Two Part Three The Decline and Fall of Local Government It is commonly observed that the most consequential politicians are not always prime ministers, but most people would perhaps be surprised to learn that arguably the most influential and famous politician in the UK during the mid-1870s was the mayor of Birmingham. During his tenure as mayor from 1873 to 1876,…

Left Monarchism?

As parliament returns from recess and the regular news cycle finally trickles back towards to normality, we have been given a welcome reprieve from one element of the discourse which gripped the political classes over Christmas. Namely, the seemingly perennial and exhausting argument over whether the Left should make the abolition of the monarchy a priority as an incoming government. I’m no…

Stopping the Traffic

Traffic. It’s something we’ve all experienced and something we all hate. While we bemoan the difficulties of transportation and the fact that motorway traffic seems to be increasing there isn’t a day that goes by without some sort of congestion. How do we deal with it? The answer is simple: through an investigation into the cause of the problem, and the presentation…

Our Times

Mark Fisher’s Ghosts of My Life is an exceptional collection of cultural criticism. As I read it over the Christmas period, I couldn’t think of another writer better able to synthesise so many disparate sources into an overarching argument about our times. The whole book, with its theme of hauntology, had me thinking about ways in which the left interacts with time,…

The Intergenerational Game

Intergenerational Justice – Necessary and Difficult. Social democracy is, and always has been, a struggle to give a voice to the voiceless: not speaking for people but giving them a platform to speak. For most inequalities, it is easier to give the marginalised group a seat at the table to advocate their own interests. There is a considerable distance left to go,…

Our duty on fuel

Far too much centre-left discourse around climate change centres easy targets like polluting corporations, a green jobs revolution and international co-operation. But the bulk of emissions are attributed to individual consumption. Measures hitting most consumers, such as increased fuel taxes, are the best way to make a serious dent in our carbon contributions. We ought to champion them. Going after corporations alone is not an alternative. Behind the lurid headlines about carbon corporate contributions are the consumer choices that drive them; one expert estimatesthat only a tenth of emissions is directly…