This Is Not Democracy

We need to stop pretending that our pathetic attempt at democracy is in any way fit for purpose. The spectacle of the next Prime Minister of the UK being elected via television gameshow is merely the most ridiculous manifestation of a system of government that has long since given up any pretence of representing the…

Making Democracy Work

“My vote never makes any difference,” is the universal complaint, and one that’s hard to argue with given the crude way that we currently do democracy. But instead of complaining we need to do something about it. We will never reach our destination of Universal Sustainable Prosperity until we devise a better way of making…

The Lesson Of Brexit

Brexit is an object lesson on the folly of blind enthusiasm. We had the gung-ho Brexiteers (Farage, et al) who could see no further than the demonisation of Johnny Foreigner and his dastardly European project. No word of what breaking free from the EU might actually entail. Then we had the shiny-faced boys at the…

In Search Of A Good Story

Last month’s general election for the UK parliament provided a harsh reminder to some political parties that electoral success is all about telling a good story. The narrative has to be one that the electorate wants to believe or, at the very least, one that appeals to their common sense. The Scottish National Party won…

A Problem With The Plumbing

All around the world government ministers are obsessed by the size of their deficits: the gap between revenue and spending that can only be filled by borrowing money. This year’s deficit gets added to all of the previous years’ deficits, which accumulate into an ever-expanding mountain of debt. As the debt piles up, so too…

Devo Mac: An Invitation From Lord Smith Of Kelvin

In the recent referendum on Scottish independence 63% of those eligible to vote declined the opportunity to make Scotland an independent nation (c.2 million voted against and another 0.8 million didn’t bother to turn out). On the face of it this might look like an overwhelming majority of Scots are in favour of continuing with…

Financial Reform: An Alternative Use For “Yes”?

The Scottish independence referendum was about different things to different people, but a common theme was the hope of finding better ways of doing things: ways of tackling poverty and inequality; ways of moving government closer to communities, of making democracy more responsive; ways of encouraging an economy to thrive. For many people who are…