Punditocracy – How Do We Explain The Appeal of Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy_Corbyn

How do we explain the appeal of Jeremy Corbyn? Or to be precise how do we explain that everyone in the media is talking about Jeremy Corbyn? He is supposed to be leading the race for leadership of the Labour Party. That is the consensus amongst the pundits, and the story is running and running.

The source of the notion that Corbyn is now poised to win the top job in the Labour Party is based on two fairly dubious pieces of data. First is a leak of an alleged private poll. This is claimed to show Corbyn ahead but there are no other details. The other is a Yougov poll which the pollsters themselves issued with a strong caveat that it was no more than a ‘grainy snapshot’. Continue reading Punditocracy – How Do We Explain The Appeal of Jeremy Corbyn

The Ministry of Spin by Richard Milton

Hello I’m Colin Sanders and this is the History Books Review where I read history books and tell you what I think of them, and maybe pick a few interesting points out to give you a taste. This time I’m covering a new book called The Ministry of Spin by Richard Milton, an author whose work I haven’t really come across before.

We all have odd memories that stick in our minds from a young age. I have one from some time in the early seventies. It was an advert on the television advising of the wisdom of making sure you know what is behind you when driving. It was a cartoon that showed a man driving a car that gradually panned out to show that he was being followed by a turban wearing man on an elephant. You should use your mirror frequently. Good advice! I hope you take note. It was credited to the Central Office of Information. Continue reading The Ministry of Spin by Richard Milton

Stuffocation by James Wallman

 

I don’t know about you, but my life is absolutely full of stuff and rubbish. I have just spent a Sunday afternoon filling my Berlingo with things surplus to my well being. I am off to dispose of it. And in a triumph of hope and habits over bitter and direct experience I’m also going to an electrical retail store to purchase some new goods. Continue reading Stuffocation by James Wallman

Four Reasons The Lib Dems Won’t Be Back

our reasons the lib dems won't be back

Looking at what I said on Twitter prior to the election I could probably claim to have predicted the result.  But I wouldn’t be telling the truth.  I accurately foresaw that the Tories would get more votes than the polls were predicting.  This wasn’t actually too difficult.  In almost every election I have followed since 1983 the polls have underestimated the Tory vote.  Why this easily verified fact catches out all the commentators every time is a mystery.  But it has prevented me being disappointed by false hopes many times now. Continue reading Four Reasons The Lib Dems Won’t Be Back

The King’s Speech

 

Hello, I’m Colin Sanders and this is the history books review. It isn’t a book today. I have just watched the film of the King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth and Helena Bonham-Carter.  I’ll leave the merits of the film to the film critics, though I will say that it are nearly brought a tear to my eye. But the thing that interested me was how it showed just how much attitudes have changed in a relatively short period of time. It tells the story of events that are still just about within living memory.   I talked about them to my grand parents who remembered them vividly.  George VI, the main protagonist, still appeared on coins when I was growing up. Continue reading The King’s Speech

Why did Rome Fall? – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 38 Part 3

Ruins of Ancient RomeAt the end of Volume 3 of Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and Gibbon is in a reflective mood. It feels very much like he is intending on finishing his story here with the end of the Roman Empire in the West as a legal entity.  In fact I think that is exactly what his intentions were.  This is how he puts it. Continue reading Why did Rome Fall? – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 38 Part 3

Reasons To Vote UKIP – From An Historical Perspective

UKIPGeorge Bernard Shaw once said something along the lines that it is possible for a small and determined group of people to change the world.  And that in fact, this was the only thing that ever did change the world.  He was right, but that doesn’t take away from the courage and energy it requires to start a political party from scratch in a system that punishes third parties let alone non-existent ones. Continue reading Reasons To Vote UKIP – From An Historical Perspective

Reasons To Vote Liberal Democrat – From An Historical Perspective

Liberal_Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have a heritage that comes from the nineteenth century Liberal Party, with its great legacy of reform and from the Labour Party, via the Social Democrat party.  They probably don’t get a lot of credit from current voters for the 1831 Great Reform Act, but its is not a bad thing to have a link to historical achievements of such a great magnitude. Continue reading Reasons To Vote Liberal Democrat – From An Historical Perspective

Reasons To Vote SNP – From An Historical Perspective

Scottish_National_Party

I won’t be voting SNP for the very good reason that I am not Scottish and don’t live in Scotland.  For the same reason, I was tempted to leave the SNP out of this series.  But if the SNP win a lot of seats in Scotland and no other party gets a majority in the Commons, it is not inconceivable that the SNP would be the kingmakers.  So how do I feel about that? Continue reading Reasons To Vote SNP – From An Historical Perspective

Reasons to Vote Labour – From An Historical Perspective

Labour_Party

No party in Britain has a more romantic history than the Labour Party.  It is a thread in British society that goes back to the Diggers and the Levellers of the Civil War, continues through the struggles of the Trade Unionists and the Chartists and in which the founding of a socialist party to represent working people is the culmination of centuries of idealism.  It is a story that no PR man could invent and which only the hardest of hearts could not find some sympathy with. Continue reading Reasons to Vote Labour – From An Historical Perspective