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
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
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
At 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
George 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
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
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
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
The ice cap at the North Pole melted, and you were worrying about the budget deficit? Sea levels rose around the world and you were bothered about bankers’ bonuses? The world’s food supply failed to keep up with population growth and you were focused on immigration controls? How are future generations going to look back on our obsessions. Will our current pre-occupations seem as irrelevant to them as the medieval disputes over simony or transubstantiation?
Continue reading Reasons to Vote Green – From An Historical Perspective
The Conservative Party’s origins go back ultimately to the royalists of the English Civil War – though the descent is not a linear one. They have also acquired DNA from the Liberals with and without capital Ls and from intellectual influences like Edmund Burke. They have always been about supporting the establishment, but have often done it in some highly creative and unexpected ways. In particular they managed to play a large part in the creation of a mass democracy at the end of the nineteenth century and went on to become a mass party with a huge membership during the twentieth. One might have thought that they were deliberately doing it to prove Marxist notions of class interest wrong. But the strongest vein in the Conservative Party has always been pragmatism, and that is usually the best explanation for whatever it is the Tories happen to be up to.
Continue reading Reasons To Vote Conservative – Historical Perspective