A General Election has finally been called. The outcome is by no means certain but there is a good chance that Boris Johnson will secure a majority for the Conservative Party in the House of Commons. They will then be able to deliver Brexit.
Needless to say, I do not favour this outcome, for several reasons: I think exiting the EU is a bad idea; leaving under the current proposed ‘deal’ is one of the worst ways to do it; Scotland will vote for independence; and it’s utterly galling that Boris Johnson’s lies, incompetence and meanness of character might somehow result in political success.
If all that happened, what might be the silver linings around those dark clouds?
I can think of three.
Continue reading “Brexit Silver Linings”
Why don’t monkeys evolve into humans any more?
Because: they never did. We primates all had a common ancestor. And that species evolved into Homo sapiens and others of that genus, as well as, separately, into Pongo pygmaeus and the other great apes.
Monkeys do not become humans because the leap across the branches of the tree of life are too great. Their chance to be something different to what they are came and went a long time ago. Circumstance and geography made monkeys, monkeys and humans, humans.
Why can’t the U.K. be like Switzerland? Or Norway? Or New Zealand? Or Singapore? Or any other country that flourishes outside the European Union?
Because: each of these countries evolved into their current state, just as the U.K. evolved into ours. Continue reading “Evolution as a Metaphor for Why #Brexit is Still A Terrible, Impossible Idea”
Here’s a ramble about political persuasion on Brexit. I want to ask a precise and subtle question about the debate. I think it’s a genuine question, but it may turn out to be rhetorical.
It is this: Since the 2016 referendum, has anyone actually changed their mind?
Continue reading “Has Anyone Changed Their Mind About Brexit?”
I was unable to attend the Put It To The People march at the weekend for secret reasons, but I have signed the poorly worded petition to ‘Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU’.1
While the march was taking place, I spotted several snide comments on social media, repeating the mantra that it is essentially a campaign to ignore or overturn democracy. Giles Fraser and Sarah Vine, for example.
This prompts a return to the thoughts and conversations I have been having over the past few weeks about the nature and definition of ‘democracy’ and how a free society makes decisions.
Too often during this crisis the political debate has focused on just one aspect of democracy: The vote. And not just the concept of voting in the abstract, but specifically the referendum vote of 23rd June 2016 that delivered the mandate to leave the European Union. Despite the narrow margin, and despite the fact that the Leave.eu campaign broke electoral law, the result was and remains a powerful political fact.
But there are other aspects to the concept of ‘democracy’ that have, in my view, been underweighted. A fully functioning democracy requires way more than a vote. There are plenty of oppressive countries that allow citizens to vote for the government (Iran, for example) but nevertheless constrain freedom in other ways. The vote is a necessary but not sufficient condition for democracy. Continue reading “#Brexit: Democracy begins with a vote, but it doesn’t end there”
Well, this is interesting.
Due to a request under data protection law in Europe, Google can no longer show one or more pages from your site in Google Search results. This only affects responses to some search queries for names or other personal identifiers that might appear on your pages. Only results on European versions of Google are affected. No action is required from you.
These pages haven’t been blocked entirely from our search results. They’ve only been blocked on certain searches for names on European versions of Google Search. These pages will continue to appear for other searches. We aren’t disclosing which queries have been affected.
This is the first time this has happened to me. Continue reading “Google Search Links To This Blog Suppressed by Right To Be Forgotten Laws”