A-Z Index of Articles

"Do You Miss Death?" Asks The Voice At the End of the Phone: The Story of An Exiled Author

One afternoon in 2007, Basem Al-Nabriss, poet and author, incensed by the death of his friend caught in the crossfire of the 2007 Hamas coup, wrote the article that would finally lead him into exile. Five years later he arrived in Barcelona

"Foreign Accent Syndrome," A Short Story for Anyone Who Works in an Office

Brilliant new fiction by James Gingell, in which the absurdity of corporate-speak is laid bare

"Jagged Edge, Blind Heart" -- A Short Story By Daniel Crockett

"Jagged Edge, Blind Heart" -- A Short Story By Daniel Crockett

"Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be President?"

It's a crying shame we didn't have Thompson around during the 2016 campaign. In the words of his old Rolling Stone editor, Jann Wenner: "He could have wielded a pretty effective sword against what's going on right now."

"Quaalude Highway" -- A short story by Daniel Crockett

"Quaalude Highway" -- A short story by Daniel Crockett

"Star Wars" is A Record To Make You Fall Back in Love With Wilco

Wilco's New Album "Star Wars" is a return to form for the US band

"The Left Ventricle of the Corvid Heart," A Short Story About Savagery and Friendship

"The Left Ventricle of the Corvid Heart," A Short Story About Savagery and Friendship, By Daniel Crockett

"Year Zero," A Short Story In Which Left-Leaning Hipsters Get More Than They Bargain For

Fiction: A Futuristic Dystopia In Which Left-Leaning Hipsters Seize Power in the UK

#SansMoiLe7Mai is the only way Marine Le Pen could win, and the far-left are responsible

Sparked by the Jean-Luc Melenchon's disgraceful refusal to endorse Macron against Le Pen, #SansMoiLe7Mai represents a worrying trend amongst French voters. It represents the National Front's only chance of winning in in two weeks time.

‘Marine A’ Was a War Criminal But Alexander Blackman Can Show His Contrition

Alexander Blackman’s supporters were jubilant when the Court of Appeal downgraded his murder conviction to manslaughter. Blackman was a distinguished serviceman, but is still a war criminal. As he is released he can put his chauvinist supporters behind him and show contrition.

‘Taking Control’ is a Delusion. This is the Age of Post-National Politics

Michael Gove is deluded to think we can ‘take back control of our destiny’. The long-term trend is toward supra-national inter-governmentalism. On the main sticking points of this referendum - migrants, finance, democracy - there is little any national government can do alone.

‘The game is the game’: Greece and Germany

In the first series of the blockbuster American TV show The Wire, the anti-heroes Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell employ murder, serious violence and threats to stay one step ahead of the police and rake in profits from drug dealing. The stakes are high: capture means a heavy jail term but success translates into a small fortune. Given the options, the pair carry on in the face of any setback with the catchphrase: “The game is the game.”

“We’re Not Having It.” The Final Throes of Curmudgeonly, Unlovable Anglo-Saxon Bloody-Mindedness.

When it comes, the referendum on Britain's place in the European Union is all too likely to be last gasp of Anglo-Saxon truculence. Polls may have the Leave camp ahead but in the end the UK will be staying in. Euroskepticism will shrivel to a rump, exulting petulantly in Europe's failures.

“You have to pick a team!” - the damaging effects of biphobia

Biphobia takes several forms. There are the stereotypes: bisexual people are greedy, indecisive, promiscuous, etc. Why any gay person would bolster another group’s stereotypes after decades. But then again, it’s not uncommon for the oppressed to mimic the behaviour of their oppressors.

5 Legal Issues You Always Wanted to Know About Brexit But Were Afraid to Ask

Before the referendum, there is much uncertainty in the air. Polls aside, both Remainers and Brexiteers should bear in mind the legal effects in case of Brexit. Referenda have often been used across the EU: the present one has the potential to cause shattering effects.

5 lessons We Can Learn From Financial Comedy ‘The Big Short’

with millions still feeling the crash’s crushing after-effects, The Big Short never loses grip on its tragic roots. It will leave you entertained, but also maddened, saddened and enlightened. Here are five of the most salient points worth taking away from it/

5 things this EU vote has taught us about referendums

Referendums can seem like the worst way to do democracy - an instrument that leaves as many dissatisfied as satisfied. But referendums are a democratic tool with positives and negatives. The quality of information and debate can vary enormously. We have seen this reflected more clearly than the EU referendum.

7 reasons why the French election is better than #GE2017 will ever be

Even though Britain has begun its Brexit general election campaign, it's worth tuning in to the far more exciting presidential election across the channel. As France begins first round voting, Alec Fullerton gives 7 reason why the French election beats its limey counterpart.

A Bad day to be Poor in Britain

The Conservative Party is completely unhindered by the (at times no more than symbolic) shackles of coalition is that this will be a country where those with the least means will be forced to give up an ever increasing share of what they have to get by in the name of fiscal rectitude.

A Dad's Anguish From A Touchline Somewhere in North London

But this is not the Emirates, Stamford Bridge or White Hart Lane. This is Market Road, London N7, and the game is between two teams of under-8 boys i.e. seven-year-olds, vying for victory. Games at this level are not officially competitive and no scores or scorers are recorded – but you could have fooled anyone walking idly past that this was not do-or-die football.

A Difficult Year for the Economy With More To Feel Uneasy About Ahead

What the past twelve months have revealed is how uncomfortable most investors feel when faced with geopolitical risks. To be sure, it had been difficult to ignore these risks ever since President George W Bush launched his ‘war on terror’ in 2001 but, it seems, international tensions have increased markedly since the early days of 2014 when turmoil erupted in Ukraine.

A Dispatch From Strasbourg: How The EU's TTIP Vote Collapsed

John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, was in Strasbourg recently along with other civil society representatives, to put pressure on MEPs to reject the trans-Atlantic trade agreement known as TTIP

A Growing Economy, A GOP Freak Show and emoiji-adorned snaps: Can Hillary Lose?

2016 is presidential election year. As Clinton Battles Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination and Donald Trump dominates the GOP contest, we cast our eye over the race.

A Joke or a Masterstroke? Cameron’s referendum concession is a bit of both

Cameron’s concession in allowing Eurosceptics to campaign for Brexit without resigning was inevitable not unforced. It had only become a question of when he made the announcement. Whether it was a tactical masterstroke or a joke only time will tell.

A Moment With Leonardo, And The Luvvies’ World Where Being Horrid Is Never Necessary

Luvvies who complain about BP £600,000 deal with the British Museum are lucky to be able to view the world in their black and white terms. Perhaps they don’t need BP’s products themselves. Perhaps they think we all walk to the theatre or the cinema. Perhaps they don’t fly to the premiers, the auditions and the sets.

A Parallel Universe in The Leafy North London Suburb of Highgate

Highgate Village’s notoriously bad traffic congestion is created by parents driving their kids to school because they can no longer afford to buy homes nearby.

A Political Outsider in Seattle Wants Tech Billionaires to Drive Social Change

John Roderick - alt-rock star with The Long Winters, journalist, bon vivant, raconteur - is deep into his campaign for a Seattle City Council seat.

A Post-Election Tonic to Lift the Spirits: Belle & Sebastian's 80s Grooves Storm Westminster

But tonight in Westminster Central Hall ‘The Boy With The Arab Strap’ flips a wryly happy, slightly twee finger at the odds and does exactly that.

A Prophetic Cry Against Rampant Materialism - R.H. Benson’s Lord of the World

Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World is unique among dystopian novels in being endorsed as prophetic, in the literal theological sense, by the world’s highest religious authority - with Pope Francis believing that his nightmarish vision was divinely inspired. At its heart it is a cry against rampant materialism.

A Remain Parliament Living in a Brexit World

Remain lost. Leave won. Yet the winning side does not have a true mandate except on where the people do not wish to be. Their win lacks genuine accountability. if “taking control” is to mean anything it is that our future must be tested in a general election.

A Short Story Called “Kreuzberg" About a Man, a Dog and a Situation

Gaunt frame mirrored in station glass, reflection rising and falling as his feet click gestures to the bitumen. The sinking sun sends down arrows of light that pierce the steel carapace of Kottbusser Tor - the slug-like building lit briefly incandescent. The light follows his tread into a glorious dusk that redlines the possibilities and as he walks he takes soft little mouths of air, traipsing through memories.

A Statement Against 'Othering': Exploring the Need for Somewhere to Call Home

Against the background of Brexit and the worsening migrant , telling a story together, as a group of artists from across Europe, couldn’t be more important. Phone Home is a statement against ‘othering’. A reminder that we are all part of one human family with a deep need to call somewhere home.

A Tale of Two Tories: Johnson and Osborne Battle Over Google’s Lax Tax Arrangements

Boris Johnson could have picked a number of enemies. However, he pointedly defended Google. It is the beginning of the Tory leadership race.

A Third Way for the Second City and Why Chicago Needs a Fusion Candidate

The 2015 Chicago mayoral election has invigorated the debate about Chicago’s future. Both candidates have paid the city the compliment of seeking the position from ostensibly higher levels of government, though Rahm Emanuel’s decision to turn his back on the Oval Office four years ago trumps Chuy Garcia’s recent desire to follow his experience in Cook County government with a municipal post.

Abolishing the Human Rights Act Is Not Going to Be Easy

The eradication of the Liberal Democrats as a major political force is already having some rather stark consequences – and one of them may be the end of the 1998 Human Rights Act.

Adventures in Streaming – How the Landscape of Popular Music Changed Beyond Recognition

Gone are the old days of music consumption. In decades past, you’d hear a song on the radio or in a nightclub and, if you liked it, you’d buy the record and listen at home. In 2016 from cassettes to streaming, from radio requests to Tidal, to what extent have these advances had a positive impact?

Advise and Consent? It’s Time the Left Determined to End This Parade of Political Patronage

The appointment of a ministerial team is perhaps the most tangible of a host of Crown powers which wielded by prime ministers both to personal and party political advantage. There is one way we can ensure better appointments, and that is to remove the prime minister’s power of patronage and give it to Parliament.

After Cameron’s Unmitigated Failure Few Will Be Sad to See Him Go

When British Prime Ministers get it wrong, they get it spectacularly wrong. Neville Chamberlin in Munich, Margaret Thatcher and the miners, Tony Blair and Iraq, and now David Cameron and Brexit. As the removal van arrives at Number 10 and Cameron packs his bags, his legacy leaves a bitter taste.

After the Attacks France Launches Its Response... But is it Legal?

The terrorist attacks on Paris and France's response to them, poses important questions for the future of international law.

After the Paris Massacre the Usual Playbook Begins the Long Haul

Military strikes against ISIS may be necessary but we still do not know what comes next.

After the Tragic Deaths at Fabric it's Time to Put Drug Safety Before Censure

Authorities need to acknowledge that many young people are going to experiment with drugs. Shutting down popular nightclubs actively making efforts to tackle drug use isn't the answer. Our approach to drugs education is putting the people it’s trying to protect in serious danger.

After this referendum can we find any Consolation in History?

The future is unknowable, but there’s a big difference between stepping into it cautiously, with a clear sense of possible risks and of our own limitations, and striding boldly into the darkness without checking that there’s a floor.

Against Expectations, Le Pen Didn’t Win. Macron Will Be the Next President of France

The results are in. Emmanuel Macron has won the first round of the French Presidential election and will face Marine Le Pen and her fiercely loyal Front National in the second round. The first results showed Macron winning by two points at 23.7%, closely followed by Le Pen at 21.7%.

All Told, Greece Regained Some Economic Sovereignty Last Week

If a week is a long time in politics, it is a geological age in the life of the modern financial markets and digital communications.

Amateurish Trump’s Healthcare Debacle Shows He Can’t Govern. Nor can the GOP

Trump's healthcare debacle means his presidency has got off to a disastrous start. Paul Ryan's failure to draft a workable bill means that Trump has been humiliated. It questions his ability to govern. But his party is just as incompetent.


Following strong post-referendum growth, the economics profession has a clear opportunity to make two vital points. The first is to echo that mea culpa and say that it was wrong to be so definite, but insist that by using billions of data points from the past it can make a pretty good estimate about the future.

An Olympic Legacy: 2012 Remains a Positive Example for the World

The British media have drawn negative comparisons between the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and London 2012. Hindered by the unexpected political and economic crises, it did well to pull off this summer’s massive undertaking. But how does the legacy left by the London Games really compare to other recent host cities?

An Unseemly Haste Behind 'English Votes for English Laws' Suggests Hidden Political Motives

For the first time there is an answer to the “English Question” being proposed: it is called English Votes for English Laws (EVEL).

Anxious on Instagram: The Socially Divisive, Sepia-Tinted Display of Cultural Assets

‘Friends’, ‘life’ and ‘sharing’ are nebulous concepts in the social media age: Instagram

Are the Bowies and Rickmans of Today Daring To Dream?

The deaths this month of David Bowie and Alan Rickman were saddening for a number of reasons. Both were cherished British icons and immensely talented men. But another worry is that these two men could well prove the last of their kind.

Arguing to excess: the rhetoric of the EU referendum

The EU referendum was always a risk for David Cameron, being premised on the expectation that the public would find a fair measure to pass judgement. Yet the tone of debate has hardly been balanced: exaggerated claims, exorbitant predictions, ad hominem insults, accusations and counter-accusations of ‘lies’ and ‘scaremongering’ have all been centre-stage.

Arrogance, Borders and Crocodiles: the ‘ABC’ of Northern Ireland’s Snap Election

Northern Ireland is going to the polls for the second time in less than a year. The DUP, brought down by the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal, will struggle to retain their dominance after so long in power. Parties are confronting the received wisdom of power-sparing after two decades.

Art: Paul Johnson Searches for the Soul

Paul Johnson is a London-based artist who describes his work as “fiction”.

Article 50 Editorial: “Taking Back Control” Now Becomes a Reality

When Theresa May triggers Article 50, it becomes the moment that Britain’s exit from the European is inevitable. It is also the moment that “taking back control” - the central premise of Vote Leave - becomes a reality. The reality is fraught with risk and very little control.

Arts Mashing by Chris Sallquist

Chris Sallquist Arts Mashing

As August Looms, Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

But if there is one thing we have learned since the onset of the global financial crisis is that August can be the cruellest month.

As Deflation Stalks the World Economy, Leaders Cling to Outdated Thinking

Central bankers were granted their political independence but they have abused the privilege, conducting experiments in a so far futile attempt to validate pet theories rather than consider broader economic welfare.

As Europe Closes Doors, A Grinding Arithmetic Pushes Greece to the Brink

In the two arduous months since Syriza won the Greek elections on a platform to renegotiate the country’s debt and end the austerity imposed from abroad, much noise has been generated but seemingly little has been achieved.

As The Primary Season Begins US Voters Are Rejecting The Status Quo

Potential presidential candidates have been on the stump since last summer. But the serious business of collecting delegates to the party conventions will only begin next week.

As Viewed From America: Article 50 and Brexit

Theresa May has triggered Article 50, starting the process that will lead to Britain's exit from the European Union. It is an enormous milestone. Disclaimer looks at reaction across America to the formal start of Brexit.

At last the US raises rates…but we don’t need to hurry

The US Federal Reserve effectively raised the cost of borrowing money for the first time in almost a decade. American businesses and households should be able to cope. But it is the impact on other countries that has seen the most intense debate.

At the Intersection of Anger and Ignorance, What Will Trump Do Now?

The states that mattered turned an angry, blood red with tiny urban islands of blue. Global trade is now at stake. Everything about his background suggests the concerns of the disenfranchised will take a back seat to the scores he’ll need to settle for those who counted him down and out.

Back from the dead: A new ILEA to give all kids the same opportunities

Schools need a body that can oversee the whole system and ensure that council, free and academy schools all respond in a similar way to the demands and needs of pupils. Something like that used to exist with the ILEA. Despite the many improvements in London’s schools in the last few decades, the ILEA’s noble aim of giving every child the same opportunities has been steadily eroded despite the introduction of the National Curriculum in 1988.

Bank Reforms May Not Be Enough to Prevent the Next Financial Crisis

It should be clear that enforcing higher capital requirements on banks is not likely to be a sufficient response to the kind of problems that arose in 2007-09. Then, there were banking institutions that incurred losses which, even had they held capital sufficient to meet the requirements that regulators now plan to impose, would still have rendered them insolvent several times over.

Banking’s swashbuckling days are behind it and that might be a good thing

Brexit offers both hazard and opportunity. A lot of European finance is all-but-certain to migrate to another EU city such as Frankfurt or Paris. Should we be desolate at this? Probably not. London’s creative history suggests something more inspiring and inclusive might grow in its place.

Banning Trump: May Exposes the Weakness of Brexit Britain

It was a visit May should never have made. It was an invitation that should never have been offered. John Bercow has spoken out against Donald Trump and the House of Commons will debate whether to withdraw the invitation. Desperate for new allies, May has exposed the weakness of Brexit Britain.

Behind The Freak Show Lunacy Trump Offers A Vague and Confused Foreign Policy

Since becoming the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has offered a more reassuring, if crudely expressed and confused, position. The question is, can we believe a word he says?

Bernie and Me: How is This Political Outsider Rocking the Washington Establishment?

When he was first elected thirty years ago few commentators thought this avowed socialist could deliver or get re-elected. Thirty years later he is taking on the ultimate Hillary Clinton for the US presidency.

Bernie and Michelle Offer a Panoramic View of an Inclusive, Optimistic View of America

At the Democratic National Convention Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders are products of the post-war booming economy where kids from poor working families could rise to the top of their profession by getting a good education, dedicating themselves to public service, and staying true to themselves.

Biopic, Political Drama and the Tragedy of Richard M Nixon

Whereas we often see politics in polarised terms, drama often relies on shades of grey. The rehabilitation he strove for after his resignation was only ever partial; in drama he achieves what real life denied him. The fictional Nixon thrives because he combines the potential for greatness with a capacity for self-destruction.

Black Lives Don’t Matter. Revelatory and Necessary, 13TH is a Wake-Up Call

In a year that has seen the rise of a xenophobic demagogue, and an escalation in the number of police shootings of unarmed black men, Ava DuVernay’s “13TH” is a film that has arrived right on time.

Black Milk, a Tender Short Story By Philip A. Suggars

New fiction by the talented writer Philip A. Suggars

Black Swans From Russia and How It Always Starts in Austria

From the banking halls of Vienna, to the austerity stricken streets of Athens, there is an eerie of air déjà vu over the development of relations between Russia and the West and fault lines that appeared covered may be starting to remerge. Events are rarely inevitable and history doesn’t always repeat itself, but there are lessons from the past that may serve us well today.

Bombs and hubris: The Case Against Syrian Air Strikes... And For

Following the vote in the House of Commons, Disclaimer looks at the arguments in favour of and against extending UK air strikes to Syria.

Book Review: "Doing Good Better" Makes A Good Case For Improved Foreign Aid

Undaunted, William MacAskill has attempted exactly this in ‘Doing Good Better’. Subtitled ‘A Radical New Way to Make a Difference’, it draws upon his work as co-founder of the Effective Altruism movemen

Book Review: Trapped, in The Museum of Cathy

Despite the wealth of symbolism, we occasionally wander into rom-com territory which feels out of place in a story that is, for the most part, unsettlingly perceptive. The Museum of Cathy hurts, in a lovely way, but ultimately you’ll be glad when you get to leave.

Bowie, Peake, Rhodes... On Heroes, Villains and Britishness

These last weeks have been a strange time to be British. There has been an intense public debate and media focus, not on the actions of our leaders but on the reputation of some of its more individual citizens.

Breturn: How the UK Could Re-join the European Union

What if Britain misses out on the economic, diplomatic, scientific and cultural benefits of an EU that overcomes its tribulations and thrives as a dynamic transnational entity? Then how appealing will rejoining be as an alternative to handling Clarkson’s proverbial excrement?

Brexit Britain From Abroad: Does May’s Opportunism Help Her Brexit Plan?

After Theresa May called an election that will be defined by leaving the European Union, she hopes to strengthen her negotiating hand with her part and the European Union. Disclaimer looks at reaction across the world to the Brexit general election.

Brexit Britain from Abroad: Negotiations Get Off to a Rocky Start

After Theresa May triggered Article 50 last week, the formal process for Brexit talks has begun. Disclaimer looks at reaction across the world to the start of Brexit negotiations.

Brexit Britain from Abroad: Reaction to Article 50

Theresa May has triggered Article 50, starting the process that will lead to Britain's exit from the European Union. It is an enormous milestone. Disclaimer looks at reaction across the world to the formal start of Brexit.

Brexit Britain from Abroad: UK is Still Seeking a New Role

After Theresa May triggered Article 50 two weeks ago , the formal process for Brexit talks has begun. Disclaimer looks at reaction across the world to the start of Brexit negotiations.

Brexit Is a vote to rejoin the rest of the world

A vote to leave the EU is not about nationalism. It's not about immigration. It's not about Little England. It's a vote to rejoin the rest of the world and leave behind a sclerotic, overweening and long obsolescent political construct, whose foundations are crumbling.

Brexit, Democratic Values and the Post-National World We Live In

The paradox of the EU referendum has been the greater the referendum’s significance the more defiant the voters came in asserting their identity. The other conflict is that we live both in an age where democracy is embedded into our consciousness but equally one of post-national globalisation.

Brexit, the End of Civilisation and the Changing, Unsettling International Order

For the Western political classes, nothing seems to have been going right recently. The economies over which they preside appear to have lost the buoyancy that had ensured growth. Brexit confirm that the world was changing in ways they had not previously envisaged

Britain Has Rarely Needed Them More. So Where Are The Big Ideas?

The middle ground in British politics looks increasingly empty. Brexit is a big idea born of small thinking. There has never been a more urgent need for fresh ideas and new thinking, instead Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are timidly stuck in their traditional positions.

Britain Leaving the EU Might Help Tame Its Financial Sector Leviathan

At a time when Greece’s chances of staying in the euro zone and possibly the EU have been a focus of concern in financial markets, the bookmakers’ odds on Brexit have been shortening

Britain needs a revolution in its approach to work, leisure and business

With lagging productivity, what is needed is nothing short of a revolution in our approach to work, leisure and business. The government has changed its attitude to corporate exploitation, the wage gap and employee representation on boards. Welcome innovations but still overly cautious and hardly a visionary approach.

Britain Should Concentrate More on Social Equality Than on Social Mobility

In recent years politicians from all the main parties have voiced concerns about the need for greater social mobility. They would be foolish to do otherwise given the weight of evidence showing the grip of private schools and Oxbridge has strengthened rather than weakened in the last few decades. The figures are well rehearsed but their familiarity does not mean they are not worth repeating. The law, media, politics, medicine and business all remain exclusive professions.

Britain’s Loss of Status on the Global Stage is Not Just Yet a Cause for Despair

Flea-bitten, broke and exhausted, the British lion is slinking inexorably off a global stage it once dominated. That’s the gist of numerous comments from foreign observers aghast at relentless defence cuts and the invisibility of foreign policy in Britain’s election campaign. The latest comes from the New York Times.

Britain's Political Values Will Change, One Tweet at a Time

It can swing any number of ways based on history and public opinion, but it can also be carefully shifted by those in power. Government clearly isn’t just about making policies. It also gives the opportunity to set society’s ideas.

Brussels attacks show Britain absolutely must remain in (or leave) the EU

Many undecided voters want remain and leave campaigners to bring them key facts about the European Union as a whole, and what staying in or leaving would mean for voters and more generally the British population.

Budget 2016: sweeteners today could taste bitter by polling day

The Chancellor has gone to great lengths ahead of the Budget and in the speech itself to blame the gloomy outlook on the downturn in the global economy and particularly on turbulence in financial markets and weak growth across the developed world.

Budget Editorial: Hammond’s Dogma Ignores the Stormy Present

A fall in deficit predictions and a temporary increase in growth masks the tempest that Brexit will bring. Philip Hammond's budget was unable to create a Brexit war chest, but he also ignored social care and the NHS. On so much he has done so little. Budget 2017 was an opportunity for radicalism missed.

Bye Bye Boris: Who’s Who in the Conservative Leadership Election

Nominations closed with a intervention by Michael Gove which not only declared his own intentions to run but also dished the chances of the long-time favourite Boris Johnson. Voting begins on Tuesday 5th July. The winner, to be announced on 9th September, will be Britain's next prime minister. So who are the candidates?

Bye Bye Kirchner. Time to Meet Argentina's New Boss.

From London's point of view the new President of Argentina has got to be better than the old one.

By-Election Reaction: May Triumphs, UKIP Flops And a Truly Awful Night for Labour

Labour held onto Stoke-on-Trent Central in a close fight against UKIP, but they lost Copeland decisively to the Tories. It was a bad night for UKIP but a truly awful one for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour. The only person smiling is Theresa May.

Caitlyn, Carol and Kim: 2015 in LGBT rights

2015 was also a notable year for positive, widespread integration of LGBT people and issues in culture. But it’s also important to remember, though, that countries like Britain are still a relative minority.

Calais migrants are not invading: they’re just a small part of a global refugee crisis

Much of the media coverage and political rhetoric of recent weeks has implied that the UK is undergoing an uncontrollable invasion by migrants attempting to jump on moving lorries in Calais.

Calling The Iraq War “Illegal” gets us precisely nowhere in avoiding the same mistakes

The Chilcot Report will do little to alter the opinions on either side. However, dismissing Blair as a “war criminal” is inaccurate and gets us nowhere in avoiding the same mistakes. The arguments against Iraq should rest on how it destabilised the region, and the unimaginable suffering it caused.

Cameron at Ten: Triumphant, Lucky and Curiously Unknowable

Disclaimer marks David Cameron's tenth anniversary as Conservative leader with a look at his successes and failures.

Cameron Has Just Pissed Off a Lot of Eurosceptics. That’s Why He’ll Win His Referendum

The 'Leave' camps are bogged down in process issues because there is no theme to their campaign. This is history and they are flunking it. Meanwhile Cameron has mapped out a potential pathway to victory.

Cameron must seize on a Bremain vote to get EU reform

A Brexit vote will probably consign the EU to a decade on internal strife and ultimately to its demise. This is why a Bremain vote must be seized upon as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the UK to drive through reforms that both Brexiteers and Bremainers alike desperately want.

Cameron’s EU Deal: The Deckchairs Have Been Shuffled, Now We Decide

As David Cameron secures his renegotiation, Disclaimer gives its verdict and looks at the referendum battle ahead.

Cameron’s European Strategy is Unrealistic and Very, Very Dangerous

We all know the drill on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. If David Cameron manages to scrape home a second term as prime minister, he will start a two-year negotiation to get better terms for the UK.

Cameron's Focus on Benefits Tourists Is Muddled And Unlikely to Work

The storm over Britain’s membership of the European Union has all but arrived. Predictably, given the Conservative majority, David Cameron has committed to an in/out referendum to be held before the end of 2017. Eurosceptic MPs, openly anti-EU parties and tabloids are beginning to swirl like so many dark clouds, pushing for a British exit.

Can Greece Really Be Kicked Out of the Euro?

can a hypothetical Grexit decision adopted by the EU institutions be legally challenged?

Can Labour Cling on in Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent Central?

Labour faces two important by-election in Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent Central. That defeat is even conceivable shows how dire the party's position is. Yet, win or lose, with no natural successor Jeremy Corbyn is safe.

Can the European Parliament save us from TTIP?

The European Parliament descended into chaos on June 9 when President Martin Schulz told members he was postponing a vote and debate on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Can theatre provide the wake-up call for complacency that our media fails to?

A grandmother was recently photographed giving a Nazi salute at a rally for Donald Trump, the fascist figure and potent role model for bigots, the powerful and extremely wealthy businessman whose inexplicable rise towards the US presidency is detailed in all its horror to us on a rolling 24/7 basis. But it couldn’t happen here! Not in the UK. Right? Could it?

Challenging the Power of the State: How the Left Can Create A Progressive Union

Theresa May's Brexit policy has made a compelling case for Scottish independence. Nicola Sturgeon may well help break up the United Kingdom. To stop this, the left must end its constitutional failure and propose a radical, decentralised state. Nothing short of a new model Britain will do.

China’s Information Clampdown is Wrong. So is the Way We Think About It

China. Freedom of Speech. Cultural Differences. Media. Freedom of Speech.

China’s Quiet Challenge to the US And Its Dollar-Based Hegemony

Some would blame the loss of power and prestige on President Barack Obama’s uncertain handling of foreign policy. That does not seem entirely fair. It is not difficult to think of other US leaders who, if they had been occupying the White House in Mr Obama’s stead, might have guided the ship of state into even more dangerous waters.

China's Number One Objective is to Avoid Disorder, Whatever the Cost

When disorder breaks out in China, things turn very nasty indeed. It is best, therefore, to avoid disorder at almost any cost. Currency Devaluation. Shadow Banking. Bad Loans

Citizens of the World, the Power of the Tribe And Why Things Are the Way They Are

At the heart of cosmopolitanism is the idea of mutual respect, even obligations, between people and groups despite their different backgrounds. There is an undeniable logic: a universal morality that goes beyond the artificial boundaries of the nation-state.

Class pervades the way migrants are viewed in Britain

While discussions about immigration in Britain used to be focused on issues of race, much of the current debate hinges on social class. The “problem” - particularly of migration of European citizens to the UK - is often portrayed as being the migration of the less well-off.

Clear Our Roads of Cars and Make Way for More Guys in Lycra

Before the rise of the motorcar roads were shared between all users – walkers, carts, horses, buses, bicycles as well as the occasional car. The car was the odd one out. This demotion of the car to being just another road user is the secret of cities such as Helsinki, Amsterdam and Rotterdam just as much as the money spent on infrastructure. It’s time London did the same.

clive lewis for labour leader: a democratic socialist who can take charge

Corbyn is a poorly polling leader and there is overwhelming antagonism against him from the PLP. How many Labour MPs would be more sympathetic to the policies and values he stands for, if they were represented by a more convincing figurehead? Clive Lewis could seize the torch of the Corbyn movement.

Coalitions in All But Name, Both Parties Should Embrace PR

All parties are already coalitions in all but name whose wings have been growing apart. People do not get what they voted for. FPTP no longer even provides stable government. The solution is to provide people with what they want, choice.

Confessions of a Small 'c' Conservative And How We Save the NHS

And, for all the criticism leveled at it, especially by outsiders, the NHS retains a vast swathe of public support, across all parties. Just as no one on the left seriously expects the abolition of the monarchy, no one on the right thinks Britain’s great socialist healthcare edifice is ever going to go away

Confessions of a Vulnerable Nerd at the Biggest Show on Earth

¨Welcome to the Edinburgh Fringe,¨says my actor friend. ¨The largest gathering of vulnerable nerds in the world.¨ That's awfully cynical, I think, trying to block out his bad vibes This is my first time here.

Conservatives should stop holding their nose and regain a passion for the European project

The Conservative party has to regain its vision for Europe even if it cannot fully harness its former love and passion for the project. A new acceptance will certainly not be bad for Britain’s interest.

COP21: If Paris really was a success the world will truly look very different

The COP21 agreement is not perfect and won't guarantee a cap on the rise in temperature of 2 °C or less. But the summit has sent a clear signal that the world are treating climate change seriously.

Corb-limey! One Hundred Days of Jeremy Corbyn

One hundred days after his sensational and unexpected victory in the Labour leadership election, Jeremy Corbyn celebrates 100 days as leader, and we give our verdict.

Corbyn May Never Win Office But He Has the Power to Reshape Britain's Politics

Jeremy Corbyn has an overwhelming mandate from his party to ask the questions that many of his parliamentary colleagues have so far been too timid to ask.

Corbyn Must Look to the Tories in Order to Sell His Message to Voters

Corbyn’s first challenge will be to show an election-winning coalition of voters why he is no loony. This will be difficult.

Corbyn versus Smith: What is Labour’s Purpose?

As Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith slog it out for the Labour leadership, Disclaimer gives its verdict and looks at the problems and battles ahead. Can Owen Smith win? What happens if Jeremy Corbyn wins re-election? What is Labour's purpose?

Corbyn versus Smith: What is Labour's future?

As Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith slog it out for the Labour leadership, Disclaimer gives its verdict and looks at the problems and battles ahead. Can Owen Smith win? What happens if Jeremy Corbyn wins re-election? What is Labour's future?

Corbyn, Brexit and Trump: Where Does Political Hyperbole Take Us?

We bandy about terms such as liar and charges of extremism so readily that they have become meaningless. It is opportunistic and easy but ultimately self-defeating. Hyperbole. Where does it get you?

Corbyn, The Peril of Principles And The Start of Labour's Wilderness Years

So this is what the wilderness looks like. On Sunday 12th September Labour will become unelectable as members, affiliates, registered supporters choose the least experienced, least popular, least plausible candidate as leader. We are in unprecedented territory.

Corbyn: The Best of A Bad Bunch, Who Won't Do Enough to Win an Election

It is with a gut-wrenching sense of unease that this magazine welcomes the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party. The enthusiasm his leadership campaign mustered has been remarkable but that unease stems from the very basic and often-asked question: can this man win an election?

Corbynism changes the political centre - but can it convert it?

Whatever happens this summer, the Labour leader leaves a major legacy. Most notable is the long term leftwards shift in Labour’s centre of gravity. Corbynism has unleashed political opportunities it cannot contain. The left can’t let the New Tories be to Corbyn what New Labour was to Thatcher.

Corbyn's PMQs Gimmick Misses The Point of What Parliament is For

Faced with his first Prime Minister’s Questions as leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corby was not going to ask his own questions, or his party’s questions. No. The very idea. He was going to ask The People’s Questions.

Could Abolishing the Stamp Duty Solve the UK Housing Affordability Crisis?

There is convincing evidence for the UK, the US or Canada, that land transfer taxes - such as the SDLT - do reduce household mobility very substantially. But to date little is known about whether land transfer taxes mainly distort housing-related or job-related moves.

Could It Be That The High-Water Mark of Free Trade Has Passed?

There are factors that might explain the slowdown in world trade in the post-crisis era that are not at all cyclical in nature. It is not unreasonable to suppose that globalisation had already reached a mature phase before the financial markets erupted in turmoil.

Council Houses Offer Security and Help. It’s Time To End the Stigma

There is no shame in living on a council estate; there’s nothing abnormal about being proud of your council home. Politicians who think we should all desire to own our homes are attempting to sell us the dream of aspiration; both the Tories and Labour make great capital out of “affordable housing”, but the term is a misnomer.

Create Your Own System by Stephen J Mcauliffe

Political poetry by Stephen J Mcauliffe

Cutting Tax Credits Will Throw People Off the ‘Welfare Merry-Go-Round’ Without Providing a Crash Mat

Cameron pledged to put a stop to the ‘welfare merry-go-round’ that sees low earners paying taxes only to receive the money back in tax credits.

Dan Jarvis is Right and Brave: MPs are not Party Delegates

Party democracy is just mob rule dressed up because it suits a transient purpose. The lack of ‘demos’ makes party democracy a self-defeating contradiction: MPs should not become delegates to party members but seek to represent all their consituents.

Daniela Raytchev: The Scars of Addiction in a Million Colours

Artist Daniela Raytchev Tackles Addiction

Dark Clouds Are Gathering Over this Authoritarian, Conformist Tory Party

It was resentment at Tony Blair's over-controlling style of politics and the disenfranchisement of the Labour membership that fuelled the Corbynistas. The arrival of Corbyn leaves David Cameron’s Conservatives as the last major party wedded to Enver Hoxha-style authoritarianism. And, in the end, it will be to their detriment.

Dark Underwater Currents Explain The Recent Turbulence Of The Greek Crisis

The unholy alliance of interests seeking to topple syriza in greece.

Daydreaming About Being Green: If not You, Who?

What is it like to debate with a neighbour who shares so many similarities with you but is actually the political polar opposite.

Deal or No Deal With Greece, Europe Needs a Debt Conference

The Truth Committee on Public Debt an independent committee of experts has published its preliminary report. The report provides evidence that the Greek debt is largely illegal, illegitimate, and odious.

Deep-Rooted Vested Interests are to Blame For Our Housing Crisis

Britain's sclerotic planning system, kept in place by a political class fearful of taking on the vested interests of NYMBY homeowners, means we now build about a third of the homes that we did in the late 1960s. House building has been in free fall for almost half a century because we have a system that does not allow the supply of homes to increase, no matter how high prices rise.

Defying Labels and Distinctions: Gee Vaucher and the Aesthetics of Anger

Gee Vaucher’s fifty-year career has been a steady progression of outrage. Her latest exhibition showcases her reaction to turmoil and uncertainty, providing a radical, anarchic-punk narrative and helping us make sense of the world as it exists.

Defying the Law and Reason, Trump Begins His American Nightmare

After his election many said we should take Trump seriously but not literally. His first week, unfortunately, demonstrates that Trump must be taken both seriously and literally. His Executive Order on immigration and refugees is illegal, unconstitutional and irrational. Opposition must combine morality with empiricism.

Detective Fiction on Acid. Remembering ‘The Great Gladys’ Mitchell.

The long neglect of Gladys Mitchell, a relic of the fabled Golden Age of Detective Fiction, has often puzzled. Celebrated as a daring and inventive author in her lifetime she was even given the epithet 'The Great Gladys' by Philip Larkin she was the prolific progenitor of some 86 full detective novels. But how many of you have read any of her works?

Dishonest, Intolerant, Hypocritical: Brexiteers Are Trying to Stifle Debate

The front pages of the right-wing papers have often represented the lowest points of British discourse, but so many recent headlines have demonstrated just how far the bar has fallen in their attempts to seize the voice of the public in the wake of the Brexit vote and the refugee crisis. It is blatant hypocrisy.

Ditching Corbyn Does Not Mean Ditching Corbynism

Labour under Jeremy Corbyn cannot win a general election. His polls ratings are bad and the loss of the Copeland by-election was devastating. His legacy can either be a surging mass movement or a humiliating election defeat to Theresa May's Tories.

Do we need a pro or an anti-Thatcher museum? What about both?

Museums carry the great truths of our world. Which makes it a little tricky if your plan is to build a museum about one of Britain’s most opinion-splitting leaders. It returns us to that thorny question: how should history handle the legacy of Margaret Thatcher?

Donald Trump Can’t Win? Look to the ‘Rustbelt Brexit’ States

The self-described socialist and progressive filmmaker Michael Moore is one of the most influential leftist political commentators in the United States. So Moore’s prediction, that Donald Trump will win the presidential election, does not make pleasant listening for most of his viewers.

Donald Trump, The Scorched-Earth Candidate Who is Realigning American Politics

By rejecting the Republican Party’s traditional prescriptions, and by cheering Trump’s hatred of foreigners and hostility towards free trade, Trump’s supporters are willing to scorch the earth to clear away what remains of that faith. They prefer to see what sprouts when the smoke clears.

Donald trumping all in the Republican race is only possible thanks to an undemocratic system

Many people question how Trump’s rise is possible. But it has been in the making for almost half a century. And it provides people around the world with a great opportunity to understand how not to destroy their political system. The problem is not so much Trump; it is the primary system he is masterfully exploiting.

Don't Waste Time on a Clown - End the Ills That Got Trump Into the White House

Donald Trump just a pantomime villain with an arsenal of vile epithets and put-downs but saying that his election is the end of the world is simply diverting attention away from the failures of the current political, business and wealth-owning elites across the developed world that have allowed people like him to win power.

Down But Not Out: Why Indy’s Print Demise Doesn’t Presage The Death of Newspapers

Earnest predictions of the death of the book, the death of television, the death of the cinema and the death of the theatre have all proved to be wide of the mark. Despite The Independent's digital-only relaunch, a thirst for quality news will keep the print media alive.

Drone Strikes, The Law of War and the Changing Nature of Imminence

The conduct of our armed services is governed by two legal frameworks: the law of war and international human rights law. The Joint Committee on Human Rights’ recent report on targeted killing makes clear the law of war only applies in defined circumstances. After the death of Reyaad Khan, at the very least the government has questions to answer.

Easter Fiction: THE REPENTANT SICARII (Part Two)

A short story in two parts by Paul Sharville.

Easter Rising Centenary: The Ambiguous Heroes Who Found Meaning in Irish Identity

The 1916 Rising is a key moment in Irish nationalist history, but its significance isn’t limited to Ireland. At a moment when the spectre of domestic or home-grown terrorism haunts our public discourse, it’s worth remembering the Irish nationalists who came from England.

Economics 101: The Deficit that Neither Tories nor Labour are talking about

The UK has an overdraft which is running at almost £98 billion. That’s because there is more money leaving our shores and then there is flowing into Britain. Economists refer to this as the current account deficit.

Economy: Fix the Housing Market & Save 96% of the Green belt — Win/Win, Right?

We've known for a long time that enough houses aren't being built in the UK and that this is the main reason why house prices are so out of step with what most people earn.

ECONOMY: These Squatters Don’t Have Dreadlocks — Surviving Spain’s Housing Crash

Squatting in Spain has become a reality, not just for those pursuing some youthful ideal or subversive lifestyle, but for people like Maria, married couples, and families, with no other recourse.

Edinburgh Fringe: From Bloody Mary to Maggie - The Best Political and Historical Drama

If you think of the Edinburgh Fringe, comedy shows and big drama productions come to mind. However, if you are a politics and history geek then the fringe is the place for you, with a myriad of shows to cater to your every desire.

EU Vox Pop: Workers' Rights, The Big Picture But Pressure on Schools and Hospitals

With the EU referendum less than a month away, Disclaimer begins looking at the opinions of those who are actually going to make the decision - the voters.

EU Vox Pops: the Romanticism of Brexit or the Perils of Nationalism?

With the EU referendum less than a month away, Disclaimer continues looking at the opinions of those who are actually going to make the decision - the voters.

EU Vox Pops: Through the Eyes of Generation Zero Hours

In the arduous run-up to the EU referendum, we’ve been given pros and cons for every perspective. Right or left-wing, baby-boomer or millennial, working class or business class, every socioeconomic subgroup has been offered tailored arguments as to why they’d be better off in or out of the EU. So Harry Mason decided to ask his colleagues.

Europe, Resist! Trump’s Poisonous Politics Need Not Infect Us All

Nationalism is threatening the European consensus of openness and inclusiveness. Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen build support but so do centre-left Martin Schulz and Emmanuel Macron. Distrust of establishments grows, but the populism of Donald Trump is not the only way to win.

Europe’s credit log-jam threatens to starve Greece

The biggest failure in the European Monetary Union is not that of the Greek government, but of the founding fathers of that Union who thought that consumer price stability was all that's needed to manage the economy.

Europe's Low Wage Policies Are Counter-Productive and Lead To Stagnating Economies

Policies of wage moderation are counter-productive and lead to stagnation of economic growth. Keeping wages low also increases the risk of deflation and, in some countries, destabilises the economy by stimulating debt while in others it creates excessive reliance on exports.

Everywhere You Turn, Nationalisation is Back on The Cards

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership victory has helped to push state ownership back to the forefront of public policy debate in the UK. His belief in public ownership in the banking sector has stoked the question of whether it could play a vital role in funding infrastructure projects and innovation in the manufacturing sector.

Exarcheia, the Corner of Athens Where There is Little Appetite for a Deal

Being in Exarcheia gives a sense of the feeling among the grass roots Syriza and sheds light on why it has been so hard for government negotiators and international lenders to agree a deal after more than five months of negotiations.

Facts or Alternative Facts? Trump Attacks Sweden’s Open-Door Immigration Policy

During a rally Donald Trump made reference to an ‘incident’ that happened ‘last night in Sweden’. The picture he paints of a country with "no go" areas, governed by Sharia Law and police cover ups of rape incidents is misleading. Surely Sweden should be applauded for its humane immigration policy?

Fear and Division Are All Trump's Republicans Offer Voters

A newcomer who tuned into the coverage of the Republican National Convention couldn’t be faulted for buying a gun the morning after. According to a list of speakers, most unknown to a wide audience, America is at war, and the possibility of a radical Islamic terrorist breaking down the door to kill you is imminent.

Fear of mental illness as destructive and terminal is massively distorting

Mental health is serious, and potentially devastating, but it’s also on a spectrum. Cataloguing all mental illness as debilitating destructive and terminal is massively distorting something that is prevalent, treatable and preventable.

Fickle or Cynical, Is May Cutting and Running Before Economic Turbulence?

Parliament has confirmed that there will be a general election. Theresa May is now looking for her own Brexit mandate. May's cynical election, debates and economic turbulence: Disclaimer writers give their reaction.

FICTION: "El Desheredado,” a Short Story By Daniel Crockett

On rare days the sun would reach into the suite on the 33rd floor, beating city dirt and the protective shroud of many curtains to cast around inside the room. The windows were a risk, but he had to keep them open for the bird. The danger of open access to his interior world was obvious. On this particular day a diffuse patch of light had cheated the curtains, dived through the makeshift lattice of drapes and shawls and lit up the face of the man.

FICTION: Beak 666, A Short Story About The Waning of Power -- By Daniel Crockett

'Just be careful which side of the fence you walk.' Anich said, voice dripping authority and veiled threat. They bowed their heads, went back to their increasingly meagre looking roosts. For Winston, the shift in power had been impending for some time.

FICTION: The Statue, a short story about boyhood

So that was how it ended. With a turned back and swallowed tears and a tiny no-longer-beating heart.

Film Review: "The Look of Silence" Explores the Still Raw Tragedy of Indonesia's Civil War

With The Look of Silence, director Joshua Oppenheimer redresses that balance, following one mild-mannered optometrist as he confronts the men who brutally killed his brother

Film Review: One­ take wonder "Victoria" will take you on a thrill ride around Berlin

With the film calendar of 2016 so far being mostly populated by sequels, reboots, remakes, and superheroes punching each other, it is a breath of fresh air to see a film that reminds us of what is truly great about cinema: an innovative, thrilling, captivating and character­driven story that comes from (and speaks to) the heart. ​

Film Review: Östlund’s 'Force Majeure' Takes Pleasure in Making us Squirm

Force Majeure, the film that won Swedish writer-director Ruben Östlund the Cannes Jury Prize last year, is a blackly comic dissection of threatened masculinity that somehow manages to be reminiscent of both Dogme 95 films like Festen and of David Lynch’s cold, strangely formal gaze.

Film Review: Strickland’s 'The Duke Of Burgundy' is More Than A 70s Softcore Pastiche

There’s been much talk of filthiness and prurience surrounding The Duke of Burgundy, Peter Strickland’s third feature - which is hardly surprising for a film about a dominant/submissive lesbian relationship that features (much has been made of this, though it never appears on-screen) an arcane sexual device called the human toilet.

Film Review: The Devastatingly Sad Story of "Amy"

"Amy," by contrast, never tries to fetishize Winehouse, or paint her as some preternaturally-gifted superhuman. Director Asif Kapadia (known for the BAFTA-winning Senna)

Film Review: two directors and the worst, but also the very best, of humankind

2016 is still young but The Revenant and Room are sure to be among the year's finest cinematic achievements. Both are overwhelming experiences, and offer a singularity of vision that is little short of breath-taking.

Five myths about Europe that need busting before the British general election

When British voters are told the choice is a simple in/out decision, they are being lied to. There will be multiple options on the table if the UK votes to exit. And to understand the implications of these, it is important to understand what being in the EU means for the UK. There are a number of myths circulating about what membership of the EU really means and what would happen if the UK were to leave. Before the UK heads to the polls, we need to bust them.

Flat Taxes and a Privatised NHS: Ruthlessly Right-Wing UKIP Doesn’t Care About the Poor

Their policies would hurt the most vulnerable but UKIP is now positioning itself as the challenger to Labour in its heartlands. Paul Nuttall is standing in the Stoke-on-Trent by-election and he might pull of a victory. Labour needs to fight them off to secure any future in Brexit Britain.

Floundering Corbyn is Drowning and Sinking Labour With Him

In a week when the government has come under heavy fire for its mismanagement of the NHS, Corbyn managed u-turn twice in one day over a wage cap, while offending both Brexiteers and Remainers with his muddled stance on free movement. His tactic of aping Trump is revealingly insulting.

for generations ‘Europe’ has failed to make the case for British membership

The European project has always lacked a great unifying figure, a philosopher king who could sell it across the continent. And that, when we look back, really ought to have been a warning. Where is the European Union's Churchill? Where is its Lincoln? Is there really no one of charisma and intellect who can flog this thing?

Forget battles and bravado. The secret to Game of Thrones' success is its women.

Ask a random stranger to describe Game of Thrones and there’s several answers you might receive. Some might tell you it’s an award-winning television show based on George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novels. Some might tell you it’s the biggest cultural phenomenon of recent years. Many will respond, however, with three simple words: death and boobs.

Four Dollar Empress: A Heart-Rending Short Story by Daniel Crockett

New short fiction by Daniel Crockett

Free Your Mind. Vote for What You Believe In and Don’t Let Cod Economics Cloud Your Judgement

Politicians tell us that elections are about the economy. Incumbents ask us to judge them on their record, challengers on promises that they will make things better. Our decisions are generally political rather than economic. And when economics does have a bearing on the choices, the room for manoeuvre from any government tends to be fairly limited.

Freedom and Choice in the 'Uberised' World In Which We Live

We all make choices, usually driven by the facility to get things more immediately, more conveniently, more cheaply, more comprehensively than we could otherwise. Whether that’s a shiny new toy from Amazon, a piece of information from Google, a ride from Uber, an obscure track from Bandcamp.

Freedom of Speech Must Be Protected in The Face of Creeping Absolutism

we are moving towards an age of absolutism, where equality - wherever it is applied - must be achieved at the expense of everything else including, regrettably, the freedom of expression

Freelance Britain: Bending Over Backwards in the Name of Flexibility

I am self-employed and this is how many of us work these days. And while I am neither looking for sympathy nor hoping for a medal it is worth highlighting that, even in sickness, we freelancers have to keep going when the work is there. It is now becoming a social and economic issue given the dramatic rise in the number of freelancers in recent years.

From ‘The Donald’ to ‘The Demagogue’ – How Trump Employs the Pro-Wrestling Playbook

One of the key aspects of pro wrestling is gimmicks, the term for pro-wrestlers’ characters, used to project a façade to audiences. We generally describe something as gimmicky. Gimmicky also refers to the disingenuous and devious, however. Like Donald Trump.

From a Quiet Corner in South London, Be Dazzled and Moved by the Magic of Stephen Wright's "House of Dreams"

Stephen Wright House of Dreams Museum

From East to West: Mixed Reaction to Trump’s Air Strikes

President Donald Trump launched the first missiles strike by the United States on Syrian territory, following Assad's suspected use of chemical weapons on his own citizens. Disclaimer looks at the reaction from around the world to

From Gnomes to Rent Boys – Cinematic Re-Imaginings of Shakespeare

One of the reasons for Shakespeare’s enduring popularity, however, is that his plays aren’t fixed, unchangeable works. Over the years, they’ve been templates for artists of all shades to explore a multitude of themes and styles. Nowhere is Shakespeare’s ripeness for re-interpretation more evident than on film.

From Protest to Power: How Spain's Social Movements Are Using Democracy to Bring Change

In little over a week, activist Ada Colau, a woman with no prior political experience, will become the mayor of Spain’s second largest city.

From Seoul, Bitterness, Anger and Frustration in Xooang Choi's Ultra-Realist Sculpture

Xooang Choi, Hyper Realist Art, Sculture, Seoul

From the City Hall Necronomicon

A short story by Russell McAlpine

From the Novel: The Gift of Looking Closely

Even now, I can feel myself disappearing. There was a time when I checked every day, studied the pale skin inside my wrists and elbows, imagined the flesh of my arms turned transparent, the blue veins running clear. Years later, I know the disappearing is more subtle than that, but I can’t stop it. Not by myself.

George Osborne: The Pantomime Villain Who Is Now Looking for Love

When George Osborne delivers his Budget on Wednesday he will do so from a position of unassailable strength.

Grammar Schools Fail the Poorest. Nostalgia is the Only Reason to Bring Them Back.

Grammar schools will add to the discrimination that still exists in the education system. They should not be brought back,

Grammars and Faith Schools: Theresa May’s Divisive Education Revolution

There were some interesting points to Theresa May's speech on education. Then she went and spoiled it all by promising greater selection and a return to academic selection. She risks defeat but is a sign of our backwards debate about education policy.

Grassroots protests are great, but Labour needs to up its game

People protesting against the Housing Bill have launched their own perfect imitation of London’s Evening Standard newspaper to get the message of their opposition out to the electorate. It could be a sign that the official opposition to the Conservative administration is asleep on the job or it could simply the inevitable result of innovation in social media.

Greece Can Be Saved By the Dark Arts of Investment Banking

The Greek government’s eleventh-hour payment of €750 million to the International Monetary Fund on the 11 May illustrates the brinkmanship and grand-standing of national electorates that are making the drama of debt negotiations into a crisis.

Greece Has Spoken. It's Now In Europe's Own Interest To Listen

What the overwhelming victory by the “No” camp tells us is not that Greeks are just against against fiscal austerity, privatisations and increasing erosion of workers’ rights, but that they are prepared to suffer the consequences of living without the support of their European partners.

Greece, debt relief, philosophy and…cricket

Since it first emerged almost six years ago that Greek politicians had committed financial jiggery-pokery that had left their proud country on the brink of default, the response of the rest of Europe has been clear: the Greeks must pay for the consequences through austerity.

Hannah Habibi challenges our projections of identity

Hannah Habibi Hopkins challenges our projections of identity, undermining preconceived notions of what it is to be a Muslim woman.

Harris Wofford's Same-Sex Marriage and the Diversity of Romance

Romance and sexuality are much more complex and variable experiences than any one-dimensional label. This is just as relevant to a 90-year-old widow marrying his male companion and indigenous peoples restoring their cultural identities, as it is to any Western genderfluid or pansexual millennial.

Has cinema’s obsession with blockbusters reached crisis point?

For devoted movie-goers, it’s tempting to roll our eyes at another needless sequel or big budget franchise being pumped through our multiplexes. technological advances and the opening up of global markets mean big films feel bigger than ever. a few more years of superhero-stuffed cinemas isn’t necessarily a terrible thing.

Hate Trumped Love. Now Liberals Must Fight for Democratic Reason

The election of Donald Trump has left progressives baffled. Much of the debate within the left will focus on Hillary Clinton's policy platform. But the left must begin a wider debate that defends rationalism and empiricism as democratic virtues. Bigotry must be branded for what it is: anti-democratic.

He has Failed on Every Count. It’s Time to Dispel The Corbyn Myth

Division, recrimination and fragmentation have paralysed Labour since the UK voted to leave the EU last week. The UK now needs a unifying, dynamic and effective left of centre leader who can reunify our fragmented politics. Jeremy Corbyn is not that leader.

Heads We Lose, Tails They Win: a Short Guide to Leaving The European Union

According to the old music-hall song, ‘everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die’. The same is true of the British government that has now found itself accidentally (because it happened without any of the usual policy-making preliminaries that are supposed to serve as a check) committed to Brexit.

Here’s what we know about Labour’s £3 supporters – and whether they’ll pay £25 to help Corbyn again

Forces on both sides of the debate are apparently trying to make the most of the 48-hour window within which anyone can register as a Labour supporter. Both pro and anti-Corbyn campaigners are hitting the phones and the streets, either to get the current leader out, or keep him in.

Hilary Benn Has Shown Us the Beauty of Democracy and a Future for Labour

The Shadow Foreign Secretary’s speech was electrifying. He was respectful, persuasive, brave. In fifteen minutes Hilary Benn broke the monopoly the Corbynistas have held on idealism.

History Suggests George Osborne Won't Be Prime Minister

The last favourite to become Tory leader (and prime minister) was Anthony Eden in 1955. So George Osborne may dominate the 2015 Conservative Party Conference but it doesn't mean he will be the UK's next prime minister

History, Changing Prisms and the absurdity of Rhodes Must Fall

Facts do not change but the way we look at them does. RMF is not interested in the better angels of Cecil's nature, for Cecil was a racist. It's also rather easier to look back and ask why Rhodes and his ilk were honoured for pillaging a continent then than to look at the present and ask why that pillaging still goes on now.

Hollywood’s sexist appetite for rise-and-fall narratives of its ‘starlets’ is unlikely to vanish

Female actors may struggle to find as many complex roles as their male counterparts (particularly if they’re over 40 or of colour), but since the earliest days of Hollywood they’ve faced a much higher level of scrutiny.

House of Cards Review: a Return to Form but That Form Is Not as Good as It Thinks It Is

Season Four and Frank Underwood bounced back. The trouble remains that House of Cards is neither satire or black humour; it still does not have genuine sophistication. House of Cards yearns to be a serious look at politics; rather good television but it sees itself as more than that.

How a ‘tax haven’ Brexit threatens the UK’s social model

The threat that Britain might soon become a “corporate tax haven” revealed a truth about Brexit. This is not just a decision about the UK’s relationship with the European Union; it is also about what kind of economic and social model the UK will have in the future.

How Christian cinema became a new frontier in the battle for America's soul

Christian art has, consequently, become much more niche. In particular, this has given rise to a peculiar sub-genre of devout, defiant Christian cinema. Unlike classic epics of the Ten Commandments and Samson & Delilah ilk, which innocuously traded off the inherent drama and bombast of the Bible, these films are more evangelical, even dogmatic, in nature.

How Germany’s Far Right Could Go Mainstream

AfD blends conservative, mildly-eurosceptic, and market-liberal ideas and shuns more traditional forms of German right-wing populism, avoiding references to post-war borders, the holocaust, or many of the other terms associated with Germany’s traditional extreme right. This is a very unusual and significant development for parties on the far right in Germany.

How to enjoy Shakespeare responsibly (Including managing a rowdy crowd and knowing when to stop)

“Has anyone ever been sick on stage?” “What do you do if they pass out before the show?” “I heard someone died .” When you tell people you’re a member of the Shitfaced Shakespeare company, you can be sure that the conversation is going to veer away from inane small talk fairly quickly. They want the good stuff.

HSBC’s Relocation Threat is Comical and it isn’t Going to Happen

News that HSBC is considering whether or not it wants to remain headquartered in London has sent predictable shockwaves through the UK media, no doubt to the great satisfaction of those in the big corner offices in Canary Wharf.

I, Claudius: An Epic that Changed Television

The 1976 production of Robert Graves' historical novels about the life of the emperor Claudius almost became an embarrassing flop. Instead when it first aired it gain a large audience, several BAFTAs and became iconic much-loved television. A study of power, it was revolutionary and daring television and has a claim to be one of the most influential programmes ever made.

Identity, Idealisation and Love: Defining Mary Renault

There is a seeming paradox about novelist Mary Renault. The truism that novelists write about what they know is both true and false. As someone who wrote historical fiction this is obvious. It is also true of all writers to an extent. But the paradox seems to go further

If Debt is the Problem, Easy Credit Won't Fix the World Economy

After seven years of trying and failing to restore the economy to a state as they themselves might recognise as normal, some central bankers might have been expected by now to be questioning whether the problems of the global economy are, indeed, primarily monetary.

If the right-wing press need to attack McDonnell, he must be onto something

A higher minimum wage; billions of borrowing to fund infrastructure; opposition to the transatlantic trade deal; initiatives to ease the plight of those left behind by globalisation. McDonnell seems halfway there with a string of initiatives aimed at reaching out to voters.

If There is Hope, it Lies in the Unions

Whereas unions once grounded Labour in working-class realism, its modern leaders have become the chief enablers of Jeremy Corbyn's politics. This change reflects their emasculation. If Labour is ever to be electable in the future, the unions must regain their historic role of keeping the cranks in check.

If We Can't Have a Durable Recovery at this Price, Can We Have One at All?

It’s time for every finance minister and central bank chief in every major economy to stop what they are doing, right now and head back to Bretton Woods. There the last international monetary settlement was born. We need another one.

If We Realise Our Technological Power We Can Reclaim Democracy

Revolutionary technological innovations have historically undermined ruling interests. Reclaiming democracy relies on realising our technological power. We are all using our cellphones right now unaware of the power we have in our hands.

Ignore the fine print, the Tories are looking to shrink the state

Forget the general election manifesto, today’s Autumn Statement that covers the four years from April 2016 almost precisely up to the next election is the government’s real statement of intent. Many public services are going to be savaged.

Ill-equipped for the 21st Century, Westminster Needs a Reboot

In a world increasingly reliant on online technology for public engagement, incorporating digital mechanisms into electoral democracy would update Westminster democracy for the 21st century. This would both embrace how people think and engage and enable a new political pluralism where public passion for Scotland and Jeremy Corbyn would hardly be the exceptions.

IMF admits that ‘neoliberalism’ can fuel inequality and stunt growth

There may not be much rejoicing yet, but the repentance by the International Monetary Fund over its devotion to policies of neoliberal austerity policies will certain leave many of its critics with a wry smile.

Immorality in Europe’s Treatment of Refugees and the Racist Stink from Cologne

The media's unfounded assumptions have been based on a worrying lack of facts and much opinion. Europe’s reaction to the events in Cologne also reveal an embarrassing case of double standards.

In Defence of Politics

To defend politics is not to defend every decision by government: although politicians are often their own worst enemies, no group could stand the scrutiny under which we put our political class.

In Northern Ireland, Even Economic Policy Is Divided Along Sectarian Lines

While the four main parties in Northern Ireland are divided primarily along religious lines, they are also strongly divided between left and right on economic issues.

In or out? A philosopher’s guide to Brexit

In a democracy we are given a chance to vote. We need the resources to think well which is about knowing what one's own ideas are and evaluating those ideas. A good democracy should nourish these capacities and make voting more meaningful.

In the Face of Irrationalism, We Need a Muscular Securalism

In her Easter message Theresa May declared Britain a Christian country but modern Britain is marked more by irreligion than piety. Yet faith maintains a privileged place within society. The free ride must stop. Instead we must challenge some of the backwards attitudes ingrained in many religions.

In the Race to No.10, Cameron’s F1 Car is Losing to a Used Mondeo

The reality is that we already know the qualities and characteristics of the leaders and their respective parties, so there’s little need to wait until after May 7.

Inequality: the movie. This time it’s personal

It is a good sign that a political issue has achieved “meme” status when it becomes the subject of a film. Finally poverty and particularly the gaping inequality between the richest and poorest in western societies are - not before time - getting their place on the red carpet.

Interview: The Pressure for LGBT Equality is Not Reflected in Ulster’s Elected Representatives

Disclaimer interviews John O’Doherty from The Raindbow project about ending the veto, and working to achieve greater rights and acceptance for LGBT people in Northern Ireland.

Interview: Tim Farron on Youth Politics, Corbyn’s Labour Party and Being a Beveridge Liberal

Since the election In the time since, has changed politics dramatically. Not just a majority Tory government making a play for the political centre ground, but a forthcoming Euro referendum and, of course, the earthquake that has been Jeremy Corbyn’s election. Carl Sacklen interview Tim Farron.

Ireland’s Debate About "Faith" Schools is One We Should Be Having

Two countries. The issues are very different. However Ireland is having a constructive debate about the role of equality, pluralism and human rights in a state-maintained education. A few hundred miles away, over the Irish Sea, the silence is vociferous.

Ireland’s Messy Election Becomes an Impossible Game of Who Can Count to 79

After the non-result of Ireland's election negotiations could fail, or an unstable minority government falter quickly, and another election be called. It may even be the most desirible option. But who really knows what will happen then?

Is economists' view of people as rational still credible?

It might be because people were being asked to make choices over a public good where. Or it could be because we were making choices about intentions. If economists' view of behaviour is to remain credible, it is time they examined this area.

Is Facebook's Tricolour Filter a Sign of Solidarity or Just Lazy Slacktivism?

In the face of devastation the desire to connect is natural but do Facebook's filters actually hurt direct action?

Is it no longer reasonable for men and women to strike for better pay?

The Trade Union Bill 2015- 2016 passed its second reading on 14th September. Its purported aim is modernisation so that “hard-working people” are not inconvenienced by unsupported strike action, but it is a massive transfer of power away from workers and to employers.

Is it really so terrible for Britain to have a different vision for Europe?

As history has taught us, a singular vision of the future can have dangerous consequences. Let’s forget the quest for obedience. The aim, instead, must be to stop touting the ever-closer union as the only option. That’s how to revive our thinking about what Europe is and what it can and should become.

It’s “Mission Accomplished” for Putin Even Though Russia has Failed to Stop ISIS

The reason for Russia’s failure to achieve its stated objective was that tackling terrorism was clearly not its real purpose in Syria. Its actual aim was widely perceived as being to prop up the fraternal dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad. But even this explanation only scratches the surface of the self-interest underlying Russia’s intervention.

It’s Shit or Bust. Republicans are Tying Themselves to Trump

The GOP have abandoned any pretence of independence from the executive branch. In the face of ethical questions they are voting through Trump's nominees for his Cabinet. Trump is going to drag the Republican party down with him. And the thing is, they’ll deserve it.

It’s Time Everyone Calmed Down About High Levels of Government Debt

Politicians and economists often frighten us with tales of the horrific burden that we are passing onto our children and grandchildren by allowing the government to run up debt

It's Time We Talked About Compulsory Voting In Britain

There may well be a debate soon about mandatory voting. Who knows where it will lead? But before we can know that, clearly we have to decide the kind of polity we live in.

J’accuse...! David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson

As Theresa May triggers Article 50 she will formally start the process that will lead to Britain’s exit from the European Union. How did we get to this point? Paul Knott accuses David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson.

J’accuse...! Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party

As Theresa May triggers Article 50 she will formally start the process that will lead to Britain’s exit from the European Union. How did we get to this point? Beverly Road accuses Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.

J’accuse...! Paul Dacre and the Right-Wing, Europhobic Press

As Theresa May triggers Article 50 she will formally start the process that will lead to Britain’s exit from the European Union. How did we get to this point? Jacob Richardson accuses Paul Dacre and the europhobic press.

J’accuse….! Jean-Claude Juncker and the European Union elite

As Theresa May triggers Article 50 she will formally start the process that will lead to Britain’s exit from the European Union. How did we get to this point? Graham Kirby accuses Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU elite.

J'accuse...! Dominic Cummings and Vote Leave

As Theresa May triggers Article 50 she will formally start the process that will lead to Britain’s exit from the European Union. How did we get to this point? Graham KIrby accuses Dominic Cummings and Vote Leave.

J'accuse...! Nigel Farage, Cynical Rabble-Rouser

As Theresa May triggers Article 50 she will formally start the process that will lead to Britain’s exit from the European Union. How did we get to this point? Alec Fullerton accuses Nigel Farage, cynical rabble-rouser

J'accuse...! Theresa May and the Tory Right

As Theresa May triggers Article 50 she will formally start the process that will lead to Britain’s exit from the European Union. How did we get to this point? Harry Mason accuses Theresa May and the Tory right.

Jeremy Corbyn is Not a Democrat. He is Just a Hypocrite.

To have voted for him in 2015 was not dishonourable. To do so now when there is so much evidence of his intolerance shows a contempt for pluralism. Corbyn's whole raison d’etre as leader has become that he represents the will of the membership. He pretends it is democracy because it is all he has.

Jerusalem Has Been Cancelled Due to Lack of Interest

A short story by Joe Bedford

John Stark's Surreal, Nightmarish World of High Priests And Hoodies

John Stark's work is inherently mystical. Landscapes take on a surreal, nightmarish quality

Justice Antonin Scalia was a true original. His Successor Needs to be More Than Just a “Fine Jurist”

However much one might have disagreed with his views, there will never be another Antonin Scalia. With the US Supreme Court deadlocked, his successor needs to be someone who will take strong positions on the hardest cases and relish the ideological give-and-take on the most controversial cases.

Kate Wyer’s Debut Novel 'Black Krim' Is a Profound Meditation on Reconnection, Imperfect Beauty - and Gardening

Kate Wyer’s Debut Novel 'Black Krim' Is a Profound Meditation on Reconnection, Imperfect Beauty - and Gardening

Khan versus Goldsmith: Does either have a vision for London?

For Sadiq Khan the opportunity to be London Mayor will be a dream come true. If he wins - as the polls suggest - his opponent Zac Gioldsmith will find it hard to shake off his fear-mongering campaign.

Kim Davis – The Wannabe Martyr of Lost America

Kim Davis, a clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, Davis was jailed for six days after refusing to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples.

Labour and the State: Winning Power to Give it Away

Labour is party that was built on local activism and has at its heart the importance of community could have embraced the ideas behind Free Schools to suggest an alternative model, rooted in its history, which could have seen unions and other grassroots organisations set up the schools and infuse them with their own ethos and values.

Labour Beyond Corbyn and the Need for a New Language of the Left

Post-Miliband Jeremy Corbyn enjoys his moment in the sun, though it is not a neoliberal one.

Labour Did Not Overspend And Neither Was The Deficit Out of Control

First, and it is important to state this, the Labour government was not responsible for the 2008 recession. The recession was caused by the housing bubble bursting in the US which led to subsequent financial crises in other countries.

Labour Has a Problem And It Is Not Jeremy Corbyn

Despite his poor leadership, support for Jeremy Corbyn among Labour members has grown. He is not cutting it and those who support him are guilty of letting this government get away with it. It is those who most need a government committed to equality, who will suffer.

Labour May Not Own The Moral High Ground Forever

The moral high-ground is not given. It is earned. Corbyn's leadership may force some to look at themselves again and see themselves as others do. In a strange way, it might be the best thing to happen to them.

Labour Must Rally Around Its Leader. When it elects a new one.

Corbyn’s tenure as a local MP is admirable, and there is a lot to admire. But the rows and gaffes of his leadership have proved easy pickings for opponents. Supporters must ask whether he really is the leader the party and the country can unite under?

Labour Must Stop Ignoring Its International Base

Labour International is the party’s constituency which represents both permanent and temporary overseas members. It aims to maximise Labour’s vote overseas. In the past couple of months the international branch of the party has also gained new members: five more years of Tory rule struck a chord, so much so that even those not living under it wanted to join up to help the fight back.

Labour Needs to Start Talking About Brexit Now

Jeremy Corbyn is running a quixotic campaign. This election is about Brexit but the Labour leader is not talking about it. If he does not start telling voters how he will negotiate and what his positions are, he will doom Labour to a catastrophic defeat.

Labour Now Faces a Crisis That Threatens Its Very Existence

As the general election has proven, our political organisations are built on flimsy foundations. Beyond membership, which is a poor indicator given that many members are disengaged and remain with a party more by habit than conviction, a party’s fortune relies on that most unreliable of factors: electoral success.

Labour, Muslim Women and The Three Fingers of Responsibility

Labour's alleged discriminatory treatment of Muslim remains unresolved and the Muslim women who dared to speak up about the injustice are no better off. To tackle the issue head on, accusatory fingers must be crushed, to instil a much-needed sense of responsibility in the party. To do this, we must undermine the legitimacy of the chosen scapegoats.

Labour, the Left and the Need For Unity, Whoever Wins The Leadership Race

The only way we can possibly hope to turn the country round again is to involve ourselves in reanimating the Labour Party, and ensuring Labour is elected in 2020 on a socially inclusive, socially just and broadly Socialist platform, which is why I successfully appealed against the NEC’s decision to exclude me from the leadership election vote.

Labour’s Best Move Now? Stop Shouting, and Start Thinking

It is long past the time to stop shouting. Only with new tools can Labour rebuild the sense of hope that Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson and Tony Blair were able to embody. It seems unlikely for now. Until it does, a long period of Conservative hegemony stretches ahead.

Labour’s Leadership Candidates Must Defy the Pull of Nostalgia

It is generally accepted if not scientifically proven that politicians are more susceptible to nostalgia than any other profession.

Labour's New Leader Will Need to Connect With the Über Generation

The lesson of Ed Miliband's defeat is not just that you cannot will the country to be as you want it to be. You need to understand the Uber generation.

Labour's Scottish Suicide And Why We May Get Another Election in 2015

The story of Labour and Scotland is a play in three acts. It started with noble intentions, moved to farce and will end in tragedy. This was not the outcome Labour envisaged when it embarked on its great devolutionary experiment like some mad scientist let loose in a chemistry laboratory.

Latest global downturn puts Keynes vs Hayek back in spotlight

After the 2008 crash, disciples of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman urged governments to embark on austerity to prevent economies going bankrupt. Yet the Keynesians may just be about to move back into the ascendancy.

Leaving Her Debate Podium Empty, Theresa May Chickens Out of Democracy

Theresa May has been labelled #ChickenMay for avoiding election debates. TV debates provide leaders an opportunity to get their message across unvarnished rather than spun, while being scrutinised by each other, by the press and - most importantly - by the people. Time to step up, Prime Minister.

Lessons from Orwell: Fake News and Alternative Facts Threaten Free Society

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is a masterpiece in political satire and science fiction. Since Donald Trump's inauguration the book has seen a 9,500 percent rise in sales. It might be cliché to label Orwell prophetic, but 1984 does seem eerily prescient in the era of fake news.

Let the Left's Angry Claims of Moral Superiority Once Again Turn to Reason

Comments threads and the age of Unreason. The left must stop claiming moral superiority

Let The People Wear Ermine If We Are to Abolish the House of Lords

Calls for reform of the Lords are as inevitable in every parliament as hearing the first cuckoo in spring. Many people will see the latest appointments as further evidence that it is time for reform. An elected second chamber is an understandable democratic reaction. But misguided.

Let’s Not Abolish Honours. Let’s Truly Democratise Them.

Britain’s honours system is not only class-ridden but confusing. The miasma of ancient orders is incredible and cries out for simplification. As long as we continue to grade honours we degrade the exceptional. Piecemeal attempts to reform the system have failed. Maybe it is time not for pragmatism but to democratise.

LibDems And The Mathematics of Desperation

Lots of people in the UK’s third-largest party are spending many waking hours doing calculations, including the most simple one, which is to work out whether it will remain the third largest party after the May 7 election.

Liberty, Freedom and Democracy in an Age of Extremism

We need to fight ISIL's brutality at home and abroad but to do so we also need to secure our liberty and renew our democracy.

Like it or Not, Fiscal Policy Appears to Be Easing Across Much of the World

There are distinguished economists of a neo-Keynesian bent who argue in favour of greater fiscal flexibility but theirs is not the standard view. There are two distinct forms that flexibility could take. Governments could simply spend more and tax less in the hope of priming a rise in economic demand.

Living Off Tips to Survive Another Internship: Millennials’ Inheritance is Rising Inequality

While the wealth of the richest 1% doubles, the average worker has suffered the steepest drop in living standards since World War II.

Liz K. Miller's Delicate Musical Scores

Liz K. Miller, a London-based artist and printmaker, has created a beautiful new visual language for musical scores.

London’s Mayoral Manifestos: 130,000 New Homes, a Night Tube and... Nationalisation from Tory Zac

As part of Disclaimer's look at the manifestos and promises of the five main party candidates for the London Mayoral elections, Carl Sacklen covers the policies of Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith: more homes, a 24 hour tube and protecting London's green spaces are his main promises.

London’s Mayoral Manifestos: Campaigning against immigration, HS2 and (of course) the EU

As part of Disclaimer's look at the manifestos and promises of the five main party candidates for the London Mayoral elections, Carl Sacklen covers the policies of UKIP candidate Peter Whittle: Brexit and immigration controls are the main factors.

London’s Mayoral Manifestos: Khan Promises Affordable Homes, a Fares Freeze and No Heathrow Expansion

As part of Disclaimer's look at the manifestos and promises of the five main party candidates for the London Mayoral elections, Carl Sacklen covers the policies of Labour candidate Sadiq Khan: more affordable homes and a transport fares freeze are his priorities.

London’s Mayoral Manifestos: Lib Dems put Transport and Rent Centre Stage

As part of Disclaimer's look at the manifestos and promises of the five main party candidates for the London Mayoral elections, Carl Sacklen covers the policies of Lib Dem candidate Caroline Pidgeon. Transport and housing are centre stage.

London’s Mayoral Manifestos: Social and Environmental Sustainability are the Greens’ Main Factors

As part of Disclaimer's look at the manifestos and promises of the five main party candidates for the London Mayoral elections, Carl Sacklen covers the policies of Green candidate Sian Berry. Social and environmental sustainability are the main factors.

Look to the 1960s for the Real Inspiration for Today's Labour Party

The fundamental misconception about the Corbyn and John McDonnell agenda is they want to take the Labour Party back to the 1980s. In fact, they want to go much further back in time than that: to the 1960s. It is Harold Wilson, not Tony Benn, who is their lodestar.

Louis Theroux on Jimmy Savile: A Monster Empowered by Complicity

Louis Theroux befriended Savile for his When Louis Met… series. But to Theroux, there was something about Savile that instinctively disturbed him. The documentary maker deserves credit for getting closest to unmasking Savile in his lifetime, his new documentary explores his own sense of guilt and our complicity.

Love, Satire and a Panegyric to Freedom… Bulgakov’s Vast Masterpiece

Inventive and witty, loaded with intrigue and even softness, The Master and Margarita is a sublime love story and a panegyric to freedom. It is a book by which the author took the sweetest and coldest of revenges upon the ugly repression of Stalin’s brutal regime.

Lynton Crosby Takes His Dark Magic to Canada - And it Seems to Be Working

Lynton Crosby, the Australian political consultant who helped David Cameron win in May, has been hired by Canada’s Stephen Harper whose Conservative Party. Crosby has turned the polls around with an anti-muslim campaign that could put the Conservatives back in office.

Madam President: the case for - and against - President Hillary Rodham Clinton

David Cottle puts the case against an untrustworthy Hillary Clinton; while Graham Kirby defends her presidential pragmatism.

Major Warning: Brexit Arrogance Might Bite Theresa May at the Ballot Box

John Major's Chatham House speech made the reasonable point that popular opinion was fluid as he offered a reality check on over-optimistic Brexiteers. As she appeases her right-wing wing Theresa Msy may lose the support of Remainers.

Make No Mistake: Britain is Getting Another Vote on Brexit

There will be a general election on 8th June. Theresa May might hope to free herself from captivity by the Tory right but she has dragged the debate to the right and started an unpredictable election.

Mark Carney stays at a Bank of England engulfed in politics - but what will he do now?

There has been speculation about Mark Carney’s future as governor of the Bank of England, following a series of attacks by Brexiteers. There was even speculation about his relations with the prime minister. Yet Carney has now confirmed he will stay in position.

Marlowe, the Rewards of Doctor Faustus and the 21st Century Devil You Know

Faust’s bargain with Lucifer is one he makes out of frustration with the limits of human knowledge. Faustus’ reaction to his frustration is an extreme one: he resorts to necromancy, ultimately he trades his soul for unimaginable power but eternal damnation. Why does Faust still grip our imagination?

Martin McGuinness: The Ultimate Life of Two Halves

The death of Martin McGuinness has brought many different reactions. To many he will remain an IRA murderer who caused many deaths; to others he is a hero. Whether he can be forgiven does not mean we should lack respect for his role in the peace process over the last two decades of his life.

May and Hammond Are Still Scapegoating the Most Vulnerable

Little will change under a strategy defined by inaction, and on other key issues, Hammond’s silence was deafening. This Autumn Statement indicates that the Tories, entrenching inequality with economic stagnation and socially-divisive policies, remain resolved about scapegoating the poor and most vulnerable to compensate for their own failure.

May Calls for a General Election. What She Wants is a Second Referendum

Theresa May has called for a general election for Thursday June 8th. The Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn has never been weaker. She faces a landslide election. However, what she wants is to frame the debate to stop anti-Brexit arguments. Remainers must not let her win.

May’s Local Elections are Corbyn’s Next Test. How Will Labour Do?

As he launched his local elections campaign, Jeremy Corbyn declared Labour to be a strong party. Yet they face losses in Scotland and Wales; while in England the Lib Dems expect to do well. A bad election will be another sign of Labour’s disintegration as a party of government.

May’s Mission: Erase Cameron, Unite the Right and Destroy Labour

This is what Theresa May wants: a transformative election and a new Conservative dominance. Popular policies will not save Jeremy Corbyn. Like Blair her general election message is stability and change at the same time.

May's "Quiet Revolution" Masks a Nasty, Xenophobic Message

For too long too many British people have felt marginalised and at the mercy of globalised competition but the Conservative Party's intolerant attack on those people who have contributed to our society is insulting and it is nauseating.

Memory and Colour Clash In the Beautiful Works of Ireneo Frizzarin

Memory and Colour Clash In the Exciting Works of Ireneo Frizzarin

Message to Party Leaders: We’re not as Thick as you think

If our politicians were willing to treat voters with the same intelligence that Abraham Lincoln treated Americans in the 1860s, then perhaps they would be rewarded with more respect. “Am I tough enough? Hell yes, I’m tough enough” — is generally the sort of rhetorical artistry we are afforded today.

Monarchy: Britain's highest office left to the perilous genetics of a single family

In the glorious, messy fiction that is the United Kingdom we might discover that what has been holding us back from being “one nation” is the institution we are told binds us as a country.

Moonlight Review: When Poetry Speaks More Truthfully Than Realism

Some films stick in your mind because of their emotional heft. Others linger thanks to their potent tone or brilliant performances. Barry Jenkins' Moonlight has all of these things, but the element that really makes it stay with you is its sheer human empathy.

More Denial Will Only Make Labour’s Difficult Path Impossible

Even though he has been re-elected it is not sufficient for Corbyn to rely on his mandate from party members. Labour does not belong just to its members. Every Labour voter has a share in its future. Betrayal of that sacred trust will not be forgiven. Denying that Labour has chosen a difficult will make the betrayal inevitable.

More US Military Pressure, But Hesitant Beijing Must Act To Stop “Out of Control” North Korea

According to the Chinese government mouthpiece, the Global Times, the “soaring regional tensions” around the Korean Peninsula are “close to being out of control”. There are no risk-free solutions but military muscle alone is not enough: China needs to use it leverage to control its turbulent neighbour.

Must is not a word used to princes! But Corbyn is no prince

Corbyn needs to create the conditions for loyalty. Members cannot demand loyalty. When they voted they did so with eyes completely open in the full knowledge that his parliamentary colleagues did not have confidence in his competence. They cannot now complain should the leader not change and the lack of support remains.

Mutually Assured Depiction and the Cold War Weaponisation of Art

billions of dollars were spent on funding new exhibitions and galleries and creating dummy art foundations the world over, for the specific purpose of promulgating the movement worldwide. In 1952, the CIA-funded and MoMa sponsored ‘Masterpieces of the Twentieth Century’ exhibition toured Europe, showcasing works by de Kooning, Gorky, Motherwell, Pollock and Rothko

My Brush With an Arse Groper and Why We Shouldn't Dismiss Women Only Train Carriages

Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn floated the idea of women-only train carriages.

Myopic Western Leaders are Ignoring the Causes of Islamic Extremism

There is a reason that any tendency toward deeper analysis about ISIS's rise is quashed by our politicians and jhournalists; the reason is simple, paradoxical and pathetically huma

Nationalisation: Tata Steel shows it’s not always a dirty word

The decision by the Mumbai board not to shut Tata Steel means the steel plants in Port Talbot in South Wales as well as sites across the Midlands and the North will stay open. But if no buyers are found the impact will clearly be devastating on industrial regions of the country that have taken a series of hits since deindustrialisation took hold in the early 1980s.

New index of economic marginalisation helps explain Trump, Brexit and alt.right

If 2016 brought Brexit, Donald Trump and a backlash against cosmopolitan visions of globalisation and society, the great fear for 2017 is further shocks from right-wing populists like Geert Wilders in Holland and Marine Le Pen in France. A new mood of intolerance, xenophobia and protectionist economics seems to be in the air.

Nigel Farage Is a Liability for Those Wanting to Leave the EU

Yet last week Nigel Farage launched the UKIP “Out” Campaign. His belief that he and his party are best placed to win a referendum is perhaps the best thing that could happen to those who want to remain part of the European Union.

No More Austerity: Reflections of a Retiree on Canada’s New Liberal Government

In October, 44-year-old Justin Trudeau’s Liberals took the country with a landslide election victory, winning a majority government with 184 seats in Parliament. The Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper, who were vying for their fourth consecutive mandate, dropped down to 99 seats. Six months later they present their first budget.

No Tea, No Shade: The Rocky Relationship Between Drag and Mainstream Culture

For much of the twentieth century, drag was about as niche as you could get. Unlike Shakespearean times, when men routinely played women, cross-dressing in entertainment became associated with the lowest, broadest comedy. The phrase ‘drag queen’ was first recorded in 1941, but for decades it thrived solely underground, too provocative for mainstream audiences.

Nope. Theresa May Is Not Going to Call an Early Election

William Hague has revived speculation that Theresa May will call an early general election. Undoubtedly the prime minister would win against a Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn. But there would be a cost and the risks far out-weight the pros as she negotiates Brexit.

Not Giants but Windmills, And The Fantastic Certainty of Anti-Politics

New politics is old. Very often it is just politcs by another name. Whether it is the Liberals in 1974 or the Greens in 1989, political insurgency has been done before. However the certainty of some of its adherents is terrifying.

Of course there is no plan for Brexit. So what?

The charge that there is no coherent post-Brexit plan is hard to refute. In fact it's impossible. Brexit is the plan. A democratic, sovereign parliament will debate and decide the issue. That's how democracy works around the world.

Oil’s well that ends well? Yes for the climate but not for austerity-hit families

The price of oil has risen from around $32 a barrel in mid-February to almost $50 a barrel by mid-May. On 16 May alone while Boris Johnson was banging on about Hitler and George Osborne was courting in Ryanair, Brent crude jumped 2.5% in one day alone. The worry is that oil prices are on the brink of a delayed surge in prices.

On ‘Europe’ Our Leaders Have Failed Therefore We Mustn’t

The referendum debate has been so base, so personal and so shabbily conducted that, a Rhett Butler “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” attitude is not only understandable but perhaps appropriate. However, it is not enough. There is too much at stake and we must rise above the squalor of our politics.

On Brexit John McDonnell Is not Even Trying to Hold May’s Government to Account

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have a long history of euroscepticism. So it should come as no surprise that Labour is now committed to not blocking or even delaying Article 50. It’s almost as if they are not trying to hold the government to account.

On the Appropriation of Language by the “Business” Elite And Why It Should Be Ignored

The letter in the Daily Telegraph signed by more than a hundred bosses from some of Britain’s biggest companies is no more than a plea to further their own cause. Its economic merit is close to zero, making its political resonance puzzling.

On the Edge of Disaster, Theresa May Becomes the High Priestess of Hard Brexit

The factions within the Conservative party have more influence on Theresa May's hard Brexit policy than the national interest. She has given sway to those who campaigned for Brexit. When she invokes Article 50 she will negotiate to keep the fringe of her party happy.

On this Day of St George, A New Way of Celebrating is Needed

Many people feel uneasy when it comes to gathering around the red and white flag on St George's Day, and who can blame them? Today it will typically adorn village fetes in the depths of the English countryside, where Morris dancers are top of the bill.

On Trade, Hypocrisy, And China's Human Rights

Fundamentally we don’t care about human rights in China. We certainly don’t care enough to let it stand between us and the espresso maker we want at a price we’re prepared to pay.

Once Outlandish, Brexit Is a Risky Unknown but It Just Might Happen

Leaving the EU would be economically risky but the debate has changed and it just might happen.

Only A Global Quota System Can Bring Justice to Europe's Migrant Crisis

The photo of Aylan Kurdi, the toddler who drowned while trying to cross the sea from Turkey to Greece, was the last straw for many. As Europe’s migrant crisis claimed more lives and left hundreds of thousands in misery, the photo went viral and became front page news around the world

Only Clown Boris Offers Hope For Disillusioned Voters

As is often the case, the most interesting speech delivered by a politician this year was also the most under-reported. This was all the remarkable given the politician in question was Boris Johnson and his address was to the City of London. What Johnson offered was something so rare in our modern political discourse that it may need a preservation order: hope.

Opposing interests are preventing a grand alliance to defeat ISIS

Calls to form a military 'grand alliance' to are flawed and risk alienating Syrians.

Osborne is Not As Austere As He Would Have Us Believe

the ‘austerity’ that Osborne is accused of enforcing during the Coalition years saw general government current spending rise, in real terms, by 3.8% between 2010 and 2014

Osborne’s Last Budget: Cut the State, Pump Housing, Win Election? Nah.

The one thing you can say about the 2015 Budget is that it more or less spells out what the Conservative Party is planning to do if it wins the election in May. Cut spending and cut taxes.

Osborne's Impossible Fiscal Plans Do Little To Tackle The Real Problems of the British Economy

the Chancellor’s argument that high government debt contributed to the crisis, or that reducing it will by itself deliver sustainable growth is far less convincing

Our Absurd Gender Debate: We Have a Woman PM. So what?

The debate on the gender of our new prime minister is absurd. The media should be concentrating on informing the public on her policies. Compare 1970s headline’s about Thatcher’s election to PM with those of May today and they are frighteningly similar.

Our Ethical Duty is to Save Those Crossing the Med. Then We Need to Fix The Asylum System

Tragedy is not a strong enough word to refer to the situation in the Mediterranean at the moment. In April 2015 alone over 10,000 people have made the journey across the Mediterranean sea in rickety boats. More than 900 people drowned.

Out With the Old, In With the New. Britain Has a New Prime Minister

As David Cameron leaves Downing Street for the last time and Theresa May becomes Britain's second female prime minister. Disclaimer looks at David Cameron's legacy from the coalition to Brexit and wonders how. his successor, Theresa May, will far in the job.

Panama Papers: why we’re looking at global corruption the wrong way

The size and scale of the Panama Papers leak was shocking, the offshore dealing they revealed was hardly a surprise. if we have known for so long that this kind of thing goes on, then why have we been so ineffective at preventing it?

Parliament is Just One Part of the Anachronistic Architecture of Our Political Life

The fundamental problem with the Houses of Parliament is they are part of the anachronistic architecture of our political life, which should have been consigned to history decades ago.

Parliament urgently needs to keep tabs on Britain’s arms exports

The aphorism that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce, seems cruelly relevant to the arms trade. Its history is littered with examples of arms transfers pursued on the basis of short-term interests, only for the same arms to be subsequently used in ways the supplier never intended.

Pence and Trump Are Two Sides of the Same Sexist Coin

Trump’s issues with women. But when it comes to women’s rights, Mike Pence is no friend to the cause either. Their White House views women as temptresses and Jezebels, not equals to be trusted with power.

Peter Wadsworth's Voyeuristic Sketches on the New York City Subway

Wadsworth’s latest work is the Passenger's Project, built around hours of sketching riders of New York's subway system. The whole project will soon be on show at New York’s Transit Museum.

Philippe Halaburda: Abstraction and The Unbearable Lightness of Colour

Halaburda brings the light to life by setting mainly primary colours against a white, sometimes untouched, canvas. Playful, unpredictable and bold brushstrokes produce an explosion of colour and abstraction against the purity of the white.

Political Fables: Amber Rudd's Hansel and Gretel

A political fable for the modern age, as told to Holly Powis

Political Fables: Donald J Trump's Three Little Pigs

A political fable for the modern age, as told to Holly Powis.

Political Fables: Jeremy Corbyn's The History of Tom Thumb

A political fable for modern times, as told to Holly Powis.

Political Fables: Theresa May's Goldilocks and the Three Bears

A political fable for moderns times, as told to Holly Powis.

Political Fables: Tony Blair's The Boy Who Cried Wolf

A political fable for the modern age, as told to Holly Powis.

Political Fables: Vladimir Putin's The Emperor’s New Clothes

A political fable for the modern age, as told to Holly Powis

Politics and the Pound: The Complexities of an EU Referendum Will Rattle Nerves

Despite the pound’s present buoyancy, a growing perception of political risk surrounding the UK could yet carry it lower. The question is one of timing.

Politics Is Too Far Removed from Ordinary Lives. We need more local control.

Since the EU referendum result much commentary has hastened to look into the future, asking what the referendum results will mean. But unless the focus can be redirected to the present and past, there is a danger that the “Brexit vote” will be misunderstood.

Politics Takes Over And Leaves Osborne With an Empty Budget Box

With his eighth budget Osborne's overriding aim, it seems, is to win the referendum then win the next election. There will be headlines but this was an empty, political budget. The shame is that he will probably get away with it.

Politics: The Shawshank Regression — Doing Time in Britain's "for Profit" Pokeys

Britain's prison's are increasingly in private hands and run for profit. Since March 2010, the number of people working for the prison service and directly employed by the State has fallen by a quarter.

Politics: UKIP May Do To Miliband What the Front National Is Doing To Hollande

The rise of UKIP may mean that a win for the Labour Party in May’s General Election could be as shallow as it was for the Socialists in France in 2012, where the Front National has since been sucking up Socialist votes

Pop Music Reunions: Yay or Nay?

The golden rule of the entertainment industry is that if something works, you do it over and over again until everybody hates it. So if artists and fans alike can relive their heydays, and record companies get to flog some resuscitated horses, surely everybody’s happy? Maybe, but that doesn’t mean that all comebacks are called for.

Poplitians: Whether it's Julius Caesar or Donald Trump popular culture and politics go hand in hand

In the second decade of the 21st century politicians actively strive to be famous personalities and build on their notoriety in order to rally support and propel their policies as a means of getting things done. However, since when did it become a social norm for celebrities to cross over into the industrial territory of world politics?

Post-Brexit Body Count: Mark Carney is the Last Man Standing

David Cameron has fallen on his sword, Boris Johnson has abandoned his prime ministerial ambition, while Jeremy Corbyn is hanging on to the Labour leadership by his finger nails. The one person to emerge with honour intact is Mark Carney, the Canadian who has run the Bank of England for the last three years.

Post-IDS and pre-referendum, are the wheels falling off the Conservative government?

It’s easy to feel disheartened, sitting by helplessly as Cameron & co. implement whatever shambolic and morally questionable policies they wish. Opposition is now anywhere but on the fringes, though, whether that’s grassroots campaigners starting protests and petitions, the media turning its back on austerity.

Post-Litvinenko It is time the UK Confronted Putin’s Posturing Aggression

Commentators and policymakers have overstated Russia’s strength and significance. Following it for much of the last decade has resulted in weak foreign policy choices that are not in the UK's interests.

Post-Referendum thoughts: we must unite in this time of uncertainty

We are left facing a new level of unprecedented uncertainty. Our country is divided into two and xenophobic language is poisoning the split further. As we enter this strange new world we can only hope that we have a strength of leadership and community to bring our nation back together.

Post-Referendum Vox Pops: a Definite Lack of Information Overtaken by Lazy Racism

A week after the tumultuous the EU referendum, our politics has changed forever. Disclaimer continues looking at the opinions of those who actually made the decision - the voters.

Pounded? A sterling excuse for a lower currency.

The pound has been clobbered since the UK stunned the world. The pound was probably a shade overvalued before the Brexit vote. A crowded one way bet beforehand, and a lost haven premium after. The pound’s fall is looking a little more explicable. But, in providing the UK with a lower currency we may yet come to love it.

Poverty Is Not A Problem, Says Man With Millions of Pounds

In 21st century Britain – a country which, for all the headlines about debt and deficits, still boasts the sixth biggest economy in the world – does poverty really exist? No. Not according to Sir Alan Sugar, at any rate.

President Trump: A Threat Without Any Break From A Republican Congress

With the election of Donald Trump as President, Disclaimer looks at the threat he poses to the US legal and economic system; a threat made worse his the lack of restraint Congressional Republicans will provide. Expect a fetishisation of law and order and simplistic Christian moralising.

President Trump: Will America Always Do "the Right Thing" Now?

With the election of Donald Trump as President, Disclaimer looks at how he will face some the issues as leader of the free world, the concerns of voters and foreign government over his trade and foreign policies, and asks where the Democrats go after Hillary Clinton's defeat.

President-Elect Snowflake, Fake News and Challenging Trump’s Mandate

Democrats need to create a wider paradigm about social justice and democracy. By accepting that there exists a demand for change but denying that Trump owns any mandate they have the beginning of a strategy to ensure that Trump is not allowed run rampage over first America and then the world.

Principled or Dogmatic, Corbyn Is Failing Labour and the Country

Jeremy Corbyn does not have an alternative to air strikes and seems unable to make concessions so that the British people listen to him.

Profile: “The Punisher” Rodrigo Duterte Personifies the Dangers of Populism

We may find the bombast of demagogues farcical, but as Duterte proves, there is nothing amusing about those with single-minded strategy for gaining power that turns out successful. We are learning this the hard way in a Europe with a resurgence of chauvinistic nationalism and, in America, Donald Trump

Profile: Blairite or Not, Dan Jarvis Does at Least Have Some Answers

Dan Jarvis is still learning the ropes of politics. Every now and then he will get a chance to make a speech where he sets out some form of a vision, and the moderates will applaud and pray that Jeremy Corbyn resigns from his post sooner rather than later.

Profile: Hillary Clinton, Only Preferable To Ignorant Trump

While many supporters of the Sanders campaign have voiced their opposition to Clinton’s policies, the confirmation that she will be the Democrats’ presidential nominee signals that the United States is the champion of the liberal movement. This celebration, however, is currently subdued because of the ever-persistent threat of Donald Trump.

Profile: John Agard, Exploring the Richness and Difficulties of Diversity

John Agard has a career which spans four decades, he challenges preconceptions, pulls humour out from dark themes, and explores the richness and difficulties of diversity. At a time when there is a rise in tribal singularity he feels it is “All the more reason to celebrate plurality and keep our mindsets not too set.”

Profile: The Tory Puppet Who’s Universally Despised and Utterly Incompetent

A new poll has revealed that Hunt is the most disliked frontline British politician of any party, and it's easy to see why. Though George Osborne's relatively recent demise would make the Chancellor a strong contender for the title, the Health Secretary is a PR disaster waiting to happen.

Protecting the Green Belt Won’t Solve the Housing Crisis, Sadiq

The importance Sadiq Khan places on retaining the Green Belt is problematic. He misrepresents the Green Belt as ‘green space,’ perpetuating a socially damaging myth. It is also a key obstacle to solving the city’s housing crisis, the pledge which secured him the Mayoralty.

Protesting Trump: One Woman Who’s Grabbing Her Pussy Back

Artists and satirists have reacted to the central figure of this turmoil in a variety of ways. London-based artist Daniela Raytchev, whose piece Liberty will be exhibited at Uprise/ Angry Women, is challenging objectification and the dehumanisation of women with her piece 'Liberty'. Now is a time to stand up and grab freedom back, she argues.

Putin Helped Put Trump in the White House. He Could Be His Downfall Too

One of the few consistent elements of Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency is his subservience to the Kremlin. Despite his inaction over election hacking and praise for Putin, the pace of Russian abuses has stepped up. Why does this supposed patriot go to such lengths to avoid criticising an enemy state?

Queen’s Speech: Cameron Continues To Seek a Legacy Beyond Austerity

David Cameron’s seventh Queen’s Speech was dominated by the train he set in motion with his autumn party conference speech. It is a play for the centre-ground and made with an eye on disillusioned left-wing voters. It may be that he has left it too late though.

Question Time Tears And the Frailty of Tory Rule

working mother Michelle Dorrell confronted Energy Secretary Amber Rudd. This was a grown woman being reduced to tears for fear of what the government she elected will inflict upon her family.

Racial Denialism Does More Harm Than Good. Why Race Matters

Once again, racial violence has reached crisis proportions in the USA. Recent events in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas, highlight that despite the ascension of a popular president who is bi-racial, and culturally “black,” the USA is far from being a post-racial society.

Racism, Disinformation and Character Assassination in a "Cold War" Election

Four days from the election Hillary Clinton, who had been dropping in the polls, began to see what could have been a landslide victory go to the wire. In every single CNN analysis of the electoral map, Clinton has led - until Friday. That electoral map showed Clinton falliing below 270 electoral college votes.

Rape, murder, forced marriage: what girls in conflict zones get instead of education

Education is life-changing for children and young people, but the power of education is systematically ignored in situations of humanitarian crisis – and never more than at present. This neglect affects the lives of a generation of children and young people forever – once their education is disrupted it can never be retrieved.

Reaction: Sinn Fein Bite Hardest in Northern Ireland’s Snap Election

There are tremors across Northern Ireland following the snap election which saw Sinn Fein make big gains and the Democratic Unionist lose seats. The election makes life harder for Theresa May. But the question is, can Ulster politics meet the demand for a move beyond sectarian politics?.

Red Doors and Red Wristbands Question Whether We Really Want to Integrate the Immigrating

We need to quit tiptoeing around the topic of integration, erase the negative associations with assimilation and start formulating positive measures of inclusion to pave the way towards a more unified society. English lessons for all, kick-starting immigrants’ greater contribution to society to everyone’s advantage, would be a good start.

Re-elected Jeremy Corbyn Must Deliver Unity and Credibility

Corbyn may have reinforced his mandate, but his re-election will not win a general election. His first test is to reunify the party to properly oppose the Tories. To seem like a PM-in-waiting and reverse his dire polling numbers, Corbyn must also develop a credible manifesto on issues that matter to the public.

Referendum Reaction: An Awful Lot of Promises, An Awful Lot of Lies

Against all expectations Britain has narrowly voted to leave the European Union. It is the event of our political generation and politics is now in unfamiliar territory. Disclaimer reacts.

Referendum Reaction: We are now in uncharted waters. And a different country

Against all expectations Britain has narrowly voted to leave the European Union. It is the event of our political generation and politics is now in unfamiliar territory. Disclaimer reacts.

Referendum Result: The Seismic Moment in Politics of Our Generation

Against all expectations Britain has narrowly voted to leave the European Union. It is the event of our political generation and politics is now in unfamiliar territory. Disclaimer reacts.

Remain means remain: Nicola Sturgeon cannot be ignored on Brexit

The meeting between Theresa May and the leaders of the devolved administrations was a significant moment in setting the tone for the Brexit negotiations ahead. So far, the hubris of the Brexiteers appears to be clouding their judgement. The task ahead is substantial. How can May demonstrate she is listening?

Remainers Should Show Cynical and Opportunistic May Their Convictions

Britain will vote again on Brexit, this time in a general election. Theresa May has done what she said she would not do. Election expenses, Brexit, and a Remain backlash: Disclaimer writers give their reaction.

Remembering Our Debt to The Forgotten WW1 Heroes of the Chinese Labour Corps

Why have most people never heard of the Chinese Labour Corps before? What had happened to wipe their contribution out of the history books?

Remembrance Is Not Enough: the Somme's Dystopia and Thomas Richardson

This year we commemorate the Battle of the Somme, the bloodiest battle of the First World War, which took place in France between July and November 1916. The brutality and carnage of ‘the Great War; is appalling. But it is also striking to consider the circumstantial fragility of fate it represents.

Repeal of the Human Rights Act Will Be a Battle for the UK's Soul

The intention to repeal the Human Rights Act has been confirmed post-Brexit by Justice Secretary Liz Truss. Brexit 2 begins. And with the Human Rights Act gone, who can doubt that the Convention will be next. This is what makes the forthcoming battle so important.

Retro Politics: Only More Council Flats Will Fix Britain’s Housing Crisis

If there was ever a clear case for government intervention where a market failure is taking place it’s here. And no, it’s not the George Osborne-style interventions to help people buy an over-priced homes. All that does is push prices higher.

Return to Melos: Facing the reality of how things are, in order to understand it better

Thucydides' ‘Melian Dialogue’ is regularly cited by International Relations theorists. Yanis Varoufakis has used it as the title of his book on the 2015 Euro crisis. Not a text for idealists or optimists, it is for those who are prepared to face the reality of how things are, to understand it better.

Review: "Refractions of Bob Dylan - Cultural Appropriations of an American Idol"

Book Review of "Refractions of Bob Dylan - Cultural Appropriations of an American Idol" published by Manchester University Press

Review: A Carnival of the Honest, the Raw and the Surreal

In a former industrial hub turned hipster-hive-of-the-up-and-coming where wooden planks leaning against one another constitute tables two different collections reveal a carnival of honesty, raw sexuality as well as the very silly, brilliant and surreal.

Review: A Nobel Economist’s Plea to Save the Euro

Whenever they are given the opportunity, voters reject more Europe. Yet on every occasion policy remained unchanged. The euro may not have failed but Joseph Stiglitz's new book is a devastating indictment of the way that the Eurocracy established the European single currency.

Review: A Snapshot Image of the Thames Estuary’s Swirling Waters

Rachel Lichtenstein's Estuary is a gentle celebration of histories and communities rather than a socio-economic tract or a historical whodunit. But maybe just as she helped pioneer the current obsession with Brick Lane, Estuary may do the same for this vast yet largely ignored stretch of water.

Review: A voyage round my father with hip hop, stories and soup

The Spinning Wheel celebrates the life and work of countercultural jazz musician, poet, comic, political activist and theatre producer Steve Ben Israel. From the beginning, the audience know they are in for a performance with a difference.

Review: an unassuming look at grief and adolescent mental health in Britain

Although audiences of all ages can get something out of ‘Thrive’ it is clearly targeted at teenagers and will resonate strongly and the imaginative way the performance is presented should hopefully get more young people interested and excited about new ways of interpreting theatre.

Review: Ed Miliband Will Simply Love The New Assassin’s Creed

The latest Assassin’s Creed spinoff may appeal more to the Labour leader than to hardcore fans, but occasional gamer Bill Tanner finds lots to like. The sumptuous Chinese water colour-inspired graphics and a degree of playability not seen since the 1980s will make this latest Ubisoft release a sure-fire winner with dads and aspiring prime ministers everywhere.

Review: Eimear McBride’s The Lesser Bohemians is a Familiar Triumph

In 2013 Eimear McBride’s debut novel, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing,was released and with it came the story of an author who fought to publish a book that was challenging and experimental. The Lesser Bohemians is slightly safer but is also similar in its deftness of language and insight into character

Review: Exploring Truth, Beauty and Good in a Post-Truth World

A Hegelian Marxist, and as such a man somewhat defined by contradiction, Žižek bases most of his definitions with regard to disparity around a critique of capitalism and the culture it has spawned. Slavoj Žižek has written a book that is thought-provoking and intense, but that is not to say that it is lacking in either personality or relevance

Review: From Angry to Personal - Two Different, But Powerful Poetry Collections

The angry contempt and playful lyricism of Newman’s work is in stark contrast to the deeply personal wanderings by Lee-Houghton but both collections are powerful and enraged reactions to contemporary Britain from two formidable female voices.

Review: Invisible Britain is A Seething Film For Cameron’s Age of Austerity

‘Invisible Britain’ is meant as a rallying cry for those who are often forgotten, people without a voice who live mostly outside cosmopolitan or rural Britain. Its righteous indignation is commendable but it limits itself from being popular beyond the hard left echo chamber.

Review: Kajaki, A Fresh And Affecting Look at War in Afghanistan

Kajaki avoids both extremes, taking an approach that is commendably direct and unmistakably British. It tells the true story of a group of soldiers stationed by the Kajaki dam in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province

Review: Kaufman’s Anomalisa, Where Human Connections Are Rare and Fleeting

Anomalisa began life as a one-act ‘sound play’, and this shows. It’s a more minor work than Kaufman’s previous output; gone are the screwy plot devices of Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, swapped for a low-key ‘day-or-so in the life of’ narrative structure that, even with its leisurely pace, only just stretches to 90 minutes.

Review: Potent, Knowing Theatre To Remind Us of Our Humanity

In a week that’s seen post-Brexit malaise only deepened by the ever-increasing ugliness of our tabloid press, Phone Home at Shoreditch Town Hall offered up the perfect tonic. A production devised by three companies from across Europe, have created an example of what can be achieved through European collaboration.

REVIEW: The Humane, Uncompromising Sorrow of Kazuo Ishiguro's 'The Buried Giant'

The Buried Giant (Faber & Faber, HB, £20) is no exception, but it’s a fantasy novel, and in this more fantastical setting the characteristic resistance to revelation has been externalised.

Review: Theatre That is Not Just In Our Hands But in Our Imaginations

When theatre promises to be dynamic all sorts of things strange can happen. In Our Hands requires huge reserves of stamina and versatility from its actors and puppeteers. There is no deny that it is a visual tour de force. My question is, is it worth it?

Review: To Beer Or Not To Beer, That Is The Question

A fast-moving mix of Whose Line is It Anyway, Monty Python and Fawlty Towers mixed with a fair dose of Burlesque, Shit-faced Shakespeare is a quintessentially British take on the country’s most celebrated playwright whose 400th birthday happens to fall this year.

Revolutionary Outsider, Macron is France's best bet for a non-Le Pen government

He's been likened to Donald Trump, heckled by lefties as a "copy-and-paste Tony Blair", touted as 'Mr Perfect' by admiring fans and could potentially become, at a mere 39, France's youngest ever president. But who is Emmanuel Macron?

Room 237: Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining Illuminates Living Evil

The Shining is perhaps the most mysterious and experimental of all of Kubrick’s works, so no wonder it has been subject to decades of fervent speculation by fans and professional critics alike, at worst manifesting in absurdity like the Moon landing theory.

Russian protests won’t topple Putin but the Kremlin is right to be worried

Blocked from standing for office, Alexei Navalny called for nationwide anti-corruption protests – bringing an estimated 60,000 participants to Russian streets. The opposition will take heart: the sheer number of young people who demonstrated is a serious challenge to the Vladimir Putin’s legitimacy.

Safe and Middle-of-the-Road, Canada’s New Democrats Need a Progressive Re-Fit

The real problem is that Mulcair and the tone of the NDP is out of step with progressives in the U.S. and the U.K. Unlike Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, Mulcair’s NDP struck a safe, middle-of-the-road course during the federal election. It watched its early lead in the polls disintegrate.

Save Our Souls magazine: a mirror of turmoil, tragedy and complexity

Readers of Private Eye will be familiar with illustrator David Ziggy Greene’s comic strips. Save Our Souls, founded and edited by Greene, combines journalism and artwork to become a mirror that forces us to reflect on our common humanity.

Sex lives of the rich and famous - why do we care so much?

A more mature, sex-positive approach would benefit everybody then. Nine times out of ten, the sex lives of the rich and famous simply aren’t our business. But No matter how high-brow we like to think ourselves, we all love a bit of gossip from time to time. Why do we care so much about celebrity sex scandals?

Sexism and Racism Still Dominate World Athletics

The long history of female athletes being abused means we should be wary of negative attitudes towards Castor Semenya. The problem is particularly pronounced with regard to black women. In addition to sexism, the racism inflicted on other great sportswomen suggest that racism may also be a factor.

Slaboshpitsky's "The Tribe" Is a One of A Kind Movie That Is Just Short of Compelling

The Tribe, from writer/director Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, is one of those rare films that can truly claim to be one of a kind.

Slow Motion Phantasmagoria from Paul Maria Schneggenburger

Slow Motion Long Exposure Photography

Socialism is not a dirty word: Bernie Sanders really is changing US democracy

The historic importance of Sanders’s campaign goes beyond winning or losing. He is reviving a long dormant American socialist tradition, updating the legacy of past leftist politicians like Eugene Debs. The real test is whether he can “keep socialism alive” in a political culture that until recently considered these ideals irrelevant.

Solidarity after Paris means being more attentive to suffering elsewhere

There has been much debate this past week about selective sympathy for some victims of terrorism but not others. The media have clearly devoted much more attention to the Paris attacks than to the prolific violence that sweeps other parts of the world every week.

South African students toppled Rhodes – but they can’t get rid of Zuma

The #Rhodesmustfall campaign has taken the heat off Jacob Zuma and puts it on a dead white man - or rather, a block of stone in the likeness of a dead white man.

Spain’s new centre-right party is not a liberal guardian of the country’s future

Spain’s two-party political system is on the verge of ending but Ciudadanos is not the centrist party its manifesto suggests.

St Sebastian the Gay Icon and the Homoeroticism of Martyrdom

St Sebastian has become the ultimate gay icon: he is the embodiment of beauty and the quintessential representation of tortured suppression. Through the ages the saint has a constant capacity for reinvention, becoming a blank projection for same-sex desire. How many other saints have made it to the cover of a gay magazine?

Stanley Kubrick and Anjem Choudary: An Unlikely Parallel of Censorship

An underestimated element of free expression is the trust placed on the receiver. what links the unlikely pair is this: both of their freely expressed ideas and visions (Kubrick's being film and Choudary's distorted hate-preaching) were judged based on the actions of others and were subsequently censored, albeit in different ways.

Stoke by-election: why locals feel so frustrated with the candidates on offer

A sense of being left behind is a big reason Stoke voted overwhelmingly for Brexit, and why UKIP see it as a top target seat. And it’s also why nobody believes the politicians that are arriving at the station, from whatever political party, trying to convince people that they care about the city.

Strip out the crazy QE plan and Corbynomics looks mainstream

What will Labour’s economic agenda be on the morning of 13 September? As if to prove the old saying about economists’ ability to have two opposing views on any issue, so far one bunch has come out in favour of his plans and another strongly against.

Sun Kil Moon's "Universal Themes" Shows A New-Found Generosity of Spirit

‘Universal Themes’mostly avoids those bum notes. It’s a challenging album that shares its predecessor’s autobiographical, anecdotal, plainspoken fixations, yet with a refreshingly ego-free core.

Super Tuesday: Clinton and Trump lift off as rivals straggle behind

Now that Trump’s macho populism has all but steamrolled Cruz’s evangelical conservatism and Rubio’s moderation, and with Sanders' democratic socialism fading against Clinton’s pragmatic realism, this has fast started to become a contest between Trump and Clinton. And in that contest, the presidency is now Clinton’s to lose.

Syriza Wins. Now Who Has the Strongest Nerves in Europe?

Failure to resolve differences between Greece and its creditors by the end of February could quickly bring matters to a head. But, even if Mr Tsipras were resolved to reach agreement with EU partners in the end, he would want to show he had wrested worthwhile concessions from them. This suggests that, at the very least, the next five weeks will see Greece and its creditors playing a game of chicken as the euro teeters on the precipice.

Syriza's Failure Has Been To Not Maintain The Fiction That All Debts Will Be Paid

Syriza’s high risk strategy has been to insist that debts should be written off, and then that its government budget should not be subject to guidance from its partners in Europe

Taxi Driver at 40: Travis Bickle and the New Age of Vigilantism

The New York City of the 21st century is vastly removed from the often romanticised one of the 70s, which gave birth to punk. Today it is a far more sanitised, gentrified, tourist-friendly metropolis: but still one of the epicentres of American and global society. Therefore it has served as a venue for nationwide, and international, political unrest.

Technology Is Vital for Culture. Oversharing Isn’t

We have all the tools to build and engage in culture more interesting and accessible than ever before, which is indisputably positive. Artists should continue uploading, streaming, experimenting, cutting-up and parodying enthusiastically.

Technology Not Government Is The Key to Global Trade

In an increasingly connected world, all you need to do to have access to a global marketplace is to let that marketplace know that you are there. For the first time in years, global trade is expanding at a slower rate than global GDP. All governments really need to do here is to get out of the way.

Tegel to Alexanderplatz, 27 January 2015, 26 euros.

He was born outside Accra and went to study in London and moved to Frankfurt and ended up driving a taxi in Berlin. I get into the front seat of his yellow Mercedes and he is pleased when we switch into English because he doesn’t get the chance to talk it much because his wife and kids still live at Seven Sisters and he sees them not at all.

Ten Things to Think About When Voting for the Next London Mayor

Disclaimer is not going to tell you who to vote for. It is pretty arrogant and you probably - quite rightly - would not listen to us anyway: each of us casts our votes in individual considerations. However, here are some of the issues facing the largest - and undoubtedly the best - city in Europe.

Tenebrism Lives on Through the Powerful Abstraction of Pepijn Simon

Pepijn Simon, Painter from the Netherlands. Tenebrism

The Ludicrously Patrician Position of Trident’s Nationalist Opponents

They want to get rid of Trident and spend the savings on welfare, schools and hospitals. You know the sort of thing, scrap the subs and we can have this many nurses, that many teachers and so on, as though doctors and nuclear weapons were seamlessly interchangeable, like the options you get when buying a new car

The ‘Free Kesha’ movement could be a landmark for abuse survivors everywhere

As Kesha continues her fight for freedom and against physical abuse, this justice system has a choice to make. Will it carry on telling survivors that they are powerless, and better off not reporting the crimes committed against them? Or will it finally step up and offer them the support they deserve?

The “Who? Who?” Shadow Front Bench Designed for Party Unity

With the exodus of Blairites and Brownites, there is an element of this to Jeremy Corbyn’s first appointments. Household names are few and far between.

The Anachronism of Monarchy Obscures Britain’s Radical Tradition

The monarchy embodies millennia of cultural and political history, with the monarch merely being a symbolic, impartial figurehead. But there is also a radical history which has guided the evolution of the monarchy towards its politically diluted status.

The Angel’s Head: Chapter 1 -- The Citadel

The Youngest stood at the base of the tree and looked up. The tree was a Sycamore. It was twice as tall as the houses. Where the trunk finished and the big branches started, it was higher than the roofs.

The Angel’s Head: Chapter 2 -- Top of the Tree

Short Novel, Russell McAlpine, The

The Angel’s Head: Chapter 3 - Council of War

The Eldest picked up the stick. That meant that it was time. He didn’t stand up or call for quiet. The stick did the job for him. To the Eldest, gang meetings were like conducting an ancient ritual. That was why he had copied the ceremony after reading about a Red Indian tribe. The holder of the talking stick had the right to speak.

The Angel's Head: Chapter 10 -- Good Soldiers

New Fiction, Disclaimer's serialised Novel the Angel's Head By Russell McAlpine


Cracks: Chapter 11 of the Angel's Head, a novel in instalments by Russell McApline

The Angel's Head: Chapter 12 -- Another Message

The Angel's Head is a Serialised novel By Russell McAlpine

THE ANGEL'S HEAD: CHAPTER 13 -- Messengers

The Angel's Head is a Serialised novel By Russell McAlpine

THE ANGEL'S HEAD: CHAPTER 14 -- Enemy Territory

The Angel's Head is a Serialised novel By Russell McAlpine


The Angel's Head is a Serialised novel By Russell McAlpine

THE ANGEL'S HEAD: CHAPTER 16 -- One the Crescent

The Angel's Head is a Serialised novel By Russell McAlpine


The Angel's Head is a Serialised novel By Russell McAlpine


The Angel's Head is a Serialised novel By Russell McAlpine

THE ANGEL'S HEAD: CHAPTER 19 -- The Royal infirmary

The Angel's Head is a Serialised novel By Russell McAlpine


The Angel's Head is a Serialised novel By Russell McAlpine

The Angel's Head: Chapter 4 - The Angel

The Angel’s Head Revealed in Chapter 4 of Russell McAlpine’s Serialised Novel

The Angel's Head: Chapter 5 - Afterwards

The Eldest couldn't sleep. He was used to staring at the numbers of his clock radio slowly spinning but this was the first time he could remember seeing the hour get to 03.

The Angel's Head: Chapter 6 -- The Crescent

The Angel's Head is a short Novel By Russell McAlpine Which is serialised in Disclaimer

The Angel's Head: Chapter 7 -- Provocation

The Angel's Head is a serialised novel by Russell McAlpine

The Angel's Head: Chapter 8 -- Near Miss

The Angel's Head is a Serialised Novel by Author Russell McAlpine


The Angel's Head, A serialised novel by Russell McAlpine

The BBC provides unfettered public service – No wonder George Osborne wants to cut it

It looks as though the BBC is set to be another casualty of George Osborne’s crusade to force all public institutions to ‘make savings’ and ‘find efficiencies’

The Big Three. After Brexit and Trump, is Marine Le Pen next?

Marine Le Pen, the self-dubbed 'Madame Frexit', claimed that Trump's win had bolstered her campaign. 2016 taught us all one thing: expect the unexpected. 2017 is shaping up to be the best opportunity Marine Le Pen ever has of gaining power.

The Black-and-White of Referendum Politics is Ignoring Major Questions in the Brexit Debate

Though the referendum campaign is likely to be waged on narrow economic issues, a rational judgment on the advisability of Brexit would take full account of the benefits and risks of the UK’s staying in the EU, and not merely the balance relating to leaving.

'The Blue Guitar,' an Emotionally and Aesthetically Fraught Work That Secures Banville's Place in the Top Flight

The Blue Guitar. Review of John Banville's New Novel Published by Viking, September 2015 Hardback, £14.99

The Cabinet of Her Majesty's Government as You Have Never Seen It Before

Cartton Images of Davide Cameron, George Osborne, Teresa May, Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Gove

The Case for Equality of Civil Partnerships

Since the introduction of Equal Marriage by the Coalition government, civil partnerships, the halfway house which were introduced to afford gay and lesbian couples the legal protections of commitment, have enjoyed a unintended anomaly in UK law: they are one facility which can be accessed by homosexuals but not heterosexuals.

The Challenge for May and Eagle (and Politics Too)

Theresa May is Britain’s next Prime Minister. As she assumes the mantel of leadership, Labour begin another election. It will be an unpleasant campaign. The challenge for May and Eagle is to demonstrate that principles and passion are not the preserve of political polarities.

The Challenge to Centrist "Respectable" Politics Is Keeping Many Awake At Night

Upstart candidates and parties seem to be challenging the political establishment all over the western world.

The Climate Change Summit in Paris is a Negotiation Not a Trial

The scientific jury has come back: 97% or more of active climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends are very likely due to human activities. The issue in Paris is what action politicians can agree to take.

The Communist Functionalism of Czechoslovakia's Rural Bus Stops by Lenka Rayn H.

The Communist Functionalism of Czechoslovakia's Rural Bus Stops by Lenka Rayn H.

The Corbyn Supremacy Will End. But it may take years and defeats

313,209 people currently hold British politics hostage. While Corbyn enjoys such support, Labour is out of contention as a party of government: the vote for him was in effect a vote for continued Conservative rule.

The Cost of Brexit: Slower Growth, Higher Borrowing and Further Cuts

The Autumn Statement was highly anticipated - the first after the Brexit referendum, the first for Philip Hammond... No more Osborne and his Long-Term Economic Plan..Disclaimer looks at whether Philip Hammond passed his first major test as Chancellor.

The Creeping Threat to Our Freedom of Information Rights

Recent comments by the Leader of the Commons, Chris Grayling, about supposed “misuse” of FoI by journalists who want to generate uncomfortable stories, reveal an instinctive mindset against transparency.

The Dark Recesses of Female Adolescence Explored in Two Unsettling Movies: 'The Falling' and ‘Girlhood'

Two new films join that small but notable canon this month: Carol Morley’s The Falling, which depicts a breakout of mass fainting at a 1960s girls’ school, and Céline Sciamma’s Girlhood, the tale of a girl whose trajectory is thrown off-course when she joins a formidable all-female gang.

The Delicate, Ambiguous and Perhaps Troubled Work of Tiina Heiska

Figurative Artist from Finland Tiina Heiska, Brings Mystery and a Subtle Palette

The Delicate, Washed Out Ambiguity of Bruce Ingram's Sculpture

Bruce Ingram, Sculture

The Die Is Cast: The Case For Syrian Air Strikes... And Against

Following the vote in the House of Commons, Disclaimer looks at the arguments in favour of and against extending UK air strikes to Syria.

The dismal science shows why resilience after Paris matters

The reality is Daesh has the economy clearly in its crosshairs but the past suggests that homo economicus is resilient.

The Doomed Age of Corbyn and The Existential Challenge For The British Left

A dangerous notion will lose Corbyn the election, if he gets that far: the belief that there is no need to persuade Tory voters to vote Labour. The thing about non-voters is that they do not vote. Decisions are made by those who show up.

The EU is Imperfect and Undemocratic But What Do We Replace it With?

A democratic outrage and driver for austerity, but also a protector of human rights. As we count down to June 23, various Disclaimer writers give their verdict on the EU.

The Future of History: Death of a Class

Francis Fukuyama’s ‘The End of History?’ came to symbolise the myopic triumphalism of political elites. But recent events mean his lesser-known 2012 essay, ‘The Future of History’, is necessary reading. It poses a single question: can liberal democracy survive the decline of the middle classes?

The General, Jeremy Corbyn and a Dangerous Defence Policy

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's defence policy may be dangerous but the UK military top-brass should keep quiet.

The IMF’s return to Keynes comes too late for world economy

After five years of austerity the idea of borrowing to invest is only beginning to emerge in the global economic and political debate. Christine Lagarde has been putting the case for more government spending. We will have a modest fiscal stimulus in many countries but not with international coordination or with any IMF advice.

The Infinitely Immersive Abstract Modernism of Nike Savvas

Nike Savvas Abstract Modernism Art installations

The Left - Corbyn Included - Should Lead the Resistance Against Putin's War-Mongering

The left must do more than merely distance itself from Putin’s assaults on human rights and ordinary people in Russia and overseas. It should be standing up for its values by leading the resistance against him.

The Left Should Not Get Excited By Trump’s Election

60 million people voted against Hillary Clinton. Their reasons were many from anger to a sense of identity. They did not do so with one mind. If we accept that Brexit started a domino effect which is humiliating the political classes, then those dominoes are falling to the nativist right not to the “socialist” left.

The left should stop fearing the inevitable. It’s time to embrace the future

It is the left’s task to create a vision that trumps the benefits of capitalism instead of just castigating the costs. It is time to embrace the inevitable shift in society that is occurring: the ever growing presence of technology and automation.

The Leftist Challenger Party Fighting in Turkey's General Election

Standing against Erdoğan’s ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) is a new party called the HDP (People’s Democracy Party). This was formed out of a collection of 36 once independent members of parliament.

The Living Wage Political Thunderbolt That Masks an Otherwise Very Tory Budget

George Osborne’s Summer Budget left even the most ardent lefty shell-shocked by the announcement to introduce a living wage — taking the minimum wage to £9 an hour

The loathsome linguistic wriggle of 'Officer-Involved Shootings'

Police in the United States have fatally shot 455 people so far this year. The phrase they would use is that 455 officer-involved shootings occurred. That term is so ubiquitous that it even has its own acronym: OIS.

The Missing Factor in Direct Democracy is Enlightened Leadership

The desire for greater democracy comes when calls for more direct access to political participation have been growing. Polls in many Western countries show that citizens are frustrated by the corporate and vested forces which liberal democracy seems unable to tackle. But democracy requires leadership.

The Myth of the 76 and of the Tribe that Does Not Exist

Since the election, social media profiles have become festooned with a “76” logo. The 76 are either in denial that the Conservatives won or are questioning the legitimacy of their win. The opportunism is staggering.

The Mythology of Tribes and Political Original Sin

We all sin. That does not mean we are sinners but we do err. It is to be human, and all that. Character is not just how we behave when we think nobody is looking, but how we carry the burden of our past actions. It is as true of people as it is of society and nations.

The Only Certain Thing After the "No" Vote is More Uncertainty

“No” has clearly prevailed in the referendum on whether to accept the austerity demands of Greece’s international creditors.

The Other Norway Option? Theresa May should refuse more US extraditions

The American penal system has been repeatedly condemned. Whether defendant can received a fair trial is doubted. Theresa May should find the same courage as Norway has done and not extradite until that close ally can guarantee humane conditions, reasonable sentences and decent trials.

The Other World, It Whispers: a bewitching collection of WTF

ong before Peppa Pig snorted her way into the hearts and minds of children everywhere, fairy tales provided the foundation for our moral compass. And so enters The Other World, It Whispers, stage right, to modernise the fairy tale format and offer a new lens through which to analyse the mental and physical struggles of humankind.

The Panacea of Democracy 2.0 is Just Power Without Responsibility

It is too easy to charge those who are direct democracy sceptics with elitism. How to make democracy best work in the interests of citizens needs to be debated. But direct democracy is not a progressive panacea or indeed any kind of panacea.

The philosophy of Brexit: forget the facts and focus on values

In response to the EU referendum debate the Philosophy Foundation organised an event for people interested in understanding better how to think about their vote and what tools they need for decision making that can be used for the vote on 23 June.

The Playful Beauty of Ahn Sun Mi's Dreamy Self Portraits

Ahn Sun Mi's conceptual photo collages are surreal self-portraits that invite viewers to reflect on their fragility and the inner landscapes of imagination. Her work inhabits a space somewhere between childhood and adulthood, between dream and reality.

The pragmatic utopianism of Thomas Piketty

In April 2014, Thomas Piketty found global fame; his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century caused something of a stir in his homeland, and when the book was translated into English the stir became a storm. Though he eschews the abstractions of a philosopher like Sartre, he is a mixture of utopianism and pragmatism.

The Pragmatism of Tsipras Is the One Thing Holding The Greek Political Order Together

Tsipras' Ruthless Pragmatism may be the only thing that is preventing political collpase in Greece

The Question Theresa May Won’t Answer: What Is Mayism?

May has pulled off the trick of making the public believe she offers something new and different. But we have yet to really understand her: what is the philosophy which informs how she makes decisions, beyond supposed pragmatism? Also, is she able to translate these underpinnings into a language which resonates with the public?

The Reluctant Case for War Against ISIL

The case for war against ISIL: when order breaks down the policy priorities change: just because we cannot do the right thing everywhere it does not mean we should not try when we can

The Rise and Fall of Political Reputations Challenges Both Tories and Labour

The resignation of Iain Duncan Smith has made the week preceding the Easter break one of the most dramatic and feverish since the election. George Osborne has fallen from grace. Labour will take comfort from good opinion polls. But there is a challenge for both parties and the public.

The Rise of the Demagogue – A Warning from Plato

Plato’s demagogues peddle fantasy and utterly disregard the facts. Individual purported ‘facts’ can and should be questioned, but if we acquiesce in the fashion for ‘post-fact’, then it will not just be the future of liberal democracy at stake, but the survival of all life. Fortunately, we are still at the crossroads.

The Secrecy of the Voting Booth May Help Divisive and Racist Trump Win

Caucuses can potentially produce outcomes that misrepresent voters' true intentions. Iowa is little more than a pothole in the road. The secret ballot of the primary system which predominates the race may encourage the Trump masses to vote.

The Seismic Foreshock No-One is Talking About

A one-party totalitarian state has had its currency admitted to a global top table. Why is no-one talking about this?

The Shame Trump Brings to The Right and the Shame They Bring to Themselves

Accused of colluding with Russian authorities to win the election, President Trump attacks the free press, the judiciary, and any checks on his power. He wanted to jail Hillary Clinton and accuses Barack Obama of wiretapping him. He is leading an attack on democracy. Why are the right not opposing him?

The Snooper’s Charter, Dystopian Nightmares and Why Politicians Should Always Fear Theatre

If this is a democracy, then we the people have elected the government, not to rule us like children, paranoid about what we have to hide, but to serve us and run the country in our interest. As the government pushes the Snooper's Charter, what role does theatre have in this?

The Stink of Inequality Will Finally Make Politicians Act

Ultimately it is governments that can change the distribution of wealth and income through the policies they implement. This above all else may be the biggest impact of Jeremy Corbyn’s elevation as Labour leader is that he has put the role of the state back at the heart of the debate. No longer will both parties agree the market knows best and that we should only tinker with it a greater or lesser extent.

The Streets of Athens Say "OXI"

The Streets of Athens Suggest "No" Will Be the Outcome of the Referendum

The Sublime and the Ridiculous of Film on Film

The fact that artists examine film via the medium of film demonstrates that some little kernel of passion is still alive within them. It’s persistent and contagious, and is what keeps them – and us – coming back to the movies time and time again.

The Subtle Clash of the Titans That’s Taking Place Across the Pacific

Signs are that US ruling circles are aware of the danger to their position and will attempt counter-measures to ensure that it is not weakened further. They have already withstood one challenge, from the Soviet Union during the Cold War. They may well feel they can see off this latest threat too.

The Synthetic, Unimaginative and Ultimately Forgettable Politics of the X Factor Generation

The rules of electioneering have changed little in the last 30 years. They were begun by Margaret Thatcher, finessed by Tony Blair and brought to sterile perfection by David Cameron.

The Tories Are Giving Every Impression They Want to Skew Our Democracy

Short money, as it is called, was introduced in 1974 to give a permanent financial arrangement to enable opposition parties, big and small, to play their full part in the House of Commons. The proposed cuts smell of an attempt to skew the democratic decks in the government's favour.

The Tories' Secret Weapon: How Osborne Used Housing to Win the Election

I first got an inkling that the Conservatives might scrape back into Downing Street a couple of years ago, over lunch during a trip to the US.

The Tories’ Approach to the NHS is Austerity by Stealth

Red Cross jeeps pulling up at hospitals where patients are dying on trolleys in corridors and being treated in the makeshift surgeries of tents and staff rooms, as understaffing is so chronic, is unworthy of a developed nation and major economy. Who, or what, is to blame for this systemic collapse?

The Trump Revolution is in Progress

Since the 2008 crisis, the financial markets have been reluctant to acknowledge that an economic depression has been under way. Popular anxiety at perceived global injustices is bubbling over. The problem in forecasting Trump's actions is that he has yet to demonstrate he has an understanding of the challenges.

The TTIP trade deal is lost at sea

The future of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and European Union seems bleak. TTIP is starting to look like an awful lot of effort for unremarkable gains. So why has such a major piece of international deal-making found it so hard to make headway?

The UK is Guilty of Dehumanising Disabled People

Channel 4, is promoting the Paralympic Games with the tagline “We’re the superhumans". But the ugly truth cannot be ignored: disabled people face not only the obstacles caused directly by their disabilities, but also those caused by the hostility and apathy towards them as people.

The UK is sinking deeper into property inequality – here’s why

The UK is a place that makes it very easy for individuals to generate a great wealth from property, with little concern for social justice or the provision of affordable housing. Politicians fear these issues, and public discussion has fallen all but silent. No solution is simple; but not talking about it won’t solve anything.

The Unintended Constitutional Legacies of David Cameron

Before they assumed office the Conservatives had a far-reaching, even radical, programme of constitutional reform. However, it may be that Cameron’s greatest constitutional legacies were never intended.

The US Can Learn Much from Cuba When it Comes to Race Relations

US Secretary of State John Kerry’s inauguration of a newly reopened US Embassy in Havana ushers in closure to one of the most embarrassing chapters of US foreign policy: the US Can learn from Cuba when it comes to race relations

The US Carrier Fleet Has Always Been Vulnerable Even Without China's New Missiles

News that China has paraded a potentially 'carrier-killing' ballistic missile, the Dongfeng ('East Wind') 21D through the streets of Beijing as part of celebrations to mark the Second World War's end has many commentators convinced that the strategic balance in the Pacific has shifted forever, and that the end of the supercarrier is nigh.

The Vaguely Racist and Xenophobic Attitudes of Dog Walkers in Leeds

when it comes to “them immigrants,” the normally sensible dog-loving denizens of Leeds turn into raging, misinformed xenophobes

The Victorian Roots of Mr Osborne's Welfare Changes

The House of Lords has voted to delay the government’s plans to cut tax credits. The cuts form a significant component (more than a third) of the Conservative government’s plans to reduce the UK’s welfare bill by £12 billion.

The Week on Planet Trump: Healthcare Backlash Continues as the Net Closes in on Russia

Ten weeks into his presidency Donald Trump is struggling to control the agenda, his popularity has plummeted and he is dogged by allegation that his campaign colluded with Russian authorities. Disclaimer looks at some of the analysis from the US press.

The Week on Planet Trump: Not Winning as He Approaches 100 Chaotic Days

As he approaches 100 days as president Donald Trump has no domestic achievements to his presidency and he is edging towards conflict with North Korea. Disclaimers rounds up another week for the chaotic president.

The Week on Planet Trump: Syrian Air Strikes End a Chaotic Week

Eleven weeks into his presidency Trump's week began with critcism and uncertainty over his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch; his air strike on Syrian bases earned him praise and criticism. What is clear is that he still has no policy.

The Week on Planet Trump: The Revolution is Over but He’s Still Not ‘Presidential’

Week twelve of Trump's presidency saw criticism and uncertainty over strategy in Syria and against North Korea; and ended with in-fighting in his White House team. What is clear is that he has flip-flopped from his America First agenda.

The World Waits To See What Changes the Trump Ascendancy Will Bring

The world at large is still waiting to see what differences to US foreign policy Mr Trump’s move into the White House will make. In a climate that has suddenly turned inimical to their objectives, EU policymakers have, at least momentarily, been thrown off balance.

Theatre in the Age of Loneliness

Humans are pack animals: we gather to share experiences. Increasingly we live in an age of atomisation but theatre provide a place where we can share experiences and intimacy beyond our online brands.

There Are No Words to Describe How Awful Corbyn is. He Has to Go

This is not about the Labour party. It is about the country. Jeremy Corbyn is plumbing the depths of imcompetence and unpopularity. By doing continuing he is allowing the Tories get away with a Hard Brexit and risking the stability of the country. He must go.

There’s no place for the politics of hate in our society

The poisonous politics of hate has been built on scaremongering, outright lies and has become as terrifyingly right-wing as anything Enoch Powell or Oswald Mosely wrote. Only by working together can politics rid itself of this.

There’s Nothing Inevitable Nor Unstoppable About Widening Economic Inequality

Inequality - What Can be Done?” by University of Oxford professor Anthony Atkinson, not only documents the growing inequality gap of recent decades, but asks why we should care about it and, most importantly, what can be done about it. But the value of this book lies not so much in the recommendations but in the full frontal assault Atkinson makes on the lazy intellectual dogma that inequality is inevitable

Theresa May and Brexit Britain’s Axis of Authoritarianism

With its reactionary politics of the Tory right, Brexit has surpassed the worst fears of the Remain camp. Theresa May’s foreign policy seeks to strengthen ties with nations that vastly deviate from liberal democratic Europe. Brexit is turning out to be a national, and international, humiliation.

Theresa May is Not in Control of Events and It’s Gonna Get Worse

Theresa May has fostered the illusion that she is in control of events. Yet she has a slender majority and faces unrealistic Brexiteers. Once she invokes Article 50, she will have to face a united EU bloc. However she plays it, she is not in control.

Theresa May Must Guarantee the Rights of EU Citizens in Britain

Brexit brings obvious risks for the prime minister. Her aim to provide a bridge between the EU and Trump’s America was given short shrift by EU leaders and she has few good cards in her hand. If she is to succeed she needs to show Europe some love as she showed her love for America in Philadelphia.

Theresa May Needs To Make it Clear: Osborne’s Outside Interests are Unacceptable

George Osborne's appointment as the new editor of the Evening Standard plsays into all the worst conceptions of a corrupt establishment that seeks to look after itself. Theresa May must condemn his move and make it clear she wants to strengthen trust in politics.

Theresa May Should Worry More About Her Left Than Her Right

Theresa May has pitched her ideological tent in a ‘new centre ground’. Her initial pitch to voters was that she wants to fight injustice and she want to create an upwardly mobile meritocratic society. It is hard to take her seriously when she has surrounded herself with so man socially-conservative figures.

Theresa May’s Cabinet Cull: “Not a Reshuffle but a New Government”

So there it is. Theresa May’s new government. Only four Cabinet ministers remained in place; there are eight women; seven Brexiteers. Her Cameroon cull has left many shocked. But Brexiteers have been treated equally ruthlessly. Those who have seen Teresa May as a cautious leader have mistaken dullness for preparation.

This is No Civil War – Ukraine’s Conflict is An Act of Russian Aggression

As Ukraine marks 24 years since its independence from the Soviet Union, it is embroiled in the most dangerous armed conflict in Europe – against the Russian Federation.

This Middle Class Neurosis Over Schools is Bullshit

The latest round of the annual allocation of places in state secondary schools for 11 year olds starting in September produced the usual outpouring of angst among parents over the lengths they have to go to get their little darlings into the best establishments. Poor them.

This Stuff Only Happens in South London: ‘Hat Not Cat,’ a Short Story by David Nwokedi

‘FUCKING CATS!’ he shouted it this time. A woman with red hair and an overfilled carrier bag walking down the road turned in his direction but didn’t look at him. At least, he didn’t think she looked at him.

This unruly monarchy is part of Britain’s secretive, undemocratic state

After a three year campaign it has been revealed that Prince Charles has been receiving sensitive, classified government papers. Where monarchy is concerned there are no rules. They are part of Britain’s secretive, undemocratic state.

Three Poems by Rory Nair

Poetry from Rony Nair

Three Questions Blustering Trump Must Answer on Russia (But Cannot)

Donald Trump's first response to Michael Flynn's resignation was bluster. However, the allegations that his team colluded with Russian official before his election and inauguration are serious. He cannot evade forever but if he answers the questions he will admit the illegitimacy of his own presidency.

Three Weeks To Go: The Case for Lexit... and Remain

With weeks to go until the EU Referendum and many voters still undecided, Stewart Tolley puts the pragmatic case - free trade and influence - for remaining part of the EU; while Matt Turner puts the case against an undemocratic and anti-democratic EU.

To lose one union is a misfortune. To lose two is criminally careless

Nicola Sturgeon has laid down the gauntlet on Scottish independence but so has Leanne Wood in Wales and Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland. Brexit has put the future of the United Kingdom in jeopardy and Theresa May's hardline stance is making matters much worse.

Today and Beyond the Values of Liberté, égalité, Fraternité Belong to Us All

We try but mere words cannot not give true expression to the horrific attacks in Paris. We mourn those murdered in the terrorist attacks in Paris, but we must remember our values as well. As the collective wound imperfectly heals, we must always remember our values, and we must counter, with actions and words, this ugly ideology.

Too Little, Too Late Labour Fails to Offer a Brexit Alternative

As Jeremy Corbyn flounders on the election campaign trail, Keir Starmer has outlined Labour's Brexit position. The tone is friendlier and there are differences, but by accepting the need to end free movement of people the party is failing to offer an alternative.

Too Little, Too Late: The EU's Agreement to Solve The Migrant Crisis

The agreement among EU justice ministers to re-settle 120,000 people over the next two years is welcome but insufficient. There is an urgent need for international action to ensure that fewer people have to make these journeys and that those who do are protected. The EU must lead but with the participation of the US and Russia. We must tackle the immediate problem and address its causes.

Too Many Will Be Tempted to Vote Tory on June 8th – But Corbyn Can’t See Them

In 2015, it seemed inconceivable that the Conservatives would win a majority. Elections are about image, leadership and message discipline, rather than policy. Corbyn needs to learn this fast but has his fingers in his ears.

Tory Supremacy Confirmed. Now They Eat Their Own

Breaking a manifesto commitment Philip Hammond decided to use his Budget to attack the growing number of self-employed people with a hefty tax bill. Jeremy Corbyn did not mention it in his response. It seems the only effective opposition is the media.

Tough and Brave Sanders Should End His Campaign. He can’t win but Trump or Cruz Can.

Sanders has to end his campaign, endorse Hillary Clinton and then go out and convince his supporters that the former Secretary of State is the best choice to lead the country. He cannot win the nomination against Clinton. But Trump or Cruz might win the presidency.

Toxic Reforms, Tory Toffs and Europe... But We’ll Never Know The Whole Story of IDS’ Resignation.

No one could stand the welfare beat forever. Stuck with his name on the government's most toxic reforms, penned in by an Oxbridge cabal from a younger generation and at clear odds with the leadership, but not the party, over Europe. It's a miracle that the Quiet Man stayed quiet for as long as he did.

Trump is President. Brexit Will Happen. But Opposition to Both is Fundamentally Democratic

Trump is president. Brexit will happen. Barring impeachment or a public clamour for a second referendum, these facts will remain. To the victor belongs the spoils. But they don’t always keep them.

Trump Makes His First Choices. Democrats Ponder Their Last One

Trump's dog whistles will make America's racists and misogynists satisfied enough to ignore that their economic lot isn't improving. Meanwhile, Democrats are left re-evaluating, through the clarity of hindsight, whether their party machine should have backed Hillary Clinton.

Trump means Trump, but who the hell knows what Brexit is?

As May flies into the United States this weekend to become the first leader to meet Trump, people on this side of the Pond will get a good idea of what the Special Relationship will mean for our small island once it’s cast adrift from the European continent.

Trump’s Cuban Freeze Will Strengthen Castro’s Legacy, Good and Bad

Arguing that freeing travel and trade would loosen the grip of authoritarianism in Cuba, Barack Obama reached out to Raul Castro. Now Donald Trump's review will strengthen socialist aspects of the revolution. But it also risks reviving the murky spirit of Fidel Castro.

Trump’s LGBT War Begins: The Bigotry of America’s Trans Bathroom Bills

In his first 100 days Donald Trump had found time to revoke Barack Obama's executive order allowing students to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity. It defies logic and facts. Donald Trump is trying to erase trans identity.

Trump’s National Security Team is Looking Like a Dr Strangelove Remake

Even if the world avoids catastrophe during Trump’s presidency, egotism and aggressiveness that characterise his foreign policy and security appointees so far risks other disastrous decisions.

Trump’s order barring refugees flies in the face of logic and humanity

Refugees are, by definition, fleeing persecution, persecution that is intensified during times of armed conflict. Closing the gates into the US puts lives at risk in the same way as happened in the 1930s. Those fleeing persecution and armed conflict deserve protection. What Trump is doing flies in the face of that basic truth.

Trump’s Presidency is Now on the Brink Between Failure and Utter Failure

Trump's inability to pass healthcare reform makes him a failure. His presidency now rests on tax reform. He either needs the Republican right flank or the Democrats to pass legislation. He needs them more than they need him but he has just spent the past week insulting them.


When he suggested banning Muslim from travelling to the US, Donald Trump was talking to people he thought might well vote for him., offering them simplicity he cannot possibly provide to a people stymied by an international backdrop of irreducible complexity

Trump's Dishonesty is Testing Diplomats As Never Before

Trust is at the heart of diplomacy. At the moment the State department is staying silent as Trump commits diplomatic blunder after blunder. The situation cannot later. Sooner or later they will have to choose between contradicting him or promoting his mendacious views to the world

Truth Stranger Than Fiction: The Postmodern Satire of The X-Files

The tenth series of The X-Files,released this year, has received somewhat mixed reviews from critics. This is perhaps because it would always struggle to live up to the acclaim of the original series. Returning to the story fourteen years later, the X-Files unit reforms and the roles of the double act have switched.

Two International Trade Deals That Threaten Democracy

he ratification of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement would have a far more significant impact on the UK constitution than, say, scrapping the Human Rights Act or further devolution.

UKIP, Greens or Mr Infuriating. Who Would You Vote For on May 7?

UKIP, the Green Party, or the most infuriating man in Britain. At the May 7 election, this is the choice that almost 76,000 voters in Buckingham will face. No Tories, no Labour, no LibDems.

Understanding Erdogan's Surprise Victory in Turkey

In a time of deteriorating economic conditions and mounting security concerns, the people of Turkey have put aside aspirations of any aspirations for a more democratic society. While this may seem unpalatable for many of us in the West, Erdoğan remains in the eyes of most in Turkey, the best - although far from perfect - hope for the future.

Understanding Saudi Arabia's Complex Response to the War in Syria

The Saudi relationship with the Syrian crisis is complex – a tangle of domestic and regional priorities. Abroad, Riyadh wants to see the Assad regime toppled and Iran’s influence in the Levant weakened, but at home Saudi policy has been much more reactionary and conservative, working hard to quash dissent and maintain stability.

Unionism and the Hard Borders of the Mind

The legacy of the horror visited on the Protestant population of the Fermanagh border during the Troubles is an enduring reminder of how much remains to be done to reconcile the past with a more hopeful future now much at stake in the current constitutional tumult.

Unity and Discord Are Needed to Protect A Greater Ideal

Both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn deserve praise for their responses to the terrorist attack in London. Terrorism is an attack on citizens but also liberty. Our best response must be to remember the unity but know that living up to our ideals can make our society better.

Voters deserve a better EU referendum debate - let's make it happen

There’s an appetite among voters to see a positive campaign that deals with the issues - not a Westminster parlour game dramatized by journalists in Fleet Street. People want the facts, they want a balanced debate, and they need a space to discuss this in an informed way.

Washington “Takes Control” from Boris Johnson - Brexit Britain’s Foreign Policy

Following Trump’s air strikes on Syrian bases, Boris Johnson cancelled his trip to Moscow trip suggesting that the US administration’s position is still being shaped, but also that Britain, or Johnson, is not a trusted intermediary. There will be dialogue but Britain will not be part of that dialogue.

Watch The Dead Cat President But Oppose Him and His Shambolic Circus Cabinet

It is hard to imagine any President being as widely scrutinised as Donald Trump. But the confirmation of Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions demonstrates his extreme agenda. Opponents must not let his twitter rants distract from the threats his team poses.

We must stop looking at EU migrants as coming from two Europes – the east, and everywhere else

Migration is a central theme in June's the EU referendum debate. The focus is often upon migrants from eastern Europe, with migrants from everywhere else in Europe largely absent from such discussions. Perhaps because those from the east are newer to the EU, they are often portrayed as a problem.

We Need a Mature Debate on the NHS to Secure Its Future

The NHS is the nearest thing the British have to a religion. But until we stop treating our health care system as if it is sacrosanct we will be stuck in a futile debate on its future. Maybe voters are ready for a mature debate.

We need more people to ‘speak truth to power’ about Islamic extremism

Independent scrutiny remains the cornerstone of accountability in our democracy. All too often though, it encounters a hostile reception. We desperately need more people willing to 'speak truth to power' because so long as we continue to tolerate a culture of defensive evasion we are not safe from harm.

We Shouldn’t Treat Democracy Like A Religion. It Needs To Evolve.

No one can tell whether leaving the EU was a right or wrong decision but there's a persistent view that if only "the people" had direct powers of democratic action then sensible, progressive and morally-considered laws would result. Let's start to look at how we can make democracy work better.

Weekend Fiction by Dan Crockett: Sins of the father

A short story by Dan Crockett

Weekend Fiction by Graham Kirby: The Woman in the Shop

A short story by Graham Kirby.

Weekend Fiction by Philip A. Suggars: The Circle Line

A Short Story by Philip A, Suggars

Weekend Fiction By S. J. Bradley: Gordon Trask

A Short Story by S. J. Bradley

Weekend Fiction: All These Lives

Weekend Fiction by Jeff Chon

Weekend Fiction: Always Bring Tar Feathers to a PTA Coup

Fiction by Caleb Echterling

Weekend Fiction: Another Ministerial Metamorphosis

A short story by Holly Powis

Weekend Fiction: Cleansed

A Short Story by Fraser Bryant

Weekend Fiction: Dancing Around The Monolith

A short story by Guy Martland

Weekend Fiction: Half a Creamed Chicken Sandwich at the Airport

Short fiction by Paul Sharville

Weekend Fiction: Hub-Cap Farm

Short Fiction by Tomas Fox

Weekend Fiction: Inside/Outside (U.S.A.)

A Short Story by Joe Bedford

Weekend Fiction: Jesus is in California

A Short Story by Mark Daniel Taylor

Weekend Fiction: King Dramilo

A Short Story by Rudy Koshar

Weekend Fiction: Man's Best Friend

A Short Story by Amy Kean

Weekend Fiction: Oh, Horror Horror

Short Fiction by Joe Bedford

Weekend Fiction: Our House

A short story by Bart Van Goethem

Weekend Fiction: Picking Up a Script (Part 1)

A Short Story by Russell McAlpine

Weekend Fiction: Picking Up a Script (Part 2)

Short Fiction by Russell McAlpine

Weekend Fiction: Places We Fracked

A Short Story by Alina Stefanescu

Weekend Fiction: Rock and Ruin

A Short Story By Paul Sharville

Weekend Fiction: The End of the Story

A short story by Graham Kirby.

Weekend Fiction: The Final Resting Place of Jonathan Stoakes

Short Fiction by Mark Daniel Taylor

Weekend Fiction: The History of Control

A short story by Russell McAlpine

Weekend Fiction: The Hit

A Short Story by Fred Rock

Weekend Fiction: THE REPENTANT SICARII (Part One)

A short story in two parts by Paul Sharville.

Weekend Fiction: The Tube Men by Spencer Fleury

Short Fiction by Spencer Fleury

Weekend Fiction: The Tunnel

A Short Story by Beverly Road

Weekend Fiction: The WTF Star

A Short Story by Jay KIdd

Weekend Fiction: Tribe A

Short Fiction by Graham Kirby

Weekend Poetry: Black Tide by Dan Crockett

Weekend poetry by Daniel Crockett

Weekend Poetry: Four Poems by Faith Fulbright

Four Poems by Faith Fulbright

Weekend Poetry: We Will Not Remember Them

Poetry by Steve Mcauliffe

Welcome to the Golden Age of Radio

There is something disconcerting but challenging about a medium which denies us one of our senses, and instead challenges our imagination. But radio is prepared to give greater space to weighty topics in a way which television is not.

We're Calling It Cyber-Baroque: The Universal Art of Miao Xiaochun

We're Calling It Cyber-Baroque: The Universal Art of Miao Xiaochun

What burst forth in the 15th century could wither in the 21st - The Death of Banking

Central banks will be pursuing monetary policies that are not strictly appropriate to whatever economic conditions are current. Therefore traditional banks face a challenge. The 1980s saw the final culmination of a more than five-hundred-year development, the end of an era, not the inception of a new and sustainable financial order.

What happened to... Hinkley Point?

In 2012 the UK Government signed off on a deal to back EDF Energy and China’s state utility company, CGN to extend the life of Hinkley Point in Somerset. Since then the company has suffered a credit downgrade and doubts about their ability to deliver. Disclaimer looks at an issue you might not find in the headlines.

What Happened To... Ken Livingstone?

Over the last few months, Ken Livingstone has been called a ‘hate-filled cockroach,’ ‘an honest politician’ and just this week, fellow Labour-man Chukka Umunna referred to him as a ‘pin-up for prejudice.’ Which is it? Is Ken Livingstone an anti-Semite?

What Happened To… The Greek Euro ‘Implosion’?

Since the first bailout package things don’t seem to be getting any better. After three bailout packages and years of austerity, Greece’s economic outlook still looks unstable. Disclaimer looks at an issue you might not find in the headlines.

What the Brexit white paper says (and doesn’t say) about trade

Negotiating trade deals is a tremendous task and requires clarity for each and every economic sector involved. Unfortunately, the white paper gives little detail on this. Considering the UK is leaving the world’s largest trading bloc, it will need to sort out these details for its forthcoming negotiations.

What the Office and Peep Show can tell us about Brexit and Trump

The slow disappearance of class from our discourse has fanned the flames of a gap between perceptions and reality. There are implications here for the Left, in Britain and across the world. Any politics which relies upon the privileged seeing themselves as privileged will fail.

What Would Miliband Be Like as PM? Think Thatcher But With a Heart

unless there is a dramatic shift in the polls, Mr Miliband stands a reasonable chance of being the next Prime Minister. The Labour leader is still a puzzle to many, including a sizeable number inside the Labour Party. There are many who still regard him as an interloper who has denied what they assume to be an easy election victory by beating his brother David to the leadership.

What’s so special about being ordinary? Despite Orlando LGBT Assimilation, Always Tenuous, Continues

Being oppressed has long been part of gay identity. Gen-X gays came of age in a world with no sign posts and few role models. The Orlando night club shooting should reminds us of how tenuous progress is, and make all of us remember that the rights we cannot yet take for granted do not exist around the globe.

Whatever the Left or the Right Say About Port Talbot, the Workers Will Get the Arse End

Port Talbot was across the bay from the first bedrooms of my youth. I could see the flare when they opened the blast furnaces across fifteen miles of water. The place is beautiful, almost magical, by night. By day it’s a Victorian vision of grinding industry, human lives and dwellings clearly subordinated to the health of this last, vast, steel-making machine.

What's a Trobairitz Anyway? - Confessional Songwriting and Sexism in Music

“I hate the word “confessional”,’ Owen Pallett said back in 2014. ‘I think [the term is] vaguely misogynistic and always applied to female songwriters.’ St Vincent shares that view : ‘I feel like sometimes when people describe music as confessional, it's a term that they relegate to female artists. I don't often hear it in relation to men.’

When Even the Residents of London's Poshest Streets Aren't Safe from the Forces of Global Capital

We are used to thinking about the housing crisis in London as something that happens outside the exclusive enclaves of Mayfair, Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Chelsea. Of course, the traditional elites who have always inhabited these well-to-do areas are certainly not suffering a “crisis” of any sort. But they are moving out and cashing in.

When side-effects of financial medicine start to harm the patient

Central banks argue they had no choice but to cut rates and introduce QE to help stabilise economic growth. There is evidence that this approach has worked. But global growth is still running at half the rate it was in 2010 and any improvement will be modest. Governments and central banks are now considering other options.

Whether it's Brexit or Bremain, Reckless Cameron Should Resign

David Cameron should resign as Prime Minister after the EU referendum - regardless of the outcome. It was politically inept to call the referendum in the first place and the resulting campaign has dangerously exacerbated divisions in British society. It will take a major effort to piece things back together again.

Whether or not Trump wins, the Republican Party may never recover

After the expectations that his insurgency would eventually flame out, and that something like normal political relations would be restored, the efforts to dismiss Trump’s campaign have stalled in recent weeks with the growing concern that it represents a potentially seismic shift in American political culture.

While May Offers Platitudes, Merkel Becomes the New Leader of the Trump Resistance

In contrast to Theresa May, when it came to welcoming Trump’s election, Angela Merkel was unequivocal in setting out Germany’s terms for cooperation. But the platform of principles from which Merkel criticises Trump are not just those of Germany but Europe.

Whisper It Quietly, but the Real Culprits of the Brexit Disaster Are... Us

This week Theresa May will invoke Article 50. Perhaps it is time to look at the causes of Brexit: record employment masks long-term unemployment and unease in areas that have lost industries and jobs. We need an agenda that can hail the benefits of globalisation and invests to make them available for all.

White domination of culture is being challenged, and it couldn’t come soon enough

Culture has a strange relationship with the wider world. We often think of it springing ahead, more equal and progressive, propelled by artists able to envision worlds better than our own. This month, however, has shown clear signs that it’s lagging behind.


London is falling behind on the number of homes that need to be built each year to cater for its expanding family and strong demand by businesses for workers.

Why 2016 will be a year of living dangerously

Anyone expecting a happy new year after 2015 saw economic growth slow as commodity prices and emerging economies crashed while terrorist outrages and a refugee crisis sapped morale will have been disappointed.

Why a Crisis in Our Schools is a Harbinger of Worse to Come

The financial situation is dire and new regulations are putting pressures on senior leadership teams in schools. The government should think again.

Why Censor Backwards Bigots Like Tyson Fury When You Can Make Their Views Obsolete?

Sports Personality has always been a funny title. If it's taken to mean 'most successful sportsperson' then it makes sense to include Fury, since it's so difficult to deny the scope of his achievements (even if I'd sometimes like to - the man has an ego of Kanye West proportions, and I'd rather not inflate the vanity of someone who already frequently refers to himself in the third person).

Why did it take so much to discredit Donald Trump?

What shocks about Friday’s tapes is not what Donald Trump said, but that it took so long to notice who he really is. When it usually takes so little to discredit a candidate why did it take so much to discredit Donald Trump?

Why Do So Many Writers Only Become Famous After They Die?

It’s a cliché but, like most clichés, it has its roots in truth. Time and time again writers have toiled away in obscurity, never seeing in life the recognition they achieve in death.

Why Jeremy Corbyn is Love-Bombing Liverpool – and University Campuses

Why opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is continuing to travel the country and particularly the Labour heartland of Liverpool.

Why Putting the "New" Back in Labour Isn't Quite Going to Do It

It was no more than a few hours after Labour’s electoral rout when Labour Party notables began calling for a return to the political centre, for the New to be put back in Labour.

Why so Many Left-wingers Dressing like Scruffs Matters

The usual suspects flew into a rage over Owen Jones wearing a swanky jacket for an interview with GQ magazine. But there is a long history of well-dressed Labour leaders. That Corbyn and his acolytes think being well-dressed is inimical to radicalism is of a piece with their alienating policies.

Why the Norway model is a flawed blueprint for Brexit

The “Norway option” allows access to the single market without being a member of the EU but contradicts claims of “taking back control”. Trade patterns suggest Norway is less engaged than the UK in world trade. Given that it seems to make nearly every category worse off, why could this solution remain on the table?

Why the Paris attacks should not change European attitudes to refugees

On the issue of migration it is more necessary than ever to keep our senses and not give in to the siren call of those who take advantage of the confusion between refugees and terrorists.

Why the Sinai Peninsula is so dangerous

Even though the Sinai crisis has been underway for years, the rest of the world has only really begun to pay attention in the last year or so

Why there may be an American Spring this summer

Amid an incredibly febrile world, eyes are again turning to the perennially stable United States. But the image that greets them now is not calm but powerful Uncle Sam but a simmering pot of tensions. If a solution does not come from Clinton or Trump then one can only hope there is a new potential unifier waiting in the wings.

Why UK could be doomed to years without proper access to world trade

Discussion since the Brexit vote has focused on how the UK will negotiate the terms of its new trading relationship with the EU, much less has been said about the rest of the world. It will require a long and complex process of negotiation, for which the UK is under-prepared and has little leverage.

Why you should care about the local elections

Local elections are often dismissed as being “second order” elections with nothing much at stake. And with at least some justification local elections have previously been deemed the “irrelevant elections”. Turnout can often be low, particularly when council elections are being held on their own instead of alongside European or general elections.

Wild, Raw and Stark: The Spirit of the Canine Captured From On High

Mondo Cane by Thomas Roma

Will ‘Grown-up’ Tillerson Force Putin into a Syrian Climbdown?

The US bombing of Syria’s Shayrat airbase will have caused consternation in the Kremlin. Assad's use of chemical weapons has already made Vladimir Putin look impotent. He can neither ditch Assad or end the Syrian war. However, maybe Rex Tillerson's strategy is to force him to climbdown.

Will Brexit destroy the City or save it? Perhaps the real answer is neither

The likely fate of the City of London in the event of a vote to leave the European Union tends to polarise opinion. for every Sajid Karim, who think Brexit will destroy London as a financial centre, there’s a Michael Geoghegan who wants out. The truth, as always, falls somewhere between the extremes.

Will Repealing Ireland’s Abortion Laws Be Enda Kenny’s Legacy?

Ireland has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe but public opinion had shifted over the last decade. Enda Kenny now has his own choice: whether to drag the country away from its Catholic inheritance or remain the accidental taoiseach.

Will Trump 'Go to China'? A Deal Would Benefit the World - And Sideline Russia

The last right-wing US President with personality issues produced one great achievement before being ejected from the White House. Richard Nixon took advantage of the Sino-Soviet split to bring about a rapprochement between the US and China. There are good reasons why Trump should seek to do the same.

William F. Buckley Jr. versus Gore Vidal: A Rivalry That Helped Define America

2015 documentary Best of Enemies focuses on the rivalry between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr as they debated during the 1968 presidential election. Intellectual equals but polar opposites, they influenced and predicted the evolution of American society in all of its complexity.

Willy Verginer And The 400 Year Journey to Hyper-Realism

Willy Verginer Hyper-Realistic Wood Carved Sculpture

Winning London was critical: Now Sadiq Khan must deliver

The new London mayor has major goals on affordable housing, transport and business - none of which is likely to be solved within 100 weeks let alone 100 days. But it is essential that voters see some details on his manifesto pledges and the first steps being taken towards achieving them.

With Trump and Brexit, we’re through the post-truth looking glass

Trump has, at best, a complicated relationship with the truth. At worst, he’s a pathological liar. The truth is whatever his ego says it is. In the face of this the media has a duty of impartiality, but also a duty of truth. Entertaining unsubstantiated delusions turns politics into a playground.

Women in Politics And The Embarrassing Lack of Progress Towards Equality

In the twenty five years since that speech no female leader of a major, UK-wide party has addressed a party conference. Thatcher’s four successors as prime minister have all been men; her five successors as Tory leader have all been men. In fact, only one woman has even stood in a Conservative leadership contest: Margaret Thatcher. No woman has been elected leader of the Labour Party.

World leaders lack the political courage to agree a fair global share of migration

Blamed for everything from rising crime rates to falling economies, from terrorism to lack of housing, migrants are the whipping boys across the world. There has been an opportunity for a new, measured and responsible approach to migration. But that opportunity has been missed.

World Leaders Praise and Condemn Trump’s Syrian Air Strikes

Following President Donald Trump launch of the first missiles strike by the United States on Syrian territory, Disclaimer looks at the reaction from around the world from the United Nations to Russia.