Author Archive | Ed Straw

Westminster parliament

Has Britain (or indeed Ireland) got Government Talent?

I was struck by the new French President speaking about those to be recruited to his government: I will choose them for their experience, their competence, what they have done and not for what they represent or their political weight… Gosh. There’s a thought. Leaving aside whether you think he is a good or bad thing, more…

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Is British Democracy Becoming A Competition of Incompetence?

If we all stand back and take a ruthless, non-tribal, unheroic look at the standards on offer in the general election, this is a competition of incompetence. It is only because the Labour Party has so lost its way that the Conservatives appear in any way competent. In practice, the Conservative’s current majority and ‘liberation’ more…

Friday Thread: How Fake Are The Analyses Of ‘Fake News’?

I keep reading these analyses by commentators and earnest academics on ‘fake news’, its fertilizer of social media, with Brexit and Trump its fruit. Their thesis is along the lines of: 2016 marking the arrival of post-truth politics, social media being used to promulgate it, and the ‘new’ politics of populism arising. But it only more…

stand-and-deliver

If Medics Treated Patients As Governments Treat the NHS, We’d All Be Dead

Another Secretary of State pushes determinedly, blindly on with NHS reforms, with the notion they alone can solve the great mystery of health. No matter how well intentioned, policy making is doomed to fail as before. I humbly suggest another way. The NHS is now into its 30th year of perpetual reform (perhaps we should hold more…