Why Brexit is going wrong and how it could be fixed (part 2)

This is the second of two posts here looking at Brexit through a democratic, rather than a political lens. In the previous post, I argued that the ‘cliff edge’ exit that is inevitable when leaving the EU is not sustainable for the EU, and that the UK would be doing everyone a favour by challenging it. The word “crisis” is over-used in British politics, but we are undoubtedly in one now. We have a Prime Minister who is trying to … Read more

Why Brexit is going wrong and how it could be fixed…

This is the first of two posts here in which I’m going to look at Brexit through a democratic, rather than a political lens. I’d argue that Representative Democracy is humanity’s single most valuable invention. It has provided government that fosters a level of prosperity and a standard of justice that all of our ancestors could only dream of, and it has hosted history’s greatest period of innovation. Representative Democracy is a robust system. It has an internal logic – … Read more

Labour, Syria and the problem with mandates…

DEMOCRACY OR POLITICS: Labour is asking for a two-day debate as a sticking plaster to cover for the lack of compressed wisdom it would get from a functioning internal party debate Labour MPs need some armour if they are to make a principled decision to support the government, and they will have to expose themselves to endless suspicion if they don’t…

Labour’s choice of its enemies

LABOUR IN SEARCH OF A SOUL: Labour has a lack of clarity about its own morality and its own purpose. It needs to become a united fighting force again. At this moment, it’s hard to imagine it trying to solve these problems any time soon.

Open Society at a crossroads in France

The attacks on Charlie Hebdo, followed by the targeting of Parisian Jews has laid the frail state of France’s ‘Open Society’ bare for all to see. Jewish businesses and synagogues are staying closed for their own safety and the far right Front National is, ironically, poised to benefit from an attack on free speech.

The home of the European Enlightenment is at a crossroads.

The Tory Press? It’s complicated…

The local elections in England provide a fascinating glimpse into the way that newspapers interact with electoral politics. Take a look at today’s the front pages; “The Savaging of Red Ed” says the Mail. “Surge by UKIP throws Labour into poll crisis” says the Telegraph. UKIP’s share of the vote actually fell this year. We can argue about how this is partly due to a feeble UKIP performance in London (London wasn’t polled last year) but even then, this is … Read more

A modest proposal…

Introducing the DUP.ie: A new political party to coincide with the visit of Her Gracious Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second of the United Kingdom and bits of Ireland…. Hat tip: @conorp on Twitter Paul EvansLiving in London, working as a trade union official in the film and TV industry (opinions my own). Author of “Save Democracy, Abolish Voting” (published by Demsoc in November 2017). Personal website with link to other writing here. On twitter as @paul0evans1 http://nevertrustahippy.blogspot.com

AV Referendum: Don’t vote – it only encourages them! #meh2av

Ballot Box

I hope you don’t vote in the AV referendum today. A while ago, I posted a general criticism on the use of referendums. As I put it then, using a referendum to choose an electoral system is like using trial-by-combat to pick the winner of a peace prize. The conduct of the AV campaign has vindicated the strongest of these criticisms – and then some. We will be told over the next few days that a No verdict (a certainty, … Read more

Prediction competition – results #ge11: And the winner is….

… one of only four of the 79 entries that ticked the no-publicity box. A free £150 bet with Betfair is in the post to the lucky insightful winner. Update: It seems that the winner – The Dissenter – ticked the ‘no publicity’ box by mistake. The actual result was: FG – 76. Lab – 37. FF – 20. SF 14. Others (not including speaker) 18. Anon (for it is s/he) made the following prediction on the 7th Feb: Seats: … Read more

The Irish #cwc2011 gloating begins

I’m trying to work out whether Geoff Boycott’s use of the word “leprechauns” constitutes some kind of racist slur or whether it’s the self-adopted nickname of the mighty Irish cricket team following their historic victory over England in the #cwc2011 Cricket World Cup. Perhaps one follows the other? In the meantime, Philosophy Football (who diversified into Cricket for The Ashes) have a t-shirt already for the burgeoning market of Irish cricket aficionados. They’re offering £5 off for orders placed in … Read more

Is it Labour’s fate to be Enda’s mudguard?

This post is entirely a rip-off of a post from the under-rated Your Friend in the North blog in which Johnny Guitar acknowledges a … er… ‘third way’ strategic opportunity that leading the Irish opposition could offer to Labour. Aside from the obvious point that the next few years are going to be pretty horrendous for whoever is in government (and that makes it a particularly bad time to perform the mudguard role that damaged Labour so badly in the … Read more

Election day open thread #ge11

The big day is here. Mick’s in Cavan at the moment (more on that soon) and will be in Roscommon & Kilkenny later – go along if you can. Update: We’ve added a ‘CoverItLive’ window in this post (thanks Mark McG!) – it’ll probably be fairly quiet until tomorrow but worth checking back to see if you’re not a regular Twitter user: Election 2011 John has just posted on his expectations and is asking you to put your cards on the table … Read more

AV: Yes, No or Meh? What are we being asked?

I don’t know about you, but I find the outcome of the AV referendum less interesting than the fact that we’re being asked about voting systems at all. Like everyone else, I’ve got my own prejudices here – I particularly dislike the fact that it’s a question that is subject to a referendum in the first place – a strong enough reason to resist the change itself, perhaps? I don’t know whether to vote Yes, No or just say ‘meh‘ … Read more

Slugger Awards awards wash-up & prediction comp update

Mick’s wandering around Dublin today and out of reach of a good wi-fi connection, so I’m stepping in here in his place to say a few things about last night’s awards. We’ll have some photos and videos up here in due course, but I’d like to get a few things on record before the hangover wears off: Firstly, thanks to everyone who came along and was involved in the night – 200+ people came through the door. Special thanks to … Read more

Slugger Awards tonight – service notice

If you’ve got a ticket for tonight’s awards and you’re coming along, we’re looking forward to seeing you. Please note that there will be no tickets available on the door and that all of the online tickets are sold out. Please don’t come along unless you already have a ticket. We’ve got a good line up and a few surprises, and if you’re not able to make it, there should be a few comments on Twitter to follow (the hashtag … Read more

Reminder: Give us your predictions for #ge11

Just a quick reminder about the prediction competition that Slugger is running on the Irish elections. There’s a £150 free bet with Betfair for the best prediction (have a look at the odds on their markets here), and they’ve got their own Election Predict site up with a good bit of detail on each constituency for the real train-spotters among you. We’ve had around 30 predictions from you so far and we’re going to make some of them (anonymously, naturally) … Read more

‘The graduate with no future’

Paul Mason has written a sweeping post here based upon some notes he made in preparation for a Newsnight package that didn’t go out in the end: It’s his analysis on why 2011 is starting to take on the hues of 1848 and 1989 with it’s gathering storm of insurrectionism. Like the very best blogging, its worth reading because it’s a scratchpad rather than an article. It doesn’t lead us to a conclusion – it just dumps a pile of subjective … Read more

Friday Thread: The United Kingdom explained

An ignorance of certain sensitivities has got me into enough trouble in the past when referring to Our wee province / Northern Ireland / Our Occupied Six / OUR wee country / the North of Ireland / Here … er there. This may help, but I do think that there’s a gap for someone to make a similar video simply explaining … there …. to visitors. Paul EvansLiving in London, working as a trade union official in the film and … Read more

Win a £150 bet with Betfair as part of Slugger’s Irish Election prediction competition


Betfair have been in touch about the Election Prediction competition that we’re running here (below – you can read the form guide in a previous post here). We’ve already pointed to their markets here (currently showing 17/2 on a Fine Gael-only government as an outcome and 11/1 on SF getting 23+ seats). Labour are out at 19/1 for getting the most seats (pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will, eh comrades?) Today Betfair have launched their own prediction competition … Read more