Tag Archives: political theory

On Plebiscites

I have been looking to see what there is to be said about Referendums and their role in democracies. Much has been said that Referendums or more accurately Plebiscites are the tools of dictators, but I have yet to see a compelling argument as to why! As I explored the issues, it became clear to me that I was pretty ignorant about the development of political theory and its application to the politics of government. I would be happy for any guidance from people more expert to me.

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On (Ralph) Milibandism

After Ed Miliband’s speech to #lab13, the Daily Mail published an attack on him  through his father’s record, headlined  “The man who hated Britain”.  The ensuing fracas stimulated partly by Ed demanding a right of reply in the Mail is covered well by Tim Fenton at his Zelo Street blog and I point at a couple of articles below in this article’s postscript.  The Guardian in its high minded way decides to look at Ralph Miliband’s ideas to see if they could be called hateful. The article was written by Stuart Jeffries and the language is at times both highly colloquial and exceptionally direct. It’s this article that has led me to think about his ideas.

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Beyond simple keynesianism

In the aftermath, of Ed Miliband’s conference speech, I came across two important articles published on the Touchstone and IPPR blog sites. Responsible Capitalism Takes Shape by Duncan Wheldon, and On left populism and Labour’s conference by Nick Pearce. It was Wheldon’s article that caught my eye first but both he and Pearce suggest there is a tension in the Labour Party between those who believe that British Capitalism no longer serves the interests of the majority; that what’s good for business is no longer good for people and the ‘simple keynesians’ who follow the old New Labour policies of using macroeconomic policy and demand management to encourage private sector growth. Pearce argues that Miliband believes that it’s broken and needs rebuilding, he’s on record as saying he thinks the 2015 election will be as transformative as that in 1979 and as he put it in the conference speech in speaking about the fact that capitalism seems no longer to let people afford a decent life,

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