Scottish independence and the potency of nostalgic mythology

As an Englishman with strong Scottish connections I have watched the debate over Scottish independence with interest and no little frustration.  It has not been an edifying affair – apart from that moment of weakness from Salmond, when his utter inability to provide intelligent answers about a Scottish currency laid bare the fact that there was […]

Green spin, Labour and saving the NHS

A recent Green Party leaflet seeks to draw a distinction between the Green Party and Labour on the future of the NHS, by quoting a line attributed to  Andy Burnham’s office to the effect that there would always be a role from the private sector in delivering world-class healthcare in the NHS. The implication, presumably, is […]

Don’t mention the war: Greens, Iraq and Godwin’s law

Earlier this year, Brighton and Hove City Council passed a motion of no confidence in its Green administration.  The debate was a curious affair, illustrating much about Brighton and Hove politics; in particular the way in which, nominally about the record of the administration, it turned into a series of personal attacks on Labour’s leader […]

Labour’s policy on rail – at last a rational way forward to a public railway

The debate on the future of the railways is among the most interesting at the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum.  The challenge was to understand that there are three key challenges facing the rail system – the privatised structure, capacity issues, and the cuts in subsidy in recent years that have contributed hugely to the […]

Unchain the motorist – will they never learn?

A new advertisement from the Brighton fringe group Unchain the Motorist, which claims to speak for drivers in Brighton and Hove, makes a hugely misleading assertion about 20mph zones and casualties. The advertisement quotes DfT statistics showing that the number of casualties in 20mph zones has increased substantially for 2013, while those on 30mph roads […]

Benefits and depression: Tory cruelty plumbing new depths

Just when you think the Tories can’t get any more cruel or inhuman, they demonstrate the depths to which they will sink.  The Telegraph reported yesterday that Tories are considering withdrawing benefits from those off work due to depression unless they receive mandatory “treatment”. The news that depression is treatable because Ian Duncan-Smith says so […]

Brighton and Hove Greens: putting circus horses before food bank users

The Brighton and Hove Green Party is fond of labelling Labour as a party of austerity, and claiming to be the party that really stands up for social justice and against poverty.  Today’s meeting of the Green-chaired Policy and Resources Committee of the City Council demonstrated why the Greens’ claims to support the vulnerable in […]