Two-tier roads and the evasion of political responsibility

Recent media reports suggest that among the Coalition’s range of options for the future of road provision is a system of two-tier vehicle taxation, with those using motorways paying a higher rate.  The tone of some of the press coverage suggests that this might be an Aunt Sally idea – a nonsense that has been […]

Twilight of the idolaters

It seems curiously fitting that, on the same day that Nick Clegg vents his frustration at aspects of the coalition, the news should also carry the story of a man who incinerated his own underpants in a microwave.  Marx famously wrote that history repeated itself first as tragedy, then as farce; but the history of […]

Recessional

Rudyard Kipling wrote his poem Recessional for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Not his original choice – that was The White Man’s Burden – but Recessional was something altogether less celebratory; a warning against hubris, a reminder of the transitoriness of pomp and ceremonial whose repeated refrain of “lest we forget” has become more […]

Agenda for a new Green leader

Caroline Lucas has announced that she will not seek re-election as Green Party leader later this year, in a move aimed at increasing the exposure of other leading Greens.  It’s a wise move; Caroline’s achievement has been enormous, raising the profile of the Party by gaining our first Westminster seat and providing what has at […]

Pariahdom in the public sector

Having worked for my entire career in the public sector until taking voluntary redundancy at the end of last year (essentially a matter of taking the settlement before getting pushed), I have long been aware of the increasing scapegoating of people in the public sector.  It has reached some of its worst excesses in the […]