And now Spain turns to the Left

And now Spain turns to the Left

The mould has been broken in Spain. Yesterday, in Spain’s general election, yesterday, the two Parties that have dominated Spain’s post fascist democracy both lost seats and votes. The new parliament has no natural majority. The PSOE, in particular, has some interesting challenges in front of it and the next few weeks and months may act as a signpost for the politics of Europe. …

On an informed citizenry

On an informed citizenry

I was invited to attend Tom Watson’s speech building on much of his campaigning work and presented in the New Statesman as reclaiming civil liberty for the Left, although sub titled by him as “David Cameron is governing from the shadows”. In this article I review the speech; I try to report on it and to comment by adding some personal views and insights, in some cases new ideas provoked by Tom’s speech. It was quite a long speech and it takes a diverse route to get to its polemical heart which is that Democracy is the choice¬†by an informed citizenry of a government, subject to the rule of law and that the Freedom of Information Act is one of the pillars of this contract and should not be diminished or repealed. …

Consequences and accountability

Consequences and accountability

There’s no such things as unintended consequences, just poor planning. Last Wednesday the House of Commons voted to authorise RAF bombing of Syria. In the following hours, RAF jets attacked civilian oil installations in Syria. This was reported as using high level free fall bombs. Were there reports of civilian casualties? The government announce an increase in security for the Queen. The government of Syria announces that the RAF attacks are illegal acts of war. Seventy two hours after the vote, Londoners were attacked on the tube, albeit in only one incident with a knife. At the time of writing, there has been no fatal casualties from the London incident. …