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Which political philosophers have been cited most in parliament?

So some people are swooning at the fact that France’s President can casually discuss Hegel, and contrasting Emmanuel Macron’s erudition favourably with British politicians. I think that’s probably a bit unfair. Surely you don’t get through three years of PPE at Oxford without being able to name-check the odd philosopher. So I decided to look […]

Is it immoral to send your children to private school?

The contest for leadership of the Scottish Labour party has re-opened an old debate: is it acceptable for egalitarians to send their children to private school? One candidate, Anas Sarwar, has come under criticism for sending his son to the £8,000 a year Hutchesons’ Grammar school in Glasgow. The row echoes similar controversies around left-wing […]

Does Varieties of Capitalism Theory condemn Britain to inequality?

Jeremy Cliffe made some interesting points on twitter over the weekend about the relevance of Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) theory to Britain today. Cliffe’s own BBC documentary provides a good introduction to the theory, but here is the general idea.  VoC suggests that successful modern economies can take one of two forms: they can be […]

My year in Lists

It’s nearly the end of 2016, so I decided to channel my inner Rob Fleming, and do some lists of things I enjoyed this year. May contain some good recommendations for others in 2017. Rules are that I had to ‘discover’ (i.e. read, see, eat etc) the thing for the first time in 2016, not […]

What should voters look for in their politicians?

Amidst the political chaos of the past few months, some have taken the opportunity to reflect on what it all means for democracy. In particular, the question of whether individual Members of Parliament are bound to permit Britain’s exit from the European Union because their voters supported it has led to a number of reflections […]

We’ll miss him now he’s gone: in defence of David Cameron

I thought I had longer to write this – that’s why it is a little late. But politics moves too quickly for all of us these days. Last Monday morning David Cameron believed he had another two months as British Prime Minister; in fact he had barely two days. It seems unlikely he will be […]

Voters or residents: how should we draw our electoral map?

In recent months, the Right in both Britain and the US have been accused of trying to manipulate electoral rules to increase the influence of their supporters, and diminish the power of left-leaning voters. Both cases raise important questions about the objectives and principles underpinning electoral democracy, and specifically who elected representatives are supposed to […]