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Month: March 2019

Poll: What’s the best term for the cultural left?

Poll: What’s the best term for the cultural left?

One of the things I oscillate on is what to call what the ‘cultural left’, ‘progressive’ or so-called ‘socially liberal’ political ideology. By this I mean the ideology which puts a strong emphasis on issues such as race and gender, LGBT rights, the environment, safe spaces and trigger warnings, is pro-immigration, pro-EU and so forth, as opposed to the more traditional economic left, which typically focuses on concerns such as class, economic redistribution, unionisation, nationalising industries, taxing the wealthy and…

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The death of democracy?

The death of democracy?

June 2020. A vote of no-confidence has toppled the government and precipitated a general election. After one of the bitterest, most rancorous campaigns in British history, a divided nation goes to the polls. The next morning sees Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party claim victory by just over a million votes, on the highest voter turnout in more than two decades. With a working majority of only 12 seats, Labour has won by the skin of their teeth. Horrified by the thought…

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Quiz Time 3.0 is now live

Quiz Time 3.0 is now live

The latest version of the Quiz Time:Cryptic Challenge iPhone app has now been released. Created by my friend Chris Bush and me(1), this is one of our biggest updates yet and features: Book Quiz released. Three full quizzes, complete with hints, answers and in-game achievements are now available. New, improved graphics. These have been given a complete overhaul and (in our opinion) now look much better. Available in the US. We’re delighted to say that it’s now available to 100,000,000+…

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How times change

How times change

As someone who grew up in the ’90s, one of the things I find most surreal about current political debates is the left’s whole-hearted embrace of global capitalism. I was a teenager in the 90s and a student in the early 2000s. I remember reading about the ‘Battle of Seattle’ anti-WTO protests, the Make Poverty history campaign about debt forgiveness and learning in geography about the plight of Vietnamese coffee growers (caused by, so we were taught, the World Bank)….

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Playlist: Resistance

Playlist: Resistance

A couple of weeks ago I was looking to create another playlist for long car journeys, ideally satisfying the constraints that the rest of my family would also enjoy, or at least tolerate it. The last playlist had just been good driving music, so for this one I wanted a theme. My first idea was to make it science themed. This turned out not to be a very good idea, as it turned out the three tracks I’d already thought…

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Personal opinion: I really dislike World Book Day

Personal opinion: I really dislike World Book Day

This may be more controversial than my posts on Brexit, but as an avid book-lover I really dislike World Book Day. In particular, I dislike the way the primary focus of the day is about dressing up. I recognise that some people like dressing up – but we already have other days dedicated to dressing up, notably Halloween. There are also fancy-dress parties and other fancy-dress events. We have one day a year that’s meant to be about celebrating books…

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My Submission to the TEF Independent Review

My Submission to the TEF Independent Review

I’ve made a submission to the Independent Review of the TEF. The submission: Sets out the strategic imperative and goals of the TEF. Looks at what essential elements are needed to achieve those goals. Considers the ratings and metrics. Examines both the underlying principles and the current proposals for Subject TEF. Download and read the full submission.