Twelve posts from my first year of blogging

A year after this blog (re)started, I thought I’d share a dozen of my favourite posts. A mixture of those that were most read and most commented on at the time (on here or on Facebook/Twitter) as well as a few of my personal favourites.

In chronological order:

  1. “Have had enough of experts…”: An attempt to find common ground A look at why Leave voters may legitimately share a sceptisism in some cases of experts who have very different backgrounds and values to them, by analogy to other cases of unconscious bias.
  2. Initial Hypothesis: The Game of Teaching Excellence: Still the most viewed post on this site, my fully playable card game based on the TEF. Collect a complete set of metrics, gain kudos from Wonkhe articles and recruit well-known characters to help your assessment.
  3. Some Thoughts on the Culture Wars: How the socially progressive side shifted from fighting for free expression to seeking to suppress it, and why it now seems to many that the choice not to fight the culture wars simply means losing by default.
  4. Grade Inflation: A Clear and Present Danger: An article for Wonkhe setting out how grade inflation is endemic in our universities – and what might be done to fix it.
  5. A Tourist’s Guide to New Orleans: Written for a friend who was visiting and based on over 30 visits, a summary of all that’s good to see, eat and do in New Orleans.
  6. Postmodernism and the Devil: How postmodernism and moral relativism, by systematically undermining the concept of absolute truth, opened the way for the post-truth era and Donald Trump. The title refers to the famous scene in A Man for All Seasons.
  7. A Better Secondary School History Curriculum: A thought experiment setting out what it would be great to cover in secondary school history. I got Brexit-post levels of anger for this one, from some people outraged that I could suggest something that might stretch pupils and from others who thought it appalling that anyone could think ‘knowledge’ (what was covered) was worth considering, rather than just skills, which I think says all you need to know about our educational system.
  8. Endless Surrenders: Why do both the left and the right feel they’re continually losing the political struggle? No easy answers here, just thoughts and ideas.
  9. We Must Recapture the Commanding Heights of Society from the Left: A Conservative Home piece looking at how conservatism lost our social institutions, and what we might do to win them back.
  10. £9,250 Tuition Fees: Bad for Students, Bad for Society and Bad for the Conservative Party: Another Conservative Home piece, this time looking at the way high university tuition fees were based on a fiscal illusion – and, if maintained, will destroy the Conservatives as surely as they did the Liberal Democrats, if more slowly.
  11. No Car is Better than a Bad Car: An analogy demonstrating how the decision by Remain-supporting MPs to rule out No Deal destroyed any hope of securing a good deal in the Brexit negotiations.
  12. On Leaving the Civil Service: A lengthy, and somewhat personal account, of why I decided to leave the civil service and become politically active.

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