This blog is something of a detour. It shares my thoughts on a book I first read late 2019 but continue to mull over today. The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder) is a dystopian and allegory-laden story of loss — of expression, freedom and, ultimately, life. It’s also a powerful reminder … Continue reading a tale of loss and forgetting: ‘the memory police’ by yoko ogawa
So here we are with just a few days left until the General Election. From the word go, I focussed on a handful of core issues — climate emergency, the NHS, austerity and education and was almost sure I'd vote Labour. But another priority issue in this election has been a real stumbling block — Brexit. … Continue reading brexit and my vote for labour
Let’s get one thing straight. I’m not a fan of tactical voting or electoral pacts. ‘Vote for what you believe in’ is my motto. And stepping aside to endorse another party’s candidate limits voter choice and involves significant risk. What’s more, it makes some big assumptions about how your own voters will respond. An earlier … Continue reading why I’ve changed my mind about tactical voting (for now)
Can it really be a year? The last blogpost was on the Green Party leadership contest. Since then so much has happened — just not on this blog. So why the silence? In a nutshell: work. Mountains of it. Which I’m grateful for, don’t get me wrong, but it’s been such an exhausting time… and … Continue reading an update — what’s next?
The Green Party of England and Wales has published its list of candidates for a variety of official positions, including Leader and Deputy Leader. When current co-leader Caroline Lucas announced she would not be standing for re-election*, two names quickly emerged as front runners, seeking to continue the existing co-leadership model: current co-leader Jonathan Bartley … Continue reading for a leaderful green party
Here's something I heard on Radio 4 the other week: 'Hatred that starts with Jews doesn't end with Jews.'¹ There's been a lot of focus on antisemitism lately. Antisemitism was a contributory factor in Labour's failure to gain control of a target council (Barnet) in recent local elections. It's also been something of a talking … Continue reading talking about antisemitism
This post takes a detour from German politics to reflect on some of my favourite historical fiction set in Germany, written by the late Philip Kerr. The two themes aren’t so different. Politics needs to be understood in the historical context, and well-written and well-researched fiction can play a valuable role in bringing that historical … Continue reading man out of time
Germany has embarked on its third ‘grand’ coalition government, with Angela Merkel sworn in as Chancellor for the fourth time. With the two main parties joined in government, the far-right AfD becomes the largest opposition party. The opposition also includes other parties, of course, both on the centre-right (FDP) and left (Greens, Die Linke, whose … Continue reading the afd: more exposure, less threat?
One eyebrow-raising idea from Germany’s new (old) coalition is the creation of a Heimatministerium -- a ‘Homeland Ministry’. Its remit is to push ahead with digitalisation and strengthen and develop rural areas, making these more attractive places for people and businesses. Article 72 of Germany's Basic Law refers to the establishment of ‘equivalent living conditions throughout the … Continue reading what’s in a name?
Government or opposition? This is the question intensifying already deep divisions within Germany's Social Democrats (SPD). Initially intent on opposition after a terrible General Election performance, the SPD leadership has been negotiating terms for another ‘grand’ coalition (‘GroKo’) with Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democrats — despite a slump in support for both parties. At the SPD's … Continue reading learning from labour