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?
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?
A month on from the German election, this post reflects on compromises and risks as the Greens continue Jamaica coalition talks, and also gives a personal take on how to respond to an emboldened and increasingly vocal AfD-mindset. the greens: could jamaica be a compromise too far? One of the biggest and thorniest topics up … Continue reading german election #2: greens, jamaica and dealing with the afd mindset
Today (Saturday) is the last day of campaigning for tomorrow’s General Election in Germany. At stalls and rallies all over the country, political parties will be trying to win over the many ‘undecideds’ and convince others to even vote at all. It’s with a sense of unease that I’ll be watching the result tomorrow evening, … Continue reading german election #1: pre-election thoughts