Updated: February 2023
I take a keen interest in current affairs, so don’t be surprised to find political posts here.
The general thrust of my politics is green, and I dallied with the UK’s Green Party for a short while. We disagreed on an issue which I considered to be critical, so now I’m not a member of any political party. I speak for myself.
Though I tend not to write essays about politics any more, I an happy to express my views. In addition, I have used this blog to written essays on several specific issues, including:
Broad Political Views
My association with the UK Green Party, and my subsequent resignation.
My Biggest Global Issue – the Environment
This is existential. Really, nothing else matters in comparison. I have written many times on this issue, including about Heathrow Airport, our carefree consumption of limited resounces and my own attempts at downsizing.
My Biggest UK Issue – Electoral Reform
My desire is simple. 51% of votes equals 51% of the decision-making power.
Typically, even the largest of parties only gain around a third of the vote, with the main opposition party gaining just slightly less. So I think a system which gives the winning party 100% of the power is flawed. It concerns me that so few people have their views represented.
I have written a more detailed account of the issue, including a solution which represents 90% of views. I see a need for two chambers, but think that the UK’s current model should be reformed. For the lower chamber, I discuss this here and here, while I discuss ideas for the upper chamber here.
I am a big fan of direct democracy, and I discuss an increased use of referendums as a means of achieving this.
I am a republican, and believe that a country’s Head of State should be chosen by its people. I have talked about the role of the monarchy in my vision, and also the role of the church, which is linked.
Our representatives should have a clear view of where their allegiance should lie. I also feel that we should be able to replace an under-performing MP, exactly as we might replace an under-performing employee.
The issue of Brexit dominated the UK political landscape since long before it came to a head in 2016, and rumbled on for several years after. As it coincided with the period of this blog, this post exemplifies my broad view, which is that the EU is flawed. That its unwillingness to bend meant that the UK was better off out.
That’s not to say that the UK is perfect. There is much work still to do.
One reason is that different member states have a different number of votes per capita – one European’s vote is often worth more than another’s. This is similar to the US Electoral College, which is also flawed. I once posted about the Maltese Anomaly.
However, I was strongly in favour a close relationship with the EU, or at least a measured dissolution. I posted about a possible customs union and the how UK’s ongoing relationship with the EU might have looked, and how this idea would sideline Ireland as a special case.
I disagreed with calls for a re-run of the referendum, in fact this was my disagreement with the Green Party. This campaign was called the People’s Vote, as if the previous vote had not also been a people’s vote. I believe in “direct democracy”, using using referendums to decide issues, but also believe that every one must be binding. So I think that the Brexit vote in June 2016 was binding. We cannot just ignore results which go against us.
I have always opposed guns, and have many American friends, so the issue is more than just academic. I have written essays on “how can we prevent shootings” here and here.
I see the issue as a straightforward one of precedent. Which is more important? The right to life, or the right to bear arms.
But I also think that America has answered that question repeatedly, and that debate is pointless.
The Role of the State
I once wrote an essay on the subject of Public Ownership.
Especially as I now volunteer, I have a personal interest in the role of charities.
I often see positive discrimination employed. I disagree with it and set my view out in an essay.
Largely because it was approaching the fiftieth anniversary, I wrote this link to, and analysis of, Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech. In the UK, Powell’s speech, expressing views on West Indian immigration, for economic reasons, was seminal. As a result of the speech, Powell was famously sacked from his role in his political party – even his allies realised that he went too far.
Another subject close to my heart is the UK’s colonial past.
Mixing Sport and Politics
A more recent essay, triggered by professional football players in the USA going down on one knee during their national anthem.
In my essay I argue that politics takes precedence, every time.
The United Kingdom
In 2015, Scotland had a referendum on independence. While I have no real view on this issue, I believe strongly in self-deternmination, and wrote on Scottish independence from this viewpoint.
There has also been major upheaval of Northern Ireland in my own lifetime, and I wrote on this topic a few times.
The blogging community is international, and I have dabbled in politics in both Ireland and the USA. Whilst I don’t pretend to understand their politics fully, the core issues tend to be similar to those faced by the UK.