Archive of all posts on The Panopticon, most recent first. Click on article title to read.

  • Weak on Crime, Weak on the Causes of Crime
    • A survey has revealed that if witness to anti-social behaviour, two thirds of people would walk by rather than intervene. But in the UK’s permissive society, is it really any wonder?
  • The Centre Cannot Hold
    • The real victories of last night’s by-elections belonged to UKIP. But what might this signal and how will  Mr Cameron, Mr Miliband and Mr Clegg translate the messages?
  • Rotherham: Notes on a Scandal
    • The news that a married couple fostering children of an ethnic background had the children in their charge removed from their care by Rotherham Children’s Services on the basis of their support for UKIP is an alarming but, frighteningly, not a surprising story given Labour’s record.

  • Corby By-Election: ‘Mid Term Blues’? Keep Fooling Yourself Mr Cameron!
    • The result of the Corby by-election has wider implications beyond the borders of this disputed constituency…
  • Abu Qatada: The Bitter Truth of the UK’s Impotence
    • As if proof were needed that the British Government is incapable of looking after its people, the case of  Abu Qatada serves to underline this bitter truth.
  • Endnotes: MacShane, Obama, Dorries, the BBC & Immigration
    • Some notes on matters that have arisen over the last week
  • A Perspective on the PCC Elections
    • Gareth Shanks (Yorkshire Young Independence Regional Secretary) presents his take on the forthcoming Police Crime Commissioner Elections.
  • No Country for Old Men
    • Retiring in the UK is a bleak prospect for many. Whilst fuel poverty blights and sometimes takes the lives of among the most vulnerable in society, a protected budget of £11 billion is committed to aiding poverty abroad. In the UK, the government’s charity does not begin at home.
  • Necropolis: Defending the EU
    • When Douglas Carswell claimed that the UK had ‘shackled itself to a corpse’ by continuing to belong to the EU, his remarks entertained an alarming, but unintentionally accurate implication…
  • Afghanistan: War Without End
    • Some thoughts on the War in Afghanistan – a country riven by conflict since the time of the ancients – where today an ill-defined and un-winnable war continues to slaughter members of the UK’s armed forces for no discernible cause and with no visible end in sight.
  • Why Labour cannot lose…
    • In no particular order, some reasons why Labour will, one way or another, win the next general election either as a government or as a majority party in coalition. Please feel free to add your own…
  • Discrimination: How Exceptions Determine the Rules
    • This article considers how a policy of ‘exceptionalism’ determines the rules in the UK whilst in the EU all discrimination is eradicated. As if any more evidence were needed to discredit big government…
  • The Lib Dems: Other People’s Money
    • No you have not been out of the loop, nor is your memory failing you – the 2012 Lib Dem conference has been the usual blend of forgettable people and forgettable policies, save for those ones which are so brain-numbingly stupid that they leave one incredulous.
  • The Gospel According to Miliband
    • Another day, another attempt by Labour to define its message. When it comes to salvaging the economy, let alone their credibility, they are utterly bankrupt.
  • Back to School: ‘Learning Lessons’
    • What might be taught in the classroom where politicians go to ‘learn lessons’ from poor judgement or mistakes?
  • The Penny Drops: Worthless Billions
    • In which we see how Dr Evil can tell politicians a thing or two about how their economic strategies are perceived.
  • The Five Year Itch: Lessons in Democracy
    • Every five years the UK’s political parties affect listening attentively and talking with the electorate in order to secure their vote. But if you want your say during the intervening period, forget about it.
  • Miner Politician: The Unctuous Ed Miliband
    • Ed Miliband’s speech to the Durham Miner’s Gala was the usual mix of obsequiousness and hypocrisy that has characterised Mr Miliband’s leadership and his party at large.
  • Clogged with Excess
    • Please spare us the diarrhoeal nonsense that the Olympics are a model of a-political unity, international co-operation and symbol of hope. Behind the rhetoric, a financially beleaguered nation is footing the £24 billion bill and missing a fine opportunity. ‘Clogged with excess, the body drags the mind down with it’
  • The Ease of Hypocrisy
    • Support for the Lib Dems equates to an open declaration that one is politically, morally and intellectually dead. They are not just a party in denial of reality, from their lords to their backbench tea-boys, they are party of naked hypocrisy that denies precisely the liberal democracy they call their own. The disparity between their calls for Lords reform and their denial of a EU referendum exhibits the point.
  • Immigration Mythology
    • Ancient cultures used myths as a way of explaining their world in times when superstition and fear were often the markers of the age. In our own time, governments and political parties have spread myths about immigration to cover their mishandling of the issue. For the electorate, the fear emerges from how little our government actually knows about immigration and its effects.
  • David Cameron: No One Left to Lie To
    • Mr Cameron has suggested ‘We need to be clear about the best way of getting what is best for Britain’ only to write an article that is neither clear nor makes a convincing case for what is best for Britain. ‘False face must hide what the false heart doth know’.
  • The EU: Fear & Awe
    • ‘To make anything very terrible, obscurity seems in general to be necessary’ – Edmund Burke’s description of the Romantic sublime has never been more pertinent as this article suggests parallels between both this and the EU.
  • Labour: Pointless
    • They may be several points ahead of the Conservatives in the polls, but when it comes to making a point, Labour are still the spin-happy party of presentation over policy.
  • Doubt of the Benefit
    • The issue of benefits remains contentious. Whether or not this is Mr Cameron trying claw the initiative back from Mr Miliband by addressing an issue that elicits much passion, the matter requires some scrutiny. Is it a case of ‘the poor and the undeserving poor’? This article suggests that excessive state benefits perpetuate more problems than they offer solutions.
  • Through the Looking Glass
    • Like Alice, many will have had to believe the impossible before breakfast, when it was announced that Mr Miliband might be conceding that Labour’s policy of open door immigration was a mistake and that their efforts to stifle discussion on the subject, by casting it as racist or xenophobic, was in error. But they can only offer an apology on immigration if they realise why emigration to the UK was so attractive an offer.
  • The Lib Dems: Tales from the Sideshow
    • The Lib Dems are a party of such remarkable irrelevance that it is worth reminding oneself of why this is the case.
  • The Man who Never Was
    • Mr Cameron is banking on another ‘veto’ moment to salvage credibility – his rejection of the Argentinian ‘Malvinas’ letter will help him play for time, but is not enough to mask the cynicism of his governance
  • Ed Balls – The Immortal Part of Himself
    • The most irritating man in politics? To put it mildly. Ed Balls is disliked by colleagues, the opposition and the general public. To be held in such contempt, he must be making an effort to increase his unpopularity.
  • Panopticism: The EU and the Power of the Visible and the Unverifiable
    • Michel Foucault’s theory of the Panopticon is as prescient as ever as the Coalition considers new powers of surveillance that will affect us all. This article applies some of Foucault’s theories to what we know – or rather what remains unknown – about the EU. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
  • David Cameron – He was the future once
    • David Cameron looks set to be the first one-term PM in decades. Even if his party wins the next election, it would not be long before a purge from within would topple him. How could this have happened? This article speculates on the question all Conservatives are likely to be asking: ‘where did is all go wrong?’
  • Less is More
    • Some brief comments on the ‘single issue’ issue
  • Ed Miliband – Comprehensively Without Substance
    • Ed Miliband’s recent talk on ‘Englishness’ was the garbled lip service the electorate has come to expect at a time when a very real crisis of identity, damaging to democracy, is at the heart of British politics.
  • Deus ex machina: Cameron’s Long Game?
    • This article speculates on the possibility that David Cameron is playing a long game that could win him the next election.
  • Independence Enquiry
    • This article weighs up some of the hopes, fears and implications that Scotland’s independence could herald.
  • Immigration: The Policy of Deliberate Ignorance
    • This post considers that it is not immigration per se that is the cause of discontent among the electorate; rather, it is the way immigration is mishandled by government after government

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