Dan Leighton reviews: Why We Hate Politics by Colin Hay.
This book challenges dominant assumptions on political disengagement, showing how neo-liberal ideas and public choice theory have helped create a citizenry increasingly alienated from the democratic process.
Jon Bright reviews: The Power of Belonging: Identity, citizenship and community cohesion by Ben Rogers and Rick Muir of ippr.
Ben Rogers and Rick Muir examine our nation's collective identities - what might be lost as they change or thin out, and what could be done to stregthen them.
Jon Bright (London, OK): involve launched their pamphlet 'Participation Nation' yesterday at a panel event with Matthew Taylor, Shaun Bayley and Hazel Blears. It was nice to hear someone from Labour reaffirm a commitment to localism and participation after so many strong statements by the Conservatives on this.
Anthony Barnett (London, OK): My immediate reaction on watching the Blair Years on BBC1, scripted and presented by David Aaronovitch, was to feel slightly soiled, contaminated even, as if the mere act of my watching was a form of collaboration with the odious atmosphere of bad faith and dishonesty. The programme started and ended with clear falsehoods.
John Jackson (London, Charter 88): Stephen Sedley - the Appeal Court judge who made recently some widely reported remarks about the recording of DNA profiles - delivered the annual Mishcon lecture at University College London on Tuesday. His themes, broadly described, were the development of human rights in a constitutional context. There was good stuff in the lecture but two points in particular registered with me.
Jon Bright (London, OK): Mike Garnett was at the ippr yesterday to discuss and promote his new book - From Anger to Apathy: The British Experience since 1975. The problem of 'disengagement' in our current political system seems central to a number of things we publish on OurKingdom, and it was interesting to get a bit of historical perspective on it.
Stuart Weir (Cambridge, Democratic Audit): Funny what we can say and what we can't say. Perhaps the most prevalent complaint about censorship and self-censorship in British society is that about "political correctness". Actually I do myself often squirm in frustration over some of the absurd prohibitions and circumlocutions that PC-ness leads to (being a fan of plain-speaking myself) and of course give the tabloid anti-PC campaign so much ammunition.
Jon Bright (London, OK): A copy of Nick Inman's entertaining Politipedia dropped through our inbox the other day, and seems worth a plug. A reference tome for UK politics, it gives encyclopedia style entries on all things UK and political. I immediately flicked through to the pages on the constitution, which unsurprisingly ref Bagehot more than a few times.
Anthony Barnett (London, OK): I think it is important to take a step back from the Cameron/Osborne triumph in facing down Gordon Brown and ask what is going on behind the the febrile swings of opinion. As recent readers will know I'm reading Peter Oborne's The Triumph of the Political Class. One of his theses is that the,