A two-part post on how the UK could get out of the mess caused by the Brexit referendum

This is a two-parter on Slugger O’Toole.

Part one – the poor design of Article 50 damages both the EU and the UK. Fixing it could be a common cause that we could focus on immediately.

Part two – – now would be a good time to apply the brakes and deliberate.

Interview on the ‘House of Comments’ podcast.

I was recently interviewed by Mark Thompson for ‘The House of Comments’ podcast about my book ‘Save Democracy – Abolish Voting’.

I hope you find time to listen to it, but if you’re looking for a very short verbal summary of what it’s about (85 secs!), it can be found starting at 16min:20secs in (finishing at 17min:45secs).

Imagine we could re-design democracy from scratch? What would it look like?

We may have reached a point in history where the trajectory that democracy has taken needs to change dramatically, if it is to survive as a respected concept.

Most readers will have an idea of what is meant by the word “democracy”. In many cases, it will be a concept that is so indistinguishable from “electoral politics” that it seems almost contrarian to de-link the two. They’re plainly not the same thing. North Korea and Iran hold elections. On the other hand, very democratic bodies often, correctly, treat the point at which things need to go to a vote as an indictment of their failure to reach a deep consensus.

So much commentary that purports to be about quality of our democracy is, in reality, political advocacy cloaked in a flimsy ethical costume. A call for “a more democratic decision” is often a code for “I want the decision to be made in a way that is more likely to result in my preferred outcome”.

Read more…

(This article was first published in The Ethical Record, Summer 2018 edition)

Labour antisemitism and the problem of political hobbyism

It’s hard to overstate the importance of “anti-imperialism” to the modern post-Leninist left. Their highest priority is to spread the word, and all kinds of moral gymnastics can be forgiven if they help to open public eyes to this not-so-obvious cause of all of the world’s problems.

It’s a touchstone. The most important argument to win. Their problem is that it’s also a tough argument to get across. For this reason, Israel is a godsend. It provides a useful, simple, parable that helps make the case for something that is a foundational belief to a political sect.

Read on….

For Populism. Against Centrism. A big thesis made in seventeen short points.

Please tell me which of these arguments do you disagree with?

1) Democracy is where the best-achievable consensus among the populace get the governance that they actually want to have over a period of time.

2) Electoral politics (with a few caveats in a good representative democracy) is where we all get the government that that the voters (often a minority) *say* they want on one particular day. It’s not exactly the same thing as “democracy”.

Read more.

Save Democracy – Abolish Voting – on The Remainiacs podcast

Another referendum will never work, they’re an unfit tool for democracy.

My latest, in The Independent today.

Review of Save Democracy – Abolish Voting by Chris Dillow

This has just been published:

“A brilliant new book by Paul Evans, ‘Save Democracy – Abolish Voting’…says

“If we wanted to design a system in a way that helps wealthy and charismatic people con everyone easily, we could barely design anything better than electoral politics.”

Although this is a slim volume, it poses some deep questions which deserve far more attention than they’re getting.

…even if you think Paul has the wrong solution, he is at least asking the right question. And given that so few are doing even this, he’s done a massive public service.