This was published in openDemocracy recently. The only thing I’d change to the idea is that I’d change this from “it could be 100% tax-deductible, or claimable from welfare payments” to “it could be 100% tax-deductible from VAT, because everyone pays at least £50 a year in VAT, right?”
(The average household generates around £4,700 in VAT income to the treasury).
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.
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).
Yesterday, in what was a big milestone for me, I handed in the final copy of the text of my book, which is provisionally titled ‘Save Democracy – Abolish Voting’.
It will be published at some point over the next month or so (date tbc) by The Democratic Society. It’s their first publication in a series entitled “Ideas of Democracy”, and I hope, the first of many.
In advance of the launch (you will be able to buy it in print or as an e-book), I’ll be posting a few samples here, but in the meantime, here’s the draft blurb from the back cover to give you a flavour of what to expect:
Picture Credit – featured image: Bookbinding – from here.
This is a short post that is intended to introduce a theme. I won’t develop it too much here (though I’ve filled it with links to posts that I, and others, have written that flesh out specific parts of the argument). I will be publishing something a lot more substantial on this shortly.
We are going through a period of political polarisation at the moment. The organised left may think that this is a good thing, but I have argued previously that this is a game that we are always going to lose at.
If I could make a pitch to the whole of the centre-left on what I believe its future direction should be, this would be it.
I published this on Medium earlier today.
The fact that we are using a referendum to decide this in the first place tells you all you need to know about how important ‘democracy’ is to the people who are asking us to decide the UK’s future in Europe.
I’ve written a piece for Left Foot Forward saying more-or-less this in more detail. You can read it here
“My father was a very unorthodox Jew. He was a Nazi.”*
Why can’t people vote sensibly? Here’s a brief illustration of that point, yesterday, about how difficult it is to predict how people will direct their efforts or vote depending on their interests.
I think that we have a (reasonable) ideal that, in the best of all worlds, people would understand what their own interests are, and they’d act accordingly. They wouldn’t allow themselves to be easily duped into supporting someone else’s self interest, and they wouldn’t be so daft as to do it by mistake – especially in the very dramatic manner of our Jewish Nazi.