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Random Thoughts for 29th April 2013

Random Thoughts logoThis is the latest in my series of Random Thoughts posts with links, things found on the web and other stuff that has occurred to me between 20th April 2013 and 29th April 2013:

Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform

The Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform have set up a new website as part of the Reform Groups Network.

Burn our planet or face financial meltdown. Not much of a choice – Will Hutton

This is one of the more depressing things I’ve read recently. But what is for me more depressing is that current political discourse — including most of the time amongst liberals — is so far away from considering the challenge that Hutton outlines;

“Contemporary capitalism faces both a crisis of legitimacy and effectiveness…..What is needed is a new vision of how to do capitalism in which enlightened self-interest is hard-wired into its operation, saving us from decades of austerity and environmental disaster. There are instruments at hand…and they mesh with larger arguments for stakeholder capitalism. The political task is to bind them together to underpin a new consensus and a new narrative. There is no time to lose.”

Liberal Mondays 1: Alfred Russel Wallace

Alex on the Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace’s liberalism.

Memorabilia: Kelvin Hopkins MP

My local MP is featured in Total Politics magazine talking about a favourite piece of political memorabilia. Not that he is in any way predictable — but — he has chosen a copy of the Labour Party‚Äôs 1945 general election manifesto.

Local elections: it’s not just the Tories who should beware Ukip

The big unknown factor in the forthcoming local will be the impact of UKIP. Andrew Rawnsley looks at what might lie behind their appeal. I thought this part instructive:

“All the main parties have cause to be anxious about Ukip and so all have been trying to understand the rise of the Farageists. One way they do this is to put together focus groups of voters who have switched to Ukip to try to fathom why these people are attracted to Nigel Farage’s gang. One senior party strategist says he listened in some wonderment as his focus group of Ukip voters spent an entire 90-minute session wailing and gnashing their teeth about the state of Britain. Not a good word did they have to say about the country today. At the end of the session, he thanked them for their time, and said he had one more question. Was there anything about Britain that made them feel proud? There was a silence. Then one man leant forward and said: “The past.” The rest of the group nodded in agreement.”

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