This 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 10th June 2013 and 18th June 2013:
Stephen gives a comprehensive guide to the podcast listening choices available for politicos. I regularly listen to a subset of these.
The one addition I would make — for those interested in US politics — is the podcast of the excellent PBS programme ‘Washington Week‘. It gives an intelligent round up of the political developments in Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, foreign policy and so on, with comment from top journalist from the US media. I’ve been listening regularly to it for a while now and it has deepened my understanding of American politics considerably.
Another link to something by the BBC’s Parliamentary Correspondent. Here he described being asked to give evidence to the Common’s Standards Committee on the role of All Party Parliamentary Groups.
Previously on this blog I have been critical of the way the MP for Luton South’s has been using an APPGS to pursue a particular agenda. These groups do have the weight behind them of an association with parliament so they need to have some standards applied to them. However, I do agree with D’Arcy that while the rules around them need to be clear it “would be a mistake to smother APPGs under some burdensome compliance regime”.
Good to see the Luton News and Herald & Post website get a makeover. Does feel too busy, but a vast improvement on the old one.
More on the fall out from the South Shields by-election showing that ‘safe seats’ and ‘one party states’ are part of the reason for the rise in UKIP.
Details from the Electoral Reform Society’s blog of a new report they have published about the link between representation at local government level and the success of parties at general elections. Nicely ties together some of the stuff I’ve been writing about here. How ‘one party states’ at local level create and reinforce safe seat seats for national elections and undermine the possibility of party competition. The ERS point out how this is leading to a divided nation as indicated by this diagram.
Also includes a bonus suggestion of where UKIP might make their first Westminster breakthrough.
Conventional wisdom tells us that it is good thing that Britain never ended up joining the euro. Even previously pro-euro Liberal Democrats shuffle their feet nervously and look embarrassed every time its name is mentioned. However, I’ve never believed in blindly following conventional wisdom. I am still convinced, even now, that joining the European single currency (at an appropriate time) remains the right thing to do. So I was glad to see that I am in very good company.
David Boyle on the ‘little people’. There is a serious point here as he looks at what may lie behind a growing cultural phenomenon. And it is a growing trend that I recognise. Some of the fiction that I have read, and listened to, recently that has had the most impact on me has involved at least some connection with the idea of the fae.
In at No. 1 in the LDV Golden Dozen! It has been a long while since that has happened (if it ever has). Pleasing that I can get some kind of readership if I pick the right topic.
This content was originally posted on my old Strange Thoughts blog.