Author Archives: Jamie K

David Cameron’s speech at the Business in the Community Forum has caused a bit of a stir. The tradecraft seems to be pretty obvious. Vague mutterings about Tesco and inappropriate knickers for girls connects young smoothiechops with the concerns of middle class women in marginal seats. He chats their chat. He gripes their gripe. And he looked so dashing communing with the polar bears. So, then: just another factoid down the idea pipe. Maybe, but maybe something else is going on as well. Read More

Forget the flap about for a bit. In China, the main media controversy right now is the closure of Freezing Point, a popular weekly supplement of the China Youth Daily, on the orders of individuals in the Central Propaganda Department. The magazine didn’t have a particular agenda as such, but embodied a general commitment to freedom expression in China to the effect that it published articles contradicting the official line and various contemporary and historical incidents. Not surprisingly, this made it some powerful enemies. Read More

But do I detect a certain incoherence?

“We need to change the way we feel. No more grumbling about modern Britain, I love this country – as it is, not as it was – and I believe our best days lie ahead.”

On the other hand…

“I want to set free the voluntary sector and social enterprises to deal with the linked problems that blight so many of our communities – of drug abuse, family breakdown, poor public space, chaotic home environments, high crime. We can deal with these issues, we can mend our broken society,” the well-connected Old Etonian insisted.

Modern Britain is broken, but I love it. Well, never mind what he says. The message is “I’m like you”. Read More

M People were in Manchester last week, which meant that they were on heavy rotation on local radio. I hate M People more than I probably should. Manchester music used to be enjoyable on a number of levels. It was intelligent and scally, or depressing and danceable. It had a fully formed personality. It took an interest in things it hadn’t heard or seen before and tried to include those things in what it did next. Then back in the nineties it began to curdle into its constituent parts. There’s M People’s sales conference soul and then there’s the plastic gangsters from Burnage. Read More

The scenes in New Orleans over the last week haven’t exactly been a great advertisement for government’s ability to fulfil the responsibilities it claims to undertake in return for the right to tax. But libertarianism’s also been having a hard time down there on the levees. When government broke, voluntarism and mutual aid didn’t step forward to fill the gap. Instead, gangs emerged to fill the power vacuum – a classic 4GW scenario, by the way. I’m sure there were innumerable acts of kindness and individual solidarity, but for the most part the “thousand points of light” turned out to be muzzle flashes. Read More

OK, first point. I don’t want to hear about the “split second decision” taken by the police last Friday. Once Jean Charles De Menezes decided to bolt from the cops he was dead. That’s why it’s called a shoot to kill policy. If a suspected suicide bomber runs, he dies – or she, should it come to that – in the same way that night follows day. Once a suspect is identified, no further decision making is necessary, though no doubt the cops on the ground will refer back up the chain via radio. This is an extra judicial execution and the people who do it have the same discretion as hangmen. Or, should it come to that, hangwomen. Read More

Lord knows I’m innocent of public spirit, but seeing all those veterans parading down Pall Mall last Sunday while being flower-bombed by a Lancaster brought a tear to the eye and a drip to the nose. And I suppose that there comes a time when the finger of conscience points at the flabby bloke typing away at his blog and says: well, young fellow. What would you have done had you been tested? Read More