The Nether-World: Power to the People Conference – an in-depth report on today’s Power Inquiry event
New York Times – Mandate for ID Meets Resistance From States, even though compared to the UK version it’s nothing…
Monkey see, monkey infer – “Monkeys keep turning out to be smarter than people think they are”. And funnier. He he he! Monkeys!
Passport weirdness – born in Britain with a British father? Sorry, not British enough…
BBC “must improve Mid-East view” – one to keep the Biased BBC crowd happy
The danger in writing a relaunch post like this is that it will slip into pretentiousness Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and in places it almost certainly does. This place is, after all, simply a blog like any other, so its significance is limited, and any claims to high ambitions and ideals are, ultimately, only so much wishful thinking. Yet with input from both its team of contributors (now around 30 strong) and its readers through the comments sections, the hope is that The Sharpener can achieve something of real value.
This blog was born, after several weeks of behind the scenes discussions and planning, on the day the Labour party won their third consecutive term in office under Tony Blair. The near inevitable onset of LabourÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Historic Third TermÃ¢â€žÂ¢ was obviously not the reason for setting up The Sharpener, but was nonetheless a subtly significant indicator that some of the problems that we wanted to address were very much real. Read More
Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution (1867), Ch.VI – ‘Its Supposed Checks and Balances':
“When the leading sect… in Parliament is doing what the nation do not like, an instant appeal ought to be registered and Parliament ought to be dissolved. But a zealot of a Premier will not appeal; he will follow his formulae; he will believe he is doing good service when, perhaps, he is but pushing to unpopular consequences the narrow maxims of an inchoate theory. Read More
Yes, I know there haven’t been many posts here recently – things will hopefully change soon, if we ever get around to implementing some of the changes that have been loosely in the planning stages for months. Anyway, The Sharpener is up for various awards in A Fistful of Euros‘ 2nd European Weblog Awards, along with a bunch of other good blogs from around the continent. Have a gander, and vote as you see fit. If you want to, of course…
Yep – Afghanistan again (remember Afghanistan, kids?). The quote is from Ramazan Bashardost, former planning minister in the post-Taleban regime. According to Reuters, he reckons that “Billions of dollars of aid that have poured into Afghanistan have done little to improve people’s lives”.
Three things to prove he’s talking arse: Read More