The Conservative election expenses saga explained (The Conversation) (video)


Since late January, a story about political party finance and spending in the 2015 UK election (and three by-elections) has been simmering. Now it seems to be boiling over. For brevity, it’s probably best to concentrate on the allegations related … Continue reading

Cameron was not predicting war – and he is right to raise Brexit security fear (The Conversation and Newsnight video)


David Cameron attempted to inject some passion into his mission for the UK to remain a member of the EU by making a “big, bold patriotic case” for membership. His speech is being read as a warning that Brexit poses … Continue reading

Can we believe what the Treasury says about the cost of Brexit? (The Conversation and Newsnight video)


There’s a high price to be paid if Britain leaves the European Union, according to the UK’s Treasury forecasts. Leaving the EU would cost the average household £4,300 per year, it is suggested. But Chancellor George Osborne has not done … Continue reading

Corporate inversions: What’s in a name? (video)


If you rely on the BBC for your diet of news, you probably will not have realised how embarrassingly haphazard and poorly produced the once universally praised BBC News’ output has become in recent years. The slow and painful decline … Continue reading

Explainer: what are ‘tax havens’? (video)


The Panama Papers leak sheds some light on the intricate ways in which the wealthy can exploit secretive offshore tax regimes. As well as charging minimal or no tax to residents and non-residents, the main characteristics of tax havens are … Continue reading

James O’Brien v Boris Johnson’s self-serving support for Brexit (audio)


If the polls are to be believed, the outcome of the forthcoming EU referendum is finely balanced. For reasons that are apparently obvious to many, but which this commentator is wholly in the dark about both sides of the debate … Continue reading

Panama Papers: remarkable global media operation holds rich and powerful to account (video)


With the Panama Papers exposé perhaps we can now say the fortress walls of offshore secrecy are finally cracking. Such havens allow corruption and tax avoidance to take place on a massive international scale by some of the richest and … Continue reading

Government and ‘independent expertise’: think tanks represent a blind spot for critical analysis


Drawing on recent research about UK think tanks, austerity and social policy, Hartwig Pautz and Elke Heins examine the relationship between government and the world of ‘independent expertise’. Focusing on one example, the Centre for Social Justice’s influence over Conservative ministers’ social policies, they … Continue reading

Why pulling out of the EU won’t give Britain complete control over its affairs


For years, crusaders of the Eurosceptic cause have claimed that all the evils of the world will disappear once Britain leaves the European Union. British fishermen and women will be able to fish as much cod as they like and … Continue reading

James O’Brien v “cretinous” Corbyn and socialist Sanders (video)


“Long-term economic plan”, “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”, “weaponise the NHS” – like it or not, in these days of spin rooms, soundbites and political PR advisers we have become accustomed to a certain style of political messaging. … Continue reading

What Jeremy Hunt isn’t telling you about the junior doctors’ strike will shock you (James O’Brien show)


Yesterday’s James O’Brien Show on LBC was a classic for so many reasons, but mainly because unlike any other broadcast media outlets, doctors involved in the dispute with Conservative policy were given a platform for three hours to explain what … Continue reading

The “criminal courts charge” is criminalising poverty but where’s the justice?


It’s not only the monstrous and still widening wealth inequality gap that is now the same as in 19th century Britain; it’s also our debtors’ prisons. Introduced by stealth towards the final days of the coalition government by Tory imbecile … Continue reading

It’s expensive, kills the innocent and doesn’t deter crime – it’s time to end the capital punishment debate (video)


The announcement earlier this year that a 78-year-old man was to be paroled after serving 48 years of a 30-year sentence caused an outcry – most loudly and unedifyingly from the knee-jerk ridden right-wing media.  As the man in question … Continue reading

The Channel programme: helping vulnerable people or nudging them towards radicalisation? (The Conversation) (video)


Stephanie Petrie, University of Liverpool Referrals to the British government’s deradicalisation programme Channel are on the rise, it has been reported. The Channel programme was imposed on all local authorities in England and Wales as part of the 2015 Counter-Terrorism … Continue reading

Is Greville Janner faking dementia to avoid child rape prosecution? (audio)


Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, knew that her decision not to prosecute Greville Janner on multiple counts of child rape would be controversial, but even she must have been surprised at the tsunami of outrage that followed her 16 April … Continue reading