Friday, 28 August 2015

DD306 : Living Political Ideas - the Readings Book has arrived

It appears at first glance to be quite a thick book, but the printing is large which will help.

It also sets out what the Rooms are about and some of the topics that will be covered. Looking forward to Room 5 if for no other reason than I have been in Sierra Leone, and in Yugoslavia before the break up and Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo since. It will be interesting to get other people's take on those situations.

Room 3, Religion and Politics is going to be a massive struggle try and see both sides of an obviously one sided argument. Superstition and the 2000 year old philosophies of  desert dwelling peoples have no place in modern life, let alone modern politics.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Labour Leadership Contest

I returned from holiday to find I had received my ballot paper.

I have voted online (to save the party money), so it is now a case of waiting until 10th September and hoping that the labour party doesn't self destruct between now and then.

Corbyn may not be everybody's cup of tea as a political leader, but maybe it is time for a less polished, more down-to-earth style of politics.

Regardless of who eventually wins the leadership contest Labour needs to successfully and actively engage all current non-voters - 
  • 14 year olds and above who have not yet voted, 
  • the disillusioned, apathetic or lazy who are registered but didn't vote
  • anybody who may not even be registered to vote. 
If they can mobilise what is a large number of non-voters or never-voted that would be a game changer.

But the biggest challenge is that Labour faces is their need to do a better job of explaining how it is possible to help the working poor without damaging the economy, and this is doubly difficult with a right-wing press that seems happy to report Tory policies as being successful regardless of the facts and without any sort of scrutiny or challenge.

If you believe their should be greater equality, that the state should look after the least advantaged, that people need a helping hand rather than a handout and that those who benefit most from the state, its institutions and infrastructure should  pay more for gaining this benefit then its going to be an interesting few years ahead.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

DD306 : Living Political Ideas - Set Course Reading - "On Violence" by Hannah Arendt

The first thing you can say about the set reading for DD306, "On Violence" by Hannah Arendt is that the front cover is not exactly interesting.

I took the book on holiday and didn't get through the first chapter, it is not exactly gripping reading and is written in quite, for me, an odd and challenging style, and I found I had to keep re-reading passages to try and work out what the author meant as there were too many double negatives and unnecessary commas.

I can't see this book being read any further until absolutely necessary.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

DD306 : Living Political Ideas - Facebook page(s)

It looked as though last years DD306 Facebook page was going to carry on for this year having been renamed to remove any references to Oct14.

However, there is now a new and alternative DD306 Facebook group secifically for Oct 15 starters so it will be interesting to see if they book continue in parallel or combine in some way.

Of course anybody on the PPE Pathway should be in the PPE Facebook Group