50 Shades Of Red (LONG READ)

New Labour was still left wing. Just not Socialist.

Ed Miliband presents Labour with something of a hindsight problem. From the perspective of many Blairites, Miliband’s tenure represents a leftward march to Corbyn and eternal opposition. For many Corbyn supporters, Miliband represents a timid Labour party that was simply offering more of the same Tory consensus.

Corbyn’s view seems to have a lot of traction among left leaning commentators. One such blogger, Another Angry Voice, asserts:

The Labour party is no longer a party of the left. Embracing the neoclassical economic orthodoxy and positioning themselves ever so slightly to the left of the Tories – as they undeniably have – does not make them a socialist (or even vaguely left-wing) party.

While New Labour isn’t socialist, Clause IV was intended to break ties with Labour’s commitment to state ownership of industry, New Labour still filled a progressive role. Rather than it being delusional to think of it as a left wing project, the world that left wing, progressive movements in liberal democracies were forged have changed. New Labour and the third way is just one in many attempts to re-align traditional liberalism and social democratic ideals to the 21st Century world they now occupy.

Without getting into the absurdity of 2-D political spectrums (political spectrums, even ones like the Nolan Chart, are horribly flawed in measuring left and right) here’s the case for New Labour.

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An open letter to: My Fellow Sceptics

My fellow sceptics.

We need to talk about Bill Maher.

I don’t think it’s possible for Bill Maher’s viewpoints on medicine to have escaped your RADAR. Even for the big organisations (seeing as The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science responded to Pharyngula’s blog when it was raised in the comments section).

So the question then becomes: Why has this man not been challenged by the sceptical community at large? In fact, why do some sceptics defend his positions?

The hostility to medical science that Maher has expressed over the years, and continues to express, is the same as those on anti-vaccine forums, and is deeply unscientific.

The shunning of scientific investigation for gut feeling anecdotal evidence? That’s anti-science. Endorsement of alternative medicine and outright lying about vaccines? That’s anti-science.

Maher does both of these.

Maher isn’t a healthy, questioning sceptic in regards to medicine.

And we need to say so.

Don’t believe me?
Allow me to explain.

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The Definitive Speculative Ramblings on the 2015 General Election

If you’ve been near a television, or a post box lately, it might have aroused your suspicions about an upcoming election.

With all the talk on the news about policies and TV debates, pleas from politicians, and campaign leaflets through letter boxes, it looks like there’s an election in the air

With just 3 months to go before the 2015 General Election, the political landscape can look like a strange, scary place. With politicians left and right making promises and threats about who you should vote for and the dangers of voting for this guy over that guy, with pundits making predictions about who will get the title of Prime Minister in May and what the state of our politics will look like.

Confusing? Worry not. As part of the first blog post on this site, I am endeavouring to take up the small task make the election landscape look a little less confusing.

Welcome to the Definitive Speculative Ramblings of the 2015 General Election.

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