Recent Articles

Why Cameron’s triangulation could be his greatest weakness

by Adam Ramsay     June 9, 2011 at 11:40 am

Labour was always accused of spinning. In a sense, this seems to ultimately have contributed much to their downfall – but not in the ways we would expect.

The usual complaint about spin is that it misleads. But this feeling of spin didn’t cost Labour any election. Despite the lies of the Iraq War, the 2005 election wasn’t even close. I’ve not heard anyone argue this was a major issue in the 2010 election.

No, for me, the problem is that Labour never made the case for the principles of the left.
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Universities should now take the lead on reducing energy usage

by Adam Ramsay     June 8, 2011 at 9:15 am

There is a myth that people in Britain over the last 10 years spontaneously decided to massively increase their consumption of Fairtrade products. The truth is that activist groups pushed universities, schools and churches to change their procurement. Millions of cups of coffee switched in the space of around two years and hundreds of thousands of people began to lift themselves out of poverty.

With a similar aim, the People & Planet Green League of universities, published in yesterday’s Guardian, assessed the environmental and ethical performance of 142 universities. If these institutions are failing to meet carbon reductions their own scientists say are necessary, what hope is there for the rest?
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An open letter to Prof Richard Dawkins on the £18k university

by Adam Ramsay     June 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Dear Professor Dawkins,
I am saddened to hear of your involvement in the £18,000 a year “New College for the Humanities”.

I have always respected you as a public intellectual. But that you have allowed this position to be used to promote a private university – and so the principle of privatisation of universities – saddens me.
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If our economy is in deep trouble, what’s next?

by Adam Ramsay     May 22, 2011 at 9:15 am

Vince Cable has finally admitted the extent to which the UK economy is screwed. In an interview with the Guardian yesterday, he said we depended far too much on financial services, the scale of global inflation, and the rapidly increasing role of China in setting prices and outcompeting us.

Politicians have failed, he says, to prepare us for the rocky ride ahead. Well, I can go half way there with him.

Our economy is in serious trouble, and all of the reasons he outlines are contributing factors. But, here’s my question: What’s his plan. Other than running around the country shouting ‘WE’RE ALL DOOMED&#8217
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For Alex Salmond, Scotland’s independence isn’t the point

by Adam Ramsay     May 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm

The debate around Scottish independence often seems to miss something: there is no such thing as an independent country. Britain, for example, is a member of the EU, the UN, and NATO, and is a signatory to countless global or bilateral treaties.

The point is not some abstract idea about freedom and independence. The point is about powers, and power. Which powers should be held by Holyrood, by Scottish local authorities, or by communities in Scotland? Which powers should be held by Westminster, and which powers should be held by the EU?
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Scottish Labour’s rout is part of a broader centre-left problem

by Adam Ramsay     May 6, 2011 at 10:58 am

In one sense, last night’s results in Scotland were as extraordinary as the SNP victory in 2007. Then, the vote was in Tony Blair’s last months as Prime Minister. Now it took place amidst a Labour resurgence not seen for years. And yet Labour in Scotland faced a rout.

So, what’s gone wrong? Well, first, credit where it’s due, the SNP have run an impressive campaign. They have focussed their air war on Labour’s key weakness – Iain Gray is a boring, uninspiring man; Alex Salmond a bombastic leader most couldn’t help but admire. But much more important surely was the complete lack of any Labour vision for Scotland.
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Could a high student turnout deliver new Green seats?

by Adam Ramsay     May 5, 2011 at 9:51 am

Today is polling day in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. All three devolved nations see crucial elections for Greens. In Scotland, we are hoping to make significant gains, and possibly hold the balance of power.

In Northern Ireland, Steve Agnew is looking to hold on to the one Green Assembly seat despite the man who won on on a largely personal vote having stood down. In Wales, Jake Griffthis is hoping to achieve the 7 or 8% needed to become the first Welsh Green AM. There’s also voting for Brighton and Norwich city councils, which both hope to be the first ever Green councils.
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How the police are trying to smear protesters in Bristol #stokescroft

by Adam Ramsay     April 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Police in Bristol last night arrested a number of people who they say were squatting a building in Stokescroft. There has been a long running squat on Cheltenham Road in Stokescroft protesting against a new Tesco which I understand finally opened on Friday. It seems that the police were attempting to evict this squat.

But things don’t seem to have gone quite to plan. Hundreds of local residents got out of bed as soon as they heard what was happening, and came out to protest against the evictions.
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So who took all the wealth?

by Adam Ramsay     April 2, 2011 at 8:20 pm

If you want to know what’s happening in the economy, you can do worse than looking at which businesses are succeeding and failing. And so two stories leep out from the pages of this weekend’s Financial Times.

The first, on the front page, spells out the perfect storm hitting most British people. Retailers, we are told, are being hit by a combination of depressed spending and rising costs.
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What happened after I got arrested on Saturday

by Adam Ramsay     March 28, 2011 at 8:45 am

Yesterday, I was arrested outside Fortnum & Mason after the UK Uncut protest, on suspicion of Aggrevated Trespass and Criminal Damage. Below is a summary of my experiences.

When we were inside Fortnum & Mason, the police said if we left we would not be arrested. At 6pm or so, we left, together. The police kettled us outside the shop. It then became clear that they were, one after another, leading people away to be arrested.

Eventually, it was my turn. I was placed in handcuffs, asked on camera for some basic details, then led down a side street by my arresting officers.
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