Separation Anxiety

“Brexit is only sort of mentioned once, very briefly in the novel but I think it’s fair to say at this point you know that Brexit is a feeling” Sam Byers  In an interview about his new, technological thriller, Perfidious Albion, the author Sam Byers pondered briefly on the question of whether, or not, the novel could be described as a Brexit novel. whilst he was somewhat recalcitrant in acquiescing fully to this description, he did, however, suggest that Brexit is in many ways as much of a feeling as it is an event. My previous attempts in writing about Brexit...

Nervous States / Viral Futures

The sluggish response to the current outbreak by the UK government recently pushed me to take stock of what the pandemic reveals to us about this current moment and ways we might navigate it. In some ways, the virus has proved to be politically polarizing in a way that has played out in an exceptionally revealing manner. The authoritarian strongmen in charge of two of the largest democracies on the planet, Trump and Bolsonaro, first tried to counter the rising concern with a combination of denial, conspiratorial whispers and outright refusal to allow measures to aid the general public to be implemented.The puzzled responses...

Neomalthusianism and Question Time

Once again the ugly spectre of Malthusianism slithered its way into the mainstream on an episode of the BBC show, Question Time, which over the last few months has shown itself rapidly losing any illusion it might have had of speaking to, or representing, the needs of the public writ large and instead has rapidly been transitioning into a bizarrely hyperreal circus and a conduit for an ever more divisive and populist message. From the rumours of Fiona Bruce prepping the crowd with information to unfairly bias them against certain members of the panel, to the continued inclusion of political...

Refusing Wage-Labour: From Practicality To Necessity

Historically there have been many reasons why the reduction of labour time and even the abolition of wage labour itself has been seen not only in a positive light but as an achievable concrete goal. In 1930 John Maynard Keynes in his famous paper ‘Economic Possibilities For Our Grandchildren’, wrote: I draw the conclusion that, assuming no important wars and no important increase in population, the economic problem may be solved, or be at least within sight of solution, within a hundred years. This means that the economic problem is not-if we look into the future-the permanent problem of the human race....

A Brief Note On Reconciliation

I recently finished reading Goodwin and Eatwell’s work of political theory ‘National Populism: A Revolt Against Liberal Democracy’ which attempts to breakdown the roots of recent populist movements from Trump’s victory in 2016, to gains made by the likes of Fidesz in Hungary, National Rally in France and of course Brexit and subsequent successes The Brexit Party. Among their observations, they identify four principal causes for the rise of populism deprivation, destruction, de-alignment and distrust. However, when charting a course forward for post-populism they suggest, as indeed some parties have done, adopting certain ideas from populist parties. I, however, identify...