Author Archives: Anthony Hawkes

A short history of the market

As world conquests go, this was pretty impressive. While there were dark muttering about Islam taking over the world, neo-liberalism went ahead and did it in less than 50 years. It used the tools of an organised religion. If you wanted to be part of it, you had to forswear all others and commit yourself to a belief in the mystical powers of the Market. You could not question the powers of the Market, despite any evidence to the contrary, and discussion could only take place if both parties took the magical powers that flow from the Market as fact. …

Posted in Humour | Tagged | 39 Comments

Opinion: Reflections of a first timer at Conference

What a first conference! From Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon it did not stop. Sleep seemed to be one luxury too many.

The organisation was far better than I expected. Every event started on time and there were stewards everywhere to help direct you and answer your questions. It was very smooth and professional throughout and everyone I met seemed friendly.

Friday was International Women’s Day and the first event I attended was the Conference rally. Nick Clegg came on and delivered a very good speech addressing the problems of recent weeks. The following speakers (Shirley Williams, Jo Swinson, Lynne Featherstone …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 9 Comments

Opinion: Where is evidence based decision making about the NHS?

One of the great things about growing old is that life becomes much simpler. Those raging passions of youth give way, very gradually, to an acceptance that, in the grand scheme of things, we are pretty insignificant. Imagine my surprise when I found my blood pressure rising and my normally equitable mood being replaced by a growing sense of outrage. What exceptional event caused this? Well, it was theĀ  Health and Social Care Act, 2012.

I am not sentimental about the NHS, or any other public body for that matter, and believe that we should constantly be trying to improve our …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 24 Comments

Opinion: War on Weltschmerz

A Liberal Youth training sessionWhen friends have lost their belief in religion, they usually describe not the freeing of bonds, but the emptiness left without a moral compass to guide them.

My youngest daughter popped in after work today looking rather sad. When I asked her the problem she described herself as feeling weltschmerz. Never having heard of this before, I got her to elaborate. She told me of the alienation, the resignation and the overwhelming sense of the cruelty of the world. This is not a woman prone to melancholy, …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 15 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJonathan Brown 4th Jul - 2:42am
    Thanks for asking these questions. It's just scratching the surface, but very welcome nonetheless. I think on balance I find Norman's answer more impressive -...
  • User AvatarT-J 4th Jul - 12:03am
    Mr Wallace and others - although it sounds fairly easy to just ban MPs from the devolved countries in the UK from voting on devolved...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 3rd Jul - 10:30pm
    Yes Andrew, it does include Crimea, and actually the whole of eastern Ukraine. Self-determination for everyone should be one of the biggest liberal causes.
  • User AvatarAndrew 3rd Jul - 10:10pm
    David, Actually it was Greens 10% Lib Dems 5% in the TNS Holyrood poll (in the non-constituency section; the Greens are not mentioned in the...
  • User AvatarAndrew 3rd Jul - 10:00pm
    Good speech by Paddy! (despite misquoting Edward Lear!)
  • User AvatarAndrew 3rd Jul - 9:48pm
    Eddie, Does it extend to self-determination for Crimea as well? If they had a properly supervised referendum I am pretty sure they would still choose...
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