Your essential weekend reader — 12 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday evening, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices culled from the 50+ I’ve linked to this last week. You can follow me on Delicious here.

Kings, queens and the political chess match – Sue Cameron ponders what the invitation to HM The Queen to attend cabinet this week could portend: ‘Charles III might point to that precedent and say he would like to follow it. Moreover, he would like to attend more regularly and speak at it more often on issues like farming, the environment, architecture…’

A case remains for economic liberalism – Samuel Brittan with a timely (if slightly rambling) wander through its philosophical underpinning: ‘for all the looming problems, it is still untrue that the nanny state knows best.’

Sell: Cable, Umunna, IDS; Buy: sensible backbench Tories – Rafael Behr looks at who’s been naughty and nice this year, with a pessimistic look forward to 2013: ‘The outlook for next year is hardly less gloomy. National reserves of trust are at an all-time low. Scarcity of imagination and competence will continue. The market is over-supplied with mediocrity.’

141 media workers killed across the globe in deadliest year for journalists – Roy Greenslade on the risks journalists take in pursuit of reporting: ‘This has been the deadliest year for journalists, according to both the International Press Institute (IPI) and the Paris-based press watchdog, Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The killing of journalists, continues to be one of the biggest threats to freedom of expression.’

Why Europe will bounce back in 2013 – Ruchir Sharma reckons the only way for Europe now is up: ‘One way to think about the future of Europe is to ponder this question: can Italy be worth no more than Apple?’

How the Olympics killed the killjoys – Tim Black celebrates what the Olympics showed us we could do: ‘What stands in the way of other big projects, be it a runway, an airport or a high-speed rail link, is not the public – it’s the prejudices, the fears and the low horizons of that narrow stratum of society who were absolutely convinced that London 2012 would be disaster.’

A referendum on Europe? Bring it on, for all our sakes – Timothy Garton Ash anticipates the argument that needs to be settled. Again. ‘Unlike many of my pro-European friends, I think we will win. I do not believe the brains of the British people have been so addled by the Sun and Daily Mail that they will, confronted with the facts about what it is really like to be Norway (without the oil) or Switzerland, decide that exit – Brexit or Brixit – is the best option for this country.’

Why the US media ignored Murdoch’s brazen bid to hijack the presidency – Carl Bernstein laments the inattention paid to the News Corp tycoon’s attempt to use ‘his media empire – notably Fox News – to stealthily recruit, bankroll and support the presidential candidacy of General David Petraeus in the 2012 election.’

Liberal Hero of the Week #26: Michael Crick – find out why I picked Channel 4 News’s political correspondent for my CentreForum series.

So you think you know the Second Amendment? – Jeffrey Toobin looks at how the NRA re-defined “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”: ‘The battle over gun control is not just one of individual votes in Congress, but of a continuing clash of ideas, backed by political power. In other words, the law of the Second Amendment is not settled; no law, not even the Constitution, ever is.’

Party Identity in a Gun Cabinet – Nate Silver illustrates the political polarisation in the USA: ‘Whether someone owns a gun is a more powerful predictor of a person’s political party than her gender, whether she identifies as gay or lesbian, whether she is Hispanic, whether she lives in the South or a number of other demographic characteristics.’

Christmas is a time for giving up my old life – Bryony Gordon speaks for this 30-something at any rate, abruptly maturing from kidulthood: ‘The days of going where I’m told on Christmas Day will vanish. Instead, a complicated rota will need to be initiated.’

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from May 2007 to Jan 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

Read more by or more about , , , , , , , , , , , , , or .
This entry was posted in News.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User Avatarpetermartin2001 13th Feb - 3:06am
    @ Victor, Another way to look at this is to consider the creation of a new currency. Say the Greeks decided they were going to...
  • User AvatarNed Lamb 13th Feb - 2:06am
    Very much agree with you about trivialising words such as OCD. Recently I wrote to Channel 4 about their naming of their programme, Obsessive Compulsive...
  • User AvatarStephen Yolland 13th Feb - 1:49am
    I sincerely trust that Governance gets the attention it deserves both before the meeting and at it. Our party organisation shows every sign of being...
  • User Avatarmalc 13th Feb - 12:01am
    Merel I was commenting on the point you raised on how few women have been elected to the HofC's since 1918. As you know in...
  • User Avatarpetermartin2001 12th Feb - 11:59pm
    @Victor Grayson, There some information here on the current account. But we need to bear in mind that the figures may not be entirely...
  • User AvatarChris_sh 12th Feb - 11:58pm
    @RC @petermartin2001 @Victor Grayson "Not to mention the fact that we are also effectively importing other countries’ unemployment. Plus we are paying for the improvement...