28 Dec 2012
December 28, 2012

How European Democracy Works

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I see that Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, has been stressing how the UK can’t negotiate aspects of our relationship with the EU in the event of a democratic referendum in the UK.  I wrote a few days ago about my bemusement with the whole business of what Europe’s top guns are up.. read more →

20 Dec 2012
December 20, 2012

Patrick Finucane

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In 1989, a Belfast solicitor named Patrick Finucane was murdered by two gunmen who had burst into his living room, having sledgehammered down his front door.  He was hit by a over a dozen rounds in front of his wife and children.  His killers were members of a loyalist organisation, The Ulster Defence Association.  Finucane.. read more →

18 Dec 2012
December 18, 2012

Europe’s benign dictatorships

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Today’s FT (p.6, Paywall) reports Italy’s 87 year-old President Napolitano bemoaning the early end of prime minister Mario Monti’s administration and ‘blaming’ former prime minister Berslusconi’s supporters. There are huge issues at stake, he says; “not just a bundle of votes for this or that party”.  ‘Neutral’ Napolitano is basically making the case for benign.. read more →

Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, has said  that in the event that Scotland votes for independence in 2014  then the new state of Scotland would have to apply for EU membership all over again.  Well, I hope Scottish residents vote to stay in the UK and I think the possibility that.. read more →

09 Dec 2012
December 9, 2012

The media most MPs really fear

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Just a quickie, this, because it’s so obvious.  Yet even though it’s obvious, it it’s still a funny wee thought at this special time (i.e. post-Leveson report, not the run up to Christmas) and, what’s more, I’ve never read anyone else say it. What? OK, I’m getting there.  There’s layers upon layers of discussion and.. read more →

05 Dec 2012
December 5, 2012

Rumble in the Congo

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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been in the news recently owing to rebels taking the strategically important city of Goma on the Rwandan border.  Centre to most of the reportage has been the assistance Rwanda and Uganda has been alleged to be providing to the rebels.  In any case, a quick Google of.. read more →

03 Dec 2012
December 3, 2012

Our super, unpoliticised Great and Good

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The Guardian’s editorial this morning proposes,  I think, that it should be possible to put together an acceptable way of appointing the PCC-successor which excludes both legislation and OFCOM.  I agree with that, but that hardly matters as I’m an elected MP.  And everyone knows that MPs are only concerned about keeping their jobs at.. read more →

01 Dec 2012
December 1, 2012

Leveson

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Earlier this year, I sat as a member of the UK Houses of Parliament Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions.  It was set up around the same time as Lord Justice Leveson began his inquiry, although had a narrower remit.  We took evidence from media professionals, judges, lawyers and  other interested parties such as Hugh.. read more →