A question of leadership

I’ve always believed that politics should be about policies not personalities. Yet it seems this is a minority view not shared by many. Increasingly our elections focus on the person. This is particularly true in today’s social media driven world where an opinion about someone often bar no resemblance to the actual person. So let’s look at the two people who, relistically, have a chance to become PM tomorrow.  (more…)


Opinion: Time to end the cycle of hate

Once again Britain has been the victim of a terrorist attack. Its the second in two weeks and the third one, in the UK, this year. As usual social media is full of comments ranging from ‘we will not be overcome’ to ‘don’t blame Islam’ to ‘ban all religions now’.  To be fair some of these comments are understandable in a time when people are just trying to make sense of what is going on. But they all miss the point. (more…)

Opinion: Lowering the voting age

In recent weeks the issue of lowering the voting age has risen its head again. This must come up almost every general election. At the moment you need to be 18 to vote. The Conservatives have no plans to lower this age, Labour say they will lower it to 16. Some argue that this doesn’t go far enough and the voting age should be 16. In this blog post I look at the pros and cons of lowering the voting age and suggest possible reasons why Theresa May, or other party leaders, might not have done this in the past. (more…)

A Readers Survey

Media, Murdoch and politics.

Back in 1998 I wrote my Masters thesis on the effect that Rupert Murdoch has played on both the British Media and British politics. Although his influence is far wider than these shores I only had about 20 thousand words so needed some way of limiting the amount of information and even then I feel that there just wasn’t enough space available to really cover in sufficient detail to really understand the depths to which this man’s influence has gone.



Passports- part 2

OK so I’ve  not had a response from my MP yet, but then I didn’t really expect to and it has been only a week! But at the very least it would have been courteous to send me a ‘one liner’ email saying they’ve at least recieved my message and will get back to me.

The next stage is to print my email and attach it to a letter of complaint which I’m going to hand deliver to her constituency office (which handily enough is on my way home from the train station, something I didn’t realise when I wrote the email.)

However I have managed to start a dialogue with the someone from the  ‘Correspondence team’ of the passport service. I guess that this is what use to be known as Customer Services but I suspect they can’t use that particular phrase as that implies they serve us rather than us be tied by their rules! (more…)

The pain of applying for a UK passport

Ok I understand the necessity of having a safe enough procedure in place for applying for a UK passport but does it have to be such a pain? In the UK there are 4 ways to get  a passport:

  1. fill in the application and just post it off, hoping it gets there and back again on time (takes approx 6 weeks)
  2. pay the post office to check your application and get it sent special delivery (suppose to take 2 weeks, not guaranteed)
  3. go to your local passport office (in my case in Liverpool, a completely different city from the one I live in) and pay them a lot more money for the fast track service (1 week supposedly guaranteed)
  4. go to your local passport office and pay even more money for a 24 hour service