Opinion: Secularisation, Individualism and #Indyref2

In 1964, the film Mary Poppins was released. It captured the mind of a generation and epitomised the sentiments of the turn of the century. Mary Poppins was not ultimately about a magical nanny or a singing chimney sweep, but about duty. It was about the duty of man to his family. Mary Poppins is the story of George Banks, who gives up personal ambition in order to fulfil his role as a father, it is about the joy he finds in fulfilling his role as mandated by society. More recently another version of this film has been released. It…

Why Sovereignty Matters

The evolution of sovereign states around the world has been an uneven process. Some were founded on shared nationhood, language and culture. Some on lines drawn by colonial rulers. Others out of the chaos of war. But sovereign states have this in common: they are all that now stands between the peoples of the world and utter domination by the transnational monopolies that think the world is rightfully theirs to exploit. The needs of monopolies are simple. They want to be able to shift goods, factories, people and investment anywhere in the world, and they want all countries in the…

We Want Our Country Back

I had always thought that Gracie Fields’ great wartime song, ‘Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye,’ was written with the departing troops in mind, but it was actually sung by Gracie Fields in the 1939 film ‘Shipyard Sally’ to accompany her departure from Glasgow to present a petition from the men of the Clyde to the owners in London who wanted to close their shipyards. The film opens with Queen Mary launching The Queen Mary to the tune of ‘Rule Britannia’ and closes with Gracie Fields singing ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ superimposed on ships sliding down the slipways. Some…

Brexit, Accountability and Reform

David Landsman asks how Brexit can help manage the challenges of globalisation and automation in a liberal way. He argues that continued EU membership could result in changes due to globalization being bulldozed through national parliaments without proper and necessary popular consideration. One of the more depressing features of the Brexit debate, especially since the referendum, is the near absence of effort to find arguments which might persuade opponents that they should reconsider their position. Much Remain rhetoric paints Leavers as xenophobes and either idiots or shameless manipulators of idiots; the other way round, Remainers are presented as arrogant elites…

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