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The Politics of Policing

02/07/2011 13:24:23 PM

Today in the news there have been reports that cuts to police funding of up to 20% will mean a loss of 10,000 workers. This is a considerable figure, and I seriously doubt that the Conservatives are correct when they say that this number can be achieved entirely through efficiency savings ..

Great Political Movies (No16) The Battle of Algiers

02/05/2011 10:25:55 AM

It’s long been accepted that history is written by the winners. However in reality, more often than not, the film version of events is the only one people really pay attention to, and that is dictated more by commercial values and Hollywood glitz than historical accura..

Great political poems (No3) The Revolution Will Not be Televised

02/05/2011 10:24:41 AM

For the past couple of nights I’ve been staying up late watching the protests in Egypt, live on Al Jazeera. As I watched various cities go up in flames I was both fascinated and appalled. It reminded me in some ways of the coverage of the first Gulf War. While con..

Political predictions they got wrong (No7) Edward Luttwak predicts Soviet success in Afghanistan

02/05/2011 10:23:42 AM

As I’ve noted before in these columns, academic predictions about the activities of the Soviet Union in the 70s and 80s were more often wrong than right. Partly this reflected the fact that as a highly secretive nation, the Soviets didn’t release their economic and po..

Great political non-fiction books (No3) Voodoo Histories by David Aaronovitch

02/05/2011 10:22:40 AM

As the great writer G.K Chesterton once commented, “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing – they believe in anything”. If the 20th century marked the decline of organised religion, it also saw people wanting to have fai..

Great political documentaries (No2) Viva Zapatero!

02/05/2011 10:21:33 AM

In Britain and America we’ve been blessed with an extremely healthy tradition of satire and poking fun at those in power. Every night in prime time you have programmes like Have I got News for you, Mock the Week and The Daily Show, which take great delight in lampooning the great and the good...

Great mistakes in politics (No12) The Spycatcher Affair

02/05/2011 10:19:30 AM

Banning books is always a tricky business, especially when you live in a supposedly free society. These days banning books on the grounds of taste and decency, or even blasphemy, is almost unheard of. The only area where governments are usually given free rein is national security, wh..

Political advertising (No4) 'Taliban' Dan

02/05/2011 10:17:56 AM

While negative attack advertising has become an accepted part of the current political landscape, Andy Grayson’s 2010 ‘Taliban Dan’ ad is evidence that it doesn’t always work. The advert was part of Florida Congressman Andy Grayson’s re-electio..

What are Mubarak’s options?

02/01/2011 12:04:19 PM

As the protests continue for another day, the world is increasingly focussing on the question of whether Mubarak, Egypt’s battered leader can survive. This is my analysis of what options are available to him and how viable they are: 1) Crack down hard on the protesters using the mil..

The Egyptian Crisis and the Kirkpatrick Doctrine revisited

01/31/2011 13:18:06 PM

As the Egyptian protests continue one of the big questions everybody has been asking is how will the US react to these developments? As I stated in my post yesterday, the USA is unlikely to favour any overt intervention for fear of being accused of neo-colonialism. Also with their forces still..

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