Politics Articles

Political Computer Games (No1) Missile Command

Posted on 02/10/2011 01:16:00 PM

Missile Command manages to combine two of the biggest cultural trends of the 1980s; video games and the acute fear of an imminent nuclear holocaust. I remember spending most of my childhood absolutely terrified of the threat of war. This was reinforced by the media airing cheerful films like ...

Great political movies (No17) Queimada (Burn!)

Posted on 02/07/2011 01:26:03 PM

Everyone seems to have seen The Battle of Algiers, which I reviewed last week. However for some reason it’s follow-up, Queimada, better known by its title in the US, ‘Burn!’, is now undeservedly forgotten. The director Gillo Pontecorvo revisits many of the ...

The Politics of Policing

Posted on 02/07/2011 01:24:23 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 and ...

Great Political Movies (No16) The Battle of Algiers

Posted on 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 accuracy. ...

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

Posted on 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 conflicts ...

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

Posted on 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 political statistics ...

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

Posted on 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 faith ...

Great political documentaries (No2) Viva Zapatero!

Posted on 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

Posted on 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, when ...

Political advertising (No4) 'Taliban' Dan

Posted on 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-election ...

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