'UK' Category

  • Science and politics: the case of passive smoking

    March 5, 2014

    As a student of politics, I’m often frustrated by the way science is used in the political domain. Increasingly, scientific research is not only wielded as a weapon by political forces, but scientists themselves have become politicised, advocating openly for particular policies. The obvious example is with climate change, but the tendency is also extremely […]

  • Tristram Hunt crossing UCU picket lines

    February 11, 2014

    I am extensively quoted on the front page of the Morning Star today, in my capacity as a UCU activist. The encounter with Dr Hunt was, sadly, exactly as described – save that I don’t think anyone was actually ‘shocked’ (and I never said they were).   UPDATE: the story went viral during the day. […]

  • Letter in the Guardian on imperialism and the Cold War

    September 8, 2013

    I just discovered that a letter I wrote to the Guardian last year was actually published. Oddly enough they didn’t let me know, so I assumed they hadn’t done so. I’m glad they did, because I was particularly incensed by the article that prompted me to write (basically justifying the West’s Cold War imperial interventions), […]

  • Britain’s Post-Crisis Accumulation Strategy

    January 29, 2012

    According to today’s Observer, a Swedish company is to be allowed to set up a for-profit school in Britain. Although this development is described as the exploitation of a technicality, actually it seems to reflect the government’s wider strategy for restoring capital accumulation in the wake of the global financial crisis. Theorists from a number […]

  • Academic Experts and Democratic Policy-Making

    October 4, 2011

    A freedom of information (FOI) request by tobacco giant Philip Morris for the data behind an academic study on teenage smoking habits recently caused considerable outcry. Naturally, the company was seen as trying to subvert the research for its own nefarious purposes and Stirling University consequently resisted. They should not have. Not because FOI itself […]

  • Murdoch and News of the World

    August 3, 2011

    I am quoted in the Slovenian newspaper Vecer on the NewsCorp hacking scandal. The report (in Slovenian) is here. What I said in English follows (the reporter only cut the first sentence): What the hacking scandal reveals is the intertwined nature of big business and the state in Britain. Rupert Murdoch has enjoyed privileged access […]

  • Libya and the LSE

    March 4, 2011

    After intensifying pressure and days of media speculation, the director of the London School of Economics, Sir Howard Davies, has finally resigned over his institution’s controversial links with the Libyan regime. He was doubtless right to go, having made grave errors of judgement that severely damaged the LSE’s reputation, seeing it branded the ‘Libyan School […]

  • Misheard Message

    February 10, 2011

    I have a letter in today’s issue of Times Higher Education magazine, rejecting NUS president Aaron Porter’s suggestion that he was subjected to anti-semitic abuse when he was booed and chased off the stage at recent protests in Manchester. As Alex Andrews’ blog made quite clear, Porter was referred to as a ‘Tory too’, not […]

  • Coalition Politics

    July 30, 2010

    Last Friday I appeared on London’s Colourful Radio to discuss a surprising range of political issues, including Nick Clegg’s performance at Prime Minister’s Questions, the Iraq War and the Lockerbie Bombing. You can still listen to a recording via their clunky website (22 July, starts at 9am slot – 22mins in out of 55mins). I’ll […]

  • Racist Boris?

    August 5, 2007

    Doreen Lawrence, mother of Stephen Lawrence, the black teenager murdered in 1993, has launched a broadside against Boris Johnson, citing a 2002 article in which he refers to ‘flag-waving piccaninnies’ (a pejorative term for black children) and suggesting that when Tony Blair visited the Congo, ‘the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles […]

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