Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Why the AV referendum will struggle for turnout

Here’s the level of argument in the “Yes” and “No” camps for the Alternative Vote referendum tomorrow. “Yes”: a motley band of comedians and actors think it’s a really good idea. Hmm – I never knew Honor Blackman had all that expertise in electoral reform. “No”: Nick Clegg likes it and nobody likes Nick Clegg. […]

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

The worst local election leaflet ever?

I know, I know – you thought the Lib-Dems had finally graduated to the big leagues in politics. They’ve got nice suits, seats in Cabinet and a highly sophisticated communications machine. But it was not ever thus. Unpacking boxes in Freelance Unbound’s spacious new South-West headquarters reveals this local election leaflet from just a few […]

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Why fact-checking should start early

Nine-year-old Anna Carnochan has been in the news today, taking the prime minister to task over a potential tax on toys. She wasn’t happy with his reply, it seems, and is pursuing the matter with the tenacity of a young Jeremy Paxman. Apparently Anna “wants to be a news reporter” when she’s older. She’s currently […]

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

US government agency hopes to assign copyright to events

Well – sort of, if this “staff discussion draft” of “Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism” from the US Federal Trade Commission is anything to go by. Among the bullet points: “Hot news” Protection of Facts ie: if you report on something first, you have copyright over the event! That’s just fantastic, and […]

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Counting alternative votes before they’re cast

It’s interesting to see this from the BBC, which has some handy interactive digital graphics on its web site to show how the different voting systems work, in the run-up to most likely adopting one. What I want to know is how on earth they can apply the alternative vote system to the 2010 result, when […]

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Be careful what you wish for…

Nearly 30 years ago, David Steel told the Liberal Party to “go back to your constituencies, and prepare for government”. I wonder if, three decades later, they’re actually ready for it…

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

“The people have spoken – we’re just not sure what they’ve said”

What went wrong with last week’s election? In media terms, clearly, it was a lack of narrative. How could the media make sense of the voting patterns in 2010? Massive swings to the Tories in unexpected seats, solid swings away from Labour in others. But swinging to where? Sometimes to Tory, sometimes to Labour, sometimes […]

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Fear and West Lothian in Westminster

The latest argument for a “Progressive Rainbow Coalition Government” in the UK comes from the Scottish Nationalists, who argue that a LibCon arrangement would be resented by the 83% of people who didn’t vote Conservative in Scotland. I’m sure the 100% of people who didn’t vote SNP in England will welcome a government that includes the […]

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Whoever you vote for, government wins

I usually love elections, but, despite the fact that this is the most unpredictable, closest-run contest I’ve known, I just can’t seem to get worked up about this one. I’ve always enjoyed them. Appropriately enough, the first election I was really aware of was in 1974 – the last time that we had a minority […]

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Who's behind the BNP babes?

The BNP seems to be engaged in some clever, if off-the-wall, underground marketing campaigning at the moment. My students at yesterday morning’s online journalism seminar flagged up an odd post on the Vice Magazine site (which is, as you might guess, essentially sleazoid trash. Not that there’s anything wrong with that). The post – Babes […]