How Simple Narratives Conceal Complex Truths. Interview With Peter Hitchens

On the Imagine Athena podcast I had the great pleasure of speaking to the Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, one of my go-to writers and thinkers.

We discussed how simplistic moral narratives are used in political discourse to conceal harder, more complex truths about the world.

Did Britain really attain the victory it set out to in WW2? Is Britain’s relationship with the US a lot more adversarial than the two countries like to admit? And can Trump really make America great again?

The two books he mentions in the podcast are The Deluge by Adam Tooze and The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan

The Imagine Athena Podcast is also available on iTunes.

After 2016, Does Left and Right Mean Anything Anymore?

2016: It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

Depending where you fall on the political spectrum. And it would be easy to describe this purely in terms of the left/right dichotomy. But the political events of 2016 have actually showed just how uninformative the terms “left” and “right” even are.

They obscure the true nature of certain political positions and can, in fact, be deeply misleading, hiding genuine differences as well as convergence between people on the so-called “same side” or even opposing sides. Read More…

The Politics of Unfriending Someone on Facebook

unfriend-politics-facebook
It’s a sign of how blurred the lines between our online and offline lives have become when a “real-life” disagreement over politics results in being unfriended on Facebook.

That happened to me a couple of weeks ago. An acquaintance with whom I’d mildly (or so I thought) clashed with about feminism, whilst we were out for a few drinks, later went and removed me from their friends list on Facebook. I was a little bemused to have been unpersoned in this way because it wasn’t like we’d had a blazing row and I wasn’t rude to them at all. We had simply disagreed. Read More…

It Wasn’t Just The Working Class Who Voted Brexit

Brexit working classes

Since the EU referendum, the media narrative around Brexit has pretty much solidified along the lines that it was a working class revolt against the elites. Whilst there is definitely some truth to that, I don’t think it’s a wholly accurate description of who voted Leave and why.

Just this week, The Guardian published a piece by Zoe Williams who pointed out that a deeper analysis of Brexit voters, since the referendum, showed just how many of them were middle class. Read More…

Brexit: Democracy Is Not All About Getting Your Own Way

Is Discourse Dead?

I never thought I would find myself writing about Brexit. The main reason being that my position on the actual vote has not progressed much further than agnosticism and constant vacillation in the face of various different arguments. I have passionate and erudite friends on both sides of the argument but, perhaps most significantly, I have lived in Cape Town for 3 years now and, while I care deeply for Britain’s future, I felt somehow distant from the issue, as if it is not my decision to make. Until passions began to run high on the immediate eve of the vote and bubbled over into a social media civil war in its aftermath, I had become rather fatigued by the whole thing.

That being said, I have found the fallout from the vote more interesting than the build-up to it. And, while I did not wish to comment upon what the right decision was for Britain, the aftermath has revealed some frightening societal fissures in regard to how a democratic society should be run – and that is something I cannot ignore. Read More…

Farage And That £350 000 000

farage nhs 350 000 000

I don’t want to make any broader comments about the EU Referendum just yet (if at all); however, I have noticed a lot of the upset and a lot of the support for the 2nd Referendum Petition, which, democratically speaking (and that really is what I am most interested in across the whole Brexit issue) I am not exactly at ease with, seems to be stemming from this “Farage broke his £350m NHS promise” premise. For posterity I just wanted to clarify a few things that seem to have been overlooked. I’m going to try to keep this as factual as possible. Read More…

This Is A Period Of Significant Political Reformation

Brexit

Political parties are supposed to represent the values of the people not dictate them.

The long overdue estrangement of the working classes, in Britain, America and other European countries, from the Left/Liberal parties that historically claimed to represent them, shows just how long it can take for the electorate to fully realise this.

We are living through a period of significant political reformation. Right now, growing distrust of political elites is fuelling anti-establishment movements all over the western world. The so-called “centre-ground” is being stretched to breaking point by insurgents pulling hard from both the right and the left. Read More…