Alexander Wickham is a freelance journalist and Politics finalist at
the University of Bath. He currently writes for Total Politics, the
New Internationalist and the Adam Smith Institute, amongst others. His
interests lie in UK and US current affairs, political philosophy and
Sir Richard Branson is a fascinating figure. His politics are surprisingly convoluted for a billionaire businessman; at times he has resembled a Thatcherite neo-classical and at others he has been a Labour-supporting proponent of humanitarian issues and environmentalism. Last week the Virgin Group boss addressed the home affairs select committee on another issue he has championed down the years, calling on the government to implement a liberalisation of drugs policy. Interestingly, what he had to say made a lot of sense.
Upon picking up a Green manifesto most would expect to be enlightened on the virtues of ecological wisdom, perhaps calling for a grassroots – even anti-political – movement to further the noble cause of environmentalism.
This summer the reputation of the British media reached a depressing nadir. The debilitating phone hacking scandal, centered on but certainly not confined to the News of the World, has seen our once proud industry of journalism plunged into crisis. The forthcoming revelations of the Leveson Inquiry are likely to compound the feeling of disdain held by much of the public towards our newspapers.