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Bit-rot and Digital History, Eagle Eye

Bit-rot and Digital History

John Naughton has an interesting comment on a subject in which I have a professional interest. As a student of contemporary history, I worry about digital archiving.
At first, researching and writing about the first British government of the internet age was a thrill and a liberation. The Blair premiership was the first to have so [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 13 November 2010 at 5:54 pm

Cuts to legal aid have a direct impact on individual freedom, Battle of Ideas

Cuts to legal aid have a direct impact on individual freedom

Legal Aid is not usually at the forefront of modern discussions about freedom. More often than not it is treated as a narrow technical issue discussed solely in relation to lawyers’ fees. Long before the media bashed the bankers for being greedy, it bashed the barristers, who frequently stood accused of using legal aid to line their pockets with public money.

By | Battle of Ideas, Eagle Eye | Saturday, 13 November 2010 at 6:00 am

Look into the table. Tell me what you see, Eagle Eye

Look into the table. Tell me what you see

I suspect most progressives will see in the table evidence that income inequality has exploded in the past three decades. The reason the top five per cent are paying a greater proportion of the income tax take now is that their incomes have grown at a much faster rate than the rest.

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 12 November 2010 at 3:09 pm

The Fifth Man, Eagle Eye

The Fifth Man

The last sentence of Jonathan Powell’s The New Machiavelli (yes, I have finished it) is:
Whatever his faults, Tony Blair will certainly be counted as one of the four or perhaps five great British prime ministers of the last hundred years.
Allan Mallinson in The Spectator asks if this line is “satire”, but there is a much [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 12 November 2010 at 3:06 pm

Poetry and the tyranny of relevance, Battle of Ideas

Poetry and the tyranny of relevance

For decades the world of poetry has been simultaneously lamenting the supposed demise of its impact on society, and having an internal discussion about whether poetry still has any relevance in the modern world.

By | Battle of Ideas, Eagle Eye | Friday, 12 November 2010 at 6:00 am

Catch-Up Service no 95, Eagle Eye

Catch-Up Service no 95

1. Will Straw at Left Foot Forward tries to persuade us that Iain Duncan Smith misleads by saying that 70 per cent of the net 4m jobs created in 13 years of Labour government were taken by people from overseas. I am baffled by his attempted distinction between the net and gross increase in employment. The [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 11 November 2010 at 11:28 pm

Phil Woolas and the Truth, Eagle Eye

Phil Woolas and the Truth

I have written about the Phil Woolas case and truth in politics for The Independent today. It is right that there is a law against knowingly publishing a “false statement of fact” about an opponent during an election campaign. But the disqualification of Woolas (right), if upheld by the courts, would be undemocratic.
The law of defamation [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 11 November 2010 at 10:58 pm

Crick and Mason: class traitors!, Eagle Eye

Crick and Mason: class traitors!

Would Stephen Glover and Kelvin MacKenzie be spitting poison at these two journalists if they had criticised the strike? Would that have demonstrated that they were too right-wing to do their jobs objectively? Would that have indicated a dangerous bias from the two journalists in favour of the Coalition? I think we all know the answer to that question.

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 11 November 2010 at 2:09 pm

Shared decision-making is the healthiest choice, Battle of Ideas

Shared decision-making is the healthiest choice

At the debate on patient-centred healthcare, at the Battle of Ideas festival at the end of October, two eminent GPs threw a good deal of cold water on the idea that patients want more choice. They argued strongly that the people they met in their surgeries wanted to leave decision-making to the doctors.

By | Battle of Ideas, Eagle Eye | Thursday, 11 November 2010 at 6:00 am

What those anti-Iraq-war leaders really said, Eagle Eye

What those anti-Iraq-war leaders really said

I have written before about the little-known story of Jacques Chirac’s support for the US-led invasion of Iraq, and his offer, in December 2002, of French military support, before he changed his mind.

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 10 November 2010 at 6:14 pm


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