Showing posts from November, 2013

'Depoliticisation' – our old friend 'Authoritarianism' in another guise

To ‘depoliticise’ something means to take the politics out of it. It is a strange and paradoxical term when you think about it, because to take politics out of something is a political act, and to be non-political is political. After all, power doesn’t disappear when a group of people decide they don’t want it or remove it from others through ‘depoliticising’. It goes elsewhere. In practice, depoliticisation means taking a sort of politics out of something, a type of politics – probably a kind that advocates of the process don’t much like – democratic politics for example. The term has received something of an airing recently in British public debate, and one guess for by whom ... ... That’s right (or wrong): the ‘Big Six’ energy companies. Step forward Mr Tony Cocker, chief executive of Eon UK : “ It would be really helpful to depoliticise this debate [on energy] ,” Mr Cocker told MPs on 29 th October. You bet it would ... all those pesky politicians, c

Immigration: our public debate misses the main point

Our public debate on immigration in Britain almost always focuses entirely on money and thereby misses the main point, a point that our political-media class finds difficult to deal with and that many regard as almost illegitimate. This is how people feel . It is emblematic of the state of democracy in Britain that any sort of negative opinions about immigration routinely get shouted down and lambasted as ‘wrong’ by the siren voices of people and institutions, most of which are on the supposedly ‘liberal-left’ side of politics. It is particularly disturbing the way that anyone who talks about negative effects of immigration is routinely attacked (often by hordes of lefty people on Twitter) as ‘racist’. These voices have a huge and in my view poisonous impact on the debate, forcing anyone who wants to make some nuanced points about immigration and identity into defending themselves against charges of racism, which is well established as one of the the worst offences one