Peter Bye

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Alice X is a philosopher and historian of ideas with a global reputation. She holds a chair at a leading university in the UK, has visiting professorships in Paris, New York and Boston, and has received honorary doctorates at more than twenty universities. She specialises in contemporary European, especially French, thought and is regarded as… » read more

Posted by pbye

The rise of the kakistocracy?

I was recently looking around for a word to describe government by the incompetent, rather as, for example, kleptocracy is government by thieves. I googled ‘government by the incompetent’ and was rewarded with the magnificent word in the title of this piece. Kakistocracy means government by the worst[1], from the Greek kakistos meaning worst and… » read more

Posted by pbye

It’s now more than one year since the UK referendum on EU membership, and the vote to leave. The Prime Minister, Theresa May, invoked Article 50 of the Treaty of Rome at the end of March this year and then, out of the blue, called a general election. Her intention was to get a bigger… » read more

Posted by pbye

In my previous piece, posted on 22nd November 2016, I argued that direct democracy, where the electorate is asked to decide or approve policy, is dangerous. I suggested that representative democracy is a better alternative. One of the reasons I advanced is that a majority of people in an electorate are remarkably ill-informed, making rational… » read more

Posted by pbye

Where are we going?

Some years ago the late Victoria Wood, a British comedienne, appeared in one of her excellent radio sketches as a sheep, frequently heard running across a field along with another. At the sound of each movement, one bleated ‘where are we going?’ to which the reply was ‘I don’t know’. They could have been describing… » read more

Posted by pbye

As readers will have noticed, the theme of my blog is respect for facts, which is essential for evidence-based policy. In this piece, I’d like to look at a related topic: the need to use plain language – saying it clearly, in other words. After all, if we cannot understand what is being said or… » read more

Posted by pbye