Peter Bye

Archives for UK in Europe

Since the referendum, we have heard from many leavers and some remainers that the vote was democratic and we must respect it. In recent weeks, the attitude of the Brexiteers has become somewhat shrill. We are told that the vote represents the will of the people[1]. There is increasing pressure for a second vote with… » read more

Posted by pbye

Is liberalism obsolete?

In an interview with the Financial Times[1], Vladimir Putin claimed that liberalism was obsolete: ‘…the Russian president said “the liberal idea” had “outlived its purpose” as the public turned against immigration, open borders and multiculturalism’. He made the following statement. ‘This liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done (about immigration). That migrants can… » read more

Posted by pbye

The UK has lived in interesting times since my previous post on 20th February. The Brexit date has been postponed twice and now sits at 31st October 2019. Yet another Conservative Prime Minister has been destroyed by the Europe question: Theresa May joins Margaret Thatcher, John Major and David Cameron as the latest victim. And… » read more

Posted by pbye

Governing the UK

In September 2017, I posted a blog called ‘The rise of the kakistocracy’. Kakistocracy means government by the worst[1]: the most incompetent people are in power. When I wrote the piece, there was no shortage of candidate kakistocracies; Venezuela and Zimbabwe provided two rather extreme examples out of many. But what about the western democracies?… » read more

Posted by pbye

Opinions about Brexit can be divided into two broad groups: those that I will call ideology-based and those that are evidence-based. The dominant opinion in the first group is the question of sovereignty. It was a significant factor in the 2016 referendum and continues to motivate many of those favouring Brexit. It can be countered… » read more

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The many numbers with which we are bombarded every day can be misleading for two main reasons. First, they can simply be wrong. The most egregious example is the £350 million per week we were told by the Brexiteers during the referendum campaign that we would save on our annual payments to the EU. It… » read more

Posted by pbye

Conditions for success

In many years of experience of IT-intensive projects, I have found that there are four conditions that must be met to maximise the chances of success. Putting it another way, if some or all of the conditions are not met, the likelihood of failure is raised. The first condition is that there must be a… » read more

Posted by pbye

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