Even with the changes agreed as result of the Report Stage in the House of Lords this week, the UK government's Lobbying Bill remains a huge restriction on civil society campaigning compared to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
Having followed some six hours of the House of Commons debate on Syria yesterday (29 August), while channeling news, commentary and media requests for Ekklesia, it was evident to me that concern, questioning and scepticism were the dominant feelings being expressed.
Good science-based predictions are powerful, says Graeme Smith, Reader in Public Theology at the University of Chichester. But given that politics is a human activity, he disagrees with Rorty that those in the humanities cannot do it as well. Turning humanities-based soothsayer for a moment, Dr Smith sets out the reasons why he thinks that the Labour Party will (just) form the next government at Westminster, concluding: "you read it here first."
There is room for real, substantial reform to the EU budget and many other aspects of the functioning and policy of European institutions, says Simon Barrow. But to address these issues properly, Britain’s political leaders should abandon rather than feed the narrow Westminster mindset that the recent EU budget row exemplifies.