Without the 2009 expenses scandal, Brexit would never have happened. So suggest Emma Crewe and Andrew Walker in their recent book, An extraordinary scandal: the Westminster expenses crisis and why it still matters.
If one had asked the median informed liberal voter 3–4 months ago the greatest overall threat facing our way of life, I speculate that the answer you would have got would have been ‘climate change’ in the main, with perhaps a slightly nutty rump claiming ‘Brexit’.
The title of this essay is misleading. While this short piece will examine the message of Eco’s work a quarter of a century after its publication, it will primarily hope to push you toward a new belief.
In 2018 Norman Lamb questioned the government’s approach to cannabis regulation. He criticised the 19% fall in prosecution levels since 2015, and the 34% fall in cautions since 2017, while it was patently obvious that usage was on the increase.
The British Government has often had a hazy relationship with international law. Indeed their behaviour in the mid-2000s could be characterised as part of the Captain Barbosa-ification of the norms of international law: that is to say that they are ‘more like guidelines’.
On a Wednesday evening, liberals from across Cambridge gather to drink up and debate the issues of the day. We rarely take our motions, or each other, too seriously. In a room packed with liberally minded people, the result of one of these ‘Spirited Discussions’ motions came as a surprise to me.