smerconish.com

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Refreshingly Independent Politics – smerconish.com is to create a clearinghouse for non-ideological thinking. We want to give people a chance to contribute to, and consume media that isn’t predicated on the usual, extreme talking points of the polarized media. Instead, we aim to promote independent thinking and diversity of thought.

What Is It About Michigan?

19 January 2022 @ 12:14 pm

Nassar, Anderson, Chatfield. This state is home to some of the nation’s most notorious and prolific sexual abusers, but we can fix it.

A Knock at Midnight: MLK Day for a Nation in Despair

17 January 2022 @ 11:25 am

Democracy is in peril, poverty is rampant, and racism is alive and well, yet as friends, we can set the table of freedom and justice.

Will Biden Bounce Back?

15 January 2022 @ 11:36 am

While some of the vexing issues are arguably beyond a president’s control, many were missteps. Not the sort of thing you’d expect from a Washington lifer who campaigned as seasoned and experienced. 

Publicizing the Deaths of COVID Anti-Vaxxers Might Save Lives

14 January 2022 @ 11:34 am

There are lives to be saved by exposing the ultimate consequences of disinformation.

Was Donald Trump a Great Persuader While in Office?

13 January 2022 @ 12:09 pm

When it comes to utilizing the bully pulpit, was Donald Trump an exception to past presidents?

This Is How American Democracy Dies

12 January 2022 @ 11:21 am

We are in the eye of a hurricane that is headed directly for our democratic principles and ancillary election laws.

Why a Legal Victory for the Navy SEALs Matters

10 January 2022 @ 11:18 am

Americans of all faith traditions or no faith at all, regardless of pro- or anti-vaccination opinions, should pay close attention to this case.

The COVID Kids are Not Alright

9 January 2022 @ 5:21 am

What have we done to our kids? For the past two years, we’ve given them no chance to grow up and allowed children to accept more harm in exchange for a smoother adulthood.

Restoring Education Is Our Best Bet Against China

7 January 2022 @ 9:40 am

Tragically, the U.S. has allowed its focus on educational excellence to drift aimlessly for years, and this neglect has finally caught up with it.

Omicron, Delta, and the Need for More Accurate Hospitalization Data

6 January 2022 @ 9:35 am

Why is the U.S. seeing a surge in hospitalizations that looks poised to surpass last winter’s high?

theintercept.com

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The Intercept is an award-winning news organization dedicated to holding mainstream views and misinformation.

Starving Afghans Use Crypto to Sidestep U.S. Sanctions, Failing Banks, and the Taliban

19 January 2022 @ 12:00 pm

NGOs looking to provide emergency aid to Afghanistan are turning to cryptocurrency. The post Starving Afghans Use Crypto to Sidestep U.S. Sanctions, Failing Banks, and the Taliban appeared first on The Intercept.

Facebook's Tamil Censorship Highlights Risks to Everyone

19 January 2022 @ 11:00 am

Facebook moderators seem unable to distinguish the Tamil Guardian from the long-defunct Tamil Tigers. Experts say this sort of bumbling threatens press and cultural freedom worldwide. The post Facebook’s Tamil Censorship Highlights Risks to Everyone appeared first on The Intercept.

Pegasus Spyware Used Against Dozens of Activist Women in the Middle East

18 January 2022 @ 8:40 pm

The attacks add to a growing catalog of shame for spyware-maker NSO Group. The post Pegasus Spyware Used Against Dozens of Activist Women in the Middle East appeared first on The Intercept.

Contra a Billionaire Bro: Why We Should Care About China's Rights Violations in Xinjiang

18 January 2022 @ 6:56 pm

Even hypocritical criticisms exchanged by superpowers can do good. Over the last century, history shows that they have. The post Contra a Billionaire Bro: Why We Should Care About China’s Rights Violations in Xinjiang appeared first on The Intercept.

Dallagnol expôs soberba e desumanidade ao prestar solidariedade a delegada após morte de reitor da UFSC

18 January 2022 @ 6:28 am

Diálogos inéditos: para o então chefe da Lava Jato, críticos da operação que levou Luiz Carlos Cancellier à morte são 'bando de imbecis'. The post Dallagnol expôs soberba e desumanidade ao prestar solidariedade a delegada após morte de reitor da UFSC appeared first on The Intercept.

Congressional Democrats Join Republicans to Undermine Biden Administration’s Surprise Medical Billing Rule

17 January 2022 @ 11:00 am

Worried an aggressive new rule could cut into providers’ earnings, key members of Congress including Rep. Richie Neal are helping private industry weaken the administration’s position in federal court. The post Congressional Democrats Join Republicans to Undermine Biden Administration’s Surprise Medical Billing Rule appeared first on The Intercept.

Lei que tramitou na surdina em Salvador favorece interesses imobiliários de Carlos Suarez, ex-dono da OAS

17 January 2022 @ 5:23 am

Projeto que enfraquece proteção ambiental na capital baiana foi sancionado em novembro, sem nunca ter aparecido na ordem do dia da Câmara Municipal. The post Lei que tramitou na surdina em Salvador favorece interesses imobiliários de Carlos Suarez, ex-dono da OAS appeared first on The Intercept.

2021’s Inflation Proves How Incredibly Valuable Social Security Is for Americans

16 January 2022 @ 3:44 pm

Social Security is inflation-adjusted, so benefits are going up 5.9 percent to keep the purchasing power of retirees the same. The post 2021’s Inflation Proves How Incredibly Valuable Social Security Is for Americans appeared first on The Intercept.

UAE Adviser Illegally Funneled Foreign Cash Into Hillary Clinton's 2016 Campaign

16 January 2022 @ 2:52 pm

George Nader also cultivated key Trump advisers on behalf of his Gulf clients, prosecutors say. The post UAE Adviser Illegally Funneled Foreign Cash Into Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Campaign appeared first on The Intercept.

Jerome Powell Calls Fed’s Role in Addressing Climate “Limited”

15 January 2022 @ 3:33 pm

Powell’s reappointment is threatened by Democrats calling for more aggressive action by the Federal Reserve on climate. The post Jerome Powell Calls Fed’s Role in Addressing Climate “Limited” appeared first on The Intercept.

questioneverything.io

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To critically evaluate the global response to COVID-19 and present a series of responsible pandemic exit strategies to help ensure that total harms are minimised.

thefreedomcycle.com/pub/

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THE PEOPLE’S UNION OF BRITAIN
Taking back sovereignty through common law.

goodlawproject.org

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The Good Law Project is a not-for-profit campaign organisation that uses the law to protect the interests of the public. The Good Law Project fight cases that defend, define or change the law and we use litigation to engage and educate. The Good Law Project challenge abuses of power, exploitation, inequality, and injustice.

whocanivotefor.co.uk

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An updated list of candidates you can vote for the up and coming UK elections.

politics.co.uk

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Politics news from the UK.

MPs blast DWP’s ‘shameful’ underpaying of widows, divorcees & dependent women pensioners

20 January 2022 @ 9:17 am

The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) estimates it has underpaid 134,000 pensioners, mostly women, over £1 billion of their State Pension entitlement, with some of the errors dating as far back as 1985. In January 2021, DWP started an official exercise to correct the errors, the ninth such exercise since 2018. The errors –... Read more » The post MPs blast DWP’s ‘shameful’ underpaying of widows, divorcees & dependent women pensioners appeared first on

Levelling Up: communities do not need to catch up, they need a new model

20 January 2022 @ 8:53 am

Levelling Up, at least as a concept if nothing more at this stage, appears to be a political masterstroke. Its breadth covers a myriad of concerns and at the same time it is a cause in which almost everyone is in agreement. The speechwriters no doubt toasted their success at the masterstroke of the term.... Read more » The post Levelling Up: communities do not need to catch up, they need a new model appeared first on Politics.co.uk.

Boris Johnson’s resignation – why it could happen

19 January 2022 @ 5:47 pm

If Boris Johnson’s New Year’s Resolution was to leave behind December’s stench of scandal, he has surely failed miserably in the first stretch. First came news of the email sent by his principal private secretary Martin Reynolds, was leaked to the media. The email, dating to May 2020, invited 100 plus staff to “make the... Read more » The post Boris Johnson’s resignation – why it could happen appeared first on Politics.co.uk.

PM accused of ‘Operation Dog’s Dinner’ as Bury South MP defects to Labour

19 January 2022 @ 1:11 pm

This afternoon’s Prime Minister’s Questions began with jeering and booing as Boris Johnson faced MPs just minutes after Bury South MP Christian Wakeford announced his defection to Labour. Johnson opened by explaining that he would update the House on the UK’s “fantastic progress” on Covid-19, which will allow restrictions to soon be eased and the... Read more » The post PM accused of ‘Operation Dog’s Dinner’ as Bury South MP defects to Labour appeared first on Politics.co.uk.

Most 2019 Tory voters think low-income people are worse off since last general election, says report

19 January 2022 @ 10:18 am

Liberal conservative think tank Bright Blue has today published analysis of new polling conducted by Techne UK revealing how the UK general public assesses the performance of the current Conservative Government since 2019. The polling analysis unearths, as the Conservative Government approaches the middle of this Parliament, how the UK public assesses its performance so... Read more » The post Most 2019 Tory voters think low-income people are worse off since last general election, says report appeared first

The best levelling-up strategy is hiding in plain sight

19 January 2022 @ 8:34 am

It seems that no one knows what the government means by ‘levelling-up’. The White Paper explaining it has been delayed. And yet there is a clear strategy waiting to be embraced. It is an old one, called creating the conditions for growth. It is well known, yet it is being ignored as people look for... Read more » The post The best levelling-up strategy is hiding in plain sight appeared first on Politics.co.uk.

Downing Street dodges questions on British-German tensions over Ukraine military support

18 January 2022 @ 1:41 pm

Number 10 today evaded questions over potential diplomatic tensions between the UK and Germany, after UK military aircraft avoided German airspace on a military supply run to the Ukraine. Pressed on reports Germany denied a UK request to use its airspace, the prime minister’s spokesperson said that version of events “ was not accurate”. The... Read more » The post Downing Street dodges questions on British-German tensions over Ukraine military support appeared first on Politics.co.uk

Emergency payment necessary to help low-income families as energy prices soar, charity warns

18 January 2022 @ 8:38 am

New analysis from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation finds households on low incomes will be spending on average 18% of their income after housing costs on energy bills after April. For single adult households on low incomes this rises to a shocking 54%, an increase of 21 percentage points since 2019/20. Lone parents and couples without... Read more » The post Emergency payment necessary to help low-income families as energy prices soar, charity warns appeared first on Politics.co.uk

Nadine Dorries casts doubt on BBC licence fee future following freeze announcement

17 January 2022 @ 5:20 pm

The culture secretary Nadine Dorries has cast doubt on the future of the BBC licence fee funding model, after announcing the £159 fee would be frozen until 2024. In a ministerial statement, Dorries told the House of Commons: “I simply do not believe that those responsible for setting household bills should instinctively reach into the... Read more » The post Nadine Dorries casts doubt on BBC licence fee future following freeze announcement appeared first on Politics.co.uk.

No 10 coy on reports PM and Carrie ‘hosted friends’ during lockdown

17 January 2022 @ 1:46 pm

10 Downing Street today dodged reports Boris and Carrie Johnson broke lockdown rules and hosted friends during the beginning of the pandemic. When asked whether Boris and Carrie Johnson had hosted friends during the first lockdown in March 2020, a spokesperson for the prime minister refused to outright deny the claim. The PM’s spokesperson said... Read more » The post No 10 coy on reports PM and Carrie ‘hosted friends’ during lockdown appeared first on Politics.co.uk.

artsparty.org.uk

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Introducing arts thinking into politics and promoting creative, scientific and evidence based ideas that improve the lives of as many people as possible, while mindful of the few.

Arts Party Conference 2019

16 August 2019 @ 9:30 am

The Arts Party welcomes it’s first party conference from the heart of where water meets dirt, Brighton. We will be hosting debates for purposes of socialising, conversation and recreation. Located in Camelford Street, Brighton, BN2 1TQ, United Kingdom. All are welcome to attend, please use the contact form below to register your interest. [Fully booked] The post Arts Party Conference 2019 appeared first on ARTS PARTY.

Dinner for few

9 June 2019 @ 12:41 pm

A short and stark reminder of the state of play in politics today/yesterday. Thanks to a Dinner for a few, award winner from Nassos Vakalis. DINNER FOR FEW from Nassos Vakalis on Vimeo. The post Dinner for few appeared first on ARTS PARTY.

Scotland takes steps to put culture at the forefront of policy-making

6 July 2018 @ 9:31 am

A CULTURE STRATEGY FOR SCOTLAND – reflecting the past, challenging the present, shaping the future . The strategy seeks to stimulate a step change that will bring about a shift in how society and government view and value culture. It aims to build collaborative alliances that will help to realise the full potential of culture … Continue reading "Scotland takes steps to put culture at the forefront of policy-making" The post Scotland takes steps to put culture at the forefront of policy-making appeared first on ARTS PARTY.

Arts teachers in decline

5 July 2018 @ 9:35 am

As well as a fall in teaching hours, the arts has lost almost a quarter (9000) of teachers working in secondary schools in England since 2011. Sourced from https://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/news/arts-teacher-numbers-plummet-almost-quarter The post Arts teachers in decline appeared first on ARTS PARTY.

Why the Arts Matter

12 May 2018 @ 7:11 am

We’ve come across a great graphic that really sums up why the Arts matter – enjoy! The post Why the Arts Matter appeared first on ARTS PARTY.

Creativity and politics

17 April 2018 @ 11:19 am

Heather McGhee talks about the influence that music, film, and other arts can have on social change. https://thecreativeindependent.com/people/heather-mcghee-on-creativity-and-politics/ The post Creativity and politics appeared first on ARTS PARTY.

Why is creativity the most important political concept of the 21st century?

17 April 2018 @ 11:15 am

There is no concept more politically important today than creativity. I’ll give four reasons why but first a definition. ‘Creative’ has narrow, broader and even broader connotations in English. It’s the last of these we should be most interested in. The narrow meaning immediately leads one to think of activities directly associated with the arts. … Continue reading "Why is creativity the most important political concept of the 21st century?" The post Why is creativity the most important political concept of the 21st century? appeared first on ARTS PARTY.

Arts can help children avoid a lifetime of gang crime

14 April 2018 @ 11:05 am

Andria Zafirakou, who won the $1million title in Dubai last month, said subjects such as art, music and drama can transform the lives of vulnerable young people and give them the confidence to walk away from gangs. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/education/arts-can-help-children-avoid-a-lifetime-of-gang-crime-says-1m-prizewinning-teacher-a3813071.html The post Arts can help children avoid a lifetime of gang crime appeared first on ARTS PARTY.

Creativity and the arts in decline

1 February 2018 @ 11:34 am

Creative arts subjects are being cut back in many secondary schools in England, a BBC survey suggests. More than 1,200 schools responded – over 40% of secondary schools. Of the schools that responded, nine in every 10 said they had cut back on lesson time, staff or facilities in at least one creative arts subject. … Continue reading "Creativity and the arts in decline" The post Creativity and the arts in decline appeared first on ARTS PARTY.

Drawing the Future

20 January 2018 @ 10:34 am

A report launched by Education and Employers and found that children’s career aspirations only marginally differ from age 7 to age 17. It also showed that some sectors vital for economic health look set to be badly under-resourced in future. In the biggest survey of its kind, primary school children aged seven to 11 were … Continue reading "Drawing the Future" The post Drawing the Future appeared first on ARTS PARTY.

theyworkforyou.com

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Keeping tabs on the UK’s parliaments & assemblies

New in CAPE: Five different ways of finding similar councils

13 January 2022 @ 11:46 am

One of the things we want CAPE,  the Climate Action Plan Explorer, to do is make useful comparisons between different councils, and help surface where councils are similar and might be able to learn from each other.  The first go at this was a physical proximity tool, which highlighted neighbouring councils, but this can miss…

Call for proposals: Public understanding of local authorities and climate

5 January 2022 @ 4:40 pm

Important links Online version of this document Application form Q&A Event on 14th January 2022 Join the research commissioning mailing list/Research pool UPDATE: Q&A Session video Download as PDF. In one sentence mySociety is looking for an individual, organisation or joint team to research public understanding of what local government does, and especially its role…

What we learned about research commissioning

5 January 2022 @ 2:04 pm

In November we blogged that we were looking at best practice in commissioning research, and asked Gavin Freeguard to help us with that. After getting a lot of helpful comments and conversations (thank you), Gavin put what he learned into a document that is helping us shape our commissioning process. While aimed at a relatively…

Climate monthnotes: December 2021

23 December 2021 @ 1:48 pm

Another month, another chance to share progress from the Climate team. And this time, you get to hear it from a different person too – Hello! I’m Zarino, one of mySociety’s designers, and Product Lead for the Climate programme. Over the last month, we’ve moved the programme on in three main areas: Adding some much-anticipated…

Look back on the year, with mySociety

16 December 2021 @ 10:51 am

Our Annual Review is now ready for your perusal! As usual, it’s been a joy to compile all the progress we’ve made during the past 12 months, and to sprinkle them through with some thoughts and memories from mySociety staff. We hope some of that joy comes to you, too. This year, for the first…

WhatDoTheyKnow Transparency report

16 December 2021 @ 9:00 am

In 2021 WhatDoTheyKnow users made 100,092 Freedom of Information requests. Those requests, and the responses they received, are public on the website for anyone to see. But what’s not quite so visible is the work the WhatDoTheyKnow team do behind the scenes — answering users’ questions, removing inappropriate content and keeping everything ticking over. Some…

We know it’s not perfect, but we’re carbon offsetting: here’s why

6 December 2021 @ 2:00 pm

Back in December 2020, we blogged about how we track mySociety’s carbon footprint in order to understand our impact and to monitor whether climate policies we’ve implemented are having the desired effect of reducing our emissions.  In that blog post, we said: ‘having learned of disturbing failings in even the most-recommended [carbon] offsetting services, we…

New behaviours for repowering democracy

24 November 2021 @ 4:31 pm

In the first post in this series I introduced our new focus around repowering democracy, and in the second I outlined how we think we need to change as an organisation to make this happen. In this final post we’ll give an overview of the new behaviours we’ll adopt across the organisation so that we’re…

Three shifts we’ll make, to repower democracy

24 November 2021 @ 4:31 pm

To realise our goal of repowering democracy, and to really consider how we can contribute to mitigating the worst aspects of the climate crisis, we need to change how we do things. We’ll base these shifts on what we’ve learned over the past two decades; a recognition of the scale of the crises we face;…

The need to repower democracy

24 November 2021 @ 4:31 pm

Over the past year whilst we’ve been rocked and rolled by the pandemic along with the rest of the world, we’ve been spending some time thinking about where we’re going as an organisation and what we should be focusing on in the future. Alongside establishing the foundations of our climate programme we have been working…