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iain2macwhirter

Writer and journalist.
iain2macwhirter has written 1060 posts for Iain Macwhirter

“The People Versus Tech” by Jamie Bartlett. Review.

Jamie Bartlett is a former digital evangelist who proselytised all things web for the left-leaning think-tank Demos since the early noughties.  We all drank the digital Kool Aid and thought that this new technology would hand power to the people and improve the quality of public debate.  That was until the Arab Spring started to … Continue reading

The media may have lost interest in the chemical attacks in Salisbury and Douma, but social media hasn’t.

THE mainstream media has a notoriously short attention span, but it seems to have largely lost interest in the chemical warfare attacks allegedly made with Russian connivance in Salisbury and Douma. The UK victims, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, have made what is officially described as a miraculous recovery and been spirited away, furnished, we are told, … Continue reading

Brexit isn’t even working for racists – so why can no one stop it?

 It was a fitting if sombre irony that the Windrush generation scandal broke on the 50th anniversary of Enoch Powell’s infamous “Rivers of Blood” speech.  Public attitudes have moved on and modern Britain is not the racially torn dystopia that Powell predicted.  Far from it – most voters agree that migration and open borders benefit … Continue reading

Review: Labour veteran, Tom Harris, and Cobynite, Liam Young, may loathe each other – but they’re not nearly as far apart as they think they are.

Ten Years in the Death of the Labour Party by Tom Harris. Biteback, £12.99 Rise – How Jeremy Corbyn Inspired the Young to Create a New Socialism by Liam Young, Simon and Schuster, £12.99 If you want to  to understand the turmoil in the British Labour Party, and why it matters for the future of … Continue reading

As Number Ten prepares to impose consent for the Brexit “power grab” – why Sturgeon was right to defend Donald Dewar’s devolution.

  If we’ve been hearing less from the Scottish opposition parties about Nicola Sturgeon obsessing about independence and not “getting on with the day job”, this may be because she has been doing exactly that. For most of the past year,  the First Minister has been arguing, essentially, the case for devolution not independence.  First, … Continue reading

Brexit Britain and Donald Trump: a coalition of the ignorant, repeating the mistakes of the past.

    It’s often said that we live in a world of “rules-based” international relations. We no longer have kings and imperial states laying down the law, forcing people to obey. We don’t settle international disputes by war, as countries did almost routinely in the 19th century. We have laws, conventions and treaties to govern … Continue reading

What else has Cambridge Analytica been up to? Paranoid thoughts on psyops and culture wars.

So, now we know. We’ve all been giving away valuable data about our most personal thoughts and habits to GoogleBook, all for the right to share cat videos.   We used to talk about selling our souls to the devil, but now we give them away, for nothing. Data mining began harmlessly enough,  developing those … Continue reading

Steven Pinker is the original Centrist Dad, but he’s not wrong.

Once a year, around Christmas, I usually write a column about how things are really not as bad as we think they are. I cite many of the socio-economic trends identified by Steven Pinker in his defence of progress, “Enlightenment Now”. World poverty halved a lot faster than we expected back in 2005 when Make … Continue reading

Continuity isn’t just nationalist trouble-making. But it could lead to the Break up of Britain.

BREXIT, the story so far: In December, a spanner was thrown into the works when the Irish Government, and Northern Irish MPs, won a guarantee that there would be no hard border in Ireland. This was a blow to Tory MPs hoping for a hard or “clean” Brexit because the UK Government also had to … Continue reading

Capitalism – an obituary.

WHEN the obituary of neoliberal capitalism is written – as I’m confident it will be within the next decade or so – Royal Bank of Scotland will merit a chapter all on its own. Up to its neck in sub-prime mortgage lending in the US, it was a major figure in the 2007 financial crash, … Continue reading

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