An ego-free European election advert

Brussels-based advertising agency Old Continent has produced an alternative European Parliament election campaign. Rather than the world-spanning claims of the official version, this is a bit less egotistical. Quite British, even...Read more

Campaign on the Manchester Airport windfall

From Manchester, a new campaign for a participation process around a council windfall. The City Council has picked up a £14.5m windfall from the sale of the airport, and Jo Campbell and Marc Hudson  want the people of the city to be consulted on how it gets spent. They've set up a website (with video) and an e-petition on the council website. The Council have an online suggestion box on how the money should be spent, but there isn't any ranking or true participation involved in it, as far as I can tell. You can…Read more

Crushing innovation: a little story from Texas

Here's an interesting story, from Wired, on how hard it is for social innovation ideas to embed themselves in big public services. Note how the friendly local arrangement that was slightly outside the rules was slapped down by the bureaucracy, and the innovator had to come up with a much more intensive and laborious work-around. [A startup called] Outbox, had worked out an agreement with the regional postmaster in its hometown of Austin, Texas to set aside mail addressed to the company’s customers. Instead of United States Postal Service carriers taking letters to…Read more

Polls on Syria from @Electionista

The brilliant Electionista has collated various polls from around the world on the possible military action Syria (here) and to my slight surprise there is a country that seems quite ready to take military action. I had expected big anti-war majorities because war isn't usually a popular cause. So who's gung-ho? It's not the US (where polls are against even if chemical weapons were definitely used), it's not the UK, it's France - whose discussion of the war is almost invisible in the UK press, presumably because it doesn't always happen in English.…Read more

Skin in the game

Interesting little Gallup poll today (a year out from the 2014 EU Parliament elections) showing that: Lots of Europeans aren't happy with the direction the EU is going in, and Other than the Brits, they want to stay in the EU. Which leads to the inevitable conclusion that they should get involved in the European Parliament elections and make their voices heard. We'll be launching a new project in the next few weeks that will help with that.Read more

More immigrants than for 900 years? (Is @willhutton misquoting @david_goodhart?)

I'm not sure whether there is some misunderstanding here, but this is a startling line in Will Hutton's Observer article on immigration: David Goodhart is alarmed by the sheer scale of recent immigration. In his recent book The British Dream, Goodhart writes that since 2004 half a million non-British people have arrived each year in Britain – "more in a single year than in the entire period from 1066 to 1950". Now, I've not read the book Hutton quotes, but surely the idea that between 1066 and 1950 fewer than half a million…Read more

Friday afternoon reading: March 1, 2013

When does the British Constitution require a Referendum? – Vernon Bogdanor Open Data Engagement | Exploring the engagement dimensions of open data Crowdsourced Urbanism In Helsinki: The Rise Of Facebook Democracy? — The Pop-Up City Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship - Charlie's Diary On post-democracy < good discussion from a few days ago on @jonworth's blogRead more

Friday afternoon reading: February 22, 2013

Launching the Regional Academy for Democracy Do you support or oppose the Really Evil Tax (UK Polling Report) What We Can Learn from 10,000 Porn Stars < fascinating infographic (topic NSFW but article SFW) Stumbling and Mumbling: Leftist Tories? Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail | Rolling Stone Net wisdom - the Internet has made this a golden age of reading (FT)Read more

Friday afternoon reading: February 15, 2013

Beppe Grillo is changing politics Report: Ireland’s strategic options in the face of changing UK-EU relations. (IIEA) Ireland’s strategic options in the face of changing UK-EU relations. The Real Role of Cities < very good read, this (US perspective) via @governing Report: New political actors in Europe: Beppe Grillo and the M5S (Demos) The Voting Rights Act and Shelby County v. Holder: How the Supreme Court could make the VRA better instead of striking it down (Slate) Hungary – A Very FIDESZ Democracy (SEJ) Schneier on Security: Can you hack the Papal Election…Read more

Friday afternoon reading: February 8, 2013

A case to reset basis of monetary policy away from inflation targets (FT, £) Why it matters that the Irish promissory notes are gone (FT Alphaville) Engaging with academics: how to further strengthen open policymaking Scottish Community Councils use of online: a survey (IIDI) Racist jibes prompt Saga to scrap its social network for the over 50s’ Whitehall reform - The view from the inside (Reform) Tory Modernisation 2.0 (Bright Blue) Service prototyping - that's just common sense isn't it? (by @HanLRees) Beyond the State: Mobilising and Co-Producing with Communities - Insights for…Read more