Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bastards, Fellow Travellers And Holy Fools

Yesterday, I heard back about an article I'd submitted to a journal. For the second time, despite both referees recommending revise and resubmit, it was rejected. This'd be less frustrating if the reviewing was better. For example, one of the two referees was unsure the argument of the article was. Presumably then they didn't read the two sentences, one of which began with "[f]irst" and the other with "[s]econd", which followed me saying "Thus, in this paper I try and do two things" towards the end of first paragraph on the second page. Sometimes one wonders exactly whose peers it is that are doing the reviewing, and whether it's a group you'd want to spend your professional life working with.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Second Time As Farce, Or, And A Pony Please

I'm reading The Hugo Young Papers, whose main feature thus far has been to make you realise how far the terms of political discourse have been shifted to the libertarian right since Young started his journalistic career: the idea of the Tories fighting an election over their right to impose a national incomes policy, as Heath did in '74, is unimaginable now. However, I've now just reached the early eighties and the formation of the SDP and then the Alliance. This is from the interview with Richard Holme in January 1982, who was later to be Lib Dem spokesman in the House of Lords but had then just finished a stint as President of the Liberals. Young asks about the prospect of the Alliance going into coalition with the Tories after the next election and, crucially, how to extract proportional representation from such an arrangement; "how to prevent getting a pledge to PR out of the Tory leader, and then this being ditched by Tory MPs - meanwhile the Alliance being locked into the government and looking stupid":

[G]ive support on the back benches for, say, eighteen months: which would mean that the Alliance would bring down the government, not itself be brought down by Tory backbenchers. This would put the government's survival on their commitment to PR being pushed through the HC - hence a much better tactic than joining the government on a condition not fulfilled.