When I Last Saw Simon Hughes

Thursday, two weeks ago I had just come out of hospital after two-week stay there. As a resident of a Bermondsey, my brother wheeled me to the shops. As we got to the former Santander Bank premises on Southwark Park Road, the headquarters of the Simon Hughes Liberal Democrats Return campaign, we bumped into the man. Simon Hughes was all alone carrying a large cardboard box out of the headquarters and headed for a yellow painted black cab which he was driving. My brother and I greeted Hughes but he barely responded, he looked very unhappy. The June 8 elections had just ended and the former MP had lost. This was a very personal irony for me, a very difficult one. I did not want Simon Hughes to come back as my MP. Continue reading

Tony Blair and the Unusual Case of Campbell’s Law

When sociologist Donald T Campbell came up with his eponymous law, one wonders if he expected it to be of theoretical or practical use. Campbell’s Law states that, “the more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.” Originally intended to measure crime rates and other social phenomena it has been adapted to use in corruption studies. Tony Blair as Prime Minister of Great Britain is exemplified as a textbook case of Campbell’s Law. Continue reading

How Democracy Fails Nigeria

There has been too much optimism invested in what is widely touted in Nigeria as the ‘dividends of democracy’ i.e. the benign and enabling outcomes of democracy. After 18 years of a return to democracy in Nigeria, the dividends of democracy on offer has only meant the military are no longer in government. The dividends have neither been delivered in the form of better leadership nor better governance. Unsurprisingly, the crisis of leadership in Nigeria cannot be solved by democracy as a system all by itself. In fact, democracy can fail societies terribly. Continue reading

Reflections on the May Elections: The Relevance of Voters?

Never underestimate the wisdom of the old saying, “what Britain needs is another good war”. Peace, jobs, wages, NHS are boring and responsible for the national malaise in politics. Or are they? The May 5th local elections are over and the June 8th general election is on its way.  Continue reading

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