Given that the new Labour Government is forever going on about its bold reforming agenda for the British constitution, Peter Riddell’s guide to this whole package of issues is a concise and salutary expose of how timid the government’s proposals are. Riddell looks in depth at how the power has shifted from Parliament to Europe, the judiciary, quangos, the civil service, the media and the global economy. Surprisingly, he devotes less time to the growing power of the global economy, even though it is the greatest threat to democratic accountability in today’s world – witness the current secret negotiations in which the world’s most powerful countries are planning to impose a freedom-of-capital treaty on the world economy (hiding under the bland title ‘Multilateral Agreement on Investment’).
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'The return of nature to Wordsworthian commentary is a corollary of the environmentalist spirit of the age.'
Seamus Perry on Jonathan Bate's 'Radical Wordsworth'.
My review of Samanta Schewblin's 'Little Eyes', in this month's issue of @Lit_Review
'Has the printed book finally outlived its span?' asks @AdamCSDouglas. 'If so, how long can the rare book trade continue? And how much longer can we keep flying in fat-bellied jets to gather in some foreign land to exhibit our wares?'