A failure to represent – And where the Conservatives are going wrong.

It would appear that the great tory modernisation project has recognised a foe; its own core electorate. This blog fully understands the need to decontaminate the brand, being perceived by even the non-aligned element of the electorate as the “nasty party” is no way to command a mandate for governance. However the requirement for ‘purity’ of thought is getting out of hand.

Without genuine representation the concept of democracy is a hollow thing, and their appears to be a growing perception amongst the conservative element of the electorate that Dave isn’t for them, he is too interested in conquering a putative centre ground to spend any time advancing the core principles they believe matter. This has come to a head with a recent blog post from Conservative Home:

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Britain’s future strategic direction #4 – Reading the tory tea-leaves.

The Conservative Defence policy paper; A Resilient Nation is surprisingly ambiguous insomuch as the detail of the ‘what‘ and the ‘how‘ of future strategic thought is absent: What role do you want Britain to play in the world? How will you ensure Britain is able to fulfil that role?

As usual Think Defence have done an excellent breakdown of the policy paper so you advised to look there first, however the purpose of this article is to divine those ‘what’s’ and ‘how’s’ from clues provided by public statements and defence planning realities, in addition to the policy paper itself.

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Opportunity or threat #2 – Will Cameron’s EU opportunity arise at all?

Is europe to be saved from ever-deeper union by the German constitutional court, at the expense of Cameron’s pledges about removing the UK from various EU competences? Events are afoot, from the previous article it was assumed that a move to economic union would rapidly be tabled in order to save the Euro, however, this failed to consider the impact of a ruling given by Germany’s constitutional court which asserted the sovereignty of the German Parliament which stated the following:

The Court has ruled the Bundestag and the Bundesrat need to have a full vote before the government agrees to extension of powers of the EU, for example a shift from unanimity to qualified majority voting. Furthermore, and this is probably the most sensational aspect of the ruling, the Court ruled explicitly on the question of the finality of European integration, by stating that ultimate sovereignty must rest with the member states.

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A level playing field – UK games industry to get tax-breaks.

This blogger is not normally a fan of taxpayer subsidised industries, firmly believing that market forces will be a far more efficient at delivering a wealthy future for Britain than the dead hand of government, so why make an exception for the UK games industry?

For two reasons:

1) Markets forces are already grossly distorted given the tax breaks available to the games industry in other parts of the world, this merely brings about a more level playing field in which to compete.

2) The games industry is exactly the kind of innovative and high-tech sector that plays to the strengths of an advanced country wishing to excel as a high margin economy, to ensure future prosperity.

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Britains’s nukes – Independence of operation, not of acquisition.

Once more the public are assaulted with ignorant disinformation courtesy of a careless media, this time with George Monboit arguing the following:

Let’s begin with the sovereignty issue.

As Dan Plesch shows in his report on British weapons systems, we have no independent deterrent. Since 1943, when the UK joined the Manhattan Project, our nuclear weapons programme has relied on crumbs from the US table. The US has granted us a franchise on parts of its programme, which it has graciously allowed us to rebrand with the Union flag.

Now for the reality – Independance of operation:

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UK election 2010 – And why a Lib-Dem vote isn’t wasted.

First of all this is not a party political article, nor should it be construed as a recommendation of the Lib-Dems in the coming election, vote where your convictions lie. What this article intends to demonstrate is that the Lib-Dem’s are a crucial function of our political system, and their apparent flaws are in fact vital to the operation of that function.

So, what are the problems with the Lib-Dems that make them so objectionable? Well, this boils down to two core problems; the first of which is that in a First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) electoral system a vote for them is essentially a waste, the second is that their policies are rarely conform to coherent platform that is recognisably guided by core principles.

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DRM in PC games – How to get it right, and what Ubisoft did instead.

Digital rights management (DRM) from the point of view of PC Gaming is a generic term for access-control technologies used by developers and publishers to impose limitations on the usage of games. Access-control technology has been used on computer games as copy protection for almost as long as computer games have existed in the form of serial number and keys files, although these are not considered DRM as they can be circumvented without modifying the game files. If the latter can be considered the era of the game-as-a-product, then the former can certainly be characterised as the rise of the game-as-a-service.

The rise of the game-as-a-service and DRM are a direct result of the mass use of the internet during a period when tools to distribute pirated media online were widely available. Access-control technology became ever more sophisticated in an effort to physically deter the pirating ‘masses’, mandated by the legal deterrence of the EULA.

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Britain’s future strategic direction #3 – And why I believe the IPPR are wrong.

Another of the serious contributors to the debate surrounding the Future Defence Review (FDR) has been the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a UK think-tank with its paper: Shared Responsibilities.

Think Defence have already provided a very thorough break-down of the IPPR report, so rather than repeat the exercise this blog would refer readers to those articles before continuing on with an analysis reserved to the points of disagreement.

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A future european Kratos – can there be one in the absence of a Demos?

This post explores the logical end goal for the political project currently known as the EU, because it is suffering a crisis of legitimacy at the same time it grows its post-sovereign ambition.

To cut a very long and tortured story short; the EU was invented by France to ensure that Germany never invaded again, Germany being somewhat embarrassed by recent history was all too happy to comply, and their neighbours who tended to host the wars in question were doubtless delighted too. However, what is of concern here is the future.

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