Daily Archives: April 30, 2020

What Exactly Is a ‘Liberal’? | Merriam-Webster

Posted: April 30, 2020 at 7:54 pm

What does it mean to say that a person is a liberal, or to say that a thing may be described with this word? The answer, as is so often the case with the English language, is it depends.

'Liberal' shares a root with 'liberty' and can mean anything from "generous" to "loose" to "broad-minded." Politically, it means "a person who believes that government should be active in supporting social and political change."

Liberal can be traced back to the Latin word liber (meaning free), which is also the root of liberty ("the quality or state of being free") and libertine ("one leading a dissolute life"). However, we did not simply take the word liber and make it into liberal; our modern term for the inhabitants of the leftish side of the political spectrum comes more recently from the Latin liberalis, which means of or constituting liberal arts, of freedom, of a freedman.

We still see a strong connection between our use of the word liberal and liber in the origins of liberal arts. In Latin, liber functioned as an adjective, to describe a person who was free, independent, and contrasted with the word servus (slavish, servile). The Romans had artes liberales (liberal arts) and artes serviles (servile arts); the former were geared toward freemen (consisting of such subjects as grammar, logic, and rhetoric), while the latter were more concerned with occupational skills.

We borrowed liberal arts from French in the 14th century, and sometime after this liberal began to be used in conjunction with other words (such as education, profession, and pastime). When paired with these other words liberal was serving to indicate that the things described were fitting for a person of high social status. However, at the same time that the term liberal arts was beginning to make 14th century college-tuition-paying-parents a bit nervous about their childrens future job prospects, liberal was also being used as an adjective to indicate generosity and bounteousness. By the 15th century, people were using liberal to mean bestowed in a generous and openhanded way, as in poured a liberal glass of wine.

The word's meaning kept shifting. By the 18th century, people were using liberal to indicate that something was not strict or rigorous. The political antonyms of liberal and conservative began to take shape in the 19th century, as the British Whigs and Tories began to adopt these as titles for their respective parties.

Liberal is commonly used as a label for political parties in a number of other countries, although the positions these parties take do not always correspond to the sense of liberal that people in the United States commonly give it. In the US, the word has been associated with both the Republican and Democratic parties (now it is more commonly attached to the latter), although generally it has been in a descriptive, rather than a titular, sense.

The word hasfor some people, at leasttaken on some negative connotations when used in a political sense in the United States. It is still embraced with pride by others. We can see these associations with the word traced back to the early and mid-20th century in its combination with other words, such as pinko:

Thanks to The Dove, pinko-liberal journal of campus opinion at the University of Kansas, a small part of the world last week learned some inner workings of a Japanese college boy. Time: the Weekly Newsmagazine, 7 Jun., 1926

"To the well-to-do," writes Editor Oswald Garrison Villard of the pinko-liberal Nation, "contented and privileged, Older is an anathema. Time: the Weekly Newsmagazine, 9 Sept., 1929

Pinko liberalsthe kind who have been so sympathetic with communistic ideals down through the yearswill howl to high heaven. The Mason City Globe-Gazette (Mason City, IA), 12 Jun., 1940

The term limousine liberal, meaning "a wealthy political liberal," is older than many people realize; although the phrase was long believed to have originated in the 1960s, recent evidence shows that we have been sneering at limousine liberals almost as long as we have had limousines:

Limousine liberals is another phrase that has been attached to these comfortable nibblers at anarchy. But it seems to us too bourgeois. It may do as a subdivision of our higher priced Bolsheviki. New York Tribune, 5 May, 1919

Even with a highly polysemous word such as liberal we can usually figure out contextually which of its many possible senses is meant. However, when the word takes on multiple and closely-related meanings that are all related to politics, it can be rather difficult to tell one from another. These senses can be further muddied by the fact that we now have two distinct groups who each feel rather differently about some of the meanings of liberal.

One of these definitions we provide for liberal is a person who believes that government should be active in supporting social and political change; it is up to you to choose whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. In other words, We define, you decide.

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The fall of the liberal elite – Spiked

Posted: at 7:54 pm

Thirty years ago, as the Cold War came to an end, Francis Fukuyama published his seminal essay The End of History?. He argued that human development had reached its end point in the form of a liberal democratic state underpinned by a market economy. A generation later, most political commentators agree that liberal democracy is not in good shape. Even Fukuyama is now at pains to point out that his essay had a question mark at the end of the title.

Adrian Pabst, a politics professor at the University of Kent and influential force in the Blue Labour movement, has added his voice to todays critics of liberal democracy. In The Demons of Liberal Democracy he criticises the post-Cold War development of liberal democracy by describing how it has morphed into a political system characterised by the four demons of oligarchy, demagogy, anarchy and tyranny.

Pabst explains how each demon is a feature of a modern society that has elevated minority interests over the collective interests of society. He argues that economic power has been concentrated in the hands of unaccountable elites, especially with the monopoly power of tech giants and global finance (oligarchy). Public debate is susceptible to being manipulated by unrepresentative elites (demagogy). Social cohesion has been ruptured by social policies that have elevated individual freedoms at the expense of shared interests (anarchy). And by drawing these three demons together, Pabst argues that liberalism itself is beginning to resemble tyranny as its underlying values of free speech, free inquiry and tolerance are themselves eroded.

The extent to which each of these demons corresponds to reality can be debated, but few would doubt that they capture, up to a point, an underlying reality. Pabst does not blame liberalism per se for this descent into a society that fails to serve collective interests. He notes that the liberalism which has failed is not the whole liberal tradition, but rather a contemporary radicalisation of specific ideals. Liberalism, he argues, has become one-sided, a form of hyper-liberalism, because of its celebration of individualism, while the liberal tradition that elevated social solidarity has been largely ignored.

Equally, Pabst does not blame democracy for the development of this one-sided liberalism. Indeed, he notes how a genuine democracy tries to reconcile estranged interests in a negotiated settlement based on leadership and popular participation. He also points to how democracy could be the antidote to the individualistic liberalism that has spawned his four demons. As he rightly observes, democracy involves the forging of a common life around shared principles and practices that seek to balance freedom with fraternity, equality with reciprocity, and tradition with modernity.

So, if liberalism is not to blame and if democracy ought to have paved the way for the social solidarity that hyper-liberalism has undermined, why has liberal democracy developed in recent decades as a celebration of minority interests?

In a revealing section of The Demons of Liberal Democracy, Pabst explores two problematic approaches to modern-day social policymaking. On the one hand, there are liberals who see social policy as being determined by science and instrumental rationality, a hallmark of todays technocratic elite with their evidence-based policy solutions. And on the other hand, there are liberals who base their approach to policy formation, not just on science, but on a broader form of discursive reasoning the preserve of, as they see it, an enlightened intelligentsia. These two liberal approaches to policy formation have much in common in that they vest a superior class with the right to develop public policy. Pabst calls these people the liberal elites.

Pabst explains how the liberal elites have drawn ideological strength from both the left and the right. The New Left, from the mid-1960s onwards, took socialism away from working-class interests, with its embrace of identity politics and a narcissistic focus on the personal being the political. This resulted in a left that preferred progress to tradition, identity to class, and free choice to common purpose. This approach suited a middle-class stratum of professionals and public-sector managers, while alienating most ordinary workers. The New Left enabled left-wing politics to jettison the interests of ordinary working people in favour of the interests of the liberal elites.

Slightly later, a New Right was formed that combined a libertarian economics with a corporate capture of the state. Pabst notes how this had the effect of aligning conservatism with borderless capitalism and with individual freedom devoid of mutual obligation. It was, he argues, an unholy alliance of fundamentalist faith with an aggressive consumer culture that trumped the historic commitment to citizenship. This re-positioning of right-wing politics has also served the interests of the liberal elites.

Pabst notes that the problem today is not elitism itself, because in any society there will be elites that are vying for influence. But he then claims that the problem with contemporary elites is that they are corrupt and lead by bad example actively promoting greed and selfishness. Accordingly, he concludes that todays elites need educative guidance to become virtuous at every level and in every field.

It is at this point that Pabsts argument falters. It cannot seriously be argued that the monopoly power of tech giants and global finance can be overcome by telling their leaderships to be less greedy and less selfish. And neither will the policymaking elites, following a spot of educative guidance, give up their assumed right to make policy in their own image. Pabsts accurate description of how the liberal elites have drawn strength from the New Left and the New Right shows that the elites are bolstered by ideologies that have reasonably broad and deep roots. The liberal elites ideological underpinnings need to be countered with an alternative ideology, not a lesson in virtue.

Pabst fails to note the distinctive feature of contemporary elites. It is not just that they govern (a timeless descriptive fact); it is that they govern in accordance with their own interests (a contemporary political problem). In an earlier era, elites sought to govern in the interests of society as a whole. Traditionally, the values held by the captains of industry, trade union leaders, academics, professionals, civil servants and the political class more generally connected with views that were widely held within broader society. Political debates took place along class-based lines, which were reflected in shades of opinion between the left and the right. Within this class-based framework the elites responded to democratic pressure and ruled according to democratic sentiment somewhere on the left-right spectrum.

But as class-based politics declined, a new elite-based politics arose. Conflicts between bosses and workers, the left and the right, abated and new conflicts arose between the leaders and the led, the elites and the people. This is new and important, and it is a point that Pabst does not grasp. Society is now being shaped by liberal elites with policies that serve their interests, and which are hostile to the interests of society as a whole. The hyper-liberalism that Pabst so accurately describes is a politics of the elite, by the elite and for the elite. Once this key fact is grasped it becomes clear that the elite is beyond the sort of educative guidance that Pabst advocates.

The antidote to the demons of liberal democracy will come from channelling the people against the elites. Yet this is a project that Pabst rejects. He characterises the current division in society as being between the liberal elites and the anti-elite insurgents. In doing so, he overlooks the people in order to focus on their populist leaders, like Donald Trump, whose movement he dismisses as built on conspiracy theories, misinformation and naked appeals to both bigotry and race. By framing the current divide as being between the elites and their Trump-like insurgents, Pabst can dislike each with equal vigour. It enables him to argue for a third force, a revival of intermediary institutions, such as professional associations, trade unions, universities and free hospitals. By intermediary he means institutions that stand between these two poles of the liberal elites and their, as he sees them, insurgents.

Pabst sits in a long line of utopian reformers who dislike what they see in contemporary society and write blueprints for their alternative better, fairer society. But their alternatives are utopian because they cannot connect with a political force capable of bringing them about. Across the Western world today, elites are being challenged by ordinary people. These are the people who can change society for the better. Their current leaders, like Trump, may be flawed, but the task for any social reformer is to connect with peoples experience and direct it. The ability to do this separates the effective reformer from the utopian dreamer.

There is much to admire in The Demons of Liberal Democracy. But his analysis is better than his prescription. For while he gets close to recognising the pernicious role of todays liberal elites, he distances himself from the force that can confront them. Ultimately, Pabst is not against elite-based politics. He just wants a different and re-educated elite that shares his communitarian approach. His desire to re-educate the hyper-liberal elites to make them virtuous and communitarian will achieve nothing. The demons of liberal democracy will only be slayed with a popular politics that is of, by and for the people.

Jon Holbrook is a barrister. Follow him on Twitter: @JonHolb

His essay on The Rise and Fall of the Rule of Law is published in the book From Self to Selfie: A Critique of Contemporary Forms of Alienation.

The Demons of Liberal Democracy, by Adrian Pabst, is published by Polity Press. (Pre-order this book from Amazon(UK).)

To enquire about republishing spikeds content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

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Former Member of Liberal Transition Team Contracted to Lead Government Business Recovery Plan – VOCM

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A man who has done previous work for the Liberal government has been contracted to assist with an economic development plan to help local businesses transition back to some sense of normalcy.

Paul Mills, the former Vice President of ACOA, is the President of Paul Mills and Associates.

He was on the 2017 Sunshine List for earning $192,900 in a contractual position with Executive Council for 2016, and was part of the transition team when the Liberal Party won the 2015 general election.

According to government, Mills has been employed on a $150,000 contract, per annum, with Executive Council for a five-month term from April 21st to September 30th. The province says contractual work is exempt from the Public Service Commission Act, and competition is not required.

The hire was undertaken based on the urgent need for a special advisor to mitigate and support businesses through the impacts of COVID-19. It is expected this assignment will conclude in early summer according to the Premiers Office.

Premier Dwight Ball says Mills is working with the provinces cabinet committee on jobs to formulate a timely plan to stimulate the economy while keeping public health measures front of mind.

He says its important to have someone who could act as a facilitator and gatekeeper of the ideas generated.

The Premier is less enthusiastic about putting together an economic task force as has been suggested by Trades NL, among others.

He says government wanted to move quickly, and suggested that sometimes assembling larger groups makes things more complicated and bogs down the process.

Opposition Leader Ches Crosbie is raising questions about the political overtones in the recent hiring of Paul Mills to lead a provincial economic recovery plan.

Mills was hired under a 5-month contract as a Special Advisor Economic Recovery, to help with efforts to get businesses back up and running once public health restrictions are raised.

Crosbie claimed that Mills contributed to The Way Forwardthe Liberal Party Red Book. However, the Premiers Office says Mills had no role whatsoever in helping create, draft or consult on the Red Book in 2015 and 2019. They say the agency of record for the 2019 Liberal election campaign, Prime Creative, had an employee who is also named Paul Mills but that they are two different individuals.

While the Opposition leader isnt questioning Mills qualifications, he says the hire does raise serious questions around political patronage.

Crosbie wants to know if the hire is really about economic recovery, or whether its a political exercise.

He says the task is described as conduct an analysis of all sector strategies as outlined in The Way Forward. That, says Crosbie, begs the question whether its an economic plan for the province or an electoral plan for the party.


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Steve Scalise Doesnt Want To Bail Out Liberal States With Taxpayer Money Thats Mostly Theirs – Wonkette

Posted: at 7:54 pm

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants blue" states to go bankrupt because he's a vengeful POS. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise defended McConnell's attack on his fellow Americans during an appearance this week on The Hugh Hewitt Show." Most of what he said was stupid when it wasn't just a flat-out lie.

First place, it's gross to talk about liberal" or conservative" states during a national crisis. Everyone is hurting. It's not just liberal" states or liberal" governors asking for help right now. Scalise goes on to call out deadbeat states such as California, where 10 percent of Fortune 500 companies are based; New York, the home of Wall Street; and New Jersey, which has a lot going for it.

Yes, New York state reported a net migration loss of almost 135,000 people in 2019, but people weren't leaving because of high taxes. The housing market and cost of living are absurdly expensive. Americans are leaving the Bay Area for similar reasons. Lack of affordable housing and stagnant wages for working people are what's squeezing folks out of major cities in liberal" states.

If Scalise wants to slam California, New York, and New Jersey for their high taxes," he should also note that they contribute a significant amount of money to the federal government.


These are all blue states" except for Texas, Florida, and (temporarily) Pennsylvania. They keep the country running and deserve some consideration when their economies are devastated by a once-in-several-lifetimes pandemic. But Scalise wanted to get all The Ants and the Grasshopper" on the liberal" states.

Apparently, the moral of the COVID-19 fable is that states shouldn't overextend themselves with pension plans. People can always retire after they die. They should instead prepare for the inevitable rainy day" of an idiot president who most of their residents didn't vote for shooting them in the leg with his criminally negligent response to a novel coronavirus outbreak.

Scalise is from Louisiana, which in 2017 received $1.52 for every $1 paid to the federal government, for a bailout" of $17 billion. New York pays the most in taxes but receives the least back from the federal government. California and New Jersey are also "donor states." Although Louisiana ended 2019 with a surplus of $500 million, it has a poverty rate of almost 20 percent. That's a pre-COVID-19 problem Scalise might want to help address.

[Bisnow / American Independent]

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Quebec Liberal opposition asks Legault government to drastically increase COVID-19 testing in Montreal – CTV News Montreal

Posted: at 7:54 pm

MONTREAL -- Following the Legault governments announcement that it will slowly reopen schools and businesses across the province, Quebecs Liberal opposition is asking for increased COVID-19 testing on the island of Montreal.

Opposition leader Pierre Arcand said on Wednesday that a series of criteria outlined by the World Health Organization needs to be met in order to ease confinement measures amid the pandemic.

We are not sure at all that these criteria are being met, Arcand said. Our concern really is about the situation that exists right now in Montreal.

Cases of community transmission across the island and the fact that some hospital emergency rooms are overcapacity are among the partys concerns, particularly in Montreal North, where there have been reports of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

There are some areas in Montreal that need more testing, Arcand said.

According to data released by the city of Montreal on Tuesday, 1,039 people have died of COVID-19 so far, and there have been 12,487 confirmed cases to date. Of the 12,487 confirmed cases, 1,153 were in Montreal North.

On Tuesday, the provinces public health officer, Dr. Horacio Aruda, said that theyre aiming to go from Quebec's daily testing capacity of 14,000 to about 20,000 as the Legault government moves to reopen schools and businesses.

Marc Tanguay, the MNA for LaFontaine, which includes the municipality of Rivire-des-Prairies, said if the data isntaccurate, theres no way to understand the extent of the issue and work to fix it.

We must collectively do better, he said, adding that its not a problem to open the province when theres stability in the number of cases which he said is not the case in Montreal North.

Yesterday, public health officials announced that a COVID-19 testing clinic will be opening in the area.

A place thats easy to be tested is very welcome, said Paule Robitaille, the MNA for Bourassa-Sauv. She said many Montreal North residents have trouble with accessibility, and some clinics that test for COVID-19 are hard to navigate.

Robitaille also pointed out that some of the residents in this area are poorer and suffer from chronic health conditions, meaning theyre disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the Haitian community theres a prevalence for some diseases, said Frantz Benjamin, the MNA for Viau.

A quarter of the health workers live in Montreal North, Robitaille said. These people gave their heart to help old people in nursing homes, in CHSLDs, and maybe werent as protected as they should have been.

While the party says it understands the need to reopen the economy, it doesnt think it should be at the expense of public health.

Whats happening in Montreal North is happening also elsewhere, the virus moves very fast and therefore we need to test, we need to figure out whats going on, and we need to isolate the people who need to be isolated, Robitaille said. We can only do that if we know whats going on.

Montreal's Public Health Director, Mylne Drouin, said on Tuesday that there is a plan to focus on neighbourhoods that have a high number of COVID-19 cases.

People will have access and capacity to get tested, she said. One of the conditions for a successful deconfinement is to be able to intervene rapidly where there are outbreaks. If we want to see where there are outbreaks, we need to have tests.

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Liberal groups demand Joe Biden sever ties with Larry Summers – Washington Times

Posted: at 7:54 pm

The news that former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has Joseph R. Bidens ear as an economic adviser isnt sitting well with liberal activists who have been critical of his presidential campaign.

Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement announced on Friday they are launching a petition calling on Mr. Biden to sever all ties with Mr. Summers marking the latest in a series of demands that far-left groups say could help the former vice president bolster his support among younger voters.

Larry Summers legacy is advocating for policies that contributed to the skyrocketing inequality and climate crisis were living with today, the groups said in a joint statement. We hope Biden publicly rejects Summers role as an economic advisor to better earn the trust of our generation.

News reports surfaced Thursday that the Biden camps team of outside economic advisers included Mr. Summers.

Seeking to quell liberal concerns, a Biden adviser told Reuters that the presumptive Democratic nominee is listening to a very large and well-rounded informal network of experts on the policy front.

Joe Bidens will be the most progressive agenda of any president in generations, and he looks forward to his continuing engagement with progressive leaders to build on his existing policies and further the bold goals driving his campaign, the adviser said.

The response, though, evidently was not enough for some.

Justice Democrats, the group which helped give rise to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the Sunrise Movement, said Mr. Summers record shows that he doesnt share their liberal economic worldview.

They said he has not done enough to support the clean energy movement, advocated for the Keystone XL Pipeline, and opposes a wealth tax on the nations richest individuals.

They also pointed out that Mr. Summers, as president of Harvard in 2005, offended women attending a conference by suggesting that innate differences in sex may explain why fewer women succeed in science and math professions.

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Liberal health critic says community care overworked on P.E.I. due to COVID-19 – CBC.ca

Posted: at 7:54 pm

Liberal health critic Robert Henderson says he's receiving concerned phone calls from home-care providers. (CBC News: Compass)

Liberal health critic Robert Henderson says he's received concerns from both patients and workers in the community health sector on P.E.I. about access to home care, palliative care and acute care, amid COVID-19 measures.

Henderson saidworkers providing home care told him they can only give a certain level of service and they are extremely busy.

He also noted home-care workers have been looking after some patients who have been discharged from hospital and it is causing strain.

While Henderson said P.E.I. Chief PublicHealthOfficer Dr. Heather Morrison has done a good job of preparing for the outbreak of COVID-19, he said the system still has to be ready to provide other health services to Islanders.

"I'm getting phone calls from people who are expecting certain services, in-home care services," Henderson said.

"I'm also getting phone calls from people providing services like palliative care, acute care, those types of services where beds have been reduced and they're not getting the hours they used to get," he said.

Henderson said hearing from both patients and providers indicates a problem.

At a news briefing on Friday, P.E.I.'s Chief of NursingMarion Dowlingsaid workers in ambulatory care, for instance, hadbeen redeployed to other areas of the system to address potential gaps, such as in community care.

"At the beginning within the acute care sector ... we had redeployed a number of staff from within the hospital to do training and additional preparedness for the surge in patients and intensive care.

"Moving to essential services within community and not offering some of our group programming ... have also allowed that staff to then be offering the additional services at the screening clinics and the testing sites."

At the beginning of Health PEI's response to COVID-19, Dowling said it also redeployed a number of staff to do training andpreparefor a potentialsurge in patients.

As some medical services have been cut back to reallocate resources to deal with the pandemic, Hendersonsaid it will take a while for the health system to catch up.

"There's only [so many] other ways those services can be delivered and home care is one of those.When you are having people that may be awaiting long-term care or awaiting palliative care and they just can't access those services they have to take other courses of action which is through the home."

Dowling indicated some health services will return in the coming weeks as an ease back plan is put into motion.

She also highlighted thatthe necessary protective equipment have been made available to home-care workers who are also trained to conduct appointed risk assessments by screening their clients."Based on theirtravel history, whether they've been traveling from out of province, if they are home self-isolating and are requiring this service.

"[Home-care workers] would use the necessary PPE to see those clients, or be able to schedule some of those services, or do it virtually."

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

Health Canada has built aself-assessment tool.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.

How can I protect myself?

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on thefederal government's website.

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Mapping a Pandemic: Coronavirus, the Future of Surveillance and the Liberal State – RUSI Analysis

Posted: at 7:54 pm

In the early 20th century, Sir Halford Mackinder published a book titled Democratic Ideals and Reality posing the question Can Democracies Make Strategy? The question recurred in a variety of guises over the course of the 20th century as democracies vied with challenges and challengers.

Liberal democracies have prospered during periods in which the state itself had limited powers. The robustness of their legal, financial and social institutions all rest on the principle of binding the leviathan - fragmenting state powers between competing institutions and curtailing them by law. Yet this limitation of power appears to be making democracies less equipped to deal with everything from epidemics to hybrid warfare.

Can democracies strike a balance on domestic surveillance and exercise greater power of larger, more intrusive government that will be compatible with their foundational principles?

In this seminar, Dr Nicholas Wright will outline his work exploring the state practices that heralded success in the face of COVID 19. In doing so, he poses the question Post pandemic, can democracies combine centralisation and surveillance in a way that is as credible and effective as modern digital authoritarian states, while maintaining the core tenets of liberal democracies?".


Dr Nicholas Wright

Dr Nicholas Wright is a medical doctor and neuroscientist who works on emerging technology and global strategy at University College London (UCL),Georgetown University,Intelligent Biology and New America.

He works with the US and UK Governments. On artificial intelligence (AI) he advises Europes largest tech company, SAP, and various parts of the US government (e.g., Joint Staff) as well as UK Government. DARPA used his definition of Grey Zone conflict for their new AI programme on the Grey Zone. Foreign Affairs chose his piece on AI and the global order for its Top 10 of 2018 on the net. His recent edited book is entitled AI, China, Russia and the Global Order.

He was previously an Associate in Nuclear Policy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC; in functional brain imaging at UCL and in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics; and was a clinical neurologist in Oxford and London. He has many academic (e.g.Proceedings of the Royal Society), general (e.g.the Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs), and policy publications (e.g.www.intelligentbiology.co.uk) and has appeared on the BBC and CNN.

He has a medical degree from UCL, a BSc in Health Policy from Imperial College London, Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (UK), and an MSc in Neuroscience and a PhD in Neuroscience both from UCL.

To read his latest article for Foreign Affairs on 'Coronavirus and the Future of Surveillance', please click here.

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Anne Berent obituary: Tributes to former Liberal Democrats councillor and mayor of Islington | Islington, Archway, Finsbury Park and Holloway News -…

Posted: at 7:54 pm

PUBLISHED: 13:00 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:55 30 April 2020

Lucas Cumiskey

Former Islington Mayor Anna Berent


A former mayor of Islington and true champion of liberal causes died on Wednesday morning, aged 93.

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A former mayor of Islington and true champion of liberal causes died on Wednesday morning, aged 93.

Anna Berent was a Liberal Democrats councillor for Mildmay ward from 2002 to 2010, and she served as mayor in her final year on the council.

Anna was a founding member of the Social Democratic Party in Islington before joining the Lib Dems.

Before being elected, Anna led a successful campaigned to stop the Eurostar from running on surface tracks through Islington.

Anna also played a leading role in transforming the park in Newington Green, and in the development of the Mildmay Community Centre.

She was passionate environmental campaigner and organised the St Pauls Shrubbery Festival for 20 years. Anna and was a founding member, and later chair, of Newington Green Action Group.

Former Lib Dems leader of Islington Council Terry Stacy MBE said: Anna was a true champion of liberal causes. I dont think we would have seen the improvements to Newington Green and the surrounding area if it hadnt been for her advocacy.

She truly was inspirational. She played an instrumental part in Lib Dems history when we ran the council.

When there was a hung council the Lib Dems had a majority of one, and as mayor Anna had the casting vote.

Former Lib Dem deputy council leader Lucy Watt added: Anna was an amazing woman very free thinking she had her principles and was really respected for that. [...] She campaigned on so many environmental and civil liberties issues, she was always at the marches.

She will really be missed. She was a very generous person, had a lively mind right up to the end.

Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece OBE, who served as Lib Dems councillor for Mildmay at the same time as Anna, said: She worked tirelessly, she was a fantastic councillor. She was such a strong community champion, a really remarkable and public servant. She served the people of Islington tremendously. I feel very privileged to have served with her as a fellow ward councillor. She helped so many people and touched so many lives.

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Anne Berent obituary: Tributes to former Liberal Democrats councillor and mayor of Islington | Islington, Archway, Finsbury Park and Holloway News -...

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Mike Rowe SCHOOLS liberal elites: ‘There is NO SUCH THING as a nonessential worker’ – TheBlaze

Posted: at 7:54 pm

On this week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck and former "Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe talked about the "other" victims of the coronavirus: common sense and the unemployed American workers.

"Most of the country is going to come through this with the realization we're being treated like children by people who want us to look at them as parents," Mike said if reference to the liberal elites who don't want us to question the so-called experts.

Mike highlighted the danger of allowing the government to take away millions of so-called "nonessential" workers and addressed the politicians, such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who seem to have zero regard for the millions of American who are out of work.

"In an economy like this, when you take 26 million 'nonessential' workers out of the equation ... the whole thing collapses under its own weight," he said. "I would suggest to you right now that there is no such thing as a nonessential worker when it comes to the economy."

He also explained why he believes that "safety first," while well-intended, is just not true. Instead, he prefers to say "safety third."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Watch the full special with Mike Rowe on YouTube or BlazeTV.com.

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Mike Rowe SCHOOLS liberal elites: 'There is NO SUCH THING as a nonessential worker' - TheBlaze

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