Hopi Sen

Moral purpose or voter-pleasing wishlist?

Hopi Sen  |  2 March 2015

Conjure up images of the good, and if you are anything like me, your mind will offer tropes as diverse as charity workers, saints, nurses, and Feargal Sharkey singing about love back in 1985. Unless you are a particularly passionate believer in the political process, I suspect few politicians will feature in your mental parade …

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The party of opportunity?

Hopi Sen  |  9 January 2015

Conservative thinktank Renewal’s new pamphlet The Party of Opportunity is intended to blow away the idea that the Conservative party is only for braying public schoolboys and hard-faced men who have done well out of capitalism. In the pamphlet 14 Tory members of parliament from working-class backgrounds share their life stories and relate what in …

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Rebuilding the popular centre

Hopi Sen  |  21 November 2014

In the wake of Rochester, the rise of United Kingdom Independence party and the appeal of populism across Europe, it is crucial for believers in reformism to understand and tackle populism. The hard part is how. I propose one way forward in a pamphlet from Policy Network published today called ‘The popular centre’. I argue …

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More chapel than cathedral

Hopi Sen  |  23 September 2014

A confession, dear reader: I did not watch the whole speech. When I heard that the hall was to be in raptures for a full hour and 20 minutes, I thought of the soon-to-be-available transcript. I thought of the pre-briefing I had been helpfully emailed the night before.  It occurred to me that these labour-saving devices had been …

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Far from silly

Hopi Sen  |  28 August 2014

This August has been the serious season. Ukraine, Israel-Gaza, Isis, Syria have all reminded us of the perils of an unstable world, while domestic extremism and child abuse have forced us to think about what sort of society we are. These issues have darkened the summer, and as these are subjects that don’t respect party …

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Future first

Hopi Sen  |  23 July 2014

Elections are always about the future. Tony Blair emphasised this point in his Philip Gould Lecture, perhaps because it was a reminder of Gould’s own relentlessly forward-looking politics. Yet an accounting is needed too. Because for the Labour party, Blair is now in the past, and the adulation and loathing he provokes in different wings …

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The reshuffle is not important – but it is interesting

Hopi Sen  |  15 July 2014

We don’t like to talk about reshuffle insignificance, because it rather rubs people’s face in it. If Andrea Backbench-Marginal has devoted her entire adult life to the cause, and finally makes it all the way to cabinet, and is glimpsed, modest smile on face, slipping into the Ministerial Prius, it seems a little rude to …

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Five rules for aspirant politicians

Hopi Sen  |  20 June 2014

I am an absurdly unsuccessful politico. In almost two decades of political involvement, my highest elected office was two years as a council backbencher, a stint condemned to total irrelevance by my voting to depose the Labour council leader in my first meeting. I was immediately assigned to be the lowest ranking member of the …

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An empty Queen’s speech for a full political agenda

Hopi Sen  |  5 June 2014

Forget Black Rod banging at the Commons entrance and the Earl Marshal’s impressive White Wand, (quiet at the back, this is serious constitutional business). The real tradition and flummery of the Queen’s speech lay in its adherence to the ancient laws of the pre-election politics. We had the quinquennial genuflection to the Daily Mail, represented …

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Among the Tories

Hopi Sen  |  27 May 2014

Let me count the ways I am a rubbish activist. I loathe leafleting. I do not like bothering voters with impertinent questions about how they are going to vote. I have an odd name, so, when phone canvassing, I invent a dull one and then forget my own alleged name. It is a long charge …

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