Pick of the Week: Foxhunting, water-cannons and homeopathy
Rounding up the rear this week was our equal-opportunities offence piece on fox-hunting, which concluded that the anti-hunt brigade were motivated by class hatred and the hunting brigade by their own psychological inadequacies. As it stands the animal rights debate has very few moral consistencies, at least to those of us who eat meat or diary products. We try to assess what those consistencies might be – but it's a tricky business.
Our news story on Wednesday followed events in parliament as Michael Gove faced a committee of MPs minutes after news broke of a barristers strike. The action – which isn't technically a strike but amounts to the same thing – threatens to bring the courts system to a halt. Gove seemed calm during his appearance but he'll be working furiously behind the scenes to stop this. If it goes ahead as planned the magistrates and crown courts will fall apart within the first few months of him becoming attorney general. Not a good look.
Amid the fallout of the Greek Eurozone crisis, one of our contributors expanded on left-wing concerns around the EU with this look at the secret TTIP deals, which could see investor courts granted powers over national parliaments as part of a broader EU-US agreement. TTIP, alongside the brutal treatment of Greece, is turning many left-wingers against the European project in a way that was unimaginable even a year ago.
After years of being a one-man scrutiny machine against the London mayor, resident Politics.co.uk writer Adam Bienkov gives him both barrels over the tragi-comedy of the German water cannons. Having spent thousands on a weapon which could maim and cripple Londoners the mayor is now unable to use it, after Theresa May ruled it out. Quite apart from the immediate foolishness of the enterprise, it suggested the mayor's return to parliament may not quite be the celebratory event he anticipated. That pesky majority the Tories obtained makes a continuity replacement for Cameron a more compelling proposition. Is Boris' star finally on the wane?
Our top piece of the week focuses on an old tweet sent by a backbench MP. Funny how these things go. We take a look at Jeremy Corbyn's support for homeopathy and suggest that it is more than a harmless eccentricity and actually speaks to a politician's commitment to objective truth and scrutiny. Not that Corybn is alone on the issue –Jeremy Hunt, disastrously enough, used to be of the same persuasion before he had a sudden Damascene conversion upon becoming health secretary. We argue that this is actually part of a broader trend across the political classes away from empirical truth and towards a world in which experience and perception trump all other concerns.