Populism. And local newspapers.

Two very interesting posts – one via Chris Dillow, and one directly from his site. Firstly, Chris signposts this:

“….perhaps it’s “populist” to think political elites always end up in bed with economic elites, but it seems, as a matter of fact, they often do. My opinion is that a certain “populist” enthusiasm for democracy, in the absence of strong legal and cultural constraints on government action, almost inevitably delivers a great deal of regulatory capture–that is, tucks political elites snugly in bed with corporate elites. Isn’t that a cynical vision? Moreover, when the incentives of insufficiently-limited democracies lead to this kind of result, supra-national technocratic institutions can in fact act as a salutary check on governments precisely because they are undemocratic.”

There we have it again: “…insufficiently-limited democracies.” What does this mean? Does it mean the populist mode of democracy as opposed to the model with strong political parties, shortish manifestos and un-mandated politicians? Surely the latter option is really the unlimited democracy?

Secondly, Chris has some evidence – nothing conclusive mind….

Reprising the question of a bail-out for journalism, here’s Martin Bright’s original New Deal of the Mind article from the New Statesman – it’s an idea that seems to be going places.