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Blogs by Kieron O'Hara

Kieron O’Hara is a senior research fellow in Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and has a DPhil in philosophy from the University of Oxford. His research interests are:
the politics and philosophy of technology, particularly the World Wide Web; transparency and open data; privacy; memory; and conservative philosophy.

  • The Last Superhero

    The Last Superhero

    | Economy
    The left has always thrived on hero-worship: Marx of course, but also Gramsci, Chomsky, Žižek and various omniscient others whose scribblings, preferably written in the Higher Gibberish, are pored over to find irrefutable proof of the imminent collapse of capitalism and the deep immorality of anyone who would rather not ...
  • Scruton on conservatism

    Scruton on conservatism

    | Politics
    Inspired by philosopher Roger Scruton's vision for modern conservatism, Dr. Kieron O'Hara writes on why we need a Conservative Party that appeals to a wider constituency, while maintaining the essential principles of liberty, personal responsibility and a smaller state.Given that conservatives are supposedly the ‘stupid party’, it’s extraordinary what a depth ...
  • All over the place

    All over the place

    | Politics
    Perhaps more than at any other point in modern memory, the Conservative movement is being pulled in many different directions. How can these competing political voices coalesce into one successful vision for the Party as a whole? Dr Kieron O’Hara explores the various strands of thought. Conservative politics are all over ...
  • Moderation in all things

    Moderation in all things

    | Social Policy
    Amidst critcisim of Britain as the third most inactive nation on the plant, Dr. Kieron O'Hara of the University of Southampton blogs on the balance between a healthy and a happy person. Another week, another health warning. This time, some Brazilian Herbert has decided that two thirds of British adults do ...
  • Lessons from the past

    Lessons from the past

    | Economy
    A moment of nostalgia: doing out my mother’s loft the other day, I happened across my old copy of the Treasury’s Economic Progress Report of March 1981 (do we still have the Report? One imagines it has gone the way of sweet cigarettes and flared trousers). Devoted to Geoffrey Howe’s ...
  • Civil liberties and the politics of opposition

    Civil liberties and the politics of opposition

    | Constitution & Democracy
    Kieron O'Hara blogs on the aftermath of the government's proposal and subsequent backing-off of New Labour-style security database measures. During the Easter holiday, the dust has sort of settled after the argument about civil liberties versus security, particularly with respect to monitoring the Internet for communications – now ‘draft legislation’ as ...
  • Facing reality in 2012

    Facing reality in 2012

    | 2012 Policy Resolutions
    In the fourteenth of the CPS' 'UK Policy Resolutions for 2012' series, academic Kieron O’Hara examines what he feels should be the Coalition’s priorities in 2012. This morning, in the thirteenth in the series, Robert Colvile called for more reform to public services.UK Policy Resolutions for 2012:Push ...
  • Can the 'four wise persons' pass the Hitchens test?

    Can the 'four wise persons' pass the Hitchens test?

    | Politics
    In his Sunday Telegraph column, Matthew d’Ancona argues that David Cameron needs to pass what he calls the Christopher Hitchens test.Hitchens was conspicuously uninterested in the PM and all his works, regarding him, it seemed, as one of the less engaging characters his beloved Bertie Wooster might have bumped into ...
  • Naming - and shaming?

    Naming - and shaming?

    | Constitution & Democracy
    The Coalition government’s drive toward open data and transparency has been one of its most conspicuous successes. We have seen greater accountability (thanks, for example, to publication of public spending over £25,000 and detailed local government spending), and enhancement of citizens’ understanding of their own communities (see for example the ...
  • Abstraction, Rage and Constructive Change

    Abstraction, Rage and Constructive Change

    | Constitution & Democracy
    Kieron O’Hara is a senior research fellow in Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and has a DPhil in philosophy from the University of Oxford. His latest book, 'Conservatism', was published in May 2011 by Reaktion Books.There is a fine view of St Paul’s from the 4th level ...
  • The Banks: Symptoms or Causes

    The Banks: Symptoms or Causes

    | Economy
    Kieron O'Hara, University of Southampton and CPS Research Fellow, argues that we are all complicit in the actions of the bankers and should share some of the blame.The protesters occupying Wall Street, the London Stock Exchange and all the other evil places in the world got a surprisingly easy ride ...
  • The meaning of meaning

    The meaning of meaning

    | Economy
    What a difference a word makes. Today, it made the difference between a dramatically radical, challenging speech, and a sympathetic bromide.Nick Robinson and others have described how David Cameron redrafted his conference speech, changing a passage that read "The only way out of a debt crisis is to deal with ...
  • A Symbolic Moment

    A Symbolic Moment

    | Economy
    They're a brave bunch at Standard & Poor's. The rating agencies' reputations were shredded after their collective failure to spot the financial crisis coming. They then incurred the ire of the EU after stating the bleeding obvious about various European economies. But taking on the US? ...
  • What has happened to the left?

    What has happened to the left?

    | Politics
    So the day of action came and went, and depending on your point of view was a 'flop', the Coalition's 'Iraq moment' or merely 'largely trouble free'. Everyone declared success and went away happy.The most bizarre aspect of the protests against government cuts is the extraordinary hyperbole they have ...
  • Germany Will Have to Give Some Ground

    Germany Will Have to Give Some Ground

    | Economy
    The Eurozone crisis has been occupying commentators' minds for a while but actually the rough shape of the endgame is looking pretty clear. Germany will have to give some ground.As many have already pointed out, the problem with the concept of the euro was that it was ...