Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: Failed relationships with migrants to be exposed in ‘public statements’


Failed relationships with migrants to be exposed in ‘public statements’


For immediate release – Tuesday, 14 December 2015

-With picture-

*TV and radio broadcast facilities available*

The Home Office has published new documents aimed at exposing the broken relationships with migrants. A new form available online invites anyone who is no longer living with a migrant as a spouse or partner to insert their names and submit to ‘give my permission for the Home Office to use the information referred to’.

Professor Thom Brooks of Durham University, a leading authority on immigration law and policy, says: ‘the government is taking clear aim at bogus marriages that allow migrants to reside in the country on a false basis. Ministers will hope that more estranged people come forward to inform the Home Office to improve their detection of anyone overstaying their visa – but they have not thought this through’.

According to the latest International Passenger Survey, there were 45,000 non-EU nationals immigrated long-term to the UK to accompany or join others with the intention of residing one year or more over the past 12 months. This is a decrease from 53,000 over the previous year.

Spouses or partners can be permitted to stay and work in the UK to EEA citizens because of EU free movement rules. However, they may have to leave the country when their relationship breaks down.

It is feared by some experts that the new online form may do more harm than good. Professor Brooks says: ‘The government’s “public statement” form seems directed more towards looking tough for the public than taking appropriate action. The public will wonder why a form meant to help the Home Office identify potential visa overstayers that it asks only for names, but not addresses or mobile numbers so statements can be checked and verified’.

Professor Brooks is concerned that the form is more useful as a threat that may intimidate non-European citizens into remaining in relationships they wish to leave for fear of removal from the country leading to potential abuses.

He says: ‘If the Home Office wants to identify relationships no longer subsisting, it can begin by checking the courts for divorce announcements. Ministers would do better to use common sense and raise their game by becoming more knowledgeable about the system works – before making yet another policy change that well make necessary detection more difficult’.   

ENDS
 
 
 
NOTE:
 
1. Nowhere to state the contact details (address, email, mobile, etc) for the person making the submission
 
2. Nowhere to state the contact details (address, email, mobile, etc) for the person identified as the migrant 'estranged spouse partner'
 
3. No contact details for where this signed and dated form should be sent - no address, email, fax, etc.
 
4. Erm, that's it. Major fail.

MEDIA INFORMATION


NB – Please note that Professor Brooks is a member of the Labour Party.

Interviews 

Professor Thom Brooks, Professor of Law and Government, in Durham Law School, Durham University, is available for comment on Tuesday, December 15 (in Durham), and Wednesday, December 16, 2015 (in Westminster) thom.brooks@durham.ac.uk

Alternatively please contact Durham University Marketing and Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075; media.relations@durham.ac.uk

*TV and radio broadcast facilities available*
Durham University’s academic experts are available for interview via down-the-line broadcast quality TV facilities from our Durham City campus, via broadcast provider Globelynx.

To request and check the availability of interviewees please contact the Durham University Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075 or email media.relations@durham.ac.uk.

You can book the Globelynx fixed camera and circuit direct by logging into www.globelynx.com. The IFB number is +44 (0)191 384 2019.

If you have not booked a Globelynx feed before please call +44 (0)20 7963 7060 for assistance.

A broadcast quality ISDN radio line is also available at Durham University and bookings can be arranged via the Media Relations Team on the contact details above. The ISDN number is +44 (0)191 386 2749.

A landline number is available in our Media Suite which houses the television and radio facilities - +44 (0)191 334 6472.

Photographs

A high resolution headshot of Professor Thom Brooks is available on request from Durham University Marketing and Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075; media.relations@durham.ac.uk.

Further reading

Home Office guidance, ‘Inform UKVI of a relationship breakdown: statement and consent form’, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/inform-ukvi-of-a-relationship-breakdown-statement-and-consent-form

Professor Thom Brooks, Durham University Law School website https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/staff/?id=11140


UPDATE: I am delighted to see this press release has been covered by The Independent and The Daily Mail.

Friday, December 04, 2015

The way we communicate about politics is a problem that is creeping into a public crisis

. . . is my latest column for The Journal based in Newcastle READ HERE. It picks up on concerns many have had for some time and highlighted on occasion by Brian Leiter among many others.

The piece is endorsed in today's lead editorial in the paper - and by Angela Eagle, Labour's MP for Wallasey, the Chair of Labour National Policy Forum, Shadow Business Secretary & First Secretary of State:
This is well worth a read https://t.co/xuwkFfeYqR
— Angela Eagle (@angelaeagle) December 4, 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

It won't be easy, but there are ways to fight this barbarity

. . . is the title of my NEW COLUMN for The Journal and my topic is what the UK should do post-Paris attacks. The Journal is the 2015 UK regional newspaper of the year. [READ ARTICLE HERE].

Friday, November 20, 2015

Many thanks to Harvard University and its Political Theory Colloquium

. . . for the kind invitation to speak on "Punitive Restoration" yesterday at the School of Government. An enormously productive discussion that was highly useful - and much fun. My particular thanks to Michael Rosen - a massive influence on my understanding of Hegel and so much else - for inviting me to speak.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Many thanks to Suffolk University

. . .  for hosting my talk "Rethinking Just War" talking aim at just war theorists like Jeff McMahan. Special thanks must go to Nir Eisikovits for helping organise my visit. Excellent discussion and a fabulous time at a great university.

Many thanks to Vanderbilt University

. . . for hosting my talk "Why Hegel Matters". A full house and some fabulous discussion. Special thanks must go out to the brilliant Robert Talisse, an old friend, for the kind invitation. Nashville is a wonderful place and a real delight to visit while I was in the US!

Many thanks to Arizona State University

. . . for organising a series of talks I delivered in Tempe, Arizona last week. I gave a staff seminar on "Rethinking Just War" taking aim at a popular view of just war theory developed by Jeff McMahan and others in the School of Politics and Global Studies. I spoke with graduate students about academic publishing and finding a university position. I also gave a talk on democracy beyond borders - the case of the EU.

Along the way, I had opportunities to speak with some fabulous people including (no particular order) Jeffrie Murphy, Avital Simhony, Elizabeth Brake, Jack Crittenden, Terry Ball, Rick Herrera, Cameron Thies, Doug Portmore and several others.

And it is worth saying that ASU's Tempe campus is still the most gorgeous university campus I've seen yet - and even better than it was in 1999 when I was last there. If you haven't seen it, go now. You will thank me.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The friends that Jeremy Corbyn never knew he had

. . . are the Labour Peers in the House of Lords. From my new column in the Journal (regional newspaper of the year 2015) - READ MORE HERE.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

I'm visiting at Yale Law School this semester


. . . and so blogging will be even lighter than normal. Some readers will know that I'm from New Haven so being here is very much a homecoming. I come under the wing of the brilliant Scott Shapiro as a visiting fellow in the Yale Center for Law and Philosophy in the Law School and thoroughly enjoying my time thus far - and looking forward to my time here. An inspiring place with inspiring people.

Many thanks to Johns Hopkins University

My thanks to the great staff and students I met at John Hopkins University in Baltimore earlier this week - and a very big thanks to my old friend Dean Moyar.

I spoke at two events. The first was Dean's class on Hegel's Philosophy of Right where grad students have been reading it alongside my book Hegel's Political Philosophy - received some great questions and discussion. The second was with all the philosophy grad students to discuss how to publish - which went much longer than planned as the discussion flowed and flowed.

A highly enjoyable trip and hope to be back again soon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Government's strategy for tackling extremism is more Little Britain than Big Society

. . . is my latest for the Newcastle Journal (and published with the Evening Chronicle too) HERE. [[Read More]]

Monday, October 12, 2015

Great British Pub Quiz - Sedgefield Labour

The event of the week!

Join us for the Great British Pub Quiz - with questions from the British citizenship test and some surprises. Entry costs £2 - and open to everyone. A great night out and chance to see Phil Wilson MP.

The event is hosted by Thom Brooks - and sponsored by the Sedgefield Constituency Labour Party.


Political Theory and Its Impact -- Special Issue of Political Studies Review

I am delighted to see out today a special issue of Political Studies Review on the topic "Political Theory and Its Impact".  According to the journal's editor, the catalyst for this issue is my article "In Defence of Political Theory: Impact and Opportunities" published in 2013 and which attracted the most debate of the papers published in that year's special issue on political science and impact more generally. The full contents of the new special issue are:

Ben Holland, "Political Theory and the Impact Agenda" (intro)

Andrew Vincent, "The Ideological Context of Impact"
This article sketches the ideological backdrop to deliberations on higher education over the last century; it then situates the concept of ‘impact’ within contemporary ideological debate. It argues, in the final analysis, that impact is an aspect of an anomalous ideological hybrid, still emerging in 2015, which remains worryingly capricious in terms of the way in which it is trying to reconfigure the character of university life. The article argues that political theorists should be critically alert to this reconfiguration.

James Alexander, "A Sketch of a System of Theory and Practice"
Most political theorists are committed to one particular view about the relation between theory and practice. It is argued in this article that there are in fact four possible ways of relating theory and practice, which are distinguished in terms of the answers that are given to two distinct questions. Derived from this is the suggestion that all political theorists can be classified according to whether they are sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic or choleric. The purpose of this sketch of a system is to indicate the questionable nature of much of what passes for modern political theory – especially that of the now dominant sanguine tradition, which has for several decades especially concerned itself with the ‘impact’ theory can have on practice.

John Dunne, "The Impact of Political Theory"
Any systematic understanding of politics requires theory: an organised, if not necessarily self-conscious way of seeing and thinking about it. The point of studying and teaching about politics in universities is educational: to help others to understand it better and bring that understanding into their own lives and the lives of the communities to which they belong. Political theorists have a distinctive responsibility to recognise this and show those they teach and those with whom they work how to generate and organise better understanding of why politics is as it is and what it means for everyone's life. The competitive rating of performance to secure university funding deploys criteria that are intellectually absurd, politically disgraceful or deeply corrupting of intellectual and educational purpose. Whatever else they have managed to add to political understanding by their own work, every academically employed political theorist ought at least to have shown those they teach unmistakably why that is so.

Thom Brooks, "What is the Impact of Political Theory?"
I am very grateful for the contributions by Andrew Vincent, James Alexander and John Dunn to this symposium on ‘impact’ and political theory. Their papers provide insightful perspectives and different critical engagements with my recent piece for this journal. Their reflections force me to revisit my central argument that the impact agenda unveiled in the United Kingdom's new Research Excellence Framework (REF) need not be the negative development for political theorists that many fear – and perhaps even that it should be embraced.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Theresa May delivered a tough-talking speech - but it was undermined by her actions

Full link to article is here: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/news-opinion/theresa-delivered-tough-talking-speech-10227422

The verdict from former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith:


Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The hypocrisy of Theresa May - in a letter

This is a letter Theresa May gave me when I became a British citizen welcoming me to the UK. Note the very different tone of this set against her very disappointing comments at today's Conservative Party conference. #Hypocrisy


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

UPDATE: http://thombrooks.info

My personal website - http://thombrooks.info - received a new look recently and I've updated the links.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Immigration policy - Corbyn style

. . . is the name of my latest piece for LabourList on what kinds of immigration policies we might expect from a Corbyn-led Labour Party [DETAILS HERE].

Monday, September 14, 2015

Now time for the real campaign – and time to come together

....is the title for my new column for the top UK Labour Party blog LabourList. [READ MORE HERE]

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Universities minister should take greater notice of how satisfied students are with their teaching and learning

Today it is widely reported that Jo Johnson is preparing a green paper setting out more radical proposals than have been anticipated. Johnson is perhaps best known for his being a Tory MP and the new Universities Minister than he is for being the brother of Boris Johnson, the London Mayor.

Johnson's concern is that teaching quality is too variable within and across universities with students receiving very different kinds of experiences. He has announced he will introduce a new 'Teaching Excellence Framework' that will provide students with more information about their studies and so, Johnson argues, drive forward competition in the sector.

So where to begin. No one can - or should - argue that it's crucial universities deliver excellent teaching and learning to students. There exist various league tables bringing together information like library spend per student, staff to student ratios and graduate employment.

There is also a National Student Survey that asks students from across all UK universities a whole range of questions. These now figure prominently in national league tables - especially the figure for 'overall satisfaction' - and they provide institutions with crucial anonymous open text comments about the positives and negatives experienced by students along the way.

It could be easily argued that students don't need even more data about university study. If anything, they're probably overcome by a proliferation of it.

While the government is concerned about a 'lack' of sufficient competition between institutions, this seems too one dimensional looking only at the fact the great majority charge the top rate of £9000 per year because they could recruit students willing to pay it. If the government truly wanted greater competition, then it should not only have lifted student quotas but also lifted the top rate of fees to see if going higher would lead to some being able to recruit despite charging more in fees. The fact so many willing to pay the current top rate suggests the government is stifling competition.

And, of course, they want competition on their own terms. Universities out of favour can only charge less - not because students are not willing to pay more, but because the government won't let them. So let's call it competition on the cheap.

So what do students make of their education? The overall satisfaction rates are the wild envy of any government department. Universities scoring 90% or more satisfaction may not do well enough to make the top 10 in a particular field because others score even higher. Go on. Imagine the Home Office or 'BIS' with a satisfaction score that high. Too difficult? Thought so.

If Jo Johnson is so interested in value for money and delivering for students and taxpayers, then let's see two other satisfaction surveys. Let's compare the public's satisfaction with Johnson's department against student satisfaction at about any university in the UK. I'd bet the universities win hands down.

Or better: let's compare the satisfaction of academics working with the UK's research councils against student satisfaction at about any British university. Yes, that's a contest you'll never see because the councils would much rather worry about having the Universities Minister's confidence or that of university management than the confidence of the academics they serve and undertake the research projects. I'd like to be proved wrong, but fear I won't be.

A final point. The Teaching Excellence Framework is to be modelled on the Research Excellent Framework. The later is a complex exercise assessing research quality of departments through weighted consideration of their research outputs, impact and environment (roughly). It is cumbersome and highly time consuming. The 'TEF' looks much more than a quality control mechanism like an Ofsted report branding institutions excellent, good, etc. with each permitting tuition fees up to a particular threshold. Or so I'm reading the tea leaves.

This would make it very different from the REF - and also a bit pointless. It might be better for Johnson to focus more on not more information for students, but perhaps better information. Find meaningful statistics that can be used for genuine cross-institutional comparisons. And then let students vote with their feet on which institutions deserve their money. After all, it is the students that are going to university and not the minister.

It is impossible to see these proposals being rushed out with such thoughtlessness and not think here's yet another minister diving head first into an area he or she knows little about with the aim of making a change that gets some media attention so it raises the individual's profile helping him or her secure a much better ministerial position he or she actually really does want. If we must have a Tory in this position, I'm beginning to miss David Willetts. A lot.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Aylan & EU refugee crisis

Talking about  & EU refugee crisis on  from 42 mins -  

Durham academic wins EU referendum change

The full press release:

David Cameron's government has claimed the EU referendum question for next year's vote should be 'Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?' This question was presented in a draft European Union Referendum Bill in Parliament.
This was reviewed by the Electoral Commission to consider its wording and general suitability. In a surprise announcement, the Commission published its final report on 1 September and recommends several changes. They were convinced by critics who argued the current wording was not neutral and should be amended.
One of the critics that won over the Electoral Commission is Durham University's Professor Thom Brooks, one of only two academics quoted in the Commission's report. Professor Brooks claimed the wording was inconsistent with other recent referendum questions like the vote on AV nationally and the independence vote in Scotland. He successfully argued that in both cases a vote for 'yes' was for changes and 'no' was for no change. The problem that the current question had this in reverse. This might create confusion and should be corrected.
The Electoral Commission agreed. Their recommendation is that the final EU referendum question becomes 'Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?' Their proposed choices for voters is no longer 'yes' or 'no', but 'Remain a member of the European Union' or 'Leave the European Union'.
Professor Brooks said: 'I'm delighted to see the Electoral Commission make these recommendations. This is an important vote and it's crucial to get the referendum question right. It's now up to the government to take the next step. But I expect they'll endorse these recommendations in full." 

* Brooks comment is para. 4.19.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Thom Brooks on ITV Tyne Tees - interview on EU refugee crisis




Interview conducted down the hallway from a fabulous conference I was attending in Ghent, Belgium - about 1 hour from Brussels. Link to be added when in hand.

Evening Chronicle timeline of EU refugee crisis

... lists PM, Home Secretary and...me! Great coverage and discussion HERE.

Thom Brooks on "The Week" on Made in Tyne and Wear Channel




. . . the link to the 4 part interview programme can be FOUND HERE (series 7 episode 4 (S7 E4) parts 1 to 4).

We discuss immigration, plans for local devolution and the big stories happening that week.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

EU referendum: Durham University professor 'delighted' at decision to change question

This piece is in the next issue of Newcastle's Evening Chronicle and The Journal following on from my big news yesterday READ HERE:

Durham University professor Thom Brooks was one of two academics quoted in the report to the Electoral Commission

A Durham University academic has welcomed the changing of the planned EU referendum question after campaigning on the issue.

David Cameron has accepted voters should be asked to choose between the options to “remain a member of the European Union” or “leave the European Union”.

The Electoral Commission said the wording proposed by ministers - “should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?” (which would prompt a Yes/No response) - could be perceived as biased to the status quo.

Durham University’s Professor Thom Brooks said he was pleased as he was one of only two academics quoted in the Commission’s report.

Professor Brooks said the wording was inconsistent with other recent referendum questions like the vote on AV nationally and the independence vote in Scotland. He argued that in both cases a vote for “yes” was for changes and “no” was for no change, and that this could mean the question is biased. The Electoral Commission agreed.

Professor Brooks said: ‘I’m delighted to see the Electoral Commission make these recommendations.
“This is an important vote and it’s crucial to get the referendum question right. It’s now up to the government to take the next step. But I expect they’ll endorse these recommendations in full.”

READ FULL STORY HERE

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

EU Referendum Question Changed - Electoral Commision Report

The UK has a referendum next year on whether or not to stay in the EU. The Electoral Commission held a consultation inviting responses. I'm one of only two academics cited in the report. The other is Professor Matthew Turner of Warwick University.

The Commission notes the proposed language for the referendum in the European Union Referendum Bill: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?"

I am quoted in the report at 4.19 (on page 28):

"Another key factor that explained concerns about this [e.g., neutrality] was the use of 'no' to represent a change. Professor Thom Brooks of Durham University was concerned about the lack of consistency when compared to previous referendum questions:

[Quoting me:] There is a convention that the answer "no" should be reserved for a verdict of no change - and "yes" for a verdict of change. The problem with the current question is that a "yes" vote is a verdict for no change. This is inconsistent with referendums on AV nationally and on independence in Scotland".

The outcome? The Electoral Commission agrees that the wording should be changed to better ensure neutrality. They propose:

"Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"

The answers will not be Yes or No, but "Remain a member of the European Union" or "Leave the European Union".

While I was not the only voice arguing for these changes, I'm absolutely thrilled to see this. Result! Now let's hope the final vote is worth celebrating, too....

The government isn't taking the EU refugee crisis seriously

. . . is my latest piece for Labour List READ HERE.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Talking about migration to the UK's North East

. . . on the new local television channel Made in Tyne and Wear. It's the headline story from 1 minute (see 27.08.2015 Part 1 broadcast) and I'm the first interviewed.


 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Talking refugees and UK migration

. . . on RT tv, the last of three different interviews I did yesterday LINK HERE). The others were with Sky News and local channel Made in Tyne and Wear.

And the big winner in the Labour leadership contest is...David Cameron

. . . is the title of my latest column for @TheJournalNews READ HERE.

The government is not taking Calais seriously

. . . is my latest piece for Progress Online available HERE.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

EU migration, refugees - and new UK immigration statistics

. . . were the subject of interviews I did today with Sky News (pictured), Made in Tyne & Wear Channel, RT and Express on Sunday. I will post links when I have them.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Corbyn Factor

My latest column for LabourList - the top Labour Party blog - is on the leadership race with advice for each of the candidates. The piece "The Corbyn Factor: is Corbynomics Labour's Future?" can be READ HERE.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Yvette Cooper comes to Durham

. . . and delivered a fabulous speech to a packed audience at Durham's County Hall with plenty of time for questions. As usual, many in the room had already decided on backing Yvette, but several told me she now took their first preference. The race ain't over yet for Labour's next leader.

Jeremy Corbyn comes to Newcastle

Sorry I'll be unable to share stage tomorrow with Jeremy Corbyn for a terrific event organised in Newcastle by my friend, the tireless David Stockdale. Would have enjoyed speaking with Corbyn and hearing what he has to say. Maybe next time. If you're in the area, check it out. Should be fun. Even for friends who give first preferences to different candidates.

Interviewed on Al Jazeera's Inside Story - Chaos in Kos: Greece on the frontline of migrant crisis

Interviewed today for Al Jazeera's flagship daily programme "Inside Story" on EU migration and the crisis in Kos. The video can be watched HERE.
 
 


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Liz Kendall speaks to Sedgefield Constituency Labour Party


Great to meet Labour leadership contender Liz Kendall MP at a special meeting of the Sedgefield CLP in Newton Aycliffe last night. Liz was terrific and spoke to a full house.


Some fencing and a few sniffer dogs in Calais is just not enough

. . . is the title of my new column for the Newcastle Journal, the UK's regional newspaper of the year. READ MORE HERE.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Honoured to be included in Debrett's People of Today

Honoured to be included in new Debrett's People of Today. Other new entries are Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and over 60 newly elected MPs.

"Established in 1982, People of Today annually recognises over 20,000 individuals who are positively influencing Britain and inspiring others through their achievements and leadership" (from website).

READ MORE HERE.


What happens to failed asylum seekers?

. . . is the title of today's headline piece for BBC Magazine online. A great essay on an important topic - and pleased to be quoted in it about why the government's fast-track system was rejected by the UK courts. READ MORE HERE.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

David Ingersoll, Behavioralism and the Modern Revival of Legal Realism

. . . is the title of my latest piece, published in the Beijing Law Review. This journal is open access so free to download here. An abstract:


David Ingersoll’s essay “Karl Llewellyn, American Legal Realism and Contemporary Legal Behavioralism” is a significant, but neglected contribution to our understanding of legal realism in the United States. This article argues that it first anticipates the shape of legal realism’s revival today and shows that Ingersoll was ahead of his time. The once dominant school of legal realism had become a much maligned theory of law when this essay was first published. Ingersoll identifies two varieties of legal realism and most critics focus on only one of them. He argues that legal realism should be revived if it develops its second variety often overlooked which accepts rule skepticism and recognizes the importance of social psychology to predicting legal outcomes more reliably.



 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

British Citizenship Survey

I'm conducting research for a book Becoming British forthcoming with Biteback. The book is about how UK citizenship works and how it should be reformed. I'm keen to hear the thoughts of both British citizens and non-UK citizens on this topic. The survey takes only 5 minutes and I'd be happy to speak further with anyone interested in a follow-up chat. Please let me know if you have any questions - and please forward the survey link to your networks!
 

Monday, August 10, 2015

UK Foreign Secretary sounds unsure if his govt has "a grip" on migration crisis

The British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, is changing his mind daily about whether his government is in control of the current EU migration crisis in Calais and elsewhere.

Only about 24 hours ago, Hammond said that the UK government has got "a grip" on the situation in Calais and turned a corner. He didn't come armed with evidence, but had much tough rhetoric giving clear assurances that all was well.

Today, an interview with Hammond is being widely reported where he says that EU is being invaded by "marauding" migrants in language some will see as more inflammatory that Cameron's comment regarding the UK being "swamped" by migrants.

One day this week Hammond says all is under control. Now he says the European way of life(!) is under threat. So which is it, Foreign Secretary?

Looks like yet more evidence this is a government that has tough sounding talk on immigration, but few effective ideas. Another reason why they could do with advice from those of us who are migrants to the UK...

Friday, August 07, 2015

More interviews

You can catch me HERE on Al Jazeera again on a panel interview discussing Calais migrant crisis. Interviewed a second time for TRT in Turkey - will post link when up.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Interview on Al Jazeera Inside Story programme

. . . on the continuing Calais migrant crisis. Link to programme is HERE.


Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Monday, August 03, 2015

Sky News interview with Andrew Wilson



I've had a second Sky News interview this evening shortly after 5.30pm with Andrew Wilson. I was asked about Prime Minister David Cameron's new plans announced today that would see landlords forced to evict illegal immigrants -- effectively turning landlords into border agents. My view is simple: if the previous Immigration Minister in Cameron's government, Mark Harper, was mistaken to believe his cleaner was legally allowed to work in the UK (she was not and Harper swiftly resigned), then there is little hope others will do much better than him. Furthermore, these plans have not been shown to be effective: the current trial has not led to a single illegal immigrant being deported. This will do little to improve public confidence - and a poor attempt to divert attention from the continuing migrant crisis in Calais I've been talking about in several recent tv interviews.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

UPDATED: My thoughts on the Calais migrant crisis



I've been interviewed by a number of media organisations over the last few days, including BBC News, Sky News, Al Jazeera (2x) and France 24 and several radio stations such as BBC Radio Newcastle (from 01:09:00) and BBC Radio Tees (from 27.30).

 
I've written a short post for the leading Labour Party blog LabourList on how the current crisis should be addressed. In short, there should be less finger-pointing and more cooperation at several levels. First, the UK and France must work more closely together to calm current tensions, but realise any measures are likely to only affect the short-term. Secondly, they should work together with their EU counterparts on a more effective strategy for handling asylum claims and tackling illegal human trafficking. If not, the Calais crisis will only continue for much longer.



Friday, July 17, 2015

So why were the UK polls so wrong?

The polls for the May 2015 election had Labour and the Conservatives neck and neck. I was interviewed by Australia's ABC News 24 the day after the election. I had spent a long night at our local election count with my friend and MP Phil Wilson (who I'm delighted to say increased his vote share) -- Wilson succeeded Tony Blair as MP for Sedgefield. Many theories were sprung to explain the unbelievable.

But my view was - and remains - that Labour supporters were not sufficiently motivated to vote for our side. The Tories did much better than expected because their side was more motivated to turn out at the polls. The last few days of negative polling stoking worries about a Labour-SNP coalition that both Labour and SNP firmly rejected worked to get Tory voters in the election booth while ours stayed home. Or at least that's what I said on live television -- and also what I said in my column for The Journal (which is the UK's regional newspaper of the year). This is now confirmed by new research from the British Election Study.

Told you so first . . .

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Brooks Blog to produce new journal rankings

It is now about 4 years since I last published journal rankings in Philosophy. My original post can be found HERE and it's one of the more popular links on this blog. I know it's regularly used, but it can also be updated and improved.

I will shortly announce a new poll - the most comprehensive yet - of philosophy journals to inform a new ranking. I am likely to group journals in categories A, B, C and so on as before, but retain a numerical ranking as well with scores.

So watch this space. In the meantime, please look over my earlier rankings - recommendations for how they might be updated and revised are most welcome.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hegel Bulletin - Is Hegel a Retributivist?

Hegel Bulletin - Is Hegel a Retributivist?

The above is a link to my article first published in the Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain in 2004, but only now available online through Cambridge University Press (thanks to CUP agreeing to publish a revamped Hegel Bulletin). This piece was a runner-up for a graduate essay prize.

The article marked an important turning point for me. It is my first substantial examination of Hegel's theory of punishment where I begin to make clear that he could not have been a retributivist. I did not yet argue for his having a unified theory of punishment and so my view of his theory has sharpened although I would continue to defend more than 10 years later the arguments of this piece. Perhaps the biggest finding is that - with the possible exception of Peter Nicholson - just about every scholar writing on Hegel's theory of punishment is shown to have made significant errors in how he conceives his project and how punishment fits into his systematic understanding of philosophy.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Durham Expert Hits Out At Migrant Guide

Durham Expert Hits Out At Migrant Guide | Metro Radio - Number 1 for the North East. Your Music, Your Life



Hilarious response to my interview - publishers admit that "practical guide" for migrants to the UK does not say how to contact police or report a crime. Just like the UK citizenship test handbook who's official study guide has the same author. It's time naturalised citizens had a voice - and maybe a hand - in these things...

PRESS RELEASE: Budget 2015 and immigration statement – Prof Thom Brooks, Durham University

Budget 2015 and immigration statement – Prof Thom Brooks, Durham University
 
For immediate release
 
*TV and radio broadcast facilities available*
Statement by Professor Thom Brooks, Professor of Law and Government at Durham University on today’s budget speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP:
 
“Today’s announcement leaves many questions unanswered and stones unturned.
 
The Budget is 123 pages long, but has only one mention of ‘immigration’. It is used once to refer to non-doms.
 
This is not enough and it’s surprising to see this from a government that claims to take immigration seriously. There is no mention of borders or Calais. At a time of increasing pressures on public services, the government should be looking to reintroduce a Migration Impacts Fund through a new surcharge on visa applications. This is an opportunity lost.
 
The newly rebranded living wage might make the UK more attractive to increased migration. This policy aimed at a domestic audience may have an impact beyond our borders and raise new headaches for achieving reduced net migration.”
 
ENDS
 
 
MEDIA INFORMATION
 
NB – Please note that Professor Brooks is also a member of the Labour Party and Communications Lead for the Sedgefield Constituency Labour Party.
 
Interviews
 
Professor Thom Brooks, Professor of Law and Government, in Durham Law School, Durham University, is available for comment on Wednesday, July 8, and Thursday, July 9, 2015, on: +44 (0) 191 334 4365 (office) or thom.brooks@durham.ac.uk
 
Alternatively please contact Durham University Marketing and Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075; media.relations@durham.ac.uk
 
*TV and radio broadcast facilities available*
Durham University’s academic experts are available for interview via down-the-line broadcast quality TV facilities from our Durham City campus, via broadcast provider Globelynx.
 
To request and check the availability of interviewees please contact the Durham University Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075 or email media.relations@durham.ac.uk.
 
You can book the Globelynx fixed camera and circuit direct by logging into www.globelynx.com. The IFB number is +44 (0)191 384 2019.
 
If you have not booked a Globelynx feed before please call +44 (0)20 7963 7060 for assistance.
 
A broadcast quality ISDN radio line is also available at Durham University and bookings can be arranged via the Media Relations Team on the contact details above. The ISDN number is +44 (0)191 386 2749.
 
A landline number is available in our Media Suite which houses the television and radio facilities - +44 (0)191 334 6472.
 
Photographs
 
A high resolution headshot of Professor Thom Brooks is available on request from Durham University Marketing and Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075; media.relations@durham.ac.uk.
 
Further reading
Migration Impacts Reduction Fund, by Thom Brooks, research briefing published 2015.
 
 
An earlier paper, The British Citizenship Test: The Case for Reform, by Thom Brooks, was published before the current test was launched, in The Political Quarterly in August 2012.
 
About Durham University
-          A world top 100 university with a global reputation and performance in research and education
-          A member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive UK universities
-          Research at Durham shapes local, national and international agendas, and directly informs the teaching of our students
-          Ranked in the world top 25 for the employability of its students by blue-chip companies world-wide (QS World University Rankings 2014/15)
-          In the global top 50 for Arts and Humanities (THE World University Rankings 2013/14)
-          In the 2015 Complete University Guide, Durham was the only UK university to receive a top ten ranking for all of its subjects and 19 of Durham’s 22 subjects were ranked in the top five.
-          Durham was named as The Times and Sunday Times 'Sports University of the Year 2015' in recognition of outstanding performance in both the research and teaching of sport, and student and community participation in sport at all levels.
 
END OF MEDIA RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE: Three reasons why Bloomberg can't run for London Mayor

Three reasons why Bloomberg can’t run for London Mayor
 
For immediate release
 
 
*TV and radio broadcast facilities available*
 
London will have a new mayor now that Boris Johnson has become MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip. Several candidates have put their names forward from Zac Goldsmith and Sol Campbell to Sadiq Khan and Tessa Jowell among others.
 
There’s been much interest in trying to persuade New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to cross the pond and throw his hat in the ring. Bloomberg won three terms and a popular campaigner. He counts London as his “second home” and David Cameron’s senior advisor Steve Hilton has called a Bloomberg candidacy “an incredible coup for London”.
 
Bloomberg has said he will not run for London Mayor. Howard Wolfson, his former Deputy Mayor, said Bloomberg loves New York too much to leave. But could he change his mind and make a surprise announcement?
 
All candidates must be a citizen of the UK or EU. Bloomberg is currently ineligible as an American, but some have claimed that his citizenship could be fast-tracked because of his significant investment in UK business.
 
Bloomberg’s problem is that it’s all but impossible for him to receive British citizenship in time to stand for London Mayor.
 
The first reason is he fails the residency test. Bloomberg’s considerable investments in this country aren’t enough. Americans like him must normally be resident in the UK for five years. An investment of £10 million or more opens the quickest path to applying for settlement, but would still require residency for two years.
 
Marriage to a British citizen can reduce this period and Bloomberg was married to a UK citizen. But the residency requirement would only be reduced to three years and you must be married at the time of the application. Bloomberg divorced his British wife over 20 years ago.
 
If residency were not a problem, Bloomberg would face at least two further hurdles. One is he’d have to study and pass the Life in the UK citizenship test. I’ve described this as ‘like a bad pub quiz’ containing obscure facts few British citizens know and might prove especially challenging for an outsider. It can take several months to book a test and it’s required for permanent residency.
 
A second hurdle is that citizenship applications must normally wait one year after receiving permanent residency before applying for citizenship—and the outcome normally takes about six months after applying.
 
Bloomberg’s failure to meet the residency requirement on any grounds, his needing to pass the citizenship test and the 18 month or more wait after a likely two or more year qualifying period are three reasons why Londoners should firmly rule out what would be an extraordinary political story. He can’t run even if he changed his mind. But it could happen in the following election so watch this space.
 
 
ENDS
 
 
MEDIA INFORMATION
 
NB – Please note that Professor Brooks is also a member of the Labour Party.
 
Interviews
 
Professor Thom Brooks, Professor of Law and Government, in Durham Law School, Durham University, is available for comment on Monday, June 22, and Tuesday, June 23, 2015, on: +44 (0) 191 334 4365 (office) or thom.brooks@durham.ac.uk
 
Alternatively please contact Durham University Marketing and Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075; media.relations@durham.ac.uk
 
*TV and radio broadcast facilities available*
Durham University’s academic experts are available for interview via down-the-line broadcast quality TV facilities from our Durham City campus, via broadcast provider Globelynx.
 
To request and check the availability of interviewees please contact the Durham University Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075 or email media.relations@durham.ac.uk.
 
You can book the Globelynx fixed camera and circuit direct by logging into www.globelynx.com. The IFB number is +44 (0)191 384 2019.
 
If you have not booked a Globelynx feed before please call +44 (0)20 7963 7060 for assistance.
 
A broadcast quality ISDN radio line is also available at Durham University and bookings can be arranged via the Media Relations Team on the contact details above. The ISDN number is +44 (0)191 386 2749.
 
A landline number is available in our Media Suite which houses the television and radio facilities - +44 (0)191 334 6472.
 
Photographs
 
A high resolution headshot of Professor Thom Brooks is available on request from Durham University Marketing and Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075; media.relations@durham.ac.uk.
 
Further reading
 
 
An earlier paper, The British Citizenship Test: The Case for Reform, by Thom Brooks, was published before the current test was launched, in The Political Quarterly in August 2012.
 
About Durham University
-          A world top 100 university with a global reputation and performance in research and education
-          A member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive UK universities
-          Research at Durham shapes local, national and international agendas, and directly informs the teaching of our students
-          Ranked in the world top 25 for the employability of its students by blue-chip companies world-wide (QS World University Rankings 2014/15)
-          In the global top 50 for Arts and Humanities (THE World University Rankings 2013/14)
-          In the 2015 Complete University Guide, Durham was the only UK university to receive a top ten ranking for all of its subjects and 19 of Durham’s 22 subjects were ranked in the top five.
-          Durham was named as The Times and Sunday Times 'Sports University of the Year 2015' in recognition of outstanding performance in both the research and teaching of sport, and student and community participation in sport at all levels.
 
END OF MEDIA RELEASE