On probation

I came accross this simple chart to summarise the privatisation of much of the probation service which shows what a complete disaster it has been: (Note: CRCs are Community Rehabilitation Companies: NPS is the National Probation Service – the bit that is still state run; TR is Transforming Rehabilitation; MoJ is the Ministry of Justice. Double… Read more

President for the Rich

There have been many recent reports of the generosity of several of France’s richest families giving to the fund that has been set up to rebuild Notre-Dame. Bernard Arnault of LVMH gave €200m and even put his own creative, architectural teams at the state’s disposal. His son, Antoine, was quoted as saying “As caretakers of… Read more

Poles

The title is purposely ambiguous because I feared this would be a rant about ‘The Poles’ as in Polish people, (one of whom particularly is a friend)! In fact I’d written to my local councillor about telegraph poles –  she replied with this succinct title. I discovered that BT is actually allowed to put up… Read more

Regulatory competence

There is a notable ‘Guardian’ article by Will Hutton on the the crashes of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and the pervasive capture of the American state by corporate interests, where he highlights the bonfire of regulations (where have we heard that before?) that has led to reductions of funding of the Federal Aviation Administration to… Read more

Chickens and Hayek

I strongly recomment a listen to The Inquiry – How did we mess up antibiotics? A part of the story involves chickens. The figure below is from businessinsider. Clearly, there is something not natural going on here. Back in 1989 I went on a trek in the far north of Thailand. In the villages, chickens… Read more

An outbreak of sense?

The Guardian ran a striking headline on Thursday last: Scrap laws driving privatisation of health service, say NHS bosses . I confess I did a double-take. If this is for real then it has to be heartily welcomed. [They are] proposals which, if taken forward by ministers – who are supportive – would unwind and… Read more

MMT is perhaps gaining hold in the US as there are some very spurious arguments against it

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) has received further criticsm in the US – perhaps particularly because that seems to be where it is (can we hope?) gaining a hold. Britain is still mired in the all-consuming provincial business of Brexit. This is a writer on ‘Medium’: “…the treasury can only spend by first ensuring it has… Read more